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  • Anthias

    Lyretail Anthias Male
    Most of the species are difficult to get feeding and require at least a 75-gallon tank. They can be kept singularly but do best in small groups of one male to 6-10 females. The exception is the Serranocirrhitus latus (Sunburst, Fathead, Hawkfish,) Anthias. Only one these per aquarium unless it is a very large tank (300 gal+), but it can be housed with other species of Anthias as long as it is added first. Anthias are not easy to keep but their beautiful coloration and active behavior are well worth the effort. Selection I would strongly recommend asking to see the fish eat before purchase. This will make the job of acclimation much easier. Anthias will hide in the rockwork when first introduced into their new home unless other established Anthias are present. This can make it difficult to get a good look at your perspective purchase. Anthias are active fish with a high metabolism so they often arrive quite thin. Be sure to look for a full-bodied fish that has clear eyes and fins. Most species of Anthias need to be housed with peaceful tank mates and require excellent water quality at 76-82F. They must be provided with plenty of places in the rockwork to hide and sleep in. Feeding Anthias are zooplankton feeders in the wild and require meaty foods. Mysis shrimp, raw white shrimp, and enriched brine shrimp are good foods to get them feeding. Once one or two of them start feeding it quickly triggers the others to begin feeding also. This is the main reason why Anthias do better in a group. For the first three months (or until they look full bodied) they should be fed at least 3 times a day. Then twice a day should be enough. Anthias have small mouths so the food must be small. Once they become established they will eat meaty frozen foods such as cube types and Freeze-dried plankton. Most Anthias must have a varied diet to maintain their bright coloration so be sure to feed them a combination of meaty foods. Compatibility Anthias are very reef safe and get along well with almost all other reef safe fish. They are “dither fish” which are fish that both smaller and larger fish use as a warning system that either the coast is clear or danger is near. In the wild many of the Anthias species mix together in shoals numbering in the thousands where the males of the species will maintain a harem of 6-8 females. Some of the species are too aggressive to mix with other Anthias unless you have a very large tank so be sure to research carefully before purchase. Anthias are very difficult to catch as they are expert swimmers and can hide in the smallest crevice in the rockwork. Conclusion Anthias can be a great addition but they require special attention to diet, water quality, and space requirements. They are not for the beginning hobbyist but they are one of the most brightly colored fish available. They make a stunning display as they swim over and through the reef. Regards, Kevin Pockell Below are some of the Anthias species I have kept.
    Bimaculatus Anthias Male
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...m/Banthias.jpg
    Lori Anthias
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...Lori-10-03.JPG
    Ventralis Anthias Female
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...m/DSCN1732.JPG
    Ventralis Anthias Male
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...ralis-male.JPG
    Red Line Anthias
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...ne_anthias.JPG
    Bartlett's Anthias
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...bartlett_s.jpg
    Lyretail Anthias Harem
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...arem-10-02.JPG
    Feeding Time At The Atlantis Aquarium
    http://www.reeffrontiers.com/photos_...5/Anthias2.jpg
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Krish's Avatar
      Krish -
      Very nicely put together Kevin!
    1. kevinpo's Avatar
      kevinpo -
      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

      Regards,
      Kevin
    1. mojoreef's Avatar
      mojoreef -
      On the Lyretail is their a point in time where they decide its time for a second female to become a male?? Twice now I have had a female in an existing harem go dominate and then wipe out the first one??

      Mojo
    1. jezzeaepi's Avatar
      jezzeaepi -
      Quote Originally Posted by mojoreef View Post
      On the Lyretail is their a point in time where they decide its time for a second female to become a male?? Twice now I have had a female in an existing harem go dominate and then wipe out the first one??

      Mojo
      This has happened to me twice as well. I had one male and 4 females which turned in to 2 males and 3 females... One of the males killed the other so I was then at 1 male and 3 females, and sure enough within a month I had 2 males and 2 females. About 2.5 months ago one of my males killed the other male, so now I have 1 male and 2 females. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they are done changing after having them for 2.5 years.
    1. kevinpo's Avatar
      kevinpo -
      In nature they occur in schools of 5,000-7,000 so aggression is dispersed. All the juvenile fish are females so there are plenty of new recruits for up and coming males to form new harems without having to bump off an older male. In addition many fish are eaten each day in the wild which breaks up the harems. The static environment of the home aquarium is quite unnatural for these Anthias. They do pretty well in groups of 10-14 but even then over a period of 5 years or so you can expect to lose a few. This is a species where you can keep a lone male without any problems.

      Regards,
      Kevin
    1. Frankie's Avatar
      Frankie -
      Great article Kevin. Thanks!
      Are all Anthias wild caught?
    1. kevinpo's Avatar
      kevinpo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
      Are all Anthias wild caught?
      Yes. I have never heard of them being bred in captivity. They are broadcast spawners and the eggs are smaller than a grain of salt. I've had them spawn in the aquarium in a group and the eggs are so small that you can barely see them. They spawn in the evening when the actinics are on. They eat their own eggs but produce thousands of them at once so in the wild many of them escape becoming a meal.

      Regards,
      Kevin
    1. Frankie's Avatar
      Frankie -
      Sounds like an interesting challenge to try and breed them. Just them eating the eggs and trying to separate them would make this very difficult. Hopefully one day someone will succeed.
      Thanks again Kevin!
    1. Scooterman's Avatar
      Scooterman -
      Wow still awesome to see these old articles.
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