I’m a Wrasse-aholic. Can anyone help me?

by | Mar 23, 2012 | Eye Candy, Fish, Photography | 3 comments

I just found myself ordering a bunch of wrasses for my reef and realized that I have a problem. Maybe admitting it in public may be the first step to recovery. It all started with a seemingly innocuous small yellow fish. When I say yellow, I mean insanely bright yellow. While Yellow Coris wrasses are common these days, you have to step back to 1989 and imagine a teenager who had mostly kept guppies in glass bowls mesmerized by the first marine fish setup he had ever seen in a store. I didn’t realize it at the time but that little banana wrasse was my gateway wrasse.

Over time I have spun out of control in an ever descending spiral… After the Yellow Coris came a Sixline. I justified that step by the gorgeous green and red stripes along its flanks, then soon I was doing Melanurus – I mean, aren’t they just a bigger version of a sixline? If you can handle a sixline you can do a melanurus right? From there it was onto Marble Wrasses, the softly dusted white sides looked so nice- but then I was offered a Dusky. It was a shady deal, conducted in the back of a fish store- I didnt know what I was getting into but the time and price was right and I needed a wrasse-fix. After that I kind of stuck with what I had until recently when cravings took over and I tried a Mystery, a Black Leopard and a Potters Wrasse in rapid succession. It was not until last night however that I realized I had an issue as I unbagged several White Leopards and Red Coris. It was then my wife intervened and patiently explained to me that I needed help. At first I was in denial but now I see I am an addict.

They say the first step to a cure is opening up. So here I am, hoping you can learn by my mistakes and stay away from the Yellow Coris. I know I need help… Its now been a day since my last acquisition and im doing well, but does anyone know where I can get any mated Rhomboids?

  • Paul Whitby

    Paul Whitby is originally from the UK, but now resides in Oklahoma USA. While in the UK, he received his Doctorate in the microbiology of fish diseases, specifically diseases of fish with high economic importance and has published several articles in this field as well as medical microbiology. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma where he specializes in the microbiology of pediatric infectious diseases. Paul is the current President of the Central Oklahoma Marine Aquarium Society (COMAS) and has had several articles published in Reefs Magazine, Reef Keeping magazine and Reefs.com and ReefBuilders. He has published several articles on COMAS, the development of a captive propagation program to conserve coral species, pests and parasites in marine aquaria as well as numerous reviews. In October 2007 his SPS dominated display tank was selected as Reef Keeping Magazine's Tank of the Month. Paul has presented several marine aquarium related seminars at local clubs and conferences including Oklahoma's CRASE, Reef Fest, ReefStock, NERAC, IMAC west and others. In association with his good friend Ed Brookshire, Paul owns Highdefcorals.com He has been keeping saltwater aquariums for over 22 years and has owned a variety of tanks ranging from under 30 to in excess of 600 gallons. His current system, including filtration, is over 1,000 gallons.


  1. Matt Pedersen

    I can help you out Paul – Sparisoma automarium. Thank Sprung and Vargas for pointing me in that direction (email me if you want more info 😉 )

  2. Paul Whitby

    Oh…. you tease me….

  3. Matt Pedersen

    The local club guys don’t call me a tease…they call me a pusher 😉


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