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Bluehead Fairy Wrasse

(Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Eastern Indian Ocean and Western Pacific
• Family: Labridae   • Species: Wrasse   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Bluehead Fairy Wrasse native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura) varies in coloration and color pattern depending on their area of origin. Due to these color variations, they are sold under a variety of common names including: Bluehead Fairy Wrasse, Yellowflanked Fairy Wrasse, Purplehead Parrotfish and Blue Sided Fairy Wrasse. Despite only reaching about 5 inches in length within the aquarium environment, the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse needs plenty of swimming room coupled with plenty of live rock caves and crevices to explore.

Their active swimming style means that they require a slightly larger aquarium than their overall length would suggest. A 75 gallon aquarium or larger is recommended to provide adequate territory and swimming space. While the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse is a peaceful Wrasse species, they will show aggression towards other Wrasse species. This is a reef safe Wrasse species that will not harm corals or sessile invertebrates.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Bluehead Fairy Wrasse in the home aquarium.

Bluehead Fairy Wrasse do best in reef aquariums and FOWLR aquariums containing plenty of live rock. They are generally prized for their unique coloration and active swimming style; as well as, their peaceful disposition. As with many Wrasse species the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse is known to be a jumper, thus the aquarium should be fully covered. Despite being peaceful in nature, the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse is often aggressive towards others of its own kind or smaller more peaceful Wrasse species.

Bluehead Fairy Wrasse require a moderate to deep sand bed as they burrow in the sand at night when they sleep and on occasion when frightened and seeking shelter. In the wild the Bluehead Fairy Wrasse is a schooling species, thus hobbyists with larger aquariums can keep them in groups of 4 or more individuals. They will also school with other peaceful species like Chromis and Anthias as well. Bluehead Fairy Wrasse should not be kept with larger aggressive fish species or with larger predatory invertebrate species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Bluehead Fairy Wrasse.

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse is a carnivore that should be fed a varied diet of high quality marine based meaty foods and preparations designed for marine carnivores. They will readily consume meaty flake, small pellet, frozen and freeze-dried foods. It is important to provide them a variety of foods in order to provide a balanced diet which will help maintain a strong immune system. Ideally it is best to feed 2 to 3 smaller meals throughout the day, an amount that the fish will consume within a few minutes.

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