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FAQs about the Clownfishes & Anemones, Hosts 3

Related FAQs: Clownfish/Anemones 1, Clownfish/Anemones 2, Clownfish/Anemones 4, Clownfish/Hosts 5, Clownfish/Hosts 6, Clownfish/Hosts 7, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfish Diseases Brooklynellosis, Breeding Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfishes, Clownfish & Anemone Compatibility By James Gasta, Maroon Clowns, Anemones

Condy and Clown, can be done.

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Hosting Sea anemone killed BC Shrimp & Terrorizing hosted Clarkiis Hi. My sea anemone is friends with my mated pair of Clarkiis but today when I came home it had the BC shrimp trapped-not eaten, but dead- and retracts when the clowns try to snuggle. I tried to remove it with a tool but my hands quickly became swollen upon contact with the water. I took Benadryl and am fine. My clowns, however, look sick and are breath hard. my ? is : is the water full of toxin or is it electrified or low on oxygen or what??? Also, the shrimp is large, should I try to remove it? The clowns are still trying to feed the anemone and are not eating themselves. <I don't know what has gone on here... but perhaps the anemone caught, killed the shrimp on its contacting it... You apparently have a great sensitivity to whatever is in the water... I would change out a good percentage of the water here, monitor water quality... Bob Fenner>

More Proof - You can Lead Clownfish to Anemone...! Hi Ole Wish Fish gods, <<My wishes are for more than just fishes, but that's just me, Marina.>> I just wanted to share the great news.  <<Oooo! Now that you're rich and famous, will you mention my name?>> My clown fish finally paired up and moved in after 4mths of being in the tank.  <<So.. you're not rich and famous yet? When you are, will you remember me? Hey, you've been playing the matchmaker.. just don't feel bad if it ends in divorce. I mean, how could you have known?>> The only problem is that they did not move into the anemone but they moved into the toadstool leather.  <<Ha! Dang fish.>> Silly clown fish.  <<That too. I hope some certain people read this, as it's hard for some to understand that clowns will host just about ANYTHING.>> And can you believe the male clownfish is sleeping on the couch already?  <<Well, who gave him the REMOTE?? Jeez..>> Just wanted to share. Keep up the GREAT work that you do. George. <<Thank you for sharing. I think some couples counseling might be necessary for when the kids come along. She's going to beat the bejesus out of him if he stays sleeping on the couch and they're hungry, need their nappies changed, and let's not even cover whose gonna teach the boys how to go potty! You're also very welcome, and best of luck in your Clown-y endeavor. Marina>> 

Ocellaris and BTA Hi, If there was only a BTA and a few other fish in the tank what are the chances that the ocellaris (true Perculas)... <<Editor's note: "True" perculas are Amphiprion perculaA. ocellaris is also known as "false percula".  They cannot be both.>> ..would accept the anemones and what other factors would contribute? Is it possible to have 2 ocellaris and 1 maroon in a 5ft tank together ?  <I wouldn't try the combo. The maroon is going to be more apt to go into the BTA than the Percs will. Here are some FAQ's on anemone/clownfish compatibility.  James (Salty Dog)> 
Ocellaris and BTA Again..
Hi, is it possible to have 2 Percs and 2 maroons in separate anemones in a 5ft tank and also I'm going to get another maroon because one passed away recently, will they accept each other and will they fight what are the possibilities?  <Dana, I strongly believe you will have territorial problems with these two types of clowns. Read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm.  James (Salty Dog)> 

Clownfish/Anemone Compatibility Hi, <Hello> I have a settled pair of false percula clownfish and today I put in a bubble tip anemone. The anemone has settled nicely and has expanded decently, but the clownfish show no signs of wanting to lunge into the thing. Is there a way to encourage it to go into the anemone, or will it eventually go in? What do anemones eat? (Since sources say that clownfish brings it scraps of food).  <The bubble tip isn't really their favorite anemone although some will call it home. The preferred anemone for the Percs is the carpet anemone, then the saddle (Stichodactyla haddoni) and last the bubble anemone. You can feed the small pieces of shrimp weekly. James (Salty Dog)> 

Green bubble anemone -II WWM FAQ Crew; Thank you for you help on my bubble anemone. It has now re-opened but is still sitting under my pump unit. I know you're not supposed to move it so I hope it will eventually move on its own. You said that my bubble anemone is not the normal host for my clowns (2 percula & skunk which get along fine and have done so quite a while now) but whenever I go my local shop the are always swimming in and out of one. <Stuart, it doesn't mean they will not adopt the anemone, it is just a preference listing. Stuart, in the future, please, no abbreviations as "4" for "for", and please capitalize where needed. These have to be edited before they can be placed in the FAQ's. Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> 

Clown/Anemone Follow-Up (3/31/105) Thank you for taking the time to answer.  <My pleasure>  I wanted you to know that things are getting better.  <Great>  I've done a couple of 10% water changes, and started feeding the clowns some Mysis shrimp, which they just gobble up!  <Excellent! Mysis are great food that most fish will indeed gobble.>  My LFS also turned me on to some high-end flake food (big rust colored flakes) that the clowns started to nibble on last night.  <Good. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Personally, I think premium dry foods are worth the extra cost.>  I think that they refused the other food simply from stress.  <Often the case.> The clowns seem to have stopped fighting, but the larger one definitely gets the cushy bed at night. I think that the nips on the small clown are starting to heal.  The anemone moves around a bit. In fact, she moved underneath some rocks and started to burrow in. So, I moved the rocks from around her so she'd get enough light. Thank you again for your prompt and thoughtful reply! Have a great day! -Lawrence  <You're very welcome. Sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck, Steve Allen.> 

Percula Clowns Rock On Hi, I have had a good look over your site, but cant find the answer to my question. I have two pairs of true Percs in my tank, a black and white pair, and orange and white pair. Over the last few days the larger of my two black Percs, (who I assume to be the female) has been rubbing her belly on a rock with a bed of algae on it, and then settling herself down on it. I have Joyce Wilkerson's book and have searched for this behavior, but can't find anything on it. All I can come up with is that she may be getting ready to spawn. The only other thing l wondered was that she was maybe using it as a host. (I read about another clown doing something similar on your forum). <Very well could be.>  I have an H. malu anemone but they take no notice of it. She appears perfectly healthy in every other way. Totally alert, feeding fine etc. Any ideas? I am a little concerned for her. <Sounds like the clowns are just fine. The anemone you have is probably the least favorite of the Percs. They prefer, in this order, the Carpet Anemone, Ritteri, Saddle, and Bubble Tip. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks  <You're welcome, Jane>

Clown/Anemone Compatibility Hello, Salty Dog! Would a plate-green long tentacle be a good replacement for the anemone as far as my clownfish goes? I would really like for him to have something he can feel at home in. Thanks! Lila  <Lila, I don't remember what kind of clowns they are. Let me know. James (Salty Dog)>

- Clownfish & Anemone Pairing - Hi- <Hi.> I have been gleaning tons of great info from your site for the last three months, which is when I started my first aquarium. I have a basic 55 gallon saltwater setup with two clowns, coral banded shrimp, brittle star, a couple emerald crabs, hermit crabs, cleaner clams, snails and a porcelain crab that I NEVER see. I also have four feather dusters. I have approximately 65-75 lbs of live rock.  I bought a pink tipped anemone the other day from the LFS which is doing well so far. The clowns don't seem to be too interested in getting in, but the person at the LFS said that might be the case. They are a mated pair, but I really don't know what kind of clowns they are... I have been trying to ID them for a little while now.  <Suggest you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm  and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  > Any suggestions on the clown/anemone relationship?  <Not really - if you read those links I sent you, you'll see that clown fish typically only favor certain types of anemones. Once you've identified your clown fish, you'll know better whether or not you chose an anemone they would favor.>  Also, here is the amazing thing... there is a small fish swimming around inside my anemone.  <Neat.>  I read the post about someone having small black parasitic things inside his anemone, but this is pretty clearly a tiny fish. He swims all up and down the tentacles to the oral disc and back. I cannot get a picture of it, but will keep trying. I really can't believe a fish could be swimming around inside an anemone, but it is.  <There are actually several types of fish and not just clown fish which can live in/near/around anemones.>  Have you heard of this before?  <Yes.> Thanks much Tim <Cheers, J -- > 

Planning a reef: livestock 3/10/05 Hello Anthony! Me again... I have come to my senses after your last e-mail and the BTAs are dead for me. I had to have that idea hammered on my head to have it fit in... <all good... indeed they are best left in the ocean when they cannot be given a species/biotope tank IMO. Mixing anemones with corals is not only unnatural for most... but it's impractical too> I read on WWM you can use some specific corals such as Anthelia to host a clown (ocellaris). Can this sometimes happen in nature? <yes... not uncommon with a wide range of reef creatures/objects.> And what are the best bet apart from the anthelia and the unfortunately chemically aggressive Sarcophyton the you mentioned? Thanks! Dominique <its hard to say... Anemonefishes are variously tolerant of anemone substitutes. Do your experimentation with hosts in a proper quarantine tank to be safe(st). Anthony>

Tomatoe clown and flowerpot coral? Mr. Fenner, I hope this is the appropriate method of asking a question of you folks. Assuming it is, I will continue;  I have a 2 1/2" long tomato Clown that has recently discovered that my long-tentacle anemone is a neat place to call home. Been waiting for that. Recently I purchased a much smaller tomato clown with the hopes of a match.  It has only been 5 days now, and they don't seem to be killing each other to badly, and each day they seen to be able to stay within closer reach of one another (hurray). This morning however, I see that the smaller clown has taken up residence with my flowerpot coral. As I have only had the flower pot for 6 weeks I have been very cautious to keep it in pristine condition (and it is actually doing Very well!!), but now the clown is obsessed with it and I am not certain if this is a good thing... Any help would be very appreciated!  Thanks for the Awesome site by the way! <Thank you... and there will very likely be no problem here... perhaps a bit of temporary irritation of the Goniopora by the smaller clown... but I'd give you good odds that it will join the larger (female) in the LTA soon. Cheers. Bob Fenner> 

Keeping Clownfish: Anemone Not Required! Hi everyone! <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Your site has been great for me and my school to start our salt tank. <Glad to hear that!> I'm sorry if this question has already been asked on your site. My school and I have currently two A. ocellaris, and I am wondering if we purchase an artificial anemones (one of the ones that ocellaris like) which look and feel real, would the ocellaris (assuming they will take a host) use it? <Well, it's hard to say. Many of the clownfish that we keep in our system are tank-bred, and have never even seen an anemone! They may not even go to a live one! It is not at all a necessity to keep an anemone with clownfish; they are perfectly content without one in captivity. Of course, you don't need metal halide lighting, specialized diet, or other techniques to keep an artificial anemone. Why not give it a shot?> Before what most people would say: "Why not buy a real one?" We don't have the right lights for them! Thanks a bunch! Lindsay Place High School Marine Bio Department. <Excellent attitude! Anemones are such a scarce and precious resource that they should only be maintained by hobbyists prepared to meet their specialized husbandry requirements. Lighting is vital to them, as are other aspect of good husbandry, like water quality, current, food, etc. There is nothing wrong with NOT getting one if you are not equipped for the challenge. Hats off to YOU! Regards, Scott F.>

Tank Bred or Wild Hi, <Hello Dana> I was wondering which would you have more chance of a clownfish hosting an anemone that it's not natural to it a Tank raised or a Wild clown? <Unfortunately its a bit of a toss up with most tank raised clowns as they have never seen an anemone. a wild caught one is more likely to host, however if it isn't a natural host then its very likely they wont host with the anemone and host to something else.  Please read on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanemfaqs.htm  for more information. Justin (Jager)> 
Re: Tank raised versus wild caught Clownfishes with Anemones
Hi, <Hello again> What about in the case of a Ocellaris and a BTA ? <That would be fine as they do naturally host each other. The website http://www.aquacon.com/clownfishanenomecompatibility.html  has a simple chart that helps explain the basic combinations that usually work. But, each fish is different, so do not be surprised if they do not immediately host.> Justin (Jager) 

Protein Skimmer driving me INSANE: avec Clowns James, Thanks for the quick response! Yes, I am using additives. I just added 2 clowns from my QT to the main tank and used Stress Coat day of transfer (that was the day I turned skimmer off because it went crazy as soon as I added it). I also use Cora-vital daily to help my live rock since the tank is only a few months old, I was hoping to help boost the re-generation of the rock. Should I worry if the bubbles don't go away?  <I'm sure the bubbles are being caused by the residual of the stress coat. If you filter with carbon this should go away.> Also, I have true percula tank raised clowns. They haven't even gone near the bulb anemone - will they move in?  <Don't know. Most will go in the BTA but it is not their favorite. Carpets and the Ritteri are their top dogs. James (Salty Dog)>

BTA and Clowns Hi, I was wondering which of these clownfish is more compatible to the Bubble tip anemone,  A. percula, Clown Anemonefish or the A. ocellaris, False Clown Anemonefish (PS had a look at the compatibility chart)??? and also which of the two is more orange and like Nemo??? <Both the False Percula and Percula Clown would rate the BTA as fourth favorite on their list.  They both prefer the Carpet (Stichodactyla gigantea) as number one and the Ritteri (Maroon Anemone) as the number two choice, with the Saddle (Heteractis sp.) Anemone being third. I think the Percula would be my choice for Nemo.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks Ryan

BTA & Ocellaris? Thanks for your advice on coralline algae growth within two weeks I noticed a great improvement. My question today is that I was to place a pair of false perc. clowns in my tank. I also wish to include a BTA, will these fish ever accept this anemone? <It depends. In most cases, they will take to a BTA, but there are instances when they don't. For example, I have a pair of Ocellaris in a small tank with 3 large Bubble Tipped Anemones, and they show no interest whatsoever. You could always give it a shot - if you know you can keep an anemone healthy for an extended period of time. But I'm sure you've done your homework. Good Luck, Mike G>

Stocking levels Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 06:14:42 +0000 Hello all. First, thank you for providing such a comprehensive and professional resource for this community. <You're welcome> Cheers!  Next, the tank specs: DAS H39 60 usg [sic]... <I'm assuming this is a 60 gallon tank?>  75# live rock, ~4" DSB, ~450 gph turbulent flow, ample pc lighting,<What do you consider ample lighting?> integrated PS and mechanical filter. All chemical parameters are great with minimal to no variances. (6 months running sans problems) My livestock currently includes: 1 five-inch jeweled blenny (Salarias fasciatus), 1 two-inch cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), ~10 Nassarius snails, 2 Mexican turbo snails, 1 fighting conch (Strombus alatus) and a green open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi). Questions: Q1. In addition to a few more corals and a sebae anemone with a percula clown. <No, no, no. Very, very few perculas will inhabit a sebae anemone. They prefer, in this order, the Ritteri, Saddle and Bubble anemones, the Bubble being the easier of the three to keep.>  I would like to add a Flame Angel and a Copperband Butterfly. Are the angel and butterfly compatible?  <Yes>  Is this an adequate tank volume?  <Yes, if it is a 60 gallon>  Does this system plan (my end goal) make sense and proport [sic] longevity and growth? <It sounds like a very adequate system. I would forget about the Copperband, it will more than likely pick at your brain coral along with any other corals or tubeworms you may add in the future.> Q2. I would like to add a closed-loop 500 gph external pump to increase system-wide current. The return to the main will flow through a SCWD (surge device) and flow alternately to left and right. Is this a good idea for this system?  <Yes, surge systems are close to natural waves.> Thanks for the help and warmest wishes for the future. <You're welcome and good luck my friend. James (Salty Dog)>

Anemone attacked by clown!  Help! Hi all!   Quick question-- I just added a RBTA that I've had in my 7-gallon nano out to my new 180 gallon reef setup (120g display, 50g refugium, + sump) and one of the resident maroon clowns started chomping away at its tentacles!  Is this normal? <Yes> The clown is very large (5") and very aggressive.  It's mate, a smaller male, is very docile in comparison and I haven't observed it nipping at the anemone.  The large clown also constantly harasses a 2-striped rabbit fish.  Can you tell me if this is normal  behavior?  I'm not sure that the anemone will survive... <Not abnormal... thank goodness you have it in a large system> A little more background-- I just bought the setup from someone who had it up and running for 2-years, but he had bought it from another guy who had it up for several years as well.  I broke it down and set it back up the next day so the fish were back in it after 2-days in my quarantine tank.  The system has been up and running for 3 weeks now and water seems pretty stable (300 lbs of LR and 300 lbs of LS were not out of the tank for a significant die off, I think--but ammonia, no2 and no3 are all zeros.). <All good> I've been keeping my eye on the clown and have noticed it is very aggressive. <Yes... please read re Premnas... starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/premnasfaqs.htm> I feed the tank--which has 2 clowns, a lawnmower blenny, and fancy damsel, a blue damsel, and a rabbit fish--a cube or two of frozen Mysis twice a day, and some seaweed a few times a week.  Do you think The clown is just so hungry she'll eat anything, even an anemone??? <Mmm, not doing what it is for food... but to "acquaint" itself with the anemone, display aggression to the other life in the tank> I'm worried because I plan eventually to move all my coral over and break down my nano.  I'm just waiting till the levels all check out (I have a calcium reactor, sump w/ aqua-C EV150, 50 gallon refugium, 2X250 watt MH and 3X96 watt PC).  I'm afraid the clown will eat any coral I put in it, too.  Any ideas? <Very nice gear... actually, moving all and adding more (I wouldn't wait, given the information you've provided here) will greatly aid in reducing/distributing the aggressive nature of this clown> Thanks a million! Next day so the fish were back in it after 2-days in my quarantine tank.  The system has been up and running for 3 weeks now and water seems pretty stable (300 l <Bob Fenner>

True Percula/ Rose Anemone Thinking about buying a pair of True Percs and I was wondering if they would use the Rose Anemone as a host? Thanks for the help. <Possibly, in time... no guarantees. Bob Fenner>
Re: True Percula/ Rose Anemone
Thanks Bob, is there another anemone that you would recommend to that gives the Perc a better change of making it a home? Thanks <Actually, no... though there are other species that host this Clown in the wild, Entacmaea quadricolor are a very good anemone choice for captive use, particularly cultured specimens... and clowns will generally learn/host with them. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Substitution Greetings <Hi! Ryan with you today> This site is SO informative and has helped me in many areas. <Great news> I have a question concerning clownfish, particularly Ocellaris. I was interested in  getting a bubble tip anemone to host for a Ocellaris I have yet to purchase. <Good...Anemones need well established tanks, with high water quality.> My  concern is that I want a lot of corals in my tank (not yet added any) but several stores have related that bubbles don't wander as much as other anemones do. <Crapshoot> One has gone on to say that anemones and corals are a bad mix and that I can substitute a <Soft> coral for an anemone and that the Ocellaris wont really mind. Is  this in fact true? <Yes, octocorals of the genus Sarcophyton make great, hardy substitutes in many cases.> Because corals don't wander the way anemones do, would it be safer for all tank members concerned to just get a surrogate coral to make the Ocellaris happy without risking the other corals in the tank? <Yes...Wonderful idea!  Anthelia can also host clowns.>  If so what would be  a good species to substitute. Thanks in advance for your help.  <No problem!  And good luck setting up that blind date!> Doug

Re: water change, Clown-Coral interaction Thanks for the response, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.  Unfortunately, the precipitate made me nervous so I dumped the water and started over.   I did the same procedure as before, but added 1/2 tsp buffer and the prescribed amount of pro buffer to bring pH to 8.4 and alk to 3.2meq/L.  I don't currently have a calcium test (mine expired) so I don't have a reading there.  One is on the way.... <Okay... very likely whichever brand synthetic mix you are using, the calcium will be fine.> You mentioned that it seemed a lot for my 65 gal tank, what about it seems like to much.  Too many fish, or too many coral or both.  What would you suggest, I really thought it was the right amount, but your advice would be appreciated. <Too many fishes... when they grow, there will be issues of inter-species antagonism, as well as pollution from food, wastes for your cnidarians> Another question, does the clownfish bother the plate coral? <Can, yes... some Clowns are so aggressive in their pairing with non-anemones that they do cause real damage>   He seems to like it a lot and is always swimming in it, and bumping it on the sides and towards the bottom, just like he would an anemone.  The plate coral seems to be affected by it, but not too negatively, but I am still not sure. It seems that the clownfish could injure some of the lower tentacles if he bumped them against the "plate" of the plate coral.  What do you think?  The LFS said it would be fine, but you know how that goes.... <I'd just keep an eye on these two> Thanks so much for your time! <Thank you for writing, your concern. Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown and Goniopora Hello: My maroon clown recently started to swim in and out of the Goniopora nipping at its tentacles.  This began one week after the addition of a Rose BTA.  The BTA seems to be doing well and the clown spends most of its time in the BTA.  Clearly the Goniopora does not enjoy the clown and retracts its tentacles and swells up when the clown swims through it. Is this common and is there anything I might do to stop this behavior?   Regards, >>>Greetings, It's fairly common, and you can remove either the clown or the Goniopora to stop it. Goniopora have very poor survival rates in captivity anyway (unless you have the red variety) so it's just a matter of time until the Goniopora is history honestly. The red ones seem to do OK for some people. Cheers Jim<<<

Maroon vs. Anemone Hi gang what a site! <How goes it?  I'm standing on the shoulders of giants here, so to speak> Just bought a green BTA for my maroon clown and he took to it with in half an hour, he loves it, <They do, usually too much> too much I think? <Probably :] > He is just all over it and it almost seems to be trying to get away from the clown? <Quite possibly> when I first put the BTA in on a nice bit of flat live rock he seemed very happy swaying to and fro but as soon as the maroon got in him, dashing about he started to move down the back of the rock, he almost looks squished in between the rock and the glass is he ok? <Stressed, twofold.  Introduced to a new environment with a rambunctious harasser (your clown).  I would try to separate the two for the time being if possible.  Is the clownfish larger or smaller than your BTA?  If it's the same size or larger, definitely separate them or you may have a dead BTA in a day or so> thanks Lee McKean <Good luck, M. Maddox> P.S Amazing site and job you are doing!!!! <Thanks, spent quite a few hours reading the archives myself>

Anemone Answers What is the best Anemone for me to buy for a clownfish, that is hardy and does not need as much care as more difficult anemones? <There is no such thing as an "easy to keep" anemone.  They require a fully mature tank that has been set up for 6 months or more, extensive care, correct lighting, and excellent lighting conditions.  I would spend several months reading about anemones, including our archives, as well as this thread regarding anemone care: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=7d41eaa08bb64023f86b103c555d49b8&threadid=282136.  Please do not make a hasty, uninformed purchase that will lead to the unneeded demise of an animal> Jahner <M. Maddox>

Clownfishes & Anemones Dear Crew <Hi! Ryan with you today> I purchased a Malu anemone over six months ago (March this year) and  have a pair of A. percula, Clown Anemonefish which I purchased about  7months ago. Both the malu and the clown fishes are doing well in my 48"x26"x18"  reef tank. The Clownfishes were infants when I got them and they have grown  well. The problem I have is that the Clownfishes have not once visited the  anemone, I would like to know why and what I can do make this happen. <In some cases, there's nothing you can do.  Others I know do simple things like place a small laminated picture of a clownfish near the anemone to attract the others.  Please read here for some other ideas: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanemfaqs.htm Thanks! Ryan> Thanks Sabiha

Anemone-Clownfish specificity 9/20/04 I know this is a rather subjective question, but here goes. I have a beautiful rose bulb anemone in my reef tank that is doing very well. The only problem is when I feed it krill, my cleaner shrimp are constantly trying to pry food away from it and usually are successful. I'm surprised the anemone doesn't sting the shrimp, since it eats shrimp in the wild, but the cleaners come away unscathed. My question is this: I really like the A. Percula the best, but it doesn't associate with E. quadricolor in the wild. The major online vendor of these clowns lists E. quadricolor as an anemone that they should associate with. In a tank situation where it is the only clown, shouldn't they make it a home? I've seen percula's using hammer coral, etc. as a surrogate which leads me to believe in an aquarium they wouldn't be that picky. Thoughts? Otherwise I'd go with A. akindynos which I don't find quite as attractive, but is a sure bet. <Clown-Anemone relationships are specific, but associations do occur in aquaria that don't occur in the wild.  In my experience (and many others) some clowns will not immediately accept a host anemone, even when it is an appropriate host.  Shining a flashlight or some similarly focused light source on the host with the other lights of can help speed up the association.  My advice is to choose tank raised A. Percula if that is the fish you like.  A. akindynos is far less likely to be tank raised.  Best Regards.  AdamC> Algae Outbreak in 55g 9/20/04 Hello! I am an avid fan of your site and your published books, and have used both religiously to guide through the experience of maintaining my salt water tanks. <Hi Deb. Glad to hear you have benefited!> The tank has 2 inches of crushed coral as the base and about 80 lbs of live rock.  My tank is a 4 year old tank.  My critters include: -a 6-line wrasse -a Coral Beauty dwarf angel -two emerald crabs -about 8 Astrea snails -about 8 turbo snails   -about 15 red hermits <Sounds like reasonable stocking levels, if not heavy on the grazers.  Quite surprising they didn't stay ahead of the algae.  Crushed coral as a substrate can be a problem.  I would suggest aggressively vacuuming this as part of your next water change.  If my hunch is correct, you will pull a shocking amount of muck out of the substrate.  This may be at the heart of your problem.  If it turns out to be the case, I would remove it all and either leave it bare, replace it with a very thin layer of the same material or replace it with a couple of inches of sugar fine aragonite sand.> My corals/sponges include: -Yellow Polyps -7 different varieties of zoanthids -Cabbage coral -white clove polyps -Green star polyps -orange Ricordea -mosaic mushrooms -various colored sponges -pulsing xenia <All fine.> My equipment is: -Custom Sealife PCs with moonlight (2 65w 10,000K Daylights, 2 65w 10,000K Actinics, one watt moonlight bulb) -BakPak hang-on skimmer -Fluval 304 canister filter -Squid system with 1200GPH submersible pump <All sounds good.> My light cycle is: -Actinic:  6:30am - 8:00pm -Daylight:  9:00am - 6:30pm -Moonlight:  5:30am - 6:30am, 8:00pm - 10:00pm <Sounds fine, but cutting back a bit can sometimes be a helpful strategy when algae outbreaks occur.> My parameters are: -pH:  8.3 -Ammonia:  0 -Nitrite:  0 -Nitrate:  0 -Phosphates:  0 -Silicates:  just under 1 (very high, I'm bringing this down with RO/DI water) -Specific Gravity:  1.023 -Calcium:  420 -Temp:  fluctuates between 78 at night and 85 during the day <Silicates will only contribute to diatom growth, not to other types of algae.  I would not worry too much about this for two reasons: First, you don't list diatoms as a problem (probably because they are preferred by the snails you have), and because good diatom growth will take nutrients away from other algae.  Snail poop is a great export mechanism!> I aggressively skim the water, do weekly top-offs and monthly 20% changes with RO/DI water. <Sounds good.> The reason that I'm inquiring is that I seem to be having a serious algae outbreak.  My lights are 10 months old, so there's no increase in lighting.  I don't overfeed (as a matter of fact, in an effort to limit feeding as much as possible, I lost a bicolor blenny to starvation).  I make a mix of Mysis soaked in Zo? Zoecon, and PhytoPlex.  I supplement 1x weekly with DT's phytoplankton.  There are three kinds of algae proliferating in the tank: -bubble algae -bright-green "slime" algae -some type of branching brown/red algae (looks brown/red in the water, seems brownish green outside of the water) I've attached pictures of the red/brown algae.  You can see the other two types of algae as well.  Any idea what the branching algae is? <The branching algae looks like Gracilaria.  I also saw Cyanobacteria and maybe Caulerpa.> Are my cleanup crews insufficient?  I am wondering what the optimum number of "critters" would be for my 55G tank.  Would my temperature fluctuation have anything to do with this?  Are my silicates causing this?  <Your cleanup crew is as large as I would recommend.  If they aren't controlling the types of algae, adding more will not help and they will starve.  Lowering and stabilizing your temperature around 78-80 might help a bit.  Silicates aren't a factor with these algae.> My corals and fish all seem very healthy.  The xenia has gone from 3 stalks to about 15 and is taking over the tank, as are my white polyps.  Help!  I've scrubbed this rock down manually now like 5x.  It gets pretty tricky scrubbing around the polyps!  Thanks in advance! Deb  <I will rarely recommend a tang for such a small tank, but a small Zebrasoma sp. tang will help a lot, just be prepared to give it up in a year or so when it out grows your tank and please quarantine before you introduce it! Best Regards.  AdamC>

Maroon clowns Hello Bob, <Hi Adam, MacL here with you tonight> I recently purchased a large bubble-tip anemone for my pair of gold stripe maroon clowns. Before I introduced it they were very outgoing and active but now they spend all their time lazing around in the anemone. The real concern is that they are not eating near as much as they used to because they only take the bits of food that float right past the Anemone. They greedily take what floats past but they seem too scarred to venture out more than a few centimeters. Is this behaviour normal? <Definitely normal behavior, they are content and happy with their new home.> I have kept other clowns with anemones before but they never did this, will they eventually come out? <They could be nesting and possibly preparing to have babies.>  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <That behavior is typical of bonded pairs.> Yours Sincerely Adam Harbeck

How do I get my clown to host with something? Hey guys, << Blundell here. >> I've been reading a great deal about reef keeping being that I'm relatively new to the hobby. Recently (a week or two ago) I purchased an ocellaris clown. It's doing great, however after exploring the tank for a couple of hours it decided to "host" on the glass in the front of my tank! It hasn't left the front glass since. I have a small tank (10 gallons w/10 gallon sump/refugium) so I'm not looking to place an anemone in there, but would definitely like this little guy to host a coral. I already have xenia, GSPs, and a small frogspawn in there but none seem to be getting his attention. What can I do to "persuade" him to move off the glass? << I'm not sure I would.  I'd rather have my clown swimming right up front. >> Would an elegance coral, toadstool, or a colt be better suited as a surrogate host? << No, the hosts you have are fine. >> Any suggestions short of trading him in for a true perc? << Here is an idea I stole from Calfo.  Try shining a flashlight onto your xenia at night.  After the lights go out for a few hours, the same time every night.  After a couple weeks the clown may take to hosting, as he is always looking at that coral at night.  Worth a try. >> My girlfriend is sort of attached to this one ha-ha! << Otherwise, I wouldn't expect him to host, and I would just keep him swimming on the glass. >> Thanks, Mike <<  Blundell  >>
How do I get my clown to host with something? Part 2
Thanks for the reply. As far as shining the flashlight on the xenia, how long would I shine it on the xenia for? Several minutes or a couple hours? << I would say around half an hour. >> I'd really like a hosting clown, but I also wanted one I knew wouldn't die on me! << I would prefer the healthy living fish as well. >> If the flashlight trick doesn't work in a few weeks, what're the chances I could introduce a true perc in with my ocellaris without the two death matching each other? << I keep them together, never had a problem. Really, the new wild caught fish may not host either.  Not something you should count on. >> Thanks for the help and great website! Mike <<  Blundell  >>

Mixing Anemones and Lighting Needs? Crew, << Blundell here. >> The usual kudos on the excellent site & work you guys do!  I've got a question on lighting a new tank I'm planning on purchasing.  It's a 70gal quarter cylinder (24" sides x 30" high).  From a lighting perspective, the depth will be 24" - I'm going to put in a 6" DSB.  Right now I'm looking to make it a species tank for my pair of true Percs & a future carpet anemone. Would you suggest another anemone that the Percs would take to that might be more hardy?  Crispa?  Other?  The clowns currently  find my RBTA interesting, but they don't go in it.  I know it's not wise to mix anemone species (especially in this size tank), but could I add a pair of carpet, crispa or another perc species that you might recommend to the tank? << I prefer to limit the number of anemones you get, and would try to stay away from them.  So, I guess my recommendation is to not have multiple anemones. >> Taking the tank's odd dimensions into account (i.e. fixture fitment), what lights would you recommend for the anemone tank?  I'm thinking it probably has to be some sort of MH, but if so, what spectrum & how many? << Good questions, but difficult to answer.  I would go with metal halides as well.  I would either go with two 400 watt 20k halides, or go with two 250 watt 10k halides that also have 2 VHO actinics running with them. That to me, is the best combination of color and growth. >> Obviously, it needs to meet the inhabitants requirements, but will it also look visually appealing to the human eye? << I encourage you to see other aquariums with those set ups, and see what looks attractive to you. >> There is a very slight chance I may want to do some corals in the new tank (mushroom, starburst, colony polyp, bubble, xenia) vs. the anemone stocking.  Any change to your lighting recommendation? << Not really.  I think those lights work well for anything. >> Any way to spec the lights to meet both scenarios? << Yes. >> My current tank is a 120gal FOWLR (48x24x24) with 180lbs LR, a 30gal sump, 15gal Caulerpa w/ miracle mud refugium & a 35gal chet/Gracilaria 5" DSB w/ a plenum in the basement below.  The water is returned via an Iwaki MD100RLT (2000gph) and I've got an AquaC EV-240 powered by an Iwaki MD40RLT (750gph).  My plan is to plumb the new 70gal tank (really less than 50gal after the 6" DSB & LR) into my existing 120gal sump/system and return the water to the new tank with either an Iwaki MD30RLXT(950gph) or a MD40RLXT(1200gph).  Having one large water mass is exponentially easier from a maintenance, dosing and equipment standpoint.  Any thoughts or concerns? << Nope. >> How would you recommend introducing the new 70gal tank to the other system? << Slowly.  I like to use a small powerhead adding the new tank to the sump.  Then, after several days, you can use a larger pump as the main stay and have it all running together. >> My original plan was to cure the new 45-60lbs of LR in the new tank with it initially disconnected from the 120gal.  I'd have it dump into a separate 20gal sump with it's return pump servicing that sump and an extra Berlin turbo skimmer attached.  Once it cycled, I'd connect it to the 120 system. The other option is to connect the new tank directly to the 120 system at the start with just the DSB sand installed.  I'd cure the new LR for the 70gal in a Rubbermaid container and introduce a third of it to the new tank one week apart after parameters read 0.  I'm leaning towards the in-tank cycling since the LR will seed the DSB at that time. << I would cycle the new tank first, then add it to the old system.  I would not join them together during that initial set up phase. >> Any thoughts? << Good Luck. >> Thanks, John <<  Blundell  >>

Can't get clowns to host in anemone? Well, I did the light trick constantly for 2-1/2 weeks and the clowns did not take to the anemone.  It was worth a try I guess.  The crab is now in QT and will be added in about 1-1/2 weeks.  Thanks for all your help. << Sorry to hear that didn't work for you.  Well, I would just give them time, and I hope it works out for you. Blundell >>

Sending in the clown - flashlight trick? 7/10/04 Could not find an answer to this in the FAQ Archive.  I have an anemone crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai) on hold at my LFS  and I am wondering if it will be compatible with my Rose Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor).   <it is likely to take residence here> My false Perculas have shown no interest in the anemone for 4 months now. Thanks -Ray <I have a wacky suggestion... trust me here: at night when all is dark, set up a small focused light on a timer (like a small book-reading lamp) to shine in a point on the anemone. Do this for up to 2 weeks (consistently! use the time)... and write back to tell us if the clowns went into the anemone. Many theories for why this helps... cant explain it (beyond logical theories of fishes, larvae, plankton being attracted to light). We shall see :) Anthony>

Elegance Coral Hi Guys and Girl <Hi Joe, MacL here> I just got a new elegance coral for my established reef tank. It is in a nice open sandy area so I am hoping it does well. However my needy clownfish has not unexpectedly taken up residence in it almost immediately. Is my newcomer in serious danger and is there anything I can do? <It can be a real problem. Often they host and don't irritate the corals but sometimes they do irritate the corals and indeed kill them. These fish can be deadly to corals and really there isn't much you can do about them besides find another host they will go to OR get rid of the coral. Sorry to be such a downer. It is possible that it won't irritate the coral at all, in which case you have a interesting situation to enjoy.>

Clown trio? Ananda, <Hi again!> I have 2 juvenile what I believe to be Ocellaris clowns. The new 46g bow front has a larger (3") 4 year old, so I assume it is mature, Percula or Ocellaris clown with a host anemone. <A 3" clown is probably female...> I had planned to isolate the mature clown in my 10g Eclipse system to allow my smaller clowns to establish a territory before attempting to add the mature clown as I thought since 'she' had an anemone she'd be especially territorial toward the smaller clowns. Might it be possible to maintain a TRIO of clowns with the one anemone? <Doable for a while, perhaps, but you're likely to see significant aggression towards the odd man out once two of them pair up. In the wild, there are many subordinate males and possibly several immatures that the pair can take out their aggression on... here, you've got just the one clown. Would you consider keeping a separate tank for one of the clowns?> Thanks for the thumbs up about my years of experience with freshwater and I will visit the message board and add my two cents worth if I can help someone else.  Sue <Oh, excellent! We have a small, but growing, community and would love to be able to benefit from your expertise. Thanks! --Ananda> 

Maroon clown hosting in an anthelia <Hi! Ananda here today, helping out...> In response to Robert Heuser's question regarding whether a Maroon clown will host in a soft coral, I offer my own experience. <Oh, cool. Thanks for chiming in!> I have a maroon that believes that a clump of Anthelia is an anemone. He not only takes refuge within the coral but at feeding time brings food to it. Its funny to see him lose his patience when the food just floats off the Anthelia and he has to go back and get it again. Jerry <That does sound amusing. I've heard of clowns hosting in xenia before, and in various soft corals, yellow polyps, star polyps, mushrooms, Caulerpa, the corner of the tank, a chunk of PVC pipe, the skimmer overflow box.... --Ananda> 

Rule-breaking Maroon Hosting a Condylactis  >Hello folks-  >>Hello.  >I've searched the posts, and can't quite find an answer to this one: Are there any long-term problems associated with a maroon choosing to host/hang out with a Condy?  >>Well, my goodness, if the fish likes it, and the anemone doesn't seem to suffer for it, then the answer would be no!  >I have a mated, tank-raised pair; the female has taken over my newer RBTA, while the male has apparently chosen the older, much larger Condy, rooted in the rock just above the female's roost on tank bottom. the RBTA and maroon pair have been in my 2.5 year old tank about a week.  >>Alright. Rules *are* made to be broken, aren't they? It would seem if any fish is going to break the rules regarding what anemone they will and will not host, it's fitting that it would a maroon.  >Minor nibbling from the female on the Condy so far; it appears to suck in the tentacles as if cleaning them and then spits them out mostly undamaged when it emerges from its roost to check out the male.  >>Sounds like typical caretaking to me.  >The male just hangs out there waiting for a chance to demonstrate the submission dance to the female. It doesn't really appear to host in the Condy so much as swim around in the tentacles; the Condy appears indifferent relative to the female's relationship with the RBTA. I've read scale disease is possible for the maroon, as well as ill effects for the anemone, now nearly at three years in my tank and getting a bit large. So far, so good, though- any thoughts?  >>Yes. Get pictures. This is unusual. If they do appear to be stressing the anemone, then someone's going to have to find a new flat.  >Thanks very much.  >>You're welcome. Marina

Clarkii Malarkii >Hello, >>Hello. >I have some questions on some Clownfishes and anemones.  I have a 70g tall tank that's been up for about 4 months.  I just added a make shift 50g trashcan refugium that is in the process of cycling and getting seeded with bacteria, algae, benthic creatures and such,  I have some soft and polyped corals that are growing well.  I also have 4 three foot VHOs (2 actinic 1 50/50 1 10k w/ reflector over three of the bulbs).   >>Not 4' long bulb over a tank that size?  But, if your photosynthetics are growing well. >I also have a true perc that's about and inch and a half long which is doing well (as well as she can be after the loss of her husband Elvis : ( due to a tragic pump encounter that I've since fixed).  I'd like to eventually get her a Ritteri anemone which I've read is ok to house with a true perc.   >>Yes, I'm going with Ritteri as being Heteractis magnifica.  There are others as well; as I recollect you can also house sebae (H. crispa), among the hardier anemones to keep, for instance.  This by no means is any assurance that a given clown will host a given anemone.  Also, know that clowns are known to host entirely un-alive things as well. >Problem is I know that species of anemone isn't the hardiest and needs plenty of light.  I figure after my refugium gets kicking the water should be fine, but I'd need to get some better lights due the my tank being so tall.   >>Yes, I would agree, unless you went with something that requires more feeding than light. >I think could get away with putting the anemone towards the top of the tank where the light level is highest, however, many people have told me they move around a lot and won't necessarily stay put. >>This is very true. >So I'd like upgrade my lighting to a 250w 10k or 6500k MH bulb with 3 or 4 VHO actinics (is this enough?).   >>To light one area, yes, I would think it is.  As for color temperature, much of that is also personal preference.  With some bulbs there may be no need for the actinics.  The actinics don't actually provide much in the way of "usable" light.  I believe the 6500K will be rather yellow, and I also believe that you could use a 175W @ 10K.  I can't advise further on this, but we do have other crewmembers more familiar.   >This way wherever it decides to move it'll have plenty of light at any point in the tank.   >>No, not quite at any point, but it would search out its best place.  What is just as important is FEEDING.   >I'd also think that this would entice the anemone to stay put if it's not always searching for a happy lighting spot.   >>Lighting is but one factor to consider.  Water flow, water quality, suitable parameters, and feeding are some of the biggies. >I also want to keep some clams and some high light level corals which would also be better off with the higher light levels. Now I know I shouldn't really be asking this but I'm going to anyway.  Do you think It'd be safe to add a Clarkii clownfish and a carpet anemone (don't know species) that I've taken a serious liking to at a LFS?   >>NO.  Not only can I not advise placing anemones with other sessile invertebrates, but to add one with dismal survival rates as well as much stronger nematocysts with which to sting.  I also cannot, in good conscience, advocate mixing such an aggressive clown species with something like the A. percula in such a small tank.  This doesn't even begin to account for the potential sizes possibly achieved by each species of anemone (assuming they did well). >The Clarkii is about an inch long and loves Its anemone.  I'd think this combo could work cause the smaller Clarkii would have some protection from its anemone, and the perc would be on her home turf plus she's a little bigger.  The perc would be getting her own anemone always (after light upgrade? and my refugium being cycled).  I'd also like to add a small tang way later and some other more delicate fish.   >>A small species (do check out fishbase.org for species and adult sizes) should do well DEPENDING on your stocking levels.  All tangs need horizontal swimming space in a big way. >Am I headed for disaster or could this work with caution and patience?    >>I can't tell you you're headed for disaster, as I know people who break the rules.  However, if asking "Is it more likely than not?" I would have to say, "yes, it is more likely than not that you're asking for big trouble." >I'm sorry for asking so much, but I know you guys know your stuff and like always when I ask people at LFS I'll get mixed answers.   >>My friend, it doesn't matter *where* you go, you will always get mixed answers.  Including here! >So thanks a million your work is invaluable!!   : )) >>I'll suggest doing a search on the anemone articles we have, then taking a look at our FAQs on anemones of the genus you're looking at before you go any further.  As for mixing the clowns, I honestly wouldn't do it, as I would really expect that Clarkii to get big and MEAN, sooner rather than later.  If you must have it, then set up a (LARGE) tank dedicated to him and his anemone.  Marina

Rose BT anemone splitting I think! Need help Hi all, <howdy> I got a rose which was in my tank abt 2 weeks. Recently there's a hole from its mouth to the base. I think it is splitting! <quite possible/common> I've got 2 friendly maroon clowns in the tank that's trying to nestle into the anemone! Should I remove those 2 maroons and let the BTA split naturally or will they help the splitting process ? <they are irritating to the process in aquaria... and were frankly put in too soon with the anemone only 2 weeks established. Somewhat to very stressful> The smaller maroon seems to be drilling into the BTA! <yes... a problem> I need help. Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated! Cheers, Ben - Singapore <Ben... please do take the time to read through the bounty of information we have on this topic in our archives. There is an article on them splitting and many more FAQs. Do a keyword search in the google search tool at the bottom of the wetwebmedia.com home page. Also, search similarly on the big message boards. I have at least 3 large threads over there myself on this topic. Best of luck! Anthony>

Clown and anemone in 20 gallons? Nah, skip the anemone... (03/18/04) Hi Guys, <Hi! Ananda here this morning...> I just finished cycling my tank (had two electric blue damsels but gave them back to the store) and I purchased a true percula clown, two little hermit crabs, and a turbo snail.  It has the black stripes so I'm certain that it is a true percula.               <The black stripes can be found on both "true" perculas and "false" perculas, aka ocellaris.> Anyhow I wanted to get a sixline wrasse, a watchman-type goby, and either a flame angel or maybe a coral beauty.  My question is it going to be safe to have an anemone in there?  I have a 20 gallon tank with the Custom Sealife PowerCompact fixture, which has 120 watts (60 white, 60 actinic blue). <Item 1: Clownfish do NOT need anemones. Also, your clownfish is likely captive-bred (whichever species it is), and if so, has never seen an anemone. Clowns in the wild use anemones to stay safe from predators. In the absence of predators, they've no need of an anemone. Item 2: Anemones are not exactly easy to keep. And a 20 gallon tank gives you NO room for error with an anemone. If anything goes out of whack, it goes out of whack in a *big* way...and can cause a complete tank crash. Or, if something goes a bit awry, it could stress the anemone, which could release its toxins, and you could get a tank wipeout that way. Item 3: Your fish list is far too long for a 20 gallon tank. I'd stick to the clownfish and the goby, or maybe even just the clownfish. If you would like more moving stuff in the tank, check out some cleaner shrimp. :-) > Thanks a Bunch! Mike Chang <You're welcome. There is MUCH more information on anemones on the WetWebMedia site, starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm -- and at all those links in blue text at the top of the page, too! --Ananda>

Anemone Size Requirements Hi guys;     i have a 20 gallon hex tank with 20 lbs of lw 10 lbs of crushed coral and a red sea Prizm skimmer. I would like to get a pair of A. ocellaris and an anemone. do you think this is possible? and if so what kind of anemone would you recommend for these fish that's also fairly hardy? also what kind of lighting would be appropriate for this kind of tank. it's 24" deep but only 16" from side to side. do you think an 18" long 96 watt power compact from Coralife would do the trick if i kept the anemone close to the surface? I've kept a SW tank for a couple of years now  but always a low light reef setup with mushrooms and polyps. thanks for your time. Mike <Hi Mike, Ryan with you.  I'm sorry, but all anemones that will host an Anemonefish will grow too large for a 20 gallon hex tank.  It wouldn't be fair to you or the animal to attempt to keep this combination.  I would recommend 55 gallons or more to attempt to keep this challenging of a creature.  Good luck, Ryan>

Clownfish question Hello Crew I have just added a Nemo to my reef but I don't have an anemone for the percula. I don't want an anemone running around the tank stinging my corals. Will this be a problem for the clown not having an anemone? <No. Clownfish can live perfectly fine with or without anemones, Good luck, IanB> Thank you Kirt

Update on Nitrate Reduction (Success) and Artificial Anemones. 2/24/04 Hi Steven Pro & WWM Crew,  <Hi Glenn!  Adam here today.  Steven is no longer answering questions here, but I will pass along your kind words.> Hope everyone is doing well. As usual this site continues to be an excellent source of information. Appx. 2 years ago, Steven Pro offered me some advice on how to reduce the nitrates in my 75 gallon FOWLR aquarium. We exchanged several emails about how best to proceed. I added the extra rock he recommended, but was unable to locate a source of South Down sand so I continued to use the CC and UG filter. I did replace the Sea Clone piece of  junk with a Remora Pro. Nitrates continued to be high. In January, I resumed my search for Southdown sand and found some. I tore down my system, had it drilled, plumbed in a 20Gallon Sump/Refugium, added a 4" DSB the rock, fish and water back into the tank. 2 weeks after that I added Caulerpa to the refugium. 6 weeks later, having never had an Ammonia or Nitrite spike, my Nitrates have declined to .26ppm ... Thanks for the advice Steven, it worked perfectly. I've started adding a few beginner inverts, like mushrooms, yellow and brown polyps. They appear to be doing fine. <Nice upgrades!  Sounds like things are progressing well!> One more question about Nitrates. I've tried three different tests for Nitrate. Wardley's, Aquarium systems and Red Sea. I'm still getting 20ppm on the Wardley's and Aquarium systems tests. The Red Sea shows none detectable. I've read several posts from people who do not think the Red Sea kit it good. So I took it to an LFS that has a digital test kit. His came up with .26ppm. I guess the Red Sea kit was the accurate one after all.<Some test kits measure Nitrate ion and some measure nitrate nitrogen.  Make sure your kits are measuring in the same units.> I do have a question about artificial anemones. I know that anemones have a high mortality rate, so I don't think it would be wise for me to try and keep one in my 10G nano for my False Percula.<Agreed.> I've seen several references to clowns taking to artificial anemones. Unfortunately, the only ones I've seen for sale are rigid. I've seen a post where some one tried rubber bands, but that did not sound like a realistic looking anemone to me. What about using fishing lures? You know, those rubber or vinyl worms or minnow lures sold for fishing. Do you think these would be toxic? They float and sway in water like anemones do. Silicon 10 at the base. The rest of the lure would sway like the tentacles of an anemone. Not to mention, it would only cost $2.50.. <A worthy experiment.  I would want to be sure that the worms did not contain any scents, "glitter" or other potentially toxic ingredients.  I would also wash them in mild soap and hot water to remove any oils.> Thanks Again, Glenn <Always a pleasure, and please do report back with the results of your artificial anemone experiment!  Adam>

Clownfish - Hey there sucka! Hi, <Hello.> I've noticed the strangest behaviour from my ocellaris mated pair recently. The larger female has been sucking at the tips of my bulb tipped anemone, and looks like she's getting some serious kicks out of it. She's also sucking at the undersides as well... and can stay "attached" to it for quite some time. The male also does the sucking thing and there's no harm done to the anemone, no marks or anything. <I wouldn't worry about it.> The tank's stable and everyone's happy and plays well together, but this sucking thing is creeping me out and I can't find any info on such behaviour. Whassup with my suckas? <Sucking on the tentacles of the anemone is quite common in the symbiotic relationship between the host (anemone) and the clownfish. There are many theories about why clownfish suck on the tentacles of their host. I can say from my personal experience that it's nothing to worry about and is usually quite normal for clownfish to do. Take Care, Graham.> Regards, Yvette

Hanging by a Xenia! And...the Homeless Clownfish Hello Crew, <Scott F. here with you> I had purchased a Xenia from Liveaquaria.com, and it came in today, but I noticed that one was hanging by a limb.  What should I do?  It's just a small Xenia, about half an inch tall.  Should I cut it and rubber band it together with 2 small rocks, leave it, or do you know of a better way? I'm scared to cut it because of its size, and due to the stress of shipping, I don't think it will be able to recover from a propagation attempt. <Well, if it were me, I would leave it be for a couple of days.  If it does not appear to recover, you may want to excise the damaged portion and leave the remainder in an area of the aquarium where it can recover.  Xenias are extremely hardy (kind of the weed of the coral world!), and usually can recover from such traumas given time and good conditions.> Also, I have another question, too.  I had purchased a bubble-tip anemone for my Perculas because they were not happy without their own anemone like my Maroon clown.  Well, the Maroon wanted more property and took to both bubble-tips.  Is this normal? <Well, Maroons can be quite territorial, and can certainly take over a given area, including the anemones.> Is there any way that I can make him leave so my perculas might have a chance in having an anemone?  Thanks, Chris. <Short of removing him from the aquarium, probably not.  This is one of the reasons why we generally advise against mixing various clownfish species in one aquarium, particularly the Maroons as they can be quite nasty.  Well, keep a close eye on things and maybe the social order will settle down and everyone will be happy.  Good luck!  Scott F.>

Clown and Anemone How long does it take for a clown fish to  make the anemone his home.<Generally within a couple of weeks.> The clown fish seems to watch the anemone but it doesn't even get close enough to touch the bubble anemone.   I have read that these two are go well together.<Yep>   Both fish and anemone look healthy.  I have had the bubble anemone for three days.  Am I just being impatient? <I would just give it time.  Also if it is a captive bred clown he may not take to the anemone at all.  Sorry for the delayed reply.  Cody>   Thanks Barbara

Anemone / clown relationship Hello, I have a rather large and seemingly healthy purple tip Sebae anemone in my 75gal reef tank.  I have one maroon clown and one percula (orange) clown.  Neither one will host this anemone.  The maroon has been in tank with anemone for around a week and the percula only a couple days.  Both clowns seen to not even get close.  Will they eventually host the anemone or should I replace it with a different type? <There is no guarantee that clownfish will take to an anemone. It all depends on the personality of the clownfish. Some clownfish will take to the anemone as first as the view it while others prefer to host around an empty shell or around a rock. I also see that you haven't had these clownfish very long. Clownfish will observe their surroundings before they find a host. However, I can't tell you whether the clowns will take to it or not. It also sounds as if these fish haven't been in the aquarium too long. I wouldn't expect the clownfish to immediately take to the anemone. Give them time and if they want to, they will host it.> Take Care, Graham Stephan

Clownfish & anemone Hi,     I bought three striped clownfish and a green carpet anemone, I brought them home placed them in a corner and now the clownfish are picking at the anemone.  In the store they were all in the same tank.  Is that normal for the clownfish to nip at the anemone? Thank you, Sarah <Hi Sarah! Clownfish will often nip on the tentacles and oral disc of the host anemone, so this action is quite common and nothing to be worried about. The clownfish is merely "introducing itself" to the anemone. Good luck with the new residents in your aquarium and take care!> Graham Stephan

Clownfish and anemones Hello, <Howdy!> a few questions could you please answer I have just got a bubble tip anemone and a pair of maroon clowns one is about 9 cm long and the other is only 2-3 cm long I was wondering will they mate if so then when?<They probably will, I couldn't tell you when as there are many factors that effect this from the fish themselves to their environment.> The bubble tip anemone keeps moving around, is it normal what is wrong, also how can I stop it from moving?<Do you have enough lighting?  If so just let him be and he will find a place that he likes.> Should the anemone be on rocks or is it ok for it to be on sand?<They usually climb up onto your rockwork. Cody>
Clownfish and anemones II
Hello, <Howdy!> a few questions could you please answer I have just got a bubble tip anemone and a pair of maroon clowns one is about 9 cm long and the other is only 2-3 cm long I was wondering will they mate if so then when?<They probably will, I couldn't tell you when as there are many factors that effect this from the fish themselves to their environment.> What factors are they?<<The size of fish, tankmates, size of tank, how long they have been together, water quality, if they have a anemone or not...>> The bubble tip anemone keeps moving around, is it normal what is wrong, also how can I stop it from moving?<Do you have enough lighting? If so just let him be and he will find a place that he likes.> I have 2 actinics and 2 daylights is that enough and is that alright?<<What size of tank do have, what kind of bulbs and what wattage?>> Should the anemone be on rocks or is it ok for it to be on sand?<They usually climb up onto your rockwork. Cody> The anemone is half on a rock and half on sand, is that ok?<<Sure. You can also find lots of info on our website: www.wetwebmedia.com .>>
Clownfish and anemones III
Hello, <Howdy!> a few questions could you please answer I have just got a bubble tip anemone and a pair of maroon clowns one is about 9 cm long and the other is only 2-3 cm long I was wondering will they mate if so then when?<They probably will, I couldn't tell you when as there are many factors that effect this from the fish themselves to their environment.> What factors are they? <<The size of fish, tankmates, size of tank, how long they have been together, water quality, if they have a anemone or not...>> The bubble tip anemone keeps moving around, is it normal what is wrong, also how can I stop it from moving? <Do you have enough lighting? If so just let him be and he will find a place that he likes.> I have 2 actinics and 2 daylights is that enough and is that alright? <<What size of tank do have, what kind of bulbs and what wattage?>> I have a 5 ft tank and 4 ft lighting with 2 40w actinics aqua coral and 2  36w daylight Sylvania <This is not nearly enough lighting for these guys. You will either need to return him or invest in some more lighting. Again you can find tons of info at our site mentioned below.> Should the anemone be on rocks or is it ok for it to be on sand?  They usually climb up onto your rockwork. Cody> The anemone is half on a rock and half on sand, is that ok? <<Sure. You can also find lots of info on our website: www.wetwebmedia.com.>> Is there a problem if the anemone doesn't stop wandering?<It is probably still wandering because of the shortage in lighting. This guys needs to be moved into a more suitable environment quick or his needs to be improved upon. In the future please research all purchases before you buy them and don't just listen to the fish stores advice as unfortunately many are just out there to make money and don't care about the animals they handle or are not very well educated. Cody>

Bonding (1/21/04)   Hi all, <Steve Allen here>   I bought a Condy for my tank two days ago, and my Domino Damsel has "paired" with it....is this normal???? <for him. Nothing to worry about> I thought the Condy was a "stand-alone" anemone? <Not sure what you mean by that. All anemones are "stand alone" if nothing pairs with them. None actually need a clownfish to survive.> My Clarkii Clown didn't go anywhere near it... <C'est la vie. Could be a fight later over this anemone though.>

Anemone biting clownfish... ouch! 1/21/04 I have a yellow striped maroon clown who bit off the tips of its host anemone.   <yikes... swap the garlic with Xanax in its food mix and put on a Nemo DVD... perhaps chant "find a happy place, fid a happy place."> She spits them out and catches them again.  Then when she drops the tips goes after another one.   <yeah... that's gonna leave a mark> The anemone does not close up or seem bothered by the behavior.   <that's because they don't have lips... or vocal cords. You cannot here them scream> Is this normal and will the anemone suffer because of it? <ahhh... no, and then yes. In that order. Please do separate that cheeky clownfish from the poor anemone (be sure to leave the anemone in place as a move right now could accelerate an infection fro the stress... and all of those open seeping appendages> Thank you. Nicole in Albany, Oregon <best of luck my friend. Please do peruse our extensive archives on the subject too... much to be gleaned therein at WetWebMedia.com. Anthony>

A Clown Who Loves His 'Stool! >Hello to all! >>Greetings! >I have an ocellaris clown which occupies the long polyps of my toadstool. >>Not at all uncommon. >All day he stays in the polyps and rubs on the 'stool, even bringing it back food like it is an anemone.   >>He/she'd make someone a great husband/wife someday, eh? >Will this hurt my toadstool over time?   >>Highly unlikely, probably will help it when it needs to slough.   >This has been going on for about 7 months and the polyps still extends fully and no visual damage yet on the 'stool.  Thanks, Jason -Surfs Up! >>(So I hear!  We got a severe marine alert out here - Astronomical high tides!)  Likely no harm at all.  If it were "unhappy" it WOULD show it.  Marina

Strange Bedfellows? (Clown/Brain Coral Relationship) Good evening Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> I've searched the sight and have not seen this question asked. I have a Green Open Brain (Trachy) in my 75G reef. About 3 weeks ago I introduced a Maroon Clown to the tank (after 4 wk QT). A couple days ago I noticed the Clown has taken up residence with the Brain. They both seem to be enjoying one another's company. To date, I've not read anything on Brain/Clown relationships. Is this common or an anomaly? Any enlightenment on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Greg, Chicago <Well, Greg- this is an unusual, but not unheard of behavior for the clown. I've seen and heard of these guys inhabit everything from Feather Dusters to Elegance Corals, and lots of stuff in between. It's pretty cool to see! Clownfish often like to have a "host" of some sort to call "home base". It provides them comfort and  As long as the Brain Coral is not being irritated excessively by the Clown, you should just enjoy this strange relationship! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Strange Bedfellows? (Pt. 2) Thanks for the quick reply Scott. Don't you guys ever take a day off? <Well- this is what I like to do on my days off! We Never consider this "work"...it's too much fun!> I figured if this is not that common an occurrence, I'd send along a pic of the relationship. See attachment. Greg Berkeley, IL <Excellent photo of a neat relationship! Thanks for sharing! Regards, Scott F>

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