Rose Band Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus Roseafascia)

Rose band fairy wrasse

The rose band fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus roseafascia) is also known as the rose band wrasse or simply the rose fairy wrasse. It’s often confused with its close relative, the red-banded fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis). Both species are known by multiple common names that can be very confusing to beginning aquarists and fish enthusiasts, so here’s a quick guide to help you identify this fish and its correct common name.

The rose band fairy wrasse is a species of wrasse that is native to the tropical western Pacific Ocean, specifically from eastern Australia south to New Caledonia and north to the Ryukyu Islands and Ogasawara Islands in Japan. It can be found on coral reefs at depths from 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26 ft), usually among rubble or in areas with large sea whips or staghorn corals, but sometimes near rocky areas or mangroves.

The Cirrhilabrus roseafascia comes from the genus Cirrhilabrus, which includes both species with and without long, trailing appendages on their dorsal fins. Members of this genus are often called wrasses, but they are not actually related to true wrasses (family Labridae). The rose band fairy wrasse belongs to the family Labridae, subfamily Pseudocheilinus, and the order Perciformes.

Origin and description

Rose band fairy wrasse

The Cirrhilabrus roseafascia is a species of wrasse native to the tropical waters of Australia and Papua New Guinea. This fish typically inhabits coral reefs, though it has also been found in lagoons and seaward reefs. It can grow up to 19 centimeters long, which makes it a good candidate for home aquariums as well as public aquariums.

The female Cirrhilabrus roseafascia usually lay eggs on hard surfaces; they then take care of their offspring while they are still attached to these surfaces. These adult individuals may live around 6 years, with an average length of about 7 centimeters. For more information about this species, read on.

The Rose band fairy wrasse grows at an average rate that should make it suitable for home aquaria: Adults grow at about 1 centimeter per year until around age 4 or 5, when growth slows down to 0.5 centimeters per year.

The rose band fairy wrasse is found in marine and brackish waters from central to southern Japan, in coastal areas of Taiwan and northern New Guinea. This species can reach 18 cm long but more commonly it reaches 15 cm in length.

It feeds mainly on invertebrates, particularly polychaetes. The specific name roseafascia refers to its rose-colored cheek stripes; other members of its genus have yellow cheek markings. Its dorsal fin has 13 spines and 13 soft rays, while its anal fin has 3 spines and 10 soft rays.

Species profile

Rose band fairy wrasse

The rose band fairy wrasse is a member of Family Labridae, Order Perciformes, Class Actinopterygii. It is also known as Cirrhilabrus roseafascia. This beautiful marine fish can be found in its waters along the Great Barrier Reef. Despite being named for their bright, red-orange-colored head region, some individuals have been seen with yellow coloration instead.

These wrasses are very small in size, they rarely exceed 10 centimeters long when fully grown. They belong to a category known as cleaner wrasses: they make their living by feeding on parasites and dead tissue from larger fishes’ bodies.

Habitat

The rose band fairy wrasse can be found in patchy areas of coral rubble, surrounded by healthy coral colonies, usually in lagoon reef systems at depths ranging from 2 to 30 meters. Although, their habitat preference is similar to that of various damselfish species and can often be found in association with them.

They are known to inhabit tropical coral reefs and lagoons at depths of up to 200 feet in waters with a temperature range between 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Like many other Fairy Wrasses, it prefers living singly or in small groups around isolated rock formations or outcroppings on reef slopes where there is ample algae growth and hard-bottom substrate for hiding places. It eats small crustaceans (like shrimp), planktonic animals, insects, marine worms, and benthic polychaetes.

Rose band fairy wrasse size

Small fish grow up to 3 to 6 inches long, but they can grow to be 12 inches long.

Rose band fairy wrasse tank size

They require a minimum of 55 gallon fish tank or larger. Large schools should be kept in even larger tanks with plenty of open swimming areas for each fish. Small schools will do fine in smaller tanks, but only if you are willing to check on them daily to make sure they have enough food and have not picked on one another too much.

As they get older, they will calm down and may act less aggressively towards tank mates. In general, keeping just a pair is fine as long as it has plenty of space and is fed enough to keep them satisfied.

Rose band fairy wrasse tank set up

When setting up a tank for Rose band fairy wrasse, it is important to provide plenty of hiding places. Roseband fairies will be hiding in their cave and crevices during most of their day, but they should have ample opportunity to come out and explore when you are feeding them or performing water changes.

These wrasses are hardy and easy to care for, but they do require proper setup in order to thrive in captivity. They should be kept in groups with more females than males. Tank size can vary depending on your budget, but at least a 60 gallon aquarium is required to comfortably house one fish with room to grow into an adult female.

However, even though they are reef safe and peaceful towards other fish that occupy their home, I would recommend keeping no more than two together at once for ease of feedings and daily maintenance.

Rose band fairy wrasse tank mates

Rose band fairy wrasses should not be kept with aggressive species. They may also pick on sessile invertebrates, corals, and ornamental crustaceans. However, they make great companions for other rainbowfish and are compatible with clownfish.

They will get along fine with tangs, anthias, and other fairy wrasses. They have even been known to hang out with coral beauties and clownfish. Other robust fish such as triggerfish should not be kept with these wrasses because their interactions can lead to injury or death for your pet.

Do not keep them with larger and territorial angelfishes such as Pomacanthus and Holacanthus, although dwarf angelfish can be good mates as well as the more docile angelfish genus, which include Centropyge, Apolemichthys, Genicanthus, Chaetodontoplus, and Pygoplites.

Also, they will not do well with small but very aggressive fishes like dottybacks as tankmates.

Rose band fairy wrasses breeding

Rose band fairy wrasse

Rose band fairy wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites and can change sex at any point in their life. They begin as females, but can change to males if they don’t find a mate. Once they are male, they stay that way for life. In an aquarium, reproduction may be triggered by a drop in water temperature or introduction of another male into an all-female tank.

Females will lay clusters of eggs on rocks or other hard surfaces near solid structures like live rock where they tend to remain after hatching. This is done intentionally so that adult fish have a place to hide from predators and also so baby fish have cover while they hunt plankton over coral reef structures.

Males do not take part in parenting, but will guard nests from predators when young fish are present. Spawning takes place around 3 to 5 times per hour, with each spawn lasting roughly one minute. A single female can produce up to 2000 eggs in a spawning session, with batches of 100+ produced every few days until she exhausts her supply.

It’s very important to keep egg-laying species separate from those who consume them since some species (like damselfish) will eat unfertilized eggs before they hatch. Some hobbyists report getting months out of a spawn by separating it during incubation periods.

Are Rose band fairy wrasses aggressive or peaceful?

The rose band fairy wrasse is considered peaceful and are generally only aggressive to other fish that are much smaller than them, such as their own species. However, they will sometimes be a little nippy towards each other in their own species.

If you have more than one of these in your aquarium, make sure to give them space from each other or else you’ll end up with some bitten fins. You should also avoid placing these near eels as they tend to be food for them.

Rose band fairy wrasses care

Rose band fairy wrasse

The rose band fairy wrasse is a true gem of a fish! The coloration can be quite stunning, with almost an iridescent look to them. If kept in a reef tank, they will eat microscopic organisms in your rocks and sand, but can also be kept in non-reef setups as well. However, these wrasses are very territorial, so take that into consideration when choosing tank mates for them.

Rose band fairy wrasse diet

Rose band fairy wrasse feed on small invertebrates that they capture with their mouths as they swim. The diet of these fish varies depending on their location, and includes benthic invertebrates such as amphipods, polychaetes, crabs, mollusks and echinoderms. Other food items include small fishes, hydroids and foraminiferas. Occasionally, plant material may be ingested when other food is scarce.

They may also eat Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with quality marine flake and pellet food.

Water parameters

The ideal pH should be around 8.0 to 8.3, Hardness of 10 to 15 dH, Temperature of 21 – 25 ̊C. They are relatively hardy specimens when provided with stable water conditions, adequate nutrition, and regular partial water changes.

Rose band fairy wrasses lifespan

This species is expected to live for 3 to 5 years. They may live longer in captivity. In an aquarium environment, they can live up to 8 years, with proper care.

Parasites and diseases

Rose band fairy wrasse

The list of parasites and diseases that impact Cirrhilabrus roseafascia are long, and include these protozoan diseases: chalcidoid hyperinfection, flukes, sponges, monogeneans (leeches), ciliates, or flagellates.

Additionally, there are also many bacterial diseases like Gill disease which can cause gill necrosis in fish. There’s a whole host of fungal diseases as well such as cotton-wool fungus, Colpoda steinii, and red spot dermatitis caused by another fungus called Ichthyophonus hoferi.

Predators

The rose band fairy wrasse is threatened by predation from carnivorous fishes, such as smallmouth triggerfish, clown triggers, Napoleon wrasses and predator butterflyfish.

Do they make good pets?

Rose band fairy wrasses are not a good choice for aquarists keeping marine fish species. They tend to be more aggressive than some other types of wrasses, and require a very large aquarium due to their size when adult.

An adequate tank will house a mated pair, but housing them with other species is not recommended. It is extremely difficult to keep them alive in captivity as they need to eat large amounts of live copepods and amphipods on a daily basis.