Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pseudocheilinus hexataenia

Image: © Knucklehead
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Scientific Name: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia
Species Authority: Bleeker, 1857
Family: Labridae
Common Name: Six Line Wrasse, Six Stripe Wrasse, Sixline Wrasse, Sixstripe Wrasse, Sechsstreifen-Lippfisch (DE)
Distribution: Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Natal, South Africa and east to the Tuamoto Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Lord Howe and the Austral islands. Distribution includes St. Brandon's Shoals and Gulf of Tadjoura. Aldabra, Chagos, Comores, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Red Sea, Seychelles, South Africa (country).
Environment: Reef-associated; marine; depth range 2 to 35 meters, usually 4 to 35 meters. Occurs in seaward reefs among coral branches. Also in clear coastal waters, dense coral habitats on shallow reef crest or slopes to depth of about 20 m. Usually occurs in small loose groups. A shy species, usually swimming amongst the protection of coral branches.
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 400 liters. Although not ideal, they are also popular in nano setups.
Tank Set-up: Marine aquarium with corals, plenty of live rocks / rocks, macroalgae, live sand. Provide a generous supply of hiding places and live rock in which to forage for food. They are much more likely to show aggression towards others if the aquarium does not have enough live rock to provide them a suitable territory and hunting ground.
Water Region: No specific level. Usually hanging around their turf on the live rock.
Lighting: Moderately strong to strong, typically found in reef tanks. Provide them with a good photoperiod for them to recognize "day" and "night."
Water Flow: Moderate to strong flow, normally found in reef tanks, fish-only and/or FOWLR community aquariums.
Size: Up to 8 cm
Lifespan: 5 or more years
Diet: Carnivore. Six Line Wrasse are very active feeders that will generally spend the majority of the day cruising up and down the reef looking for food items on which to feed. In an aquarium with a sufficient population of micro faunae, the Six Line Wrasse will need only supplemental feedings of various meaty foods. Their overall diet should consist of a variety of meaty items including: vitamin enriched meaty frozen preparations, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp or flake or pellet foods formulated for carnivores.

They provide beneficial services for the fellow inhabitants of their tank. They will eat the pyramidellid snails which commonly infest clam populations. They will eat the unwanted commensal flatworms off of your corals. They will also remove pests such as bristleworms from living rock. Once they are confident in their surroundings they will take an active role as a cleaner fish removing parasitic isopods and copepods from the bodies and fins of their tank mates.

It is their propensity for eating bristleworms that has made them a sought after species for many aquarists who are trying to keep bristleworm populations in check.

They are diurnal foragers. In their natural habitat they spend the majority of their day scrounging around reef formations in search of food. In nature their diet consists largely of minuscule creatures living on corals, other fish and rock formations.
Temperament: Semi-aggressive. They make a good candidate for a peacefule community tank but are considered mildly aggressive and will bully smaller more timid species. Multiples (single male can be kept with a group of females) can be kept together without any worry of territorial disputes. It is recommended to introduce them to the aquarium all at the same time. They may act aggressively towards peaceful Wrasses

Like most Wrasse, the Six Line Wrasse is quite capable of defending itself against larger more boisterous species as its speed and maneuverability make it a difficult species to pick on or bully.

Six-lines can make suitable additions to a marine reef tank depending on the general population. They will not harm corals or other anchored species. They may eat smaller crustaceans on occasion.

It is recommended that they are one of the last species introduced to your tank to help limit aggression.
Care Level: Easy to Moderate.
Resilience: High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months.
Reproduction: Egg Layer - Protogynous Hermaphrodites. If you introduce a group of juveniles in an aquarium together the larges most dominant member of the group will transform into a male. You will end up with a male who will tend to his harem. These fish are not known to breed in captivity.

In the wild,
they produce pelagic eggs, often in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae that drift with plankton in the water column and settle back onto a reef at about the time of metamorphosis. These are among the most challenging types of marine fishes to propagate in captivity.
Gender: Males may become more colorful when ready to breed. It also seems there is a direct correlation between size and sex for the Six Line Wrasse. The males are generally the largest, with females coming in second and immature fish being the smallest.
Special Requirement/s: They can be quite hardy if shipped and acclimated properly but they are known as "poor shippers." As always, it's a good idea to take your time and slowly acclimate your sixlined wrasse into your quarantine tank and keep them there for several weeks so you can get them eating and so you can monitor them for signs of disease.

In the evening they sleep in a mucus cocoon. It is believed that this cocoon forms a protective barrier against nocturnal predation; acting to mask its scent from potential predators.

Avoid invertebrates such as small shrimp, or fish that are smaller than they are as they will become a quick meal.

This is an extremely active, exceptionally quick species also known to clean the fins and bodies of other fishes, picking off parasitic isopods and copepods.
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
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Specific Gravity: 1.020 to 1.025
Temperature: 24°C to 27°C
pH: 8.1 to 8.4
Angelfish (Dwarf)Groupers
Angelfish (Large)Grunts / Sweetlips
BlennyLionfish / Scorpionfish
CardinalsPuffers / Porcupines
ChromisSeahorse / Pipefish
ClownfishSharks / Rays
DartfishTangs / Surgeons
EelsWrasse (Reef Safe)
Filefish Wrasse (FO/FOWLR)
Foxface / RabbitfishCorals
With Caution
Not Compatible
Photo: © Knucklehead / 37KNUCKLEHEAD
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