Cleaner Wrasse

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SourAngelfish

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I intern at an LFS and I occasionally feed the fish. I was thinking of purchasing a cleaner wrasse when I get my new reef tank set up. I understand that it is a relatively irresponsible decision to purchase a cleaner wrasse knowing it will most likely die, but would it still be considered irresponsible purchasing a cleaner wrasse that I have witnessed feeding on multiple occasions?
 
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DLHDesign

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I understand that it is a relatively irresponsible decision to purchase a cleaner wrasse knowing it will most likely die
Every fish will die - that fact alone does not make it irresponsible to have in an aquarium.

Cleaner wrasse's have special feeding needs (small foods multiple times a day), but aren't really all that difficult. I've got a blue streak in my tank that is fed 2x per day (along with everyone else in the tank). I soak all my food in VitaChem for about 5min before feeding. Aside from that and having a tank with a good population of pods (read: a semi-mature reef tank), I don't do much else to keep my wrasse fat and happy. I do keep a lid on the tank since - just as with practically any wrasse - it sometimes jumps.
 
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SourAngelfish

SourAngelfish

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I've just read that it's irresponsible in the fact that they're needed in the wild and shouldn't be captured especially because they're likely to die. I'm not necessarily worried about the health of the fish as I will do my best to maintain that, but rather the impact on the ecosystem.
 
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SDReefer

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Cleaner wrasses are now being bred in captivity by many universities as well as ORA. Wild collection for the aquarium hobby rarely has a significant environmental impact, as long as sustainable collection methods are used along with moderation.
 

eatbreakfast

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The impact of cleaner wrasses in the wild is very important, but collecting for the aquarium trade doesn't affect the ecosystem as reef recruitment occurs quickly.

Cleaner wrasses also don't hunt pods like many other wrasses do.

Just because a cleaner wrasse is eating prepared foods, doesn't mean it is a good fit for every tank. Getting one that is eating will help have success with one, but they are still an obligate cleaner, so is much better suited to being housed in a tank where it can have enough client fish. If it doesn't have enough clients, it can be stressful for some fish for the cleaner trying to clean them, also some fish can in turn chase and nip cleaner wrasses when they are annoyed by them

Cleaner wrasses also benefit from enough client fish because fish slime coat is their primary diet.
 

eatbreakfast

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Do a search on a African Cleaner Wrasse, you will find they do very well in the aquarium. If you do not have a reason to need a cleaner for larger fish in your tank, go with a cleaner shrimp.
I have found that in recent years cleaner wrasses from other locations, such as the Philippines and Indonesia do just as well as Africans.
 
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RobertP

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Love my cleaner wrasse. He is always checking out all the other fish and I watched him remove some stuff off the side of one of my tangs when I fish got the tang. He will also eat nory, flake, pellet, and frozen...he eats everything. He is hilarious with any new fish in the tank...he has to give them a full examination to make sure they are carrying something he can eat!!! He is like my dottyback and ALWAYS hunting food. They are hell on pods and I no longer see any many in the tank at night..and I had tons in my fuge. Not sure I would have one with a mandarin goby unless you are feeding pods regularly or if you love pods like I do.
Might be a little better to have pods established but as long as you are feeding him and he has lots of rock to hunt he should be happy.
 

YellowFinsReef

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My cleaner wrasses does perfectly fine! It lived with tiny little fish and is never aggressive to any of them. Both of mine loves to eat PE mysis and soft freeze caviar. I had em for a while too. I think some cleaner wrasses get their bad reputation from the pretty Hawaiian cleaner wrasses, which I know for sure are hard to keep and skyrock in death rates.
 
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SourAngelfish

SourAngelfish

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The largest fish in the tank would be about 6 inches. The problem is that my parents will only let me have a limited amount of tanks, therefore no quarentine :(. I would like to have something that could quickly remove parasites before they're spread. We do feed medicated food at the store, so I'm not super worried but I would like some reassurance as I have lost a few fish to ich due to the fact that I cant have more tanks. I'll try convincing them and maybe they'll let me set it up temporarily so it won't be necessary.
 

Big G

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The largest fish in the tank would be about 6 inches. The problem is that my parents will only let me have a limited amount of tanks, therefore no quarentine :(. I would like to have something that could quickly remove parasites before they're spread. We do feed medicated food at the store, so I'm not super worried but I would like some reassurance as I have lost a few fish to ich due to the fact that I cant have more tanks. I'll try convincing them and maybe they'll let me set it up temporarily so it won't be necessary.
Tell them you will need an "hospital tank" for emergencies . . . :rolleyes:
 

YellowFinsReef

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The largest fish in the tank would be about 6 inches. The problem is that my parents will only let me have a limited amount of tanks, therefore no quarentine :(. I would like to have something that could quickly remove parasites before they're spread. We do feed medicated food at the store, so I'm not super worried but I would like some reassurance as I have lost a few fish to ich due to the fact that I cant have more tanks. I'll try convincing them and maybe they'll let me set it up temporarily so it won't be necessary.

I don't think that the cleaner can get rid of ich or velvet on other fish if that's where you are headed. I've had cleaner wrasses that were infected and spreading the parasites themselves. I think the cleaner wrasse makes a great addition if you want to see that symbiotic relationship, but in terms of getting rid of aquarium fish related parasites like ich and velvet, it is useless.
 
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YellowFinsReef

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I do enjoy viewing symbiotic behaviors, but I guess there are much better choices. Is it really worth it if it's not going to get rid of every parasite? Also, are they aggressive with any other wrasses?

It's really up to you. Parasite control can only happen through means of quarantine. They can get aggressive with each other of same species, but mine had never attacked another wrasse of another species. I kept it with coris, leopards, tamarins, melanurus, ruby head, and flashers. All worked well.
 
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