[stop] [reverse direction]
is perhaps the most striking assembly of marine
fish becomes viewable only upon descending below
the surface of the water, dropping down along
the face of a steep reef drop off. Thickets
of Acropora may inhibit a clear view
of the reef structure, but generally, this is
not what grasps the diver's attention. Hundreds,
if not thousands, of brightly colored fishes
splashed with a vibrant collage of orange, yellow,
red, and purple garner an observer's immediate
and complete attention. Hovering and feeding
high above the reef structure, these vast schools
of feeding machines are attention grabbers,
to say the least. And boy, can they feed! They
are, after all, family members with groupers.
Aquarium hobbyists can only hope to piece together
a crude mimic of this awe-inspiring scene. Just
the same, though, it's a scene that remains
breathtaking even in a home aquarium. Without
failure, a small shoal of Anthias species will
become the focal point of the fish selection.
Anthias are not, however, for every aquarium
or aquarist. They require a bit more
attention to detail than do many other aquarium
fish. Prerequisites to success with these fish
include: copious amounts of both prepared and
naturally available food, pristine water quality,
a vast amount of swimming room, and a higher
than average water flow.
Each species is slightly different in regards
to its preferred captive conditions as well.
While some may prefer to associate with eight
or more individuals of the same species, other
species of Anthias which will not thrive unless
kept as solitary members of the family. A few
minutes of background research will undoubtedly
go a long way toward success with whatever species
Finally, do not be willing to settle for just
any old Anthias. After a few minutes of research,
you will quickly realize that color choices
are various and plentiful. Not all species are
regularly available (or available at all,
for that matter), but just the same, search
for those eclectic members of the genus. Once
you have obtained that long sought-after species
after some diligent searching and planning,
the wait surely will have been worth it. Come
to think of it
a long search period might
be helpful (and necessary). After all, the price
of a 10-member shoal of Anthias will likely
rival that of the next semester of classes at
your local community college.
Text by Henry
C. Schultz III.
Photos by Reef Central members.
Reefkeeping Magazine Reef Central, LLC-Copyright © 2005