The genus Halichoeres is a large and diverse group of wrasses, the majority of which are well suited for reef aquariums, with a few caveats. Most of the Halichoeres species commonly-encountered in the trade are peaceful, active fishes that readily adapt to captive life. Some species, such as H. chrysus, may be kept in small groups if added to the aquarium at the same time at smaller sizes.
Many Halichoeres species are suitable for reef aquariums. Some specimens will eat small ornamental shrimp, tubeworms, or other small crustaceans. Categorically, these fishes have little interest in eating corals. Some species occasionally pick parasites from tankmates. These fishes will often bury themselves in the sand bed at night, emerging again when the lights are on over the aquarium, so a sand bed is beneficial to their care.
These fishes are typically hardy, and are quite resistant to parasites in the aquarium. They feed quite easily, and should be offered a variety of frozen foods, such as mysis, finely chopped seafoods, etc. If acclimated carefully, and provided with an aquarium that suits their needs, these fishes are very long-lived.
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