Ornate Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon ornatus)
Max Size: 5 1/2 inches
Reef Compatible: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
The Ornate Leopard Wrasse, also known as the False Leopard Wrasse, is a stunning fish that will captivate advanced or expert aquarists looking to create a mesmerizing display in their aquariums. Like other members of the Macropharyngodon genus, these wrasses require a fine sandy substrate as they have a habit of burying themselves at night for protection. Their natural behavior involves hunting for small crustaceans throughout the day, making a well-established aquarium with an abundance of hiding spots essential for their well-being.
Adapting Leopard Wrasses to a captive environment can be challenging, but experienced reef aquarists who provide proper care and a suitable environment can ensure their thriving and create an incredible display. It is advisable to introduce Leopard Wrasses to the aquarium well before any larger or more active fishes are added. This allows them sufficient time to settle in, adapt to their new environment, and start accepting prepared foods. If one wishes to maintain a small group of these wrasses, introducing them simultaneously into the aquarium is the ideal approach. It's worth noting that, like other Labroids, these fishes possess the ability to change sex. The most dominant fish in the group may transition into a fully functioning male.
For the health and nourishment of the Ornate Leopard Wrasse, a balanced diet is crucial. Their meals should consist of vitamin-enriched frozen mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods, complemented by high-quality marine flakes and marine pellet food.
Though challenging, successfully caring for the Ornate Leopard Wrasse can be a rewarding experience for skilled aquarists, as they can observe the vibrant beauty and fascinating behavior of this species in their carefully crafted display aquariums.