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View Poll Results: Indicate those species you keep in your tank
Macropharyngodon bipartitus 62 27.80%
Macropharyngodon choati 11 4.93%
Macropharyngodon geoffroy 24 10.76%
Macropharyngodon meleagris 75 33.63%
Macropharyngodon negrosensis 27 12.11%
Other 24 10.76%
Voters: 223. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10/07/2008, 01:53 PM   #1
BrianD
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Leopard wrasse sucess stories

Please post on this thread if you have had success keeping a leopard wrasse (let's define "success" are kept 1 year or more)

The following information would be helpful (add anything I might have left out):
  • Species of leopard
  • Source (LFS, online, etc)
  • Method of introduction (quarantine, straight-to-tank, etc)
  • Tank set up (reef, fowlr, size, age, etc)
  • How many other attempts, if any, you made to keep a leopard wrasse and thoughts on why this attempt was successful (if applicable)



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Old 10/07/2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Which one is the black one?


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Old 10/07/2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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You are probaby thinking of the negrosensis.


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Old 10/07/2008, 02:32 PM   #4
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I find this thread highly interesting because these are fish I find highly interesting. On the other hand I don't want to get a fish I cannot successfully keep. If folks answer this thread, it would also be interesting to know how many tried and failed then modified their technique and succeeded. I agree that one year is a useful benchmark for success.


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Old 10/07/2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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That's the one ^, the name should have given it away. He seemed healthy at the LFS and they said he was a good eater. I thought he would be a good fit to my 120 reef w/fuge. He is about 3 months old and is doing great. He disappears about 6 pm til morning. I feed a homemade blend mostly for carnivors, but i feed in the evening and he is already hidding. Must snack on pods off the rocks all day.


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Old 10/07/2008, 02:44 PM   #6
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Steve, at one time I had three leopard wrasses. One negrosensis and two meleagris. Two were in a 180 gallon tank and one was in a 30 gallon refugium (I put it in there "temporarily" because it looked so bad when I got it, and it thrived as the only fish in a refugium stuffed with live rock and macroalgaes.

When I moved, I had to tear the tanks down, even though I was setting my tanks back up, I didnt' want the leopards to go through "new tank" syndrome. I gave them to a fellow reefer with a well-established reef.

I obtained all the leopards online, and didn't quarantine any of them. Since the success I has with those 3, I have probably tried 4 or 5 others and never been able to duplicate my success. I would like to try again, but am hesitant to do so.


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Old 10/07/2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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Thanks Brian. I have a variety of environments in which to keep them including various refugia and reef tanks. I have no difficulty keeping mandarins long term but I am nervous about even trying any leopards; I am hoping this thread will provide enough information so I can figure out what works. I have read enough about what does not work. Great idea!


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Old 10/07/2008, 03:53 PM   #8
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I have kept Macropharyngodon meleagris, Macropharyngodon negrosensis and Macropharyngodon ornatus so far. None have ever been QTed and none have ever shown signs of disease by far the most relevant factor for me has been how good of shape they arrive in initially. I cant say my success rat ehas been high overall though on average I have found it takes 3 to get one to live past the first week. I have a pair of ornatus for close to 3 years that spawned regularly but they both dissappeared within a week of each other no idea what happened they were both fat and happy last time I saw them though they were also both adults when I aquired them.
Currently I have a meleagris female that has grown from a 1" juvi 3 years ago to around 4" so at least for me not very fast growers either. The other thing I have observed is that females are very passive and leave most everyone else alone however when I had my male ornatus he wouldn't allow any new leapords out and about in the tank unless they were tiny.
As far as food all of my survivors past the 1 week mark have taken spectrum pellets relativly quickly.


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Old 10/07/2008, 05:27 PM   #9
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  • Macropharyngodon meleagris
  • LFS, on sale for $9.99
  • Straight into tank
  • In 65gallon (2 years old before Leopard intro) reef for 2 years (parents tank). Keep here was LOTS of healthy live rock. Over 90lbs. A good bit of which was 'dirty Tampa Bay rock.' Rock with tons of different, and varied life on it (just gotta check for mantis's ). Lots of hiding room, and lots of pods for him to hunt. Grown from 2" to currently about 3.5." Added to 125gallon reef (my tank) 2 months ago (parents moved). No real 'new tank syndrome issues.' He hid for 3 days, then was wary of everything for another day, then back to his old self. Leopard is starting to turn male as well. The 125 gallon is 1.5 years old, FOWLR turned mixed reef about a year ago. Separate 29gal fuge, 200lbs of LR (in tank/sump/fuge), AquaC EV240 skimmer, and perfect water are it's strong points.
  • This Leopard was the first attempt at one. Has always ate anything put into the tank, mysis, scallops, pellets, flakes. I made a subsequent attempt with a smaller 1.5" Meleagris in my 29 that failed, he hid for 4 days, before finding nassurius snails on him. Reason for success is finding a heathly specimen then placing him in a proper tank. I appreciate what online stores have done, but this truly one fish that you should see before you buy. You want to look for a fish that isn't too shy, one that eats, and kept in a suitable environment (kept with a sandbed at the LFS and at a LFS "clean enough" to risk a fish directly to your display w/o QT). My failed attempt was a Leopard that didn't eat at the LFS, but I figured for $9.99 (on sale again at the LFS) I figured why not try. I was considering a pair of Geoffroy straight from HI, before my parents needed to find a home for him when they moved. I'm considering adding a small female once he finishes turning full male, however (not to bashing anyone) but I feel the LFS's here aren't 'clean enough' (some Ich/scratching fish in their systems) to chance it.









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Old 10/07/2008, 09:32 PM   #10
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i have two black leopard ,twosplendid one of them is an adult two african leopards (red) all of them are in reef tanks,its the only way . all together i have approx. 35 wrasses in 5 tanks . 17 tanks total . they all have been with me for over a year .i have gone through 10 or 15 leopards in fish only systems with little to no success ,kinda feel bad . gotta be in a reef tank or at least with live rock . feed 3x daily small portions !


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Old 10/08/2008, 03:51 AM   #11
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Have a pair of bipartitus and a female meleagris for a little under 11 months. All in all Im 3 for 4 with leopard wrasse. The only loss came with a female meleagris I bought at a LFS without watching it eat. All others ate at the LFS prior to bringing them home.

No quarantine, they went straight to my 92 gallon corner reef tank.

Another important factor ( I think) is getting these fish food from the start. Most of the time they will hide for several days in the sand bed when first introduced into aquarium. But I have found that most dont hide for that long. They come out in the middle of the night, due to their internal clocks being out of whack from the trip to the LFS. Until they acclimate to whatever time schedule you have in your tank. I kept live brine on hand and fed without disturbing them as little as possible when I saw them out. Usually around 4 or 5 a.m.

These guys now eat just about everything I put in the tank to feed. Pellets, flake, and frozen. But without a doubt their favorite food is live black worms. They devour these quickly and it adds a little more interest to their food.


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Old 10/08/2008, 06:10 AM   #12
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Where do you get live black worms?


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Old 10/08/2008, 11:01 AM   #13
flfireman1
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My LFS sells them, but you can purchase them online as well. There are several places, mostly out of California....I believe.


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Old 10/08/2008, 07:40 PM   #14
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Very interesting. I would love to get a Leopard Wrasse when I upgrade so thanks for the info guys.


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Old 10/09/2008, 07:02 AM   #15
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Need more options for those of us with multiples I'm 2 for 2 with good luck so far.

---------
  • Macropharyngodon bipartitus
  • Live Aquaria shipped, acquired 02/2007
  • Quarantine by true definition of the word, not by hobby idea (dedicated temporary small tank, rock, sand)
  • 180, over two years, LPS/SPS, etc
  • First attempt

Roughly 2" when acquired and it has changed drastically. Now almost jet black at roughly 5-6", yet the most peaceful fish in my tank. I will try to get new pictures as I haven't taken any for a while.

(will add updated picture later of the change)


---------
  • Macropharyngodon ???????
  • Local acquisition from Phishy Business, acquired 05/2007
  • Straight into the tank
  • 180, over two years, LPS/SPS, etc
  • Second successfully leopard

I have never successfully identified this one. This one was roughly 2-3" when I purchased it and was actually LARGER than the bipartitus already in the tank. Roughly 5" now. After it was introduced to the tank, it stayed about the same size for a short time. During that period, the bipartitus VERY rapidly went through a growth spurt and hit 4". Almost overnight (seriously, overnight), the bipartitus changed from the colorful setup to the black colors.






---------
Never even the slightest sign of aggression between the two leopard's or to/from other inhabitants. All other wrasses steer clear and don't even attempt to engage in any form of hostilities.

Additional thoughts/notes:

If you can't get it to start eating, Arctic Pods are a healthy treat, and were almost instantly identified as delicious food by both leopards. Within weeks they were eating mysis, flake, pellets, etc.

Obviously pick a good reseller and/or LFS to get the fish. It's a very delicate shipper and deserves respect and proper techniques to ensure it's survival.

Absolutey, positively, no matter what, DO NOT DIG THROUGH THE SAND LOOKING FOR THE WRASSE! I see thread after thread stating that a leopard has dissapeared and the user is starting the digging process. 1) If it is not doing well and/or is sick, digging through the sand is likely NOT going to help you catch it (as it will just re-dive in another location). 2) You're going to further stress the fish drastically. Imagine being in a dead sleep protected, and being ripped out of your bed abruptly. What would your reaction be? 3) They will take some time to acclimate to your setup. My bipartus took a while to understand the light cycle. I would see it about 5-10 minutes before the lights turned off, then slowly longer, slowly longer, etc. The second leopard was at the LFS, so was quicker to adapt. Now they're both up about 10-15 minutes after the actinics turn on, and are sleeping before they go off.


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Old 10/09/2008, 06:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by RokleM

Snapped a ton of pictures, but none that great. I'll try to get a better shot.




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Old 10/09/2008, 06:05 PM   #17
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Beautiful.


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Old 10/09/2008, 07:07 PM   #18
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x1000


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Old 10/09/2008, 08:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by RokleM
Roughly 2" when acquired and it has changed drastically. Now almost jet black at roughly 5-6"
Its pretty obvious your biparitus changed sexes on you from female to male. However, I wouldnt call that jet black. They are a greenish blue color. Very striking fish and one of first fish visitors ask about in my aquarium.
By the way, great picture, wish I could snap one as good of my guy.

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Old 10/09/2008, 10:16 PM   #20
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Can these guys live with a black sand bed or do they need a fine sand?


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Old 10/10/2008, 05:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by flfireman1
Its pretty obvious your biparitus changed sexes on you from female to male. However, I wouldnt call that jet black. They are a greenish blue color. Very striking fish and one of first fish visitors ask about in my aquarium.
By the way, great picture, wish I could snap one as good of my guy.
Eric
Yes, that's the same thing I thought on the sex change. It was just interesting to see in person, and amazing how fast it occurred. I'm use to clowns, fairy wrasses, anthias, etc were the change is over many weeks, sometimes many months. The day I realized it was happening, I had to do a double take becuase I saw two black leopards from a distance knowing I only had one.

You're right, it's not fully "jet black". The color is actually quite a bit more black in the tank to the eyes. Notice the excess light/contrast around the wrasse. The picture brings out a bit more highlights. As I mentioned, it isn't the greatest picture, but it give you a good idea


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Old 10/11/2008, 08:41 PM   #22
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Great thread. How deep a sand bed does everyone keep? Are arctipods really a good starter food? Thanks everyone!


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Old 10/11/2008, 09:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by snorvich
How deep a sand bed does everyone keep? Are arctipods really a good starter food? Thanks everyone!
As far as a sandbed goes, I would recommend at least 3 inches. When you see them "dive" down into the sand you will understand why. They litterally dive straight into the sand.

As far as the arctic pods go, I really think they prefer a little heavier meal. However, I would try anything to get them to eat. Like I said before live brine shrimp is pretty much irrisistable. I have fed cyclopeze as a treat and they eat it very well. But I just think they enjoy the larger foods a bit more.

By larger foods I mean, PE mysis. They love to grab the larger mysis shrimp pieces and crush them against the rocks and break it up into more manageable pieces. Pretty interesting to watch them do this natural behavior.


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Old 10/11/2008, 09:59 PM   #24
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Arctic Pods are a great starter food yes, becuase for some reason it seems most of them instantly identify it as food. That's one of the difficult things with this wrasse, getting it it to eat and eat well. Once they start to latch onto the fact things you're putting in the water are food/tasty, you can move on to all sorts of other things. Mine literally eat everything, pellets, ArcticPods, Cyclopeeze, flake, LOVE Mysis, LOVED zooplankton (when I use to be able to get it), etc. Funny enough, my biparitus has not taken to a nori clip. It's only happened in the last three or so months. I have two tangs that love the clip. Less than two weeks after being in the tank, my Hooded Fairy Wrasses figured it out. Now the biparitus has learned and will go up and tear off a piece as well. The clowns know it's food to, and wait for small floaters.

As for sand, as mentioned the more the better. I have roughly 2" remaining in the 180 now. I'm filling the bottom of my new 200 where they'll go with 120lbs of southdown (VERY FINE) and another 120ish of a little more course sand 1-2mm. I'll shoot for at least 3", maybe slightly more. Most like to get a sand that isn't going to blow all over the place with powerheads, but try to keep the grain pretty small so they can easily bury themselves.


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Old 10/14/2008, 01:39 PM   #25
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If you start with live mysis and blend other foods during feeding you can get almost any wrasse on whatever diet you wish. I did live mysis to frozen mysis, to frozen seafood blend.


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