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Dispar Anthais
(Pseudanthias dispar)

despar anthais, Pseudanthias dispar

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Dispar anthias or Pseudanthias dispar belong to the family Serranidae. They are habitants of the Great Barrier Reef. This species can be found in both the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific ranging as far south as Australia. 

They are commonly called peach anthias because of their coloration. Their overall body color is yellowish orange. Females typically have peach colored upper bodies and pale lavender to white underbodies. They also have stripes on their tales. Males have bright red dorsal fins and lack the tail striping. This species ranges in size from 3-5 inches. They have an average life expectancy of 3-5 years.

These fish are considered reef safe and will make excellent additions to your marine reef tank. Many anthias demonstrate intolerance to bright light. The dispar is a shallow water swimmer and therefore accustomed to higher light levels. However you should provide them with plenty of living rock both to hide in and around and as a source of nutrition.

Live rock is reef debris often broken off coral reef structures by the natural forces of tropical storms and hurricanes. These reef fragments are known as living rock because of the living organisms they are home to. Live rock has a multitude of residents including various assortments of algae, crabs, marine worms, small crustaceans, and beneficial forms of bacteria occurring in the ocean. There are numerous benefits derived from adding live rock to a reef tank.

The dispar is a docile creature. You will want to avoid mixing them with more aggressive species such as damselfish. They may show a propensity toward territorial behavior to other species of anthias. When mixing them with similar species it is best to add them to you tank simultaneously rather than introducing them to an established population. This will help eliminate the possibility of territorialism and make for a more peaceful aquarium.

This is a shoaling species. You will want to have a minimum of four in your aquarium. Six to eight is considered ideal. Make sure your tank has plenty of wide open spaces for them to swim in.

Dispar are carnivorous. In the wild their diet consists of the microscopic organisms know as zooplankton that drift in large water columns around tropical reef formations. Like may anthias, dispar may show a reluctance to feed when it is first introduced to your tank. This problem is less likely to manifest if you have a group of dispar in your aquarium. They can often be coaxed into eating by feeding them commercially prepared zooplankton. Once they have acclimated to their new environment they can be fed viatimin enriched brine shrimp, or frozen marine food prepared for carnivores. They may even adapt to flake food after they have settled in. These fish should be fed at least twice a day.

The harem life is typical to this species of fish. A harem generally consists of a single male with up to a dozen females in tow. A second subordinate male may peacefully coexist in the harem if both are introduced to your tank simultaneously. Anthias are protogynous hermaphrodites. If you add a group of females to your tank the largest most dominate female will transform into a male. If there is only a single male in the harem and he perishes the most dominant female in the group will replace him. There will always be a male present in the harem. It is nature’s way of propagating the species! The potential gender change of the dominant female may lead to squabbling between the king fish and his reigning queen. These fish have not been reported to breed in captivity.

Environmental Parameters


pH Level Specific Gravity
72-78  °F 8.1-8-4 1.020-1.025

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