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FAQs on Magnificent/Ritteri Anemone Behavior

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Ritteri Anemone Question. Magnificent beh.        3/12/14
First my tank specifics
180gallon reef tank, 40 gallon sump, and 20 gallon refugium
that gravity feeds into the system tank has been setup for two years and almost everything came from a 75 gallon reef tank that I had been running for 10+ years lighting is two - 250 watt 10k metal halide and two - 175 watt 14k metal halides, a 10k 48in t5 and an actinic 48in t5 All my parameters are great (salinity, ph, calcium, nitrates, ammonia, you name it.)
<I may>
Water circulation - closed loop
 with a MD18 pump (around 1800gph) and 2 Koralia evo 1500's & 2 Koralia 1150's on the Koralia wave timer to create alternating random flow.  + one Koralia 850 running continuously to keep a steady current of water moving in the tank.
A reef octopus skimmer (model I can't remember) rated for 300+ gallons I have LPS, SPS, soft corals, 1 bleached BTA that was given me and I've rehabbed slowly back (finally accepted some small plankton the other day and it's color is coming back!!)
<Ah, good>
1 hippo tang
1 Tomini tang
1 six line wrasse
2 yellow tail damsels
2 black saddleback clowns
6 green Chromis
1 Tailspot blenny
2 Jawfish
2 watchmen gobies
1 pistol shrimp
1 anemone crab (was hiding in the anemone when I got it and I'm surprised it wasn't noticed as he's rather large)
<There are some (natural) large mutuals>
2 cleaner shrimp
2 peppermint shrimp
1 coral banded shrimp
Lots of hermits and snails etc.
<Not a fan; see WWM re>
SO, I have done a lot of reading and research about the Ritteris
<This is a nomen nudum... Take a look on WWM, pertinent recent literature... Are you referring to Heteractis magnifica?>
 and looked for as many people as I could who have similar tanks that have/had them and their experiences with them.  So after all that I decided to attempt keeping one myself.
<Uhh, I wouldn't mix in (another) large Actinarian here... with the other stated Cnidarians, Closed-loop circ... too likely to be a disaster>
 The tank inhabitants have been happy after adding him and he/she/it has not left it's spot since having been put in there and slowly acclimated to the lights.  It's been a model inhabitant of my tank, it eats anything it grabs and I've been feeding it pieces of shrimp, clam, & silver sides
<... see WWM re their nutrition/feeding>
with the head and tail cut off every 3 or four days.  My only question is that the tentacles are curled at the ends during the day and at night they straighten out.  I've looked and looked for info on this and haven't found anything.
<Natural behavior; not a worry... avoidance of predators (mostly fishes) by day...>
 I'm wondering if the lights are too strong that it's under (he's currently directly under the 250watt MH) and that's what is causing it?
<Doubtful... what's the PAR/PUR measure near it?>

 It hasn't moved from the spot or shown any indication of issues other than this curled tentacle thing.  The light is about 8 inches over the water and he's about 6 or 7 inches under the water.  ??
<... ditto>
I'd appreciate any feedback you have on this and will accept a rap on the knuckles for adding one of these animals despite your sound/sage advice to do otherwise.
<Not easily done long-term>
Appreciate all you do for everyone!
Drew Dickson
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>
SORRY! Forgot to add the pic of the Ritteri       3/12/14
<...? Is this a Heteractis magnifica? Do you have images of the base, pedal disc? BobF>
Drew Dickson

twisted Ritteri     10/20/12
You folks are the Best!!  I have an incredible Ritteri Anemone (named Korbel, after the champagne),
 who is amazing.  I have had him about 10 months and he was about four inches when I got him and is now over twelve.
I just noticed that the stem above his foot is twisted.  I have had the current in the same position for a month or so.  I was thinking that it needed to be changed, and I did so.  Could he be ready to split, or is there something else I should do?
<Nothing "to do" here... IF Korbel is in a bad spot current-wise, it can/will change its position>
  Thanks ever so much!
Jo Anne Wilkinson
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Ritteri On The Move! 6/27/09
Dear Crew,
I have had my Ritteri for almost 3 1/2 years. Of which I am very proud.
< Obviously a well maintained aquarium. >
Over the past week I had my Hamilton magnetic ballast go on me.
The lighting was (2) 250XM 20K SE bulbs. In the mean time, I borrowed a friends DE 150 watt system while the ballast was being repaired.
During the repair time, I cam across someone who was selling their Lumenarc III reflectors and icecap electronic ballasts. I thought less wattage (Going Green! Well not really in this hobby) would be used
switching from magnetic to electric driven ballasts.
Since the upgrade the Ritteri moved from his spot at the top of the tank to the bottom to the upper corner of the tank in the back, almost in a shaded area of the tank. This guy has covered a lot of territory in three (3) days. This is strange because in the time I have had it, the anemone never moved. The bulbs are the same, with the exception of new reflectors moving from a hood to higher end reflectors. The question is should I be worried? Or with the lighting changes, this guy is trying to make himself/herself comfortable?
Thank you.
Christopher R. Sandoval
< Chris, I would not be to worried. It sounds like its just adjusting to the new lighting conditions. GA Jenkins>

Another H. Mag Question 6/1/2009
Hello Bob,
Hope This E-mail finds you doing well. This is Mike from MAAST (Marine Aquarists Association of South Texas) in San Antonio. I have a question about a Mag I purchased but first a little background about my
The tank was upgraded many months ago but the filtration has been in place for about 3 years so it is a stable system. The tank is a custom 4' x 3' 190gal. I have a custom built 100 gal sump/refugium with 50
gal of it dedicated to a DSB refugium with over 30 nicely maturing Mangroves and lots of live rock for filtration. I never register any detectible nitrates as my bioload is WAY below what this system is capable of
I also run Carbon and PhosBan 24/7.
<I would take care with this... not over-remove nutrients if keeping anemones et al. chemoautotrophs>
For flow I have 1400gph return and two opposing Vortech MP 40s (no need to issue warning, I'm well aware of the dangers). The lighting for this tank consists of 430 watts of T5 lighting and an 18" sun tube that brings in natural sunlight that, during the summer, is as bright as or brighter than a 400w mh bulb.
I have read everything I could find on these animals including everything on this site and your write up about them. I know , in the end, you suggest that they are best left in the wild and I agree; however, I found this beautiful purple based, yellow tipped Mag on the day it arrived at a LFS and for the ridiculous price tag of $27( yes, I'm positive its is a H. Mag), I could not leave it there.
I have Had this anemone for over 2 months (I know not a long time) and it sits on an unusually shaped rock that allows it to sit alone about 8" under the surface of the water where it receives about 4 hours of
DIRECT sunlight a day along with indirect sunlight and 432 watts of T5 for about another 10 hrs average. It has a TRUE dawn/dusk cycle. The Mag itself has great color on the tentacles, oral disc, and base. It stays firmly attached, stands up and stays inflated constantly, has VERY sticky tentacles and will catch and consume bits of mysis. The following is my one concern;
the mouth never fully closes.
<Mmm, not really an issue. Many in the wild do the same>
The mouth stays open (somewhat gaping) and has always been that way. I know in your write up you said that if all other appearances are healthy, " .Don't let loose lips deter you" or something very close to those words.
Assuming (I know never assume) my tank conditions are optimum, and that all other signs of health are great, is this constant "gaping" a sure sign of its eventual demise?
Would you suggest anything that I have not thought of that may be causing this? Or could it still, 2 months out, be adjusting to aquarium life? This Mag does not seem to be shrinking in size nor am I concerned about in moving or failing in health overnight, just looking for a little more expert insight on something
I may have missed.
This is the best picture I could provide; unfortunately photography is not a hobby of mine. Maybe next time you stop by you can take some pictures of it for me ;)
<Maybe... if you have cold Longnecks...>
Thanks for taking the time to respond and look forward to seeing you in a couple of months at the annual BigBird collection trip.
Thanks Again
Mike Liesman
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Ritteri Anemone 6/1/09
Hi Scott,
I just bought a nice 8-10" wide Ritteri Anemone at supplier Friday. I drip acclimated it for 1 hr. It was deflated slightly and mouth sagging open a bit in the 5 gal bucket, i placed it into the tank. Next day I take a look at it and its beautiful, large, lush, colorful, mouth closed tight, phew! Was a little nervous but it looks good Saturday morning. I then decided to add 2 of my wild ocellaris from a group of 6 in one of my holding systems. I slowly added the net of clowns right into the anemone and they swam right into it. Haven't left the anemone since, a match made in heaven. Spoiled little ocellaris have a x large anem to themselves. I paired a large ocellaris with a smaller one in hopes of eventually establishing a male/female pair.
Anyhow, next day Sunday i decide to give the anemone a couple pieces of silver sides, it ate them by tentacles wrapping around the food guiding it to the its mouth, 20 minutes later they were ingested. I have yet to see the excrement.
<Not a terrible worry, it is there.>
My main observation I wanted to ask about is tentacle deflation/inflation. Not the whole anemone, but i noticed certain areas of the anemone throughout the day would deflate tentacles for 10-15 seconds, then reflate, most of the time the whole anemone remained inflated. I have yet to see the entire anemone deflate, do you know how often that occurs and if it occurs during night hours or at random?
<Typically at night.>
I am pretty confident this anemone will be okay despite its claimed difficulty among various websites considering the setup i have placed it in.
<Including this one!>
I have it sitting slightly off to the side light rays beneath a 400 watt 14k metal halide. It hasn't moved at all since i placed him in there Friday, i guess that means he's content where he is...the system is a coral holding system and i placed him off to the corner where i have my cured Pukani rock area, its a 120 gallon 10" tall 8ftx3ft shallow tank. Not posing any threat corals, doesn't want to move, he's happy where he is, im thinking of getting another large one Monday to provide a home for my family of 4 pink skunks.
<Oh, don't! One is pushing any limits, two is just warfare waiting to happen.>
But basically i just wanted to ask of your thoughts on temporary deflation of tentacles in certain areas of the anemone. Does that mean anything? is this normal behavior of the anemone?
<It is not abnormal, especially when in a new setting. Do reconsider the second one, at least give this one time first.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: 1" Overflow Woes/Ritteri Anemone 6/2/09
I couldn't resist, I had to get that other big Ritteri anemone from the wholesaler. It was looking too good to pass up and plus they don't always carry nice anem's like that. I acclimated it to my system and then introduced 4 pink skunks and they happily claimed it to themselves. This Ritteri is so big 10" you cant even find the 4 little skunks when they are nestled in.
So now I've got 2 Ritteri's, 1 has 2 ocellaris, the other 4 pink skunks. I only bought the 2nd anemone because of how happy the first one is in my system. Plus they both have clowns now to nestle in them. I am not too concerned about warfare at this point because the system is so shallow and large, I can always create live rock barriers to separate them if that becomes an issue.
<Direct contact is not the only concern, see WWM re allelopathy.>
They don't like moving much from what i am seeing. They just settle in and get real big. I am in the service biz and always in the garage everyday without fail. I'm on close watch everyday just in case!
I also found bits of digested excrement/silverside bits come out of the first Ritteri, he hasn't deflated at all since I got him, a sign he isn't stressed. Mouth looks good, its firmly attached to the bottom acrylic, opened lush and receiving plentiful rays of 400 watt light with clowns on guard. Im not concerned at the moment. The zooxanthellae must be producing energy for the anemone under this light, and supplemental feeding couldn't hurt.
<Do be sparing though, a couple times a week at most.>
I will send you a pic when I get the chance of the two anemone's in this awesome setup that you helped consult me on plumbing a while back.
Plus I've got a killer G4-X ASM skimmer on this setup so it's the ultimate skimming providing plenty of oxygen and removing doc's. This skimmer is rated for 400 or 500 gallon tanks. Way over sized for this setup but it's definitely worth it. Also circulation is a dart 3600gph (3300 gph actual flow after plumbing) turning 120 gallons, that's 27.5 times turnover per hour...not bad, corals aren't complaining. I know no anemone is 100% fool proof especially these Ritteri's, but so far so good....
Time to relax and watch my clownfish families in their luxurious homes.
<Best of luck, have fun, Scott V.>
Re: 1" Overflow Woes/Ritteri Anemone 6/2/09

Hi Scott,
I've been reading through WWM's long thread on Heteractis magnifica questions. Seems to me the majority of people on there have mostly issues with poor lighting and they don't understand why intense lighting is of utmost importance for their survival. I gathered that many folks are not properly equipped with sufficient lighting for Ritteri's i.e. power compacts or fl. tubes of any kind will not work yet so many people try convincing themselves it "just might" work. Anyhow...i found the reoccurrence of people asking about utilizing compacts, tubes, t5's a bit interesting. I read maybe 1 out of 30 instances where someone was actually using a 400 watt halide. Could this be one of the main reasons for peoples failure with this anemone?
<It is a big reason, the other being these anemones require quite a bit of space and do tend to move quite a bit. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/hetmagnifica.htm>

Heteractis magnifica... beh.    1/6/09 Hi, <Jack> This a question regarding Heteractis magnifica, and health. <Ahh! One of my fave species amongst Actinarians... just not easily kept in most captive circumstances> They <More than one? I do hope these are clones> have been in the system for about 2 months and appear to generally healthy. The system comprises a purpose built Recirculating Aquaculture System, which has been running successfully with several different species of fish <<sic> fishes> (including A. percula and A. ocellaris) for approximately 6 years. Each anemone (4) is housed separately in 3 foot diameter circular tanks, atop a pile of rock approximately 7" below the surface. <Interesting set up> Lighting is by metal halide with a light intensity of around 6000 Lux at the surface. Water flow is by power head directed at the rock pile, around which the animals move. I would like to know if you have had experience of tentacle loss, and what might cause it? <Have witnessed this... in the wild and captivity... some think is an indication of stress... have even read of folks who deem this as some sort of "artifactual" reproductive behavior... And do know that Clownfishes can/do damage their hosts in this way at times...> Essentially, I have noticed some tentacle tips on the floors of the tanks, and upon inspection can see a couple of patches no larger than 1.5 cm in diameter on the surface of the animals from which the tentacles have disappeared, leaving stubs. I would like to know you if you know what causes this and if you know if it is normal or not? <Mmm, don't know re the term "normal", but as stated, have witnessed as well... I would experiment, try iodine/ide (Lugol's Solution likely) supplementation... weekly likely... record if one of the samples is more subject, maybe mix the fishes up with it> If not, what can I do to remedy the situation? Thank you, Jack James <And, as alluded to... H. magnifica doesn't "get along" with conspecifics... this -cytosis, might be resultant from chemical allelopathy. Bob Fenner>
Re: Heteractis magnifica    1/6/09
Hello and thanks for your response. <And you for this follow-up, filling in> A few other notes and such for you interest, in response to your suggestions. In regards to this being an interesting set up, it is a University research system with about 5300 litres of tank space in various different tanks, hence the separate tanks for the anemones, and much more water in the system as a whole. <I see> On your <sic> in regards fish versus fishes, that one could run and run, but I have used "fish" all the way through the PhD and it seems to do me well! <Heeee! Is one of a few (I swear!) personal pet-peeves... and one I "inherited" from a brief meeting with Dr. Carl L. Hubbs many years back... for browsers, there is a "semantic difference" twixt the term fish/es... the 'es' designating more than one species (though not sub-geographical species race... vs. if many of the same specific ranking, the term "fish" applies to both an individual as well as many of the same species> At the time that the tentacle loss started, there were no fish with the anemones, so we can discount damage by fish. As for iodine supplementation, we have weekly supplementation in the system of iodine and other minerals into the system water so a lack of iodine is unlikely. <Agreed... was "a shot" in the dark> As for conspecific competition, I would suggest this is unlikely as the animals are not together and the water does not flow from tanks to tank, but goes through extensive cleaning before being returned to the tank, also any signaling chemicals would be extremely dilute in the system water. Any other ideas!? <A few, but dwindling in my confidence level... Might I ask that you send your query to Dr. Daphne Fautin ("Hexacorallians of the World... .com") at the U. of KY? She, of the few folks I'm familiar with in the field, would most likely know where to refer you in turn> The animals sometimes look full of water and vibrant, at other times limp and small, with no changes in any water parameters or in the set up. It's a puzzling and concerning mystery! <Indeed! Again, thank you for this further input. Bob Fenner> Jack

Specific Gravity and Ritteri Osmoregulation  1/25/08 Crew- <Craig> A question I wanted to get a clear answer on, and then some additional responses are down below for you to expound upon. Again we are talking about a ritteri anemone in specific here, but <Aka a Magnificent...> Being osmotic conformers, can anyone verify my hunches regarding the osmoregulation feedback loop of anemones? 1) If the SG in the surrounding water is lower than what the anemone wants, would it deflate to attempt to raise the concentration of salts within its tissues? Or is it the opposite? <Mmm, the initial solute concentration in such a setting would be higher inside the animal, through simple osmosis, water itself would "tend" to go into the tissue, swelling it... However...> 2) And the corollary: If the SG in the tank is higher than what the anemone prefers, will it inflate in an attempt to dilute the salt concentration in its tissues. <Actually the opposite... imagine placing your face in a sinkful of tapwater, opening your eyes... vs. opening them in the sea...> 3) Do anemones have some sort of mechanical automatic response when SG is changed (either raised or lowered)? <Mmm, yes... active transport... with slight changes in the osmotic make up of their immediate environments, there can be little to no discernible change... With large changes, anemones almost always "shrink" in response, behaviorally> 4) Upon acclimation from the wild, is it normal for this species to inflate/deflate 2-3 times per day as part of its acclimation process? <Mmm, yes... if healthy... When collected are VERY squeezed down, made smaller... and do "cycle" larger/smaller a few times diurnally... once again, IF in good health... thought to "flush" wastes...> How long (under optimal conditions) should this behavior be expected? <Mmm, invariably... with time, most Heteractis slow these oscillations, barring outside influences> Asking it another way: how long can the "settling in" process be for anemones, specifically ritteri? <Days to weeks to months> This is not my first experience with anemones, have been keeping a number of species (including this species) for several years now and have not seen such behavior out of any individual specimen until now. I did have a BTA that deflated totally about every other day, but this seemed geared toward waste removal as it would emit dark mucous-like material. There is no type of excretion in these ritteri. <Mmmm, can be. Have you read my survey piece: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/hetmagnifica.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Re: Specific Gravity and Ritteri Osmoregulation, and beh.   2/6/08 Crew- <Craig> A follow up to this issue we have been discussing: Over the last week or so, I have lowered my SG down to 1.023 according to the reading on my refractometer. As a result of this change, the ritteri has ceased its incessant inflation/deflation routine and now spends most of the time fully expanded. This is what you would describe as "normal" anemone behavior - we know they don't spend most of their time deflated, but they do occasionally deflate for acclimation/metabolic/other reasons. <Yes> Is it possible that my refractometer is off? <Mmm, yes> I have triangulated my results by using another refractometer to verify my readings (but it was the same model that belonged to my LFS). I was under the impression most inverts do not do well with less than full strength SG. <Actually...> If my refractometer is not off, should I leave the parameters where the anemone exhibits the most robust condition? <Yes, I would> I do tend to let the animals dictate conditions, not test kits/devices. <We are in total agreement here> These are more of a guide to get you in the ballpark, to help understand the various measurements of the optimal parameters. Secondly, given their colonial association in the wild, is it within the realm of possibility to re-introduce for good the second ritteri in this 140G system? <Mmm, maybe> It was removed to a separate system to help me understand its response to a different set of conditions. These anemones appear, at least visually, to be from the same geographic location since they are identical in coloration and physical characteristics. I understand that BTAs have cloned in captive systems (thus living in colonial associations), but this is obviously a different species. I have certainly apprised myself of the info on WWM regarding anemone systems in general, but for the record on THIS SPECIES, does anyone have experience keeping multiple specimens in a single tank? Thank you all for what you do. Craig <I wish I were home to send along some pix of Heteractis magnifica I have seen in the wild... In one area of Palau Redang, Malaysia, there is a city block of this species... with numerous (I counted nine) species of (some VERY old) Clownfishes... all bunched together... cooperating in their survival, protection... In other areas I've also seen obviously disparate (genetically) specimens of H. magnifica in close proximity... Do just take care to keep all pump intakes, overflows covered... for the probability of one or more of them "letting loose, getting about"... Bob Fenner>

2 Ritteri Anemones Changing Color   12/17/06 Please help, I have read all the articles on dyed Anemones. We were one of those people who had purchased a white dyed one unfortunately. <... Never heard, seen a "white-dyed" Heteractis magnifica... likely "just" bleached... bereft of zooxanthellae due to handling, being placed in low-no light conditions> We have had  it for approximately 5-6 months. <A good long while> It has stayed in the highest part of the  tank towards the lighting and the water flow. <A clue...>   Eats well and the  tentacles look very healthy.  In the past week it has been  turning a yellow color. <Might simply be doing this in response to local conditions, feeding> This concerns me because we also have a very healthy Ritteri in our tank  but since the dyed one is changing color now the healthy un-dyed one is  also getting the same yellow tint. <Bingo... similar conditions, likewise response> They were both on opposite sides of the  tank but shortly after we purchased the healthy one it moved to the location of  the dyed one. <Mmm... though this species "mixes" better than all but one of the large actinarians used in the trade, it is best to house no more than one per system> I thought that maybe the dyed Ritteri was returning to a  healthy stage but being both are changing color I don't know. Please help! Penny <Mmm... not much "to do"... except move one of them to another system... You have read here?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/hetmagnifica.htm (the linked files above)? Bob Fenner>

Ritteri Anemone 5/21/04 Hello Anthony <cheers Drew> Recently bought a nice Ritteri Anemone from my LFS and was wondering about some strange things its does, <this is such a beautiful anemone, but one of the most challenging cnidarians (among all corals and anemones) to keep in captivity. They require an extraordinary amount of light (halides ideally over 5 watts per gallon) and powerful water flow with target feedings several times weekly (finely minced meats only... no nig chunks) in a species specific tank (no other cnidarians). Most become a statistic within a year, sad to say. Please do take this advice to heart. I hope this works out for you!> every night and hour before the lights go out it will lean almost lay down into the current? seems odd to me but I can not find anything on habits of an anemone other then they will wander. <yikes... there is lots of info abroad (mostly negative) on the keeping of this anemone. Dig deeper my friend> tonight he was leaning over and just fell off the rock? SPG is 1.0235 ph is 8.3 - 8.4 temp is 78 water flow is approx 1300 GPH 90 Gallon aquarium. for lighting I just installed prior to buying him, 4 VHO bulbs all are 110 watts 2 Super actinic 2 Aquasun. <the water flow is good.... but the lighting is not even close to par. The actinics are just for aesthetics and offer little to no help here (I still like them too though <G>). In essence, you have 220 watts (just over 2 watts per gallon) to keep this anemone with only two white bulbs... and worse still.... its VHO which is very attractive in my opinion, but only penetrates weakly into the water column. Unless the anemone sits in the top 8-10" of the surface, It is not getting enough light to even survive the next couple of months. My advice is to switch to four 7k - 10k K bulbs and force the anemone to stay near the surface (top 10"), unless a halide fixture is a possibility> also like to mention that two True Perculas have taken to him only a few days after he was put in the tank. During the day he seems fine he is on a high point where he will receive lots of light and current but on a separate pile from the main rock work to deter wandering. sorry for the lengthy email just thought to pass on info I thought that may help. Thanks. Drew <no worries... you are on the right track. I wish you the best of luck!> ps. plan on buying your book I found an autographed copy at my LFS and will be picking it up shortly. <ah, thanks kindly :) Anthony> 

Ritteri shock? Hello Crew, <Graham at your service.> Sent an email about my ritteri falling off his rock, but received no response. one thing i did notice though is its every night when i shut off the lights it falls off and rolls across the bottom of the tank, I have left it and it looks most unhappy so i always put it back on its rock where it seems fine till the next night. <It's completely normal.> Guess my question is, will the sudden change in light cause my ritteri to release from his rock thus being blown off from the current? <No. As you probably know, anemones have no central brain -- thus why they cannot adapt to a certain environment. If your aquarium isn't fitting the exact needs the anemone would encounter in the wild, the anemone will move to find a suitable location. This move is commonly done during the night. With that said, leave your anemone and let it roam around the tank where it wants -- just make sure it cannot be sucked into a powerhead or filter.> if so what can i do to prevent this with having to spend extra money for a dimmer. <See above.> am running a icecap 660 with 4 110 Watt VHO lights 2 super actinic to Aquasun. Thanks as always <Good luck! The Ritteri is a very difficult anemone to successfully keep. It's important to maintain excellent water quality and give the anemone ample amounts of lighting. You may also want to feed the anemone foods such as krill, squid, silversides, lancefish, etc. 3x weekly to give the anemone added nutrition. Take Care, Graham!> Drew 

Ritteri anemone Bob, <Or M. Maddox, an admiring understudy of his> I just bought a beautiful Ritteri anemone about 7 days ago. First 2 days were great and since the animal has reduced in size, its tentacles are not holding water and it's mouth has become visible. At this point, its floppy but both true Percs are still in it. <Most don't fare well in captivity, mostly due to inadequate lighting\water motion> Using 2 96 W compacts and the specimen is about 6 inches from the top. It has not moved so I feel like the flow and water conditions are OK. All levels are zero, pH is 8.4. What should I do. I add iodine and "all in one" and water change regularly. Tank is 50 gallons.  <Case in point. I've seen Ritteri's park themselves 8" under a 400w halide bulb. You've nowhere near the required lighting for this animal. They also need flow in the thousands of gallons per hour (no laminar streams either), and they get huge (1 meter across). I'm sure the clowns aren't helping it adjust, either> What is going on? I've had a hard time with anemone's in the past but that was before the new lighting. What is going on? Why? Is this specimen salvageable? How many hours of light per day? Do you recommend the actinic at night as well? <Feed small pieces of meaty foodstuffs twice daily until you can upgrade your lighting, and if you can't upgrade your lighting to some intense halide lighting within the next couple of days I doubt you will be able to save it. Next time, research before buying!> Thanks for your help.  <You're welcome> Chris Woodson, Los Angeles, CA <M. Maddox, redneckville, TX> P.S. Love the site. <So use it!> 

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>

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