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FAQs on Sebae Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 1

Related Articles: Heteractis crispa/Sebae Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, Anemones, Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Sebae Anemones 2, Sebae Anemones 3, Anemones, Sebae Identification, Sebae Behavior, Sebae Compatibility, Sebae Selection, Sebae Systems, Sebae Feeding, Sebae Disease, Sebae Reproduction, Anemones 2, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone FeedingHeteractis Malu

Healthy and bleached specimens...

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Anemone (H. crispa, health) Howdy Bob! <Hello there> Luv your website! Spend a lot of time just reading information and planning next addition to my tank. Purchased what appeared to be a Sebae anemone about 1 1/2 months ago. Has been doing great. Feeding it Phytoplex 3x week, and supplementing with plankton crushed up and mixed with liquid vitamins. Increased my lighting (nowhere near enough, but it was looking great!). I purchased about 3 weeks ago 2 Clarkii clown fish for it. They dove right in and things were looking good. About 1 week ago, I noticed when I fed the supplements to the anemone, my Clarkii's would knock the food out of its tentacles and gobble it up.  <Yes, this happens.> Tried feeding fish and anemone at same time, but no difference. This am, my anemone is shriveled, and its mouth is hanging open. <Not good> My Clarkii's are still playing with it. It's not disintegrating yet, but am I going to lose it? No bad smells noted yet, but it doesn't look good. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <Do try feeding the Clown/Anemonefishes ahead of offering some larger, meatier foods placed maybe with a turkey baster toward the anemones center... this and brighter light should do the job. Bob Fenner> Kat

Anemone; and Unidentified Globular Growth Hi Bob and Crew, <Howdy> Bob - we love your book! We have a 20 gal. tank with a live rock, a 3-spot damsel, two turban snails, two scarlet-leg hermits, a sebae anemone, and a tiny conch. We have two questions: <Tough to keep all this going in such a small environment> 1. Our Sebae anemone is what propelled us to find your web site, and then buy your book (should have done both first before setting up a salt water tank!). <Amen!> When we bought the Sebae three months ago, it was pretty, pure white, and we didn't know what kind it was. When it started getting "dirty" we became worried, and on your site, found out that although the Sebae was a poor choice, the "dirty" coloring was actually a good sign. Since then, though, a couple of worrisome things have occurred: <Okay...> First, usually at night, and often for periods of time during the day, the anemone shrivels up and pulls all of its tentacles inside and looks dead. Then, later, it fluffs back out and looks healthy again. Is this normal? <Yes, to a large extent... as you now know, a good deal of this species nutrition is derived photosynthetically... at night, no light, no reason to extend ones body... more risk to damage, predation...> We never see pictures of Sebaes in this state - they are always pictured fully fluffed out. <I rarely see folks "going to the bathroom on television or in the movies"... Not pretty, and we're mostly all asleep at the time... What would Anthony write? <Wink, Smile?>> Second, recently, the Sebae suddenly had 'crimps' in its tentacles - as if tiny elastic bands had been put around 25% of its tentacles, from about 1/4 to 1/2 way down from the tips. The 'crimps' didn't look like bite or pinch marks - but rather as if some circling muscle had cramped all the way around. Over the next few days, most of them broke off at that point (though we never saw that happen, and never found any 'pieces' - they are gone! - we did see the anemone put the damaged ends in its mouth and pull hard...) Since then, no new episodes like that have happened. The anemone just looks battered, and its tentacles look sort of kinky, rather than gracefully smooth. And, with the tentacles different lengths, that looks funny too. But - for good portions of the day, it looks fully inflated and happy. We are enclosing a picture of our "Kinky Sebae Anemone." <No worries. Natural morphology> The water quality has been good - we test often and change 2 1/2 gallons twice a week. The only other thing which has been different is that lately the anemone has been traveling a circuit, ending up at the same place every night, where as before she stayed in one place for weeks. We have a power head for current and lots of light - standard tank cover light plus two 40 watt spot lights, and natural sunlight for an hour a day. <Sounds good> 2. About a month ago, we noticed this odd dark green shiny metallic glob on our live rock. It looks almost like a metallic marble, but it is flattened somewhat. It is growing, and is now about 1/4 inch diameter. What can this possibly be? <Yes. A colonial algae, Valonia. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm See it there, near the bottom? Read the FAQs over re its significance> We are enclosing a picture of this (Green Marble Thing Growing) and in the picture, it looks like a dark green bubble - but it is solid looking - you cannot see into it. Thanks for your time and your wonderful web-site! Rob 'n Robin <Thank you for being part of it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone ID Steven, It really doesn't look like a sebae. The purple dot on the tip is the size of a pinhead and very uniform in size. Wouldn't dying affect that? Craig <No, generally the dye is only absorbed by the rest of the tissue and the purple tips are unaffected. Look through the WWM site. Bob has a ton of pictures there are comparison to your individual. -Steven Pro>
Re: H. crispa
Hi Steven, I'll write something up by this weekend and send in my experiences. Not sure if I have a recipe for my success but I can offer some hints about rock structure, feeding, and the like. I definitely enjoy keeping these creatures. Killed my first two due to underfeeding (made the mistake of believe D&S about not needing to feed BTAs who have clowns ;-) but since then have had very good success with them and find them well suited to the right aquarium. Surprisingly (or maybe not) rock arrangement does matter for them. Marc <Have you read Jim Black's little piece on BTA's? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm It is a very interesting piece. All of these experiences and anecdotal evidence do add up and help others from making the same mistakes. -Steven Pro>
H. crispa
Hi, Bob and company, <Steven Pro this morning.> I was reading your page and FAQ on Sebae anemones and two things caught my eyes. One is a picture of one splitting in captivity. I didn't know they did that. Second is a comment about color. I think it was Anthony that said something to the effect that pure white is an unhealthy color. You know what I'm going to say now: I have a white one that seems very healthy. I've had an H. crispa for about a year and it seems very healthy: very sticky, growing, happy with its location. It is mostly white (slight yellow) with pink tips. I feed it every 7-14 days, either formula one, shrimp, scallops, and chopped clam. I'm assuming I just have a white color morph, not an unhealthy one. I will eventually add some A. ocellaris after my tank settles down from a swap; at the moment it is clown less. (Used to have some maroons but they went exclusively for the BTAs and I took them back last weekend.) Anyway, just curious about the color thing and your thoughts on the odds of my H. crispa splitting. The BTAs split like crazy ;-) <It sounds like you are obviously doing something right to have kept the Sebae alive for one year and to have bubble tips splitting in your tank. To answer your question about color, "mostly white (slight yellow)" makes all the difference. Stark white is a problem for sure and is a symptom of the anemone loosing all its symbiotic algae. The slight yellow under the white is the zooxanthellae which is usually described as a golden brown.> Thanks, Marc <You are welcome. Please feel free to describe in detail your attempts at keeping these fascinating creatures, similar to this http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm  -Steven Pro>

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

H. Crispa: Sebae Anemone Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Great site, really fantastic, wish I'd found it seven days ago. The reason? Although I'm experienced with Koi and tropicals, I'm still relatively new to marines. You know what's coming don't you? Bought a beautiful looking maroon clown to add to my fish only tank the other day. Had my eye on this guy for a couple of weeks, and he just loved his little anemone in the shop. S.O. thinks it would be a good idea to get it as well, to keep the clown happy. <ughhh... here it comes <smile>> OK, OK, I've read the FAQs now, and I am feeling mucho guilty. Mea culpa.  <are you a lawyer... or do you just play one on TV?> I also bought the gear to upgrade my two lights to four. I have a marine white, marine Glo (blue), a 10,000 K and an 18,000 K set-up.  <nice, but how deep is the tank? If more than eighteen inches with standard fluorescents, this won't be of much help.> I guess I need to re-read the lighting section in my books to see if this is OK. <ahead of me my friend...yes> I have two external filters, and no protein skimmer, an issue I guess I am going to have to address real fast. <agreed> The anemone is, I believe, an H. Crispa. In my superb ignorance I had thought he was sitting in a small terracotta pot, this being the colour of his tube. In the shop his tentacles seemed mostly retracted, and white, although his tube was a beautiful salmon pink. At home he has collapsed somewhat, with outer ring of tentacles hanging down over his tube. <do read about bleached sebae anemones if yours is white tentacled> Prior to reading your article, I had tried to prop him upright between three pieces of rock. After reading your FAQs, now believe he would prefer to bed on the glass through the sand. He had tried to start attaching himself to the side of one of the rocks however. Gently tried to turn this so he was upright, but he detached. Have tried to gently support him on all sides with sand, and he seems much happier. <if it begins to move around the tank, it is often an indication of inadequate lighting> He seems to react to my interference by colouring his tentacles - they go a dirty tannish colour.  <when tentacles are retracted, I assume> The clown seems to be quite concerned at the state of the anemone, and is vigorously rubbing and pushing at it, as well as feeding it. The tentacles with food close appeared to go a luminous yellow colour. <not a very healthy color you will soon learn> I hope I am not on the three month fast track to goo.  <no comment> I have recently watched my mandarin starve to death, and having read some of your other replies am feeling really bad. My other (surviving) tank inhabitants are a yellow tang, blue devil, leopard wrasse, blue cheeked goby, hermit crab and a fire shrimp. My regal angel died recently, but I guess you're not surprised. <my friend... the leopard wrasse, mandarin, yellow sebae anemone (dyed color!) and a regal angel... you are killing me!!! Somebody is giving you awful advice! I truly hope the retailer of these inappropriate (to the uninformed/novice) animals is a single location and not a plethora of stores in your area> My question is really can you recommend some sort of external filter that does the protein skimmer bit as well? <a lousy idea that has historically failed. Try an Aqua C if you need a unit with a narrow profile> Also, if the inevitable happens, how many years should I stay fish-only before attempting to push my luck? <hehe... just a few good months of reading my friend will be fine. Do try to locate some local aquarium societies to get some great and free unbiased information. I recently began selling books to a fellow in the UK who was telling me about a few regional aquarium societies. I think most of them are listed in Practical Fishkeeping Magazine (UK). Have faith... you'll do fine. It sounds like you are a good and humble learner. With kind regards, your friend across the pond, Anthony Calfo> Cheers - Tim (in the UK).
Re: H. Crispa
Hi Anthony, <<cheers again>> <are you a lawyer... or do you just play one on TV?> Damn, you found out! <<you spouted Latin twice, it had to be>> <nice, but how deep is the tank? If more than eighteen inches with standard fluorescents, this won't be of much help.> It's 18 inches - I also removed the glass cover over the water last night, having relocated all the ballasts out of the way in the cabinet. <<excellent...every little bit will help. Fluorescents should be protected but as close to the water as possible (assuming you have water proof end caps)>> <do read about bleached sebae anemones if yours is white tentacled> Well he's sort of off-white, the tips seem a more pure white colour. <<natural color is dark brown/green>> <if it begins to move around the tank, it is often an indication of inadequate lighting> He isn't moving around the tank, but he makes some interesting shapes with his stem, sort of inflates the top half, then rolls this down to the base, also seems to make a cleft in his base.  <<sounds like Bob Fenner on the dance floor...hehe>> He seems fairly happy position wise. <<its definitely Bob if it never puts its beer down>> <when tentacles are retracted, I assume> Tentacles have not been retracted since he went in. Outer ring still flopping down stem, but majority seem upright, can see his mouth now, nothing nasty coming out of it, top of stem seems flared outwards. <my friend... the leopard wrasse, mandarin, yellow sebae anemone (dyed color!) and a regal angel... you are killing me!!! Somebody is giving you awful advice! I truly hope the retailer of these inappropriate (to the uninformed/novice) animals is a single location and not a plethora of stores in your area> Two shops, one is better than the other, but there are not that many marine vendors over here. <<dreadful...sorry to hear it. Do research livestock before buying from these stores>> <a lousy idea that has historically failed. Try an Aqua C if you need a unit with a narrow profile> <hehe... just a few good months of reading my friend will be fine. Do try to locate some local aquarium societies to get some great and free unbiased information. I recently began selling books to a fellow in the UK who was telling me about a few regional aquarium societies. I think most of them are listed in Practical Fishkeeping Magazine (UK). > I'll go right out and buy the magazine, check the adverts for skimmers and the listings of clubs!  <<yes... many wonderful advertisements for networking/contacts>> Many thanks for your quick response! Cheers - Tim. <<cheers, my friend across the pond. Anthony>>

Bleached Anemone Thanks for your response Anthony. <quite welcome, Mr. Ponder> What would be a more ideal alkalinity for an anemone? <8-12 dKH is a nice range> He actually looks pretty good this morning but he has moved from where I placed him in a little nook out to the open substrate again ... <Robert... I see the picture that you have attached, and I'm sorry to say that you have an anemone in extremely poor health. The natural color for this species is a usually a rich brown (some other variations). What you have is a prime example of why aquarists should boycott the purchase of these animals until they can be shipped/handled better. Your anemone is white (and they are sometimes sold in yellow when not so severely bleached as your) because of stress/mishandling on import, it has expelled all of it's zooxanthellae (the brown color). The Zooxanthellae are the algal simians that produce carbon to feed its host. Without them, the anemone almost certainly starves to death. Quite frankly, the chances of this anemone surviving are rather slim... if you have been buying "non-brown" sebae/Malu anemones all along, then this explains why none live for you. You might do the industry a small favor by politely educating your local fish store about this. Assumedly they don't intend to sell you an animal that is destined to die so prematurely. Of course, after you tell them, it will be interesting to see if they still keep ordering them (or paying for them when their shippers stick them...still, they shouldn't sell this animal for money...unethical) his foot is not attached to anything and he is laying on his side but almost fully pumped up as I write but not as much when I took the pic below. As per your thoughts in the quoted letter about lighting. I can move him up to within 6" - 8" of the lighting source if you think it would help for now. <please don't move it just yet... if it has any chance, it is through you feeding very fine shredded (smaller than adult brine shrimp...but don't use brine) ocean meats like Pacifica plankton or Mysid shrimp several times weekly as a source of nitrogen/food until the animal colors back up. When it recovers, zooxanthellae return in dirty brown patches at first that look kind of ugly (like bruised)... but rest assured that it is a sign of hope> I've attached a pic of him for you to have a look at for coloring ... the camera rendered it accurately.  <yep...jacked up> The nitrate reading that I quoted as zero could actually be regarded as 10 since the test kit's lowest reading is 10 meq/l. Same for the Nitrite - 0.2, Ammonia is still a true 0. From what you've said it sounds more like problems from capture and handling than tank environmental issues.  <exactly> The tank water quality may have not been "perfect" for him but doesn't sound like it should be bringing on his rapid demise. <correct...you WC overall is quite good... depressed pH/alkalinity is common and easy to correct> If this one croaks it will be my last attempt without a purely reef system going. <just as well...anemones do best in species specific systems without other species of coral/anemone one> Like I've said, the snails, cowries (grazing species, dark brown, spotted shell),  <good. tiger cowries> feather dusters, cleaner shrimps, even sponges have faired well in this very same tank with the sponges and feather dusters only suffering at the hands of the fish if they ever suffered at all. That's why I shake my head about this so much. <not your fault at all> Seems to me if the cowries are saying this place is OK the anemone would too. Thanks - Robert <best regards...and do look up the FAQ and articles on this site for Sebae/Malu anemones. Anthony>

Re: Unknown anemone problems Thanks for your response Anthony. What would be a more ideal alkalinity for an anemone? <10-12 dKH> He actually looks pretty good this morning but he has moved from where I placed him in a little nook out to the open substrate again ... his foot is not attached to anything and he is laying on his side but almost fully pumped up as I write but not as much when I took the pic below. <Very nice> As per your thoughts in the quoted letter about lighting. I can move him up to within 6" - 8" of the lighting source if you think it would help for now. I've attached a pic of him for you to have a look at for coloring ... the camera rendered it accurately. <Mmm, please take a look at "naturally colored specimens" here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm Yours is actually "bleached out"... missing its zooxanthellae... this happens from being "kept in the dark" or w/o sufficient quality and quantity of light... typically during the process of holding and distribution from the wild.> The nitrate reading that I quoted as zero could actually be regarded as 10 since the test kit's lowest reading is 10 meq/l. Same for the Nitrite - 0.2, Ammonia is still a true 0. From what you've said it sounds more like problems from capture and handling than tank environmental issues.  <Very common> The tank water quality may have not been "perfect" for him but doesn't sound like it should be bringing on his rapid demise. If this one croaks it will be my last attempt without a purely reef system going. Like I've said, the snails, cowries (grazing species, dark brown, spotted shell), feather dusters, cleaner shrimps, even sponges have faired well in this very same tank with the sponges and feather dusters only suffering at the hands of the fish if they ever suffered at all. That's why I shake my head about this so much. Seems to me if the cowries are saying this place is OK the anemone would too. Thanks - Robert <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Sea anemone Just to let you know my sebae anemone died today. :(  <I am truly sorry to hear that...Anthony> I took it out of the main tank two days ago as its tentacles started to wither, and I noticed a dark object coming out of its mouth (turned out to be its insides). I had hoped that maybe I might be able to save it, but I have heard that once they start a downward spiral it is very hard to bring them back. Is this true?  <yes... without a skeleton and dense tissue, infections set rapidly> When these things start to die, do they make your tank water a slightly cloudy color? <indeed> I did a partial water change in the main tank that it was in and added some 'cycle'.  <the water changes are your best bet> All the other fish seem to be fine for now. Poor 'Bozo' my Percula clown seems to miss the anemone,  <not at all...the tank is truly safer without one... clowns take up shells and hardy coral just the same. Try a large shell if you have one> I have moved a cloth type plant over to where the anemone used to be and he seems to like that enough. Not as much as he liked his anemone, however it will do. <agreed> Do you know if anyone makes artificial sea anemones? Would be cool if they did, then my clown could have an anemone and I would not have to worry about it dying. <they do...but they are terribly expensive (marketed for zoos and their budgets> Thanks for all your help and I do pass on what I learn from you. <the ultimate compliment... kind regards. Anthony> Kathy
Re: sea anemone, one last question
Hi Anthony, <Aloha!> thanks forgetting back to me so quickly. Just one last question, if I may. How often should I do these water changes to rid the tank of the slightly cloudy water?  <best determined by if and how much ammonia the tank tests for> I did a 20% water change today.  <a good start> Should I do them weekly until the cloudiness is gone? Or would small daily water changes be in order under the circumstances? <two in the next week might be nice... but do check the basic water chemistry... if fine, two will be enough> thank you very much for all your help. Kathy <very welcome, indeed>

Pink Tip anemone You Guys are Killing Me <smile> Hi Guys, (Sorry I don't Know whose gonna answer!) <Anthony Calfo in your service, my friend> I've written before and was very pleased with the advice and timely response. <convincing fibbers, I suppose> So I've got another question, this time about the pink tip anemone. I've heard that they eat fish  <uncommon...just weak, dead and dying ones for the most part (aside from mandarins and seahorses)> and was just wondering if they would pose a threat to any the following fishes: Blue regal tang, powder blue tang, yellow tang, regal angel,  <good lord, dude...who suckered you into buying the regal angel?!? Please don't tell me the LFS used some bull crap line like "But, look...it's eating!" Dude...the problem with such fish in captivity is not that they don't eat (an inaccurate legend) but that they don't SURVIVE on prepared foods and die slowly of a dietary deficiency. The odds of your angel being alive one year from now are slim (unless it is a Maldivian Orange throat, seriously)> coral beauty, Percula clownfish, blue damsels, and a cleaner wrasse (I know I shouldn't have bought it but it was eating at the store and I couldn't resist!)  <aieeee! same argument as above...fire you local fish counsel...hehe> as I was given a pink tip and have now put it in to my tank. Your knowledge is appreciated. <and your patience with my sense of humor is ever more appreciated, my friend. Don't worry about the anemone...it is the least of your problems. Also, never feed it anything larger than 1/4" meats...just because it stings a large chunk doesn't mean it is healthy or natural> Thanks, Jay <kindly, Anthony>

Sebae & clown fish follow up Hi Anthony, it's Kathy again, <Greeting! Anthony> Just thought you'd like to know that my Sebae anemone seems to be improving.  <Outstanding!> It has embedded itself in the live sand that I have in my tank and seems to be coloring up a wee bit now. It is turning light beige, hopefully brown later. The base has a dark color, like there is something dark inside. (Zooxanthellae, hope this is how you spell it) <all very good signs that the zooxanthellae <wink> are returning> When I said it moved in my last E-mail to you I meant that it would open and close it's tentacles and puff itself up when it eats. It only moved to find it's spot in my tank when I first got it. At present it has fluffed out its tentacles so it is a nice shape, NO mouth gaping thankfully. <ahhh...very good> Bozo, my clown is very protective of it. He is like a cat with catnip, I swear!! It is so funny how he loves this thing. I have noticed that when I feed the anemone with a baster full of minced food that my clown will steal some of it. Any ideas on how I can prevent Bozo from taking my anemones food? <probably no great harm...I suspect the anemone will get enough (please don't overfeed to compensate)...the anemone will eventually get it anyway when the clown passes waste> I have tried to feed the anemone at the same time I feed the fish, but the anemone is a bit slow to close around it and Bozo is right there to pluck it out. I feed the anemone once every three days, for now anyway till I see how it is doing. Hope this is not too much. <not at all...perhaps a little more even> I am curious too, how long should I leave my lights on for the anemone each day? I leave them on for 8 hours is this enough, too much? (minimum for fluorescents 8-12 hours and keep bulbs fresh (changed every 6-10 months for photosynthetic animals> Thanks for all your help :) I am learning so much!!!! <keep learning and pass your wisdom on to others in kind. Anthony> Kathy

Sebae Anemone Rescue Hi again Anthony, <Greetings, Kathy... I noticed the RN in your username... I suspect that your charges (human and pets) are in excellent hands <smile>> Sorry to be plaguing you with questions. My Sebae anemone, is eating and moves.  <It is good that it is eating...but not so that it is unsettled> I wonder if the brownish mucous stuff it spits out is the remains of what it eats?  <it could be the product of digestion...but if it is still quite white, it could also be the expulsion of zooxanthellae (rather bad)> It looks ok, but what do I know!!, I called a fish store about it, not the one I got it from. They said that it is hard to tell, it may be fine, just to keep an eye on it. <look out for it to continue to take on a dingy, brown color even in patches (very good sign)> they also said that the anemone is usually white but will take on a greenish to brown color from the algae in the tank. <not from the tank (re-inoculation legend...may be bogus) but rather some remnant zooxanthellae is left behind and farmed> I called the place I got it from and they said the same. I had taken it out of the tank and put it in a small Betta hex bowl with Oxygen bubbled in. It seemed to be fine, was eating etc. The only thing is that it expels these small brownish mucous balls once in a while. It will puff itself up once in a while to move, or when I feed it. Is it true that they 'throw their stomach out (mouth protrudes) when they eat? Don't laugh too hard now!! <sorry... I couldn't read your last sentence, I was laughing too hard... hehe> I read on another site where someone said it does that. <in a manner of speaking, but never to be confused with gaping> Mine did puff itself up and brought its tentacles up and together and you could see a slight bulge near the mouth. It also expelled a mucous ball afterward. SO I have to wonder what it is doing? Is it because it is sick and dying that it does this?  <nope, just expelling something unwanted (waste or symbionts) I wonder if this is not just the product of digestion? I mean the remains of what it eats has to go somewhere, right? <don't forget about regurgitation... I know I couldn't this morning after that bottle of wine last night> I have tried to find info on the net about these critters. But like you say the info is so diverse it is hard to differentiate between what is fact and fiction. In any case, it is back in the tank with Bozo <really!?1? you have a fish that looks like Bill Clinton?!?) but I am keeping a close eye on it. I got the anemone for my clown so the Royal Gramma would stop charging him with his open mouth. The Gramma leaves 'Bozo' my clown alone as long as Bozo stays close to the anemone. <that's because the anemone is in the secret service> Sure hope that the anemone is fine. If it dies I won't get another, I hate not knowing much about it. <agreed... I many of us have been in your position. But it will not be for naught...you have learned and now you can teach> Anemones seem very tricky and I don't like the uncertainty, <very much the case... I would like to see reduced import of most anemone species and the subsequent higher prices that would cause to reduce impulse purchases> it is hard enough keeping an eye on the various levels in the tank etc, without having to wonder if your anemone is dead or alive and worrying about your levels and other fish because of it. If I had known Sebaes were this delicate I would not have gotten it in the first place. I was sure misinformed! <no worries... it gets better from here> Anthony do you recommend any other sites that I may try where I can get accurate info on anemones and other saltwater aquarium fish? Sorry this was so long! <honestly... while I'm sure there are many good sites out there, misinformation abounds. Anyone that knows how to web publish can suddenly be an expert. The very best place to find good information in my opinion is at aquarium societies and conferences. If you have a local aquarium club...great. And whether you do or don't, the occasional road trip to a regional conference is well worth it. At such meetings you get cutting edge information and camaraderie from people who are not trying to sell you something! What city are you from?> Thank you for all your help. I really appreciate it!! :)Kathy <The pleasure is mine. Anthony Calfo>

Sebae and Clownfish Hi Anthony, <Buona notte, Katerina> Yes I am a nurse and I live in Miami, and I enjoy scuba diving in the Keys. How about you? Where do you live? And what do you do for a living? I find this site I joined, that you are a part of, is very informative as there are many people there, like yourself, as you have said that have been in my shoes and have learned so now they teach. <Living in beautiful SW Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)...enjoy SCUBA too, recently sold my business (coral greenhouse) and then wrote a book on the subject. I'm using the time off to write... I have a second book nearly finished on an unrelated subject (child abuse) and will hopefully have the second volume of my Book of Coral Propagation finished by Christmas... at this work pace, I may lose my Generation X privileges <smile>> My anemone is still looking ok. He was settled in my tank before I took him out. It had stuck itself to the wall of the tank in the corner at the front. < a good sign....perhaps adjusting to its desired level of light/water flow> I put him back in the same spot but he moved near the back again. I guess he needs to find his spot again!! LOL Probably it will move back to the front again later. We will see. <just toying with you...hehe> Bozo of course is snuggled right up inside it rocking up and down. Happier than a pig in you know what!! Thanks for you help!! Kathy <ahhh, yes...let's have faith that it will pull through. It's a good sign that it hasn't stepped off of the train yet. When they die, they wipe out fast. Please update us in the future. Kindly, Anthony>

White Sebae anemone...Argghhh Hi Bob <Anthony Calfo here digging hard and fast into a bag of Chex mix like there is gold at the bottom!> I am new to this site and was looking for some information on sebae anemones and True Percula Clownfish. I was a little disturbed when I read a few articles on your site. <as you should be> I had looked for information on some other sites which said that the Sebae anemone was pretty hardy and was a good match for my Percula clown. <inaccurate on both counts in my opinion too> Yet on your site I get the impression that the opposite is true. I am confused now. I just bought a Sebae today and put it in the tank. It seems to have embedded itself into the sand and is in a corner in my tank. <the problem with sebae anemones is largely shipping induced (bleached/ stressed animals). If you anemone is yellow or white... there is a very good chance that it will not live to see two months let alone six months or older. Turning a darker/dirty brown color would be a GOOD sign of recovery. They should be richly brown with dark purple tips for most> My Percula seems to be staying away from it for now. When I first bought my Percula he was living in a white Sebae anemone.  <Somewhat unusual...not a typical host anemone for this picky clown species. A white sebae will die in months regardless from attrition (expelled zooxanthellae no longer providing carbon)> That was about a month ago. Does it take them time to 'find' the anemone? <case by case> How long does it take for my Clown to accept the anemone, usually? Are there times when the Clown will not accept the anemone, if there are what are the usual reasons why they won't? <see above> I read that the Sebae anemone was pretty hardy. A number of other sites say they are, is this true? <don't believe everything you read <smile>... I'm not selling sebae's, clownfish or any livestock for that matter <wink>> Thanks for your help! I really enjoy your site, it is very helpful. Kathy <very best of luck to you, kindly... Anthony>
White Sebae anemone Follow-up
Hi Anthony, <Greetings Kathy> Thanks for your reply. Looks like my anemone is not doing too well as you predicted.  <I am truly sorry> It is still white, my clown loves it now though, too bad because the anemone had a light brown ball of something in the middle of it this morning. That's a bad sign right?  <hmmm? gaping mouth or regurgent...either way not great> Is there anything I can do to help? I called a fish store and they said that if it does not improve by tomorrow to take it out before it goes to mush in the tank. <keep a close eye on it, but if you are sure it is dead or near death please remove it promptly... it is a dreadful mess and dangerous to water quality> The annoying thing is that I have only had this anemone for four days!! <quite frankly, you got snookered> What is the best anemone to get for a True Percula clownfish? <a very picky clownfish...likes difficult anemone species that require screaming high reef tank lights (intense halides). A Ritteri anemone is often accepted... but they are so difficult to keep that I wish most were not collected. Brown or Green Carpet anemones might work... but might not. Your clowns do not need an anemone, I'd recommend you admire them from afar. Anthony> And how do I tell when the anemone is healthy before I buy? <depends on the species... but do info gather to know what the natural healthy color is, see if it is responsive and never take one with a gaping mouth. Anthony> Thanks again. Kathy <quite welcome>

Anemone question Hello Bob....Happy new year! <And to you Feliz anno nuevo> My question is about a sebae anemone. I have had this specimen for several months now, and am quite happy. There were some uncertain times, like when it appeared to be expelling symbiotic algae, and when it wouldn't attach, but it has been doing great for the past 3 or 4 months. In researching, it would appear that it is a good thing when the anemone takes on a slightly dingy color (algae replacement?) <Yes> . This is happening with mine. Every day since attachment in it's permanent spot, this anemone fully inflates, and is beautiful. It is very reactive to touch, and light movement. My question is relating to feeding this animal. I have tried giving it chunky items such as fish, shrimp, etc., but even though it reacts and closes upon the food item placed within it's tentacles, I usually find the piece of shrimp on the substrate a little while later. The other problem is my pesky cleaner shrimp, it is not deterred in the least by the anemone tentacles and steals mercilessly.  <Best to "spray" the anemone with a baster food/blend of meaty foods and vitamins once, twice a week... after giving "Mr. Shrimp" something on the opposite side of the system> This is usually fixed by feeding the shrimp first, but you already know that works :-). Should I be concerned that this anemone isn't eating enough, or is observation my best ally here? <Only if you are actually think its health is impugned... seems fine from here> I feed twice or more per day (the tank, not the anemone) using a variety including Nori, prepared pellets, flake, and a "homebrewed" concoction resembling the one in your book. These items are fed intermittently, no rhyme or reason to the pattern, just whatever suits my mood. When I feed the frozen blend, I usually thaw first, and then dump. This results in a cloud of particles whirring about the system. Is it likely that this anemone is getting what it needs from the particles it filters/grasps during this feeding? <Yes... don't need much... Heteractis crispa derive a good deal of nutrition from photosynthesis, dissolved organic carbon, detritus/fecal material> I don't usually see it capturing anything, but seeing isn't always that important. <You are correct. Profoundly so> This anemone does have a large tomato clown that is in love with it, and a coral banded shrimp that hangs out directly underneath it. <These animals are assuring the anemone gets enough nutrition> Often times the shrimp will tap the anemone with it's antenna, not sure why, it just does. From my reading, it seems that sebae anemones rely heavily on the lighting for symbiotic algae production, and also eat meaty foods. Does it seem obvious that I'm missing something in the care of this animal? <Nothing I am aware of> My H2O parameters are great, the only area that I'm working on is the SG. It is currently at 1.021. I was treating a parasitic outbreak on the clown with lowered SG but now am VERY slowly raising this by adding pre-mixed makeup water instead of fresh top off water. Sorry for the long message, many questions. <No worries> Jason By the way, I hope to be joining MARS (Sacto) this year....Hope to meet you there some time! <We certainly will meet. I look forward to it. Bob Fenner> Pink Tipped Anemone Mr. Fenner <Call me Bob> Another quick one - I have a Pink Tipped Anemone in my 6 week old 90 gallon. It was white when I got it, but it is slowly turning brownish. <A good sign> My inexperienced opinion would be that I am losing it. Otherwise it seems to be doing fine. I have two Percula Clownfish but they don't go anywhere near it. All water tests are good. Is this normal or is my fear correct. <They are not white in the wild. Likely re-incorporating algal symbionts. Your Clownfish are not likely involved. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance John Kummer

Help identifying an anemone I have been searching the web for over a week now trying to find some information that will match. I recently purchased a sebae anemone (Heteractis crispa) from a local shop, and after getting the critter home, went on a mass information search. Good quality images have been hard to find, but the anemone I have looks pretty identical to the one listed at http://www.marinedepotlive.com/1123874.html. My trouble is I have seen similar looking anemone's classified as bubble and sebae. <The animal shown is H. crispa, sold in the trade most often as a/the Sebae Anemone> On the majority of non shop sites, the Sebaes are shown with much longer tentacles and darker colors. <This is indeed what they look like in the wild... consequent with their collection is (almost always) a loss of endosymbiotic algae (the source of color)> Unfortunately, the lack of quality images on the hobby sites, has left me wondering what exactly I do have. I'm just under a year into this hobby and this is my first anemone, and I'd really enjoy seeing him thrive. Thanks for your generosity with your time and knowledge. <Thank you for writing. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm and other Anemone articles, FAQs posted. I have many images of this species, some bizarrely colored (by humans) for sale in the hobby. Bob Fenner>

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