Flame Wrasse

Cirrhilabrus jordani

The Flame Wrasse is one of the more spectacular fish and adds a dash of brilliance to any tank. These are most often added as male and female pairs, giving your tank a highlight of color and activity.

Male Flame Wrasses have a beautiful gold body, and the upper third colored bright red, especially in the dorsal fin area. When defending their territory or attracting their mate, they put on a fantastic show, deepening their colors, making them more brilliant with flared fins and even displaying, or “flashing”, bright golden lines up and down their body.

Females Flame Wrasses, on the other hand, may not be as bold or as flashy as the males, but their light red, almost pink, bodies and yellow fins accent the beauty of the couple. Females in captivity have been observed as having faded colors when there is not a male in the area.

The Flame Wrasse is also known as the Jordani Wrasse, Jordan’s Wrasse, or Jordan’s Fairy Wrasse. Sometimes, it is called the Hawaiian Flame Wrasse, referring to its Hawaiian home.

Speaking of the Flame Wrasse’s Hawaii home, it is nearly as much of a factor of the fish’s popularity as the fish, itself.

Flame Wrasses are usually collected from medium depths of nearly 100 feet around the Hawaiian islands. Aquarium owners in the United States, in this instance, benefit from a much shorter time between a fish’s collection and their availability. Instead of the weeks that it can take to bring in a fish from Kenya or Australia, or Asia or any of a number of popular overseas locations, the Flame Wrasse arrives without the starvation periods that accompany long fright trips. It is more robust and more able to adapt to life in an aquarium and to prepared foods with just a few days in the collection-to-consumer process.

Flame Wrasse for sale are usually around 3 inches in length, and can grow to a mature size of up to six inches.

The Flame Wrasse is one of the more elusive wrasses. While it can frequently be found in the deeper waters that it loves, at nearly 100 feet, even experienced divers only come across this fish once in a while. It is described as being an abundant fish, but in areas that are not only few and far between, but also hard to get to and even dangerous.

Divers who pursue the Flame Wrasse say that it is a lot like looking for gold. Sometimes, you just find them wherever you find them, and their harems make them a little easier to spot – just as long as you happen to be in the right place at the right time to catch a glimpse of them.

Flame Wrasses are considered to be very rare, owing to both the high demand for the fish and its low availability and collection.

Caring for a Flame Wrasse can be very nuanced, and many online resources say that it should be housed and cared for by advanced aquarists, only.

The minimum tank size for a Flame Wrasse has various suggestions, some saying as small as 30 gallons. However, most recommendations tend to hover between 75 and 90 gallons. While someone might be able to “get away with” smaller tanks, for the sake of the fish’s happiness and thriving, we agree that an aquarium news to be at least 90 gallons or larger to really house Flame Wrasses in a happy environment. The tank can be neither fish-only with live rock (FOWLR) or a reef tank, but it should definitely have plenty of shaded areas.

A Flame Wrasse’s water quality has to be maintained at a high level: 72-78┬║F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12 Water flow and movement in the tank are not important conditions, although slow-moving water is best during feeding times. More frequent water changes will not be required, but when you do a water change, make sure the temperature stays the same. Flame Wrasses can adapt to small changes, but they are super-sensitive to temperature changes.

In addition to plenty of wide open space for the Flame Wrasse to swim, their tank needs to have plenty of live rock. Live rock will give it small snacks throughout the day, but more importantly, it gives them a place where they can swim to and hide if it feels threatened. It also needs a good sand bed. Flame Wrasses are known to bury themselves into the sand when they sleep and also use it as a hiding place. The Flame Wrasse is a moderately hardy fish, but when it is first introduced to the tank, it will use all of the hiding place options and it may not come out into the open for a while.

Flame Wrasses are famous jumpers. In the wild, they swim around quickly, and when they are in an aquarium, sometimes they don’t seem to understand that their new home has a lot less space, both horizontally and vertically. It is vitally important to put tight-fitting lids on the tank, and to make sure that there are no open holes in the top that the wrasse might jump through.

Flame Wrasses often arrive with parasites (they can be susceptible to “ich” or other infectious diseases, but can also be successfully treated with coper medications of other medical care). They usually recover very well from the situation. However, they do need to be quarantined and kept in as low-stress an environment as possible. After your fish has been quarantined and you are introducing your Flame Wrasse into the display tank, you will want to put them into a holding container for a few days. This lets all of the fish get a chance to see each other. The current inhabitants get a chance to get used to seeing the new fish in town. Your Flame Wrasse will get a chance to check out their new neighborhood. Using live feeder shrimp, like brine or ghost shrimp, will help to start them eating in the aquarium. Once it is acclimated and feels at home, you’ll find that your Flame Wrasse will be active eaters.

Feed your Flame Wrasses twice daily. You’ll need to provide a variety of prepared foods. Shrimp, other meaty foods, flake foods, frozen preparations, and eventually, it will feed on pellet foods, as well.

The Flame Wrasse is known for being reef-friendly, making it even more wanted by aquarists.

Flame Wrasses do not bother corals, clams or invertebrates, although it will eat flatworms that threaten clams and certain snails. It may sometimes see small shrimp as food.

Flame Wrasses are known overall as easy-going fish that can get along with just about any other fish. It don’t have to be the largest fish in the tank to be comfortable, and are often housed with other wrasses. They are active by day, and at night, they wedge themselves into your tank’s live rock or sand bed, secreting a mucus “cocoon” around themselves to protect from predators.

That having been said, we advise that you not keep a Flame Wrasse with predators, especially aggressive ones, and make sure that other wrasses in the tank are smaller than the Flame Wrasse, as they tend to become targets for aggressive wrasses with a size advantage. There are also pretty consistent warnings about putting them into the same aquarium as Psuedochromis/Dottybacks, Seahorses, Pipefish, Sharks, and Rays. There have even been reports of problems putting them in with a Batfish.

While Flame Wrasses live in harems in the wild, duplicating this in a home aquarium can be tricky process. They will fight with each other at first, but if they can calm down and live peacefully with each other, then you have a chance at having a harem. Introduce all the females before or at the same time as the male. Do not put more than one male in the tank, and after adding the male, do not add any more Flame Wrasses or any other kind of Fairy Wrasse. Keep your eye on the group, and be ready to separate the fish if trouble arises between them.