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FAQs about Fancy Basses, Subfamily Anthiinae Systems

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, Anthiine Reproduction,

Aggressive tankmates may work your Anthiines woe.

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

Anthias in 75 gallon fowlr   1/25/12
Hello crew.
I am finally upgrading my 2 year old 20 gallon tall to a 75 gallon long.
 I am very excited. Now my question is simple. Would i be able to keep a couple or trio of an Anthias species.
<Mmm, yes>
 I really want a male and maybe 2 females. Would this be possible?
<Uh huh>
I have a small Ocellaris Clown and a Bicolor Blenny and plan on getting a Flame Angel as well. Would this all be possible?
 Any advice would be great. Thanks.
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiselfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
re: Anthias in 75 gallon fowlr
... back to "Go"    1/25/12
Hello again and thank you for the quick response. Now you said it was possible to put a species of Anthias in my 75 gallon. Which would you recommend for a trio of a male and 2 females? Thanks in advance. P.S. Also would a Yellow Wrasse be ok in this tank as well?
<... read where you were referred to, and look up whatever you're calling a Yellow Wrasse as well. B>

New 55 Gallon on the way/Hat or Aquarium?/Anthias Systems 8/25/11
Hello. Felipe here.
<Hello Felipe>
I'd like to thank you guys for you are the reason my 20 gallon reef has been a success for almost 2 years now and still thriving.
<You're very welcome.>
I am in the process of acquiring a new 55 gallon long but want to make it a fowlr tank. I was wondering if there is any Anthias species I could keep in a tank such as this. I believe them to be beautiful creatures. My wife says they look like mermaids. Haha. I would agree a bit. Any advice on this would be appreciated.
<Do read/learn here about Anthias and their needs/requirements.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re New 55 Gallon on the way/Hat or Aquarium?/Anthias Systems 8/25/11- 826/11

<Hello Felipe>
Felipe here again re Anthias for a 55 gallon fowlr. Thank you very much for the link but I have yet to find a specific guideline to the size of the aquarium for each species. Some say large aquariums others don't say much. I would appreciate it if a species came off the top of your head that will do well in this size tank.
<Mmm, unfortunately, your tank is too small to keep even the smallest species of Anthias. The link does state large to very large aquariums. A 55 gallon is not considered large. A 70 gallon would be minimum for a few species, while most would need upwards of 100 gallons.>
If not the best idea than so be it I will change my mind and wait till I get a larger tank later on down the road. Thank you once again. You guys are truly fish life savers. Thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Highest regards. Felipe

Truncate anthias/Systems 3/17/09
<Hi Matt>
Just today did picked up a Truncate anthias, and I wanted to get further advice on caring for this beautiful fish. Now upon doing the research I do before purchasing any fish I found very little information on this girl (did manage to get a comparison of the sexes).
<The Truncatus anthias is a relatively new find, in the early 80's.>
Now I was hesitant to pick her up for a few reasons, but I realized it would do better in my fish only system.
On doing a bit of research on anthias I found out that they are difficult to keep because of their eating habits.
At the fish store she was eating frozen brine shrimp but assuming a variety of food would be better I picked up some zooplankton (good move?).
<Yes, a staple food in the wild.>
Now I'm sure this is not the best idea, but I am currently keeping it (about 1.5 inch in length) in a 20 gallon tank. This is because my 30 gallon has a Flame Angel with fin rot so I didn't want to put it there.
<Too small a tank for this fish.>
I was curious if it would be okay in the long run in a 20 gallon with daily feedings of brine, zooplankton, occasional mysis and phyto? if not it is also fine as I am upgrading my 30 gallon, within the year to a 90 gallon.
<Anthias do much better in groups, preferably a male and three or four females.
Your 20 is too small for that scenario and I believe you would be doing yourself a favor in taking the fish back.>
Any additional things I should know about feeding, or the species in general?
<All on our site, read here, related articles/FAQ's.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Strange Anthias Behavior -- 02/03/09 Hello, <<Hi Stephanie>> Thanks for taking the time to read this. <<No problem>> I have a 40-gallon marine aquarium with about 20 pounds of live rock mixed with some base rock (I know I need more live rock, <<Maybe'¦maybe not'¦ If the bio-filtration seems adequate, leave the space for animals to swim and grow>> but it's getting trickier to find in my area) <<'¦?>> and a deep bed of live sand. <<Ah, excellent>> For filtration, I just have a HOB Aqua Clear filter rated for a 55-gallon. I also have a couple of powerheads and plan on getting a protein skimmer before I add any corals <<Good move'¦and I would have done so before now even. Do have a look at the excellent offerings from AquaC, for this size system>> (right now it's a FOWLR set-up, but I'd like to make it a reef eventually). I have a refugium that's full of macroalgae and it keeps the tank stocked with lots of copepods. <<Among other benefits re maintaining water quality. It's sounding more and more like you 'don't need' to add more live rock to this system>> I do a 10% water change every week and my water parameters are fine (Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 0, Nitrates: 5ppm, pH: 8.3, Temperature: 80 degrees). The tank has only been set up for a couple of months but everything is going great. I have a small cleaning crew of turbo snails and hermit crabs, plus a Lemonpeel Angelfish and a male Lyretail Anthias. <<Mmm'¦ Both these fishes would be/do better in a tank at least twice the size of the 40g>> I know that Anthias can be tricky to keep, <<And compounded by shoehorning them in to a 'too small' system. Pseudanthias squamipinnis is an excellent aquarium species but it is also a large Anthiine (to more than 6'), and is a haremic species better kept as a male and several females'¦something not recommended in your 40g tank>> but mine seems to be doing well <<For now'¦>> (eating, good body shape, active, etc.) besides some odd behavior. For the past week, he's started randomly banging his mouth against the front glass and wiggling (it looks almost like a weird dance). There tend to be copepods on the glass, so I'm not sure if he's just eating them. Is this some sort of territorial/breeding display? <<Indeed'¦ These fish will 'lock jaws' with an opponent and engage in a sort of tug-of-war. It sounds like your fish is seeing his reflection in the glass and is trying to defend its territory (or maybe just bored). The behavior may also be a manifestation of being 'alone' with no females to attend to>>. I'm worried that he'll hurt himself. <<A possibility I suppose'¦ Getting this fish in to a larger tank with some female conspecifics should help>> Thank you! Stephanie <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Refugium for Anthias tank 03/05/2008 I have a 90 gallon tank with Anthias and been considering setting up a refugium to breed copepods for them. The only thing that would fit is the Aquafuge hang on 13-1/4"L x 4-1/2"W x 12"H. My sump/wet dry filter doesn't have the room for it, with the skimmer & pump taking up a lot of space. Would that size be enough to have a good population of copepods <<yes, this size will be fine>> Can I mix different species of copepods? <<For sure, create some diversity>> I already have at least 1 species doing well in the tank; The tiny white dot ones that hang out on the glass. They certainly get eaten by my fish but probably not good enough of a meal for them. I also have tiny little darker bugs (I think they're amphipods?) crawling on my rock and sand, but I don't think the Anthias eat these. <<More than likely not>> Why is it necessary to have a skimmer in the refugium when I already have an operating skimmer, since the water is shared between the tank and the refugium? <<You do not need a skimmer in the refugium, in the sump yes>> Thanks for the help. <<Thanks for the questions. Hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Lori Anthias dilemma, sys.  02/19/2008 Hey gang. Sorry to bother you (again). <<Hi Luf. Andrew here>> I recently had a friend that was moving out of state give me a Lori anthias (aka, pink flame anthias or Mirolabrichthys Lori). <<Pseudanthias lori>> He only had one in his tank, which was considerably larger than mine. He (she?) is doing fine and eating. Not swimming around the tank much, but has a corner it likes to hang out in (swimming around, not hiding in the rock). Anyway, here is my question. My tank is only a 65 gallon. I'm running a 20 gallon sump, but that really doesn't help as far as swimming area for fish. <<You really do need a tank which is double you current tank size to adequately house this fish, they grow to around 5 inches in length>> I have minimal stock in the tank right now. 70ish pounds of live rock, two bar goby's, one firefish, one yellow wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus), plus the standard cleanup crew (snails, blue legged hermits, few peppermint shrimp). Also have a few small soft corals. Needless to say, it's a pretty peaceful tank. ANYWAY, here's my question. I know from reading and reading and reading that anthias like to hang out with their own, as opposed to being kept singularly. <<True, its preferred to be kept in groups>> And I would be willing to get two more, but I want to make sure that my tank size would be adequate. <<As mentioned above, you will need a larger aquarium to even house this current fish>> I've seen some places saying 55 gallons, I've seen some saying 180 gallons. I even read a response by Mr. Fenner in your FAQ's saying a 55 was okay, which struck me as being a bit odd, though I'm not sure why. So, do you think I can keep the Lori, or should I empty the liverock out of the tank so I can catch it and take it somewhere (please say no), or get it a couple tank mates? <<I would remove it to a larger, more adequate home. Its the harsh truth, however, we all like to do the right thing by the fish that we keep>> -wuf <<Thanks for the questions, Hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

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

Anthias and Intense Lighting  - 3/12/07 Hello Bob, <Hi Brian, this is actually Adam J., filling in for BobF.> I am receiving a few fish this week from an online order and one of them  has special needs. <I could make a joke about riding the short bus...but I'll lay off for now.> I know Ventralis anthias do not appreciate bright light but would a Ventralis anthias do well in a 90 gallon 48 x 24 x 24 reef aquarium with 2 x 250 watt 14 K metal Halide lamps and 2 x 96 watt actinic  power compacts lighting it, or would those be too bright for the little guy? <In all honesty they are a little bright. Having said that it is possible he may adjust. A good way to go at it would be to light acclimate him like you would a coral that is coming from a holding tank/environment with less intense light.  The best time to do this of course is while the animal is in quarantine so as not to negatively effect animals already in the display. The one side-effect I am worried about when mixing this animal with intense lighting is that he may be more reclusive than normal and would not feel confident enough to venture out during feeding times.> This tank has lots of caves and ledges for him to hide in / under as well. <This is a good thing, but as I eluded to above I just hope the animal does not make too much use of them.> Brian <Adam J.> New home for pair of Pseudanthias squamipinnis   1/16/07 Good afternoon, WWM crew, <And to you> I've written you all before in regards to "pregnant" peppermint shrimp in my 10 gallon nano tank.  You (James aka Salty Dog) were spot on with your answer, and although I haven't witnessed the spawning, it appears that it is now occurring on a regular basis.  So a huge thank you for your help with that question.  Now onto my current question. I have a 75 gallon tank (20 gal long sump, partitioned into skimmer, refugium, return) with roughly 125# LR (most in display but about 25# in sump/refugium), 2.5-3" SB that currently houses a pair of A. ocellaris clown fish, a Salarias fasciatus (lawnmower blenny), and a pair of Pseudanthias squamipinnis (one male, one female).  The tank has been up and running for approx. 14 months; the Anthias have been in the tank for approx. 9 months without ever showing signs of stress or disease.   <Okay> I am contemplating getting a new tank (there's a bad silicone seam on one corner of the tank that worries me) and I would like to get your input on moving my Anthias into a cube tank.  Someone in my local reef club is selling a 3 ft. x 3 ft. x 1 ft lagoon tank which I would buy, but I'm worried that there's not enough depth to the cube (total volume, without any sand and LR for the lagoon is roughly 67 gallons).   Another option I am considering is to purchase a new cube tank from glasscages.com; they have 3 foot cubes in a variety of sizes; the one I'm most interested in is their cube that measures 36" x 36" x 25" with a total volume of 140 gallons (per their website). <This would be better>   I would like to move my livestock to a tank that best suits their needs.  Would you think that the larger cube tank (140 gallons) would be OK for the Anthias fish?  OR Would I be best served in purchasing a longer tank (say a 6ft long 125 gallon system) for the best health for my Anthias fish? <That/this would even be better, yes> Thank you for all the advice that WWM provides and for your personal attention to my question. Best, Eric <I really like this species... "so much aqua-popcorn"... But gorgeous over a wide part of the western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Red Sea... do like a good deal of current... are found "arrayed" in groupings/harems along reef slopes, near the crest on down... riding the up/down currents... feeding on zooplankters... A good environment for them would mimic this setting. Bob Fenner> Square Anthias ... Mmmm, sys., beh.   7/18/06 Hi I was after a bit of advice. <But not now?> We have a year old 5ft tank. Everything going perfectly.   We had a blue tang, mimic tang, blue damsel and a Chromis. <What happened to them?> We just bought 4 more(3 days ago), a mandarin, a purple tang, longnose hawkfish and a square Anthias. Our store said all were compatible. <The Mandarin may have a hard time getting enough to eat in this mix...> The Anthias hides in a crevice <Typical for this species, especially when new... and it will not likely come out much, w/o the presence of a few females...> and does not come out even to eat. we have noticed it is slightly active in the middle of the night. The other fish don't seem too hassle him, he's just a hermit! How can we make him come out? Cheers Megan <Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anthiina.htm and the linked files above... particularly "Systems", "Compatibility"... Bob Fenner>

Anthias Pair In 70 Gallon Tank? - 02/12/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> Is it possible to keep a pair of Anthias (of a smaller type) in a 70g reef cube or would the male pester the female too much? Thanks, Ben <<Is possible...Bartlett's Anthias (Pseudanthias bartlettorum) would be a good specie to try this with.  Regards, EricR>> Overstocked or Over-rocked?  It's all About the "O"!  11/12/2005 Hello, I've got a 40 gallon breeder tank and am currently curing 40 pounds of live rock in it. Once I cure it I'll put the rock I have from my 12 gallon aquarium that has gotten sort of overstocked. <... even less room after adding all this rock...> The aquarium has a carbon filter and protein skimmer. Anyhow, would you advise putting a male-female pair of Anthias, or a male and two females of possibly Lyretail Anthias, Bimaculatus Anthias, or Resplendent Anthias. They would be sharing the space with a ocellaris clownfish, blue tang, green mandarin, a pair of banded coral shrimp, and two peppermint shrimp. Brian <Mmm, nope... not enough room for "any of the above".... If you didn't have any fish here, you might fit a Fathead Anthias in... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Square Anthias Bob, again thanks for the reply. Was doing some more research via Scott Michael's book on Anthias (or more properly, Pseudanthias). He indicated that the Squarespot actually prefers lower lighting.  <Actually all Anthiines prefer what hobbyists could consider "low lighting"... some species (e.g. Serranocirrhitus) almost no/dark> I've seen the Squarespot in many reef tanks and didn't even consider this aspect beforehand. Do you think the lighting will be too much for this particular Anthias (400W MH's, 30" deep tank) ? Looks like the lyretail could have been a better choice, but kind of committed. . . <I wouldn't worry. Have seen pleurotaenia in such systems do fine> Also, do you think 6 females is enough ? Should I acquire a few more since the tank is kind of large ? <I consider the sex ration fine... have seen the species even housed one to one. Bob Fenner> Jim

Anthias Trials & Tribulations Hi Bob and crew, <Scott F. this morning> I appreciate all the sound advise that you provide for me and everyone else who strives for their own perfection. Therefore, here I am asking yet another question in regards to a topic that I have always had trouble with....Anthias. I have previously purchased several Bartlett's Anthias and failed to keep them alive as you guys have predicted due to a poor source, a fish near starvation, and perhaps water volume. These pretty fish are expensive and I simply do not have the wallet nor the heart to keep watching them perish a few days after my purchase. Therefore, this will be my last crack at taking a stab at an Anthias before I promise myself never to get this fish again. Hopefully, with your advise, I will succeed. To refresh your memories : 45 gallon reef running for approx. 1 year water quality is great, with a slight bit of nitrate (10 ppm at most) due to external wet dry filters; ample water movement w/ protein skimmer; corals look great and everything seems to be 2 thumbs up. Fish inhabs are : a one and a 1/2 inch Kole tang two 1 inch pink skunk clowns a one and a 1/2 inch royal Gramma a one and a 1/2 inch sixline wrasse all inhabs have been in there for over 5 months... here in lies the problem: I purchased myself a tiny 1 inch juvenile female lyretail Anthias thinking that this species is hardier than the previous ones bought before. I placed him into the tank at night when the rest of the fish were sleeping and everything looked okay. In the morning when I woke up and turned on the lights, the sixline wrasse woke up and continuously attacked the little Anthias and it really looked like the wrasse would soon kill the weak and shy Anthias. The wrasse occasionally does that to new comers into the tank (it was the first fish in the tank) but not with this much aggression, so therefore the other fish managed to negotiate a truce...however, this does not look like it was going to happen to the Anthias as it was being hunted down.....not just being chased off when in the view of the wrasse. In my persistency to have a surviving Anthias, I tore down my reef in order to capture the wrasse and relocated it to my friend's reef tank for temp. housing. After a long while of putting my reef back together, the Anthias is once again hiding but emerged later on in the day only to have the Kole tang chase it around. Why all this aggression towards the Anthias??? Its just a little girl! It is once more back in hiding.....I purchased some Sweetwater zooplankton due to the fact that after reading all the questions and answers, it seemed like a highly appreciated food for the Anthias <Indeed- good stuff!> .....it seemed to take notice of the food and may have eaten a couple of pieces.....not much....it still seems very scared....every time it peaks out, the Kole tang would swim by or perhaps swim at it which scares the Anthias right back into its hole in the back and bottom of the tank........ Will I ever have success with this fish? Did I do the right thing in removing the wrasse? or should I have left them to negotiate their own truce? The Kole Tang is definitely not going after the Anthias like the wrasse....but there is aggression towards it which is scaring off the very timid Anthias. Will it feed soon? By the way, I placed the fish in there last night so it may be a bit soon for a juvenile Anthias to be brave and explore.....I read that this is a tough aquarium species so I thought it would be able to hold its own......Any advise to succeed will be greatly appreciated and immediate actions will be followed. Thank you. Sincerely, Jimmy <Well, Jimmy, I think that you did do the right thing in removing the wrasse, however, it is important to note that you are adding a newcomer into an established system and social order. In a fairly small tank, such as yours, the social order is seriously disrupted any time a new fish is added. Your Anthias is one of the hardier ones, but it is still a small fish in unfamiliar surroundings. I'd keep a very, very close eye on this fish over the next several days, and be prepared to take action, if necessary, to protect the fish. Although it is certainly possible to keep this fish in your system, I would have not purchased this fish. Not to keep beating this issue, but I think that your tank is at its maximum population capacity, and very careful attention needs to be paid to husbandry (i.e.; water changes, protein skimming, etc.). You may want to consider moving up to a larger tank at some point to try more species, or perhaps setting up a dedicated tank for this species. Good luck!>

Anthiines in a small world Hi Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I am considering a 24" cube, in which I would like to keep a small group of Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis). It will be a FOWLR with a thin sprinkle of fine sand (for all intensive purposes bare bottom), 40 - 60lbs of Fiji LR, aquascaped in whatever way would be most suitable for the fish. A twelve gallon sump, Berlin skimmer, and a turnover 10 to 12 tank volumes per hour. I would buy all females, and introduce them all at the same time, hoping for a male to develop later. My question is: (A) is it feasible? <A 24 inch cube tank is only about 60 gallons, so you will be limited in fish numbers, but it is workable.><<In RMF's opinion this is a dismal idea... this species lives in large shoals in thousands of gallons of water. Will not live long, happily here>> (B) How many should I get if I want to achieve a stable group without fighting and bullying etc.? <I would plan on some fighting/bullying. There is always going to be some of that, but four should be able to settle in and work out who is in charge without the aggression becoming too terrible. I would seriously consider a refugium for optimized plankton production and a slightly higher flow rate. Two to four common cleaner shrimp may not be a bad idea either, both for their cleaning duties but more importantly for their own in tank plankton generation (babies).> Thanks, Matthew <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Bicolor Anthias, low spg I have a Hawaiian bicolor Anthias (beautiful fish) I got from FFExpress 3 days ago. I acclimated him to my  20g quarantine tank which I had at a S.G. of 1.012 to reduce the parasite load (FFExpress uses shipping water S.G. 1.014 for the same purpose). <Are you sure about this? Not a good idea> I was excited at first because he was eating (Sweetwater Plankton), active and appeared to be doing well. Today he is not eating and is tipping to one side as he swims. He keeps opening and closing his mouth. I tested the water, and everything seems to be ok. Temp 75 degrees, pH 8.3 no ammonia or nitrates. I cannot see any parasites. I did a 2 gallon water change which raised the S. G. to 1.014. I would appreciate any advice you can give me. <I would raise it a good 0.001 per day till you were back to NSW/1.025, offer live foods. Bob Fenner> Tom Berry

Anthias squamipinnis (Lyretail) Hey guys. <Howdy> I ordered 1 male and 2 female Lyretail Anthias and received them right before Thanksgiving about 3 months ago. They arrived beautiful and the male was almost 4''. I had never seen any males that large at the LFS. I was not expecting them to be this big and only had them in a 10 gal QT about 3 weeks, not long enough but was worried about the size of the tank. They were all eating well and looked good. They have been in the 55 FOWLR for over 2 months. A couple weeks ago I noticed one of the females looked very skinny. <Very common... a fifty five gallon chock a block with live rock isn't enough culture material to keep this trio going... w/o very frequent offerings from outside the system by you... Do look into adding a live sump/refugium that will/can provide nearly continuous live food fodder> I have been watching and all 3 are eating. The second female looks a little thin but not bad. They are in with a Purple Tang, Coral Beauty, False Perc, royal Gramma and a damsel. I am feeding Mysis, Brine, formula 1 and 2, angel formula, Nori, Spirulina, Sweetwater Zooplankton and reef complete flakes. After rereading CMA I noticed a little excerpt about some fish eating but wasting away. Tangs and Anthias as examples. <Yes... too familiar> I also read the WWM article on Anthias and they showed a doomed female. All other fish look well nourished (maybe even a little round). So I  reduced the feeding amount a month ago. The male is the largest fish in the tank. About 5-6 times as large as the females and for sure gets his share of food. My question is how should I feed the Anthias? 2, 3 times a day? <Or more often... your tank is crowded livestock wise... and will require more maintenance as a countervailing strategy to keep up water quality as a consequence of trying to feed the zooplanktivorous Pseudanthias> I have typically fed once a day but may have to change after doing more research. Should I remove the skinniest female or both to the extra tank to better monitor the feeding? <Oh! Yes... actually better, best to remove the trio to less crowded, more specialized settings> I am not sure if it best to put both females together if one is really weak or leave only 1 female with the male. He does not harass either of them now. Is she truly doomed if she is already pretty skinny and low on the totem pole? And if she goes will the male kill the other? <Not doomed. I would move all three. Can recover with frequent feedings of nutritionally boosted (e.g. Selcon soaked) foods.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Walt <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner> Re: Anthias squamipinnis (Lyretail) Bob Thank you for your quick response. The extra tank I have running now is only a 10 gal. I have an extra 30 but that will take some time to get up and running. So Should I put all 3 in the 10 for now or just the 2 females? <If it were me/mine, just the females in a/the ten> Also what would you recommend for food? I am currently using Zoecon (I bought it before I discovered your site). They are not real fond of the Sweetwater Zooplankton but love Mysis and the frozen formula's. <Something live would be best... cultured... and re-cultured by you. Maybe check Inland Aquatics and IPSF (.coms) re> My ultimate plan is to build a new stand large enough to accommodate a 120, and also to accommodate the 55 into a sump/refugium and maybe the 30 as an extra refugium. <Great! I can almost hear the saw a buzzing> It is starting to thaw up here in MN so hopefully in a couple month's I will have a new stand, have to work in the garage. Right now I can only fit one or two 10's underneath and would have to run an external overflow. With the plan to upgrade I have no refugium right now. <Do your best to "fatten" up your fancy bass in the meanwhile> Thanks again. Your book and website are invaluable to the home aquarist. Walt <Glad you find them useful. Bob Fenner>

Anthias System << I have a 40 gal. reef and would like to add a sunburst Anthias. I already have a regal blue tang and 3 neon gobies. What special needs does the sunburst Anthias require? >> The little bass, Serranocirrhitus latus, is generally sold in the trade (in the west) as the Fathead Anthias, but the older TFH tomes list this fish which was once classified as a Hawkfish (!) as Sunset Anthias. Of a subfamily (Anthiinae) of often-time touchy species, the Sunset/Fathead is a real winner. It does well (or for sure, much better) than most all Anthias in small volumes, and can be maintained as a single/individual (how it is often found in the wild, in contrast to the mostly shoaling Anthiines). This shy beauty needs some dark hiding spaces and zooplankton type foods in its daily diet. The proposed tankmates should be okay (this species needs docile, non-competitive fishes with it), but do keep an eye on that tang. Bob Fenner

The End of the Anthias... Hi Bob, Both Anthias are gone now :( I moved the tank a couple of inches forward today, so I now have about 4 inches of space behind the tank. I did purchase a SeaClone and set it up behind the tank. It has filled the tank with bubbles and I have been told that I will need to fiddle at bit with it to get it right. It has been about 8 hours and the collection cup smells bad. I will try another brand of skimmer if this one proves to be inadequate. <Sounds like a good plan, yes> I will now be able to setup a hang-on-type of overflow going to a sump and I will move all the equipment into the sump. The tank is 6 foot long, so there is enough room to fit a decent size sump under the tank. This will take me a bit of time to set this all up, but at the end of the day, I think the tank will be more successful if I do this, and if nothing else, all the ugly equipment will be hidden out of sight. <Do look into a Turboflotor, Remora skimmer... and a CPR Refugium... to hang on... you will be pleased. More on these on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Thanks for all the suggestions (in this email and in the previous emails). I look forward to emailing you with some good news shortly. <And I on receiving it>1 Warmest regards Lucien Cinc <Press on my friend. You are on the verge of great self-improvement here. Bob Fenner>

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

Some questions about reefs Hi Bob, 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 the water 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)...> My blue tang is the same. Eats nothing but what is in the tank. Eats it all day. I suspect these fish are wild caught. <Yes, they are> What should I do? I was thinking about getting some Nori and putting that in the tank. Should I just keep buy different foods and trying them, or should I do something else? <The Nori is a good idea... as is live rock... a refugium set-up...> I had a question about the ground probes. I have read the article by Bruce and he puts forward several reasons why you want a ground probe. See http://www.aquarium.net/996/996_5.shtml He sights that when he put one in a tank the Tang was much more friendly and not skittish any more. My blue tang is a bit skittish and I was wondering if the 35VAC in my tank has anything to do with that? Will a ground probe help? <Are you stating that you have measured 35 volts of alternating current in your system? Please do have this all checked by an electrician ASAP... I would not put my hands in such a system... You likely need more than a grounding probe here... Also, please read over the using GFI's section on the WWM site (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters)> I have started buying things from another LFS and I am a bit disappointed with the one that sold me the fish. I have keep fresh water fish for years and have not had any problems with fresh water fish. I thought I would try something a bit more challenging like a reef tank (my tank is 70 US gals) and Reef tanks are so nice to look at. <Yes... good to have new experiences, challenges... and good to keep ones dealer relationships positive, growing...> I use Marine environment salt. See http://www.aquarist.net/. As this is the best salt money can buy, I was wondering if you have used this salt and what you think about it? I add nothing else to the water at all. <Do know this salt (was chatting with the owner of the company, Mike Del Prete) over the weekend at the WMC in Monterey... like other brands, makes more... for standard use, the Instant Ocean lines, a bit better, Tropic Marin... but ME is a fine product as well> When I setup the tank I did not put an overflow on the tank. Instead I used an Eheim filter. At the time, I could not understand why a marine tank needed an overflow, but now I understand the benefits. For example, ease of installing a protein skimmer in a sump (just to mention 1 benefit), which I can not do now. Is there some way of installing a protein skimmer under the tank without a sump? <Hmmm, yes... there are "canister types"... as well as hang on (which I would use here), and on top of tank models (like Tunze's...)... See the WWM site re selection.> I prefer not to have it in plan view as the tank is in my office at work. I was also wondering if I need a protein skimmer at all? <Yes, you definitely want one... when you see the gunk it pulls out you will be simultaneously amazed and appalled...> I have seen many web pages where people have reef tanks and use no protein skimmer at all, just do water changes. <Yes... and have extensive, cured live rock, intense lighting, lots of photosynthesis and filter feeding... ONCE the tank/system is completely cured...> I have read that clams remove nitrates from the water as food. Is this true? <Yes... among other things, life forms> What type of clam should I consider buying? or should I stay away from clams? <Look into the cultured tridacnids (Giant Clams)...> Many thanks for your help and time and I look forward to reading your answers to my questions above :) Warmest regards Lucien Cinc <Thank you for writing my curious friend. Do read through our site. We have much to discuss. Bob Fenner>

Dispar Anthias? Hello Bob! Been awhile since we talked but I still use your book as a reference guide. Have suggested it to many reefers (especially beginners) on the boards. Would have been a lot tougher without it! <Glad you found/find it (TCMA) of use... of such regard that you grant such endorsement> My 127 has been running and doing well for 21 months. I have a lightly stocked fish population-hawk, mated Percs, six line wrasse and Potter's angel. Mostly stony corals with a few softies and clams. I have been researching Anthias for awhile. I may try some, but want to make sure I make the correct decisions. I have done searches, read books and checked your info on WWMedia. There seems to be a wide range of thoughts here- from they are great to NO WAY!!  <These are valid statements> I am thinking of either three or five dispars. I want fish that stay small. Have your opinions changed since your book or since the info on WWMedia was posted? Would you suggest something other than dispars? <Mmm, for different size, types of tanks... the Dispar is fine to great... but there are other choices (like Pseudanthias ventralis ... but, within group differences of sources, batches imported/held are greater than between species choices here... What I am getting at (or trying to) is that care in selecting healthy, not-starved or beaten stock of any Anthiine species is of more consequence than species choosing... and providing adequate physical biotope and feeding more important than species choosing as well...> Since these are semi sensitive fish what are your thoughts on quarantine? I will get them mail order so straight to the reef worries me. I use a 55 hex for a Q-tank. <Good question... by and large I would maybe do a few minutes pH adjusted freshwater dip (with aeration) of new Anthiines and place them in their permanent system. Worth the risk IMO/E> Thanks as always for your thoughts, Steve <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dispar Anthias? Bob, Sorry to bother you again. The info you have on the ventralis says that they need to be kept in a low light tank. I have 600 watts in a six foot tank. Too much for them to adapt to? <Evidently not. Should/will change to "should be kept". The ones I know of are caught at moderate to great depths (for scuba divers, 100-300 feet) Bob Fenner> Best, Steve

Pink square Anthias 4 weeks of good eating and adjustment for my square Anthias...2 days ago the fish started to butt the front on his mouth on the side of the tank. Later the fish started to butt the front of the tank. Only does this when lights are on! Will he hurt himself? <certainly is stressful and likely physically harmful. Do try to determine what caused the change in behavior... a change in light is likely (new or different bulbs, sudden use of carbon/chemical media which suddenly improves water clarity, cleaning of a very dirty lens/cover that admits more light, etc)> jacdavie Thanks! <best regards, Anthony>

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