Dispar Anthias (Pseudanthias dispar)

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Dispar Anthias
Pseudanthias dispar
Dispar Anthias (Pseudanthias dispar)
Name Dispar Anthias
Name Lat. Pseudanthias dispar
Family Sea Basses
Family lat. Serranidae
Order Perch-likes
Order lat. Perciformes
Origin Indo-West Pacific
Habitat Seaward reefs
Diet Planktivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Group
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Moderate
Life Span 3-5 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 10 cm
Temperature 24-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 400 l
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 75-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 100 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of Pseudanthias dispar is the eastern Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the Maldives to the Line Islands and from Taiwan to northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. They usually live in large schools on the reef top of steeply sloping outer reefs with moderate currents.


They require a well-structured aquarium with a reef structure (many crevices and caves) and with live stones that act like a biological filter, as well as plenty of swimming space with a steady current. Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand of various grain sizes may be used as substrate

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to consistently good water quality and water values.


They are permanent feeders, feeding mainly on zooplankton and suspended algae. The food change does not always succeed without problems. The food supply should consist of a combination of live and frozen food, such as small mysis, krill, fish roe, lobster eggs, artemia, cyclops and bosmids, or a commercially available frozen special food mixture enriched with vitamins for plankton eaters. Dry food (granules, flakes) is rarely accepted

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (5-8 times). Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They should be kept in a group of at least 6 animals. To avoid ranking fights, one group should be introduced into the aquarium at a time. They have a highly specialized social behavior, skirmishes with short chases are normal (hiding places). Care should be taken when socializing with surgeonfish and red colored wrasses are often not tolerated. They usually behave peacefully towards other fish.

Sex dimorphism

They are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning males develop from functional females when needed. Males have a scarlet dorsal fin and elongated pelvic fins.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


In case of danger they disappear in a flash into coral and rock crevices. A weak night light is advantageous, as they tend to jump out of the aquarium in complete darkness

It is recommended to keep these typical reef inhabitants together with corals and not to keep them in a fish-only aquarium.

If different species are kept together, make sure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. Newly introduced fish must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER & DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; BAENSCH & DEBELIUS (2006): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

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