Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by nautical_nathaniel, May 17, 2018.

Species Spotlight: Pseudocheilinops ataenia – The Pink-Streaked Wrasse

Pseudocheilinops ataenia, better known to most hobbyists as the Pink-Streaked Wrasse, is a very suitable wrasse for nano aquariums and gets along...
  1. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I would like to take a moment to share with all of you one of my favorite fish in reef aquaria, and one that has consistently been a great addition to not only my tank, but to a lot of fellow hobbyists’ tanks as well. Pseudocheilinops ataenia, or as it is commonly known, the “Pink-Streaked Wrasse”, is a great little wrasse for tanks as small as 10 gallons (I personally would recommend 20 gallons or larger for reasons I will share later).



    Note that a large amount of the following is based on my own personal experience with this little fish, but I have also done extensive research into others’ experiences with it. All pictures are of my own P. ataenia, who I have affectionally named “Lord Sauron” since his bright orange eyes remind me of the Eye of Sauron from the ever-popular Lord of the Rings fantasy novels by J. R. R. Tolkien.

    P. ataenia comes from the Western Pacific Ocean, on tropical reefs located in and around the Philippines, Celebes (Indonesia), and Palau. It will normally be found in depths of 5 to 15 meters around grown out stony coral branches in small groups. It can be found often feeding on amphipods and other small invertebrates. It is not a fish that ventures far from its chosen area, often staying in and around coral branches so that it can make a quick getaway to shelter if needed.

    P. ataenia is a very modest fish, and as such is not one to act aggressively towards any tank mates, oftentimes including other pink-streaked wrasses and small possum wrasses. Unfortunately, this also makes the pink-streak vulnerable to aggression from other fish since it would rather run away than try to defend itself. This is why it is best to keep P. ataenia in smaller tanks with peaceful tank mates.



    Once established, P. ataenia will be very active in the aquarium. It can often be found closely examining rocks and corals for copepods, amphipods, and other small invertebrates that it considers a food source. For this reason, it may not be best to keep P. ataenia with dragonets or other fish that feed predominantly on copepods, amphipods, etc. P. ataenia will readily accept mysis, black or blood worms, cyclops, rotifers, and other frozen/prepared foods in the aquarium hobby as well as flake and pelleted food as long as the piece of food is small enough for it to eat. My own P. ataenia enjoys mysis and prepared food offerings such as LRS Reef Frenzy but has also taken to liking spirulina flakes that I sometimes offer my fish.

    Personality-wise, P. ataenia is a very curious fish and will often stay around the front of the tank when you are around it, ever-watching you with those bright orange eyes as only a wrasse can. Unlike the more common and popular nano-aquarium wrasse, the Six-line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataeni), P. ataenia will not act aggressively towards newcomers. P. ataenia will most often casually swim around the aquarium, minding its own business and staying out of the way of tank mates. Some hobbyists have successfully kept pairs of P. ataenia, but as with other wrasses, P. ataenia can switch genders from female to male and possibly act aggressively towards other males.



    P. ataenia
    can be successfully kept in tanks as small as 10 gallons, but it is also a very active fish and if there are going to be multiple fish in the aquarium, it may be better to keep P. ataenia in something like a 20 gallon reef aquarium. As with most wrasses, there is a risk of jumping and a tight-fitting lid should be kept on the aquarium at all times. It does sleep in a mucus cocoon, so a few small caves and crevices will give it plenty of options to hide in before it builds its cocoon.

    P. ataenia may provide some pest control benefits as well. It has been said by other hobbyists that their P. ataenia consumed small bristleworms and feather dusters. I have personally seen my P. ataenia go after a vermetied snail. As with any fish, however, you shouldn't expect them to completely eradicate a pest, but merely help keep their population at a reduced level.



    Overall, my experience with P. ataenia has been very positive. It is a great little inquisitive fish that fits well in my Innovative Marine Nuvo 20. It has been a much better experience than the year or so that I had a sixline wrasse, notably in the aggression field. Hopefully, these little guys will become more common in the hobby and more nano reef aquarium owners will share in my experience!


    References:

    https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Pseudocheilinops-ataenia.html

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/187594/0
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2018

  2. Kyl

    Kyl Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Miss my PSW already :( Great article :)
     
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  3. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! :) You should get another one ;)
     
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  4. JBKReef

    JBKReef Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    I've had a bristle worm explosion here recently... as in probably over a 100 worms free swimming and on the glass once lights out. I was bout to just go 6-line but this looks like an attractive alternative.
     
  5. Joey Bekius

    Joey Bekius Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice artical, how big do they get? And also would this get along with a kinda snobby royal gramma in a 24 gal nano cube?
     
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  6. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 Cyber Monday Sponsor R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice job and thank you for creating this!
     
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  7. HairyGary

    HairyGary Why do all your fish look like trout? R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice write up Nathaniel!
     
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  8. Joey Bekius

    Joey Bekius Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Also would it eat a 1.5-2 inch cleaner shrimp?
     
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  9. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Mine is around 2.5 inches long and I suspect it is not going to grow much larger.

    It wouldn't be aggressive towards the gramma but the gramma might be aggressive towards it initially. They should get used to each other after a few weeks.
     
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  10. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Nope!
     
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  11. samnaz

    samnaz Earthling R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    very informative and helpful article, plus beautiful photos!
     
  12. Greenstreet.1

    Greenstreet.1 Valuable Member

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    Beautiful write up and a beautiful wrasse
     
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  13. oldfishman

    oldfishman Active Member

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    After your article I think I will serious think about getting one. Thanks for the nice write up.
     
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  14. lion king

    lion king Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for sharing the spotlight, my fav when I was keeping nano tanks. This fish is often overlooked and doesn't get the interest it deserves.
     
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  15. Monkichi

    Monkichi Member R2R Supporter

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    This one has been on my list for a while. After seeing such a great write up on it I may go ahead and do it. Lovely pictures too. Thanks!
     
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  16. tnc112105

    tnc112105 Active Member

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    I've been looking for one of these wrasses for several weeks now. Anyone know where I can find one to purchase online?
     
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  17. evmibo

    evmibo Active Member

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    Good article, I really enjoy my little psw, about 2” and I don’t think he’ll get much larger. Still relatively shy but continuing to get better.
     
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  18. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I would check with LiveAquaria often, I know I've seen them on there pretty often.
     
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  19. evmibo

    evmibo Active Member

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    You can setup email alerts for livestock. I’ve also seen pink streak wrasse on divers den from time to time.
     
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  20. Kyl

    Kyl Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Mine was about 2", never went after anything (even the tiny .5" sexy shrimp). Would pick at the rocks and glass for pods at times, but ate pretty much everything; PE mysis small grade, LRS reef frenzy, PE calanus, 1mm PE mysis pellets, new spectrum small pellets.
     
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