Bluehead Fairy Wrasse Care Guide

Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura

DifficultyEasy
Minimum Tank Size90 Gallons
DietCarnivore
Water Parameters72-78 F, pH 8-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025
AggressionSemi-Aggressive
Size5"

The Blueheaded Fairy Wrasse brings a lot of color with a lot less aggression than most wrasse. The color of the Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura varies by origin. If they are called the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse they will have a large amount of pink and purple on their bodies, with blue around their head and at the base of their fins. They can still bully other wrasse or small fish, but it is much less common. If the fish is referred to only by its scientific name, than there can be no guarantee on the color.

As with most wrasse, the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse is much less aggressive as a juvenile, becoming more aggressive as they mature. With their large body size of 5″ they should not be paired with small, peaceful fish. Even fish of the same size should be able to tolerate some aggression.

Tank Specific Need

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse Should not be kept in any tank smaller than 90 gallons, otherwise you can expect much more aggression than usual. They enjoy tanks with a large amount of live rock with arches to swim through and hide behind. The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse swims very quickly, so a long tank is recommended rather than a tall tank.

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse will not stick to any certain part of the tank. Be sure the aquarium has a tight fitting lid, as many wrasse are quick to jump when startled. When first introduced to the aquarium expect the wrasse to spend most of its time hiding.

Tank Mates to Avoid

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse should not be kept with any other wrasse, timid fish, slow eating fish or fish who depend on copepods. The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse becomes much more aggressive as it matures and gains size. They are likely to harass smaller, timid fish and sometimes even slightly larger timid fish. If you plan on pairing the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse with anything of a peaceful nature, be sure to add the wrasse much later than its tank mates.

This wrasse is an exceptional hunter, cleaning out live rocks and making life difficult for fish who depend upon microorganisms to survive. This includes mandarins, many gobies, pipefish and sea horses.

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse should not bother any shrimp or snails, however very small shrimp may be at risk. Most fish will see the addition of new small shrimp as feeding.

Diet & Feeding

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse will eat prepared foods, both flakes and pellets. They can be somewhat shy when introduced to a new tank, however they are great hunters and should dart out to eat their fill when they are hungry. They also enjoy mysis shrimp and brine shrimp, as well as blood worms. Remember, brine shrimp are very low in nutrition and should only be used as food when they are enriched or gut loaded.

In addition to any feedings the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse will constantly search the tank for any parasites, pods or worms. This means they will keep the tank clean of pods, eggs, flat worms, and often bristle worms. You will need a refugium if you plan on keeping a pod population going in the tank.

Bluehead Fairy Wrasse should be fed twice a day, but can get by with a large, once a day feeding. By feeding them twice a day you can use less food over all while ensuring they get more of the food you put into the tank. This keeps the wrasse and tank healthier.

Breeding & Sexing

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse cannot be bred in the home aquarium.

Male Bluehead Fairy Wrasse will develop the blue head while the female will keep the yellow coloration that the wrasse begins with. The horizontal stripe of the wrasse will fade as they age.

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