Harlequin Tuskfish

 
  • Group: Saltwater
  • Size: Medium
  • Temperament: Non-aggressive
  • Aquarium Size: Large (55 gal)
  • Swimming Region(s): All
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Angelfish, Tangs, Triggerfish
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care

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Harlequin tuskfish are a highly colorful species of wrasse that has gained popularity in the aquarium trade. They are characterized by their sharp blue, tusk-like teeth and distinctive body colorations. Tuskfish are also one of the hardier species of saltwater aquarium fish and acclimatize well to life in captivity. Most specimens available for purchase in the aquarium trade come from Australia and the Philippines and are fairly expensive. Juveniles often cost in the excess of $50 while adults can cost thrice as much. When purchasing harlequin tuskfish it is advisable to purchase specimens caught in Australia as they are often in better condition than those from the Philippines.

Harlequin tuskfish are a highly colorful species of wrasse that has gained popularity in the aquarium trade.

Harlequin tuskfish are native to the Western Pacific Ocean.

Harlequin tuskfish are one of the most distinctly colored species of wrasse. Their white bodies are covered in reddish-orange bands and these bands are often outlined by thin, blue stripes.

harlequin-tuskfish-1Harlequin tuskfish are an extremely fast growing species of fish and can often grow up to 8-10 inches in length in captivity. Therefore it is important to house them in a sufficiently large aquarium with wide open swimming spaces. They also prefer aquariums with numerous hiding places to which they can dart into.

Although tuskfish do not harm corals, they should not be kept in reef aquariums. These fish prey heavily on small species of crustaceans and will devour any snails, clams, echinoderms and other small invertebrates on sight. They can also on occasion prey on smaller species of fish and should only be housed with large, more robust tank mates. It is also advisable to introduce tuskfish to an aquarium first if they are to be kept with larger, more aggressive species of fish. Tuskfish are also highly aggressive towards members of their own species and should ideally be kept as individuals.

Harlequin tuskfish are an extremely fast growing species of fish and can often grow up to 8-10 inches in length in captivity.

Harlequin tuskfish are carnivores and should be fed on a meaty diet of krill, shrimp, squid and fish.

Harlequin tuskfish are protogenous hermaphrodites and can change sex over the course of their lives. When the dominant male of a group of tuskfish dies the largest female of the group will change sex and assume the role of the dominant male. There are no known reports of tuskfish being successfully bred in the aquarium.

Photo credit: Richard Ling/Flickr; drag-my-soul/deviantart


Other Fish

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Tangs

  • Group: Saltwater
  • Size: Large
  • Temperament: Non-aggressive
  • Aquarium Size: Large (50 gal)
  • Swimming Region(s): All
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Angelfish, Anthias, Basslets, Chromis, Clownfish, Rabbitfish, and Squirrelfish
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care