Bluehead Wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum)
Max Size: 7 inches
Reef Compatible: With Caution. May eat small invertebrates
Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
The Bluehead Wrasse is a stunning and vibrant fish with a remarkable range of colors. Just like other wrasse species, the Bluehead Wrasse undergoes striking color variations depending on its gender and age. This species exhibits distinct yet ever-changing color phases throughout its life cycle. Juvenile Bluehead Wrasses generally display a yellow hue with black markings on their sides and sometimes on their fins. Upon reaching adulthood, the male Bluehead Wrasse flaunts a striking stripe pattern (black, white, black) that separates a vibrant blue-green and yellow anterior from its signature blue head. In contrast, the female Bluehead Wrasse sports a turquoise coloration, except for two noticeable black stripes.
To keep the Bluehead Wrasse content and thriving, it requires a spacious aquarium of at least 75 gallons. Providing plenty of live rocks for hiding and a sandy substrate for burrowing at night is essential. Opt for larger and more sociable tankmates, as the Bluehead Wrasse can display territorial behavior and might harass new additions to the aquarium. If possible, introduce the Bluehead Wrasse as the last fish in the tank to minimize potential aggression towards other inhabitants.
The Bluehead Wrasse is a carnivore with a natural diet that includes fish, crustaceans, motile invertebrates, and worms. As a beneficial bonus, they may help control unwanted mantis shrimp or bristleworm populations in the aquarium. However, they do not feed on corals or macroalgae.
To maintain the health and vibrancy of the Bluehead Wrasse, a well-rounded diet is essential. Offer them vitamin-enriched frozen mysis shrimp and frozen brine shrimp, along with other meaty foods. Additionally, provide high-quality marine flake and marine pellet food as part of their regular diet.
By providing the right environment and a diverse, nutritious diet, you can enjoy the beauty and captivating colors of the Bluehead Wrasse in your marine aquarium for years to come.