Reef Safe Wrasse Species|Reef Tank Wrasse's like McCoskers Flasher Wrasse and other safe Wrasse Fish|
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Wrasse: Reef Safe

What Do You Mean Reef Safe?

As you know not all marine aquarium fish are reef safe. Many saltwater fish will harm corals, many saltwater fish will harm or kill invertebrates. Reef Safe saltwater fish are marine fish that are safe for corals and invertebrates to include in any reef aquarium. While it has to be said that no marine fish can be considered 100% trustworthy around live coral and small invertebrates, purchasing any of the saltwater fish in the Reef Safe category will be as close to a best choice for a reef aquarium as you can get. There are rouge fish in any species, so if your new tank member is messing with your corals or invert's, remove it and take it for a ride to the LFS. If you ever are confused or have a question while trying to decide which fish to buy for your home reef tank don't hesitate to email for our expert opinion.

Which Qualify as Reef Safe

Well, of course that would be a wrasse which can be kept in a reef safely, right? But the problem here is, " safe in a reef " is not a universal definition and different people have different ideas as to what qualifies. Therefore, lets consider three categories of wrasses: 1) Completely reef safe, 2) Mostly reef safe, and 3) Dont do it! This page will focus on wrasses in categories 1. If a species and/or genus is not mentioned here, there is a 90% chance it falls into the " Dont Do It catagory. There will be some species omitted which are reef safe but they are omitted due to their obscurity in the trade.

There are ten genera of wrasses which are considered to be reef safe and are sometimes available for the reef aquarium. The absolute most common reef safe fish are all the different Cleaner Wrasse and fairy wrasse's species. The Fairy and Flasher style wrasses in this grouping below are found throughout tropical Indo-Pacific shallow waters swimming two to eight feet above sand or rocky substrata. Most can be found in depths ranging from 10 - 75 feet, although a few rarer ones are found deeper than 150 feet. Generally, these fish form aggregations of one dominant male and several (or more) females, and they spend the better part of their day feeding. The males are always larger and more colorful than the females and will flash or display more vibrant colors during courtship. But there are other

Ten Genera of Wrasses Considered To Be Reef Safe

  • Anampses
  • Cirrhilabrus
  • Halichoeres
  • Labroides
  • Macropharyngodon
  • Paracheilinus
  • Pseudocheilinus
  • Pseudocheilinops
  • Pseudojuloides
  • Wetmorella
Special Note: When you see "Aquarium Conditioned" on one of our featured saltwater fish, it means the fish have gone through our Aquarium Conditioning Process which is from 26 days to 60 days long, depending on species. During this time the arriving ocean fresh fish first go through Quarantine, then go into our aquarium life systems. In our aquarium life systems they will get used to aquarium life and we work on getting them to eat well through a special process we use to change ocean fresh saltwater fish over to our aquarium conditioned fish. The process includes enough time to let us have confidence sending marine fish to you knowing they will do well in proper aquarium conditions and they will also eat well, which are the two most important factors if you expect a long life saltwater aquarium fish.

27 Results

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Aquarium Conditioned
Debelius Fairy Wrasse, Male
Cirrhilabrus adornatus,Indonesia  Picture of Male Debelius Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus adornatus


Description: A very beautiful fairy wrasse collected out of Indonesia, the Debelius Fairy Wrasse is also called the Red Headed Fairy Wrasse or Red Fin Fairy Wrasse. The Debellius as a Juvenile is a lighter color background and as the male matures it will become the beauty seen in the picture. The incredible red and yellow coloration, and beautiful red pallet markings, define it as a true reef tank beauty. With a wonderful personality, it is ideally housed in a well-established reef environment. The male is easily distinguished by the brilliant red blotches in the dorsal region. The striking resembelance of the male makes it look like a freshwater Koi.

Tank Recommendations: The Debelius Fairy Wrasse reaches maturity at around 3 inches and the maximum adult size is around 5 inches. We recommend keeping a Debelius Fairy Wrasse in a tank of at least 50 gallons in size. A 2-3 inch sand bed so they can bury themselves in the sand to sleep or hide. Live Rock should be provided for all Fairy and Filament Wrasses. The Live Rock provides numerous small life forms that the Wrasses consider a tasty treat as well as another place to hide when they feel threatened. Note: Wrasses are known to jump from aquariums. Be sure to have some sort of covering with no large open holes that they can escape from.

Food and diet:Best to feed several smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Best practice is to use a refugium as part of the system’s filtration. This will provide a constant food supply of small live foods (e.g. copepods). A regular diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Reef Compatability: Excellent

Level of care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 2" to 3"






$49.99



Aquarium Conditioned
Exquisite Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus exquisitus, Africa


Description: The Exquisite Wrasse, also called the Emerald Fairy Wrasse, is a gorgeous emerald green with deep maroon to red accents and smatterings of blues, oranges, yellows and purples adorning itself. The coloration is highly variable, and is dependent on numerous factors. The colors will actually change depending on the mood of the fish. Their exact age or maturity, along with their gender and phase dictates the intensity of their coloration and exact markings. Juvenile Exquisite Fairy Wrasse, regardless of their origin, have a white patch on their nose, where the leader of the pack called the Terminal Phase Male will always display the most vibrant coloration when compared to Initial Phase Males, females and juveniles in the group. Occuring over rubble or low patch reefs in areas of current, also on reef edges and around rubble zones. Like other fairy wrasses of the Cirrhilabrus genus, The Exquisite Wrasse once established will become more active and be one of the best eaters in your tank. Given proper care they will give years of enjoyment in either a Reef or Fowler Aquarium.

Tank Recommendations: The Exquisite Fairy Wrasse maximum adult size is around 5 inches. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 70 gallons in size. A 2-3 inch sand bed so they can bury themselves in the sand to sleep or hide. Live Rock should be provided for all Fairy and Filament Wrasses. The Live Rock provides numerous small life forms that the Wrasses consider a tasty treat as well as another place to hide when they feel threatened. Note: Wrasses are known to jump from aquariums. Be sure to have some sort of covering with no large open holes that they can escape from.

Food and diet:Best to feed several smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Best practice is to use a refugium as part of the system’s filtration. This will provide a constant food supply of small live foods (e.g. copepods). A regular diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Reef Compatability: Excellent

Level of care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 3" to 4"


$89.99


Aquarium Conditioned
Whip Fin Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus filamentosus,Indian Ocean
Picture of Whip Fin Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus filamentosus YouTube Video Whip Fin Fairy Wrasse
Description: The Whip Fin Fairy Wrasse is an atractive, very peaceful fish that comes from the waters of the Indian Ocean. One of the unforgetable features of the Whip Fin Fairy Wrasse is the super long Dorsal Fin that may be as long as the fish itself. When the Whip Fin Fairy Wrasse displays itself, expect astounding colors including Red, Orange, Yellow , Blue and more! The coloration is highly variable, and is dependent on numerous factors. The colors will actually change depending on the mood of the fish. Their age or maturity, along with their phase dictates the intensity of their coloration and exact markings. If you put in your reef or fowler aquarium a grouping of Whip Fin Wrasse, one will become the Male leader of the Whip Fins and will be called the Terminal Phase Male. He will always display the most vibrant coloration when compared to Initial Phase Males, females and juveniles in the group. The Whip Fin Wrasse is a peaceful, active fish that will bring both color and activity to a fish-only or reef aquarium.

Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size is around 3-1/2 inches. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 50 gallons in size. A 2-3 inch sand bed so they can bury themselves in the sand to sleep or hide. Live Rock should be provided for all Fairy and Filament Wrasses. The Live Rock provides numerous small life forms that the Wrasses consider a tasty treat as well as another place to hide when they feel threatened. Note: Wrasses are known to jump from aquariums. Be sure to have some sort of covering with no large open holes that they can escape from.

Food and diet:Best to feed several smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Best practice is to use a refugium as part of the system’s filtration. This will provide a constant food supply of small live foods (e.g. copepods). A regular diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Reef Compatability: Excellent

Level of care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: Medium 2" to 2 3/4" Large 2 3/4" to 3 1/2"






Medium $44.99 Large $59.99





Aquarium Conditioned
McCoskeri Flasher Wrasse
Paracheilinus mccoskeri (Africa, Sumatra)
Picture of McCoskeri Flasher Wrasse, Paracheilinus mccoskeri YouTube Video McCosker's Fairy Wrasse


Description: The McCosker's Flasher Wrasse is an extremely colorful reef-safe wrasse from Sumatra that can definitely be the center of attention in your aquarium. An excellent choice for the established home aquariums, its colorful body and constant movement make it a smart addition.

Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size is around 3 inches. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 50 gallons in size. A 2-3 inch sand bed so they can bury themselves in the sand to sleep or hide. Live Rock should be provided for all Fairy and Filament Wrasses. The Live Rock provides numerous small life forms that the Wrasses consider a tasty treat as well as another place to hide when they feel threatened. Note: Wrasses are known to jump from aquariums. Be sure to have some sort of covering with no large open holes that they can escape from.

Food and diet:Best to feed several smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Best practice is to use a refugium as part of the system’s filtration. This will provide a constant food supply of small live foods (e.g. copepods). A regular diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Reef Compatability: Excellent

Level of care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 1-3/4" ; Medium: 1-3/4" to 2-1/4" ; Large: 2-1/4" to 3"






Small $49.99 Medium $59.99 Large $69.99


Aquarium Conditioned
Orange Back Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis, Bali Indonesia
Picture of Orange-back fairy wrasse, Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis YouTube Video Orange Back Fairy Wrasse
Description: The orange-back fairy wrasse is closely related to C. solorensis but is not such a familiar species in the aquarium. Males have a crimson head, the back and upper part of the flanks are orange, the belly is bright blue, and a pinkish-red streak runs along the flanks. As males mature, a darker, crown-like mark appears on the top of the head, and scales along the flanks develop dark outlines. If anything, the colors of this species tend to intensify in the aquarium. This is another bold species that spends its time cruising rapidly around the aquarium, generally high in the water column. C. aurantidorsalis is only found in Sulawesi, Indonesia. It grows to around 4 inches and, like C. solorensis, should be kept in a minimum of a 4-foot tank. This species, or at least some individual specimens, will eat red flatworms Convolutriloba retrogemma

Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size is around 3-1/2 inches. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 75 gallons in size. A 2-3 inch sand bed so they can bury themselves in the sand to sleep or hide. Live Rock should be provided for all Fairy and Filament Wrasses. The Live Rock provides numerous small life forms that the Wrasses consider a tasty treat as well as another place to hide when they feel threatened. Note: Wrasses are known to jump from aquariums. Be sure to have some sort of covering with no large open holes that they can escape from.

Food and diet:Best to feed several smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Best practice is to use a refugium as part of the system’s filtration. This will provide a constant food supply of small live foods (e.g. copepods). A regular diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Reef Compatability: Excellent

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 2-1/2 inches to 4 inches


$74.99


Aquarium Conditioned
Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus solorensis (Indian Ocean)
Picture of Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus solorensis YouTube Video Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse


Description: The Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse originates from the west Pacific Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean, and is primarily found in the waters surrounding Indonesia and Bali. Also called the Solar fairy Wrasse, Tricolor Fairy Wrasse, Clown Fairy Wrasse, Red Head Wrasse and Solorensis Fairy Wrasse, like most other fairy wrasses is a truly stunning fish. The Solorensis Fairy Wrasse adapts well to captivity and is easy to care for. It is very colorful, hardy, and friendly towards other fishes which make it an ideal saltwater and reef aquarium fish. It is somewhat suitable as a beginner fish even though there are other cheaper fish species such as many damsels that can be said to be better beginner fish for those who want to keep their first saltwater aquarium. Aquarists that have kept saltwater species for a while should not have any trouble caring for this fish.


Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size is around 5 inches. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 75 gallons in size. A 2-3 inch sand bed so they can bury themselves in the sand to sleep or hide. Live Rock should be provided for all Fairy and Filament Wrasses. The Live Rock provides numerous small life forms that the Wrasses consider a tasty treat as well as another place to hide when they feel threatened. Note: Wrasses are known to jump from aquariums. Be sure to have some sort of covering with no large open holes that they can escape from.

Food and diet:Best to feed several smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Best practice is to use a refugium as part of the system’s filtration. This will provide a constant food supply of small live foods (e.g. copepods). A regular diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Reef Compatability: Excellent

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 2-1/2 inches to 4 inches


$54.99


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Copyright 2018 Aquarium Creations Online
Photos are representative of each species. All marine life will be unique and variations should be expected, color and sizes may vary.
*Guarantee Restriction: All of our livestock are guaranteed. However for one or more of these species, they may be marked with a guarantee restriction. If it does, it means the specific animal may not handle stress from environmental conditions well. These stresses can include poor water quality, harassment from tank mates or confined aquarium conditions. When stressed, these species can lose the ability to ward off infection and disease. Other species may be listed as Restricted because they have such specialized feeding requirements that is difficult recreate in a aquarium and may succumb to malnutrition.