Two Tone Wrasse Care Guide

Scientific NameHalichoeres prosopeion
Minimum Tank Size70 Gallons
Water Parameters72-78 F, pH 8-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025

The Two Tone Wrasse is a lively wrasse that will draw a good amount of attention to themselves. They are not the most dominant or as flashy as some of the other wrasse, striking a good middle ground of flash and anonymity.

Their bodies feature a deep blue faces with a yellow back half. Near the front of their dorsal fin they will have a black spot. Their dorsal and anal fins are mid sized, not as big as flashers but larger than six line wrasse.  The two tone is generally a hardy fish who is quick to adapt to new tanks, making them a great choice for even new aquarists.

Is the Two Tone Wrasse Reef Safe?

The Two Tone Wrasse is almost completely reef safe, however they may pick at very small shrimp and worms. This means tanks with flat worms and feather dusters should not have this wrasse added to them. Any shrimp above an inch in size should be safe with the Two Tone Wrasse but even large feather dusters may eventually become a meal.

As far as corals go the Two Tone Wrasse is nothing but beneficial. They are excellent at hunting down pests that will harass corals and will not bother the corals themselves. Tanks with pyramidellid snails or new worm issues should see plenty of hunting after introducing the Two Tone Wrasse.

Two Tone Wrasse Tank Requirements

In general the sand bed should be no less than one and a half inches deep. Like the other members of the Halichoeres family the Two Tone Wrasse will look for deeper areas of sand in the tank. At night or when frightened they will return to these sand mounds and burrow themselves. If the entire sand bed is two inches deep they may burrow anywhere.

Additionally this sand should not be any bigger than 4mm in grain size. Sharp or abrasive sands can tear at their fins and scales as they quickly burrow themselves. These small cuts will make the wrasse much more prone to infection and cause an excessive amount of stress. Gravel and crushed coral should not be used as substrate even if it is under 5mm in grain size. They will often hold sharp pieces when made that small while large grains will be too hard for the wrasse to burrow in.

The Two Tone Wrasse is found anywhere 2-40 meters under water. They are not used to being close to the waters surface. This makes them unintentional jumpers early on. Tanks should be equipped with a tight fitted lid with absolutely no holes around equipment or tubing. They can also jump into overflow boxes if they are not covered properly.

Two Tone Wrasse Diet

The Two Tone Wrasse is quick to accept any foods fed to the tank. They are carnivorous and do best when eating slow sinking foods. They have small digestive tracks which reduce the amount of food they can store. Instead of two meals a day these wrasse should be fed at least three times a day.

Their diet should consist of:

  • Cut table shrimp
  • Frozen mysis shrimp
  • High Quality prepared foods, such as flake and pellets
  • Vitamin enriched brine shrimp
  • Seaweed

The ideal tank would have food constantly available for the wrasse, however this would cause excessive algae in a closed aquarium system. As the Two Tone Wrasse will constantly be searching for any food in the tank they will quickly decimate the copepod population in the tank, making dragonets and other pod eating fish poor tank mates.

When fed consistently they are less likely to harass shrimps and worms in the aquarium. Small worms and new shrimp will still be in danger from the Two Tone Wrasse and should only be kept in the same tank with extreme caution. It is not uncommon for them to eat feather duster worms weeks after being kept together.

Two Tone Wrasse Tank mates

Most non aggressive fish will do well with the Two Tone Wrasse, even other peaceful wrasse. They are not territorial and do not bully smaller fish often. They do not confuse other wrasse as their own kind. Two Tone Wrasse are not especially aggressive towards each other but will do better in larger tanks. They should not be kept in pairs unless the tank is above 100 gallons in size.

Two Tone Wrasse Breeding & Gender

The Two Tone Wrasse is difficult in both of these instances. They do not breed in the home aquarium and are quite difficult to sex. The main color difference can be seen when they are much younger and still female.

Juvenile Two Tone Wrasse wrasse are a grayish white with strips going along their body. As they mature these strips will fade and their body will develop their two distinct colors. Wrasse always being life as a female, making this the only sure fire way to distinguish between the two genders at home.

As the Two Tone Wrasse ages the two genders become near indistinguishable. The male will be larger with more prominent fins while the female will be wider. These differences are quite difficult to spot while they are swimming around, meaning you cannot buy a female based off of just appearances.

In the wild many will stay females or transitional males their entire lives. Sadly all wrasse will eventually become male when kept in the aquarium. This means even paired wrasse will eventually become two males, which can lead to territorial disputes and fighting.

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