Flasher Wrasse of the Genus Paracheilinus
Flasher Wrasse, as they are commonly referred to, are some of the best candidates for the reef aquarium or fish-only aquarium. The fact that Flasher Wrasse are hardy, reef safe and relatively peaceful further bolsters their candidacy as great tank mates and additions to the marine aquarium.
Flasher Wrasse 411
Flasher Wrasse earn their moniker from their "flashing" behavior which entails vibrant color displays by male wrasse while also flaring their fins. Male Flasher Wrasse exhibit these displays during mating rituals. In order for a male Flasher Wrasse to successfully attract a female during courtship, the male must be worthy of her interest and proceeds to win her favor by flashing his colors and flaring his fins. Flashing may also be observed during territorial disputes with other tankmates the wrasse views as a rival or threat.
Flasher Wrasse Explained
Another interesting physical trait of Flasher Wrasse is their "divided" pupil which in essence functions as a double eye. This unique feature allows Flasher Wrasse to focus in on small prey items while (literally) keeping an eye out for predators. In the marine aquarium Flasher Wrasse can be observed foraging for food while swimming in and among rock structure, coral and décor. The focus and intensity of their constant visual scanning can be readily observed as the Flasher Wrasse will scrutinize every nook and cranny with their incredible eyesight.
Species in the Genus Paracheilinus
The peaceful nature of Flasher Wrasse makes them compatible with other communal fish and wrasse. In general, Flasher Wrasse can be kept with other wrasse, including their own species and other species of Flasher Wrasse when housed in an appropriately-sized aquarium. Even though most Flasher Wrasse only max out around 3", a larger tank is required to accommodate their active and open water swimming habits. This is especially true if you want to keep multiple Flasher Wrasse species together. Other male Flasher Wrasse will encourage bright-colored flashing displays. Ideally, same species or mixed species of Flasher Wrasse should be added together at the same time or added in groups together when housed in the same aquarium. Every fish and every aquarium environment can differ so it is possible you may run into compatibility issues when mixing species or keeping the same species together. This is why a large aquarium is key. Smaller aquariums with established residents may not always accept newcomers.If there are compatibility concerns when adding new Flasher Wrasse to an aquarium with existing Flasher Wrasse many aquarists have had success using an acclimation box. An acclimation box helps the fish get used to each other over the course of a few days. Acclimation boxes allow the fish to eye each other up while preventing "picking", "nipping" or other more severe physical attacks. After a few days when the interest and aggressive displays have subsided, the wrasse can be released into the general population. Be sure to keep a PVC tube, large shell or some sort of structure in the acclimation box for the wrasse to retreat to when needed. Keeping the aquarium lights off or subdued during acclimation is always advised to help mitigate stress.
Flasher Wrasse Care
Since many Flasher Wrasse sleep in the gaps and cervices of rockwork and coral structures, substrate or sand is not required. Flasher Wrasse are known to sleep in their own mucous sack or "cocoon" when the lights go out. It is felt that the mucous-like cocoon made by the wrasse helps keep its own scent enveloped to evade predation during the night and ward off parasites. Regardless of the reason, it is an interesting phenomenon to observe when Flasher Wrasse are "sleeping" in their protective bubble.
LiveAquaria® STRONGLY recommends a cover or fine mesh screen top for any aquarium housing Flasher Wrasse. All wrasse are jumpers, especially, Flasher Wrasse! Nothing is worse than discovering your amazing, brightly colored flasher wrasse has become a crusty, dried up carpet critter! It is truly a heart-wrenching experience that can be avoided with a securely fitting top or lid.
Flasher Wrasse truly offer some of the best bang for the buck! Many Flasher Wrasse are affordably priced providing ample color, movement and allure with their fascinating flashing displays and interesting foraging behavior. It's no wonder Flasher Wrasse are so revered and popular with marine aquarists and hobbyists since they can be such a rewarding species of fish to keep.