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 FAQs on Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 1

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

Related FAQs: Anemones 2, Anemones 3, Anemones 4, Anemones 5, Anemones 6, Bubble Tip Anemones, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Other Pest Anemones, LTAs, Carpet Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Identification, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Systems, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Feeding, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Health, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Placement

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Unable to keep anemones alive 8/3/05 Hello, I have been very unsuccessful in keeping any kind of anemones alive to date. <This is the case for most aquarists.  Anemones are often injured and/or stressed in collection/shipping and are doomed.  Those that do survive often succumb to inadequate water quality, inadequate light, inadequate food and very often, for no apparent reason at all.> My latest was a Bubble Tipped which didn't last for three weeks before it started to rot from the inside. Clown fishes were fighting each other over the anemone and were feeding it but to no avail. <This sounds like the anemone was injured, which is almost always fatal, especially if the anemone is not well established in captivity (months of good health).  Acquiring a healthy specimen is difficult but imperative, and it isn't always possible to tell by visual inspection.> To make things worse I bought another smaller Bubble Tipped anemone for my nephew and his is still alive and didn't require any special/MH lighting. It's just your regular fluorescent tube!! <Hmmm...  Enough fluorescent tubes could produce enough light to maintain a BTA, but one or two certainly can't.  An otherwise healthy anemone my survive weeks or months under these conditions (especially if well fed), but eventually it will perish.> What kind of conditions are required for anemone? I have Cleaner shrimps, Bullseye Pistol Shrimp, Blue Hermit crabs, snails, mushrooms, Star and Yellow/Sun polyps, Scarlet Hermit crab, three different species of damsels, Yellow tang, Dottyback and three different species of clownfish.  <Generally, anemones require at least strong VHO lighting with MH being better.  Water chemistry should be optimized (S.G. 1.025-1.026, pH 8.1-8.5, Alkalinity 3-4 mEq/l, Calcium 380-450) and general water quality maintained with good skimming and frequent partial water changes (10%/month minimum) and at least about 10x the tank volume in water movement.> I have tried feeding Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp etc. Monthly water changes, controlled water chemistry, proper lighting. Please advise. Thank you. Paul <Without knowing more about your system, it is hard to guess what the problem might be.  Even if you acquire a healthy specimen, it takes optimal reef tank conditions to maintain anemones and even under such conditions, many still die.  Unfortunately, we can only test for a small fraction of all of the things that contribute to water quality, and of those that are possible, most of us only measure a few.  Because of this, we may never know what the "secret" is to maintaining anemones.  If you do choose to try again, I strongly urge you to seek out captive raised Bubble tip anemones.  They are already well acclimated to captive conditions and while their death is still tragic, at least it didn't come from the reef.  It would also be advisable to compare your system, water chemistry and maintenance practices to other aquarists who have been successful at keeping anemones to try and reveal any crucial differences.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>  

Bubble Tip Anemone 8/4/05 I have been wanting to add a  Bubble Tip Anemone to my aquarium so my maroon clown fish has something to host with. <Not necessary, or necessarily> Before I purchase the  Anemone I was wondering if it needs any special care compared to other anemones (I have had a Condylactis anemone for about  5 months successfully), and if my aquarium is a suitable habitat for one. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm and the linked files above> I currently have the following fish in my  175 gallon aquarium: Fish: 1 maroon clown fish 3 damsels 1 dwarf lion fish 1 fox face rabbit fish Invertebrates: 3 hermit crabs 1 chocolate chip starfish I have had this animal for about a year now) 30 pounds of live rock 1 Haitian pink tipped anemone ( which my friend who has always wanted one has offered to take if I get the bubble tip anemone) I also apologize for my previous letter with all the grammatical and spelling errors. I will appreciate any help Nathan <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
Another Anemone Question 8/4/05
Hello I am having some trouble with my anemone. <I see> The one is a bubble anemone and it is neon green and I'm trying to find out if its actually a "bubble" anemone or a different species.  Also my other anemone is white with an orange foot.  Pet store told my parents it was an LTA but I'm leaning towards Condy I include pics to show you.  My other one looks like this http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FAQ%20Pix/GreenAnemoneMouth.jpg. The reason I cant figure if its a Condy or not is because it don't have the colored tips and it dose seem to have description of a LTA (tentacles are kinda spaced out and long but it has the orange foot).  So can you help me.  Also I know 2 anemone in a tank isn't good (different species anyway) my parents bought them and they didn't know. <So? What are you going to do?>   If something starts to happen 1 is going back. <Keep reading... much you apparently need to know re these animals... Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Bob Fenner>

New reef... lack of searching WWM 7/25/05 I wonder if you could help me out.  I have begun a new reef aquarium.  I have several questions. I have a used 75 gal, wet dry filter with protein skimmer. We have four fluorescent bulbs (Ocean Sun 48" 32 Watt 10,000 K .  Supposed to be strong in blue wavelength. <... do you know their use/age?... not good forever> 20 or more pounds of live sand transferred from another tank in June.  Depth ranges from ?" to 4".  Also I built a plenum under the sand.  Water tests no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, Salinity 1.022-1.023.  pH 8.4. Temp 77.  First, we have a beautiful bulb anemone which once a day deflates, mouth open, expels wastes and looks awful.  Several hours later it opens up tentacles full but not bulbous.  Late under lower moonlight it forms beautiful bulbs.  I was feeding it very small pieces of fresh scallops every other day and have stopped.   We have a second very small bulb anemone which was bleached in transport. I have transferred to this tank and it is improving every day. It is 12" below the surface. Two new tiny anemones popped up and growing quickly.  They are located two inches down from the bleached bulb anemone.    Corals, frogspawn and pulsing xenia.  Both small.   Other inhabitants include: Two clownfish always caring for the large bulb anemone, Three small damselfish, and an algae blenny.  There is a cleaner shrimp and ten or so hermit crabs and 3 snails. And a goby that is nocturnal.  I rarely see it during the day and wonder if it is getting any food.   Once we realized the lighting was insufficient we decided to buy new.  We just purchased a power compact light (quad) fluorescent light (240 watt) which should arrive tomorrow.   My questions.   Why does the anemone move under a shelf on the side of the tank away from the fluorescent lights? <... perhaps it's ill, maybe toxified by the other cnidarians...>   Everything I read says that it should be moving up higher. Will my quad compact lighting be sufficient for the anemones? <Only experience will/can tell> Should I move the large anemone higher to the compact tomorrow when it comes?   <No...> Is the deflating due to possible overfeeding? <Not likely>   If the deflating and inflating continues every day then how will I know if it is doing poorly?   Should I do a late night feeding for the goby?  As soon as I turn on lights it goes into a cave and I never see it.   I can't seem to identify a segmented worm with setae.  It was whitish, tannish.  About 1" long if I saw the whole thing.  It seemed to come out toward a small piece of scallop but not really sure about that.   Sorry for the long note.  Thanks for any information you can offer.  I am really worried about this beautiful anemone. Cathy <... Please... use the indices, search tool on WWM... your questions and more that you don't know yet, are posted there. Perhaps starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and following the linked files above... on Anemone Systems, Compatibility, Feeding... Bob Fenner>

Anemone what!? I have been reading your responses to folks on WetWebMedia website about anemones and you have become my hero. The advise you have given others has helped me a lot. I wrote to Dr. F who I found via one of your responses and she has been giving me advice and help as well (even though she is not an aquarist... she is an admitted field biologist. I don't know if you know her? <Yes; gave a pitch at a hobby conference at the same time... and have corresponded with Dr. F.> I gave her your info and told her she should look you up... I think she has been asked to write and article for an aquarium magazine...  <Indeed; she and Gerald Allen have a very nice book on Clownfishes and Anemones... I refer to it often> anyway... by copy of my e-mail to her (and you as noted in e-mail) I could sure use your advice. I have also attached some photos for possible ID? I am sorry about the quality and understand if you can't help... however, from what I have seen on the web your are a magician... Thanks again and my anemones are doing good thanks to your and Dr. Fautin. Any help or advice would be great. Kent

Anemone ID hello my name is Mehdy. I live in Iran I'm study Biology. Now I stay in Chabahr, it is a coast city. I found a species of sea anemone .I can't find species name. Please help me out. <Take a look here at the many pictures to see if you can match it http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Otherwise, perhaps send us a picture and we may be able to ID it for you. -Steven Pro>

How do sea anemone take in water? <with a crazy straw whenever possible, but otherwise through absorption in capillary like fashion>

Re: Anemone ID Steven, It really doesn't look like a sebae. The purple dot on the tip is the size of a pinhead and very uniform in size. Wouldn't dying affect that? Craig <No, generally the dye is only absorbed by the rest of the tissue and the purple tips are unaffected. Look through the WWM site. Bob has a ton of pictures there are comparison to your individual. -Steven Pro>

"Chemical Warfare" (Allelopathy) Hi Bob, my name is Kristen, How are you?  <Anthony Calfo in your service, my dear, while Bob travels> I've read your faq's on anemones and I have a question on something I've read in a few of them regarding what you called "chemical warfare" between anemones.  <yes... very severe in the confines of an aquarium yet difficult to observe this silent poisoning. Takes months in most cases or even more than a year to kill> I currently have what was labeled a carpet anemone and a Haitian anemone in my thirty gallon long aquarium. I was wondering, will they kill each other? Thanks for your help, Kristen:) <the carpet anemone is one of the most aggressive stinging animals (cnidarians) that money can buy. I think it is likely that your other anemone will dwindle slowly and die within the next year or so due to the allelopathy (chemical aggression). It is always best to keep one anemone species per tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone Woes Hi Bob - <Steven Pro this morning.> I'm a first timer. Never thought I'd actually write. I spend a lot of time reading and learning from issues other folks write to you about... but, I'm frustrated and stumped... so here I go. <Fire away.> I purchased a beautiful bubble tip anemone - Singapore, bright green - several weeks ago. I have a pair of orange skunk clowns I was hoping might adapt to it as a host, even though I realize the BT isn't their natural host in nature. I got the BT via mail order. The skunks ignored the BT... while it wandered and wandered and wound up upside down near the back of the tank, pretty much in the dark. I came down one morning - a little more than a week after I got it - to find a slightly 'fishy' smell to the tank, and I knew it was over. Everything else in the tank seemed o.k..... so I did the obligatory water changes and cleanup of the tank... turned the skimmer on 'turbo blast' ...and called it a fluke. <Not really a fluke. Host anemones are demanding/challenging creatures that have a fairly poor record of captive survival.> Last week I tried again - this time a purple tip anemone, which IS a natural host for the orange skunks. Well.. they ignored this one too, and it seemed to be doing fine for the first few days, then began to shrink a bit. Today I noticed the foot had become unattached from the rock where it's been since I introduced it... and it seems to be failing fast. I'm afraid to leave it - for fear of it dying and fouling the tank <A legitimate concern.> but I'm also worried that if it's NOT dying, my moving it around will surely do it in. <Yes, best to allow them to find their own home. Their tissue is very sensitive and any tears caused by manual manipulation will invite infection.> Meanwhile, my clowns are comfortably snuggled into my large yellow leather coral.. seeming to pay absolutely no attention to their natural host. <Yes, very normal for captive clownfish.> All my chemistry in the tank (125 gallons with 150 pounds of live rock) and all the other corals and fish are perfectly fine. I have no other anemones in the tank. Any idea what I'm doing wrong? -Rebecca <Could be many things; poor initial specimens, lighting, water quality, etc. Whatever the root cause is, I can tell you that it is not because you clownfish are ignoring the anemones. Please read through all the articles and FAQ's on anemones, their care, and selection. IMO, this is not an animal to purchase mail-order. I hate to purchase most fish and inverts sight unseen. The key to keeping anemones seems to be to create the proper environment (getting easier) and then select an undamaged individual (a crap shoot with mail-order). -Steven Pro>

Anemone ID Hello Robert or Anthony, <Steven Pro this afternoon, answering a few questions before I go outside to enjoy the sunlight.> I am having a hard time ID'ing an anemone at my LFS. It is bright yellow throughout with very fine dark purple dots at the tips of it's 1-2 cm tentacles. <The bright yellow is the kicker. It sounds like a Sebae Anemone (H. crispa) that has been dyed. Usually this practice dooms the animal. With dedicated feeding and care they can recover to revert to their nature coloration; cream, tan, green.> Diameter is 10-15 cm.s. I appreciate your help. Any special tips on it's care would be appreciated also. Craig <Best to find a healthy individual. Perhaps a captive raised Bubble-Tip. -Steven Pro>

Curlicue (Anemone) Hello bob, I have a 48x22x22 marine tank set up with 70kg of live rock, 20gal sump, 2in sand bed. A few days ago I got an anemone, I was told it is called a "Curlicue" I have searched for some info on it but can not find any by this name, do you think that you could give me any? <Mmm, well... the two most popularly named such anemones are the common Condylactis passiflora of the tropical West Atlantic and Macrodactyla doreensis of the Western Pacific... Both are shown, described on our principal site: WetWebMedia.com and brief notes offered for their husbandry. Most likely you have the TWA model... as is most inexpensive, available in the UK. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Alan , Plymouth England, UK.

Emerald Crab/Seahorses (actually Anemones, Mandarins, Scooters...) Hello from Canada. This is my first attempt at using the internet as a resource for my hobby, I am looking forward to your response. <Glad to meet you. Hope I can be helpful.> I have a 55 gallon reef tank that has been set up for almost a year and a half. I am thinking about replacing my Yellow Tang with other algae eating critters as my tang is getting quite large and seems to be getting more aggressive as time goes on. <Not unusual by any means. In fact, quite normal.> I prefer the smaller more shy fish and plan to add a few more down the road. The problem is that my Yellow Tang does an excellent job of keeping down the hair algae and I am a little reluctant to add anything that might upset the nice balance I already have. Is it possible that an Emerald Green Crab would catch and eat slower moving fish such as my Dragonet (Mandarin Goby)? <Possible, but are you aware that your Mandarin is probably starving to death.> I have been reading that they have been known to catch clownfish and eat them. I also have several Blue Legged Crabs, a larger Red Legged Crab, a Coral Banded Shrimp, several Porcelain Crabs each with their own anemone, <Again, do you know how difficult anemones are?> a Feather Duster, various abundant tube worms, 2 small Percula Clownfish, a Scooter Dragonet, <The Scooter blenny is just as difficult as the Mandarin.> 3 Firefish and a Maroon Clown that is also soon to be relocated (an error on my part), many other soft corals/polyps/mushrooms and saltwater plants. I believe my tank holds about 35-40 gallons of true water as I have abundant live sand and rock. If at all possible (I have more research to do) I plan to house 2 Seahorses and a Pipefish. I have also been reading that I cannot keep seahorse/pipefish with potent stinging anemones. My anemones consist of a Long Armed, a Curlicue, a Condy, A Sebae and a Bubble tipped. Any info you could give me would be appreciated. Many thanks, Monika <I suggest you do a lot more research on your animals. Start reading all of the FAQ's under Anemones and Mandarins. Best of luck. -Steven Pro>
Re: Emerald Crab/Seahorses
Thanks for nothing, Monika <What would you have liked me to say? Sure, get rid of the Yellow Tang and add a bunch of snails and scarlet reef hermit crabs and everything will be fine. And I will just ignore the fact that you have a whole host of animals that have a 99% chance of slowly starving to death and dying in one year; Mandarin, Scooter Blenny, Feather Duster, and 5 Anemones. Plus, add to it that the Mandarins and Scooter Blennies are notorious for being stung and killed by anemones and pipefish and seahorses would fall into both above categories (Starving and stung). Please remember this email and try to keep track if all of the above animals are not dead in one year's time. -Steven Pro>

Lighting big, deep freshwater tank, coldwater anemones, pond birds! Hiya Bob, Long time no see. Some of my Texas friends seem to think I know everything, little do they know that I keep your address handy. A nursing home in Tyler TX. has a 2,000 gal tank.  <Wow, doubles as a swimming pool?> the water depth is 42 in.. It used to be an African Cichlid tank but they are now hot for live plants, namely giant val., crinum and anubias. The question was lighting. I've never seen a lighted aquarium that deep. What would you suggest ? <Overhead skylights... and some metal halide pendants... likely 400 watt size> 2nd. question, Are cold water anemones available , or must I jump in the water myself ?  <Oh, they are or at least used to be... Tealia, Metridium species... even Anthopleuras were collected off our coast, and still are by/for public aquariums. I would contact Chris Buerner at Quality Marine (will cc him here) re where you might be able to procure these> Harry Wagner [AquaLife TX, ] Thanks Look at my back yard visitor. <Mmm, I do appreciate Herons, Kingfishers et al. fish-eating wildlife... When they're not eating my fishes! Bob Fenner>

Anemone issues. My girlfriend has recently been experiencing major problems keeping anemones in her 35 gallon hex tank. Here are the specifics of which I know of. The tank has been set up for about 4(ish) months.  <Not easily kept animals... especially in such small volume and shaped systems that are so new...> In the tank there is approximately 30ish pounds of live rock, 2 yellow tail damsels, 1 domino, 1 clarkii clown, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 blue legged hermits. All of these are relatively small in size, the fish are maybe a bit over an inch each, with the shrimp being rather tiny himself. Lighting consists of 2 15" fluorescent bulbs, (28 watts - I agree way too little) one daylight, one actinic). <Way too little for almost all of the species commonly kept by aquarists> Filtration is a Top Fin 40 hang on filter and an AquaClear 201 powerhead feeding from a lift tube and undergravel filter. <Insufficient> No skimmer is attached to this tank. <Oh...> Water quality seems rather standard, PH of 8 - 8.2, no ammonia, no nitrite, no nitrates, no copper (that is all that has been tested for). Now granted, these aren't the best conditions for the anemone or anything but it seems rather odd on what has happened to two of them. Both anemone were "bay" anemones? (greenish white with purple tips) <Probably Heteractis crispa, what the trade generally labels as "sebae anemones"> The first one began to invert itself within a few days, and by the end of the first week, it began to literally turn itself inside out. When brought back to the place of purchase the person stated it to possibly be low PH. (it was tested to be at about 8 at the time) The second anemone basically did the same thing over a longer period of time. But the interesting thing was that it flipped itself over, and began to extrude some funky looking mass from its foot. Then it flipped itself over and acted normal for a few days. Then it would flip itself over and the mass was still there, but eventually it just got worse and so on until the mouth began to open so much you could see through the foot. At this time it deflated and I presumed it to be rather dead. <Well-described> I have looked at your anemone/health faq but have not really been able to locate anything that could narrow this one down for me. Aside from something that has yet to be tested in the water, I cannot figure out what has caused these two to pass on so quickly. All the other fish seem fine and water quality remains constant. Is there something that I am overlooking that would kill them in this manner so rapidly? Please help with anything you can. Thanks Andy <The "initial" condition is the most/more common a priori cause of/for anemone loss... in short, these animals are so traumatized by pulling, tearing, breaking the area around them to extract, collect them from the wild, squeezed down for keeping, shipping, put in conditions of lack of illumination (many are to some extent photosynthetic in nutrition) that unless provided excellent, near-perfect conditions on arrival and placement in their final destination they never "adapt"... In addition to this, your system lacks proper filtration, lighting... I encourage you to in turn try to influence your girlfriend to consider other types of hardier invertebrates. Please re-read the files, FAQs on anemones, husbandry posted on WetWebMedia.com and the Breeder's Registry. Bob Fenner> Andy Feifarek

Anemones As I've read in your FAQ's, anemones are aerobes. Is an air pump required for maintaining an anemone?  <A pump? As in to provide better or adequate circulation, aeration? Some provision is required> I have a powerhead circulating the water is that all that's needed? <All that is needed to sustain an anemones life? No... complete biological filtration must be provided for, adequate lighting depending on species... Please read over the anemone sections posted on WWM starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm and reading the links as you lead yourself. Bob Fenner> thanks, Jason

Re: New 55g tank, ro/di water confusion!!! ... Robert, thank you for your quick reply!! I am now considering RO unit only rather than RO/DI after reading your info here, that would save on media. My tap water GH/kH is very low, pretty soft water, really, but I do have some problems with diatoms in my freshwater tanks so I do not want to chance it with the salt tank. You say to not use Kalkwasser, it seems most people are using this. What two-part supplement will be okay for me (b-ionic??) <A fine and much better choice than calcium hydroxide> and will be reasonably priced?  <Shop about... on the Net> I am very interested in anemones, I have Eric Borneman's book Aquarium Corals and am finding it very helpful in understanding corals, can you recommend a book on anemones? <Mmm, volume 2 of The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium by Sven Fossa and Alf Nilsen, Allen and Fautin's Anemonefish book, ditto for Joyce Wilkerson's... and a cursory reading of the anecdotal accounts archived on the Breeder's Registry on the Net> I wasn't a big fan of Daphne's book Clownfishes and their host anemones, maybe you can recommend an alternative. <Oh!> Thank you for your time, your help is greatly appreciated. Also, can you tell me if a long-nosed butterfly fish would be an impractical choice for a 55g reef tank? After reading your reef stocking section I am thinking maybe so. Thanks, Angela. <A good choice though this is a bare minimum size system for Forcipigers. Bob Fenner>

Anemone crab/fish Hello Bob, Thanks for your previous help. and I have a quick question for you. Does an anemone crab provide the same benefit to an anemone as an Anemone fish would in terms of sharing food and making the anemone "happy"?  <Some species are known to... others speculated... many are more commensal... some evidently eat their "host" in times of need.> In your opinion is one "better" for the anemone's overall health than the other or is an anemone healthier on its' own? I don't mean to take advantage of your free question/consulting services so if you ever make it to Indianapolis, drop me an email and my wife and I will take you to a wonderful sushi restaurant she sends you questions too albeit not as often as me). Thanks! <Yum, thanks for the offer. No worries. Bob Fenner> Mike

Brackish Anemones Just curious if you have any information on the plausibility of keeping anemones in a brackish water tank? I've heard that the Beadlet, Snakelock, & Starlet anemones can be acclimated to a brackish environment.  <Only have some notion as to the actual species you mention, but yes, do know of, have kept Actinarians in (even collected same from) brackish water systems... and will get off my duff and write, post more on these topics soon (did outlines for "components", "set-up", "maintenance" during a recent trip away), onto actual livestock groups. The ones thus far: http://wetwebmedia.com/brackish.htm> I plan on setting up a tank w/ a specific gravity of approximately 1.01. I do not want to cause any undue stress on the animals and I can't find very much reliable information on the subject (not a good sign). Any information you could send my way would be appreciated. Thank you for your time. <There have been many articles over the years, even a couple of small book/lets on brackish biotopes... but not much that is/was complete... Perhaps you will be the one to "put it all together". Bob Fenner>

Amphibians in aquarium? and freshwater plenums, anemone questions I was skimming over your site again; this time the fresh water section and I saw the amphibian part. <Yikes... yes, another "section" started... to fit a few incoming FAQs... that needs/deserves serious/non-serious "skull sweat"... input, imagery...> There's only a little about aquatic frogs so I was wondering if you could help me with something else. Could you put Axolotls in an aquarium with fish? <Hmm, yes... have seen these neotenic salamanders placed, kept with peaceful fishes in private, public aquariums> I've got 2 in a 20g upright with no heater or anything for filtration, there are 3 Cory cats in there too they're doing great but I was wondering if I could set up my 180 as a freshwater-tropical and put them in? <Not so much tropical... Though my fave hobby sites for Ambystoma: http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/chupacabras/4/calixto.htm states they can/will live at 75F... I would use this as an "upper limit" temperature wise.> Is there an average temp that the fish and axolotls will tolerate together? I know cannibalism could be a problem with smaller tetras but I'm willing to take that risk. Also; have you ever heard of using a plenum in a fresh water system? <Yes, have even done this... for decades...> How well would/does it work? are there draw backs?  <Same sort of arrangement as marine... an hypoxic water area on the bottom (good to have a drain arrangement for here...), a grade or two of media above separated by a screen (I put soil mix in under the screen with coarser gravel...). Downsides: some chance of anaerobiosis...> My saltwater plenum works great but there is quite a bit of Cyanobacteria lately (the tank's a year old), is that an issue in a fresh water tank? <A possibility... but with regular "good" maintenance, use of live plants... a calculated risk...> my last question is in regards to my anemone. I bought it as a "corn" anemone. It's Bright green with orange tips and it's bubbled (just like a bulb anemone) but I haven't seen any bulbs anemones with this coloration. It's scientific name started with R., so it definitely wasn't labeled as e. quadricolor.  <Mmm, maybe a "Radianthus" species, or one that is labeled as such... Please take a look through our general coverage of Anemones: http://wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm ... You may see this species, and find that Clowns will pair up with ones that they don't do naturally in captivity...> My maroon lives in it too. And one more -sorry-. What's normal growth rate for anemones? This one's almost doubled its size in 2 months (I feed silver sides too) it's also got funny division around the tentacles; some are splitting up to 4 times on each one. Is that normal. <Normal under highly favorable conditions... or it may be this specimen was/is "just expanding"... get squeezed down for shipping...> Sorry for the length. Your advice is appreciated as always. Dustin <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

"Home made anemone" Hola Bob, Edgar, from Mexico again :) <Como lo pasaste mi amigo?> Last Friday my long tentacle anemone has divided, so, now I have two 5 inches anemones, seems I'm not doing so bad right? <You are right! Tienes razon. Congratulations> I will trade one of them with somebody here, as soon as I can find the right home for the anemone and if I don't find it I'll keep both of them. These days some guys have asked me to trade the anemone with them, but since their lights are not very good I have refused. I had suggested them to "built" their own anemone. I saw somewhere in the FAQ's (I can't remember exactly where) that somebody suggested to create the anemone using rubber bands?? Could you give me more information about the whole process and which materials have to be used? What kind of rubber bands 9or materials) can resist under water for a long time and don't release anything? "tanks" Edgar <Ah, yes, heard this anecdote from none other than Daphne Fautin... in her getting around in anemone and clownfish research. A Petri dish (like for science, culture of microbes) can be fitted with resin or simple aquarium silicone sealant and rubber band material stuck in it, trimmed later. Do share your concern re possible toxicity of the rubber material. Surgical rubber material is likely ideal... Otherwise I would cure such faux anemones in a separate seawater container for a few weeks. Bob Fenner>
Re: "Home made anemone"
Hi Bob Glad of hearing you're back how was the trip? New species in the near future? <Not by me... well, maybe an assist credit> > Hola Bob, Edgar, from Mexico again :) > <Como lo pasaste mi amigo?> Not so well do you remember I was going to Davis and I was planning on to buy some bulbs, additives, perhaps corals and shrimps? Well, after all the restrictions in the custom I'm not sure whether I can bring them with me do you have any idea about which aquarium related things can be transported by plane these days? Live organisms? what a disaster :( <What madness here totally... am concerned about the mental-emotional well-being of people here, on the planet...> > Last Friday my long tentacle anemone has divided, so, now I have two 5 > inches anemones, seems I'm not doing so bad right? > <You are right! Tienes razon. Congratulations> Thanks > I will trade one of them with somebody here, as soon as I can find the > right home for the anemone and if I don't find it I'll keep both of > them. These days some guys have asked me to trade the anemone with them, > but since their lights are not very good I have refused. I had > suggested them to "built" their own anemone. I saw somewhere in the > FAQ's (I can't remember exactly where) that somebody suggested to create > the anemone using rubber bands?? Could you give me more information > about the whole process and which materials have to be used? What kind > of rubber bands 9or materials) can resist under water for a long time > and don't release anything? > "tanks" > Edgar > <Ah, yes, heard this anecdote from none other than Daphne Fautin... in her > getting around in anemone and clownfish research. A Petri dish (like for > science, culture of microbes) can be fitted with resin or simple aquarium > silicone sealant and rubber band material stuck in it, trimmed later. Do > share your concern re possible toxicity of the rubber material. Surgical > rubber material is likely ideal... Otherwise I would cure such faux anemones > in a separate seawater container for a few weeks. Bob Fenner> Ok, thanks for the info. Is there a way to contact Dr Fautin? I would really like to know about her experiences with these "anemones" <Hmm, think she works for the University of Kentucky... and I think has a website on anemones/Clowns... Let's see: http://www.ukans.edu/~entomol/faculty/fautin.html Bob Fenner> thanks Bob Edgar

Anemone hermits I think I have a pair of anemone hermits in my tank. They came in with the blue legs at my LFS, and I thought they were cool so I bought them. They are black and white and larger then my blue legs, the largest being the dominant and the small just pushes everybody around, or runs over them without a care. I have a book on hermits, though it's a bit dated, and it mentions the black and white legs as being indicative of an anemone hermit. I love my little hermits, they are fun to watch, but these two seem to have a problem, they came without anemones. I have watched the largest rub up against my "flower anemone" (no idea what it really is) several times and poke it to close so he could attach it. Well the anemone is about 4 or 5 inches in diameter and the hermit shell and all is only about 1/2 an inch. I think that the loss of my smallest Condylactis anemone was due to the same treatment, he'd already been abused by the biggest anemone earlier. So I guess my question is do I really have anemone hermits, what kind of anemone do they need, and how do I acquire the proper species of anemone.  <Hmm, can't tell the species of Hermit from the description. Please take a look at the few species shown on our scant coverage: http://wetwebmedia.com/hermitcrabs.htm And maybe search the internet through your search engines under the names by genera of hermits... And ask your livestock suppliers to look for live rock, other hard based organisms from the region of origin of your Hermits to see if they can find "recruits" (contaminant) anemones on these> How long before they get to big for a 60 gal FOWLER (with a few inverts on the side) tank.  <Maybe weeks, months... perhaps never> I have some dragonets and I have heard that hermits have a taste for these cute little fish (my friend lost her mandarin to a large hermit) <They have more cosmopolitan tastes... eating most anything they can grab> like I said earlier, they are pretty small, but since I got them a couple of months ago they have shed once and changed shells numerous times (there are a lot of shells in there and apparently they have to try them all!!) Thank you for all your help once again. Kim <Enjoy these animals... keep them well fed... and keep an eye on them! Bob Fenner>

Anemone id I have never before purchased an animal without looking for every scrap of info. on it, however, I now have an anemone that no one in the store knew anything about, nor could I find anything resembling it. I figured it was as well off in my tank as theirs while I searched for info. Hopefully you receive a semi-clear image from my digital picture. Please let me know any info. you have on this if you recognize it! It has opened and colored since moving into my 12 gallon Eclipse w/13 watt pc light. <This is either a Lebrunia danae, L. coralligens (Branching Anemones from the tropical West Atlantic) or something very similar... the branching pseudotentacles and color, size... all point to this species. Widespread, pretty hardy, but a strong stinger (keep it off your wrists) of aquarists and other livestock... Have started to post the anemones of the TWA at your prompting. See: http://wetwebmedia.com/twaanemones.htm> Thank you for your valuable time. Ken <No more valuable than anyone else's. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Anemone I have an anemone that is doing pretty well in my 30 gal. tank. I've had him about 4 months. The thing is that I can't figure out what kind of anemone he is. I've looked in several books and on several sites and can't seem to find a picture that matches him. He is a round disk about 4 inches across; fringed with white, inch long tentacles that are knobby and end in points. On his disk are pink lines, slightly darker than his body, that radiate outward from his mouth. Sometimes he lies flat on the sand, sometimes he is up on a stalk that can get up to 5-6 inches above the sand. His disk is open most of the time unless he has just eaten or is about to evacuate. <Probably an Entacmaea quadricolor. Take a look at the pix, references listed on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm> He lets the peppermint shrimp clean him, will even let it steal bits of food I've given him right out of his mouth. But he doesn't like the hermit crabs and will pull away from them. He and my maroon clown (the only clown in the tank) seem to ignore each other entirely. He'll eat almost anything I put in the tank -flakes, brine shrimp, invert food, bits of shrimp or fish (he really seems to like chopped bits of cod). Someone told me he is a sebae, someone else suggested a Condylactis. But he doesn't look like either that I've seen pictures of. Any help would be appreciated. Dianna <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anemone
Thank you for your reply. After I wrote you I managed to get in touch with the person who had sold me the anemone (I thought she had moved out of town). She told me that it is a flower rock anemone. (Phymanthus crucfier <Hmm, maybe Epicystis crucifer? http://wetwebmedia.com/twaanemones.htm Look anything like this?> - I *think*?) I can't seem to find any info on these at your website although it is filled with lots of other useful info. (I did read everything on anemones there before writing you! LOL) Any info you can offer on these guys would be helpful, as I'm wondering if he'll (she'll) reproduce. Thanks again. Dianna <Hmm, could do so, asexually... by fission, schizogyny (degrees of "breaking apart"... time to study up my friend. Bob Fenner>

Angel and reef compatibility Bob- Are there any corals or anemones that might survive being in a 180 FOWLR with an Imperator that is going thru 'the change'? I've had him in the tank for about 1 1/2 years and would love to add some stuff to the tank to make it more 'reef-like'. I know I'll have to upgrade the lights, etc. if it's possible. Thanks. <A bunch of choices here. Please read through the few pieces these groups posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com,  Eric Borneman's new coral book, and volume two of Fossa and Nilsen's Modern Coral Reef Aquarium. Bob Fenner>

An unknown anemone I have acquired an anemone, quite healthy that was said to be a "short-tentacle anemone." I have been unable to find this specimen in any of my books. It is characterized by a pale green to white foot, a central dark green to green-brown central disk with striations that radiate from a large central mouth. The disk, measuring about 4-5 inches in diameter is fringed by a narrow rim of tentacles, tapered, approximately 1-11/2 inches long. These are quite "sticky" with a sting that can barely be felt. However the tentacles adhere quite solidly if you brush them with your hand. Can you hazard a guess as to what species this is from my description?  <Hmm, except for stated length of the tentacles, this sounds like a variegated patterned Stichodactyla haddoni (http://wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm on our site)> I have it in a mixed fish/invert tank anchored to some live rock. I am concerned that it might be predatory on my smaller fish and should therefore be removed to an all invert. tank. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks for any help you might be able to offer. <Most all anemones will consume smaller unwary prey in aquariums... Please see the "Anemone" section, FAQs inclusive, and the further references on the Net on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com. Bob Fenner> Irwin Gross

Anemone and Cleaner Shrimp Hi Bob, I'm fairly new to this hobby and need some info. I set-up my first tank several weeks ago. It's a 55 gallon with about 80lbs of live rock. I've added 10 red leg hermits, 10 blue leg hermits, 7 turbo snails, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 emerald crab, 1 arrow crab, 2 sally Lightfoots, 1 camelback shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, and 1 common clown. These have been in the tank for about a week. Yesterday I added a Long Tentacle Anemone to the tank. It found a spot on one of the rocks about half way up the tank. I woke up this morning to find the cleaner shrimp 'working' around the LATE. I haven't seen the cleaner shrimp since and I'm sure it's gone. What are the odds that the LATE made a lunch out of my cleaner shrimp?  <About even> If I add another cleaner shrimp will the LATE eat it?  <Possibly> Are my other crustaceans in jeopardy? If I add a clownfish to be hosted by the LATE, would it keep the LATE from eating my other crustaceans? Thanks for your help. Dave Maisch <Need to know what you mean by a LATE... please take a look through the images, explanations of the most common species of Anemones are under the sections of the same name posted on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com... Anemones will opportunistically eat most anything that comes close to their tentacular reach... Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Bob, [Do you think that's all I would need? Is an anemone something worth trying in a tank like mine?] <<Hmm, a tough question... not necessary for the Clown... and can be real trouble... I guess I'll side on the cautionary bit here and say... I wouldn't place one... Please read over the many Anemone FAQs archived on the www.WetWebMedia.com site and in turn, check out the links proposed for more on Actinarians husbandry... many horrific and heartbreaking stories...>> [[I'll check that out...and proceed slowly and cautiously and probably not get one.]] [That would be convenient. If you're interested, you can check out the club's new web site at www.brooklynaquariumsociety.org.] <<Ah, will do so... and add the Link to the Club to WWM's site>> [[And I have suggested adding www.wetwebmedia.com to the BAS links page.]] <Very good. Bob Fenner> John

? on my anemone (and yourself) hey Robert, I'm not sure if you got my email I sent before because my outlook was messing up. But I wanted to ask you about my purple tip sebae anemone. <Don't recall same> I'm starting a 10gal reef aquarium and has been cycling for 6 weeks now. <Too small for keeping such an animal (Heteractis crispa)> Inhabitants now are a candy anemone (some cheap thing) <What?> , tomato clown, saddleback clown, scooter blenny and a blue damsel. All the levels are normal and where they should be.. <Oh?> (ph, gravity, etc..) I had bought this sebae anemone about 2 weeks ago and I put him in the tank, and it was doing fine. I had to little pieces of aqua cultured rock that it loved to attach to, and the tomato clown was enjoying him too. He was very full. Well, bout a week later I decided to buy 10lbs of Fiji live rock to put in there. The next day after putting in the live rock, the anemone shriveled up to pretty much nothing, all that was visible was a shriveled up foot. And it stayed like this for a couple of days till I got frustrated and through him out.  <Are you in jest?> My other cheap anemone is fine. What could have caused this? Would any of my inhabitants kill it? How can I tell if the anemone is dead? Please write me back, I don't care if this gets posted on your site, I would just like an answer. thanks, Jason <What can I say to you that will cause introspection? Read through all the anemone postings on the site www.WetWebMedia.com, the Breeder's Registry (link on the WWM site), and consider your life. What are you doing? Bob Fenner>

Help - recovering from a wipeout Bob - I'm afraid that I need some quick advice. I have a 75 gallon saltwater/fish and invert system. The tank is equipped with a canister filter (Fluval 300), a remora protein skimmer, and a fluidized bed filter. It has been running along fine for about a year. <Okay> Inhabitants included a medium Naso tang, 2 gobies, a coral beauty, a few horseshow crabs, and maroon clown. Yesterday, we bought a "corn anemone" and a spiked boxfish. Last night, during the night, the corn anemone was sucked into a filter and basically was pulverized - polluting the entire tank. When we discovered the incident, we moved all of the inhabitants into another tank as everyone was either dying or very distressed.  <Good. Quick thinking, action saved the day/night... so far> I lost 1 of the gobies, the coral beauty, and the Naso tang. I was able to save 1 goby, the maroon clown, and the spiny boxfish. They are now in another tank that I had cycled and was ready for some fish. I'm trying to see if I can get my 75 gallon to recover without completely tearing it down. I did a 30% water change this morning and cleaned all of the filters. The protein skimmer is going nuts and foaming like crazy so I am cleaning it frequently. The tank water still looks quite milky/cloudy. My big concern is whether the anemone death alone caused the wipeout or whether the boxfish exuded toxins while he was stressed. Is there any way I can recover my tank and test to see that it's fine (clear of boxfish toxins) or do I really need to rebuild it and clean all of the sand and replace all of the water and cycle it again? <Worth trying the former... let a good two weeks go by... keeping the skimmer clean... maybe run some activated carbon in the filter flow path... test for ammonia, nitrite... when they stay at zero, a test fish or two...> Any suggestions on how to go about whichever path you recommend (rebuild or recovery through filtering/cleaning) Thanks very much. Sandy <If the test fish appear unhealthy... I would do successive large water changes... for a couple of months. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help - recovering from a wipeout
Bob - Can an anemone getting pulverized cause such a wipeout? Have you heard of this in the past? Sandy <Absolutely... has happened many, many times... about half the time from incidents of the anemone getting pulled into a pump intake... Bob Fenner>

Strange hitch hiker anemone or? Dear Bob, A new piece of live rock sprouted 3 small anemones which I believe are tube anemones but do not look at all like the Aiptasia. They do not "suck in" when disturbed. They consist of a 1/2 to 3/4 inch or so milky to clear disk with an opaque striped border surrounding the disk, a 1/4 inch "mouth" and have 2 rows of tentacles one row longer than the other. The larger (1/4 inch) tentacles are fat with opaque rings around them like the body border and come to a hair-like point. They are clear to milky, no color at all, slightly opaque tentacles, ring, and mouth. I read your piece on "glass" anemones and suspect that these are of that genre. Should I remove (inject and siphon) these things? Are they a potential nuisance like Aiptasia? Otherwise they are interesting and I would keep them. Howard <Tough call here... If it were my system, I'd likely leave them and see if this new colony will "get out of hand" by asexual reproduction... but isolate the current batch on their own rock, with no easy means of spreading. If they turn out to be a "reef cancer" you can seek their eradication at a later date. Bob Fenner, who can almost "hear" many browsers shouting, "Wipe those suckers out now!!!">

Re: Sebae Anemone's - question <FWIW, this species (Heteractis crispa) and other larger) anemones are shipped by most collectors/transhippers by a "squeeze" method with very little water (to save on shipping), and experience has demonstrated this to be the most/more cost-effective method with little/no difference in mortality/survivability (most Actinarians are lost due to tearing of their basal disc subsequent their removal, IMO). A few countries show a trend of "full bag of water" shipping of symbiotic species, and this works too... And the "cheapy" Condy's (Condylactis spp.) of the Atlantic are often shipped more like the bulk of marine fishes, with about just enough water to cover them, plenty of oxygen... Just observations from being in the trade the last thirty some years. Bob Fenner, www.wetwebmedia.com>

Urgent advice Dear Bob Hope you can help!!! My bro recently acquired a thousand litre tropical marine tank containing the following: one moray eel one blue damsel eight Clownfish He wishes to introduce Anemone into his tank. Has obtained a Aquamarine protein skimmer. What size pump (litres/hour) should he install to drive the skimmer. Any other of the top advice you can provide welcome. Looking forward to hear from you. Kind Regards >> <What sort of Moray? The larger piscivorous species will eat the Clowns, Damsel... the size/model of the skimmer determines the specified flow, pressure pump that should be matched with it... I would contact the manufacturer re your options here... I would hold off on trying an anemone... not easy to keep, and problematical possibly with the eel... Do read a bit about them on the Breeder's Registry site: http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/database.htm Bob Fenner>

Anemone anatomy question let me know if I'm becoming a pain, I'm slowly becoming dependent on your knowledge so ill lay off. this time however I couldn't find the information on my own. today I was watching my anemone after whisking some of its waste out of its mouth. I noticed that it had created a bulge on about 20% of the surface area around its mouth in a wedge section. anyways the dermal layers are not totally opaque and I noticed a flicker underneath the first layer/layers. it had looked like a very fast moving 1mm critter that I would expect to see flying around the tank walls. I saw about ten or so of these flickers in a period of about 2 or 3 minutes. I thought anemones were pretty much a giant bi-directional intestine, minimal organs let alone fast moving parts. have any idea what I'm talking about? cause I don't. it was like a tentacle scraping against the upper layer of flesh. its a Macrodactyla doreensis. thanks Jon Trowbridge oh if you know a good marine biology info site/database could you point me to it so I can wean away? :) <Hmm, do know (probably) what you saw, and no cause for concern... in addition to the simple structure you relate, anemones do have other partitioned structures that bisect, radiate and in cases, subdivide circularly their internal space. A good marine biology info site? Yikes... it would have to be very large indeed... Do use several, by group and interest (e.g. cnidarians, nutrition...), and many reference books... Look for a recent copy/edition of Robert Barnes' Invertebrate Zoology (a fifth or sixth...) to start your investigation referred to here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Long-Tentacled anemone Purple Thanks for the information....I just noticed something today, the anemone is still in the same general location, with still no observed plans to plant its foot. However, I came home earlier today and noticed a damsel swimming in its tentacles. At first I thought that it caught it and was going to try to eat it, but after watching it, the damsel swam away, and returned a little while later. Neither of the clowns have been attracted to either of the anemones. I haven't read about other types of fishes snuggling up to anemones is this common? Kurt  >> There are groups of fishes (and non-fishes) that associate with anemones (can you think of a better place to hide?)... most notably the Damsels (the Clownfishes are a subfamily, Amphiprionae, within the Damsels family, Pomacentridae) of many types, especially when small. Bob Fenner

Anemones I just discovered your site, and I am a real neophyte when it comes to marine systems (so please forgive any appearance of ignorance here) <No worries. You're in good company> and I have just started reading through your Q&A pages. (It would be great if you could add a search capability so we could search on a subject.)  <Agreed, and think such a tool is in the works> My question is about the behavior of anemones. We purchased two sebae anemones two weeks ago and are fascinated with their behavior, but I have not found any information about behavior to know if they are acting in a healthy manner or not. Is it normal for an anemone to vary in size and for it to shrink and elongate it's tentacles over time?  <Yes, this is normal... and generally cyclic, with modification due to feeding, water changes...> We have a purple sebae (not absolutely sure that it's a sebae, it's tentacles are longer than the purple tipped one we have and we've seen it use it's tentacles like arms to feed itself)  <May be a different species...> that has established it's foot in a hole in our live rock and we watched it eat up brine shrimp like mad the other night. Since then it has gotten so small that all we can see is it's foot through a hole in the rock, with no tentacles visible at all. It put it's tentacles out again last night, but it's back in the hole again today. Is it going through some sort of a digestive phase?  <May be... but this becoming very small is not a good sign... Almost all anemones are badly traumatized consequent to rough removal, crowding, poor water quality, the rigors of transport... initially (from the wild)... Most don't recover... and many are photosynthetic... requiring high intensity, full spectrum light... like hermatypic corals> The other sebae, a purple tipped, appeared to ignore the brine shrimp completely. We have fed liquid food and our clown has started to play in it, but how can we know for sure if it is receiving the food it needs?  <For sure? If it stays open, lives... if there is a Clown in it, and the anemone is hungry, the fish will feed it... I'm not joshing> It tends to shrink itself to a very small size at times, and at other times it makes itself huge. Does a healthy anemone vary in size like this?  <To some extent yes> What factors make an anemone change in size? I have also read somewhere that you should only have one anemone in a tank, is this your view, and if so, for what reason? >> <Chemical, physical changes in the system, food presence, and yes, the physical and biochemical presence of other anemones. These tissue-grade animals communicate, wage-war through specialized tentacles, fibers, and releasing substances into their water... Reason for only placing them in a stable, well-established reef type setting... with lots of water volume, regular maintenance... chemical filtrant use... You might want to peruse the articles about anemones that you'll find through scanning through www.breedersregistry.com... about anemones. Bob Fenner>

HI BOB, I JUST BOUGHT A PACIFIC LONG TENTACLE ANEMONE AND WHEN I GOT IT HOME I FOUND IT HAD A CRAB ON IT. I THOUGHT THIS WAS GREAT, BUT I WAS TOLD THAT THEY WILL EAT ANEMONES THOUGHT THEY WERE BENEFICIAL FOR THE ANEMONE! PLEASE HELP! THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!! >> Probably not a problem... more likely a commensal to symbiotic relationship (both getting along to one/both benefiting)... I'd leave the crab and enjoy it... Bob Fenner

Help... I purchased what looked like a very nice bulb anemone from a local store. I  purchased it on the rock it was living on, so there was no chance that it  might be hurt trying to get it off of the rock. After carefully dripping it,  and inserting it into my 55 gallon tank, all seemed well. In fact, the  anemone moved from the rock I had purchased it on, to another more suitable  rock. My Maroon clown took to the anemone within a day, which I thought was a  good sign also. BTW, my water is at zero in both ammonia and nitrites, and about 40 ppm in  nitrates. I have 3 new (a week old) florescent bulbs, one a 10,000 K, one  actinic, and one full spectrum. I was told that this should be plenty of  light for this type of anemone. I also have a Berlin HO skimmer running 24  hours a day. The system has been set up for 9 months now, with 3 Yellow  Tangs, 1 Flame Angel, 1 Christmas Wrasse, 2 cleaner shrimp, and miscellaneous  hermit crabs and snails. I partial at least 20% of the water on a monthly  basis. I have read up on these anemones, behavior, feeding, and suitable clown fish  and had not read about the following behavior. 3 days after purchase (last Saturday), the anemone kind of "wilted". I called  the LS and they said that these did that, and he would be just fine by the  next day. The next day came and it had opened up to about 2/3 the size it was  before "wilting". I thought all was well, then today, it did it again. I have  not had the anemone a week yet and it is the first anemone I have had. I am  concerned about this behavior. Is this something I should be concerned about, and if so, what can I do to  fix the problem? >> Well, a few things about this anemone (probably an Entacmaea quadricolor for you browsers)... Daily to irregular expansion/contraction is "natural" but not total flaccidity... or staying "deflated" for long periods... And the moving from the original (transported") rock is not a good sign... Anemones that are "happy" (light, current, water quality, other livestock wise) don't move generally. And 40 ppm of nitrate might not be a problem for your livestock that have been about in it and "gotten used to it"... but as a "window" into viewing your water quality... it also is too high... If you're going to use nitrate measure as your guide to keeping a viable reef, I'd shoot for no more than 10ppm...total nitrates. So, what to do at this point? Well, changing half the water will/would dilute the metabolite concentration (including the NO3) by... about half! But what can you do in the long term to assure stable, high water quality... Review your filtration and maintenance... maybe add a denitrator somewhere in the whole scheme... or at least some denitrating microbe-supporting media... Culture some algae, macro or otherwise, in your main tank or an attached sump/refugium with its own light?  Whatever means you employ, you need to improve and hold steady your water quality... this is probably what is awry with your anemone. Bob Fenner

After talking to you I am reconsidering corals. Unless of course I can figure out how to set up a tanning bed around the aquarium. Just kidding. Anyway, do you think I will be successful with anemones? How much light do they need? In the past, (10 years ago), I managed to kill five anemones over several months. Obviously, I want to avoid this happening again. What structural issues do I need to consider now if I want to successfully keep anemones starting in April or May? I am going to go over to NDA tonight to look for a protein skimmer. Thanks again for your help.  Andrew  >> Glad to be of assistance... re anemone husbandry, there are a few critical issues... initially securing healthy livestock (often a problem as many are beat, with torn bases... doomed), providing very clean, well lit, well circulated environments... best that their tank is well established (months) and a flourishing reef that isn't too crowded with other stinging-celled life...  Bob Fenner, who suggests trying a Bubble Tip (Entacmaea quadricolor) as the most hardy species.

Triggers and Anemones Hello Bob, I have a question.. I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 triggers.  They are a Blue Line and a Clown Trigger and I know that they will tear up  SOME anemone, but I was wanting to have some anemone in that tank. What kind  of anemone would you recommend?  >> Well, actually none... but if you had to "test" anyway... I'd try a low cost, common Condylactis... Bob Fenner, who likes triggers... but not feeding them other livestock

Anemone acclimation Ritteri anemone placed in 55 gallon tank (Pago live rock) on Saturday after receiving from FFExpress (they have great stuff!). This specimen was absolutely magnificent through the weekend into Monday. On Tuesday, it appeared to be "disintegrating". We performed a 10% water change (usually do one to two per week anyways). On Wednesday morning observed Naso Tang, Foxface (both received with anemone shipment), Purple tang, Fiji clown, tomato clown and domino damsel in trouble. Performed another 10% water change. Moved both tangs to hospital tank. By evening, both tangs had improved significantly. Moved the two clowns to hospital tank that night. Foxface and two scarlet cleaner shrimp found dead in main tank. Did another 10% water change. On Thursday, all but the smallest tomato clown were dead. I do not know if the hospital tank was overcrowded and if an ammonia spike occurred (didn't think to check this). Performed 10% water changes the next two days. Tomato clown looks fine. In addition to the clown, have two emerald crabs, two sebae anemone, one small carpet anemone, one feather duster and an assortment of snails and red leg/scarlet hermit crabs in the tank. Speculated some sort of poisoning but no clues or hints as to how or what. Also thought that maybe too many specimens put into tank caused ammonia problem. Timing makes this seem improbable. Right now I am just trying to sort out what may have happened so I don't make the same mistake again. Thanks again for your thoughts. Marty Vogt >> Ah, thanks for writing with more (the above) info... another large possibility looms... the interaction between all the stated anemones present... Were you VERY careful to not introduce any of the shipping water from the new to established anemones tank? The chemical competition between the "Sebae" and "Ritteri" alone could account for your observations...  Some broader, perhaps (hopefully) useful input: By and large I do not endorse quarantining anemones... at least with other livestock... If the animal's) can be trusted to be in relatively good/healthy condition, a thorough soak, pouring off of two, three rinses of new/system water above and over the least bit of shipping (if in the bag, this means pouring off most all the shipping water, leaving the anemone in what's left, adding system water, pouring it mostly off, repeating the last two steps a couple times more...) to exclude waste products, chemicals and cnidocysts (parts of cells that sting, stick, are undesirable chemicals as well). Then, if there is a question of whether the animal should go straightaway into the main system, DO place it in quarantine. Bob Fenner

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