written by Dave Burr
Behavior: Although it often swims in open water, the Sunburst Anthias requires several caves or hiding places where it can rest and avoid intense reef lighting. Anthias species are all hermaphroditic. This means that if a dominant male dies, the largest female will often morph into a male and take its place in the hierarchy. Sunburst Anthias are completely reef safe and should not bother any corals, clams, or invertebrates.
They are best kept singly unless you have a larger tank. Reef tanks of 120 gallons or more can house small groups of 3-5 Sunburst Anthias. Schools of Sunburst Anthias will electrify larger reef aquariums. Adding the entire group of Sunburst Anthias together at the same time will reduce any territorial disputes. Suitable tankmates include most other passive fish such as clownfish, gobies, basslets, reef safe wrasses, pygmy angels, and tangs.
Feeding: Offer the Sunburst Anthias mysis shrimp and other finely chopped meaty foods 2-3 times per day. Soaking all fish food with vitamins will help keep your fish healthier and make them less susceptible to disease. We recommend soaking food in garlic as well when adding new fish and whenever your notice ich or other disease in the aquarium. Garlic will help repel external parasites and will boost the fishes immunity.
Target feeding them zooplankton with a turkey baster will help to keep their bellies full and will feed coral as well. You can even setup a dosing pump to add a small dose of Zooplankton automatically to the aquarium a few times per day.
Feeding Tips: Remember to feed slowly. Leftover food will cause nitrates and phosphates to rise. If you see food falling to the sand bed and into the rocks, you should feed slower and give the fish a chance to eat before adding a little more. Using a turkey baster allows you to target food to different fish. For example you can feed the aggressive fish on one side of the tank and then squirt a little bit on the other side for the less aggressive fish. This way all the fish get a chance to eat enough.
Maximum Length: 5"
Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatibility: Excellent
Minimum Aquarium Size: 120 gal.
Range: Fiji, Indo Pacific
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm
Water Chemistry: Maintaining Ammonia at 0 ppm, Nitrites at 0 ppm, and Nitrates below 10ppm will help to keep your fish happy and healthy. We recommend doing a water change soon after Nitrates rise above 10 ppm. Maintaining proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) will help to keep pH stable in the 8.1-8.4 range. We recommend a specific gravity of 1.024-1.026 with 1.025 being ideal for fish. Temperature should remain stable as well and should stay within a 2 degree range.