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FAQs on Anemone Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, LTAs, Cnidarians, Coldwater AnemonesColored/Dyed AnemonesCnidarians for Small Systems by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Condylactis Selection, Sebae Selection, LTA Selection, Magnificent Anemone Selection, BTA Selection, Carpet Anemone Selection, & Cnidarian Selection, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Identification, Anemones, Anemones 2, LTAs, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Systems, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Feeding, Anemone Health, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Placement 

Healthy anemones appear full much of the time.

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Plastic Anemones.       3/13/14
Hi Bob,
I am glad to report my Emperor and all other fish are doing fine.
<Ah good>
I have two Ocellaris clownfish and want to treat them to plastic anemones.
Have you heard of any reports of them polluting the water as they must be heavily dyed.
<I know of folks (the Smiths of WSI/Nature's Image, Marty Beals/Tideline...) that made ones that are chemically inert. Can't/won't vouch for the safety of all. You can/could make your own...>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hi Bob,

My aquarium has built in fluorescent T5 lighting -- one blue tube and one white. I have a few soft corals with my fish but I would really like to get a pair of clownfish with an anemone. I am worried that the lighting I have will not be strong enough to keep an anemone happy, but as my aquarium is an 'all in one' unit I don't want to remove the top to put a stronger light in (plus we have cats!) Would two T5 tubes be strong enough for an anemone? If not should I try and get a different coral that doesn't need as strong a lighting system that the clownfish might use for a home instead?

Thank you,

Karina Murphy

Thank you for your well-worded query Karina. Though most of the commensal symbiotic Anemone species are high-intensity light loving, there are techniques and choices one can use to keep one in such a setting as yours.

                First a disclaimer: really the only way to tell in advance of actually trying if a photosynthetic organism will live under a given set of lighting circumstances is to utilize light-testing equipment such as a PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) meter, placing the probe at the depth/spot where you intend to situate this life'¦ and checking known values in references. Many times stocklists and marine/reef clubs will have such gear for lending or at a nominal cost per use.

                From the above it is likely obvious that situating your anemone (if it is a rock dwelling, vs. substrate or even mud/muck embedded living, species) near the surface will afford it the maximum amount of useful light exposure. IF you use a PAR meter and the only area where you can get a reading of 100 or higher is here, then you should plan on procuring a rock-dwelling species/specimen and establishing it here.

                Now, as to species selection, I want to urge you to consider the Bubble-tip Anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor on a few strengths. Foremost, this is the hardiest anemone for your use. Next, it hosts naturally the most species of Clownfishes. And lastly, this anemone can often be well-supplied with nutrients in the way of feeding rather than through photosynthesis. Further, I strongly encourage your seeking out a captive-produced individual'¦ these fare even better than wild-collected, and are just as beautiful.

                Oh, and yes, there are some soft corals and stony corals that might well serve as alternate hosts for your Clowns'¦ But I'd rather have a natural symbiont myself.

Hi Bob,
I have a full stocked soft coral reef tank, it is a 4x2x2 and everything seems to be doing well. My water parameters are; Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 15 temperature of 26° and salinity of 1.025ppm.
            I have a pair of common clownfish which seem to always swim around the top of the aquarium, it is quite frustrating for me as a lot of the time they are not in view and it sometimes seems pointless having them!
            I would like to buy them an anemone as I think this will help them feel more at home and possibly be more 'active' members of the tank. Which anemone do you think would be best in my reef tank? And are there marked differences in aggressiveness between different species?
Thank you in advance
Thomas Duffel, Bristol

<Thank you for writing so well; that is, clearly and thoroughly Thomas. I do indeed have strong feelings re the use of Anemones in our hobby interest and there definitely are better choices amongst what is available'¦ and their handling. For general use and for pairing with any species of Clownfish the best choice is the Bubble-tip Anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor, in particular, the more and more readily available asexual clones of this species that arise from individuals fissioning themselves in captivity. Bubble-tips are the hardiest, most adaptable species of Actinarians that are naturally symbiotic with the Damsels we call Clowns'¦ and happily, on the lower end of likelihood to have 'wars' with other types of life, especially other stinging-celled life (e.g. 'corals') that hobbyists keep. This being stated, there are still some important caveats to list re the appropriate use of this species'¦ indeed with all Anemones. First off, they are NOT compatible with other Cnidarians, and will fight them chemically and physically to a degree under any set of conditions. Lessening the likelihood of this negative interaction is your job'¦ To wit: having a larger, less-crowded set up, that is well-established, stable is important to the extreme. Placing the anemone well away from other stinging-celled life (a good twenty cm.) and being on your guard should it move about is a chief concern as well. Now, a few words that are rarely discussed concerning a very important technique for properly 'introducing' new Cnidarian (Coral, Anemone'¦) life to an established system. It is a VERY good idea to initially house new acquisitions in a separate (isolation, quarantine) system'¦ and add water back and forth twixt these two systems every few days for a few weeks time, ahead of physically moving all into your main/display. This water-mixing allows for a goodly amount of 'smelling' of parties and their getting used to each other gradually, rather than outright adding them where they can greatly harm each other. Of course, one wants to wait at least a few days with new arrivals in isolation to begin this process'¦ to prevent spread of disease, pests'¦ but scooping, pouring a few pints of water twixt each goes a long way to reducing aggressive behaviour initially.

            Should you find it difficult to find a cloned Bubble-tip, a wild-collected one is your second best choice'¦ A third would be a Leather or Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)'¦ Neither of these are found in close association with the common Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris) in the wild, but this relationship is often formed in captive circumstances. >

Anemone tank setup... stkg./sel. for Anemone and Clown/s     5/15/13
Hello friends
Would be share your views on this setup I am planning please.
Tank size 43"x43"x22" LxWXH

No sump or overflow
Only have a good canister filter plumbed to a chiller
<Mmm, do screen the intake of the canister filter... to prevent the Anemone from being pulled against it>
What I want to keep
1. Anemones preferably LTA or magnificent sea anemones
How many can I keep assuming same species?
<One of either
... the LTA is easier. Clones of a BTA/Entacmaea might suit you better>
2. Clownfish of Ocellaris or percula family.
Can I keep around 30 of them?
<No... perhaps a handful when young
. Likely only a pair or two as adults>
3. Hippo tang one only
<Should get along>
4. 2-3 flame or lemon peel angels
<These as well>
Mazarra p series 4 units currently setup but planning to switch over to 2x  160w Maxspect razor 16k
Circulation using 2x Mp40 VorTech pumps
4" DSB in the tank with fine sand.
Around 40 pounds of good live rock in the canister filter.
Around 2-3 pieces of live rock only in the tank as I wanted the sandy look Would the anemones need lot of rock areas?
<No; just the one>
No skimmer. Would I need a skimmer assuming 20% water change a month?
<Would be better; but you could get away without this IF the system were otherwise well maintained, stable>
Cheers and thanks in advance
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anemone tank setup     5/15/13

Thanks for the super fast response Bob :)
<Welcome Ran>
The problem with a BTA is that Perculas or Ocellaris would not host them :((
<Mmm, not so. In the wild perhaps; but in captivity, most all Clown species, specimens will>
What size system would you think is needed to achieve something similar to the attached picture?
<Mmm, can be done in a volume of your size when/while the Clowns are small... but not as they grow... in a few months, only a few larger ones would survive. BobF>

Anemone, sel.     7/15/12
Hello gang,
<Hi Jamie, Jordan with you today.>
 have another question for you here. I am considering adding an anemone to my existing 150 gallon FOWLR tank. Was wondering what your suggestion would be in regards to type/species. Personally I prefer the Sebae
<Malu or Crispa?>
or Long Tentacle, but wanted to get your thoughts.
<Sand dwelling species will require intense lighting that most FOWLR are lacking.>
 System is "old", setup for 12 or so years now so no existing issues with water quality. Currently have in the tank a few tangs, Harlequin Tusk and an Annularis Angel. Also a Snowflake eel. Would any of these present a problem for an anemone?
<The Angel may nip at the anemone. Eels are not great anemone tankmates.
There lack of vision and "excitability" during feedings will often result in contact between the two.>
 Also, are they any fish you would suggest "not" adding to a tank with an anemone in it?
<Butterflies, large angels, and eels.>
 Tank setup consists of 55 gallon sump/wet dry filter, protein skimmer and approximately 150 or so pounds of live rock. Lighting wise I have a Hamilton Technologies setup that houses 12, 55 watt power compact fluorescents with a 50/50 split of 6500K daylight lamps and actinic blue.
<Current lighting is not strong enough to support most host anemones and certainly not a sand dwelling species. The only host anemone that I would attempt in your system with current lighting would be an Entacmaea quadricolor, aka Bubble Tip Anemone, with clowns for protection. They are rock dwellers that can move close to the surface. Maroons clowns will readily host BTAs and will protect the anemone from the Annularis. In a perfect world, the clowns and anemone would be added first.>

Anemone for my Percs  10/10/11
<Howdy Ken>
I have a pair of Perculas that I paired up. The male is a wild caught percula and the female is a Snowflake. I wanted to get an anemone for them but I am not exactly sure what is the natural host for them.
<Mmm, posted in several places. Here on WWM:
Someone had told to that a Mertensii Carpet or a Crispa.
<Mmm, not the Mertensii...>
I think the carpet would not be a good choice unless there was one that was small (and wanted to stay small)
<Carpet spp. are not easily kept... search/read on WWM re>
I am unclear about the Crispa. Is that also a Sebae anemone?
<Yes it is...: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm
Are there other nems that work?
<... yes; please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM>
Btw, I do have a small RBTA now and they do not go in it at all. I had heard that this is not a natural host for these clownfish.
<... is not a "natural" one, but does often suffice/work>
I have had a RBTA in the past in one tank with a Maroon Clown, as well as a Sebae nem in another tank with a pair of Sebae clowns with excellent success for the nems and the fish.
<Unless this system is huge, and/or you're a big risk taker, I'd remove the Entacmaea if trying another Actinarian species. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anemone for my Percs
Hi Bob,
Thank you for your response. I will read through the links you sent.
<Please do>
Yes, the RBTA is coming out of the tank prior to getting another anemone.
<Ah good>
<And you, BobF>

anemone's... Stkg., sel.     6/16/11
I have a few questions about Anemone's. I have a new saltwater marine tank set up ( only a few days old ). I know I have to leave it for 8+ weeks to filter through etc. I have not decided what fish I want in it yet ( def Clown fish ), and am wanting to know how many Anemone's would be advised for a 65lt tank?
The tank does not have live rock in it. It does have quite a bit of none live rock in it, but does have live corral for the base approx 4inch deep.
Would having Anemone's in the tank restrict the fish I can put in?
Many thanks
Kind Regards
<Hello Simon. This is easy: zero anemones! Seriously, if this is your first aquarium, you need to concentrate on livestock with a better than 5% chance of surviving six months -- which is about the odds for the large anemones used by clownfish *in the wild*. Your farmed clownfish couldn't care less, and likely have never seen an anemone, and will be perfectly happy, and arguably safer, in a tank without a large anemone. In any even, 65 litres, about 15 US gallons, is a trivial amount of water, and completely incompatible with anemones. You may well get some small anemones popping up on your live rock -- and by all means enjoy those. You may also want to try some of the hardier polyps, like Mushroom Polyps, once you've spent a while getting the hang of water chemistry stability (I'd stick with live rock for the first 6 months, and only afterwards add hardy polyps). But do please understand large anemones have a dismal survival record in aquaria, and even experts have trouble keeping them alive for substantial periods of time. Do further understand that even those species that have the potential to do well, like Bubble Tip Anemones, are still extremely challenging animals suitable for large (very large) aquaria maintained by highly expert aquarists.
Cheers, Neale.

Anemone/Sebae/ >not< Condylactis Systems/Health 4/24/2011
<Hello Chris>
thanks in advance for answering my questions.
<You're welcome.>
I recently purchased two anemones from a pet store franchise, which was probably my first mistake.
I bought a Condy anemone and a white sebae anemone. The pet store put both of the anemones in the same bag for transport home, which I found to be strange to begin with.
<Did you not realize this was not good?>
They were both attached to the glass when I got them and the sebae was a tannish color which I have read too be a sign of good health.
<Not necessarily.>
The car ride home was about an hour in distance.
<Oh boy, stinging each other for an hour.>
Since, then they have both been drip acclimated and placed in my tank. The Condy has attached to a piece of live rock where it first landed in the tank and the white sebae has seemed pretty much lifeless floating with the current until it hits a piece of live rock and semi attaches. They have been in the tank for about 24 hours and since then the Condy has stayed attached to the live rock in which it landed on, but has been about 80% retracted basically the entire time.
<Not unusual.>
The Condy has been retracting more when anything gets around it so I know it is still alive. The sebae seemed to stay attached at the spot where it landed until this morning where I noticed it pretty much rolling over due to the current. I am more concerned about the health of the sebae because it seems to be doing the worse of the two.
<Not surprising.>
I was thinking that they might have damaged or killed one another on the way home from the pet store and was hoping you could give me some insight to this.
<Kind of late now, isn't it. Should have researched these animals and their needs before you even bought them.>
I was also hoping you may let me know if there are any improvements I can make to my aquarium setup. I have a 40 gallon breeder tank
<Too small for the Sebae Anemone.>
with 55 pounds of premium Fiji live rock, 30 pounds of live aggregate, and run 2-36 inch t5 bulbs, which consist of a10,000k bulb along with a t5 actinic 460 bulb, for my lighting.
<Not enough light for these animals, soon to die.>
I run a canister filter that is regulated for up to 100 gallons and also have a 1050 gph powerhead. My protein skimmer is rated for up to 80 gallons and seems to do a good job except for the fact that I have to adjust the air water mixture about 2 to 3 times a week for it to start producing again. My inhabitants consist of 14 margarita snails, 4 hermit crabs, a coral banded shrimp, 2 juvenile clown fish, a coral beauty dwarf angel, and a yellow tang.(and the two unhealthy looking anemones)
<Tank too small for the tang as well and in this small space your fish risk a good chance of being stung.>
My parameters are continuously at zero with the exception of my nitrates which stay at about 10 ppm. I apologize for the long winded explanation and I appreciate the service that you provide and look forward to your advice and hopefully letting you know that they both have pulled through and are flourishing.
<I suggest to see if you can return these animals, is not going to work out in your system. Do read here.
James (Salty Dog) Lake Huron Coast>
Chris Jenkins MS gulf coast

Not Condylactis sp... Trouble altogether... RMF

Possible Anemone? Invert stocking\Selection 7/14/2010
Hello Wet Web Crew,
<Hi Nick.>
I currently have a 75 gallon saltwater tank with approximately 90 pounds of live rock. In the tank is 1 yellow tang, 1 flame angel, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 chocolate clown, and 1 royal gramma. They all get along very well.
However, I was wondering if I could add corals.
To my dismay, though, I went to the fish store about a month ago and they said I could house no coral for the tang and angel would just totally devour them.
<Hmm.... the Flame Angel may nip at a few, the tang should not bother them at all. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/ >
But anyways, could an anemone be sufficient?
<Anemones are actually harder to keep than some corals. Needing near perfect water conditions and a lot of light.>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm>
My clowns are aquacultured, so I don't know how much they would go toward the anemone. I would actually really just want one to brighten up my tank.
If I can add anemones, what kind(s) could I add?
<See link above.>
And also, my tank I have had since September of 2009.

Rock Flower Anemone Questions 7/13/10
Hey James.
I searched your website, and I haven't found anything on what I'm trying to figure out. So I have a clarkii clownfish that hosts in a Condy anemone in my 10 gallon reef,
<Too small a tank for that combo.>
and in my 37 gallon I have an ocellaris clownfish pair that are very aggressive and won't let me add any fish to the tank (new fish are almost always dead the next day from the clownfish attacking them).
What I want to know is whether or not there is a chance that if I switched the clownfish whether or not I could add a rock flower anemone that the clarkii will host. The clarkii is wild caught.
<Is unlikely that your clarkii would host a rock anemone.>
I also want to know whether or not the lighting I have on the 37 gallon is enough, it's a FOWLR with 65 watts of
PC (50/50 bulb). I've read in a ton of places saying that my lighting would be fine if I kept the bulb fresh, but I've also read that it isn't enough. I'm not sure but any help would be great.
<Is not enough lighting for any of the anemone species your clarkii would host. Except for the Bubble Tipped Anemone (BTA), all will require intense lighting.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Add Anemone To Tank?/Not A Good Move In This Scenario 1/6/10
First details about my tank. It's a well established 90 gallon tank with approx 90 lbs live rock and 60 lbs live sand. I have a Bi-Colored Angel, Blue Tang, Purple Firefish, 2 mated Neon Gobies, a Coral Banded Shrimp and some type of small conch who are all doing well and have their own established territories. I'm very interested in adding a Bubble Tip Anemone and a Maroon Clown (either just one or a mated pair) to this mix. I'm also thinking of eventually putting in a sand sifting starfish. When we bought the tank we went ahead and got enough lighting to support a reef aquarium just in case we wanted to do this. My biggest concern is overcrowding and of course compatibility. I've done a ton of research and it seems like everything should be ok, but I would like to be sure. We're not planning on adding any other anemones or corals. Any suggestions/ advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I don't believe you have done enough researching. First, it's not a good idea to mix anemones with non-anemone immune fish. The risk of other fish being stung is always present. Secondly, Maroon Clownfish can grow up to 6 inches and do become aggressive fish, even more so if they take to an anemone. All other fish would be ferociously
driven away, and the outcome is not good. The Firefish and Neon Gobies are rather docile fish and would not be compatible with Maroon Clownfish with or without an anemone present. If you wish to enjoy the clownfish/anemone relationship, it is best done in a tank dedicated just for them.>
Thanks in advance!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

My Bright Yellow Anemone ? 10/31/08 Here is my yellow anemone; it is much brighter than the picture shows. The base is also yellow. <<Wowza! And even in the pic it is glowing neon yellow! This looks to be a Heteractis/Sebae Anemone? and is undoubtedly a ?dyed specimen?>> It is in a 72 gallon tank with just under 200 watts of light. My local saltwater store who I have known for yeas swears it's not dyed, <<Mmm? Looking again at the picture, one must wonder how they can ?swear? this is not a dyed specimen>> and says my lights are strong enough. <<Much more than just ?lighting? required keeping these animals (and this one with strikes against it already)>> He says the old rule of watts per gallon isn't accurate as new style bulbs and reflectors have made lighting more efficient. <<This ?rule? is indeed of little use? but for more reasons than this. Water clarity, water depth, feeding, ?quality? of the system, et al contributes here>> What do you think? <<I think you have purchased a dyed animal? and am concerned that your LFS would ?swear? otherwise>> How long would it take for color to fade if it was dyed, and how long to die if my lights are really too weak? <<You have much to worry about other than just lighting with this (any) anemone...and a need to read about/research the animals under your care. Please start reading here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coloredanemones.htm And be sure to continue here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm >> Thanks <<Happy to share. EricR>>

R2: My Bright Yellow Anemone... dyed Heteractis crispa 11/23/08 Just wanted to let you know 3 weeks later and my bright yellow anemone has faded, <<Mmm, not surprising like we discussed>> It still yellow, buy fairly pale at the tips. I'd say its lost 40% of its color. Ironically I bought a pink one just as bright the same day, and within 3 days it was pretty much all white. <<You stated previously that your LFS owner swears he knows the source of these animals and that they are not dyed. It would seem this retailer is indeed trafficking in dyed animals?>> It has been white for the last 3 weeks and has bright purple dot on the tip of each tentacle. <<Perhaps you will be lucky and it will recover>> My clowns play in both of them all day long; hopefully this will give them added stimulation. <<It is, but is only adding to the stress of these animals at this point>> Do you think this white with purple tip is now normal, or should it change to brownish? <<White anemones are NOT normal? The animal is bleached as a result of being dyed, and may or may not recover. You need to reduce the stress on these animals, provide optimum water quality and proper feeding for now, and wait>> The faded yellow has no dot on the tips and I was told they are the same species. <<By your own words you were also assured these animals were not dyed by your LFS? Tell me, who do you believe/trust now?>> Thanks again, Trevor <<Regards, EricR>>

R3: My Bright Yellow Anemone  11/23/08 Thanks again, <<Welcome again>> I guess I'm still in shock about the dyed anemone trade, <<All too common? And not limited to Anemones>> I mean my local store had 20 of these bright anemones in and they were all sold right away. <<This is sad, truly? And I must still question your store's assertion that these were not dyed animals (ignorance or deception?). There are only 2 saltwater stores in our city, and I'm sure all 20 people wont be happy that there expensive colored anemone is not really that color. <<Indeed? A shame all can't/won't make it/their feelings known to the store owner>> I know I will never buy another neon pink or yellow anemone. <<There are indeed some splendidly colored specimens? But your photograph that you submitted with your initial query showed an obviously dyed animal. Something that you too may have been able to discern, with some research beforehand>> My concern now is I can try to bring these 2 back to health, but the odds are against them surviving? <<Yes? But some do survive the dye process>> I don't want to lose my reef of 3 years, because when the anemone dies it can release toxin? <<It can, yes? You will want to keep a close eye on these Cnidarians and remove them at the first signs of deterioration>> I'm kind of at a point of no return? <<So it would seem. All you can do is provide optimal care now>> I will try and maintain good water, but at what point do I reach that dead end? <<When/if the animals die.>> Or how do I know if they're getting better? <<If they exhibit healthy behavior, and begin to reclaim Zooxanthellae (will likely turn a golden brown color if so)>> Or if it is really sick and should be removed? <<As stated, if the animal begins to deteriorate/dissolve/come apart, remove it/them immediately>> They're not turning inside out, the clowns love them, they seem very content, just the coloring is all bleached. Any idea of timeline or something specific to watch for? <<Just as already stated. In the mean time, do keep reading up on the magnificent creatures. Here's another link to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm>> Thanks again, Trevor <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Anemone Sel.  10/24/08 Hi WWM crew I am going to be starting a 4'x24"x24" with a separate filter sump, protein skimmer, live rock and T5 lighting. My wish list is as follows, could you please point out any fish that would be unsuitable for this tank or level of difficulty to keep. -Scopas Tang -Long nosed Butterfly -Royal Gramma -2 orange percula clowns -Coral Beauty I am wondering if it would be alright to keep an anemone in this tank even though it isn't a reef tank. What substrate would you recommend for this setup Thanks. Dean. <Could likely have an anemone here... I'd wait a few months to stabilize the system... Use this time to read re species, selection of a good specimen... Perhaps place it in/on an elevated spot so it will be near/er the light. Bob Fenner>

20 gallon and Anemone 8/15/08 Hey Guys, I have used your resources before, and got out of the hobby for a while due to moving. <Welcome back.> My daughter is 4 and it is time. So I set up a 20 gallon with 40lbs of sand, 30 lbs of good quality live rock. For filtration I am using the Euro Aero hang on. It is rated up to 100 gallons. Was going to go with the Remora, but I saw this one in action, and it is a beast already, and quiet. Anywho, I have a few small powerheads moving water round, and two 36 Watt PC's one blue, one white. It is the Coralife set up. So I think I am pretty set up for a small community. My question is I want to get a small Anemone with a Percula for my daughter, for obvious reasons. <Yes> I will most likely place a few small shrimp, a hermit crab, a Chromis and some other fish she likes. So I am planning 2-3 fish, some critters and a small anemone. Is it possible with that huge skimmer, that lighting and good water practices to keep an anemone? <Not really, too small of a tank and too little lighting for any anemone that will suit. Also, the small fish will not mix (not get eaten) with the anemone long term.> I am pretty good with this stuff, just never did the anemone thing. And if you had to suggest it, which anemone would you get? <None for this system, stick with just the Nemo.> I am purposely under stocking the tank for this reason. <Hmm, start reading here and related articles/FAQs re anemones: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm .> Thanks in advance. <Welcome, Scott V.>

Coral Lighting Question Coral/Anemone Stocking - 6/16/08 Hello! <Happy Monday!> Thanks for the information about my last question. I decided to get Aqualight Pro with 3X150watts MH, actinics and moonlight. Now I'm planning to put 1 anemone only for my pair of true percula. What is the best anemone for them that will not hurt my inverts (1 coral banded shrimp, 3 cleaner shrimp, 5 electric blue hermit, 8 blue hermit, 2 lion snails and 3 turbo snails. <All anemones have active cnidocysts which will sting protein-based material....corals, shrimps, etc. These creatures will most likely avoid the anemone, but you will always run some risk of injury to them. Corals are most often the victims of a roaming anemone. That said, many have good luck with the bulb-tipped anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor, or a Heteractis spp. I would recommend something in the Entacmaea family, as they are easier to care for and reproduce much more quickly on the reef- and can be purchased from another hobbyist or LFS as a captive-propagated specimen.> Also please suggest 2 hardy SPS and 4 Soft Corals that will get along with each other. <Soft corals and SPS really don't mix well, so I can't give you a list of compatibles. That said, with a tank your size you can probably get away with it. I would advise you do some research and decided what you like, whether it is suited to your aquarium and tankmates, and go from there. It's fun to choose your own stocking plan, provided it is a well-researched one.> Colorful corals will be nice and probably small to medium sizes. <Coral colors vary within species due to lighting, feeding differences.> I know that some have compatibility issues so I will leave it to the experts like you guys. :-) <If you really want to have compatible specimens, decided on either an SPS or soft tank. Although there is some allelopathy between members of these groups, you will have much greater freedom and healthier, more colorful specimens if you choose one group and then only stock its members in your aquarium.> Aquarium Info: 135 Gallons Tank 72"x18"x24" 125 lbs Live Sand 60 lbs Live Rocks 1 AquaC Remora Pro w/ Rio 1400 Protein Skimmer 2 Fluval FX5 4 Koralia #4 <You may wish to consider a larger skimmer down the road, especially if you have an anemone and corals practicing allelopathic behavior.> Thank you very much for all the help! <No problem Ray, it's a pleasure> Ray <Benjamin>

Marine Livestock, Whlse, Actinarian sel...   2-14-08 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Manie> I recently opened my retail outlet in Windhoek, Namibia and hope to specialize in marine aquatics in the future as I try to read up and gather more information in this field. I have received a copy of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by one of my clients and was very impressed, needless to say I refer to it all the time and regard it as my marine bible. I wish I have been handed this book earlier as I recently landed my first marine shipment from Sri-Lanka and would have avoided certain species you refer to as unsuitable for aquarium keeping. My threadfins, raccoons, vagabonds, Klein's are eating well, but Regal Angel, Chaetodon collare, Chaetodon melannotus, Chaetodon plebeius, Chaetodon xanthocephalus, Chaetodon falcula are all not taking various foods I tried to offer. Lesson learned. I would like to ask your opinion on the green carpet anemone ( Parasicyonis A) as I was told it should not be in an aquarium as it releases all its stinging cells into the water if hurt or damaged killing fishes, is there any truth in this as I find it somewhat exaggerated? <Mmm, need to be sure of the actual species here... Some places this genus is given as a synonym for the Bubble-tip, Entacmaea... I would NOT sell/import actual Parasicyonis species for resale> Thanks for a great book as it will surely assist in my consideration regarding future species I order. Best Regards, Manie van der Merwe <Pleased to make your acquaintance. Please do familiarize yourself with our website: WetWebMedia.com, a collective effort at providing up-to-date information and inspiration re the hobby, business and science of ornamental aquatics. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Anemone Selection, Fish Selection ? 9/29/07 <Hello, Brenda here> Just had a quick question about which readily available anemone would be the hardiest for a beginner/novice aquarist such as myself. I would like to put it into a well established (10+ month) 55 gallon. <Bubble Tip Anemone (BTA) is the hardiest, but still considered delicate.> I have 1-96w 10000k PC, and 1-96w actinic PC. The tank is 18 inches deep. <This lighting is not enough for a clown hosting anemone.> I have a decent skimmer, and a canister filter which will soon be using Chemi Pure Elite. Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are always at 0, and pH is almost always 8.3-8.4. Alkalinity 200+. Everything seems to be doing great in the tank, and I'm currently setting up another tank to house my GSPs. Also, another question, I'm looking for something decently rare, somewhat hardy, that would do well in a 20g, and is reef safe. I have seen a couple of things that would make a good addition, but I would like a mated pair of something that is pretty hard to find. <It will be tough, if not impossible to find something rare and a mated pair. Fish that breed in captivity are usually readily available. A 20 gallon tank is going to limit you more. I would check www.liveaquaria.com under ?Divers Den? and ?Collectors Corner?. Fellow crew member Mich suggests a Helfrichi, but will be tough to even find a bonded pair. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=171&N=0 > Thank you much!! <You're welcome! Good luck to you! Brenda>

Anemone & Clams in 40G Tank.   9/12/07 Hello, <Hi Jeff, Mich here.> Firstly, I would like to say thank-you for all of the great advice. <On behalf of Bob and the crew you're welcome!> It must be frustrating having all of these questions that you have to answer. <I suppose, to some, at times... but generally I don't think we'd do it, if some sort of pleasure weren't derived from it.> I currently own a 12g Deluxe Nano Cube with LR, 1 percula clown and 3 hermit crabs. I am thinking about upgrading to a new tank: ?40G Long (48"x12"x16") ?Coralife 48" Aqualight Power Compact Strip Light- 4x64Watt (lighting) ?Aquarium Pharmaceuticals RENA Cal Top Light 200W (heater) ?Aquarium Systems Visi-Jet Protein Skimmer (Skimmer) <I'm not familiar with this skimmer, but suspect there may be better options, AquaC and Euro-reef do come highly recommended.> ?Marineland Penguin 200B (Power Filter) ?(2) Pentair Aquatics Lifegard Quiet One- 800 (Powerheads) I would like to accommodate the following fish/inverts/corals: ?2 Percula Clowns ?1 Rose Bubble Tip Anemone or Green Carpet Anemone <This is quite a small system to house such a potential for disaster. Given these choices the RBT is a much better option. The green carpet is absolutely inappropriate for all but the very largest of systems.> ?1Royal Gramma ?2Firefish ?2Crocea Clams ?6 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs ?3 Cowry Snails <Many require large systems in order to provide sufficient food. Please research the species before making your purchase.> ?Pumping Xenia ?Mushrooms ?Button Polyps <The livestock list seems reasonable with the exception of the anemone. I must admit my personal bias here as I have seen them more or less wipe out entire systems and I'm generally not a big fan of people keeping them unless they are really dedicated to these creatures. Anemones tend to go for walks at the most inopportune times. The anemone could cause a catastrophe in such a tiny system.> Will my system be properly equipped for these animals? <Seems to be.> The lighting is 6.5wpg. I think this should be okay for this anemone and clam. <I would keep the clams high and close to the light.> I just want to check with you guys so I can't make any horrible mistakes. <Oh, you can always make horrible mistakes... with or without consultation! Murphy inevitably makes his rounds.> I have the skimmer and the power filter. <OK.> I am hoping this will be sufficient. <Worth a try if you have it, if its not cutting it, then upgrade.> Thanks in advance for the help, Jeff <Welcome! Mich>

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

Nano Tank Critique - 6/25/07 Hello- <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Thank you for providing all the help and (seemingly) endless supply of knowledge in regard to saltwater aquariums. I read about 1-2 hours (or more) per night of your site, and feel l will never be able to read everything. This is truly an addictive, and enjoyable hobby. <I agree on both points!> My tank is as follows: -20gal high Nano tank -Aquaclear 30 filter -standard florescent lighting -Fission Nano Skimmer -Maxi Jet 600 powerhead -1inch very fine (sugar) grade sand bed -about 7 lbs live rock with a ton of surface area (all small pieces) and also ornamental rock. I plan on adding about 1 lb live rock per week until I hit about 15 lbs -ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, all zero -ph is 8.3 -SG is 1.025 <Sounds good so far!> For fish - I have 2 small (1 inch) false Percula Clowns 1 Bicolor Blenny (2 inches) 1 Firefish (2 inches) -all are doing well and eating well. <Good to hear...> I also have a Scarlet Hermit Crab and 2 snails (about 1/2 in shells, +/-)The only live animals I plan on adding are some more inverts - more for the 'workload' than appearance (any suggestions??) and about 6 months or so down the line, a small, hardy anemone. <Oh...Well- I have to give my two cents on the anemone. Really, I'd avoid an anemone in any small system. My rational is twofold: First, water quality and environmental stability are so important to anemones, and the challenges of keeping such stability in a small volume of water are many. Second, you really need high intensity lighting (i.e.; metal halides) for overall anemone health, and such lighting can potentially overheat a small system.> Questions: Is there anything about the setup that is jumping out at you saying "what are you thinking?!" <The anemone is the only thing that really stands out as a potential problem.> -Is the bioload too much for this system? <No, but I would not add any more fishes.> -how do you feel about dry foods such as plankton/krill/etc. I normally feed frozen. <I'm a big fan of frozen foods myself. I rarely, if ever feed dry foods. Nothing bad about most dried foods-I just like the "control" I get from thawing, cleaning and feeding frozen foods.> -My skimmer has only been up and running for about 12 hours... How long should it take to start collecting the skimmate (I have been reading, but there's not a whole lot about Fission skimmers on the site)... That I could find. <Give it a day or so. If you're not getting skimmate, further adjustment may be necessary to get production.> Thank you very much for the help! Eric <My pleasure, Eric. Sounds like you're on the right track! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Nano Tank Critique (Pt2) - 06/27/07 Thank you for the quick response about my Nano, and after some reading, I agree with you about the anemone.. <I'm glad that you did. In reality, anemones just don't do well in the long-term in most cases. The vast majority expire in mere months; others may hang on for a year or two and then die "mysteriously". Their husbandry requirements are still not completely understood, and they simply should not be attempted in anything less than a fully dedicated system, IMO.> Will 'fake' anemones work to 'host' the clowns? I know that's a wide statement with variables, but "generally speaking?"... <Hmm.. Hard to say. The bottom line is that most of the Anemonefishes that are offered for sale are captive bred; many have never even seen an anemone, let alone lived among one. They might instinctively go to a real or fake one, but it's really a dice roll!> I actually have an idea/suggestion about Fission Nano Skimmers... I was reading a lot about protein skimmers and I think I found something that will work a LOT better for this particular model. I read that in order to get the best production out of a skimmer, the intake needs to be near the top inch or so of water, where most of the proteins collect (correct phrasing?.. I think you know what I mean)... If you set up the Fission exactly how it recommends, it puts the intake at about 6-8 inches below the surface. To fix that-- (carefully, the plastic seems a bit fragile... haven't had any problems yet...) It's a bit hard to explain w/ words, but essentially if you utilize the 2 elbow joints that are included and rotate the pump location so that the pump and skimmer section are side by side and the intake is on the top side of the pump, it puts the intake within an inch of the top surface. After a bit of adjustment I saw much improved production and it's really pulling out some gross stuff.. <Excellent! Thanks for sharing! You are right on about surface-active proteins..> Just thought I'd throw that out there. Thanks again for the fantastic site and quick responses. Eric <And thank YOU, Eric, for sharing your idea...That's what WWM is all about! Regards, Scott F.>

Heteractis Crispa Anemone... sel., comp., sys. Hi crew, <Francis-?ienne> I've read a lot of information on your site about the Sebae anemone, Heteractis Crispa and I was considering buying one by the end of this summer. Before I do so, I wanted to ask you some questions. <Please do> I have a 110g aquarium. 4 foot long and 30 inches high. I started this tank in November 2005. I have 150 lbs of live rock and a DSB made of aragonite on the bottom. I keep several types of corals (mostly soft corals) but some LPS and a Montipora. I do have a pretty high bioload (fish) but I have really good water quality and I never had any problems with it. For the fish, I have a pair of true percula clowns that could host the anemone. For the flow, I have 4 powerheads (each of them is safe for the anemone; they are well protected). They are Hagen powerheads. I know these aren't really great but they've done a good for me since now. <Actually, their powerheads are one of Hagen's best product lines IMO> I'll change for better powerheads in the future :) . For the light issue, I have Geissmann MH lighting. I have two 150 watts bulbs + two 54 watts actinics. The MH are placed at about 8 inches from the surface of the water. I have a Deltec skimmer: mc 500. I don't have a sump. I wanted to know: Do you think my lighting is sufficient for long term survival of Heteractis Crispa? <Mmm, yes... IF the specimen can be placed more or less directly under one of the MHs> Does this anemone usually sits on the sand? Could it be on the rocks? <Is found buried in sediment... not likely to be happy on rock...> I was planning to place it in the upper part of the tank. On a rock where there would be some indirect flow toward the anemone. If it only sits on the sand than would it be ok even if the tank is 30 inches high ( btw, I'm keeping a healthy Crocea clam on the bottom since one year) ? <Mmm, this animal will find its own spot in time...> I was wondering about the comparison between H. magnifica and H. crispa. Do these anemones require the same amount of light? <No... the Magnificent requires much more> Which of them fares best in captivity? <The Sebae by far> Is there a major difference between H. magnifica and H. crispa? <Huge differences... see WWM re... the former is the second largest anemone (after Stichodactyla mertensii) used in the trade and by Amphiprionines... up to a meter across...> Is the survivability rate of Sebae anemone much higher of the one of the Magnificent sea anemone? Just wondering... <Again, yes. The only superior aquarium species IMO is the Bubbletip/Entacmaea... see WWM re...> I also wanted to tell you about this: I have in my tank 3 little ( half an inch; really little) bleached bubble anemone. Could there be a chemical war between the H. crispa and the little bubble anemones? <Mmm, possibly, yes... though in a system of this size, age... I give you good odds...> The anemones bleached a month ago when I was not at home... Thanks for reading me, Have a good day Francis-?ienne <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Mann's / Hawaiian Maroon Anemone - 06/11/07 I'm looking for some information (light, feeding, flow etc.) requirements on the Mann's or Hawaiian Maroon anemone (seems to be different than a maroon anemone). <Mmm: Cladactella manni (Verrill, 1899)...> These are one of the only Anemones found here in Hawaii <And rare there... I have never encountered one... having dived the islands hundreds of times.> and I would like to keep one. The LFS that sells them says that they need turbulent water flow, but not intense lighting. Not too much info. out there, can you help? Thanks in advance, your site is a blessing to the hobby. Gary <I am also "in the dark" re this species care... From what little I see on the Net, this species is not easily kept... Please read this one favored account: http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/invertebrateincare/l/blpickhianemone.htm And do write back with your experiences re this Actiniid. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mann's / Hawaiian Maroon Anemone   ? 06/19/07 Well unfortunately this anemone has died! Much like the about.com article mine just slowly shriveled up and began to disintegrate. <Mmmm, yes> He slowly started turning soft & his tentacles began to lose their "stickiness". He moved around initially but quickly settled into a spot that he seemed to like. I tried to target feed him some brine after several days of acclimation, but the ones that stuck to his tentacles weren't brought to his mouth and were quickly nabbed by other inhabitants. System details: I have a 55 gallon system with a live DSB of about 5" and approx. 50.lbs of Molokai Live Rock (www.Hawaiiliverock.com). <Neat!> Water quality was excellent with no detectable ammonia, nitrites and/or nitrates. Water flow/filtration is provided by 2 Magnum 350's in each rear corner (only 1 of which is used for carbon, the other is strictly for flow with no media), a larger CA1000 powerhead and an AquaC Remora skimmer. I concur with the about.com article in saying that this particular anemone is probably not suitable for the aquarium (or if it is, its specific needs have yet to be identified). <We are in agreement here. BTW, likely your message prompted my writing pc.s on the large anemone species used in the trade/hobby... Did Heteractis crispa... Am onto Entacmaea...> The anemone is collected near over by the Blowhole in the intertidal zone where it receives a lot of turbulent water flow and highly oxygenated water that would be difficult at best to reproduce in the aquarium (I have never seen them while diving either, even at Lanai lookout or the Blowhole dive sites). The funny thing was the anemone's color never really changed and it was pretty difficult to tell that it wasn't doing well, but slowly open wounds began to appear and some of my cleaner crew began trying to feed on these wounds. I am hoping that my experience combined with the experience documented on about.com will discourage the future purchase and collection of this anemone. Thanks for all that you do for our hobby! Many Mahalos. Gary <Thank you my friend. A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner>

BTA in Nano Tank?   4/11/07 Hello crew <Hi.> Tyler Kohring  today <Adam Jackson on this end.> I have a 24 gal. reef tank which has had is ups and downs. <Nanos tend to do that...fickle creatures they are.> Now it is finally back to normal. <Good.> Anyway I  wanted clownfish for a while, but I didn't like the normal Perculas so I decided to get two black Australian Perculas. * very cool fish * <Especially the tank-reared versions.> I have not had them long but they are doing good, one is slightly larger. <Normal.> they seem to have paired up and I want to give them a anemone. I had a bubble tip anemone on mind. Do you think this is a good choice if not can you suggest one? <Well first I think it is important to mention that clowns in captivity do not need anemones in any sort of way to be happy. In fact most people who breed the animals on a large scale do not use anemones...in fact I don't know one commercial breeder who uses them. If you do get an anemone it is strictly for your enjoyment...the clowns don't care.  Anemones is general are not easy to maintain in captive aquaria, most don't live a year in captivity. Out of all of the choices, E. quadricolor, the BTA is probably the best choice, but that's not to say they are easy by any means.  If you do get one, your best bet is to go for a captive reared specimen.  I'll end by saying I do not personally recommend it. I do not like to see anemones placed in Nano aquaria, as you've mentioned they have their ups and downs and anemones appreciate very stable environments with low nutrient levels. Be sure to so all your research and read the articles/FAQ's placed on WWM.> Tank is four months old tank mates: bicolor blenny, Australian Perculas, fire fish, Rainford's goby, and six line wrasse. <Tank is a bit overstocked for my liking...being a Nano and all.> Thanks for the help, <Anytime.> Tyler Kohring     <Adam Jackson.>

Anemones and Lighting  - 3/12/07 Hello, <Hello, Brandon here.> Can you tell me if this bulb (follow link) would be good to use for anemones, Sebae or Rose and which anemone would be better to keep.   <Firstly, no this bulb will not be even remotely adequate.  Anemones need much more light.  I would suggest reading up on lighting and different types of lighting here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm  Of the two anemones that you have listed, I would say that the E. quadricolor is the better selection, this is more of a ?beginner? anemone.  I still would suggest much more research on your part before you select an anemone for purchase.  Here is a good place to start, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm > Also can you mix tomato clowns with other clowns, I've heard they are some what aggressive and territorial. <As a general rule of thumb you cannot mix clown fish.  They tend to get very territorial, and this can lead to deaths.  There was a point in time that I had no choice but to keep four Premnas biaculeatus together in a 75 gallon tank.  This did not go very well.  It is possible to keep juveniles together as long as they are juveniles.  It would be extremely helpful to know what size volume of water we are talking about housing your prospective purchases in.> http://cgi.ebay.com/24-in-REEF-SUN-ZOO-MED-AQUARIUM-LIGHT-50-50-close-out_W0QQitemZ220089033820QQcategoryZ46314QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting Thanks, <You are welcome.  Brandon.> Josh Re: Keep away from all Anemones or just BTA's?  All Can Go on "Field Trips"   3/4/07 Hi Jason.   <Nope, it's Mich, Jason wrote the original question, and I answered the question.  Anyway, a big hello to you Pam.> I was reading your reply to someone (below).   <That would be Jason.> Should you keep away from ALL Anemones, or just all BTA's ? <All can go on "field trips"> Would a Rose Anemone or Maroon Anemone be any less likely to roam the tank and cause a possible disaster?  (I heard the same thing about an anemone attaching to an overflow causing a flood by someone else too).   <I'm not aware of any differences between species, but all are capable.> I wanted to get an anemone and a pair of Clowns, hoping that they would pair up, and the BTAs, Rose and Maroon Anemones are recommended for beginners. <Are beautiful, and wonderful to watch, but can have disastrous consequences.> Thanks. Pam <Welcome!  Mich>

Sleeping beauty... Clownfish beh.    3/4/07 <Greetings, Mich here.> My false clown fish is always sleeping in the corner of my tank. <Hmm.> What is up with this fish?   <I don't know.  Not much info to work with here.> I have live rock and numerous cool decorations.   <Decorations?!?  Are they reef safe decorations?> Is it necessary to have anemones or corals? <No and I would encourage you to avoid.> I don't have one currently. <Good!  Don't get one!  Check today's daily FAQ's and you can read my opinion.  I would encourage you to buy a book that I think will be quite helpful to you.  It's called the "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner.  Sounds like you're relatively new to the hobby and even if you aren't, this book belongs on the shelf of every saltwater hobbyist in my opinion.  -Mich>

Anemone, ID, sel.  2/27/07 Dear James <Akila>   Thanks again for your valuable info. <You're welcome.> Attached here is a picture of an anemone that is there in the LFS. I am not that experienced with anemone. If possible please let me know what is anemone is and whether it's a good first anemone addition to my 80G tank. I have 2 Clarkii Clowns, 1 Lunar Wrasse and 2 Blue Damsels. <In my opinion,  a good first anemone would be a Bubble Tip.   The anemone in your photo appears to be a Heteractis specie (Sebae Anemone), a much more difficult to keep anemone than the Bubble Tip.  Heteractis anemones require much more light than Bubble Tips.  Do read here and related links above for the information you seek.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm> Hope you hear from you soon. Akila

First Anemone, what kind should I get? ? 2/14/07 Hi Guys. <Hi Jason, Brenda here> I love the site, it's very helpful. <Thank you Jason, I'm happy to hear you find it helpful.> I have a 40 gallon tank with a pair of true percula clowns, a yasha hase Shrimp goby and partner pistol shrimp, and an orchid Dottyback. I would like to add an anemone for the clowns but I'm not to sure which kind. I'm interested in a BTA, possibly a rose one, because I've read they are the hardiest. I am also fairly certain that my tank (36 x 12 x 20) is too small for a Sebae, Ritteri, or carpet anemones. <I agree.> What do you think would be best for my situation? <Bubble Tip anemones are the hardiest of the clownfish hosting anemones.  However, they are still considered difficult to keep, and are delicate creatures.  With an established aquarium, stable environment, proper equipment and proper knowledge of their requirements they will do well in a 40 gallon.  Once you can provide for one, a Bubble Tip Anemone is a good choice for a first anemone.  More information is available here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/btaselfaqs.htm > Thanks, Jason P. <Your welcome!  Brenda>

Anemones 10/5/06 Hello <Hi> First me and my fish thank you as you have been a great help. I've read almost everything you have on anemones (I know you don't recommend them)  but I would really like one for my false Perculas even though they aren't necessary. Here are my specs 30 Gallon 36" Power Compact Coralife brand new 30 Lbs live rock 2 False Perculas 1" 1 Flame angel (2") He will be going back due to concerns of overstocking but I want to wait at least 3 months before I move him I like him and do not want him to die from moving too soon I've had him for 2 weeks. 1 green Chromis <1" Prism Protein skimmer 75 gph Aqualife powerhead 330 Power Filter Bubble coral, Open Brain, Frogspawn, Fungia plate,  various polyps, xenias, mushrooms, something that looks like a bright green pickle (that is the scientific name right?) <Works for me.> 2 fire shrimp 1 skunk cleaner 1 peppermint shrimp I've learned through your website I am going to have chemical warfare issues and plan on a bigger tank 75 or 90 next year with a 30 gallon refugium. <Would still be a problem.>  What would be the hardiest anemone that I could get and that has a chance that the clownfish would host with? <None with corals, all will either have problems or cause them.> Should I just forget the anemone? <I would.> I really want one but I do not want to kill one needlessly and will defer to your expertise. <Premature death would be the most likely outcome.>    I do regular 5 gallon water changes every week with salt water from a very, very reputable LFS. <Good>  They, by the way, will not sell me one as they say my tank is too small. <True>  They refuse to sell me certain fish, like the flame angel (bought from a different store) which is why I respect them, but I really want one. <Listen to them, sounds like you have a good store there, lucky.> They will sell me one based on your answer.   <Sorry, I side with them.  Not a good idea> Thanks Paul <Chris>

Hello, I have a 26g bowfront tank that I wish to set up as an anemone/clown system. - 09/22/06 For lighting I have a 130w orbit pc fixture. For water movement I will be using an AquaClear 110 power filter and a MaxiJet 600 powerhead. I also have 30lbs of CaribSea Aragamax sand. I will be using about 26lbs of premium Fiji LR as well. I have a 24g reef and it has been running great for 6 months, and I have had reefs in the past, so I wanted to do something new. I'm pretty sure the only anemone I would be able to keep would be a BTA, but if possible I would like to try and LTA because I really wanted to do a pair of Orange Skunk clowns. if not, I will more than likely do the BTA with a single maroon clown. My question are, will I be able to keep an LTA under my lighting, and would any other anemones be possible? someone said I could try a carpet as well? if so how often and what should I feed it? There will be no corals in this tank, just the anemone. also, would I be able to do a few of those colorful rock/flower anemones( Epicystis crucifer) in there as well? if I happen to do the BTA, would I be able to do a pair of gold stripe maroons or would I just have to do a single? I know they get big. <<Jordan:  I have a LTA in about 5" of sand under 400W MH SE lighting.  The anemone seems to be thriving and is about 18 inches in diameter.  LTA's need a sand bed several inches deep in order to bury their foot.  Since you have never kept an anemone, I suggest looking for a clone of the Bubble Tip Anemone.  They are much easier to keep, can live under less powerful lighting, and because they are clones, they weren't pulled out of the ocean.  Most species of clowns will easily host in them.  I had a pink skunk clown that hosted in my BTA (until he found a way to jump out of the tank).  Best of luck, Roy>     JB

Anemone Stocking 9/21/06 Hi Wet Web Crew! <Hello Chris>      Tank Param:        Temp - 79-81   S.G. ? 1.024   Ammonia/Nitrite ? 0   Nitrate - <10   Calcium ? 300 (changed calcium supplements to get up to around 400)   Alk ? 10.3   PO4 - <.2 mg/l   Lighting ? 440 watt VHO   Supplements ? Inland Seas trace element (Iodine, Strontium/Moly)   Chemical Filtration ? Run carbon continuously (about 2 cups changed out monthly at water change).  Just purchased 100 ml of Purigen to use in place of carbon <Might want to try Chemi-Pure the next time around.  I like this product more than any other chemical filtrant.>   Water changes occur monthly with about 35 gallons changed   Inhabitants ? various LPS and soft corals (Fiji leather, finger leather, Rhodactis, Ricordea, Discosoma)   I currently have 3 anemones in my 75 gallon (2 flowers and one Long Tentacle Anemone).  The flowers are about 4-5? in diameter and very healthy and colored.  My long tentacle (about 4?) was purchased bleached and is just now showing signs of regaining the zooxanthellae after being in my system for about 5 months (it was sold to me as a green long tentacle not a bleached one :-( ).  With that being said, I would also like to add one more anemone to my system (I guess I'm a glutton for punishment but I love these guys).  I've been thinking about a bubble tip or possibly a Sebae.  I've read about the difficulties in obtaining healthy H. crispa and H. malu specimens <These anemones are difficult to keep.> so I'm leaning more towards the bubble tip. <One of the easier, though no anemone is easy to keep.> Now on to the question!!   I've heard that anemones in general are pretty bad about allelopathy but does that only occur when the anemone touches another animal or do they simply secrete chemicals into the water to stake their claim to a particular area? <Allelopathy is generally produced by stinging.  Keep in mind, that in nature, anemones are rarely found mixed with corals.> If they secrete these toxins into the water I assume that the only method of exporting is through skimming, chemical filtration, and or water changes. <Chemical filtrants and dilution of the chemical by water changes are the best methods.> If the toxins are secreted by contact I assume that as long as you have enough room for all, <In smaller tanks, such as yours, it is better to just keep one anemone.  Multiple anemones can be kept in very large systems, but in doing so, would recommend keeping anemones of the same specie.> then everything will be fine as long as the other needs of the animal are met.  Is there a good rule out there as far as how many anemones a system can sustain or is it a rule of if you have enough room and the other conditions (light, current, etc.) are met? go for it? <Chris, I'm not for keeping anemones with corals.  Enough allelopathy goes on with just corals.  Anemones will move from time to time, and during this process, they are bound to zap a few corals or other anemones.  Another potential problem...if you are using powerheads with unprotected intakes, anemones generally will wind up there.  This happens when you are sleeping, or when at work...all part of Murphy's Law.  Anyway, when that happens, the tank can/will become polluted very quickly, killing most, if not all livestock. If it were me, I'd leave well enough alone, even consider finding a home for the LTA.  Anemones do best is larger systems, 220 gallons and up, and, even with the best care/conditions, rarely live longer than a year in the home aquarium.   Do read here and linked files above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  Also read our article(s)/FAQ's on allelopathy.> Thanks for all the help! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>     Chris

NanoCube and Anemone   7/17/06 Hi, Darius Boscarino here. <Hi Darius> First time writer, long time reader. I recently bought my son a 12 gal dx Nano cube. He wants a "Nemo" thanks to that one movie I try to forget about. I'll be doing all the maintenance, but with a clownfish I would like an anemone. I've never done anything with anemones before, but I have read endlessly on your great site about caring for them. So, my questions are, Are any anemones small enough to stay put in a 12 gal that will host an anemone? And, Can too much light be a problem? On nanotuners.com there are custom canopy upgrades that I want to purchase for the tank. Now there are 2 24 watt PCs. They have canopies with 3 24 watt lights and also one with 4. I want the one with 4 to be absolutely sure there is plenty of light. That will be 96 watts for 12 gallons and the tank is only about 12" deep. Which brings me to my next questions. Which canopy would be suitable? And then what mixture of lighting would be best for the health of the anemone and zooxanthellae? Btw, there will be one clownfish, probably a true or false percula, an anemone, and inverts. Also, the stock pump in the Nanocubes is weak, so I upgraded from the 106 gph pump to a 230 gph with a y shaped powerhead for better current adjustment. Your help will be greatly appreciated. <Either of those clownfish would do very well substituting any of the soft finger type leathers for an anemone?.. like a colt coral perhaps.  IMO an anemone would not be suitable for a 12g tank. Just a suggestion? if you are not considering any other fish,  a pair of either one of those clownfish might be more interesting than a single fish.  I would go with the 2 24w pc.s that gives you 4 w/g which would be fine for most of what would be appropriate in that size tank. If you over do the lighting you risk over heating the tank as well as problems with nuisance algae.> Thank you. Your friend, Darius. <Your most welcome, Leslie>

Some Improper Livestock Selection for a 30 Gallon Reef - 06/29/06 Hey there guys & gals, Just had some questions on stocking. <<Okey dokey>> I sent an email previously but it might have been to the wrong address, email problems, etc. <<Mmm, maybe so.  We do strive to answer EVERY query we receive>> Anyways, I was planning on setting up a 30 gallon reef tank in the near future.  This would be my first saltwater tank, so I don't want to screw it up. <<Ah, much adventure...and reading/researching ahead>> I am getting a 150 watt 20000k halide, as well as 2 65 watt actinic blue compact fluorescents (not 03 blue - is this ok?). <<Depends...what animals do you plan to keep/niche to replicate?  Best to decide what you want to keep/what environment to create, then buy the lighting to suit>> I will be ordering ~50 lbs live rock (Fiji) and probably some corals (will there be any shipping problems with these?) like bubble, moon, polyps, etc. <<Some ship better than others...some "shippers" are better than others.  Visit the reef forums (Reef Central, Reefs.org, etc.) and query the members re reliable online sources>> My question is, could I get an anemone in this tank, or is it too small of a volume? <<Would depend on the anemone, and if kept as a "specimen display" only.  But I must express...anemones are not for beginners...please do reconsider>> I was thinking a Sebae, but could go with bubble-tip, or other, by your suggestion. <<My suggestion is that you wait my friend...until such time as you have amassed the experience needed, and can provide the environment necessary, to keep these amazing and virtually immortal creatures alive and healthy>> I want for my livestock two Perculas, two Banggai cardinals, a cleaner shrimp, cleaner wrasse, ~20 hermits, and possibly a goby, but probably not.  Is this appropriate? <<Mmm, a few things to mention here...the clownfish will likely "take over" this size tank, making keeping more docile species of fishes difficult...the Banggai Cardinal might be able to hold its own against the clowns but unless you get a mated pair you will be better off only getting one as they are fairly intolerant of conspecifics, which is exacerbated in a small system such as this...the cleaner wrasse will starve to death as they are for the most part obligate feeders of the parasites they pick from the fishes.   You don't have enough fish (not even close, so don't even think about it <grin>) to sustain this creature, and more than the wrasse may suffer as it "pesters" the other fish frantically looking for food as it starves.  Better to acquire a cleaner goby (Genus Gobiosoma) as they are more hardy/will take prepared foods.  Be sure to thoroughly research any/all animals you choose BEFORE you purchase>> If it is overstocked, I can go without the wrasse. <<Pass on this fish...regardless>> Also, is it possible to "over-skim"? <<Would be very difficult to achieve in my opinion...very little concern re>> I wanted a skimmer rated for 120 gallons, but can go for one rated at 65 gallons if it is more appropriate. <<I think either is probably fine, but unless you're planning for an upgrade I would get the smaller skimmer for reasons of price/space/energy consumption>> Thanks! Eddy <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

Re:  Livestock Selection for a 30 Gallon Reef - 06/29/06 OK, thanks. <<Welcome>> I guess I'll go with the two Perculas and probably a goby or blenny or something.  One last question: how the heck do I get metal halide retrofits to go onto my tank? <<"Retrofits" are intended for attachment to/modification of an existing hood/fixture.  I expect you'll have to "DIY" a hood/fixture for your 30 gallon tank to utilize the retrofit and keep the MH lamps at a suitable distance above the water>> I'll skip the anemone and cardinals.  By the way, I do have plenty of experience with FW. <<I don't doubt you, and the experience will serve you well...but still...much to learn re SW systems>> Thanks again! <<Always welcome Eddy.  Regards, EricR>> Ritteri do I have it in me?   6/3/06 Good Afternoon, .....excellent site, you guys ( girls included, no offense) rule.  I have a 50 gal aquarium that I have ran for many years as an exclusive anemone tank (no other creature but anemones.. not even clowns), and I just moved and I am starting it up again.  I have kept just about every type of anemone (Bubble, Sebae, LTA, Carpet...for only a month though, quarantine situation for a friend), but the one that I have never kept was a Ritteri (the one that I always wanted to).  I have a ton of experience with all types of anemones with everything that could go wrong to everything that goes perfectly.  So I am not questioning my abilities or knowledge, just my lighting.  I have (2) 175w MH....1 6500k and the other I think is a 10k or 12k, and (2) 65w actinics.  I have learned through the years (and this lesson was costly) that if you have doubt, it best not to try, so I am asking the experts (yes you).  And I know that even after my tank cycles again it will be at least 6 months before I can put one in.  If you don't think I have the lighting for a Ritteri, what about a carpet long for the term? Thanks, Michael <<Michael:  Many experts consider the Ritteri not only difficult to keep; but, due to their life spans/infrequent reproduction they should not even be pulled out of the ocean.  It would be a shame to get one and then lose it.  Some people also think that clownfish are good for the well being of the anemones.  As for me, I have RTBA, GTBA, LTA and a Condy under 400W MH lighting.  I also have a RTBA, Condy and Green Carpet under VHO lighting.  I feed the anemones every few days and they seem to be doing well.  All the anemones came with tanks I bought.  If it were me, I would stick with a clone of a RTBA or GTBA.  That way, you're not experimenting on a critter that just got pulled out of the ocean.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Anemone lighting... other Cnid. choices - 04/16/06 Dear Bob (or whoever else might receive this FAQ), <Jodie here on this beautiful afternoon> My tank has been fully cycled (for the 2nd time) for about three weeks.  It is 40 gallons and the current inhabitants include a yellow tang, goby, and domino clownfish/damsel. <This is a domino damsel (not clown) who, I hope you understand, will likely grow up to be a holy terror.> I upgraded my lighting to 175 watt power compacts with built in fans by JBJ. I want to add photosynthetic inverts such as corals or an anemone. <I cannot/will not recommend an anemone to you with this lighting.> In your opinion, which species of coral or anemone would you recommend for my relatively immature system? <No anemones, as they require stable systems and very intense lighting.  Some good beginner softies would be 'Shrooms ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm) or the ever-popular Zoanthids ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm).  Both of these are pretty hardy, come in a variety of colors and sizes, and would give you some good (and needed) experience before moving on to more advanced-needs corals.> Thank you in advance. <And thank you for letting me flex my spell-checking muscles.  Cheerio,  Jodie> J. Ferrante Re: Anemone lighting... other Cnid. choices - 04/16/06 Thank you Jodie and just two more brief questions): Isn't that enough light that I have- according to my calculations, that's almost 5 watts per gallon? (well-- almost). To be exact - 4. 44444.  Really, that isn't enough for an anemone? <This is a matter of personal opinion/experience for me.  I was advised that 3-5 watts per gallon was needed, and yet both BTA and Condy failed to thrive.  Added MH and voila!  Happy anemone.  You could try it, but be prepared in case of a similar scenario.  You didn't mention the depth of your tank -- and yes, this can make a difference.> Well thanks for making me aware of that then. I guess you need halides for them. <Again, some may not but in my experience I would recommend it wholeheartedly.> And another thing- I read the pages you directed me to and is it ok to keep polyps in high nitrate levels ( about 35 ppm). How can I get them down if not? <Discussed at length on WWM.  Read re: nitrates at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm > Thanks again in advance, JF <John, if you want anemones then you should experiment with some hardy soft corals first, learn how to get/keep your nitrates down, and read-read-read.  Be aware that they have a tendency to wander, stinging things along the way, and sometimes getting sucked into powerheads (yes, killing everything in the tank).  They are beautiful and interesting, but also a huge commitment.  Cheers,  Jodie> (ahha - used spell check this time-- sorry) <Much appreciated!  jb> Anemone selection  2/18/06 Hello from Southern IL, I am currently running a 6' 125 gal marine tank, with a pair of Penguin 330's, an 8 watt UV, and a Sea Clone 150, and a pair of 36" Coralife 10,000k bulbs.  It currently houses 3 Pajama Cardinals, a Powder Blue Surgeon, a Foxface Lo, a Domino Damsel, an Ocellaris Clown, a Tomato Clown, 2 Red Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, a Pin cushion Urchin, and assorted snails and hermit crabs.  All livestock are in good health, and water parameters are acceptable save a fluctuating Nitrate level.  With that information, what anemones might be acceptable in this tank?  Also, the Ocellaris is rather territorial.  Will that be a problem in introducing an anemone?  <Jacob, your light intensity is much too low for keeping anemones.  Do search "anemones" on WWM and learn what the requirements are for keeping them.> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> -Jacob

Anemone Help   2/2/06 Hi Bob, <Hi Michele, James here today.> My name is Michele Laurita. I was wondering if you could possibly help me. I have a very small reef tank 25 gallons. I have in it a yellow tang, clown wrasse, a tomato clown,
<Problems coming up, tank much too small for these fish.>
several small hermit  cleaner crabs, 2 banded shrimp, and many other corals and live rock. The tank has been established for over 1 year. It seems every anemone I purchase dies due to the same cause.  It appears that they get I guess for lack of a better term "ulcers" open wounds that appear white fleshy openings on the stalk and interior of the anemone. Why is this occurring? I have already lost 1 anemone and I really love the one I have now yet it has these symptoms as well. Can you guild me to what I may be doing wrong. I certainty would appreciate any guidance you could provide. I read your web site and feel as though you would be able to help , Thank you Michele. <Michele, first off, anemones are not easy to keep to begin with.  A large tank, pristine water quality, good water movement and intense lighting are all required to keep them alive for any length of time.  The fish you have in your tank are creating poor water quality in the amount of waste they produce.  The other problem is that water parameters in a small tank can shift too fast, another negative for keeping anemones.  You will just be wasting your money buying anemones until you can provide the requirements/needs for them. James (Salty Dog)>   

Keeping Anemones-Up For The Challenge?   2/2/06 Hi crew! <Hi there! Scott F. at your service today!> I would like to thank you for your advice because it really help me a lot. <Glad we can help!> I have a FOWLR tank and now I would like to add some Invertebrates , like snail, crabs, shrimps, etc. as well one LTA, I always put my fishes to QT before I put them on my display tank to prevent diseases. <Music to my ears!> I'd like to know if I have to Quarantine what I'm going to Get, and if I do, for how long? And what do I need to look to know if there is a disease. <Okay. Here a re links to a couple of articles I wrote on the topic a couple of years back, which should give you a good general idea of the process:    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm        
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm > Can I keep a LTA and 1 Purple Tube Anemone* *on a 55g with Coralife 48" Lunar Aqualight 4x65 260 Watts, a wet dry 75pro and about 50 pounds of live rock and 1 Ocellaris Clownfish, 1 Bluefin Damsel, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby, 1 large Engineer Goby and 1 Green Brittle Star. I appreciate your response an advance. Thank you Sincerely K4Z3KY <Well, K- I'm a bit hesitant to recommend the LTA for a system illuminated by anything less than metal halides, as these lights will generally assure that you're providing the proper intensity and spectrum (if you choose the light bulb), removing at least one of the major hurdles in anemone husbandry (lighting). Also, I would not keep multiple anemones in this sized aquarium, as they may engage in a form of "chemical warfare" that could stress and/or kill both specimens. You'll still have the challenge of maintaining high water quality, providing good food, and enough space for the animals. My candid advice would be to try some less expensive, more abundant, and typically easier-to-keep Condylactis anemones. Though not as "sexy" as the LTA or Tube Anemones, these Caribbean anemones are colorful and interesting, and have the added bonus of living a very long time in aquaria. You still will have to provide excellent environmental conditions, but if you're up to the challenge, they are great to work with. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Anemones - 12/30/2005 Hi <Hello.> I was wondering if there are any anemone that would be easy for me to keep. <Nope.> I have had my tank for about 1 year and I have a percula clownfish (that I have had from day 1), and I want an anemone that my fish will enjoy living in. <If that's the case, you'll have to do the "footwork" to make it happen. Begin with research, here and elsewhere, on anemone requirements, care, Etc. Neither easy nor casual.> All of my water parameters are like they should be, but I have  heard a lot of this about keeping anemones, some good and some bad, I would be thankful for any information that you could give me. <The "good" stems from proper research, the "bad" stems from whimsical purchasing. Save your money for now, likely to end badly for you. - Josh>

Anemones, not a casual decision  12/26/05 I just had a quick question. I want to put an anemone (mainly a bubble tip anemone) and was wondering if it's ok to put in my tank. I have a blue tang, tomato clown, some Chromis and flame angel with a bunch of shrimp (cleaner, blood and peppermint) and snails. What anemone would work with my setup? <Well I'll start off by saying anemones are not for casual aquarists and are quite sensitive, the lot of them perish in captivity. Before I can even begin to recommend or advise placing an anemone in your tank I will need to know much more about your system, filtration, lighting, water flow, substrate, water parameters, protein skimmer, maintenance regime, tank size and tank age. Also research this animal for your self at WWM re: E. Quadricolor. Adam J.>
Re: Anemone Decision
Thank you for the quick response. <Sorry this one was not as quick.> Well I have a 75 gallon with a 48"Aqualight Power Compact with 2 65 watt 10,000k and 2 65 watt actinic bulbs. For filtration I have a SeaLife systems wet dry with a SeaLife protein skimmer. Water movement is done by my mag1800 (1800 gph) and the substrate is the aragonite crushed coral (CaribSea. The tank has been setup for about a year, I have a couple of mushroom, encrusting gorgonians, star polyps and button polyps. I plan to put some pulsing xenia's and try a leather soon. <All are potential victims for the tentacles of a wandering anemone.> I do biweekly water changes of about 10 gallons. <That's good.> And the tank has been setup for about a year. I really like the idea of having an anemone if it is compatible with my tank, if not Ill get some hammer coral or something similar. Thanks in advance! <With your lighting and tank mates I would go with the hammer. Much better suited to captivity than an anemone, good choice.> Armando <Adam J.>

Anemones question  12/16/05   Hi first off great site,
<Thank you>
 second, I am new to the saltwater aquarium and have a few questions. I want to start off easy and don't want to jump straight into coral but want something with lots of color. Will Sponges and plants thrive off of fluorescent lighting and what would be the minimum lighting I would need to get a Haitian anemones to live. I want to stick with fluorescent lighting for now because I already own a fluorescent hood. I am open to anything you think I might want to take a look at what would go good in a fish only with live rock tank..
<I'd start out with clowns and/or gobies, maybe a Dottyback.> Oh I have a 55 Gallon tank it's 13" wide 48" long and 21" deep
<Brian, if you are just starting out, take my advice and stay away from anemones till you gain a little more knowledge and experience.  But to answer your lighting question. anemones will require about 250 watts of lighting in your 55.> Thanks for any help you can provide.  <You're welcome.  In the future, please do a spelling/grammar check before sending.  It saves us time as we have to edit these queries before posting.  James (Salty Dog)>                           Brian

Second best (easiest/hardiest) anemone species 11/24/2005 Hello Mr. Fenner!  <James today> Am I right to assume that the second easiest anemone species after the Bubble Tip is the LTA (Macrodactyla doreensis), given the tank has a DSB?  Thanks!  <As you probably know, no anemone is "easy" to keep.  All require special care/considerations but to answer your question, it would be a good choice for second.  James (Salty Dog)> Dominique

Anemone Keeping- Just The Facts, Ma'am! 10/28/05 Hi guys! <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> I've scoured your site for a while now, and I'm having trouble locating an answer to my question. I'll try to give you all the vital info, and I hope you can help! A friend recently sold me a saltwater setup, which included the 20 gallon Eclipse 2, which has been modified with an additional 10 gallon sump. The aquarium has 2 overflows into the sump, and the water flows through the tubes into a system of bio balls, then into the sump tank, where it is then pumped back into the aquarium. <An interesting mod!> He included the sand, a large chunk of live rock and a ('false') Percula Clown. I waited a couple of days and added a Royal Gramma. <After you quarantined him, I hope...? just a reminder!> Both fish seem to be happy, and eat well. I want to add an anemone for the Clown, but I keep getting conflicting answers from my local shops. I know I need to upgrade the lighting, but I can't find anything that tells me the best, and least expensive way, to do this. I did find a 'SmartPaq' system that promises to be ideal to fit the hood I have, and to provide 32 watts. Is this enough light? Should I consider something else? <While I encourage experimentation on all sorts of fronts in the hobby, I'm not an advocate of "casual" anemone keeping. These animals are truly a limited resource, and removing them from the wild often resigns them to a limited lifespan in captivity, and the potential to severely deplete wild populations. Anemones do require a very high level of care- water quality, food, and lighting are essential.  Many are simply doomed in captivity- the statistics are there.  It's extremely important to study the anemone you intend to keep and to design your system accordingly. Since anemones have potentially VERY long life spans, you need to have a system that is large enough to accommodate them for an indefinite period!  A 20 gallon is simply not sufficient for long-term maintenance of a typical "BTA" or "LTA" found in the hobby, when you consider the possible growth of the animal, and metabolic processes and other issues associated with its care.  In addition, the anemone is absolutely NOT a requirement to keep Clownfish happy in captivity. In fact, many of them have been captive-bred for generations, and have never even seen an anemone!  In the end, why not enjoy more adaptable animals in this small system? If you must have an anemone, why not try keeping (I gulp when I suggest this, but there is a certain warped logic to it!) an Aiptasia anemone in your sump? This can help satisfy your anemone "fix" and you can study this much-maligned, yet fascinating animal!> Here is a link to the system I'm considering. http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro/power_CUEclipse.htm  <A nice system, but with the aforementioned caveat about anemones, I'd consider utilizing it for other animals.> Can you help a newbie out? I really appreciate your help. I've used your search tool before, and it your site has been helpful to me in the past, when I set up my brackish 55 gallon with my spotted puffers. (I have one with a belly that turns black from time to time, but he seems to be fine, and eats like a little pig; he's now the biggest fish in the tank!) <Glad to hear that we've been useful to you! I hope I don't come across as overly negative, but I feel that it's important to lay out the facts on anemone husbandry.> Anyway, I'm sorry to take up so much space; I just tried to include all the information I thought you might need! Thanks again! Penny <You were quite helpful, Penny! Why not consider colorful Zoanthids as an alternative to anemones? Keeping these animals may start a lifelong passion for you...Think about it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> 

Anemone scare thanks 10/30/05 Hey guys- <... and gals... you think you're scared now...> Just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks. I asked a question about anemones yesterday, and received a great response. I think that I'm sufficiently scared off, and I've decided to just try to maintain a 'FOWLR' tank. <Good> I may try to add some Zoanthids later, though, I understand, sometimes they are found on live rock. I'm also going to do a little research on turning my sump into a refugium.  Thanks again for the great site and all the great information! Penny <Welcome. Cheers, Bob Fenner>  

What Anemone? - 09/03/2005 I was originally going to buy an LTA but after reading your site and seeing you recommend a carpet anemone for Perculas that's the one I would want to buy. I have a 55 gallon tank with a wet dry filter and 260watt lighting  is this enough space for the anemone? <No....  Quite honestly, the only one I'd really be comfortable recommending is a captive clone of a bubble-tip/Entacmaea quadricolor.  Please read here for more:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm .  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> 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.>

Anemones And Sessile Inverts... Never A Good Mix - 07/29/05 My BTA has decided to attach himself to the bottom of my button polyp rock so that when he inflates he brushes against some of them. <<This is why most here don't advocate placing motile invertebrates in the same system with sessile invertebrates.>> They are turning white and I'm assuming that they are being stung. <<They are>> I only have a few corals in a 105 gallon tank and there are plenty of other rocks for him to choose from. <<This is not the fault of the anemone.>> Is there any way to get him off this particular rock?  I have  moved the polyp rock from the top of the tank where it was getting maximum light  and current to the bottom shadier part of the tank to see if this gets him to move. <<This may or may not work, but you are now stressing both animals.>>   So far, it's not working.  I don't want to pry him off or hurt  him. <<No, prying will likely damage/kill the anemone.  They can sometimes be "gently" coaxed from smooth surfaces with a carefully applied thumbnail, but trying to forcefully remove them from rock is ill advised.>> Any solutions? <<Mmm...place the rock back where the anemone will be/was happy and accept the demise of the polyps...learn from the experience and treat the (any) anemone accordingly.>> Thanks!  I've been reading your sight for hours and can't find the answer, so far. <<The "answer" is not to mix these critters in the first place my friend.  Regards, EricR>>

To Anemone, Or Not To Anemone... 7/11/05 Hi Gang! <Brandon> Question for ya'll. I have recently converted my 125G reef tank to a FOWLR tank. I took the frags I collected and created a separate, smaller tank to house them. The logic behind this move is that much beauty in the ocean lies within the fish. I have about 1/3 of the tank filled with live rock, but wanted many swimming lanes and open sandy areas. My question is this: I am considering heavily adding a beautiful carpet anemone to the 125G tank. I have really nothing in the tank it can sting coral wise, and I have plenty of lighting with 8.5 watts per gallon of 13K and actinic lighting. I also have a mammoth Beckett skimmer and large refugium, further adding water volume to the tank. Have any fish, besides rock skippers like blennies, been known to fall prey to carpets? I'm thinking along the lines of tangs, angels, Basslets, and my mated pair of Perculas that I'm sure will love it. Thanks for the thoughts! Brandon <Less than one out of a hundred carpet anemones live a month in captivity... Likely half are doomed from improper extraction, damage enroute from the wild... Are these odds acceptable to you? Bob Fenner>

Re: To Anemone, Or Not To Anemone... 7/12/05 No, I guess they are not. I was not aware that 1% survived. I figured given the proper care, survival would be very long indeed. Thank you for pointing that out to me. <Glad to. Bob Fenner>

Anemone tank I have an 72 x 24 x 24 180 gallon aquarium with the following equipment: Lighting: (2) 96W PC, (2) 175W MH, (3) 140W URI VHO on a reflector-backed, fan-cooled canopy Filter/UV Loop: LG 2MD pump, Sea Clear canister with looped tubing in clear well, 30W UV, (low flow) Aerobic Loop: Clear for life wet/dry filter sump, TF200 protein skimmer with exterior pump Iwaki 20LT pump, MD Iwaki 30LXT pump It has about 150 lb of live rock and 3 inch bed of live sand over about ? inch of crushed coral. Is this tank worthy of an anemone?  I am interested in adding either a single Haddoni or a E. quad anemone.  Is the lighting and setup OK for either? The objective is to have the coveted anemone thrive and be a focal point of the tank.  I would opt for the Haddoni based upon the relative ease of care but don't like the idea of having the creature split all over the place. The Haddoni is less apt to split from my reading and may be a better choice. What advice can you give me?  <Bill, your lighting would be inadequate to support either a haddoni or a quadricolor.  You would need a minimum of 5 1/2 to 6 watts per gallon.  You are at a little over 3 at present.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Bill Sanz
Re: Anemone tank
Sorry James, Thanks for the quick response - best site on the web! I probably wasn't clear in my description. The parenthesis around the numbers indicates the quantity of bulbs of each type.
<You were clear, Bill.  It was my error, sorry.>
 I have three 60"VHO's on a IceCap 660 and two MH each 175W, plus the two 96W PC for a total of 962W or approx 5.34W/gal.  The VHO are two URI Actinic White and a Actinic R. I also meant to compare the BT with the Haddoni.  Anything else you see?  <Bill, you would have much better success keeping the BT with your lighting set up.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Bill Sanz

Anemone Tank 06/07/2005 Hi there,
<SUP> I have a 10-gallon tank outfitted with a Skilter and 90-watt PC's with a clownfish and orchid Dottyback and several corals.  For years I have tried to house an anemone for my clownfish with nothing but failure (the longest I had was a rose-BTA for 6 months under blue actinic w/o my PC's!)  Since I love the beauty of the anemone, and this is truly what got me interested in the hobby (along with clownfish somewhat) I have decided I might like to "start over" and just make an anemone tank and maybe add a clownfish back in later on.  My question for you is, what anemone species would thrive best in my tank?   <With a 10 gallon it will be pretty hard.  They are good eaters that like clean water.  In such a small system it is hard to feed them well and not pollute your water.  Plus a lot of anemones will wander around to find a good spot and if there is not enough room to roam they my perish.> Would I have to make any changes?  Is my lighting sufficient?  I noticed at my local zoo that they have excellent success with their anemones by having a splash come down through the water to give the anemone oxygen. Is there any way to set something like this up?   < Yes power heads. This is the main source of food for that anemone.  you need to provide good flow to make sure the tentacles are flowing and feed and waste are carried towards and away from the anemone.  Also direct feeding is a must when you have a smaller tank with a limited number of fish.  The food that can be consumed by the anemone can be rather large.  As far as which ones I like.  The Rose Bubble Tip is my favorite but would be too large for that tank.> Basically, I just want to get a happily thriving anemone--maybe let it have the whole tank to itself (no fish, corals, etc)--and then maybe add a few inverts or a clownfish after awhile. Thanks for your help! Jon
<No problem.. EricS>

Nano Reef 30 Gallon - 5/25/05 Hello there Bob,  <Paul Mansur back from the dead to answer in Bob's name> After reading over the vast amounts of articles and FAQ's on your site, I have several questions regarding the set up of my 30 gallon reef tank. I'm planning to set up the tank over the period of a year, I'll be putting around 15 to 20 pounds of live rock in during the 3 month cycling period, just to make sure that everything is stabilized.  <sounds fine> Does it matter when you put a BTA in the tank?  <Anemone in a small tank? Hmmm...be careful here for very obvious reasons: aggressive, will move about the tank, and grow larger than you think taking up precious space (and this is a small tank)>  Would putting it in before the fish matter?  <I would if you insist on placing one but please consider my comments on BTAs in small tanks> I've been eyeing a BTA at the local store for a while now, but I can't identify it. It has a rose colored foot, with greenish brown tentacles, with a white ring at the end of each tentacle. I'm planning to convert my lousy 2x20 watt hood to a 7x20 fluorescent watt hood, would the 4.5 watts per gallon be sufficient to sustain a BTA?  <Some feel this might be OK if it is well fed. I tend to agree with that. I think I would rather see (in my opinion of course) a power compact or T5 for this tank. Higher output with little in the way of heat.>  The tank is only 18" high. I'm wondering are bio balls really worth it?  <Not in my opinion. A good amount (read 20-40 pounds of cured quality live rock would more than suffice>  I have heard that they can become nitrite factories after a while and are just removed, should I even bother adding them?  <Not in my opinion> The live stock list are as follows- 1 Tomato Clown 1 Bicolor Pseudochromis 3 Cleaner Shrimp 2 Feather Duster Worms 1 BTA  <I would recommend against this based on your stocking here for sure> 4 Turbo Snails 1 Daisy Coral 1 Open Brain Coral 1 Meat Polyp Coral 2 Sea Mat Corals I hope these livestock are compatible with each other, and won't put too much stress on the system.  <Do your research. Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul> Thanks, Sean By the way great site! I've recommended it to some of my friends.  <Thanks for the compliments>

Identifying anemone/feeding, using test kits... Hi Crew, <Debbie> Any information you can lend will be appreciated. I have read over and over all the FAQ's I could find and looked at all the pictures I could find but still can't really tell what my anemone is. I think I finally found the answer but then it also sounds like another one too. At the LFS, they called it a Carnation Anemone, when I asked what family that was from they said, Stichodactyla gigantea, it's like the Ritteri. So here it goes. It has short yellow tentacles, under the tentacles is a deep orange color, then this color is down the column until the end where its yellow. If it balloons up its more of a yellow column but when it goes back down its orange. I thought it might be a dyed anemone but read where all the anemone would be the same color. <Mmm, no... can be multi-colored... and from your description it sounds like this one is dyed> Is that right? I don't know if I should put it on the sand which they had it on in the LFS, and they also said that they have had it for 3 weeks and it was still beautiful, healthy too, but back to my question. I put it on the sand, and it laid on its side, so I moved a small piece of rock under it and it ballooned up till it fell off, so I've left it in the sand and it hasn't moved an inch in 2 weeks. Does get some slime under it but is that from it trying to attach itself to the sand? <...> Also I was wondering if I could blend all the krill, Pacifica plankton, squid, Cyclop-Eeze together and squirt it near the anemone. <.....> This anemone also never closes during the day or through the night and is still open when I turn on the lights, and then it closes for 1-2 hours and stays open again. Is this normal, or should I be worried? <........> Another question I have is my tank has been running for 1 1/2 years now and I'm probably the most brain dead person but I cannot read the Red Sea calcium test I bought or the Seachem PH/ALK. When ever I read the results I just can't believe it because the calcium test I get from my water goes below their chart and my heart starts pumping, also the Seachem Alka test says 1 drop equals 0.5 meg/L and I have to use 5 drops before it gets to the right color and then it says to divide it by 2. Well my number is 1.25. Does that mean its 12 and its suppose to be 7-8. Are my fish going to die? Could you please help me. My PH reads 8.1 with the Seachem test kit but reads 8.3 with the Red sea one. All the other tests are good or I would be worrying about them too, but those are easy to read. I'm doing everything to prepare the water properly, water changes weekly. I also add Aragamilk along with the water changes. I even went home and got a water sample so they could check my water first before I bought it. Really care about these animals and a lot of stress to, to make sure their happy. Thank you for all your time. Debbie <... please return this anemone, don't buy anymore livestock that you can't identify... and read on WWM re test kit use, alkalinity... Bob Fenner>

Relatively easy anemone for a tiny world Hi, just a few questions. I know anemones are not easy to keep, but I was thinking of putting an anemone in my 12 gallon for my clowns. Is there a relatively easy anemone to keep in this tank considering I pay much attention to the water quality? <Relative... is a relative term... a tank "bred" BTA (Entacmaea quadricolor) would work out best... but even this will likely die on you, kill all your other livestock> And how big would it need to be for the a 3 inch ocellaris clown to want to inhabit it? The lighting is a 32 watt power compact, is this enough? Thank you. Adam <All might work out, but I don't give you good odds. I'd wait till you have a larger (more stable, disaster-proof) system. Bob Fenner>

Ritteri Question Hi! <Hello! :D> Could you explain why my 3 percula clown fish keep knocking and taking the pieces of cockle I place in my anemone out of it? <Simple - they want the food!> I had a magnifica anemone which I only had for a month before it suddenly died and have just bought another similar anemone 2 days ago which looks great.  <Problem with these guys is they require extraordinary amounts of light (I know of several specimens that have parked themselves directly under 400w halides) and require tons of flow (in the thousands of gallons per hour). They're very difficult to keep in captivity and I usually never recommend attempting one without years of anemone keeping experience> The clowns took to it within minutes of it attaching to a rock in the tank but keep knocking any cockle it has in its tentacles out. Should I leave the feeding of it solely to them and it's reliance upon whatever it gets floating in the tank or persevere with trying to hand feed the cockles? <Definitely not - keep the fish away from the anemone while it eats, and feed it well while it's acclimating> I also have a problem with feeding my white blue-tipped Malu any cockle etc, before it gets chance it's whipped away by my coral beauty angel fish-any suggestions? <Scare the fish away with a net or your hand while they are ingesting their food. Please read our archives regarding Ritteri (magnifica) anemones, and see the sticky posted under the anemone & clownfish forum at ReefCentral for more info> Many thanks in advance <You're welcome, good luck!> Mandy <M. Maddox>

BTA and Clowns - II Hi, What anemone ranks second easiest to keep with Perculas and false Perculas and what sort of lighting do they need? What is the chance that the Percs will accept the new BTA?  <The BTA would be one of the "easier" ones to keep. My choice for the "second easiest" would probably be the Ritteri. Keep in mind that no anemones are easy to keep in that sense of the word. For a BTA I would use at least 4 1/2 watts per gallon provided the tank is under 18" in depth. You don't mention tank size in your post, it would be more helpful in determining lighting correctly. James (Salty Dog)> 

ANEMONE IN 12 GAL Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2005 Hi Crew, your thoughts on the following would be appreciated: I have a 12 gal FOWLR that has been established about two years. I would like to remove the few fish, and add two or three percula clowns and a compatible anemone; given the tank size, which anemone would be most practical? Thanks, Steve.  <Steve, the bad thing about putting an anemone in a 12 gallon tank is that the water parameters can change too quickly which isn't good. It can be done with daily monitoring of water levels, pH, etc. Another drawback is that the preferred anemone (Ritteri) is too large for a 12. The bubble tip, which is third on their most preferred list would be the better choice, but there is no guarantee that they will inhabit it. James (Salty Dog)> 

Anemone Q's Hi Guys, <How goes it, Michael here sneaking in some answers and purgatory...I mean...my job> Thanks for your time. I recently encouraged my wife into upgrading our FW to a SW system. I am very pleased and after cycling(2 months), then the introduction of a damsel (another 2 mths) and just recently a pair of clownfish which have also been in the system for 2 mths, giving the system a total of 6 mths operation.
<Good going so far> My wife is dead keen on getting an anemone, and I have read extensively about keeping them on your site, and although they seem difficult we would still like to try.  
<What species?>
 My concern is, what type of fish are suitable for a system with an anemone?
<Any reef safe fish will be fine (e.g.. no triggers, puffers), but that's not what my main concern would be.  The main concern should be proper lighting and water conditions.  Please consult our archives, and see the FAQ's posted on the ReefCentral anemones & clownfish forum (www.reefcentral.com).  The sticky in that forum has a ton of useful information >
 It seems most will eat them, any help welcome! <Not many fish will eat an anemone...however anemones love fish! Love the site,
<We try>   Adam Wade
<M. Maddox> Youth Minister
<Slave to capitalism until I graduate><<... you'll see... Only just a start. RMF>>

Teaching an old marine dog new tricks 10/14/04 Hi, I am planning to set up a 65 gal. marine with mostly fish and maybe an anemone for a clown fish. <Anemones are among the most demanding inverts that we attempt to keep, and their survival is generally poor.  I will fill in more on husbandry below, but one of the keys is species selection.  Rose bubble tip anemones (Entacmaea quadricolor) are available captive raised and are very hardy.  Heteractis Malu (often sold as "Sebae" anemones) are a good second choice, but most are bleached white with purple tips.  Do seek out one that is not so.  Stichodactyla haddoni is the only one of the three carpet anemones that can be recommended. Most other species of anemone should be patently avoided by all but the most experienced aquarists.  Be confident in your ID and patient in selecting a specimen.> I have some experience with marine tanks but it was about 10 years ago.  I used undergravel filters with powerheads and canister filter.  At that time wet dry filters were for reefs. <Ummm... what's an undergravel filter?  Just kidding!  My first foray into marine tanks was much the same.> I know times have changed as have the equipment used so could you please help me catch up.  My LFS tells me to use a wet dry with a pre drilled tank with an overflow.  But he says to leave out the anemone and go fish only. <I am not a fan of wet/dries for any application except heavily stocked fish only systems.  In general, I also steer folks away from anemones.  Even those I listed above aren't easy to keep.> (That's not what I want).  This is a small town and it is hard to get straight info without someone trying to sell you something. <This is true in most places.  If you know what you want, do it.  By asking here you are demonstrating that you want to do it right!> I've read a ton of posting from many sites but I am feeling overwhelmed.  I thought I would go with a wet dry with room for a protein skimmer in the sump.  Would that adequate as for as filtration? Thanks, Kim  <I would skip the wet/dry in favor of a simple sump and a good quality skimmer.  Live rock (3/4-1.25 lb/gallon) and sand will easily take care of your filtration needs.  Anemones require light and feeding.  Your lighting should consist at bare minimum of 4 VHO tubes the length of your tank, but you may want to consider 175w MH.  105-200W of PC would probably also be OK, but I am not a fan of PC's because of their complicated and expensive replacement.  Anemones tend to wander around a bit, so you must be extremely cautious of pump inlets, drains, powerheads, heaters, etc. that may injure them.  If you wish to keep these animals, I strongly recommend Bob Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" (beginner), The Reef Aquarium Vol 1&2 by Delbeek and Sprung (advanced) and "Anemonefishes and Their Host Sea Anemones" by Fautin and Allen (unexcelled in the hobby for ID).  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Where to find/buy Captive Bred BTA Rose anemones 8/3/04 I'll be quick. Where can I buy (online) a captive bred/cloned anemone? I don't want to steal a clown fish's! I can't find it on Google anywhere. Thank you, Marshall Montgomery <Edie at Tropical Paradise (Cali) has a fine store and is an avid supporter of cultured reef creatures. I was just there months ago and saw a couple hundred Rose BTA there. You can look him up at: http://www.tpaquarium.com/ best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Which Anemone To Keep? Thanks so much for the reply. <You're quite welcome!> Just a couple questions in reference to some of your responses. First, I have tested my water source for nitrates and always get a 0 reading. With the sand you referred to (and of course the live rock, which I know I need more) where would you place the sand within the system and how much would you recommend? <I'd keep it simple, and build up a live sand bed within the display itself. I'd shoot for a depth of around 3-4 inches or so for denitrification capabilities> Also at what point would you start slowly removing the bio balls? <I'd start removing them after you've installed the sand bed and have had things running smoothly for a month or so> Second, on the anemones; are you foreseeing a potential problem because they are sometimes mobile and could kill each other and my corals? <That is one of the potential problems, as is longer-distance "warfare" (chemically). And, quite frankly, hobby experience is so poor overall with anemones that I think that we should keep "one to a customer" until we've had long term success (like years, IMO) with them. This is my opinion, of course, but it's based on my personal experiences and those of others within the hobby at large.> If your answer is yes to that, my 2 Clarkii clowns have a strong bond in my LT and Bubble Tip. The LT is shared by both clowns but the Bubble Tip is the home of only the larger which he attacks me every time I even get close. to the point of drawing blood). Would you take this into consideration when choosing which ones to remove. <Sure. I'd keep the anemone that seems to best settling in to captive life. The Bubble Tip has a better captive record than most, and if it's hosting a pair of clowns, it's just going to be that much more interesting! Keep in mind, however, that it is not a prerequisite to have an anemone to keep a clown happy and healthy> Love your comments. Thanks Again <My pleasure. Please keep in mind that my opinion, or anyone else's, is just that- an opinion- based on my experiences and the experiences of people that I know. It's certainly not the "last word" on the subject! In the end, you'll have to make your decision based upon the knowledge that you have and your gut instincts. With research and personal experience, you'll be making some excellent decisions, I'll bet! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Malu anemone 3/26/04 Truly, Thank you my friend. If it were not for your advice I would be helping to destroy our reefs and that is not my goal I can assure you. I visited the LFS today and told the owner I had changed my mind and had decided not to purchase the Malu anemone. Much to my dismay, I notice that he had in fact bought many Malu's, there were maybe 20 or so in his tanks," they are selling so well, I am selling four or five a day,"  I thought to myself....99% of these will die in a few months. <Ughh! yes, sad but true... especially so if they are the typically bleached imports> I have completely changed my attitude to buying marine organisms since  finding your site. Don't think I've done so much reading since I was at college! I have a zillion & one questions to ask you guys. BUT I will do it slowly over time. <outstanding! Isn't the Internet a wonderful tool too?> Q) If I do buy a BTA and clown. How is the best way to quarantine them? I have a 30(US) gallon QT tank but what about the light for the anemone? what sort of intensity will I need in a bare tank (one lump of live rock) with two small internal sponge filters? <all good... and modest aquarium light is fine for the short stay in QT as the anemone can be compensated for the reduced light with feedings> the tank is 2 feet wide 18 inches tall and just 12 inches front to back. (24 UK gallons) I could rig up a halogen light above it but is this really necessary? Please I would appreciate some advice on quarantining an anemone? <not needed... and do check out the article by Scott Fellman on our site here specifically about QTing invertebrates (he has one on fishes too)> To Scott, Bob, Anthony and all the other so important people "the Crew" as we know it. You are spreading the word over here as I am and at last I believe some people are starting to listen. LFS's and private keepers alone are waiting to see how my tanks evolve from fish only to reef and fish. Time will tell but it will all be built on your expert advice as I personally believe it to be the best! This all will involve a move in a couple of months so I will keep you posted. Many thanks, Simon <looking forward to hearing of your continued success! Anthony>

Another anemone 4/12/04  I am disappointed by your judgmental reaction and lack of any faith in me. I have a 24-hour Current USA 36" 2x96 watts Power Compact and Moonlite lighting system on my tank. The anemone in question has grown twice the size it originally was in the tank at PetCo and I had watched it for one week while it acclimatized to the PetCo tank to make sure it was healthy and well before purchasing it. It is a very active anemone and I have been able to observe many diverse behaviors this anemone has put forth. In addition to the correct lighting I have fed him one small shrimp once a week which it grabs and eats without pause. I am very pleased with this specimen and only which to be more educated by knowing what it is exactly. Thank you. Absalom  <I'm glad to hear the anemone appears to be faring well. Please consider our collective and extensive experience on such matters though. And also know that anemones swelling after a few weeks/months in captivity is not growth (much or at all), but rather simple responding (filling with water) to changes in water flow or light. In fact, its usually a sign that lights are aging, dirty or inadequate when corals or anemones swell significantly. They are panning for light. This is not a critique of you, my friend... just a statement of act/experience that you need to consider if you really want to succeed with keeping this animal healthy. Much more to read/learn here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemoneidfaqs.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemidfaq2.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemidfaq3.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonef.htm   plus a couple dozen other links to follow from here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm   best of luck, Anthony>

Anemone from Mediterranean - tank covering 2/24/04 Hello Anthony! <cheers, Thanassis> I was by the sea the other day and picked a stone with three anemones attached on it. I removed carefully the smallest one and placed it in my tank after a long acclimation procedure. It seems to be doing fine after 3 days, but since it is moving a lot, I am afraid what will happen if it gets close to my Leather coral, my Discosoma or my Zoanthid (that is all my invertebrate population). <please resist ever doing this my friend. Never put any animal in your display without quarantining it for 4 weeks in isolation first. There are many dreadful parasites, pests and diseases you can/will bring in otherwise. Its a very risky habit> I also found a small crab under the stone. Is it ok if I place it in my in-sump refugium or not? (eat detritus, etc.) <very few if any crabs are truly reef safe. I'd avoid it> Last but not least, I bought a Nemateleotris Magnifica two days ago. It is a great fish and my Yellow tang seems to ignore it now. I hides the most of the time and once in awhile it comes out from the LR and swims in the open. I have a lot of amphipods, so I hope it will not starve. Of course I feed extra. The problem is that it has jumped out twice and got into my overflow box. I am afraid that next time I will find it dead on my floor, just as my little Ocellaris. <they are known for being jumpers indeed> I am thinking of covering the tank. It is ok if I use an acrylic cover or glass would be better? Will this reduce the light from my 250 Watts  Geissmann lighting system? <a thin sheet will reduce some UV. This may help or hurt... but only slightly either way. I'd suggest that you do it and just be sure to wipe it clean weekly for best light penetration> By the way, I have ordered your book about coral propagation and I am looking forward to getting it soon. <wonderful to hear... thanks kindly :)> Thanks as always and best regards, Thanassis <and to you in kind, my friend. Anthony>

Protein skimmers and Anemones 2/8/04 Hi this Jonathan I emailed you the other day and I  talked to Anthony and I was asking his opinion on a protein skimmer. I was not specific on the Protein Skimmer. So looked it up on the website and it's on Championlighting.com and it's under ASMG protein skimmers, <Ahhh... you mentioned Custom Aquatic and I could not find the unit there or on a general search on Google. Strange> The name is (Euro-style Protein skimmer # g-2x) the price is 259.00) What I was wondering is if you would find it to be a  good skimmer. <not sure... its a knock-off style, and I've never used it. It looks good and similar, but my preference is to buy the real thing for nearly the same price. Euro-reef or Aqua C for an alternate... long-standing faves> It is a for a sump. I also have a question on Anemones. I have two Anemones Florida pink tip, Any way I've had them for about 2 1/2 months. <please read through our archives on why you/any of us likely should not be keeping these> Every few days after I feed them frozen shrimp) which is about every 12 days. <not enough food... please feed 3-5 times small portions weekly> They shrink and let out a long brow silky string like material and then they come back out. <its excrement> I've had this tank(46gal bow front) for about a year and a half. Since then I had two other anemones that did the same thing. They lasted about six months (reason they died was I had a copper problem but that's been cleared up now for about 3 1/2 to 4 months now. I was wondering if that they are letting of waste and it's natural or it's something else.      <the former... but more importantly, there are very few suitable anemones for captivity, and worse... few that can sustain harvest by our/any industry. I wish more people would take a conscientious stand on not keeping anemones in community aquariums. Else, we may watch them collected and killed into local, regional... beyond(?) extinction. Your experience that they die after some months is common. Sadly. Read more to learn why. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone Frustration, please advise!! Bob,     I've been a great admirer of your candidness regarding queries, so I hope you can put me straight!  I have an eight month old 80 gallon reef system that is really not making me a reputable anemone host! <Mmm, you likely know that as a group, anemones are not hardy aquarium animals... for many substantive "reasons"> The first anemone I ever put in this tank was a Condy, who is still the ONLY anemone to survive.  I have four PC lights (two white, two blue 65 watts a piece) that according to the locals and other "experts" should be able to handle the majority of coral and anemone's on the market. <Yes, though "slowly"... this is about at the lowest end of photo-strength for many commonly kept photosynthetic Cnidarian species, this size/shape system.> I have been able to propagate pink pulsing xenia successfully as well as house Euphyllia, but one expensive carpet anemone (green, lasted four days) and one bubble tip (not even twenty four hours), I find myself mystified as to why I can't keep these creatures healthy. <Could be the "precedent" of the other animals... but the largest contributing factor is very likely simply the condition of the animals at purchase... IMO most anemones don't "make it" due to trauma, wear and tear of collection/extraction, shipping and handling/abuse... having been involved in the entire process, I assure you it is horrendous. Most animals get torn physically in their removal... squeezed excessively to reduce size, weight for shipping, kept in almost to actual dark for days to weeks during transport and temporary holding... repeatedly adhere, get roughly detached... till you/the consumer gets them or...> I admit I love watching my two tomato clownfish bask in an anemone (one of them has attached itself to the Condy), and I desperately want to successfully house a bubble tip, so needless to say I'm really depressed right now (it seems the bubble's dying in my tank right now).  I actually drove it back from a store in Cincinnati, OH (where I spent Thanksgiving) to Memphis (8 hours), where the proprietor bagged it (along with the rock it was attached to), and Styrofoam it and I promptly acclimated it last night in the middle of my tank for twenty minutes, gradually adding water to the bag (the lights were off, as well).     I watched it for a bit as it slid off it's housing to find better quarters, in the morning I awoke to see it "sitting" on one of my rocks higher up in the tank having lost most of its color in the tentacles (it was a brownish red), and then I was off to work, hoping to return to see my clownfish basking in a fully composed anemone.  When I returned, the clownfish who attended the Condy was all over it, and the bubble was moving until it dropped from the rock it was on into the cave underneath it, where it is still hiding out, or dying (same place, consequently where my carpet died a week and a half ago).  The proprietor said that the bubble had been with him for three months and had moved frequently.  It was in a tank with coral only (no clownfish), and I'm wondering if my clown attributed to his demise, or was it just my fault? <... a few things can/might be done to improve your/its chances... a large water change right ahead (a day or so) of its introduction, the use of about a quarter pound of activated carbon in the filter flow path (to reduce chemical interaction)... and most importantly, the purchase of a "tank bred" (asexually produced) animal... there are many of these Entacmaea quadricolor clones to be had nowadays... try Marine Center, LiveAquaria... online companies here. And lastly, if you have a quarantine/treatment tank, consider "staging" the new animal for a few days to weeks ahead of its placement in your main display tank... in the meanwhile, if possible with the clownfish> My PH is fairly high, and my ammonia level's safe. . .   I use RO water, and I do have a small detection of nitrates.  Can you suggest anything to help me out?  On the powerhead front, I use two Maxi Jet 1200's on each end pointed toward the front, if that helps any. . . <Do keep the intakes of these sufficiently screened>    Also, can you recommend any proprietors to use when shopping for these creatures?  Here in Memphis the selection is VERY limited.  Thanks for your time, Gene Szucs <Thank you for your apparent care and intelligent sharing. Bob Fenner>

Choosing an Anemone... go BTA for the Hardy Choice - 11/22/03 Hi Bob, how are ya? <always traveling... Anthony Calfo in his stead> I'm kind of a novice to reef aquariums, been doing it about 9 months or so, but doing OK so far.  Been reading your stuff, and its just terrific to be able to get insight on marine life from someone like you.  Thank you! <good to hear> So here's my question:  Which would you recommend (to someone who of course has sufficient lighting, filtration, and environment):  A "peach" tube anemone (see pic) or a Rose bulb-tip anemone? (see 2nd pic).  Of course, I would like my clown to like the anemone, but that's secondary to getting a specimen that has the best chance for survival and overall good health for the long term. <frankly, I would not recommend an anemone to any new aquarist... and no to any aquarist that wishes to mix an anemone in any tank that does or will house corals. Its a long term recipe for disaster. With that said, I with the right species-specific set-up, I would recommend the Rose/Bubble/BTA anemone over almost any other species every time. They are hardy, propagated in captivity and overall good candidates> Can you help, or is this too presumptuous a move for a relative novice like myself??? <anemones are really quite a challenge for their strict lighting and feeding needs, and motile nature. Most aquarists are not willing to invest in reef lighting for only one anemone. Those that mix corals in with them often suffer within a few years for the mix (motile stinging cnidarians and sessile ones are unnatural and usually conflict in one of several ways). Much has been written about this dynamic in our WWM archives and FAQs> Thanks again Bob, I appreciate it. Sincerely, Dude! <best of luck, Anthony>

Anemones Hi, Are there any species of anemone for a fish only aquarium. I have a blue and white T8 fluorescent tube, can you suggest any? which will also be safe to house an ocellaris clownfish? Many Thanks Aaron. <Hi Aaron, anemones are one of the more difficult reef creatures to keep, I would not recommend any for your current set up.  T8 bulbs are normal output fluorescents and do not give off enough light to meet the anemones requirements.  They are also very sensitive creatures and should not be added to a tank until the tank is well established, well established for many months, to years.  Check out the link below, and the related links at the top of the page for more information.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  >

BTA vs. Coral 8/7/03 Hello crew, <Howdy> Thanks for all the helpful info on your site ! I have a schweeet Bubble-Tip Anemone in my 110 gal reef tank hosting a pair of maroon clowns. It tends to move in and out of a small cave in the rock near the bottom.
<yes... quite precarious/dangerous thing about anemones if mixed with other cnidarians (never recommended IMO... species tanks only)> It also has a tendency to stretch out its tentacles to the point where it looks more like a Long Tentacle Anemone. I originally placed corals a good distance away to give it some room. <Ughhh... its just a matter of time. They will usually wait until you go on vacation> However, it has gotten to the point where it has grown and it stretches further and further so it can touch an open brain coral that is (was) a good 6-8 inches away. I have noticed occasional discoloring on the coral. Is this a result of the anemone touching it ? <quite likely... and it doesn't necessarily mean the anemone is winning... both likely are suffering from the aggression/allelopathy> Is it safe for any corals to be near it such as blasto's or frogspawn? <unrelated corals should not be placed near each other> Can I place corals near it without endangering either ? <Ahhh... no> Also, on a different topic, what is the best sand sifter to eat the brown algae in the substrate ? <many possibilities... but I really like the Bullet/Dragon gobies> Thanks in advance ! <best regards, Anthony>

-Better anemone?- Hello I just got a carpet anemone, but after reading some of the chats on your web site I'm going to take it back to the Fish Store and get a better anemone. <You mean you don't want to have it fill up your entire tank and eat all your fish? What's the matter with you?! ;) > Now to the question- What is the best beginner anemone that's also a good host for a mated pair of maroon clowns. <E. quadricolor, the Bubble Tip Anemone is a very hardy and lower light choice. It also happens to be the natural host to maroon clowns. Is this fate or what? > Any help is greatly appreciated. Also I have 55 gal tank with a Fluval 104, TetraTec PF300,Red Sea Prizm Skimmer and 96 watt power compact light that's 10,000k/ Ultra Actinic. <I'm assuming that this is a small tank, since there is a 20" light on it (maybe a 10g?). I would rely more on live rock and less on the canister and tetra-tec (i.e.: removing the filter pads and bio-material) and run carbon once a month. If this is all in order, I think you should be all set. Good luck! -Kevin> My parameters all checkout O.K. Hope this info helpful Thanks for any help     Dave

An Unfortunate Occurrence Hello Crew!! <Pat> Well, here's my tale.   I have what was sold to me as a "Green Neon Anemone".   It's been living in my tank and doing pretty well, I give it brine shrimp 3-5 times a week.   A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Pacific Blue Tang, also known as a Hippo Tang.   He was also doing fine, being fed Spirulina.    Well, the other day I came home from work and went to feed the Tang, and he wasn't anywhere to be found in the tank, I was looking under & behind the rocks to find any trace of him.     I just happened to glance at the Anemone, and there was the Tang - inside of him!!!!   I was flabbergasted!!!    The last time I saw the Tang, he was swimming fine, and hanging out with the clownfish I have, and that was the night before. I thought that fish would have the instinct to stay away from dangers like that, so why did this Tang end up as a dinner for the Anemone?? <any number of reasons, most likely are stress and the closed limited space of a tank. Be consoled in know that it is certainly not an unheard of occurrence.> Pat Marren Auburn, NY <Best, Chris>

Anemone Compatibility!  (7-15-03) I was just given a pink anemone fish and was wondering what kind of anemone this fish would generally coexist with. It has been living with a pretty large porcupine puffer and a chocolate chip star for several years now. Would the puffer likely eat a anemone?  <The clowns are generally not very picky when choosing a host, just avoid the Caribbean Condys.  If the puffer didn't eat the anemone I'm sure the starfish would.  Cody.>

- More on Marine Lighting - Thanks, JasonC. <My pleasure.> I can see the cost-effectiveness argument for SO fluorescents in a fish only context.  So here's our situation. My 12 year old son would really like to be able to keep clownfish and a Bubble Top Anemone (this is the only type he thinks he can get tank-raised, and tank-raised is a BIG priority for him -- any leads you could give on aquacultured and tank-raised stuff would be appreciated). <Best place to find tank-raised anemones is in the hobby groups. Many people have had great success with the spitting of this anemone, but more often than not they are traded among hobbyists and don't make it to the store. Fish on the other hand are very often captive bred/raised and you can usually get a straight answer from your local fish store on the origin of their livestock.> Beyond that, it would be nice to have the option to do other high-light invertebrates, but we have no specifics plans for such.  My inclination is to start with one of the 260 watt Coralife Aqualight 48 inch strips (over a standard 75 gallon tank).  Then, if necessary or desirable, add a second such strip (I believe both would fit nicely on a 48x18 top, maybe (?) closely enough that a glass canopy could be omitted with little danger of fish jumping out). <With that anemone you'd probably want both lamps.> My son is inclined toward metal halides. <Would be the preferred way to go with the anemone.> He's thinking a couple of 250 watt Reefstars, or a couple of 400 watt Reef Optix/Blue Waves. <On a 75, you could easily get away with two 175 watt lamps, two 250's would be a lot of light and two 400's would be excessive.> With low-end ballasts, these would cost 50-70% more money than the Aqualights, but would put out 65-165% more lumens (based on what I've read about fluorescents and metal halides in general). <Indeed.> But we'd have to mount them, and I'm worried by the cautions I read about heat dissipation, safety, etc. <Well... safety is only a matter of a glass shield to prevent contact with the water and to filter out UV. Heat dissipation is a huge issue, but being aware of the problem is over half of the battle... is something you can plan around. But do keep in mind that power compacts do generate a good deal of heat of their own, but not as much as metal halides.> Your advice would be appreciated.  Tom <Cheers, J -- >

Anemones and macroalgae 6/29/03 I have a 105 gallon reef tank. . . and after reading your FAQs on anemones (whew!) I'm looking to set up a separate tank (probably 40-60 gallons) to house a bubble-tip or other anemone, plus some clowns. <yes... please do keep the bubble-tip as your lead choice. One of the very few that are hardy and can be kept for many years captively. Success with most other anemones is dismal even in the short term (1-2 year picture)> I'm hoping to keep all grazers out of the tank, and use a generous number of pieces of macroalgae (Ulva, red grape, Codium, 'blue ball' Ochtodes, etc. -- basically calcareous and non-calcareous algaes) in lieu of corals to fill out the decor. <very fine... and so important to avoid other cnidarians when keeping anemones> But in the macroalgae section, I've read about caution against too much algae with corals. Does the same hold true with anemones. . . and to what extent? <plants are also noxious and do conduct allelopathy. Your bigger problem here is that you/we cannot succeed in keeping so many macros together without one totally dominating and overgrowing another. It will require much work to finesse much like a fancy freshwater plant tank/biotope> On a wholly unrelated question, I have a colt coral in my reef tank that seems bent on world conquest. In the space of 4 months it's gone from the size of a large-ish softball to a small-ish basketball. <very cool> Aesthetics aside, is something of this size adding significant/massive bioload to the tank? <no worse than then equivalent in smaller/other Alcyoniids. Do enjoy... but skim your water heavily and use carbon monthly if not weekly; Colt corals produce a lot of Terpenoid compounds> Thanks in advance for any help on this. Chuck <best regards, Anthony>

Making Friends With His Anemone! I'm getting ready to purchase a long tentacle anemone and was wondering what to look out for. I know about bleaching; to look for damage on tentacles and the foot. Are there other crucial parts? Also, what about behavior? How active should they be, can you see the eat? Any helpful info would be great! <Well, it is very important to make sure that the animal is "inflated"; showing no apparent external damage, and reaction to stimuli. They do need to be fed, and should demonstrate a reaction when food is provided. Ask the dealer to feed the animal, and note its reaction. Do make liberal use of the resources available here on WWM before you make your purchase. As you are probably aware, anemones are a very precious "resource", are not that prolific in the wild, and can be demanding in captivity. Please research their needs thoroughly, and you'll enjoy much success with them! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Actinia tenebrosa anemone 3/3/03 Hi, I am interested in a Australian waratah anemone.  Can you tell me anything about them.   <Yikes... it is intertidal and cool tropical to temperate! If you live in the USA, you are very unlikely to get it and will need a specialized tidal display tank with a chiller at any rate. This is not a tropical community species by any definition> I have some reef fish gobies and such along with Long tentacle anemone, polyps and leathers.  Will they bother any tank mates?  Thanks for your time Jbug <good heavens, no my friend. Not only will it not mix with your tropical species... but mixing two or more anemones is dangerous. Not at all sensible. It is already unnatural enough to mix most any anemone like your long tentacle in a reef aquarium with corals. Few are actually found on the reef with stony corals and all will fight when mixed in time (takes months or a couple years for the slow poisoning to effect some). If you do acquire a waratah anemone, please know that it needs bright light... likely metal halide will be necessary. Anthony>  

Anemones - Not for beginners - 2/24/03 I would like to know if a saddle carpet anemone is best for a beginner <Cheers, my friend. Alas, we do not recommend any anemones for beginners. They have more demanding needs for water quality, feeding and lighting than most reef corals> and if you need sand for any anemone to attach itself or can you use rocks from you LFS because I really like these rocks but If the anemone can live in the rocks then I'll get some live sand I have another question how do I Salt in my tank do I just pour it in the tank and wait for it to dissolve and also how much salt do I put in my tank do I just buy how ever many gallons I have in my tank or what please help. <Hmmm... it sounds like you are very new and assumedly have not set up your tank yet. Marine keeping really is a rewarding aspect of the aquarium hobby. Please read through out archives and FAQs on set up by starting at the home page www.wetwebmedia.com and clicking the link for marines. As far as further anemones questions... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anempt2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonelgtgfaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneselfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonefdgfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonehealthfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneplacemtfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemplfaq2.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone for a beginner I am still new at the whole saltwater aquarium hobby.  I started about 7 months ago.  I started with just fish.  I recently bought a tank raised clown.  He seems kind of hectic.  I have been considering purchasing an anemone, however I do not have an adequate lighting scheme yet.  Since the fish is still young and was tank raised, I'm unsure if he would even bother with an anemone.  Would this be a complete waste of my time and money?  If it would work, what type of anemone and lighting would you suggest for a beginner with a 30gallon tank?  Thank you so much for your time! Melody <Hi Melody, Don here tonight. Sorry, can't suggest any anemone for a beginner. Very challenging even for experienced keepers. The clown does not need an anemone to thrive. Don>

Clownfish (and H. magnifica anemone/s) Hello again! How many Clownfishes (ocellaris) and anemones (Heteractis magnifica) should I keep in my 90 gallon cube tank (27.5")? <I would stick with one anemone and a pair of clownfish, plus other fishes, too.> Regards, Darek <Have a nice weekend! -Steven Pro>

What anemones can I keep? Hi WWM crew! I have a 37.4 gal tank. dimensions are 48 length, 12 width, and 15 depth. I have a 3 inch DSB with 1 inch fine crushed coral on top (I like the look). So would it be a 4 inch DSB? <I would not call it that.> I have 4 40 watt bulbs on it, 1 50/50, 2 actinic, and 1 daylight, that is about just over 4 watts per gallon. <And more importantly over a shallow tank, 15 inches deep minus 4 inches of sand.> What anemone's can I keep? <A captive raised E. quadricolor would be my choice.> I would LOVE to keep a BTA, but what about a Condy? <Either would be ok, just not both.> One more question, do you know of any good tank mates I can keep with a maroon clown that's reef safe? <Sure, Pseudochromis, Cardinalfish, Damsels, Gobies, Blennies,... -Steven Pro>

Re: What anemones can I keep? Sweet. I'm glad to hear you say that. You are the first person to tell me that I don't need intense metal halide to keep one. <It all depends on the species you want to keep and on the tank you want to keep it in. In this instance, a BTA in a very shallow tank will be more than satisfied with NO lighting.> Thanks! I'll defiantly refer my reefing friends to you! <Thank you! -Steven Pro>

Re: question on anemone Which anemone would you recommend for me which one is easy to take care of and lives long? thanks JM <<Hi Jerry, For well established systems a Bubble Tip clone is the best bet. These are from other captive BTA's splitting so they do not drain the populations in the wild. Make sure you ask for a clone, they are better adapted to captivity. You won't be able to keep a BTA and your Condy together, they will try to kill each other over time. Make sure you read everything you can get your hands on if you want to keep these difficult critters. Craig>>

Re: question on anemone thank you ill try to keep him living what happens after a year and they die will he ruin my already established reef tank? geez the LPS should have told me all of the things wrong with this anemone although he is bright and colorful I also notice his tentacles go flat and he rolls up once a day into his foot is that normal? <<Yes, this is a serious problem with LFS's Jerry. They carry them and sell them without telling people how difficult, demanding and potentially toxic they can be. He could crash your tank if he dies, so keep a close eye on him. The flattened tentacles aren't great, but sometimes happens without problem. It's not abnormal for them to deflate, etc. for *short* periods and sometimes at night depending on the type of anemone. This is them exchanging fluids, excreting waste, etc. They do contain photosynthetic Zooxanthellae, which you asked before. Yours, Craig>>

E. crucifer, formerly Phymanthus crucifer Hi Bob/Anthony/Steven/Whoever was shanghaied into answering this. PF here, <Antoine here> I've decided to take the plunge into the world of keeping anemones, but since I don't want to orphan clownfish I've decided to try my hand w/E. crucifers since they are: A: locally available, B: pretty darn cheap, and C: have aesthetic appeal.  <agreed... a good choice among many/most bad anemone choices> The tank is now 8 months old, the lighting is high powered (175w MH & 2 VHO Actinic03's), parameters are good (nitrates are at 3-4), ph is 8.3-8.5 depending on the time of day, salinity is 1.024-1.025 and everybody is looking much happier now that the dog days of summer have passed. Using a Prizm skimmer part time (6 hrs a day)  <heehee... I won't even go there :)> with an Ecosystem 40 as the primary filtration (with carbon in the return chamber). From what I've read, this sounds like a good setup for them.  <agreed> I'd like to know what they eat so I can include it into the general reef diet I feed the tank,  <I'm not familiar with a specific fare of delicate parameter of their diet. They are very successful photosynthetically (shallow water and high light). Dissolved organics are no doubt a measurable nutritional need (if nitrates are too low, consider this)... still: very finely minced meats of marine origin get my vote. Most or all I suspect you have already (Gammarus, mysids, Pacifica plankton, etc> what a reasonable stocking level would be (there's room for roughly 4 of the ones I've seen on sale, and that would leave them in a very roomy situation).  <the seem to be VERY tolerant of each other unlike many other anemones> Are they known to breed in marine aquariums, and is it vegetative reproduction or is it sexual? <no knowledge here... some fissionary mode would not be a surprise> Cnidarian tank mates would be: 2 Sarcophyton colonies, an unknown species of brown/green Zoanthids from the Gulf LR in the tank, xenia elongata, a chili coral (not in contact w/anything else, it's hanging form an arch), and a species of red epizoanthids from GARF (http://www.garf.org/baja1/500red.html), and a species of cup coral that came in on the Gulf LR. <I believe you are good about water changes and this reassures me of concerns that I have with the poor skimming and accumulating compounds of the cnidarians> inverts are some peppermint shrimp, red legged hermits, a queen conch (a very small queen conch), several brittle stars, snails, pods, worms, etc. (sand bed critters & small inverts from the LR) currently 1 false Perc clown is in the tank, along with a lawnmower blenny. I plan on getting another clown or two to get a breeding pair going. I was also considering picking up a pair of Pseudochromis fridmani. <gorgeous and peaceful Pseudochromids> Thanks again for your time, <Best regards, Anthony> PF

Re: E. crucifer, formerly Phymanthus crucifer thanks Antoine! (is that kind of like me going by Miguel or Miesh at home?) those buggers go quick. came in on TH, gone yesterday. <no worries... they will come again. My favorite color is the metallic peach> hopefully, I'll be able to pick some up soon. going to sweet-talk the wife into photoshopping a pic of a clown in one (from pg 158 of CMA) to convince it to host. we shall see what we see, I'll let you know how it turns out. <I have heard some zany tricks for this... have you heard the spotlight on the anemone at night one? Seriously... sort of a larval trigger mechanism. Do consider> water changes are every 2 to 3 weeks, leaning towards the 3 week mark. depends though, if I spend a fair amount of time in the tank (cleaning powerheads, algae scraping, the war with Caulerpa, etc), I'll usually pull off 1/2 a gallon and replace it. <I can't knock it if it works. Extra cnidarians and a weakly performing skimmer concerned me for the long term effects of silent chemical aggression> Thanks again! PF <ciao, bub>

Sebae Anemone Hi Again Anthony thanks for the great info :) OK I will try Sebae anemone I went to the LFS this morning and I have seen three kinds of red sea anemones Green , Brown and White . What do U think should I buy? <A brown Sebae with dark purple tips would indicate a VERY healthy animal (darker the better on the brown). White is a starving/dying animal> I place the MH 1 foot above the tank (its really hot) and I will c now if there is no too much heat I will add another 140 Watts. Once again THANK YOU for taking the time to answer me. <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Anemones Follow-up I e-mailed yesterday and....don't remember who answered my question but who ever it was seemed skeptical about me keeping a bubble tip anemone alive. Which anemone is best suited for aquarium life (host anemone)? <The bubble tip is considered by many to be the hardiest/best choice.> Which can withstand the limited conditions, mainly lower light levels. <None, and that maybe where the skepticism came into play. Take a look at the article on WWM by Jim Black on E. quadricolor.> Thanks for your help. John <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Anemone Fish Host Selection Hi, Bob aka Jason, <<Good day.>> As I mentioned in a recent question, I'll be swapping my tanks. At that time, I will be taking my bubble tip anemones and my maroon clowns back to the LFS. The bubble tips are doing great (almost too great: they've split twice ;-) but they are rather drab. <<Ahh, but you have an income source there... you could trade the progeny back for more new stuff. This is what everyone wants - their tank to pay them back.>> I don't want to fork over $150 for a rose bubble tip. I have a Sebae anemone (H. crispa I believe) that is thriving and colorful. So I was thinking of keeping it in the new tank. The maroons don't seem to like the Sebae which is why I am thinking of returning the maroons although I suppose that if I only had a Sebae and no bubble tips, they would accept the Sebae anemone? I was thinking of looking for a clownfish that used Sebaes in the wild and was looking for your opinion on an appropriate clown that wasn't likely to get too nasty. Also, the maroons aren't a pair and I'd prefer a mated pair for my anemone. <<check out Bob's anemone page, it has a "compatibility matrix" between the anemone fish and their hosts: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm >> The other problem I have with the anemones is the tank swap itself. I am putting my "prize" specimens from the cracked tank into a 45G tank for 1-3 months while the big tank goes through any cycling due to the disturbance. I don't really want to put my anemone in such a small tank yet I'm nervous about leaving the anemone in the big tank since they need such perfect water quality. A 3rd option is to see if my LFS will hold it for me for a while. <<I'll take the third option.>> Thoughts on a clown pair for the anemone and what to do with it during the new tank swap? I hate to let this anemone go since it is doing so well and it is a pretty one. <<then maybe you shouldn't let it go - check that link.>> Thanks, Marc <<Cheers, J -- >>

Malu Anemones Dear Bob  <Steven Pro this afternoon.> I have a question regarding Malu anemones. My LFS says that I can keep one with my current lighting on the floor (gravel substrate) of my aquarium. The lighting is 2 60" marine whites, 1 60" blue actinic & 1 48" 50/50 all with reflectors. My aquarium is 24" deep.  I do trust my LFS but does this seem OK to you? My tank has been set up 10 months now, so tank age isn't a problem. The only issue my LFS has said to me is that they may 'wander' to find the right conditions which I can accept.  I was always under the impression that anemones liked lots of light (preferably halides and not fluorescents) regardless of species.  <I would not recommend this particular anemone for your tank. They are a shallow water lagoonal species that likes a deep substrate and intense lighting. In this case, MH would be your best bet.> best regards, Jim  <Perhaps try a captive bred E. quadricolor (Bubbletip anemone). -Steven Pro>

Anemones Can a Sebae Anemone be kept with a Bubble Tip Anemone successfully? <If you saw my other email, you will see that I recommended against getting the bubble tip anemone. I rarely tell hobbyists to go ahead and buy any anemone, and I cannot ethical recommend one for such a small system (12 gallons). -Steven Pro>

Anemone identification, husbandry, adventure... Hello Robert, One week ago I purchased what appeared to be a very healthy Sebae or Caribbean Anemone that had been in a dealers tank for over a month and doing well despite the poor lighting. <Perhaps on storage foods> It seemed to do very well in my tank the first few days despite not attaching itself to anything.  <Not a good sign...> I tried to get to stay by burying it's foot and draping a loose net like device over it but twice it unburied itself and floated free. Today I found it looking very sickly. Half of it deflated with its mouth open and expelling what looks like an embryo.  <Some of its insides/out> I changed the current a bit and it is livening up but it did look bad and refuses to get it's footing. It also appears like new tentacles are unraveling from the mouth. My water quality is excellent and always has been very consistent. 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, SG 1.022, 78? with chiller, Ph 8.3, Alk 3.5, calcium 400 (questionable because my sea test reagent 1 contains some black cloudy substance and gave a reading of 400+ before I started adding calcium supplement). I regularly add Stront/Moly, trace elements and iodine. My lighting is pretty good with 180 watts of white actinic and 90 watts of blue actinic for 14 hours per day. <Maybe it was damaged in the process of removal from the dealers tank...> Another downer is my tomato clown won't take to it.  <... these species, individuals may be incompatible... the Clown may "realize" the anemone is unhealthy... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm> I'm in Mexico and need help. I previously saw a good q&a section about anemones with you but I can't find it. <It's linked to the above URL> Could you also suggest a good site to help me identify correctly this Anemone and other corals. <As is this information... in images, descriptions, references there. Bob Fenner> Help! Craig Aureguy

Re: Anemone identification, husbandry, adventure... Since adding a little current earlier today the Anemone has inflated to it's original beautiful self and has moved (floated) to a new spot. The insides weren't out but what came out appeared to be in a sack. When I bought it it didn't seem like the dealer had any trouble at all taking the spec. out of the 3 inches of sandy substrate. It wasn't stuck to the bottom but just planted loosely. <I suspect/ed that the foot (basal disc) of this animal was/is torn... a very common trauma... from extraction from the wild...> I got into the site you recommended but can't identify my Anemone. It appears most like a Het. crispa but has a more open disk with the tentacles starting about 1 1/2 inches from the mouth, is 8 inches in diameter with a light pink foot 2 1/2 inches in diameter by 4 1/2 long. It's tents. are 2 1/2 to 3 inches, pointed with fluorescent lime green tips. Any idea?  <Mmm, not from this description... but your dealer/source will know at least the common name, likely the part of the world the animal was collected from. This is an important clue. You may well have a cool/cold water animal... not tropical.> If I new how to take a good photo with my digital cam I'd send you a shot. The glass reflection always interferes. <Shoot at an angle to the viewing panel or increase the "ISO" setting (like to 400), and/or shoot of aperture priority and open the f-stop... and turn the flash off. Bob Fenner> Thanks so much for the quick response. Craig

Mainly Anemone Concerns Hi, Your book finally arrived; it looks really great, and I plan to devour it but I have a few questions that I don't think it will answer: Do you have any strong recommendations re specific brands of test kits for a beginning reef system? How about brands of trace elements?  <Yes... these product issues are covered on our site (wetwebmedia.com). Salifert is about the best hobbyist test kit line....> I took your advice and got an Eheim; in case I want to try keeping anemones do I need to worry that they'll somehow get sucked up in the intake tube? <Yes. Conceal this in your rock, otherwise cover/screen well... and even then, keep a close eye on the anemone and intake> I know I want to get some Clownfishes (probably one pair since it's a 46 gallon), and I was planning to hold off on the anemones till I'm more experienced, but does that mean that I really should hold off on the clownfish, too, in order to try to get a pair along with their host?  <No need to wait on the Clowns... do read over re these on the WWM site... and look for tank bred specimens.> I hope not, especially since I'm not sure I'll feel confident enough to try the anemones anytime soon. Could it be added later if I'm careful to pick a species known to be compatible with whatever species of clown I end up with? Lastly (for now), my tank is 18 in deep and will have 2x96 watt pc's, one daylight and one blue. Is that enough light for clams or for suitable species of anemones?? Thanks again!!!!!! Al <Should be fine, and you're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Question on Sebae Anemone Hi Bob, I've emailed you on a few occasions back when you were doing that column with FFExpress, and have found you advice helpful at those time. I'm looking for some advice regarding a Sebae anemone before going ahead on this addition. <Hmm, Heteractis crispa... go ahead> I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a 20 gallon sump. I'm running a Big Mombasa skimmer (are these things still considered good, or should I look into an upgrade?), <S/b fine here> and have a 40 watt 50-50 bulb (10am-10pm), and 220 watt pc's (12pm-8pm). I have somewhere between 90-100 lbs of live rock, and keep my SG steady around 1.025. The tank itself has been running about 6 months - I basically transferred my 55 gallon directly into this tank when I moved (hey, it was a good excuse to buy a bigger tank).  <I hear you> The 55 had been up and running for about a year and a half previous to the move. The move went well with no casualties. <Okay> In the tank, I have a yellow tang, 2 ocellaris clowns which seem to have bonded with a nice sized conch shell I put in, one percula clown (I swear I thought it was another ocellaris, but I was wrong),  <Happens all the time> a six line wrasse, a purple queen (sound right?) Anthias, 4 assorted damsels (my original cyclers - who've endured much, and don't harass anyone) and a mandarin. (Am I right in assuming that I've capped off my fish population for the tank?) <Best to stop, yes> On the invert side, I have 1 cleaner shrimp, margarita and turbo snails, some blue legged hermits, a flame scallop, a nice slipper coral (over a year in the tank and looking good), a toadstool (almost a year in the tank), a disc coral (5 months or so), a small rock with star polyps, some button polyps which came in the live rock and have been spreading, and my most recent addition, a finger coral (about a month). <Sounds good> I'm reaching the point where I think my tank population will stabilize - I'm not really planning to add much more. Given my setup, would you recommend a Sebae anemone?  <Mmm, no... if you want to "try" a large species, look into a "Bubble Tip" (images and more information on these species posted on the Anemone sections on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com and the links there in turn to the Breeder's Registry...> Aside from wanting something with that look, I'm hoping the percula clown will bond with it, and as a result lessen the confrontations between himself and the twin terror ocellaris (not really violent, but about 50% of the times the percula wanders by he gets chased off - I figure if the Perc adopts a home, he'll tend to stay put more). If the Sebae is something you'd feel comfortable adding, what should I keep in mind as far as placement with respect to my corals? <Try some of the hardy Euphyllias (family Caryophylliidae)... see the WWM site here as well> And as long as I've got your ear (or eye), I've gotta ask, any new books on tap? I need something else to read! <Yes, a new one listed on the site and Amazon.com... and a few waiting and waiting at the publishers (big sigh). Thanks for asking> Thanks a lot for your time, and as usual, sorry for the long winded email. -Rich <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Anemone identification, Urchin question Bob Thanks for a great and informative QnA 1) Where can I identify the Anemone (picture included) It is unfortunately not fully opened in the picture \__|__|__|___|____/ (head with tentacles) | | | | (foot) | | //////////////////////////////////////// (gravel) When fully opened it can stand about 20cm up on its "foot" and the main head with tentacles can reach 40cm across. The stripes have a green tinge. The percula clowns in the picture are about 2cm long I have had it one year with a Anemone crab in (only recently the clowns have adopted it) <Unfortunately am at an airport terminal that is abysmally slow... please take a look at the Daphne Fautin website (URL on the anemone survey piece on my site: www.WetWebMedia.com.... this sounds like a "Radianthus", likely a "Haddoni"... a good naturally symbiotic Actinarian> 2) I have a black long spined urchin with blue iridescent dots on body) It eats macro algae like a vacuum cleaner. I am worried that it is eating all my live critters, algae (tube worms, calcareous algae, macro algae) from my rocks. It is also getting rather large -15cm across (he does seem to be a good scavenger though) Would you advise on keeping it to getting rid of it Andrew <Unless your system is very large (hundreds of gallons, I would likely trade this animal out. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Choices Hey Bob how are you doing I've never E-mailed you before but there is a 1st time for everything. I am a new member of SCMAS and love it. I have been a Reefer for about 3 years and am loving it.  <Sounds good> Here is my problem. I lost a purple tipped Sebae anemone this week. I thought I had anemones wired after having a pacific long tentacle for about a year and out grew my tank so I traded it. About 3 weeks ago I purchased the purple tipped Sebae and a Tomato Clown that had already form a symbiotic relationship. (I know it is rare for a clown to form a friendship with a Sebae) The Sebae that I purchased did well for about 10 days and even ate small pieces of squid and fish, 2 times. The 1st placement in the tank was in medium light in the substrate, then after about 10 days (as mentioned above) the tentacles started receding and it even started roaming the tank slightly. I removed it today and it definitely smelled like it was decaying. Is there trick to keeping Sebaes or what, maybe I should by a bubble tip anemone are they hardier. FYI 10 gal change every 7 days water parameters perfect nitrates 0, ammonia 0, alkalinity 3.0, ph 8.2 to 8.4 >> <Definitely go with the Bubble Tips (Entacmaea quadricolor), the Sebaes are bunk... historically and especially on first arrival... the vast majority "don't make it"... and often take folks other livestock with them...  Bob Fenner, who invites you to read over the anemone materials stored on our site: Home Page >

" Heteractis Magnifica" Anemone Hi Bob ,  I will be setting up a symbolic clownfish anemone tank. I have had good experiences with anemones before. For the tank that I will be setting up I would definitely want to use a "Heteractis Magnifica" anemone (color). The fish will be pink skunk clownfish, maybe a pair or a lot of small ones. I will be illuminating the tank with power compact lamps for a total watts of 5.5 to 7 watts per gallon of water. I will be using about 1 pound of Fiji premium rock per gallon of water for a base. The tank will definitely be protein skimmed w/ a skimmer. The setup will have a powerhead on each side of the tank pointed a the anemone or somewhat like that for a high water flow that it needs. Does this species of anemones not ship good or is it that most people find that this species is harder to care for? Are there any tips that you may provide to have some success with this particular anemone ,feeding ,water parameters, etc? Thanks a lot, Matt >> >> The Heteractis used in the trade are quite variable on arrival... Do try and get one through Fiji... Do read through the materials on "Breeder's Registry" re anemones for practical husbandry input. Bob Fenner

Re: " Heteractis Magnifica" Anemone Would one of the suppliers such as Flying Fish Express sell the Fiji kind of Heteractis Magnifica anemone you were talking about? Do these anemones ship good or what? >> >> Yes, and do ship well... but take a beating/tearing being removed by collectors from the wild. Bob Fenner

Anemones recommended ??!!?? Thanks for your reply, I'll wait a while on the Anemone ..... at least a year or so, then I'll review the situation. Thanks for the rest of the info. Just for your info, on your advice I have added 44 lbs of Fiji (WSI stuff via TMC) and 6 lbs of Caribbean (for the lovely coralline on it), and after only 36 hrs, nitrates have fallen from 20 - 25 ppm to 10-15ppm .... at least 10ppm fall, if not more. I am really happy with this result, thanks to your advice. The only thing is that I just bought a wide range nitrate test kit on Friday..........now I'll have to go and buy a narrow range one !!!!!!LOL, happy to say I have to do it!!!! I am going to replace my remaining 'dead' Tufa rock with another half box (22lbs) of Fiji stuff, I am so pleased with how it looks, how the fish reacted, and the huge immediate effect on nitrate and water quality. Thanks again for all your help. I'll be in touch Regards, Matt Co. Cork, Ireland. <Outstanding, and thanks for the good news. I wish you well. Bob Fenner>

Anemones recommended ??!!?? Hi Bob, I just bought your book. I have only read a little bit so far, but it seems very good, nicely presented as well. <Thanks, I agree...> Anyway, you may recall I was putting LR into my FO system which contains a queen and emperor angel. I asked about adding corals and you said try softies. Anyway, I tried a colony of Mushrooms ( false anemones ???). So far so good. They have really expanded and are looking quite radiant. The angels have shown no interest in them at all. They are picking at the LR etc, and all around the 'Shrooms, and in-between them, but positively stay away from them. <Mushrooms are definitely NOT on fish menus...> Anyway, since they are letting these alone, I think I am going to try some other stuff like a few leathers. <Good idea... sounds like you're ready> While at the LFS, I saw a maroon clown in a bulb tip / bubble tip anemone, and commented how I liked it. I was advised that they are easy enough to care for, and a particular specimen was pointed out to me that had been in a display for nearly two years, and had grown considerably, and was under 4 Coralife normal output fluorescent tubes (two actinic 03's, and two 10,000 K daylight). The LFS said to try the mushrooms to see how the angels react, then try an anemone, and said also that my maroon is most likely to take up residence in it and defend it vigorously if the angels try to attack it. <Hmm, hopefully... though "anemones and clowns" are not easy... And your maroon may not take an instant "liking" to a particular anemone... wait off on this idea for now... believe me> I have just seen your article on wet web media about anemones, and I see that you feel they are quite suitable for home aquariums, contrary to some belief, and in agreement with my LFS. I would tend to go with your advice. Do you think a bubble tip / bulb tip anemone would be suitable for my tank under the lighting outlined above ? Thanks for your response, Regards, Matt >> <Hmm, will have to review that piece... Am not of the opinion that anemones are easy, or suitable for most aquarists... Bubble tips (Entacmaea quadricolor) are near the top for hardiness of the ten or so symbiotic/clown species... but as I say, definitely all have dismal historical survival records. Read the folks FAQs posted after the anemone article... Bob Fenner>

Macrodactyla doreensis  I want to add a blue Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) to my reef tank. I have read that you need a deep layer of sand to keep these. I currently have one inch of sand. Is this enough.  >> Some folks have success with this species in shallow substrates... or even attached to rocks (though this is not how they're found in the wild)... I would encourage you instead to place your Macrodactyla in a deeper tray, other container with a good two or three inches of fine (1/16" or smaller) calcareous sand... and maybe disguise the container's edge with live rock... Bob Fenner

My 20 gallon mini reef Is there any type of anemone I could get "fairly" soon! Also is a mandarin (green) dragonet the same as a mandarin goby? if not could I get it instead? Please let me know, Thanks. >> Please "practice" with a species that is relatively abundant... (and tough), a "Condy" or Condylactis... inexpensive as well.  And yes, the Mandarins are also called Dragonets, or Psychedelic Gobies (family Callionymidae)... and no, therefore... it (the commonest two, the Blue and Spotted or Green) both have dismal survival records... This fish really needs at least four square feet of well-populated substrate to survive... Bob Fenner, who feels like you're on the right track...

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