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Wrasse Aggression

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I introduced a six line on saturday and everything was good until 9 pm last night. He started really really fighting with mocha clown pair I have. The female is about the same size of the wrasse. I let them sort out their differences for a couple hours while I started setting up the "time out" enclosure just in case. Unfortunately, the wrasse started taking chunks out of their fins and I decided I had to intervene before the clowns really got hurt. So, the wrasse is by himself now.


I have to call the LFS and see if they'll let me bring him back for refund/credit/switch out whatever.


My question is should I have a six line at all or did I just get a stinky personality? I know several members on here have clowns and wrasses as the only inhabitants so I know they can live in harmony. Should I look for a wrasse smaller than my female? She's fairly "wrasse" size at about two inches. I'm concerned I won't be able to find smaller. My male is an 1" 1/2.


If you don't think I should get a wrasse, what other fish do you think would fit my tank? It's a 20 long. The wrasse was the last addition. I really enjoyed him. I'd like a fish with flashy colors and active behavior. The clowns are fun, and I wouldn't change them. But they're not incredibly active fish. They have a routine and they like it. lol They host the right sandy corner of the tank where the current dug out a hole. I tried to fill it one day and the female was very angry with me and dug it right back out.


Anyways, any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

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I have always like 6 line wrasses but my experience with them is they are total a$$es. Take it back. Paired clowns are pretty territorial and 6 lines are relentless if they thing they own the tank. The battle will end ugly.


I have a 20l my self and the truth is any wrasse, Fairy wrasses included will out grow a 20l. But if you want to try a wrasse look at a Filament fin wrasse. They seem to have very good personalities. I have had 2 filament fins the 1st one went carpet surfing and the second died mysteriously. I recently replaced it with a small McCosker's. I know Liveaquaria says this fish is best in a 50 gal tank, but I rarely see these at my LFS and I could not resist it. Besides I have a 135g tank I can move it to if need be. Probably better suited for a 20 l would be either a Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse or White Banded Possum Wrasse.



Some other nice additions would be a goby or Blenny. I recently got a Tail Spot Blenny and like it allot. Another active fish would be a Pygmy angel. I have a Cherub, note they do nip corals.

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I've never had a bad experience with my wrasse, and my six line is my favorite fish. I'd try another one and see if you have better luck. If the second time doesn't work out either, then try a different fish.

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I started with a sixline wrasse. When I decided to add another fish to my 10 gallon, I thought long and hard about what might get along with the sixline. I was also prepared to the possibility of aggression issues. I ultimately decided to get a Yellow Watchman Goby/Pistol Shrimp combo. The main reason being that gobys usually inhabit the bottom of the tank and wouldn't be getting in the same space as the sixline who spends most of her time in the middle of the water column.


As I was acclimating the goby and shrimp, the sixline was really agitated and pecking at the bag. I thought, Oh no, this may not go well. I waited to release the goby until 5 minutes before the lights went out since they sleep at night.


At first, I was pretty concerned, she was obviously annoyed with having a new tankmate, but the goby seemed oblivious to her. She poked and nudged the goby a couple times and kept raising her dorsal fin at it. I was pretty sure I would have to separate them.


The next morning, when the sixline woke up, she was showing annoyance and keeping a close eye on the goby. I had my fiance watch them all day as she was home all day. After a couple hours the sixline calmed down and hasn't given the goby a second glance ever since. They completely ignore each other.


If you have one of those little enclosures you can keep a fish in in your tank so they can get used to seeing each other, I'd try that first. You may find that after a day or two, they calm down. Many aggression issues with sixlines seem to stem from not getting food regularly. I recommend feeding two times at day at least... small meals. But enough so they don't become food insecure. Having a good pod population will also help because they spend the day picking around looking for pods to eat. It's really stressful seeing them not get along at first, but sometimes it just takes a little while.


Also, it may just be that particular sixline. They all have slightly different temperaments. Juveniles are less cranky. If that one doesn't work out, you could try finding the smallest one you can get your hands on.


Anyhow, hope this helps.

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The LFS will only take him back at a third of his price. >.< So, I'm thinking we might give it another try and if not, try an craigslist him. Maybe someone has has some frags to trade. He was fine the first day but might have just been settling in. :(


@Islandoftiki I know petco sells the specimen/breeder tanks. Hubby and I have also looked at the ReefGently for some time. We're thinking maybe the extra large since it would be nice for when we upgrade the tank in the future and have larger fish. Our anniversary is coming up and we were thinking about buying stuff for the tank anyways.


Would the wrasse be okay in there though? I don't want to isolate the clowns since there are two of them and one of the wrasse. And I don't want the wrasse to establish his home as the tank. But the wrasse moves a lot more than the clowns.


As far as feeding, I can mange that. I do daily water changes so I'm not too worried about "overfeeding" and the tank is busting with pods. Clowns don't eat those i guess. Or at least mine don't.


I really like him. I hope seeing each other works.

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I kept my wrasse in a 2 gallon pico tank for a couple months while it cleaned up a flatworm problem. It seemed comfortable and completely unstressed. I wouldn't think it would take more than a couple days if it's going to get used to new fish though. I would imagine it would be fine for a couple days.

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Sweet. Thanks for the suggestion. It never crossed my mind to do that. It's funny how sometimes an obvious solution evades thought. I'll let y'all know how it goes. hopefully he can stay.


I'm calling it a "he" since I prefer male animals to females. But is there a way to tell gender on a wrasse?

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