I Was Wrong, My Six line Wrasse Story (Learn From My Mistake)

Tiki Reef Joshua

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Warning: Picture at end may be sensitive for some

I have always been a defender of the six line wrasse. I thought people exaggerated their stories about them. I believed that if any fish showed aggression it would be dismissed as them just sorting it out, but if a six line did the same thing, they would be considered evil. I thought I knew better. I thought I had a nice one. Boy was I wrong. Please learn from my mistakes.

I had my six line for well over a year. He transferred from my 30 long which he wasn't in too long to my 100 which is my current DT. He got along well with everyone including my yellow Coris wrasse. He was definitely the loner of the tank, and liked his rock private, but he never seemed to bother anyone. He picked at the rocks and tiny hard to reach places all day and was a hard worker. I decided to add some more fish to the 100, so as a precaution I thought I would remove him and give him to my friend for his frag tank. Well, he was hard to catch with a bottle so I borrowed a fish trap. No real luck with that either so I figured he has been fine, I will add my female leopard wrasse who is larger than him. Shouldn't be an issue. So I acclimated the leopard wrasse and dropped her in.

What followed was the most insane messs thing I have ever seen in a fish tank. Instantly the six line's fins expanded, his eyes turned bright red and he darted repeatedly for the leopard. He was relentless, chasing the poor fish all over. He tore a fin on the leopard right away... it was just non stop. I finally was able to get the leopard in the fish trap for some safety, but the wrasses continued to attack the trap without rest. Everyone in the tank got stressed, and then the six line started attacking other fish! He went after everyone! I played keep away with a net which he avoided until the lights were off and he went to his rock. The next morning I found the six line dead, squeezed behind the fish trap where he had tried to continue getting the leopard.

Fortunately the leopard is doing fine now and everyone else is settled down and back to normal. The wrasse chose death before dishonor as he refused capture and would stop an nothing to kill the leopard wrasses. This ended poorly. I was hoping to be able to re home the six line and had several people wanting him for frag tanks. I was stubborn and didn't listen to others experiences about six lines. I also should have waited to add the leopard until the six line was caught. I have just never seen anything like that. It was like he totally snapped and went completely psyco. I will never try do a sixtine again unless I use one for a frag system and probably not even then. I am sure people have had success with them, and I was as well for over a year, but that has ended.

Below is a picture of how I found the fella. His rage became his demise.

A5B7320C-C737-45D2-87A7-2A9AC3835E43.jpeg
 
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Mkkari

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Warning: Picture at end may be sensitive for some

I have always been a defender of the six line wrasse. I thought people exaggerated their stories about them. I believed that if any fish showed aggression it would be dismissed as them just sorting it out, but if a six line did the same thing, they would be considered evil. I thought I knew better. I thought I had a nice one. Boy was I wrong. Please learn from my mistakes.

I had my six line for well over a year. He transferred from my 30 long which he wasn't in too long to my 100 which is my current DT. He got along well with everyone including my yellow Coris wrasse. He was definitely the loner of the tank, and liked his rock private, but he never seemed to bother anyone. He picked at the rocks and tiny hard to reach places all day and was a hard worker. I decided to add some more fish to the 100, so as a precaution I thought I would remove him and give him to my friend for his frag tank. Well, he was hard to catch with a bottle so I borrowed a fish trap. No real luck with that either so I figured he has been fine, I will add my female leopard wrasse who is larger than him. Shouldn't be an issue. So I acclimated the leopard wrasse and dropped her in.

What followed was the most insane #&@*$ thing I have ever seen in a fish tank. Instantly the six line's fins expanded, his eyes turned bright red and he darted repeatedly for the leopard. He was relentless, chasing the poor fish all over. He tore a fin on the leopard right away... it was just non stop. I finally was able to get the leopard in the fish trap for some safety, but the wrasses continued to attack the trap without rest. Everyone in the tank got stressed, and then the six line started attacking other fish! He went after everyone! I played keep away with a net which he avoided until the lights were off and he went to his rock. The next morning I found the six line dead, squeezed behind the fish trap where he had tried to continue getting the leopard.

Fortunately the leopard is doing fine now and everyone else is settled down and back to normal. The wrasse chose death before dishonor as he refused capture and would stop an nothing to kill the leopard wrasses. This ended poorly. I was hoping to be able to re home the six line and had several people wanting him for frag tanks. I was stubborn and didn't listen to others experiences about six lines. I also should have waited to add the leopard until the six line was caught. I have just never seen anything like that. It was like he totally snapped and went completely psyco. I will never try do a sixtine again unless I use one for a frag system and probably not even then. I am sure people have had success with them, and I was as well for over a year, but that has ended.

Below is a picture of how I found the fella. His rage became his demise.

A5B7320C-C737-45D2-87A7-2A9AC3835E43.jpeg
OOOOh wow!! so I added a 6 line & leopard wrasse to my tank 2 days ago, but haven't seen the wrasse yet!! Hmmmm
 
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Sorry for your loss, man. Six line wrasses can easily go postal. I hate it ended that way.
 

F4TALREEFER

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Keep an eye out for Fourline wrasse. I think they are prettier and from my research more docile. (If you want something similar)
Kept sixline in previous tanks never had a problem, but after a tank transfer he was a total jerk so rehomed. Currently waiting for a Fourline to come in stock somewhere myself.
 

saf1

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despite this, there will be endless people thinking theirs will be the exception

Not to be that person but a lot of folks used to say this about damsels. There is a place for most fish provided the system is set up for success. We, hobbyists, have general ideas based on what we read or real world experience so it is ever changing. However, that bad actor or post tends to resonate and takes a while to subside. A challenge for sure.

Something @ca1ore said in one of his video tank updates continues to resonate with me regarding one of his tangs. I believe he was introducing a Gem Tang and made a comment along the lines of thinking a 450 gallon tank would provide enough space yet the other tangs found it amazingly quick. Not sure how fish brains are wired but to me it seems always related to food and living / personal space.

I don't know - not applicable I guess :D
 

Nathan_Ferguson

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Geez. I got one a few weeks ago. I've been reading about their aggression when they're slightly older. He's probably the most calm and peaceful fish in my tank. Thanks for the heads up
 

Karen00

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Just reading this is traumatic! I can't even imagine what you went through watching it unfold! Kind of like that famous scene from The Exorcist. Fine one minute and head spinning the next. So sorry for your loss especially when you had folks ready to take it for you.
 
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Tiki Reef Joshua

Tiki Reef Joshua

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That’s what sucks. I was gonna get a great frag in trade, but I didn’t really care much. I was just happy to have a plan. I’m not being over dramatic either. It even looked like a different fish all of a sudden. Went after everything. I had to herd it into its rock with my net. But.... as I said. Live and learn. Now I want some anthias but I’m trying to figure out the minimum I can get and be successful with them. I’m set on wrasses. The yellow is awesome and the leopard is a show stopper.
 
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mattzang

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i remember reading a story @OrionN told about his sixline's conducting a tag team attack on his mandarin's eyes in his 300+ gallon tank and that really stuck with me when it came time for me to get rid of my original sixline

i get the hesitation, i think lfs tanks are diseases ridden disasters so taking a fish there feels bad. much better to rehome a fish is to give it to a fellow hobbyist.

there are so many other wrasses in the hobby that do similar things, look cool, eat pests, but are totally peaceful. just say no to psuedochelinus :D
 
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Tiki Reef Joshua

Tiki Reef Joshua

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i remember reading a story @OrionN told about his sixline's conducting a tag team attack on his mandarin's eyes in his 300+ gallon tank and that really stuck with me when it came time for me to get rid of my original sixline

i get the hesitation, i think lfs tanks are diseases ridden disasters so taking a fish there feels bad. much better to rehome a fish is to give it to a fellow hobbyist.

there are so many other wrasses in the hobby that do similar things, look cool, eat pests, but are totally peaceful. just say no to psuedochelinus :D

100%
 

mort

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The thing with sixlines and exactly what you have witnessed, is that they can be fine, model citizens, until you try and add something new that changes the dynamic of the tank. I've seen many times people keeping them and others in the family with other wrasse and it seemingly works. I think this is simply because they are put in their place to begin with but by adding something new they see it as a challenge and their dominance shows.

I love sixlines and will always have one but it lives alone for a reason. I'll also caution getting a four line as mentioned above because I don't think their is any truth in them being less aggressive, at least not less aggressive to make mixing with other wrasse a sensible possibility.
 

mrk1720

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I added a six line and melanurus wrasse at the same time to a 40 breeder and they lived happily together for almost 2 years. Once I added them both to the 75g, all was fine for about a month until the six line harassed the melanurus so bad that it went into hiding and only comes out at night.. He eats pods all night and then goes back in by "T5's on"
 
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