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Lyretail Anthias Overview, Care, Tank Setup & Breeding

Are you thinking of adding a much prettier version of Anthias species to your tank? Well, then Lyretail Anthias or Pseudanthias Squamipinnis, also known as Scalefin Anthias or Sea Goldie, will be the best ones to care for in your tank.

In this article, we will provide in-depth information on Lyretail Anthias.

These are exotic fish species with a beautiful body structure and vibrant colors. These fish are much more peaceful unless their unsuitable tank mates tempt them for aggression. They are best kept in a group of 5-8 specimens.

Species Overview

Level of CareModerate
AppearanceThe male Lyretail Anthias usually possesses a more reddish color with a pretty purple tone. On the contrary, the female one comes with a thin orange line on its violet body, which runs from its eyes to the pectoral fin.
TemperamentAggressive or violent if not kept with a suitable tank mate.
Life Expectancy5-6 years
Tank Size125-gallon
Tank EnvironmentHard alkaline environment and corals in a reef tank display
Tank MatesLarge and non-aggressive

Lyretail Anthias is one of the most popular species and is well-reckoned in the aquarium trade as saltwater fish.

Their striking colors make them more attractive and pretty to keep in a home tank, along with other Anthias. The male Indian Ocean Lyretails usually have a more reddish body color with a pretty purple hue. And the females possess a yellow-orangish body with an orange line circumscribed in violet, which runs along its eyes to the pectoral fins.

These are usually dimorphic in terms of sexuality. And do you know what is more interesting about them? These species begin their life as female fish. However, as their hierarchy allows, they tend to grow into male fish.

This transition in Lyretail Anthias takes place quickly in 1-2 weeks. The males usually have an elongated dorsal spine. Also, the color and pattern of male fish tend to change as per the change in their geographical location.

Lyretail Anthias from Kenya come with an orange belly and reddish body, while those from Fiji come with a stark red color throughout their body.

These are popular for large aggregations in shallow reefs. Their typical job in the wild is to pick planktons throughout the day.

These fish are usually found in the patch reef corals, channels, or outer reef slopes from the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. They are abundantly found in the Red Sea and East African Coast.


Lyretail Anthias tend to grow long enough compared to other saltwater fish for community aquariums. Usually, they grow up to 5-inches in size subject to the proper fulfillment of their diet and care requirements.

There are no such rules that only males or females will be longer. Any specimen of this fish can show up with a longer body structure, irrespective of their gender.


Lyretail Anthias is much hardy in nature than other variants. So, these saltwater fish usually live for an average of 5 years. However, with a proper level of care, regular water changes, and consistent diet maintenance, they can survive for 6 years.


These fish come with a peaceful yet semi-aggressive nature. However, some signs of aggression are also found when you first introduce a group of these fish in the aquarium. The males fight with each other trying to establish supremacy; that’s why it is recommended to keep only one male fish and many females.

Besides, these Anthias also have the behavior to bully or intimidate other small or peaceful fish.

Types of Lyretail Anthias

Lyretail Anthias have many variations based on their origin and geographical location. Following are the most popular types:

Fiji Lyretail Anthias

Fiji Lyretail Anthias are usually much different in looks compared to the Indonesian ones. The Fiji males typically come with an entirely red-colored body. On the other hand, the females are orange in color.

Indonesian Lyretail Anthias

Indonesian Lyretail Anthias are pretty easy to recognize with colorful purple-blue hues and a blue line that extends from their eye area. The females of this variant are much brighter in color than the other types.

Kenya Lyretail Anthias

Kenya Lyretail Anthias are another popular type of Anthias. They usually come with an orange belly and reddish hues on their sides. On the other hand, the females look almost the same as the other types.

Ideal Tank Conditions

These Anthias fish need to have a proper and suitable environment for their living. Because of their varied origins, these saltwater fish need to have a similar reef-like aquatic condition in the tank. Due to their sizes and natural schooling behavior, they need a larger tank capacity.

For taking better care of your Pseudanthias Squamipinnis, you need to ensure that the tank water is completely clean and nicely filtered. These usually require a highly oxygenated aquarium with a proper flow.

These fish particularly like to dwell in a tank having a moderate level of temperature. As soon as they get introduced to a sturdy tank, they will easily be friendly with the tank environment.

Tank Setup

If you are planning to keep and care for Scalefin Anthias in your tank, it is essential to house them in a well-set tank with proper water parameters.

The following are a few tips to install the most suitable tank setup for Lyretail Anthias:

  • If you are thinking of housing them in a school, it is better to keep them in 125-gallon tank size. Also, if you are thinking of owning a single fish, then it is better to pick a 75-gallon aquarium.
  • While petting them in an aquarium, it is vital to maintain the proper temperature of the tank. It is better to keep the temperature within the range of 74-79 ℉.
  • Maintain the specific gravity of water within a range of 1.023-1.025
  • Also, it is crucial to maintain a pH level of 8.1-8.4 as Lyretail Anthias like to dwell in a highly alkaline condition.
  • Also, they prefer a moderate level of hardness in their tank. Thus, it is essential to maintain the water hardness range at about 8-12 dKH.
  • To let them feel more healthy and secure in your aquarium, opt for a corals-filled reef aquarium display.
  • Also, provide them with adequate hiding places in the tank.

Tank Mates

Three lyretail anthias females

Though lyretail anthias are peaceful by nature, you need to be quite careful while picking suitable tank mates for them.

These quickly get along with non-aggressive community saltwater fish. However, to keep them away from aggression, you need to ensure that they have enough swimming space.

Some of the suitable companions are:

Since they are usually schooling fish, you can easily keep them in a group of 5-8 fish. Remember to house them in a harem of 1 male and 4-6 females to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the tank.

However, never keep Lyretail Anthias with smaller fish, as they can get much more aggressive towards them.

Food & Diet

Lyretail Anthias easily eat up food if you know what to feed them properly. If you are planning to keep these, it is essential to understand their feeding behavior and diet requirements.

They are pretty unique and require small feedings per day to maintain their constant fun activities and high metabolism rate. It is better to feed them 3-4 times a day in smaller amounts than to serve a large quantity of food once a day.

Usually, Lyretail Anthias are carnivores by nature and require a proper amount of protein-rich diet to grow better and showcase brighter coloration. These are usually zooplankton feeders in their natural habitat location.

Well, when you add them for the first time in the tank, these fish tend to be quite reluctant to eat. But they eventually adapt to their new eating behavior in your home aquarium. To offer them a nutritious diet, make sure to give them a variety of food. However, similar to their wild habitat, you need not provide them with planktivore content like zooplankton while they are in captivity.

Try to feed them frozen Mysis shrimp to serve an adequate amount of protein throughout their diet.

Do you know Mysis shrimp are their favorite food item? Also, you can offer them brine shrimp or other meaty food.

Lyretail Anthias also readily accept high-quality flake foods. However, while giving them flake food, ensure to offer it in small quantities throughout the day, not all at once.

You can even offer them refugium harvested copepods or amphipods, which serve to be a continuous supply of nutrition, rendering them a proper amount of protein for their healthy growth.


To offer Lyretail Anthias a proper level of care, you need to ensure that you are doing frequent water changes in their saltwater tank.

They are usually quite hardy. And this is the reason they are not much susceptible to any particular disease.

However, since these are captive-bred, they can often be prone to catch viruses or bacteria when you first purchase them and introduce them to your home aquarium.

So, before adding the newly bought Lyretail Anthias to any community tank, make sure you are quarantining them in a separate tank for a few weeks. Also, check for all signs of health issues in them to prevent the spread out of diseases to other fish in your community tank.

Breeding Guidelines

Group of lyretail anthias

The breeding of Lyretail Anthias may not be much challenging for you. However, it can be difficult sometimes. Also, they are not at all impossible to care for and breed in a tank. So, you can undoubtedly try out a proper method of breeding this Anthias species.

It is better to breed them with a group of three fish – 1 male and 2 females. It is better to minimize the aggression by housing 1 smaller male specimen with larger females in the breeding tank.

So, how do you prepare these fish for spawning? Simply start with feeding them a wide variety of food to condition them properly before breeding. Food products like newly hatched baby brine shrimp, benthic copepods, or a mix of seafood with proper vitamins will aid their spawning process.

As soon as Lyretail Anthias color up, it indicates that they are ready for spawning. So, you need to offer proper spawning spots in the tank to help them lay eggs. After fertilization, the larger females will show a large and round belly full of eggs.

After the female Lyretail lay their eggs, it is better to remove the parent fish from the tank, as they might opt for eating away those eggs.

Soon after hatching the fries, you need to make sure that they receive a proper level of care in the tank. So, offer them more protein-rich food like baby brine shrimp or crushed pellets. You can also provide them with Mysis shrimp in a very small amount to facilitate their proper growth in the tank.

As they grow a bit bigger, you can shift the fish fries from the nursery tank to your primary aquarium while maintaining a proper tank environment and stable parameters.

Interesting Facts

There are pretty interesting facts about Lyretail male and female fish. Do you want to know them before keeping and caring for these fish in your community tank?

Well, check out the information given below!

  • You can see signs of dominance in a school of Lyretail Anthias male and female fish. Usually, the males are the dominant ones. But if a male dies due to aggression or territorial behavior, then a powerful and large dominant female will morph, taking its place.
  • This fish mostly stays in the mid-water column of an aquarium but prefers great hiding places.

Where to Buy?

Well, you can easily find Lyretail, commonly known as the Scalefin Anthias, in the aquarium trade.

They are pretty easy to find in any regular aquarist shop or pet fish and animal store. Also, you can find them in a hobbyist store.

They have a wide availability in any of the online stores that often keep these fish on sale and offer free shipping.

However, if you are thinking of keeping these fish in a large group, then you need to be ready to pay more than the average price of a saltwater tank fish.

Most of the regular/ small to medium-sized females cost around $40. On the other hand, the male Lyretail cost a bit more.

They are readily available for $50 or $60. Usually, a group of 1 male and 6 females, with an average purchase size, costs nearly $300. You only need to place your orders;

the online suppliers will be shipping them to your home for free. You can even wait and order, mainly when there is an online sale.

Wrapping Up

If you are thinking of adding some more coloration and vibrance to your tank, order online Lyretail today.

Lyretail is usually one of the most stunning and unique species of fish you can add to your tank. However, they can be a little bit challenging to keep and nourish in a home tank. So, they are much suitable for intermediate fish keepers.

To offer them the best level of care, you need to opt for a good-sized saltwater tank and provide them enough feeding every day. However, before you buy them for your tank, make sure to facilitate them with enough free swimming space.

These Anthias fish usually like to dwell in shoals; thus, it is important to keep them in a proper ratio of male and female specimens. Also, house them with non-aggressive tank mates, which are compatible enough to live with them.