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Banana Wrasse

Thalassoma lutescens

How to Care for Banana Wrasse

written by Dave Burr

Behavior: The Banana Wrasse is probably one of the most amazing swimmers that can be housed in the home aquarium. It reminds many of jet fighters with its quick maneuvers and tight turns. The female Banana Wrasse remains a bright yellow color while the male turns bluish green as it matures. Both the male and female have green stripes across their orange-pink face.

Banana Wrasses can be kept in a predator reef aquarium, or fish only tank, with other aggressive fishes such as triggers, puffers, large tangs, angels, and other aggressive wrasses. Provide with plenty of open swimming room. If you really want a show, build several caves for it to swim through. Best added as one of the last fish introduced to the aquarium as it often becomes quite territorial and aggressive towards newly added fish.

While the Banana Wrasse will not bother living coral it will eat a wide variety of invertebrates and may pick at clams. This wrasse may attack smaller passive fish.

Keep a lid on your aquarium because the Banana Wrasse is very likely to try to jump out.

Feeding: Offer the Banana Wrasse a mixed diet of mysis shrimp and chopped meaty foods 4-6 times per week. Soaking all fish food with vitamins will help keep your fish healthier and make them less susceptible to disease. We recommend soaking food in garlic as well when adding new fish and whenever your notice ich or other disease in the aquarium. Garlic will help repel external parasites and will boost the fishes immunity.

Feeding Tips: Remember to feed slowly. Leftover food will cause nitrates and phosphates to rise. If you see food falling to the sand bed and into the rocks, you should feed slower and give the fish a chance to eat before adding a little more. Using a turkey baster allows you to target food to different fish. For example you can feed the aggressive fish on one side of the tank and then squirt a little bit on the other side for the less aggressive fish. This way all the fish get a chance to eat enough.

Maximum Length: 10"
Care Level: Easy
Family: Labridae
Reef Compatibility: Not recommended
Minimum Aquarium Size: 120 gal.
Range: Fiji, Vanuatu
Diet: Carnivore
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm

Water Chemistry: Maintaining Ammonia at 0 ppm, Nitrites at 0 ppm, and Nitrates below 10ppm will help to keep your Banana Wrasse happy and healthy. We recommend doing a water change soon after Nitrates rise above 10 ppm. Maintaining proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing), and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) will help to keep pH stable in the 8.1-8.4 range. We recommend a specific gravity of 1.024-1.026 with 1.025 being ideal for fish. Temperature should remain stable as well and should stay within a 2 degree range.