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Anthias: Gorgeous, ray-finned species for your aquarium

Indian Ocean Lyretail Anthias

Anthias: Gorgeous, ray-finned species for your aqarium

What is Anthias Fish?

Anthias, from the family of Serranidae, and the sub-family of Anthiadinae, are a beautiful breed of marine, ray-finned fish from the grouper and sea bass family. They are also known as Swallowtail Sea Perch, Wreckfish or the Marine Goldfish. This diverse family of fish come in a wide array of colors ranging from red, pink, orange and yellow.

What do Anthias eat?

Anthias are carnivorous and enjoy consuming small organisms that float around in the water column, including copepods, crustacean larvae as well as fish eggs. Anthias tend to be very active, darting around the water column while picking off zoo plankton. It is also not uncommon to see Anthias hunting upside down under coral ledges, which is also quite likely to happen in home aquariums.

It is paramount that Anthias get enough to eat. They will thrive in an environment where they receive frozen Mysis shrimp, enriched frozen brine shrimp, and eventually high-quality flake food given in small quantities throughout the day.

How big do Anthias get?

Males tend to grow up to a maximum size of a little under 4 inches and females somewhat less than that. However, Square Back Anthias tend to reach an adult size of 7 ¾ inches.

What size of tank do Anthias need?

If you plan on keeping just a single Lyretail Anthias, a minimum size of 70-gallon tank would suffice perfectly. However, if you plan on having more than a single Anthias, you may want to adjust the size. A small harem of about five would require a 150-gallon tank.

Are Anthias fish peaceful?

Anthias are an easy species to keep in your aquarium. They have a very peaceful temperament, and make for excellent tank mates, as long as they are fed well. If they happen to be underfed or kept in cramped conditions, Anthias tend to become aggressive towards smaller, more passive fish.

Different varieties of Anthias fish can be kept together in a shared space, but keep in mind that there is a subtle pecking order, but since they’re generally peaceful, they will continue to be the same after an initial period of bullying.

Additionally, as long as they are not in the same complex of species, each species can also have a male present. The Lyretail Anthias species is well known to be a feisty bunch, and other, similarly feisty species would make for excellent tank mates.

What is the perfect environment for an Anthias?

Make sure to provide your aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding. In the ocean, they are most frequently found on the outer reefs where strong water movement is prominent. Aquarists should compensate for this by using multiple power heads in their aquariums. This would, without doubt, result in increased activity from your Anthias fish.


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