Bird Wrasse (Gomphosus varius) Care
The Bird Wrasse, Gomphosus varius, is also known as the Green Bird Wrasse and Brown Bird Wrasse. These fish come from the Indo-Pacific region. Females are a brown to black color with a lighter colored face. Males have a blueish-green body with a lime green patch near the pectoral fins. These wrasses have a unique long beak-like mouth that allows them to reach prey in crevices.
Bird Wrasses can reach up to 11″ and require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons with plenty of live rock, a fine (0.5 – 2.0 mm) sand bed of 4 to 6 inches deep and large swimming areas. They are semi-aggressive and will eat or attack fish smaller than themselves. They are also jumpers and need to be kept in an aquarium with a lid. Those in this genus will not only rearrange bottom dwelling corals in its search for tasty bottom dwelling invertebrates, as it will eat smaller fishes, snails, tubeworms, sea stars, cucumbers, urchins, crabs, shrimp and stick its long snout into open clams to feed on its meaty interior, it will also quickly burrow into the sand bed if frightened.
The Bird Wrasse will stir up sand beds covering corals and should have small pieces of rock to play with while searching for food. Since this fish is always on the move it is difficult to feed and can stress other non active tank mates.
They are not considered reef safe.
NOTE: If you want to keep a pair, the female must be introduced to the tank before adding a male. If a female is introduced and maintained without a male, it will turn into a male.
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.
A bird wrasse will eat nasty fire and other nuisance bristle worms.