How to Raise Borbonius Anthias (Blotched Anthias)

borbonius anthias

Last updated on July 16th, 2022 at 04:48 pm

Borbonius Anthias, also known as the Blotched Anthias, are active fish, who need plenty of space and cannot be kept with other species of anemonefish or they will become stressed and even fight with each other until they die.

The Borbonius Anthias requires small live foods to feed on and will be aggressive towards large tank mates due to its territorial nature. However, if provided enough space to spread out in the aquarium and fed well, the Borbonius Anthias can make a beautiful addition to any home aquarium and should live up to 30 years if cared for properly.

Borbonius Anthias (Blotched Anthias) make a great addition to most aquariums. These striking fish can also be great additions to your fish tank, provided you keep them well-fed and happy, which this guide will teach you how to do.

Overview of Borbonius Anthias (Blotched Anthias)

Blotched anthias, also known as borbonius anthias, have beautiful markings that create a vibrant spectacle in an aquarium. They are extremely peaceful and active fish, but they are prone to disease if not cared for properly. Knowing how to raise borbonius anthias is vital if you want them in your marine tank.

In order to have these fish healthy and happy, you must understand their special needs and care requirements.

The males of both species can be either black or blue with different colored stripes along their bodies, while females are usually solid black or brown, depending on which subspecies they belong to. They usually grow from 3 – 4 inches in length, so they make excellent companions for other small reef-safe fish such as fairy wrasses or pajama cardinals.

Origin and description

borbonius anthias

The Borbonius anthias is a species of marine fish in the family Serranidae, which comes from the Fiji Islands country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand’s North Island.

The islands are volcanic in origin and are high islands with steep coral atolls. Most of them are uninhabited save for small resort villages. Its length is up to 18 cm. It was named after Prince Charles of Bourbon by M. Sonnini, who collected it in Tahiti during Cook’s second voyage and donated it to Leiden University in 1774.

This fish is also known as Blotched Anthias. It has been found at depths between 0 m and 5 m, inhabiting coral reefs at outer edges or very shallow lagoons. Juveniles are commonly found under rock ledges, within caves and crevices, or among the rubble. As they grow larger they move into open areas with sand patches nearby.

They live in small groups typically consisting of two to four individuals. Sometimes one juvenile can be seen living among an adult pair or even with several other juveniles.

Species profile

borbonius anthias

Anthias species are brightly colored fish named for their resemblance to tropical birds. They range in size from 6 to 9 inches and can live up to 7 years in captivity. These fish are typically mild-mannered and undemanding, making them great options for both beginner aquarists and experienced veterans alike.

California Grunion Fish "Leuresthes Tenuis"

Like many marine species, anthias must be kept with a minimum of 3 fish, but prefer groups of 10 or more of their own kind. In addition to being schooling fish, they also require a long stretch of open swimming space, as well as several hiding places among rockwork. If you’re looking for an aquarium that will feature some bold colors without being too demanding on time and effort, borbonius anthias may be just what you’re looking for!

The blotched anthias is a member of one group of fish commonly referred to as anthias. These are groups of fish in which scientists do not agree on their taxonomy.

Some refer to them as Groupers, Anthiines, or Thalassoma spp., and some actually consider them their own genus. The blotched anthia can be found in all tropical oceans as well as part of the Indo-Pacific Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean. It is seen from waters ranging from 1 meter deep up to 100 meters deep.

They tend to stay closer towards rocky areas but will also venture out into reef flats. They are usually a dark brown color with five rows of orange spots along their flanks accompanied by two blue stripes that run horizontally across their body starting at behind each eye and ending just before the tail fin begins too demanding on time and effort, borbonius anthias may be just what you’re looking for!


They are found in rocky areas of both reef and sand-bottom areas where they form large groups. They usually inhabit shallow waters of 12 feet or less but can be found as deep as 120 feet at times. In captivity, they are extremely social, therefore it is imperative that you provide them with a herd of fish when attempting to keep them in an aquarium.

A few specimens will not do well unless you can provide enough hiding spots for all of them. If you only have one specimen and do not have many crevices for him/her to hide in, then he/she will become overly stressed and most likely die over time. Therefore, it is recommended that if housing only one specimen, then add several fake rocks so he/she has plenty of places to hide from fellow tank mates.

Borbonius anthias size

They usually grow up to 6 inches but with proper care, they can grow up to 10 inches. This is a fish for people who have a lot of experience in keeping marine fish.

Borbonius anthias tank size

It should be 75 gallons or larger. There’s no need for more than one fish per tank. These fish are peaceful and therefore not territorial, so they can live with most other similarly sized fish, but keep in mind that these are relatively slow-moving fish, and smaller, faster-moving tank mates might scare them off or chase them away if they aren’t used to being around fast swimmers.

Aiptasia Eating Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus)

Borbonius anthias tank set up

As with most saltwater fish, they do best in large tanks that replicate their natural habitat. Since these fish are very active swimmers, you’ll want a tank that can hold a lot of water and has plenty of room for swimming. A 120-gallon aquarium is ideal, but a 75-gallon will also work well. Include lots of rockwork and plenty of caves or overhangs where your fish can rest and sleep at night.

You’ll need an efficient protein skimmer and excellent filtration; as these fish grow bigger, you’ll likely need a sump. Your lighting should be on for around 10 hours per day to provide them with sufficient light for good coloration. In addition, to live coral, keep some marine algae so they have something to graze on occasionally.

Feed twice daily with a varied diet consisting of flake food, pellets, Mysis shrimp, krill, and frozen foods. Keep in mind that as juveniles, they eat different foods than adults — so start out offering frozen brine shrimp when it comes to the time of feeding baby anthias. Give your fish about 150 – 200 gallons per inch of adult length for optimal growth.

Borbonius anthias tank mates

It is best to keep only one Blotched Anthias in a tank, with other blennies or similar small fish. Small, active fish will fit in well with a Blotched Anthias, as they can feed off of its leftovers and it can be chased around by them. Anything larger than a Blotched Anthias will eat it because it is not fast enough to get away from predators.

Some aquarists recommend keeping more than one if you have a large aquarium and are willing to separate any unwanted combinations at all times. But remember that having two also means there are twice as many algae for both fish to munch on, so if your aquarium is kept scrupulously clean, you should be able to keep two in an appropriately sized tank.

Some good tank mates are Ornate Blenny, Roseline Fairy Wrasse, Clark’s Clownfish, and Lawnmower Blenny. It can also be kept with other small fish that stay on or near rockwork if well-fed so as not to be too aggressive about taking food from its neighbor. On top of being chased by larger fish, blennies have a tendency to be nipped at by more aggressive fish because they have long thin fins and thin bodies.

Borbonius anthias breeding

borbonius anthias

You’ll want to bring a male and female into your tank together. During spawning, they may begin chasing each other around; don’t be alarmed by it. They will choose a spot in your tank and spawn there several times. When she lays her eggs, remove her from the tank for about two days so that she doesn’t eat them.

Red Sea Clownfish "Amphiprion Bicinctus"

When she returns, you can remove all of them except for maybe one or two of each color if you have multiple spawns going on at once. The reason is that not all of them are fertile, so letting some go to ensure you get as many healthy fish as possible. Don’t do anything more than scoop out excess food when you see these little beauties eating; these guys aren’t picky about what they eat!

Once hatched, feed them with Artemia nauplii until large enough to accept brine shrimp nauplii and crushed flake food.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The Borbonius Anthias is a peaceful, friendly fish. They are best kept in small groups of three or more, and they do not fare well alone. When they are removed from their natural habitat, they can become very anxious and can start nipping at you if you try to feed them from your hand. Keep an eye on them when you’re near; if you’re holding food, don’t be afraid to wear gloves!

Borbonius anthias care

borbonius anthias

Blotched anthias can be a challenging fish to keep alive, but if you provide it with sufficient food and appropriate tank mates, it can make a rewarding addition to your marine tank. Feeding small crustaceans and krill will keep these fish healthy. In a larger tank, you can house several Blotched anthias together, but in smaller tanks, they’re more difficult to keep.

Remember that individual behavior patterns may vary; for example, some blotched anthias may prefer reef aquariums while others do better in an open-top setup. If possible, avoid keeping them in tanks that have aggressive cichlids or other territorial fish species; blotched anthias should instead be housed with non-aggressive species such as tangs or damsels.

Borbonius anthias diet

Like other anthias, borbonius anthias will eat nearly anything, but they like shrimp and worms. To keep your borbonius anthias healthy and happy, feed them either good flake food or frozen live brine shrimp. If you’re feeding frozen brine shrimp, try to buy a size that closely matches what your fish are feeding on in nature.

That way, they won’t grow too fast and suffer from swim bladder issues. Using a siphon is also key — if you just pour water into their tank, some of those brine shrimp may not make it into their mouths. Feeding three times per day is enough; if you want to follow an exact schedule, do so at least 8 hours apart for each meal.

Water parameters

borbonius anthias

Borbonius anthias live in water ranging from a pH of 8.0 – 8.4, a specific gravity of 1.020 – 1.025, and temperatures of 76 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. You may want to test your tank water if you aren’t sure of these numbers, as they can vary depending on your setup and environment.

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They prefer alkaline conditions with a hard surface such as calcium carbonate sand, preferably bleached white for added contrast and aesthetic appeal. This fish is very sensitive to fluctuating conditions; all levels should be maintained for extended periods before making any changes. Temperature fluctuations are especially harmful since warmer waters speed up their metabolism but slower growth due to cooler waters — both results will cause them to perish quickly!

Borbonius anthias lifespan

They typically live up to 10 years but, in captivity, some have lived as long as 15 years.

Parasites and diseases

Diseases and parasites are common in aquariums, especially in areas with poor water quality. However, most of these diseases are treatable if caught early. Clean up your tank, remove dead fish immediately and take steps to make sure your water is safe for your fish.

Diseases can be contracted by humans as well as fish so be careful not to touch any diseased animals or their dead bodies! The use of quarantine tanks is recommended for all new additions to an aquarium because it gives you time to figure out what’s wrong and start treatment before other fish get sick.

It’s also a good idea to have a spare tank set up that you can use for quarantining new fish before adding them into your display tanks.


The biggest threat to blotched anthias is other fish that eat small fish. Even larger fish that only eat meat, such as clownfish and yellowtail damselfish may be a problem, especially if they are egg-eaters.

If you have other fish in your tank that feeds on eggs, either purchase some plastic plants or put your egg-laying fish in a separate tank so their eggs will hatch safely. In addition, keep an eye out for shrimp that might attack small fish; unfortunately, most algae-eating shrimp will also devour baby fish too. Smaller blennies can also pose a danger to young anthias because of their voracious appetites.

Do Borbonius anthias make good pets?

Blotched anthias, also called borbonius anthias, make great saltwater fish pets.  They can be kept in a community tank as long as they are not with fish who are too large or aggressive. They will sometimes nip at invertebrates and other tank mates that don’t appear too healthy, so it is important to keep them with peaceful tank mates and provide plenty of hiding spots for small invertebrates such as rock scallops, calcareous sponges, ascidians, tunicates, and sea squirts.