The threadfin anthias is a wonderful fish with lots of things to recommend it to the hobbyist. It is beautifully colored, almost always on the move, and once it begins to take food in an aquarium it is a good feeder. Since the threadfin anthias takes its food only from the water column you need to present it with food many times a day, always in small quantities, and always making sure it is eating all of its food. It is a zooplankton feeder, and therefore will take any small or finely chopped meaty foods such as enriched brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp or frozen foods.
Best of all, it is an excellent fish for a reef tank, where it really appreciates the strong water movement and excellent water quality. Threadfin anthias are found in schools numbering in the thousands on the reef, and they have a distinct social structure within the school, based on single male fish with multiple females in “harems.” In aquariums it is best kept in harems consisting of one male and up to ten females, with four females being the suggested minimum. It is hermaphroditic, and if the male of a harem is lost, the dominant female will become a male. The male is distinguished by the long extension of the third dorsal ray, which gives it the name threadfin. This fish is very fast moving, and need lots of open space to swim in. It is also a renowned jumper, so its tank needs to be well covered.