Dispar Anthias - Pseudoanthias dispar (Peach Anthias, Red-Fin Anthias)
Dispar anthias (Pseudanthias dispar) are also commonly referred to as peach anthias or red-fin anthias. This is because the body of this fish is peach colored and in males the dorsal fin is red.
They belong to the family Serranidae. About all of the fish in this family are very colorful marine fish. For more general information about keeping anthias spp. see the article Anthias.
The dispar or peach anthias is found in the Indo-Pacific along coral reefs where it feeds on zooplankton. Zooplankton are tiny, often microscopic, animals that drift through the water column.
Dispar anthias are carnivorous fish that are somewhat reluctant to feed in captivity. You can encourage them to eat by giving them zooplankton, as well as other meaty foods for marine fish (e.g., mysis shrimp, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, frozen meaty foods for marine fish).
To help with your anthias feeding, there are some companies that sell commercially prepared zooplankton, such as "Kent Zoomax" and "Two Little Fishies Marine Snow." These two products are available at SaltwaterFish.com. I believe that Kent Zoomax is the meatier of the two products, but either one will probably do for your anthias.
Dispar anthias are peaceful fish that make good reef inhabitants. As you might have seen in the other article on anthias, some anthias species don't tolerate the bright lighting that is necessary for a healthy reef tank. However, because the dispar anthias is found in relatively shallow waters they can tolerate the aquarium lighting necessary for a reef tank.
I'd still have plenty of live rock in their tank for hiding places in case they want to get out of the light. All fish can benefit from hiding places. It makes them feel more secure. Sort of how we feel when we are in our house or other living quarters.
In addition, don't crowd them. Your anthias will need lots of swimming room, otherwise they won't be happy fish. You'll also need to have a large enough tank to house several of them (see below).
Don't keep dispar anthias with aggressive or large fish species. They are peaceful fish that do best when you keep a group of 8-10 dispar anthias together. Don't keep a solitary speciman in your tank - they need other anthias friends. Keeping several members of the same species is best, but they do sometimes associate with other closely related anthias species.
They are also more likely to feed in captivity if there are several other members of their species present.
Like all anthias, the dispar anthias has the ability to change its sex. The dominant female of the group will change her sex to male if there is no male present. You can tell males from females in this species because only the males have the red dorsal fin. If you have a group of them in your tank there will always be at least one male present.
Dispar anthias are small to medium sized fish, reaching an adult size of about 3.5-4 inches (9-10 cm) in length.
They can typically be purchased for about $22-30 depending on their size.