FAQs on Anemone Identification
Related Articles: Anemones,
Tip Anemones, LTAs, Cnidarians, Coldwater Anemones, Colored/Dyed Anemones,
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Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Anemone ID question (with pic)
I've enjoyed browsing your site, I've always found great
information! I have a question for you regarding a mystery
anemone I acquired yesterday. I was in a local fish store and saw
what I though was a purple Ricordea mushroom,
until looking closely... I asked the man who worked there
and he didn't seem to know what it was (it was in a harlequin
shrimp tank, towards the top attached to the glass in the back)
the man said it must be a small bubble tip anemone,
<I do think he's right... from the shape of the animal,
its tentacles, wrapping about the rock... Entacmaea
and said if I want it I can have it for $15. I
inspected the foot (intact) and the mouth (closed tightly) the
color is beautiful, brown foot and tentacles, fading into a
bright purple/lavender at the tips. I took it home and after
looking online cannot find anything regarding "purple"
<Oh! The species occurs in many colour variations>
The anemone is small, maybe 3 inches across.
<Yes; "it has shrunk"... from a lack of food,
inauspicious circumstances likely... Can/will come back w/ good
It seems to be doing well so far, but it is a mystery. I
have no idea exactly what species this is.. Can you help? Thank
you so much!!
<Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Anemone ID pic 4
Just a few more pictures so you can get a good view...
Rock Flower Anemone,
Lighting and Sump Recommendations
I sent you a question a few weeks ago about a polyp rock with
five flower anemones attached. I thought you may like a better
photo. You may use it if you like.
I have two quick questions for you. I recently had to move my 46
gallon Bowfront reef tank to a much sunnier location. My light
fixture is a Nova Extreme t5 with 2 10,000 daylight bulbs
programmed from 9-9, and 2 blue actinics programmed from 8-10.
Includes LED moonlights as well. Since moving the tank, it has
developed slimy red/brown algae on the glass and the live
rock is a much darker green color. Do you think the increase in
natural light may be contributing?
<Seems to be>
Also, I currently have a HOB filter and CPR BAKPAK skimmer
(has worked very well). I want to upgrade to a sump that will
also hold a skimmer. Any recommendations for a unit that will fit
in a smaller cabinet?
<Mmm, yes. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimrs4sumpsf.htm
Thanks for all of your help.
Your site has been a major factor in the success of my tank!
|Re: Rock Flower
Anemone, Lighting and Sump Recommendations
Thank you for the speedy reply. Any suggestions in reprogramming
the amount of light from my fixture or should I attempt to block
some of the natural light?
<Best to either avoid (to control) or "ride out" the
period of time where the pest algae are growing... will be
supplanted in time. Please read here:
<<Bob! Bartholomea!>> 12/24/11
Hi wonderful experts. I hope you are having a great
I recently bought a detritivore kit for my refugium.
Yesterday I saw a bizarre little creature 'sunning'
itself on top of the clump of Chaeto. It resembled a tiny
light tan octopus, though with many more tentacles.
<I see this... Aiptasiid, Glass Anemone>
When I startled it, it snapped all of its tentacles
together behind it and thereby dove into the heart of the
Chaeto. This morning I found it attached to the side of the
refugium. This made me think it might be an anemone, but I
never heard of an anemone that is a fast and graceful
<There are a few... some clunkier, slower>
It can move FAST, with its many tentacles trailing
behind. The dealer quickly got back to me and suggested
that it might be a swimming anemone, and I should remove it.
<Yes I would>
I did, and got a couple of photos. I Googled
"swimming anemone" and got no useful hits. This
phrase also came up empty on WetWebMedia. I have attached
two photos. The diameter of what you see in these photos is
about 5-6 mm. Can anyone tell me what this is?
<Please see here:
and the linked files above>
I have it in an isolation chamber in my QT right now, in
case it is a good thing and I want to return it to the
<Some people employ these as filters... to take up unwanted
nutrient... But they (the anemones) can become problematical in
terms of rapid reproduction, displacement of other life>
I would deeply appreciate any information anyone can
You folks are the best.
<We try. Cheers! Bob Fenner>
Bob - Thanks for the fast and important answer! I hope you
had a great Christmas.
<Is it over? Whoa!>
I got rid of the Aiptasia. But sometimes it is so
frustrating learning that there are so many things I don't
<Mmm, not for me... got used to this long ago. Now I really
look forward to such discovering>
I was positive it was not an Aiptasia. I've read
all about it in books and here, especially because some months
ago when I cured a small batch of live rock for a special project
I had a huge Aiptasia outbreak. A handful of peppermint
shrimp seem to have eliminated them all, though the real test
will be to see if they come back. But the Aiptasia I had
there and that I've read about were very different from this
guy. Those all had a prominent oral disc, while this one
had no oral disk at all (that I could see). Those all had a
prominent pedestal separating the foot from the oral disk.
This guy had no pedestal at all (that I could see).
<Mmm, this is why I stated/speculated that it was an Aiptasiid
(the family), not necessarily of the genus Aiptasia>
It was built like a WW II naval mine, a round central body
with tentacles radiating out from it. So I concluded that
it was not Aiptasia. Now I learn that there is a huge
variety of this beast! Sigh. Well, I'm learning
slowly. Thank again!
<Take 'er easy Tim. BobF>
Re: Swimming anemone? 12/26/11
Tim, you triggered some memories... perhaps this is a Viatrix
Re: Swimming anemone?
Bob - Thanks for the additional info. You guys are
wonderful to us newbies. I checked this viatrix and it is
not a match. I think you are right about this being an
aiptasiid. It doesn't look like my others in shape, but
it's the exact color (transparent light tan) of an
Just another variation. In any case, I removed it and am
keeping close watch for any friends and relatives.
<Thank you for this follow-up Tim. BobF>
Unknown Anemone, and pest spag. worm
I have an anemone that I am unsure of its name. It's smaller than
my Zoanthids it came attached to.
<Mmm... maybe just a juvenile>
It has a bright red foot with clear bubble-like tentacles. I checked
out all the articles that looked promising and a Magnificent anemone
seems the most fitting. But I am wondering if it is possible for one to
be so small and survive being transported with the zoos.
<Yes; is possible>
It doesn't attack the zoos
<Unusual that they're not competing chemically. May be the
reason the odd animal is so small... I would excise it (with a single
edged razor blade or such) and move it to another Cnidarian-free
at all but when the current moved it up
under a stalk xenia the anemone quickly grabbed onto a single tentacle
and sorted of pinched it. The tentacle of the xenia seems to be
recovering. Is this a pest or just one I should treat as any other
<Can't tell from what is offered here. Do send along a couple of
well-resolved images, your further observations when you can>
On another note, I have a worm which appears to have a calcareous shell
but no crown. I wouldn't be concerned accept <except> that it
sends out a spider web looking string that has gotten on a colony of
zoos. I pulled it off gently since it couldn't be good covering the
<Not to worry. Leave the strands alone>
Is this a good or bad worm? I can easily move it somewhere where the
web-like strings will not reach if the worm is beneficial.
<I'd leave this (spaghetti) worm alone. See WWM (the search
Thank You so much for such wonderful information here!!!!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
I purchased this "anemone" at my lfs. I was told out is
a bubble tip anemone. However I have not been able to find a bta
that looks anything like this. Can you tell me if this is the
<Could be an Entacmaea... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/btaidfaqs.htm
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Thanks bob. You say it could be however I guess my concern was did
I receive what I was told the specimen was? I was worried out could
be a majano our other nuisance anemone.
<Could be Anemonia as you state... but let's let it grow and
see. Cheers, BobF>
Anemone identification 10/25/11
Got a question for you. My local fish store sold me this anemone
(see pic) they said it is a curlyque anemone but none of the
pictures of curlyques I have seen look like it. Is it really s
or is it a different type of anemone and if so what type.
It appears to be none aggressive and doesn't scare easily. It
also doesn't move. Any ideas?
<Whatever it is, it's badly bleached and starved. Appears
to be a Condylactis... Bob Fenner>
ID, reef stocking reading 7/25/11
My name is Tim and I recently got some additional live rock
(cultured Tonga) for my aquarium. The picture attached is a
hitch-hiker I cannot seem to identify. I am confident it is not a
glass anemone. Can you help?
<Appears to be an anemone/Actinarian of some sort... Agreed
that it's not an Aiptasiid... I'd leave, see what it
Also I am considering getting a curlyque anemone. What are your
thoughts on these guys? Anything major I need to be aware of?
<Too stinging for most settings... Use the search tool on
every page on WWM re the name, read the cached/colored
My tank is a 220 gallon. It houses a yellow tang, blue hippo
tang, strawberry Pseudochromis, six line wrasse, two brittle
stars, a percula clown, two engineer gobies, and 3 firefish. It
also has approximately 250-280 pounds of live rock (various types
including Gino, Tonga, and lettuce coral all aqua cultured). I
use reef capable Marineland LED lighting, a Tom Aquarium Products
wet/dry filter with protein skimmer, and a UV sterilizer.
Are there other good anemones or corals you would recommend? Any
other fish or inverts that could be good additions?
<This is all posted/archived on our site...>
Thanks for all the great information you guys provide.
<Please use it>
You are a life saver for me and hobbyists everywhere.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
positive ID please 6/29/2011
How are you guys doing.
Thanks in advance for all this service you guys provide us
#1 (I think Magnifica?)
<Mmm, no; likely Heteractis malu>
when touched feels a bit leathery stands very strong even with
strong flow on it seem not to hang loose. Nice green color with
very light purple tips.
Feels extremely sticky on the touch. Has been in the tank for
about 1 month now and has been eating well.
#2 (I think LTA?)
<Mmm, no... almost assuredly this is a badly bleached
Heteractis magnifica... see the comments re the pedicle>
looks very loose and much longer tentacles. Sways hard in the
Does feel sticky on the touch though not that extreme. Has a
light whitish purple color with a bright purple foot. Very bright
purple tips at the end of its tentacles.(not clear in the
Has been in the tank over a month and eating very good although
the 2 hosting clowns tend to grab everything out of it.
#3 (I think Rock Flower Anemone?)
<Good as name as any. I've seen this, or some similar
Actinarian in and about Sulawesi and S. Saba at times. Don't
know the scientific name... some folks state as Epicystis this or
doesn't feel that sticky at all though has just been placed
in the tank.
Foot did take though within a minute and it started to inflate
Has bright dark purple short tentacles with white rings around
its tentacles. Looks like it has 3 separate heads but is one
anemone with one central located mouth.
<Is a beauty for sure>
Has not been fed yet as just placed in the DT
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>