View Full Version : Six-line wrasse for critter control

08/31/2017, 11:29 PM
Hi! I'm planning on buying a six-line friend tomorrow due to a great abundance of amphipods and bristleworms in my tank. No need to wipe them all out, but I really don't need as many as I have. Hoping for a sustainable balance. It will be the only fish in a 20 gallon tank and I don't plan on getting more in the foreseeable future. A few questions:

1) How often should I feed it? I was thinking of giving it some defrosted mysis shrimp every 3 days, or maybe twice a week. Would that be enough for it to be sufficiently fed while encouraging it to hunt for bugs? Too little? Too much?

2) Can they eat bristleworms that are (a great deal) longer than their body or wider than their mouths?

3) Are bristleworms smart enough to gang up on it and take revenge? Scary thought!

09/01/2017, 12:36 AM
just a thought but your critter population will find its own balance in time based upon available food, amphipods and bristleworms will not damage any of your livestock. OFC if you like sixlines anyway then you'll probably have a very happy one with all those to eat but no need to add solely for control purposes. I think a 20g might be on the small side for a sixline though

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09/01/2017, 02:11 AM
Yeah, I wanted to get one to put the amphipods in their place since they ate one of my zoa frags. Maybe it was sick or something, I dunno, but they really dug in. It's too late for that now, and they haven't bothered anything else since then, but they are pretty freaky. And I like bristleworms in general, but I wouldn't mind having fewer.

I mostly just like six-lines at this point. I didn't want any fish, but I think the six-line would be great since they're independent and small and colorful and it would only have to share the tank with snails and corals and there's tall caulerpa and stuff that it could hide or play in and plenty of prey for it to eat. I'm hoping it would be happy.

09/03/2017, 12:11 PM
Six-line wrasses can be seriously mean to other fish. so just make sure you won't be getting any other small fish like Gobies.

09/03/2017, 01:29 PM
Almost every fish will go after pods, so a wrasse isn't really your only option.
Some of the larger Wrasses go for sure after bristleworms, but many of those can get to large even for big tanks (some Coris get 2ft long!)

Marine Bettas go after pods and also bristleworms. A single medium size Calloplesiops altivelis can be quite happy in a 20 gallon tank if there are enough caves and overhangs to feel safe.
Recently there are also tank raised Plesiops corallicola available which stay smaller but pose also a threat to small shrimp and fish (Calloplesiops on the other hand are perfectly safe even with tiny fish, but most shrimp will be gone with them as well).

Another option would be one of the smaller Pseudochromis dottybacks. Most of those hunt pods. Only P. fridmani may not be the best choice as this species is more of a planktivore and usually doesn't scout surfaces for food. The neon dottyback on the other hand does.

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Louis Z
09/03/2017, 06:03 PM
arrow crabs love bristleworms

09/05/2017, 12:05 AM
So anyway I got one on Friday and I named her Haru and she's super cute but she hides all the time. Didn't see her from Friday night until this (Monday) afternoon around 3. Gave her some defrosted mysis shrimp which she went after, then she went back into hiding. Makes herself completely invisible in the rocks somewhere. Hopefully she gets used to her new pad and comes out of her shell soon...Still not sure how much/how often I should feed her? Especially considering she's the only fish so a lot of food will just end up polluting the water.

The marine betta looks really cool (although 8" would be way too big, not sure if they all get to be that size). Neon dottyback might be a good choice if I ever decide to get another fish. Which I'm not saying I will. :p

The arrow crab is certainly spooky and scary.

I could always trap some of the bristle worms if I get really annoyed by them. They go nuts for algae wafers.