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FAQs on Fairy, Velvet Wrasses, Genus Cirrhilabrus Selection

Related Articles: Fairy Wrasses,

Related FAQs: Velvet Wrasses 1Velvet Wrasses 2Velvet Wrasses 3, Velvet Wrasse Identification, Velvet Wrasse Behavior, Velvet Wrasse Compatibility, Velvet Wrasse Systems, Velvet Wrasse Feeding, Velvet Wrasse Disease, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

Will your new Wrasses go with the present or intended tankmates?  G. V. Catalano sent in this very nice pic of an unidentified "arborose" anemone.

Mixing Cirrhilabrus       6/19/16
Hello WWM Crew,
First, thanks for all the invaluable information on this site. I need your expert advice again. I’ve been searching for an answer but can’t find one that is the same situation as mine. Do you think it would be possible to put two male Cirrhilabrus together in a 150gal tank, one Filamentosus and one Rubriventralis?
<Yes; should be fine in this volume>
I have females on order at my lfs but in the meantime I have these two males in separate tanks right now. When the females arrive is it possible to have two harems in a 150gal tank? Thanks in advance.
<Yes; I give you good odds of them getting along together in this size, shape system. Bob Fenner>

What to about disappearing wrasses?      12/29/15
Hi There,
I'm writing to see if I could get an outside opinion on what I should do regarding two newer additions to my tank that suddenly went MIA? The fish in question are two male Velvet Wrasses (C. exquisitus and C. solorensis)
that were purchased and quarantined together. Both never displayed any aggression towards each other and even rested together in the same pvc elbow during their stay in the QT tank. After being introduced to the display tank they both seemed to thrive for approximately two weeks. They then suddenly disappeared and have been not been seen out in the past 10 days.
<Mmm; the usual responses that come to mind; they're hiding; possibly in the substrate, though not typical for Cirrhilabrus spp.; eaten, or jumped out>
I have spotted both of them lurking in the rock work at night so they are still in the tank. After a lot of reading it sounds like this is not completely uncommon and can be linked with aggression from a tank mate.
<Mmm; yes; or not sufficient numbers to feel comfortable... these live in haremic conditions of one alpha male, several initial phase (females) and juveniles. Not bachelors>
The display tank is 120 gallons with a large amount of rock work set in two islands. The current inhabitants are 2 Ocellaris clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Royal Granma, 1 Threadfin Butterflyfish, and 1 Blue Jaw Triggerfish. I have tested my water a couple of times and everything has remained stable (SG 1.023, pH 8.2, NH/NO2 0, NO3 5 ppm). While I have never seen the Trigger display aggressiveness to anything in the tank he does do the occasional high speed pass around my rock work. My thought is the wrasse never became comfortable with it and went into hiding. I'm thinking about moving the trigger into the quarantine tank to see if the Wrasses decide to come back out. Does this sound like a good idea or should I just continue to be patient with everything as is?
<I'd be adding some females of the genus; not necessarily these species.
Bob Fenner>

C. Rubriventralis mixing       8/25/15
Hello Crew,
Thanks for all the valuable info on this site helping everyone in this hobby.
<A pleasure, place to share>
I have a question about mixing a male Cirrhilabrus Rubriventralis with a female of another species say a Cirrhilabrus Marjorie and I can't seem to find any info on your site about this.
<Oh! Generally as long as there are not "too many" terminal phase/male individuals present (unless the system is HUGE/hundreds of gallons...); there is no problem mixing Velvet Wrasse species>
The reason being is that I bought a male Rubriventralis a real beauty and is doing very well (eating like a sea pig and getting nice and plump) and I am searching for females but the lfs don't see to get females.
<Collectors, as you might guess; target males.... for money. Females, juveniles don't pay much or at all>
One of my lfs is trying to order some for me but can't guarantee they will get females. My question is, one of my lfs has what seems to be a Cirrhilabrus Marjorie female and I am wondering would my male accept her as one of his own kind or reject her?
<Likely "accept">
Or am I better off to wait for females of the same species. Thanks in advance.
<More females! Bob Fenner>
RE: C. Rubriventralis mixing       8/25/15

Hello Mr. Fenner,
Thanks for the quick answer, faster than a speeding bullet, are you able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?
<I wish! Too dang hot here to wear my Superman Tee shirt>
I think I will try the female Marjorie and hope to get some Rubriventralis females from my other lfs. Thanks again.
<Welcome. And the Marj. is a fave... have been out collecting with some of Walt Smith's crew gathering hundreds some days (in the Bligh Strait).

Salt Water questions; stkg. Ecsenius, Cirrhilabrus, vacuuming fine sand, mas...    8/31/13
Hello crew! Its been a while since I've needed to bug you guys, and things have been going well. I have a few questions about stocking, dipping, new tank, live rock and sand. I've had a 72 gal Marineland overflow bowfront with about 80# live rock and a skimmer since early 2008. I recently lost a flame angel… literally lost. Im pretty sure I know what happened since
there's been a sudden bloom of Fireworms a few days after he disappeared.
My kids are still looking for him. I had him about 3 years. Current stock include a Fire shrimp I've had for 3 years, a royal gramma I've had for 5 years, and a pair of Perculas for 5 ½ years. They started spawning about 3 years ago. I just let the fry feed the tank mates; no time or interest to try to raise them. I've also had Firefish, a coral beauty, and skunk cleaner shrimp. I live in the Midwest and use tap water. I change 15-20 gal every month. I keep a log book… very helpful. I typically feed
Spectrum marine fish Formula once or twice daily and occasionally supplement with frozen squid, plankton, etc. I keep a 40 gal trashcan of saltwater I mix.
<Ah good>
Until this recent death, I hadn't checked water parameters since 2011.
Yesterday, I checked: pH 8.4, zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and 10 ppm nitrates from an old API saltwater kit. 82 degrees and SG 1.020. Last water change was about 3 weeks prior. All shrimp had been acclimated with an IV drip (1mL/hr over 6.5 hrs). The angels were dipped in freshwater with formalin for about 5-10 min. The remaining fish were dipped in fresh water
Methylene blue for 3-4 min. All animals are then in a 15 gal quarantine tank for 30 days with 5 gal water changes every week or so. I just setup the QT again and am ready to buy new livestock. Now the questions.
One of the local shops has a nice looking 2 inch Midas blenny that they've had for about 3 weeks. Another shop in town has a few 4-5 inch Midas Blennies. Am I better off getting the smaller blenny as long as he eats ok?
<Yes; will live longer, adapt more easily>

Im also thinking of getting a few skunk cleaner shrimp and a fairy wrasse.
I don't usually get more than one species at a time, but figure the bioload from the flame angel vs. a fairy wrasse and a small midas would be similar.
Do you think this is a mistake?
<Not a mistake; I think you'll be fine here>
The shop owner says he routinely gets Solar and Exquisite wrasses and recommends either. Im leaning towards the Solar but would appreciated any advice.
<Both are fine choices of Cirrhilabrus>

Do you anticipate any compatibility problems?
<I do not>
Is my standard Methylene blue dip and one month quarantine reasonable for both fish?
<Mmm, yes; though do keep an eye out that either are getting too thin>
OK, so on to the other questions. My sugar grain sand is getting thin. I use a siphon attached to the faucet for suction. It works great with a toothbrush, but slow removes sand. Any simple advise for adding back sand without a whiteout of the tank?
<Have the discharge from the siphon empty into a bucket, the sand will mostly accumulate, settle there. Rinse (with freshwater) this ahead of returning to the tank>
I anticipate Ill need to wash it with
salt or fresh water once or twice and then.. dump it in.
<Ah yes; fresh>
Next question…
does LR need to be replaced? How often?
<Needs to be added to, renewed periodically... after a year or so, ten percent, twenty... every half year or so. To re-stock w/ microbes to invert.s, algae... and offer more soluble sites for biominerals, alk. mostly>
I've got coralline algae and the
biofilter seems to be working ok. I also have turtle hair algae.
<Chlorodesmis likely>
Finally, Im planning to get a new tank…. As big as I can find.
I really like the overflow setup. I think the Marineland overflow glass aquariums max at 300 gal. I think Id be happy with this but would like to know if there is anything larger with pre-built overflow set-up?
<Mmm, well, easy enough to either drill, have a tank made by others come pre-drilled. Search, read on WWM re>
Do you know anything about the stress of the weight?
I assume the manufacturer will have this, but I suspect they'll recommend I put it in a basement.
<Not necessarily... depends on your floor support/s... often these can be bolstered>
Ill have to keep the 72 gal so the other fish don't become food in a larger predator tank. Do you have any reference for connecting these in series?
<Oh yes; on WWM>
Thanks in advance for putting up with this long email. Rich.
<Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner.

Cirrhilabrus genus of fairy wrasses, stkg./sys.      12/23/12
Hi crew!
  You can not know how comforting it is to have someone of knowledge to turn to when you are conflicted. Thank you for all you do! Couple of quick questions...I have a male Solar Fairy Wrasse in the QT at the moment. After researching WWM FAQs I'm confused.  Some questions and answers say it is ok to house this male wrasse by himself but others say he needs a female companion due to them being social, etc.
<Some species, individuals "do okay" solely... but all are better displayed in large enough (hundred/s of gallons) settings w/ a mix of initial phase, undifferentiated individuals and one distinct secondary/male>
 Should I get him a girl?
<More than one if there's room>
 Also I have a 80 gallon frag reef tank, is this large enough for him?
<Really just the one>
  Will it be better for him to return him to the LFS? He has been in the QT and has been eating and swimming around.  Thank you again!!  Jennifer
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cirrhilabrus genus of fairy wrasses     12/23/12

Hi Mr. Fenner! It appears that my tank is not big enough for him to live a healthy, colorful life given that he will need a harem. I believe it is in his best interest to take him back to the LFS. Thank you again! Jennifer
<Certainly welcome! BobF>

Flame Wrasse QT, stkg/sel.     7/13/12
Good Evening,
I currently have a male flame wrasse
<C. jordani I'll assume>
 in my 55 qt tank which I received 4 days ago. Fish was doing well and eating right away.  Yesterday I fed it pretty heavy as I was doing a water change on the tank.  Today the fish is hiding and refusing to eat it.  I am trying to determine if the fish is still full, had some type of reaction to food soaked in Zoe, or skittish after the water change.
<I wouldn't panic; though neither would I house just one male Cirrhilabrus... not how they live in the wild; not interesting behaviorally to me>
 I know the flame males can sometimes be a little finicky when adapting to captive life.  Just a little stumped for the change as it was doing so well.  How long would you continue to quarantine this fish? 
<I'd summarily dip/bath and place most all members of this genus; unless they "looked bad">
Should I just go ahead and add it to the display?
<Ah yes>
  The water levels in the qt are ok and match the display tank as I use that water for the changes.
Thanks for the advice,
<Just what I would do. B Fenner>

Mixing Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus spp.) -- 03/29/11
Hi again crew,
<<Hey there Dustin>>
I recently purchased a Flame wrasse trio for my 210 gallon mixed reef.
<<Nice 'but I do hope the tank/its other inhabitants are geared toward the wrasses as being the focal point>>
I have a good open aquascape with lots of caves of various sizes.
<<Very good>>
I am interested in knowing if I am able to mix any other species of wrasse with the Flames.
<<In this size tank, yes 'though the sooner the better>>
I have a chance to get some different ones before the Flames are fully settled (they have been in the tank a little more than a week now).
<<I see>>
I read that they are peaceful, but not always toward each other.
<<Indeed 'or toward other species from the same genus even>>
Ideally I would like to add either a single/pair/trio of Scott's or Lineatus wrasses.
<<Mmm, can be done (though a 6ft tank is minimal here, in my opinion)>>
According to you guys, they do best as a harem,
but in the presence of another harem what would be the best way to add another species? A single (meaning male), a pair, or trio?
<<Another trio for sure>>
I have read extensively on your site about wrasses trying to find information and a comparable situation to mine. The closest I have found I believe was a 250 gallon that already had 3 types of wrasses including 1 pair of Lineatus and was adding an additional species. Scott said there was some risk, but he thought it was worth it. I also saw a response regarding mixing 3 harems of different species, but that was in a 375 I believe. Any input you can give me would be very helpful!
<<If you act quickly I do think another trio is viable in this tank 'especially if you consider rearranging the rockwork to create 'bommies' at opposite ends of the tank. This would allow each harem to select a 'distinct territory''¦again, assuming this tank is geared toward the wrasses. Depending on the overall stocking level of this tank, I think you could even consider upping each harem to five individuals (1 male to 4 females, per)>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Re: Mixing Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus spp.) -- 03/31/11

Hi Eric,
<<Hey Dustin>>
Thanks for the quick reply.
<<Quite welcome>>
I am curious by what you mean when you say, "wrasses being the focal point" and "geared towards the wrasses."
<<Ah, okay 'my apologies for the lack of clarity. What I was/am getting at here is these wrasses do best in a system setup/designed with their needs as the primary consideration, as opposed to being plunked in to a system with the usual hodgepodge of livestock. Unless VERY large, a successful system for these fish will have a dearth of aggressive or even just rambunctious fishes that may cause the wrasses to hide, not feed well, and be just stressed overall>>
Here is some more information about my setup. My rock work is setup so that the rock sort of slopes from the right side to the left. Just over half way across is when it reaches the ground and then on the far left there is a large rock stack or "bommie."
<<Sounds good>>
A majority of the rock is off the substrate and there is lots of swimming space and caves because I construct PVC structures to hold the rock and create some good caves. The rock is all down the middle of the tank so there is nothing touching the glass.
My filtration is via a 125 gallon sump with a large refugium with a DSB and Chaetomorpha.
<<Again 'excellent>>
I have an AquaC EV-400 Skimmer and a Phosban Reactor. I am currently tweaking my internal water flow via powerheads because the Koralia 8's are so strong I had to move them. It will end up as some combination of 2 Koralia 8's and 0 to 4 Koralia 4's. My current water parameters are Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0, Temperature: 76-77F, Salinity: 1.025. My inhabitants are a 5" Scribbled Angel, 2 1/2" Emperor Angel, 2" Hepatus Tang, 2 Picasso Clowns, 3 Bartlett's Anthias, and 3 Flame Wrasses. In quarantine I have a 3" Achilles Tang. I do consider my tank pretty close to fully stocked after I add the
<<Mmm, actually 'considering the mature sizes/requirements of most of these fish listed, I feel you are already pushing the envelope>>
but considering the aquascape and water quality
<<This will prove inadequate as these fish mature>>
I think adding the wrasses wouldn't push me over in that regard.
<<More than the bio-load to consider here 'I don't feel these are suitable tank mates for the long-term well-being of the wrasses>>
I also have already put into motion the planning and accumulation of stuff to have a larger tank (~400 gallons or more) setup in the next year to accommodate these fish as they grow.
<<Very good to know. And while this will be a much better home to the angels and tangs, it is still not an ideal situation for these wrasses>>
Also, I know the sooner the better for introducing more wrasses, but what would you consider the cutoff to adding more (days, weeks, month)?
<<I suggest you wait for the larger tank, if at all 'considering the tank mates they will endure>>
Thank you again for your time and effort! It is much appreciated!
<<Happy to share, Dustin (though not what you wanted to hear, no doubt)'¦ Eric Russell>>
R2: Mixing Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus spp.) -- 03/31/11

Thank you for your time Eric.
<<Is my pleasure Dustin>>
Not unhappy be the response at all, I was already somewhat hesitant to do it.
<<Ah'¦very good>>
Having another opinion is very helpful.
<<Glad to be of assistance>>
I will not be adding anything else until I upgrade my tank.
The flame wrasses I currently have are doing quite well so far, one of the females actually bit a large chunk of food right out of the Emperor's mouth yesterday. I found it quite entertaining!
<<I do hope they continue to prosper my friend>>
Thanks again,
<<Always welcome'¦ EricR>>

Adding A Flasher Or Fairy Wrasse To My Tank (Not Recommended Here) -- 03/22/11
<<Hello Marlyce>>
I have a 55 gallon FOWLR tank. I have about 60 pounds of live rock, an AquaC Remora protein skimmer, a sump pump and a couple of power heads for circulation. The tank was started in September of 2009, and has been stable for about a year, and most of the current tank residents have been in the tank for a year or more.
Current tank inhabitants include one hermit crab, a coral beauty angelfish, a royal gramma, a yellow tang, two blue-green Chromis, a Banggai Cardinalfish, and a tiny ocellaris clownfish.
<<This tank is a bit on the small-side for the angel and the tang, in my opinion 'both will likely develop social and/or physiological issues over the long term>>
Another small ocellaris recently disappeared during a water change, and a skunk cleaner shrimp that I've had for over a year just died. I supplement with minerals (1 tsp once a week), vitamins, and "Purple Up" (for calcium for my shrimp and to keep the beautiful coralline algae on my live rock thriving). All the fish in my tank seem to get along very well, with very little aggression. My water parameters are: Ammonia-0, Nitrites-0, Nitrates-around 20, Ph-8.4, Salinity-1.025, Kh-8, Temp-77.5. I do a 20% water change every other week using RO water. My question: My ocellaris clownfish were tank raised, not very brightly colored,
<<I have heard/read this to be a possible factor among tank-raised specimens>>
quite small, and just hovered in the back of the top of the tank around the heater-hard to see and not very spectacular.
<<Perhaps being bullied by some of the other fishes>>
I would like to replace the clown that died with a fairy wrasse or a flasher wrasse because I want some bright orange or red in the tank.
<<I do not recommend this>>
I have done a fair bit of research, and it seems like one of these would be compatible with my tank.
<<I am compelled to disagree'¦ These fish do not do well in systems with more aggressive fishes such as you have 'and even if not directly targeted, just being 'around' boisterous fish can cause them to hide/not feed well 'and jump from the tank. These fish are also best kept in 'groups' and you just don't have the tank for it. Better left to larger systems where they are the feature of the system and all else is considered and designed around them>>
However, is it OK to have only one of these?
<<In my opinion, no'¦ These are haremic fishes meant to be in groups of several females (five or more preferably) to a male specimen. I've seen fellow hobbyists try to keep single specimens, especially males of some of the different species of Fairy Wrasses offered in the hobby, and in most all instances they perish within a year (loneliness perhaps?)>>
Particularly with the flashers, it seems to be recommended to have a male and two females
in order for the male to stay brightly colored.
<<Among other things, yes>>
Would a single male do OK in my tank?
<<No 'as stated>>
And would one of these (fairy or flasher wrasses) be likely to be picked on by any of my other fish?
<<By most any of them, as some point>>
Since these fish are fairly expensive, I want to be pretty sure it will be able to survive in my tank before I order one.
<<Okay 'but let's also consider the well being of the fish>>
If you don't advise one of these, do you have any other suggestions for an orange or red fish that might work in my tank?
<<The size of your tank coupled with your current stock list leaves out my current faves'¦and I'm afraid nothing else comes to mind at the moment. There may well be something suitable available 'do some searching and please feel free to come back to discuss what you find>>
How about replacing the small clown I have left with a larger, more brightly colored clown?
<<A possibility 'maybe>>
Would a maroon clownfish be too aggressive for my tank?
<<Ultimately I think, yes. Perhaps a Cinnamon Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus) can work here 'smaller and a bit less aggressive than the Maroon, though still likely to grow to be the 'alpha personality' of the bunch>>
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Marlyce Gundy
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Anthias and Wrasse harems   3/19/11
<Hello Dustin!>
I currently have 4 Bartlett's Anthias in a 29 gallon QT tank.
<Mmm, need more room by this by far... Will be both psychologically and socially, let's combine the two terms, psychosocially too cramped in a very short while>
They have been
there for a week and all seem to still be females. For the first couple days all of them were eating and swimming around. Now one is hiding behind the powerhead
<Oh, already. See, I did state "in a very short while">
in the tank and not eating and another has a pretty beaten up tail fin,
but is still swimming around and eating. My assumption here is that there is some jostling for dominance going on,
<In part, yes>
but I don't want it to be at the expense of a couple of them dying.
<Which they will if not moved>
What can be done to help this situation?
Do they need to be partitioned or separated in some way?
<Not in this volume, no>
The Anthias are going into my 210 gallon upon completion in QT.
<Anthiines are one of my "generally don't quarantine" groups/families of fishes... They suffer too much from the delay, compared with simple dip/bathing and expedited placement in main/displays. Is this clear to you?
Like most Gobioids, Blennioids... much more of the time these fishes "die mysteriously", jump out, starve, beat each other up... I'd place them in the larger system, stat.!>
This carries over into the harem of Flame Wrasses I just purchased them today and put them into a different 29 gallon QT tank.
<These two I'd dip (pH adjusted freshwater... detailed on WWM:
and the linked files above)>
The harem consists of 1 male and 3 females. I want to make sure I don't run into the same problems
I am currently having with the Anthias.
<Similar, yes... Move these Jordan's Cirrhilabrus>
The only decor in either tank is a few PVC pipes, a heater, a powerhead, and an air stone.
Thank you in advance for your assistance!!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anthias and Wrasse harems-- 03/19/11
Thank you for your help. I figured you would say to move them over, I just needed you to push me over the edge to do it. I really don't like not quarantining anything.
<Ahh; is at least a two-sided saber>
I think going forward I will have a 75 gallon quarantine tank when introducing groups/harems so that I can
quarantine (not for the 210, but when I upgrade). Would this be sufficient or should I not quarantine in any size tank really?
<... not certain species...>
Thanks again,
<Another welcome. BobF>

Cirrhilabrus pylei swimming strangely...  6/21/10
Good Sunday to those at WWM!
<Yikes... now Mon. AM!>
Hope that all is going well with you and yours.
I've acquired a beautiful Cirrhilabrus pylei about 10 days ago from my LFS.
He was eating very well and looked alert, I personally fed him 20 Spectrum pellets so I brought him home. About three days ago he has started swimming sort of strangely, I can only describe it as though his tail end is heavier than the rest of him. He still eats, though not as vigorously, and he is very much aware of what is going on around him. He spends his time swimming like that around the tank and once in a while if someone chases him, he will swim "normally" for just a brief second. He does not show any colour changes as one would expect during stress or sit on the bottom of the tank as you see in a lethargic fish. His breathing rates have not increased. I've read that C. pylei is collected from deep water and so I thought it might be a swim bladder problem but I've read most people observe them swimming erratically, but my is not doing that...
Tank parameters are pH 8.2, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5.
I've enclosed his picture. He swims around in that position that you see.
Please advise.
Thank you as always,
<Mmm, may be "just stress" at play here... Cirrhilabrus spp. are very social animals, living in traveling shoals/groups... do you intend to add more Richard Pyle's (female) wrasses?

Re: Cirrhilabrus pylei swimming strangely...  6/21/10
That was my original plan - to have a male and two females, BUT, I'm worried they are more "delicate" than the average Cirrhilabrus, like the *solorensis, **exquisitus, **lubbocki *which I have currently*.
<I do agree that Pyle's Velvet Wrasse is touchier than these>
*A little information about this tank: it's a 72x24x30 with 250+ lbs live rock, lots and lots of hiding space, and the rocks are placed so that they can swim the whole length of the tank in both the front and back.
It's inhabitants:
Powder Blue Tang 4.0"
Atlantic Blue 4.5"
Kole Tang 3.5"
Cleaner wrasse (eating pellets, Nori, Mysis - thank goodness!)
Cirrhilabrus solorensis 2"
Cirrhilabrus exquisitus 2"
Mystery wrasse 1.5"
Flame Angel 2"
Emperor Angel 2" (I know that I will have to move this guy when the time comes. He was eating pellets like a champ and follows me everywhere I go!
I couldn't resist. And now in a little while I'll have an excuse to get a  HUGE tank! >-< )
Percula clown (pair)
Firefish gobies x 5
Pearly Jawfish x 2
Randall's goby 4"
Yellow watchman goby 2"
Red scooter blennies x 2
Carberryi Anthias x 2
So you see, I think I am reaching full capacity if I'm not already there.
I would love to get females for all the Cirrhilabrus (?) but then read somewhere that they are like canaries and will "flash" if you put mirrors in the tank... Maybe not?!?
<Not really>
I've removed the Pylei into my 20 gallon coral tank, he is in there with a orange spotted blenny. He looks like he is doing the same.
Do you think I have room for females in the 220 if he recovers and get to go back?
<I do think there is room there. BobF>
:) Thanks,

Re: Cirrhilabrus pylei swimming strangely...   6/22/10
Hi Bob!
Really? There is room?
<I do think so>
That's really exciting news for me because I just LOVE fish interactions! My cutest "odd" couple right now is the small Yellow Watchman Goby and huge Randall's Goby "pair". They share the same cave and look after each other. The Yellow Watchman will sometimes "perch" on the back of the Randall and the Randall will protect the little one when one of the tangs come too close to their home. One time, the Yellow Watchman "kissed" the Randall on his cheek after being separated for a few hours!
I will give the Pylei some time to rest in the small tank and if he does better, I'll have my LFS order a few females of C. exquisitus, C. solorensis, and C. Pylei and then I can quarantine them together and then add them all at once.
I've noticed that when you add fishes it is easier for the new comer to be with a group as they cannot be singled out by the established fishes.
<This is so>
To give you an update, the Pylei is still swimming that strange way but is eating better.
<Thank you>
Thank you as always,
You and WWM has helped me tremendously over the months and years!
I've enclosed a picture I took in the coral reefs of Ihuru, Maldives as a "Thank You". I hope you enjoy it,

Very nice!

Community Wrasse Tank 5/10/10
First... Thank you for the wonderful service you provide!
I have a 180 gal mixed reef that has been up for just over a year. I'm running a turf scrubber, some Chaeto growing in the sump, and a good growth of Halimeda in the display. I have plenty of access to live arthropods to supplement feeding. I also make my own food from a combination of clam/oyster/Shrimp/Nori, and other assorted grocery counter seafood soaked in Selcon and frozen in saltwater to make cube food.
I was thinking about turning the tank into a community fairy/flasher wrasse tank. I was just wondering how many or if this list was applicable.
<These genera can be mixed, some species even tog... sex ratios are important>>
I expect I that I should keep my list limited to genus Paracheilinus and Cirrhilabrus. I know most Cirrhilabrus get along ok, but what about Paracheilinus? Are there any exceptions to this?
<Mainly sex ratios, but better in a volume, shape system as this to stick w/ one species>
Any other specific wrasse outside this genus that could also go nicely into the mix?
<... all sorts. A good "window" to select through is overlap in natural distribution... a biotopic presentation/mix>
What would be the maximum number of wrasse you would recommend for this size tank?
<...? Depends on species>
Or am I limited basically by bioload.
Current Inhabitants.
assorted snails (turbo/Astrea/Cerith/Nassarius/Nerite)
1 brittle and 2 serpent stars
1 Cleaner shrimp
1 Crocea clam
1 Deresa clam
<Some Labrids will eat some to all of the above. Not the two you mention in general>
1 Lyretail Anthias
1 Royal Gramma
1 Banggai Cardinal
2 Zebra gobies
1 Orange spotted goby
1 Solar Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)
1 Blue Side Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura)
* Intended Additions*
Carpenter's flasher wrasse (Paracheilinus carpenteri)
Purple velvet fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus luteovittatus)
Scott's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus scottorum)
<... Were it me/mine, I'd just stick w/ more sub-adult (non terminal phase individuals of Cirrhilabrus and whatever one species of Flasher you choose.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Community wrasse tank 5/10/10

Sorry forgot to include my name at the bottom :-P
<No worries Nick. B>

Flame Wrasse   5/2/10
Thank you for this great website
I have an opportunity to purchase a flame wrasse or a mated pair. I have a 150 with plenty of room. What are the benefits or disadvantages if I were to just get a male or female. Which would you recommend. Is it best to do a mated pair for social reasons?
<Mmm, though Labrids/Wrasses are not really "pairs", and most Cirrhilabrus spp. live in a haremic state, with one alpha male, a few females and perhaps younger individuals... Jordan's does often occur in "twos"... I have seen them more often than otherwise in their Hawaiian range. And I do think/agree that not only does this species make for a more interesting display when kept as such, they're very likely to be "happier", healthier as well>
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Compatibility of Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis in 55 gallon tank, sel./genus/sys.  3/4/10
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
I'm new to the hobby and looking to put together my first 55 gallon tank.
I'm currently in the process of gathering supplies and reading like a mad fiend, including, of course, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. My goal is to create a reef tank (start with hardy soft corals and work my way up as I gain experience and confidence) with some small, peaceful fish making it their home.
I was thinking of adding 2 or 3 *Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis *to this tank. Originally, I thought to add only one, but from my reading, it sounds like they're much happier in a group. But, I'm not sure if 55 gallons
is simply too small for a small group of social wrasses.
<Is borderline too small. Velvet/Fairy wrasses are "Zoomers", liking to cruise a bunch in the wild>
My dream stock list
currently looks like this:
1 Purple Firefish
2-3 Social Wrasse Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis
1 Chalk Bass
1 Royal Gramma Basslet
<Mmm, the Gramma and Firefish may not get along here... I'd get either one, or just two Firefish>
1 Mandarin Dragonet
I'm worried that's too long a list for a 55g, though most of the fish are very peaceful and seem more inclined to protect one small nook rather than carve out a large territory (at least from what I've read). How might you suggest adjusting or modifying this list? Is there a different velvet wrasse you might suggest or no wrasse at all?
<There are some other species, other than Cirrhilabrus, that are more suitable. See here for ex.: Oh, have just looked and my Labrids for small systems stocking piece hasn't run in the print 'zines... hence isn't posted on WWM. Do search through the Articles/FAQs files here:
at the bottom... and this pc.:
and...: http://wetwebmedia.com/StkgSmSWsysArt.htm
The fish I definitely want included
in my tank are the Purple Firefish and the Mandarin (once there are enough copepods to support one). The rest I'm willing to change, if you see any problems.
<Flexibility is a hallmark of a successful species... You will be successful Kacey>
Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your expertise!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility of Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis in 55 gallon  3/4/10
Dear Bob,
Thanks so much for your reply! From reading over the suggested links, it looks like you'd recommend possibly a singular specimen of *Halichoeres chrysus* or perhaps a small harem of Paracheilinus.
<Yes; particularly the former would be a very nice choice here for you>
The 55 g tank I have is 4 feet long which sounds like it would offer an acceptable amount of 'zoom room' for a trio of smaller Paracheilinus.
<Are actually a tad "too touchy" for me to suggest for you at this juncture, this size, shape system>
Unless three would require a space more like nine feet long in which case never mind that thought so much. What would your opinion be on a trio of *Paracheilinus mccoskeri* in a 55g with a purple Firefish, a chalk bass and a mandarin dragonet?
Thank you once again!
<... go w/ the Yellow "Coris" from this choosing. BobF>

Velvet wrasse swim pattern   12/19/09
Hi once again Bob. I am looking ahead, researching my next addition after these 2 Golden B'flies. In my earlier e-mail I'd mentioned I wanted a harem of fairy wrasses. After reading here about their nervous behavior/swim
patterns, I no longer want that species.
<Oh? A shame really. In a system of your size, shape, with the other livestock you list, I do think Cirrhilabrus would be lovely>
I prefer a graceful back and forth pattern to my particular tank. I'm sure they are perfect for other set ups. I am
interested instead in getting a Halichoeres instead.
<Mmm, these are far more likely to "zoom" about>
Either a melanurus or a hortulanus.
<The last gets quite large>
They grow a bit bigger and need to only keep one singly.
<Mmm, well... not really. I am a long-standing "content provider" in both the ornamental aquatics (this) genre as well as the dive/travel-adventure (business) field... and have spent decades underwater trying to take pix, make video, observing nature... I will tell you that the genus Halichoeres is also haremic... with smaller numbers of females relatively>
I wanted a Coris, but am leery of their bold behavior possibly towards the butterflies.
<There are some (not often available) species of use here, but I would avoid Coris aygula...>
My last question to you then, do/does the Halichoeres swim in the same nervous up down around
in circle patterns as the bird wrasse?
<Mmm, no... not like Gomphosus spp.>
I have seen in the LFS, and looks like the fairy wrasse pattern you describe, as well. If they swim similar to the
bird wrasse, I will then have a clear picture of the Halichoeres.
<This genus members spend a good deal of the time "cruising" near the bottom, moving in/out of spaces in the hard-scape>
I am searching for the coloring and size of the Halichoeres, but with the slower more deliberate swim pattern of,
say, a Moorish Idol. Is there such a Halichoeres?
<Most all>
Sorry for 2 questions in one day,
Thanks dearly in advance.
<Do you scuba dive April? You are indeed a candidate for dive-adventuring. Bob Fenner>

Re: velvet wrasse swim pattern, Cirrhilabrus sel., RS biotope f's   12/20/09
Bob, I cannot thank you enough here. I had a horrendous problem in the past with a very aggressive Sailfin tang. He bullied my Pearl scale Butterfly to near death, chased around the Naso, and kept my Coral Beauty cowering in the rock work. It was like I had an Undulated Trigger in there. The Sailfin bit tank mates, chased and cornered others so they couldn't eat. It never bothered the Blue Hippo, the Bi-Color dwarf, or the Raccoon Butterfly though. My 300 gallon tank sits on a 42" high stand.
<Ahh! Pretty "high up"... I take it the placement is in an area where people stand, transit rather than sit>
The tank itself is 3ft. high on top of the stand. I need to get on a step stool just to feed them, and a ladder to move and adjust things around. Not bragging, just describing the display. I had to get that Sailfin outta there. I drained out 200 gallons to get the water level down as you'd suggested to another reader once, get on a ladder, reach in with plastic dividers, tear down one of the rock formations to get that bully out. And at 8 ft. long, that took a good 2 hours to finally net him. The other fish were stressed to the max, it was an absolute nightmare than I am terrified of re-living ever again. All that to say I am now frozen with indecision for suitable tank mates for the Naso---"Mama's Big Fat Sweet Girl"---and the 2 Golden B/F's soon to arrive, "Sunshine" and "Sweet Pea". That behavior is the deal breaker for so many beautiful, hardy species I'd love to have in that tank. I just cannot deal with bullying. So hard to watch. I want a colorful, peaceful, hardy wrasse that does not zoom about the tank. Thank you for the feedback on the Halichoeres' swimming pattern. That's off the list now.
Perhaps back to the Fairy wrasse harem I'd first planned?
<Am sure you will/would enjoy them>
I am just beginning to learn about this great family, thank you so much for your insight. I wanted a Pomacanthus, but am afraid of adding one due to their territorial trait, again, not wanting anyone chased away from an area in the tank they claim as their own.
<Oh! Had an inquiry today re a Mac or Asfur Angel... at first glance had thought this had come from you. I think your system would really be enhanced by one of these Arusettas... as THE show piece. Am VERY sure you and your family will enjoy this choice>
So I figured the beautiful Fairy would be safer in that regard. The Red Coris, wow, I wish! What a stunner. Your article on them states they have a penchant for aggressiveness. So what do you suggest? A Scott's fairy? A lined Fairy? A Cirrhilabrus solorensis?
Or a Cirrhilabrus exquisitus perhaps?
<Mmm... I hope to not confuse you, but after just finishing Greg Bear's "Moving Mars" book this AM am waxing more directional than usual. I want you to look, consider a nice grouping of Pseudanthias squamipinnis instead... if you can, collected from the Red Sea itself, but otherwise the Indian Ocean into the W. Pacific will be fine. As time goes by you'll understand, appreciate by kibitzing here>
I saw that photo here at WWM of another person's fairy who had that bump on its face from hitting its own reflection. It was in your response to them where I learned about their nervous darting around swimming pattern. I am (overly, I know) worried about my other fish feeling irritated by that. Which Fairy, if any, at 5-6" do you suggest for peacefulness, hardiness and a slower swim pattern?
<Take a look, Google re: Cirrhilabrus of the red sea... Perhaps rubriventralis will be the easiest to come by>
I used to also want the Coris aygula, thank you for the fair warning.
I've never scuba dived, but have snorkeled many times in Hawaii and Aruba.
Thank you for your valuable time with this. After dealing with a gorilla on steroids in my living room, I am so afraid to choose any fish now. Please help.
Again, just to refresh, it will only be the 12" Naso and 2 Golden B/F's in there.
<Best to do as you are April. "Take your time", savour the anticipation.
Your success will be commensurate with the care you put in here in advance of action. Be well, BobF>

Re: Tank questions... Reef Quarantining, Stocking, for how large a system? Oh, a 180...   7/28/09
Hi Bob,
I sent this a couple of weeks ago, to which you replied, but I have since lost the reply. I'm hoping that the original email will serve to jog your memory in regards to my situation. Since our exchange, I am sad to report that all the fish in QT have died, except for my male black ocellaris clown. Actually they died within days. Now I'm thinking perhaps it was Brook or Velvet, as I don't think crypto would kill that fast. Even fish that were not showing any signs of illness died. I'm thinking the cramped conditions in the hospital tank did them all in. Oddly, the yellow wrasse in the DT is still alive, healthy, and kicking. I was never able to catch him. My little male clown has survived daily FW formalin dips and daily water changes. He is eating well and appears active. I will probably not move him until September, so whatever is in the display tank can die down.
In the meantime, while I am bummed about losing fish I had for years, I am also excited to be planning a new stocking list. I wanted to run it by you, as well as get your input on quarantine. YES I learned my lesson, but I've also read that you do not recommend QT for Cirrhilabrus wrasses, and this time around, they will make up a good part of my stocking list. I plan to keep them in QT at least a week, I'd feel safer if that were longer, but don't want to needlessly kill any fish. If you recall, I believe it was an unquarantined, undipped Scott's fairy that caused the whole mess in the DT to begin with. I had performed FW dips on wrasses before, per your instructions on the WetWeb, and they did not seem to handle it well. Actually my solar wrasse died minutes after a formalin FW dip
<With vigorous aeration?>
while in the hospital tank, and he wasn't even in there for 2 minutes.
Please advise, I tried to look for a "list" of fish that do poorly in QT but was unable to find one. Here is my planned stocking list.
Yellow wrasse (H. chrysus) in display
Black ocellaris clown (in hospital tank)
Black ocellaris clown to pair with my small male (should this new one be bigger, smaller, same size? I've read varying opinions)
bicolor blenny (QT or not? Again, varying opinions here)
<Mostly I don't do so with Ecsenius spp>
Yasha goby pair
<Not to quarantine>
Pink margin fairy wrasse
Pylei fairy wrasse (similar in appearance to the pink margin, should I anticipate a problem?)
<See WWM re... sys. size, the genus>
solar wrasse
blue head fairy wrasse (C. cyanopleura)
Velvet wrasse
<... I would revisit this stocking list... Settle on just one species of Cirrhilabrus, at most two in this volume, shape display>
Christmas wrasse
flame angel
Squarespot Anthias pair (1 male, 1 female)
neon goby
powder brown tang
Tomini tang
purple tang
The tangs for sure will be QT'd, but I need advice on the others. Also I'm not too sure about the Tomini tang. I wanted another Kole but he was really evil to my original bicolor blenny that caused him to starve to death, I don't want a repeat of the situation. He does not have to be added, if you feel that would be too much bioload. By the way....the coral eating crab has become a sheer terror with the lack of fish food/waste going in the tank. The other night, he stole one of my favorite clams. I have subsequently moved the remaining coral (luckily they were all small frags and clams attached to shells) to the sump, but there is limited light. How long can they last down there?
<Last? Remove the crab>
The crab is being sneaky and evading capture, though I'm still trying.
Darn decapods. Thanks for any help or insight you may be able to provide.
The site is an awesome resource for all aquarists, though it does require hours of searching and perusing. I applaud your efforts, as well as the rest of the crew's.
<Please keep reading it. BobF>
Re: Tank questions... reef stkg., reading re Velvet Wrasses  -- 07/28/09

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the quick reply. So you think only 2 Cirrhilabrus in a 180? It is 72 x 24 x 24. I thought I could keep a couple more in a tank that size.
I am willing to drop the Pylei and Velvet wrasses.
Yes the solar wrasse was in the dip with an airstone. Still don't understand what went wrong. Maybe the formalin was too toxic for him.
Thanks again for your help. I will keep reading.

Lubbock's Wrasse, sel.  6/20/09
<Hello Scott>
I came across a male and a female Lubbock's Wrasse today at a local fish store. I knew I wanted to add a fairy wrasse to the new 55 gallon mixed reef tank I recently set up, so I purchased the male, acclimated him, and added him to my tank tonight. After reading up on the Lubbock's Wrasse, I wonder if I should go back and purchase the female tomorrow when the shop opens. I found some information that they may rather be in a group of a male and a couple of females, but I only have the chance to buy one female right now. I also read that females may be hard to come by because the male is more often collected due to its more vibrant colors. I don't necessarily want to buy the female, or have a group of these wrasses, but I will if it will make the single male feel more comfortable in the tank, or possibly show more natural behaviors.
<As far as showing natural behaviors, the Lubbock's Wrasse is more colorful during courting, but it's not necessary to have a female present to make the male feel more comfortable. If females are desired, it is better to have more than one female present, generally a three to one ratio is recommended.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Scott Thompson

fairy wrasse in a nano tank, not    10/4/08 Hello there! <Hi!> Great site, can't repeat myself enough. <Thanks> I have a year old 10G nano reef tank, with a medium CPR refugium loaded with Caulerpa and Chaetomorpha macros. I have 15-17 lbs of live rock, corals-mostly softies, very few sps. 2-3 hermits. maybe 2 Nassarius snail and 3 turbo snail. No fish. Parameters are: Amm 0, nitrate 0, Ph 8.2-8.3, alkalinity 8-9 DKH, calcium 440 ppm, magnesium 1280-1350 ppm, Temp 77-80 F I run a Outer Orbit MH 150W 14000 Kelvin light system. All my corals and inverts seem very healthy and growing fast. The system free of nuisance algaes of any kind. ( Wasn't an easy progress though..:-) Here's my question. I'd love to keep either an exquisite, Scott's or blue sided fairy wrasse in my system. That would be my only fish. Please let me know if it's possible in such a small system? Did you know anyone who had success with them in a nano tank? <Very rarely... these fishes need much more room to move, feel safe... am wondering if there isn't "footage" on "YouTube" or such re how Cirrhilabrus make their lives in the wild... For the most part they live in shoals that roam around a large territory together, "playing off" each other... with one alpha male, an assortment of lesser fe/males, undifferentiated individuals... W/o the social component, the males alone don't act or stay very spectacular... in such small volumes they basically go "stir crazy"... Really need a hundred gallons plus... others of their own kind...> Your time and hassle truly appreciated, Sonny <James Lawrence/Microcosm, told me ayer that they're coming out with one of their pocket guide books on livestock for nanos... I believe you're a candidate. Bob Fenner>

McCosker's Wrasse 'Introducing a Small Group -- 08/05/08 Eric or whoever answers this time, <<Hello Michele 'Eric here>> Thanks for the advice on adding a shoal! <<Quite welcome>> I included previous correspondence below to remind you. <<Thank you for this>> We decided to go with the McCosker's wrasse trio, <<A neat little wrasse>> but finding females has proven difficult. <<Oh?>> My husband purchased a male and a female from Blue Zoo with the idea of ordering another one to two females when they become available. <<Okay 'and I would add 'two' more if possible>> I am wondering if it is ok to have just one female (too much male aggression???) or if they should be quarantined separately and then placed together when we have the additional females. <<If the wait is not too long (don't want the dominant female to 'turn') and you have the capacity to do so 'keeping them separated and adding the females to the display tank a few days ahead of the male is best>> They arrive in 2 days, so we have time to get 2 QTs together if needed. <<Excellent>> We were actually planning on cheating a bit with the QT. We still have a 90 gallon running with about 20 pounds live rock, DSB, and in-line refugium. This tank holds some LPS and SPS we have not moved to the new tank yet to give the 240 time to mature a bit first. We were going to put the wrasse in there and then if there is a problem, move them to a hospital tank for treatment. <<Sounds fine 'little concern re disease with these fish>> We plan on leaving the 90 up for another six months, so the tank would have ample fallow time if a problem arose. So, a male and female McCosker's wrasse together in the 90 or in separate QTs? <<Separate 'as outlined>> Another unrelated question....I have a new green clown goby in another tank that has decided to alternate hosting a Heliofungia and Frogspawn despite the presence of Acropora. <<Hmm'¦>> Should we be worried about the little guy being consumed by these LPS? <<Unless the fish is 'very' small I think this to be unlikely 'and short of removing the LPS corals or the goby, there's not much you can do anyway>> Oh, and the trigger continues to hang out in his corner staring out the glass unless we approach the tank and he's in front of us "wagging his tail" and begging! <<Perhaps this is just this fish's 'personality'>> Thanks as always for the info! Take care! Michele <<Always happy to share my friend. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy), Cirrhilabrus genus  -- 02/10/08 Thanks for the advice. <<Quite welcome>> Do you think other members of the Cirrhilabrus <sic> family could work like C. exquisitus, C. punctatus or C. solorensis? <<Mmm'¦yes, I do. They are all of similar/the correct size (i.e. -- larger than the 'established' Sixline Wrasse but still small enough for your system), and will 'sleep' in a mucus cocoon wedged in a crevice in the rock, which will get past your 'bare-bottom' issue. EricR>>

Wrasse pectoral fin injury, Cirrhilabrus hlth., sel.  8/29/07 Hello, <Hi there> I have a male Hawaiian fairy wrasse <Cirrhilabrus jordani I take it> which has been fine in my 72 gallon tank with plenty of live rock and a mixed crushed coral/aragonite sand substrate. The wrasse shares the tank with a Rabbitfish, False Percula, Chromis, and fridmani Pseudochromis. The other night I happened to be up around 2am and heard an odd sound in my tank. The sound was either a bumping sound (perhaps my acrylic lid tank covers) or mechanical(possibly a powerhead). Either way, I noticed the next morning that my Wrasse's pectoral fin seemed non-functional and the fish made efforts of swimming about but with some difficulty. The incident occurred when all the tank lights were out....also that same morning, I noticed a 4-inch branch of one of my Acroporas was broken off too. My guess is that the fish got spooked or something...maybe even gotten too close to the powerhead intake vents. So the fish eventually swimmed <swam> to the rear/bottom of the tank and with rapid breathing. As of now, I don't know if he's hiding or possibly consumed by the tanks crustaceans...all my tank lights are on and I don't see him. Is it possible for fish to heal from such a wound (even if it's a broken fin?). I don't see any tears or other signs of stress to the fin. <Possibly... Fairy/Velvet Wrasses are real "jumpers"...> Is it wise to attempt to capture and confine the fish to heal in a quarantine tank? Or would the stress of acquiring the fish be too much stress and cause potentially more harm? <I would leave this fish in place> Any thoughts? thank you! Walter <Better for this species to be kept in a haremic setting... one male and a few females... even better in a biotopic setting... None of its tankmates you list are found in its geographical range. Bob Fenner>

Any Wrasses Less Likely To Jump? -- 07/19/07 Hello. <<Hi Pam!>> Are any wrasses less likely to jump than others? <<Most all the small ornamental species offered/used in the trade have varying tendencies re.. in my experience>> I have an open tank, and I know most wrasses are jumpers, but I thought if they were put in with all peaceful fish, that they may not jump. <<This does help, but it is not just the other fishes that can/will cause a wrasse (any 'jumper' species) to head for the open air. At one time I had a couple small groups of Flasher Wrasse species that would go 'nuts' if the lights on the tank were to suddenly 'black out' as from a power surge/outage...sounded like pinballs pinging around in the light hood!>> I have an Elos tank, and don't want to cover it with Eggcrate or screen. <<Neat!...and understood>> The beauty of the tank, is that it's rimless and open. <<Yes...very nice>> My fish are all very peaceful. Right now I have a Pygmy Possum Wrasse, a Purple Firefish and a Tailspot Blenny. I really wanted to add a Laboutei, but don't want to be irresponsible if it's definitely going to leap out of the tank and die. <<VERY likely with this species...and is the same pretty much with all the Flasher and Fairy Wrasse species. I have experienced, as well as very often hear of these fishes demise from leaping out an 'uncovered' system>> I know Firefish can be jumpers, but my Firefish never goes beyond the bottom half of the tank, and if he gets spooked, he dives into the rock...never up. I have two good size caves in my rock and lots of crevices and swim-throughs. <<All good, though many of the wrasses tend to be more active in the upper-third of the water column>> So..... should I definitely nix the idea of the Laboutei? <<Logic would seem to dictate this...>> Are any other bright wrasses less likely to jump? <<Still no guarantee it won't end up on the floor, but the smaller Halichoeres species are quite colorful and would be 'less likely' than the Laboutei to sail out of your tank...in my opinion. H. Chrysus is a premier aquarium species...and if you want something a bit less monochromatic, take a look at H. ornatissimus>> Thank you! Pam <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Any Wrasses Less Likely To Jump? - 07/20/07
Thanks Eric. <<Quite welcome, Pam>> Ok, I'll take your advice and keep away from the Mystery Wrasses. <<I think you mean Flasher/Fairy Wrasses?...Probably for the best>> I took a look at the two wrasses you mentioned. <<Okay?>> I really like the ornatissimus. <<A gorgeous fish indeed>> I also was looking at the Five-barred Mystery Wrasse. <<Another beauty...love that 'expression'>> That's one of the only wrasses that LiveAquaria doesn't mention as a jumper. <<Am in disagreement>> Do you know if they are jumpers or not? <<I have known them to jump, yes...though 'possibly' less prone than the previous mentioned species due to their tendency to stay/hide lower in the water column. And please do understand, I have seen Halichoeres spp jump as well...I just think these are the better 'gamble' re >> Thanks, Pam <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>
R2: Any Wrasses Less Likely To Jump? - 07/20/07
Whoops...you're right Eric. <<Hiya Pam!>> I meant I'd keep away from Fairy Wrasses. <<Ah yes, so I thought>> One more question for you. <<Okey-dokey>> LiveAquaria mentions that a Copperband Butterfly needs a 50g tank or larger, and another site mentions 30g, but I believe they can get up to 8". <<In the wild, yes 'and maybe a bit larger even>> Aren't they way too big for a 50g? <<In my opinion, yes'¦ Not so much because of the water volume as these fishes are not quite so active as say the Tangs, but rather the limits in 'real estate' prohibit keeping this fish in such smallish systems. Chelmon rostratus is often a problematic feeder, having a larger system (100g+) with ample live rock/substrate and the associated infauna (along with an in-line refugium to help sustain populations) will go a long way towards sustaining this fish while it is being trained to other foods, as well as continuous contribution to the long-term health of this species>> Thanks. Pam <<Cheers, EricR>>

Fairy Wrasse... Shoal of 5 in a 500 gallon tank  6/30/07 <Greetings! Mich here.> Second question in one evening. <You're reaching your limit... just kidding!> Hope you can help. <Me too!> In my new 500g reef rank, <Well, I'm jealous!> I would like the "primary" motion to come from a small school of Cirrhilabrus scottorum. <Oh! This is one of my most favorite fish. I love fairy wrasses in general, but I am a particular fan of this beauty. I love them because they can be so colorful! Like a rainbow!> My LFS has recommended buying ~5 females and introducing them to the tank at one time (last). <This is good in theory.> The theory is that one will change to male and they will work in a community. <Yes. This is a sound philosophy.> Does this sound reasonable? <Yes.> Is this too many/too few? <This seems reasonable. Five would be a nice final number. Hopefully all survive.> Would this idea worry you in captivity (I've never seen this done)? <There is nothing that I see as a red flag here. Please send pictures of the group when you get to this point!> Thanks!!! <Welcome!>

Juvenile Rhomboid Wrasse Pair 6/6/07 Guys, First off, thanks for all your wonderful advice! I've learned a lot reading through all of these forums. Hopefully now you can advise me again. I, like a lot of people have been looking for a rhomboid fairy wrasse. I found a pair yesterday and while discussing shipping options they were sold out from under me. The guy I was dealing with tells me he has a juvenile pair, about 1.5" he can sell me for $250. <I've gots to get back into the collection biz> My fairy wrasse this small easily misidentified? <Easily> Also, I had planned on keeping eggcrate over my tank, but it would seem wrasse this small could easily make it through the holes. What would you advise about this purchase? Thanks, D <If this is the overall length of these Cirrhilabrus (rather than scientific "Standard Length"... tip of snouts to hypurals...)( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_measurement)  I would NOT buy these fish... too small, too much money for my taste/value system... I've seen this species about for much less cash at more adult size... I would hold off, look for these... Perhaps DrsFosterSmith.com, MarineCenter.com... Bob Fenner>

Lineatus Fairy Wrasse... sel.  - 11/11/06 Hi Crew, I come seeking clarification regarding the Lineatus Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lineatus). I've been hearing/reading mixed information, so I've come to the experts (are you buttered up yet?). <Fully lubed> My setup Setup: 90 gallon FOWLR tank, sump with Excalibur protein skimmer, 80lbs LR Stock: Powder Blue (my fish store told me my tank size was plenty, but I'm saving for a future 300 gal for him) Flame Angel, 3 Firefish, 4 Blue-green Chromis, and 2 false Percula clownfish My question, I am interested in adding a Lineatus Fairy Wrasse as my last addition. I've read that a single female will eventually turn to a male if it is the only fish in the tank (reference: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1765). However, my LFS owner stated the opposite, that a male may turn back to a female if isolated. Can you set me straight? <Mmm, both can happen... though more likely that an "initial" phase Labrid period will convert to a "terminal" (male) phase... in all cases, the "maleness" will not be as pronounced as in the case of members of both sexes or more than one individual being present. Hopefully that makes sense> Also, I've read that coloration in the male is most brilliant with 'harems'. <Oh, yes> Would a harem be 3 or more? <Now am thinking of Elvis singing in "Harem Scare". Thanks a lot. Oh, yes> Or would 2 suffice? <Two in a harem... What, do you live in Salt Lake?> If so, I'm worried that a 90gal would not support any more than one to begin with. Is fading color a real issue and are there other ways to address it without adding females? <Mmm, not really... all else being equal (just what does this mean anyway?), good water quality, nutrition, a dearth of agonistic tankmates... the presence of conspecifics brings out the most, best, "natural" behavior/s... Ooh, including sex changes, reversals...> Sorry for all the questions, but I really appreciate your advice. Thanks, Ian <Welcome. BobF>
Re: Lineatus Fairy Wrasse  11/12/06
Bob, Thank you for the quick reply! Based on your response, my plan would be to house one male with two female Lineatus Fairy Wrasses (No I don't live in Salt Lake, although that setup sounds nice). <Heeeee!> Just be sure, do you feel a 90gal is sufficient in size for three of these fish? Thanks again! Ian <Should be fine... large enough to inspire natural behavior... Bob Fenner>

Yellow Candy Hogfish or Scott's Fairy Wrasse (7-26-06) Hi WWM crew sorry for all the questions. <Hi there you have Leslie in for the crew this morning. No worries, that's what we are here for.> I have a Ocellaris Clownfish( Amphiprion ocellaris) and a Fridmani Pseudochromis( Pseudochromis fridmani) which do you think would be better with these fish '¦ a Yellow Candy Hogfish or a Scott's Fairy Wrasse? <I am not exactly which Hogfish you are referring to I am going to take a guess that it's the Bodianus bimaculatus'¦ Twinspot or Yellow Hogfish. Have a look here to be sure we are talking about the same fish http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/bodianus/index.htm It's the 4th fish listed. If they are not one in the same just be sure you have chosen a fish that is appropriately sized for your tank and tankmates. If they are on in the same I think either would be just fine, so go with whichever one suits your fancy. I personally really like the Scott's Fairy Wrasse.> Thanks for your fast reply and helping aquarists with their problems. <Your most welcome, Leslie>

Re: Yellow Candy Hogfish or Scott's Fairy Wrasse, cont. (7-26-06) Yep I was talking about the Bodianus bimaculatus <Good guess, I guess> thanks for your fast reply. <Your very welcome> I think I will get the Scott's Fairy Wrasse- Australia. <Great choice, I think you will be pleased. Best of luck to you and your new fish, Leslie.> Exquisite Wrasse  - 2/15/2006 Hello, <Hi there> I recently purchased an exquisite wrasse who now resides in my Quarantine Tank.  The wrasse is having a major problem swimming.  He lies on his back most of the time but breathes normal.  When I feed him, he scoots himself along to catch the food.  What type of condition could he have and what medicines are available to treat this.  All of my tank parameters are normal.  I don't want to lose him.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks. <Having chased this species a number of times underwater I am surprised any arrive in live condition... this is one of the species I would do a pre-emptory dip/bath on and place in a large, established (hundreds of gallons, lots of live rock, reef) aquarium... and hope that it lives. Bob Fenner.

Solar Fairy Wrasse Trio 12/18/2005 Hello everyone. <<Hello Brian - Ted here.>> I have a question about Solar Fairy Wrasse. My current setup is 55g tank, HOB refugium, AquaC Pro skimmer, Tunze 6060, Mag 9.5 on a closed loop, and a few corals such as xenia, mushrooms, and a Kenya tree. I read on fishbase.org that male specimens of Solar Fairy Wrasse have a band of coloration on their gills. If this is correct I currently have one male in my 55g. I am considering adding 2 more of these fish to my tank. I have read that they school together, and I would love to see them perform courting displays. Is there any other way to determine the sex of Solar Wrasse? <<Yes. Cirrhilabrus sp. are sexually dichromatic with the males being the more colorful. Males are more often imported because of this.>> Would it be safe to add 2 more of these fish to the tank? <<You can keep several together but keep only one male.>> I am going for a peaceful reef tank, and aside from a Starry Blenny, Cleaner Shrimp, and random crabs these fish will be the main attraction. Several websites have stated that as long as the newly added fish are smaller than the current wrasse, they will change into/stay as females. Is this reliable information? <<If you add only females size will not be an issue. I would recommend being patient and adding only females. See this link (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cirrhilabruspt2.htm) for pictures of a male and female).>> Do the females have different colorations from the males? <<Yes.>> All of the Solar Wrasse's I have seen have tremendous coloration, do males and females only differ in the band on their gills? <<No.>> Thank you for all your assistance. Sincerely, Brian <<You're welcome and good luck - Ted>>

Pass on This Wrasse? (Wrasse Selection)  11/9/05 Hello,  <Hello there! Scott F. with you today.> I would like to know if you can recommend the fairy wrasse Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura, or Ruby Head Wrasse. How hardy is this particular species? <The hardiness of this, or any Fairy Wrasse species is subject to a number of factors. The most important single factor, IMO, is the capture and handling techniques that the fish received along the chain of control from reef to LFS. It's generally a deeper water fish, which means that there is greater trauma associated with its capture. From that point, careful acclimation, quarantine and feeding will enhance the chances for success with this fish.> I have a 40 gallon tank with two percula clowns, so I doubt that there will be an aggression problem. <In my personal opinion, this fish would do better in a larger system, which affords more swimming area and the possibility of places to retreat if threatened. Also, greater environmental stability is a big factor in keeping these fishes, and larger tanks afford greater stability, in general.> How easy is this particular fish to feed? <No more difficult, or no more simple than any other Cirrhilabrus species, IMO> Is there an easier fairy wrasse that you would recommend? <I like the "Hawaiian flame Wrasse" (C. jordani). It's an attractive, easy-to-feed fish, in my experience, and seems to adapt well to captive life. However, it does get fairly large, and I wouldn't recommend one for your tank. Personally, I'd pass on most Fairy Wrasses in this sized aquarium, and opt for one of the smaller Halichoeres species, or even a "Sixline Wrasse", Pseudocheilinus hexataenia. Better suited for a smaller system, IMO.> I have received great help from you guys before, and I look forward from hearing you again. Thanks very much, Joe Marano <Glad to be here for you, Joe. Good luck on your choices. Regards, Scott F.> 

Rare Marine Fishes/Suppliers 7/10/03  Kevin here, Lately I've been on a quest to land a pair or small harem of C. rhomboidalis, with obviously little success. <hmmm.. they have been coming in regularly... just saw them fresh in Arizona and California> Do you have any clue as to which wholesalers may have the connections to get them? Aqua Marines out of LA claims that he gets them in monthly, which I doubt, <hmmm.. I would not doubt it... they are one of the best sources for rare fishes. The species has been making it in regularly at any rate> but we have since had a falling out w/ them and will no longer be doing business. <very sorry to hear it> Sergio at ERI was a hopeful prospect until his Marshall collector spilled the beans that the rhomboids he has been selling are actually a different Cirr. wrasse but look similar. <yes... I do believe I have seen both. Not that similar looking to me> He also said that true rhomboids are very difficult to get, as suspected, but there must be a Marshall collector out there who's getting them. Any thoughts, and have you ever seen a fairy wrasse that looks even remotely similar to a rhomboid? <they usually pass through the hands of the Hawaiian collectors. If you are in the industry (dealer), use your indices from Pet Business/Pet Age, PIJAC, etc to run down a list of Hawaiian collectors to appeal to> Kevin <best regards, Anthony>

Kevin S. here w/ a rhomboid Q Hey Bob! No need to have this hit the FAQ's. Anthony said you might have some HI contacts for getting a pair or two of C. rhomboidalis? The usual LA wholesalers have yet to come up with anything for me. Any recommendations for a reputable supplier? Kevin <Do have a few friends who collect in Hawaii (wish you were coming out with us next week. Can you still make it, 24th to the 31st?). But... the only member of the genus recorded from there is C. jordani... "Western Central Pacific" is the stated distribution of this animal. Saw Anthony's response to you re... Have you checked (as in called) folks in LA... either Sea Dwelling Creatures or Quality Marine? Do identify yourself with WWM and myself if so. As Antoine stated, have seen this species in LA and Phoenix recently. Bob F>

Re: Kevin S. here w/ a rhomboid Q <Oooh, too short notice to bail out to HI for a week, although I'd absolutely LOVE to go. Sorry for the confusion, I didn't mean that C. rhomboid. was from HI, <... not necessarily... though Randy Fernley (Coral Fish Hawai'i) does transship (mostly Centropyge loricula) through O'ahu> but since they're from the Marshalls, Anthony said that they'd hit HI soon after collection. We don't have an account with Quality, but we do with SDC. Will call tomorrow. Thanks, Kevin> <I would do so. Ask for Carl at SDC, Robert at QM. If you would like, make it known if/when you can be there (on 104th) and I'll meet you during a "book delivery day" and smooth the transaction. Bob Fenner>

Re: Kevin S. here w/ a rhomboid Q Hey Bob, I talked to Carl today at SDC, he said they had a male rhomboid in a few weeks back, but other than that he hasn't seen them for years. He's going to ask around and get back to me hopefully with promising news. <Ah, good> Any other options besides QM? I'd also be interested in calling up the stores that you saw them at a few weeks back, or maybe you or Anthony could shoot them an email and find out where they got them from. <Maybe contact the fine fellows at Aqua Touch (Phoenix): http://www.aquatouch.com/ am sure they will tell you where they were able to get theirs. Bob Fenner> Kevin
<Oh, and here's a pic of one. Bob>

Re: the rhomboid saga continues... Kevin here again... Thanks for hooking me up with Carl, he's probably the most hobbyist-like rep I've ever spoken with. <Yes, a fine young fellow (at Sea Dwelling Creatures)> Unfortunately we've been dealing with Gersh for years, and apparently he was hurt that I was asking Carl stuff instead of him. <Mmm, unusual> Oh well. Anyways, Carl flat out told me that I was "pipe dreaming", then later Gersh called back and proclaimed that he can get me a pair in 2 weeks. <Ha! Perhaps some friendly competition at work here> I'm going to cross my fingers on it, even though he wants four bills for the pair (everyone else had said 75 each, yet no one could come up with them...). I hope this works out! Lata Kevin <I've gots to get back into the collection end! Good luck. Bob Fenner>

Fairy Wrasses Hi Wrasse Experts, I have a 120-gal reef tank with lots of live rock and a nice sand bed.  The live rock has lots of caves and hiding places.  The tank is completely enclosed.  Presently I have a 3.5" Siganus vulpinus, a 2" Pseudochromis fridmani, and a pair of Cirrhilabrus scottorum (5" & 4").  All get along great together, no problems whatsoever. <Sounds like it would be a nice peaceful tank.  Perfect to lower the blood pressure with!> Here comes the question:  What will happen if I add a second pair of Cirrhilabrus wrasses of a different species? <Most wrasses from the Cirrhilabrus family tend to be group dwelling fish. They live in harems consisting of a secondary male and numerous females.  So, if you were to add more Scott's Fair wrasses, then most likely there wouldn't be that much of an issue, provided that the new additions are larger than the current ones.  It might lead to a few disputes at first if the new guy is bigger than the current male.  Mixing different species of wrasse can be a bit hazardous but these wrasses are known for their peaceful nature.  Not to mention having large amount of rockwork helps in the equation.> I was thinking of maybe C. lineatus? <very beautiful fish! Though not seen as frequently in the aquarium hobby as the Scott's Fairy Wrasse, the Lineatus is hardier in my opinion.> Will the two males duke it out or will they ignore each other since they are not the same species? <most people I know say that they would ignore each other, but you are taking a risk with it.> If that won't work, could I add another female C. scottorum to give me two females and one supermale? <Since these wrasses are found in harems, I would go for an additional Scott's.  You can get to see the male doing his "I have my harem" deal.  They tend to act a bit different when there is 2 or more females to one male.> Or how about adding a pair of Paracheilinus octotaenia instead? Or should I just wait until I get my 375-gal tank before I mix wrasses? <if you could wait until you have a 375 gallon tank going then it would easier allow you to add multiple species of wrasses. Be sure to check out some of our WetWebMedia FAQs and info sites dealing with Wrasses. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wrascompfaqs.htm Hope that helps.  -Magnus> Thanks, George

Australian Lineatus Wrasse 3/13/04 Hi All!  Well my flame scallops are doing well. heresy)  I know I'm a blind squirrel. lol  Thanks for the id on the Chisel-tooth wrasse.  Blasted LFS didn't have an id and I couldn't find an id, do you know anyone who'll want it once it gets 12" long? Arghh.  I hope it grows slowly. ;]  Maybe by that time we'll have a 400g and a bigger house. lol  They have a Creole wrasse now that just looks beautiful, but its only 2 1/2" long. sigh. <Congrats on your success with the flame scallops.  Please do realize that success with such animals should be measured in years, not months!  Many inappropriate fish make it into the hobby.  I know a very famous aquarist who has a napoleon wrasse in his reef tank!  These grow to several feet in length!> I'd like some advice since you guys are such wonderful advice givers...   One of these days I would like to buy what I consider to be the holy grail of wrasses (one of them at least, I adore wrasses!) an Australian Lineatus Wrasse.  But not until we are well established in the 180 which we will be buying sooner than later (I hope!). <Good plan to hold off until you have a system that will be stable.> Would you consider this to be a hard to keep fish?  Also, what are the space requirements on a fish like this?  Would I be able to keep a small one in a 33g propagation tank or should I wait for the 180? <My limited experience is that these fishes (fairy and flasher wrasses in general) are fairly hardy, but not quite so hardy as other wrasses.  I would not suggest keeping it in a 33gal tank.  Why subject an animal that you obviously hold in such high regard to less than ideal conditions?  These fish are moderately susceptible to parasites and as somewhat timid planktivores they often demand live foods (at least for a time).  Aggressive feeders can easily outcompete them for food, especially in the first few days/weeks after introduction.> Would it be okay to mail order this fish or would it be better to try and order it through a wholesaler (we know several)? <I always advise against purchasing these fish mail order.  If you ask your LFS to order it for you, the will often order more than one, allowing you not only to observe it's health, but to choose.  It is a whole other topic, but there are also a multitude of reasons to support your local stores.> Will a 180 be big enough, I currently have a Japanese wrasse and a super friendly exquisite wrasse in my 58g and my husband has a yellow Coris (why do they call this Coris, its sci. name is diff?) and the chisel tooth in the 75g. <Please do consider the typical temperaments of these fish, as well as your observations and consider if you really want to risk them with your "centerpiece" fish.> Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful day! Your ever-loving fan, Morgan  Bob Fenner ha Nijongo wo hanasu?  <Thanks for the kind words!  Best Regards, Adam><<Hi, wakarimas skosh. From living in Japan as a youth. RMF>>

In Search Of The Perfect Wrasse... Hello Crew, <Hello! Scott F. here today> Thought I pop in another question for my mentors.  I've been wanting to purchase a Rhomboid Wrasse for some time now. <Awesome fish!> However, I've seen pairs at the LFS but never of acceptable quality by my standards. I figured if I'm going to spend that kind of money, it should be in perfect condition. <I agree with you 100%!> Are Rhomboids really bad shippers?  The ones I've seen were always pale, inactive, breathing heavy, white blotches on skin, and with a few nips here and there.  They told me that is how they always come. <Well, these fish tend to suffer during the collection and shipping process. They are usually found in deeper water, and the initial collection often leads to trauma. Then, like other fishes, they have to endure a number of days without food, in poor water, while being shipped to the wholesaler, dealer, and then to you. Little wonder that they look to be in poor shape! My advice to you is to either place a deposit on some at the LFS, and see if they will hold them for a few days (to give them a chance to recover a it), or to pay the extra $$ and get them from a online source like Marine Center or LiveAquaria.com.> And when I try to wait out on them, they're always sold before I can get another look.  Well, the LFS has another Rhomboid in, but no pair, just one male.  Would the male lose color w/o the better half? <Quite possibly. With other species of wrasses to "flash" at, he might retain some color, though> And would it be wise to add just any non-pair female if they come along later on? <Ideally, you'd want one male to two or three females. These fish are "haremic" in nature, and display nicely when kept this way in the aquarium> Another thing is, if they are still in bad condition as before, which I expect, do you think I should take a risk in buying it based on the aforementioned conditions? <I'd see if they improve a bit in the dealer's tank, first, before taking them home. See if he/she accepts a deposit> I've waited and waited. Just don't know how long I would have to keep on waiting.  The LFS says they probably won't be getting any of them soon after this one. <Trust me on this- I'm a huge wrasse fan. I've missed a bunch of rare fishes over the years 'cause I hesitated for various reasons (like the ones you describe), but they always seem to be available again down the line. Maybe not tomorrow, or even next month. But eventually...It took me almost a year and a half to find a "Peppermint" Hog Fish (B. masudai), but I eventually found a great specimen. The same is true for many fairy and flasher wrasses. There will be others out there. Unless the specimen is an absolute one-of-a-kind,  I would wait for a good-quality one.> Tks for your advice always. Roy <My pleasure, Roy! Don't give up the search. It's part of the fun! Regards, Scott F>

Fairy/Flasher Wrasse questions Thanks for your help in the past. Hope you might have some more insights. I have a 180 fish and live rock tank. Mostly mellow fish right now, except for a hyper Kole tang and flame angel. <And these are relatively easygoing...> I am considering an attempt at putting together a harem of fairy or flasher wrasses. Ultimately, it would be with the plan to try to get them to breed. No one seems to carry the females. <Not as easily sold... due to color, finnage differences... everyone wants the males it seems> Do you know if this has been done and whether it worked? Thanks. <Yes, many times, many places... Have seen these groupings mainly in public aquariums due to size of tank requirements... but can be done. Bob Fenner>

Fairy wrasse Hi Bob, it's me again. I just recently emailed you about that HUFA and fish aggression question. Anyways, I finally found a store, which is willing to make a trade for my red lip blenny. Of course I'll probably have to pay some too. I looking for info on the Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis fairy wrasse. The FAQs don't have any questions about them. I'm asking because they are the only affordable fairy wrasses, and they are just as pretty as most others. How do they do as lone males?  <Fine, but won't be, stay as colorful as if female/s were about... Bob Fenner.> Do they need the females with them to do well? Thanks for your help.

Flame Wrasse Hello Mr. Fenner, <Hi there> How are you? Hope all is well. I hope you can answer a few questions I have regarding my recently purchased male Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani).  <One of my favorite species of a very favored genus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cirrhilabrus.htm my coverage and the FAQs beyond... where your message will be archived.> He resides in my 90 gal. reef aquarium. The Flame Wrasse is eating well, and getting along great with the other inhabitants (Purple and Yellow Tang). I was wondering if it is necessary/beneficial to have a harem for him ¦in terms of psychological and/or physiological?  <Mmm, no. If anything, in a tank of this size, you might try a single female> Will the intense coloration remain the same or fade without the company of females?  <Would be better with a female present> I am inclined to add two/three females for him'¬Â¦what is a reasonable number, given the space availability. <Exactly... the space is too small for any but one other (female) individual. More females here would too likely lead to more troubles than having none. Bob Fenner> Regards,

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