Odontanthias borbonius
Source: Jesper Øhrstrøm Hansen
Odontanthias borbonius
Source: Jesper Øhrstrøm Hansen
Odontanthias borbonius
Source: Jesper Øhrstrøm Hansen

Facts

Latin name Odontanthias borbonius - (Valenciennes, 1828)
Common name Checked swallowtail
Family Serranidae - Odontanthias
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Central/West Pacific
Max length 15.0 cm (5.9")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 300 l (79 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

Recommended
  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)

Jumps out of open aquaria

This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.

High water quality

This species demands a high water quality.

Amongst other things it means, that water must be properly oxygenated.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

Sensitive during transportation

This species is very sensitive during transportation and acclimatizing into the aquarium.

Needs dimmed light at first

Out in wild this species is used to faint light, so to acclimitize it, it is advantageous to dim the light at first and gradually increase it to normal.

Expensive

This species demands a much higher price than similar species.

Thrive best on their own

These fish flourish better without other members of the same species in the aquarium.

Requires a varied diet

This species must be fed with an appropriately varied diet.

Hermaphroditic

This species can change gender from female to male.

When a male is needed, a female changes sex and takes on the role.

Docile

This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

Can be aggressive

This species can be aggressive if they are not provided with adequate space.

Overhangs and caves

This species thrives best in an aquarium with overhangs and caves. 

Family description (Serranidae)

The Sea Bass family (Serranidae) spans a broad spectrum with regards to how suitable they are to aquaria, as some are best suited to specialist or larger aquaria, while other are often seen in reef aquaria.

Below are described the five subfamilies one sees most often in aquaria. There are however other species one can also keep under the right circumstances, but these are for the most, large predatory fish.

Anthias (Anthiinae)
The Anthias species spans over many different genera, but the most common is the Pseudanthias genus. They mostly have an attractive orange or pink shade.

They are generally all reef safe and peaceful.
There is however a large difference to their food requirements, some species demand constant feeding, whereas others can get used to being fed once a day.

The easiest species are the following: P. bartelettorum, P. bicolor, P. dispar, P. huchtii and P. squamipinnis.

Anthias include among others the following genera: Anthias, Luzonichthys, Nemanthias, Odontanthias, Pseudanthias, Sacura and Serranocirrhitus

Liopropomatinae
This subfamily encompasses some of the smallest fish in the Serranidae family, they can be very colourful but shy. The Liopropoma genus encompasses many species which are suitable for aquaria, however they normally thrive best in a very peaceful- or nano aquarium.

Grouper (Epinephelinae)
These fish grow typically too large for most home aquaria. There are however some species that do lend themselves to the slightly bigger domestic aquarium. Several of the species look very impressive and often have a interesting personality, and they often recognize the aquarist and will become tame over time. 

Groupers are predatory fish and eat everything they can swallow; fish, crabs, shrimps and sometimes other invertebrates. Like most large predatory fish they excrete a lot of nutrients to the water, so one therefore needs a good filter system.

Groupers include among others the following genera: Aethaloperca, Cephalopholis, Chromileptes, Epinephelus, Paranthias and Pogonoperca

Soapfishes (Grammistinae)
These fish are like the Groupers predatory fish, but they do not typically, grow so large. They are relatively hardy, but some of the species demand a thorough preperation if one wants to be successful.

Soapfishes are generally very shy and will often hide under an overhang during the day, and hunt at night.

Soapfishes include among others the genera: Grammistes

Serraninae
The most common genera in captivity is Dwarf Seabasses (Serranus) and Hamlets (Hypoplectrus).

See the description of the individual genera below.

FishBase

Aquarium trade Rarely
Distribution Indo-Pacific, South Africa to Palau, north to Japan, south to Indonesia.

References and further reading

About references

Henry C. Schultz. 2006. Anthias Imposters! - The Genus Pseudanthias, Part IPart II - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Scott W. Michael. 2001. Reef Fishes volume 1 - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Bob Fenner. Fancy Sea Basses, The Anthiinae, Part I, Part II - Wet Web Media - (English)

Bob Fenner. The Basses, Family Serranidae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

hermaphroditic, docile shy
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