Longjaw Wrasse (Cheilinus oxycephalus) Care
The brightly colored Long Jaw Wrasse, Cheilinus oxycephalus, is best maintained in a fish only aquarium with plenty of rock structures to hide in. They are known to move rocks and corals in order to find prey; they may also disturb existing sand beds by blowing streams of water looking for food. We recommend at least a 125-gallon aquarium with a covered lid – the Long Jaw Wrasse will jump out of your tank. They are also a Hermaphroditic species where females can change to male when needed.
It is not uncommon for the Long Jaw Wrasse to hide for days when first introduced to a new tank. They should not be introduced into tanks with larger hawkfish, damsels, surgeonfish or triggerfish as they will not be able to hold their own and will likely perish. When possible introduce these fish to your FOWLR tank first. Be sure to not introduce any smaller fish it can fit into its mouth as it will eat them. They also will eat snails, tubeworms, shrimp, sea stars, brittle stars, and some urchins.
Only keep one Long Jaw Wrasse per aquarium.
The Long Jaw Wrasse will usually consume large amounts of food at one time and may go for two or three days before eating again. When first introducing one to your aquarium it may be difficult to get it to feed. We recommend adding live guppies or mollies, ghost shrimp, snails, earthworms or fiddler crabs to the aquarium. They will never turn these down.
It is very important to switch them over to a more varied diet once you have gotten them to feed. Recommended foods should be a mix of Zooplankton (copepods, pods, etc.), Krill, Mysis, Shrimp (never frozen), crabs, and clams enriched with vitamins when possible.
Once they learn who feeds them they will beg them for food when they enter the room.