Six line Wrasse | How To Care for Six Line Wrasse

Six line Wrasse - How To Care

Six line Wrasse are a brightly colored fish that are great for any sized marine aquarium.

A great feature about the Six line Wrasse is that they are considered reef safe, so you don’t need to worry about your coral or invertebrates with these little guys.

They generally have a docile temperament and will keep to themselves, ducking and weaving in tight spaces around your rock and corals.

If you are considering adding a Six line Wrasse to your aquarium you won’t be disappointed. Many aquarists have commented that they are great for keeping bristle worm populations under control, and will casually swim around the aquatic landscape picking at live rock and eating all day.

I believe my Six line Wrasse is more on the timid side, as it simply goes about his business checking the crevices for any treats that may have been missed by the other fish. At feeding times he will usually join in the frenzy up above. However he rules the sand bed, picking up any bits of food that sunk to the bottom. He isn’t aggressive at all to the other fish, unlike other reports by other aquarists who reported their Six line Wrasses being aggressive to new fish introduced to the tank.

Now let’s take a closer look at the specifics of taking care of one of these brightly colored wrasses and who you can keep with them.

Description Specification
3 - 4 inches
Tank size
At Least 20 Gallons
Tank type
Reef Safe

Six line Wrasses originates from the Indo-Pacific Ocean. This includes oceans around the top of Australia, such as the Great Barrier Reef and even down to the Northern tips of New South Wales.



Probably one of the main reasons why any aquarist would consider adding a Six line Wrasse, their appearance is a striking display of color.

The main underlying color of the body is a florescent orange with six bright blue horizontal lines down the side of the body (hence the name). The fins can vary between yellow and green. It is easy to see with all these colors why some people often refer to them as rainbow wrasse.

Another interesting feature on the Six line Wrasse coloration is the “fake eye”. It is located at the base of the body and is used to confuse any predators that may be sizing the Six line wrasse up for a meal.


In the wild Six line Wrasse will maintain a carnivorous diet, feeding on the smaller creatures in the coral reefs such as copepods, etoparasites and even ornamental shrimp. This is a positive for many marine aquarists, as they can help to keep marine pests at bay, such as flatworms, and bristle worms.

Here’s a great informative video by TheCoralReefTalk with a good overview of the Six line wrasse

source: Thecoralreeftalk on Youtube

When it comes to feeding, they are a relatively easy fish to maintain. You can easily feed them with pellets high in protein, and they will even take to flake foods. For a treat you can feed them frozen Mysis Shrimp and Brine Shrimp.

My Six line Wrasse (or rainbow wrasse as my girls like to call it) happily swims around pecking at the live rock and cleaning bits of algae. They also love eggs! When my zombie snail went on an egg laying frenzy first in line to peck them off the glass was the Six line Wrasse, pecking all day long. I guess it was good protein for the little fellow.

Tank Mates

The Six line wrasse is generally a solitary fish when it comes to other wrasses. Depending on the size and variety of wrasse, they can become quite hostile towards one another – causing unnecessary stress.

In terms of other fish, the Six line Wrasse is generally an easy going fish. You can house them with semi-aggressive fish, such as Tangs and Angels. Just make sure to provide shelter and spaces for the six line wrasse to hide.

If you have more passive fish in your aquarium, such as Mandarins, Gobies and Grammas, the Six line wrasse may compete with them for their foods. Since these passive fish are slower feeders, they may miss out on important food sources. It doesn’t always happen, however it is something to watch for.

They are known to be reef safe and will leave your prized corals and anemones alone. In my experience, my Six line wrasse can be a bit of a handful when it comes to feeding my corals.

I try to target feed my corals, and the cheeky little six line wrasse will come along a snatch the food from the corals mouths. I have to admit it can be a little bit frustrating since some of my corals take a good fifteen minutes to take in the food.


The Six line wrasse is a great addition to any reefer’s tank. Not only does it help to keep unwanted pests under control. They are also quite easy to maintain and the care for.

They have beautiful coloring on their body to add some variety to the fish in your tank and generally make a good tank mate for the majority of your fish.

If you have any comments or questions about Six line wrasses leave them below and we’ll endeavor to get back to you with an answer.

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