Paracheilinus octotaenia

Table of Contents


  • Maximum fish size: 12 cm (4.7)
  • Temperature tolerance range: 24°C – 28°C
  • Minimum saltwater aquarium volume: ~ 500L [110 gal]
  • Advancement level: middle
  • Nutrition: frozen foods (artemia, cyclops, krill, plankton, others), dry food (flakes/pallets)
  • Aggression: aggressive towards other wrasses, especially Paracheilinus and Cirrhilabrus
  • Reef safety: Coral safe, will eat small crustacea
  • Occurrence: Red Sea


Paracheilinus octotaenia is one of many wrasses, belonging to the paracheilinus family, also called flashing ones. The male has long fins and very bright colors. If he wants to impress a female, he shows off his fins and colors by raising his fins up, which is called flashing. They also do this to compete with other males. Most wrasses are born as females, and some of them change to males. Females look completely different from males.

This wrasse lives along the reefs of the Red Sea, swimming around rocks and looking for small crustaceans living in the rocks. They form groups with a few males and many females.

In an aquarium, this wrasse needs a lot of open space to swim and plenty of hiding spots. Keeping multiple fish of this species in one tank always comes with the risk of aggression. If you decide to keep more than one, we recommend keeping 1 male and 2 females. Additionally, Paracheilinus octotaenia can be kept with other wrasses, but mixing this species with Cirrhilabrus carries a high risk. Mixing wrasse species that sleep in the sand is much safer; an example of a safe combination is Anampses wrasses.

Paracheilinus octotaenia spends most of its time swimming in the water column. They will accept almost all frozen foods, from small plankton and eggs to krill and even small shrimp. They hunt small crustaceans hiding in the live rock, so don’t worry about your shrimp in the aquarium.

About author

Picture of Stefan van Beek

Stefan van Beek

Salt has always run in my blood. From birth, aquariums surrounded me, first at my grandfather's and later at my parents’ place. Now, at the age of 30, I've been able to set up my dream tank, a 160x70x70 peninsula. Corals hold the second spot for me; fish and the entire ecosystem are the reasons I have an aquarium. Nearly a decade ago, I started with my first aquarium, making plenty of mistakes and learning a great deal from them. Since 2021, I've been working at Ocean&Lake in the Netherlands, where I am now fully responsible for the saltwater department.

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