Anthias in the marine water aquarium: Tips for the right keeping and introduction of various species


Not only because of their beautiful, bright colors Anthias are among the most popular marine water fish for the aquarium. They belong to the family of Comber Fish and mostly come from the Indo-Pacific region.

In the following we would like to show you what has to be considered when keeping Anthias and also give an overview about the most popular species of Anthias, especially Pseudanthias.

What has to be considered when keeping Anthias?

Even if each Anthias species has different requirements there are some essential conditions which are important for all all species.

Thus, for example, Anthias are swarmfish and therefore should always be kept with at least four or five samples. A harem (one male, several females) is particularly suitable. Because of the required swarm and the size up to 15 cm the tank should contain at least 500 liters, in aquariums from 1500 liters also more samples can be kept. A classic feature of Anthias is that they transform their sex - when the male dies or is weakened by disease the most senior female changes to male within a few months.

Moreover Anthias are permanent eaters, in the sea they feed on plankton which they catch in the open water. For this reason they must be fed frequently (at least three times a day) in the aquarium, especially at the beginning. We recommend feeding NYOS Goldpods. In addition the growth of zooplankton can be increased by the addition of dust feed or phytoplankton so the animals have more food in the tank. If the fish have settled down for a longer time an automatic feeder can also help.


Particulary popular: Anthias of the species Pseudanthias

Anthias of the species Pseudanthias are particularly popular in marine aquariums, especially since they are more peaceful than other Anthias species.

The popular Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) (see cover picture) is the most easy to care for representative of the Anthias. That’s because it’s less demanding in feeding – it’s enough when the fish is fed two times a day with high-quality frozen or live food (e.g. Calanus or Mysis). The Red-bar Anthias (Pseudanthias cooperi) is also considered as relatively easy to care for and, as well as the equally carefree Peach Fairy Basslet (Pseudanthias dispar), as robust. The absolutely rare Scribble Anthias (Pseudanthias bimaculatus) is also among the relatively easy to care for, more robust Anthias.

Red-bar Anthias (Pseudanthias cooperi)

The delicate Resplendent Anthias (Pseudanthias pulcherrimus), which is particularly interesting because of its rather small size of six to seven cm, is considered as more sensitive.

Tuka Anthias (Pseudanthias tuka)Pseudanthias evansi and Sunset Anthias (Pseudanthias parvirostris) are also very popular, but are reserved for more experienced aquarists since they are as considered sensitive and the conversion to substitute feed can be delicate, especially with Tuka Anthias.


No classical Anthias: The Geometric Perchlet (Plectranthias inermis)

Although the Geometric Perchlet (Pignranthias inermis) is related to the classical Anthias its behavior differs strongly from these - nevertheless it should be mentioned here for the sake of completeness. Geometric Perchlets stay very small and therefore are also suitable for nano aquariums. They rather live as solitary animals and are considered as predators, they aren‘t permanent eaters. 

Geometric Perchlet (Pignranthias inermis)

If you have further questions about Anthias feel free to contact our Whitecorals team at any time.

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