Pink Streaked Wrasse

Scientific NamePseudocheilinops ataenia
Minimum Tank Size15 Gallons
Water Parameters72-78 F, pH 8-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025

The Pink Streaked Wrasse is one of the smaller, peaceful wrasse. They are one of the few wrasse who can be kept in smaller tanks with peaceful fish that a prone to bullying. Their coloration is similar to the six and four line wrasse, but with a pink body rather than blue. Their eyes are a bright red that is easy to spot anywhere in the tank. Both their dorsal fin and pelvic fins have a much more rigid nature than other wrasse, giving them a small prickly look.

Their small size and peaceful nature gives them a much more reserved personality, similar to dragonets. They will swim around the tank, being mindful of their tank mates while hunting the rocks for small crustaceans known as copepods. Rather than bully other fish they are much more likely to be bullied by other larger fish.

Is the Pink Streaked Wrasse Reef Safe?

The Pink Streaked Wrasse is very reef safe. They do not have the strength to knock down even the smallest of coral and will not pick at soft corals. Some owners may see them pick at the bony base of a coral, but this will only be for small foods and not the coral itself.

They are also unlikely to take foods from corals and would much rather seek foods on the sand bed, rocks or in the water column.

Pink Streaked Wrasse will not bother inverts added to the tank. As they are so small only freshly hatched inverts are in danger. Hermits, feather dusters and shrimp are all safe from the Pink Streaked Wrasse. If anything you need to be sure none of your inverts are able to hunt the Pink Streaked Wrasse. Large Coral Banded Shrimp can pose a real threat to these guys.

Pink Streaked Wrasse Sleeping Habits

The reason predatory inverts can be a danger to the Pink Streaked Wrasse is due to how it sleeps. They use a mucus cocoon to hold themselves in palce and preserve energy over night. This makes them easy targets. While they are not helpless, a large coral banded will take advantage of disabled or restricted fish.

The Pink Streaked Wrasse mucus cocoon will looks like small green strings around them, forming a bubble like stringy algae in dirty tanks.
They may look like they are sick or dying, but a Pink Streaked Wrasse inside a cocoon is a good sign. It means they are comfortable enough in the tank to settle down for the night. Never disturb a sleeping fish.

Pink Streaked Wrasse Diet

Their diet should consist of :

  • Minced shrimp
  • Frozen brine or mysis shrimp
  • Blood worms
  • Prepared foods, such as flake or pellets
  • Rotifers
  • Copepods
  • Seaweed/Nori

The Pink Streaked Wrasse is quick to take most foods including prepared foods. If they are not accepting any frozen or prepared foods then live foods should be used to entice the Pink Streaked Wrasse into eating. Live foods are much harder to keep on hand so it is advised to switch the wrasse to frozen or prepared foods.

One of the more difficult aspects is how often they eat. The Pink Streaked Wrasse likes four or more meals a day. They do not hold food as long as other fish and will need to be eating throughout the day to sustain themselves. This becomes difficult in smaller tanks, as feeding often will usually result in over feeding the other fish. Strong filtration, target feeding or less voracious tankmates are good options to help keep the water clean.

Pink Streaked Wrasse Tank Requirements

Thankfully the Pink Streaked Wrasse is not too demanding with their tanks. The main point will be to keep a tight fitting lid with no open holes. Wrasse are used to being deeper under water. Our more shallow tanks will often lead to accidental jumping when they first move into the tank. Even an unstartled wrasse my suddenly swim upwards only to find themselves breaking the waters surface.

Be sure to cover any holes created for filtration, heaters and other power cords. Even a small cut out can be big enough for this two and a half inch wrasse to slip through.

As they sleep in a mucus cocoon, the Pink Streaked Wrasse should be kept in a tank with multiple caverns created by stacking rocks on top of each other. This can be a bit difficult in nano tanks but is essential to make them feel safe at night. If they cannot find somewhere safe to sleep they will rest by swimming in place like most other fish do. This is more difficult for the Pink Streaked Wrasse as they have trouble holding food over the long night.

Tank mates for the Pink Streaked Wrasse

This wrasse will not bully any other fish. Even males of the same species and size will see little to no aggression unless they are in an over crowded tank. Good tank mates for the Pink Streaked Wrasse would be any fish that is small and peaceful enough to not harass the wrasse. Additionally do not keep fish who depend on copepods, as the Pink Streaked Wrasse will eat the pods.

Small fish that should Be Avoided:

  • Damsel Fish
  • Dragonets
  • Semi-Aggressive Wrasse
  • Hawkfish

Damsel fish, due to their low cost and hardiness, are often used to help cycle new tanks and kept as a tank mate once the tank is ready for more fish. However Damsel Fish are incredibly aggressive and will even bite human hands.

Good tank mates are

  • Clownfish
  • Gobies
  • Cardinal Fish
  • Firefish
  • Dottybacks

The last note about tank mates is to avoid getting only fish who sleep in rocks. Fish like to keep multiple places as their own sleeping spots. Having two or three in a small tank will usually result in some fish not having enough space to sleep even if the tank is much bigger than they need.

Breeding and Gender

The Pink Streaked Wrasse is not bred in the home aquarium despite its small size. They can be made to spawn in tanks by giving them excessive space and consistent feeding, but raising fry has not yet been sucessful

The Pink Streaked Wrasse will start out as a female, transitioning to a sub male and then eventually a super male. Super males are the dominant wrasse of the pack and have much brighter colors than other wrasse of the same species. The difference in colors in the Pink Streaked Wrasse is apparent, but not nearly as extreme as other wrasse.

When kept with other wrasse they will be slower to change into a male, but all captive wrasse will eventually change to a male. Thankfully the Pink Streaked Wrasse is so peaceful that keeping two males together is not impossible. A larger tank of at least 20 gallons with plenty of rocks will usually have little to no aggression between the males.

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