Let's talk Anthias

Users who are viewing this thread

Mr. Fishy Fish

Well-known member
Country flag
Since we already have a wrasse thread, I figured we should also have an anthias thread. Your experiences may help others in the future, please describe their behavior, how much you feed them, and anything else you'd like to add. I'll start with some pictures of my male Lyretail anthias and his harem of six females. Excuse the poor quality, I'm still trying to figure out how to take pictures with my phone under blues.

Figure 1
IMG_0681.jpg


Figure 2
IMG_0682.jpg


Figure 3
IMG_0718.jpg


Figure 4
IMG_0720.jpg




Description:
First off Lyretail Anthias do not school. If anything, lyretails only shoal once in a while when someone accidentally scares the crap out of them, or for other reasons I've yet to understand. My lyretails display the latter behavior in Figure 1 and they normally shoal like this right before the lights go out. As I do not purposely scare the crap out of my fish in order to take pictures, I can't give you a visual of the former. When they shoal in the former manner, it's not harmonious. You can clearly see them cowering in fear as they shoal under the rock work shown in Figure 2. That is also where they sleep, they always shoal in that same spot when they get scared. I believe this is because they feel secure in the territory they sleep in. It's not the same as the latter sort of shoaling. When they do shoal in the manner shown in Figure 1, they are in a state of harmony and look stunning. With that said, you would rarely see them shoal like this. So, if you're looking for a group of fish that will stay close together most of the time, then you should probably look elsewhere. Throughout, the day the females separate into different groups (or go solo), but the majority stick somewhat close to each other as shown in Figure 2. The male cruises all over to assert his dominance towards each member of his harem by chasing them. When I say he chases them, he doesn't relentlessly chase them; he stops after quickly asserting his dominance. Right before or when the male gets abusive, he displays both his dorsal and pelvic fins. Yes, lyretail males abuse their harem regularly. They need to do this to display their dominance, otherwise, one female may transition into a male. If that happens, then I, the transitioning male, and the current male are all going to have a problem. This will most likely end with one of the two males dead. That's not all, the females also get into minor scuffles with one another throughout the day. Right before or when the females get into their scuffles, they display their aggression by flashing their dorsal fins. Right before the lights go out, the females get much more aggressive towards each other. Once the lights go out sometimes all hell breaks loose. I've seen the females basically square up and lock mouths while the male watches. I believe the females are challenging one another for the other's place in the hierarchy when they do this.

Feeding: Currently I feed my lyretails anthias about 10-13 small meals a day
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0668.jpg
    IMG_0668.jpg
    87 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG_0674.jpg
    IMG_0674.jpg
    126 KB · Views: 2
Last edited:
M

mikeintoronto

Guest
I haven’t had quite the same experience with lyretails. The females shoal together and stay within a foot of each other. They do wrestle though. The male travels the entire tank. Surprisingly he’s much more gentle to his females than he is to other species. Even more surprising is he isn’t that aggressive to any other fish; more bark than bite.
Female lyretails harass the male huchtii. There must be some biology there.

Everyone seems to ignore the female huchtii. Huchtii females shoal very tightly.
Evansi shoal tightly.
Bartletts are generally always together with the carberryi. It’s probably the similar body type.
Kashiwae and truncate chase each other a bit. I would get rid of them first because they aren’t very attractive. The Kashiwae male is sort of colourful but meh.

Borbonius act like they don’t know each other. When they’re together it’s probably just coincidence.

I have 10 or so species in the tank and they tend to get along well. I wouldn’t recommend this, though. It’s an experiment that seems to work right now but I don’t know the future.

Anthias are the first to wake up in the morning (any light and they start swimming).

I auto feed 4x and hand feed 3-4 more. Or more if I’m bored.

Finally, the rabbitfish hates, hates, hates anthias. I think mine might be close to killing them so he’ll have to go soon.

0130B8CA-E397-4BC1-A8D7-BE1F163BDEDC.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Location
Navarre, FL
Country flag
Excellent thread! Here are my suggestions for keeping anthias:
  1. Feed often. Small meals at least 4-5x daily. (Hopefully you can get them eating pellets and use an auto feeder for some of their meals.) Anthias have an incredible metabolism, and as a result require multiple daily feedings.
  2. The male pesters the females all day, and the dominant female will also pester the other females. So, you need lots of space/rock for them to stay out of each other's way sometimes. Out of sight, out of mind. ;)
  3. Most anthias (especially the deep water species) are pod eaters, so it always helps to have an abundant supply of pods in your DT.
  4. Many times anthias (especially deep water) come with intestinal worms or internal flagellates, so I recommend food soaking General Cure during their QT period: https://humble.fish/internal-issues/
  5. Anthias are carnivores so brine or mysis shrimp are my go-tos in QT to get them eating. Or calanus for smaller anthias (deep water).
  6. Easy to keep anthias species include: Lyretails, Squarebacks, Bimacs, Ignitus, Bartlett's, Dispar. The deepwater anthias species and/or the smaller ones are the most difficult in my experience.
This is a GREAT article about Pseudanthias genus anthias: https://www.liveaquaria.com/PIC/article.cfm?aid=266
 

mattzang

Well-known member
Country flag
i'm looking to get a trio of either pulcherrimus (resplendents) or parvirostris (sunset), does anyone have thoughts on either of those?

from what i can tell they seem to check the boxes of:

-don't try to actively murder each other all day everyday, although i'm sure some attempts are made
-easy to get eating, maybe even pellets eventually?
-small
-fairly hardy
-not plagued by uronema issues like some of the others
-and a group is decently affordable
 

Mr. Fishy Fish

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
I haven’t had quite the same experience with lyretails. The females shoal together and stay within a foot of each other. They do wrestle though. The male travels the entire tank. Surprisingly he’s much more gentle to his females than he is to other species. Even more surprising is he isn’t that aggressive to any other fish; more bark than bite.
Female lyretails harass the male huchtii. There must be some biology there.

Everyone seems to ignore the female huchtii. Huchtii females shoal very tightly.
Evansi shoal tightly.
Bartletts are generally always together with the carberryi. It’s probably the similar body type.
Kashiwae and truncate chase each other a bit. I would get rid of them first because they aren’t very attractive. The Kashiwae male is sort of colourful but meh.

Borbonius act like they don’t know each other. When they’re together it’s probably just coincidence.

I have 10 or so species in the tank and they tend to get along well. I wouldn’t recommend this, though. It’s an experiment that seems to work right now but I don’t know the future.

Anthias are the first to wake up in the morning (any light and they start swimming).

I auto feed 4x and hand feed 3-4 more. Or more if I’m bored.

Finally, the rabbitfish hates, hates, hates anthias. I think mine might be close to killing them so he’ll have to go soon.

View attachment 12728
Mike, have you ever observed the behaviour of your female lyretails when lights go out? I've been doing it daily, and that's when they get the most aggressive IME. I think it's because mine are still new, so that could be why they're acting that way. Also, how many lyretails do you have? Did you add them all at the same time or in separate groups? Would you say the Evansi are hard to care for? @np60 wants Evansi's and I'm sure he would love to hear your take on them.
 
Last edited:

Jessican

Sheriff
Location
Fremont, CA
Country flag
I really wanted a group of lyretail anthias, and I started with 7 (1 male, 6 females)...unfortunately only 3 females made it out of QT, and then 2 of those died in the DT so I wound up with just a lone female. The clownfish don't like her but nobody else bothers her. Hopefully next time around I can actually have a group of some type of anthias.
 

Mr. Fishy Fish

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
I really wanted a group of lyretail anthias, and I started with 7 (1 male, 6 females)...unfortunately only 3 females made it out of QT, and then 2 of those died in the DT so I wound up with just a lone female. The clownfish don't like her but nobody else bothers her. Hopefully next time around I can actually have a group of some type of anthias.

Well, now that you're doing the management approach, I think you'll have much better success initially with the next group.
 
M

mikeintoronto

Guest
Mike, have you ever observed the behaviour of your female lyretails when lights go out? I've been doing it daily, and that's when they get the most aggressive IME. I think it's because mine are still new, so that could be why they're acting that way.
They don’t really become aggressive but you are right that they act strange near lights out. They swim erratically and fast.
The kashiwae do become very aggressive. If any anthias is going to jump this is when they do it.

Also, how many lyretails do you have? Did you add them all at the same time or in separate groups?
I bought a single male and QTed him. Then I got 7 females and 2 died in QT so I have a 1:5 ratio. I added the females maybe a week later if I remember right.

Would you say the Evansi are hard to care for? @np60 wants Evansi's and I'm sure he would love to hear your take on them.
Yeah I probably wouldn’t buy them. It’s too risky. Many anthias probably shouldn’t even be in the trade (eg ventralis) because they are just too difficult. I’ve yet to hear of anyone who has had long term success with ventralis. I know these people must exist but they are so few and far between that you just know too many of the fish are dying. If the evansi are eating well and consistently at the store, I might try but if not it’s best to skip. I turned down some beautiful fat loris recently. They looked great but didn’t eat the three times I visited.

My evansi are not consistent eaters so I watch them closely and fed close to them.
 

Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Location
Navarre, FL
Country flag
i'm looking to get a trio of either pulcherrimus (resplendents) or parvirostris (sunset), does anyone have thoughts on either of those?
Resplendents are easier because they aren't deep water. Once you start messing with deep water anthias they are a) More finicky b) More prone to swim bladder problems due to improper collection (decompression) techniques.
 

Mr. Fishy Fish

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
They don’t really become aggressive but you are right that they act strange near lights out. They swim erratically and fast.
The kashiwae do become very aggressive. If any anthias is going to jump this is when they do it.


I bought a single male and QTed him. Then I got 7 females and 2 died in QT so I have a 1:5 ratio. I added the females maybe a week later if I remember right.


Yeah I probably wouldn’t buy them. It’s too risky. Many anthias probably shouldn’t even be in the trade (eg ventralis) because they are just too difficult. I’ve yet to hear of anyone who has had long term success with ventralis. I know these people must exist but they are so few and far between that you just know too many of the fish are dying. If the evansi are eating well and consistently at the store, I might try but if not it’s best to skip. I turned down some beautiful fat loris recently. They looked great but didn’t eat the three times I visited.

My evansi are not consistent eaters so I watch them closely and fed close to them.
Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions @mikeintoronto.

Resplendents are easier because they aren't deep water. Once you start messing with deep water anthias they are a) More finicky b) More prone to swim bladder problems due to improper collection (decompression) techniques.

Thanks for sharing @Humblefish.


I believe the information provided here should help others in the future.
 

np60

Active member
Country flag
Mike, have you ever observed the behaviour of your female lyretails when lights go out? I've been doing it daily, and that's when they get the most aggressive IME. I think it's because mine are still new, so that could be why they're acting that way. Also, how many lyretails do you have? Did you add them all at the same time or in separate groups? Would you say the Evansi are hard to care for? @np60 wants Evansi's and I'm sure he would love to hear your take on them.
following
 

xclintonx

New member
Country flag
Everyone's anthias sound so much more lively than mine. I have a smaller group (3) and have had them for about two months. So far all three are still orange and I have not observed any of them looking like they would change to a male.

They eat anything I put in the tank. I feed three times a day. Twice they get pellets and once they get mysis or brine shrimp (they love the mysis). I have a pair of black ice clowns that they all hang out with. No one fights or picks on anyone else and the clowns think they are part of the gang.

I have an auto feeder but the pellets would just go down the return if I did that. I have to be there to put the vectra on "feed" mode to feed them. If I was to put the vectra on an auto timer with the feeder, then my ATO would beep like a mad fire engine for ten minutes every time they ate. What do I do in that situation or do you think my three times a day is enough? I do noon (I am able to go home for lunch), 4:30, and 8:30.
 

Jalcorn

Well-known member
Country flag
20201222_144816.jpg

Pseudanthias flavvogutatus is one of my favourite species of anthias ive kept. Never found them to be finicky and are much bolder than i imagined they would be. Never had issues with them picking each other off, though ive never experienced anthias to be like that.

Thought id note that my lyretails seem to puff out their throat when they are displaying too, or so it seems.
 

Mr. Fishy Fish

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
Thought id note that my lyretails seem to puff out their throat when they are displaying too, or so it seems.

Yes, it's called a pelvic fin. I'm pretty sure they flash this fin along with their dorsal fin as a sign of aggression.


Everyone's anthias sound so much more lively than mine. I have a smaller group (3) and have had them for about two months. So far all three are still orange and I have not observed any of them looking like they would change to a male.

They eat anything I put in the tank. I feed three times a day. Twice they get pellets and once they get mysis or brine shrimp (they love the mysis). I have a pair of black ice clowns that they all hang out with. No one fights or picks on anyone else and the clowns think they are part of the gang.

I have an auto feeder but the pellets would just go down the return if I did that. I have to be there to put the vectra on "feed" mode to feed them. If I was to put the vectra on an auto timer with the feeder, then my ATO would beep like a mad fire engine for ten minutes every time they ate. What do I do in that situation or do you think my three times a day is enough? I do noon (I am able to go home for lunch), 4:30, and 8:30.
What kind of anthias do you have? I'm assuming lyretails, if you don't have pods that go into the water column, then I'd say three times is not enough. If you do, then three times will probably be enough. Personally, I think all fish should get at least five meals a day. I kind of built my setup so I can feed a lot. I feed about 1-1.5 ounces of frozen a day. I also dump BBS in the tank every other day. I basically fill a 1-gallon jug with eggs and then strain it into a five-gallon bucket to remove the eggs. I then fill the five-gallon bucket to the rim. After that, I use that bucket to do two 2.5 gallon water changes.
 
Last edited:

xclintonx

New member
Country flag
Yes, it's called a pelvic fin. I'm pretty sure they flash this fin along with their dorsal fin as a sign of aggression.



What kind of anthias do you have? I'm assuming lyretails, if you don't have pods that go into the water column, then I'd say three times is not enough. If you do, then three times will probably be enough. Personally, I think all fish should get at least five meals a day. I kind of built my setup so I can feed a lot. I feed about 1-1.5 ounces of frozen a day. I also dump BBS in the tank every other day. I basically fill a 1-gallon jug with eggs and then strain it into a five-gallon bucket to remove the eggs. I then fill the five-gallon bucket to the rim. After that, I use that bucket to do two 2.5 gallon water changes.
What pods do you recommend?
 

Alcatraz

Well-known member
Country flag

Mr. Fishy Fish

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
What pods do you recommend?

I would think that something like Tisbe biminiensis would be best as they move around in the water column. I wouldn't use tig pods just because they normally stay on surfaces.

Sorry, I made a mistake there. Tig pods go into the water column and tisbe go into the rocks and crevices, so you'd want tig pods.
 
Top