Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres Chrysus): Care Guide


Common Name(s)Yellow Coris Wrasse, Golden Rainbowfish, Canary Wrasse
Scientific NameHalichoeres chrysus
OriginEastern Indian Ocean
Temperature73-81°F (12-27°C)
Size5 inches
Minimum Tank Size50 gallons
Food & DietCarnivore
LifespanUp to 10 years
Water pH8.1-8.4
Tank MatesAngelfish, Boxfish, Clownfish, and Hawkfish
BreedingOne male will breed with several females.
DiseaseMay be susceptible to Ich
Yellow Coris Wrasse
Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus)

Yellow Coris Wrasse Facts

  • Yellow Coris Wrasse can be found in the Eastern Indian Ocean, extending towards the Western Pacific Ocean. Yellow Coris Wrasse can also be found in North to South Japan.
  • Yellow Coris Wrasse are wild caught, and not bred in aquariums.
  • Yellow Coris Wrasse will bury themselves in the sand to sleep and destress. It is not uncommon for Yellow Coris Wrasse to remain buried for several days.
  • When Yellow Coris Wrasse are frightened, they will try to jump out of their aquarium, and it is a good idea to fit their tank with a tight lid. The more mature the Yellow Coris Wrasse, the more likely they are to try to attempt to jump out of their tank.

Yellow Coris Wrasse Care

Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres Chrysus) are a brightly colored, golden yellow, saltwater fish. They sport a black spot on their dorsal fin, and have long bodies with ray shaped fins. Juveniles can have more than one spot on their fins, but once they reach maturity the spots go away and they are left with just the one.

Male and Female Yellow Coris Wrasse: How to Tell the Difference?

Yellow Coris Wrasse are hermaphroditic, this means that the species is born female, and they can change into males when they need to. If you are trying to determine if you have a male or a female just by looking at them, the males are generally larger and more colorful.

Tank Requirements

Yellow Coris Wrasse require a minimum of a 50 gallons, saltwater tank, and a good lid as they have been known to jump out of aquariums. The more mature the Yellow Coris Wrasse, the more likely it is to attempt to jump out of its tank. Yellow Coris Wrasse require a temperature range of 73F- 81F, and they will need a good heater for their tank to help keep it at this warmer temperature. Yellow Coris Wrasse also need a higher pH ranging from 8.1 to 8.4.

Soft sandy substrate is a must for these fish as they will bury themselves in the sand as a way to hide and destress. When choosing your aquarium decor, you will want to go with a setup that mimics their natural habitat as closely as possible for the comfort of the fish. Choose larger rocks, and a hardscape that you can set up to look like caves for them to hide under and in. You will want to leave them an open area of sandy substrate at least 2 to 3 inches deep for them to bury in. Yellow Coris Wrasse will bury themselves to sleep, hide, and destress. It is not uncommon for Yellow Coris Wrasse to remain buried for several days. When it comes to lighting, Yellow Coris Wrasse like lots of light, but partial shade.

Yellow Coris Wrasse Food & Diet

Yellow Coris Wrasse are carnivorous fish that require a variety of rich, meaty foods. In captivity, even though they will eat flake foods, they should still be given a varied diet of finely chopped seafood. Yellow Coris Wrasse should be fed a few times a day opposed to one feeding time. When feeding your Yellow Coris Wrasse, make sure to only be feeding them an amount that they can eat in a few minutes. This reduces waste in the aquarium and cuts down on filth and cleanings.  

Do Yellow Coris Wrasse Eat Flatworms?

Yellow Coris Wrasse are experts at eating the pests that plague other species in their natural habitat. Keepers of Yellow Coris Wrasse say that they will eat flatworms in their aquarium.

Do Yellow Coris Wrasse Eat Nudibranch?

Yellow Coris Wrasse are a great pest predator, and this means that they will eat a lot of the different types of pests that can plague your aquarium. Nudibranch is a type of sea slug. Yellow Coris Wrasse will eat nudibranch and other pests if they have the chance.

Do Yellow Coris Wrasse Eat Bristle Flatworms?

Yellow Coris Wrasse will eat Bristle Flatworms in their aquarium, and keepers of Yellow Coris Wrasse describe them as an efficient eater of all flatworms and other pests that can plague a reef aquarium.

Yellow Coris Wrasse Size & Lifespan

Yellow Coris Wrasse can grow up to 5 inches long at full maturity, and they have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years. In the wild, they can live up to 10 years.

Yellow Coris Wrasse or Yellow and Purple Wrasse or Silver Belly Wrasse or Yellow Canary Wrasse

Growth Rate

Yellow Coris Wrasse should reach their maximum growth within a year of their lives, however, if they are not maintained in the proper setup they will not reach full potential. If their tank is too small, or over crowded it could cause their growth to be stunted. In the wild, the Yellow Coris Wrasse have to grow to full size rather quickly so that they are not preyed upon. This ensures them a greater chance for survival.

Yellow Coris Wrasse Tank Mates

Yellow Coris Wrasse have been known to be aggressive when housed with their same species, so it would be a good idea to keep only one in your aquarium or a mated pair. Other fish that would be good tank mates for Yellow Coris Wrasse are Angelfish, Boxfish, Clownfish, and Hawkfish.

Yellow Coris Wrasse & Cleaner Shrimp – Are they compatible?

Yellow Coris Wrasse are carnivorous fish that will nip at and harass cleaner shrimp when housed in the same tank. They will do this more frequently if they are not fed a proper diet. If you are wanting to try to house the two together, you will want to make sure that you are monitoring their behavior in case of problems, and make sure that your Yellow Coris Wrasse are well fed.

Are Yellow Coris Wrasse Reef Safe?

Yellow Coris Wrasse are considered reef safe as they are a predator fish that will prey on all types of pests that might infect your coral. They are often chosen for a reef tank over other reef safe fish for their smaller size, and their pest eating ability.

 Do Yellow Coris Wrasse Need Sand?

In the wild, Yellow Coris Wrasse will hide and bury themselves in sand to destress and sleep. This is why a soft, sandy substrate is a good choice for their aquarium. If their sand is not soft and fine enough, they will not bury themselves in it. If you are not seeing your Yellow Coris Wrasse bury themselves, you may have a substrate issue.

Can Yellow Coris Wrasse Be Kept in Bare Bottom Tanks?

It is not recommended to keep Yellow Coris Wrasse in a tank that has no substrate. It is a natural instinct these fish to bury itself in the sand to destress and rest. To take that away would most likely make your Yellow Coris Wrasse stress out and become unhealthy. At the very least, it is advisable to have a small patch of sand in your aquarium for your Yellow Coris Wrasse.

Why is My Yellow Coris Wrasse Hiding?

Yellow Coris Wrasse will bury themselves in the sandy substrate when they are destressed or when they need to sleep. They can be under the sand for several days. 

How Long Can Yellow Coris Wrasse Hide?

Yellow Coris Wrasse can hide under the sandy substrate for 7 to 10 days. If you notice that your fish is hidden for longer, you may want to check on them to make sure that they are not ill, or deceased.

Yellow Coris Wrasse Breeding

In the wild, Yellow Coris Wrasse breed in harems where one male will keep several females. However, Yellow Coris Wrasse have not been bred in aquariums as of yet. Yellow Coris Wrasse are all wild caught.

Yellow Coris Wrasse VS Banana Wrasse: Difference & Similarities

Banana Wrasse, unlike Yellow Coris Wrasse, have green markings on their faces. Yellow Coris Wrasse fish are more often chosen for a reef tank as they are not as aggressive as Banana Wrasse. Banana Wrasse are more aggressive, and they grow much larger than a Yellow Coris Wrasse at full maturity. Banana Wrasse are not as easy to keep as the Yellow Coris Wrasse.

Yellow Coris Wrasse Disease

Yellow Coris Wrasse fish are not prone to catching any disease in particular. They, like all other fish, are susceptible to the bacterial infection Ich. They can become ill rather quickly if they are in an improper setup or a dirty tank. It is better to perform regular water changes, and quarantine any fish for a few weeks before you introduce them into your main aquarium.

Are Yellow Coris Wrasse Hardy?

Yellow Coris Wrasse are considered a hardy fish, and therefore they are a good choice for beginners who want to keep saltwater fish. They don’t have strict requirements, and they are pretty easy to please when it comes to diet.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the knowledge that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory Aquatics is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish healthy.

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