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Reef Safe Wrasse's

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
Multicolor Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus lubbocki, Indonesia
Picture YouTube Video Multicolor Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse


Description: The Tricolor Fairy Wrasse is a great schooling fairy wrasse. Beautiful colors and easy feeding requirements make this fairy wrasse a good choice for both beginners and advanced aquarists alike. These are extremely colorful small, peaceful "pseudo-schooling" fish that could easily be used in many reef tanks instead of more aggressive anthias species. They can be found in large groups around reefs. They seem to have an affinity for finely branched corals and rubble. Max size is about 3" but they are more commonly seen in the 1.5" - 2" range. When kept in small groups or singly, they also make great nano tank additions. They are hardy and reef safe. The males tend to have more vivid and striking color patterns than the females.

Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size is around 3 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: 1-3/4 inches to 3 inches


$29.99



Aquarium Conditioned
Naoko's Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus naokoae
Picture of Naoko's Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus naokoae
YouTube Video Naoko's Fairy Wrasse

Description: The rare (and some would say ULTRA-RARE) Naoko's Fairy Wrasse is a reef-associated wrasse currently only known to be around Indonesia and Sumatra. First described by Jack Randall and Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka in January 2009, this is a fairly peaceful wrasse that is both active and hardy. Cirrhilabrus naokoae is not an overly aggressive fish, and more than one may be kept in the same suitably large aquarium. Two males have been successfully kept together in the same aquarium by a number of aquarists. It is perfectly suitable to keep Cirrhilabrus naokoae with other fairy wrasses, as well as other peaceful community fishes. This fish is not a picky eater and should readily accept a variety of common foods including small pieces of marine flesh (e.g., table shrimp), frozen food, and flake and pellet foods.

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: 2 inches to 3 inches



$149.99



Aquarium Conditioned
Long Fin Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis, Indian Ocean
Long Fin Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis YouTube Video Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis

Description: It is commonly known as the Longfin Fairy Wrasse but is also known as the Blue and Red Fairy Wrasse and also as the Social Wrasse for its splendid behavior. Coloration of the Long Fin Fairy Wrasse does vary greatly so expect some variety in the color of the Long Fin. A marine fish from the genus Cirrhilabrus which is part of the Labridae family. Very beautiful and colorful, the Longfin Fairy has a mostly red body with orange belly and blue markings. Male Longfin Fairy Wrasses tend to be a lot more colorful than females. Longfin Fairy Wrasses reach a maximum adult size of around 3 inches. A peaceful fish, they should not bother other fish, coral or inverts in your tank. This makes the Longfin Fairy Wrasse a great addition to reef tanks.

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: 2 inches to 3 inches








$39.99


Aquarium Conditioned
Rare, Violet Flasher Fairy Wrasse
Paracheilinus sp., Australia
Picture of Violet Flasher Fairy Wrasse, Paracheilinus sp.


Description: A newcomer to the aquarium trade and first described just 10 years ago, The Violet Flasher Wrasse is a wonderful reef fish that can be the highlight of a peaceful community or reef tank. A member of the Labridae family, the Violet Flasher Wrasse hails from Australia and the Tongan Islands. They are one of the few wrasses who do well with small, passive marine fish, as they will encourage them to spend more time out of the rock work. Males are most spectacular when they "flash" (display) toward other fishes or their reflections in the aquarium glass. They can be kept in groups and, in fact, in some cases they do best if a male and one a few females are kept together. One of the most rewarding things about keeping flasher wrasses in groups is that the males will display a lot more. These colourful displays are important in courtship and defending females from neighboring rivals.

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: 2 inches to 3 inches




$99.99


Aquarium Conditioned
Yellow Flanked Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus ryukyuensis
Yellow-Flanked Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus ryukyuensis YouTube Video of Yellow-Flanked Fairy Wrasse

Description: The Yellow-Flanked Fairy Wrasse is also known as Blueside Fairy Wrasse. The Yellow Flanked Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura, is also known as the Blueside Wrasse and the Blueheaded Fairy Wrasse. These fish come from the Eastern Indian Ocean. Females have a reddish-orange body with a white belly. Males have a greenish-blue front half and a reddish back half with a yellow patch behind the pectoral fins. This is a species that seems to improve in the intensity of its coloration as it matures in the aquarium. It is one of the more aggressive fairy wrasses, and this, combined with its relatively large size and active nature, means it is best kept in larger tanks at least 90 gallons. When in the process of courting it is fairly easy to tell the difference because the male will display increased color intensities. A popular aquarium fish because of the strong coloration, the picture of this beauty does not do it justice. Of large importance to note, the Yellow Flanked Fairy Wrasse adapts better than many other fairy wrasses to captivity but still may need occassional live foods like brine shrimp or copepods till they gain a gusto for eating well.

Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size is around 5 inches. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 90 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: 2-3/4 inches to 4 inches


$69.99



Aquarium Conditioned
Labout's Fairy Wrasse
Cirrhilabrus laboutie, Australia
Picture of Labout's Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus laboutie YouTube Video Labout's Fairy Wrasse


Description: The Laboute's Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus laboutei is native to the coral reefs of the Barier Reef to the coral reefs of New Caledonia and as far east as Vanuatu. The Cirrhilabrus laboutei has long been a favorite of aquarists, boasting an unreal mix of colors and patterns that few fish can come close to. Mature males are colored purple dorsally, with a contrasting white belly. Along the sides are a series of stripes in teal, yellow and a much darker shade of purple. These form a sort of looped line above the pectoral fin. Both males and females have these stripes but the colors of the males are much more intense. Relatively easy to adapt in captivity the Labouti Fairy Wrasse will be shy upon introduction to your home aquarium but become more bold as time goes on and will then spend hours and hours moving about in the water column. If continually harassed they will hide and refuse to eat. If you will be keeping more than one Laboutei in your tank add all the females and other fairy wrasses first because doing it any other way the male Labouti Fairy Wrasse may behave aggressively to the new introductions.

Tank Recommendations: The maximum adult size in the wild is around 6 inches, maxium aqurium size will be slightly smaller. We recommend keeping in a tank of at least 70 gallons in size, of course with aquariuum health the bigger the better is always the case. 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). Easily adjusts to captive diet. Feed a varied diet consisting of finely chopped chunks of meaty foods. These foods include krill, raw table shrimp, squid, clam and mussel. It is also a good idea to occasionally supplement with some type of herbivore diet. For frozen aquarium foods we suggest 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: Large 2-/2" to 3-1/2", XLarge 3-1/2 to 4-1/2


Large $239.99 XLarge $299.99
Male/Female Pair Australia $499.99


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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.