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FAQs on Anemones and Lighting 1

Related Articles: Anemones Bubble Tip Anemones, LTAs, Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed AnemonesAcclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting, Coldwater AnemonesMarine Light, & LightingMoving Light SystemsMoving Light Systems

Related FAQs: Anemone Lighting 2, Anemone Lighting 3, Anemone Lighting 4, & FAQs on Anemone Lighting: Science/Application, Design/Fixtures, Lamps/Bulbs, Duration, Quality and Intensity, Trouble/Fixing, Makes/Models/Manufacturers, & FAQs on: Anemone Systems 1, Anemone Systems 2, Anemone Systems 3, &Anemones, Anemones 2, LTAs, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Health, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Placement, Anemone FeedingLR LightingLighting Marine Inverts 3,

Same animal, different lighting. Pizza Anemone in Taveuni, Fiji.

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

A Good Friend To His Anemone! Hi, You were correct in your comments about real sunlight. I thought the  anemone was responding positively to attention from the clownfish, but actually it is the sunlight that makes it happy. I know this because the clownfish are now in this anemone full time, but it is when the sun shines on the anemone that it expands and looks it's best. <Yep- light is extremely important in anemone husbandry! That Bob Fenner is one smart guy, huh?> On days when there is no sun, it does not look as good.  My question is this, I know that most home aquariums are not the ideal environment for a Heteractis anemone, so I am doing the best I can for my one including feeding supplements, I just want to check if I am doing the right thing. Every few feedings I soak its food in Reef Plus to give it some extra nutrients. Is this a good idea? <Not a bad idea to enrich foods for most captive animals> Also, are there any other supplements that could benefit it? <Just the "supplementation" that you will get by engaging in regular water changes...> Also, as it responds to sunlight, I am assuming that my normal lighting may not be enough. If this is the case, are there any supplements that could help make up for this? <Just good feeding and clean water conditions> Having asked  all this, I should just say that the anemone is currently looking good and has a good rich color, and has actually improved since I bought it, but I just want to do the best I can.  Cheers <Sounds like you already are! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone Husbandry... Hey Guys, <Scott F. your guy today..> I just bought a new carpet anemone (don't really know what kind, it has bright green, stubby tips) <Might be Stichodactyla mertensii...can be a tough one to keep, since it requires a lot of light and food... Also, you could be looking at S. haddoni, which has shorter, blunt tentacles. It gets quite large, but is otherwise about average in care requirements as carpet anemones go...Meaning- it is touchy...> and went to get new lights for it.  I bought Aqualight 20" quad strip with 96 watts (do you think that is enough) and I was wondering if I should feed him live food or just let him photosynthesize? <Well, in regards to the light- I think that you might need to move the animal high up on your rockwork to get adequate light. You may want to keep a close eye on the animal's behavior to see if the lighting is enough (on the surface, it sounds like it's not...You'll have to feed often, almost daily, in order to keep the animal in good shape)...And, again- light...lots of light- and current!> If I should feed him, what should I feed him? <Various forms of plankton tend to be natural foods.> Also, one more question, do you think black percula clowns will be more prone to live in the carpet than orange perculas. <Hard to say...Many perculas are tank raised, and have never seen an anemone...It is often disappointing for hobbyists to find that their clowns don't go into the anemone...Here's to hoping!> Thanks a lot guys. <My pleasure...really learn all that you can about the species that you have an it's husbandry...Anemones are simply not easy animals to keep, and require a high level of care...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone needs for lighting (and vice versa) Hello, I have a FOWLR 55 gal tank that has been set up for about 8 weeks now.  All of its inhabitants are doing great (one yellow tang, one Chromis, one striped damsel, one flame angel a chocolate chip star and assorted hermit crabs and emerald crabs. Since I do not have corals I do not have fancy lighting; there are only three 15 watt fluorescent tubes, one of which is actinic blue. Do you think that's enough light to have an anemone? <I am sorry to say, you are not even close, more like 220 watts for a 55.> If so, which kinds of anemones have the most modest lighting needs? <E. quadricolor has the lowest light requirements, but even they need significantly more light than you currently have. Plus your chocolate chip starfish is a potential predator of anemones.> Thanks! Ana M. Saavedra <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ritteri anemone moving away from light Hello, <cheers> About two months ago I purchased Ritteri anemone for my 90g FOWLR tank. She is about 9" in diameter (was half the size at the LFS). There are three retrofit kits under the canopy with 35" light strips as follows: 3 96W 10K white, 2 96W 7100 actinic and a 96W 6100 white (all intended for future reef).  <wow... this light scheme is not even remotely adequate to keep a ritteri anemone, my friend. Especially is the anemone is below 12" of water depth. As good as the these PC lights can be in light quality... they are poor in penetration. Very poor. MH lighting is quite necessary for this most demanding anemone. In fact, Ritteri anemones are more demanding than almost any coral in the trade for light. Thus the reason why most die within a year... if not 6 months> Before I got this anemone I would only use 1 10Kwhite and 1 7100 actinic for the fish. Now I am running 2 10K white and 1 actinic.  <indeed heavier daylight is necessary for this animal... little actinic needed or useful here> I placed the anemone at the top of the rock in the current, about 9" away from the lights.  <excellent> Anemone did not like it there and slowly moved to the middle of the tank (18" away from the light) as if trying to move away from the light and wedged herself in between the rocks. Is it possible that I have too much light for her (this sounds not right)? . <not even remotely possible. Anemones move for many reasons: dynamics of water flow, sensation of a neighboring Cnidarian (polyp, anemone, coral, etc), etc> She also developed a second mouth about a month ago, but is not dividing.  <now that is interesting! This anemone may begin to look peaked because it is about to divide. Please continue to feed well with very finely shredded ocean meats (never chunks) if it will take it. Maintain very good water clarity in the meantime (carbon use, water changes, etc)> Is there anything that I should change in this setup to maximize her health? Thank you. P.S. There is a mated pair of maroons that feed and clean her every day < a marvelous site to see although not a mutualistic relationship. Clownfish in captivity are generally a burden or detriment to anemones and many in the wild live without any clownfish whatsoever. Still... enjoy the beauty of it all. Anthony>

Anemone lights Hello WWM Crew .. I have a 125 gallon tank with 200 pounds of live rocks (my tank is less then 100gal now) , two 403 Fluval , two 70gal power heads , protein skimmer .I want to keep anemones and I do know that they need a very good lighting. So here is what I got : 2 MH each one is 150 watts , 1 actinic blue 40 watts. I take off the glass cover) and I will place the anemones near the surface. Can I keep them? <depends on the species...and you must know that you cannot mix anemone species. They are quite hostile toward each other. What's worse is that they appear to be fine for weeks or months while they silently shed chemical "toxins" in the tank to try to kill each other. Unfortunately... such noxious elements harm or kill themselves in concentration. And so... assuming you will keep only one species of anemone. crispa (Sebae) and the various long tentacle anemones are likely fine if kept shallow. Some E. quadricolor are also quite hardy. Please do not even attempt to keep ritteri (Magnificent anemones) or carpet anemones under these lights. 150 watt MH are a little too weak for a tank this deep (24" +) Best regards, Anthony >

Marine Lighting, Anemones,  Hi Anthony, I have a total of 340 watts of lighting now and my tank is not that deep its 20".What do u think? Thank u so much for the reply <cheers, Kim. It helps that the tank is less than 24". Still... its not a lot of light over such a large/diffused area. If the anemone moves it will be comprised by the static position of limited light. Still... I can only see a Sebae or perhaps a LT or BTA living under this outfit. The sebae is actually tied for first as the best liked anemone by clowns (hosts 14 species!). It is also the hardiest. Find a brown or green one (darker the better). The pale white, cr?e and yellow ones (too common) are bleached and stressed animals. I am quite certain that a Ritteri or carpet anemone would not live to see 2 years under these lights. Quite frankly... they might not even make it much past 6 months. The watts per gallon rule is quite lousy for us to go on... still: the fluorescent you have do little for PAR (photosynthetic activity) beyond 10" of water and by virtue of the color of the bulb. And a 150 watt halide covering half of the tank (18"x36" perhaps...somewhere around 4-5 ft2) is weak by anemone/coral standards. Still... a very nice lighting system and attractive color! Just not enough punch for these most demanding creatures. This is one of the reasons why most anemones are dead within 6 months of import. kindly, Anthony>

Lighting for Anemone I have gotten a very nice anemone in my 72 gallon tank and bought a 48" 130 watt Smartlight with the 50/50 (power compact lights). I also have 2 40 watt fluorescent lights on it too (which I am getting rid of when I get the new light). I am well aware that it is not enough light so I want to buy another Smartlight or Britelight. I read on your web site that the Britelight helps anemones and fish, and the Smartlight helps with the chlorophyll. Would it be more beneficial for the anemone to have a Britelight (all white light) or another Smartlight (white and blue) put on the tank? Thanks <I would probably use the Britelight at this point. -Steven Pro>

BTA and MH I wrote about my BTA going to the back of my tank. You suggested too little light. I currently have 3 watts per gallon in my 120 by compacts. I want to upgrade. I was reading about MH giving off UV rays. Is this a significant hazard to me? <No, not really with any commercial model and proper installation.> What is the difference between MH grow lights (fixture) and one I would but from a fish store. <Some are very similar, but many industrial units cannot light the aquarium lamps.> Doesn't the spectrum come from the bulb? <Yes> What do I need to look for when buying a fixture? <Sanjay Joshi has done some comparative studies on fixtures. He has some of his older works on his webpage. There is a link from WWM. Also, if you have not already read it, there are some excellent works from hobbyists on the WWM page, too.> Thanks again! -Becky <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Anemone Lighting I actually had another question too. I am soon to have a 72 gallon bow front aquarium, 48" in length. I eventually in it was wanting to have a bubble tip anemone (it being the only organism requiring specific lighting). What is your recommendations on lighting? I was thinking 1 of 3 different setups: 2- 10,000k tubs and 2- Actinic 03 tubes, or 4 - VHO tubes, or something involving a MH if needed. What do you think my man? Thanks John (Fin) Moyer <without keeping the anemone (or trying too...hehe) in the top 10" of the tank, metal halides are strongly recommended. 2- 150 or 175 watt lamps mounted horizontally (not vertical pendants) in Iwasaki, Ushio or AB brand 6,500K or 10,000K would be ideal. Research their merits in the archives if you like. Best regards, Anthony>

Lighting Follow-up Hi Steven. <Hello> The dimension of my tank are 48" x 18 x 12. We want to start off with Anemones. <Take a look at this piece http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm> What are NO lights, <NO stands for normal output, which is the kind of lighting you currently have.> and how many PC lights would I need. <At least 4 55 watt lamps. -Steven Pro> Colin

Anemones and Bob in Pigtails Bob, <Anthony again, my dear. Bob is off traveling again and... having lost a bet, swears that he will get off the plane in Australia wearing pigtails and dressed in Pippi Longstocking Swedish garb (already complaining that the knee-high stockings will make his hairy kegs itch)> Thank you very much for your input. My pet store wasn't able to tell me anything, and they don't carry the type of lights I need for the anemone that I bought from them. Will keep you posted as to how things go. Kat <very good, and best of luck to you. Do consider mail ordering your lighting needs. Vendors like the ones plastered around this web site can fill your an order within days of course and usually at a competitive price. kindly, Anthony>

Re: Lighting Hello Bob , <Anthony Calfo in your service> First let me say how helpful your q&a section has been . <grazie> I have a 44 gal pentagon tank. I have it set up with 20 lbs of aggregate sand , 20 lbs of bio sand and 50 lbs of live rock. Temp. is kept at 78 , ph 8.2 , SG 1.021-1.022 , calcium 450 . I am running a magnum 350 for added filtration and a power head with a rotating spout. I currently have 1 fixture with 2 36 watt PC , 1 fixture with a 15 watt 10.000 k bulb and 1 fixture with 15 watt actinic bulb.. I have 2 anemones , 1) Giant green carpet , 2) Sebae , along with 2 Percula clowns , yellow tang . antennata lion , 1 camel back shrimp , 5 red hermits ,12 turbo snails and two feather dusters. <the sebae will succumb (die) to allelopathy (chemical warfare) from the carpet anemone in time... it may take 1-2 years, but it will happen of that you can be sure especially in a tank your size. Do consider separating in the long run (sooner rather than later)> Do I need to increase the watt/gal ratio ? The tank appears to be extremely bright at this point. <I do believe you need more light for the anemones. The fluorescents look bright but lack enough PAR (usable light for zooxanthellae) beyond even a little depth. Unless the anemones are at the top of the tank...yes, more light please. A single 150-watt Iwasaki 6500K metal halide will do the trick> I do wish to add some beginners corals i.e.... mushrooms , leather etc. Any suggestions ? <not even remotely possible my friend even in the short run (1 year plan) assuming the carpet does well and grows. Within a few years they can measure feet in diameter and will fill the tank. In the interim, they will kill competitive cnidarians from the allelopathy. In my opinion, pull the sebae, feed the carpet anemone several times weekly, and let that beautiful animal grow to fill the tank in 1-2 years. It will be so beautiful and so worth it> Thank you very much, Stephen <with kind regards, Anthony>

Bubble Anemone Lighting: First off here are the water parameters: Salinity 1.024 Temperature 78 pH 8.3 Calcium around 400 Ammonia 0 Nitrate .1ppm <what is your alkalinity? I'm guessing it is a bit low...do test and correct if necessary> Lighting is around 10.5 watts per gallon (VHO 4x110w) on a 40 gallon <very nice!> I have just bought this Bubbletip about 4 days ago he has attached himself to the live rock and opens up around 6-7 inches. The Gold-stripe maroon clown loves it found it in about 5 min. of it getting put in the tank. It is the brightest green I have seen in a long time.  <an excellent sign and you have a very good system overall> The lights are on for about 11.15 hrs, and it seems about every night around hour 9-10 the mouth becomes gapping open and you can see the insides hanging out a bit. Then the lights go out and about 2 hrs later it is back to being opened up again with the mouth tightly closed. Is this a sign of acclimation?  <a bad sign when so... but perhaps not in this case> Is this a sign of to much light for to long? For the first 8-9 hrs it is open and very beautiful then it does that.  <indeed...that would be my first educated guess <G>> It also seems to be moving during this period however very slowly being nudged by the Maroon clown. Thanks for any info you have, wonderful website you guy's have going on here. <again... it sounds like you have a nice system, do tweak the alkalinity and photoperiod though (8-12 hours is standard but you do have bright light for the sized aquarium... 8-10 hrs will be fine...back down slowly over days. And be sure to feed this anemone weekly at least with finely shredded meats of ocean origin. Necessary for long-term success. Best regards, Anthony Calfo> Thanks again, J.Wesley

Re: lighting, Anemone  Hello! <Anthony Calfo up at bat this time> I have been waiting to hear about my lighting dilemma.  <apologies... many e-mails to answer... some remnants of a personal life too ,wink>> Steve, you recommended 4 110 watts VHO lights for my 75 gal, 20-24" depth tank to help my anemone. My light fixture holds 24" bulbs, and they don't come in 110 watts. HELP! Where can I find this, I've searched your e-tailers. Or am I misunderstanding your answer.? <from my perspective, yes... it was definitely misunderstood. A 24" standard output fixture can only hold 20 watt bulbs and your anemone will be sure to die under that illumination sooner rather than later. VHO lighting with four foot (110 watt bulbs) is popular and appropriate for many/most anemone species needs but hardly even considered to be bright reef lighting. Some aquarists need 6 110 watt bulbs or move to 2 metal halide lamps altogether. The bottom line is that you need a new lighting fixture altogether. 24" lamps on a four foot tank is extremely low lighting and fine for most fish but a death warrant for most symbiotic invertebrates. Many aquarist do not realize this when they get anemones... they need reef lighting just as if it was a tank full of corals just to keep the anemone alive. And many aquarists are reluctant to invest in a couple of hundred dollars in reef lights for an anemone that could have cost as little as $10-40. And so instead of getting the necessary lights, many aquarists keep the anemone in weak light and most suffer and die prematurely. Do look into reef lighting options with power compact lighting for your sized tank rated as if it were a full blown reef. If the price is something that you are willing to spend...great. If not, please to return/trade the anemone to someone that can keep it properly. Best regards, Anthony Calfo> Kat
Re: lighting.
Thank you for the honest answer. My husband bought the anemone for my tank. We didn't realize the lighting requirements. Will check into it. Kat <quite welcome...and not your husbands fault for the kind gesture. The LFS should have done him the service of advising him better. They might have even earned a new light fixture sale for their honesty instead of possibly disappointing their customer. Anthony>

I really am hoping you will help me!, Anemone Lighting Hi Robert; <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a question about lighting/anemone health that I would really like to solve. The tank is a 60 gallon hexagon, 76 degrees, pH at 8.25 and Strontium added about once a week. I have a long tentacle anemone that has good color (pinkish-white foot, light green tentacles with pinkish hues at the ends) and a Tomato Clown as his buddy. I have kept him since November, and used to feed him pieces of raw shrimp....  <nothing larger than 1/4-1/2 inch I hope... else not very useful to the anemone... they will sting and ingest it, but regurgitate it as a ball (familiar?) with little/no digestion. A common problem. Consider that such large chunks of food would never filter down through a reef water column without any one of a number of fish tagging it first. Unnatural indeed. Anemones eat fine plankton like everybody else> but when the Tomato Clown adapted to him, the Clown takes anything I give the anemone out if his tentacles, so I have stopped feeding him (which worries me). <yes... a problem indeed. The anemone needs weekly feedings at minimum> The anemone appears to be getting smaller and not opening as much as he used to.  <attrition after just a few weeks I'm sure> The clown still loves him and his color is good. I think my trouble is in the lighting... (I think, anyway). The tank has 2 perfecto 15 watt fixtures with a Triton Bulb and a 50/50 Coralife bulb.  <Wow...yes. Weak in intensity and perhaps not even remotely useful if they are older than 6-10 months (spectral sway/exhausted phosphors)> I was going to retrofit them to an AH Supply Bright Kit (1 36 Watt and a 36 Watt Actinic) but the rep from AH Supply said that 72 Watts would still be a waste of time/money. Thankfully he was honest... because I had my credit card in hand. I don't want to lose the anemone!! Since it is a hexagon, and it is 27 inches from the hood to the floor of the tank, he suggested a I look into Metal Halide. Then, I found this pendant MH: http://www.lampsnow.com/17penfix.html <indeed... fluorescent lighting is only effective for high light reef animals if the tank is VERY shallow (less than 16 inches or the animal is kept in the top portion of the tank). An ideal lamp for you would be an Iwasaki 6500K halide. On 150 watt bulb will be fine. MH lamps are the best bang for the buck... the Iwasakis specifically have been tested to remain true for nearly three years (!) before beginning to sway significantly. That's a lot better than changing expensive fluorescent bulbs every 6-19 months. MH is the better choice indeed for you. But I am specifically recommending Iwasaki 6500K, Ushio or Aqualine 10K specifically. Most other brands have some significant detraction in my opinion> What do you think??? What should I do!!?? Thanks in advance!! <you won't regret the MH, my friend. Kudos to the honest salesman. Anthony Calfo> Regards, Edward P. Kelly

Re: H. Crispa Hi Anthony, <<cheers again>> <are you a lawyer... or do you just play one on TV?> Damn, you found out! <<you spouted Latin twice, it had to be>> <nice, but how deep is the tank? If more than eighteen inches with standard fluorescents, this won't be of much help.> It's 18 inches - I also removed the glass cover over the water last night, having relocated all the ballasts out of the way in the cabinet. <<excellent...every little bit will help. Fluorescents should be protected but as close to the water as possible (assuming you have water proof end caps)>> <do read about bleached sebae anemones if yours is white tentacled> Well he's sort of off-white, the tips seem a more pure white colour. <<natural color is dark brown/green>> <if it begins to move around the tank, it is often an indication of inadequate lighting> He isn't moving around the tank, but he makes some interesting shapes with his stem, sort of inflates the top half, then rolls this down to the base, also seems to make a cleft in his base.  <<sounds like Bob Fenner on the dance floor...hehe>> He seems fairly happy position wise. <<its definitely Bob if it never puts its beer down>> <when tentacles are retracted, I assume> Tentacles have not been retracted since he went in. Outer ring still flopping down stem, but majority seem upright, can see his mouth now, nothing nasty coming out of it, top of stem seems flared outwards. <my friend... the leopard wrasse, mandarin, yellow sebae anemone (dyed color!) and a regal angel... you are killing me!!! Somebody is giving you awful advice! I truly hope the retailer of these inappropriate (to the uninformed/novice) animals is a single location and not a plethora of stores in your area> Two shops, one is better than the other, but there are not that many marine vendors over here. <<dreadful...sorry to hear it. Do research livestock before buying from these stores>> <a lousy idea that has historically failed. Try an Aqua C if you need a unit with a narrow profile> <hehe... just a few good months of reading my friend will be fine. Do try to locate some local aquarium societies to get some great and free unbiased information. I recently began selling books to a fellow in the UK who was telling me about a few regional aquarium societies. I think most of them are listed in Practical Fishkeeping Magazine (UK). > I'll go right out and buy the magazine, check the adverts for skimmers and the listings of clubs!  <<yes... many wonderful advertisements for networking/contacts>> Many thanks for your quick response! Cheers - Tim. <<cheers, my friend across the pond. Anthony>>

Long Tentacle Anemone Hello Robert, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 45 gallon tank with 2 to 3 inches of live sand also live rock, fish, coral, etc. About three weeks ago I purchased a long tentacle anemone that still has not picked a place to stay.  <if not damaged, it is a common sign of inadequate lighting either by virtue of an inherent deficiency in intensity or by quality (like a good system of high intensity bulbs, but yellowed water, aged bulbs (over 10months old), dust/debris on bulbs or lenses/canopies, etc)> It just lies on its side on the bottom of the tank moving from place to place mainly going into the corner smashing itself against the glass its health seems fine spreading out it tentacles and retracting them as usual and it has not shrunk in size.  <not shrinking is not necessarily a good sign. Symbiotic reef inverts pan for light when light is poor as well. See new article posted that is somewhat pertinent: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm> What is the safest way to convince it to pick a place to stick. <tell me more about your lighting... it is my suspicion and the most likely cause. If you do have hardcore reef lighting, is your water clarity excellent (carbon once/twice monthly, etc...)?> JS <kindly, Anthony>

Re: Long Tentacle Anemone <Cheers again. Anthony> Well a the present time I only have two 18" strip lights with 15 watt florescent bulbs.  <my goodness. That is exactly the problem, my friend> But I am learning quickly so my plan is to retrofit in to the florescent strip lights either the 14" or 15" smart lights. Which if I am not mistaken should boost the tank up to reef quality lighting. <yes if the bulbs are close enough to the water and the tank is shallow (less than 18"?... do keep the anemone within 12" of surface if possible). The anemone will die within weeks under this light. Do compensate in the meantime with very fine shredded meaty foods (nothing bigger than adult brine shrimp (although don't use brine...lousy food). Try Pacifica plankton and mysis shrimp for starters. This will provide a source of carbon until better lights can supply the zooxanthellae. With kind regards, Anthony> JS

Re: Long Tentacle Anemone (resurrection by light) Well I purchased one of the SmartLite "power something or others" it is 96 watts with 4 lights in it 2 blue, 2 white.  <sexy outfit and color balance...like it> I tell you the anemone responded to it almost right away and so have the fish I also purchased some live rock to build up a higher position for the anemone to sit on to keep it closer to the light. Your help is much appreciated and you hit the nail right on the head. <A matter of experience, my friend, that you are gaining evermore too each day> thanks for the help JS <quite welcome. Anthony>

Condy anemone <Anthony Calfo, in your service> What are the lighting requirements for a Condy anemone? <depends on where it was collected, but can be categorized as moderate to high light> I bought one yesterday and currently have a 50 watt bulb on my 125....  <indeed... it would shrivel and die within months> BUT, I have 4 Coralife ballasts to put on my tank if that will help it.  <if they are standard fluorescent bulbs (40watt?) it will still be too weak for the depth of a 125 gallon tank. Such lights do not penetrate deep enough. The necessary lights to keep this anemone will cost 100X the price of the anemone...hehe. Do need to research before you buy animals, my friend> He found a spot near a rock not long after I introduced him into the tank. Would the Custom Sea Life PC's work, too?  <now we are talking, goombah!> I also bought some live phytoplankton for him to eat as well........  <fine zooplankton as much or more please> Any info would be great, as I am having a hard time finding info on this anemone. <not the hardiest in captivity but popular because they are inexpensive. Best regards, Anthony> Thanks, Kim

Lighting Question Hey Robert, <You actually got Steven Pro today, part of the WWM crew.> Thanks for taking the time! <That is what we are here for. To help our fellow hobbyists.> I am setting up a 125 FOWLR and have a lighting question. My plan is for an anemone for a clown (not sure which one, suggestions?) <Anemones are notoriously difficult to keep in captivity and are not require to keep a clownfish happy and healthy. You can begin your education here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm> I am going to keep some reef-safe fish but for inverts, I am planning a cleaning crew and a couple of featherdusters. For corals, in the distant future, I plan on possibly some soft corals and a clam. I want the system very well stable before adding corals. I am pretty well set on PC lighting, but not sure about the wattage I should get. Also, should I get the SmartLite (50/50) or go with the white/blue separate bulb combo. Here is what I am thinking on this: Would the 72" 2-96w Smartlites (50/50) for a total of 192 watts be enough for the proposed setup? <No you will need at least 4 96 watt PC, with 6 being even better for the clam.> Please make a recommendation if not. Thanks a million! p.s., should I remove the glass from the top of the tank between the water and the lights. <Removing the glass will help with light penetration, but you must be careful of your fish selection. Watch out for fish known to jump. -Steven Pro>

Lighting Anemones Thank you so much for your help!! <I am not sure to who you are referring, but I will definitely forward the compliment. Bob is out of days for the next few days and Anthony Calfo and I, Steven Pro, are pitching in and helping to answer the daily questions.> I have one more question... in your opinion, do you think for a 55 gallon that two 30 watt 10000k lights and one 30 watt actinic light would be enough for a bubble tip anemone and our other two anemones (don't know what kind they are, not bubbles, small one is lavender and larger is white with bluish/purplish rouged tips, also two greenish/sorta brownish sand anemones)? <Probably not> All we have is a 36 in long hood and we added the one light... yep I didn't read about how important lots of lighting is before we got the anemones. We have room to add one more light to our current hood. I've seen what I would really like to get: a set up for two metal halides and two florescent (well one would be actinic the other regular daylight 10000 k 40 watt type) but don't have $350 for it :(. I have no corals and don't plan to get any until we upgrade to a larger system... with better lighting) <Actually, most people find host anemones to be far more difficult than most corals.> I want to add a rose bubble tip anemone for the pair of maroon clowns I want to get someday. Yes btw I do feed the anemones... usually a piece or two of shrimp that has been soaked in Zoe vitamin supplement every other day or so. And a piece for the purple spotted anemone shrimp! Another question on the lighting, is there a way to buy something from Loews or Home Depot to be able to mount metal halides in the middle (one on each side of the middle) of our existing hood instead of buying another fluorescent light mounting system? <I have seen people do this sort of thing, but these are not designed for high humidity environments. It would be best to buy something specifically built for the aquarium trade.> Would I need to install a fan as well? Thank you SO much!!! Again!! <Take a look at this page, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm>

Anemone   <<Greetings from JasonC, giving Bob time to prepare his turkey>> > Hi, bob. The pet sore here is offering me a maroon anemone. Can I keep these with my lighting?? 2 x 20 W Trichromatic. Thanks, Bernd > <<off the cuff and without knowing anything else about your tank, I would say no, that is not enough light to keep an anemone. If you are intent on keeping anemones, you will want to look into a power-compact [PC] form of lighting and try to step it up a notch. There is a step beyond this [metal-halide], but the price, heat, and power consumption are considerably more than PC lighting. > As an aside to the anemone itself, I am not familiar with a "maroon anemone" although there is of course the Maroon clown [anemone fish] - is this truly an anemone that is maroon colored or do the folks at the store have a more scientific name for it? There is a problem with some stores/suppliers that will sell anemones that have been dyed so that they are all kinds of fun  colors. These colors don't last and they're not really good for the anemone either. If this is the path you want to head down, do take the time and educate yourself - it will enhance your experience in the long run. If you haven't already, give this URL a read: > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm > Cheers - J -->>

Re: anemone Hi and thanks for the quick reply. Happy Thanksgiving to everybody! I don't know what the maroon anemone looks like. I will find out more when the owner of the pet store comes. Thanks. Bernd <<JasonC again, saying: fair enough - a good place to start. Cheers - J-->>

What's Going On? (Light/ing, anemone, coral health effects) Bob, What's new my friend? I'm a little perplexed on my end. I have searched through the information on WWM, but I couldn't find anything that really pertained to my situation. <Not too surprising... will never cover all...> Let's review. I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a 20 gallon sump. Protein skimming is handled by an ETSS Super Reef Devil. Water back to the main tank is handled by a Mag 5. Two powerheads provide circulation in the tank. Four 96 watt powercompacts (2 actinics/2daylights) provide lighting. My tank consists of 95lbs of Fiji live rock (I'm sure you must remember my mid-December nuclear meltdown). Inhabitants include two cleaner shrimp, 2 Green Stripe Clown Gobies, 1 Six Line Wrasse, 1 Bicolor Blenny, 1 White Sand sifting Star, and various Red-leg and Left handed hermits. Invertebrates include 2 Open Brain (1 Large/1 Small), Fungia Plate Coral, Yellow Polyp, Solomon Green Zoanthid Polyp, 1 Small Blue Maxima Clam, and 1 Bubble-tip anemone. All water parameters (Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate) are registering "0". pH is around 8.15. Now to my question/problem. <Okay> Because of the recent temps here in the East, I have opened my canopy just a tad. A small free standing fan blows across the lights to provide cooling. To keep the heat down, I just (for a while) ran 1 daylight and 1 actinic. When I acquired my Bubble-tip anemone, I went back to using all four lights. The Bubble-tip found a nice home in the light, but out of the direct current until now. <Hmm> Recently (in the last week to 10 days), the Bubble-tip has closed up, my Open Brain do not fill with water, even though they do have good color. The Fungia Plate Coral seems to have a washed out look. Again all water parameters are within acceptable ranges. What's going on? As always, you help is greatly appreciated! <Likely what you describe is mostly due to the light/lighting change (there is a lag time to be expected here), and secondarily to the change in temperature... I would start to leave your lights on more in the evening (all of them for a good six, eight hours)... check on water quality otherwise, and not worry> On a side note, I have told the Baltimore watering holes to stock up. Believe me, I owe you a few!! <Looking forward to this! See you in August. Bob Fenner> Bob Wrigley

Clown and Anemone Hi Mr. Fenner, I'm thinking about adding a carpet anemone to my 29 gallon tank. I have a clarkii clownfish that has been in the tank for almost a year now. This tank is a fish only tank. I have 100 watts of lighting. I'm wondering what the chances are of the clown fish to adopt the carpet anemone.  <Hmm, if you can obtain a healthy specimen there is a very good chance they will form a ready alliance> Also, I'm wondering if I have enough light for the anemone to be happy. Thanks for your advice Kent Krupicka Auburn, AL <A hundred watts of... PC fluorescents? Only experience will show... if there is a chance of starting the specimen higher in the water column (more towards the lighting) I would. Bob Fenner>

Lighting Hi Bob, before I add any anemones to my tank I would like to know if I have the correct lighting? First of all my tank is 90 gallons dimension 48"x 21"deep x 18" wide about 100lbs. of rock been set up for 18 months now. I have two 24" 65watt power-compacts smart lamps in one fixture and two 22" 55watt 8800k ultra daylight power compacts in the other, so with your help do I have the correct lighting or do I need to add more light to house anemones. I was looking to purchase a carpet anemone for my Percula clowns, would be grateful on any advice. Thanks Brian <About twice this lighting would be about right... You may be okay with what you have, depending on where the anemone decides to situate itself... but I would add more intensity here. Bob Fenner>

Lighting, Anemones I have a 55 gallon set up with a Fluval 404 filter, undergravel filter with 2 powerheads, a hang on protein skimmer (which hasn't produced anything yet due to the tank only being around two months old), <Hmm... curious... in almost all cases the skimmer should have been producing collectant... would have someone come by and check your install> 60 lbs of live rock, and 4-20 watt bulbs (2 Actinic blue, 2 50/50) I have recently purchased 4 long tentacle anemones that looked great (very large and wide open). For around two days the anemones remained wide open but on the third day they have started to shrink a little and their tentacles don't seem to be as full as they were. <You don't have enough light for these...> They still have great color but just don't seem to be blooming. They have all positioned themselves at the bottom of the tank and one has even crawled back in between some of the live rock. They are getting adequate flow from the powerheads. All my test parameters are fine and the damsels I have in the tank are all doing well and eating exceptionally. What could be the problem causing these anemones to shrink? I have done extreme amounts of reading through the web on this subject and I can only draw one conclusion - not enough light.  <Bingo> The problem I have with this conclusion is that if they are not getting enough light why are they hiding at the bottom of the tank. Shouldn't they be trying to move to the top?  <Good question, point... what defensive mechanism might be served by this behavior? I can imagine that the specimens that might retreat in the face of diminished light might survive storms that might preceded the lost intensity... other possibilities...> If I do need more light I have been considering buying an additional 96 watt CSL light to install in the front of my cover (the only place I have any room left). What color temperature should I shoot for and is it possible to buy the ballast from a hardware store as long as it handles the wattage and has the same type of connector. <In front? Needs to be "above", on "top" of the water... and reflected down... And the ballast question depends on the lamp, fixture... must be matched... and temp., anything above 5,000 Kelvin... Please do read through all the "Anemone" and related "FAQs" sections and the link to the Breeder's Registry treasure trove posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com> The reason I'm asking is that I've spent heaps of money so far on this tank and my wife has just about had it so I would like to keep the cost down. <Hmm, I would/do discuss personal spending allotments with my wife... and even have separate and together checking, savings, stock trading accounts... You might consider the same. Bob Fenner>

Lighting requirements for anemones I currently have a 26 gallon aquarium with 1- 18 watt white bulb and 1- 18 watt grow lux bulb. My water chemistry is excellent. I recently purchased a very small carpet anemone and a pink tipped Florida anemone. They feed constantly on guppies and live brine shrimp. My concern is that my anemone is not going to last long due to the lighting. My anemones are healthy with fully extended tentacles and with friendly black clownfish companions. Should I change my lighting to compact lights or is it possible for my anemone to thrive in its current conditions. Please respond as soon as possible. <If it were me, my twenty six gallon and these anemones, I would definitely upgrade to the CF's... you will see the difference in their health almost immediately. Anemones vary (by species, individual) in their use of photosynthesis for food... yours will benefit. Bob Fenner>

Lighting confusion Bob - I have looked over the site recently (and ordered your book) but, I have an issue I would like to get you to weigh in on. I am saving up to buy a quality 125G reef set-up, but in the meantime I am planning on setting up a 29-gallon tank. I want to put in an anemone or two, a clown fish or two, a crab (if I can find one that will form a symbiotic relationship with the anemone) and maybe 1 or 2 small fish. I read your comments on the difficulties of keeping anemones, but this is my favorite part of an aquarium. The problem is lighting. My brother has successfully sustained numerous anemones on 2 fluorescent bulbs (1 full spectrum and 1 50/50 I believe), but recently the advice I have been given is that they require a lot of light and need metal halide lights. Now is that true, or can I get away with the fluorescents? Also I notice you talk about finding compact lights at a local hardware store. What would I look for there? Any help you could provide me would be greatly appreciated. Aaron <Thank you for writing, and your concern for the welfare of your aquatic charges... Yes to most all of the large Pacific Anemone species being difficult to keep in captivity... not so much as to their adaptive abilities (including a very wide range of lighting, feeding, circulation...), but consequent to their rough removal and handling in transit from the wild to the end-user aquarist... Yes, most can/will do fine with "enough" wattage of regular to boosted fluorescents... Yes, most are photosynthetic, but yes also to their capacity to receive most all nutrition from feeding directly... Best/better to have a mix of both nutritional inputs IMO... and much more colorful with more intense light. Compact fluorescents can be found in large hardware outlets labeled as such or power compacts... look for higher temperature values... Ask the floor staff if they carry them, what your choices are. Bob Fenner... Do keep in mind the need to coat/guard against metal introduction from their fixtures (ask re coatings).>

Re: lighting confusion Thanks so much for your advice on keeping anemones. Just to take it one step further, do you have any thoughts on smart lights or the Phazer lighting systems. As you can see, I am trying for a cost effective solution. Thanks again!! <I understand. These are both very fine makes/makers of aquarium lighting. I would gladly use either on my aquariums. Bob Fenner>

Eclipse System bob, I have a System 12 Show Combo System and I would like to know if there are any bulbs I can put in the hood that support anemones, such as a bubble tip or a pink tip. I have 2 false perculas, and I would like for them to have an anemone to play around in. I don't want to buy a transfer kit, so please tell me of any brand bulbs that would be strong enough to accommodate those anemones and still fit in the stock bulb's place.  <Hmm, do please insert the term "Eclipse" into the search engine on the Marine Index page of the site: www.wetwebmedia.com and read the insertions there that deal with the issue of modifying these systems... You do need more light if you're going to try keeping these photosynthetic anemones... though your clowns don't need them...> Also, I have a garden eel in there as well. How well would the eel fare with the anemone in there? Thank you so much for your help. <Really? A living Garden Eel species in such a small hobby system? Remarkable... No to keeping these two together... very likely formula for disaster... the Eel getting stung, dying, in turn the pollution dooming the whole system... Bob Fenner>

Lighting & Anemones Hey Bob, Sweet site. Couple questions: have a 20 long fine filtration-circulation-water quality etc. Have in it two Ocellaris and one flame hawk, live rock/sand, and two sebae (I think) anemones. These were given to me free. I only have a fluorescent light on the tank, have had the anemones for approximately a month and feed them silversides once-twice a week. This is too little lighting everyone says, I know it is, but they seem to be flourishing. Any theories on why and what I should do or what kind of light I should get, and if so where is the cheapest I can get it. Poor college student here :) Thank you for your time Jamie >> <Don't know that I would agree with the "too little lighting" for your and other species of anemones commonly kept statement... Have seen MANY situations in the wild where actinarians were in low light settings... and, um, doing fine. So you can understand why photosynthesis may not be such a large or consistent food/source requirement for these "flower animals"... instead, maybe frozen silversides are a preferred input.... But, I would save up and add another fluorescent strip light to your array... or look around in the larger "hardware" stores for a compact fluorescent retrofit that you could/can easily supplant your current regular output with... Bob Fenner

Re: Lighting & Anemones One more thing...when you say another strip light, you mean a normal fluorescent?? Would that make a difference? Again thanks for your time, Jamie  >> At the very least, one more normal output fluorescent... something with a CRI of 92 or higher and a temperature of 5,000 K or higher... and mark the inception date on your lamps to remind you when to switch them out/replace them... every six months or so on a 12h daylight cycle. Bob Fenner

Anemone Hey Bob, I have an anemone that has been in my tank for over a year now (my maroon clown loves it). When I bought it was bright white with blue on the tips of its tentacles. After six months it turned a reddish/maroon color. I had a problem with algae before I got a RO unit. Is this algae? and if so how can I get it back to white?  <You may well be able to strongly influence the color of your anemone, by providing more intense, higher temperature (black-body radiation comparison) lighting, like by using 10,000, even 20,000 K. lamps.> Second question is that in the past three weeks I have been missing two fish. I had a cleaner wrasse and a bi-color angel that I can no longer find anywhere in the tank. The only other fish are the clown, a yellow tang and a "hippo tang". Did the anemone eat them? And if it did, are there any "bones left"? How can I prevent it from eating other fish? Thanks, Andrew >> <It is possible the anemone did consume these fishes... or they may have perished otherwise and dissolved (yes, this can/does happen... and quickly). Match up fishes that are aware of this anemone species (ones from the same localities/range), and make sure there is some outside lighting (to prevent them accidentally swimming into it) outside the tank at night. Re the Cleaner Wrasse, and more, pls take a look at the marine materials stored on our site: Home Page  Bob Fenner

About Anemones, lighting, Hi again, I was just reading the past questions on the archive, and I am puzzled now First thing, if a Anemone can paralyze a Fish, can it hurt a person? also how is there different types of anemones out there that have less of a "sting" to them, or they all the same? <Hmm, well there are many types, degrees of "stickiness", "stingingness" to different anemone's cnidocysts (the inclusions in their cells which do the sticking, stinging), and yes, you can really feel some of the more "powerful" ones... but not to worry. Where most people handle these animals (hands) their skin is so thickened, that there is nary a sensation... occasionally, I'll be too casual and get a rough, reddened area on my wrists from manipulating these stinging-celled animals... but no biggie> Second thing is, I have only had my Live rock in my new tank for almost 2 weeks now, haven't had any test or anything, we have 15 Damsels as well, Live sand to, we have St Marshals island live rock, it was very pretty when we first got it, but Now its covered in brown algae, is this normal? and is their anything I can do to get rid of it? <Sort of normal for new rock... but are you doing "your bit"? re its curing... Providing adequate light, filtration... If it were me, making this investment, I would get/use test kits for at least alkalinity, calcium, pH... and ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, and phosphate... Else wise how will you know what is going on in terms of water quality in your system? By the bioassay of how your damsels are doing? Too little, too late> Third thing, I am really confused on lighting, Money is no issue, so if you can suggest what I should have for the 90 gal, I want to do corals, anemones, fish and Shrooms, any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks again >> <For me, Compact fluorescents, two lamps each actinic and warm white (about 5,500k... on timers, the actinics on/off an hour more than the whites... And if you're thinking of Small Polyp Stony corals and/or Tridacnid clams some 10k lighting as well... Bob Fenner>  

Small Marine Aquariums
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Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2: Fishes
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Small Marine Aquariums Book 3: Systems
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