SHOULD WE KEEP CLEANER WRASSE?

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Marine -

FOR

Pro­vide a use­ful ser­vice in re­mov­ing par­a­sites, loose and dam­aged scales and dead skin from client fish. Have been shown to ‘de-stress’ fish us­ing a pre-clean­ing mas­sage tech­nique. Will set up a clean­ing sta­tion in large enough tanks with plenty of client fish. Re­cent cap­tive breed­ing suc­cess may lead to hardier, eas­ier to feed tank bred cleaner wrasse be­com­ing more widely avail­able in the hobby even­tu­ally.

AGAINST

Wild caught clean­ers are dif­fi­cult and chal­leng­ing to keep long term in any­thing but the big­gest sys­tems con­tain­ing large num­bers of fish for them to ser­vice. Can be­come a real pest in tanks with fewer clients, ha­rass­ing and con­stantly peck­ing at tank mates. Wild caught Hawai­ian cleaner wrasse in par­tic­u­lar are ob­li­gate clean­ers, re­ly­ing on a diet that in­cludes par­a­sites and fish mu­cus. In a tank with­out suf­fi­cient client fish, chances of suc­cess with th­ese fish are slim. There are con­cerns that the col­lec­tion of cleaner wrasse from the wild is detri­men­tal to the health of coral reefs as a whole. Cleaner wrasse won’t pre­vent ma­rine white spot due to the more com­pli­cated life cy­cle of the par­a­site re­spon­si­ble.

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