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 FAQs on Magnificent/Ritteri Anemone Health/Disease

FAQs on Magnificent Anemone Disease by Category: Diagnosing,  Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 

Related Articles: Magnificent Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, Anemones, Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Magnificent Anemones, Magnificent Anemone Identification, Magnificent Anemone Behavior, Magnificent Anemone Compatibility, Magnificent Anemone Selection, Magnificent Anemone Systems, Magnificent Anemone Feeding, Magnificent Anemone Reproduction/Propagation,

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

I need your expertise; Heteractis magnifica      4/8/20
Hello team! I have been a frequent visitor of your site for years and truly enjoy your articles and books. I have had reef aquariums off and on well over 10 years. I’m fascinated by the clown fish and anemone relationship, and I have successful kept bubble tips anemone for years and have ventured into the infamous Magnificent Sea Anemone. I know they don’t ship well and the one I received had to be treated, which I believe I have done successfully. My questions are:
1. How will I know if and when the animal has settled? (It hasn’t moved since it was placed in the tank where it receives average par of 380 -400 with peaks of 450. ( 240 gallon display tank lit by 4 Orphek Alantik V4 gen 2 and two Kessil A360X)
<Not moving is a good sign for this and other anemone species; and the clownfish settling in (not avoiding) the host>
2. It has lost a little of its color since its Cipro treatment, how long does it take to get that back? (Pix attached)
<Hopefully within a few weeks... I might (over)dose your supplementing of iodide/ate... with testing.>
3. Should I feed it at this time? I know when I have fed it in the past its tentacles deflate for a few hours? Not sure if this is normal or a bad sign? (In contrast my bubble tip anemones appear to get bigger after feeding)
<Yes; I would feed two, three times per week... "test" some food and if it is sticking, go forward with more>
4. Finally the mag has been in my tank since 03/17/2020. I receive it on 03/7, it started treatment on 03/08 (Went through cycles of deflating and inflating) and back in the aquarium 03/17 (No longer does it deflate or flatten out, however it does appear to shrink a little at night?)
<Yes; this is natural. Not to worry>
Thanks for your time, I look forward to your response.
Video <https://photos.app.goo.gl/5cAJkD4JJHdCoqD4A >  of aquarium mag is on the right
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Ritteri Anemone twisted      11/28/16
Your site is amazing, but I can't seem to find an answer to my dilemma.
<Thanks for using WetWeb, and I'm sure I can help>
I purchased a Ritteri anemone 8 days ago.
<Yikes... I hope you're familiar with the husbandry for these animals. They are too commonly bought by clueless individuals and end up dead in a matter of days>
For the first few days, it basically just wandered around and when I saw it getting to my coral or too close to a powerhead, I would manually move it with my hands.
<Be careful doing this. Wear some sort of gloves, as this species is very delicate>
It has since settled in the bottom of the tank on a rock, and is hosting my two clowns greatly.
<This is good to hear. It's always nice to hear that clowns have discovered a new home>
My problem, however, is that the anemone looks twisted around itself.
<Could you send pictures? Hard to picture what you mean exactly. Larger specimens can get sort of balled up and lay on top of themselves. This makes it appear to have wrinkles or folds>
It's a good 8", maybe, stretched all the way out, but for two days, it's been on this rock with both sides of its foot pretty much attached to itself. I'm afraid to move it anymore fearing it may perish.
<Leave it alone. It's always best to let an anemone find its home by itself. Unless it is near a powerhead, let it be. If it moves toward a coral, move the coral, NOT the anemone.>
It's partially deflated (less than half its tentacles), but plumps up when the lights are on. I have not noticed it balling up like bubble tips do.
It's also had its mouth open all of the 8 days. I don't see it losing flesh, and otherwise seems healthy. My clowns went right to it, we're talking 5 minutes or less.
<This also could be stressing it out a bit. When an anemone is first introduced to a tank, a bunch of animals diving in and out of it can be stressful, as I'm sure you could imagine>
I've read they're hard to keep.
<I hope you've done a TON of reading. They are extremely difficult to keep.
This is one of the few animals I believe should be kept in the ocean, no matter how experienced the aquarist in question is>
I've had 3 Rose Bubble Tipped anemones for going on a year. All three are perfectly healthy, even without regular feedings. I've tried to feed it a piece of shrimp and it refused the food.
<Not uncommon when first introduced to a tank, and because partially they use the light for food>
This was only about two or three days ago before it made its home in the bottom of the tank. It has major flow, good lighting, and water parameters are perfect.
<Please define "good" and "perfect". Let us know the flow rate and the lighting spectrum/PAR, and the exact water conditions>
I don't want this thing to die in my tank. I'll trade it in before I willingly let something die in my tank.
<If you can trade it in, do it>
Upon reading up on them, I've learned that these anemones are so much different than the "regular" more easily kept anemone such as the bubble tips.
<You should've done more reading>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! (I'm not requiring this for help, but I do have an instagram profile that documents my reef journey. You can see pictures there, ( account name is Owens.Reef ) or I can send you pictures upon request. I also think I should add that this is how the anemone has been the whole time it's been in the display. Acclimation was floating (for light), then a slow drip acclimation (for temp and water).
A little about my tank: 110 gallon mixed reef. Livestock includes: Diamond Goby, Mandarin Dragonette, Purple Tang, Yellow Tang, Blue Tang, Ocellaris clown, snowflake clown, Copperband butterfly, coral beauty angel, six line wrasse, 2 emerald crabs, hermit crabs, several types of snails, 9" clam, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 pistol shrimp, fire shrimp, cleaner shrimp, nearly all types of coral.
Thanks in Advance,
Jackie Owens
<Jackie, I would trade this specimen in for something you can easily keep.
If you truly decide to keep it, you need to do a lot more reading. Search WetWeb re Ritteri anemones. Send pictures as well. Cheers, Gabe>
Re: Ritteri Anemone twisted      11/28/16

Hey, Gabe!
I am very familiar with this anemone and it's requirements.
<Phew... Glad to hear this wasn't an "Oh look an anemone" type of purchase>
I'm one of the lucky few reefers who have a local fish store that won't sell you an animal without a good running tank and good tank mates/water.
<This is good to know. Too many stores will sell you anything as long as they're getting paid>
Anyway, my tank is a 48"x18"x30". I have a 1600GPH return flow, along with a submersible pond pump running 1000GPH behind the rocks that stack all up the back side of my glass and almost all the way forward, expanding in
width on the way down (done this for pod population and Mysid shrimp reproduction). I also have a 1650GPH Hydor powerhead and a small twin powerhead running 1200GPH turnover.
<Did you want some aquarium with that water flow? :)>
My lights are 2 150x3 CREE LED hanging fixtures.
My parameters are as follows: Ammonia 0, Nitrates 0, Nitrites 0, Phosphate undetectable, pH 8.3, Calcium 440, dKH 11, temperature 78, SG 1.025.
<Good as well>
It seems to be moving some, and I've researched more hours than I've had it, I believe.
<Thanks for the relief. This is a hard species to keep, and that reading will pay off if you keep the specimen>
Haha. I know they're nearly impossible to keep, as anemones are in general to some reef keepers, however, I feel (as well as our friends who own their own saltwater store) that this beast will flourish in our display. I'm concerned because I know how different they can be, along with their temperamental ways and sensitivity in the home aquarium. Thank you for getting back to me so soon! Can't wait to hear back.
<Jackie, to be honest, I think you'll be fine. Based on the pictures, it looks like the anemone is just so big that it needs to fold on top of it self to fit where it wants to mount itself. It appears very healthy and should be fine as long as the parameters stay where they are. Good luck with your magnificently temperamental, Magnificent/Ritteri anemone. Keep us posted in the future, and as always, thanks for choosing WetWeb. Cheers, Gabe.>

Re: Ritteri Anemone twisted    12/8/16
Good morning, Gabe!
<And a happy 5 AM to you too, Jackie>
I just wanted to update you!
The Ritteri is doing great. As far as it's inflation issue, we're still having it, but I figured out what was causing it and I am in the process of nursing it back to health. It was hungry!
<A-ha! Glad to hear it is doing well>
Apparently, it requires a lot of food to start thriving, or it wasn't fed well before (more likely).
<Since they are highly dependent on light, they don't need as much as a different species would when it comes to food. Still , regular feeding is smart, but make sure no to overfeed, and also make sure you are feeding a varied diet>
I have been cutting up raw shrimp into small 1/2" pieces and hand feeding it.
<Be careful hand feeding, and feeding at all with any instruments. Ritter's are a very delicate species and you can easily damage their tissue and cause their death without even noticing you touched it>
It looks healthier every day. After it gets enough to eat, it inflates and looks better than ever. One day at a time for now. In the mean time, here's a picture of my recovering monster!
<Wow! That's a great looking specimen, Jackie>
Thanks so much for all of you help! Oh, and you were right. It's so big, it was just folding over itself, but it's moving around a little now trying to find that perfect spot.
<Glad I could enlighten you with that knowledge>
Hopefully it stays away from my corals,
<Might want to rephrase that to "hope I can keep my corals away from it" :)
but I just want it at it's full potential and happy in our piece of the ocean!
<I am happy to hear that things are going well with your anemonemone (as Nemo would say)! As always, feel free to contact us at any time in the future. Cheers, Gabe>

EMERGENCY: Ritteri Anemone      8/31/16
Hello Crew-
I went and bought a Ritteri Anemone recently.
<Hope you studied....>

I put it in the tank, and it immediately adjusted to the new environment.
No problems at all. It eventually adhered itself to the glass of the tank.
That's when I noticed that the foot was damaged
<Very common problem leading to death>
and it's insides were showing. That white stringy stuff?
<Mesenterial this and that>

Anyway, it kept getting worse, and the half of the anemone was deflated.
Now, as I am getting home from school, I notice that it is no longer on the glass, but on the sand in a pile. Not inflated at all now. I triple tested my water, and it all looks fine.
<Not for long>
Everything else in the tank is thriving. I don't think the anemone is going to make it,
and I am going to pull it out as soon as it starts to smell and decay.
<I'd do that now>

If you have any suggestions on what to do with the anemone, please let me know ASAP. I need to know how to proceed. Photo is attached.
Gabe Walsh
<The aforementioned reading re the species on WWM:
and the linked files above; or my book (see Amazon) on Anemones and their use in aquariums. Bob Fenner>

Anemone help from South Africa. Anem. incomp.    7/31/16
Hi all
I have a 250l Red Sea Max, that is matured.
I added a bta to my current setup which has 2 magnificent anemones
<Yikes... not good to mix large Actinarian spp.>

yesterday (clones). I do not have a qt at the moment.
This morning the bta and smaller magnificent were touching. I then separated the bta this morning and put him in a basket, still in the main tank
The 2 magnificents are sulking and have turned a very dark cokour compared to normal. I think this might be due to toxin from the bta. The bta was completely open.
<The winner>
I have removed the bta and put him in a bucket with a pump and airstone to separate from main tank.
<Good move>
I am running some extra carbon Brightwell carbonit x3 and want to do a 30% water change tomorrow morning when I can create enough water and prep it sufficiently.
Any other advice,?
<Yes, a treble dose of iodide-ate; a double dose tomorrow... and some (a tsp. or so) of simple hexose sugar if you can find it (just one level for the whole tank, dissolved in system water); glucose preferred>
Your response is appreciated
<And you; Bob Fenner>
re: Anemone help from South Africa   7/31/16

Thank you for the response,
I'm not sure what iodide-ate is and I don't think get it in over here.
<Mmm; yes you can. Look for SeaChem's line>
For sugar can I use plain brown sugar or glucose syrup ?
<The latter>

Once again thank you
<Welcome. BobF>
re: Anemone help from South Africa   7/31/16

Hi Bob.
Thank you for all the help and prompt response. Will pick up the iodide today and the glucose syrup.
Will do a 30% or so water change.
<And this>
The magnificents are already looking better.
We give the iodine to allow for an immune booster? And the glucose for energy?
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone help from South Africa         8/1/16
I did the water change now just waiting for everything to settle.
<Very well>
Thanks once again for the advice.
Il let you know if everything is ok.
<Please do>
Please see pics of the magnificents before and after
<Looking better. BobF>

Magnificent Anemones. Using WWM - 1/25/13
Hi Crew,
I recently purchased an anemone which is creamy coloured with whiter tips.
<Very badly bleached... complete loss of Zooxanthellae... can reincorporate>
It is not that large about 12-14cms across. My two Ocellaris clowns which have been without an anemone for seven months ignored it for the first day but on the second day were both in it and never really leave it, only for food. I wondered if they need to secrete more mucus over their bodies before they can go inside one having been without an anemone for so long.
<Sometimes communication takes a while. Sometimes it never occurs>
This is great as it give me so much pleasure to see them rubbing their bellies on the tentacles. This leads me to believe that clownfish should only really be kept with the appropriate anemone as I don't think they will be complete without one. I have dived all over the worked and never seen a clownfish in the sea without an anemone.
<They (Amphiprionines) always live in mutual symbiosis w/ one of a few species of Actinarians>
I have a couple of questions, all may water params are good except......my phosphates were about 0.3 so I have added Seachem's Phosguard in a pouch which I hope will reduce the phosphate to negligible levels within 2-3 days.
<I wouldn't do this... see WWM re>
How sensitive are they to Phosphates?
<Not very... and do need soluble HPO4>

Also my temperature is a little high, I live in the tropics and my chiller is set for 30C Why 30C well with the aircon on during the day it hardly has to reduce the temperature, lower temps and it is on much more often and makes a noise and uses about 1amp. The anemone looks in good order, but when I drop New Life Spectrum small pellets on it it does not seem to respond.
<Needs meatier fare>

 I noticed the anemone is sticky but looking at your site where I saw "There are no naturally white-colored Magnificent Anemones... 
<This is correct. Do occur in quite a few other colors though>

    and it's rare for ones that are badly bleached to recover" do you think it could be another species or is it doomed?
<Most likely the latter, but is also likely Heteractis magnifica... see WWM re ID... the petechia on the column, its color>
Should I try another food?
<... yes>

I placed it about 15 cm.s below the water level between two rocks and it has not moved in four days so I hope it is happy. It looks great. Please find a picture attached. It is very close to a Goniopora, if they touch will either be hurt?
<Oh yes. Bob Fenner, out diving in the Philippines>

 Thank you in advance, Adam.

Re: Magnificent Anemones.
Bob, Wow enjoy the diving, so you think it can regenerate Zooxanthellae and should live?
<Yes; didn't I already state this? Can, not should. B>
 Re: Magnificent Anemones.

Yes but opposite to what I captioned and sent to you from your site, perhaps new info. Please update to avoid confusion. So the purple base will return with green tentacles?
<... not necessarily these colours and not w/o good care... Please read where you've been referred to... B>
Re: Magnificent Anemones. - 1/25/13

Hi Crew, I have a system with some delicate fish, Majestic Angel etc two pieces of Goniopora and I added the Magnificent anemone
<? Angels eat anemones>

only a week ago and it died today.
<... very typical>
My params are all good, slight phosphate 0.05, Nitrate a little high at 10, the fish and the Goniopora are all fine. The temperature could be a problem running between 30 and 31. The anemone was bleached but as previously discussed this should not be an issue.
<? Of course it is>
 Do you think it is possible it was already "dead" but did not show signs or are they that sensitive to temp. I am upset as my Nemos loved it. Any advice would be great I have read they are very difficult to keep. Regards,
<Am done telling you to read on WWM. Go elsewhere. B>
Re: Magnificent Anemones. - 1/25/13

How rude as clearly mentioned previously I had read part of your site and it conflicts what you now say in regards to bleaching. Also in regards to your suggestion that the Magnificent Anemone needs Phosphates that are detectable I find that hard to believe as I live by the Indian Ocean where the Phosphate reading is Zero.

Heteractis Magnifica Anemone - Care and Medication Question    11/5/12
Hello! And thank you for your time.
<Welcome Brad>
First, some background. My tank is a 210g with a 40g sump. It has been running and healthy for just over 14 months. I myself have been in the hobby for almost 4 years. In that time I have taken a strong liking to anemones, and have had a great amount of success with them as a result of learning from sites like yours. In my current setup I have many corals, fish, and anemones that are all living peacefully due to careful placement and purchasing.
<Okay! Am sure you know of the dangers of mixing Actinarians, and doing so w/ other Cnidarian groups>
Five months ago I purchased a Magnifica anemone at a LFS. It did not immediately take to my system due to a low alkalinity, but was recovered and settled after about 2 weeks once I fixed that. About four months ago, I added a second Magnifica from the same LFS. This one never had any trouble, but for a few weeks fought with the old one for his spot and finally won. The first one moved to a different spot and settled a little higher, closer to the lights. Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. I sold the first Magnifica to a fellow reefer, and it is doing well. I did this to make room for a new Magnifica of a more preferred color, which I purchased from a reputable online seller. My question is in regard to this "third" magnifica.
<All right>
For the first 2 weeks it did well, and ate every other day with no issue.
About a week ago it suddenly spit out it's meal after dark on feeding day, and ever since then it has deflated and inflated repeatedly in a cycle of about every 8-12 hours.
<Mmm, doesn't like something here>
It does not appear to be timed to the light cycle at all. When it is inflated, the mouth does not completely close, and when it deflates, it has a badly gaped mouth.
<Also "bad signs">

I have heard some people suggest that it may be trying to fight a bacterial infection. What are your thoughts on my situation?
<Far more likely something, someone else in this system it doesn't "like">
The first Magnifica is still well, as is the second one, which is in the same tank, under the same light and flow as the new one. I have also done 3 water changes this week, as well as change out the carbon. All of my parameters are good (SG is 1.025, no PO4 or NO3,
<Mmm, photosynthates need some (measurable) phosphate and nitrate... sigh>

Alk is 11, pH is 8.0). I am considering transferring the sick anemone to a QT and treating it,
<Just moving it will likely help>
but I would like to know what you can share regarding treating these anemones. I have heard suggestions of using Tetracycline, Doxycycline, and Cyprofloxacin, with Cipro supposedly showing the best results, but no studies have been done that I know of. Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks again!
<I don't suggest exposing this anemone to an anti-microbial. Not of much probable value, and considerable potential downside. Bob Fenner>

bubble anemone shrinking tentacles... Nope... sent secondarily  4/24/2009
Hi Crew. Thanks in advance for your help. I am needing some help with my bubble tip anemone.
<Not... see here:
Can't be sure from your image, but from the color of the pedicle, the verrucae... this looks like a Heteractis magnifica>
I purchased him at my LFS about 2 months ago. I am in the process of trying to correctly identify him using your web site, but when I got him he had beautiful frosty bulbs with purple on the tips.
He was fine, behaving and eating as I would expect based on the research I've done about them. About a month ago we replaced the bulbs in our aquarium. Compact fluorescents 2 each of 65w dual actinics and 2 each of 10,000K dual daylights.
<How far away...?>
Our tank is a 90 gallon with a 15 gallon sump. No mechanical filtration. 6 inches live sand, 110 lbs live rock, a pro clear aquatics 150 protein skimmer in the sump, and a pacific coast imports chiller that keeps the temperature at a constant 78. specific gravity is always 1.024 with water that has evaporated replaced each day with RO water from a Kent RO unit. We do weekly 10% water changes. Calcium is about 400, PH is 8.2-8.3. no ammonia etc. alkalinity is on the high side of normal according to my test kit. The aquarium has been set up for over 3 years. This is the first time adding a BTA. Also I change a carbon pillow monthly in the sump. We have four ocellaris clowns, one desjardinii tang, one regal tang, one yellow tang, a coral beauty, and a male and female mandarin dragonet. Also a lot of snails, some hermit crabs a couple cucumbers a skunk cleaner shrimp and two red fire cleaner shrimp.
Anyway, since we replaced the light bulbs, our BTA has not been well. His color on his body is still the same, brown, but his tentacles have shrunken more and more until they are almost gone. He still eats and excretes waste. I feed PE mysis shrimp mixed with Cyclopeeze and formula two flakes daily to all tank inhabitants, and I feed small chunks of shrimp and scallops from my local grocery store to the BTA every few days. Usually he takes it.
Occasionally he lets it go. Are the lights the problem?
<Perhaps a contributing factor... This amount (intensity) of light is insufficient for either Entacmaea or a Magnificent...>
Should I move him?
<I would try this>
He is attached to a large rock that can be moved lower in the tank. I am attaching a photo that I took of him this morning. At night when the lights are out his disk expands like a big soft pillow full of water, about 4 or 5 inches across, but the bulbs still stay shrunken. His mouth is tight and smooth. Can you guys(and or girls) help? Thank you so much. I love your site!
<Please use it. Bob Fenner>

Re: BTA shrinking tentacles more info... Allelopathy  4/24/2009
Hi I sent you guys a question earlier this morning about my bubble tip anemone problems. I sent a picture of him, and listed all water and lighting other livestock etc. I did not mention the other corals in my tank. I have been reading on your site all day and I'm wondering if the brown, gold, and green Zoanthids in my tank could be the problem.
<Mmm, yes>

I thought it was the new light bulbs. I will continue researching on your site, but wanted to add to my earlier e mail that there are a lot of Zoanthids in my tank, also some metallic green star polyps, a toad stool, and a mushroom.
<All these can be toxic to other Cnidarians... most so the Zoanthids>

If the Zoanthids are the problem, should I get rid of them. Our tank has been set up for a long time and they have multiplied a lot. Will my BTA survive? What's the easiest way to get rid of them? Thanks. Dawn D.
<Mmm, best for you to read: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above... till you understand your situation, options, consequences. Bob Fenner>

Sick Ritteri... many issues... A jokester?  12/27/08 Hello, We have had a Ritteri for about 15yrs. We had him in a 50 gallon tank for many of those years, along with the rest of our reef inhabitants. At one point several years ago we remodeled our room and we changed to a 75 gal. tank. For a year or so all was fine and then we had a water problem of some sort and he started shriveling up so we tried to fix the water problem and put in Nitrate sponges and phosphate sponges, we made sure our sump was working properly, and that our protein skimmer was working properly...Everyone else in the tank was very happy except him... In an last ditch effort to save him we put him in our 15 gallon show tank [taller than most 15 gal tanks]. We have mushrooms and polyps on rocks <Not likely compatible with the Magnificent anemone> in there and they are doing beautifully. He attached himself and for the last several years along with "Coral and Marlin" the two clown fish that have been with him since we got them, They have been happy. About a month or two ago we started having a green water problem and the Ritteri is shriveling up and closing up, and spitting out his stomach, and is almost flat.... we have taken every test available to us. Salinity is 23, <Mmm, better to be near seawater strength/concentration: 1.025> Nitrate was 0, <Is an essential nutrient> Phosphate was less than 0.05 , Hardness [which is too hard] 14... the Calcium is 540 <... Way too high... and your Magnesium?> .....We did an almost 90 % water change. We used the Reef water since it has no issues...about 60% of the tank, 10 gals or so. and the rest, new salt water from our barrel. but the Ritteri wouldn't perk up. Our little tank is green again, and we have ordered Algone for the tank but it hasn't arrived yet. <I would not use an Algicide...> So we put the Ritteri in the reef on the bottom...... We are watching him , he is stuck to the bottom , but he's spitting up all this fluffy looking stuff and all his tentacles are laying like a flat mum (the flower)... <Bad> but he does not smell and none of the cleaning crew are trying to eat him...What do we do? Thank you so much, Susan and Bobert Arnett <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/hetmagnifica.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner.

Anemone problems, Ritter's   11/25/08 Hi there, you have helped me out in the past, and I am back again. I just acquired a Ritteri anemone, about 4" in diameter, <Mmm... "squeezed down" for shipping likely... Heteractis magnifica in the wild are almost always much larger than this> came shipped, arrived in good condition. I have tons of live rock, checked up on your website, placed him high in the tank. Cut back the water flow for now, he rolled around a lot and now is where i think he wants to be, however my maroon clown has taken interest in him and now is trying to move him. The anemone isn't attached yet and it has been a few days. What should i do?? Thanks for all your help. <Mmm... I'd remove the Clownfish for sure... temporarily... to see if this "helps" the anemone to settle... H. magnifica/Ritter's do "go floating about" much more than any other symbiotic Actinarian species... Do make sure pump intakes and overflows are effectively screened... heaters as well. You have read my piece on this species care on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/hetmagnifica.htm  and the linked files above? This is not an easily kept animal... Bob Fenner>

Injured H. magnifica 3-10-08 I purchased a magnifica today, in the shop he was quite reluctant to leave his rock, thought taking the rock was not a viable option as it was very large and covered in e.quads. Anyway, he/she suffered a pretty bad tear during removal, it is now in my tank (I wasn't sure what to do, I have 2 ocellaris clowns in my quarantine and I didn't want them harassing it). The tear runs right through its body and foot, almost to it's mouth but not quite. most if its foot still seems functional and it is expanding slowly (although it is looking like a BTA as it expands.. I hope I got the right one =\). Is there anything I can do to help it recover? I feel pretty bad as it is, and to top it off the aquarium is 2 1/2 hours away so replacement is not viable for a while. I appreciate any help you guys can give, (btw, PH = 8.3, ammo = 0, nitrate = 0, nitrite = 0). <Leave the anemone alone for 24 hours, then attempt to feed with minced meaty foods and Selcon. Tearing this anemone during removal was irresponsible - more care should have been taken. It is possible and relatively straightforward to extricate an anemone with some patience, a credit card, and some ice> Thanks, Oscar. <Anytime - M. Maddox>

Re: Injured H. magnifica 3-10-08 I am aware it was irresponsible, unfortunately it was out of my control as it was not me removing the creature.. <I would have complained, and not purchased the animal after that abuse> Thanks for the help though. should it still be able to eat if the tear extends to it's mouth? <Maybe, maybe not - worth a try, with finely minced meaty foods, or a turkey baster and Cyclop-eeze. Good luck, and avoid that store from now on! M. Maddox>

Failing Ritteri Anemone, Heteractis magnifica -- 1/18/08 Crew, <Hello Craig, Brenda here!> Some background info about my situation: I have a 92 corner bow front and a 40G sump that was moved in October, originally set up last July. I moved 30 miles and switched from using tap water to RO water at that time, since my local water didn't want to mix with salt or Kalk very easily. The 92 that was set up back in July was filled with sand, rock, and livestock from a 54 corner bow front that had been set up for 2 years. The 54 and 92 housed the same mix of corals and fish until recently, when I sold my Ritteri and pair of perculas. <Anemones should never be kept in a system using tap water.> The tank has the following mix of species, and this mix has remained relatively unchanged for about 12 months, other than switching out one Ritteri for two new ones and two Perculas for three Ocellaris. <How long ago were the new anemones added? Why is the water cloudy looking? Did you replace the sand bed, or rinse it?> It is important to remember these animals have always been in the tank with my old Ritteri and now with my new Ritteri as well. <The old anemone made the move with the tank?> I know how Bob expounds without end the risks of keeping a mixed reef, but all my animals are no less than 6" away from one another and I have not had problems with chemical aggression. <Unfortunately, chemical warfare is not always visible until late stages. I agree with Bob on this. Do you run fresh carbon in your reef tank? How often are you replacing it?> * Two Ritteri anemones * LPS - 10 head green branching hammer, 2 head yellow frogspawn * SPS - 6 4-6" Acro, Monti, and Staghorn * Clavularia - Daisy, Star polyps, and 2-3 other types I can't ID......prolific on my rock, covering all told 30-40 square inches * Pipe organ - 6" * Various Ricordea - 10-12 Actinodiscus, which are not "hairy" or "knobby" * Juvenile Emperor (3") when he gets bigger so will his accommodations * Black Ocellaris - three that are 2-3" * Longnose Hawkfish - 3" * Snails, crabs, what not cleaners The salinity was usually kept around 1.028-29 with the old Ritteri, which was high, but the old Ritteri definitely preferred these higher salinity ranges by demonstrating positive behavior (not moving, remaining inflated) so I let the livestock dictate the parameters and not the books and instruments. Now I have two new Ritteri, an additional one was given to me since an extra one was shipped in my order. <Shipping anemones is also very stressful on anemones. This is no doubt adding to the poor health of the anemone.> For the first month I only had the first anemone, but after the LFS couldn't sell and couldn't provide enough light, it came home with me. Given these anemones are often found in huge associations in the wild, is it a problem to keep more than one in my tank for now (yes, a fraction of the water volume...but they are only about 6-8" inflated)? <It can cause problems.> The LFS kept the anemones at 1.025 and the anemones seemed more inflated there than in my tank, but that would be a very imprecise appraisal. It is worth noting the LFS had dozens of 20G tanks plumbed together with zooanthids, tons of Ricordea, polyps, and all manner of actinarians: BTAs, LTAs, Condys, Sebaes, etc. <Ouch! This is definitely not the best environment.> Here is the issue: as you can see, both anemones don't seem to want to fully inflate. 1/4 of the tentacles somewhere on the anemones are deflated at seemingly all times. So I know that all animals within a species are individuals and behave uniquely, and also these new Ritteri are likely from a different location, since they have a purple mesentery and my old Ritteri had a yellow body and thus they could be from the Red Sea and prefer higher SG (like my old Ritteri). Even when I had only the one newer anemone I noted this behavior, so the presence of the second anemone is out of the question (they are also about 3 feet apart). The deflated areas change throughout the day, so tissue damage is out of the question. Both anemones have eaten under my care (they both prefer only tilapia...same as my old Ritteri) so failure to feed is out. They are under 400W of halides at 14000K, and do not move around (which of course is atypical for this species). I have a Hydor 3 circulation pump (1200gph), two Rio 1200 with rotating deflectors (600gph) and a Mag 24 return pump with central diffuser (~1800gph) so I don't think a lack of circulation is an issue. <It doesn't sound like it. However, if you don't protect the intakes of those pumps soon, you may have a bigger problem if your anemone decides to roam.> I have even tried turning down/off some of the pumps in case too much circulation was an issue (though I have heard Bob admonish this is almost never possible with non-laminar currents). I do run an Octopus NW200 skimmer for tanks up to 200G. Nitrate is around 5-10ppm. <It needs to be zero.><<No!>> Nitrite is 0, ammonia is 0, and phosphate is 0. Salinity is 1.027. Temperature is 80F. pH is 8.2. Basically, all the parameters are the same as they were with the old anemone, but these anemones do not seem to be altogether comfortable. <The anemones are also a bit bleached.> I have experienced in the past when an anemone remains less than fully inflated for extended periods of time, it is not long for this world. I know reef animals need stability more than anything else, so if I am going to change one thing (other than livestock, which is the last resort) it is going to be the specific gravity of the tank. Being osmotic conformers, can anyone verify my hunches regarding the osmoregulation feedback loop of anemones? So 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? Do anemones have some sort of mechanical automatic response when SG is changed? <Anemones don't do well with abrupt changes. Anemones do deflate to exchange water, and to expel waste. However, I do not believe the anemone is deflating because of a salinity issue.> I have observed changes in inflation whether increasing or decreasing SG by .001 over the course of an hour (always keeping it between 1.025-1.029). <A range of 1.025 -- 1.029 is much too large. When you increase or decrease by .001 over an hour, what you are seeing is the anemone acclimate it self to the change in chemistry.> Then they seem to go back to their initial state of inflation. I don't want to play guessing games with the SG of the tank and end up killing the anemone, so before I take the step of removing all other inverts, could you give me some perspective on how to feel about this lack of inflation? I understand it's a common problem people experience when new to keeping anemones, but I have been at this a while and the answer evades me. I have attached three photos (glass is a little foggy...water is clear). <Good!> There is one of each anemone and one photo of the setup as whole, for you to see the spacing of the animals. Sorry for the marathon email, you guys <and Gals> are the ONLY reason I have had ANY success in this hobby. <Glad you find us helpful.> You are also the ONLY reason I have such an appreciation for these animals and their natural environs. <Craig, I believe you have a couple of things going on that are causing the poor health of the anemones. First, the tank was moved in October, this is too new of a set up for anemones. I'm a bit confused on how this transfer was done. Did you replace the sand bed, or rinse? Anemones need established environments. I'm not seeing an established sand bed. Second, both of your anemones have likely recently been shipped, and likely both recently collected before they were shipped. Wild collection and shipping is incredibly stressful and many times deadly to anemones. Your fluctuating of salinity is also not doing the anemones any favors. I typically recommend 1.026 for anemones. This species is known to do well in captivity at this level. However, I would not say that 1.027 is necessarily bad for this creature. Stability plays an important role here. The mix of corals you have could also be harming the anemone. Running fresh carbon may help this issue.> Regards,
<Hope this helps! Brenda>

Anemone problem I have looked at a very large amount of anemone websites on the internet and I believe that you site is ranked as one of the most informative in my opinion.  <thank you... as it is intended. I for one feel that most anemones should not be collected and that most aquarists should not buy/keep them. We could talk for hours about the reasons why. Simply know that for starters that they are likely doomed to fail (assuming you can even get a healthy undamaged one) if they are not kept in a species tank: no other cnidarians! No coral and no other anemones> I have kept many anemones with not much luck. They just all seem to slowly die. I hate that.  <don't keep buying them my friend> I currently had a big beautiful ritteri anemone.  <perhaps the most difficult of them all. They need full reef lighting... more than most coral. How many aquarists are willing to spend $1000 on a hefty halide lighting system just to keep a single anemone. This... most climb the walls starving for light and die without it or get torn/killed in a pump or overflow intake in their search. Tragic> It seems to be big in the morning but as the day progresses it just seems to get much smaller and tentacles begin to deflate. It has plenty of light  <250-400 watt metal halides?> and a moderate amount of water movement.  <very strong water movement needed here too> The thing with all my anemones is when the begin to die, they look like they begin to expel some sort of a smoky substance. Can you tell me what that is?  <one possibility is the expulsion of zooxanthellae under duress> And is there anything I can do to help my anemone? <natural sunlight supplemented with big halides, no unguarded pump intakes, heavy feedings of micro sized ocean meats, weekly water changes... essentially a species tank> thanks, Chris <best regards, Anthony>

Heteractis magnifica health 12/12/03 Guys, <Adam here this evening> I have had a magnifica for about 8 months (previous owner had it for 2years) <congrats on your success with this difficult animal!> and all of the sudden the mouth has protruded outward and it has not decreased in size. At night the mouth comes out even further. <I have seen this behavior in other species of anemones, and have always seen it pass in otherwise healthy specimens> The anemone has not lost its color or its ability to hold onto food (it does not eat food but holds onto it for about 10 min. and then lets it go) <Good signs that the stress it is experiencing is probably mild and still reversible.> It is about 12 inches wide and 2 clownfish host it one 3 inches long and one 1inch long. I have metal halides and bombard it with current. <You obviously are aware of this animals requirements in this regard.  If it has been healthy for 8 months in your care, I suspect that you are meeting light and current needs.  My next thought goes toward water quality.  Even if all of the parameters you test for seem to be within acceptable limits, there may be a water quality issue outside of the things we normally test for.  If this aquarium also houses corals, I would be suspicious or allelopathy.  If not, I would still recommend a couple of significant water changes.> I use to feed it 3 times a week but for about 2 weeks I have not fed it at all. Let me know what I can do to remedy the situation. <I would verify that all measurable water quality parameters are acceptable, and proceed with a couple of water changes regardless of the results.  If any large corals are present, I would consider moving them to another tank.  In the mean time, I would limit feeding attempts to only enough food to see if the animal resumes eating.  When it does, you can increase the amount.  If you don't ever vary the food, you may try that also.> Thank you for your input <Always a pleasure!  Please do keep us updated. Adam> Alexander Blanco

Ritteri blues Good Morning, <hello> I have a 50 Gal. tank that is 36"L X 18"W X 20"D, with 2 175 Watt Metal Halides and 2 65 Watt power compact actinic blue lights. My tank is completely cycled for almost a year now, and my water quality is exceptional ( I do a 30% water change every two weeks, sometimes more often), and I have a motion full tank with alternating wave action.  My question is I have purchased a 8"-9" Ritteri Magnifica about 6 weeks ago, I did the acclimation properly for a week, and he was in good health when I bought him. For about the lst 4 weeks he deflates himself for several hours a day several times a day ( at no specific time period for any amount of time) and he looks like a blob, but he isn't deteriorating, and then reinflates himself for several hours again.  I filter feed him only twice a week, and he is hosting a percula clown, he hasn't moved since the first day he was in my tank so I don't know if he is happy or not.  I also have a carpet anemone in my tank, but he is all the way in the other corner of my tank, and he hasn't moved for 6 months.  I am beginning to wonder if I am pushing to<o> much light or not enough, could you help me please. < no you are not pushing too much light. This is most of the time normal. they expel water and take in new. this is one of the most hardest anemones to keep. the best way I have found to keep them is by making a raised platform near the top of the surface and place them there. turn off pumps for 10 minutes and he will stick if healthy). they love light and also love to get hit with a lot of random current. your should also try feeding him cocktail shrimp uncooked). Last it could be the clown is harming the anemone. If the anemone is small and the clown is big it can damage the anemone. the anemone should be at least 5 times the size of the clown. hope good luck Mike H> Thanks,   Michael C. Arnold
Re: Questions about my Ritteri
Thank You for your response, <welcome> I have a wave maker in my aquarium that is set on rolling action.  My clown is about 1" in length and my Ritteri is about 8"-9", so I doubt it is the clown <I doubt it too> Should I keep my lights on little longer, right now they are on 10 hours a day? <10 hours a day is good I would not go any longer than that Mike H> Thanks,

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 Trouble Hello, I have a question, I have a Ritteri anemone, for about 3 Months it has been doing good until the past few days. It had moved to the top of the tank and stayed there. I notice the bottom of the anemone is falling apart (Dying) but the top looks excellent. The mouth is in good shape too. I assume that maybe this is a light issue. It is a 29 gal. tank with power compacts 100 watts,<I believe the light should be adequate provided of course the tubes are changed yearly and one should be an actinic.> <<No... RMF>> 10x on the water flow ( Which it moved it self right in the path of) 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, ph 8.2, nitrate 20ppm Only thing in this tank is a pair of maroon clowns, and some live rock. Is there any saving this anemone? As I said the top looks great!. Is there anything I could or should do, or is it too late. I would start by doing a 20% water change with an enriched salt such as Reef Crystals. Secondly, do a 10% change weekly, not just till things get better.  Are you using a protein skimmer?  Do you feed your anemone?  Please respond for a more detailed answer.  James (Salty Dog) Thanks, WWM Fan!
Ritteri Anemone Trouble
Yes I was feeding it 3 times a week, The lights were new, 1 Antic. I pulled it out the mouth was did not look good and it was fouling the tank. It was Gone and nothing I could do. I just do not know what happened to it. I do use a protein skimmer and getting good stuff out of it. and in All my tanks I faithfully do 20% a week, including my 180, and my 300. I haven't missed a water change in 2 years. I always add my supplements. The food was Chopped up krill, with chopped silversides and other mix. Thanks for your help, but I do not think it was meant to be. The Maroons look lost. I think they were wild caught. I have had them a year. they lay eggs, they hatched a few times but did not live. I just do know what kind of anemone to get them anymore. I had a nice bubble tip In there with them, but It was too small. They beat the heck out of it, It almost died but I moved it to another tank and it is doing really well. The problem is the female is about 7" and very aggressive and protective of her anemone. I barely could stick my hands in the tank to clean it. Thank you for your time.<Hello Mr. Zielgler.  One thing to keep in mind.  Anemones are not easy to keep.  First of all, they don't ship well and that adds to problems from the start.  You must have done your homework on anemone/clown relationship since the Ritteri is the anemone of choice for the Maroon Clown with the bubble tip being second and long tentacle anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) being runner up. The use of metal halide lighting is preferable for the ritteri.  PC lighting is acceptable for the bubble tip providing your tank is not deep. You certainly are doing things right but you are just experiencing what many of us have and that is realizing most anemones can't be kept in a closed system for any long term duration. Every now and then a lucky aquarist will get one that does exceptionally well under proper conditions. James (Salty Dog) Scott

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