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Eight line Flasher Wrasse Care | There Are More To Learn |

The ocean is home to an array of vibrant and mesmerizing creatures, but none quite compare to the stunning Eight Line Flasher Wrasse. With its vibrant colors and playful personality, this fish is a favorite among divers and aquarium enthusiasts alike.

Its unique characteristics and behavior make it an intriguing subject of study for marine biologists, while its beauty continues to captivate and inspire all who have the pleasure of encountering it in its natural habitat.

Eight line Flasher Wrasse

Keeping this fish is relatively easy. However, they may not make good community fish. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the care requirements for them and provide some tips for keeping them healthy and happy. So if you’re thinking about adding one of these fish to your system, keep reading!

Discover the beauty and complexity of wrasse fish in our comprehensive article!

One Look Care guide

Scientific nameParacheilinus octotaenia
Common nameEight line flasher wrasse
Eight Line Fairy Wrasse
Eight-Lined Wrasse
Care levelModerate
Native toThe Indian Ocean, from Suez to South Africa
Type Saltwater fish
Color Yellow and orange in color, with dark blue stripes
Tank size50 gallons
Preferred temperature72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Other water parameters (ammonia, etc.)Ph level: 8.1 to 8.4
Hardness: dKH 8-12
Specific gravity: 1.020 to 1.025
Preferred salinity1.020 to 1.025
Size 5.5 inches in the wild4 inches in captivity
Life Span5-6 years
Temperament Peaceful
Recommended tank matesLarge semi-aggressive fish
Preferred foodCarnivore
Live and frozen food
Feeding frequencyAt least two times per day
breedingNot bred in aquariums

What is Eight Line Flasher Wrasse?

Eightline flasher wrasse (Paracheilinus octotaenia), also known as Eight Line Fairy Wrasse or Eight-Lined Wrasse, is a marine fish of the family Labridae. They are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean, from Suez to South Africa. 

They are yellow and orange in color, with eight striking blue lines running horizontally along its body. Males generally have larger and brighter colored stripes than females and display a bright orange color around their eyes.

These fish inhabit reef-associated areas at depths of 30 to 130 feet, often dwelling near rubble and live coral searching for food. They feed on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans and polychaetes in the wild. They also considered among the best marine aquarium fish because they are hardy, stunning, and disease-free.

How big do they get?

They can grow up to 5.50 inches in size. Males are usually larger than females and juveniles. In captivity, these fish have a stunted growth that is due to their feeding habits.

Are they aggressive?

Eight-line wrasse is a peaceful fish that get along well with similar-sized or larger fish. On the other hand, these fish exhibit aggressive behavior toward any fish that could be their prey, which means smaller fish. As these are carnivore fish, it’s their nature to harass smaller animals.

Their behavior

This is a peaceful, active fish that is known to show aggressive behavior with any fish that can be its prey, which means smaller species.

These carnivore reef safe fish are active swimmers and should be provided ample space to move about. They prefer solitary though they will do fine with a group of wrasse. However, one group should contain only one male fish. Otherwise, it may be aggressive towards other fish in the group.

You will often find these fish on the live corals, urchins, or rocks. They are known to find copepods, amphipods, and other microfauna species among these places to eat. While these fish do not harm live coral, removing cleaner staff from the coral can be a problem to the reef eventually. So, care must be taken if you plan to keep these fish in a reef aquarium.

How long do Eight Line Flasher Wrasses live?

These fish usually live for five to six years in a tank with the proper care.

Eight Line Flasher Wrasse care

Caring for these fish is easy as many other wrasse species. These fish are hardy and rarely catch up with diseases, making them perfect for beginner aquarists. If you have basic knowledge about keeping the water chemistry at the proper levels, you won’t have any issues while keeping these fish.

  • Size

They usually grow up to 5.5 inches in the wild. However, these fish only grow up to 4 inches in captivity.

Eight Line Flasher Wrasse tank size

Although they are small fish, their highly active behavior requires ample living space. A tank size of 50 gallons is a good idea for keeping this fish, along with other saltwater species.

How many of them should be kept together?

This fish should be kept in a tank or as a mated pair. Keeping them in a group is not advisable as they are known to show aggressive behavior towards other fish in the group. If you really want to keep them in groups, it is recommended to keep only one male.

Tank setup

Although these fish prey on coral cleaner staff, they are recommended to keep in reef aquariums. However, these fish can also live in non-reef saltwater aquariums. Basically, the tank should mimic their natural habitats in the ocean for these fish to thrive.

  • Substrate and Decorations

Since the bottom of the ocean contains a sandy substrate, you can use sand as a substrate to give your fish a natural feeling. However, using rocks and many other decors to create hiding spots is also ideal for these fish. These fish require plenty of live rocks with cracks and crevices for them to hide when needed. These fish usually spend most of their time hiding under rocks. Any type of coral is also recommended to keep with these fish.

  • Lighting

They prefer moderate to bright light in their surroundings. Using a low-wattage LED or a fluorescent tube is advisable for your saltwater aquarium.

  • Filtration

Because they are usually seen near certain types of corals or rocks, it is recommended to use a canister filter to create water flow directly on these decors.

  • Water movement

This fish doesn’t have any special requirements in terms of water movement. However, it is recommended to create some strong water flow around the rocks and corals where the fish tends to hide.

  • Tank Lid

Although these fish are timid and don’t move much in the aquarium, having a tank lid is a smart idea because these fish are known to jump out of the tank occasionally.

Water quality condition

Keeping them is not difficult as these fish are tough. However, one has to keep an eye on these fish for ammonia, nitrite, and high nitrate levels. If you have basic knowledge of reading aquarium water test results, then these fish are suitable for you.

Tank Parameters

pH level: The pH level of the water should be between 8.1 to 8.4 for keeping them.

Water Temperature: Keep the water temperature between 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit to keep these fish healthy.

Water hardness: Keeping the water hardness around dKH 8-12 is a good idea for keeping these fish in a tank.

Specific gravity: They prefer a specific gravity level of 1.020 to 1.025 for keeping them healthy and active in the aquarium.

Like any other fish, wrasse also produces waste in the aquarium. Therefore, it is required to change 20% of the water monthly or 10% of the water bi-weekly to keep them healthy.

Eight line Flasher Wrasse

Eight Line Flasher Wrasse breeding

  • In captivity

They are not yet bred in captivity. All the specimens sold at the market are wild-caught ones.

  • Male or female identification

They usually keep a similar body structure for both sexes. However, it is easy to differentiate between males and females by looking at the size. The male wrasse is larger in size than the female. Therefore, it is easy to determine the gender of these fish by looking at their sizes. The males will exhibit a more vivid color when it comes to mating.

  • In the wild

In the wild, these fish practice monogamous mating, which means they reproduce only with one partner. Eight-line flasher wrasses are external spawners. How many eggs they produce and whether they do prenatal care or not is unknown.

How to feed Eight Line Flasher Wrasse?

Being a carnivore species, eight-line flasher wrasses feed on small organisms such as crustaceans, sea urchins, crab larvae, mollusks, and fish eggs in the wild. They are not hard to feed as they will accept anything you provide as long as it is a meat-based food. 

Eight-line flasher wrasse will feed any meaty substances in captivity, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, crustaceans and other meaty foods. Moreover, these fish also feed on vitamin-enriched brine shrimp. Basically, these fish require a diet high in protein to survive in aquatic environments. Feeding these fish with Vitamin C-enriched foods is a good idea as well.

Keeping a cuttlebone or other supplements can be a smart idea for keeping these fish in an aquarium. Eightline wrasse requires several feedings per day, which means you have to feed them more than once per day. It is recommended at least two times feeding to keep your fish happy.

Additionally, keeping a live rock in the aquarium will benefit them as they pick on rocks to eat microfauna present in the rocks. Eight-line flasher wrasses are active hunters, which means you need to keep their tank clean by removing uneaten food or feces to keep them healthy.

Eight Line Flasher Wrasse tank mates?

They are not considered good community fish because it is likely to pick on other fish in the aquarium. Keeping eight-line flasher wrasse with other wrasse species is not a good idea as these fish do not cohabit well with them.

If you intend to keep a group of the same species, you must ensure that the tank is large enough for each fish to establish its territory. Most importantly, one tank should contain only one male fish. These fish are not known to keep “harem” in the wild. But they will do fine with other female eight-line flasher wrasses.

These fish can cohabit well with semi-aggressive and/ or larger fish species. Some suitable tank mates are,

  • Tangs
  • Angelfish
  • Surgeonfish
  • Puffers
  • Butterflyfish
  • Goatfish
  • Filefish
  • Squirrelfish

Avoid any creature that is small enough for these fish to eat. Examples include shrimp, snails, smaller fish, small urchins, gastropods, and crabs. Highly aggressive fish species like  Larger dottybacks, hawkfish, and triggerfish are not compatible either because they tend to pick on these fish.

You must avoid larger predators like groupers, lionfish, and scorpionfish as they can and will eat these fish.

Eight Line Flasher Wrasse diseases

They are very tough fish that do not catch diseases or parasites compared to other fish species. However, eight-line flasher wrasse requires routine checkups just like other aquarium fish to prevent infections. Watching their behavior will let you know if they are sick, hungry, or frightened.

For example, if your fish looks in one direction and tries to hide all the time, it indicates that it is frightened. Hunting their food frantically or trying to jump out of the tank are other signs of stress.

However, like other fish species, eight-line flasher wrasse sometimes suffers from a parasitic infection or a disease. These fish are often victims of anchor worms, which is a parasitic infection. The symptoms of this infection include loss of color, flashing behavior, loss of appetite, and heavy breathing. You may notice small white spots on their body or fins that could indicate the infection.

Treatment for this infection is relatively easy as you can purchase a treatment from your local pet store. You should remove the infected fish and treat it with medication to prevent the infection from passing on to other fish.

Related questions 

Are Eight Line Flasher Wrasses rare?

They are widely distributed around their natural habitats in the red sea. Therefore, they are listed as the Least concerning species on the IUCN Red List. However, these fish are not common in the aquarium market, and you will have to pre-order them to buy them.

How much do Eight Line Flasher Wrasses cost?

A single fish is around $100-$150. However, you can get them for a much lower price if you pre-order them as they are not commonly available in the market.


If you’re an aquarist interested in adding some personality to your tank, the Eight Line Flasher Wrasse may be a good choice for you. They are well known for their remarkable color morph and their disease-free nature. However, they also have a few quirks that make them less suitable as community fish – it’s best if they are kept alone or with other species of similar temperament.

We hope this post has provided helpful information on what these fascinating creatures need to thrive!

Credit to : DeepReef
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.