Halichoeres chrysus: A Hardy Little “Banana with Fins” That’s Just Right for Beginners

Known by a variety of common names—banana wrasse, canary wrasse, golden wrasse, yellow coris, et al—Halichoeres chrysus is hardy, readily available, reasonably affordable, well suited to modest-sized systems, and among the better choices for beginners. Of course, owing to all these positive attributes, this wrasse is justifiably popular among many seasoned salties, as well. Physical … [Read More]

Nothing Mysterious about the Mystery Wrasse’s Charms

Pseudocheilinus ocellatus, the mystery wrasse (aka the tail-spot wrasse, white-barred wrasse, or five-barred wrasse), is somewhat uncommon in the hobby and usually priced accordingly. But if you can get past the sticker shock for such a modest-sized fish, you’ll find this species can be a worthy aquarium candidate. Physical traits Exhibiting the banana-with-fins morphology typical … [Read More]

The Rockmover Wrasse: What a Difference Adulthood Can Make!

In a previous post titled “Marine Fish Bait and Switch—5 Adorable Juveniles that Blossom into Brutes,” I listed the rockmover wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus), aka the reindeer wrasse or the dragon wrasse, among four other species that are typically sold in the marine aquarium trade as cute little youngsters but mature into very different adults. However, … [Read More]

Orchid Dottyback: Hardy, Peaceful, and Just Right for Reef Tanks

Captive breeding of marine fishes has been a boon to our hobby in any number of ways, one of which is democratizing access to formerly really pricy species such as the orchid dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani). While I wouldn’t characterize the current market price of this Red Sea species as “cheap,” it’s definitely in the realm … [Read More]

Royal Gramma: A Hardy, Beginner-Friendly Beauty

One of the true piscine treasures hailing from the Caribbean is the royal gramma, a.k.a. the fairy basslet (Gramma loreto). Not only is this little gem a real showstopper aesthetically speaking, but it’s also a hardy, beginner-friendly, and generally very peaceful aquarium candidate. What’s more, it’s a great choice for smaller aquariums and just about … [Read More]