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Fish of the Month
Issue: July 2010

Pseudanthias tuka

(HERRE & MONTALBAN 1927)

FOM T 0710

Iggy Tavares

Common Names: Purple anthias, purple queen, purple queenfish, tuka anthias, yellowstripe anthias, yellowstripe fairy basslet

Type Locality: Maricaban Island, Philippines

Range: Mauritius to the Philippines and Indonesia to the Solomon Islands, south to Rowley Shoals and the Great Barrier Reef; Palau in Micronesia

Taxonomic Troubles: Identified at various times as Anthias tuka and Mirolabrichthys tuka. Note that “tuka” as a common name is also applied to other anthias species, so a “tuka anthias” might be any of several species.

Size: 12 cm (4¾ inches).

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical marine.

Difficulty: Not an easy fish to keep. Often will not feed.

Tank Setup: In order to succeed with this fish it is necessary to have a large, mature system with lots of live rock, preferably also with a plankton-producing refugium or deep sand bed (DSB). Slow starvation is often the lot of captive anthias, and plenty of natural

Feeding: A planktonivore. Live copepods, amphipods, and similar live rock fauna will most tempt this basslet, but some specimens will take frozen mysis and the like. They are adapted to feed all day on tiny foods and will not thrive with infrequent feedings.

Breeding: A protogynous hermaphrodite. The dominant animal will become male, while the rest of the fish in the group remain female. Successful captive breeding has not yet occurred.

Description: Overall purple coloration with varying highlights of blue, red, and yellow. Males are more intensely colored. The sharp nose extends ahead of the mouth.

Notes: All anthias are popular, but many of them are suitable only for experienced hobbyists. This species is one of the more difficult-to-keep anthias, with the greatest problem being providing an adequate diet. It is also less aggressive than many other anthias. Its deep purple color gives it great appeal, but unless you have a very large, mature system with plenty of live rock, you should pick one of the hardier species. Seeing that the fish are eating before purchasing them will increase your chance of success.

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