Gaimard's Wrasse (Coris gaimard)

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Gaimard's Wrasse
Coris gaimard
Gaimard's Wrasse (Coris gaimard)
Name Gaimard's Wrasse
Name Lat. Coris gaimard
Family Wrasses
Family lat. Labridae
Order Wrasses & Relatives
Order lat. Labriformes
Origin Western Pacific
Habitat Lagoons, seaward reefs
Diet Carnivore
pH 8,1-8,4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual, group
Reef Compatible With caution
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 40 cm
Temperature 24-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 900 l
US Units
Size 16"
Temperature 75-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 230 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of Coris gaimard is the Western Pacific, from Japan and Hawaii to Australia and the Christmas and Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. They live mostly solitary in lagoons and on outer reefs over coral rubble and sandy bottoms up to 50 m depth.


They need a well structured aquarium with rock or stone structures with living stones, which offer enough hiding and covering possibilities as well as sufficient swimming space and a bottom substrate consisting of a layer of sand at least 20 cm deep (no coral rubble!). Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand may be used.

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swell and bottom currents. Lighting must be appropriate for the species' day-night rhythm

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


They feed on small crustaceans and mollusks. The food change usually succeeds without problems. The food supply should consist of a combination of chopped shrimp, mussel and crab meat, plus live and frozen food such as mysis, krill, artemia and shrimp or a frozen food mixture enriched with vitamins. High-quality flake and granulated food is also often accepted after an acclimation period

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day, this reduces intra-species aggression and protects lower animals in the aquarium. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

Juvenile animals can be kept in a group. Adults live solitary and behave very aggressive within the species. They can be well socialized with other, not too small fish.

Sex dimorphism

They are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning most males develop from functional females when needed. Adult males have a light green stripe above the anal fin.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


The juveniles are clearly different from adults in markings and coloration. The juveniles are orange and have white tiger stripes or spots on the body

As reef dwellers, they should be kept together with corals and not in a fish-only aquarium. Care should be taken only with shrimp, snails, crabs, etc. Overnight and when threatened they bury themselves in the sandy substrate

If different species are kept together, care must be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements, as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. Newly introduced fish must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER, DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; BAENSCH & DEBELIUS (2006): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF