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FAQs on Anemone Behavior in Marine Aquariums 1

Related Articles: Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, LTAs, Cnidarians, Coldwater Anemones, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Anemone Behavior 2, Cnidarian Behavior, Anemones 1, Anemones 2, Anemones 3, Anemones 4, LTAs, Bubble Tip Anemones, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Other Pest Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Feeding, Anemone Systems, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement

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Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Pink-Tipped Anemone ... beh. - 1/30/2006 Afternoon Crew, <Good morning here.> I did a water change today, about 30 percent and have just noticed my anemone is expelling a brown stringy material from its center, one half of it's tentacles is deflated and the other half is inflated. Any help would be great. <Cnidarians just have one body cavity both to import food and to export waste.  This is what you are seeing, waste export.  Boy would I hate that!!> Thank you very much, <James (Salty Dog)> Homerj

Anemone Sprouting Forked Tentacles - 12/22/05 Hello, <<Howdy>> I have been searching the web (and your site of course) for information on an anemone. <<ok>> After much deliberation, we believe it to be a Malu.  It has long tentacles now, but for the first 6 months they were rather short and of variable shapes and sizes.  We feel that the tentacles being long now (still varying in length; approximately 1-3 cm) is an indication of a better water quality. <<Likely so, yes.>> My husband recently purchased a protein skimmer and EVERYTHING in the tank now has unnaturally long tentacles (barnacles, green star polyps, etc.). <<Yup...does have an impact.>> My question is not directly related to an identification, but more of a quickly developing new trend.  Its tentacles have started to fork.  Many of the tentacles now have two branches that are purple tipped rather than the general one.  Is this normal? <<I have seen this before...not anything to be concerned with.>> It is a lovely brown anemone with purple tips. <<sweet>> Oddly enough, this observation is noted at the same time that our spiny cheeked maroon striped anemone fish has officially taken with the anemone. <<Likely coincidence>> (Since the anemone has doubled in size, the clown has taken it to be its host, but has just started to feed it.  Before, it preferred to feed a large soft coral, but it has ALWAYS protected this anemone from other fish stealing its food.  They have been friends for some time now.) Is this a normal trend for a Sebae anemone? <<Mmm...not sure what you're asking, thought you said it was a Malu...>> Or should the newly emerging forked tips be of concern? <<Nope>> We have had the anemone about a year or so. <<Should live for decades with proper care.>> The tank is a dandy: 120 gallons; 30 gallon refugium; numerous assorted soft and hard corals; mushrooms; great fluorescent lighting (though not metal halide), large protein skimmer; some of the live rock in the tank dates back to ten years; <<Might be time to swap out a bit for some fresh rock...a valuable source of buffering material/new critters/bacteria.>> superb water quality (makes the tanks at the fish store where my husband works look like novices to the hobby in comparison of water samples). <<Excellent!>> Thank you! I am eagerly anticipating your ideas and suggestions! Kelly <<Regards, EricR>>

Do anemones molt?  12/9/05 I cannot find an answer to this anywhere.  <No, they do not molt.>  We have had this anemone for about two weeks. It is rather large (the foot is about 3"x4"). It has had some loose transparent skin around the foot that it has stored food in from time to time. Tonight it literally jumped out of that skin and is now lying on the bottom of the aquarium under some rocks. The leftover skin is still stuck in the original location just waving in the current. The anemone looks healthy to me, but I'm concerned. I know invertebrates molt, but I've not found a thing on that kind of behavior with anemones. Could this be a parasite problem? Is this normal? Should I attempt to move the anemone back up to it's perch or should I leave it be?  <I'm guessing this "skin" you are referring to is just slime from the move. It's best not to move the anemone. If it doesn't attach itself to something in the next few days I'd remove it from the tank. A unnoticed dead anemone will usually wipe out the entire tank. Keep a close eye on it.>  Thanks for any advice. Amanda Braswell   <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 

Anemone Growing Double Tips  12/1/05 Dear Crew, Great site, very informative, and must say that I am getting more and more stressed over the fact that I've purchased 3 items that I should not have after reading your site (Dendro, Goniopora, and Sebae yikes!). Although I would like to believe that from what I see they are all doing ok.. for now =D I did notice that the sebae is slowly regaining its brown color. Oddly enough, it is also growing tentacles out of other tentacles... where on some there are 2 purple dots or in more serious cases Y shaped tentacles. Is this normal? What is it trying to do?  <Isn't abnormal for this to happen, can't give you an answer as to why.> In addition to placement, I do have a sea fan that is just "upstream" from the anemone in terms of powerhead flow. Should this be avoided?  <Any corals and relatives shouldn't be placed in the same tank as an anemone. Just a matter of time before the anemone will decide to move and sting anything in its path. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for all your help.  <You're welcome> Sincerely, Ambrose

Why is my long tentacle anemone on the glass of my tank  9/24/05 I had it for about 4months successfully now its on the glass all shriveled up but still looks alive. What's going on with this. thanks <Read here.  Scroll down to Anemones in Captive Systems. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  James (Salty Dog)>

Anenome splitting 8/29/05 I just got a anemone yesterday its foot got huge is it splitting but i don't see 2 mouths. <You will... takes time. Bob Fenner>

Blunt vs. Tapered Anemone Tentacles 8/14/05 Dear Crew: <Paul> Bob Fenner's article on the Anemones of the Tropical West Atlantic states: "Captive specimens tend to lose the "bulbiness" of their tentacles ends." I've noticed that my Condylactis and Ritteri anemones have tapered tentacles although pictures of these anemones in the wild do show blunt-ended tentacles. Any explanation for the tapered tentacles of captive specimens?  They seem to be thriving otherwise. Thanks, Paul <Have heard, and "regurgitated" the speculation that the "bubbliness" of said tentacles is likely a reflection of at least two factors, the degree (higher in the wild) of current, and the occurrence of physical interaction... with symbionts, would-be predators... more cnidocysts, larger ends... more defense, stickier feeding. Bob Fenner>

Floating anemone 7/22/05 Dear Bob, <M. Maddox here - not quite as good, but a lot cheaper ;)> (I must be blind or it's the lack of sleep can't find how to ask a question on www.wetwebmedia.com) <Looks like you must have figured it out...> I just got a long tentacle anemone, I spent 5 hours acclimatizing it, put it in the tank and it started floating. it's 5am and I can't sleep because I worry that the poor anemone might be in "danger" and here I sit e-mailing you/watching over him. He <she/it/they? ;)> was fine during the entire acclimatization process. Yes he was out of the water for a few seconds (had problems with getting him from the bag to the tank) Anyway, what can I do? is it in danger? Please help. <Well besides the subject, you haven't actually told me what's wrong with the anemone.  If it's like most anemones, it will float around until it finds a spot it likes, then it will stay there.  It may move several times over the next week or so, but if it doesn't find a spot and stick with it after 1-2 weeks, then you're not meeting it's needs.  In the meantime, make sure that all powerhead/pump intakes and overflows are covered so that it avoids being shredded!> Best regards, <Likewise> Cathy W <M. Maddox>

Anemone Excrement 6/2/05 Hi, I just love your website, but after 2 hours of searching it, I couldn't find an answer to my question.  I obtained 2 anemones about 6 weeks ago.  They are doing great, one's a green bulb tip and the other is a rose colored one.  My only problem is excrement. <<Thus far... RMF>> After the green bubble tip shrinks up my entire 55 gallon is covered in waste!  I been stirring the sand and vacuuming it out.  Is that the way I should clean it?  Is this normal to have so much?  Let me know if you would like a pic.  Thanks so much!  <It is normal for Anemones to expel the remains of a meal, but unless you are feeding the anemones excessively, such large amounts is quite unusual.  These anemones should get a marble sized (or equivalent) piece of meaty food once or twice a week (at most).  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Wandering Anemone... First - you guys have an awesome website. My wife and I spend hours and hours researching things before we buy and the plethora of information is outstanding! Thanks for keeping it online! <Glad to hear that you enjoy it! We're thrilled to bring it to you! Scott F. here today.> On to the issue at hand.  I received my BTA 3 days ago and have been having difficulty getting it to settle down and attach to something. So much so, that last night it inflated itself enough to fall off out of a crevice and I found it completely deflated sitting on the bottom.  <Not an uncommon experience...These anemones will often "wander" until they find an acceptable spot to settle down into.> Here's the tank setup. Tank is a 46 gal bow front 192 watt compact fluorescents from Coral Life with moonlight (approx 4.3watts/gal) 45 lbs Fiji live rock 20 lbs Dry rock 3 inch sand bed mix of Cayman sand and Pacific coast, live sand Emperor Bio-Wheel 400gph with 4 carbon/filter cartridges Red Sea Prism Deluxe Protein Skimmer 3x Penguin 1140 (300 gph) power heads each with a Hydor rotating flow deflector The tank has been up for about 6 months now and has all sorts of little critters, copepods, amphipods, and other unknowns. Tank Inhabitants: 15 hermit crabs 1 Astraea Conehead Snail <<Conehead snails?  Are they from France?>> 1 Margarita Snail 4 Nassarius Snails NO FISH (tank is running fallow for 60 days due to ich - only my 2 clowns survived the ich onslaught and they are in a hospital tank downstairs. Note - this tank has never been treated with copper, which is why it needs to run fallow.) <Glad to hear that you're embracing this treatment technique...It really is one of the best ways to treat ich in display tanks, IMO.> Water Parameters: I use Coral Life salt. Temp - 79 degrees Salinity - 1.023 - Marine Labs Hydrometer (tested 3 times to be sure) Ammonia - 0 ppm - Salifert Test Nitrite - 0 ppm - Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Test Nitrate - <10 ppm (I'd guess 7 ppm) - Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Test pH - 8.4 (lights on) - Red Sea Test pH - 8.3 (lights off) - Red Sea Test Iodine - 0.025 - SeaChem Test (supplemented with Salifert Reef Iodine) Calcium - 380 - Salifert Test (supplemented with Salifert All in One and Coral Grower) <Parameters sound fine. I'll bet that you can get that nitrate level down with a few easy tweaks to your system...> The long story - I received a great looking anemone Thursday afternoon, which I drip acclimated for about 2 hours. Once it was done getting acclimated I reached in grabbed onto the foot and very gently twisted it in the water to help whisk away some of the scummy matter that shipped with the creature (read this from one of the FAQ's here). I then moved it into a container containing tank water and lowered it into my display tank. <Sounds fine.> I set the creature which looked like a 3-4 inch anemone onto a ledge which was sheltered by other live rock. The crevice that I put it in was about the most ideal spot I have in my reef - about 5 to 6 inches from the surface, great water flow with nothing direct and the closest power head is about 14 inches away, great spot for it to tuck in its foot and show off its tentacles. To my surprise, about 1 to 2 hours after it was in the tank it doubled to tripled its size and soon the bubble tips came out. It looked great; the majority of the bulbs were plump with bubble tips with some looking a bit more clubbish but nothing out of the norm according the WetWebMedia. I would estimate this creature to be between 6-8 inches in size. The creature lived like that for 2 days until last night.  A side note, I never knew if it actually attached to this crevice since I was the one who placed it.  Anyways, last night I noticed that it had decided to blow up its foot to a huge proportion, so much so that during the night it knocked itself off the ledge down onto the sand. This morning when I found her she had completely deflated. Down to less than 2 inches and her once huge 1 to 2 inch tentacles were paper thin and about 1/8th of an inch. She had also started to go inside out. Again, she hadn't attached herself to anything and wasn't wandering about the tank. I immediately put my hand in the tank and moved her back up to the crevice. After about 5 hours she was back to 80% of her once huge size and after about 9 hours she is plump once more. <Such "inflating" and "deflating", although unnerving, is somewhat common as these animals acclimate to new conditions, in my experience.> The problem is though, she is consistently "floating". The slight current in the tank (I shut off my middle power head so reduce the current) keeps drifting her off the rocks. I have yet to see her get a good grab on anything under her foot. Tonight she is even being so finicky that she seems to like getting her foot above her, she keeps folding her tentacles in and expanding her foot. What's weird is that she looks healthy, the bulbs are still inflated and the foot looks great. Have I done something wrong to upset this magnificent creature? <Probably not. The animal is simply reacting to the stress of adjusting to a new situation and environment. This will take some time. Probably the best thing that you can do is to do...nothing! Sometimes, just leaving the animal alone will allow it go through the adjustment that it needs to- at its own pace.> What can I do to assist her in taking a hold of something - I know she will wander to where she likes it best, but the first step is to get her to wander by attaching to something! <Again- I would not interfere excessively, unless the animal appears to be headed for a filter intake or something equally dangerous.> Please help, I don't want to see her die or get injured because she hasn't gripped onto anything.  <I think that you are doing all that you can at this point. As long as the tank has a variety of places for the animal to attach to, I think that your patient observation and the readiness to intervene if the animal is in danger is the best thing that you can do.> Attached are 4 pictures. It's hard to believe that picture 01 is actually the same creature as in 03, but it is. Thanks for your reply!!! <Glad to be here for you. I wish I had a more detailed response for you, but sometimes the best thing to do is to simply observe...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.> <<Marina, wishing she could find that original email w/photos!>>

Wandering Anemones Hello <Hey, Mike G with you tonight> I was at my local fish store today. I have a 10 gallon nano reef but I'm planning on getting something way bigger like 150 to 250 gallons. A worker at my LFS said that since anemones move around so much, if I had corals, they would be stung. <That very likely is true, though there is always a chance that they will remain peaceful denizens of a mixed-reed aquarium, even taking into account its small size.> I've had bubble anemones before and noticed that after 2 weeks, they settled in one permanent spot. <Correct, anemones tend to roam until they locate a suitable niche in their tank.> So, if an anemone would be the first animal in the tank, if I waited a couple weeks, would an anemone settle in one spot? <If the conditions are right and the anemone happy, I would say definitely.> Thanks <Hope I helped, Mike G> 

Green Bulb Anemone I am a new hobbyist. 4 days ago I added a green bulb anemone and it will not stay in one place. It continually moves under the live rock where it deflates. What do I need to do to keep it in one spot?  <Hopefully you did some research on this before you bought it and have the proper lighting for it. But, it's not unusual for the anemone to move. It's trying to find the ideal spot as to current and lighting. Unfortunately they usually end up where you don't want them and there is not much you can do about it. James (Salty Dog)> 

LTA and H. Malu Hello Folks! <Hi there> I won't know what I'd do without your website as it's what I would consider Level 3 support. After going through LFS, books, and forums! Someone should make a book with all the info on your website! <Heee! Perhaps a movie even! Maybe Tom Cruise can play me!> Anyways, my questions are regarding 2 anemones that I rescued from someone. He had purchased them and realized that he could not accommodate them. I think one is an LTA and the other one is an H. Malu. They are currently on a 20 gallon tank that is 16" high with about 3" of substrate (I plan to increase by 2" soon).  <This system is way too small... dangerous> The length of the tank is 24" and I have two 20" dual 40W PC for lighting. Based on my research, this light is barely enough.  Would raising the substrate from 3" to 5" be enough or how about adding another set of two dual 40W PC lights? <All would help... but what you really need is more volume... to dilute chemicals from interaction, wastes... keep the water stable overall> Also some of the books says that these anemones like to sit on sand but I've also read somewhere that I can put them on top of rocks. Is this true? <... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm > The H. Malu seem to stay put, but the LTA is upright about 70% of the time and is lying on the side the remaining 30%. Is this okay?  <No> Should I move the pumps (3 100G/Hr - 2 on one back corner and 1 on the other back corner. All the pumps are mounted on the top of the tank and not pointed directly at any of the LR or livestock) so until the LTA attaches permanently upright? <... if the pumps are "blowing" the animal over... it will right itself otherwise> Lastly, I've attached a picture of some black stuff and white thread like stuff coming out of the LTA. I am guessing the black stuff is poop as I've seen it before. I've been feeding them squid, mussel, and frozen Formula One from once to thrice a week. The LTA eats more than the H. Malu, but both of them refuse to accept fish. This time I am unable to remove the black stuff as it's attached to the white stuff. What is the white stuff? <Perhaps reproductive material, maybe other waste> How do I know if they are dying?  <Behavior... staying shrunk down, detaching... dissolving. Bob Fenner>

LTA symbiotic relationship question I have just witnessed my Long Tentacle Anemone doing something I didn't know they did. While it was lying on a Live rock, the center of it started to enlarge (around the mouth area, when it enlarged, it was white in color (mouth area) and it looked like it had opened its mouth and leaned over to the rock and out of it's mouth came a small creature ( about the size of a Japanese beetle but with a small tail and it was as if it had a curtain around it so you couldn't see legs. It slowly moved out of the mouth and crawled up on the live rock and went into a hole in the rock. The anemone slowly raised back up and shrank in size for bout an hour. Like it had a baby or something. I haven't seen the small creature since. The anemone seems to be doing fine though. I was wondering what your thoughts were? Saltwatered in PA <There are many commensal to mutualistic organisms that live in concert with these animals... you likely saw a crustacean one. Bob Fenner>

- Anemone Shrimp Kicked Out - Hello, and thanks again for all of the assistance so far. I have a fairly large carpet anemone who seems to be thriving. I've had him for about a year and he has easily doubled in size. Presently he is about 18 inches in diameter. He houses a mated pair of stingy true perculas whom refuse refuge to either my anemone shrimp or my anemone crab. My tank is 55 gallons standard. I have some green bubble coral which is thriving and some frogspawn which isn't! Neither my shrimp or crab like any of my other offerings. First of all, what can I get to house these guys that will get along with my current inverts?  <I don't think there's anything you can do.>  And what the heck do you think could be wrong with my frogspawn.  <Given the size of the tank, it could well be suffering from chemical warfare with the anemone.>  I bought him about 7 months ago. He has three branches, with each end about 1 inch in diameter. One branch died right away, the other has been hanging on by a thread for about 4 months, and the other hasn't gotten any smaller but no bigger either.  <Could also be damage that occurred during shipping/transport, not at all uncommon for these corals.>  It hasn't eaten since I got him. Up until about 2 weeks ago I only had 220w PC 1/2 blue/ 1/2 10k white and a standard fluorescent 40 watt 50/50. I felt maybe my problem was insufficient lighting so I upgraded to a 2x175 MH plus the PC fixture I had (220w +350w). I'd hoped with the upgrade he would have been looking better by now.  <Did you just switch lights one day? If so, you probably "blasted" this coral and it's not adjusting well... you need to acclimate corals to new lighting slowly.>  I'm having a hard time finding any calmer place in the tank to try to put him because I understand they like low current. My nitrates, calcium, pH, temp salinity all within normal limits. Any suggestions?  <Try increasing the distance between the anemone and the frogspawn, consider running some activated carbon, and moving to 5% water change each week to try and keep the allelopathy to a dull roar.> Thanks, Corey <Cheers, J -- >

LT anemone following Ref. light? Hello. I've had a LTA in my tank for about three months now. He wandered a little in the first few days, but has essentially been in the same spot for the whole time. He has grown slightly larger. Last night just after the lights went out, he detached from his usual spot and floated up and over some rocks and slowly, over several hours made his way to the darkest corner of the tank. Do the prefer to move at night? <Usually not> The only thing I can think of that may be desirable about that place is that it is the closest part of that tank to the refugium. The refugium is beside and below the tank and it's light is on at night. <Ahh> Could the anemone be trying to reach this other light source. <Good speculation. This morning, he opened us as wide as his confined space would permit. He's getting very little light now. I wonder why he would look for a perch at night when he can't follow the brightest light. Will he have enough energy to find a decent spot tonight? Should I move him?  <Mmm, no... but maybe you should look into better lighting> He usually accepts and closes around any food that I feed him or that falls into his grasp. Should I try to feed him? <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonefdgfaqs.htm and the LTA FAQs (linked above)> He seems to like his base covered but obviously likes strong light and flow. Since these are fairly specific demands for my small ecosystem, I wonder is moving him might be the best thing to do. <Not a good idea... please read... if the animal wants... it will move itself...> My tank is 55g. I have a 192 Watt PC fixture that is half actinic and half 10K that stays on for 14 hours. I will be moving him to a new tank with better lighting in about 6 weeks. What should I do? Thanks, Justin <Wait for the month and a half, taking care that your LTA doesn't get sucked up against an intake... switching out one or both of the actinics if you have other lamps... Bob Fenner>

- Long Tentacle Anemone Hiding - ok well I've had my LTA and he's been doing really great since the addition of a skimmer. he's been in my 25gal for 4 months with  1-96 watt quad SmartPaq (10k/460nm blue) lighting. <Would love to hear the story of how you upgraded the size of this tank...> I'm not worried about lighting being the problem but I think the schedule of when the turn off could have sent him into hiding. I recently switched my schedule form 10 hours a day to 8 because of some red slime algae I wished to cut back on. <Perhaps it is hiding because of the chemical changes brought on by the red algae... would propose you take more active steps to remove this stuff... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm > Maybe I should have eased into this change but lesson learned. What could be the reason why this anemone has chosen to be in a dark place? <Could be reasons other that what you think.> Why do they do this?? <Most often because they aren't truly happy with the current conditions, so they move in hope of finding conditions more favorable. Would encourage you to read all the LTA articles and FAQs on WetWebMedia to get a better understanding of these animals.> thank-
<Cheers, J -- > 

Anemone sick? Greetings Crew! <Ray> I am hoping you can reassure me that my beloved rose anemone is not sick.  I fed it yesterday and it ate as normal.  Today, I walked by and saw it looking really strange.  There was fecal matter coming out and it was the normal brown, stringy matter that it excretes. Along with that was a large ball of food that I fed it yesterday...only that I fed it several very small chunks.  In addition to the food and fecal matter, there was white strings that almost appeared to be attached to the inside ("guts" if you will).  The whole process took about 15 minutes and after the food ball was excreted, the white strings were pulled back in and my anemone is now shrunk into a very tiny ball.  Attached is a pic of the event. <Good pic!> I have a 55-gal reef tank.  All other inhabitants seem to be fine.  My tank parameters are near pristine (nitrate about 5-10) as I have my weekly 10% water change today.  All other parameters are: pH 8.28, ammonia & nitrite zero, Ca ~400, DKH 10, SG 1.025 The anemone has been in my tank for almost a year and has not moved since the day it entered the tank.  It has tripled in size.   My lighting is 2x65W 10,000K and 2x65W 50/50 power compacts.  I am upgrading to metal halide next month. <All sounds good> I have never seen the white "guts" come out during an excretion before.  I am thinking this is a normal event. I also have never seen it excrete uneaten food before. That worries me a little. Ideas? Thanks for your help! -Ray <Is a normal event... should be "all better" by now... egestion by actinarians can be messy... involve mesodermal extension. Bob Fenner>

Rose bubble tip and a Sebae anemonefish Hello again--I just sent you a few questions about my rose BTA staying in the dark, but overlooked something that may have affected it....when I first put the anemone in tank, my large Sebae clown went ballistic, and very aggressively plunked itself and wriggled itself into the BTA.  Even after it fled to the top of the dark, rear corner, the clown would hang vertically from within the tentacles....however, after a few days of this, and since then, the clown totally ignores and won't go near the BTA.  Why the sudden divorce??  << Maybe he doesn't feel the anemone is healthy enough to offer him protection. It is also possible that the anemonefish just isn't in need of protection. >> Could the aggressiveness of the clown the first few days have driven the BTA away to the darkest part of the tank?? << It could have caused it to move around.  But I still wouldn't worry about it. >> Will they reconcile, in your opinion? << No.  I don't know why I said that, I just don't see them pairing up.  But no worries, they can certainly do well in the tank without pairing up. >> This sounds like a soap opera!  Thanks......again......Barry <<  Blundell  >>

LTA post feeding behavior   Hi Bob, <Adam here today, at your service.> I have an LTA. I have had it for a couple of weeks. My Tomatoes are very attached already and are loving it. Last night all of a sudden when the MH turned off, (The actinics then continue for one hour), decided to shrivel up 50% of his tentacles into thin horrible looking threads. I watched for 10 minutes and they returned back to normal. admittedly I just fed him a piece of fish! He looked fine for the rest of the night.  <Sounds completely normal to me.> This morning he looks a bit different. His entire base is stretched out flattish like leather and his tentacles do not look fully inflated even though they are not shriveled. His colour hasn't changed.  <Still sounds normal.  Many anemones close and re-open after feeding or disturbance and often take a couple of days before they look "normal" again.> My nitrates are around 20, KH 14, everything else good.  Any ideas? I doesn't seem right. What is the feeding regime best for an LTA?  Regard, Craig.  <I would try to track down the reason for the high nitrates (though 20 is not too big of a deal).  I generally suggest feeding a grape sized chunk of meaty food at least a couple of times a month, but not more than a couple times a week.  More feeding will lead to faster growth.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

New anemone shriveled up Hello, Sorry to bother you.  We have gone to several aquarium stores, read several books, talked to tons of people and it seems like every single person has a different idea or solution. We are getting very sad and frustrated. << Sorry to hear that.  Unfortunately this is very common. >> We have a 22 gallon reef tank with a 175w, 14000k MH bulb that is 8" from the surface of the tank.  We have had this tank set up for a year now. Currently our temperature is at 79 F. We had our timer set for 11 hours, but recently changed to 9 hours, thinking we were giving too much light. << Not too much light. >> We also feed 2-3 times a day. Current is medium. We do frequent water changes (once every 2 weeks), and have a Fluval 4Plus filter.    the water conditions are all good: ph 8.0 KH 190mg/L NO3 5 mg/L Salinity 1.024 We currently own the following livestock: (some detail and history to help you) 2 camel shrimp (one of them is gigantic and always is caught on or near the anemone) 1 cleaner shrimp 1 peppermint shrimp (who is MIA) 1 tuxedo sea urchin 5+ hermit crabs 15 snails (is that too many?) 1banggai cardinal   1green Mandarinfish - who recently jumped out and died :( 1 pygmy angelfish 1 black clownfish (not sure what kind yet) 1 colt coral 1 leather coral (pink tree) 2 mushrooms 1 brittlestar 1 orange/yellow sponge 1 medium tubeworm We have most of these since the very beginning (after a mandatory month set up period). Okay, back to the anemone.  Our friend is dead centre the middle of the aquarium, both horizontally and vertically.  We have covered most of the direct light with a rock, so to give him indirect sunlight. We have had him for a little over a week, and the first few days he was awesome. Now his tentacles have shrunken to tiny thin "sticks".  They are bright green (turning brown by the day) and the stock and trunk is brown. Half the time the anemone is all shriveled and closed in.   The good news, our clownfish found and sometimes (when available) uses his new home. Please, if you  have any advice to give, we are more than willing to listen. << Well the lighting sounds good.  Excellent actually.  So I would consider the heavy feeding to be a potential problem of high nutrients affecting the anemone.  Try adding a skimmer or decreasing feeding for a while. >> Thanks from Canada, David and Erin Campbell <<  Blundell  >>

Anemone burying itself? Great web site by the way.  Very informative.  Anyway, when I came home from work this morning, my long tentacled anemone was missing.  His pink skunk clown was swimming where the anemone used to be.  Upon closer inspection, I noticed he was completely buried in the crushed coral substrate. << I have a couple anemones that bury every week or so. >> I thought he was dead so I tried to scoop him out with a ladle but he moved when I touched the substrate.  So I left it alone and went to bed.  When I woke up this afternoon he was out again, though about half his normal size.  My chemistry is all within acceptable ranges (Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ca, temp, salinity). << It is possible something (even the anemonefish) is irritating the anemone. >> My lighting is marginal at 28 watt 50/50 PC on a 15 gallon high tank.  If he were hungry for light I would think he would move towards the top, << Not sure about this.  My carpet anemone has done much better with the upgrading of my lights, and he hasn't ever moved upward. >> because I have about 20 lbs Bali live rock he could climb on.  He has good color.  Have you ever heard of an anemone completely burying itself like this? << All the time. >> Thanks again for all you do. Corey <<  Blundell  >>

Anemone behavior 11/26/04 The Anemone I got is brownish in color, and I also noticed whenever I turn off the lights of the tank, a bubble comes out of the mouth. Is that a characteristic of a Bubble Anemone? <hard to say without seeing it myself, but it sounds like it could simply be part of the process of excretion. Be careful though, eversion at the mouth can also be a sign of extreme duress. Blindly guessing here though without a clear and close up picture. Anthony>

Carpet anemone Hi,  <How goes it?> thanks for any help you can give me on this as I read through your site and could find nothing that pertains. <Let us add something to the archive then> We have a 90 gallon reef, with mostly soft corals, a Midas blenny, assorted cleaning crew, about 120 pounds of live rock, 2 maroon clowns and a fantastic green carpet anemone we've had for about a year. Our salinity is 1.024, <might want to bump that to 1.025> our PH 8.4 and 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites. <all good>  We are running a sump with a Berlin protein skimmer and a MD 40 xlt Iwaki pump. Our lighting is power compacts, 4 at 65 watts each. <Ack!  Not enough light, at all...and no halides?!  You need to upgrade your lighting before your anemone eventually succumbs> Since we've upgraded from a 75 gallon tank about a month ago, the anemone sucks itself down under the rocks every few days and we have to disassemble the one side of the reef to get it out.  <It may just be stressed from the move> The two maroon clowns are hosting in it and it is very healthy...the mouth is firm and it eats like a horse <at least you've been feeding it a lot, as that's why it's still alive>...Mysis and Cyclop-Eeze being the main foods fed to the tank. The anemone seems completely healthy and is well taken care of by the clowns <Clowns never really take care of an anemone, besides sometimes scaring off potential predators> and never seems to be in any distress before it sucks itself down into the rocks. The foot is firmly planted and it has good color...Any way we can stop him from moving down under the rocks?  <What kind of carpet anemone is it?  Some like to have their foot buried in the sand, and that may be what it's trying to do> Can he get himself out again or do we have to keep up the rescue operations? <I would leave him be and watch what happens, unless it's a haddoni or another carpet species that prefers sand> He is in almost the exact same place as he was in the 75 gallon and we never had this problem then. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  <Definitely look into purchase some metal halide lighting for your anemone.  Slowly acclimate it to the new lighting (check our archives for how) and make sure it isn't a carpet species that prefers sand> Marcye, Orlando <M. Maddox>

Demonic Damsels Strike Again Hi <Hi! Ryan Bowen with you today> I've had my reef for over 3 years, I had a half dozen or so tanks (fresh+salt) but now I've moved and consolidated to one 29g reef-tank. <Sounds good.> I've got a weird problem wish fish behavior. I have three anemones and they are all very polite. <Polite, yes, but if you aren't skimming furiously, there is invisible war being fought.> I have three fish and they are all quite rude. The fish wont leave the anemones alone, they are constantly pecking at the tentacles. Even when it is mostly closed and retracted they will carefully line up and position themselves (with a curious, intensely concentrated midwater hover technique I've rarely seen elsewhere) so as to get a peck or two at the parts that are exposed. I have a three-striped damsel, a blue velvet damsel and a 14 year old clown fish I got for free. I've had the fish from 6-12 months and the anemones for a couple years. I'm obviously more attached to the anemones, and I don't want any silly makeshift ideas like strawberry baskets interfering with their migration and movement. Can you suggest anything that would be causing the fish to do this, or any solutions? <Yes, remove the damsels!  They're trying to defend their territory...Encourage the anemone to choose a new home, but obviously the anemone cannot.  Permanent harassment will kill your inverts at some point.> BTW even after the fish have been fed they do this, its more of a social activity than a survival thing at this point. <Territory is survival in nature...sadly it seems, a luxury in aquaria.> Also, the clownfish does not reside in any anemone, the people who gave him to me did not keep any inverts and simply had a single fish in a tank for 13 years before they had to move. He has expressed no interest in any of the anemones, large tube worms or anything else aquarium clownfish are sometimes found basking. <Perhaps he's stressed- Remove the damsels and watch things settle in.  Cheers! Ryan>

Anemone hiding under rock ledge Hey Crew, I have to say I found your site about three weeks ago and haven't been able to stop reading. >>Whoo hoo!> My setup was a 90 gal. FOWLR up until twenty days ago when I purchased my first LTA.  Currently I have only four fish a sebae clown, flame angel, domino damsel and a yellow tailed blue damsel. I wanted to move to a reef tank but can't purchase any corals because of the angels picking habit thus the anemone.  My equipment consists of RO water, canister filter, skimmer and 2 x Hagen 402 and 2x Hagen 802 powerheads. Water parameters are within specs. Initially my lighting was only 260 watts of PC so I placed the anemone on the live rock 7" from the tank top.  That night he moved to the middle of the tank about 14" from the top of the tank and stayed buried in some macro algae.  Four days later my new 400 W 6500K Iwasaki light showed up and I installed it 12" above the tank top and removed the PC. I was feeding him every second day a little thawed "Reef Gourmet" food and shredded Mysis shrimp.  Ten days later I moved the MH down 1".  The next day when the lights came on he continually got smaller and smaller and I assumed he was going to expel some waste.  Finally he just disappeared all the way into the little hole in the live rock and popped out the other side upside down under a ledge.  The problem is he doesn't get any light and I can't feed him until I figure out how to get it to him without someone stealing it.  He has been in this position for six days and I'm getting a little impatient. >>Sounds like some light shock to me. They generally move when they are unhappy with current for lights, so the change may have blasted it.>> My questions are; 1)     Will he move again when he gets hungry or wants light? >>Hopefully!>> 2)     Should I wait a little longer to feed him? How long can he survive this way? >>If he isn't extended he probably wont eat. You could try some small stuff, like mysids gently wafted towards him by a turkey baster>> 3)     What average height should my 400 W MH be at? >>That depends on what you want and how your animals deal with the new, bright light. I wouldn't move anything till the anemone acclimates.>> Regards,

Red Rose Anemone Hello,<Hi Patrick, MacL here with you today.> I am a lurker of your website and really enjoy all the information it has to give. I am writing you today in concerns to my red rose anemone. I am new to the hobby of saltwater but I have a great amount of experience in freshwater. I have enclosed some pictures of my anemone, I was a little concerned for his health. When I purchased him (about a week ago) he was very tiny in his tank, but when I got him home and put him in mine, he opened up to almost triple in size! I continued to monitor my water parameters and feed him and my feather duster phytoplankton every other day, while I continued to feed my Lionfish and Clownfish krill everyday. Until the last couple of days he seems to have gotten sick or maybe he is dying?<Actually it looks to me like he is digesting food> I am not sure, frankly I am a little scared. My clownfish loves him, as you can see in my photos, and he refuses to leave him. I don't want him to die. So my question is, does what you see in the picture look normal, if not what is wrong and what can I do? I tried feeding him some brine shrimp when he was totally open and he more then happily accepted. But that was two days ago, and he hasn't really opened back up since then. <Does he seem to be disintegrating? Falling apart? It looks more to me like he's drawn in while he's digesting from a good brine shrimp meal.> Please help me, and I am apologize for the lengthy question. Thanks in advance. <Patrick keep a close eye on him but honestly I think you are just fine in this case. MacL> Patrick

Anemone opening and closing mouth Hi there, thank you for all the help you provided me in the past. I have a problem with my BTA and I need your help. my tank 33gal it has been set up for 6 months now. Ammonia 0 , nitrite 0.1 (Its been there since my tank done cycle), nitrate 0,ph 8.2 , temp 75F.This anemone has been in my tank for 2 weeks and it hasn't been moving since day1.It was placed in th center under 150w 10k MH (Sylvania bulb). When I first bought there were a lot of missing tentacles .However, it start growing new once. I have noticed something, the mouth is a little bit open some times it is tightly closed but some times its a bit open(1cm x 1cm) it seems to be doing well .Am feeding  daily 1/4 inch of shrimp. Should I be worried? << Not really, but that sounds like a lot of feeding. >> Fish : 1 devil damsel, I will be adding couple of clowns next week. inverts : banded shrimp, few star fish, baby sea urchin (sp?). Corals : Bubble coral, few mushrooms, plate coral, xenia, star polyps. << If it is growing new tentacles, and isn't moving around, I'd say it is doing just fine. >> <<  Blundell  >>  

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