Anthias longevity

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Haydn

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There has been a lot of discussion about anthias on here at the moment- I like anthias and I thought I would document the ones I am keeping in my tank. It is quite difficult to be really accurate because the groups have been added to over time and identifying individuals is impossible. Accurate counting is impossible so it is mostly best guess time.

P. Squamapinnis (lyretailed) I bought my first group of 5 females around August 2017, one changed to a male. I lost one female (jumped out) within a week or so. The male died in April 2020 and was replaced by a female changing. I bought 6 small females to stop my male being too aggressive with the sole remaining female. They are all currently still there as far as I can see. They spawn regularly.

P. pulcherrimus (resplendent) I bought a group of 10 in December 2017 as far as I can see most are still alive. I have one male. These may not be the most colourful anthias but they are bulletproof! I have never seen any spawning activity.

P. evansii (Evansi) I have had mixed success with this species. I picked up 3 from a direct import in March 2018. They did well, later the same month I saw 4 more (via a large importer), which I bought, 2 disappeared within a day or two, the other two joined my existing three. I have tried a couple of times more, the last in September 2019 again via the big importer without success. Currently I have 4 in the tank whether they are original 2018 fish, September 2019 ones or a combination I have no idea.

P. ignitus (Flame) I added 4 groups, starting with a group of 12 in December 2017, then June 2018 I added a further 10, followed by 9 in May 2019 and finally 10 in January 2020. That makes by my maths 41. As a guess I think I have 30-35 left. I have a number of males and although I get a bit of handbags and mouth wrestling I haven't seen any damage on any of the fish. These spawn regularly at the same time as the lyretails.

P. Bimaculatus (Scribbled) I put a small group of 6 in the tank around March 2019 and added a further 8 in Feb 2020. I added another 7 small females in January 2021. I think most are still alive, not only that but they have grown huge! I have 2 males. These are quite feisty but not overly aggressive.

P. parvirostris (sunset) When I bought my first group of Ignitus there was one of these in the tank with them. as I was leaving the shop with my ignitus I looked over and this little fish looked so lonely, I had to go back and take it as well. He is still in the tank, In February 2021 I got 5 females for him.

That's my anthias journey. I feed 3 times per day on Callanus, micro pellets, frozen brine, lobster/fish eggs, mysis. In the winter they get adult live brine shrimp weekly and in the summer midge larva out of my pond. The tank is 2000l and is decorated with 150k of LR to provide lots of sleeping space, the turnover in the tank is 80,000l/h (SPS rate). There is lots of CUC to keep the rock and substrate clean.

I hope this missive helps you decide if anthias are for you
 
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Haydn

Haydn

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Ouch Anthias don’t seem to be long lived fish. I wonder if keeping them in no more than a trio would increase their lifespan? I think large groups are very stressful for them due to how rigid the hierarchy is.
One thing I have found with keeping this wonderful family is you can't assume that what may be true of one species is correct for another.

Ignitus, for example, do not have a hierarchy, I have a number of male fish which as I have said spar to (I think) impress the females, the females interact peacefully with the other females and the males. I have not seen any behaviors which would suggest a rigid hierarchy.

Resplendent anthias virtually ignore each other, they do not group, so again no aggressive or any hierarchy.

My female Sunset anthias do form a loose group but I have never seen chasing within the female group, the male divebombs the females to show his fitness to breed, but I think the females may be a little young to respond to his advances.

Lyretails are interesting. I have 1 male and 7 females, the females do seem to have a hierarchy the male isn't part of that. The male will divebomb the females to show his fitness to spawn and to show he is still around. The reason I bought more females was because the male was constantly divebombing my one female which may have been stressing her but since I put more females in she seems less stressed because she isn't constantly being harried by the male. I think the frequency of divebombing also keep the females from changing, which is why in a previous tank I had 20 Lyretails. In time I had 3 full breeding males, 2 or 3 of sub (non breeding) males the rest females.

I'm not sure if you are aware of what I mean by divebombing- the male rapidly swims downward, passes under the female in a U and rapidly up again. He doesn't touch the female, it is a fitness to spawn show.
 

ca1ore

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Resplendent anthias virtually ignore each other, they do not group, so again no aggressive or any hierarchy.
Interesting .... my experience with resplendent was quite different. I had a group of six, most of which appear to have turned male (though it can be difficult to tell). Mine clung together like their lives depended on it (though i do have a bunch of aggressive tangs). They never really competed well for food and gradually winnowed down to zero.
 
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