Checkerboard Wrasse (Halichoeres hortulanus) Care
The Checkerboard Wrasse, Halichoeres hortulanus, comes from the Indo-Pacific region. Juveniles have a black and white checkerboard pattern and a black spot on the dorsal fin. Adults have a silvery-white body with black checkerboard on the main part of the body with vibrant spots and lines in yellow, green, and orange.
Checkerboard Wrasses can reach up to 10″ and require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons with plenty of live rock and a fine (0.5 – 2.0 mm) sand bed at least 4 to 6 inches deep. They are generally peaceful and will not bother most coral, inverts, and other fish, but will stir up sand beds covering corals and should have small pieces of rock to play with while searching for food. As with all wrasses of this Genus they are also jumpers and need to be kept in an aquarium with a lid.
They are considered reef safe “with caution” because they may eat consume snails, tubeworms, sea stars, cucumbers, urchins, crabs, and shrimp.
These wrasses are carnivores and require a diet rich in meaty foods, such as brine and mysis shrimp, high-quality frozen foods, pieces of fresh seafood, and flake and pellet foods.
Approximate Purchase Size
Small: 2” to 2½”
Small-Medium: 2½” to 3½”
Medium: 3½” to 4½”
Medium-Large: 4½” to 5½”
Large: 5½” to 6½”
Extra Large: 6½” to 7½”
Extra Extra Large: 7½” to 8½”