Animal Stories - Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse


Animal-World Information about: Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse

   The Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse or Common Cleaner Wrasse is one of the most fascinating and well-known saltwater fish.
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Tom Roughan - 2013-01-08
My bluestreak I have had for 2 weeks will eat mysis or brine shrimp out of my hand, he also goes mad for ocean nutrition green marine algae.

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allison - 2012-07-06
My sister has a cleaner wrasse in her tank for years now. I usually study up on fish that I plan to purchase but didn't this one and purchased one today. I thought is was dead because it was curled up in a shell. It wasn't dead but I wish the seller had told me they don't usually survive. They never said a word about it. My levals are great and I have I hope plenty of fish for it to clean. Ill say a prayer for my new fish as I always do when adding a new fish to my aquarium.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-07-07
    Sounds like you know what you are doing.  I am sure he will do well.  The issue is usually the fishh keeper not giving proper care.
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Abby L. Schwarz, Ph.D. - 2004-11-24
I am a marine biologist specializing in animal behaviour and ecology, and have worked with fishes over the last twenty years. I do not believe that fishes like cleaner wrasses should be offered for sale. They belong in the ocean where they perform an unusual service for other fishes (removal of ectoparasites). Most people do not have the facilities to maintain these animals. If the aquarium surroundings cannot match its surroundings in the wild to a satisfactory degree (for the fish), choose another species whose requirements are simpler to meet.

Thank you.

Abby L. Schwarz, Ph.D.

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  • Joe Bryan - 2012-06-09
    For every comment I hear and see about these fish, be it from a “PHD” or layman, the answer does lie in the education of the consumer, but please don’t rag on the “newbie’s” or the consumer that purchases a cleaner wrasse, rag on the industry selling these beautiful fish. Yeah I have one too and if I had done my homework I would have elected not to purchase, but as stated by many on this form he/she is doing just fine and has outlive the PHD’s stated life expectancy by far. Funny thing is, months after I had bought it I asked the owner of the LFS (he didn’t sell it to me, his help did) about the survivability of these beautiful fish and he even said it wouldn’t survive, what the heck, so why are you selling em? So the point, get the trade to stop selling these fish for “profit”…
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Corey - 2010-02-22
Hi, I have had my cleaner wrasse for about 8 mths now and he seems to like my tank and his tankmates (blue tang, pair marroon clownfish, mimic tang, dottyback, and yellow bellied damsels). The LFS said nothing about how short lived his life could be but am happy to say he is doing well :). He seems to go about his business and is regularly seen cleaning mainly the larger fish, but does also seem to pick at my arm from time to time when i'm doing maintenance.

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Nick Black - 2010-02-11
A little over a year ago I was a beginner, at best, marine tank enthusiast. When a coral beauty that I had recently introduced into the tank displayed signs of a parasite, I became very concerned and sought advice from the aquarium shop that I patronize. They recommended a cleaner wrasse, which I promptly bought. Had I read the information that has been shared in this site by seasoned authorities like Dr. Abby Schwarz, I would not have purchased my cleaner wrasse. However, I do wish to share my experience with other fish lovers that may find themselves in the same predicament as I was a year ago.

"Doc", my cleaner wrasse, is an incredible fish. He has a personality and interacts with people that look at his tank. He is extremely inquisitive and loves to explore all areas of the tank. He is also capable of communicating with me when he is hungry, as he breaks into a dance-like movement. If he is full, he goes about his business of exploring, checking out fish for parasites and just cruising in the tank.

I have had Doc for one year now and I am happy to state that he has done well and has even grown in size. After learning about the plight of the cleaner wrasse, I read as much about this fish as I could. I introduced him to many varieties of food and can share with you my findings. He loves to pick and choose through Rod's assorted food (for smaller fish). He will eat frozen Mysis shrimp and cyclops. But, he absolutely loves live brine shrimp and blood worms. He will also eat flakes once he is used to eating the live and frozen foods I described.

Doc also loves to pick at my hands and arms when I am cleaning or working in the tank. Apparently he likes to pick off dead skin that is common in humans. Everyone in my office is in love with Doc and share in the opinion that such a wonderful and useful fish is better left in his own environment. As I cannot afford a trip to the Indo-Pacific ocean area to set him free, the best I can do is continue to provide the best possible care.

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WordWarrior - 2009-12-19
I've had a cleaner wrasse for three years in my 90 gallon marine tank and never a problem - he eats everything you feed him and he cleans all the fish - except other wrasses. THe old school thought is that they do not survive but I disagree - my friends has also kept one successfully for more than two years.

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Joel - 2009-11-07
Cleaner wrasses survive quite well in captivity. I had 1 for 8 months till the wolf blenny (aka: green eel) ate him, just like he ate every other small fish in the tank. My new wrasse eats flake and grannules.

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Joel - 2009-11-07
It is amazing to watch a cleaner wrasse at work.

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Collin - 2009-05-15
We just got a Cleaner Wrasse yesterday for our 240G Reef. All the fish in the tank where lining up to get cleaned, and it was doing a great job of it. The Wrasse was also eating the smaller crushed flake food and picking at the rock work as well. Our tank has been established for about three years so maybe some of the negative "research" is being done in new tanks without the same level of biodiversity as many of us in the reef community. As long as the food that is being fed has some small particulate in the food, this fish should eat fine.

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terry - 2009-04-16
I have a Coral Beauty that has been scratching itself on rocks and coral lately and I have read all the articles that warn against buying a cleaner Wrasse. On my last visit to the LFS, I noticed that in every tank was at least one cleaner Wrasse. When I told the owner that many people consider this fish impossible to keep and that they would soon starve, he laughed. He threw food in several tanks and every cleaner ate. He actually lured a fish for me to buy into a cup with food in the cup placed in the water and the Wrasse went right in! My new Wrasse has picked at every fish in my tank and eats frozen prepared food like a pig. I find it hard to believe that this fish that eats everything in the tank could starve. Guess only time will tell.

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