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Fish Talk - Anthias

Discussion in 'Fish' started by SynDen, Oct 23, 2017.

?

How many Anthias have you kept at one time?

  1. 1-3

    50.0%
  2. 4-6

    25.0%
  3. 7-10

    12.5%
  4. 11-15

    12.5%
  5. A school

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Wanted to start an on-going discussion around the care of some specific family groups of fish. Mainly to share some of the info I have been collecting in my preparations for the big tank, but also to see what others experiences are with these fish. Did you try a group only to have them pick each other off till it was one male, or have you managed to keep a small-large group for many years?

    To date I have only kept a small group of lyretails for about 3-4 years. They started out as one male and 2 females, but one transitioned to a male at one point soon after I had acquired them. They are great fish but I have been waiting for many years to expand their family group and get a small school going.

    I have always wanted to keep a large school of fish. I remember trying to cram way too many fish in a 10g when I was 8, thinking I could get a school that way. I tried years later with a 55 and then a 75 but obviously that never worked out well. Mainly due to lack of knowledge, tank size, not meeting the water quality, and feeding requirements to sustain a large group like that. I'm older and wiser now, and I know better then to cram a bunch of fish in a tiny box, but that still hasnt quelled my desire to house a large school of fish.

    The design and planning of my current tank build is centered around keeping a large amount of small fish, mostly anthias, with a group of jawfish, and some engineers, plus an assortment of other reef community fish. The shape of the tank should also help give a shoal the room to swim and move about. The tank will also not be brightly lit like most reef tanks, as I want to have darker areas that can accommodate those species of anthias that generally live at depth, and dont always care for the bright lights.

    Anthias are to be the main group of fish in my tank. Varied mix of anthias planned, but the largest group will likely be lyretails. The anthias I want to keep the most is the borbonius anthis - http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+20+2981&pcatid=2981
    but I also plan a few sunbursts, bartletts, and others.

    As I see it, in order to keep a large shoal of any fish, several key factors need to be addressed, but the most important one with anthias is feeding. Tank size, swimming space, and sleeping space are also key considerations. A few other things that I think shouldn't be overlooked either is lighting, other tank mates, water params, and qt processes.

    For each of these factors I try and think up a series of questions that will hopefully pave the path forward to successfully keeping these fish. Each questions often leads to more questions, but I will start detailing each of these factors in the post(s) below, or at least the pieces I know currently. There is much still to learn, and many questions to be asked yet. So please feel free to add in your questions/ answers/ insights / experiences, as well.

    Feeding
    - What do they eat?
    - Do all species eat the same thing?
    - Live, Frozen, Flakes, Pellets?
    - How often do you REALLY have to feed them?
    - How to feed them 5-10x a day, everyday without fail? Continuous feeding?

    Tank Size
    - How many can I keep in my X gal tank?
    - Swimming space
    - Sleeping space

    Lighting
    - Which species like the dark?
    - and which like the light?
    - Which don't care?
    - Acclimating dark water fish to the light

    Water params
    - Do any anthias need perfect water quality to survive?
    - How forgiving are they?

    Other tanks mates
    - Who not to keep with Anthias?
    - Which Anthias dont get along?
    - Who can be kept with caution?
    - Who makes a great tank mate?

    QT
    - General process
    - First arrives
    - Gets sick
    - max number to qt at one time in a 40-75g tank?
    - Lighting acclimation for deep water species
    - Are there specific things that anthias are more prone to carry, that should be pre-treated for?


    Resources
    Good 5 part series on general Anthias care
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/PIC/article.cfm?aid=266

    Decent article on acclimating anthias to a tank
    \https://reefbuilders.com/2016/03/11/acclimating-anthias-to-aquarium-life/#

    Article on first bred Borbonius Anthias by Biota
    https://reefbuilders.com/2017/08/23/borbonius-anthias-captive-bred-by-biota-palau/

    Long standing thread on Borbonius care
    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1335953
    Old thread on Barletts
    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=938988
     
  2. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Feeding
    - What do they eat?
    The vast majority of Anhtias are plankton eaters. They are grazers and they eat all day, every day. They generally school near overlooks, up-wells and reef walls where the flow of plankton is continuous. Because of this feeding Anthias can be quite a chore as they need to eat a lot. Especially when first acclimating to a tank.

    - Do all species eat the same thing?
    The species that are in the fish trade mostly all eat the same thing, or at least they can be taught to.

    - Live, Frozen, Flakes, Pellets?
    Many species will take to frozen fairly quickly, but other more difficult species may require live food at first, and eventually moving to frozen. Once on frozen you can try flakes or pellets. Getting them to eat flake or pellets is needed to setup most automated feeders.
    I never could get my group of lyretails to eat flakes or pellets. They wouldnt even try flakes, and spit out any pellet I tried. They would however graze on the nori clip from time to time when I had a tang in the tank. Since mine wouldnt eat pellets I just feed PE mysis 1-2x a day, which they love.

    - How often do you REALLY have to feed them?
    These guys eat constantly in the wild and in the tank the closer you can get to continuously feeding them the better. Although over time, you can gradually shift their diet to only 1-2 times a day, at least with a small group you can. The larger the group, the more likely you will need to be able to feed the tank everyday.

    - How to feed them 5-10x a day, everyday without fail? Continuous feeding?
    Really only 3 ways to go about this:
    Manual: When you first get a new group of anthias, manually will likely be the only way you can feed them. you will want to feed them as many times as you can throughout everyday. Small frequent meals is the best to go with
    Anthias are also used to chasing their food on the current so it will take time to teach them to get their food from one spot. Feed rings are often a great way to feed pellets and flakes without them going all over the tank, but I have found that anthias dont like to take their food from the surface like that

    Auto Feeder: In order to move to pellets you will need to get the anthias to eat them

    Dosing pumps with a refrig unit:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  3. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Tank Size
    - How many can I keep in my X gal tank?
    - Swimming space
    - Sleeping space
     
  4. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Lighting
    - Which species like the dark?
    - and which like the light?
    - Which don't care?
    - Acclimating dark water fish to the light
     
  5. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Water params
    - Do any anthias need perfect water quality to survive?
    - How forgiving are they?
     
  6. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Other tanks mates
    - Who not to keep with Anthias?
    - Which Anthias dont get along?
    - Who can be kept with caution?
    - Who makes a great tank mate?
     
  7. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    QT
    - General process
    - First arrives
    - Gets sick
    - max number to qt at one time in a 40-75g tank?
    - Lighting acclimation for deep water species
    - Are there specific things that anthias are more prone to carry, that should be pre-treated for?
     
  8. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I don't really know where to add this, so feel free to delete this and put it somewhere, but they will not school. I have gotten every species that I have ever had onto NLS pellets and used an autofeeder to get them 3-4 meals a day.
     
    Legonch likes this.
  9. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    You saw mine, Coopers somewhere around 12-13 of them and they eat anything, all went through Q in a 40 at the same time.
     
  10. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya yours are beautiful. What and how often do you feed them? What was your process with QT on them, as I can imagine that many in a 40b could be a bit challenging? Did you need to acclimate them to light or anything else?

    Ya I know that getting them to actually school would require a tank much large then my townhome lol, but I know I would like to house as many as I can, so it somewhat appears as a school.
    When you got your anthias, did oyu use any process to transition them to pellets, or did they take to them naturally?
     
  11. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    They get fed NLS pellets 2-3 times a day. I run the Q tank setup almost all the time so it is well cycled and no problem there. No light acclimation on my part, not a whole lot out there on the species, they were actually sold as lyretails.
     
  12. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Is their care and acclimation fairly similar to lyretails, or did they need anything extra to get them eating pellets, or they take to them naturally?
     
  13. scchase

    scchase Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Seem to be, they took to pellets right away and other than one that was skinny and one jumper I haven't lost any. Of course this is also the only time I have ever seen them, they aren't a very common Anthias in the hobby.
     
  14. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya I dont think I have ever seen them anywhere else around here. Can see why they would get mistaken for lyretails though, since they have very similar body shapes.
     

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