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Red-saddled Anthias

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Species group:

Other common names: Yellow-spotted Anthias

Scientific name: Pseudanthias flavoguttatus

The basics:
The Red-saddled Anthias is one of the most colorful members of a very colorful group. A deep-water species that is not easy to come by, it is on the “must-have” list of many reef aquarium keepers.

The Red-saddled Anthias ranges from Japan to Indonesia, where it inhabits rocky offshore reefs.

Appearance / health:
Males are more intensely-colored than females, but both sexes are showstoppers, clad in pink and bearing rectangular red markings and yellow hues. Adults reach 10.2 cm (4.5 in) in length.

Red-saddled Anthias prove quite hardy when provided with proper care. Newly-collected individuals may take some time get over the stress of shipment and the adjustment to aquarium life. Other potential health problems include male-male aggression and attacks by large fishes and invertebrates.

Behavior / temperament:
Red-saddled Anthias are very active, spending much of their time in the middle level of the aquarium, but exploring everywhere. They can hold their own with fish of the same or slightly-larger size, and will not trouble coral or other invertebrates.

Housing:
The Red-saddled Anthias requires a well-filtered 284 liter (75 gal) or larger aquarium that is provisioned with moderate currents and numerous rock/coral caves and ledges. Live sand and live rock, which will provide supplementary food in the form of micro-organisms, should be utilized if possible. Lighting is best kept subdued, in accordance with their natural habitat, but may be intensified once the fish are well-acclimated. Single male groups do well, but multiple males can only be housed together in very large aquariums.

The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 22.7-25.5 C (73-78 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.

Diet:
Frozen and live Mysis, brine shrimp, and other marine invertebrates ae preferred above all else, but flakes and pellets designed for carnivorous marine fishes should also be added to the diet.

Breeding:
Anthias are protogynous hermaphrodites, with all being female when born and some changing their sex as they mature. If the dominant male in an aquarium or shoal dies, the largest female will become a male. Captive breeding has not been recorded in home aquariums.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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