Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by evolved, Jul 28, 2016.

Cirrhilabrus Complexes: Inferiority Need Not Apply

By evolved, Jan 20, 2015 | |
  1. evolved

    evolved The Wrasse Guy Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award AZ FRAG Member Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Cirrhilabrus Complexes: Inferiority Need Not Apply



    This article is obsolete. It has been replaced by the 1st revision.

    Cirrhilabrus, the “Fairy Wrasses”, are one of the most elegant, active, and colorful reef fish. Their appeal in a reef tank is common to many, but not all have a well-rounded understanding of the compatibility amongst them. Enter the notion of “complexes”: groupings of very closely related species within a genus.

    Complexes create groups in which the species have a physically similar structure; the body shape, fin shapes/sizes, and maximum length create these groupings. Coloration is not necessarily a commonality within a group (but patterns are, to a moderate degree). From a genetic viewpoint, it is quite likely each complex originated from a common ancestor or perhaps from one species still within the complex.

    Scientifically, complexes do not really exist. They are a notion created amongst hobbyists to aid in selecting more compatible species. Complexes have large implications on levels of aggression and compatibility amongst other complexes. For the most part, the level of aggression within a complex is similar for all those species it contains (of course, there are always exceptions).

    The chart below presents complexes within the Cirrhilabrus genus. As mentioned, these groupings are not exactly scientific, and some placements could be debated. The intent of the chart is to be functional rather than purely scientific. The number of complexes is unimportant. Rather, what is important is the relationships amongst the various Cirrhilabrus species for the hobbyist seeking to make these beauties a part of their reefs.

    The complexes are named simply by one of the popular or common species from each complex. The relationships between the complexes are represented in one of three ways: by adjacent boxes (very strong), by solid lines (strong), and lastly by dotted lines (weak). Also, the shading of the box represents the general level of aggression of the complex relative to the others. Red boxes have the highest levels of aggression, while green have the lowest.

    When seeking to mix two or more species within the same tank, the chart should be used in the following manner. The further away two complexes are the more likely the odds of compatibility will be. Additionally, the odds of success also improve for similar levels of relative aggression between two complexes. The extension of these two statements can be applied to mixing various species within a complex as well; the higher the aggression levels the less likely this will be successful. Those complexes of the lower aggression levels can generally be mixed amongst themselves with relative ease. [One caveat here: those two complexes in red (Filamentosus and Scottorum) should not be mixed with any other complexes or amongst themselves unless the system is extremely large, say over 400 gallons.] For example, mixing an Exquisite, Lineatus, and Hooded is rather safe. However, mixing a Conde, Rubriventralis, and Adorned would be problematic at best.

    With a bit of luck and knowledge, this chart can prevent needless frustration and incompatible additions the next you find yourself in your local fish store searching for your next, or first, Wrasse addition. Happy Reefing!



    If you love wrasse check out the Wrasse Lovers Thread.

    For more information on all other types of fish check out our fish discussion forum here.

    Featured image courtesy of Eric Zard (zibba).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  2. Eva Rose

    Eva Rose Well-Known Member

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    Informative article that will be very helpful to wrasse addicts or those who want to just add a small grouping of wrasse. The chart is a fantastic resource.
     
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  3. Nick James

    Nick James Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I feel dumb for asking but I just want to make sure I am understanding the chart correctly. If there are no lines connecting complexes which contain fish I would like to have cohabitate, there is a better chance of them mixing if their aggression level is the same? I am assuming green and green will be a go in nearly all cases. Yellows with no lines connecting them?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  4. evolved

    evolved The Wrasse Guy Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award AZ FRAG Member Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yup, that's the correct understanding. Yellows with no lines will likely be okay. Red with or without lines is a bad idea. :)
     
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  5. Nick James

    Nick James Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Great.. now I found out how I can get more wrasses...
     
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  6. TonapahNorth

    TonapahNorth Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    This is wonderful information and your hard work in creating it is much appreciated. Thank you.
     
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  7. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    This is confusing lol.
    I'm looking to add a rhomboid
    I have a Roseafascia and a Pintail(isosceles)
    What do you think safe or risky?
     
  8. evolved

    evolved The Wrasse Guy Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award AZ FRAG Member Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thank you kindly!
    The chart might be out of context without the article text; make sure you read it too.
    Roseafascia can make everything risky, so maybe.
     
  9. ksfulk

    ksfulk Grow sticks, grow!!! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    @evolved

    Any thoughts on where the new "Blue Throat Sailfin Fairy" wrasse (Cirrhilabrus sp.) fits in the complex chart? I have a stocking plan in mind, but I love the look of this guy, so I was trying to figure out what my other options for fairies would be.

    bluethroatfairy.JPG
     
  10. evolved

    evolved The Wrasse Guy Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award AZ FRAG Member Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Filamentosus. It's TBD if it's unique species yet or a regional variant of tonozukai.
     
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  11. IronVulture

    IronVulture Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I think your link at the top of post 1 is broken
     
  12. ksfulk

    ksfulk Grow sticks, grow!!! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Well there goes that idea :( Was hoping for a less aggressive category. Oh well - thats what reference charts are for! Thanks for the info.
     
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  13. evolved

    evolved The Wrasse Guy Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award AZ FRAG Member Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    That's a tapatalk issue; it's a good link.
    Sorry. :( You're welcome!
     
  14. bobble28

    bobble28 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! The article is great too!
     
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  15. Maritimer

    Maritimer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I can't tell you how many times I've consulted that chart. Truly, an invaluable resource.

    (You're going to have to update one of these years ... they keep finding new species!)

    ~Bruce
     
  16. leahfiish

    leahfiish Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I downloaded this chart on my phone and put a shortcut to in on my home screen. It's awesome! I would love a similar chart for Paracheilinus but I guess they might have different dynamics so a chart might not be as useful.

    For the temminckii complex(es?)... Is it one group that has 2 different aggression levels? Or 2 separate ones? Like are cyanopleuria and balteus as closely related as cyanopleuria and punctatus (for example)?
     
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  17. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    The 2 temminkii groups are more closely related to each other than to cyanopleura.
     
  18. leahfiish

    leahfiish Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So they are separate groups? I wasn't sure if they were just split based on aggression or if they were actually seperate.
     
  19. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    They are both within the temminkii complex or clade, but ggeneticaly tee-off within the clade.
     
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  20. ngoodermuth

    ngoodermuth Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    In your experience, how heavily does gender factor in when mixing? For example, say I have a male "green" and two female "yellow" species, would you agree that adding another "green" more timid species will be less likely to be an issue if it's done before the "yellow" transition male? And would it be better if the new addition is female as well, or male?
     
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