Popularity of Melanurus Wrasse and Its Unique Habit

Melanurus Wrasse is one of the most popular saltwater fish that is quite popular among aquarists. The reason why such a fish is liked by many aquarists is because of their nature. They are easy to care. They are visually pleasing. And they are pretty hardy. If you check the local fish store, big chances that this Wrasse would be included in the seller’s lists. Basically, finding and then buying the fish isn’t difficult either, which is another positive reason why this fish is quite popular and likable.

Melanurus Wrasse
Hoeven’s Wrasse (Halichoeres melanurus)

Understanding Melanurus Wrasse

Also known as the Hoeven Wrasse or the Tailspot Wrasse, this fish is amazing and also amusing fish to keep, especially for your saltwater tank. The scientific name is Halichoeres Melanurus. One of the most visible features about the fish is the amazing colors and body patterns. Wrasse here refers to torpedo, which is the common shape of the fish. Adult male Tailspot Wrasse usually has torpedo-shaped body structure with amazing mix of colors. The main body usually has combination of green and blue, and then there is a red horizontal stripes with maze-like look that stretches from the head to the tail. This fish is considered a part of Angelfish species.

This Wrasse is somewhat different from the most common bigger Angelfish species. During their juvenile time, they have beautiful and bright colors. But as they are turning into adults, the colors would be drab, plain, and unattractive. It’s completely different from the adult male Tailsport which is more beautiful than the others. That’s why it would be wise if you know the gender of the fish that you are interested in, so you can get the most attractive and also beautiful fish you will ever get.


Reasons Why People Like the Wrasse

The first reason why people like this fish so much is because of its hardiness. This is a hardy and tough fish. In most common cases, the fish is a wild-caught type, but the fish itself has impressive survival ability (as well as impressive survival record). They are proven to do quite well in captivity.

Another reason why people like this fish is its ability to acclimate and eat well in aquarium setting. The fish is known for its voracious appetite while having adjustable and flexible ability to adapt well in aquarium setting. The fish can also learn to eat commercial food, which will give you easiness to care for them.

Melanurus Wrasse juve

What is the relationship between Melanurus Wrasse and cleaner shrimp? It’s a pretty good one. Many aquarium owners state that this fish won’t eat the shrimp. So, if you are planning on having them together in one tank, it won’t be an issue. However, the case would be different between the fish and nudibranchs? In fact, smaller Wrasse will definitely eat nudibranchs along with parasitic pyramid snails and flatworms. They may not eat all types of nudibranchs (because some of them aren’t really tasty and yummy), but they will definitely consume the majority of it.

About melanurus Wrasse

Another thing to like about the Melanurus Wrasse is how fast they are growing. In fact, many aquarists state that this fish is an eating machine, and their growth rate is quite fast. Most people would purchase the fish with 1.5 inch to 2 inch in size, but they will grow to 5 inches in size in just around 3 years. You will be amazed to see their stages of transformation.

This is a fish with personality. They do have interesting behavior that would be quite pleasing to watch. In daytime, they like to stay active. They would zip out (or in) between rocks, looking for something to nibble. When it is scared or tired, and it gets ready for bed, it would burrow itself into the available sand. Quite cute, right? That’s why it would be a good idea to choose fine grain texture for the sandy substrate.

Reproduction and Social Structure

Do you know that Melanurus Wrasse is basically hermaphrodite? Yes, they are also harem spawners. Harem spawners refer to fish’s characteristics that like to congregate within a small group (all females, naturally) with only one male. If the male fish dies, one (among those many females) would change its gender. Overtime, it will gradually is converted from female to the male to make sure that reproductive process would stay maintained. It is also done to ensure the success of the reproductive outcome.

Nature Characteristics of Melanurus Wrasse

Unlike other fish, Melanurus Wrasse is quite a peaceful species, despite its active behavior and the seemingly dominating nature. The fish ISN’T an aggressive type of fish, which makes it beautiful and lovable saltwater fish. But be advised that this fish may be quite aggressive to other types of Wrasses. So, the fish is peaceful and friendly toward different fish type, but it can be quite aggressive to other Wrasse (with different species).

But aside from the aggressive nature, Hoeven Wrasse is quite helpful. Considering that it likes nudibranches, flatworms, bristleworms, and parasitic pyramid snails (which are considered pests to saltwater ecosystem), the fish can help maintain clean and conducive environment. Maintaining balance and harmony inside the tank is crucial.

If you have reef, you won’t have to worry that this fish would nip or consume or damage the reef. Many aquarists and hobbyists claim that they have Hoeven Wrasse together with the reef, and there is no sign that the reef has been damaged. The fish likes to use the reef for hide and seek, or to perform their hunting-for-food activities. If you want to create a harmonious and balanced life inside your fish tank, this fish can be a good consideration. Plus, it is doing well with reef and other fish types.


Serious Consideration

A word of advice, though, this fish is a jumper. Just like other types of Wrasse, they somewhat have huge interest to your carpets or your floor. If you keep the fish inside an unclosed fish tank or it doesn’t have any lid, then they will likely ‘surf’ on your floor. If you are thinking about keeping this beautiful and colorful fish in a tank, it should have a lid. And make sure that the lid is tightly secured. Or if you decide to keep the tank open, consider about having a mesh on top of the tank so they won’t be able to jump out. It’s not a fun thing to find out your fish lying dead and dry on your carpet the next morning. It’s a total bummer.

Moreover, they are always hungry. You can even call it aggressive eater. It would be a good idea to limit the fish. Consider about having only 1 per fish tank because the fish can be quite big (remember, 5 inches) and it is an active and aggressive eater. The fish would use the entire fish tank for its feeding and hunting ground. It will even clean out the entire mobile and tiny invertebrates, such as amphipods, copepods, and others. It is not advisable to keep the fish in small or nano tank. You need to consider having around 40 gallons of tank (even 50 gallons) to keep and maintain the fish.


Basic and General Facts of Caring the Fish

As it was mentioned before, this type of fish isn’t suitable for small fish tank. If you want your Melanurus Wrasse to live happily and content, you need to consider having at least 50 gallons of aquarium. And it isn’t advisable to keep more than one (well, unless you have super big and gigantic water tank) where it is possible to keep more than one fish. In a small tank, more than one fish will have aggressive competition, which may lead to ugly outcome.

The fish is okay with frozen food (such as frozen brine shrimp or frozen mysis shrimp) along with marine flake, marine pellet food, meaty foods, vitamins, and supplements. They protect clams and corals while eating out wild shrimp, flatworms, parasites, tubeworms, fireworms, and also snails.

It is advisable to provide and prepare some basic supplies, such as the aquarium itself (naturally) and be sure that it comes with the right size. You may also consider having filter media, salt, and some variants of the frozen foods. Those are the basic supplies that you will need to ensure the well-being of the fish. Don’t forget to make your own research concerning extra supplies and extra care that you need to do.


Final Words

If you are into saltwater fish and aquarium management, having this fish can spark up your life. You can really enjoy convenient and fun way to observe and monitor their lifestyle and habit. Not to mention that they are absolutely gorgeous and appealing. For many aquarists, caring for this fish is quite simple and straightforward. It isn’t a fussy fish, so you only need to make sure that you provide the basic.  The biggest challenge (according to aquarists) is the size of the tank. Make sure that your house is able to accommodate the size of the tank if you want to care for Melanurus Wrasse.

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