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FAQs on Magnificent/Ritteri Anemone Systems

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

My Ritteri Anemone      8/16/19
Hey Bob, I love the Ritteri Anemone. I know you don't promote having one.
<Hey Gary, yeah/nah, as they prove problematical in captive systems too often... Letting go, traveling about... getting stuck in intakes, overflows, stinging/being stung with other Cnidarians...>
That's why I have to keep one.
I think it's beautiful and I love a challenge. I have a MH light 250 watt right above him at 5 inches above the water and he is about 8 inches below the water for six hours a day. The rest is blue actinics and T12's (110 watt fluorescents)for a twelve hour lighting day. Also there are two 250 watt MH lights and he is right under one of them. My MH light is 20,000 K.
What is it that I need to change?
<Sequestering the animal so that it doesn't move easily, acclimating it to the light (much less the first days, weeks), and keeping your eye on it>
Do you think I will have good luck with that setup to keep him a few years? I really appreciate this Bob....Gary
<Please do read my survey piece re the species, here:
Re: My Ritteri Anemone      8/16/19

Does the lighting look okay as far as intensity. And do you think I need to go to 6500k MH bulbs? I like the way the blue shade of the 20k.
<I think the color is okay; the intensity high... much more than the wild I assure you. Do you know Joe Yaiullo? He has a group of ritteris in their big reef system he's had going for years... They are happy under much less light. I'd keep about 100 PAR, PUR... Def. under 200. BobF>
Re: My Ritteri Anemone      8/16/19

Thank you so much for all your help today Bob. If your ever in Albuquerque
give me a shout....take care, Gary.
<Thank you mate. Cheers Gary, B>

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>

Lighting Needs For A Ritteri/Anemone Lighting/Heteractis Systems 8/11/10
<Hello Doreen>
I have been reading through your website to try and find information on lighting requirements for a Ritteri anemone.
I am uncertain about whether I should be using 150 or 250 mh lamps and at what Kelvin would be best
Our tank is 36Lx23Wx20D.
<Do you have the anemone now? If not, and it truly is a Heteractis magnifica, it is a very poor choice and your tank is too small for attempting to keep this animal.
Do read here and related articles/FAQs.
I have a 250 ballast and no bulb. I ordered a bulb but now I am not sure if I ordered the correct one!
I have seen the 150w 6500k suggested on your website. BUT I ordered a 250w 10000k bulb.
<Is a good lamp choice for light loving anemones.>
The top of our LR sits just 12" from the socket of the lamp and maybe 7 inches under the water. Is this going to be TOO much light??
What depth do the Ritteri live at?
<Generally found in depths of 5 to 20 meters.>
What ARE their lighting requirement?
<Go to and read in the above link.>
Thank You so much
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Sebae <not> Anemone, Clownfish <ID> and Lighting questions - 6/11/10
I have a 150 Litre (about 40 US Gallons) tank which is floor standing
<What does this mean?>
and quite deep with a half octagonal shape with a flat mirrored back. 
I have a total of 10 fish in it all young and small with one a Goby Mandarin janitor, 4 clowns (two of them very small youngsters), 3 blue damsels, one very young Blue Tang
<Will need more room, be moved elsewhere>
and a newly acquired young vivid yellow with black face butterfly.
<This too likely>
I have an adequate load of live rock (many pounds but lost count as to how many pounds), a good 300 lph wave making power head and two smaller ones to assist the return flow back along the lower parts of the tank through the live rock caverns, and a WeiPro just adequate sized skimmer. Yes I realise that the tank will be too small when some of those fish grow so I do intend to move to a 90 to 100 gallon tank later this year when I can afford it.
<A good plan... do keep a checklist of gear, a box or such for accumulating monies toward this project regularly>
The current tank is three months old since used as a marine aquarium and well cycled maintaining zero NH3 and NO2 levels for 2 months now, water temp at a constant 30 to 31C as per the year round average environment here, SG 1.022 to 1.024
<Mmm, I'd keep it 1.025-1.026 and steady w/ for the anemone>
and pH around 8.2. I use a Denitrator to try to control the Nitrate build up from the Nitrogen cycle end product but still not working fully after 6 weeks and now even directly feeding it 1 ml of vodka diluted with tank water every week!!
<These types of gear are "finicky">
So I am making usually 20% to 30% water changes weekly
to keep the Nitrate low, typically to 10 to 20 mg/l, and the Phosphates typically now to around 3 to 5 mg/l. but cannot seem to get desirable lower levels despite zero nitrate and phosphate content NSW exclusively now used. I am sure I do not overfeed but must say lately these levels do not seem to rise after water changes like before so each change is lowering the level now more permanently since I changed to using NSW from originally RO water and high quality Marinium sea salt mix. I have recently used Poly Filter Pads in a canister filter but had little or no affect on my phosphate levels so I have just ordered from the USA some Seachem Phosguard based on a lot of recommendations I have read.
<Use any/all such chemical filtrants cautiously... in small quantities to start with... Chemo, Mixo- and Lithotrophic life need such compounds in some quantity>
I use tested and high quality local reef NSW taken from 20 km.s offshore and used and sold by a local reliable marine fish shop who use it exclusively in all their healthy looking tanks. I am an Englishman retired and living in Thailand on the Gulf of Thailand northern coast
<I'd like to talk w/ you re your experiences there; perhaps visit>
thus the access to good reef NSW. I must say though that this hobby has turned me into a chemist with a formidable set of water parameter testing reagents and even a digital pH meter too so a corner of my kitchen looks like a laboratory, as I do take all my interests and hobbies seriously.
<Ah good>
Anyway my water parameters are not the subject of my questions just for your info.
Anyhow please see the attached picture I took today of my newly acquired (just yesterday - Tuesday) large and awesome looking anemone which is magnificent
<Indeed it is... Heteractis magnifica>
and a lovely violet coloured base and foot with many tan coloured long tentacles. Since taking that shot the anemone has puffed out and is now 50% bigger for sure with even more tentacles and moved an inch or two higher on the live rock which I got free with it as it was firmly holding onto at the shop, an amazing creature indeed. One of my very original Clown fish has already made it his home within 12 hours as the photograph shows and he has stayed in it almost all day swimming around in total bliss. The cost of this anemone was just 300 Thai Baht ( about US$9) from my local reliable marine fish shop which is a great price, but hey in Thailand prices are normally very attractive for all aquatic equipment and stock, but limited supply for some needed items like some water testers and PhosGuard for example. Sorry for being so long in coming to the point, so at last now for my questions :-
Firstly is this beautiful anemone a Sebae of the H Crispa variety ?
<Mmm, I don't think so... judging by the shape of tentacles, colour of pedicle (need to see a shot of the verrucae...) and size>
If not what is it as I cannot firmly identify it from the many pictures on here and other sites?
<Please read here:
and the linked files above>
Secondly my hosting Clown Fish in the picture, is it a Percula or a False Percula and what is the identifiable difference between the two?
<Appears to be an Ocellaris... see WWM re Amphiprionines>
Finally and the main question is lighting. I have a JEBO dual fluorescent tube lighting unit which is well made with each light having its own switch. It has two 10W 12 inch long tubes one a blue light marked "Coral and Marine Blue 20000K" and the other one a white light marked "Silver White Light 12000K" which I am told by the shop is the correct balance for a marine aquarium.
I keep reading that you need "3 to 5 watts lighting per gallon" for a reef aquarium depending on the corals/anemones that occupy it.
<This system is vastly under lit... as you read you'll find that this species, most other large reef anemones need more intense lighting, and can make up to an extent their photosynthetic light/loss through ancillary
So for my 40 US gallon tank this is say 4 X 40 = 160 watts of required lighting. I have to say I am somewhat confused as two 80 watt fluorescent tubes would floodlight my whole garden being equivalent to two 600 Watt tungsten lights.
<Likely you can/should opt for a smaller wattage metal halide pendant...>
So I have been logically assuming by stating "3 to 5 watts of lighting per gallon" that has to mean wattage light output equivalent to a tungsten lamp but obviously at a different colour temperature as required by the reef. 10 watt fluorescent tubes are they claim equivalent to about 75 to 80 watts of normal tungsten lighting so I assume this is adequate for my reef tank being a total of 150 to 160 watts of equivalent normal tungsten lighting.
<Not tungsten necessarily>
I appreciate the colour temperature of the light in Kelvin is important but assume the shop and the lamp unit manufacturer know what they are talking about with recommending the two tubes I have installed, one blue and one white. I leave both tubes on together and switched on and off by a timer switch for equal 12 hour periods every day and of course the off period overnight midnight to midday (but no sunlight gets near my tank and indeed little daylight as I have tinted windows to keep some of the heat out) . So is this lighting I am using all okay for this wonderful anemone?
<Not indefinitely no>
If not should I go for a bigger
JEBO light unit and say 18 inch or 24 inch tubes and if so what marked wattage and colour temp?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CnidIndex2.htm
scroll down to "Anemone Lighting"...>
This new anemone is currently very healthy looking and stunningly beautiful and I want it to stay that way for as long as is normally possible with these creatures kept in a caring captive environment.
Thanks in advance for your help and this wonderful helpful site I found by Googling.
Ray Walton
<Give us a ring/writing if you have questions after reading. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Sebae Anemone, Clownfish and Lighting questions, Mag. anemone lighting, sys.   6/13/10
Hi Bob
Thank you so very much for your excellent reply. Certainly given me a lot to think about and looks like I made a big mistake getting this beautiful creature though would like to keep it and ensure it stays healthy for as long as possible in captivity. Yes indeed it has to be a Heteractis Magnifica looking at all those excellent links you gave me though not sure what you mean by this "(need to see a shot of the verrucae...)" which means some sort of warty area I believe from that term?
<It is indeed "warty" appearing marks on the stalk/pedicle... and these can be very useful (present or not), size-shape, in discerning species of Anemones>
Oh and as indicated it has already got up and moved from one side of the tank half way down where I originally placed the LR it was on to the other side on top of the highest slap of live rock
<Very typical placement... I see from your photo that you employ powerheads. Do take care to screen the intakes of these... easy for anemones to get "sucked up" against>
so now with its formidable size and height its tentacles are not far below the water surface near to the wave making power head and where the light is brightest. It is also taking small pieces of chopped up thawed out frozen prawn and from reading several reports I am feeding it some prawns daily and will try and get some squid next week as they are both very cheap here.
So it looks like the large tank has to be considered sooner rather than later. If I use the live rock and canister filter and indeed most of the good water from my existing tank plus add more cured live rock and good fresh NSW such a new larger tank should be cycled enough straight away so I can move the fish and anemone straight over I should think?
What are your views on this ?
<Can work... I'd move a good deal of your present rock and sand to the new system as well>
So for now I realise lighting is my big problem so what do you suggest I use. The top of my floor standing aquarium has a glass cover with a lot of breathing gaps underneath it. Please see the attached photograph (not a good one as taken with a compact not my usual Canon DSLR) which was taken not long after I set the tank up some months back and now has a lot more LR of course. Anyway you can see what sort of aquarium it is being 30' along its back longest measurement, 20' front to back along the middle longest measurement and 18" of usable water depth. So I could remove this glass top for now and install some open much brighter lighting fixtures that secure to the tank top.
<Yes... or be very diligent re cleaning the glass, mount the light fixture a good foot/30 cm. above this to prevent over-heating>
Don't want the expense of MH lights for this tank though unless I could use them for the projected 100 gallon tank. So what do you suggest I use for now then Bob ?
<See WWM re lighting anemones... Perhaps CFs, T5s>
Looking at two white and blue 24 inch tubes
<One "blue" lamp maximum... Better to have more "white">
they seem extremely bright to my eyes (even the current 2 x 12' 10W tubes seem very bright too!) and of course do not generate a load of heat which I really do not want here, though from reading all the articles here this seems as though it will also be inadequate. Please can you recommend the minimum tubes I need for this currently used 150 litre tank and what Kelvin they should be?
<This is already posted, gone over and over on the site...
and the linked files above>
I always am concerned that a lot of the information from suppliers is trying to get you to spend your money on expensive lighting that is far more than needed, so it is good to be able to get some expert advice form you and this excellent site.
I seriously much appreciate this fantastic help and indeed when you come to Thailand for a visit you are most welcome to come to see me and indeed I can buy you a beer or three as some way of thanking you.
<Ahh, I thank you>
We could do with more tourists here right now after al the recent Thai political turmoil has put off most potential tourists but at least that should make flights here cheaper for now. So Bob yes indeed I would love to chat with you, so have you got Skype?
<Not yet... though my friend and roommate, Peter has used it for years, and others swear by the service, savings>
If so we could have a no cost voice call of course when it is mutually convenient though best would be late at night for me and early morning for you as we are 11 or 12 hours time difference with me being ahead of you of course.
Ray Walton
<Thank you further for this offer. I am seriously considering moving out of the U.S.... too militaristic and I sense the economy is headed deep south... too much gov't... BobF>

Re: Sebae/Mag. Anemone, Clownfish and Lighting questions
Thanks Bob. Obviously my mail last Monday didn't get through,
<There's another query today that states somewhere the mail is getting lost... Worrisome>
no problem. Added three new fish yesterday to replace some of those I lost as the tank is cycled to immediately support up to 10 small fish of course as I had before the anemone poisoning disaster. Have a blue Damsel with yellow tail and a Lemon Damsel which is very small and beautiful.
<Do check on the social needs of these Pomacentrids... some species are very social, living in groups, others quite territorial...>
Also got a small young Gold Barred Butterfly
<What species is this?>
which is pretty reef safe with corals. Ordered a Clown fish hosting brown mid length tentacle coral and a small decorative green coral and will then improve my lighting somewhat. No more Magnifica Anemones for me too
dangerous and too much lighting and needs a very big tank as I now know.
<Ah yes>
At least the corals stay put and need less lighting than the anemones, mind you that Magnifica was as it names suggests completely magnificent.
Ray Walton
<And you, BobF>
Re: Sebae Anenome, Clownfiah and Lighting questions
Sorry Bob my mistake the Butterfly is the quite timid Copperband variety not Gold Barred :-[
<Ahh, Chelmon rostrata... as long as initially hardy, this species can be long-lived>
I love this young small Butterfly he is so gentle and happily grazes on the LR with the other fish leaving him alone. Fed him some Brine Shrimp today and he loves it as do the other fish (MacDonalds indeed!! :-D
) Yes I realise it will need a larger tank in the not too distant future but as I mentioned before I intend to upgrade my 40 gallon tank to a 100 + gallon tank with a sump later this year. I see from some of your posts and articles that you also love this variety Bob.
<Ah yes. Tis so Ray. BobF>
The two Damsels that I added, one I think is called a Blue Devil as it is a nice blue with a yellow rear tail and I read it is territorial.
The other Damsel the shop said was called a Lemon Damsel (but she is Thai and speaks little English though seems quite knowledgeable), but cannot find any pictures of this variety on the site here. It has a grey/blue front end with the whole rear half a lovely lemon yellow the dividing line being diagonal. This Lemon Damsel is quite small and shy hiding in the caverns within the LR most of the time (totally different to the Blue Devil) but is starting after 24 hours to venture out into visual range, does he need a same species companion? or is it more like the Blue Devil which seems better on his own. Do not really want more than two Damsels with my Clowns for all the reasons mentioned. I have a watchman gobie in the tank who is doing a great job with my sand bed so hope these Damsels fair well with that janitor and leave him alone.
I also have 4 Clowns which survived the anemone poisoning one largish brown and white striped one I think a Clarks or Allen type?, two baby Ocellaris though more yellow in colour with a yellow tail, and the Ocellaris, that you earlier identified for me, which loved it's old home in my now dead and removed anemone.
Ray Walton

Hello guys and gals!
< Hello >
I am hoping that you can help me with my green carpet anemone.
< Lets see what we can do.>
I am fairly new to saltwater tanks (started 6 months ago) and I need all the help you can give me. I have a 30gal, bow front reef tank.
< A 30 is no where near the proper size to house a carpet. >
I am using a 24" coral life compact florescent with a total of 130 watts, and a 9 watt UV sterilizer.
< Not even close to the light needed. >
I have 2 Percula clowns, small bubble tip anemone,
< BTA's are in fact one of the more hardy of anemones but without regular feedings to supplement the poor lighting, it is destined to live a short life. It is also unwise to house 2 different types of anemones in the same
aquarium. >
a blue hermit crab, CBS,
<??><<Coral Banded Shrimp, Stenopus hispidus. RMF>>
and 2 snails. also a small Zoanthid and a nice size colt coral.(all looking great)
My clowns have shown no interest in my bubble tip
< Not surprising. Hosting seems to be hit or miss. >
so I decided to look into a carpet anemone. Most of the research I have done in regards to my tank has been via Wikipedia,
< Not a good source for accurate information. ><<Mmm, actually... very accurate in my experience... though not much that is directly useful/applicable to aquarium husbandry from what I've encountered. RMF>>
and LiveAquaria.com. After reading about the anemone and its care I decided that I am ready! (or so I thought)
< You are not. >
Last night I got a call from my LFS that they had received a green carpet that I had requested about a month ago (hard to find in S. Florida). So I raced over to take a look.. it looked simply beautiful without looking dyed or otherwise unhealthy(to me). I took him home, float acclimated, and introduced him to my tank. I placed him on top of my rock in the middle of the tank. The top of the highest rock is just below half way up my tank.
Since putting him in, he looks great! A small piece of food landed on him and he ate it right up. When I woke up this morning..I was concerned. his mouth is open.
<Probably Stressed. Could be the inadequate lighting, or unstable water conditions due to the age of the aquarium. >
It doesn't look stretched open or otherwise unusually other then it is simply open. I did a 30% water change about 2 days prior to introducing the anemone. The water tested good with nearly no ammonia, no nitrites or nitrates, slightly low ph but within range (approx 8.0 - 8.2 when tested, have been buffing since) .I have the 24" coral life compact florescent light with 65 watt 10000k and 65 watt 50/50. do you think that my lighting is enough?
< No >
I have not been able to find a "rule of thumb" as far as lighting for the carpet anemone.
<?? Carpet anemones require high lighting. Power compacts are no where near intense enough. Although you may not have found a rule of thumb this should have been obvious. >
After coming across your site, and spending many hours of my work day (don't tell the boss)
< I hope he doesn't read the dailies! >
reading your other questions about this, I have learned at least twice what I knew and now I am thinking that I may not be as ready as I thought.
< Ahh .... better late than never! >
I am willing to do whatever I need to do, I just need to know what that would be...he is open, is bright and exactly where I set him on the rock. Also, is it an issue that i have it with the bubble tip?
< See above... >
What is the best food for the anemone and how often should I feed it?
< Silversides, krill.... Lots of choices. Like most animals, anemones benefit from a varied diet.>
Also...what would be the best supplements to add to the tank, and roughly how often? I have the iodine and calcium, but after reading so many of your articles it seems like there is something much better to use then the basic stuff that I have.
< It is best to get a firm hold on the basics before moving up. Calcium, Alkalinity and Ph should be your main concerns. Regular water changes will take care of the rest.>
I understand that I have taken on a lot of work with this anemone but I am dedicated and willing to learn and do whatever I need to for the survival of this creature. I apologize for this being so long and unorganized. I have been given some wrong info in the past that ended up wasting my time, money, and most of all a innocent blue hippo tang paid the ultimate price...please help me so I can insure the best environment for the entire tank. Thank you for any help you can give me!
Thanks again, Bill
< The carpet anemone needs to be removed before it joins the hippo tang.
You do not have the set up or experience to keep such a delicate animal.
Don't be discouraged. The fact that you are concerned and seeking proper info is a great sign. Upgrade your lighting a bit, concentrate on water quality and you can still properly house the BTA. Now that you have found us, read, read, read. GA Jenkins. >

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 >

Re: 1" Overflow Woes/Ritteri Anemone 6/2/09
<Sara M. here now...>
So far each anemone has had a meal and digested them (within 12hrs)
<How do you know the meal was digested and not just taken in?>
without any problems.
<You don't know this either.>
It's funny...i found one of the smaller of the pink skunks swimming in the other Ritteri with the 2 ocellaris. he was scoping it out for a bit until he was kicked out and swam back to his family. Neither anemone has relocated, they still are lush and happy where they are.
<Maybe for now...>
No signs of distress that i can see. I attached a couple pics.
<Thank you for the photos, as Scott has already advised you, and as Mr. Fenner's article is so *titled*, Heteractis magnifica are "A Poor Choice for Captive Systems." I/we will say one last time, that you will NOT likely be able to keep these anemones in an 120g tank. Again, they grow very very large, aggressive and are just over-all poor choices for any aquarium system less than several/many hundred gallons (and that's just for one of them). For the last time, please read here:
If you have good reason/cause/argument to disagree with what Mr. Fenner as written, then maybe you can share them someday. However, any anecdotal testimony of having kept these animals for all of a few days will not mean much to anyone with half a brain for keeping captive aquatic animals.>
Sara M.>

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 1" Overflow Woes 6/02/09 Bob-know anyone who's kept a H. magnifica?
<Oh yes. RMF>

Greetings Sara M.,
I know the food was digested because i fed them a couple hours before lights out, the next day it was releasing small bits of leftovers from the mouth, clearly digested/broken down silver side excrement.
<Hmm... ok>
So essentially you're saying that the fact that they grow big gives another reason to make them poor candidates? Sounds like a high quality problem to me, I have plenty of space for these anemones. Which is more important for these anemones or both, volume of water? or space within the tank?
<Both... and you don't have enough of either.>
And how fast can they grow big?
<They can grow big rather fast. They are also "squished" during shipping. It could take them a few weeks just to expand to their "real" size.>
does this take a couple months? years? decades? an inch a month bigger? I have read nowhere in that article which describes growth rates as you say.
<They might double in size in as little as a few months or less...>
And yes, I've read that article 3 or 4 times now. Thank you for sharing. I guess the fact that I am writing about these animals is that I want to learn even more about them than what I've been reading throughout the internet. It is sad to see if what you guys are saying about these animals is the truth, that many retailers are selling them on the internet so freely and not discouraging people to buy them.
<Indeed, a problem in our hobby.>
That is not where i got mine from (local wholesaler). Have you personally ever kept a Ritteri anemone?
<No, but I've never kept a chimpanzee in my garage either; I still know it's a bad idea. I wouldn't even try to keep one of these anemones unless I had a tank of at least 300g dedicated to it.>
If you haven't I was hoping to maybe hear from someone else's experience on the WWM team who can share with me their story. Don't get me wrong, I think what Bob is saying about these anemones is tried and true, I was just hoping to somehow get statistical data from people who have had this anemone and WHY exactly it did not work out.
<Well, that's fair enough, but I doubt anyone here on the crew has tried to keep one of these. Maybe Bob can point you in a better direction...>
<<Read on! WWM...>>
Sara M.>

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 1" Overflow Woes... H. magnifica keeping, sys.  6/04/09
Thanks Sarah,
I am working on getting the other side of my system completed, you can see in the picture there, when that is filled, i will have 240 gallons total tank volume + 60 gallons or so already in the sump that will make 300 gallons + 60 gal. refugium = 360 gallons total system .
These two 8ft x 3ft coral systems are connected with the sump. Also working on connecting a 60 gal. refugium to greatly increase water quality with Caulerpa bed and Fiji mud and encourage the growth of copepods etc. & balance night time pH a bit. My nitrates are only 2.5ppm though, very low...could be 0 with Caulerpas. Hopefully these additions will create a more stable larger volume system. As far as space, i might just have to dedicate 3ftx3ft section for each one when the growth is more noticeable. Its been about 5 days now and they are well anchored, I hope they stay there, if anything i think they just like to edge a bit closer under the light. We'll see in a few months.
Is this one of those animals that starts out small and innocent like a baby python that grows large enough to strangle a human and have to be captured by special animal control teams?
<Sorta... they do grow huge and I imagine, certainly capable of eating fish.>
P.S. I would never get a chimpanzee either! Yikes that would be scary to have around all day.
<for sure!>
I appreciate the quick response :)
<Good luck!
Sara M.> 

Re: 1" Overflow Woes- Ritteri anemones 06/06/09
Hello WWMCrew,
What are some signs of allelopathy occurring between two Ritteri anemones?
<Poor health, color fading, shrinking/shriveling or swelling... basically, anything abnormal.>
Is there something i should be looking closely for to prove that they are chemical warfaring each other?
<You can just assume that they are.>
Also, How long typically will a healthy anemone stay deflated for?
<A healthy anemone? Not long... not more than a few days.>
It's been inflated for about 5 days now since I've had it, today was the first real complete deflation I've seen yet and throughout the 5 days it's been fed 2 times with chunky bits of silverside, chopped squid, and possibly new life pellets?.
I've been feeding the skunk clowns New Life pellets and didn't take notice that the anemone was possibly catching and guiding a few to its mouth OR the clowns were excreting their digested new life pellets into the anemone. Evidence of the anemone digesting these pellets was noted when brownish stringy stuff
<"Brown stringy stuff" could be a few things... including wastes, and possibly even expelled Zooanthellae (the later is not usually being a good thing).>
and pellet size brown but digested material coming out of anemone's 2 way digestive tract aka "mouth-anus". Silversides and chopped squid are definitely not brown. The pellets indeed are brown color. What do you think?
<Clearly, you don't want to know/hear it from me. I/we have already repeatedly told you what we think... what will inevitably happen with these anemones. You can keep asking questions hoping to get a different answer... but well... you'll see I guess.>
Anemones will eat anything they can that has nutritional value maybe including clown waste?
<Generally, yes.>
Sara M.>

Re: 1" Overflow Woes- Ritteri anemones 06/06/09
Should I sacrifice one anemone in hopes of keeping the other?
<I would first try to find someone with a larger system who might be willing to take it...>
I can return one to the wholesaler. Wouldn't that at least take out the possibility of allelopathy?
<Between the two, it would help. But you'll still have to deal with the allelopathy from the one anemone affecting all the corals in your system. Generous filtration with activated carbon can help with this...
Sara M.>

Re: 1" Overflow Woes... Ritteri sys. chatting  4/30/09 06/08/09
Ok, I added a couple pouches of fresh carbon the other day, my skimmer is rated for 450 gallons. And im changing 5 gallons siphoning detritus about every day. I will let you know how things go after a couple more weeks.
ok, good luck

Re: 1" Overflow Woes... Chatty Cathy  06/09/09
I found out the name, its Caulerpa peltata - aka Suction Cup Caulerpa. I used to have a different Caulerpa species growing rampantly before, It only took one strand of this peltata to overtake my previous species now i only have this species. Interesting how growth rate of one species can overtake the other.
<Mathew, is there even a question here? I don't mean to be rude, but if you're just looking for some fellow aquarists to chat with, maybe you should join the WWM forum?
<<Yay! RMF>>
Sara M.> 

Re: 1" Overflow Woes -Caulerpa issues, doing one's own research 06/10/09
<3 times now... it's Sara (no h please).>
I get the impression you don't care.
<Of course I care. If I didn't, I wouldn't be a WWM crew member. You emailed us shortly after this one to tell us that you figured this out for yourself (that you learned on your own that it's Caulerpa). So what do you need/want from me? I'm glad you're starting to do your own research and answering your own questions. Caulerpa issues have been discussed and written about ad nauseum on this site and others (and in books/articles). You can start here:
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Anemone ID 9/26/08 Hi! <Carrie> This is a cherished wonderful anemone that has been thriving for a long time. I have sent pictures to other people and I always get different opinions. When I bought it, it was on the sheet as a Ritteri (due to name change, now called Magnificent Anemone (Heteractis magnifica). It was 6" when I got it and has grown to 10" (in a 150 gallon). From the research I have done, with the tips at times (they are NEVER pointy, just blunt) having double tentacles or branching and that is what I read was typical of a H. magnifica. <Mmm, from your pix, including the verrucae on the pedicle, the size of the animal, its tentacles as you say... I too believe this is a Heteractis magnifica> They are not always green with purple bases, so I couldn't base my ID on that. The tentacles are more stubby some days and longer and thinner on others. So that is not a good basis either. Here are the pictures and if you could be sure to identify this guy accurately, I would really appreciate it! Here is a short tentacle day: Longer on this day: This is when I first got it, before my first crash (person did NOT top off tank) and it had lost it's zooxanthellae, but feeding it daily pulled it around. This is the first inhabitants, a pair of saddle backs: They were kicked out: Much later, 2 years....... This is after recovery and with new tenants: CLOSE UPS and base: <My work on this species here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/hetmagnifica.htm and the linked files above. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone ID 9/26/08 Bob, <Carrie> When I got this anemone, three years ago, the shop owner told me that he had a tank near the window and this guy did really well. My 150 gallon gets sunlight every day for several hours right where the anemone stayed. They love to be up high in the tank near the light. I understand what the deal is about anemones, but do to the fact that I had everything this guy needed and that he has grown. I have no reservations about my ability to care for it. Tons of research went into it's care, and feeding it every other day brought it back from the white, bleached out color, which it was when I BOUGHT it. I feel my husbandry is much higher than the person who brings home an anemone with 2 watts per gallon. Also, I have never had it balloon and float around...... again, it's needs were met. I also had a water pump near him so he could move into it if he wanted. He would once in a while. I don't ever even remember him deflating, except when I had a tank crash and lost all of my wrasses (cirrhilabrus) when the water didn't get topped off for a week. So I would say they are pretty tough once established. They need to eat almost every day and those who do not may not have much success. The SAME spot has been occupied by this anemone for 3 years, and I think because of what I read, this may have something to do with it. <Yes> Like you said Bright light...... They LOVE to be up high so I build a "tower of rocks" so he was JUST under the surface of the water. I had CF, then T-5s, and he was happy with both. I also provided a pump for his pleasure... lol that sounds a little risk-ay.... and he got several hours of sunlight and was fed daily. 3 large jumbo raw thawed shrimp keeps it happy for 2 days, but if I offered a shrimp a day, that was fine. Once a week I would offer enough until satisfied. Point is they are BIG BIG eaters!!!!!!! The clowns could NEVER satisfy this voracious appetite by pulling scraps of food. I feel that in the wild, the reason they host so many (mine actually hosted 2 saddlebacks and 2 tomatoes until the crash) is to get more food! Just a thought. Thanks again for your response! :) <Thank you for sharing your valuable experiences re the husbandry of this animal. BobF>

Light and Heteractis Magnifica 9/26/08 Hi guys Long time reader, third time writer, love your stuff. Just a quick question in regards to lighting for a magnifica anemone. We're trying to provide the best possible system for ours which we have had for about 10months now. Its in a 600 litre tank with a 250 litre gravity fed refugium, all parameters that we measure are stable and reasonable except nitrates hovers around 20ppm (mg/L). <Mmm, I'd be addressing this... needs to be low/er> Sadly it has started to decline, firstly by bleaching and it split the other day, too much food in one go I think (Krill, silverside(fish), and scallops every three days). On the site dedicated to the magnifica Bob recommends 400W metal halide lighting between 6000K and 10,000K but in discussions about metal halides in general some posts say its just a colour preference. <Within "reason", yes> At the moment we have 2x250W metal halides and 2xT5s. We're buying a clamp on 400w metal halide online and it doesn't appear to come in anything other than 20,000K. Will this be fine to give our magnifica a fighting chance? <Light-wise, likely so> P.s We've upgraded our protein skimmer, expanded the efficiency of our refugium and installed a canister filter just for activated carbon and mechanical filtration to improve clarity. Cheers guys, cant wait to hear from you. <Please read here re NO3 control: http://wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above... Do you have any idea what your RedOx potential is here? Bob Fenner>

H. magnifica, Lighting, Feeding -- 7/3/07 Ok, here is the story: In the past I have lost 2, H. magnifica's that arrived in perfect condition. I kept them in my tank under T5 with independent parabolic reflectors. Many people will blame it on the light. However my light is keeping the most demanding SPS under perfect conditions. <I would have to agree this is not adequate lighting for this species. This anemone needs higher lighting than the most demanding SPS. I also don't recommend keeping corals with this anemone.> My LFS who build my tank and is a total expert, said that he kept an H. magnifica for 3 years under T8s! The anemone finally died because some idiot put in a fish that had been washed with a copper solution. <I'm not convinced this was the only factor involved in the anemone's death.> He said then the secret was not so much on the light but on the water quality and the diet. <Lighting, water quality, flow and diet are all huge factors in the survival of this anemone.> The diet consisted on mixing good brand of flake foods with water until it became liquid, then he would grab a syringe without needle of course, and pour the liquid food into the anemones mouth. <Ouch! Force feeding an anemone is not recommended. This can be very stressful on an anemone. Flake food is not an adequate diet for any anemone. They need small portions of meaty foods.> This seemed interesting because my H. Magnifica's never ate the pieces of shrimp I gave them, I placed them inside its mouth and it just threw it out. <Again, never place food in an anemones mouth. Their tissue is very delicate, if torn, your anemone may quickly parish. If your anemone won't willingly take the shrimp, try something different. Small portions of Silversides, Mysis Shrimp, Lance fish, etc. That syringe should only be used to get the food to the tentacles of the anemone, without actually touching the anemone. An anemone will regurgitate what it is unable to digest. Force feeding or too large of portions was likely the cause of it regurgitating. Start out with tiny portions and never feed anything bigger than the anemones mouth.> So has anyone tried to feed liquid foods into a delicate anemone's mouth?. Do they accept it this way? <I'm not aware of anyone force feeding liquid foods.> I blame their deaths on the fact they were rather large and never ate. <Anemones are considered difficult to keep. This anemone is considered most difficult to keep. Collection and shipping alone can be deadly for this species. It is probable that they wouldn't eat because of the stress caused from the collection and shipping. Many, including myself, believe this anemone should be left in the ocean. This anemone is dieing at a faster rate in captivity than it is reproducing in the wild. I hope this helps! Brenda>

Ritteri update...info for others   12/16/06 Hello folks, <Hello Kevin, Mich here.> I know many people have difficulty maintaining healthy Magnificent Anemones, and I wouldn't recommend them for most aquarists.   <Nor would I.> For those that try, I thought I would share my set-up that seems to be working (although it's been only 12 months).   <Thank you for sharing.  Success stories are always nice.> I have a 75 gallon LR set-up with 80 lbs. of liverock.  Filtration is a wet-dry (w/out bio balls) w/ 750 gal/hr. pump and 2 powerheads for brisk water movement.  Lighting is a 10,000K MH w/ reflector suspended about 8 in. above water surface (it should be noted that even with no hood on  my tank, water temp during light cycle is at 80 degrees F.... try this with a hood or smaller tank you would likely need a chiller). Only other occupants in tank are a pair of Clarki clowns (who aggressively defend their Anenome during maintenance).  Simply can't decide what else to get. <Sometimes less is more.> Diet is small slivers of fresh shrimp, no more than 1/2 the size of the mouth (occasionally substituted w/ slivers of fresh, non-greasy fish).  Every other feeding is a processor made "paste" consisting of fresh shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and krill.  I turn off the pump and powerheads and use a syringe to squirt a small amount onto the Anenome.  Turning off water circulation is important here, as not doing so would likely degrade water quality and result in the Anenome getting very little.  I only feed once every 10-14 days.  I think many overfeed their anenomes.  With the intense lighting and resulting zooxanthellae production, it seems little food would be needed. Water changes of 15-20 % are done every 1-2 weeks, at which time I also supplement with Iodine. This Anenome is of the tan/ pink variety and has grown from about 7 inches to a little over a foot in diameter when fully opened (I hear the brightly colored ones don't do as well?).  Typical of Ritteri's, it has positioned itself at the top of the LR, directly under the MH, only about 12 inches from the bulb.  Personally, I wouldn't try this species with less intense light (power compacts, for example), I don't know if it would be enough.  Light cycle is on timer with 13 hours on, 11 off.      I would like to reiterate the importance of covering powerhead intakes and your overflow.  The only time this Anenome made significant movement was when my MH bulb burned out while I was at work.  I came home to find my Ritteri had been sucked through my overflow, shriveled and in only about 1 inch of water.  I quickly placed it back directly under the MH and replaced the bulb.  It recovered and hasn't moved from his favorite spot since (that was 6 months ago).  Lesson learned...I think I got lucky there. <Yes, a valuable lesson.> If anyone has kept a Ritteri for a long period of time (i.e, a couple years or more), I would like to here <hear> of your setup and husbandry. Also, if you don't have extremely intense light, water movement that turns over your tank volume many times each hour, or you don't maintain very good water quality, I would recommend you pick one of the easier maintained anenomes. <Yes, earlier is a relative term.> Sorry, would have sent pick but digital is in for repair. <Perhaps in a future update.> Lastly, read Bob's book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"......the best book out there. <I absolutely agree with your sentiments here!  An excellent addition to any aquarists' holiday list.  Much success to you!  -Mich> -Kevin Crowe

Sebae/Ritteri Anemone Systems    6/6/06 Hello to all, <Hello Chris> I was wondering what are your thoughts on my ability to keep a Ritteri with my proper set-up. <A difficult anemone to keep for any length of time.>  I have a 55 gallon aquarium that is only 15" deep, <Do better in larger tanks.> I have (2) 175 watt Metal Halide and plenty of actinics.  I planned on placing the anemone on the top of my largest rock in the aquarium which is about 7" from the surface.  My water quality is near perfect and I have excellent water flow (wave maker, sump return pump, etc..). <Wavemakers are a plus.>  Or do you think that I maybe over killing my aquarium with so much light (although it never bothered my carpet anemone before in the aquarium)? <Lighting is fine.>  I recently moved and don't have any livestock in it right now, but a saddleback clown, and wanted to start it up again with a Ritteri. <Chris, do read here and related articles above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Chris

Ritteri do I have it in me?   6/3/06 Good Afternoon, .....excellent site, you guys ( girls included, no offense) rule.  I have a 50 gal aquarium that I have ran for many years as an exclusive anemone tank (no other creature but anemones.. not even clowns), and I just moved and I am starting it up again.  I have kept just about every type of anemone (Bubble, Sebae, LTA, Carpet...for only a month though, quarantine situation for a friend), but the one that I have never kept was a Ritteri (the one that I always wanted to).  I have a ton of experience with all types of anemones with everything that could go wrong to everything that goes perfectly.  So I am not questioning my abilities or knowledge, just my lighting.  I have (2) 175w MH....1 6500k and the other I think is a 10k or 12k, and (2) 65w actinics.  I have learned through the years (and this lesson was costly) that if you have doubt, it best not to try, so I am asking the experts (yes you).  And I know that even after my tank cycles again it will be at least 6 months before I can put one in.  If you don't think I have the lighting for a Ritteri, what about a carpet long for the term? Thanks, Michael <<Michael:  Many experts consider the Ritteri not only difficult to keep; but, due to their lifespans/infrequent reproduction they should not even be pulled out of the ocean.  It would be a shame to get one and then lose it.  Some people also think that clownfish are good for the well being of the anemones.  As for me, I have RTBA, GTBA, LTA and a Condy under 400W MH lighting.  I also have a RTBA, Condy and Green Carpet under VHO lighting.  I feed the anemones every few days and they seem to be doing well.  All the anemones came with tanks I bought.  If it were me, I would stick with a clone of a RTBA or GTBA.  That way, you're not experimenting on a critter that just got pulled out of the ocean.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Lighting/MH Bulb Problem   5/9/06 Hello, I have a 75 gal. LR tank (24" deep) with a ritteri Anenome and 4 Clarki clowns.  My suspended MH bulb is mysteriously shutting off then restarting every 5 minutes or so.  I've had the bulb for ~ 6 months.  I know you recommend 10,000K spectrum.  I'm going to buy a new bulb tomorrow, any specific brand you would recommend?  This ballast requires a screw-in type, 250 watt bulb.  I was using an Iwasaki Clean-Ace 250W, 18,000 lumen, 6500 K, and was going to look for a 250 W, 10,000 K. IYO, is this likely a bulb issue, vs. a ballast issue? (I know you're not electricians, just thought you might have experienced this with your own MH lights).  I assume if the ballast was failing the light would not come on at all, do you agree?  <I happen to be an electrician Kevin.  If you have a standard (non-electronic) ballast the problem is generally with the bulb itself.  An electronic ballast could be causing this problem as most have a current sensing device built in and will trip when excessive current is detected.  A defective current sensor could trip prematurely.>  I've always changed my MH bulbs while they were still functioning, so have never experienced this.  The light is on a timer, set for 12 hours.  Today, it kicked on, warmed up and got to it's natural spectrum (2-3 minutes), then dims and shuts off.  Then, ~ 5 minutes later, it kicks on and does the same, it's been doing this all evening.  Is this what MH's do when the bulb is failing?  <Yes, if it isn't a ballast related problem.> My poor Anenome is getting a workout, opening and closing.  It (Anenome) has always had the same 12 hour photoperiod.  I hope this brief light screw up doesn't stress him out too bad. <Kevin, I'd just replace the bulb.  If it is the ballast, then you have a spare bulb.  I'd put my money on a defective bulb as the problem.> Thank you very much, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> -Kevin  

Re: a question left out of my earlier MH email ... lamp choice   5/9/06 Sorry, one more. <Uh... of what? Where's the previous correspondence?> The choices I have found for a replacement 250 watt MH bulb are more numerous than I anticipated.  Can you please recommend one of the following for my ritteri Anenome?  Those in bold are labeled as aquarium bulbs: 1) Ushio/BLV 10,000 K (cri not listed) 2) Ushio 20,000 K (cri not listed) 3) "Standard" 10,000 K (cheapest, but I don't care) 4) MegaChrome 14,500 K (cri not listed) 5) MegaChrome 12,500 K (cri not listed) 6) Hortilux Blue 6,500 K, 90 cri 7) Eye 6,500 K, 90 cri The is in reflector, suspended 8 inches off the water.  My Ritteri is doing very well, and I would like to keep it that way. Thanks again, -Kevin <I'd go with number 1... Good bulbs, about right temp. Bob Fenner>

Magnificent Anemone Compatibility  4/27/06 Hello folks.  Thanks for all the wonderful info. <Hello and you're welcome.> I think I know this answer, but want to make sure.  First, my tank and water parameters: -75 gallon with 75 lbs. of liverock, 1 open-end 250 watt MH (clean-ace 18,000 lumen, 6,500 K) in reflector suspended 8 in. above water, wet/dry filter made for 125 gal tank (no bio balls), pump and 2 powerheads=1600 gal/hr. water flow. -pH=8.3, temp=79 day (heat off MH), 77 night, specific gravity=1.024, nitrite/nitrate=0, free ammonia=0, alkalinity=4meq/L. All water is RO with 10- 15% water changed weekly.   Occupants are 1 magnificent anemone and 4 Clarki clowns....that's all.  Although I  acquired this tank 3 months ago with just a Clarki (the damsel, brittle star and coral beauty I inherited were given good new home), it had been up and running with previous owner for 3 years.  I know Ritteri's are among the most difficult of all anemones to maintain long-term but I'm trying to provide everything it needs.  I've only had it 2 months but I've never seen a healthier one- fed regularly with small slivers of shrimp, squid, scallop, or non-greasy fish briefly soaked in vitamin sol'n every other feeding, Iodine supplementation with water changes, a  robust body and thick, full tentacles, rich pink-tan color, and has grown from ~6 to 8+ inches. My question.  I am considering making this tank a Clarki/anemone tank, exclusively.  Which I think could be quite beautiful.  <Yes, such systems are very interesting.>  Given the large amount of unpopulated space in this tank, would a 2nd anemone still be out of the question?  I know that is normally a no-no due to the likelihood of a "chemical battle" b/t the anemones, but most don't have this much "unpopulated" space and I'm anal <Anal??> about maintaining perfect water parameters.  Could 2 anemones (Ritteri or not) ever co-exist in a setup such as this? <Your 75 doesn't have that much real estate.> I forgot to add.  I am about to move this setup into a 125 gal and adding 50 lbs. more liverock, a 2nd 250 watt MH for a 4:1 watt/gallon ratio with both lights suspended 8 in. over the water.  Just wanted you to know in case the extra room influences your answer. <Don't think you would have a problem here.  Wouldn't get the second anemone until the tank transfer is complete.  I would get a Ritteri, would not mix species.> To me, having a beautiful setup is secondary to the well-being of the inhabitants.  That's why I'm asking.  I'd rather have just one healthy anemone (I know, that term is relative with a Ritteri) with multiple Clarkii's instead of two anemones just "getting by" or worse.  But would love to have 2 if you think they could co-exist with TLC.  <I'd give it a shot.> I just ordered Bob's book "The Conscientious Aquarist" and will read it cover to cover. <Bob thanks you and do enjoy reading it.> Thanks so much for your time. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, -Kevin       
Re: another ritteri question
 - 5/2/2006 Hi Salty Dog! <Hello Kevin> I've written you a few times about my Magnificent Anenome.....you can tell to me to stop bugging you anytime, I won't be offended. <Will not.> I just keep coming up with new questions the other articles didn't quite answer. As you may recall, <Do not, receive too many queries to remember an individuals tank/specs.> I have a 75 gallon LR tank (~70 lbs.) with suspended 250 MH w/ reflector 8 in. off water, wet/dry without bio-balls, Prizm Deluxe skimmer (rated for up to 300 gal.), ~1600 gph water movement (it chooses an area of LR where there is significant movement, the Clarkii's have to fight the current to nestle down at night), <Could power down powerheads at night.> water parameters excellent, iodine and trace elements added with RO water changes, etc.  Only inhabitants are Ritteri acquired about 2 1/2 months ago, 3 Clarki clowns, and snail "cleaner pack".  So far, the Ritteri is doing very well.  <Good to hear.>  Growing rapidly with thick, full tentacles, etc.  My question is about feeding frequency and other foods you would recommend.  So far, I've fed it small slivers of  fresh raw shrimp, shellfish, squid, and non-greasy fish (thank god the farmer's market is just down the road).  I also feed a homemade "paste" that I make in my food processor.  It consists of a mix of a couple of the aforementioned meats with thawed Mysis shrimp and krill. <A good diet.> I turn off all pumps except one powerhead (if I don't, the food just gets blasted around the tank) and squirt a small amount onto it's tentacles via syringe (it really seems to love this concoction).  I've read some conflicting information on the recommended feeding frequency. I've been feeding 2-3 times a week, but have read some articles that say more than once a week may be too often.  It never refuses a meal.  Would it refuse if satisfied? <It may at times.  One feeding per week would be plenty as anemones do produce much of their food by way of photosynthesis.> I assume, with my MH lighting (which the Anenome is directly below), that the anemone's zooxanthellae are healthy and providing food, and the Clarkii's give him occasional tidbits, plus I'm sure he gets his fair share of Clarki poo.  Is my feeding schedule appropriate?  <As above>> Would you recommend any other food items, either fed directly or added to my "paste"?   <You are doing fine as is.  Might want to add a little Selcon to the paste.> Thanks again. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Also, send Bob my kudos.  I'm halfway through his book......absolutely fantastic reading. <Will do and yes, it is a no nonsense straightforward book.  James (Salty Dog)> -Kevin

Anenome lighting....algae problem   4/21/06 Hello folks, Thanks for all your wonderful information, I've read your site for hours on end.  I have a question if you don't mind. First, my water parameters: (pH=8.3, salinity=1.024, nitrite/nitrate=O, ammonia=0.15 mg/L, alkalinity=4.5 meq/L, temp=79). I recently (3 wks. ago) increased the lighting for my 75 gal. LR tank to a 250 watt MH (18,000 lumens, 6500 K) to provide adequate light for a newly purchased Ritteri Anenome, which has positioned itself on a perch only 12 inches beneath the intense light.  I acquired this tank from a friend who only used weak fluorescents for years (no anenomes, obviously).  I'm battling an algae problem now....looks similar to Cladophora sakaii on algaebase.org, sort of like a green moss, stringy, and obviously grows to several inches (I can send pic if needed).  All of my water is RO and water parameters are good (is ammonia OK at 0.15?....surprised me). <Shouldn't be detectable.  May be the test kit, try another.>  I actually had to remove the LR a piece at a time into a saltwater-filled tub and scrub it with a toothbrush. <Could be a reason  for the slight ammonia increase.>  All I have in the tank is my Ritteri, a resident Clarkii, three-striped damsel and a Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel.  I know acquiring a Yellow Tang or other algae eater would help, which I may do. <Tangs are selective in the type of algae they eat.  Your fish (other than the clown) will always be at risk with an anemone present.> I thought the RO water would keep the algae minimal, I was wrong.  The LFS didn't have any better ideas.  Am I going to have to continually scrub algae off of my LR b/c of the intensity of the MH?  Please say it will get better.  Any recommendations? <RO water alone does not prevent algae growth.  Dissolved nutrients, phosphates, nitrates all contribute to algae blooms.  Do read here and related links, Kevin. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm >  How do other Anenome owners with MH's deal with algae?  <By control.  A protein skimmer will help immensely in this regard along with advice on the aforementioned link.>  Any info is very much appreciated. On another note, I'm hoping to be one of the few to keep a Ritteri long-term........MH lighting, 10-15 % water changes weekly with Iodine supplementation, varied crustacean/fish diet, good water parameters, strong water flow, etc.  I'll let you folks know if it's still thriving several years down the road. <I think a year will be all that is necessary as these animals do not live much longer than that in small captive systems.  There are a few exceptions and hopefully you will be included.> Regards,  <Good luck with the Ritteri.  James (Salty Dog)> -Kevin (aka "tired of scrubbing my live rock")

Heteractis magnifica/Anemone Systems  - 04/11/2006 Hello folks,  <Hello Kevin> Thanks for your great site.  I tried but couldn't quite find the answer to my questions.  So here they are: I just bought a magnificent sea Anenome (Heteractis magnifica).  I have an ~80 gallon liverock tank.  The Anenome is positioned 20 inches directly below my 250 watt clean-ace metal halide bulb in reflector.  This MH has ~15,000 lumens (18,000 new) and color is at 6,500 Kelvin.  This is the only light I'm using.  There's 45 lbs. of liverock, water quality if excellent (frequent water changes....I kept freshwater Discus for years and they require it!), pH is at 8.0, water temp is at 79 F, with 2 power heads and powerful pump intake providing good water movement.  I just fed it a small piece of peeled, de-veined fresh shrimp, which it devoured.  Future diet will be mix of fresh crustaceans and fish.  My Clark clownfish has already taken up residence but I haven't seen it feed my Anenome yet.  I think I got a good specimen......good body condition, balled up nicely when moved, nice long tentacles, nice pink/tan color, fed aggressively, etc.  <A good start.> My 3 questions are: 1)  Do you think my 250 watt MH (~15,000 lumen, 6,500 Kelvin) could be enough if kept directly above him?  I know it's low on wattage for this species but it's a great bulb and directly above him.  I have a 1,000 watt ballast and could use a 1,000 watt MH but my energy bill would sky rocket and I'd have to wear sunglasses in my own living room!  <I think the light is fine.  Would change to a 14K when replacement time comes.> 2)  Is there anything about my setup that seems wrong for this difficult species? <Not yet.  Do maintain 10% water changes weekly and supplement iodine.> 3)  One of your articles said bio-balls in your wet/dry shouldn't be used. <Isn't necessary with live rock.> I have 45 lbs. of liverock, should I gradually remove the bio-balls and allow the liverock bacteria to work alone? <Yes, but I would add about 30-40 more pounds.> Thanks so much!! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> You're info on this species blows away any info I've found elsewhere.  The LFS knows no more than I do.......please help. Sincerely, -Kevin Crowe
Re: Heteractis magnifica/Anemone Systems  - 04/11/2006
Thanks for the response, Salty.  <You're welcome.> I have one more question (sorry), regarding invertebrate-friendly fish for my 80 gal. LR tank. All I have in there now is 1 Clark Clown, 1 three-striped damsel, 1 coral beauty, 1 brittle star, and my Ritteri.  I want to add a few more fish, but want good chances of overall compatibility with my other fish and Ritteri.  <Anemones not recommended in community type fish tanks, just asking for problems down the line.> I was thinking something like this:  one or two black sailfin blennies (introduced together......to combat my algae growth as result of my 250 MH), a couple Limbaughi Chromis, and a banded longfin Basslet, from LiveAquaria.  Sound like a decent mixture?  <Yes, but you are risking the lives of the fish with the anemone present.> Any other fish you would recommend in place of these?  <I would go with a small harem of Clarki Clowns, would be an interesting display.> There's probably many I'm not thinking of and am open for suggestions from the experienced! <James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again for the help.  <You're welcome.> Kevin    

Lighting for H. magnifica anemones Hello! I've got a question about lighting my cube tank (27.5") in which I want to keep some clownfish and anemones (Heteractis magnifica). <Yes, I remember.> Now, I have 150 watt HQI 10,000 K made by Aqualine (Aqua-Medic after fusion) and some 20 watt actinic 03 made by Philips. <Ok> I've got a feeling that it wouldn't be enough light for anemones and I think I should upgrade. <It would be plenty for some anemones, but I think you are at the low end for H. Magnifica.> I'm thinking of adding 150 or 70 W of Aqualine 20,000 K and do my light cycle following: first starts 20 or 40 watts of TL 03 (last 12 hours), after 2 hours start 20,000 K and last for 10 hours and 10,000 K (150 watt) last 8 hours. What is your opinion about my plan? <It sounds fine.> Should I buy 20,000 K (what's the different between this and 10000K for anemones) <If you add a second lamp, I would use another 10,000 K.> or maybe I should stay with my 150 watt 10,000 K and TL03 (if so how many watts should I add to my 150 watt HQI) and don't spend money. <My concern for your anemone in the previous emails has centered around the tank's depth. I believe this anemone can and will survive under this lighting if it climbs and stays in the top half of the aquarium. To be sure you are getting the best light output from your fixture, do be sure not to use a glass canopy. These block out light. If you are concerned about fish jumping, please find and use some eggcrate. This is what we in the US hobby call it. It is found at most any hardware store. It's real purpose is for diffusing light on overhead fluorescent fixtures. It comes in sheets that measure about 2 feet by 4 feet. I would also urge you to purchase a few good books on anemones. Dr. Ron Shimek wrote a small pamphlet called "Host Anemone Secrets." it is really pretty good and he has good experience with H. magnifica getting his to spawn.> Best regards, Darek <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Anemones tank Hello! Thank you for the previous information. I'm planning an anemone tank and I'll be glad to hear your opinion on my system. My tank is70*70*70cm <About 27.5" cube, ~90 gallons.> an overflow is on the whole width of the tank. I want to use Turboflotor 1000 multi, 25 liters of bioballs, and ocean runner 3500 circulation pump. <I would probably forget about the bioballs and just use liverock.> I have also Kalkwasser mixer. I want to have Heteractis magnifica, 8 Clownfishes, <I would recommend just one pair of clownfish.> a Zebrasoma, and a few more fishes. My lighting is 150W 10000K and 40W TL03. <This maybe one of those instances I would recommend 250 watt metal halides. H. magnifica's love bright light. You maybe ok with your current light if the lamp is close to the water, about 6" or 15 cm.> Would it be ok? <See notes above> I wonder if I should add refugium with miracle mud but I want to have my water without yellowing. <I would investigate first what the purpose of the refugium is (nutrient export or plankton production) and then tailor the refugium to your intentions. Please search through www.WetWebMedia.com for additional tips.> Best regards, Darek <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Heteractis magnifica A species tank sounds like an interesting idea. I would think a relatively shallow tank would be enough since these guys like to climb high in the rock structure. <agreed, my friend> I would not need a lot of volume because it would be in series with my main 65G and my 29G sump and it would sit next to the tank. <whoa! That's not a species tank then. the shared water exposes the anemone to the same allelopathic and other noxious exudations from other invertebrates in the shared water. We need a dedicated tank here dude. Closed system... or... the 65 and 29 sump cannot have other cnidarians in them at which point the ancillary vessel is somewhat unnecessary> My skimmer is excessively oversized anyway. <excellent> What would be a suggested size for this Heteractis magnifica anemone and a pair of clowns? <for the long run, a 50gall breeder would work reasonably well 36X18x18> Thanks, Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

Heteractis magnifica Lighting - 12/25/03 Hi, I am a high school biology teacher who is filling in for the Marine Biology teacher.   <cheers, Jerry> My only experience with saltwater aquariums was back in 1975-1980 when I had a 29 g aquarium with an anemone (It looked a lot like a Heteractis crispa), <ahhh... a fairly hardy species... even for the time, back then> a clownfish (probably  Amphiprion  ocellaris),  a coral banded shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) and a blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus).  This was in an aquarium that had 2-25 watt incandescent bulbs and an under gravel filter.  I guess the weekly 25% water changes recommended by my LFS helped a lot.   <yes... helpful> This aquarium was also next to a south facing window.   <indeed the best help overall... natural sunlight :) > I had to sell the system when it came time for college (from what I have been reading, I should not have been successful with this system).  I have lots of experience with freshwater systems. <no worries... times have changed and the keeping of marines is much easier with regard for maintenance (less than most FW), although still strict (water changes, stable pH, etc)> I am thankful for the internet and a few good books (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist was the first book I purchased and so far has been the best reference ;)). <outstanding! And please do look at our other works: "Reef Invertebrates" Calfo and Fenner, "Fishwatcher's Guide" by Fenner... and "Book of Coral Propagation" by Calfo (much on general reef/coral and anemones keeping here... water chemistry, lighting, etc)> My biology training has been genetics (BS), ecology (MS), and entomology (Ph.D).  After all of this I discovered I prefer teaching high school. <you may be a candidate for sainthood <G>. Kudos to you my friend> I inherited a Heteractis magnifica and A. percula from a student who did not last long in the class (student brought these in on a day I had a substitute and after I said no because of the great amount of care required for the anemone.  I told the student to find a new home for the anemone.   <yes... this is one of the most difficult and expensive to keep species (requiring brighter light than most any coral in the trade> Instead he transferred out and left me the anemone).  This class interested me again in marine aquariums, and I had started putting together a mini-reef system in a 20L (30x12x12) .  I made a custom canopy and lighting system with six 24 inch fluorescent tubes (3 actinics, 2 50/50's and 1-10,000K) and two 20 watt 6700K mini-compacts. <alas... this is not even remotely close to being able to keep this species. Without intense natural sunlight or metal halide, I suspect your anemone will perish from slow attrition in less than 2 years (perhaps much sooner)> It is a tight fit though the bulbs are about 4 inches above the water. <good to hear of the effort... but there is a rule that fluorescent lamps at 3" or higher off the surface are nearly ineffective. They are indeed severely reduced in intensity as revealed by a  PAR meter. These lamps need to be as close to the water as possible my friend> I have a 3-spot domino (Dascyllus trimaculatus), a blue velvet damsel (Neoglyphidodon oxyodon) and a yellow damsel (Amblyglyphidodon aureus). <heehee... tough crowd! <G> I do love those dominoes though :)> I have about 20 pounds of LR and 30 lbs of live sand and crushed coral.  I also have a variety of snails and hermit crabs as well as my first piece of coral, green star polyps. <please do resist mixing corals and anemones... motile cnidarians mixed with sessile ones are a recipe for disaster in the long run (no doubt when away from the tank on school holiday/weekends)> This was the only system I had for the rescued anemone and clownfish (several students wanted the pair, but no other aquarium has the required lighting).  Interestingly, the domino now shares the anemone with the clownfish, they each have their side.  At first the anemone immediately climbed the side of the aquarium.  I did some research and decide I did not have enough lighting.   <correct mate> I replaced one actinic and one 50/50 with 2-6700 bulbs with internal reflectors.   <the problem here is intensity and not (only) the color of the lamps> I built a rock ledge for the anemone, and it is now doing much better.  I realize this is only a short term solution.  I am already dealing with some water quality problems (I have a penguin 330 BioWheel filter and two powerheads connected to sponge filters (to protect the anemone and provide a bit more filtration).  I can keep the system stable with 20% water changes every 2 or 3 days.  I will be getting a protein skimmer very soon. <good to hear> I have decided to build an aquarium to house the anemone and clownfish. (I do a lot of DIY in my free time).  I am thinking of an aquarium of 24x24x14 (about 35g).  Is this a good size or should I go larger?   <it will serve you for several years before the anemone outgrows it><<Ah, no. RMF>> I would rather build the best size now than have to go bigger later.  I want to keep the aquarium short so it will be easier (and cheaper) to provide the best lighting for the anemone.   <yes... shallow tanks will help here significantly. Keep such anemones in the top 10-12" of water under any fluorescents (PC, VHO or certainly HOs)> I would like to use PC lighting so I do not need to deal with the heat of metal halides (especially important in summer where I live where temps go above 100F regularly, I do not need to add to the air conditioning bill).   <this is a big misconception Jerry. PCs and VHOs close enough to the water and in an enclosed reflector/canopy produce a similar concern re: heat. Or put another way... the heat from halides is really a moot point. They are even easier to control heat with as they are further off the water and heat is more readily dissipated or exhausted (9 watt muffin fan)> Would 4-55 watt pc bulbs (2-10,000 k and 2-50/50) be enough or should I have more lighting?   <still not enough for a magnifica... although it would easily keep an Entacmaea quadricolor or a brown malu anemone (the 2 best anemone choices)> I  do not wish to provide the minimum, I want to provide enough lighting to keep the anemone healthy and happy for a very long time.   <daily feeding will help to compensate in part for the deficiency in light... but only for so long.> I will be doing this project soon (my wife, also a teacher at the same school, said I could bring home the 20 g mini reef at the end of the year, but after watching the anemone and clownfish has given her ok to a second aquarium, so I have to get it done before she changes her mind).  I am hoping that after I get this one going she will let me have one more, I need a bigger FOWLR to house the domino and blue velvet damsel as well as a yellow tang I have my eye on.  My son says that one can go in his room.  It does help that he desires to become a marine biologist and he has a birthday coming up in a few months. Thank you, Jerry <you really have your work cut out for you here, mate. As you seem to be aware of... this is one of the most demanding and delicate of anemones... and certainly even among all cnidarians in the trade. H. mag requires more light than most SPS stony corals... and that means a light system of many hundreds of dollars to have a fair shot at keeping this specimen alive long term. I fear that even with good feeding under fluorescent lights, it will still perish in the short term (1-3 years at most). To make matters worse/more challenging... the tank is relatively small... and the presence of any other stinging cnidarians (Starpolyp is in fact one of the most competitive and chemically noxious of all corals)... and this tank seems unlikely to prove fruitful. I wish I could share a more optimistic opinion, but the animal is what it is... and has strict needs. Wishing you the best of luck. Anthony>
Heteractis magnifica lighting 12/29/03 Hi Anthony, <cheers, Jerry :) > I thank you for your honest assessment.   <always welcome, my friend> I have been searching the web and this site to try to get an handle on the size of aquarium and the amount of lighting needed.  I did not want to put out the money now and find out later that I needed bigger and better.  I would rather save money in the long run and do it right the first time.   <yes... the best way> Add to that the retroactive pay I will get in 3 weeks (school districts never settle contracts until the year is half over), I do have the means to metal halide if I need to. Besides, I have seen systems with metal halide and they look great.  Fortunately, I have known the owner of my LFS for 20 years now and he gives major discounts to the marine biology teachers in the area.  I still plan to build my own aquarium, I will just make it larger.  I have spent the past few days reading about sumps and how to build them, so I will add one of those.  The nice thing is that I still have two more weeks of vacation, so I have enough time.  I think an aquarium dedicated to the H. mag and a pair of clownfish would be a great project.  I still love to do research type stuff.   <as a teacher and with a love for sharing and acquiring knowledge, I have great faith that you are the best kind of person/aquarist to try to keep this anemone species> I am now planning  on an aquarium of about 100 gallons with intense metal halide lights.  Could you give me an idea on wattage and number of MH? I will not have any other coral or inverts in this aquarium, so I can center the light over the anemone. <there are many possibilities here... but to give you my best all-around recommendation. I'd suggest one 150-watt double ended HQI (10K color) for every 2 feet of tank length. You will need no other lamps (no fluorescent actinics). This scheme is IMO the best balance between lamp life/efficiency, intensity, and aesthetics/color. If instead you wanted faster growth or better lamp life... then shift towards 6500 K Iwasaki lamps. But please resist excess blue light here. It serves little purpose for this daylight loving anemone. Nothing bluer than 10K (stay in the 5000- 10,000 K color range). Best of luck, Anthony>

Heteractis magnifica lighting 3/22/04 Hi Anthony, <cheers> I thank you very much for your great advice on the care of the Heteractis magnifica I inherited.   <always welcome my friend> Since I last wrote in December, I have been able to add a Sea Clone protein skimmer and 15 gallon refugium to the 20 gallon long aquarium that houses the H. magnifica and now mated pair of percula clowns.  The water quality has greatly improved and for the past 6 weeks ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates have been undetectable.  In another month or two I will have a 90 gallon aquarium ready to house the anemone and clownfish.  I am taking care to set up and cycle the aquarium the right way to provide a permanent home for this anemone. <a wonderful story... very glad to hear this anemone is getting a good home. So very few do> My question has to do with lighting.  I have just purchased a 175 watt metal halide pendant with a 10,000 K bulb.  It will be delivered in a few days.  What would be the best way to introduce this lighting so as to not shock the anemone too much.   <place it 6-9 inches off the water... and place a stack of plastic fiberglass fly screen (like for windows) on top of the canopy between the lights and the water. About 12-15 sheets should do nicely. Remove a sheet every day or every other day for a few days to gradually acclimate the anemone to the new light over a couple of weeks> Currently I have 8 6700K NO fluorescent bulbs about 2 inches above the water.  I replaced the glass cover with eggcrate to help increase the lighting intensity until I was able to get a metal halide.  Right now the anemone has taken up residence on the front glass right at the water surface.   <yes... common. Starving for light> Should I start with the metal halide several inches above the water surface then lower it a little day by day?   <yikes... less than 6" is dangerous with MH here (6-9" is about right)... only fluorescents are to be 0-3" off water> Or should I start by cycling the lighting with the current lighting for 5.5 hours, then one hour of metal halide, followed by 5.5 hours of the current lighting?   <too complicated... simply run the  lights for the right time 7-10 hours at the right height, etc... and shade the light partly for a couple of weeks> Then I would slowly increase the amount of time the metal halide is on in relation to the current lighting. I thank you very much for your advice, it has prolonged the life of this anemone and has given me a chance to provide the right environment so it might live a very long life. Jerry <in agreement/shared admiration... Anthony>

Heteractis magnifica Hello there! <Hi! Ryan with you today> Thanks in advance for the quick response and sound advice. <No worries> I have some questions regarding the magnificent anemone Heteractis magnifica. I am very interested in keeping this anemone. It's colors and size are amazing and I can't help but want to keep it. I've done plenty of research on this anemone and know it needs plenty of current and light along with excellent water quality. I can provide the water quality and current but I'm somewhat perplexed as to how much light I would need to keep this animal healthy. <The saturation point is a slippery devil> I would plan on using metal halide lighting along with some VHO actinics. <Sounds appropriate> My first proposal would be to use either 250 or 400w MHs of the 6500k or 10000k color spectrum. <400 is overkill unless you're planning on keeping photosynthetic animals in the lower portions of your tank. 250, with the animal in the upper 10 inches of water, with the bulb 8 inches from the surface.> I have read many times that 6500k gives quite the PAR rating as compared to most other MHs. <Truly an endless debate. I prefer 10k, with heavy VHO actinic.> IMO I think this would be the best thing for a magnificent?? I've also heard my people say they like to have the crisp white light given by the 10000k's. <Ahh, yes> Either way, I have a 70g tall tank (36w 18d 24h) which is quite tall and would need to be lit with the MHs. So I was thinking of going with the 400w 6500k MHs with 2-3 95w VHO actinics (this seems like a whole hell of a lot of light for my tank). <250 with your current VHO scheme is plenty.> With this lighting setup I'd have about 8-9 watts per gallon. I'm concerned that I won't have enough light so I've planned on going really big on the metal halide. <Proper feeding and water current are equally important variables> Along with this there will be a pair of true percula clowns to help with symbiosis if they take to the anemone (I think they will). <I would encourage you to allow the anemone to settle before allowing the clowns to "have at it."> With that I'll be feeding the anemone with Bob's homemade shrimp prep that he lists in CMA. <Nice staple, but mix it up> It'll be grated up with a cheese greater under Anthony's advice. He says this should help with digestion. <Yes> Through much of my research I've also noticed there are many color variants of this animal. Could you tell me why they are all classified as H. Magnifica? <Animals of this nature make the most of their environment. Growth is highly deliberate- The animal grows to take advantage of the current, light and available nutrients. If the anemone collected from point A is producing much of it's energy from plankton, and anemone B is producing most energy from photosynthesis, they're going to grow in very different ways.> Do the colors vary due to local or light levels? <Many variables- UV penetration, amounts of available light, etc.> I really want to know my stuff on this anemone and I've never heard anyone mention any info on that. <Not much has been written on that! This is an unexplored area in some ways.> One main reason why I ask this is because I would like to get an anemone that is suited for my Percs. Maybe one color variation is better suited for them? <Not likely. I would encourage you to look to other aquarists for "tank raised" animals. The shock of collection is seldom overcome by these animals. It's so sad to do everything you can as the steward, and watch the animal disintegrate nonetheless. Please please acclimate him to the light.> Like I said I've never heard any mention of this anywhere. So if you could give me some info it'd be greatly appreciated. Once again I want to thank you for your time and all that you guys have done. I am truly appreciative of your work and help!!!! <Great luck! Ryan> Chris - AKA - Fishtank 

Magnificent anemone requirements Hello, I was sold a magnificent anemone about six months ago.  I was told it was an Entacmaea quadricolor.  It looked like it in the store but I bought it the same day they got it and it must have looked like a bubble tip due to stress.  I brought it home and it remained looking like a bubble tip at the top of my tank with 4-40 watt fluorescents (2-50/50 bulbs, 1-6500k,and 1 actinic).  I changed lighting to 2-65 watt CF SmartPaq bulbs and 2-40 watt 50/50 no fluorescents.  The tank is a 55 gallon (4 feet long, 21 inches tall, 13 inches front to back).  << This sounds like very little light.  I would not recommend any anemone under that lighting. >> The anemone has rooted itself in the top 9 inches of the tank and the lights all sit on the top of the open tank.  I clean all salt off of bulbs/reflectors every week.  I feed the anemone every other day with chopped squid.  Everyday I feed a cube from a saltwater multi-pack and let everyone feed for about a half hour with all water flow stopped.  The anemone has probably tripled in size within a month of being under the new lights. << Well this does sound great.  Apparently they can do very well in those conditions. >>  This thing seems to grow daily.  It has a couple of Amphiprion frenatus as residents who are constantly spawning.  Do I have to worry about the anemone outgrowing the tank? << No, if it ever gets that big I'm sure you could sell it. >> I also read that these anemones generally stay closed.  My anemone is always open except for when it is getting ready to excrete waste.  I've had to move it due to it's proximity to a hang on filter.  You will probably give me heck but here is the system.    ammonia 0    nitrates 5    nitrites 0    ph- 8.0 (hard to keep up without adding marine buffer bi-weekly)    phosphates 0.25    power sweep 228 (use just to move water)    penguin BioWheel 330    AquaClear 300  (no filter just small chunks of live rock in it)    AquaClear 200    4" diameter and 10" tall protein skimmer    [penguin and skimmer on left back, power sweep in the middle back and AquaClears on the right back]    2" live sand and crushed coral mixed    100 + pounds live rock    4 blue-green reef Chromis    blue streak cleaner wrasse    yellow tang    dragonet (had a mated pair but the anemone got hungry)    2 Amphiprion frenatus    bi-color blenny    2 blood shrimp    1 brittle star    various mushrooms    "blue" waving hand xenia (growing like a weed on everything, looks pinkish like the anemone)    Platygyra brain    moon polyps    yellow tree coral    feather duster (moved it and it lost it's feathers but has since regrown them)    20 astrea snails    2 blue legged hermits    countless little white starfish   I would love to add a sump/refugium  but can't afford the time or money.   I  do not plan on adding anything else and want to know if anything has to go due to the setup or size of the aquarium.  All seem to be happy and the cleaner wrasse is over a year old and always working on all the fish.  The system has been stable parameter wise for a year.  I would like to know how long I should leave my lights on. << I'd say between 12 and 16 hours.  That is quite a range isn't it? >>  I have the no fluorescents on from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the CF's from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  I feed once in the morning at 8:30. << Why don't you have your lights on in the evening?  Most people would have their lights on until 10pm or so. >>  I do have a little green hair algae in a corner and a little of the red slime in the opposite corner.  My glass gets covered weekly in a green algae that is a little harder than the diatoms I had in the very beginnings of my aquarium.  I clean all filters and do a 20% water change every other week. << All sounds good. Good luck. >> <<  Blundell  >>  

Lighting for Ritteri anemones 11/27/04 Hello Anthony, <cheers my friend> I've read your advice that Heteractis magnifica do better under metal halide lighting.  You suggest that long-term sustainability may necessitate MH lighting.   <'tis true... exception being dedicated displays under high intensity fluorescents where the animal is physically restricted (by tank/water depth) to live under the top 10" of the water surface> The reason I am writing is to find out if the way I have my system set up is sufficient for long term (many years) success with this species.  I have a Ritteri that I have had for 2 years now.  The tips of its tentacles are literally about 3 to 4 inches from the two 96-watt power compacts and two 55-watt power compacts (all 10,000K) that light the system.   <ah, good to hear. And fine but with the warning/reminder not to go any bluer than the 10k K lamps you have now. Arguably, this animal would do better with warmer colored lamps. Go easy on the actinic  blues though> The anemone sits on a large rock in the upper half of an 18 inch deep tank.  This anemone has more than doubled in size (it is about 17" across now) in the past 2 years and appears to be perfectly healthy and happy (from what I can tell--please see attached photos for your assessment).   <it looks well, although a bit pale. Feed it heavier and it may do better/be darker. or, it can be caused by the fluorescents exceeding their useful lifespan of 6-10 months, a bummer... poor value in this regard>> It does not move and eats approximately a teaspoon of food (chopped silversides, squid, salmon, Mysis, shrimp, clams, etc.) every other day or so.  By the way, I learned from you on WWM within the past year to chop rather than feed whole--which is what I was doing before (thank you).   <excellent mate!> I just want to make sure I am giving this anemone what it needs to live a very long life.  Do I "have" to get MH's for long-term success?   <not at all here. You have a specialized set up that is well suited for this species. And your regular feedings are a very worthy support to more moderate lighting systems with high light animals> I don't want to go to the expense of another lighting system, but I will if necessary I suppose.  Also, I've read about the preferred Kelvin readings, would you recommend one of the 10,000Ks be replaced by a 6700K?   <actually, yes.. if you don't mind or would enjoy the warmer color> Another thing, different advice on how often to change out the bulbs (some say 6 months others a year), what would you recommend in my specific case?   <Stagger their replacements to make the shock (increase in light) less stressful on the creatures... and do so by the tenth month IMO. If you really want to know the exact time to change them, do invest in a PAR meter. Apogee brand makes affordable hobby market units> Thank you in advance for your recommendations, Gary   <always welcome my friend... best of luck/life to you. Anthony>

Lighting for Ritteri anemones II 11/28/04 Thank you Anthony for your quick reply.   <always welcome my friend> I will order a warmer colored bulb to replace one of the 96-watt PCs and I will change the bulbs after 10 months as you suggest (and stagger their replacement).  Thank you and all the crew for your invaluable wisdom and dedication to this wonderful hobby. Gary   <wishing you the best of luck/life. Anthony>

Ritteri Questions Hello, <How goes it, Michael here, though I should be studying...> Great site! <Thanks, I'm glad I can help out> I've read just about all the faq's in regards to anenomes and will adhere to your advice. I have a question as to the tank that I would like to set up, specifically looking for your expertise to alleviate any possible problems. Here is what I am looking at: 58 gal oceanic reef ready tank 30 gal sump euro reef cs6-1 protein skimmer Coralife Aqualight pro: 1 150 watt halide, 2 65 watt PC actinic <Not enough lighting for a Ritteri.  You'll need at least 2 150 watt halides for a 48" tank, preferably 2 175 watts> 60-70 pounds of live rock 3-5 inches of crushed aragonite <Go with a DSB of about 6"> I plan to let the tank cycle for about 6 months before adding the ritteri and 2 clowns.  <Sounds good, I let mine go fishless for four months> Does this set up seem ok? <up your lighting and you'll be fine> Would it be possible to add zoos + star polyps too? <yep, place them lower and they should be fine> Thanks in advance for your response, <Anytime> Kwon <M. Maddox>

Ritteri Anemone Hello Mr. Fenner, <James here for Bob> I addressed this to you because my wife wrote you a while back ago about a Ritteri we purchased. It is still alive and of course did okay for awhile. The anemone is in a 29 gal with 2 Maroon clowns at this time. I am putting finishing touches on my 300  gal. (Let it cycle). I change water every week. Parameters are fine. There is 130 watt P.C. on it right now. It has attached to the side of the tank (Which I know this is normal) but it never did climb to the top like they do. It stayed in the main flow of the pump which is about 400gph. When purchased, it Had a good looking toe. No rips or tears or signs of healing from tears. When purchased It was on a flat rock. I wouldn't take it with out it. The mouth was tight and closed, no gaping. The mouth is still in great shape. I tried feeding it , it eats once in awhile for me, but the clowns spit Mysis, and Spirulina flakes in the middle. It closes up and digests and then opens up. Now here is the problem, The toe started to turn whitish, on the part that sticks to the glass. Then it got concave like ( In the middle it is detached from the glass, but the ends are still attached to glass). The past few days it has not fully opened and falls almost all the way off the glass. (Here is the funny part- not so funny) At night 30 minutes after the main lights are out, moon lights on, it re- attaches to the glass all the way. It stays there until the main lights go back on during the day time. It is almost like the light is too much for it, I did not think that was possible. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20. I do add Iodine,<you need to test for levels of iodine.  Too much can be harmful.  It is hard to know how much of this the animals absorb.> Vitamins (To water) and Iodide. I have a sump rated for 180 gal. and a protein skimmer. I do notice the Maroon clowns, especially the female, really is very rough with it, but boy you stick your hand in there for cleaning and forget it. She broke my plastic spoon, and before she laid eggs last month she re-arranged the tank moving rocks 3x her size. I called my local fish store and they have no clue. They told me when it dies they could get me another one. That's a real great response!, how does that help this one. Anyway do you have any suggestions, I have never seen a anemone act like this. <I do think your lighting is borderline for this anemone.  They do require strong lighting and water motion.  They generally do poorly in the home aquarium but with care and proper conditions some have lived for years.  What I would start doing is a 10% water change with an enriched salt mix such as Reef Crystals, make sure that iodine level is safe and keep the light on for 12 hours per day.  Cut out direct feedings for a while since it sounds like the clowns are giving it enough.  The anemone does provide a great deal of it's own food by photosynthesis providing the lighting is intense enough.  What type of filtering are you using?  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Scott

Confused about Ritteri Anemone Thanks for Answering James, The filter is just a standard sump with a Euro-Reef Skimmer. I think this anemone has had it though. I came home from work, it was off the tank and on a rock. It 's toe was still sticky, and stays stuck, it does not smell but the mouth is wide open and gaping with a look that is starting to crumble. I do not thing it is going to last long though. <Scott, you need to get it out of the tank before it does die or you will have a mess my friend.  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog) Scott

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!> 

Keeping Ritteri Anemones 8.14.05 Hello, I'd like to direct this question to Anthony.  I have two Heteractis magnifica living side-by-side atop a large rock in my tank.  The two have been in that position for several months now.  Their tentacles actually touch.  My question is, will this present any problems in the long range.   <Hard to say... cnidarians are funny about tolerance. Some are isogenic, some not. That is to say... some will only tolerate clones of their own "parent" and act hostile to other anemones even of their own species. Other corals/anemones will also tolerate their own species.> I think I'm correct in my understanding that same species cnidaria are okay together in the same tank.   <Not always the case> However, I want to check and make sure--I don't want any unpleasant surprises down the road.  There are no other anemones or any type of coral.   <Excellent to hear! This will work best long term indeed. Kudos to you> Just the two anemones and three small fish (one an ocellaris that has made the larger of the two ritteri its home for almost three years now).   <It will make a magnificent display in time> In December of 2005 I purchased the smaller ritteri and eventually it took up residence on the same rock as the "old" one.  The new one has probably doubled in size in the past nine months and appears healthy.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Keep up the good work WWM crew.        <Seems like a fair/fine set up... focus on water quality with good water changes/skimming and/or ozone. Carbon use above all (changed weekly in small amounts ideally). Anthony>  

Heteractis magnifica 5/17/05 Hello crew, I was wondering about H. magnifica. I have had one for several months and it seems to be doing well but has not grown. I feed it Mysis once a week and it catches flakes and eats that. It has to clowns living in it and seems for the most part happy. For lighting I run 4 t5s and one 400w MH 14000k. So lighting should be good. for first 6 months it pretty well stayed in area now it has taken to wandering around the tank and going for rides on the current.  <This anemone is very demanding. They require a lot of turbulent current and intense light. Even with 400w MH, they should be directly below the lamp. H. Magnifica also like to perch on the highest point that it can climb to. Constructing a tall, steep pillar right below your MH lamp will help keep in from going on the move.> Tank parameters are all fine: Nitrates and nitrites 0 am 0 ph 8.1-8.4 (depending on time of day) mag 1275 ca 425 alk 4 meq Tank is 90 Gallon 4-5" DSB 100Lbs live rock 45 gallon sump with 6 " DSB 20 Gallon Refugium with 3" sand bed <All of your tank conditions sound fine.> When I bought this anemone I was told it was a sebae, but does not look anything like one. My question is how often should I feed it and what should I feed it?  <The answer to this question depends on a positive ID. See Delbeek and Sprung's "The Reef Aquarium" series, Fautin and Allen's "Anemonefishes and Anemones" for good info on ID. If your anemone is H. Magnifica, you are feeding it properly.> I would hate for the creature to waste away from starvation because after reading through the site I wonder if I am under feeding.  <All host anemones need to be fed. If it is shrinking, I would suggest increasing the feedings. The anemone will reject food if it is being overfed.> Also I have taken Anthony's advice and started soaking foods prior to feeding in Vitamin B. Thanks Drew  <This is great advice, although it is more to the benefit of your fishes than to the anemone. Good luck! AdamC.> 

Heteractis magnifica 5/24/05--Part 2 + Ozone Thanks for the info, does not seem to be growing and maybe a small amount of shrinkage so perhaps I should increase the feeding. <Sounds reasonable.> On a different topic, I emailed awhile back on ozone use and have not heard back.  <Sorry about that... with the large volume of mail that we get, we occasionally lose one!> On your site you refer to hobbyist ozone generators?? Not sure what they are, also from reading through your site it is seems to be the general opinion to run ozone 24/7. What is best way? through skimmer or ozone reactor? the unit I am getting will do 100mg and hour. Is this safe to run 24/7 with out an ORP controller?  <Ozone is used in many industries. Normal oxygen molecules are O2, ozone is O3. Forcing the extra oxygen on makes ozone a very reactive oxidizer. Small units are made specifically for aquarium use. In appropriate doses, ozone helps clarify the water by oxidizing yellowing compounds. In theory it also improves protein skimming by oxidizing organics. If overdosed, ozone can be very dangerous, oxidizing (literally burning) the tissues of living animals.  I personally would not run ozone without at least an ORP meter if not an ORP controller. If ozone is run without a controller, I would suggest running it far below the recommended level. Also, carbon must be used inline with the skimmer or ozone reactor to ensure that any free ozone gas is removed before returning to the aquarium. Ozone reactors help create large air/water interface for the ozone to dissolve and react. They probably aren't necessary if the ozone can be introduced through a skimmer.> Thanks for all the great advice and information, it has helped me through a lot of different situations. Cheers Drew <Glad to!> <<Who answered this?>>

Anemone & Lighting  9/19/05 Hi, <Hello, Michael here today> I am interested in keeping a Maroon Anemone (Ritteri). <To put it simply, don't try it> I have 2 Ocellaris Clowns, in a 75 gallon tank. My tank has a few 48" VHO bulbs that give the tank 6 watts per gallon. Is this enough light for this type of an anemone; and if not can you recommend an anemone that is well suited for this type of light. <You don't really have enough light for any anemone species> The setup in my tank is, an island of rock in the middle for the anemone, and then an outer circle of rock for corals, this is so that the anemone thinks less of traveling all the way across the sand (good idea)? Anyway, I have heard of the challenges of keeping a Ritteri Anemone and am looking forward to them, could you tell me an optimum flow rate for this anemone, and also how to feed it (supposedly eats mussel, fish, crustaceans, and frozen foods) and also the best meal to keep it healthy. <First of all, absolutely DO NOT mix anemones with corals.  They do not come from the same habitats in the wild, and they do not fare well together in captivity.  Second of all, a 75 gallon aquarium is way too small for a ritteri anemone, which can attain 2-3 feet across.  You would also need 2 400w halide pendants to provide enough light, and at least two thousand gallons per hour of random, turbulent water flow to attempt a Ritteri.  I highly recommend that you do not try it.  As far as other anemone species, please see our archives for their respective care information.  However, if you are going to keep corals, do not put an anemone in the aquarium as well> Thanks, <You're welcome> Christian <Michael Maddox> Anemone & Lighting  9/19/05 Hi, I am interested in keeping a Maroon Anemone (Ritteri). I have 2 Ocellaris Clowns, in a 75 gallon tank. My tank has a few 48" VHO bulbs that give the tank 6 watts per gallon. Is this enough light for this type of an anemone, and if not can you recommend an anemone that is well suited for this type of light. <Yes, if the proper color temp is there (6.5K and up)>The setup in my tank is, an island of rock in the middle for the anemone, and then an outer circle of rock for corals, this is so that the anemone thinks less of traveling all the way across the sand (good idea)? <Anemones will move where they think is a good place.  Rarely will an anemone stay where you put it.> Anyway, I have heard of the challenges of keeping a Ritteri Anemone and am looking forward to them, could you tell me an optimum flow rate for this anemone,<750 gph minimum> and also how to feed it (supposedly eats mussel, fish, crustaceans, and frozen foods) and also the best meal to keep it healthy. <Here is a zillion articles on anemones for your reading.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)>

Magnificent/Ritteri Anemone Lighting  10/31/05 Hello, <Hi Ben.> At the moment my lighting consists of 2x150w 10k MH's and 1x150w 20k MH in between. Also a t8 blue for first on last off. I have a Ritteri and wondered if this lighting was ok.  <Mmm, maybe. To be honest the only time I ever saw a healthy Ritteri was directly under a 250 watt metal halide (single ended) but the HQI's are quite efficient so it may be enough. Having said that the lighting may or may not matter in this case as the anemone rarely adapts to captivity anyway.>  The lights are 9" off the water surface and the anemone is 6" below the surface. I also have 50k bulbs which could be used instead of the 10k's.Which Kelvin do anemones prefer?  <Most photosynthetic organisms prefer lighting in the 6500K to 10000K range.>  any advice is great, thank you. <Quite Welcome.> Ben Hustwayte 
<Adam J.>

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