The Ultimate Dragon Wrasse Care Guide

The Dragon Wrasse is a fish that’s stuffed with persona. It’s at all times looking for meals and it presentations some distinctive behaviors to get it.

They’re an competitive species, which might put some folks off, however it’s price braving this aggression as a result of those are very horny fish that vary in look reasonably a bit of as they mature.

We can duvet the entirety you want to learn about Dragon Wrasse care on this article, reminiscent of their ultimate tank design and their nutritional wishes.

Dragon Wrasse Info & Evaluation

dragon wrasse

Class Score
Care Degree: Average
Temperament: Competitive
Colour: More than a few
Lifespan: Over 10 years
Measurement: As much as 10.5 inches
Vitamin: Carnivore
Circle of relatives: Labridae
Minimal Tank Measurement: 100 gallons
Tank Setup: Saltwater with a number of rocks and grass
Compatibility: Huge and competitive tank buddies


The Dragon Wrasse has many names, such because the Rockmover Wrasse, Carpet Wrasse, Bar-Cheeked Wrasse, Reindeer Wrasse, and Olive-Scribbled Wrasse.

Its medical title is Novaculichthys taeniourus and it is a part of the Labridae circle of relatives, which comprises all of the wrasses. It’s lately the one member of its genus.

Dragon Wrasses are saltwater fish from the Indo-Pacific, residing round puts reminiscent of Australia, The Philippines, Hawaii, and California. They are living in shallow coral reefs and lagoons.


Having some earlier fishkeeping enjoy comes in handy because of their conduct. Learners might need initially one thing a bit of more uncomplicated.

You must have the ability to get a Dragon Wrasse for approximately $50, however the cost can range so much.

Take a look at any potential fish for indicators of illness. Glance out for any markings, wounds, or abnormal behaviors. Discover a other inventory if you happen to do understand any issues.
As soon as offered, a Dragon Wrasse can are living for over 10 years in a wholesome aquarium.

Conventional Conduct

Dragon Wrasses are competitive and territorial, they’re going to assault any fish that will get too shut.

They are going to additionally consume any animals (together with invertebrates) which can be sufficiently small to slot in their mouths, so that they must handiest be saved with huge competitive tank buddies. They don’t seem to be reef-safe.

Once they really feel threatened, they will dive into the substrate, wiggling round till it’s tough to look them. They are going to transfer round below the substrate and seem in new places.

When on the lookout for meals, they steadily transfer stones and particles round, which is why they’re on occasion referred to as “Rockmover Wrasse”.

Within the wild they will even paintings in combination, taking turns at lifting rocks and grabbing what lays hidden underneath.

Be sure that your decorations are secured down so that they don’t get moved round.


Juveniles and adults glance utterly other, it might be simple to mistake them as other species, however all varieties of the Dragon Wrasse are gorgeous.


Juveniles are steadily known as “Reindeer Wrasse” as a result of they’ve appendages on their head that appear to be horns/antlers.

They’ve a flat frame which may be coated in a number of colours, together with white, black, reds, and darkish vegetables.

Lengthy dorsal and pelvic fins prolong from the frame. Those have darkish rays and a transparent membrane, making them glance frilly.

The design in their frame and fins makes them appear to be seaweed. Juveniles even go with the flow throughout the water like seaweed particles, making very good camouflage.


Adults lose this aesthetic. The elaborate nature of the fins is misplaced, and their frame turns into coated in a structured trend of grey spots on a depressing frame. Their tails develop into white with a black edging too.

A totally grown grownup will succeed in 10.5 inches.

Sexing this species could be very tough as a result of women and men glance just about the similar and they’re kind of the similar measurement.


Habitat and Tank Prerequisites

You’ll in finding Dragon Wrasses on reverse aspects of the sector as a result of they are living in Indo-Pacific areas, reminiscent of California, Panama, Hawaii, Australia, and Indonesia.

They are living within the shallows (46-82 toes) on reefs and in lagoons. Right here there are many corals and/or rocks to create properties and spaces to shield.

There could be a number of grassy spaces amongst a substrate of sand and rubble.

The water could be heat and alkaline.


Recreating this atmosphere is one of the simplest ways to stay your Dragon Wrasse glad and wholesome.

Tank Prerequisites

Beginning on the backside of the tank, use a sandy substrate to create a layer about 2-4 inches thick, giving your Dragon Wrasse the power to burrow. Greater grained substrates might scratch after they do that.

Use rocks so as to add some ornament to the aquarium. Don’t use corals or your Dragon Wrasse will injury them.

Protected your decorations within the substrate so that they don’t develop into risky when your fish digs.

Unfold some grass across the tank the place you’ll be able to.

The most well liked water prerequisites are very similar to different reef fish. The temperature must be 72°F-78°F, the pH must be 8.1-8.4, and the precise gravity must be 1.020-1.025.

Use a filter out with a powerful outlet. You’ll want to have a tight-fitting lid too, as this fish may soar.

What Measurement Tank do they want?

An grownup Dragon Wrasse will desire a fish tank of a minimum of 100 gallons. They’re huge fish that will likely be much more likely to turn aggression when residing in a cramped atmosphere.

Any more space you’ll be able to supply will likely be favored.

Tank Pals


Discovering the fitting tank buddies for a Dragon Wrasse may also be tough. Their competitive behaviors may also be an excessive amount of for a large number of fish. They are going to consume small fish too.
Because of this tank buddies will have to be huge and ready to shield themselves.

This boundaries your variety reasonably a bit of, however you’ll be able to take a look at groupers, triggerfish, hawkfishes, and snappers.

Invertebrates must be have shyed away from as maximum will likely be eaten reasonably temporarily. This comprises corals; Dragon Wrasses don’t seem to be reef secure.

Your Dragon Wrasse must be the ultimate fish added in your setup. If the Dragon Wrasse is established first, it is going to no longer admire new tank buddies being added to its territory, so it’ll lash out at them.

Be careful for indicators of aggression, particularly whilst the Dragon Wrasse is being used to its new atmosphere. You will have to split fish if they try continuously.


Many of us counsel that you simply purchase a juvenile and stay it unmarried. This gets rid of compatibility issues and also you get to observe all of the adjustments that happen because it matures.

Can You Stay Dragon Wrasse In combination?

No, handiest stay one Dragon Wrasse in keeping with tank. They’re competitive and territorial; seeing some other Dragon Wrasse of their environment would result in common preventing till there is just one left.


Dragon Wrasses are carnivores. They’ve two huge tooth that they use to wreck down their prey.

They’d naturally spend a large number of their time swimming round reefs on the lookout for meals, on occasion having to transport issues round of their atmosphere.

They’d fortunately consume anything else that comes their method which is sufficiently small to suit into their mouth. This may well be small fish or invertebrates, reminiscent of worms, shrimps, and snails.


This will provide you with a large number of meaty meals to make a choice from when designing their nutrition. It additionally makes it a lot more uncomplicated to alter their nutrition, which is essential for offering quite a lot of vitamins.

Check out the use of contemporary or frozen meals like brine shrimps, mysid shrimps, blackworms, and silversides.

You’ll supply fine quality flake and pellet meals too, however reasonable your use of those as they’re much less nutritious.

Give them small quantities of meals 2-Three times an afternoon.


If you understand how to handle competitive fish, taking care of a Dragon Wrasse is quite easy.


As with every fish, they want a blank atmosphere and a nutritious diet.

Basic tank upkeep is composed of acting partial water adjustments and wiping away extra algae. It is important to trim any are living vegetation as wanted too.

Use a water trying out each and every week in an effort to reply temporarily if any of the water parameters stray from the perfect ranges.

Dragon Wrasses don’t seem to be susceptible to any illnesses specifically, however they are able to pick out up not unusual saltwater illnesses.

Separate the affected fish right into a quarantine tank ahead of remedy.



It is vitally tough to get Dragon Wrasses to reproduce in captivity, you can want a big business setup. It’s no longer well worth the effort or the chance of competitive outbursts between your fish.

A mating pair would naturally undergo a courtship ritual, finishing with the feminine freeing her eggs and the male fertilizing them.

The fertilized eggs would glide within the ocean present for as much as 75 days ahead of in the end hatching.
Are Dragon Wrasses Appropriate for Your Aquarium?

Newbie aquarists must be cautious of a Dragon Wrasse’s competitive nature, as it could possibly reason issues if you happen to’re unprepared.

Any person who feels assured that they are able to take care of this conduct must have the ability to handle a Dragon Wrasse with out factor. Their wishes are easy; simply blank their tank and provides them a numerous, healthy diet.


You can be pissed off by means of the restricted tank mate choices, however those fish are gorgeous and their fiery persona will stay you entertained for hours.

Buying a juvenile is especially rewarding since you get to observe their look and behaviour exchange vastly through the years.

What does your Dragon Wrasse aquarium setup appear to be? Tell us within the feedback underneath…

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