Thousands of aquatic creatures live comfortably in the wild and share the same habitat.
However, when it comes to captivity, fish compatibility is a crucial factor to consider while keeping different fish species together.
So, can six line wrasses and clownfish get along with each other?
Six Line Wrasse and Clownfish Compatibility
Six line wrasses and clownfish can get along with each other in an aquarium because they share similar water conditions and possess similar temperaments. A well-balanced diet, stable water parameters, and a suitable tank setup can ensure both species thrive together.
6 Main Reasons Why You Can Keep Six Wrasses and Clownfish Together
Compatibility is one of the major issues while housing six line wrasses in a community aquarium.
These fish are popular for pestering tankmates for no apparent reason.
However, despite their inconsistent behavior, six line wrasses can be housed with clownfish.
Given below are a few reasons why six line wrasses and clownfish can live together.
1. Similar Habitat
The natural habitat of six line wrasses and clownfish is similar.
Both these fish are found in coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific ocean.
Since their geographical distribution in the wild overlaps, six line wrasses and clownfish can be kept together as they share a similar environment.
2. Similar Water Parameters
Six line wrasses and clownfish prefer similar water conditions.
Both these fish need warm water to thrive as they belong to tropical waters.
They need water temperature in the range of 74°F to 82°F (23°C to 28°C). The pH level required by both these fish is 8.0 to 8.4.
Similarly, the water hardness required is also in the same range of 8 to 12 dKN.
Both these species also prefer specific gravity between 1.020 and 1.025.
3. Similar Temperament
Six line wrasses are known for bullying their tankmates.
They’re semi-aggressive and become territorial when cramped for space or due to food shortages.
Similarly, clownfish are semi-aggressive and display aggression when housed with their own kind or similar-looking fish, under space constraints, and during mating.
So both these species share similar temperaments. Besides, clownfish don’t get bullied easily.
Both these fish can co-exist because clownfish can withstand six line wrasse’s bullying without getting stressed.
Six line wrasses and clownfish are reef-safe. Both of them can be safely housed together in a reef environment.
Six line wrasses don’t nip or feed on corals.
You can find them taking shelter behind the reef branches in their natural environment.
Similarly, clownfish don’t eat live corals. However, they may feed on perishing corals.
Another reason that six line wrasses and clownfish can live together is that both are hardy.
Both these fish adapt well to tank conditions, and slight variations in water parameters don’t bother them.
Six line wrasse, particularly, are extremely hardy once they establish themselves in the tank.
On the other hand, clownfish can easily withstand a wide range of water conditions and hence are favorites for a community aquarium.
6. Similar Water Movement
Water movement is crucial for captive fish as it helps them to maintain good health.
Proper water circulation can also help keep the water clean and prevent bacteria from building up.
It also ensures that all the fish have enough oxygen supply.
This helps to reduce the risk of diseases spreading among the fish.
Six line wrasses and clownfish need moderate water current in the tank as they inhabit an environment in the wild where the water current is gentle.
Hence, creating a water movement that best suits both these fish isn’t challenging.
How to Keep Six Line Wrasse and Clownfish Together?
Six line wrasses are territorial fish that can display aggression if the living conditions aren’t conducive.
Similarly, clownfish need an environment that closely replicates their natural habitat for healthy development.
Hence, an ideal tank setup that suits both the fish is essential to ensure they live peacefully with each other.
Given below are some of the things that need to be incorporated into a tank while keeping six line wrasses and clownfish together.
1. Large Tank
Suitable tank size is one of the most crucial factors when housing six line wrasses and clownfish.
Six line wrasses are active fish that love to dart around the tank. They need ample space in the tank to carry out their daily activities.
On the other hand, clownfish usually establish their territories in the tank and prefer to swim around them.
Hence, a large tank of at least 55 gallons or more is advisable to avoid territorial aggression.
This will give the six line wrasse a lot of space to release energy, while clownfish can claim its territory and live peacefully.
2. Compatible Clownfish Species with Six Line Wrasses
Six line wrasses are energetic and unpredictable fish.
Hence, it’s important that you house with them such clownfish species that can hold their ground.
Tomato and Maroon clownfish are the two most compatible clownfish species that can be housed with six line wrasses.
Both these clownfish species are larger than six line wrasses.
They’re also hardy and can handle the aggressive behavior of six line wrasses without getting stressed.
3. Introduction of Both Fish Into the Tank Simultaneously
Six line wrasses and clownfish can certainly live together in the same tank.
However, it’s vital to introduce them into the tank together when they’re of the same size.
An adult six line wrasse is more territorial and can try to dominate the young clownfish if it’s introduced later into the tank.
Hence, it’s best to introduce both fish simultaneously so that they will look upon each other as tankmates and try to co-exist peacefully.
4. Suitable Tank Setup
Different fish have different tank requirements. Six line wrasses are active swimmers and need ample space to swim freely in the tank.
On the other hand, clownfish also need an open area to swim and ample hiding places to feel secure.
So the tank needs to be set up in a way that suits both the fish.
Live rocks, caves, crevices, driftwood, and other objects can be used in the tank to create hiding spots.
5. Periodic Tank Maintenance
Tank maintenance is of paramount importance for six line wrasses and clownfish to stay healthy.
Although hardy, both these fish need good quality water to thrive.
Regular water changes and periodic tank maintenance can help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and algae.
Make sure that you clean the substrate regularly so that it doesn’t get clogged by waste matter and uneaten food.
You can monitor the water quality regularly using testing kits.
All these things can ensure that both fish remain stress-free and live long lives.
6. Nutritious Diet for Optimal Growth
A well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the optimal growth of six line wrasses and clownfish.
Six line wrasses are carnivorous fish that need a protein-rich diet for healthy development.
A diet consisting of live, frozen, and commercial fish flakes and pellets is ideal for six line wrasses.
Clownfish, on the other hand, are omnivores. They prefer eating a blend of plant and animal matter.
Marine fish flakes and pellets containing spirulina, along with the occasional feeding of live and frozen food, is suitable for clownfish.
Since the dietary requirements of six line wrasses and clownfish differ, it’s vital to feed them different food that meets their individual needs.
3 Challenges in Keeping Six Line Wrasses and Clownfish Together
Six line wrasses and clownfish are considered to be compatible tankmates.
They share similar water conditions and have similar temperaments.
However, despite their similarities, there are some challenges in keeping them together.
1. Not All Clownfish Species Are Compatible with Six Line Wrasses
There are several clownfish species, each differing in coloration, size, and behavioral traits.
Some clownfish species are calmer and less aggressive than others.
Such clownfish species aren’t compatible with six line wrasses.
Smaller sub-species of clownfish can get stressed from the unpredictable aggression of six line wrasses.
2. Six Line Wrasses Can Bully Clownfish
Clownfish are known for their subdued personalities.
On the other hand, six line wrasses are usually energetic and are known to bully the timid fish.
Although most clownfish species are semi-aggressive, some are less aggressive.
Hence, the biggest challenge is in keeping a timid clownfish with a six line wrasse.
It can’t handle the aggression of the six line wrasse and may end up getting bullied.
3. Diet Is Different for Six Line Wrasses and Clownfish
One of the biggest challenges in housing six line wrasses with clownfish is that their dietary requirements are different.
Six line wrasses are carnivores that primarily need protein-rich food.
On the contrary, clownfish are omnivores that need a mix of plant and animal matter.
Feeding different diets to these fish can be challenging as you must ensure that both get the necessary nutrition.