Fish compatibility is certainly the most important thing you must consider when you are creating a saltwater fish community. There are tons of incredibly beautiful fish that display some of the most stunning colorations you are likely to see that unfortunately have incredibly bad tempers and are aggressive towards other fish.
And whilst you may think that they will calm down and get used to their surroundings, often by the time you have noticed aggressive behavior, the damage has already been done and you now have a saltwater aquarium full of stressed out and potentially sick fish.
Despite being one of the most helpful fish out there, Six Line Wrasses do not have a squeaky clean reputation, far from it, in fact. They are brilliant tank cleaners, helping relieve your tank from potential bacteria infestations and random harmful hitchhiker critters that appear in your tank, which is brilliant and will save you much stress and time. But, it comes with a price. Six Line Wrasses are naturally aggressive fish, therefore finding tank mates for them is never easy. Fortunately, the Six Line Wrasse does have a few compatible tank mates, and the ever-popular Clownfish are certainly one of them!
The key to finding Sixline Wrasse tank mates is that you need to look for peaceful fish that share a similar size or are larger than the aggressive Wrasse. There are certain types of Clownfish that fit the bill perfectly and are proven to be fantastic tank mates to the Six Line Wrasse.
Can Six Line Wrasse and Clownfish be tank mates?
In short, Clownfish and Six Line Wrasses are a brilliant pair, but this is only the case with certain types of Clownfish. Some of the smaller sub-species may become stressed out and ill from the erratic nature of the bigger Wrasses. Maroon Clownfish and Tomato Clownfish are two of the largest and most peaceful members of the Clownfish family and are proven compatible tank mates thanks to this.
Reasons for Compatibility
The main reason Maroon Clownfish and Tomato Clownfish are two of the best and most compatible with these Wrasses is that they are both very hardy fish, as well as peaceful by nature and larger in size compared with the Sixline Wrasse. Six Line Wrasses are energetic and erratic by nature, sometimes terrorizing smaller fish by nipping at them and generally not behaving like model citizens.
Fortunately, both of these Clownfish will tolerate the unpredictable behavior from Wrasses and can certainly handle themselves, so will likely be left alone. This is brilliant as it means you can have some of the most beautiful saltwater fish living together in relative harmony.
Does Age Play a Factor in Six Line Compatibility?
It may seem a little strange, but age actually plays a rather integral role in whether or not you should be introducing new tank mates to your Six Line Wrasse.
Whilst we know that certain Clownfish can live with these Wrasses, it is still considered to be a pretty bad idea to introduce them to a Six Line Wrasse tank when your Wrasse is an adult. This is because they will be "set in their ways" at this point in their life as a mature adult, meaning they will be much less tolerant or used to having tank mates around.
If you want the best results, introduce Clownfish as tank mates at the very beginning (or near to it) so that your Six Line Wrasse is used to tank mates and other fish around. If you have a mature Wrasse that isn't used to bright orange company, you will likely witness some aggressive behavior which is terrible for all the fish involved in your community.
Tank Size Compatibility
The size of your tank is so important in determining whether or not your Six Line will get along with your Clownfish. Sure, by nature and "on paper" these Clownfish and Six Line Wrasses will get along absolutely fine, but if there isn't enough room in your tank for both to do their own thing, you undoubtedly will run into problems.
Both types of tropical fish are active and have their own habits that they perform throughout the day, and they need the space to do it. Six Lines, although small fish (typically growing to around 3 inches or 8 cm) need a lot of open space to release their abundance of energy, and Clownfish need the space to establish a territory that they will reside in most of the time. A 55 Gallon (208 Liter) or larger marine reef aquarium is the perfect setup for these awesome fish to thrive alongside each other.
When it comes to both of these fish species, Clownfish tank mates are a lot easier to find due to their generally peaceful nature. Six Lines on the other hand are much harder to find the right tank mates for. However, both of these fish together make a brilliant pair and will almost always live a happy and compatible life together if the requirements mentioned in this article are followed.