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FAQs about Fancy Basses, Subfamily Anthiadinae Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Fancy Basses, The Sunburst or Fathead Anthias

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

Parasites?       12/22/16
Hi there. Worried my 2 female Ignitus Anthias have parasites? They have stringy white poop and are a bit emaciated....?
<This subfamily of basses very easily suffers for lack of nutrition... Need to be fed a few times daily, or better still; have a large, robust refugium and DSB with RDP lighting associated (plumbed in with) their main tank to provide live food items. At the very least an automated feeder can be hooked up to provide nutritious and palatable pellets during the day (Hikari and Spectrum are fave brands). Are these fish parasitized? Can't tell from looking... a fecal sample could be netted out, examined under a microscope... One could lace their foods with anti-protozoal (e.g. Metronidazole) and anthelminthic (e.g. Praziquantel) medications. These ideas are gone over/archived on WWM. Write back w/ specific questions if something is not clear, complete after reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Parasites?       12/22/16
Fish are fed twice a day with variety of Hikari and SF brands: brine, mysis, Spirulina brine, plankton, PE Calanus, caviar, marine angel, marine algae, spectrum pellets periodically, 3 colors of seaweed, all sometimes laced with Selcon, but not always.
<I'd double plus the frequency here. Good food choices>
Tank is a Red Sea Max 650 (so ~175 total volume, 30 refugium), display is 3 inch sand bed,
<I'd add an inch here>
almost 5 years old, refugium with live rock, sand and macroalgae with red LED bulb running 18 hrs/day. Glass is covered daily with countless copepods.......Male Ignitus is very round and healthy looking, only the 2 females look poorly.
<Mmm; maybe they're being "run ragged"... I'd add two more to split up the aggression here>
Other inhabitants: yellow tang, regal blue tang, blue eyed Cardinal, fox face, Royal gramma, dragon goby, yellow watchman goby, mated spawning percula clown pair, green mandarin goby. I can try increasing to 3 or 4 daily feelings and using the Selcon soak daily instead of only sometimes.
<Ah yes; good>
I believe I do have some Metronidazole. Just wanted to be sure that was ok to use in display with all other fish, live rock, inverts, coral, etc.
<Mmm; am NOT a fan of such "shotgun" approaches. I myself would NOT be treating here>
I do have a quarantine set up and running at all times just in case if I need to move them...Thanks.
<Thank you again for writing so lucidly. Bob Fenner>

Automatic Anthias Feeding    1/31/12
I added 3 Ignitus Anthias to my tank about 5 weeks ago. I was well prepared with high quality foods: Cyclop-eeze, ArctiPods, Mysis, etc. and all the Anthias began eating immediately. I did eventually lose one but about 4 weeks after they were originally added, he ate but never gained any weight.
Last week I begun experimenting with using a dosing pump to auto-feed the Anthias with Kent Marine's ZooPlex. The system is currently set to pump 3ml
<A bunch... I'd look into/use small size pellets of the Spectrum brand instead>
of food into the tank 3 times a day, and while I had observed the evening feeding multiple times and seen a good feeding response today was my first opportunity to witness the day time feedings and there was almost no feeding response from the Anthias. The Anthias look OK but not particularly great. Are you aware of successful systems that automate the 2 - 3x daily feeding that these fish need?
<Oh yes>
 If so, what foods do you suggest? Finally, is the ZooPlex an effective food for the Anthias or is it really just for corals?
<Not a fan period... of most of Kent's products>
I have still been feeding the tank Cyclop-eeze and Mysis, but only every other day.
Thanks in advance, your FAQs have proven to be incredibly useful resources time and time again.
<Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthifdgfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Anthias feeding 6/3/11
Dear WWM,
Hope all is well with you!
<Thank you for this>
I have a question about my 85 gallon reef tank, which is 3.5 years old, very established, and has a refugium.
I have 2 Lyretail Anthias (male and female) and one Bartlett's Anthias (male) in the tank, along with a Midas Blenny, mated pair of black and white Percula Clowns, and one Candy Basslet (yes, he is spectacular!). This has been my core population for quite some time now. All fish are very happy, active, and healthy. No aggression issues, except the usual squabbling at mealtimes.
I have fed this tank New Life Spectrum 1 mm pellets twice per day for as long as I can remember. Fish are truly beautiful - fat, colorful, healthy.
Lately, despite near perfect water quality (phosphates 0, nitrates 0, Alk 9, calcium 420, temp 77.2), I have developed some green algae on the live rockwork that seems to develop air bubbles on it.
<Ahh, after a year or so, a good idea to add or switch out some olde live rock for new... The introduction of competitors, predators w/ the LR will greatly aid in controlling pest algae>
It can be blown or scrubbed off. 15 gallons of water is changed on this tank weekly. I added a refresher to my clean-up crew (small snails and crabs), a high tech Wavemaker, and increased the flow in the tank. The algae is not terrible, but it is stubborn. My tank manager suggested I cut back on my feeding to once per day on the Spectrum 1 mm. pellets, which all the fish, including the Anthias, eat voraciously.
<Mmm, I would not do this. Anthias really need to eat a few times per day (light times)>
He feels the Anthias are very established and have very good weight on them, and that a once per day feeding of a high quality food like Spectrum is really going to be adequate for them. I am wavering and want your opinion. Do you feel this will be enough for them?
<I do not. A poor idea for a few reasons... activity, nutrition...>
It seems my tank manager feels the culprit of the algae is indeed a feeding issue on my part.
<Likely is to a small degree a contributing factor... but there are undoubtedly more important/influential inputs here. See WWM re green algae, control>
I do tend to be a bit of a "Jewish Mother" when it comes to feeding these guys, so I want a second opinion!
Thanks in advance,
Laura Garmizo
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Anthias feeding 6/3/11
Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for the quick response.
Just need a little clarification here when you say 'the introduction of competitors/predators with the live rock will greatly aid in controlling pest algae". What competitors/predators are you referring to in this instance?
<Protists of all sorts mainly>
Would love a bit of additional information here.
I will absolutely read the site for the information on green algae. And, I will not reduce my feeding for the sake of the Anthias. Will look to the points you mention for better algae control. Indeed my tank is definitely vulnerable to the "old tank syndrome" so many refer to in this instance.
<Ah yes>
Thank you so much,
<Welcome. BobF>
Fwd: Anthias feeding 6/4/11
Hi Bob,
After taking your advice to heart and doing some research on the WWM site, I placed an order with Garf.org for their "reef diversity" package, which consists of two types of garf grunge and several pieces of live rock, along with a "bag o bugs" copepods and amphipods and Brittlestars. The grunge is supposedly seeded with beneficial bacteria and live micro organisms that is very useful in order to refresh older tanks. All of this media can be placed in my refugium. I am hoping this helps with the issues I am seeing in this older reef tank that I love so much.
Thanks so much for all the advice.
<A pleasure to assist your efforts. BobF>

Question about odd male Lyretail Anthias behavior   4/12/11
Dear WWM Crew,
I have enjoyed and benefited enormously from reading your website and the books authored by some of your participants. Thank you for serving as a such a treasured asset to the hobby.
<Our pleasure>
I have a trio of Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis), received from Live Aquaria Diver's Den two months ago. They were in a 55 g hold tank (as a trio) for a 4-week quarantine period (kept at 79-81 deg F, with live rock and a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp), which passed uneventfully except for a mild case of Ich), which affected the male but not the two females. The Ich lasted less than a week, and the male developed no more than ~8 tiny spots at any time; if it weren't for his frequent cleaner shrimp service calls I may not have noticed it.
After showing no signs of Ich for 2+ weeks, I moved them about one month ago to the display tank, a 225-gallon mixed reef. Water parameters are:
79-80 deg F; 1.025 sg; NH3/NO2/NO3 = 0; Ca = 420 ppm; KH = 9; Mg = ~1300 ppm; pH = 8.2-8.4; I = 0.06 ppm, SiOH4 (silicate) = 0; phosphate = ~0.05 ppm.
Infrastructure details include: 2 x EcoTech MP40 circulation pumps, a Reeflo Snapper Hybrid in high flow mode, a fourth pump (low flow) to return water from the sump (~40 gallons), wet-dry with bioballs in the sump, Tunze 9410 DOC protein skimmer that runs 24/7<x-apple-data-detectors://4>, 35-watt UV, and ozone set at an ORP of 325 mV (the tank typically is at equilibrium at 330-340 mV, so the ozone is off almost always). Chemical filtration and additive details: three large bags (500+ g each) of Black Diamond activated carbon (one in each overflow, one in the sump, to mitigate some of the allelopathic consequences of a mixed SPS+LPS+softie reef); 300 g of Purigen; 75 mL of A and B two-part Ca/CO3 additive per day; 1.5 mL pure ethanol per day (I'm in the process of slowly ramping up in an effort to minimize nuisance algae growth).
<With you thus far>
Inhabitants details: One M+F pair of ocellaris; one M+F pair of black ocellaris; one presumed M+F pair of Kaudern's (Banggai) Cardinalfish; one M+F pair of red-tailed flasher wrasse; one blue tang; one purple tilefish; one flashing tilefish; one M+F pair of red mandarins; one starry blenny; one midas blenny; one incredibly shy (but healthy) orchid Dottyback; one M+F pair of Yasha White Ray Shrimp Gobies with pistol shrimp. I have a M+F pair of flame angels in the holding tank now but they are so active that I'd like to wait until any outstanding display tank issues are resolved before adding them. I anticipate that the flames will be the last fish additions to the tank (if I do end up adding them... I'm still a bit nervous about my various coral, though I put one member of each type in the holding tank to run a taste-test experiment... yes, I realize their coral-munching habits can change over time!).
<I think you're likely to be fine w/ what you have, the size/volume...>
All the fish with the exception of the issue articulate below seem to be healthy and are eating well. They all get alone<g>, after a brief 2-day blenny war about a month ago, and there are currently no patterns of aggression known to me in the tank. Coral: mostly SPS (several Acropora, two Stylophora, one Pocillopora, one Montipora, one Pavona) and LPS (hammer, elegance, frogspawn, giant palm tree, giant Duncan, pagoda cup, Sympodium, Alveopora, Goniopora, pipe organ, and three Goniastrea), with a small number of softies (two modest-sized Zoa colonies, a few modest-sized mushrooms, and one Cespitularia) Also, I have two sizable rose bubble-tip anemones (I know based on reading your work that I should consider giving them to another home, but I hold out hope that the clowns might one day stop abusing my Goniopora and Alveopora and move to the RBTAs). The coral have generally been healthy, with the exception of damage caused a while ago by a Sinularia overwhelming the (at the time) single bag of carbon I had to remove allelopathic terpenes. That Sinularia has since been removed, and all corals have recovered except the pipe organ, which is well on its way to recovering (~half of the polyps now open daily).
Finally, the Anthias behavior issue! All three fish generally appear to be doing well-- they are alert, swimming all over the tank during daylight hours and even the first few evening hours, show no physical signs of parasites or other diseases... except that the male Anthias no longer eats the foods that I provide. The tank's feeding regiment is a mixture of frozen mysis, brine, 'Emerald Entree' (vegetarian + brine and mysis), and Omega One flakes with garlic, soaked in Selcon and Kent's Garlic Extreme two times a day. The male Anthias also prefers to swim with his head down, as if looking at the sand and rock below. I don't think it's a swim bladder issue since he can (and does) swim normally and at any depth-- seemingly at will-- but simply "prefers" to spend 75% of his swimming time gazing at the rocks and coral below!
<No worries; I'd simply add to the existing diet, actually supplanting it over time with the staple (a few mm size) Spectrum pellets...>
Neither of the two female Anthias exhibit these issues. Of course I could be anthropomorphizing excessively. As a potentially relevant note, I have seen the Anthias pick at the indigenous copepods on the tank walls.
However, since adding the pair of red mandarins to the tank, the copepod population has plummeted (I'm working on setting up a refugium to restore their numbers).
When the male Anthias was in the holding tank and during his first month in the display tank, he was a somewhat more finicky eater than the two females, but was still eating reasonably well. He's never been a "man's man" type of male Anthias (there I go anthropomorphizing again)-- he's rarely shown ANY aggressiveness, and any glimmers of male-dominance behavior have steadily decreased over the past couple weeks. When the Anthias were first transferred to the display tank, the male exhibited lots of daily Anthias flashing in which he flares his fins, and flutters ostentatiously around the females. Recently, however, I noticed the dominant female (who used to be slightly smaller than him and is now slightly larger than him) chasing the male across the tank several times!
To be clear, the male isn't exactly cowering, and he spends probably 12 hours a day in the open water-- it's just that I find his behavioral trend towards being even less active to be somewhat worrisome, and perhaps indicative of a more serious problem brewing. He's also been slightly less interested in shoaling with the female Anthias (who are usually together), perhaps because he realizes that they are more manly than he is and is self-conscious :)
My simple questions are:
1) Should I be concerned about the male Anthias?
<Not overly so>
2) If so, what if anything should I do about the situation?
<Yes... change/add to the foods as mentioned>
I feel a bit silly spending so many words on what might be a non-issue, but I have always had a bad case of reef-tank-caretaker's disease, and when something doesn't feel right, I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the issue.
Thank you for your time and wisdom. I've attached a picture of the three (beautiful!) Anthias when I purchased them; they currently look more or less like this, only 2 months older :)
<I have a long-standing friendship w/ the maker of NL Spectrum, but this does not affect my impression of this food. I have fed it exclusively (as has Pablo Tepoot) for several years. Some testimony/input re:
"It" really is... highly palatable, totally nutritious... Trust me here. 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

Ventralis Anthias <fdg. mostly... other Anthiine stkg./sel.> / HOB Refugium <stkg.>-- 08/24/10
Hello WWM Crew,
<<Hiya Scott>>
Thanks to James and Eric for my questions a few weeks ago, the info was much appreciated.
<<We are pleased to assist--Eric with you again today>>
After reading all of the Anthias FAQ's and articles on WWM (yep, all of them), I had a few stocking questions involving Anthias.
The second part of my question involves refugiums; I have not done all my research about the myriad of uses of refugiums and the benefits they offer,
<<Can be substantial>>
but I will finish reading those posts later today / tomorrow.
I purchased my 120g reef tank on Craigslist, it was set up at the owner's house for about 10 months, and I have had it in my possession for about 1 month now. There is significant growth and life on the life rock, the water parameters are perfect (~4 ppm nitrates, 0 ppm nitrites, 0 ppm ammonia, 8.3 pH, 140 ppm Alkalinity,
<<On the low side if you have many stony corals--but still within the 'accepted range'>>
450 Calcium, can't remember the exact phosphate or magnesium levels, but nothing alarming).
My plan was to let the tank recuperate for a few weeks before adding any new livestock, the corals and fish all survived the move and are doing great.
<<Wise of you>>
One day I come home from work (about a week after having the tank set up) and there are three new fish in the tank (Yellow Banded Maroon Clownfish, Blue Mandarin Dragonet,
and a Royal Gramma). My girlfriend saw them at the store and "had to have them".
<<I guess you forgot to update her with your plan? [grin]>>
I was worried that the tank would be too "new" to house fresh livestock but all of these fish seemed great and are still actively eating and looking great now (3 weeks later).
My questions are about a few of the more rare Anthias species. Specifically the Borbonius Anthias,
<<Have 'seen' a few of these...stunning fish (but oh what a price tag--$300+ each!!!)>>
and the Ventralis Anthias.
<<Also very attractive>>
I have read that most of these fish do well in groups (1 male and several females).
<<As is the case with most all Anthiines... I don't know much about Odontanthias borbonius though I do believe it to be a deep-water species like Pseudanthias ventralis >>
However, due to their outrageous ticket price (specifically the Borbonius Anthias),
would it be OK if I only introduced one of this species into my tank?
<<I would not recommend this. In my experience, even those so-called 'hardy' Anthiine species like Pseudanthias squamipinnis and Pseudanthias bartlettorum can have problems when mixed with aggressive (as in Damsels, Tangs, Basslets) and/or extremely active (as in most Tang species) tankmates. Even the considerable investment aside, these fish would need/do best in a dimly lit (versus highly phototrophic) reef system, and tankmates chosen with much care>>
I also read that the Ventralis Anthias is a fairly fragile fish.
<<I have heard it can be hardy once acclimated--to the right system>>
In order for me to receive one (or more) I would have to special order them from my LFS (highly trusted) and he would receive them from his supplier. Would it be better to buy this species as well in a group or can it survive solo?
<<In a group, but'¦'¦'¦>>
My worry here is that this fish (or group of fish) would be under too much stress going from supplier to LFS to my tank, with zero acclimation time in the middle grounds (LFS).
<<Unless your LFS is willing to hold these fish to assure they are fit and eating before you pay (not likely, considering), this is your only method of acquisition>>
My LFS will not be getting any of these fish in to sell regularly unless they are special ordered so this would be my only option.
<<Understood--and not unusual considering the price/delicate nature of these fish>>
The second part of my questions involving housing these fish is about feeding.
<<Can be problematic>>
I currently have a 25 gallon sump / refugium (several "hand-fulls" of Chaetomorpha and live rock and I have added 2 bottles of Copepods to the Chaetomorpha which I feed regularly with Phytoplankton).
<<The Phytoplankton should be added sparingly--can be beneficial, but is also easily abused>>
I was wondering if I will need a more established or possibly an in-tank HOB refugium in order to have enough natural life for the Anthias to feed on.
<<You may already have too many 'competitors' for these live foods (the clownfish, mandarin, royal gramma--plus whatever else you may have that isn't listed). But'¦ The best way to seed this refugium is to obtain a cup of substrate and/or small bunch of Chaetomorpha from several other hobbyists' systems and add it to your refugium>>
There seemed to be mixed results regarding the feeding habits with most people's Anthias from what I read on the WWM FAQs. Some people had theirs chomping up Mysis shrimp, others had to go to more exotic routes with Glass Worms, etc.
<<Indeed'¦ You will have to experiment here. And it seems the higher the price-tag the more trouble it is to get them to feed!>>
I have no problem with buying as much prepared food as needed to keep these fish fat and happy but if you think that I need to get a more established natural food colony then I will certainly wait to get these fish.
<<A larger mature refugium will certainly help--but I think not having a species-specific system is your biggest hurdle to keeping either of these two species for the long-term>>
Aside from what I have done already to form my refugium, is there anything more I can do besides just waiting and letting it form naturally?
<<Make it bigger--else, not really>>
Thanks for all of the info;
<<Happy to share my friend>>
I look forward to the advice as always.
<<I think you risk much trying to add either of these fishes to your current system>>
Scott M
<<Eric Russell>>

Dispar Anthias... sel., fdg..... ranting...  7/13/09
Hi Crew,
This was <the> statement for today's picture:
<">The Dispar Anthias. Indo-west Pacific. To almost four inches in length.
Hard to keep if not immediately trained to take food. Best fed a few times daily. Females have slightly longer pelvic fins. Sipadan 08<">
I would not say it is hard to keep if not trained to take food. Nothing hard about taking care of a dead fish.
Get to the point and say it will die if not trained...
The hard part is in trying to train it. I know because I was not successful.
<Sam, if you would have read here first,
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm, it is
unlikely that you would have purchased this fish. I for sure am not one to gamble my money if I
didn't feel I had a chance at keeping an animal alive. Although Mr. Fenner's statement is true, there
are some folks that have had success with this fish. And, as I recall from previous queries, your tank size is around 10 gallons, much too small to have long term success with any of the Anthias species.
James (Salty Dog)><<Well done James. RMF>>

Re Dispar Anthias 7/14/09
Hi James,
You have a good memory, I did have a 10 gallon but recently went to a 24.
And you are also probably right that I would not have bought it if I read that even for a 24 gallon.
But it was such a nice fish I decided to believe the e-tailer.
My point was that it is not difficult to take care of, it is difficult to train. If not trained it is impossible to take care of. And if trained then there is no difficulty.
Thanks for being there.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Unsure if Square Back Anthias is eating - Out and about, very active, especially when I feed; but no eat   2/3/09 Hello, <Hi there Shane> Recently I added a healthy looking a Square Back Anthias to my 80 gallon tank. <Mmm, this, and most all other Anthiine species, is a social animal... really needs members of its own kind present (in a haremic proportion) to do well> Before purchase it was demonstrated it was eating (Formula two). The first 3 days the fish was very shy, but would come out if the room was calm and I turned the current in the tank down. The fish does not ever seem to eat. I've tried Cyclop-Eeze, Formula one & two, and frozen mysis. <Best to proffer live foods, no better means here than a tied-in refugium> The fish becomes excited during feeding time, and moves vigorously about the tank, but never snapping up anything. Occasionally it will suck a small amount of Cyclop-Eeze off the surface, but it is so little it could hardly be enough to keep it alive. It completely ignores pellets and mysis, and acts as if it cannot see the Cyclop-Eeze floating about. The fish is amazingly active (swimming in large rings around the tank & rocks like its trying to catch up to another invisible fish) when the currents are low, and the room is calm. Could it be feeding off of plankton and floating Cyclop-Eeze without really opening its mouth more then the steady 'slack jaw' open it regularly does? <Maybe to some extent> There are no signs of starvation visible. <Ah, good... perhaps it is getting sufficient other where's> Also, I have a problem with excessive plankton, and am a battling glass anemone infestation (very annoying). <Do see WWM re the last... perhaps the new fab Red Sea product: "Aiptasia X"> Thanks for your time! Tank: 80 gal Ammonia=0.0 Nitrite=0.0 Nitrate=0.0 Phosphate=0.1 PH=8.4 Specific Gravity=1.0235 5 Gal sump, refugium region Skimmer, 1 x Phoslock, 1 x Chemi-Pure 1 x 175 Watt Metal Halide @ 8 hours/day 2 x 25 Watt VHO Antic @ 12 hours/day -- Shane W. Scott <If, as you state, this fish appears "full", I would not be concerned... Do look into getting a female, perhaps two if they're small... Bob Fenner>

Re: Unsure if Square Back Anthias is eating - Out and about, very active, especially when I feed; but no eat   2/3/09 Bob: <Shane> I'll keep an eye on the fish for the next few days and take appropriate action if it begins to show any signs of starvation. In the mean time, I will offer a variety of live foods as you suggest to try to coax it to eat something in front of me. <Good... this and other more-adult Anthiines do take a while to become established feeders> I do have one more question about a peculiar trait I've seen in this fish. As I said before, the fish is becoming more and more active. At times, its almost racing through the tank needlessly. I've found that after the fish does laps for two minutes or so, it'll sort of 'rest' on or very near rock edges mid-tank. Its almost as if it "sits" to rest. Interestingly, the fish only rests in areas that have powerful current, and therefore lots of particle/plankton flow. Besides the fact the fish is essentially parked on a rock, it looks great. Should you get too close to the tank or make a quick gesture, it'll jump up and zip around the tank more. Even if you don't provoke the fish to get off the rocks, it will go through its race/rest cycle as long as the lights are on. As I mentioned before the fish is healthy looking, breathing at a normal rate, shows no signs of stress, sickness or starvation. Just acts strange. <Actually... not "odd" behavior... A constrained version of what they do in the wild... but not enough room to "zoom" about in the confines of captivity> A goggle of this hasn't yielded results. Any idea if this is normal? <Yes... it is indeed. I do wish I had more skill, time to make MPEGs or such of video I've shot of Pseudanthias pleurotaenia, esp. in the Ribbon Reef area outside Cairns... the males do this "dance" bit on a regular basis... For the benefit of other males? I.e. to signal their territory? Keep others away? Maintain their harems?> Thanks again Bob! <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Unsure if Square Back Anthias is eating - Out and about, very active, especially when I feed; but no eat... No reading, or heeding.... Grrrrr!   2/13/09 Hi Bob: <Howsit?> My new male square back Anthias has become odder then ever. I've attempted a variety of live foods including very small fish, very small shrimps and brine shrimps, unfortunately he still isn't eating a great deal. <Is their nature... eat zooplankton on prevailing currents during daylight periods of water movement> Interestingly the fish will occasionally eat a formula 2 pellet and spit it out, and then eat it again only to spit it out again. This fish will do this between 15 and 20 times before giving up. Even more strange, when I put a turkey baster into the tank to feed some of the corals, the Anthias will come up close to the baster and sit against it. The fish isn't rubbing against rocks or corals, and does not appear to rub against the baster, just likes to sit up against it while its in the tank. Even when I try to move it away the fish will follow it aggressively and sit against it again. To make this more odd, I've been recording the fish's activities with a camera. Peculiar as it seems, if there is no one in the room, the Anthias is almost always on top of our False Percula. <... So... you still have only the one, lonely male... It's doing a sort of social mixing here... with what's available> Right on top of him, usually not greater then 2-2.5 inches away. Should some one come in the room, the fish will stay on the side of the tank closest to the guest in the room, ignoring the False Percula. Notably the Anthias has considerable energy, and no signs of sickness or starvation. The clown fish eats everything and anything and isn't showing any signs of disease either. Is this normal? Could it be possible a gill disease or obstruction could be making it hard for the Anthias to eat anything that's visible? What other foods might you suggest I try? <... you should have heeded what I wrote previously> I have ordered a female square Anthias from my local marine supplier, and it should be in soon. Thanks Bob! <? See my/our previous email... and read here if you will: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiselfaqs.htm and the linked file above re Anthiine Systems... Bob Fenner>

Concerns about carberryi Anthias 10/23/08 Dear Crew, <Carolyn> Am at a loss to how to help one of my fish and can't find anything in the FAQ that fully covers it, so here goes... About 2 months ago I bought a shoal of 4 carberryi Anthias (1 male, 3 females), all of which went immediately into QT <Mmm, most Anthiine species are iffy in terms of such isolation... there is a question of balance, are they better off so accommodated or is it better to hasten them along, place directly into the DT?> with a Copperband bought at the same time. The Copperband showed signs of illness within days and the Anthias removed to a second QT in case there was any infection (the CB later died). All was fine, all Anthias eating voraciously and on lots of different prepared foods (krill Pacifica a firm favourite). <Good> About 2 weeks into QT, the male Anthias began to look as if he was having swim bladder problems, not feeding as well and swimming against the side of the tank as if for support. On Bobs advice, all four were moved to the display tank at that point to give them access to pods etc. <Good> The male has never recovered and seems to be slowly starving - his belly is now almost concave and his colour is very pale. <Rats!> The dominant female has now changed sex and he together with the two females are looking very healthy (good bright colouring, eating very well, fed twice daily + a third time if I can work from home), plus all three are growing well. Its the little male I'm worried about. I've come to the conclusion that he'll probably never improve and will eventually starve to death. <Is a common result...> He shows no interest in food at all even when fed in isolation (which we've tried in conjunction with SeaChem Para Guard which was recommended as a good all round treatment?). The tank/water details are: ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate <5ppm, temperature 26 Celsius, SG 1.026 (tank size 120 gallon). Is this also your opinion? If so, how is the most humane way to deal with him - I don't want him to slowly die from starvation. <Am given to not giving up... do you have a refugium that you can move this fish to? This is what I would do. BobF> Many thanks in advance, Carolyn

re: concerns about carberryi Anthias 10/23/08 Dear Bob, Many thanks once again for your help - we do indeed have refugium, as part of the sump system under the tank, so will move him across and see if we can't bring him round! Carolyn <Ahh! Good. Let us hope the food, respite there will help this fish to rally. Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

Feeding My Squareback Anthias -- 09/03/08 Hello guys great site, <<Greetings Roy, we're happy you think so>> Well, I purchased two squareback anthias, <<Ah, Pseudanthias pleurotaenia'¦a very nice though large species'¦and can be quite aquarium hardy, once acclimated/adjusted, in my experience. I do hope your tank is of some size (180g+) for keeping a pair>> male and female, about 5 days ago. Until yesterday both hadn't shown interest in food, <<This is not uncommon'¦ Persistence is key; offering a varied selection of foods a couple times a day>> and then the female started to eat my mix of frozen brine, mysis and bloodworm. <<Very good>> The male anthias is still not showing any signs of interest and I am beginning to worry. <<Mmm, I see'¦and concur with your concern. Hopefully the sight/actions of the female feeding will trigger a similar response in the male'¦soon>> I have read some similar posts but must tell you that I cannot acquire any live shrimp at any fish stores in the area at all.... <<I understand>> Would you recommend any websites where I could get these and if so what do I buy? <<You can try Reed-Mariculture (http://www.reed-mariculture.com/mysidshrimp/) for live Mysis shrimp... I've also found frozen glass worms to be useful for enticing these and other finicky feeders. Either one of these is a much better alternative than live or frozen Brine Shrimp, in my opinion. Do also obtain and try some New Life Spectrum pellets for these fish. Though they likely won't take to the pellets right away, I have been able to get this and other Anthiine species to feed upon them'¦and if/when they do this can mean much to their long term health and vitality'¦truly>> I really do not want to watch my fish just starve. Please give me any suggestions at all. <<I hope I have been successful re>> Thank you very much. Roy from Texas <<I'm happy to try to help Roy. I wish you luck and I would be very interested to hear how these fish fare. Regards, EricR from South Carolina>> Re: Feeding My Squareback Anthias -- 09/04/08 Thanks for the advice EricR,<<Quite welcome>>I would want to know exactly how to house these expensive live shrimp once I get them... I hope I'm not asking too much but I really don't want to waste money on these guys for them to just go to waste, 115 dollars is a lot of money after all.<<Indeed it is'¦I hope that includes shipping. Housing these critters would be best in an in-line refugium with some sort of matrix for the shrimp to hide in/from one another (are highly cannibalistic), like Chaetomorpha macroalgae or a shallow layer of live rock rubble'¦of course this also makes them tougher to capture for feeding to your fishes. These live shrimp may well be a 'last resort' effort'¦I would try the Glass Worms first if it were me>>Thanks so much guys!<<Wishing you luck! EricR>>

Purple Queen Anthias Not Feeding -- 02/07/08 I recently bought 2 Purple Queen Anthias and they are not eating. <Not uncommon'¦an exquisite, and difficult species to keep. Do read here and among the associated links in blue on this and other Anthiines in general: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm>> They seem to be doing fine. I mean they swim out in the front all the time. I have tried live brine, PE Mysis and flakes and they just won't eat. I was just wondering if there was some secret I was missing. Thank guys, Jake <<Well Jake, to begin with'¦. Hopefully for the long-term well-being of these fish this tank is a mature reef system of some size (100g+) with a dearth of raucous tankmates and supported by a large inline plankton-producing refugium. As for getting them to feed'¦ Try some frozen glass worms (white mosquito larvae). I find the physical properties (small, semi-transparent, and delicate structure) of these larvae often induce difficult/finicky feeders to sample and begin eating. If this doesn't work (do try more than once), keep trying with offerings like Sweetwater Zooplankton and even the 1mm offering of New Life Spectrum pellets (a very 'palatable' and nutritious fish food). It is important to get these fish feeding'¦and soon. And do please let me know how these fish progress. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Purple Queen Anthias Not Feeding - 02/08/08 Okay thanks guys. <<Welcome>> I have a refugium but how do you know if it is plankton producing? Or how do you make it plankton producing? <<If it has a deep sand bed it already is'¦but to maximize its efficiency re it needs to have no macro-predators (fish, crabs, shrimp, sand-sifting seastars, etc.), and to increase the bio-diversity'¦some type of matrix (macroalgae/live rock rubble) to provide shelter/a place to reproduce. EricR>>

Re: Purple Queen Anthias Not Feeding - 02/08/08 To "EricR" <<Hey Jake!>> Hey, I talked to the guys at the LFS and they told me to try some Cyclop-Eeze because they were smaller and Anthias like smaller food. <<Mmm, yes indeed'¦and I do hope it is the 'frozen' variety>> So I've been putting a cube of that in a day and I have not actually seen them eat it, but they seem a lot healthier <<'¦! How so?>> and they have been alive for 3 weeks so they must be eating something. <<Ah, yes, I think they must be as well to have survived this long'¦and likely attributable to your refugium and the 'plankton' it produces more than anything else>> Thanks for the help, Jake <<Any time my friend'¦I hope you will keep me apprised of the Anthiines progress. Eric Russell>>

Ventralis Anthias Not Eating -- 06/24/07 Hi WWM crew, <<Hello Art>> Three days ago, I added a Ventralis Anthias to my very peaceful 55-gallon reef tank (Helfrichi Firefish, Candy Basslet, Blue Gudgeon Dartfish, Neon Goby, Yashia Goby, Mandarin). <<Mmm'¦a stunning but decidedly difficult to keep Anthiine species>> The etailer who sold it to me said he was eating Mysis shrimp (from past experience, I trust this etailer). <<I see>> None of the other fish have picked on the Anthias-- in fact they are almost oblivious to him, and the lights (VHO) don't seem to bother him either, as he spend a lot of time out in the open. <<Yes'¦often quite adaptable re the light intensity>> My question, of course, is about feeding him. <<And likely your greatest hurdle here>> He is snapping at things in the water that I can't see, and has been doing this since the first day, but I don't see him eating large pieces of Mysis shrimp. <<This is not uncommon as these fishes/most all Anthiines feed by snatching plankton from the water column'¦often very 'tiny' plankton. Unless you have a large and mature plankton producing refugium plumbed in-line to this tank I am doubtful the Anthias is getting much to eat. If the Anthias was indeed feeding on Mysis before, it may have been put 'off its feed' temporarily from the stress of capture/transport to your system>> I am concerned that he cannot sustain himself on whatever it is that he is eating. <<Indeed>> It is difficult to feed him because when I approach the tank, he darts into his cave. By the time he comes out, the food has either been eaten or has sunken to the bottom. <<Perhaps some additional flow in your tank is called for here>> I am feeding him 3 times a day with Mysis, Cyclop-Eeze, Rotifers and Brine. <<Hmm, the Cyclop-Eeze is an excellent feed that usually stays suspended for some time with a bit of water flow'¦are'¦perhaps 'this' is what the fish is 'snapping' at. And too, if you are using the freeze-dried/flake version of this product I highly recommend obtaining/trying the frozen version as this more readily 'mixes' with the tank water>> There is also a continuous hatch and feed Brine shrimp feeder in the tank, so there may be some live Brine shrimp available, if you believe these devices work. <<Mmm, maybe'¦do be sure to prevent the empty cysts from entering the tank/being ingested by the fish as these are not digestible and can cause 'blockage' problems>> I have tried feeding with the power heads on and off, and also putting the Mysis shrimp in frozen, so that hopefully it will be drifting down into the water column as he emerges from his cave, but without success. Again, he appears to be eagerly eating something, but he's not going for the big, meaty pieces of shrimp. <<And this is fine, as long as the fish is getting enough of the 'small' stuff. Something else you might try is Sweetwater Zooplankton. This is a soft, palatable, planktonic food that will sometimes entice those finicky feeders. Another option that I often use for Anthiines is Glass Worms'¦yes, Mosquito Larvae. I haven't found many marine fishes that wouldn't snap them up'¦and even though not of marine origin, they are still quite nutritious>> I have kept other Anthias successfully before, and I knew this fish was one of the most difficult. <<Indeed>> If you have any additional advice on the feeding habits and preferences of this fish or suggestions on how (or what) to successfully feed him, I would really appreciate it. <<I have made a few'¦do give them a try>> As always, thank you for your excellent help! Art <<A pleasure to share. And Art'¦I would be interested to know how this fish fares/what it does decide (hopefully) to eat. Eric Russell>> Re: Ventralis Anthias Not Eating -- 06/25/07 Hi Eric, <<Hello Art>> Thanks for getting back to me so quickly and for the suggestions. <<Quite welcome...I hope they prove useful>> I will look for the Sweetwater Zooplankton. <<Ah good, will be a terrific supplement for all your fishes. The only downside I've found with this product is that it will start to "go bad" about three weeks after opening the container, though personally I've never had a problem using it up within this time frame...it's not all that large of a jar...>> This afternoon, I fed (the Ventralis Anthias) a mixture of Cyclop-eeze (yes, it's the frozen kind), Rotifers and Brine Shrimp, and to my surprise, the Anthias ate the Brine Shrimp-- who knew the fancy fish liked junk food? <<Mmm, I would caution you "to not" feed Brineshrimp for fear of "training" this fish on to this mostly worthless (in my opinion) food item>> He also ate the small stuff. <<Much better...but some diversity is needed here...the Sweetwater product will hopefully prove useful and there are some other "refrigerated" Zooplankton products available that could prove of benefit. And do let me mention the New Life Spectrum pelleted foods...I have had several Anthiine species (and have witnessed several more) that would gulp the tiny 1mm pellets down with gusto. This is a very high quality and nutritious food that is well worth a try, and another that could/would benefit all your fishes>> Have you ever tried feeding Frozen Blood Worms to Anthias? <<I have>> Do you think they would go for it? <<Is worth a try...though I have had much better results with the frozen Glass Worms. Do also try soaking all the foods in Selcon or Vita-Chem...aside from the obvious benefits, I find this often makes foods more interesting/palatable to the fishes>> On another note, I have thought about adding another fish (the gobies I have are only 1 to 1.25", and the Candy Basslet, Firefish, Anthias, and Mandarin are each about 2"). I am considering a Pygmy Possum wrasse, about 1.25", if I can find one that small. Would this wrasse be compatible with my peaceful tank? <<Do take "mature" sizes in to account when choosing fishes for this tank, but in this instance yes, I think the Possum Wrasse would be fine>> The other option is a Cherub Angel that I have in another tank, also about 1.25". <<Not what I would consider a "peaceful" fish>> I like the looks of the Angelfish better, but I am afraid he is too aggressive for the Anthias-- if he continues to feed, I don't want to rock the boat with a more aggressive feeder ( and a more aggressive fish, period, although he is not a cave dweller like the wrasse, so he occupies a different niche). What are your thoughts? <<I think more than the Anthias is at stake here... I have seen on more than one occasion, the decline/eventual demise of Firefish species from the addition of aggressive and/or overly active fishes to their system. There's every chance the Cherub Angel would fit in just fine, but I think the Possum Wrasse is the better risk here>> Also, I have a Blood Red/Fire/Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp in this tank--also about 2". Is he likely to eat my 1" gobies? <<Is a possibility...though I don't think it is "likely">> Should I remove him? <<As long as it is getting enough to eat (leftovers from the fish feedings), I would be inclined to keep it for its utility as a biological parasitic control>> Thanks for your help, as always <<Always welcome> Art <<Regards, Eric Russell>> Lyretail Anthias Feeding Habits  -- 05/08/07 Hi WWM crew, <Hello.>    Peter here again, <Hi Peter, Adam J on this end.> I love your site and would like to thank you all again. <You are welcome and thank you too.> First off, I researched a bit on Lyretail Anthias from your site. <Good.> I am planning on buying them. <Are amazing animals when placed into the right environment.> I have a 90 gal tank running for 6 months now. <I would prefer a tank of at least a year old for zooplanktivores like Anthias, do you have a refugium?> I have a couple questions to ask about them. <Okay.> Which would be better to buy, 1 male 1 female or 1 male 2 females? <The latter if you have the room'¦for aggression issues'¦better for the male to spread his 'actions' on to a group not an individual.> Will they have to be fed Mysis shrimp at least once a day? <That and other zooplankton and small pieces of meats (marine origin)'¦preferably more than once a day though.> Or can they're meals consist of flakes/freeze dried/pellets 2-3 times a day. <If you can get them to accept this, great! However I would still often feed the above. Cyclop-eeze is not a bad option either.> While other days include Mysis shrimp. Also, when they are big enough, can they eat live ghost shrimp like longnose hawkfish? <Perhaps but not likely, they are zooplanktivores like I mentioned above'¦feeding habits are similar to Genicanthus angels'¦if you are familiar with them. A fishless refugium will help a lot if you don't already have one.> Thanks a bunch everyone. <Anytime Pete, Adam J.>

Anthias rescue from/by Jager  - 05/20/2006 ok gang I have an issue that involves saving an anthias. My LFS got one in after our owner thought it be a good fish for the display.   a beautiful example of a Pseudanthias pleurotaenia female.   <Social animals...> After getting to work to find them trying to add this fish in a tank full of damsels, then thinking it go great in the Canthigaster /Huma Huma tank...... I decided to 1. kill the daytime fish guy, cause he's an idiot this week. <Yikes> 2. I called the distributor to find out what if anything the girl was eating in their possession.  lo and behold, (am so not surprised......) that they didn't get it to eat at all I promptly took the anthias home to recuperate from the trauma of being netted between tanks so many times, and to start feeding. she was Q/T ed for a week and in with cleaner shrimp then baking soda and freshwater dipped prior to adding to my tank, as I didn't think being in a ten gallon q/t was going to help her in the least. <Mmm, this species almost always feeds...> I have it sampling sea urchin blood worms, and various mixed marine predator shrimps that are mixed in algae, but only if in a total cloud ala plankton.   this fish is really just wild caught apparently. Issue 1.  getting the best mix of foods.  I am waiting on Reed from reed mariculture to send me the samples he promised from IMAC, among them is various zooplankton cultures etc. Was going to blend up the various foods that I have that she is nipping at when in cloud form, and see if target dosing wont entice her to feed as well, But what blends of protein to algaes should it be getting? <Not important, really> more to the meat side I would think, but anyone had good luck with commercial blends or did you make your own? <Most any zooplankter/tors... will take pellets (Spectrum) once trained on. The real "trick" here is to have this species in a small grouping...> I have the ability (from keeping puffers) to go full meat to partial meat and veggies (formula one and two etc)  but while I wait for the samples id love to get her eating on something easier to handle that she will recognize easily and want to feed on.  She is deathly afraid of the cubed foods and hides in the other side as they break apart. and wont touch anything until the puffer pulverizes it for her.  There is NO aggression in the tank toward her from the Porc, I have stayed up all night watching the tank (being sick does have its good things) and have witnessed nothing except the anthias rubbing on the Porc in a weird way that doesn't look disease worthy but almost similar to a clownfish hosting dance. issue 2 more flow or less.  she's the only anthias ive seen that isn't cruising the entire tank and enjoying the higher flow areas. <Hide more than not... once again, if there were a dominant male, perhaps another female...> she chills with the Porc puffer and follows the Porc around the tank much like a little dog.  thing is she's a good 5 inches.  I was working on getting about 3000-4000 gph through a closed loop system going, but am not sure that would help due to her current behavior.  She does swim quite a bit just not choosing to stay in the higher flow areas. my plan atm is to 1 get one area at least with a good chaotic high flow and one calmer side to see what she likes atm. 2. get her to feed on more variety, 3.  find out if I can find her a permanent big tank (several hundred gallon ) home.  cause in the long run she wont be happy by herself. <Bingo> in the good news department I don't have to save more anthias from my store after explaining the HUGE losses wed have because most people cant get them to feed or don't have enough space, and enjoying telling the daytime guy that he's an idiot. <... Make friends with Kool-Aid... Bob Fenner>

Squareback Anthias - 08/04/05 Hi, I've had a Squareback Anthias in a 110 gallon tank with lots of live rock and other reef safe fish and inverts. <<Lots of flow too I hope.>> Everything is fine in the tank and everyone is eating but the Anthias. <<I have one of these magnificent fish as well, a bit more than 4"...a fat, sassy, and beautifully marked male.  He eats just about anything but pelleted foods (yep, eats flakes).>>   In fact, I've had it for about 3 weeks and I've never seen it eat. <<Mmm...not encouraging...did you see it eat before you purchased it?>> I've tried a variety of frozen foods and even live brine shrimp and I still haven't seen him eat.  My question is, how long can a fish live without eating?? <<A surprisingly long time...but three weeks is worrisome to me...especially with Anthiinae.  These fish are typically used to picking food from the water column all day long.>> Any other suggestions?? <<I've seen a few of these fish waste away in other's/dealer's systems, mostly due to rough handling during shipping I suspect...always best to observe them eating before buying.  One food I've found particularly helpful with finicky eaters is frozen glass worms...aka mosquito larvae.  I've had Copperband Butterflies and Fathead Anthias that wouldn't touch Mysis shrimp in the beginning, suck these babies down like fishie candy.  Once I had them eating the glass worms I was able to get them to feed on the Mysis, and assorted "plankton" too.  The Fatheads even got to where they would eat anything that fell in to the tank...sadly, it didn't keep them from going Samurai on each other, even in a 375g tank...but I digress...  A three week food strike does not bode well for the Anthias, but I would give the glass worms a try nonetheless, and maybe even blood worms and Sweetwater Plankton.  You never know what might just strike its fancy.  Good luck, EricR>>

Lyretail Anthias in a Hunger Strike Hello. I bought a Lyretail (male) Anthias 3 mos. ago in a 55 gal (4 mo.s old). <Kept by itself? This/these Anthiines are social species by and large> He had a voracious appetite until about 2 weeks ago. He does not eat anything. I've tried the foods that he always ate, and some new ones to no avail. Foods tried and he used to eat: 1) Frozen - Marine Cuisine (his favorite - the first food he was eating). 2) Frozen Mysis shrimp 3) my own blended food of shrimp, squid, clam frozen food. I've also tried: 1) Cyclop-Eeze 2) Sweetwater Zooplankton 3) Spectrum One flakes and pellets 4) Live Brine Shrimp (yea, he just looks at them) I've also mix up the food above, but it doesn't help. He still waits for me by the tank opening during feeding time, but when I put the food in, he usually just watches. Sometimes he would put it in his mouth, but then spits it out. He does not show the same ferocity he used to have when coming after the food. Last week, I added a yellow wrasse that was in QT. I was hoping the Anthias will eat once there is competition for the food. It did not work. <Good idea though> No aggression is present between the two fishes. He is still lively, good color, does not look thin and he still comes to me when I approach the tank. I just don't see him eating. <Mmm, maybe he is consuming some goodly amount of "other" life from your LR, substrate... do you have a living sump/refugium?> I have noticed that he spends more time at the back of the tank and I have seen him picking something out of  tank walls. He also seems to have stopped fighting his reflection.  Is there anything else I can do to help my Anthias eat? Any theories on why he stopped eating? <I would try some live foodstuffs... Mysids, brine shrimp, even freshwater foods... He may have stopped eating due to a lack of social cues... Please read on WWM the article, archived FAQs re Anthiines: http://wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm> Oh.. tank parameters: ~70 lbs live rock 10g sump 10g refugium Nh3 = 0 Nitrite = 0 Ca = 350 dKH=10 pH 8.3 temp= 80 f Other tank inhabitants: 2 turbo snails 1 yellow wrasse (eats well, active, fights his reflection) 1 frogspawn 1 open brain 2 green star polyps <If you can find some, I might add two females of this species to your system as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Lyretail Anthias in a Hunger Strike Hello. Thank for the advice. <Welcome> Well I tried feeding my Anthias bloodworms and he passed on it. I fed him live Mysis shrimp and he went after them like he used to eat. BUT, several minutes later, I see him throw-up the shrimps he just ate. Most of the shrimps were still whole although they seemed dead. He did not try to chase after any shrimps after that. I am still trying different things and I just ordered some Golden Pearls today. He is eager to eat, but he spits it out (or throws up).  I believe he is beginning to thin. Can he have something lodged in his throat?  <Not likely> If that is probable, any advice on how I can check/remove it? Will it kill him if I grabbed him with my hands while I force him to open his mouth? <You didn't respond to my previous question re this fish being solitary... this species lives in groups... Almost always only does well in number. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Lyretail Anthias in a Hunger Strike Thank you for the reply.  The fish is the only Anthias. My research showed that it was okay to keep one Anthias, especially for a small tank like mine (55g). <Your research is incorrect> I have one yellow wrasse with him now and I have two small ocellaris in QT.  I am looking for alternatives to stocking 3 Anthias in my tank because I am afraid my tank is not big enough them.  I've read some opinions that my tank should be at least 180gal in order to house a group of Anthias. <Depends on the species...> Anyway, I guess I'm at a crossroad.  I can try buying a couple of female Anthias and change my stocking plans, or give away my Lyretail and redo my stocking plans - without a Lyretail.   Thank you Bob.  I use  the wetwebmedia a lot and I know it has helped me keep my animals alive and well. <I would trade this animal in if you can... to someone who has the same species... Bob Fenner>

Feeding Fresh Foods Hi Bob, I have two questions. 1. Do you need to feed fresh seafood to your saltwater fish?  <can be very nutritious, is recommended for many fishes and corals> If so do I just go to the local store and buy fresh shrimp, clams and squid and put it in a blender and then freeze it?  <sounds good... be sure to freeze it as you have stated. Never feed raw fresh for risk of disease transmission. In fact... studies have shown that previously frozen foods have less bacteria and more nutrition because they are frozen quickly after catch and "preserved" whereas fresh raw foods are kept chilled only for an extended time> I assume you wouldn't cook it because it's not cooked in the ocean and it would be too hard to chew.  <actually no cooking because it destroys nutrients> I have the following Saltwater fish so you know a little about what I'm trying to feed. A pair of Maroon Clownfish, a Purple Tang and a Scott's Fairy Wrasse in my 55 gallon. In my 46 gallon I have a Coral Beauty Angel and a Foxface rabbit fish.  <you have a mixture of omnivores and herbivores> I'm concerned about my Fairy Wrasse because I want him to have a good meat based diet.  <exactly... try Gammarus and mysids froze from the LFS freezer too. Also, fresh (jar) Sweetwater Plankton... a find for Anthiines> I feed Formula one and two flake and some tetra flake. Seaweed sheets once a week and the frozen Pygmy Angel food along with Frozen Brine Shrimp.  <all fine but the brine (a hollow useless food)... do add some higher protein crustaceans to the diet like krill, shrimp, mysids, Pacifica plankton, etc> I'd appreciate any advise on the fresh frozen food you can provide.............Thanks again........Chet Get more from the Web. <best regards, Anthony>

- Anthias not Eating - Hi there crew, <Hello, JasonC here...> I purchased a male pink square Anthias not quite a week ago.  He is in my 20gal quarantine right now and has been hiding in a piece of PVC I have in there since he arrived.  My water parameters seem ok (0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 40 Nitrate, 8.2PH). My problem is that I haven't seen him eat anything since he arrived. <Hmm...> They fed him in front of me at the LFS so I know he was eating at that point. <Ok.> I've tried Prime Reef, Formula Two (he ate that at the LFS), Flakes, Mysis, and Blood worms but it just sits in the tank until I take it out several hours later. I leave the tank light off but I have never seen him come out of the pipe. I hate to watch him starve to death. <I agree with you there.> I wasn't worried about him not eating for the first few days but now that its nearly a week I am concerned.  He's all alone in quarantine so he's not being bullied by anything. Any thoughts? <Yeah... try live brine, or any other live foods you can get a hold of. With any luck the live food will excite the fish into eating. Once the live foods start to work, start mixing in the other foods and wean off the brine shrimp. I would also rinse with it well the brine before you feed with it. Last though, and I can tell you've already asked... do try to keep in the mix the same items they were feeding at the store.> Thanks, Andy <Cheers, J -- >

Loss of Appetite Hello Crew, <Hi there, MikeD here> I am at a dilemma because my Anthias has not been eating for more than 2 weeks<Very bad. this fish's metabolism won't let it last long at this rate>. All methods to coax it to eat prove futile<As in?>. It just remain stationary hiding behind the rock hardly moving. Previously this same fish has been eating like a pig but all of a sudden it just stopped eating. I have tested the water parameters and all appear to be ok<Define OK? ANY ammonia or nitrite is not OK>. I change 20% water every 5days<Great>. Adding insult to injury, I purchased a bottle of Selcon and dropped 10ml of it (as per instruction) into the display tank and now the tomato clown is following suit, it has not been eating for 4 days already. My tank is 120gallons reef comprises of protein skimmer and sump, filters etc. Kindly advise me what to do.<It's time to do some detective work here. First off, have you tried adding LIVE brine shrimp to the tank? While not a great food, very few smaller fish can resist "dinner on the hoof. I suspect that your tank is either contaminated (have you ever treated it with copper or formalin?), that you have ammonia higher than you realize is dangerous, or that you may have a faulty unit that's allowing voltage into the water, such as a dying power head or heater. Watch closely, try the live brine, and keep up your water changes. Try to get exact ammonia and nitrite levels as well, ok?> Thank you for your time. Regards Richard

Help with Quarantine follow up 4/28/05 Hi Adam, Thanks for all your advice. I lost one Anthias, but the other is doing really well. Only problem now is that he won't eat anything except the brine shrimp fry. He refuses Mysis and Cyclop-eeze. Any suggestions on how to get him to take other food. Thanks.  <Sorry for your loss. To coax your remaining Anthias to take other foods, try offering the new foods mixed in with the brine nauplii. Another good strategy is to invoke Pavlov... Figure out a way to signify feeding time to the fish. A consistent change in lighting, current, placing an object next to the tank, etc. (even your approach can work if the tank is in a low traffic area) can be used to train the fish to expect food when it sees that change occur. The change must be consistent and must be unique to feeding time, and it may take many days or a couple of weeks to work well. Best Regards. AdamC.> 

Anthiine Care Hi Bob, Thanks for the reply :) It's really good to have some to talk to that knows what they are talking about. <Yes, or at least "has reasons that they can/will state" for their apparent opinions>  I was wondering if you could help me and answer some questions. Please note that I am a beginner when it comes to reef tanks. I brought a pair of orange Anthias about 2 weeks ago and to this day I have not been able to get them to eat anything. The tank is a couple of months old. I have tried marine flakes, brine shrimp and those algae flakes, but no luck. I asked the LFS and they told me they will eat the flakes. I have observed  them eating algae growing in the tank (the green kind). <Hmm, welcome to our hobby, and rest assured, I will try to help you... Please take a look on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com under the Marine part, Livestock, the Basses, subfamily Anthiinae (the Fancy Basses)... are these fish Pseudanthias squamipinnis pictured there? (the females are all orangish...) As you will know they are zooplanktivores in the wild, eating small crustaceans, worms, other invertebrates and small fish  larvae in theater column... you should try offering foods like these, frequently (a few times a day) in vigorous water movement... Also, notice, that like most of the subfamily, these fish live in large aggregations (with one male typically)...> It looks like the Genus Nemanthias; Threadfin Anthias, the picture of the orange one in middle.<Okay> Bad news, today I looked at the tank and one of the Anthias is gone and one is looking quite sad. I suspect he will be gone in a day or less. I >knew >something bad was about to happen! The cleaner shrimp is hanging  >around the>Anthias now like it knows something is going to happen to it! <Yes, I suspect you are correct> >Humm, this was not supposed to happen. I did a lot of research to make sure >I would not have these problems. I even told the LFS I was a >beginner. When >a brought the corals, I picked ones that I knew were hardy and for >beginners. They are doing fine in the tank but the LFS gave me some >for free >(because I spent a lot of cash that day). The ones he gave me (SPS) >are >looking sad now. Should I take them out of the tank and can they do >any >damage? He gave me some mushrooms also, they look like they are >doing fine >so far.><I would leave the small polyp stony corals in place... they have >relatively little living tissue and their passing will do no real >harm... >if they perish. You know many of this artificial designation are not>easily kept...> >I will invest in a good hang on the side protein skimmer today and >see what >happens and let you know. Should I keep my Eheim filter running with  >the>skimmer or should I replace it with the skimmer? ><Do get, use the skimmer IN ADDITION to the Eheim... they are  >complimentary>>At this point I wish I had >the tank modified and a sump installed, things would have been a lot  >easier>if I had done this. ><Yes, woulda, coulda, shoulda... an aspect of our human experience> >Again, many thanks for your help, I really appreciate it! ><A pleasure my friend. Bob Fenner>Warmest regards >Lucien Cinc

Feeding a new Anthias Dear Mr. Fenner, This morning I received a Square Box Anthias from Flying Fish. It is a beautiful fish and is now swimming in my reef tank along side of a female that I have had for 6 months. I am worried about getting it to eat for the first time. I recently lost another new Square Box as I could never get it to eat. Do you have any suggestions on how I can be successful? I know that it might take a day or two for it to settle in. I have Mysis, Spirulina enriched brine, Emerald Entree, Zooplankton on hand. Someone suggested small feeder guppies also. Any insight from you would be appreciated. <Any live mysids? This is my fave choice... try offering toward evening... with lots of water circulation to move the food about... And do consider first soaking the foodstuffs in a vitamin preparation... this also serves as an appetite stimulant. Bob Fenner>

- Square-spot Anthias, Follow-up - Hi, Just wanted to let you know that Sascha, my 6" Squarespot Anthias, is eating again! <Most excellent!> I've attached a picture of him.  I tried everything I could think of to tempt him to eat but nothing seemed to work.  Finally, a full three weeks to the day that he stopped eating, he finally took some of my homemade refugium mush (liquefied clams, mussels, oysters, krill, Spirulina powder, Cyclop-eeze, Selcon, Nori - held together loosely with agar powder). <Is sometimes how it happens... just when you are wondering, "Will this fish ever eat again?"> He wouldn't eat much at first but he took a little more with each meal and started taking different foods too. <Great news.> I can't tell you how much I appreciate your words of encouragement.  I was sick with worry that he wouldn't make it.  Now his appetite is as voracious as ever and he has his colour back too.  Sascha and I say thank you! <My pleasure.> Susan <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Feeding a new Anthias I just called around to the LFS in the area. The closet one that has live Mysis is 40 miles. I'm on my way. Thank you for your help. <You will be pleased with the results... a few days of feeding this live crustacean and the dead format, other foods ought to be taken. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Anthias Feeding! Dear Mr. Fenner, I wrote to you last Saturday regarding my new Square box Anthias male that was refusing to eat. I took your advise about the live Mysis shrimp. Finally, yesterday he has started to eat. Even ate the frozen Mysis and Emerald Entrée that I fed the rest of the tank. Whew, I was really anxious over this one. <Ah, me too! There are specimens, occasions in which no feeding occurs...> Thank you again for your help. I now have high hopes that this particular fish will live a long time in his new home. Regards, Susan <Thank you for the follow-up. Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>

What In The World Do You Feed Anthias?!? Dear Robert, On Friday, October 19'th of 2001, I was the last person to win twice at the SCMAS (Southern California Marine Aquarium Society) Meeting for a raffle. But lo and behold, nothing else was left (no equipment - no light bulbs, no fish food, no R.O. Unit, no brushes, no water pumps, etc. - all the dry goods were gone!!!). Equally gone were the live goods (no Black Cap Gramma, no Blue Regal Tang, no Yellow Tang, no beautiful corals left, etc. - everything taken!!!). The only thing that was left up for grabs that no one else wanted (and woe is me) were 2 very breath taking but super duper hard to care for Anthias!!! <What species?> I tried to exchange them after the meeting and tried to give them away to anyone, but to no avail!!! Sigh!!! Everyone, including me, knew what the implications are of ending with any of these beauties and I seem to be stuck with them. So the ultimate question, in your expert opinion, what do I feed these poor dears till I get rid of them and ask my friend Michael to exchange them for something more manageable and easier to handle?!? <Perhaps one of your larger systems has sufficient "small life", particularly swimming crustaceans... "copepods", amphipods... for this species to subsist on... otherwise, you can try culturing same, buy them from outfits like Inland Aquatics... try vitamin-laced live brine shrimp... wean them onto prepared foods...> I ended up with a reddish orange Anthias with a little pinkish or lavender square in its side. Your book did not show a picture of this larger of the 2 Anthias. So I really cannot identify what this is. <Take a look a the pix on this part of the WWM site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm Sounds like a male Pseudanthias pleurotaenia...> It refuses to eat. The other, you call it Anthias Squamipinnis and so far, it likes finely chopped shrimp and crab that I normally feed to the Soldier Fish who is just as equally finicky as these 2. But I feel, that it is not eating enough. It is not spitting it out, but it isn't eating as much, either. I'd appreciate any insight you can toss my way. If they still don't eat the whole day today, I have no choice but to exchange them at Strictly Fish come Monday morning which is tomorrow October 22, 2001. Can you help me please?!? <I would exchange these fishes> After all, I've only been in the fish and coral keeping hobby since June of 1998, hardly an expert since my goal is to keep what I have on hand alive for as long as I can.  I honestly wanted to win some dry goods (R.O. Unit my 1'st choice) or a coral or manageable fish. But this?!? I already know for sure that both of these are just simply doomed in any of my tanks. It is such a pity as they never seem to hide and are always up and about and swimming everywhere. I just wish that they didn't bother buying these 2 and placing them in the raffle. Maybe someday when they know how to make these guys live, maybe I shall be up to the challenge of caring for them. But obviously, not right at this moment. I just don't want to be responsible for their demise. I do hope to hear from you soon. And thank you in advance for your time and infinitesimal patience you seem to bestow upon me. <A pleasure my friend. BTW, had a call from Marc.T re 12/15, the combined party at Johns... will likely see you there. Bob Fenner> Sincerely yours,  Aleida Ann Graichen The Mariner Editor

Touchy fish acclimation and feeding Howdy Bob! <Howdy, Chief! Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob sits in a corner trying to crack brazil nuts open with his forehead> Because of all your good counsel and website information, my personal contacts are at least dwindling in their frequency. Thanks again, and I hope you will help me with a two-part question. < I shall do my best> Because my local LFS is dealing with some water-quality issues, and I still have a backlog of pre-paid fish coming in, I have taken to having them notify me ahead of their arrival (via air freight), and I go right down when they get them in, and bring them home. Naturally, this isn't as nice as if they had been living and eating there at the LFS for a period of time, but it is my present reality. <we do the best we can with what we can> Anyway, I carefully follow your guerilla guide to acclimation of my new arrivals, but it is my impression that by the time I remove them from their "combo-freshwater-shipping-water-with-blue-green- additives" mix, they appear more sluggish and 'wiped-out' than the ones from the same batch who go through an 'LFS standard' acclimation (of gradually adding tank water into their bags and then releasing). Watching my fish in their cat-litter-box they just seem to sit and sometimes their back end curls around a bit towards the front. I don't want to stress them further, so I don't poke & prod, and usually, after about 5 to 7 minutes, I gently transfer them to my lights-out acclimation tank. Sometimes they speed away when I put them in, sometimes they just seem to barely sink to the bottom, and hang out. <quite natural> So, part 1 of my question is this: Is this normal for a fish going through this kind of dip / acclimation treatment, and (just for reassurance) is it still better because of the reduced risk of disease than just mixing waters and releasing? <indeed...cannot mix waters> Part 2. In last night's delivery, I received a male/female pair of purple queen Anthias (they didn't have lyretail). I know they are much more touchy fish, but they were beautiful looking <Arrgghhh... not the best reason when unprepared> and I had spoken to someone who had had three in a very small and simple reef for a long while <more than a year and still fat at that time?> , so I decided to give it a shot. They are still sitting on the bottom of the acclimation tank, breathing OK, and watching with their eyes, but not real motivated to eat. I am going to try "first flake", <I'll eat your hat if they eat flake for you.. hehe. Need meaty food...may even have to resort to live> and Mysis shrimp, but wondered if you had any good ideas about how to tempt one of these pretties into eating? <frozen mysids and Pacifica plankton are good whole foods in the long run...a good specialized homemade recipe like in Bob's CMA will be better. In the meantime, try gut loaded live guppies or ghost shrimp if the fish are large enough, or enriched live brine (Selcon) if still small> Thank you so much for your help. Sincerely, Jim Raub <keep us posted please. with kind regards, Anthony>

Anthias and Angel tribulations Mr. Fenner,  <author and friend Anthony Calfo in your service> I have just recently been introduced to your websites and books from a very good friend who is a professional saltwater aquarist in the Chicagoland area. I must say that your advice is very straightforward and good.  <its a good thing for you then that I am a very convincing fibber <wink>> It has helped me stage my first reef tank, which is currently doing very well. I have a few questions on a certain type of Anthias I bought from a "PetCo". <Aiiiieeeee! Those two words mentioned in the same sentence are like salt in my eyes...did you say "Anthias" and "[name of a Super Pet store]"?!? Argghhhh> Now trust me, I never buy fish from these guys, but I felt that if I did not take these two newly added gorgeous Anthias, they surely would have died in a week or two (I DO NOT normally do this, as I hate to give them business for their SW fish, but I *couldn't* let these Anthias just die). <alas, my friend... I must remind you of what you already know: your purchase not only did not guarantee their survival, but has contributed to the re-order and likely death of more like creatures. By contributing to the sales of inappropriate animals (at least in some merchants hands) you have not only contributed to, but stimulated the commerce in the very trade of that ill-fated fish through such channels. The best way to get retailers to not stock animals outside of their means/skill set is TO LET THEM die (the ill-fated animals, not the retailers...although given to chose...hmmmm?) in their tanks. These stores are not operating charities... if aquarists stop buying inappropriate livestock, then they will stop selling them. Economics. And even if that weren't true... you never want to buy into that mess under any circumstance. My apologies... I didn't mean to jump up on a soapbox...but I am a short fellow <> The plan being that I will look after them, and if I don't want them, I can give them to a proper Fish store that can take care of them. <if you want the challenge, that's one thing and admirable. But again, the reason stated does not wash... changing hands through yet another tank in the chain of custody may be the straw that breaks their back...too much handling/moving> So I took them home without even knowing their real species (they were sold as "pink Anthias") and only a good general knowledge of Anthias (I was a former marine biologist/Dolphin trainer). The Anthias are a very light pink all throughout, with maybe a very slight color difference from top to bottom...more a different shade of pink really...they are still juvenile so hard to tell. Also, they have rather rounded faces, but have the traditional forked tail.  Anyhow, I would like to know the kind of fish they are (if you can discern from my very vague description). They haven't been too eager to eat flake or frozen brine, <neither food is appropriate or useful...try mysids, Pacifica plankton and live grass shrimp if the fish are large enough... even gut-loaded feeder guppies, believe it or not> but I am going to buy some more live brine shrimp tomorrow.  <a truly awful and low grade food unless you plan to gut-load it with brewers yeast/Selcon, etc> They seemed to become healthier as soon as I put them in my tank (my tank has excellent water conditions, strong water motion, plenty of live rock (Berlin system setup) and sand (2-3 inch bed), skimmer, as well as a huge mass of Caulerpa from afore mentioned friend, that came with tons of copepods).  <excellent... I'm Cuckoo for Copepods!> They shook their bodies and flexed their fins almost immediately. As I type this email, they have been getting cleaned by my shrimp for about 20 minutes now and both of the fish won't leave the station. I figure that much of it is irritating mucus and scales on their body from the horrible water conditions of the store. <not to mention the three to five hands that they have been through in the chain of custody from the point of collection, though shipping, transhippers, wholesalers, the retailer and then your tank>  Now for some problems. While I don't anticipate too high of a stress level within the tank for these fish, I do have a rather territorial Flame angel...you are going to lecture me, aren't you... <I'd love to (especially about the reckless ignorance of quarantine) but I feel as though I've done enough already...hehe> The flame has shown some rather weak attempts at shooing away the Anthias, but no actual biting...but he does succeed in shooing them away...he is hogging the water current I suspect. I was thinking about adding some more "niches" within the aquaria by adding some more live rock and sort of dividing the tank into two or three distinguishable areas.  <without actual bites, the intimidation is undo stress, of course> Do Anthias enjoy open water?  <most all do indeed> My friend has two bicolor Anthias that love the open water, <a much hardier species> but his Anthias are huge and well established (dominant fish). My Anthias are small and the flame is dominant. I suspect that as time moves along, the angel will become more tolerant of the Anthias, <all bets are off> but I would like to try and keep him from being as territorial as possible...do you think my plan with the addition of LR (allowing more niches) will help? <pure luck if it does> I guess to ask a more general question that might help, is how is territory really established within such a small confine...in specific with the angel or the Anthias?  <although not directly competitive species...keep in mind the size of your tank compared to their natural range of defended territory in the wild. Any discussion to the contrary is moot> I am thinking that right now my angel has enough cracks in the LR to glide his way through the entire tank rather easily, and so for him to keep the territory of the entire aquascape, or most of it, is rather feasible (the other fishes in the tank are "ignorable" characters, maroon clown, Chromis, Gramma, mandarin; <a mandarin...you are killing me!<G> mature reef, productive refugium, I hope> and the angel will only once in a while shoo some of them away). If I create a break in the aquascape, will this help the angel to keep more of a smaller portion of the tank to himself? <above> I have also heard that Anthias feed on plankton... <indeed!> I assume zooplankton and larvae. Will adding phytoplankton (DT's) aid in the production of zooplankton? <not much on our aquaristic scale... rely on your refugium and ways to make it more productive instead> And if so, how much phyto should I be adding? (I have one large duster, one small duster, one porcelain crab, and the usual reef cleaning crew of snails, blue leg hermits, Brittlestars...these and the mandarin are the only things I can think of that will actively eat phytoplankton or predate on the zooplankton) <actually nothing that you have mentioned feeds decidedly on phytoplankton including the feather dusters (suspected, perhaps dubious but not proven)...dusters feed mucosally and are suspected of eating mostly bacteria and like organics... that is why so many people can breed them in captivity in tanks without natural or substitute phyto but plenty of detritus/organic sediment. You may be wasting your money on phyto without gorgonians or Nephtheids> Sorry the email is so long, but I am rather excited when I talk about the tank. Anyways, any help will be much appreciated, and you will be happy to know that I promote your site and books over Julian Sprung's (oh my, just kidding! He is awesome too, but I do enjoy your method of teaching much better...and I do promote your site as the place to go for hobbyists). Thanks! <Obviously I wasn't trying to earn a book sale with the lecture <smile>, but I'll plug anyway... Book of Coral Propagation, Volume One...review by Robert Fenner: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bkcorlproprev.htm Good luck, my friend. Anthony Calfo> Paul Lee

Anthias and feeding Thanks for making the Hobby Fun! Hi Bob et. al., <et al member Anthony Calfo in your service> Just wanted to say "thanks," for making what can sometimes be such a stressful hobby so much fun!!!! <a pleasure for all of us indeed> After reading over the feeding FAQs again I feel sooo much better about my fishes and what they're eating. <excellent> Recently we've added two beautiful Anthias to the tank (Evansi I think) and I'd been stressing after reading all the notes in the Anthias FAQ. But they're eating like a charm, and seem to be quite happy bouncing about. I'm worried though, that I'll have to bump up my feeding schedule to once a day (right now just 2-3 times a week.) What do you guys think? <wow... even for the hardiest Anthiines, once a day may not be enough. They are notorious for needing small frequent feedings to survive long-term. Indeed, this has been one of the stumbling blocks with such fishes. Do try to feed 1-3 times daily with very small portions. Overall this is best with most fishes although not always necessary.> Should I start out with fewer feedings and "up the ante" if they get skinny?  <heck no... too much ground to be lost by doing so. Begin with once daily if you feel that you must keep it to a minimum> I'm assuming I'll notice ;-) BTW, I feed 'em just a lil' bit of Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp Plus and dose 3 pumps of Bio-Plankton. <dramatically reduce the brine shrimp feedings... it is a very low grade food that will suffer your fishes by attrition (mostly water) if it is a staple (more than 25%). Do yourself a GREAT favor (I assure you that you will write back saying WOW did this work)... mail order or buy local a jar of Sweetwater Plankton (to be refrigerated)... this is an incredible food for Anthiines and ravenously consumed by most fishes. Trust me , my friend> Really, sincerely, thanks again - so much! You guys are to be commended for your generosity, kindness, and most of all knowledge!-Jon <thank you so kindly, it is very redeeming to hear it said. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Thanks for making the Hobby Fun! (Anthias and Feeding) Just a quick additional question about the food. The food I'm using is actually a frozen variety with what looks like quite a variety of protein rich ingredients (shrimp, mussels, clams, etc.) Just so happens to be called "Bring Shrimp Plus." It also claims to have lots of good minerals and vitamins. <hmmm... sounds good on paper, but the name implies that Brine Shrimp is the staple ingredient and that cannot be good in the big picture. Added vitamins and minerals are dubious at times as to their usefulness and ready assimilation by marine animals. Best bets are naturally occurring in whole prey items (mysids, Pacifica plankton, zooplankton from a fishless refugium, etc). Just reminding you of the top shelf options. A lot of industry professionals that I know wouldn't take anything with adult brine shrimp in it for free> Definitely going to pick up the Sweetwater plankton.  <excellent... you won't be disappointed!> Just wondering if what I have been feeding really is crap (so to speak ;-). <its funny you should mention "that"... I was just thinking of an analogy for enriched brine shrimp products...hehe: you can polish a turd, but its still a turd. Ha! How's that for sage advice?!> Lastly, will the clownfish and 2 pajama cardinals be fine with the Sweetwater plankton as well?  <indeed a very appropriate food for them, but no one food can be complete. Do mix up the diet still> Or should I find a better more nutritious frozen food for 'em? <just a nice variety overall of say 4-6 foods. Make sure that some have significant HUFAs in them (supplemented is OK in this case... they are not naturally synthesized by many marine animals... can be obtained in planktons)> Thanks so much. Its amazing how quickly y'all reply, and with such concise intelligent answers. Thank goodness the Hobby has folks like you. -Jon <thank you, my friend. Best regards, Anthony>

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