Aquarium Fish

Harlequin Sweetlips

posted: 05/15/12
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Harlequin Sweetlips
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Harlequin Sweetlips, also known as the Clown Sweetlips, or Spotted Sweetlips, changes color as it matures. As a juvenile, it has a brown base covered with large white dots with darker margins. As an adult, the body color changes to white with black dots.

A 150 gallon or larger aquarium is required due to its size and eating habits. It grows at a rapid pace to almost 3 feet in length. It needs a larger tank to provide it with ample swimming room and plenty of hiding places. If placed in a reef aquarium, the Harlequin Sweetlips will eat smaller crustaceans, smaller fireworms, serpent stars, small snails, and polychaete worms.

When first introduced into the aquarium, it requires live food such as freshwater ghost shrimp, marine shrimp, or black worms. Once it has acclimated, most marine carnivore preparations will be acceptable.

Fish Facts

Name: Harlequin Sweetlips (Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides)

Family: Haemulidae

Range: Indo-Pacific

Size: Up to 29 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Coral or rock, plants

Reef Compatible: With caution

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: 150 gallon

Light: Medium

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: Bottom

Care Level: Experts only

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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