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 FAQs on Magnificent/Ritteri Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 1

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

Related FAQs: Ritteri Anemones 2, Magnificent Anemone Identification, Magnificent Anemone Behavior, Magnificent Anemone Compatibility, Magnificent Anemone Selection, Magnificent Anemone Systems, Magnificent Anemone Feeding, Magnificent Anemone Disease, Magnificent Anemone Reproduction/Propagation, Anemones in General, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding, Heteractis malu

A H. magnifica off of Queensland with a trio of Percs.

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Moorish Idol Survivability (Poor), feeding a big Ritteri anemone - 10/12/05 Hello All, <<Greetings>> I want to try to get two topics for the price of one. <Alrighty>> All is well nothing sick, just general questions of curiosity. <<ok>> The first is my Moorish Idol. <<Mmm...>> I have had him for about 6 months. When I bought him he was a little under weight and had a cut on him. He is doing awesome. <<For now maybe.>> His color is vibrant, cut has been gone for months. He is about 6-8" so he is good size. <<agreed>> He is eating, Seaweed Selects, frozen Mysis, live worms, alga wafers, you name it he eats it. <<Sadly, this usually still proves to be insufficient with these fishes.>> He is the first one in line when I feed, also eats flakes. When I first got him all he would eat is wafers. My question is, I was reading a article that stated no matter how good they do, they will perish. Something about a enzyme they eat in the wild, that we can not produce in an aquarium. Is this true? <<Not familiar with the "enzyme" theory, though it does go with what I've heard/read as far as not being able to accurately reproduce the dietary requirements for long-term health/vigor. I've been in this hobby a long time and tried; albeit unsuccessfully, to keep Zanclidae more than once (has been more than 10 years since my last attempt). They all would eat, seem to be healthy...but then one day, two or ten months down the road, you come home or get up to find it dead in the tank for no "apparent" reason. All you have to do is look around you...how many Moorish Idols do you see on display, or in other hobbyists tanks (long-term)? It's not because they don't have appeal/are not available to the trade. I wish you luck, but this is another specie best left in the sea.>> Secondly, about 2 months ago I purchased a Heteractis magnifica. It has a extremely deep, colorful purple base. Never have seen one like this. It is about 24" wide. It is huge! <<And will likely get bigger.>><Not as far as RMF is aware> I have read conflicting articles on FAQ's and others. Some say to not feed it at all, let the clowns do it (They do but not much). <<Mmm, nope...needs to be fed.>> Some say to feed it chopped silversides 1-2 times per week. <<Not the best diet...do provide some variety...chopped table shrimp/fish.>> Others say once a day. <<Maybe more like 2-3 times a week.>> Due to the anemone being so large, I have been feeding it chopped silversides and shrimp daily. It seems to be doing well. <<This might be fine (small portions). Let the anemone's health/appetite be your guide.>> I just am trying to be pro active and not reactive. <<Does pay dividends.>> Thank you for your valuable time. <<Happy to assist, EricR>>

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

Anemone & Lighting  9/19/05 Hi, I am interested in keeping a Maroon Anemone (Ritteri). I have 2 Ocellaris Clowns, in a 75 gallon tank. My tank has a few 48" VHO bulbs that give the tank 6 watts per gallon. Is this enough light for this type of an anemone, and if not can you recommend an anemone that is well suited for this type of light. <Yes, if the proper color temp is there (65K and up)>The setup in my tank is, an island of rock in the middle for the anemone, and then an outer circle of rock for corals, this is so that the anemone thinks less of traveling all the way across the sand (good idea)? <Anemones will move where they think is a good place.  Rarely will an anemone stay where you put it.> Anyway, I have heard of the challenges of keeping a Ritteri Anemone and am looking forward to them, could you tell me an optimum flow rate for this anemone,<750 gph minimum> and also how to feed it (supposedly eats mussel, fish, crustaceans, and frozen foods) and also the best meal to keep it healthy. <Here is a zillion articles on anemones for your reading.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)>

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

Heteractis magnifica 5/17/05 Hello crew, I was wondering about H. magnifica. I have had one for several months and it seems to be doing well but has not grown. I feed it Mysis once a week and it catches flakes and eats that. It has to clowns living in it and seems for the most part happy. For lighting I run 4 t5s and one 400w MH 14000k. So lighting should be good. for first 6 months it pretty well stayed in area now it has taken to wandering around the tank and going for rides on the current.  <This anemone is very demanding. They require a lot of turbulent current and intense light. Even with 400w MH, they should be directly below the lamp. H. Magnifica also like to perch on the highest point that it can climb to. Constructing a tall, steep pillar right below your MH lamp will help keep in from going on the move.> Tank parameters are all fine: Nitrates and nitrites 0 am 0 ph 8.1-8.4 (depending on time of day) mag 1275 ca 425 alk 4 meq Tank is 90 Gallon 4-5" DSB 100Lbs live rock 45 gallon sump with 6 " DSB 20 Gallon Refugium with 3" sand bed <All of your tank conditions sound fine.> When I bough this anemone I was told it was a sebae, but does not look anything like one. My question is how often should I feed it and what should I feed it?  <The answer to this question depends on a positive ID. See Delbeek and Sprung's "The Reef Aquarium" series, Fautin and Allen's "Anemonefishes and Anemones" for good info on ID. If your anemone is H. Magnifica, you are feeding it properly.> I would hate for the creature to waste away from starvation because after reading through the site I wonder if I am under feeding.  <All host anemones need to be fed. If it is shrinking, I would suggest increasing the feedings. The anemone will reject food if it is being overfed.> Also I have taken Anthony's advice and started soaking foods prior to feeding in Vitamin B. Thanks Drew  <This is great advice, although it is more to the benefit of your fishes than to the anemone. Good luck! AdamC.> 
Heteractis magnifica 5/24/05--Part 2 + Ozone
Thanks for the info, does not seem to be growing and maybe a small amount of shrinkage so perhaps I should increase the feeding. <Sounds reasonable.> On a different topic, I emailed awhile back on ozone use and have not heard back.  <Sorry about that... with the large volume of mail that we get, we occasionally lose one!> On your site you refer to hobbyist ozone generators?? Not sure what they are, also from reading through your site it is seems to be the general opinion to run ozone 24/7. What is best way? through skimmer or ozone reactor? the unit I am getting will do 100mg and hour. Is this safe to run 24/7 with out an ORP controller?  <Ozone is used in many industries. Normal oxygen molecules are O2, ozone is O3. Forcing the extra oxygen on makes ozone a very reactive oxidizer. Small units are made specifically for aquarium use. In appropriate doses, ozone helps clarify the water by oxidizing yellowing compounds. In theory it also improves protein skimming by oxidizing organics. If overdosed, ozone can be very dangerous, oxidizing (literally burning) the tissues of living animals.  I personally would not run ozone without at least an ORP meter if not an ORP controller. If ozone is run without a controller, I would suggest running it far below the recommended level. Also, carbon must be used inline with the skimmer or ozone reactor to ensure that any free ozone gas is removed before returning to the aquarium. Ozone reactors help create large air/water interface for the ozone to dissolve and react. They probably aren't necessary if the ozone can be introduced through a skimmer.> Thanks for all the great advice and information, it has helped me through a lot of different situations. Cheers Drew <Glad to!> <<Who answered this?>>

Ritteri anemone Bob, <Or M. Maddox, an admiring understudy of his> I just bought a beautiful Ritteri anemone about 7 days ago. First 2 days were great and since the animal has reduced in size, its tentacles are not holding water and it's mouth has become visible. At this point, its floppy but both true Percs are still in it. <Most don't fare well in captivity, mostly due to inadequate lighting\water motion> Using 2 96 W compacts and the specimen is about 6 inches from the top. It has not moved so I feel like the flow and water conditions are OK. All levels are zero, pH is 8.4. What should I do. I add iodine and "all in one" and water change regularly. Tank is 50 gallons.  <Case in point. I've seen Ritteri's park themselves 8" under a 400w halide bulb. You've nowhere near the required lighting for this animal. They also need flow in the thousands of gallons per hour (no laminar streams either), and they get huge (1 meter across). I'm sure the clowns aren't helping it adjust, either> What is going on? I've had a hard time with anemone's in the past but that was before the new lighting. What is going on? Why? Is this specimen salvageable? How many hours of light per day? Do you recommend the actinic at night as well? <Feed small pieces of meaty foodstuffs twice daily until you can upgrade your lighting, and if you can't upgrade your lighting to some intense halide lighting within the next couple of days I doubt you will be able to save it. Next time, research before buying!> Thanks for your help.  <You're welcome> Chris Woodson, Los Angeles, CA <M. Maddox, redneckville, TX> P.S. Love the site. <So use it!> 

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>

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

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

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

Ritteri Anemone Not eating Hello Again, I purchased a Ritteri Anemone 2 weeks ago, I have been trying to feed it silversides, Krill Mysis, and other food. It will not eat for some reason. <Mmm, something important to impart to you re: other animal groups and subjectivity of reality... You are very likely familiar mainly with other warm-blooded animals... e.g. birds, dogs, cats... Anemones are different in a fundamental aspect... in their rate of reactions, acclimation to new settings... Your addition is just starting to settle in... I might've used the comparison between your referent to time going by, with that of a Galapagos tortoise and a hummingbird...> There are a pair of clowns that made it their home. <Oh, and these are likely feeding it... foods, scraps, their solid and liquid wastes... anemones actually need very little offered "food"> It's in a 29 gal tank, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 30 nitrate... <This is a very dangerously small volume of water... the changes that take place in little bits of water/aquariums, the changes that anemones and other cnidarians effect in their immediate environments (greatly diluted by larger systems, the seas) can create a deadly, unstable, toxic situation... in short order. I would NOT keep this animal in less than a hundred gallons of water.> Water changed every week. I add all trace elements, 130watts PC lights. I spoke to the LFS they stated they do not know why it will not eat. Another strange thing is, I had one before and it moved all the way to the top of the tank, But then I only had about 80 watts lighting. The mouth is tight and good color, the toe has no signs of rips, tears or any damages. It looks healthy and tentacles are all out.  Do you have any Ideas?  Thanks.  Kim <Lots... sorry for Anthony to see the Steelers go down in flames... but re your anemone, you have a bit of studying and soul-searching to do... its husbandry is too difficult in the present circumstances... You would do well to read over our archived materials, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm scroll down to "Anemones, Actinaria"... and read my friend. Bob Fenner> 

Ritteri Anemone Trouble Hello, I have a question, I have a Ritteri anemone, for about 3 Months it has been doing good until the past few days. It had moved to the top of the tank and stayed there. I notice the bottom of the anemone is falling apart (Dying) but the top looks excellent. The mouth is in good shape too. I assume that maybe this is a light issue. It is a 29 gal. tank with power compacts 100 watts,<I believe the light should be adequate provided of course the tubes are changed yearly and one should be an actinic.> 10x on the water flow ( Which it moved it self right in the path of) 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, ph 8.2, nitrate 20ppm Only thing in this tank is a pair of maroon clowns, and some live rock. Is there any saving this anemone? As I said the top looks great!. Is there anything I could or should do, or is it too late. I would start by doing a 20% water change with an enriched salt such as Reef Crystals. Secondly, do a 10% change weekly, not just till things get better.  Are you using a protein skimmer?  Do you feed your anemone?  Please respond for a more detailed answer.  James (Salty Dog) Thanks, WWM Fan!

Ritteri Anemone Trouble Yes I was feeding it 3 times a week, The lights were new, 1 Antic. I pulled it out the mouth was did not look good and it was fouling the tank. It was Gone and nothing I could do. I just do not know what happened to it. I do use a protein skimmer and getting good stuff out of it. and in All my tanks I faithfully do 20% a week, including my 180, and my 300. I haven't missed a water change in 2 years. I always add my supplements. The food was Chopped up krill, with chopped silversides and other mix. Thanks for your help, but I do not think it was meant to be. The Maroons look lost. I think they were wild caught. I have had them a year. they lay eggs, they hatched a few times but did not live. I just do know what kind of anemone to get them anymore. I had a nice bubble tip In there with them, but It was too small. They beat the heck out of it, It almost died but I moved it to another tank and it is doing really well. The problem is the female is about 7" and very aggressive and protective of her anemone. I barely could stick my hands in the tank to clean it. Thank you for your time.<Hello Mr. Zielgler.  One thing to keep in mind.  Anemones are not easy to keep.  First of all, they don't ship well and that adds to problems from the start.  You must have done your homework on anemone/clown relationship since the Ritteri is the anemone of choice for the Maroon Clown with the bubble tip being second and long tentacle anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) being runner up. The use of metal halide lighting is preferable for the ritteri.  PC lighting is acceptable for the bubble tip providing your tank is not deep. You certainly are doing things right but you are just experiencing what many of us have and that is realizing most anemones can't be kept in a closed system for any long term duration. Every now and then a lucky aquarist will get one that does exceptionally well under proper conditions. James (Salty Dog) Scott

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

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

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

NMA, book recommendations, anemone loss Hello Anthony and Bob, << Sorry, you get Adam today >> Just wanted to let you know I received a copy of your book Reef Invertebrates and what a great book it is with a wealth of information. << I agree, money well spent. >> Please keep up the great work and look forward to more books from you folks. Is there any other books that you would recommend? << Yep, Conscientious Marine Aquarist (by Bob) and Natural Reef Aquariums (by Tullock) and for corals get Corals (by Sprung) and boy oh boy I love books and could keep rambling on. >> Also on your advice I have gone to a below tank sump refugium and out with the trickle filter. I am finding my Tank is more stable. Thanks is all I can say. << I would have given the same advice, so I'm glad it worked. >> On a side not I have bought a Heteractis magnifica (Ritteri Anemone) with out  a lot of consideration and ended up losing it due to my own ignorance, it was a hard lesson learned and its not the money but needless loss of life that I am unhappy about. when it was on it way out though and  from what I heard and read this is unheard of but it spawned, and not just sperm but thousands of tiny green eggs. well a month has passed and I have what appears to be a small anemone growing now, I can not be certain that it is a magnifica as of yet but it is not a polyp , it is small whitish with green tips tentacles, as it grows I will keep you updated on what it is for sure, just an interesting tid bit I thought I would share. << Sounds great. >> on closing I would like to say to people looking to buy a Heteractis magnifica that they really research every thing and make sure they have the most ideal tank conditions they can or even better choose another species altogether. << Good Advice >> Thanks Drew Canada Ps. The book I received was autographed, and Yes I have liked my inverts today. <<  Adam Blundell  >>

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

Ritteri Anemone 5/21/04 Hello Anthony <cheers Drew> Recently bought a nice Ritteri Anemone from my LFS and was wondering about some strange things its does, <this is such a beautiful anemone, but one of the most challenging cnidarians (among all corals and anemones) to keep in captivity. They require an extraordinary amount of light (halides ideally over 5 watts per gallon) and powerful water flow with target feedings several times weekly (finely minced meats only... no nig chunks) in a species specific tank (no other cnidarians). Most become a statistic within a year, sad to say. Please do take this advice to heart. I hope this works out for you!> every night and hour before the lights go out it will lean almost lay down into the current? seems odd to me but I can not find anything on habits of an anemone other then they will wander. <yikes... there is lots of info abroad (mostly negative) on the keeping of this anemone. Dig deeper my friend> tonight he was leaning over and just fell off the rock? SPG is 1.0235 ph is 8.3 - 8.4 temp is 78 water flow is approx 1300 GPH 90 Gallon aquarium. for lighting I just installed prior to buying him, 4 VHO bulbs all are 110 watts 2 Super actinic 2 Aquasun. <the water flow is good.... but the lighting is not even close to par. The actinics are just for aesthetics and offer little to no help here (I still like them too though <G>). In essence, you have 220 watts (just over 2 watts per gallon) to keep this anemone with only two white bulbs... and worse still.... its VHO which is very attractive in my opinion, but only penetrates weakly into the water column. Unless the anemone sits in the top 8-10" of the surface, It is not getting enough light to even survive the next couple of months. My advice is to switch to four 7k - 10k K bulbs and force the anemone to stay near the surface (top 10"), unless a halide fixture is a possibility> also like to mention that two True Perculas have taken to him only a few days after he was put in the tank. During the day he seems fine he is on a high point where he will receive lots of light and current but on a separate pile from the main rock work to deter wandering. sorry for the lengthy email just thought to pass on info I thought that may help. Thanks. Drew <no worries... you are on the right track. I wish you the best of luck!> ps. plan on buying your book I found an autographed copy at my LFS and will be picking it up shortly. <ah, thanks kindly :) Anthony> 

Ritteri shock? Hello Crew, <Graham at your service.> Sent an email about my ritteri falling off his rock, but received no response. one thing i did notice though is its every night when i shut off the lights it falls off and rolls across the bottom of the tank, I have left it and it looks most unhappy so i always put it back on its rock where it seems fine till the next night. <It's completely normal.> Guess my question is, will the sudden change in light cause my ritteri to release from his rock thus being blown off from the current? <No. As you probably know, anemones have no central brain -- thus why they cannot adapt to a certain environment. If your aquarium isn't fitting the exact needs the anemone would encounter in the wild, the anemone will move to find a suitable location. This move is commonly done during the night. With that said, leave your anemone and let it roam around the tank where it wants -- just make sure it cannot be sucked into a powerhead or filter.> if so what can i do to prevent this with having to spend extra money for a dimmer. <See above.> am running a icecap 660 with 4 110 Watt VHO lights 2 super actinic to Aquasun. Thanks as always <Good luck! The Ritteri is a very difficult anemone to successfully keep. It's important to maintain excellent water quality and give the anemone ample amounts of lighting. You may also want to feed the anemone foods such as krill, squid, silversides, lancefish, etc. 3x weekly to give the anemone added nutrition. Take Care, Graham!> Drew 

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

Question: what is the colour in mouth Heteractis Hello, From a picture from Malaysia, I am doing a clownfish orange with one white band without dark around and Heteractis magnifica with earth and it is cooked. I am painting it  and, i don't known the colour inside arms (it seams it's yellow-brown when i sea the picture on the web site Heteractis magnifica. Excuse my english because I am French and I live in Antibes, south of France. I love diving yet, I am only level one. Thank you very much if you give a response. Michele H <Most Heteractis mouths are tan to greenish... have seen some though that were blue or light violet... Bob Fenner>

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

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

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

Feeding new Ritteri anemone I apologize for sending this as you have so much information already on your site, but I'm finding some conflicting information from other sources. <no worries> I recently ordered a Ritteri anemone from Flying Fish.   <a beautiful anemone, but rarely to be recommended (poor import and captive survivability... never to be mixed with coral or other anemones either). This anemone, after proper acclimation over days/weeks... needs brighter light than even the most demanding coral. Metal halides for aquaria over 20-24" for this species> It arrived and is beautiful and appears healthy.  It quickly climbed to the top of the tank, where it has stayed for several days.   <very typical Ritteri behavior... they starve for bright enough light> It is a large specimen 8-9 inches across. My question is what to feed this beast.  Your site references finely shredded marine meats in several places, but I find other sites that say pieces of shrimp or squid the size of the anemone's mouth.   <no harm in feeding the minced pieces... possibly (likely in time) damage from tears with too large chunks> Could you clarify what types of food would best support this new addition to my system?   <Mysis shrimp, Pacifica plankton, shredded raw food shrimp, minced krill> Thanks much as always, Scott <lighting is most important here bud. Very bright and maintain water clarity (weekly carbon, water changes, etc). Anthony>
Re: Feeding new Ritteri anemone 2/5/03
You mention that this species should never be mixed in a tank with other corals.   <correct for all anemones essentially. As an added fact (ironically an exception with the ritteri) very few anemones are found anywhere near corals naturally on a reef. A gross generalization... but true for most> Unfortunately, this is a 120 reef with several varieties of coral. <it is commonly where they go in captivity, alas> That's what not enough research before making a purchase gets me.  Why should this species be kept away from corals? <they are motile stinging animals (the anemones) being kept among sessile ones (the corals)... its a recipe for disaster in time. You've already watched yours promptly crawl up the reef to the top... they move at will and sometimes frequently. Its Murphy's Law too... it will stay in place until you go on vacation... then get into a fight with a coral... one or both will die... and the rotting body can corrupt water quality and kill the entire tank for it. Other than that <G>... Heehee. My very string advice for this and all anemones is to keep it alone and as a delightful focal point in a species tank. How about a 60 hex by a window for sunlight and keep a dozen small aquacultured clowns swarming about it? If left with the corals... there are still huge issues with cnidarian allelopathy between such unnatural tank mates in the confines of an aquarium. Wherever you choose to keep this anemone, please be sure to protect this motile creature from pump intakes and overflows/drains/strainers. Too many die this way. Best regards. Anthony>

Heteractis magnifica anemone Good morning! <Howdy> I have a 65G with 4x36" VHO lamps (4x95watt). 75lb of LR and a few corals, but growing. The water quality is very good (no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates) and I add the SeaChem supplements (Reef Plus, Reef Complete, Reef Calcium, Reef Advantage Calcium, Reef Builder). I have a "happy" pair of Amphiprion ocellaris clowns and I would like to add an anemone. <I almost hope that you do not. Anemones generally do not fare well in captivity for hosting clowns and the are sure to fail if you also keep other corals or anemones in the tank. They generally require more lighting to survive than a full blown reef tank and most people are not willing to spend that kind of money. If you are truly endeared to the thought of keeping these cnidarians... then please set up a species tank with only the anemone and these clowns IMO> The only reason I want the anemone is so I can watch my clowns. <again... most anemone in captivity suffer for so many reasons... not the least of which is the unnatural feeding of large foods by you and the clowns to the host, the lack of light (halides needed here) and the repetitive contact. Field studies show that there are fare more anemones living in the wild without guests than with> My understanding is that this type of clown does not always "take" to an anemone. <correct... have you read through our archives here? Many pages of articles and FAQs. Begin here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and notice all of the links for this group down the page here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm > My first choice for an anemone would be a Heteractis magnifica, but specifically either a blue or purple one. I've read that there are 3 anemones that ocellaris clowns prefer: Stichodactyla gigantea, Stichodactyla mertensii and Heteractis magnifica. Here's my question: Is the Heteractis magnifica a good choice for my clowns, <it is compatible... but one of the most difficult anemones to acquire healthy and keep healthy in my opinion. A brown carpet anemone would be a much better choice> will the color affect the chances of them "taking" to the anemone, <nope> and how do I encourage them to "take" to an anemone? <in will come naturally or not. No tricks needed> Thank you in advance for your help. <with pleasure and hope that you succeed> I saw on your site that you recommend reading Dr. Ron Shimek's pamphlet called "Host Anemone Secrets". <just one of many references to consider> Where can I find it? <numerous places on the web. Some of our sponsors on wetwebmedia.com carry it... but have you also simply tried a keyword search on a general search engine for [buy "Host Anemone Secrets"]? Be resourceful bud. Amazon.com also sells it I'm sure.> Regards, Jeff <kindly, Anthony>

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

Lost fish (full anemone) Hi I have a new reef setup I bought second hand from a friend. 120 gallon tank, plenty of LR, a Tunze System sump with skimmer. The tank cycled well according to plan, a diatom explosion occurred, but quickly resolved with a yellow eyed tank, snails and hermit crabs. Then two weeks ago a ritteri Anenome and 2 perc clowns, orchid Dottyback and a yellow tailed damsel were added. Anyway, all seem to have been very happy, although the clowns have gone nowhere near the Anenome,  but over the last 5 days both the Dottyback and damsel have disappeared! No powerheads have intakes that they could have been sucked into, and there is no sign of them jumping out of the tank. They all seemed well with no sign that there was any problem. I can only assume that the Anenome has eaten them - is this possible? <Yes. Though these fishes could have been lost in other ways (jumped out, died and quickly dissolved...)> If so, is there any safer fish that I could replace them with? <Not really particular types but it may help to place new livestock either early in the morning, or to leave the lights on the tank or one near the tank on overnight the first night or two. Know that ritteri (Heteractis magnifica) will eat most any fish, invertebrate that happens into its tentacles, and that they can/do expand quite a bit at times... Bob Fenner> any advice would be very welcome, Thanks Ron Patmore,

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

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

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