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FAQs about Fancy Basses, Subfamily Anthiadinae Reproduction

Related Articles: Fancy Basses, The Sunburst or Fathead Anthias

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

Highfin Perchlet Reproduction Inquiry    3/15/13
Hello to the folks at Wet Web Media,
<Larkin... w/ two other friends I started the Cal. Larrikins in 91... a related word?>
This is my first time writing to you all as I am usually proficient in finding the answers to any questions I may have. However, a rather unusual (in my opinion) event occurred last night in my 25 gallon seahorse aquarium. My Highfin Perchlet (Plectranthias inermis), who lives as the only fish in my seahorse tank, laid a batch of eggs last night.
<Interesting... I entered the string: "modes of reproduction in Anthiines" into Google, as I'd thought this subfamily (likely elevated to family status in a few years) were "typical Serranids"... protogynic synchrononous hermaphrodites, upper water seasonal group egg scatterers.... not benthic spawners, guarders...>
Once a skittish fish, she is now very protective over her new clutch. I have not been able to find any information about the reproduction of this fish and would love to learn more about the biological process occurring in my tank. Can you direct me to any sites or books that may cover the reproduction of this fish?
<Mmm, I'd do as I have done... place the string or similar search as above in your tools... and read on!>
 Thanks in advance for any information you all may have.
<Please report your search findings and further observations back here.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Best Regards,

Pseudanthias lori, sexing   9/15/11
Hi Crew,
I do not seem to find this information.
what is the difference between a male and female Pseudanthias lori?
<Mmm, well, males are larger... and "Young and females with series of red blotches over the back below the soft part of the dorsal fin, followed by a red streak onto the tail " from fishbase.org
Bob Fenner>

Male to Female? (Lyretail Anthias Sex Change/Reversal) -- 01/28/10
Hello crew!
<<Hiya Dre'!>>
I have a bit of an issue with a new Lyretail Anthias I purchased.
<<Ah'¦an excellent aquarium species of Anthiine'¦given a tank big enough for this large aggressive species (more than 100g)>>
I had a male already in my display tank and recently ordered three female Anthias.
<<A good move'¦ Though one of the more aggressive Anthiines re conspecifics, this fish still does better in a group. Again, given a large enough setting>>
While the three were in the quarantine tank I noticed that one of the "females" had a long dorsal fin, just like the male in my display tank!
<<Mmm, yes'¦the dominant female starting to 'make the change'>>
There are no other changes evident on the fish. She/he is larger than the other two females but about the same size as my male in the display tank.
<<It has been my experience that Lyretail Anthias male, that 'came to be' in captivity, show much less dimorphism from females than a wild caught male. Particularly re the dark red spots/markings on the pectoral fins and cheeks. What I'm getting at here is the larger fish with the elongated fin may not show any other differences from the females'¦though I would expect at least some overall darkening of color>>
So my question is if I put her in the display tank with the male, will she revert back to a female or challenge the male for dominance?
<<The male already in the display is likely to be the 'dominant' specimen here, regardless. If the dominant female is not 'too far' along in the change then this male should be able to suppress the process>>
My display tank is 180 gallons. Other fish include 1 Sail fin tang, 1 Powder blue tang, 1 Fox face rabbit-fish, 6 blue green reef Chromis, 1 citrine clown goby, 1 six-line wrasse and 1 dotty back.
Thanks so much for any advice on this matter.
<<Really all you can do is give it a try'¦and the sooner the better. There will be some 'jostling' for dominance for sure'¦just keep an eye on things and be ready to take action if it escalates to the point of real physical harm. The addition of a couple more females to the mix would also help here, in my opinion. Cheers'¦ EricR>>

Geometric Hawkfish... actually an Anthiine, comp., repro.     2/11/08 I have a geometric Hawkfish, Plectranthias species in a 37 gal. reef tank. I have had him/her for 6 months. It is quite darling and I am very interested in learning more about this species. Has anyone tried to keep more than one in a tank? <I have not. Though other Anthiine Serranids are usually kept as such> Is this a harem fish like anthias or what exactly is known about their breeding? <See WWM, the Net, books re the sub family... http://wetwebmedia.com/anthireprofaqs.htm> Although I doubt that I could raise small enough food for the fry, it would be awesome to see the interaction between a pair or harem. <Not enough room here likely for more than one safely...> At this time I have a very young pair of skunk clowns and a large skunk shrimp in the tank but they can be moved if I were to try more than one geometric hawk. I appreciate any knowledge you can share with me about this fish. Thanks for your help, Sheryl Coley <Wish I knew more... Bob Fenner>

Bartlett's Anthias, Male or Female? -- 5/25/07 Dear Sirs, <Heeeheee I'm definitely not a Sir, but I'll do my best!>    Hi WWM Crew! <Hi Peter, Lynn here.> I have a question to ask on one of my Bartlett's Anthias. <Gorgeous fish!> When I bought my anthias from my LFS, they said the bigger one was a male and the smaller was a female. <Hmmm, maybe. Although size is one of the factors in determining gender within an established harem/group, I wouldn't assume that these two fish came from the same group in the wild. Even then, there could have been smaller females present.> So I was watching them one day and I noticed my "male" has a weird dorsal fin. It was not an elongated dorsal like all males have. <Mature males, that is, typically have an elongate spine on the dorsal fin. Overall color is another factor in determining sex.> Here is a picture of him/her. Could you guys <Hmmm, or perhaps 'gals' - sorry, couldn't resist!> please tell me the gender of it? <Could be a female or immature male at this point. If it's not a male yet, it will likely become one. In the absence of a dominant male, the largest female will change sex and take over the position.> -Peter <Take care and enjoy those beautiful fish! -Lynn>

Male or Female Anthias?   5/22/07 Hi crew,            I love your site and I thank you for your wonderful info. First off I have 2 beautiful Bartlett's Anthias. They have been doing great for the few weeks I've had them so far. I feed them a mixture of Sweetwater plankton, Mysis Shrimp and Emerald Entree. Approximately 4-5 times daily <Good to feed frequently, small amounts to this subfamily> and they love it!. Here comes my question. I was watching both of them and I realized that the bigger anthias (3 inches) has 2 short elongated dorsal fins. The smaller anthias (2 1/2 inches) has 1 long elongated dorsal fin. What are their genders? <Mmm... likely different... the smaller one here a male... this is posted on WWM: >> I don't see any dominating fights or as a matter of fact no fighting at all. Could you guys please help me out on finding out their gender? -Peter <Read on Pedro, read on. Bob Fenner>

Gender Change In Square-Spot Anthias - 02/23/07 Hello there, <<Howdy>> Love your website. <<Thank you>> It's proving as addictive as marine aquarium keeping (seeing that I am writing this at 1:30 pm. after reading today's FAQ's). <<Indeed>> I purchased a mature 90-gallon system six months ago and thus far, all is going well. <<Cool>> I am thoroughly enjoying this wonderful new hobby, and recently read The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, which I thought was great. <<Excellent>> I've looked through the information you have provided on the square <<spot>> Anthias (Pseudanthias pleurotaenia), but still have a question. <<A very neat fish>> I know that in a group of females, one will eventually become male, but is the reverse true? <<Not once the transformation is completed/final...in my experience>> My LFS sold me a pair of males (both have square blocks on their side), saying that one would eventually become male. <<I think you meant to say "female?">> Have I been misinformed? <<In my opinion...yes>> It's been four months now and one continues to show dominance behavior (charging, not nipping) toward the other, although at times they seem quite comfortable together. <<An illusion>> There have been no noticeable physical changes in the smaller, non-dominant one (or the larger one either).  Both appear healthy, eat well, and have grown since I purchased them. <<My experiences in this area have been the subordinate male will eventually just "disappear" (die) from the stresses put upon it by the dominant male...even in a very large system>> Thanks for any advice you can offer. <<Wish it were more "upbeat">> Susan <<Regards, EricR>> Re: Gender Change In Square-Spot Anthias - 02/24/07 Thanks for your prompt reply and good advice. <<Quite welcome>> I will talk to my LFS, he's a reasonable man and I'm sure will be willing to take one of them back. <<Sounds great.  EricR>> Susan Bartlett's Anthias, breeding    1/17/06 Hello all, First off thank you for your hard work and research. This webpage is a tremendous asset. Just a quick question for you; Is there a good book, article, etc. on the breeding habits of the Bartlett's Anthias? <Mmm... off to the library you go... I know naught re> I'd like to learn more in the hopes of some day successfully raising them. They are an absolutely essential part of my 180 reef tank. Simply a gorgeous fish. If there are no books available, where is the best diving location to observe them? Thanks again. John <Mmm, maybe... names like Ron Thresher (with plenty of interpretation/interpolation on your part...) Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Bob Fenner> Re: Bartlett's Anthias, breeding  1/17/07 Wow, sweet. Here's my chance to write a hobby changing book. As soon as the roads clear I'm off to the library. Thanks for the quick reply. <You could likely contribute a great deal here... I have witnessed other Anthiines spawning in the wild... Mainly Pseudanthias squamipinnis (due to its being so common)... Captive-produced stocks of these little basses would make for a very nice addition to the trade/hobby... due to ready food acceptance, disease and shipping-stress resistance, ready adaptability to captive conditions... And these species do grow relatively quickly... a real plus for aquaculture. Bob Fenner>

Lyretail Anthias...Females Turning to Males - 10/15/06 Thanks for the prompt reply before, EricR. <<Very welcome>> Today, I noticed some very aggressive behavior between two of the females.  They were biting each other's mouth in a locked position and swirling around. <<Ah, yes...and so it begins>> I'm pretty sure this is a bad thing... <<Quite natural actually...determining dominance.  The aggression will subside (though never completely go away) as the more aggressive individual establishes its dominance>> Could it be to determine the most dominant female? <<Ah yes!  The more dominant individual will soon begin changing to a male>> Also, I was wondering if there were ever instances where an all female group, such as mine, has produced more than one male? <<<<Mmm, not likely...the dominate individual will see to that with enough aggression to keep the "urge to change" suppressed in the other females.  The remaining females will also establish a pecking order of their own, with the most dominant female taking the male's place should it die.  There will always be displays of aggression with this species, but aside from the "jaw-lock" you are witnessing now where the new male is being selected, most will be "more bark than bite">> Thanks! <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Sex change of single Square-Back Anthias Hello, <<Hello - Ted here>> Thank you for your help with other questions I have had.  It has been a great help to ask the questions that I cannot find answers to after hours of searching, and get quick knowledgeable answers. We have a female Square-back Anthias in our 75 gallon FOWLR tank.  It is about 3 1/2 inches now.  This is the only Anthias we have.  The past few days I have noticed that it is showing some darker coloration around the head.  I am wondering will an Anthias change sex to a male if it is the only one, or do they only do this in a group? <<Given only one Anthias, it is unlikely that the color change is related to sex change. Fish will change color when stressed or ill. If you are not seeing any indications of illness (white spots, rapid breathing, etc.) or stress (strange behavior) it may simply be the fish is maturing. I would check the system parameters and monitor things.>> Thank you, Andrew Morgenegg <<Cheers - Ted>>

Pseudanthias squamipinnis (lyretail) sexual transformation Hello, I have a school of 4 females and 1 male in a 55g reef. About 3 weeks ago larger female started transitioning into a male, even though nothing was wrong with the male and he is larger then she is. Now he is hiding and she is giving him a hard time. Well, this is not the worst part of the story. Couple of days ago I noticed color variations and fin changes on the other 2 females suggesting they are also turning into males. Why is this happening and what should I do with this school?  <Interesting event... don't know the ultimate cause, but suspect that the small volume, crowded condition has something to do with this... agonistic behavior somehow aiding to triggering the change> This school is pretty aggressive. They share the tank with a 3" powder blue tang, 3 Chromis viridis, a six line wrasse and a tomato clown. I will be moving the fish and the corals in a 90Gin about a week, so I will have pretty good opportunity to catch the fish. Thank you. <I'd shoot for even a larger tank size... as big as you can. Bob Fenner>

Evans Anthias spawning??  About 3 months ago I purchased a pair of female Evans Anthias. I had been considering Anthias for some time and when I said feed these and they gorged on flakes I knew I could keep them.  <One of my fave Anthiine species>  In the past 3 months the fish never got sick or thin. They compete  favorably for food with their tankmates. The larger of the 2 has  definitely pulled a gender switch on me as it is bigger and pinker than the other. In the last week I have noticed what looks to me like spawning behavior. The larger fishes fins will flare up and vibrate and then he undulates around the smaller fish. This whole process looked very similar to my lemon Jake cichlids when they spawn.  <Good observations, agreed.> Today the larger fish wont come out. I feed and he comes out very briefly eats a little and then disappears back into the rock. His fins are not torn, his color is good and their is no evidence of external parasites, and he doesn't look skinny. Usually the pair swims all over the 240g tank and only hide at night. The male looks to be hiding in the same spot. I would appreciate any info on Anthias spawnings you might have. Do the male Anthias guard eggs? That would explain his unusual behavior.  Thanks, Everett <Egg scatterers, live in haremic settings... pelagic development of young... Bob Fenner, a couple of links/WWM and Fishbase below> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm http://www.FishBase.org/Pseudanthias&speciesname=evansi

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