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FAQs on Anemone Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1

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

Related FAQs: Anemone Feeding 2, Cnidarian Feeding, Food/Feeding/Nutrition, Anemones, Anemones 2, Caribbean Anemones, LTAs, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone SystemsAnemone LightingAnemone Identification

Clowns often help feed their host anemone

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Feeding a bleached anemone  10/4/05 Hello, <Pamela> We've been fans of your website for almost a year now.  You have been providing us with a ton of practical information and we're eternally grateful.  We also just finished reading your book - The Conscientious Marine Aquarist - one of the best Marine life readings out there.   We hope you can shed some light (pun intended) on our anemone situation. <Will try> To start, we have a 260g tank with some rock and artificial ornaments.   Lighting is provided by a 72” Coralife PC fixture (384W total).  The main lights (10K) are on from 3pm to 12:30am. The actinics stay on 30 minutes longer (before and after).  The tank is located in naturally well lit room but it does not get a lot of direct sunlight.  It has one overflow with an Iwaki 100 return pump.  We also have one power head, UV filter, in-sump ASM G3 skimmer, etc.   We bought our BTA about 6 months ago along with a hosting tomato clown.  The clown fish does not seem to feed it, so we feed it chunks of shrimp or squid and have tried krill.  At first, although it didn’t actively grab the food, it did eventually accept and consume it.  About a month ago, it split. > stress... a lack of useful light energy related>   The two pieces remain in the same area, and the clown continues to host both of them.  Now, they only rarely accept food.  They must like this location as they have not moved (before or after the split).   Since they are smaller than the original one, it is harder to feed them because they do not reach out and grab the food with their tentacles.  We are concerned because they seem to be bleaching (one much more than the other) and they both seem to balloon and then shrivel for short periods of time. (The foot is an orange-red color like it was when we bought it.)    Lighting is a concern: <Yes> The tank is 30” deep and the anemones are located on a rock near the bottom.  Recently we also seem to be having an issue with temperature, up to 82-83 degrees (it used to be stable at 79). <This shouldn't be too much of a problem... stable enough in your size system>   The salinity is 1.025 and the pH is stable at 7.9.  (This week, we are going to add 250 pounds of live rock that we have been curing for a month. <Do add about 50 pounds per week... too much likelihood of trouble with placing all at once> Hopefully this will raise the pH).   <Should help... otherwise, do look into a good line (e.g. SeaChem) of buffering compounds to add during regular water changes> The ammonia is ok-no issue.     By the way, we have another BTA which is hosting a male tomato clown.  It is attached to a rock higher in the tank.  This clown doesn’t feed it but it is easier to reach so we do.  It doesn’t reach out with its tentacles but it accepts food more easily.  (Perhaps we are accustomed to watching a Condy eat in another tank-it stretches its tentacles out to grab the food and then it quickly consumes it.) <Yes... very different animals> Our questions are:  Should we continue trying to feed the anemone (when it's open) even if it doesn't take the food? <Yes>   Does it seem like it needs more light?   <It, they do> What do you recommend? <Adding some Metal Halides directly above them> We are considering replacing PC with either a 72” Coralife fixture with 3 integrated MH lights, or a 72” T5 setup. <Mmm, both/either would be an improvement... as stated, if possible/practical, adding MH pendants above the areas where the anemones are... or alternatively, moving them to another, shallower system with much more light...> Both are very expensive, so we don’t want to make a mistake.  Also, since heat is already an issue-would MH make it worse or is it worth it? <Likely so, unless you plan and execute some means of alleviating the waste heat (fans, openings in the hood/canopy or even a purposeful chiller> Should we move the rock with the anemones to a higher location when we add the live rock (or will that stress them more?). <Best to do just one at a time... I'd leave on the bottom for a month or so after adding the new lighting> Is the higher temperature causing a problem? <Mmm, not much, likely> Should we expect the BTAs to extend their tentacles to grab food more actively instead of just closing in on the food?   <Under the present conditions, no>   Please help us-I really don’t want to see the “twins” die.  In the event, an anemone does die in this size tank- will it cause a life threatening problem? <Likely not... but should be removed/siphoned out if "goes mushy"> Thank you for your time... Pam & Rob <And you for sharing. The new LR will help, but I would adjust alkalinity, pH, and definitely add, change out your lighting. Bob Fenner>

Identifying anemone/feeding, using test kits... Hi Crew, <Debbie> Any information you can lend will be appreciated. I have read over and over all the FAQ's I could find and looked at all the pictures I could find but still can't really tell what my anemone is. I think I finally found the answer but then it also sounds like another one too. At the LFS, they called it a Carnation Anemone, when I asked what family that was from they said, Stichodactyla gigantea, it's like the Ritteri. So here it goes. It has short yellow tentacles, under the tentacles is a deep orange color, then this color is down the column until the end where its yellow. If it balloons up its more of a yellow column but when it goes back down its orange. I thought it might be a dyed anemone but read where all the anemone would be the same color. <Mmm, no... can be multi-colored... and from your description it sounds like this one is dyed> Is that right? I don't know if I should put it on the sand which they had it on in the LFS, and they also said that they have had it for 3 weeks and it was still beautiful, healthy too, but back to my question. I put it on the sand, and it laid on its side, so I moved a small piece of rock under it and it ballooned up till it fell off, so I've left it in the sand and it hasn't moved an inch in 2 weeks. Does get some slime under it but is that from it trying to attach itself to the sand? <...> Also I was wondering if I could blend all the krill, Pacifica plankton, squid, Cyclop-Eeze together and squirt it near the anemone. <.....> This anemone also never closes during the day or through the night and is still open when I turn on the lights, and then it closes for 1-2 hours and stays open again. Is this normal, or should I be worried? <........> Another question I have is my tank has been running for 1 1/2 years now and I'm probably the most brain dead person but I cannot read the Red Sea calcium test I bought or the Seachem PH/ALK. When ever I read the results I just can't believe it because the calcium test I get from my water goes below their chart and my heart starts pumping, also the Seachem Alka test says 1 drop equals 0.5 meg/L and I have to use 5 drops before it gets to the right color and then it says to divide it by 2. Well my number is 1.25. Does that mean its 12 and its suppose to be 7-8. Are my fish going to die? Could you please help me. My PH reads 8.1 with the Seachem test kit but reads 8.3 with the Red sea one. All the other tests are good or I would be worrying about them too, but those are easy to read. I'm doing everything to prepare the water properly, water changes weekly. I also add Aragamilk along with the water changes. I even went home and got a water sample so they could check my water first before I bought it. Really care about these animals and a lot of stress to, to make sure their happy. Thank you for all your time. Debbie <... please return this anemone, don't buy anymore livestock that you can't identify... and read on WWM re test kit use, alkalinity... Bob Fenner>

Carpet Anemone Feeding I have a question regarding feeding anemones.  I saw a gorgeous white short tentacle carpet anemone, <None are naturally white... yours is bleached... has lost its endosymbiotic zooxanthellae> I later identified it as a Merten's carpet. I purchased it 3 months ago, it was under 2 inches in diameter, <Tiny!> I started off feeding it every 3 days with vitamin enriched brine shrimp.  After two months or so the anemone doubled in size.  It was big enough that I could feed it goldfish, which I have been doing for the past month.  It stings them into submission, and devours them whole. It does not regurgitate the food and it is ready to eat again in a few days.  It has quite the appetite too, I feed my clowns a frozen full spectrum food, with a little something for every fish, and it catches and consumes some of that. It is now over 7 inches in diameter ( I know they grow much larger and I can't wait) very sticky, very responsive to light.   But reading your articles on keeping anemones, it doesn't sound like the goldfish are a good idea, and could potentially cause the little guy more harm then good. <Yes> I was wondering if I should stop with the goldfish, and go back to Mysis/brine shrimp, or maybe kill the gold fish and cut them up first. <Or silversides, cockles, many other choices... I would drop the goldfish> Also I noticed it snagged my black ocellaris clown and after a few shakes from the fish it let go.  Is feeding it live fish making it more aggressive?  Thanks in advance. <Possibly. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Problem Hello, Thank you for your great site. I have a common anemone in a 55 gallon tank. His tank mates are 3 various damsels, a small maroon crab, a yellow tang, and an arc-eyed hawk fish. The damsels and clown eat tetra flakes and shrimp well, the hawk eats the larger pieces of the food, and the tang grazes and eats Seaweed Select. The tank is doing well but I recently found out (after everything had been sold to me, recommended, and entirely picked out by staff at the LFS) that my lighting is horrid; 2x15w fluorescent bulbs, that's it. This after they had sold me an anemone knowing full well I did not have a compatible tank.  The common anemone did well at first, but now constantly shrivels. He seems to fill again when I feed him small pieces of shrimp and when I try to spotlight him with a 30w lamp and open shades to let more sunlight in. Can this process possibly sustain him, or is he doomed? What can I do to prolong his life before I can find a safe place for him? The purple ends of his tentacles are also shriveled even when he fills like a partially deflated balloon. Is this permanent? Please help me, I made the mistake of purchasing on recommendations, but I don't want the anemone to pay for it.  <This is a problem I hear all the time. Somebody buys something, not knowing it's requirements, then does the research later. Number one, shame on your retailer. Sounds like he is in it for the money based on what you say. Two 15w lights are not nearly enough for an anemone. You are going to need about 250 watts of correct lighting to keep your anemone alive for any length of time. You can either find a home for it or invest in lighting. The choice is yours. Please search the Wet Web Media for anemones and read. Then make your decision, better yet I'll make the post. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  Thank you, <You're welcome. Robert, please research any future animals you wish to buy to be sure you can provide the conditions for them. I'm not flaming you, you're retailer is more at fault selling you this knowing the equipment you have. Consider purchasing a good book such as "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". It's well worth the read. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)> 

Common Anemone Problem de Roberto Hello, <Hi there> Thank you for your great site. I have a common anemone in a 55 gallon tank. His tankmates are 3 various damsels, a small maroon crab, a yellow tang, and an arc-eyed Hawkfish. The damsels and clown eat tetra flakes and shrimp well, the hawk eats the larger pieces of the food, and the tang grazes and eats Seaweed Select. The tank is doing well but I recently found out (after everything had been sold to me, recommended, and entirely picked out by staff at the LFS) that my lighting is horrid; 2x15w fluorescent bulbs, that's it. This after they had sold me an anemone knowing full well I did not have a compatible tank. The common anemone did well at first, but now constantly shrivels. He seems to fill again when I feed him small pieces of shrimp and when I try to spotlight him with a 30w lamp and open shades to let more sunlight in. Can this process possibly sustain him, or is he doomed?  <Good question... know then that most all anemones are a mix of nutrition types... part photosynthetic and part carnivores... and that they can/do change preponderance as individuals... depending on circumstances at hand... I suspect yours will/can live, learn to derive more "food" from eating... but more lighting... would help> What can I do to prolong his life before I can find a safe place for him?  <Could "raise" the specimen up... on a rock, closer to the light source/s...> The purple ends of his tentacles are also shriveled even when he fills like a partially deflated balloon. Is this permanent?  <Mmm, no... as in not irreversible> Please help me, I made the mistake of purchasing on recommendations, but I don't want the anemone to pay for it. Thank you, Robert Kirkbride <Please help yourself... and read a bit more re this species, its husbandry... on WWM, elsewhere. Your actions/non-actions will determine its world. Bob Fenner>

Ritteri Question Hi! <Hello! :D> Could you explain why my 3 percula clown fish keep knocking and taking the pieces of cockle I place in my anemone out of it? <Simple - they want the food!> I had a magnifica anemone which I only had for a month before it suddenly died and have just bought another similar anemone 2 days ago which looks great.  <Problem with these guys is they require extraordinary amounts of light (I know of several specimens that have parked themselves directly under 400w halides) and require tons of flow (in the thousands of gallons per hour). They're very difficult to keep in captivity and I usually never recommend attempting one without years of anemone keeping experience> The clowns took to it within minutes of it attaching to a rock in the tank but keep knocking any cockle it has in its tentacles out. Should I leave the feeding of it solely to them and it's reliance upon whatever it gets floating in the tank or persevere with trying to hand feed the cockles? <Definitely not - keep the fish away from the anemone while it eats, and feed it well while it's acclimating> I also have a problem with feeding my white blue-tipped Malu any cockle etc, before it gets chance it's whipped away by my coral beauty angel fish-any suggestions? <Scare the fish away with a net or your hand while they are ingesting their food. Please read our archives regarding Ritteri (magnifica) anemones, and see the sticky posted under the anemone & clownfish forum at ReefCentral for more info> Many thanks in advance <You're welcome, good luck!> Mandy <M. Maddox>

Feeding Anemones I've enjoyed reading through your FAQs and have learned a lot. But I have a very basic question: How do you actually FEED an anemone? When you say they like "meaty, chunky" food, what actually do you recommend? <Generally, the "meaty, chunky food(s)" that we are referring to are items such as chopped shrimp, clam, squid, Mysis, krill, etc.> And doesn't it float? How do you "sink" it down for the anemone to grab? <Some of it will certainly float, but if you put some of the food items in a small container of tank water, then draw the water into a baster, you simply squirt the food into the anemone's waiting tentacles, and it will "grab" the food with its adhesive capability.> The guy at the store where I got it didn't even mention that I need to feed it. I was under the impression that it drew it's nutrients from the water. <Well, some anemones do. Others will require supplemental feeding. It's important to know what you're working with when keeping these animals.> It seems to be thriving at the moment, but I've only had it for a week and I'd hate to think I'm starving it. Please enlighten me. Great site! <I hope that this information was of use to you. There is plenty of good information on these amazing creatures right here on the WWM site. Read up and enjoy! Regards, Scott F.>
Feeding Anemones (Pt.2)
Thanks for the quick response, Scott. <You're quite welcome!> Yes, I've been reading as much as I can on your site. There is a wealth of information, I just couldn't find anything that actually told me HOW to feed the little guy. It's probably there, but I couldn't find it. Thanks for the tip. It makes perfect sense. <No problem...Glad to be of service!> By the way, I believe I have a Pink Tip Haitian Anemone. I understand the importance of knowing what I'm working with, but the guy at the shop isn't terribly forthcoming with information (in fact he laughed at me when I asked him about the potential for being "stung" by one of the tentacles). <That's not a good thing at all. A good local shop is a great ally to help you advance in the hobby! Do communicate this to the owner, or seek another LFS to work with.> I usually cross reference what little I can find out from him with sites such as yours. It's like pulling teeth, but if it was easy, I guess it would be fresh water. <Well, freshwater has a lot of amazing challenges, and is every bit as engrossing as marine. It's just that there seems to be a lot more "mythinformation" on marine fish keeping for some reason.> Thanks again for your help. <A pleasure! Regards, Scott F.>

Sebae Anemone won't eat 1/30/05 Morning, I've read here that when fed finely diced ocean meats anemone will sting and gather it into his mouth. My Sebae won't. It will wrap around it but let's it go. <no worries... just experiment with different sized meats (finer or more coarse) and different varieties. Also try some Cyclop-eeze. Cnidarians like your anemone are often very picky about exact prey and particle sizes and textures/types> We also made the ignorant mistake of getting a yellow one (I know now). <this is common my friend. I understand> It has regained some brown. <ooh, very good to read!> This morning it was upside down after staying in one place for a week. It is the only anemone in the tank with some polyps and a coral beauty.70 lbs live rock and sand with lots of copepods. <the latter will help this anemones indeed> Nitrates are coming down as I slowly remove bio balls, other parameters are OK. <all good... and no worries about a small amount of nitrates - this will feed the anemone a little bit> It now is about 12 inches from the light which is 335 watts PC.  Is there anyway to help add beneficial zooxanthellae algae? <persistence here mostly. And feeding at the same time every day is quite helpful for getting the creature into a feeding rhythm> Any other care tips? <adding a bit (a teaspoon) of thawed frozen pack juice (or tuna juice) to the water 15-30 minutes before feeding meats may help stimulate a better feeding response> Thank you , this is a great help esp. to us rookies. <it is our purpose for being here my friend. Kudos to you for your efforts to save this anemone. Best of luck! Anthony>

Shriveling and ballooning Bubble Anemone in a tiny tank Hi there-- <Howdy> I've been in the fishkeeping hobby for about 15 years, and finally jumped into salt a year ago. I now have a 20 gallon tank with about 20 lbs of live rock, a cleaner shrimp, fire shrimp, and camel shrimp, a black/white damsel, and a blue damsel. I also have a bit of pumping xenia, star polyps, and green mushrooms. Recently, I acquired a rose bubble anemone from a pet store. it had just recently divided, and seemed to be healthy (albeit ratty-looking). It's been in the tank for about 2 days now, and just keeps shifting shapes. It moved about 6 inches, and is now at mid-tank height. It goes from a loose, spread-out look to being almost folded on itself, but most recently has been looking terrifyingly desiccated. It shrivels down to almost nothing, and the bubbles deflate into little raisins. I called the pet store and asked for some advice, and I have turned off my powerheads (already done), but also turned off the 10,000k daylight because I was told it might be irritating it. (I also have a 50/50 light on the aquarium--65watt actinic, 65 watt daylight). It's been about 2 hours since I turned off the light and the bubbles have re-inflated and the anemone looks fuller and less death-like, but is still sloppy looking, and I worry if it's being stressed by something. <It is... from just being moved... being in a very small, variable system (due to volume)... though this is about the best of large anemone species for aquarium use, AND it's great to have a cultured individual to start with... Most all the behavior you so well describe is to be expected... but these animals are exceedingly hard to keep in little tanks... as you will learn> I fed the tank with Marine Snow the other day, but I don't know if I should be feeding the anemone shrimp right now or not... <This product... is a sham... it's the "Emperor's new fish food"... of exceedingly little to no nutritive value> any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, because I really don't know what I should do! Thanks for the help--you guys are really great. <I do: read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm  scroll down to the area re Anemones... go over their systems, feeding... Bob Fenner>> My water composition is pretty good too-- 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, 10ppm nitrate, specific gravity of 1.021, pH of about 8.2.  Thanks!  Bryan R

Waratah anemones Hi, I was curious to find out more about Waratah Anemones as they can be found right near where I live. <In the Land Down Under?> I did a web search and your site came up with previously asked questions about them and one of your staff responded by saying they need strong lighting such as halides. Most anemones need this but as far as I know the Waratah is not photosynthetic so they don't need light to live. <I agree> As I am now confused can you set the record straight please? Cheers, Mel xo < http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-27,GGLD:en&q=waratah+anemones Bob Fenner>

Heeeeeeelllllllpppp..... anemone issues Hell-o  Been using the website a long time, never thought I would use it though <?>....  Anyways...  I have had a marine reef tank for 1-1/2 years now in a 75 gallon tank.  Last month I bought a 120 reef ready tank, Excalibur skimmer, power compact light system, 120 canister filter, and a bio wheel filter.<Sounds like a nice set up, though I am not in favor of bio-wheels and canister filters for reefs.> My goal was a tank with a lot of corals and a few reef fish.  I got a yellow tang, 1 cleaner shrimp, a flame angel, a hippo tang, and a lawnmower mower blenny, and a percula clown.  I have 120 pounds of live Fiji rock, and 4 mushroom corals. <So far so good. No overcrowding and no major incompatibilities.> I bought a bubble anemone and placed it where I wanted it.  Well it of course moved where it wanted to.  I knew it would do that before buying it so I am not concerned. <Power compact lighting is probably barely enough light.  If the anemone continues to wander, consider giving it up or increasing your light.> I have had it now for 2-3 weeks and it is tucked between 2 rocks and every time I try to feed it (small silversides) it will not hold onto them.  I watched the guy at the pet store feed his and it closed around the food and within about 25-30 minutes opened back up and the food was almost gone.  I was wondering how long it can go unfed. <This is not uncommon with newly moved specimens.  They will rarely accept food unless they are fully expanded.  It will be fine for several weeks without feeding.> The clown wants nothing to do with it. <Also very common, especially since BTA's are not natural hosts to percs.  Give it time.> Also I got a liquid food for my mushrooms called Marine snow plankton diet they recommended it at the store for filter feeders.  And I feed them once a week. My question is that will the anemone filter feed and will my mushrooms multiply and what should I do about the anemone not eating? <Anemones and mushrooms are not filter feeders and will not eat the marine snow product.  Very few commonly kept reef animals will.  The mushrooms will multiply in time, often to pest proportions.  Give the anemone some more time to acclimate and withhold food until it fully expands. Helpless in Western PA...... Christopher J. Negley <If you are in western PA, please see www.pmas.org  We would love to have you drop by a meeting.  We have lots of really knowledgeable members who are glad to share their experience.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Hungry Anemone? 11/27/04 Hi. My name is Peter. <Hi Peter, AdamC here.> I have 30 gallon reef 4 fish, 5shrimps, 1 anemone, polyps, 1 Goniopora, mushrooms, 2 feather dusters. Last night I lost power for do not know how long (working nights). When I got back home I found my flame angel in side my anemone almost entirely eaten up. <This is one of the dangers of housing anemones, although it is surprising that a healthy Flame Angel could be captured.  This has nothing to do with hunger, simply weather the anemones sting was powerful enough to subdue the fish.  This risk is compounded by the small size of your tank since it increases the risk of interaction.> My temperature was always at 82 F it went down to 76 F. Did my flame angel LOSE his ability to navigate because of stress, and ended up in my long tentacle anemone? <Not likely.  The change in temperature would not have caused any meaningful stress.  Lack of oxygen is possible since your pumps all stopped.> My flame angel was very active every day. This is shock to me. System is up and running for one year. I bought my flame angel 5 months ago, no problems of any kind. Everything is doing ok this morning after the accident. UPDATE-fish is no longer visible. Anemone got it all, about 4 inches in length. Is my anemone going to be ok after that big breakfast? Please help! <Your anemone will be fine.  I would suggest a somewhat lighter meal every week or so.> By the way I'm glad WetWebMedia is free because I use it a lot. Thank you for everything especially info I got of your web page.  Peter  Kobeszko  <Glad you have benefited from the site!  AdamC>

Anemone placement and feeding 11/23/04 I just recently bought a Anemone a day ago, and it looks healthy, its moves, and attaches itself to the bottom, but I've been trying to feed it with dried-shrimp, and it seems to captures it with its tentacles, but for some reason, after the shrimp was captured, the Anemone lets it go. Why is that? <Dried shrimp is not a very natural food source.  Fresh or thawed frozen meaty foods are better choices.> And another question is, I have my Anemone on the bottom of the tank, is it recommended to place it as high as possible to absorb more light? <Several anemones are given the common name "Flower anemone" some live among rocks, some among sand.  You should provide the correct habitat with intense enough light for the animal no matter where it decides to settle in.  Please do research the correct ID for this animal and it's care, and in the future it is best to do this before purchase!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Feeding an anemone Hi, << Hi. >> I have been using your website a lot to educate myself about marine organisms. Thanks for the great info. I bought an LTA a week ago (Saturday). It looked like a great specimen (about 3 inches on the base). Nice and open at the LFS. Pale pink (pale brown?) tan in color. I brought it home and acclimatized it. Then added it to my tank. For a while it moved over some rocks and finally came back onto the floor and settled in a spot. It seemed to doing fine overnight and my clarkii took over it and was in and out of him all day. I tried feeding it brine shrimp, plankton and krill. He didn't respond to any of these. Then I tried some shrimp and he seemed to hold on to it but wasn't directing it to its mouth. << Don't worry.  It can go a very long time without being fed, and may still be adjusting. >> On the second day Monday) he was still droopy (still acclimatizing?). I did a small water change and also changed the carbon filter. In addition I also cleaned the glass top to make sure that light was not lost because of a dirty glass top. On day 3 (Tuesday), I was totally amazed when I came home this afternoon for lunch. My anemone was opened up like never before. Also the base of his foot was buried in the substrate. So was more upright  and way more open. That was the only day he looked really great. Since then its pretty normal existence and at times he's not as big. << My anemones do the same thing. >> On Day 4(Wednesday) I noticed something dark out of the mouth of the LTA. Was not sure if it was poop or zoo (have attached picture). I hope it was the former. Day 8(Saturday morning) he seemed a little better open for a while. Day 8(Saturday evening) he seems to be just medium sized. The main problem seems to be that he does not want to feed. My clarkii takes him food and when he does the LTA closes up immediately with the food inside (good reflex?). But when it open again the food is still there. I have not once seen him eat (food go down his mouth). Its tentacles don't move the food to the mouth. I have tried feeding him shrimp regular and brine), plankton, silversides, formula one etc but with no success. What can I do to help it? Can it survive a lot more like this? << It sounds fine.  I would feed it krill about once a week.  If it takes it great.... if not fine. >> My tank : 90G, 8 months old, 0 NH3, 0 nitrites, 5-10 ppm nitrates, 8.4 pH, 450 ppm Ca, do not know exact value of alkalinity but I had it tested at the LFS and they said it was fine. 90 lbs LR. 250 W MH(10000K) + 260 W PC (2 white and 2 actinic) << Do you only have one 250 watt bulb?  If so, I would say that could be a problem.  I would have probably two 400 watt halides on a 90 gal. >> ~ 5.5 W/G. Good water flow....is almost 700-800 gph. I have a plate coral, something like a flowerpot and two huge Xenia bushes. I purposely did not add too many corals since I wanted to get an anemone sometime down the road. I do weekly 5% water changes. SG is about 1.024. I also supplement my tank with the following on a day by day basis Sunday evening - Capful of Phytoplex Monday evening - Capful of Zooplex Tuesday evening - C-Balance Wednesday evening - Reef Plus + Selcon (in food) Thursday evening - capful of Phytoplex Friday evening - capful of Zooplex + C-Balance Saturday evening - capful of Iodine + Selcon (in food) I am also attaching pictures - Day3 - when he opened good Day4 - when he pooped(?) Day8 morning - better open Day 8 evening - mediocre. Tank shot. What do you think about the LTA's overall health? And what do I do to make him eat? << Just don't worry.  It isn't that big of a deal.  Just keep him, and give him time. Do check and re-evaluate your lighting. >> Thanks in advance, Jacob. <<  Blundell  >>

Feeding A Rose Anemone Although there's a lot of info on what to feed a Rose Anemone (mysis, chopped up shrimp, clams, etc), I can't find anything to tell me exactly HOW to feed the anemones.  I have two along with various corals, a Purple Tang, 2 Cleaner Shrimps, 2 Perculas, and 1 Yellow-Tailed damsel.  All appear to be living in perfect harmony, but I'm concerned that one of my rose anemones isn't thriving like it should.  It's firmly attached, but the tentacles aren't extended very far and look downright droopy.  I put PhytoPlan in the tank every day, but I'd like to try more solid food targeted to the anemone.  Do I attach the shrimp pieces to a feeding stick and push it to the anemone? <You could use that technique...Be careful not to damage the animal, of course> Do I just float the food along with the other food I feed my fish (primarily Cyclop-Eeze, Spirulina, and Formula 2)? <I'd target feed by squirting some food right into the anemone's tentacles...It's that easy!> I'm confused about the "how to" and concerned for my droopy anemone. Thanks for any info you could provide. By the way, my water parameters test out perfect for my 46-gallon bowfront.  I have live rock, live sand, a heater which keeps the temp around 80, and a Red Sea Deluxe Skimmer.   <Do maintain these excellent conditions, and also consider lighting. Although these are among the more adaptable anemones for captivity, they still require intense light and high water quality. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Responsible Anemone/Scallop Keeping 8/12/04 Hi there! It's been awhile since I've had a question come up, so here I am. ;] <we've been waiting with bells on> I recently got a deep blue carpet anemone. I'm in love. ;] <this is an illegal relationship in most civilized countries> It is very sticky, the foot is in perfect condition, and it ate a chunk of food on the first day!  I have it in a tank with lots of light and very good flow. <all good> My main question is how can you tell the difference between S. haddoni and S. gigantea?   <listen for the accent in their speech betraying the locale of their origin/speciation.> Do S. haddoni come in blue as well?   <yep... RIT brand dyed fresh from some charming Indo exporters> I have two rock/flower anemones that are near the carpet (3 inches away) but not touching.  Will this be a problem?   <I expect the carpet will stress or kill these in time> Everybody seems happy at the moment. Do pink skunk clowns take to carpet anemones? <the answer to this question, as with the details of speciation between anemones (like the tentacle-free distinction around the mouth of S. haddoni) and so much more is waiting for you in our archives. We work hard to build this database... please do make the effort to use it and help yourself. There's a clownfish/anemone compatibility chart ta boot: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm be sure to follow the many other links atop these pages> I feed all of my anemones (3 flowers, RBTA, green BTA) a mixture of live plankton and Prime Reef/Frozen Brine shrimp by Formula foods.  They all seem very happy and are growing.   Is this an acceptable diet for the carpet anemone as well? <seem weak to me... the phyto is of dubious value for the carnivorous anemones (they feed on zooplankton principally)... and brine shrimp is a truly hollow food (barely useful even if gut loaded). Please do add better variety here with 4-6 other meats of marine origin. Shredded cocktail shrimp, Mysid shrimp, Pacifica plankton... minced krill... and fish eggs (grouper roe from the LFS or flying fish eggs from an Asian groceria... excellent food for such filter feeders)> Thanks for everything!  Morgan Mok ps: Just as an update for the naysayers and the "blind squirrel people", my red flame scallop is over 1 1/2 years old in my system. ;p <Morgan... you do understand that we are here to serve the greater good in the hobby? I hope you are too. Encouraging the majority of aquarists to keep inappropriate animals like flame scallops just because less than 1% survive over one year is... well... irresponsible. Unless you can clearly explain and document how yours lived to 18 months (still not much of an accomplishment when many simply take longer to slowly starve via a small daily deficit in nutrition as from brine shrimp feedings over time... and all have a natural lifespan on a scale of magnitude much longer!), let me ask... rather, beg (!) that you do not casually promote the keeping of flame scallops or the like as if its a lottery, and telling people the equiv. of "you might win too!". The truth is that most lose... and these are living creatures lives lost... not lottery tickets. Your fave naysayer, perhaps... Anthony :) >

Responsible Anemone/Scallop Keeping II 8/13/04 Hi Anthony, First, I tried to find info about carpet anemone differences in the FAQs/articles and couldn't find anything, therefore I sent a question.   <no worries... but it was all sitting on that first page. The archives are huge though, understood> I asked about the skunk clown cause I saw a couple different compatibility charts and wanted to be sure. <OK> Don't worry, I warn anyone interested in keeping flame scallops, Tubastrea, and tube anemones about the high maintenance quality of these corals.  I don't ever encourage the casual reefer to keep these or other corals.   <ahhh... very good to hear> I just had to give you a raspberry and let you know how my scallop was doing.  You gave me such a hard time originally and called me a "blind squirrel". ;]   <perhaps still mate ;) Many filter feeders can hang on for over a year or even longer still starving slowly. Without evidence of growth or reproduction... victory on such species living decades is not assured yet <G>> I can't say exactly why I have had success with it.  I know people that grow their own rotifers and can't keep flame scallops.   <indeed... many filter feeders need very specific sized zoo- or phyto plankters> I use the previously mentioned (live phyto (the one I use has 7 diff types, that's what it says) <truly nifty... good to hear> prime reef, frozen brine shrimp by the same people, blood worms, and Spirulina chunk) marine soup to feed my corals, anemones, etc.  My DSB is 5-6 inches and 9+ years old.  Good lighting, flow, and a euro-reef skimmer.  Is this a recipe for success? <Dunno... time will tell. But sounds very nice to me> I don't know, but my corals all grow well, my plate coral is huge (7 inches) and eats like a pig (it has turned from green to almost a solid purple), my flower anemone is 6-7inches wide when open, and my flame scallop has survived in my system for over a year and half.   I'll probably switch to Hikari foods and get a much larger tank in time, but everything else will stay the same.  My question is, how many years will I have to have my flame scallop before I am "successful"? hehe I collected it myself btw.   <a subjective valuation... but anything over 3 would be outstanding by hobby standards. Honestly, even over 2 is quite good IMO. Aside from he much longer natural lifespan of these invertebrates. You are on your way> I totally understand your need to chide people for getting corals with a high mortality rate.  So many people kill animals because their LFS says they're easy to keep, etc.  I don't own an elegance, can't keep pink tipped Heliofungia (sniff), no dendro or chili coral,  etc. <you can keep the latter easily if you'd care to try it. Anyone diligent enough to feed rotifers or baby brine shrimp can. They are quite hardy if fed regularly> However I am glad I tried to keep a flame scallop and I have a patch of bright orange colonial tunicates that are doing great (turtle grass tunicates).  Life is about experimentation and I agree that these corals are lives not just lottery tickets, but reef keeping is a continually developing hobby that requires some careful experimentation to figure out animals' limits and abilities within our systems. <yes... agreed. Careful experimentation> I guess I have a blue haddoni??  The pics aren't the best and the anemone closed some when I moved the rock to take the pics.  It is usually open and rufflly.  Other pic is anemones and orange colonial tunicates (take my word for it). ha! One last question, do you run aquadesignz? Just curious.   <nope... not sure what that is?> Feel free to edit this e-mail if you're going to post it. ;] <we edit nothing my friend beyond personal info and inappropriate language. Free speech!> Very nice talking with you.  Have a nice weekend! Morgan <to you in kind... best regards :) Anthony>

Cleaner shrimp pestering anemone 8/1/04 The cleaner shrimp that I have is always in and around my anemone. My long tip anemone is doing very well and is quite large compared to when I first got him. I got him at a very good dealer. but whenever I feed the anemone or even when I haven't, the shrimp either takes the anemone's food or is always digging around in the anemone. I don't know if the shrimp is bothering him- or just cleaning whatever is around the anemone's mouth. <The shrimp is looking for food.  It has been very well trained that a big chunk of food arrives in that spot occasionally.  If the anemone doesn't seem bothered, I wouldn't worry, but some shrimps can turn particularly greedy and damage anemones or corals in their efforts to steal food.  Over all, I would suspect that the shrimp is in more danger than the anemone... my carpet anemone ate both of my cleaners!  It may be best to give up one or the other.> I was also going to ask if bristle worms are a problem in a tank. I get them out when I can and I haven't seen as many as I used to, but they wont harm the anemone or the few mushrooms I have in the tank will they? <Most bristle worms are harmless scavengers.  Only the true Caribbean fire worm and a couple of rare others are harmful to other animals (unless you get a hand full of bristles that is!).  I would leave them in the tank to do their job and consider them innocent until proven guilty.  Best Regards, Adam>

Feeding Carpet Anemone 7/26/04 I recently purchased a Stichodactyla haddoni(3 weeks) I read  several articles and it was recommended to feed it fish. I at first had tried shrimp and then got some frozen silversides. <this is inaccurate and way too large IMO. Although this sightless animal will sting anything meaty/proteinaceous... they cannot consume all. They often regurgitate large food chunks at night and starve to death to the surprise of some keepers. All meaty foods need to be very fine for such anemones... like the tiny plankton they would receive in the wild. Mysid shrimp and Pacifica plankton work well for this> He grabs both and closes up around the pieces but then lets go and does not ingest them. <this is common... and not good for the anemone> I saw a snail or a hermit trapped the other night, could he have eaten that? <yes> Can they digest a small shell? <nope... regurgitate> Might he just not be hungry? <on the contrary... it needs fed weekly or more often> Do you have any other feeding suggestions? He otherwise appears OK. He has dug a nice hole on the edge of the LR and inflates to about 6". Retracts fine and is very "sticky". Tank is 75g, sg 1.026, 79 F, Alk 3.5, Ph 8.2,  2 x 175 MH and 2 x 96 CF. Thanks. <all good. Anthony>

-BTABM (BTA Bowel Movement)- Hi. Have looked at various articles/FAQs/prior posts on BTAs but not found any similar questions. <Much thanks for looking to see if it's been answered BEFORE asking!> Please help if you can. I started my tank about 3 months ago. I have about 85lbs of Fiji, Tonga branch, and Caribbean live rock and 60lbs of live sand. After tank cycled and several water measurements (temp 80-82F, pH 8.2, spg 1.024, nitrite 0, nitrate <5) I added a "cleaning crew" of various snails, some blue and scarlet hermits, and 3 emerald crabs. Then added over time 2 false percs, 2 pajama cardinals, 1 royal Gramma, 1 scarlet cleaner shrimp, and 2 fan worms. Then last week I added a Bubble Tip Anemone. The BTA moved around the rocks and found a crevice it seemed to like for its foot and opened and closed on a routine type basis. One of the clowns, the smaller of the two, started 2 nights ago to - after the lights went out - begin to "aggressively" swim in and out of the BTA. In the morning, when the lights came on in the tank, it would stop. Is this normal behavior? Is he trying to form a "relationship?" <You got it, it takes some time for the new duo to get used to each other.> My more serious concern is that yesterday I fed the BTA a piece of krill -- he took the piece and I watched as he ate it. All seemed to go well and after the tank lights went out the clown again did his thing with the BTA. This morning all was well, BTA was open and I noticed a brown object in the BTA -- the clowns ate it and there were then some brown "strings" that looked like webs around/in the BTA. Now he is completely closed -- more closed than at any time I have had him in the tank. Is there a problem I need to be concerned about and if yes, what should I do? <It's likely that it just ejected the waste from the krill, forcefully expelling most of its internal water in the process. This is a reason I don't recommend krill for anemones, since there is significant waste associated with it. If it had not ate, I would be concerned that it may be ejecting zooxanthellae but I think this is a clear cut case of a very regular anemone (no fiber needed here!).> Sorry for such a long note/question, but really could use some help. Thank you -- Sid <Enjoy! -Kevin>
- BTA ?'s follow-up - Thank you very much for the response and answers -- helps a lot. The BTA has moved and does appear to eat, but does not open the way it did the first week. They seem to still be forming their relationship. <I wouldn't expect it to look the same, it's getting adjusted to the new lighting and clown.> I understand he does not need fiber, <Haha, so does that mean you got the joke?> but could you please tell me what you would recommend I feed him/her since the krill is not correct. <Didn't say there was anything wrong w/ feeding krill, it's just that the anemone can't digest all of it and must expel waste. I feed my rose BTA an entire cube of completely defrosted prime reef occasionally, although any shell-less meaty seafood will do. Enjoy! -Kevin> Thanks again, Sid

BTA behavior 4/30/04 Evening Bob or Anthony, <Anthony in your service> I recently purchased a small BTA from my LFS, its still small maybe 2" in diam. It looks healthy, pinkish tan in color and moved around the aquarium first two days till it found a spot it liked. I read about target feeding them if they don't seem to be getting enough in the tank so I used a small bulb syringe and gave it a few pieces of mysis shrimp, it grabbed them greedily and I thought it was pretty neat hehe. so I figured every three days I would offer it some sort of food. I gave it some mysis again and this time a number of tentacle turned a bright almost fluorescent green when it was feeding. <neat> I did some searching and could not find anything mentioned about this? <agreed> Is this common? should I be concerned about it? <no concern at all> what are your thoughts on target feeding BTA's? <necessary with finely minced foods on a weekly basis for best long term success (by you or by a hosted clownfish)> Thanks as always, Drew <always welcome, my friend. Anthony>

New to Everything - Feeding Anemones  >Hello,  >>Hello.  >I am new to dealing with Marine life. I've been reading a bit about them but there are just some answers I cant find or don't understand. One question I have is....what can I feed an anemone?  >>This depends in part on what kind of anemone you intend to feed. There are many that folks keep that require light so that their symbiotic zooxanthellae that in turn feed *them*. We always advise those new to the hobby to leave anemones for the last, and only for well-established systems, as well.  >Can I buy frozen shrimp from the store, peel it and feed it to my anemone?  >>Only if it's raw, and of human consumption grade.  >Or is that bad?  >>Not in and of itself.  >Thank you for your time.  >>You're welcome. Marina
Short in so many ways at 5'2" - Feeding a Rose II
>After reading some info on your site I found that even 6 mo.s was too soon to introduce anemones into new tank.  >>Yes, indeed. Even for those who are old hands at this, as they cannot speed up certain processes. >Mine is just 2 months old and even though the owner at the pet store said rose tip bubble anemones were of the heartiest and should do fine mine unfortunately died!!  >>Not surprising on both counts. >I do research first, but only your site (which I found after purchase) went into details.  >>Too bad, but there are also many bulletin boards on which much information can be found. Try a Google on "reef bulletin board", you'll probably come up with at least two or three. >I also learned you do not mix corals with them correct?  >>Correct, as our systems are vastly smaller than the oceans, and many of the anemones we keep are not found naturally close to corals. >I do have corals, so I have decided to stay away from anemones, but why is this? >>Most specifically because anemones can move themselves around. Some anemones can sting corals, and sometimes it's the other way around, but in each case someone gets hurt. >Thanks so much, and who ever was short with me should consider learning patience. I am sure there are things they do not know 100% about themselves. >>That would be me, my name is Marina, Attiya. I was brought up to learn everything I could about each and every animal I wished to take under my care *before* I purchased it. This always meant (and still does), days, weeks, or MONTHS of reading and learning before I undertake the steps. Creatures we take under our care, as I was raised, are like our children, and should not be entered into lightly. My admonishment was gentle, but firm, and meant not only for you, but for *everyone* who reads on our site. If you didn't know what to feed the animal - a most basic of needs - in my opinion you should not have purchased it. Further admonishments are deserved by the shop owner who talked you into buying this creature. He or she has done you AND the hobby a disservice by leaving out very important details. Yes, the bubble tip anemone is one of the heartiest to keep, but that doesn't make it easy to keep. In other words, OF the anemones we LIKE to keep (because there are anemones that are like weeds we can't get rid of), the BTA is among the easiest. However, there is SO much more information that person should have given you. I am hopeful that your corals are doing well, as well as all other creatures you have, and I hope that you find as much information as you need, either on our site or out on the world wide web. I want to leave you with our mantra, "Your success is OUR success." Marina 

Anemone Hitchhiker I just bought a hermit crab and noticed that he has a small anemone on his shell. Is there any special care like feeding or lighting I need to worry about for his little hitchhiker?  Also is there any special feeding instructions for the crab?  The tank is pretty healthy, and he's the only crab in my 75 gal but I still worry that he wont get enough food. Should I feed him? If so what, and how often?<First of all it would be a good idea to id this guy and then you should be able to find lots of info from there.  Start out with our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm. Cody>

Re: Unequal split 1/26/04 Final note for Anthony - I've named the algae-laden BTA "Calfo South", and the bleached one "Calfo North." Yes, I need to get out more. <heehee... perhaps both of us I suspect <G>> Thanks again, I've dropped the brine and introduced squid, which these guys really seem to enjoy. SLC <yes... a good food item and well received by fishes and invertebrates alike. Anthony>

Zoecon and  BTA 12/29/03 After a bad experience with a mail order BTA and some help from you guys, I now have (at least for the last 2 months) what appears to be a healthy specimen which I've been feeding 4-5 times a week with mysis shrimp and Cyclop-eeze.  Seems to love the stuff.   <excellent foodstuffs, both> I recently bought some Zoecon to soak the mysis in but have found on the 2 occasions that I have used it that when the anemone comes in contact with this stuff the oral disc and upper surface of the anemone (not the column) swells up while the tentacles shrivel.  After about 5-10min  it recovers and is receptive to food (not soaked in Zoecon).  Looks really scary and I'm not sure I'll try it again.  Is this a normal reaction? I'm thinking it is not. Did I just get a bad batch of Zoecon?  Thanks!-matt <although I think it is very unlikely that you got a bad batch of Zoecon in the "spoiled" sense, I am personally outspoken against most bottled supplements as being random and unqualified mixtures of unclear benefit (or harm). Vitamins and trace elements when used sparingly still can be helpful. But bottled food slurries are my real peeve. Instead of the supplement, do consider simply a better varied diet offered with other whole prey akin to zooplankton like Pacifica plankton, minced krill or cocktail shrimp, fish roe, etc. Bets of luck, Anthony>

What the Heck do I do With These Things?  Anemone ID & Feeding >I have recently inherited a 30 gallon saltwater tank.   >>I hope you wanted it. >I am new to saltwater, and I am not sure how to feed the anemones on the 8 pounds of live rock that was given to me.   >>That would depend in part on what kind of anemone we're talking about.  However, most will usually do alright with two to three times weekly feedings of small bits of raw shrimp, krill, squid, octopus, or fish.  Some folks also feed their anemones what they're feeding their fish (flake food isn't high on that list, however, usually the frozen formulas). >The other thing is that besides the anemones their are also these worms that are half orange and half black and about 3-4mm in length. Are these ok in the tank.  Thanks >>Likely they're fine.  Marina

Question on Anemones - 11/20/03 Hi I just read through your website on anemones but I'm still unsure of how to care for mine... I have two anemones: they have long tentacles (about 3 inches) and a purple spot on each tentacle. the base is orange. <OK> when I bought them, the store owner told me to feed them plankton which they sold in a bottle. is this an okay way to feed? <perhaps... but in small amounts several times weekly. Thawed frozen meaty foods are good or better here... like mysids or Pacifica plankton> what else do I need to know? I have a 30 gallon tank with good lighting... <without knowing the details of your hardware here, its tough for us to comment> with one small percula clown, one medium tomato clown, two damsels, one yellow tang and one blue tang. <a 30 gallon is ultimately too small for either tang. Especially the blue regal... they are too active and aggressive... you will see in time. Do remove to a larger aquarium> the clowns pay absolutely no attention to the anemones. is this normal? <rather common for some species/individuals. Look in the main anemone page in our archives... it lists which anemones are compatible with what Clownfishes> hopefully you can help me out... thanks for your time! <much to read/learn in our archives of articles and FAQs. Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding BTA 9/22/03 Reviewing your website, I haven't yet run across the answer to the following:  In feeding a BTA, say with a turkey baster and mysis shrimp, where does one squirt this food?  Do you have to aim for the "mouth" or is anywhere towards the tentacles fine?  (Probably a dumb question.) <not a dumb question at all, mate... a very important distinction. You need to know that feeding with a baster is a bit tricky, and we must be careful not to blast or squirt the animal for fear of inducing a fright response (ceasing feeding). The mouth is not to be fed, but rather the tentacles. Stimulate receptiveness by putting a very small amount of food or thawed pack juice (literally just a quarter or half teaspoon) into the aquarium about 15-30 minutes prior to feeding. Also, be sure to thaw frozen food in the fridge or cold water to retain nutritive quality... but strain and discard this liquid just prior to feeding (scrubbing excess nutrients from pack juice to avoid feeding a nuisance algae bloom in the aquarium). Once thawed, ameliorate the mysids/meats in a slurry of aquarium water and gently squirt this in a stream towards the anemones tentacles> Oh, I just introduced my BTA about a day or two ago.  He has crawled under a rock where this is little rock and has yet to come back out.  He balled up big time but has expanded back out a fair amount.  Is this most likely the BTA adjusting to the new environment/light, and so on?   <not uncommon at all... adjustment to the tank/light likely. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone Appetites? Hi there Mr. Fenner, <Actually, Scott F. here tonight> You might not remember me since I know you receive a lot of mails... Anyway, I received your answer and I want to thank you for your very good advice, just as a note, it was about two perculas who did not want their anemone. This problem changed, I decided to do what you suggested and enjoyed them both separately. <Glad to hear everything worked out! That Fenner guy sure knows his fish, huh/> To my surprise, my big maroon clown moved in with this young couple of percs in to a rather small anemone and they spent at least a month and a half this way, one of the perculas decided to move out and the maroon and small perc began making all sorts of rituals, like shivers and dances and nipping gently etc. The end of this story is the perculas now live together again as a mated pair and the maroon died 2 and a half months later of a stiff disease???? Who knows... My question today is about my anemones. They receive good lighting, indirect sun light to be precise and have good water, but they won't eat ( shrimp, fish, mussel nor clam) and they seem to shrink away little by little, they retain their dark color from good lighting, but I want to know if food is that necessary or what I could do to see them grow. I do not have a protein skimmer, so I do water change every week, only 6 gallons a week, I have two medium percs, medium butterfly, large yellow tang, pygmy angel, medium mandarin and large cleaner shrimp. My tank is about 30 gallons. <Well- that's a lot of life in a 30 gallon tank...Do consider larger quarters for all in the very near future??> I believe my problem will be water quality <Yep> and problem solver: protein skimmer, but in case this will be only secondary, I hope you can help me out. My anemones are short tentacle with tan base, small oral disc and like smooth surfaces in crevices. Well, I believe you must have a lot of work, so I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you so much again for your advice. Saludos desde Ensenada! Alin <Well, Alin, water quality, as you suggested, is very important to anemones. Other considerations are lighting (which you seem to have a handle on) and water flow, which should be brisk. I'd keep experimenting with feeding the animals, but it may be a good idea to do some internet research as to what species you are dealing with. This may give you a better idea as to what to feed the animals, if they need feeding at all. And again, do consider larger quarters for your animals in the very near future. Good luck, and thanks for writing! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding Whole Fish to a Carpet Anemone 9/2/03 Hi, I just read again the following quote from "carpet anemone FAQ": "<another possibility here is that it was fed food that was too large. Many aquarists make this mistake with whole pieces of shrimp, krill or silversides (fish). Although the animal stings it and draws it in... that doesn't mean that it is appropriate, safe or even smart. Tears occur attempting to digest a whole chunk of food that would never make its way through a water column of fishes on a wild reef naturally. The rule is finely minced foods: 1/4 or smaller ideally>" Have you seen the pictures from the following web page?  Pretty amazing pieces of food being captured there, how does this fit in the bigger picture? http://www.wildsingapore.com/chekjawa/text/g510-2.htm < http://www.wildsingapore.com/chekjawa/text/g510-2.htm> Cheers, and thanks in advance, Alan <the site is not aquaristic, and look rather casual at that. To some extent it is a matter of good, better, best. Please heed practical experience in husbandry (numerous aquarists seeing large meals regurgitated after hours... damage to animal in some cases reported) and offer more natural sized prey. I assure you that far many more plankton get stuck to anemones tentacles than weak or dying fishes. Anemones are blind and sting any meaty food they touch... regardless of its natural/appropriate size or not. Anthony>

Feeding Whole Fish to a Carpet Anemone 9/3/03 The silversides I've bought (Hikari, I think) are quite large - 2 to 2.5 inches. How small should I cut these up, to feed to a 12" S. haddoni? Or should I be using them at all? Again, thanks. <the quality of the food is very fine.... just chop/mince into small pieces as described in he archives you referred to in the last e-mail: 1/4" bits are very safe and will never give you cause for concern. Still not an ideal food as a staple. Natural foods are zooplankton substitutes like Mysid, minced krill and Pacifica plankton. Anthony>

A Good Friend To His Anemone! Hi, You were correct in your comments about real sunlight. I thought the  anemone was responding positively to attention from the clownfish, but actually it is the sunlight that makes it happy. I know this because the clownfish are now in this anemone full time, but it is when the sun shines on the anemone that it expands and looks it's best. <Yep- light is extremely important in anemone husbandry! That Bob Fenner is one smart guy, huh?> On days when there is no sun, it does not look as good.  My question is this, I know that most home aquariums are not the ideal environment for a Heteractis anemone, so I am doing the best I can for my one including feeding supplements, I just want to check if I am doing the right thing. Every few feedings I soak its food in Reef Plus to give it some extra nutrients. Is this a good idea? <Not a bad idea to enrich foods for most captive animals> Also, are there any other supplements that could benefit it? <Just the "supplementation" that you will get by engaging in regular water changes...> Also, as it responds to sunlight, I am assuming that my normal lighting may not be enough. If this is the case, are there any supplements that could help make up for this? <Just good feeding and clean water conditions> Having asked  all this, I should just say that the anemone is currently looking good and has a good rich color, and has actually improved since I bought it, but I just want to do the best I can.  Cheers <Sounds like you already are! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Can't His Anemone Eat In Peace? Dear WWM Crew: I have two Perc. clowns and a Sebae anemone which I purchased at the same time. I have a well established 55 gal. reef aquarium with good water conditions. After I put the clowns and the Sebae in the tank, the clowns took to it immediately. For about two weeks the Sebae refused to eat but otherwise looked fine (dark brown purplish color). I asked the clerk at the pet store where I purchased the Sebae and he told me not to worry about it that algae grows inside the Sebae and it is getting its nourishment in that way.  Well today I thought I would try one more time, feeding it a piece of frozen peeled shrimp after I had warmed it up. Well to my surprise the Sebae started to consume the shrimp. A bigger surprise was that the larger of the two clowns impatiently pulled the shrimp out of the sebae's mouth and spit it out. I tried repeating this several times, until I finally had to hold a aquarium cleaner handle to keep the clown away until the Sebae was able to finish the shrimp (it took about 45 min.). I do not want to keep doing this every time I have to feed the Sebae, also I thought that the clowns were supposed to feed the Sebae not remove food from it. In the past I have seen the larger clown try to feed the Sebae dry food, buy unsuccessfully because he spit it against the current. Any ideas on how I can feed the Sebae with having baby-sit it for over 1/2 hour? My arm was getting mighty tired. Thank you in advance, Jeff Lemley <Well, Jeff, there is no 100% successful method, as every situation is different. Probably the best thought that I have is to feed the clowns at the same time that you are feeding the anemone. This way, you increase the chances that they will be "preoccupied"! Good luck! Regards, ScottF>

Long Tentacle Anemone I recently purchased a long tentacle Malu that is huge!!!  At least 12 in. in diameter. <yes a very big specimen> My question is this, we were told to feed him silversides.  Is there anything else we can give him?  i.e.. gold fish, minnows? <do not feed your anemone or better yet any livestock feeder fish>  He's been picking shrimp out of the water when I feed the others, I'm just worried he's so large, he needs more than that. <Do read more about your specimen on this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anempt2.htm.  just make sure you don't overfeed your livestock.> Thanks!

Anemone Husbandry... Hey Guys, <Scott F. your guy today..> I just bought a new carpet anemone (don't really know what kind, it has bright green, stubby tips) <Might be Stichodactyla mertensii...can be a tough one to keep, since it requires a lot of light and food... Also, you could be looking at S. haddoni, which has shorter, blunt tentacles. It gets quite large, but is otherwise about average in care requirements as carpet anemones go...Meaning- it is touchy...> and went to get new lights for it.  I bought Aqualight 20" quad strip with 96 watts (do you think that is enough) and I was wondering if I should feed him live food or just let him photosynthesize? <Well, in regards to the light- I think that you might need to move the animal high up on your rockwork to get adequate light. You may want to keep a close eye on the animal's behavior to see if the lighting is enough (on the surface, it sounds like it's not...You'll have to feed often, almost daily, in order to keep the animal in good shape)...And, again- light...lots of light- and current!> If I should feed him, what should I feed him? <Various forms of plankton tend to be natural foods.> Also, one more question, do you think black percula clowns will be more prone to live in the carpet than orange perculas. <Hard to say...Many perculas are tank raised, and have never seen an anemone...It is often disappointing for hobbyists to find that their clowns don't go into the anemone...Here's to hoping!> Thanks a lot guys. <My pleasure...really learn all that you can about the species that you have an it's husbandry...Anemones are simply not easy animals to keep, and require a high level of care...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

There's A New Anemone In Town... I just have one quick question concerning my bubble tip anemone that I purchased yesterday. I have done a lot of reading about these anemones before I bought this one. It seems to be doing well, it has moved from one side of the rock to the other. It has full color, it is brown with a slight hint of green on the tips. The foot is a reddish color so I assume that it has not lost any of its zooxanthellae. Well I read that they are ferocious eaters. I tried feeding mine a little piece of shrimp, at first it look as if the tentacles stuck to it but after a sec it let go and would not take it in. I figured I would give it some time since it was just introduced in the system. Should it have taken the piece of shrimp or is it just not hungry? <Hard to say, actually...A feeding response doesn't always happen when you dangle food in front of it...most of the time, but not always. I'd try smaller foods in the future, and give it a little more time to get established in your tank> My pair of Tomato Clowns sure do love it, but really did not like my hand when I was putting it in there. The one kept on biting me and in a few spots actually drew a little blood, things are aggressive!!! They were actually swimming in the anemone while it was in my hand. I set the anemone in a spot were there is a good crevice in the rock but it has moved to the other side but has its foot down in a hole. <Yep! The clowns in the anemone are basically defending their new home! They can be quite aggressive at this, too!> It seems to not be as sticky as it should be, I made a mixture of Formula 1, Vita Chem, Zooplankton, and some other Marine flake and squirted the mixture into the anemone and it stuck but then kind of got brushed off by the clowns. I tried to keep them out but it still would not bring the food to its mouth. Is this something to be worried about or just give it a little time and it will begin to eat? I really appreciate the help guys and gals (Marina). Thanks, Chris <Yep- I'd give it a little more time to settle in...Anemones are remarkably adaptable animals, but, like any other creature added to our tanks, they do need to acclimate and adjust to their new environment. This process is just as stressful to them as it is to fishes, so I'd let the anemone establish itself a little longer before attempting feeding again...Should be fine, if the anemone was properly acclimated...Hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Hungry Anemone - 2/24/03 Hello, I bought a green carpet anemone a few weeks ago.  I also bought a clown fish.  The guy at the fish store said I didn't need to worry about feeding the anemone, because the clown fish would take care of it.   <that is incorrect and also ignores the fact that the anemone is photosynthetic. It needs reef lighting (VHO or metal halide lighting)> But, I thinks its dying.  Its seems to be shrinking, and isn't open as much as before.  I bought lighting and everything, but I think its in trouble.  I have been reading today where I need to feed it? Is this true? <true... meats of marine origin finely minced (1/4" bits)> And do I just stick the food in its mouth? <make a saltwater slurry with the food and lay the meats on the tentacles (use a slow turkey baster for this if you like...further anemones information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anempt2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonelgtgfaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneselfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonefdgfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonehealthfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneplacemtfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemplfaq2.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding an Anemones - 2/13/03 Hello, <Hi, Paul here, and I see you have a fairly easy question to answer on my part> just wanted to know what type of foods can I feed an anemone? <Mostly depends on what type and size you have, but please check these links for a bit of information. This subject is quite well documented. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonefdgfaqs.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Hope this will help. I am sure it is more than you wanted to know. Heheheh. Take care, Larry>

Feeding new Ritteri anemone I apologize for sending this as you have so much information already on your site, but I'm finding some conflicting information from other sources. <no worries> I recently ordered a Ritteri anemone from Flying Fish.   <a beautiful anemone, but rarely to be recommended (poor import and captive survivability... never to be mixed with coral or other anemones either). This anemone, after proper acclimation over days/weeks... needs brighter light than even the most demanding coral. Metal halides for aquaria over 20-24" for this species> It arrived and is beautiful and appears healthy.  It quickly climbed to the top of the tank, where it has stayed for several days.   <very typical Ritteri behavior... they starve for bright enough light> It is a large specimen 8-9 inches across. My question is what to feed this beast.  Your site references finely shredded marine meats in several places, but I find other sites that say pieces of shrimp or squid the size of the anemone's mouth.   <no harm in feeding the minced pieces... possibly (likely in time) damage from tears with too large chunks> Could you clarify what types of food would best support this new addition to my system?   <mysis shrimp, Pacifica plankton, shredded raw food shrimp, minced krill> Thanks much as always, Scott <lighting is most important here bud. Very bright and maintain water clarity (weekly carbon, water changes, etc). Anthony>
Re: Feeding new Ritteri anemone 2/5/03
You mention that this species should never be mixed in a tank with other corals.   <correct for all anemones essentially. As an added fact (ironically an exception with the ritteri) very few anemones are found anywhere near corals naturally on a reef. A gross generalization... but true for most> Unfortunately, this is a 120 reef with several varieties of coral. <it is commonly where they go in captivity, alas> That's what not enough research before making a purchase gets me.  Why should this species be kept away from corals? <they are motile stinging animals (the anemones) being kept among sessile ones (the corals)... its a recipe for disaster in time. You've already watched yours promptly crawl up the reef to the top... they move at will and sometimes frequently. Its Murphy's Law too... it will stay in place until you go on vacation... then get into a fight with a coral... one or both will die... and the rotting body can corrupt water quality and kill the entire tank for it. Other than that <G>... Heehee. My very string advice for this and all anemones is to keep it alone and as a delightful focal point in a species tank. How about a 60 hex by a window for sunlight and keep a dozen small aquacultured clowns swarming about it? If left with the corals... there are still huge issues with Cnidarian allelopathy between such unnatural tank mates in the confines of an aquarium. Wherever you choose to keep this anemone, please be sure to protect this motile creature from pump intakes and overflows/drains/strainers. Too many die this way. Best regards. Anthony>

Feeding Corals and Anemones Hi Anthony, don't forget I have read your book, and do view the WWM web site.   <my apologies, bud... I certainly do recognize your name and that we've chatted before but the conversations are a blur. We chat with several hundred aquarists monthly by phone, e-mail and in person... it does get a bit hazy at times <G>> The largest bit of silverside I feed my corals is less than half their head size (of the silverside) or about 1/16 to 1/8" MAX!   <excellent... then problem could simply have been the feeding portion (too  large) or may have been entirely unrelated (temperature drop recently, etc)> The silverside is actually wider than the slices I feed, typically the size I buy is about 3/16 to 1/4" wide.  So maybe it's the width at 1/4" that is a bit large??   <not at all... sounds reasonable for sure> I can run the stuff for a few seconds in a blender if this is better.  My coral looks a whole lot better today, but still mouth gaping slightly and extension is maybe only 6".  With smaller pieces, would I feed 4 bits at a time or only one bit per day?  Thanks again Larry <some experimentations needed per animal. I suspect you will see nice growth with anything within reason. Kindly, Anthony>

Satisfying An Anemone's Appetite! Hi Bob + Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> I have read articles and I'm not sure as to the amount of food to give a Bubbletip anemone ( size approx. 3").   I read that food should be 1/4" or less, currently I feed one 1/4" piece of silverside, once a week. Is that enough? <Well, some species of anemones feed daily in nature, and can ingest an amount of food that makes up a percentage of their body weight! I'd try feeding small quantities of food every other day.> If not how many 1/4" pieces? I just fed one piece yesterday, should I wait to give more if needed? <I'd start with two or three pieces, and see if the anemone ingests it all> I am also thinking of including mysis shrimp and clams. Once again how much? <Both of these foods are just fine, IMO. Once again, I'd try small amounts of food several times a week, and see if the anemone appears to be responding well. If the animal will consume more food, then by all means, I'd give it some more!> Also I would like to get your advice as far as mail ordering livestock, I am very concerned with doing the right thing environmentally and I have always purchased through a store but I have been told mail ordering will eliminate two acclimations. What's the scoop? If so any recommendations (LiveAquaria.com, FFExpress, etc)? <Well, regardless of where the fish is ordered from, the animals will endure several acclimations, from the collector to the transhipper to the retailer (or e-tailer). The journey from reef to store to tank is a difficult one, and the mortality rate among fishes along the way can be horrific! That's why it pays to buy your animals from a dealer who selects properly collected and handled animals. The places that you mentioned all have good reputations. My favorite etailer for rare marines is Marine Center. The people there select and handle their fishes very well, and make sure that the animals are eating before they are sold. You can't ask for much more than that. In the end, you have to give credit to the fishes themselves. They're tough!> Thanks for the help. This website along with the book " The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is great. Looking forward to the new book. Rich <We all are, too, Rich! Thanks for writing! Feel free to contact us any time! Regards, Scott F>

Green Carpet Anemone Feeding Hello guys, how are you??? Happy new year. I live in Venezuela. A week ago, I arrived from the states, and brought with me a Sebae anemone, a Green carpet anemone, a green serpent star, and a sand sifting star. They where transported each in its bag, and all in an icebox. the people from the airline where very helpful. When I arrived, I started a dripping process for about 4 hours, and then I placed them in the tank. The sand sifting and the serpent star are doing very well, and also the Sebae anemone which found a hole where to hide it's "foot" and eats very little every day. The problem is with the carpet anemone. I already had two Sebae clowns for about 2 months, and as soon as they looked at the carpet, they entered en stayed there all the time. The anemone does not open like a flat carpet, it looks bright green, but it is like closed, the sides are undulated and the oral opening is obstructed by the sides of the anemone, so any food just falls to the floor. I try to insert very small pieces of fish, calamari, ham, etc. and it does sting them, but after a while, the pieces fall to the floor, or the clowns remove it from the anemone. I even pushed a very small piece of ham inside the "mouth" and the clowns removed it. What can I do??? My lighting is 2x55w power compact. the tank is 20inch. deep. I know it sounds low, but I had a Condy anemone with the same lighting and it grew very well. I have tried to place the anemone closer to the light, but it does not stand the water currents (nothing exaggerated) and keeps ending in the floor. The water is perfect, all parameters, and very well skimmed. Any suggestions??? Thank you very much. Julio <Hi Julio, I suggest you go to WetWebMedia.com and type "carpet anemone" into the google search engine to find out the habits/conditions your anemone needs.  This anemone will want to be close to your lighting, in a moderate current that it is comfortable with, and fed the correct food.  These are sea creatures and they have preferred foods, which do NOT include HAM!! This anemone will eat marine meats like shrimp, scallops, silversides, small fish, etc. You should adjust the current to fit the high light location the anemone needs so it can attach and stay in one place.  Not attaching is NOT a good sign. DO NOT try to force feed it, WAIT for it to attach and then open in the correct light and current, and LET it eat passively when it is adjusted.  It is important that you read about this inhabitant and provide the proper conditions. I hope this gets you on the right track! Craig>

- DIY Denitrification & Anemone Feeding - Crew, <Howdy, JasonC here...> My nitrates are now super low,  between 0 to 5ppm in just 3 weeks on my 180 gallon Fish tank! The new DSB with live rock that I set up is working great!  Before the DSB,  I was getting nitrate readings of about 80-100ppm with my current fish load. I was doing approx. 15 gallons a week in water changes. Now I am doing only 7 gallons per week in water changes. About the setup... I siphon water down from the main tank into the DSB box , (approx 15 gph). using a very long 1/2" tubing, (approx. 30 ft. of tubing; 'coil method'). The out end of the tube is submerged directly in the DSB water column. By the time the water reaches the DSB there is very little to no oxygen in the water which allows the Anaerobic de-nitrification process to take place. I suppose the same process can be accomplished through the use of an expensive Coil Denitrificator Unit, (from what I read these units can tend to be troublesome, high maintenance , periodic feeding of bio media & cleaning required, very slow water drip rate). <You are correct.> I just wanted to let you know that I have had great success with my DSB de-nitrification installation and would recommend it highly to others. The total cost was not bad ... just around $93 and it's very natural. All the fish are all very healthy and I feed twice a day. <Time will tell... need to have the thing running for at least a year to call it an unqualified success.> $35 - 10 lbs fine live sand mixture with 5 lbs. Aragonite med. course crushed coral. $7 - Plastic 12"L x 16"W x 8"H  box that fits nicely in my expansion sump. Cut holes in each side for water out at the 3 inch water mark above the 6 Inch sand bed. $4 - 25 ft 1/2" tubing $20 - 5 lbs of totally cured live rock (small pieces) $10 - 1 dozen Large Mangrove Plants (1-2 '  tall) $12 - 24 Hour Lamp $5 - Batch of Caulerpa (Taxifolia) Total - $93 On another note, I have a question about a large Bubbletip Anemone I just purchased to host my 5" Gold Stripe Maroon clown.  I have read that it is only necessary to feed the Bubbletip anemone once a week? Shouldn't I try to hand feed it 3 times a week or is that too much? What is the best foods for this anemone and should I use Phytoplankton ... and if so, how many times a week. <Actually, a meaty food, diced up to small particles would be much better. Do check out this page on our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anempt2.htm > The fish store guy did not seem to know that much about the Bubbletip and feedings. Also, I have 2 large Actinic Blue bulbs and 2 large 10,000 k standard fluorescent bulbs on the side of the tank with the anemone. Is this enough lighting for this anemone? <No.> Do I need to purchase the more intense lighting and spend big bucks? <If you intend to keep it for the long haul, yes.> I could not get good answers from anyone about anemones. <I would suggest reading through the multiple pages of FAQs on the WetWebMedia site as many of these questions have been asked and answered before and are documented there for your perusal.> Thanks! Chris <Cheers, J -- >

Question of the hour do you think that anemones might eat flakes? <see the wetwebmedia.com Archives for this answer. Begin here : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm

Anemone Feeding I have another question , this one concerning a blue carpet anemone. Is there any signs or symptoms that the animals health is declining. My water quality is good Ammonia 0, nitrates 0 temp 75-77 ph 8.4-8.6. The color is still a rich blue, it eats once a week, but it does seem to shrink up quite often and turn its stomach out. <both are signs of stress, attrition or possibly impending death> My LFS says that this happens and I should not be alarmed <they are mistaken from having seen so many stressed and dying ones on import. Yours is undoubtedly slowly starving on a weekly feeding schedule. These animals need to be fed daily or nearly so. A few months of weekly feeding is taking its toll. Another common problem with these animals is people feeding chunks of food that are too large. Whole pieces of shrimp/fish in time can harm most anemones. It is a wholly unnatural food. They can cause internal tears and stress in general trying to digest it. Such a huge chunk of food would almost never make its way through the water column on a reef past all those watching eyes (fishes, crabs, shrimp, other scavengers) to land on the tentacles of this anemone. Your anemone eats zooplankton at night. 1/4" or smaller! Feed finely minced meats of marine origin. Perhaps whole mysids or Gammarus if you don't have the interest in preparing food for it>> but I have not been able to find any in depth literature on these creatures habits. Do you have any suggestions on a book or website that can give me more details on their habits. Thanks again. Mike Winston <hmmm... for what its worth. Shimek offers a cheap book on "Anemone Secrets" Best regards, Anthony>
Re: blue carpet anemone
Thanks for the quick response, will feeding on a daily basis bring it back around or is it possibly to late? I really want to try to bring it back to good health. Thanks again <daily feeding can certainly save this animal! Small frequent feedings are key. Be careful not to overfeed (evident by a mucous ball of regurgent released long after the lights are off each night). A teaspoon is likely more than enough of not too much daily for a small medium carpet anemone. Feed high protein marine meats. Mysids are one of the best. Please NEVER feed adult brine shrimp... to anything (hollow and nutrient poor). Pacifica plankton and Gammarus shrimp are good too. Minced krill... outstanding. Many possibilities. Best of luck! Take pictures of your progress and share them please. Kindly, Anthony>

Anemone Hi. I have a quick question about my new sea anemone. It is a green bubble tip and I've had it for about two weeks. I have been told by some that I don't have to feed it and by some that I should feed it about twice a week. <I think Eric Borneman said (paraphrasing) that corals are animals, not plants, and therefore need to be fed and I totally agree. What you feed them is the big question.> Well, I've decided that it can't be good not to feed it, so I bought a raw snapper filet that I cut into little pieces and I've fed it twice with this. Does this sound like a good thing or should I feed it something else and how often should I feed it? <The fish is ok as long as it is tiny pieces, nothing larger than a quarter inch. I would also vary the diet, too. Try some mysis shrimp and plankton. Both would be excellent. I would feed it small amounts two to three times per week.> Any advise would be most welcome. <There is a lot more information on www.WetWebMedia.com regarding the appropriate care of these creatures.> Thanks a lot, Laura Stalls <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Refugium Hello again! Short question. Should I add a Miracle Mud refugium to my 90 gallon tank to be plankton reactor for feeding my anemones and to add trace elements to my system or better feed my anemones with prepared food? <I would do both. Have a refugium for its added benefits, but still target feed the anemone.> What about yellow water problem? <This can be dealt with by regular water changes, use of activated carbon, and aggressive protein skimming.> By the way what is your opinion about keeping seahorses? <Please refer to www.WetWebMedia.com for the articles and FAQ files.> Best regards, Darek <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro>

Anemone feeding hi me again I bought silversides today about 100 frozen do I feed it to him frozen and hole or defrosted and cut pieces? he loves the 10,000k I bought today and the t12 100%actinic blue its soo bright when you walk in my room you go blind thanks for your advice again. <Good to hear about the lights, I am sure the both of you will be much happier. Regarding the silver sides. You will want to thaw them out and cut them into small pieces. There is more info on feeding at the link below. Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm >

Anemone feeding... Hi again.. ><very finely shredded meats of marine origin. Never larger than 1/4  >inch. Mysids, Pacifica plankton and Gammarus are great frozen  >foods... so is Sweetwater plankton> Ok, I'll mush up some of my frozen stuff and try to target it to the Euphyllia.. <<yes... very fine sizes please... think micro>> >I have occasionally given small pieces of shrimp, etc that I give to  >my Carpet Anemone... the Euphyllia is very tiny now, with no mouth  >showing, and the tentacles are very short and flaccid.. ><even small "chunks" of shrimp are inappropriate for the anemone and  >impossible for the coral. They will sting and seem to ingest only to  >regurgitate at night... this letting the animal starve over months  >when you think it is getting fed well> Interesting.. I do switch from raw marine shrimp to scallop, and even some marine fish. I do tend to use the shrimp more, because its easier to cut up and serve. What else would you suggest for the Carpet Anemone ? <<Mysids, Pacifica plankton and Gammarus are great frozen  foods... so is Sweetwater plankton>> >I have some "Invertebrate Gourmet Gumbo" I can squirt around it, if  >you think that might be adsorbed.. ><absolute pollution in a bottle... I wouldn't take any such product  >for free> Ok... I'll toss it out right now... thanks... It looked good on paper.. :) <<all marketing...heehee>> >I also have some of Dave's phytoplankton to add around the Sinularia  >-- yes/no ? ><marginally helpful... read FAQs about dosing bottled phyto: must be  >bought and kept refrigerated, less than 6 months old and whisked in  >an electric blender with every feeding to reduce particle size to be  >even remotely useful to such coral> Ok.. I'll go peruse the website and read about the phyto... (I do keep it fresh and refrigerated... and shake the hell out of it before use each time :) <<do a Google search of WWM to make your search easier. Hand shaking has been demonstrated in trials to be nearly useless. Way big particle size still. Kudos on the refrigeration though! Now get out that blender <G> Anthony>>

Anemone Feeding Dear Bob, Thank you for your brilliant and passionate article on anemones (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  ). <Necessary... to save my sole (sorry re), make that soul!> There is much controversy on many marine aquarium subjects still (which is frustrating for a beginner hobbyist!) <Even more so for not so beginning ones I assure you> and it's a bless if one can find a reliable source of information. For example, there is no agreement on what and how much anemones should be fed. You suggested to feed them scarcely and mashed food (rather then "whole" shrimp etc). I'm a supporter of underfeeding (both in animals and human :)) myself.  <This is wise> The benefits are obvious. Then, how can you explain origin of alternative view on anemone feeding (especially, expressed by a specialist)? As an example, I quote from Ronald Shimek's article on http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1997/aug/wb/default.asp: "The entire prey item should be fed. Avoid feeding just muscle tissue. Predators get important and essential nutrition from all parts of their prey, including the guts and internal organs. Stichodactyla haddoni, the "saddle carpet anemone," eats whole fish and almost never regurgitates any remains, indicating total use of the food. Entacmaea quadricolor, on the other hand, appears to thrive on crustacean prey. Large whole krill, about the size of cocktail shrimp, fed regularly will lead to growth and a healthy appearance, and relatively little will be regurgitated here as well. Many anemones, including the Pacific host anemones, have zooxanthellae. People tend to believe that animals with zooxanthellae don't need to be fed or fed very much. This is definitely not the case. Zooxanthellae may provide nutrition to a sea anemone, but the zooxanthellae, in turn, need many chemicals, such as nitrogenous compounds, available only from their hosts and which the hosts get only from their food. Additionally, the anemones acquire necessary mineral and proteinaceous materials from their diets, not from zooxanthellae. Once an acceptable food has been found, the appropriate volume and schedule must be determined. Try gradually increasing the amount of food to find out how much will be taken at one time. Note the time to regurgitation of undigested material, if any is regurgitated. With only one opening to the gut, anything that is undigested has to come out the mouth, too. Then feed again the day following the regurgitation. If you don't see any obvious expelling of food residue, then feed again after two or three days. Probably, at a minimum, the animals will need to be fed two or three times a week to remain healthy. Not only do these species need to be fed, but for good health they often need to be fed a lot. As an example, my female S. haddoni eats the equivalent of a tablespoon of fish every other day. Any less food and she starts to shrink. Much more and she grows, and with her oral disk at about 50 centimeters (almost 20 inches) in diameter, I don't want her to get too much larger. This feeding regimen kept her in good enough condition that she spawned in mid March and April of this year." <Though I agree with the vast majority of what I have read, and heard from/by Ron Shimek, his experiences and mine differ on a few points (e.g. his ardent position re high temperatures for marine aquariums) and the above. Thank you for your involvement, efforts. Bob Fenner> Thank you very much in advance, Sincerely yours, Andrey
Re: Anemone Feeding
Thank you for such a prompt answer! I do appreciate this. I'm with you on temperature subject too, 100%. (one doesn't have to have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry to know that rate of any chemical reaction will increase 2 times with 10oC increase in temperature; <Ah yes... still called the Q-10 factor I assume> meaning: metabolism rate of cold-blooded species will increase too (= decrease in life span). <Be chatting, Bob Fenner> *************************** Andrey E. Kalinin, Ph.D. Laboratory of Skin Biology, NIAMS, NIH 50 South Drive, rm. 1527 Bethesda, MD 20892-8023

Feeding anemones I have 2 anemones. One I have had since Oct. 2000, and the other one I recently - a month ago - bought at my LFS. I feed them different things every once in a while, but I am wondering if it is possible to overfeed an anemone?  <not really. And most people drastically underfeed their coral and anemones. If you are feeding too much or chunks that are too large, the anemone will simply regurgitate it in a mucous ball that generally floats and stands in stark contrast to stringy dark excrement> The old anemone wont take food very much. Most of the time it just lets the food go after a while. Do you know why this is?  <if you are feeding pieces larger than adult brine shrimp...perhaps too large. And if so, then the anemone has been starving all along> The tank is getting over 6.5 watts per gallon so I know it has enough light!  <that is not a guarantee, my friend. Water clarity (changing carbon 1-2 times monthly), cleaning lamps of dust and debris monthly and changing florescent lamps every 6-10 months keeps good light and all are easily abused which drastically reduces light. Do consider these as your anemone behavior may indicate unwellness. The best indicator of health would be pigmentation (resident zooxanthellae): dark brown or green are likely ideal for Sebae, malu, carpet types> It is also hosting a maroon clownfish. Thanks! <best regards, Anthony>

Feeding a Quadricolor I recently got a bubble tip anemone (one week ago) and have not observed my maroon clown feeding it. <Not unusual.> She has bonded with it in the sense that she's in it all the time, etc. However, I have not seen her give it food. Will she maybe start feeding it eventually? <Perhaps, perhaps not. Better for you to ensure the health of your animal by direct feedings.> The anemone has attached itself in a spot in the tank that is very hard for me to reach to feed it. It looks very healthy and is getting good light where it is but I'm just not able to reach it easily without moving rocks, etc. around it. What do I do? <Feed it. Try using a length of tubing connected to a turkey baster to gently direct thawed, frozen Mysis shrimp or plankton into the tentacles.> Will it maybe move again to a better spot? <Not if it is "happy" now.> Should I wait a few days? <Maybe a few days, but try to method mentioned above.> I'm assuming that it is getting food from particles in the water because I've seen waste. <I would not make that assumption.> However, I'm concerned because I've read that you recommend feeding it something like shrimp, Formula One, etc. once a week. <Sometimes more often, two to three times per week.> Any advice you can give will be much appreciated. <There is an excellent article, if you have not already seen it, here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> Also, I have not observed the "bubbles" on it's tips. Is this a bad sign. <No> It looks very healthy otherwise. One more question. . . when I feed it -- how do I do it - how much at one time? <About one half cube of the frozen shrimp mentioned above.> Do I just use my fingers and will it open it's mouth to receive it or should I just put it in the tentacles? <Never use your fingers to feed any stinging celled animal. Bad husbandry.> Do you have any articles on your website that deal with this? <Linked above.> Thanks again! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Anemones Hi Bob. How, and how often, do you recommend feeding anemones? <Hmm, depends on species, mode of feeding... but about twice a week for most all captive types, fish/meat to filter/deposit feeding...> I purchased three and received them this past Saturday: a bubble, a Sebae and a long tentacle. Are all three similar in feeding habits? The book I have says to feed them bits of fish, shrimp or scallop once or twice per week. Do you find that to be good advice? <Yes and yes... do take care not to overwhelm/pollute your water though... keep an eye out for their discrete "waste" aggregations, and net, vacuum them if/when you can... and go easy on the food volume. These simple tissue-grade animals really don't need much in the way of feeding... Many, many more lost to the effects of "over", mis-feeding than most all other causes combined> Also, I use a liquid invert food occasionally for the filter feeders I have in the tank. The instructions say to feed the liquid 2-3 times per week. I haven't been using it that often, it tends to muck up the water. Do the anemones benefit from that also?  <Indeed they do... do you use/have timers to switch off the mechanical filtration for ten, fifteen minutes while this stuff is floating around? Consider using the plankton (the frozen paste types are best overall IMO) foods instead?...> Should I add it more often now?  <Err, depends on the types of animals, many intangibles about how your system is made... your desires... I would look much more into building/using a refugium/extra large sump to culture food stuffs and tie it in with your existing main/display unit... a bunch of background for hungry minds like yours stored: Home Page ... got time? Start perusing!> As we add more inverts to the tank are there additional requirements such as iodine or other minerals that I need to make sure they get enough of?  <Yep, see the site above...> We're moving from a fish only tank to a more reef-like environment, but aren't planning on getting into the corals. Anemones, scallops, feather dusters, polyps, shrimp, crabs and just a few gentle fish.  <I'd bet most any sum... you will be!> If I'm bugging you too much, maybe you could point me to a good reference for reef environments. Thanks for any advice you feel like throwing my way. Take care. Betsy >> <Be chatting my friend, Bob Fenner>

Feeding Anemone  Hello Mr. Fenner  Once again I need your HONEST PROFESSIONAL opinion. <You'll always get it.> I was wondering what and how often I should feed my carpet saddle anemone. he is of fair size(15  inches across, when opened up. I also have a 3 inch purple tang, a 2 inch  perc clown, and a 2 inch royal Gramma. I also have various crabs and snails, and a serpent star. I was also wondering how often and what to feed these too. My system is a 125 Berlin system. thank you very much (as always)  take care.  <Hmm, somewhere between once or twice a week... best with fine, sharply cut/blended meaty foods... I would buy a bunch of human intended seafoods like shrimp, clams... blend them and freeze them in mini-ice cube trays for later use... defrost, mix in some water and sprits in the anemones direction with a turkey baster... while turning off your filter pumps (with a timer, best) for fifteen minutes or so...  These animals are photosynthetic, and a good part of their nutrition should be derived from light, good water quality... and micro-planktivorous, so a large, healthy refugium/sump with live rock, macro-algae and a mix of small crustaceans (and absence of predators there) can/will provide other input. Bob Fenner>

Feeding an anemone whose food is being stolen by a shrimp Hey Bob; Another thing!!! I hope you have the time. . . I'm attempting to feed my Sebae for the first time. The food I give him, he appears to take it, then the Cleaner Shrimp take it away!! What can I do? <Give the shrimp a bit of something of its own to chew on... away from the anemone... first... then feed the Sebae/Heteractis crispa. Bob Fenner> Thank again, my friend. Talk to you soon Rich

Re: Overheated my reef tank!! Hi Anthony.. <cheers, Doc> Thanks for covering for Bob... Is he off playing at a conference or taking pictures under the sea somewhere exciting :) What would you suggest in the way of feeding the Euphyllia ??  <very finely shredded meats of marine origin. Never larger than 1/4 inch. Mysids, Pacifica plankton and Gammarus are great frozen foods... so is Sweetwater plankton> I have occasionally given small pieces of shrimp, etc that I give to my Carpet Anemone... the Euphyllia is very tiny now, with no mouth showing, and the tentacles are very short and flaccid..  <even small "chunks" of shrimp are inappropriate for the anemone and impossible for the coral. They will sting and seem to ingest only to regurgitate at night... this letting the animal starve over months when you think it is getting fed well> I have some "Invertebrate Gourmet Gumbo" I can squirt around it, if you think that might be adsorbed..  <absolute pollution in a bottle... I wouldn't take any such product for free> I also have some of Dave's phytoplankton to add around the Sinularia -- yes/no ? <marginally helpful... read FAQs about dosing bottled phyto: must be bought and kept refrigerated, less than 6 months old and whisked in an electric blender with every feeding to reduce particle size to be even remotely useful to such coral> --thanks again, --Chane
<kindly, Anthony>

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