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Labroides dimidiatus
Cleaner Wrasse

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish > Cleaner Wrasse - Labroides dimidiatus

Photos & Comments

cleaner1.jpg (10kb)
Photo Credit: Brian Pickavance

Name: Labroides dimidiatus
Origin: Indo-Pacific Oceans

Size Behavior Reef
10 cm Peaceful Safe


This is a wonderful little fish. There should be one in every tank to watch an age old relationship between fishes. It is a sight to behold to watch the other fish begging to be cleaned, turning on their sides, opening their gills, their mouths and enjoying it to the fullest. Only buy small fish that are not emaciated and you will get years of enjoyment.

Contributed by (no name given)

The Cleanerfish, also known as a Blue Streak or Bridled Beauty (Labroides dimidiatus) is very sociable and keeps its neighbors free of pests by removing parasites and dead scar tissue from the sides and gills of other larger fishes. The parasites are its staple diet. Other fish are very willing of its services and usually seek him out for a cleaning. Quite charming.

Contributed by (no name given)

Be sure to keep only one of these fish in a tank! They will kill each other if kept in pairs.

Contributed by Rod R.

Though a wonderful addition to a tank, cleaner wrasses should not be bought. The reason being is that the removal of them from the oceans impacts in such an immensely negative way, that the coral reefs suffer greatly. Our hobby is threatened by the possibility of sanctions in the USA. We should make every possible step to prevent that from happening. One way to do this is to use only sustainable methods of capturing organisms, removing cleaner wrasses not only hurts the wrasses, but the entire eco-system revolving around them. A much better idea would be to use neon gobys as a parasite remover, because they are easily bred in captivity.

Contributed by Brian Braden

I agree with what Brian said, and they also don't live for long periods of time! Weeks, if not days in captivity, they will perish! They are best left on the reefs of the oceans of the world! Please don't buy this fish!

Contributed by Carlos Padilla

A controversial fish with a fascinating symbiotic relationship with other fish. Although many fishkeepers such as the ones above advocate leaving them out of the pet trade altogether, there are also some which say that strictly regulated collecting programs and knowledgeable maintenance in captivity still constitutes responsible fishkeeping. The reason why many die initially in transport or the new aquarium is because they are very vulnerable to shock and do not acclimate well to new tanks. I have seen cleaner wrasses live in the well-maintained, established aquarium for over 3 years, however, so it's not always true they die right away. They will also adapt to eating prepared foods in time. I personally feel that due to the controversy of their collection, I would like to keep them out of my own tanks, and have found cleaner skunk shrimp to work just as well for controlling ich.

Contributed by Cecilia Chen

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