Feb 18, 2009

My new Cirrhilabrus fairy wrasse

I bought my very first fairy wrasse on Friday. She is a long fin fairy wrasse, Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis which is often confused with Cirrhilabrus joanallenae. The difference is the color of the pelvic fins. The C. rubriventralis have red pelvic fins ("rubri" means red and "ventralis" means fin on ventral side of fish, such as pelvic fin), and the C. joanallenae have black pelvic fins.

I've been thinking about getting some fairy and flasher wrasses for a long time, but couldn't get past the price. $80 for a super male flasher wrasse is a little steep for me. But if you can find females, they sell for around $30 a fish, which isn't bad at all. Plus, it's best to keep females together at first, and then the most dominant will turn into a male. All fairy and flasher wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites. They start life as females, then the more dominant one in a group becomes male.

Longfin fairy wrasses are also known as the "fighting fairy wrasse" for a good reason. It's best to keep only one per tank, unless they are sold to you as a mated pair and are getting along. A male and female that are not already acquainted with one another will probably fight.

This isn't the best photo of this species, here is "Venus," my long finned fairy wrasse.

I'm shopping for more wrasses, but I'm going to have to stick to smaller species because I only have a 55 gallon aquarium. If you plan to get some fairy or flasher wrasses, be careful, they're jumpers! I had to cover the spaces in my hood with pond netting to keep them from jumping.

March Update: "Venus" is doing really well. She swims and flares constantly. She's fat and eats frozen mysis very well. I have also seen her successfully hunt down and catch amphipods in my aquarium just about every day. She is the most accomplished amphipod hunter in my aquarium!

Better Pics Here

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