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FAQs on Fairy, Velvet Wrasses, Genus Cirrhilabrus 2

Related Articles: Fairy Wrasses

Related FAQs: Velvet Wrasses 1Velvet Wrasses 3, Velvet Wrasse Identification, Velvet Wrasse Behavior, Velvet Wrasse Compatibility, Velvet Wrasse Selection, Velvet Wrasse Systems, Velvet Wrasse Feeding, Velvet Wrasse Disease, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura, male in N. Sulawesi.

Unidentified Cirrhilabrus wrasse Attn. Mr. Bob Fenner, Hi, I am Basuki, I manager of CV. Samudera Jaya Abadi, Mr. Devy Kurniawan Marine fish company (Josh Evan friend). <Ah, yes> Herewith some picture of the rare kind of fish as we do not know the name yet attached. Please, see it on attachment file. Waiting for your comment Thank you Best Regards Basuki <Basuki, I don't know this species either. Am sending your note and image to Dr. John Randall (of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Hawai'i) who works on fish taxonomy and knows much re this group. Will hope he can get specimens from you for study, identification, naming. Bob Fenner>

Don't Pass Up A Wrasse! Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have a 125 reef with mainly soft corals, LPS corals. I have peaceful fish: 3 purple Firefish, 3 red Firefish, 1 green clown goby, 1 threadfin goby, 1 citron goby, 1 red head goby, 2 maroon clowns, 1 rose e quad. anemone, a green e. quad, 4 cleaner shrimp, 3 fire shrimp, 6 peppermint shrimp, 4 green Chromis, and two neon blue gobies in the mail as I write. <My kind of fish population! Small is beautiful, especially in a large tank!> I am very interested in ordering a fairy wrasse or a flasher wrasse.  I have reviewed the marine center page and there are so many I am overwhelmed.  I have tried to avoid difficult species. (I just don't like killing things.) <I can dig that!> Could you recommend some hardy, compatible, pretty species for me that stay small? <Well, there are, as you stated, many, many different species that stay small, are colorful, and are easy to care for. In my experience and opinion, you could do well with many Cirrhilabrus species. I really like C. solorensis, C. rubriventralis, and C. scottorum (heh, heh, heh!). If you're like me, and want to support the "home team", you could get a C. jordani (Hawaiian Flame Wrasse)...> (I prefer lots of small colorful fish, rather than a few big ones, although I am seriously considering setting up a fish only tank b/c dog face puffers and cow fish are just too cool.) <Diggin' this! My thoughts exactly, bruddah!> Are fairy wrasses and flasher wrasses really reef safe, or are they like Centropyge's where you're always taking a chance. <No- they really are "reef safe", being strictly planktivorous, and not interested in corals or sessile inverts at all. Maybe the only caveat with these fishes (and one that's frequently overlooked by most hobbyists, IMO-is that they are predominantly found in deeper water, and seem to behave more "calm" in less brightly lit tanks (or perhaps, 20000k would be a nice compromise)...Yes, they will adapt to brightly lit tanks just fine, but this is just something that you may want to think about when planning for these fishes. They can be kept individually, or in small groups- like 3 females to one male...or groups of 5 (3 females to 2 males)...> Thank you for your help, John Kim <Any time, John! Good luck with your tank(s)!>

Don't Pass Up A Wrasse (Pt. 2) Scott, <Good morning!> I forgot to mention that I have one blue mandarin. Will the wrasse compete with it for food. Again thank you for your help. John <Well, John, I'd have to say an unqualified "no". Fairy and flasher wrasses tend to pick food from the water column, whereas Mandarins generally confine their feeding to the substrate and rocks. Sure, the odd Fairy Wrasse might pick something off the rocks now  and again, but the vast majority of their feeding does take place in the open water. Hope this alleviates any lingering concerns you might have. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Fairy Wrasses - Since fairy wrasses are peaceful fish, could two of different species co-exist? What if one was added a few weeks after the first. Specifically Laboutei and exquisite. <Well, for starters... it really depends on the size of the system. But provided the system is large enough, I would say it would probably work, however your chances are better with a male and female of the same species rather than different species. Cheers, J -- >

Re: Flame wrasse Thank you for your advice on the flame wrasse, I will keep him in QT for a week and if he looks good then place him in main tank.  I did have another question though.  I noticed he has  a dark reddish color on his belly about the length of his body, I don't know if this is part of his coloring, do flame wrasses generally have a dark color on the under side? <This is natural for this species, particularly the males.> I couldn't find any pictures that show their belly side.   <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/cirrhilabrus/index.htm> My concern was that it could be some type of toxicity, possibly from the freshwater dip that he didn't seem to like, is this possible? <Yes> All water parameters are good.  If it is a problem is there any thing I can do for him? <Not much to do here> Thank you again for all your wonderful advice, you have saved my fishes lives in the past. Kylee <You and we have my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Flame wrasse Hello, I got a flame wrasse yesterday, I gave him a very very short freshwater ph adjusted with methyl blue dip, about a minute because he looked like he was dead after being put in the dip so I quickly took him out and put him in the quarantine tank. <Good move> He has been hiding ever since.  I have fed him Mysis which he will poke his head out to eat, but he has never once actually swam out and around.  I know they can be shy at first, but how long in hiding until it is actually a problem? <Likely for a few weeks after it is moved into your main/display tank... as you state, this is a shy, retiring species> Also I read in the faq's that QT is hard on this fish and sometimes is better to just place in main tank. <Correct> I am wondering if I should do that, the QT tank that he is in is very small, 10 gallons.  From what I can see of him, he appears healthy, color good, breathing good, but hiding.  I recently went through a fallow period and a battle with ick, my 2 fish made it through but I do not want to risk introducing a new fish without QT unless it necessary. <I would wait here> Is this fish generally parasite free and could it do with a shorter QT period, how short? <At least a week> Any advice I would love. Thank you,  Kylee <You are welcome my friend in fish. Bob Fenner>

More photo here Dear Bob, How do you do? <Very well Tanaka-san> Thanks for your showing my recent photos in Paracheilinus section. Here is an additional photo for you. Best Wishes, Hiroyuki <Very nice. Doomo ariigato. Oh, looks like we are planning on coming to Japan for the 2004 ICRS meeting. Perhaps we can meet then? Bob Fenner> Photo; Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis, 8cm, male. The Red-scaled Fairy Wrasse.
From the Maldives.

Feeding Fresh Foods Hi Bob, I have two questions. 1. Do you need to feed fresh seafood to your saltwater fish?  <can be very nutritious, is recommended for many fishes and corals> If so do I just go to the local store and buy fresh shrimp, clams and squid and put it in a blender and then freeze it?  <sounds good... be sure to freeze it as you have stated. Never feed raw fresh for risk of disease transmission. In fact... studies have shown that previously frozen foods have less bacteria and more nutrition because they are frozen quickly after catch and "preserved" whereas fresh raw foods are kept chilled only for an extended time> I assume you wouldn't cook it because it's not cooked in the ocean and it would be too hard to chew.  <actually no cooking because it destroys nutrients> I have the following Saltwater fish so you know a little about what I'm trying to feed. A pair of Maroon Clownfish, a Purple Tang and a Scott's Fairy Wrasse in my 55 gallon. In my 46 gallon I have a Coral Beauty Angel and a Foxface rabbit fish.  <you have a mixture of omnivores and herbivores> I'm concerned about my Fairy Wrasse because I want him to have a good meat based diet.  <exactly... try Gammarus and mysids froz from the LFS freezer too. Also, fresh (jar) Sweetwater Plankton... a find for Anthiines> I feed Formula one and two flake and some tetra flake. Seaweed sheets once a week and the frozen Pygmy Angel food along with Frozen Brine Shrimp.  <all fine but the brine (a hollow useless food)... do add some higher protein crustaceans to the diet like krill, shrimp, mysids, Pacifica plankton, etc> I'd appreciate any advise on the fresh frozen food you can provide.............Thanks again........Chet Get more from the Web. <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Finally your CD Dear Bob, Thanks for the message. I really appreciate you for the these photos. <Will keep supplying them to you as I make them> Cirrhilabrus blatteus is still a rarity among divers, and it seems a very deep water one, probably greater than 50 meters. How deep was it? Still wanting a male in displaying. When did you learn Japanese? <As a youth in Kyushu, visiting there> Yours is so good ! My English conversation is POOR; my writing is so slow. <No my friend, your written English is very easy to understand> Keep up nice business and keep me informed. Thank you! <Doo itashi mashiite. Bob Fenner> Best Wishes, Hiroyuki P.S. Here is the photo of Cirrhilabrus flavidorsalis, male from Indonesia. 65mmTL. I will send more
<Doomo. Bob F>

Feeding Planktivores Thanks for your reply. I decided to go with the Centropyge ferrugata and the Cirrhilabrus scottorum. In fact they are in their new home. Of course the wrasse is in the back hiding. Since I do not have an upstream refugium at this time, what would be your suggestions on feeding my wrasse and Sunburst? <thawed frozen mysids, Gammarus and Pacifica plankton can be the staple. Supplement with any dry food possibly/taken. Also offer Sweetwater Plankton (incredible jar food for Anthiines).> Doug <best regards, Anthony>

Behavior of Scott's Fairy Wrasses in pairs Hi Bob, <cheers... Anthony in his stead. Have any of you ever seen a female Scott's Fairy Wrasse or are you familiar with their behavior in pairs? <indeed> The LFS sold me a presumed M/F pair of Scott's Fairy Wrasses. The male certainly looks like all the photos I have seen of the typical male Scott's Fairy Wrasse. I cannot seem to find a photo of a female.  <when in doubt...fishbase.org http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.cfm?ID=12728 the photos here are all of pairs, however most are pickled for science> The "female" is not as vibrant. Her coloration is very similar minus the red streak so typically seen on the side of the males. <did you buy the fishes after watching them in the dealers tank for a while... a week or more? How are they in your QT? Do they behave like a pair? Is there reason to suspect that you weren't sold a bonded pair but two fish thrown together?> They have been in a 25g Q tank for 3 days. He is the more timid of the 2, hiding most of the time. I noticed at feeding time if he sees "her" he goes back to his hiding place. I have seen "her" chase him a few times. <doesn't sound terrible at all> I did do my homework but I am confused. According to the information presented on the Coral Realm web site they are..... [quote] protogynous, monandric hermaphrodites -- that is, all individuals are first female and then change to males. In the fairy wrasses, young fish (just under 2.5 cm - 1 inch - in one species) are asexual and as they grow the ovaries begin to form (Kobayashi and Suzuki 1990). Most individuals will develop functional ovaries, reproduce and then begin transforming into males. However, a small number of fish will never reproduce as females, and instead begin changing sex immediately (Kobayashi and Suzuki 1990). There is also evidence that indicates that males can reverse their sex and transform back into females. This would possibly occur if the density of males greatly exceeds the females in an aggregation[/quote] In Marine Fishes 500+ Essential-to-Know Aquarium Species Scott Michael mentions that pairs can be kept as long as the male and female are either introduced together or the male after the female. Have any of you kept pairs? <Bobs in Indo, but I have kept pairs> Is it normal for the females to chase the males in this species?  <they are skittish and poor shipping fishes categorically. All bets on behavior are off for the first week or two.> I would imagine their behavior would be the opposite. <not 3 days after a long couple of weeks in transit on import. This sensitive fish is peculiar until establishment and we cannot expect a stressed fish to act stereotypical... more time my friend> Ok, so if they can change back and forth do they change color and patterning as well? <no sex change likely here just yet> Do I have a pair or is my presumed female.... a female transitioning into a male or visa versa? <no idea without photo and longer time in captivity> Should I let them work it out?  <yes please> The male is a beauty I would hate to lose him to stress. <the QT is very fine... just monitor the female and pull if necessary> Thanks so much as always for the help. Leslie <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Behavior of Scott's Fairy Wrasses in pairs <<when in doubt...fishbase.org > http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.cfm?ID=12728 the photos > here are all of pairs, however most are pickled for science>> Thank you for the link. She looks like the first photo but is more blue than greenish. <<did you buy the fishes after watching them in the dealers tank for a while... a week or more?>> I saw them in the store on 2 separate occasions about 4 days apart. The owner says she has had them for about six weeks. They were purchased for her tank and she decided to put a pair of Anthias in instead completing the stocking for her tank. They were in separate tanks.  <Arghhhh!> So they were sold as a male and a female not a mated pair. Sorry, I didn't make that very clear. I noticed the female was chasing a newly added clown fish in the LFS. I should have suspected something then. <many possibilities not the least of which is that 6 weeks alone for the female could have permitted the sex change or that it was never a female but unsexed or an unexpressed male> > <How are they in your QT? They are both hiding except at meal time. Both are eating frozen PE Mysis, frozen enriched BS as well as some flake.  <Excellent!!!> The first day the male seemed to be intimidated by the female, going back into hiding whenever seeing her. The second day the female seemed to be avoiding the male, by darting into the rocks whenever he was near. They are sharing the Q tank with a Midas Blenny, a Black and White Percula Clown and a Red Scooter Dragonet. They do not have any interest in any of the other fish. > < Is there reason to suspect that you weren't sold a bonded pair but two fish thrown together?> Yes I believe so as they were in separate but neighboring tanks.  <unfortunate> The owner told me she had had them together previously and moved the male so she could add some other fish to that tank. <inconclusive if not dubious... why bother to split a peaceful pair? Why not just put the new/incoming fish into another tank... like the one that the female was moved to. Does not seem kosher> > Have any of you kept pairs? > <Bobs in Indo, but I have kept pairs> Lucky guy! <he lives a charmed live and deserves it for his efforts and attitude among many things. As far as the Anthiines... I'm still thinking that it is too soon to worry. Without severe fin nipping or aggression... lets wait it out for a few weeks>  Thanks again as always. Best Regards, Leslie <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Behavior of Scott's Fairy Wrasses in pairs Hi again Anthony, <cheers> I have a bad feeling that my wrasses are both males.  <hmmm... tough to say from these pics. The "females" dorsal is held down. Males have a nice yellow splash on the tips of the soft rays of the dorsal. Still... the images give me hope that you may have a sexed pair... a compatible pair however is another matter> I sat in front of the tank this afternoon for 3 hours or so with the camera and got to observe quite a bit. They are both out and cruising around the tank most of the day now. I got some OK shots....not my usual quality but good enough to give you an idea of what they look like. The "male" is a tad smaller than the alleged "female". Their coloration is exactly the same with the exception of the red blotch on the males side. I noticed the posterior tips of his dorsal fin are a bit tattered today, they however do not appear to be split, frayed or have bites out of them. "She" did quite a bit of displaying with her fins fully erect. His seemed to be some where between clamped and relaxed. I would say I saw her chase him maybe 5 times. She chased him , he would dart behind a rock and she would swim off.  < a good sign... just pecking order issues... reversed as they are here> He always came back out, almost immediately. I never saw her corner him, or nip at him.. He does not look as good as he did the other day. I saw him flash once. I am on my guard as I have had several bouts/wipeouts due to Marine Velvet. I am keeping my Q tank and the 2 display tanks without inverts at a specific gravity 1.010 to 1.011 until they are stocked. The one tank that has a few corals is kept at 1.021.  <yes... not too low for corals please... no lower in fact> So, I am not sure what that flashing is about.  <just posturing> I took a good look with a magnifying glass and did not see anything concerning. So, would an unsexed or unexpressed male lack the typical red splash of color the males usually display on their sides?  <yep... until it could be expressed (the dominant male gets removed from the crowd)> Is that something they develop and lose with the changing of their sex? <yep again> I have attached some photos.....hopefully they will helpful. Reviewing these photos now and comparing the fins of the 2 fish, it appears that there is more of the males fin missing than I originally thought. <no worries just yet> Do you think it is still OK to wait and watch? <yes, based on above observations> I often wonder how Kosher this particular LFS is. I often get very good advice, occasionally get info that is in direct conflict with what I consider to be good information from reliable sources and have "caught" them in an occasional untruth.  <alas, you can get good advice at a bad store and bad advice at a generally good store. Being an educated consumer is the solution> I prefer not to give my business to those sorts of places, but the problem is they get really nice fish, have more variety, reasonable prices as well as some less typically seen fish. So I am on my guard and try to be careful when shopping there. <your best bet> I just saw your article in Reef Keeping Magazine. I didn't realize you wrote for them or had a book out.  <yep... have co-authored the first of three more books with Bob Fenner and Steve Pro here. We begin taking pre-orders this month (shameless plug <G>)> That's great. I can't wait to check your book out. <thanks kindly> I am a seahorse keeper and have just begun to get into corals, so my knowledge is severely lacking there.  <its a wonderful journey as you learn> I have never kept much due to inadequate lighting.  <the lighting might have been fine, just the advice on species selection was bad...heehee. There are many hardy low light corals> All my tanks crashed a few months ago......long story.....So I after 3 months fallow I have the opportunity to re do them all. I have just upgraded the lights on my 3 tanks. I have a 50g with 2 96w pc.s, a 44T with 2 65w pc.s and a 30T with 2 65w pc.s.  <very nice> I am looking forward to learning as much as I can and filling my tanks with some pretty things I was never able to keep. Thanks so much for all your help. Best Regards, Leslie

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