Anthias Care 101: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

As a marine life enthusiast, I remember the day I brought home my first Anthias fish, instantly captivated by their vibrant colors and unique behaviors. Known for their striking appearance, Anthias are a popular choice among aquarists, but taking proper care of them requires some essential knowledge and attention to detail.

Anthias care involves providing a suitable aquarium environment, proper diet, and regular maintenance. These colorful marine fish require a well-oxygenated tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming space. A varied diet of small, meaty foods is necessary for their health and vitality.

It’s important to provide an environment that mimics their natural habitat to ensure they thrive. In the wild, Anthias are found in the coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, swimming in large groups called shoals. By replicating these conditions in your home aquarium and meeting their basic needs, you’ll have a great chance of successfully caring for these beautiful fish.

I’ll never forget the satisfaction of watching my Anthias aquarium flourish as I learned to cater to their specific needs. With the right planning, dedication, and understanding of the species, you too can experience the joy and pride of nurturing an outstanding Anthias aquarium.

Anthias care

Species Summary


The beautiful Anthias fish are native to the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific region. They can be found in areas like the Maldives, Fiji, and the Red Sea. Among the many wonderful encounters I’ve had while diving, the vibrant coral reefs and the mesmerizing Anthias swimming about tops my list.

Anthias care 2


Anthias fish have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years. This, of course, depends on the quality of care they receive, water conditions, and nutrition provided.


Anthias fish are known for their bright and vivid colors. Males sport a bold orange hue, while females display a lighter, more yellowish-orange tone. Pseudanthias is the most visually striking genus in this family.


In general, Anthias species grow to a length of 3 to 5 inches. Some specific species like the Pseudanthias squamipinnis can grow up to 7 inches.

Growth Rate

Typically, Anthias have a moderate growth rate, taking about 1 to 2 years to reach their full size. Adequate nutrition and proper care can help ensure healthy growth.

Behavior & Temperament

Anthias fish are generally peaceful and exhibit a schooling behavior. They thrive in groups, which usually consist of one dominant male and multiple females.

Male vs Female

Males and females show significant differences in appearance. Males are generally larger and more brightly colored than females, and they also have elongated fins. On the other hand, females are smaller and possess a lighter coloration.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

Anthias fish require a tank that can hold at least 75 gallons. It is important to provide ample swimming space for these active fish.


Since Anthias fish inhabit coral reefs, recreate their natural habitat by providing bright lighting in the aquarium. LED lights are a great option for simulating sunlight.

Filtration & Aeration

A good quality filtration system is essential for maintaining water quality. Make sure to have a powerful filter and an additional air pump to ensure proper water movement.


A heater is necessary to maintain a stable temperature between 74-80°F. I learned the importance of a reliable heater when I lost a few fish due to a sudden drop in temperature.


Use a mix of fine sand and crushed coral to create a natural-looking substrate. This also provides a comfortable surface for bottom-dwelling creatures.


Include plenty of rocks and caves throughout the tank to provide hiding spaces. Arrange these decorations to create territories for your Anthias fish.


Add live plants such as macroalgae for a more natural environment. These also help improve water quality and provide a healthy habitat for your fish.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

Anthias thrive in water temperatures between 72-80°F (22-27°C). Consistent water temperature is crucial for their wellbeing. I remember once, due to a heater malfunction, my Anthias tank’s temperature fluctuated, causing stress to the fish, which ultimately led to illness.

Water pH

Maintaining a balanced pH level is essential. Aim for a pH range of 8.1-8.4 for optimal health. Regular testing is necessary to ensure the pH remains stable and any imbalances are addressed promptly.

Water Hardness

Anthias prefer moderately hard water with a carbonate hardness (KH) of 7-12 dKH. Higher hardness can result in poor health or even death.

Water Changes

Performing regular water changes is key to maintaining water quality in your Anthias tank.

  • Weekly or Bi-weekly water changes: Replace 10%-25% of the tank’s water.
  • Monthly water changes: Replace up to 50% of the tank’s water.

Monitoring and maintaining optimal water quality is vital for Anthias to live a healthy life. A personal commitment to regularly monitor water parameters will greatly benefit these beautiful fish.

Tank Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining an Anthias tank, I believe that consistency and attention to detail are key. In order to create a healthy environment for your Anthias fish, regular cleaning is essential.

Use an aquarium siphon to remove any debris and waste from the substrate, which will help in maintaining water quality. It is also important to keep an eye on the water parameters, checking them at least once a week.

Water Parameters:

  • Temperature: 72-82°F
  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Salinity: 1.020-1.025
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels below 1

As Anthias are sensitive to fluctuations in water conditions, you should frequently check and maintain these parameters for the well-being of your fish.

Proper filtration is equally important in maintaining water quality. Ensure that the filter is functioning well and clean it periodically.

A major aspect of tank maintenance is water changes. I’ve found that the ideal schedule for water changes is replacing 20-25% of the aquarium water every 2-3 weeks.

While setting up my first Anthias tank, I got caught up in the excitement of adding plants and rocks, only to discover how vital it is to keep decorations clean. Over time, these decor items can accumulate algae and debris. Regularly removing and cleaning them will prevent harmful buildup and keep the tank looking fresh.

As an Anthias enthusiast, I learned that creating and maintaining a clean and stable environment for these beautiful fish pays off when you see them thriving and showcasing their stunning colors. Regular tank maintenance is a labor of love that will be greatly rewarded when your Anthias flourish.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

In my experience, Anthias are peaceful fish that can coexist with various other reef-dwelling species. Some good companions for Anthias include:

  • Dartfish: Their peaceful nature makes them a suitable choice.
  • Gobies: These small, bottom-dwelling fish are unlikely to disturb Anthias.
  • Blennies: Their diverse colors complement Anthias beautifully.

Once, I had a mixed tank with Anthias, Dartfish, and Gobies coexisting without issues.

Incompatible Fish Species

Some fish species aren’t well-suited as tank mates for Anthias. It is crucial to avoid:

  • Large predators: Lionfish, Groupers, and Eels pose a threat to the Anthias.
  • Overly aggressive fish: Triggerfish and Damsel species are known for their territorial behavior.

By carefully selecting the right tank mates, you can ensure a more harmonious environment for your Anthias.


What To Feed

Anthias are primarily planktivores, which means they feed on tiny organisms called plankton. In captivity, it is essential to provide them with a varied and nutritionally complete diet. Some options include:

  • Frozen foods: Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and krill are popular choices.
  • Pellets and flakes: Specially designed for Anthias, these offer balanced nutrition.
  • Live foods: Copepods and amphipods are perfect for stimulating their natural hunting instincts.

One day, I noticed that one of my Anthias was looking a bit dull and less active. After doing some research, I decided to switch up their diet and incorporate more live foods. Within a week, they regained their vibrant colors and became more energetic.


Feeding your Anthias several times a day will help ensure they stay healthy and thrive. I typically feed my fish 3-4 times daily, but the exact number might depend on the specific needs of your fish.


Here are some helpful tips for feeding your Anthias:

  • Observe your fish: Keep an eye on their eating habits and adjust the feeding schedule or food offerings as necessary.
  • Soak food in supplements: Adding a vitamin supplement can enhance their diet and overall health.
  • Remove uneaten food: This helps to maintain water quality and prevent the buildup of harmful compounds.

Common Diseases


As a fellow fish enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for ways to maintain the health of my Anthias. Over the years, I’ve come across some common diseases that mostly affect these beautiful fish:

  • Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich)
  • Oodinium or Velvet disease
  • Marine fin rot


Ich causes white spots that appear on the skin and fins of the fish. They may also show signs of rapid breathing and rubbing on rocks to ease the itchiness.

Oodinium, also known as Velvet disease, may exhibit symptoms like rapid breathing, loss of appetite, and a fine gold-colored dusting on the fish.

Marine fin rot often starts as frayed or discolored fins, which could eventually lead to damaged tissue.


  • Ich: I personally tried using a copper-based medication in my aquarium, which was incredibly effective in treating Ich.
  • Oodinium: A copper-based medication is also a good choice for Oodinium.
  • Marine fin rot: Antibacterial medications and improving the water quality can help treat marine fin rot.


The key to preventing diseases in your Anthias tank is through:

  1. Maintaining good water quality: Regular water changes and monitoring the water parameters (pH, salinity, and temperature) will ensure a healthy environment for your Anthias.
  2. Quarantine: It’s essential to quarantine new fish or suspect corals before adding them to the main tank to prevent cross-contamination.
  3. Proper nutrition: Offering a balanced diet will strengthen the immune systems of your Anthias, making them more resistant to diseases.

Signs of a Healthy Fish

Anthias care 3

As an aquarium enthusiast, I’ve observed that the key to keeping anthias healthy is understanding what a healthy fish looks like. Knowing the signs will help you take better care of these colorful creatures.

The first thing to look for is their activity level. Anthias should be actively swimming and exploring their environment. They tend to swim in groups and be social with others in their tank.

Another tell-tale sign is the fish’s appearance. A healthy anthias should have bright, vibrant colors and clear eyes. Their scales should be smooth and undamaged.

Keep an eye on their eating habits as well. Anthias should eagerly eat the food provided and not show any signs of loss of appetite. Make sure they have a varied diet that includes high-quality pellets, frozen mysis shrimp, and copepods.

Lastly, observe their breathing. Healthy anthias should breathe at a steady rate without any signs of labored breathing or gasping for air.

One time, I noticed an anthias develop a dull coloration and lost its appetite. After some research, I increased the water flow in my tank and added live copepods. The fish’s condition improved greatly after these adjustments.

Remember, understanding the signs of a healthy fish will help ensure your anthias live a healthy and happy life.

Signs Your Fish is Sick

One day, I noticed my anthias was acting a bit off. It’s important to spot the signs of illness early, so let’s discuss some key indicators.

  • Loss of appetite: If your fish is not eating its food, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  • Changes in appearance: Watch out for clamped fins, pale colors, or visible parasites.
  • Erratic behavior: If your fish is swimming abnormally or hiding more than usual, take note.

Keep an eye on water parameters as well. Sudden changes can affect the health of your fish. Regular maintenance is crucial for preventing illness.


Breeding Setup

When I was setting up my Anthias breeding tank, I made sure to have a separate and quiet space. This ensures that the Anthias can breed without being disturbed by other fish or external factors. It’s crucial to keep the water parameters stable and maintain a temperature of around 79°F (26°C).

How To Breed

  1. Introduce a group of Anthias into the breeding tank. Always include more females than males.
  2. Provide plenty of hiding spots using rocks and corals to create a comfortable environment for them.
  3. Offer a varied diet including frozen mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and high-quality pellets to boost their breeding condition.

During my experience, I observed that Anthias are egg scatterers, releasing eggs and sperm into the water column. The fertilization occurs externally. The male will display vibrant coloration, and courtship rituals are common before breeding.


Post breeding, it’s quite essential to look after the fry. Here’s how I managed it:

  1. Temperature: Keep the temperature around 79°F (26°C) consistently.
  2. Water Quality: Maintain clean and stable water parameters. Frequent water changes might be necessary to ensure optimal growth.
  3. Feeding: Fry will need to be fed frequently, with live foods like baby brine shrimp and rotifers.

Breeding Anthias can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and keen attention to detail. With the right setup and care, you can witness the fascinating life cycle of these beautiful fish.

Product recommendations for Anthias fish:

  1. Hikari Marine S Pellets: This fish food is specially formulated for marine fish, including Anthias, and provides a balanced diet for optimal health.
  2. Seachem Stability: This product helps to establish a healthy biological filter in your aquarium, which is important for maintaining good water quality for Anthias.
  3. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer: This protein skimmer helps to remove organic waste from your aquarium water, which can be harmful to Anthias.
  4. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump: This circulation pump helps to create a natural water flow in your aquarium, which is important for the well-being of Anthias.
  5. Instant Ocean Sea Salt: This sea salt mix is perfect for creating a healthy marine environment for Anthias and other saltwater fish.
  6. API Aquarium Salt: This product helps to promote healthy gill function and reduce stress in fish, including Anthias.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in aquarium water, which can be harmful to Anthias.
  8. Coralife BioCube 16 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for keeping Anthias in a small space, and comes with a powerful filtration system.
  9. Marina Floating Thermometer: This thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature of your aquarium water, which is important for keeping Anthias healthy.


In my journey of caring for Anthias, I have found them to be fascinating residents of my saltwater aquarium. With their vibrant colors and active swimming, they truly stand out among other marine species.

To ensure their well-being, it’s essential to provide them with a spacious tank, clean water, and a well-rounded diet – including live and frozen foods. I remember the first time I successfully fed them live brine shrimp; their excitement was almost palpable!

Remember, these fish can be sensitive to environmental changes, so vigilance with water quality and temperature is key. Like a time I had a sudden shift in pH; it taught me to regularly check and maintain water parameters.

Consistent care and attention to their needs will reward you with a thriving community of Anthias, adding life and color to your underwater world. Happy fishkeeping!


What are the ideal water conditions for Anthias?

Anthias thrive in water temperatures between 72-78°F, with a pH of 8.1-8.4 and specific gravity of 1.020-1.025. It’s essential to maintain these conditions for their health.

What do Anthias eat?

Anthias are planktivores, and their diet consists mostly of zooplankton. In an aquarium, provide various frozen or live foods, like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and copepods. Feed them multiple times a day.

How can I ensure my Anthias feel comfortable in my aquarium?

Provide a lush environment with plenty of live rock and hiding places. Adequate swimming space is vital for these active fish. Anthias enjoy being in groups, so don’t keep them solitarily.

Are Anthias aggressive towards other species?

  • Generally, Anthias are peaceful and can be housed with different species.
  • Males may exhibit some aggression towards other males, so it’s best to keep a single male with multiple females in a harem.

Can Anthias change sex?

Yes, Anthias have the remarkable ability to change sex. In nature, when the dominant male dies, the largest female in the group transforms into a male.

I remember adding a group of Anthias to my reef tank, and I was amazed at the energy they brought to the aquarium. Watching the male Anthias displaying its colors and interactions with the females was a fascinating experience.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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