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Lyretail Anthias

(Pseudanthias squamipinnis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 6"
• Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Serranidae   • Species: Anthias   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Lyretail Anthias native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Lyretail Anthias are an extremely attractive and social species endemic to the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific. Lyretail Anthias males have a vivid purple-red coloration while the females have a beautiful yellow-orange color with a violet hue that rims the upper portion of their eyes; both sexes have a thin orange line outlined in violet that runs from their eye to their pectoral fin. Lyretail Anthias are a schooling species where one male should be housed with multiple (4 to 7) females for best results; they are also hermaphroditic and in the absence of a dominant male, the dominant female of the group will morph into a male to take its place.

Lyretail Anthias are active and relatively peaceful fish, but they have been known to get territorial with other conspecifics and anthias species; although they usually get along peacefully with heterospecifics as long as they do not resemble other anthias. Lyretail Anthias are a popular choice for larger reef and FOWLR systems due to their lively nature as well as their striking coloration; they are usually readily available within the hobby and can be acquired from local and online retailers alike.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Lyretail Anthias in the home aquarium.

A small school (5 to 8 individuals, including one male) of Lyretail Anthias would require an aquarium of at least 150 gallons that is aquascaped with plenty of live rock as well as an adequate amount of open swimming space for their constant activity as they are an open water, schooling species. Although many anthias species enjoy subdued lighting, Lyretail Anthias can thrive under medium to high "reef intensity" lighting, but they should also be provided with multiple hiding places for shelter. They are an active species that demands high water quality and should be provided with strong and efficient biological and chemical filtration in addition to the utilization of a protein skimmer.

They are relatively peaceful, reef-safe species that should be kept with other peaceful, community oriented tank mates. Although anthias are found in very large numbers in the wild, due to their hermaphroditic hierarchical nature and territorial tendencies regarding their own species, only one male and a group of females should be housed together within an aquarium environment.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Lyretail Anthias.

Lyretail Anthias are carnivorous and mainly feed upon zooplankton in the wild. In the aquarium, they can sometimes be reluctant to feed, but can be enticed with amphipods, copepods, rotifers, and brine shrimp as well as foods such as prepared zooplankton, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, chopped mysis shrimp, and other frozen, meaty marine foods. With the presence of others of their species, they will be less reluctant to feed; due to their constant activity and high metabolisms, they should be fed at least two, preferably three times a day.

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