Anyone have a deep water setup dedicated to Anthias?


Reef bully
I would like to set one up, can you tell me how you run yours and what kind of livestock?

I want to set up a deep water reef aquarium, most likely around 200 gallons( + 100 gal. or - 50 gallons)

I would like the main group to be Anthias, and maybe a pair of Hawaiin Flame wrasses?

What are the main requirements and if you have pics that would be most helpful!
Thanks in advance for the help.


Premium Member
The requirements are really going to depend on which anthias you choose and what depth's your shooting for. Deep water temps vary by locale.

There are some really nice southern Japanese species coming in lately. If your into flame wrasse's than you could try finding a contact to collect you some Pseudanthias hawaiiensis.

One thing you can definitely consider needed is a chiller. Lighting would be cheaper as VHO's fit the need nicely.



Reef bully
Thank you CarlC, the Anthias that I am choosing are Ventralis.

I would like to set the tank up around them, and I am also considering adding a Hawaiian Flame Wrasse pair.

I would like to know what other things I should consider. Also, what kind of coral and inverts would be best suited for this environment that's avail. at stores/online?

I was thinking about using T5's and using the actinic only bulbs. Would this be alright? I would like to use them because I already have them, just never set it up for a different tank.

I've only seen a few pictures from google when I search for deep water reef, and don't feel like I have a good idea of how it should look.


Premium Member
Actinic would be perfect. It should really make their colors pop!

As for that type of eviorment I would think it would contains lots of sponge and gorgonians.

I think Scott Micheal had written that in some area's around the Cook Islands Ventrailis are the most seen fish at depth. Here is one of his articles.
Part 1

Part 2 michael

And another from a diferant author



Reef bully
Thank you very much CarlC. I had seen the first two, which made me realize in order for me to have success with the Ventralis, I best dedicate the tank to them.
What I haven't been able to find (coral, inverts, etc) about "deep water" tanks is answered in the third article.

Thank you very much!


Reef bully
CarlC:: I would like your opinion on the tank size

I am expecting 5 Ventralis, 2 Tonga to come in and I have set up a 90 gallon QT (PVC and loc-line made into random shapes)

I was going to convert a 130 gallon into the "deep water" for them.

Would this be big enough? I was thinking a bit bigger, what would you advise as the proper size tank for 7 Anthias and possibly 2 Hawaiian Flame Wrasses (much later)

Thanks again for your input.


Premium Member
I think the 130 will be perfect. My understanding is the males can somewhat aggressive when it comes to keeping the females in line when there aren't enough females to keep him busy atleast in the Cook Island form. Six girls should make him happy. I would keep them in the 130 if it were me but if you can go bigger than go for it.

I wish I had a 90 for QT! I would add a powerhead to keep good water movement. The Tongan color form from what people have posted on RC is easier to get to eat if they are healthy. I would still have live food on hand just incase. Plus live food is easy to gut load with PraziPro and Beta Glucon.

There aren't many Pseudanthias species that can compete with ventrailis on the beauty scale!



Reef bully
Thanks again so much Carl!

I read and reread those links and I am getting very excited to do this tank. At first I was not so confident I could pull it off and have it look nice.

Your comments on the Ventrailis as a choice (I understand they are sensitive and difficult) and being beautiful is encouraging.

Just to be sure, I've gotten more large pieces of PVC to put into the QT, a Koralia 4 powerhead, and a Sequence Marlin as the return pump.

I hope that would be plenty of flow for them. Right now the QT is in the basement and reads 72 w/ no chiller. I was thinking of getting a chiller (oversized) to plumb into that, and then eventually use that same chiller on their display.

Carl, you seem very informed about these Anthias (no else else it seems has been able to talk about them w/ confidence) and I would like to know some tips if you have any.

I understand they race around as food flies by to eat and will not pick at food that has settled anywhere, so flow will be important.

I understand that they are deeper water, so the temps should be in the low 70's(F).

I also understand that they are extremely passive and shy. This is why I decided to do a dedicated tank for them.

I will plan to add pods periodically to the tank. (I do this with all my tanks)

I plan to provide mixed actinic white and actinic blue lighting.

The corals that I plan to add are: dendros and/or sun polyps, various sponges, favia, gorgonians, cerith (sp) or tube anemone.

Is this all correct? Is there anything else I can do to accommodate them?

Thanks again for your help, I feel better prepared about the style and look of the tank.

EDIT:: By the way, where would you suggest to get beta glucan? I heard some people mention that some brands or manufacturers are not very pure.

I have spirulina and a product called vibrance (both powder) that I sprinkle onto mysis for my seahorses and fish. Would this suffice? Vibrance is supposed to contain beta glucan.
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Premium Member
My interest is in all the central and southern Pacific Pseudanthias.

Your plans should provide a nice current for them to feed from. The deeper you go the more directional the current is. It isn't surging and chaotic like in shallower water. The water that they live in is carried up from the deep. Depending on the season it can get very cool. Cool water brings them the plankton they eat.

There are some really cool corals and sponges that come from the deep. If your willing to deal with a higher nutrient tank you have made some great choices. On the downside some of the stuff you have listed will only really survive in a well matured tank that is very stable. This can only happen over time. So be prepared to replace or use supplemental targeted feedings for awhile.

I get my beta glucon from a local health food store. I've been using the same brand for awhile now and have had no problems. It is a capsule. I lent out my mortor and pestal and never got it back so the capsule was the easiest route. I haven't used Vibrance but from reading on the seahorse forums it seems like good stuff. The spirulina is a great additive. I like using it as a gut load for live brine and mysids.

If I didn't have plans to move in the next couple of years I'd be setting up another big tank along the lines of what your doing.