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FAQs about Fancy Basses, Subfamily Anthiadinae Compatibility

Related Articles: Fancy Basses, The Sunburst or Fathead Anthias

Related FAQs: Anthiines 1Anthiines 2Anthiine Identification, Anthiine Systems, Anthiine Selection, Anthiine Behavior, Anthiine Feeding, Anthiine Disease, Anthiine Reproduction,

Lionfishes, Dwarf and Not... Not!

Bimaculatus aggression (Pseudanthias comp.)      5/18/14
Hi Bob and crew. I want to thank you (Bob) for coming and speaking to our Marsh-reef.com event in Houston a few months back. Your talk was very informative and it was a pleasure to meet you in person as I consider you the authority on anything salt water. Your website is my first source any time I have a question. In fact, I was the one who had the Bimaculatus Anthias with the swim bladder issue we spoke about. Anyway, my question is this: I have a 400g mixed reef tank with several species of Anthias. I  have a harem of 10 female/2 male Lyretails (Pseudanthias squamipinnis), a Sunburst (Serranocirrhitus latus) and 4 female Bimaculatus (Pseudanthias bimaculatus). Within the last month, one of the female Pseudanthias bimaculatus changed into a male. He came out very beautiful but has gotten very aggressive since changing.
<Does happen. Happily you have a large system; many specimens to subdivide the agonistic behavior amongst>
Now I know he has to establish his dominance in the tank but within a week, he killed one of the male Lyretails, one of the female Bimaculatus, and the Sunburst. In addition, he chases everything else around the tank.
<Aye ya! A terror!>
My tank is a pretty peaceful community and he has totally disrupted the balance. I was able to catch him
<! Wow!>
and put him in a 40g QT. Will he ever calm back down to where I could add him back to the DT?
Or do I need to trade him to another hobbyist.
<Mmm; a tough/er call. I'd be inclined to trade this one in>
Also, if I leave him out too long, I am sure one of the other females may start changing to replace him and then I may have the same problem all over. What would you suggest? Also, are there any other species of Anthias that I could add that would peacefully coexist with my current stock? These are one of my favorite fish. I was thinking  Pseudanthias smithvanizi, Pseudanthias ignites, or any other members of the species listed at peaceful?
<These are all more easygoing than P. bimaculatus IME>
in advance. James
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Small Anthias stuck in overflow box   12/27/13
Hi Guys,
I put a group of 5 Bartlett's in my 120 and had my powder blue to a little wild on them forcing 4 of them over the overflow. The powder blue seems to have accepted the one remaining barlet at this point as he is out and about.
Any ideas about how to retrieve the other Bartlett's from the overflow?
<... depends on the configuration... nets; and maybe screening the slots to prevent further adventuring...>
 I can try draining them and netting them out but with the Durso in the way etc. was wondering if there is a better method.
Thanks !
<I'd place the A. leucosternon in a floating, plastic colander for a few days... to knock it down a few pegs; give the Anthiines a chance to rest up... Bob Fenner>

About Ignitus Anthias/Dispar Anthias... stkg./comp. reading     12/27/13
Hi ,
I just placed an order for  two Anthias  one Dispar Anthias  & one  Ignitus Anthias  wanted to know if they will be compatible have a 75 gal tank.
<Should get along here...>

 I have read they are better in 3’s but sure about different ones. The order will be here Monday so if this is not good want to change the order. Or if just one is ok any info will be appreciated.
                                                                                                        Mr. Sanchez
<Do search, read on WWM re Anthiine stocking...
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Anthias; stkg./sel., comp.      5/29/13
Dear Wet Web Media,
    I have desperately tried to answer this question through hours of reading, but I must give up and ask as there is no answer. I have a Pseudanthias hypselosoma
<"A"? This is a highly social species; lives in groups in the wild. Shouldn't be kept solitarily>
in my 50 gallon tank
<Needs more room>
 that I am ready to put into my new 265 gallon. I had hoped to find some more P. hypselosoma to add with her,
<Ah, good>
 but they seem to be hard to find right now. I realize that the common opinion is to not mix different species of Anthias, but I thought in a tank this large maybe it could be done.
<Yes, it can be and P. hypselosoma is found in mixed species shoals>
Assuming it can (if not you can stop me here), how would you suggest doing this? Add the other species as a group and down the road add more P. hypselosoma?
Add one fish of the different species, and add the rest of both schools at the same time? Is there another method?
<Any of these will work... I'd likely choose the more common P. squamipinnis to go/get along here>
So, assuming I know how to add the next species, are there any species to avoid because of obvious personality problems?
<That and other aspects of suitability>
I'd rather avoid pugnacious types, however, I realize many are hardier. I'm starting to think it is hit or miss with most and just try my best.
<Not hit or miss... use other people's experience as a guide>
If I had a choice, I'd do the Pseudanthias pleurotaenia (although I'm afraid of the personality here) or the Pseudanthias pascalus (too difficult?).
<Yes and yes>
 Finally, is there any reason I can't add Anthias to a new tank as long as they are fed?
<Not from what is stated, no>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Anthias - compatibility and tank introduction     3/5/13
What I have: a 500g FOWLR with some soft corals that has been running for a year and a half. Started off with some of the hardier fish i.e.: Damsels and Clowns. After a year and a half this is my current stock list: 6 Chromis, 1 Bicolor Angel, 1 Flame Angel, 2 Firefish, 1 Long Horned Cowfish,
<Will grow quite large here in time>
2 Blue Damsels, 2 Four Stripe Damsels, 2 Yellow Tangs, 2 Regal tangs, 2 Ocellaris, 1 Six Line Wrasse, 2 Magenta Dottybacks = 26 fish in all (all within 2-4 inches) Now all these fish seem to be getting along quite well but for the occasional squabble.. for the most part there seems to be enough space to keep them all happy. However I am noticing that my four stripe damsel is getting more and more territorial these days and the damsels get aggressive and chase each other once in a while.
<Yes; tis their nature, particularly Dascyllus as you've noted>
  The Dottybacks (porphyreus) were added last (just a week ago) and I've already seen one go head on with the 6 Line Wrasse, then they seem cool with each other again.
<Sixline's are akin to Jack Russell breed dogs... Big fishes in little fish's bodies>
Now where I live Anthias are rare. For the first time i managed to get hold of 10 lyretail Anthias <2inch long and have them in QT. They are happy and eating just about anything i give them (rotifers, Mysis, brine, flakes, NLS, etc).
<Feed them often; several times per day... be on the lookout for excessive bullying; move the alpha fish/es to the main system if so>
 My QT then developed a crack and I had to move them to the fuge They seems to like it here with all the rock and moving water. I've always loved this fish but never had the opportunity to get them until now. Now that i have them i am terrified of having them slaughtered in the DT... in your experience do you think the damsels / Dottybacks pose a serious treat?
would the grouping of the Anthias deter bullying?
<Mmm, the size/volume of your tank, the swiftness and smarts of the Anthias should hold them in good stead. You've done well by isolating the new fish, letting them rest up, grow acclimated to the main system water. I doubt you will have troubles between them and the established stock>
I've had the Anthias in the QT/fuge for 5 days now. It is a very small space in comparison to the DT. When can I move them to the DT?
Should I remove the 4 Stripe or the Dottybacks before I move them in?
<I wouldn't try, no>
 Catching anything in my DT is going to be a huge challenge. Or do you think they may all just get along given the space in the tank?
<Highly likely so; yes>
I almost immediately regretted adding the damsels and the Dottybacks when I got them, but at the time figured tank size would take care of any problems.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Anthias - compatibility and tank introduction

Thanks so much for the response, wasn't expecting something so quick!
I've been dying to get them in the DT, they do look lovely. As of now they all get along with each other, no aggression between the Anthias. .
<Thus far; will/do "bicker" in time... problematical when/where crowded>
The only thing that concerns me is feeding. In my fuge I am able to drop food right above them and wait as they come and grab it, do you think they will notice/get to the food in a 500g DT with a bunch of other aggressive eaters?
<Yes; consistency... where, when foods are placed... what you do ahead of offering becomes imprinted on all>
 In the fuge a couple will see the food and then trigger a feeding frenzy with the others.
On another note how many fish (<=3 in community fish) do you suppose I could eventually stock in my tank moving forward?
<Many choices... peruse what is archived on WWM for FOWLRs, large systems, the compatibility FAQs for what you've already stocked.>
 I always wanted a high tank and built mine to be 6(L) X 4 (H) X 3(W). Its a pain to clean sometimes but has the aspect ratio of a large screen TV which is nice.
<I imagine>
Thanks again
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Anthias - compatibility and tank introduction     3/8/13

Just wanted to close the loop on this and let you know what happened. I released all 10 Anthias in the DT and they are all doing extremely well.
Eating like pigs. The damsels go at them once in a while but they seem to be swimming in the top half of the tank most of the time in front of the wave makers and avoid the damsels in the lower sections.
<Ah yes>
Thank you
<And you for this follow-up. BobF>

Re: Seastar Issue, and now comp., sel. of P. squamipinnis    8/20/20
Thank you for your response to my Seastar issues.  I have decided that two Fromia milleporella stars will be the extent of my future Seastar purchases, I am selling my conch, and working double time in building up the pods in my refugium. 
As I may have mentioned, I currently have a 6 foot 125 gallon display with 40 gallon refugium and 40 gallon sump.  I have 4 clowns, an indigo dotty back and a run of the mill cleaner wrasse.  My intention is to add 1 male lyretail Anthias and two females, which I believe you indicated in your previous response would be ok for my size tank. 
<These should be fine here>
A few questions have been on my mind, firstly are two females and one male going to be enough to distribute any aggression, or is that not a huge concern with Anthias? 
<Not problematical w/ this species (Pseudanthias squamipinnis>
Are Anthias a dithering fish?
<Mmm, can be>
 Fosters and Smith offer two types of lyretail Anthias, one they simply refer to as lyretail Anthias and another they refer to as Maldives Lyretails. 
<Same (widely distributed) species:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=0&oq=maldives+lyreta&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GZAB_enUS459US459&q=maldives+lyretail+anthias&gs_upl=0l0l0l48020858lllllllllll0&aqi=g4&pbx=1 >
The only difference that I notice, aside from price,  is that the Maldives male appears orange, whereas the "generic" lyretail male appears more red. 
<On close examination, this species shows more/less such differences here/there>
(I would prefer the red incidentally) and wonder if my perception is accurate.
<It is>
  I am also curious now as to whether the females from either region will be the same vibrant yellow color, or if their color varies from region to region as well. 
<It varies>
Is there anything not commonly read about that would help me further with Anthias?  Any skeletons in their closets?
<Not as far as I'm aware, and I've seen this species, collected it for the trade widely>
Also,  I do like the look of a small school of blue green Chromis and was wondering if adding one in the future would be an option for me and if so, how many?
<Perhaps five>
  My only concern is that each time I have attempted this, they usually fight among themselves until there is only one survivor, I hate to see this and have read that it is common.
<It is>
 However I have not yet attempted a school in this size aquarium, I know that more Chromis will spread the aggression out, but am not sure if I have a big enough system, or enough room left, to hold the size school required.
<I give you good odds here>
 I have seen beautiful blue reef Chromis, and was wondering if anyone has had better luck with these, or do they tend to pick each other off too? 
<About the same>
I understand that I may just be better off stopping after the Anthias. 
Incidentally, I have been tossing around the idea of moving my black ocellaris into a separate tank altogether to see if they will mate. 
<Very common... in any size volume; easier to breed, raise young where in smaller, isolated settings>
One is clearly a very dominant female who has paired up with a little male.
Thank you as always for your advice!
Chris K
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Getting Community Tank (including Anthias) On Spectrum Pellets/Feeding/Stocking/Anthias Compatibility 1/13/11
Dear WWM,
<Hello Laura>
Hope all is well on your end.
<Is good.>
I have a well established 85 gallon reef tank. I have a pair of Ocellaris clowns, a pair of Yellow Watchman Gobies, a Midas Blenny, a trio of Bartlett's Anthias (one male, two females), and a pair of Lyretail Anthias
(male and female), and one Yellow Clown Goby.
<Please cap pronouns (names of fish, etc.) in future queries, saves me time if I don't have to do it.>
My question is actually two fold. Firstly, I have been feeding this tank a frozen food mix called Rogger's Food in the morning that is universally consumed by all. Then, I do a small midday feeding of Spectrum pellets, as well as a small evening feeding of Spectrum pellets. Everyone BUT the female Lyretail, one of the female Bartlett's Anthias, and the Yellow Clown Goby eats them.
I have an upcoming vacation and very much want to get everyone on the Spectrum pellets. The three fish who do not eat them do not look as colorful or fat as the fish that consume them. It is frustrating to see three Anthias eat voraciously eat pellets, and two hold back, as well as the clown goby. How do I get these last three holdouts onto Spectrum? My tank manager is encouraging me to use a "tough love" approach and nix the frozen a.m. feeding. He feels the fish are getting a food source they prefer, and as
long as that happens, pellets won't be accepted. I welcome your advice.
<One of the problems you face is that Anthias in nature, are mid water feeders feeding on plankton. There is not much time for them to get at the food before it falls to the bottom.
Because of this, Anthias should be fed small amounts several times per day and there is no guarantee that all Anthias will accept pellets. Your other problem is tank size, much too small for the Lyretail Anthias, a minimum of a 125 gallon tank is recommended.
Mixing Anthias species in small systems just adds stress and can create the behavior that you are seeing. Your tank is overstocked to begin with and finding a new home for the Lyretails would be beneficial to your system.>
I have done enough research on New Life Spectrum to know that I want it universally accepted and to be a very large part of my fishes diet. And, I am seeing the difference in my own tank between the fish that eat it and don't eat it.
<Is due in part to their feeding habits and territorial issues also come into play as you are now witnessing. I use the product myself and can attest to it's quality.>
Second part of my question...one of the female Bartlett's Anthias of the trio is ostracized. She hides in the back of the tank behind a Favia coral.
She only comes out to eat the frozen food - she is one of the Anthias who does not eat pellets. The other two Bartlett's (male and female) seem to have formed a pair and don't accept her. When she tries to come out, they bully her back behind her coral. It is difficult to watch. Here, my tank manager says "nature is brutal" and that she is either going to break in to the group and fight for a place or not survive, with very little we can do about it.
<Nonsense, environmental issues abound here. Not enough room for everyone to be happy.>
The Bartlett's have been in the tank about three months. In the beginning, she was out more, but over time, has become very reclusive.
Any advice is appreciated.
<Read here and related FAQ's/articles found in the header.
Very best,
<And to you as well. James (Salty Dog)>
Laura Garmizo

Marine Schools/Fish Cannot Read/Compatibility 10/20/10
Good Morning, hope you are all well.
<I'm still above ground, thank you!>
Can I pick your brains..
I was wondering, which species of small/medium (anywhere up to 3-5") marine fish naturally occur in groups during most of their lives. I'm aware of Chromis and Anthias obviously, as well as other damsels occurring in groups when young (although not when older of course!).. but there must be more to choose from?
<Let me stop you here, Chris. Species of fish that peacefully school/shoal in the wild does not necessarily mean they will coexist in captive systems.
When we try to do this with some species such as Yellow Tangs, the fish automatically go into a survival mode, that is they will defend an area that is a source of food and security, and in most cases only the Alpha fish will survive the battle. In the wild, there is no real lack of security and food sources to fight over. To have a chance at success, very large tanks must be used, and by very large tanks, I do not mean 240 gallon, but much larger than this volume.>
I have seen pictures of a whole big group of Orchid Dottybacks, but I presume the photo must've been of a brood being commercially reared... likewise I have seen tanks with myriads of Clownfish, but again I assume these were broods being raised.
<Very likely, and when young, safety in numbers is the rule. Your best bet, providing your tank is large enough, would be a school of Anthias or Chromis. You may want to read here.
Thanks in advance!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Marine Schools/Fish Cannot Read/Compatibility 10/20/10
Thanks James for that dose of reality and straight talk, always the best way :) I'll scrap all my silly plans.
<You're welcome, Chris. James (Salty Dog)>

Quick Ecsenius Blenny Question/Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish/Compatibility, sm. sys.  6/24/10
<Hello Nick>
Thanks for all of your help in the past!
<You're welcome.>
I just set up a 12 gallon Nano (total volume including the integrated sump in the back of the tank). The display portion measures approximately 12x12x12 inches. It houses a large piece of live rock with many holes and
caves. This will be primarily a reef tank with mixed hard and soft corals.
I have a Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish (about 3/4 inch) that was just introduced and is still hiding. My question is this - the only other fish I would like to add is a small Midas Blenny. What do you think of the compatibility between the two fish? Is the Midas likely to harass the Hawkfish to death?
<The Midas Blenny will get too large for your tank and any aggressive traits it does possess will be magnified in a confined space. The Pygmy Hawkfish is a closer relative to Anthias and Groupers than Hawkfish, but it's tagged as a Hawkfish because of its overall shape and behavior.>
Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Nick N.

Fathead and Waitei compatability    04/18/10
Hello WetWeb Crew,
I've a question about Fathead Anthias compatability. In my 180 gal (6 ft long) reef tank, I have single 1" Fathead, a 3" Holacanthus bermudensis, a 3" Paracanthurus hepatus and 6 other small fish (Mandarin, 2 Firefish gobies, Bluedot Jawfish,
<Do read here re this species please: http://wetwebmedia.com/BluSptJawF.htm
2 Percula). Would a group of 5 Waitei Anthias be compatible with the single Fathead and other current fish?
<The Serranocirrhitus won't cause the Waitei any harm or concern, the Atlantic angel might if too boisterous... This Anthiine is not easily kept though...>
From research I've done it appears that the Waitei would not be a problem, but I'm not sure if Fathead would harass them when grown larger?
<I strongly doubt that it will/would. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fathead and Waitei compatability 4/18/2010
Dear Bob and WetWeb Crew,
<Welcome Wendy>
thank you so much for your thoughts on Waitei group. As they are not easily kept I will forgo the attempt at keeping these, and perhaps add 2 more Fathead Anthias...?
<Mmm, Fatheads/Sunburst Anthias are not "that" outgoing that I'd recommend them much for a larger system... If you're looking for something of this subfamily that are rather hardier, outgoing, relatively/at all available, I suggest Pseudanthias squamipinnis... others that are listed on the linked files above where you were last referred>
Regarding the Bluespot, I believe all's well (4" sand bed, fine and reef grade mix with much live rock and rubble). I have read thru much info on your site with regard to him, but wondering if there's anything in particular you meant which seems not right in my tank for a Bluespot Jawfish?
<Sorry re... I have a pending article re this/Rosenblatt's Jaw... need what you state, but also cool/er water... a good cover over the top of the tank!>
I am watching the interaction between he and other animals, especially the angel which I've had from a 3/4" specimen,
<Ah good>
and so far all
seems peaceful, with a nice burrow constructed , and eating great just as in the qt tank.
Best wishes,
Wendy Dyke
<And you, BobF>

Huchtii anthias swim buddies  5/16/09
Heellllooo crew!
<Howdy Deedra>
I have a 125 gallon FOWLR (mostly)...it has a cleanup crew of snails and hermits and 2 tuxedo urchins. I was trying to decide on my last additions. I would really like to try a huchtii anthias with one or two of the following: TR orchid Dottyback, longnosed hawk, fairy wrasse,
<Mmmm, really need to be in a haremic setting>
or a midas blenny.
<Ecsenius can be feisty...>
These would be added at the same time, so I was looking for the least chance of serious aggression. Other tank mates are a pair of false perc clowns, smaller angels and tangs.
From what I have read, the anthias may pick on the blenny,
<Not likely>
the Dottyback may harass the wrasse (he, he, sorry) or anyone else, and the hawk may snack on the cleanup crew.
<These are also not likely events>
I hadn't read anywhere about these particular matchups, or too much about the huchtii anthias itself. Thank you for giving me more info to make a better decision.
<Like Pseudanthias in general, they need space, frequent zoo-plankton or "equivalent" feeding, to be kept in groupings... I'd need to know what you refer to as "angels and tangs" to make much of a confident statement re adding more here... Bob Fenner> 

Anthias Compatibility: Nixing species, just say no. 4/7/2009
Hi WWM Crew,
<Hi Clayton>
I've found many FAQs that have pointed me in the right direction, but this is a unique situation.
I have a 125g reef with a 55g sump. Great water quality.
Tank mates include: Blue tang, 4 Clowns, Flame Dwarf Angel, and a Lyretail Anthias.
My Blue tang is semi-aggressive.
<No surprises there.>
I came up with the idea of submerging an all plastic 3 or 4 gallon critter cage (see jpg) with a Male Lyretail Anthias right into the 125g. It had it's own little habitat. A little live rock to hide, current flowing through the lids slits, and lid holes in the molding large enough to blow brine in with a turkey baster.
<I see this, not a bad idea actually.>
The tang, I found became less aggressive seeing the new addition in his tank... not being a threat to food and territory, and given the time to accept without being able to physically intimate!
<Makes sense>
So my question. Can I use this same technique by introducing Male Squareback Anthias so the Lyretail gets use to his presence and accepts him?
<Mixing species is generally not recommended unless you have hundreds of gallons>
Or by them both being males, is this a recipe to disaster?
<This is the most likely outcome.>
Or is 125g just not enough room?
<Exactly, though you could add two or three female lyretails,>
Please help! ;)
,Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthicompfaqs.htm >
Sincerely, Clayton
<My pleasure, Mike>

Re: Lyretail & Squareback Anthias Compatibility
Re: Anthias Compatibility: Mixing species, just say no. 4/7/2009

Thanks for your advice Mike!
<Hi Clayton, my pleasure.>
And yes, I did read those FAQs on your site, but wasn't sure how my acclimation procedure applied to the questions being asked.
I like your acclimation procedure, it is just that Anthias do not mix well with other Anthias.>.
I was just hoping my "tank in a tank" technique might tip things in my favor, but needed some expert advice regarding this. I'm glad I asked.
<My Pleasure, though as I said, you can add a few female Lyretails, They are behaviorally interesting in groups.>
Thanks again.
<No problem>

Anthias/Compatibility 3/6/09 I have a 180-gallon reef tank with a Hippo Tang, Powder Brown Tang and 2 Ocellaris clowns. I would like to add maybe 2 or 3 different species of anthias. So far I am thinking of Dispar and Bartlett's. My question is should I get all male or all female? Or does it even matter? <Anthias do best when kept with their own species, I would not mix. One male to a harem generally works best. Anthias species all share the trait of being hermaphroditic. If a dominant male perishes, the largest female of the group will often morph to take its place. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm> Thanks for your help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Anthias/Compatibility 3/6/09 Thanks for the reply. <You're welcome.> Ok, so I will get all the same species and probably 3-4 females and then let one of them turn into a male on its own. Do you think Dispar would be ok or should I stick with Lyretail? <Will be up to you here. The Dispar is one of the hardiest of anthias and likely the most territorial. The Bartlett's usually commands at least double the price of a Dispar and is also one of the hardier specie of anthias.> Thanks again. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Midas Lyretail Compatibility Issue... Anthias stkg., beh.    2/27/09 Hi - <Hello Andy> I have a 150 gallon tank with 200# of live rock. I just added a Lyretail Anthias and he wants to desperately kill my Midas Blenny. <Mmm, yes... perhaps too similar, not wanting to share the same niches> From the research that I have done, I thought that the Midas was going to mimic the Lyretail. I also thought of the Anthias as quite a docile fish. <Well... for one, you really need to have more than the one... Pseudanthias squamipinnis is always found in good-sized shoals> Boy, was I wrong. The Anthias actually goes with an open mouth to bite my Midas in his own hole. I have never seen such direct aggression. They don't resemble each other except maybe a little shade of pink. What goes? <Displacement behavior... get more Anthias...> I tried to catch the Anthias but it's almost impossible to do so. It recognizes my net and scurries into the rocks. I can probably catch the Midas but I feel I am punishing the wrong fish. Do you think this "open mouth" aggression will stop? <Not likely enough...> The Midas is reciprocating, however, his fins are starting to tatter slightly and he hangs out in his hole a lot now. He's not going to die all of a sudden, right? <Quite possibly> I could catch the Midas possibly and then reintroduce him at a later time. Do you think that would work? I really prefer the Midas over the Anthias...I hope I am not stuck. Thanks, Andy <May not seem like a good idea, but adding a handful of subadult or female Pseudanthias squamipinnis is the route to go here... Read on WWM re Anthiine stocking... Bob Fenner>

Lyretail Anthias... comp., sel., sys.   9/27/07 I was thinking off purchasing some lyretail anthias <Likely Pseudanthias squamipinnis> for my 72 gallon tank. Upon doing my homework all seemed to be well as this is the hardiest of the anthias but then I read some questions I found disconcerting about the fishes attacking each other. <Mmm, yes... they live in large to very large shoals in their wide geographic range... establish and challenge "pecking orders" and ranging males continuously> Should I purchase 4 female Anthias for my tank with the assumption one would turn male or is it better to buy 3 females and one male? <Either way... but definitely only one certain male in a volume of this (small) size> I plan to QT them for a month <Mmm, for fishes as these... small, continuous zooplanktivores... a shorter duration, even just a dip/bath and a prayer, may prove more prudent... to forego starvation and its ill-effects> but will them being in the confined space of a 10 gallon QT tank lead them to aggression? <Oh yes... and over-stress in general> And lastly along with the 4 Anthias I have 2 ocellaris clowns, neon goby, blue-green Chromis and plan on getting a flame angel and royal Gramma. Is this to much for my tank? <Mmm, is right about some sort of maximum> I have 100 lbs of live rock and a good skimmer. Thanks for the help. Adam <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse compatibility <Actually sel. to eat/control>, red bugs, <and comp. w/> Anthias    9/11/07  Hi Crew, Would you be able to help with the best choice for a small wrasse that likes to eat Acropora red bugs? <Um, this is not how one deals with red bugs.> From reading the FAQs it looks like the Six Line is an option, but I've seen them be aggressive and I have a trio of Bartlett's Anthias that I wouldn't want to be harassed. The tank is a 135G reef with 100+ lbs of live rock. Can you think of a small, red bug eating wrasse (or other fish/invert) that would tend to be less territorial than a Six Line? And do you think I would need more than one bug-eater in this size tank? <If you have a red bug infestation, you need to treat it with Interceptor. There's no aquarium fish (known to aquarists) that will solve this problem. See here: http://www.ericborneman.com/Tegastes-content/Dorton%20treatment.htm And maybe here too: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acrodisfaqs.htm> Thanks, Tom <De nada, Sara M.>

Adding Anthiines/Compatibility Issues -- 09/06/07 Hello Crew, <<Howdy>> I would like to start keeping Anthias (probably Bartlett's), but I am unsure if there will be compatibility issues with my current livestock. I would appreciate any opinions/advice you have. <<I'm happy to share>> Current setup: 150 gallon 3 year old lightly stocked reef, 160 lbs live rock, 2x250watt MH, Euro-Reef RS180, 50 gallon sump w/refugium. Livestock : 1 Black Cap Basslet 3 Pajama Cardinals 3 Clown Gobies 2 Neon Gobies 1 Pearly Jawfish 1 Ocellaris Clownfish 1 Crocea clam 1 Derasa clam Various Coral Thanks for your help. <<Adding some Anthias shouldn't be a problem...and Bartlett's are an excellent choice here. Do be aware they can be quite skittish when first introduced and might jump if startled/chased by other fishes (though I think this is a small concern re your stock list). This usually is not an issue once the Anthiines become established...and placing some plastic eggcrate material over the tank opening(s) for a week or two initially may help to keep them in the water where they belong. Regards, EricR>>

Dwarf Lion/Anthias Compatibility   4/22/07 Hello there.  Thank you, in advance for your help.  I have just spent hours reviewing the information on your site and have learned quite a bit.  I've also spent a fair amount of time over the last few weeks learning about the saltwater aquarium and how to choose compatible tankmates. <Good> To provide a little background, I have been running freshwater tanks for approximately two years, including a 55-gallon African cichlid tank which I have had for the past year and a half or so. Now, here is my question.  I currently have a 46-gallon bowfront saltwater tank.  I currently have one Squareback Anthias (3.5") and five various Damsels. <Yikes.... crowded already psychologically> I have a small amount of live rock in the tank and will be adding more shortly.  I am interested in getting a dwarf lionfish.  If he outgrows the tank, I will start a larger tank (actually, I will move the stuff in the current to the larger tank and then re-start the smaller one), so that should not be an issue.  The question should be obvious -- will the lionfish eat the anthias? <Possibly, yes...> I have read varying answers on this topic, but have not found anything decisive on your site.  I plan to get a smallish (2-3") dwarf lion, which I hope would be small enough to give the anthias time to grow. <Pseudanthias pleurotaenia/Anthiines period grow quite slowly... Dendrochirus et al. Pteroines... not so with much feeding...> Also, I would love to hear some suggestions on other compatible tankmates given this setup. Thank you, in advance, for your help! -Marty <Yikes... the list of possibilities is vast... Best for you to continue your quest by reading... checking your potentials with others, generating (ultimately) your own opinions. Bob Fenner>

Hawaiian Bicolor Anthias... comp.   10/8/06 I recently added 4 Bicolor Anthias to a 150 G reef tank. All fish were happy and healthy in the QT. Now in the tank I have lost 1 and the other 2 have bitten tail fins. <Mmm, by whom?> One fish is perfectly fine. The only other inhabitants are a 4" Siganus (Lo) vulpinis and a very happy Vanderbilt Chromis. I have never seen any aggression from the Foxface. Is this an interspecies <intra-species> (Anthias) issue? <Might be... just one male here? Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthicompfaqs.htm and the linked files above where you lead yourself. If there's enough "cover" (rock piling) and only one alpha male, you should have been fine... The Chromis might be causing trouble when you're not observing. Bob Fenner> Thanks as always

Flasher Wrasses and Anthiines - 10/03/06 Would Blue Flasher or Carpenter Flashers make suitable tank mates for my Bicolor Anthias? <<I think they would, yes>> Tank is 150 G. I'd like to add 1 male and 2 females. <<Should be fine, though you may want to consider adding an additional female (1 male to 3 females) to spread the interspecific aggression a bit more thinly>> Thanks, Ken Kristofick <<Quite welcome.  Eric Russell>> Chromis, Anthiine Compatibility - 05/05/06 Hi there WWM crew, <<Hello João >> I'm setting a 200 US gallon tank + 75 G sump and 27 G refugium (upgrading from a 55 G reef). <<Exciting times, eh?>> I'm planning on having 2 (mini) schools.  One of Chromis viridis (5 or 7) and one of Pseudanthias squamipinnis or bicolor (4 or 5). <<Let me recommend the lyretails (P. squamipinnis)...quite hardy and very beautiful>> I've been reading that, as time goes by, the Chromis start to attack and ultimately kill each other when defining their hierarchy and tend to reduce their number down to 1 or 2. <<Mmm, I've kept groups of three for years at a time...don't think five or seven in a tank your size would be an issue>> People don't seem to be able to keep a group for more than a few months to 1, 1-1/2 years.  Is that a fact? <<Not that I am aware...have seen tanks with five or more that fared quite well>> And what about their compatibility with the Anthias? <<Won't be a problem>> Looking forward to hearing your reply. Kind regards, João <<Cheers my friend, EricR>>

Cyano/control, adding sand and an Anthias   2/2/06 Hi crew!  I love your site and visit it daily... just to make sure there is nothing I have missed.  Keep up the great work!  I am currently in the need of some advice, however.  Tank specs as follows: 50 gallon, 20H x 18W x 48L 65lbs live rock 4 x 65 watt PC (two actinics, two 10K daylight) Ammonia/nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 10ppm PH - 8.3 at night SPG - 1.025 Calcium - 410 Alk - 4 MEQ (should this be higher?) <Mmm, no. This is right about right: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/feb2002/chemistry.htm> This tank is a mini reef that has been up and running for 3 years.  Mostly soft corals...leathers, mushrooms, zoos, button polyps, xenia, star polyps, and a couple of impulse LPS...one hammer and one open brain.  The livestock is well and healthy...with most of the inhabitants doubling within the past year.  The tank had been fine for the first 2 years it was set up...went through the initial diatom bloom that went away as the tank settled....and I never saw any other algal blooms....until now.  lol I have what looks to be hair algae, but it comes off in clumps and feels slimy.  I'm still confused as to what kind it is, and I've searched pics posted on here and still cannot ID it.  The guy at the LFS told me it was probably due to high phosphates from my tap water.  So I bought a tap water filter  (all really I can afford at the moment) and some Ultra life Slime remover (ever heard of this?). <... yes, and not advised> I added the slime remover for a day, performed a 10gal water change in which I proceeded to scrub the algae off MOST of the live rock.  I thought I had gotten it all, things were well in the world.  However a few weeks ago....I upgraded my lighting to what is stated above.  It used to be only 2 65 watt 50/50 PCs.  And now the algae is back with a vengeance!! <Yes... just "recycled" the nutrients...> I'm assuming that I'm still getting phosphates in my water, and the light fueled another bloom? <In part, likely> I currently have no space for a sump or refugium, and run a hang on back Aqua C Remora and a millennium filter in which the media has been replaced with Chemi pure and PolyFilter.  I do 5 gallon weekly changes...and I really have no qualms over brushing the algae off the rock again.  I kind of enjoy killing off the buggers.  I have also read that live rock loses it's buffering capacity and some of it should be replaced periodically?   <Yes... posted on WWM> I've had the same live rock for 3 years....would this be a smart move for me? <Yes> I'm also thinking of adding more sand to my display, but have read conflicting ways on how to do it.  I've read that you should do half first, and once that establishes, the other half. <One approach... again, posted>   I read somewhere else that you should not cover the existing layer of sand.  Since I would have to do it with my livestock STILL in the tank....would this be feasible, or just leave the 1inch I currently have alone? <I would add more... either slowly "sprinkling" on top of the existing, mixing in, or scooting old to the side, adding new there> Well...I'm not done yet!!  I have my heart set on a Starburst Anthias. Current fish stock includes, 2 black clowns who are so busy trying to decide who will be the male/female that they take no interest in anyone else in the tank.  One canary wrasse who is wrapped up in its own reflection, one bicolor blenny who on occasion munches on the aforementioned algae, and one rusty angel who is king or queen of the tank.  There lies my concern.  This fish hasn't bullied any of the other tank mates....but it is pretty boisterous come feeding time.  I was thinking I could add the Anthias with about 3 Chromis to act as dither fish, in case the angel decides he wants to reign supreme.  I haven't added any fish in a year....so I'm a tad concerned before I spend $40 on this Anthias.  ::sigh:: But the angel is my favorite. Any thoughts or suggestions? <Will likely mix, though hide in this setting> I also have my heart set on a clam...and from what I've read, the lowest light requiring species is the T. squamosa. Would I be able to maintain one with my current light set up, once the algae problem has been resolved?   <Likely, yes> That's another reason why I wanted to add more sand, I read they prefer the sandy bottom of the tank.  Also...would I need to supply phytoplankton? <... I would> Again I hear conflicting info....yes they need it, no the light is all they need.  Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  Sorry this has been so long and excruciating....I look forward to your reply. Thanks, Karina <Take your time... and enjoy the process/es... Bob Fenner>

Compatibility: Anthias, Tangs, etc. 8/9/05 Hey Crew! :-) <Jenn> I had a couple of questions on compatibility.  First off, my tank will be 225-gallons with a large sump and a "sensible" amount of live rock.  Not into the "rock wall" thing some aquarists have going, I like more of a loosely packed "tunnel-ly cave" idea. <Okay> First questions relate to Anthias.  I'd like to have several in my tank as a focal point.  Rather than one individual of many types of fishes, I'd like to play around with a few species, and keep them in pairs or schools.  For Anthias, I was wondering what a comfortable number would be for a school, considering the space?   <Depending on the species... a trio to a dozen or more> Other fishes would be gobies, tangs, a pair of clowns, and perhaps some Genicanthus sp. angels.  Also, WILL the Anthias school in the aquarium??   <Most species, yes... some are not schoolers> Lastly (relating to Anthias) in a tank this size would two species co-habitate as they do on the reef? <Could> If so, then which two species might I have the best luck with? <Many choices... best to use WWM, fishbase.org and pick out two that you can get, that are found in the same geographic area, habitat...> If not, then how many MALES of one species are likely to establish themselves in a tank this size without encroaching on one another's' territory? <One of each species> Okay second batch relates to tangs.  I know the general consensus is one tang per species per tank.  But lately I've happened across several tanks with 2 or more Acanthurus tangs in them, not to mention other species of tangs... and I've seen SEVERAL tanks with two to three Zebrasoma sp.  Now, aside from the fact that this is impossible (hehe) how is it best/safely accomplished? <Adding all at once, when small, and/or adding new ones that are much smaller...> I'm thinking an achilles and a powder blue... <Not easily kept...> But if I can't be satisfied they'll live long, happy lives, then I'll opt for a regal instead of the powder blue and go that route.  So this is more of an exploratory question, as I'm wondering how so many other people do it successfully. :-) Thanks! Jenn <Is done... often... with space, hiding places... enough food. Bob Fenner> Anthias Hi guys, have an Anthias compatibility question. I have a large peaceful reef tank (360 gallons) that has 5 Anthias in it (one mail, 4 females). They are the square box type. I'm wondering if Anthias are territorial to other species of Anthias? <Generally, yes, but depends on species.> In other words, can I put another male and several females of another species like lyretail, bi-color, Bartlett's or something to vary it up a bit more. <Probably not with this group.> The tank is pretty lightly populated so stocking capacity isn't the issue - its whether or not they will get along in a 8ft tank. Thanks, Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

-Compatibility follow-up- I wrote a few days ago about the possibility of putting a Genicanthus angel into a 90 gallon tank.  You discouraged me (moderately) from doing this, which was more or less how I viewed things before I wrote you.  I've decided to pass on the angel and now I'm contemplating a new possible alpha species, a male lyretail Anthias. <ok> The tank is just being set up and will be a reef system with mostly large polyped stony corals-- moved from a smaller aquarium. There is currently no refugium, but I have the space to add a small one and was thinking about doing so rather soon. <Any little bit helps!> Meantime, I work at home and feeding the Anthias several times a day wouldn't really be a problem. <Cool> Three fish-- a flame angel, a twelve-line wrasse, and a royal Gramma are to be moved with the contents of the smaller tank.  My plan is to add a radiant wrasse, yellow Coris wrasse and perhaps some sort of blenny after the transfer is complete and the others are settled in, stable.  Then, finally, the lyretail.   Your opinion of this combo? I know the Lyretails can be aggressive, but other than the flame angel, I'm guessing he won't have much interest in the other species. <You should be fine> Suppose I made the blenny a Midas mimic of the female lyretail.  Would you guess this would get much of a reaction out of the male squamipinnis? Would the blenny be inclined to swim with a male, or only the female(s) it mimics? Or perhaps neither in an aquarium environment? <Whoa, good question. I hope that you try it and can relay the experience back to us! I would suspect that they'd much rather hang out w/ the females, but I've never heard of anyone trying it the other way. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks for your time/answers Derek Milne

Anthias - Four Is A Crowd! Hello, I need to know if I could get away with adding a male Lyretail Anthias and 3 or 4 females? My tank is a 125gl AGA, with a 35gl sump ecosystem (lots of Caulerpa and copepods) for filtration 130lb of live rock. Water parameters are good. I run my protein skimmer on cycles. The coral I have are a Foxface and various mushrooms. My fish I have are a mated pair of maroon clownfish (f=4.5/m=2.0), Naso tang (beautifully, inches now) a purple tang (I know, blame my wife (4.5 inches) 5 green Chromis, 4 Talbot damsels all 0.5 to 1 inch, a cleaner shrimp and a mated pair of coral banded shrimp. I am a firm  believer in if it isn't broke don't fix it . Tank has been set up for 10 months now. I would like to add a school of some sort, if that is not a good choice do you have any suggestion or should I leave it alone and let it be. <Well, it sounds like you are running a nice system! A lot of people are under the impression that it's desirable to keep Anthias in small groups. Usually, in all but the largest tanks (hundreds of gallons), this type of arrangement will lead to problems. Although found in large groups in the wild, it doesn't always work in captivity (at least, not for extended periods of time). I've seen friends try this, and it seems like they are always looking for "another female" to replace one that died "mysteriously". The only time I saw someone have success with this type of aggregation was in a (deliberately) over-crowded situation. This was neither humane or attractive. The fishes were more concerned with survival than in aggression...If you do try the grouping that you are considering- get them all at one time, and from one source...Quarantine and add them together...Personally, I think that your tank would be over-crowded if you went for a group like this...My call - leave this highly successful tank as it is! Do seek the advice and opinions of others, of course - but that's my two cents worth! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Anthias Male 12 Aug 2004 I have 4 (one male, three females) squamipinnis and 2 (one lrg male and one female) square box Anthias. <Generally the recommendation on square Anthias is one to a tank unless you have a very large tank.> My square box male has started punking out my Scotts fairy wrasse among others (bully of the tank).  Will he get over it? <My guess is no, I really believe these guys need a lot of room and when they don't get it they can be mean. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiines_ii.htm>  Will the fighting stop or should he be removed (if I can)? <I would suggest removing the pair and putting them in a big tank. Hard to say because I don't know the size of your tank. But just guessing I would say you need to get him out. Good luck and please let me know, MacL>

Anthias [Stocking] Concerns - Hello, wanted to say thank you for all your meticulous research on aquatic life, it's mind boggling sometimes going through it. I recently combined my 2 small coral nano tanks into one larger tank. I actually didn't remove the other tanks, much to my wife's joy, but instead plumbed them with ball valves and PVC to the larger tank- the tanks were a couple years old, a 20 gallon, for around 5 years and a 40 gallon going on 2. I dumped the gravel from the 20 into the 40, put a 150 HQI and 2x65watt actinics, put a SeaSwirl on the return and filled with macro algae- there was a lot of weird stuff in that sand, little shard-like glass needles in my hands, kept the rock in the 20 and used that as a QT for 6 Dispar Anthias.  I used a skimmer on the 20, this tank is way too small for them I know- and I was sweating bullets, but I figured better a well established 20 then a new 55, which would have made catching these incredible swimmers impossible.  Anyway, I did see a fair amount of activity in the refugium, and the only fish in the now display system where a 3" palette surgeonfish and a full grown scooter dragonet, he's a she, but don't tell my wife that, just upsets her that 'Scooter' might be a girl- yea, we name them, but 3 of our 4 cats are a derivative of 'Kitty', so not real original, but the thought counts.  Anyway, I added the dispars, and everything seems alright, they are young, and all females, I know I may have problems long term, and I am prepared to deal with that using the refugium if I have to - catching could be a problem, hehe, but I'll figure it out.  I had a good friend get me 6 Banggai cardinals, directly from England, had to pick them up in the box, rush home at 80 mph and put them in the QT, they all made it, little miffed, but ok. I feed the Anthias several times a day, have since day one - a Midas blenny somehow ended up in the display - sneaky little devil, but he seems harmless enough, thinks he's an Anthias - so does the tang now, (Dory) lame huh?  Anyway, the display is 180 gallon, 30 gallon LifeReef sump/skimmer, 40 gallon hex refugium, the qt is turned off from the main system but runs on its own little skimmer. The Anthias, Midas blenny and tang all hang out with the stony corals on one side of the tank where the rockwork nearly reaches the surface, the other side of the tank is slightly calmer, a little less bright, more low lying caves and open upper space, I was hoping the cardinals would appreciate that side more, but who knows, anyway- that's it for fish, think this is going to cause me a problem?  <Doubtful... they'll all get more brave in time and disperse.>  I've actually kept corals for quite some time, but fish is a whole other ball game, they move! Ahh, I'm hoping I'm not overstocking, there's a lot of live food in the tank, and whenever I figure out how to make an autofeeder feed frozen foods, I'll get to go on vacation and see them for real! Till then, thanks and take care. Just getting worried that these two might not mix well in my size system - one is active and the other is kind of slow, one is a greedy pig, one is kind of slow - pretty, but slow - speaking of slow, baby neon gobies - they are just adorable, but painfully slow. So 6 dispar Anthias, 6 Banggai cardinals, 1 palette surgeonfish, 1 scooter dragonet - total water volume is around 240 gallons, total live rock is only perhaps 150 lbs, 100 of which is well established. I have a Rainford's goby that I might put in there, but other than that, no more fish - is this pushing the limit of my system?  <No, you're doing fine.>  I need to leave room for growth, they are all adolescent at best, but I would prefer not to stress the animals, if this is a bad idea, the cardinals can go in another tank, thanks for the info. <Think you are fine where you are... if you can stop adding fish at this point you'll be in good shape with room for the corals to grow and increase in bioload.> Aaron <Cheers, J -- > 

Compatibility of Anthias Bob: Are the various Anthias species compatible? I am interested in having the Dispar and Square Box Anthias together specifically. Also, would they do well with a mated pair of maroon clowns and their host bubble anemone? >> >> No problem with the mix of Anthias if the system is VERY BIG, hundreds of gallon... otherwise the Square Box will be crowding the Dispars IMO, and both will leave the Maroons and their anemone alone. Bob Fenner

Mixing Anthias Just a real quick question.... can you mix species of Anthias and have them stay happy? say if I had a Pseudanthias truncatus and I wanted to put a Pseudanthias pleurotaenia in with him. Would this be a good or a bad thing? Would they be happy together or would they still need buddies of their own kind? <Most Anthiines, the subfamily that is the "Fancy Basses" are shoaling, haremic species (an exception? The Fathead, Sunburst Anthias, Serranocirrhitus latus)... You can mix different species together... they're found in "shared" territories in the wild)... but most do better with more of their own kind in the small systems we call aquariums. Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm Bob Fenner>
Thanks for the info

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