Scott’s Fairy Wrasse: Care Guide

This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is an enchanting and breathtakingly colorful fish that will make a lovely addition to many aquariums. While they are relatively easy to care for, it is important to learn all of their requirements before purchasing one. In this guide, we'll show you how to properly care for your Scott's Fairy Wrasse.

Scott's Fairy Wrasse Quick Reference Guide

  • Scientific Name: Cirrhilabrus scottorum
  • Common Names: Scott's Velvet Wrasse, Scott's Greenback Fairy Wrasse
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 5 to 5.2 inches
  • Life Span: 3 to 5 years
  • Origin/Habitat: Fiji, Australia, Cook Islands
  • Temperament: Mostly peaceful, but if more than one male is present, they can become aggressive.
  • Minimum Aquarium Size: 125 gallons
  • Reef Safe: Yes
  • Diet/Foods: Carnivorous
  • Tank Region: They are typically found in the middle of the tank, where they feed on plankton. They also enjoy hiding in crevices in rocks.
  • Gender Characteristics: Males are larger with more intense colors. They have elongated ventral fins and pointed tail fins.

Scott's Fairy Wrasse: An Expensive and Rare Beauty

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is stunning to look at, and its lively temperament is sure to add playfulness and vibrance to your aquarium. They are easy to care for, making them a wonderful addition to a tank that has already been established.

Appearance

Scott's Fairy Wrasse can come in a wide variety of colors. In most cases, the head of this fish is green, which fades to blue-green before turning to bright blue at the end of the body. The lower body is generally red, while the upper body is often spotted with black. The middle part of this fish's body is usually purple, and they often have a spot in their center which can vary in color, though it is most frequently red or orange. The colors of the Scott's Fairy Wrasse can change slightly depending on mood.

There are three different varieties of Scott's Fairy Wrasse: The Fijian, the Australian, and the Tonga, which originates from Cooks Island. While each variety requires the same kind of care, they have different physical characteristics.

The Australian variety is also sometimes known as the Scott's Greenback Fairy Wrasse. The fins of this variety are often redder. The different colors of this variety also blend more smoothly into one another. The Tonga variety's main body tends to be bluer, and the fins are yellow. In this variety, the different colors are separated more distinctly than the Australian variety.

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is a relatively large fish, and they can reach just over 5 inches in length, with a maximum length of about 5.2 inches. They are said to live between 3 to 5 years old.

Gender

While it can be difficult to distinguish the different genders of the Scott's Fairy Wrasse at first, with a well-trained eye, it is entirely possible. On average, the males are slightly larger than the females. Furthermore, their ventral fins are elongated, while their tail fins are more pointed.

The colors of a male Scott's Fairy Wrasse are also more intense than those of a female, particularly when the male is ready to breed. During courtship, the male's colors can become iridescent, as well.

Male Scott's Fairy Wrasse are more aggressive than the females, and two males should not be housed together unless you have an aquarium that is at least 250 gallons.

Behavior

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is not usually aggressive, except in certain circumstances, which we will discuss later. They are a reef-friendly fish, and they will not harm any coral or invertebrates that are over 2 inches in length. This is a lively fish, but an aggressive feeder. They enjoy swimming in pairs or groups.

Certain species can pose a danger to the Scott's Fairy Wrasse. You should not add this species to a tank which contains angelfish, tangs, seahorses, or pipefish. Basslets, dottybacks, and longfins of similar size to your Scott's Fairy Wrasse can also become aggressive towards them.

While this species is peaceful overall, males will usually behave aggressively towards one another. While this species will thrive in a tank that is 125 gallons, you will need a tank of at least 250 gallons if you wish to house more than one male, as they become territorial.

This species is best kept in pairs with one male and one female. However, it is possible to add more than one female into the mix. If you plan on housing more than one female, you should introduce the females first before adding a male.

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is an incredibly hardy fish. Because they spin cocoons to sleep in at night, they are not as susceptible to diseases or infections as other fish. However, they can be prone to an infection known as ich. Keep an eye out for white spots on your fish, and immediately quarantine and medicate any fish you suspect might be infected.

Diet

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is carnivorous, and they survive mostly on plankton. When introducing Scott's Fairy Wrasse to your tank, it is best to start by feeding brine shrimp, which can be live or frozen. Then, you can begin introducing other proteins to their diet, including fish, shaved shrimp, and mysis. Any form of chopped seafood, including mussels, squid, and shrimp, are all wonderful additions to a Scotty's Fairy Wrasse's diet. The Scott's Fairy Wrasse will also enjoy the copepods that live in an aquarium's live rock.

It is also possible to feed them occasional pellets or flake food.

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse has an incredibly high metabolism. As a result, you must feed them regularly several times a day. It is far better to feed small amounts several times a day rather than a large amount once. You should feed juveniles at least three times every day, which will ensure they can grow at a proper rate. Once they reach adulthood, you can lower feeding to twice a day.

To boost your fish's immunity, you can pre-soak any food in liquid garlic. While the Scott's Fairy Wrasse is a hardy fish, they can be susceptible to ich. Many aquarium enthusiasts have reported that food pre-soaked in garlic has worked to both prevent infections, as well as fight them.

Environment

As juveniles, the Scott's Fairy Wrasse requires a tank with a minimum of 55 gallons. As an adult, however, the Scott's Fairy Wrasse requires a tank that is at least 125 gallons. Because they are active swimmers, the tank should have plenty of open space for them to zoom around. This fish does not burrow, so sand is not a requirement, and they can thrive with any substrate. However, they do require crevices to hide and sleep in. At night, they form a cocoon to sleep in while hiding under rock or coral. During the day, it is best if the coral or rock has plenty of holes for them to swim in and out of.

This peaceful fish will not harm any coral, and it also gets along well with invertebrates.

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is a notoriously high jumper. As aggressive feeders, they can leap out of a tank when trying to obtain food. They may also jump when they are frightened. Because of this, your aquarium must have a well-sealed lid.

The Scott's Fairy Wrasse can thrive in any lighting, and they tolerate any water movement speed. While slow-moving water is best for feeding, the Scott's Fairy Wrasse will not mind fast-moving water.

The temperature should be kept between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22.2 to 25.6 degrees Celsius. You must also maintain a pH between 8.1 and 8.4. The salinity should be kept between 1.020 and 1.025.

When keeping Scott's Fairy Wrasse, you should perform a 20% water change once every month, or a 10% water change twice every month. If you detect ammonia and/or nitrates in the tank, however, you should perform a water change immediately.

If you are introducing a large male Scott's Fairy Wrasse, you should leave the tank lights off for about one day. This will give your fish time to adjust. Make sure the tank is peaceful, and the room is quiet. This will reduce the fish's stress as much as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Scott's Fairy Wrasse Aggressive?

Scott's Fairy Wrasse are typically peaceful, although males can become territorial and aggressive towards one another if they are not housed in a large enough tank.

Can I Keep a Scott's Fairy Wrasse in a Bare Bottom Tank?

Scott's Fairy Wrasse do not require substrate because they spin a cocoon to sleep in at night.

Will My Scott's Fairy Wrasse Eat My Shrimp and Snails?

Yes, Wrasses will eat any shrimp or snails that are under 2 inches in length.

Do Scott's Fairy Wrasse Jump Out of Tanks?



The Scott's Fairy Wrasse is a notoriously high jumper. As aggressive feeders, they can leap out of a tank when trying to obtain food. They may also jump when they are frightened. Because of this, your aquarium must have a well-sealed lid.