Anthias – Bartlett’s Anthias (Pseudanthias bartlettorum)

Updated on January 30, 2021 by

Bartlett’s Anthias are are a fish species, with truly astonishing colors, that will fit just right in your reef tank. This species will give you a whole lot of adventurous fish keeping experience.

Quick stats – Bartlett’s Anthias

Category Info
Origin Pacific Ocean – Marshall Islands
Max size 3.5” / 9 cm
Aquarium Min 70 gallon / 260 liters
Water 72-78° F / 22-25° C

dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

sg 1.020-1.025
Care level Moderate
Behaviour Semi-aggressive
Diet Carnivore
Family Serranidae
Colors Orange, purple, red, yellow

Bartlett’s Anthias description

Bartlett’s Anthias is a saltwater fish species originating from the Pacific Ocean with recent records in Tonga. They often occupy the reef and slopes/drop-off areas of their environment.

These species possess an elongated and somewhat moderately compressed body. They have a pink or purple lower body with a yellow upper third of their body. The upper and lower edges of the tailfin are decorated with bright blue line coloration. 

These fish have a curved lateral line that follows the curve of the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin is composed of 10 spines and 17-18 soft rays, while the anal fin bears 3 spines with 7 soft rays.

The male possesses a more intense color than the female which has a rather more lavender coloration. The male has a thickened and little pointed upper lip which can freely move up and down, while the female has a terminal upper lid which would only slightly point downwards if it thickens. 

The female also possesses a yellow back and dorsal fin. Their anal fin is a pale lavender with a reddish margin at the front. The pectoral fins are hyaline while the pelvic fins are pale lavender.

The Bartlett’s Anthias are hermaphroditic with the largest and dominant female always morphing to become the male.

Irrespective of the fact that these species are quite hardy, they can also be sensitive to varying water conditions until they can be able to adapt to their tank conditions. When they get adapted to their tank conditions they become tougher and more hardy.

These species are quite easy to keep but are not recommended for beginner enthusiasts because they are very delicate, and will require special care before they can be able to adapt to their environment. Therefore they are most suitable for intermediate and expert fish keepers.

Although these species are popular, it is surprising to know that they are not easily found in most pet shops and fish stores. However, they can be specially ordered from some online stores, and with just a few dozen dollars, your tank can be brightly lit with these stunning species.

Bartlett’s Anthias in the natural habitat

Bartlett’s Anthias is native to the Pacific Ocean, spanning across Kosrae in the Caroline Islands, Kwajalein, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Fanning Island in Kiribati with recent records in Tonga. 

They often exist together in groups of a few males and many females and juveniles, often occupying the reef and slopes/drop-off areas of their environment.

In the wild, they are planktivores, usually feeding on microscopic organisms and floating filamentous algae matters.

Bartlett’s Anthias in the ideal aquarium

Bartlett's Anthias - Pseudanthias bartlettorum

The tank for Bartlett’s Anthias would require mimicking their natural habitat and should be set up within the minimum standard of saltwater species.

Setting up their ideal aquarium for Bartlett’s Anthias will require a well-filtered minimum of 70-gallon tank with the following parameters: 22-26˚C (72-78F) temperature, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH and sg 1.020-1.025 to house a small group of Bartlett’s Anthias. If more species are to be added, then a larger tank should be provided, as they can easily get aggressive with each other if they don’t have adequate space to swim and maintain their territories.

As active species, they can thrive in many substrates. However, a sand substrate will just be right for Bartlett’s Anthias.

The tank can be decorated with lots of live rockwork to provide them with lots of hiding places. However, these decorations should not impede their free-swimming by taking up most of the free space, because as much as these species prefer lots of hiding spaces, they also need their free space for active swimming. This live rock should also encourage algae growth upon which they can graze on.

Bartlett’s Anthias are reef safe and will not bother your coral and aquatic invertebrates. Therefore, your precious corals are safe with them. They will rather find it as a safe resting and hiding place.

They also prefer a low or moderately lit tank, but they can also adapt to increased lighting if their tank is provided with adequate shades and hiding spots. Therefore, the lighting should be provided in consideration of the coral growth.

A semi-aggressive species, they are best suitably housed alone or with a group of similar species with a single male if a large enough tank is provided. However, they can also make great community fish when housed with suitable species.

They can be housed with similar sized and peaceful community species such as Gobies, dwarf Angelfish, Clownfish and Blennies.

Larger, aggressive and more boisterous species such as large Angelfish, Triggers and the larger aggressive Wrasses should be greatly avoided. They will often harass the Bartlett’s Anthias and make their stay uncomfortable.

Bartlett’s Anthias feeding

As with all Anthias species, adequate and proper feeding of Bartlett’s Anthias is a great way to keep this fish healthy and happy.

They have a high metabolism and exhibit constant activity, this requires they are adequately fed and with quality food too, else they will often lose weight.

As planktivores, they should be often fed with plankton matter. Their tanks should also encourage lots of filamentous algae growth on which they can graze.

Bartlett’s Anthias should be fed with high quality and vitamin-enriched small frozen meaty foods such as brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, daphnia, finely chopped seafoods, and a variety of frozen food mix for omnivores.

They would have a hard time getting used to flaked foods and pellets. However, their meal can be supplemented with these. They will sometimes accept this but not always.

They should be fed 4-5 times a day with just enough as they could finish in a few minutes. Any leftover should be immediately removed as soon as they are done eating.

Bartlett’s Anthias breeding

Selecting breeding pairs for Bartlett’s Anthias is quite easy as there is a clear distinction between males and females, with the males being quite larger and more brightly colored than the females. They would readily breed in their aquarium tank.

However, all Bartlett’s Anthias are born females with the most dominant individuals morphing to males.

To encourage breeding, a breeding tank should be provided with the aforementioned specifications and a breeding pair can be introduced.

The breeding pair should be adequately fed more often to induce breeding.

Around dusk, the male will initiate courtship by displaying a spawning ritual usually through a series of dances whilst swimming towards the female from above and then angling sharply back upward. 

If the female consents to the invitation she will swim towards him to join the dance. This is usually followed by the release of eggs and fertilizing them.

As soon as the eggs are fertilized, the parents should be immediately removed as they lack parental instincts and might prey on their eggs.

The eggs are quite small and the larvae are extremely primitive when hatched. The fry possess a small mouthpart and impaired eyes which makes it quite challenging in raising the fry, but not impossible.

To conclude

Bartlett’s Anthias are beautiful fish with excellent coloration that will certainly spice up your tank.

They are hermaphroditic, with the most dominant females always morphing to males.

They are peaceful and hardy species.

They are planktivores and feed on a variety of small meaty foods.

They are easy to breed with some difficulty in raising the fry due to their impaired eyes and mouthpart, but this is not impossible.

With proper care and adequate tank condition, Bartlett’s Anthias can live up to 5 years, while growing up to 3.5’’ (9cm).

Bartlett’s Anthias FAQs

What is the life span of Bartlett’s Anthias?

With proper care and right tank conditions, Bartlett’s Anthias can live for over 5 years.

What is the maximum size of Bartlett’s Anthias?

Bartlett’s Anthias can grow up to 3.5” (9cm) long.

What are suitable tank mates for Bartlett’s Anthias?

Bartlett’s Anthias can be housed with similar sized and peaceful species such as Gobies, dwarf Angelfish, Clownfish and Blennies. They are also reef safe and are compatible with corals and other invertebrates.

What is the best food for Bartlett’s Anthias?

Bartlett’s Anthias should be fed with high quality and vitamin-enriched small frozen meaty foods such as brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, daphnia, finely chopped seafoods, and a variety of frozen food mix for omnivores.

They would have a hard time getting used to flaked foods and pellets. However, their meal can be supplemented with these. They will sometimes accept this but not always.