20141030 Species spotlight- Harlequin Tusk Wrasse

The Harlequin Tusk fish (Choerodon fasciatus) is one of the most beautiful fish in the aquarium trade. This is a robust, hardy, and colorful fish with lots of personality. The only catch is- they are “Not Reef Safe”. Despite needing a large tank size to house this fish, I would consider this a beginner fish since they are hardy and robust.

Harlequin Tusk Wrasse
Harlequen Tusk Wrasse

The Harlequin Tusk can get pretty big in the wild, but I have not seen any over 8″ in private aquariums. They are very greedy eaters and would happily accept mysis, krill, small fish, feeder fish, you name it, they eat it! They are also quite disease tolerant, in the years I worked in the trade I have not seen one die from starving or illness. The only one we lost is- jumping out! Like all wrasses, this fish is a jumper. So you should have a good, heavy lid over the tank for them since they are very powerful.

To keep this fish, just make sure you have reef condition- water temperature no warmer than 82 no cooler than 76. Salinity should be Specific gravity range 1.022-27. They will grow big and need lots of swimming room, so I do not recommend keeping it in tanks smaller than 120G. Do not keep this fish with small, slow fish, any crustacean, or clams as the chance of them becoming food is high. The fish will do fine with coral and other larger, robust fish like tangs, angels, triggers, puffer, eel, etc.

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