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FAQs on Fairy, Velvet Wrasses, Genus Cirrhilabrus Feeding

Related Articles: Fairy Wrasses,

Related FAQs: Velvet Wrasses 1Velvet Wrasses 2Velvet Wrasses 3, Velvet Wrasse Identification, Velvet Wrasse Behavior, Velvet Wrasse Compatibility, Velvet Wrasse Selection, Velvet Wrasse Systems, Velvet Wrasse Disease, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

red head solon fairy wrasse not eating       2/19/14
<... in with other Cirrhilabrus?>
I have a red head solon fairy wrasse who is not eating. He is getting very thin.

Yesterday, I found him stuck to the side of my Vortech pump unable to free himself from the current of water being pulled into the pump.
 I freed him from the pump and he he seems ok just weak and thin.
He seems to eat, but very little. He ate very little when he was in a 20 gallon qt tank as well. Now in my display he is still eating very little and is in competition with all the other fish in the display, 93 gallon cube.
His tank mates are: Yellow Tang, Sailfin Tang, 2 small clownfish, 3 Bartlett Anthias, a McCosker's flasher wrasse, spot line flasher wrasse.
<May be that this Velvet has an internal/lumenal-parasite issue... Did you prophylactically treat it while in quarantine?>
The red head solon fairy wrasse is the only fish  who seems to go without eating.  The solon wrasse is not as aggressive going after the food as the other fish.  Any suggestions as to keeping him alive?
<Yes... search, read on WWM re>

 Is it possible may have internal parasites?
<As stated; yes>
 If it is internal parasites, are my other fish in danger? 
My other fish are fat and eat well, the McCosker's flasher wrasse I got at the same time as the solon fairy wrasse has increased in size 50% from when I got the fish.  I do have spectrum Thera a that all the fish will eat but not as readily as Mysis.
<Won't cure parasitic issues>
 I do have a pod population that is increasing recently, in this tank which is newer and bare bottom.
<... Bob Fenner>

Some questions, Cirrhilabrus nutr., Aquaculture of marine ornamentals practices   1/13/10
<Salutem dicit (L. "I say a greeting")>
Can fairy wrasses gorge themselves to death?
<Mmm, maybe>
They don't seem to ever stop eating, which makes it harder to feed the other fish. Is Cyclop Eeze a nutritionally complete food, i.e. can Anthias survive on it long term if it's the only thing they are willing to eat?
<Is pretty close I believe>
My guess would be not what with all the different critters that compose zooplankton.
<Depends more on what this one organism has been eating...>
I've read that in some Asian countries, farmers sometimes aquaculture marine fish like snappers by digging a large pond and inoculating it with phytoplankton and then zooplankton and let the critters multiply before finally adding the eggs.
<Is/was an approach of old for some species>
If such a simple method could work, why isn't it used for marine ornamentals?
<Lack of economies of scale mostly (insufficient demand for large numbers of specimens). Though, more intensive (greater control) methodology is required for most ornamentals>
People seem to be obsessed with being able to culture animals in the smallest volume of water possible.
meow says the catfish
<Woof says the dogfish. Aka, Bob Fenner in the HHH>

C. pylei, Looking for More Information... beh., fdg. mostly   08/28/08 Hello crew, <Lisa> After digging through what I could find on your page (which is by far one of the best sources available), and others, about the Cirrhilabrus pylei, I purchased a male that has done quite well so far, though I know only two months is nothing special with many fish. Over those two months, I have seen some conflicting information come up from fellow reefers on public forums and I'd like to see if you all know anything more about the particular species than what is available on your site and on fishbase.org. <Ok> I have three questions and the first is if there is any information as to whether or not the fish fades without a female present. <Does, will> I can easily support the addition of a female, finding one just seems to be quite difficult. <Mmm, yes... though the "initial phase" (am sure you're aware that Labrids are protogynic, synchronous hermaphrodites) are far more numerous in the wild than terminal/males, because they're not as pretty, large... they don't sell much, aren't collected much...> I am also assuming that, should the addition of a female be a good idea or necessary, that the location the female is from wouldn't matter. <Correct> The second question is where this particular color morph is from. Part of my identification issue may also stem from the difference of flash vs. no flash on the photo, and the other lighting conditions involved in the pictures I've found. <You are wise here> The Cirrhilabrus article wasn't very clear as to the origin of the fishes in the pictures, so I have included a picture of mine, also to be referenced with the third question. <Mmm, not able to tell... some of my pix (and most all on WWM are mine) are above water (aquarium), specimens of unknown locality> The last question has to do with feeding. When I got him, he was decidedly fat, but in comparing pictures overtime, it does seem that he is very slowly thinning from about the midpoint of the body, back. <Very, too common..> I currently feed mysis mix with Cyclopeeze every other day. All of my water parameters are ideal: amm, nitrites, nitrates, and phosphates are all zero, ph of 8.4, and temp ranges between 79 and 81. For Alk, my test gives a buffering capacity, which it tests out to 300 ppm, and the test says that that's fine. The only thing that I have seen "bullying" him are the neon gobies that he does not like when they try to clean him. He shows no outward signs of illness. Should I feed more often or try a pelleted food, or is it possible that there is some other issue I may be overlooking? Or am I just a worrying parent? <Is a food, availability issue likely... A very good idea to feed small amounts more frequently AND add a DSB of size somewhere, perhaps a vigorous, large refugium to supply more food organisms on a continuous basis> Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon, Lisa <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: C. Pylei, Looking for More Information  08/28/08 Bob, <Lisa> Thank you for the speedy response. I will have to start pestering my LFS about getting a female or two in. <Two or even three...> I have not seen the wrasse picking at the rocks at all (am assuming you were thinking about 'pods as a food supply), <One of a few sources...> so I will have to increase the amount I feed the tank. I do have an attached refugium, but as I have no active pod-eaters, I have not bothered trying to harvest them for the main tank, so I will try that as well. <Good, though, they should "wash over" through the pumping mechanism, or overflow... depending on the plumbing/tanks arrangement.> Thanks again, Lisa <Welcome. BobF>
Finicky Fairy Wrasse - 10/09/06 Hey guys, despite much research I can't seem to find an answer I'm looking for.  I have been in the marine hobby for years, but have had no experience with fairy wrasses. <<Beautiful fish>> Looking for something new, I recently acquired a Solar (redheaded) fairy wrasse. <<Neat!>> He has been in QT for a week now, and I am having trouble getting the little bugger to eat. <<Mmm...not all that unusual with these fishes>> I knew they were tricky to commence feeding, but I have successfully fed fussy eaters in the past. <<I see>> I have offered frozen Mysis shrimp, Marine Cuisine, and Spirulina enriched brine shrimp (Selcon added).  He'll eat 2-3 brines, but everything and anything else he'll suck in and spit out. <<Naturally...goes for the least nutritious of the lot>> Unfortunately I live in a small town without a place to purchase live foods. <<Hopefully this won't be necessary>> Any thought on enticing him to feed? <<The fact the fish will eat some of the brine shrimp is encouraging at least.  Were this my fish, I would obtain/try some Cyclops-eeze and Sweetwater Zooplankton...as well as a fave of mine for enticing finicky feeders...frozen glass worms (mosquito larvae)>> Also, I have a hollow plastic rock in the QT tank to hide in.  He hides in it all day, making it difficult to feed, and to observe for disease.  I thought the decor would offer security and ease stress, but in this case, is it being more counterproductive than helpful?  Just looking for a second opinion. <<Mmm, is "necessary" I feel...especially with this shy species/genus.  But, a short piece of PVC pipe may prove more useful re observing the fish than the "rock">> Thanks guys. Sincerely, Tom <<Give the other foods a try...if the fish continues to not feed you might want to consider curtailing its QT and moving to the display where it may feel more "comfortable", thus improving its appetite.  Regards, EricR>>

Quick Info on my new wrasse   7/22/06 Hello Crew, < Howdy! > I've been reading your website thoroughly as I have purchased a Yellow-fin Fairy Wrasse last Sunday. It's a male and he is eating heartily and hanging out in my 10 gallon QT. He's starting to finally explore the tank and come out of his corner hiding place up near the powerhead. < It is great to hear someone actually using a quarantine! That is the most widely talked about, yet least practiced of everything in our hobby! > Is this type of wrasse generally a hearty wrasse species? < They are typically hearty, once they start feeding. > What are some specific nutritious frozen foods that you recommend to keep him healthy? < Mysis shrimp, Prime Reef, Brine Shrimp Plus as well as pelleted foods such as New Life Spectrum work well. Cyclop-eeze is readily accepted by my new-comers. Best wishes, RichardB > Thank you for your assistance.

Fairy Wrasse... feeding, compatibility   5/14/06 Hello, <Hi there>          First of all, I would like to thank you for all of your support over the years.  I would also like to ask a question, I have recently run into the problem of newly acclimated fish, fairy wrasses in my case, being scared away from food by competition.  In my case the competition is a powder blue tang, sailfin tang, and a juvenile Chrysurus.  I just lost a gorgeous lineatus wrasse to this unfortunately. <Happens... Cirrhilabrus are not bold competitors, as you mention> He was around five inches long so it wasn't like he was a baby trying to compete with the guys.  Which brings me to my question, I have heard of people using acrylic containers with holes in them to give the new tankmates time to adjust and get used to feeding in the tank with competition.  So would you recommend this and if so, where would I find a contraption like this. <Might prove useful, you'd have to either fashion this/them or have an acrylic/plastics shop do it for you. Not made commercially> But if you do not, I would appreciate if you could instill some other sort of information about possible techniques upon me.  Thank you very much for any help that you can give me. Regards,           Dave <Different temperaments/compatibilities, different tanks... Bob Fenner>

Longfin Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis), choked on tako? 10/25/05 Howdy, <You as well> Love your site, good book too. <Welcome> I had purchased 3 Longfin Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis), mail order. I put them into the quarantine, one died the next day.  <This genus... and Parachelinius, Pseudocheilinus... others... often takes a beating in transit (they don't ship well at times)> He didn't look so hot from the get go and was refunded. Two weeks went by with no problems, they were eating everything, acting normally. Then today I fed them some squid, which is nothing new, I've done it before, I rotate through 6 or so different foods.  The dominant wrasse came up ate a few pieces as usual, then pulled a slightly larger piece, swallowed it, spit it out, then started tearing at it like an alligator, rolling and twisting, then started darting around, having seizures, then began laying at the bottom, changing color like crazy, breathing heavy, then died about 30 minutes later.  Water is great, I change it every other day, and there is nothing dangerous in the tank. This fish did have a strange bluish colored right eye, but no other signs of any problems ever. Any ideas? <Sounds like a bit "got stuck" in its buccal cavity or branchiostegals (gill arches)... trouble... I would only offer such tough food/s as small bits. Bob Fenner> 

Wrasse Food (3/23/05) I am a big fan of your website.  <Thanks, it's a pleasure to play a small part. Steve Allen>  I have a labouti, flame, and a mystery wrasse, and I was just curious what other things I can feed them.  <Lots of stuff. Variety is important for good nutrition.>  I been feeding my wrasses, Mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon. What else do you recommend? Scott  <What you are feeding now is a great start. Some like to soak in a quality vitamin as well. Give a variety of other frozen foods such a squid, krill, etc. Finely chopped fresh seafood works, too. I use a seafood gumbo mix (squid, octopus, mussels, shrimp, fish) from Albertson's ($3 per lb). For quick convenience, quality pellet and flake foods such as Spectrum or Formulas 1 & 2 are great. I give them before work and then do frozen or fresh in the evening. Hope this helps.>

Exquisite Foods For An Exquisite Wrasse!     Hello WWM, <Scott F. with you today...> I've recently acquired a very pretty Exquisite Wrasse but could not find much on feeding on the site or FAQ. Currently he is getting good quality small pellet food with Selcon and frozen brine shrimp with Spirulina. Any additions needed to keep him fat and happy? As always thanks for your help and good humor. Peace, Joe <Well, Joe, my recommendation here is to utilize more nutritious marine-based foods, such as Mysis, chopped clams, or squid, which have a much higher nutritional value than brine shrimp. Your idea of fortifying foods with Selcon is a good one, and should be used with all frozen foods. Other good choices would be any of the fine Ocean Nutrition foods, such as "Prime Reef", "Brine Shrimp Plus", and-believe it or not- "Angel Formula", which, although intended for sponge-eating angelfishes, seems to be relished by a wide variety of fishes. You might have to mince it up a bit, though. Bon Apetit! Regards, Scott 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>

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>

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