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FAQs on Sebae Anemone Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Heteractis crispa/Sebae Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, Anemones, Cnidarians, olored/Dyed Anemones, 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, by Bob Fenner Related FAQs: Sebae Anemones 1, Sebae Anemones 2, Sebae Anemones 3, Sebae Identification, Sebae Behavior, Sebae Compatibility, Sebae Systems, Sebae Feeding, Sebae Disease, Sebae Reproduction, Anemones, 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 Feeding, Heteractis malu,

Not real color... dyed

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Is my system ready for a Sebae Anemone?     12/9/12
Hello WetWebMedia and thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
I was wondering whether or not you think my system is able to handle Heteractis Crispa or not.
I'll start by listing my current water parameters and system information.
Current Parameters:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
Phosphate: 0ppm
<Mmm, photo/chemo-synthates need some measurable NO3 and HPO4>

pH: 8.3
kH: 8.0
Calcium: 470
<A bit high... would keep under 450 ppm, about 400 or so... and need to see/determine that [Mg] is within proportion>
Salinity: 1.024
Temperature: 78°F
System information:
Aquarium: 56 gallon cube (30x18x24 inches)
Filtration: Marineland canister filter C-160, sump (unknown brand but built in trickle filter with bioballs),
<Do make sure the intake is widely screened, lest the anemone drift near, get sucked against>
Coralife 65g Super Skimmer and the all important 50lbs of live rock and 3 inch deep sand bed.
Lighting: Odyssea 396 watt 24" hqi combo fixture. Don't worry, I replaced the metal halide ballast with a 250w icecap and the compact fluorescent actinic bulbs with Coralife power compacts. I have a new 250 watt hqi bulb coming for Christmas as a gift for myself. The moonlight LEDs I left alone.
Water flow:
2 Aqueon 700gph circulation pumps in opposite corners controlled by a Hydor Koralia Smart wave controller creating back and forth flow.
1 power head unknown flow rate or brand constant flow
1 Hydor Koralia Nano circulation pump continuous flow.
Water changing:
Coralife Pure-Flo 2 four stage RO/DI unit 50gpd
Establishment: I personally have owned the tank for almost three years now but I inherited it with all of its inhabitants, water, rock, substrate etc. from an elementary school that had used it for 6 years. Basically this tank is 9 years old.
Current inhabitants:
Fish and mobile inverts:
1 Snowflake Eel approx 14" 1 year
<Will need more room in time>
1 Six-line Wrasse approx 2" 6 months
1 Fu Manchu Lionfish approx 2" 2 months
<Might get stung, consumed by an anemone>
1 Sea Hare 4 months
<... DO check re the species. Many sold in the trade are inappropriate... cool to cold water, get too big... when they die take the rest of the tank w/ them>
1 Lettuce Sea Slug (hitchhiker on my Fu Manchu)
7 clean up crew hermit crabs 3 years
2 turbo snails 4 months
1 Acropora spp. 4 months
1 green LPS 5 months
1 green Zoanthid colony 6 months
<These other Cnidarians may take exception to the new anemone's presence. I'd isolate the Heteractis in a separate system, mix water... to alleviate allelopathy. As gone over here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and see these species Compatibility FAQs files>
The only water quality fluctuations I have recently experienced involved my phosphates when they rose to 1ppm very quickly over a period of 2 days. A quick water change helped fix that. I had a very long term problem with Nitrates during my FOWLR years until I increased my water change schedule from 20% once a month to 20% every two weeks. Now my water qualities have remained stable at just about perfect for 4 months (besides the phosphate increase a few weeks ago) and all my inhabitants appear very healthy. I only recently (6 months ago) became a reef aquarist but I have maintained a successful reef ecosystem since I switched it from running as a FOWLR system for two and a half years (and the 6 years before I owned it). Do you guys think my tank can handle a sebae anemone?
<You're at a handicap w/ such a small/ish volume, and some of the other livestock are problematical>
 Perhaps more importantly is should I even attempt a species this notoriously difficult?
<A clone/d BTA would be a better choice/gamble>
 I also would be ordering from liveaquaria.com as my local pet store never gets Sebaes from its distributor. Point being, I wouldn't be able to see the anemone until it is on my doorstep. If there is something wrong with the specimen I receive do you think it has a good chance of recovering and surviving and thriving in my tank?
<I'd have another system in place for the slow meet and greet mentioned, and in case you need/want to move it pronto>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Upgrading Tanks; and anemone comp., test kit grade/SW 10/18/10
Thank You for the quick response. I do have a couple of questions. I read that a Bubble Tip anemone *can* get along fine with a Sebae anemone.
<Can... have photographed them in the wild, contiguous>
Mine do well. I got the Bubble Tip prior to discovering WWM or I would have forgone that acquisition. I have tried to get the Bubble Tip out, after reading that there can be a problem, unsuccessfully.
You showed doubt in my Phosphate readings, something to do with my stinging-celled life. I truly get 0 phosphates when I check them weekly.
<Assuredly, the measure is less than 0., perhaps less than 0.0... but not altogether absent>
My Nitrates never get to 20. I either misunderstood your reasoning or my test kit is not very good.
<Likely the test kit precision to significant figures>
I guess I am unclear on what you wrote.
<And I apologize for not being clear/er>
If my test kits are not accurate then I should purchase a better brand.
<Mmm, not really. I suspect your kit/s is/are fine for what you have in mind>
I am using API.
<Not the best, but passable for most aquarists' use>
Thank you for the link. Most times I find what I am looking for. I no longer purchase anything of importance without referring to WWM. Thank you for this awesome site.
<Certainly welcome John/Tracey. BobF>

Re Heteractis Malu Or Heteractis Crispa/Anemone ID 3/3/10
I was looking at the compatibility chart but which clowns most frequently host crispas?
<All found here.
Also is it true that maroons are the most known for hosting anything?
<Many different species of clownfish will host anemones they are not commonly associated with.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Heteractis Malu Or Heteractis Crispa/Anemone ID 3/3/10
Hi James,
It is all the same color through out, a beige brown with bright tips on the tentacles. Its attached itself to a rock very well and hasn't moved yet.
<After talking with Bob re the ID, he would bet his last beer <<Not THAT confident! Heeee! RMF>> that your anemone is a Crispa. It is unusual that a Crispa would prefer anchoring to the rock rather than burrow into the sand, unless it just appears to you that he is anchored to the rock.
The giveaway in ID'ing was that Magnifica's do not have pink tips.
Regardless, Heteractis species are difficult to maintain in captive systems.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

20-01-10 Lionfish stung by Sebae? 1/21/10
Hello! <Hi Bill>
I have a 110 gallon tank. In there I have a Volitans Lionfish (6 inches or so), Snowflake Eel, and a Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish. In the last week I've added a Sebae Anemone <not easily kept> for the clown that it loves and the Sebae seems to be doing ok <For now. Have you researched WWM re: these animals?>. Two days ago I was watching the tank and noticed the Lionfish was chasing a Peppermint Shrimp (which I knew was pretty much inevitable but had gotten a while back for help with an Aiptasia outbreak). He didn't get the shrimp which got away in some rock. Following that though I noticed the Lionfish was acting odd. He was having issues swimming and he was all over the place (even towards the top where he rarely goes). Looking his body over I noticed he had a patch <could indeed be a sting> that looked kind of pale (by the second day it looked like a scratch, which now is looking much better) and his tail area almost looks bent to a side which can even been seen when he's swimming <is probably 'favoring' one side over the other>. His fins are also more red than usual and one is missing all together <?which one? This is very bad>. He also hasn't eaten since then <no, they won't when distressed>. I had moved some rock work around, so a fear of mine was he got hurt or trapped during the process. Really though he was on the other side of the tank while I was doing it and it wasn't until a while later that I noticed these issues he's having. From reading online it sounds like the Anemone may have stung him <is a possibility>. Are Sebaes stings enough to kill a Lionfish or just injure one? <Could be. Varying factors would decide on life/ death here including size of fish, seriousness of injury, the fishes general health and quality of the system> Is this feasible as to what happened? <It does sound feasible to me>. He is still alive but continues to have issues swimming. I've had to turn off a power head so he's able to swim otherwise he gets blown around and into rocks <hmmm> and seems like he can't get himself up. Is there anything I can do to help him? <Pay attention to water quality. It is now that he will succumb if other conditions are not on par. I am not aware of any medication that might help here, that could be applied in a quarantine setting. <Bob -- have you any thoughts/ recommendations here?>, but I would definitely be looking to make things as comfortable as possible water quality wise (good skimming and low nitrates at least) and maybe to separate these animals going forward>. If this was the anemone, is there a possibility of him living? <Is a possibility that he can recover. A testament to the fact that anemones are better suited to species only tanks w/ clowns and not mixed settings>. I really try to be a knowledgeable tank owner but this was a very unexpected issue. Thank you so much for everything you guys do!! <No problem, and sorry for the delay in answering> -Bill (The Joker) <Simon>

Re: 20-01-10 Lionfish stung by Sebae? 1/26/10
Thank you very much for your response Simon!
<No problem Bill, I'm sorry it's taken me a few days to get back to you, but I am moving house (and fish tanks!) at the moment and over the next week or so, so I am struggling a bit>
I think I overstated his missing fin. It's really part of one of his side fins. My lionfish seems to be doing a lot better.
<If he is still ok by now and improving then he is over the worst and will probably be ok>
Unfortunately he still hasn't eaten (but there's a feeding tonight, so I'm hopeful!)
<Mmm.. he looks in otherwise good health to me, (although there is no picture of his head which is always telling) so he should be able to go a while without food. He will probably start feeding soon>.
His colors are fully back to normal though!
<Yes, I can see>
He's not being blown around as easy but he still seems like he has a little issue swimming. His body also still looks "broken". Also his fins are still very red. I've attached pictures of both issues. Sorry if the "broken" issue is a little hard to see
<I do see him slightly favoring one side>
Will he heal his bones or whatever could be wrong with his shape? The only reason I'm not sure he's really favoring a side is because one side seems to bulge out a little more (right behind his fin), in a not very natural looking way.
<This is probably a reaction to the sting. I would be more concerned re: the feeding -- If he starts to feel better then he will feed, and if he starts to feed then he will recover>.
Also, if you can see the red on fins, is this anything to be concerned with?
<Not really, no. As stated the feeding is the key here, but you probably have some 'time in the bag' here>.
Thank you again! It is greatly appreciated!
<It's a pleasure to help, and I hope I have!>
Bill -(The Joker)
<Simon - (The one with the bad back from moving a 6 foot tank at the weekend)>

? 2 Anemones/Sebae Compatibility 11/11/09
Hi All,
<Hello Nancy>
I have a large, 1' or more seabae <Sebae> anemone who has happily lived in his flower pot for a few years now.
I tried to place a Ritteri on the opposite side of the tank , 180 gal, and met with failure. I see that you DO NOT RECCOMMEND mixing anemone species and I can accept your advice.
<You really weren't mixing species, both are Heteractis species, the Sebae being Heteractis crispa, and the Ritteri being Heteractis magnifica.>
<<James... these are two species. RMF>>
But, can I place another seabae <Sebae> on the other side? Yes, there would be two critters but they are the same species.
<Not a problem, and you likely lost the Ritteri due to the difficulty in acclimating these animals.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Nancy D

Possible Dyed Anemone 9-12-09
Hello! This is James Miller in Japan. I recently purchased a crispa online and was told the coloring was natural. What arrived was an anemone with a hot pink column,
<Ah, no... Heteractis, Actinarians period do not "do" pink>
but the standard brown tentacles. I have read in the past that dyed anemones are colored evenly, so the brown tentacles would mean that it is natural. Is this true?
<Likely the specimen was dipped, pedicle down>
Sorry for so many questions, but when in doubt, I feel confident in your response rather than from an LFS with ulterior motives.
James Miller
Okayama, Japan
<Something is stenchy in Detroit here. Bob Fenner>

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

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

Sebae Health, Mixing Species -- 4/26/08 Dear Wet Media Crew, <Hello Nicole, Brenda here!> Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. <You're welcome!> I've been exploring your website for the benefit of my bubble time and my brain for a number of months; for about two weeks now, I've been researching Sebae anemones (I was given one by my boyfriend for my saltwater tank). I think I've been incredibly lucky, and am emailing you to make sure I am not wrong. I have a 4 inch anemone that was sold to him as a 'white' Sebae. It came into my tank a light golden-cream color, and after reading the information on your website, I thought I had no chance of keeping it alive, let alone getting it healthy. I have a baby bubble tip in the tank as well, which I've had for about 6 months (about a 1 inch 'clone' from an anemone that split in captivity, very petite, and separated from the Sebae by a sand moat between their pieces of live rock). <I don't recommend mixing species of anemones.> I am emailing you because the Sebae is showing brown patches on the exposed part of its foot, and some of its tentacles are turning a darker almost golden-brown color. From what I've read, this is good. <It sounds like it is regaining its zooxanthellae.> He anchored himself of a piece of live rock which I placed with him before releasing him into my tank, and I positioned a powerhead to give strong water flow to his part of the tank (which my baby bubble tip seems to love). <Powerheads are dangerous with anemones.> He has released 'poop' particles twice, but has not exhibited the vomiting behavior or the hiding behavior denoted on your site; his mouth opens very slowly to eat (and of course to poop), but is otherwise closed. He responds to physical stimuli, and his tentacles are sticky, but he does not close at night, which I'm worried about. <This is normal.> After reading the material cautioning against overfeeding, I have not tried to feed him, but he has caught small particles of clam twice, and eaten them, although it seems to take him significantly longer to move a piece of food to his mouth and eat it than it takes my bubble tip. <Try feeding pieces no bigger than the mouth, 2 -- 3 times a week.> I've been burning through test chemicals to make sure my water is matches the specs on your site, so far, all is good there. Have I gotten unbelievably lucky for a novice anemone caretaker, or should I be giving this anemone and his piece of live rock to a more experienced keeper? <I would need to know more information such as the size of the tank, exact water parameters, and equipment to be able to comment. However, I do recommend separating the two anemones.> The baby bubble tip is the only other anemone I've ever had, and he seems to be thriving; I bought better lighting when I got him in November, and all of my water tests come out well, if occasionally low in calcium (I have a problem with feather dusters spawning in my tank CONSTANTLY- I know that is not really a 'problem', but it gets annoying to keep having to scrub the glass every week to get the new ones off). I'd rather not number one, kill the Sebae, and number 2, risk the rest of my tank by trying something out of my depth. The rest of my tank is comprised of more appropriate aquatic life, a pair of tank-raised clowns. I believe they're Ocellaris; they were sold as 'false percula', and are currently a beautiful orange-shading-to-black: they ignore the Sebae in favor of their favorite piece of live rock, not a surprise there. I also have a damsel and a neon goby, shrimp, stars, a cowry, snails, crabs, and more baby feather dusters every day it seems. It is a very simple tank other than the Sebae, but I'd rather not mess it up since it seems to be doing so well. <Do you have a protein skimmer?> Thank you again for taking the time to read this, and for any advice you may have. Nicole <You're welcome! Brenda>

Does my new wrasse have a death wish? Dare Devil Wrasse and Anemone 4-3-08 So I'm very new to marine aquariums, learning new things every day and your site has been awesome. <Thanks!> I have a question about my pink tipped anemone, how poisonous is it to other fish? <Very. These stinging celled individuals can reach out and nab an unsuspecting fish with a wave of a tentacle. > About a week ago I added a six-line wrasse and he seems to be doing great in his new tank, except he worries me because he swims between the tentacles seemingly without a care in the world. My question is does the fish have a chance of being eaten, (the wrasse is small enough that it'd be pretty easy if the pink-tip got hold of him I'd think) and if not, is the fish bothering the anemone? I'm pretty sure my wrasse thinks he's a clown fish! <While his stunts may seem harmless to him, they are actually death defying acts. At any moment he can become a potential meal for your anemone. I would remove one of the two, as these acrobatics of the wrasse may cost him his life. As far as harassment is concerned, on the anemones behalf, I wouldn't be worried. > 14g 8.0ph nitrite: 0 nitrite: 5 ammonia: 0 the Thank you so much for your help! <Not a problem. You have a brave little wrasse. --Yunachin.>

Anemone compatibility? H. crispa 2/24/08 We have an opportunity to add a 4-5 inch anemone, white with what look like little purple eyes or dots at the tips of the tentacles (but otherwise unidentified) to our 55 gallon tank, which is about 8 months established. <Sounds like it may be Heteractis crispa, but cannot tell from that description alone> We've got a *lot* of pulsing xenia, some happy hermit crabs, one small (less than 1/2 inch) unidentified crab who doesn't carry a shell but is more of a "hermit" than the others, he lives in a cave and almost never comes out, a beautiful purple tube anemone we feed shrimp to, various snails, one blue chromis and a beautiful royal Gramma; there are a fair number of aiptasia as well, but thus far, no trouble from them. <Do keep on top of them though, they can spread fast and knock the wind from your reefkeeping enjoyment> There's a peppermint shrimp who roundly ignores the aiptasia, so maybe isn't a real one, though we were told it was. Oh well. :-) There are numerous interesting algae growths. Balls, things that look like lily pads, bent stalks, things with leaves, just all manner of greenery. <Interesting in themselves!> Everything is doing well in every way we can see, and the tank itself seems stable and measures out well as far as nitrates and salinity and so forth. Regular water changes, mix of lighting, All in all, looks good. So that's where we are. <OK> Now: I have read many times on WWM that various anemones will engage in "chemical warfare"; <Indeed> Is there any known incompatibility between pulsing xenia, the tube anemone, and, if my description was adequate, the anemone I described to you? <Known... probably not for sure, but there is enough anecdotal evidence out there to say anemones do use "warfare" (allelopathy) to some degree in the aquarium. You tube anemone will pack an awful punch, so it may be likely. Strong efficient skimming, and carbon will help here> I know the xenia don't like the tube anemone, if it touches them, they wither and can die, but other than actual contact, we've had no trouble there. <Sure you would shy away from the tube anemone if you were xenia sized too!> Very much appreciate any pointers. --Ben <Hopefully given, Ben. Do use the search feature to get more information on allelopathy and it's effects/solution. Mike I>

Sebae, white, skunk shrimp comp. question 2-15-08 I want to get a white sebae anemone and a skunk shrimp, I was wondering would the anemone eat the skunk shrimp or do you know what anemone wouldn't? Write back ASAP. Thanks Chris <You have a lot of research to do on the subject if this is what you're wondering. Please read the appropriate sections of our website (starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm), where you will find the answer to this question as well as much more information you're going to need to know before making a purchase. Be forewarned that a "white" sebae has most likely expelled it's zooxanthellae, and is not naturally white. Also, please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm when emailing us in the future. M. Maddox>

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

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

Bleached Sebae Anemone -- 3/10/07 <Brenda here to help.> Reading all the info you have provided. Thanks. <You're welcome.> I see that "regular feedings" of a "meaty" substance is crucial for an unhealthy, bleached Sebae. How often is regular? <Regular feedings are always crucial for this anemone. Since yours in bleached I would feed every two days to start with. If the anemone recovers you can feed twice a week.> And how much of what do you recommend? <Try feeding silversides soaked in Selcon. Portions should be smaller than its mouth. Gently drop the food near its mouth. If it is regurgitating the food, try an even smaller piece.> We have a completely bleached Sebae that is not looking too good. <I can imagine. Was it bleached when you purchased it? If not, you need to figure out what caused it to bleach. It could possibly be caused from lack of lighting or poor water quality.> We are very new to this hobby and unfortunately were told this was a "fairly easy" anemone to have. <This anemone is considered difficult to keep. You have been misinformed. Your tank needs to be well established to keep this anemone, six months minimum, a year preferable.> We have had it for several weeks, feeding it Cyclop-eeze 1-2x/wk. <Cyclop-eeze alone is not adequate. I personally do not use it for anemones. I would stick to the silversides for now. Then you can move on to other meaty foods such as krill, Mysis shrimp, or raw shrimp, keeping silversides as the primary food.> It hasn't attached to anything yet. It seems to be trying to attach to the front glass (which is really not where we want it. <Anemones will go where they are most comfortable. I recommend leaving it alone at this point.> We have a 65 gal. tank by the way. It changes size almost daily, getting smaller for the most part. <That doesn't sound good. Keep your water parameters perfect.> It shrivels a lot and at one point completely closed up with no tentacles showing but reopened later in the day. Please just give as best you can some specific care instructions to try and save our first attempt at anemones. <What type of lighting do you have? Metal halide lighting is best.> A little more info - we also have a blenny, goby, percula clown (that has no interest in the anemone), and a bright red shrimp. Along with a star polyp and daisy polyp. Some small snails and 1 large snail. We keep temp. around 79 degrees and water quality is good. We add purple up daily and a calcium supplement, flakes for the fish. <I would stop using the purple up. Many have experienced problems using it. Make sure your salinity is at 1.026, and target a pH of 8.2. Also make sure you are testing calcium and alkalinity before dosing. Please be sure you research all of your livestock before purchase.> Signed, drowning in tank info. <Good luck with your anemone! Brenda>

Sebae/Goby interaction 2/4/07 Hello Guys, I have a quick question. I have what I always thought was a Sebae Anemone. <Mmm, appears to be a Heteractis crispa... bleached> It is medium cream with purple tips. The thing that is making me question this is that I've always read that Sebae's are generally pretty aggressive, and have a potent sting. <Mmm... depends> What is worrying me is my Goby. He seems to enjoy sitting on the anemone. <Unusual, but happens> I've caught him at it a few times, and he seems to not be affected by the anemone's sting. I've attached a few pictures, as I couldn't really believe it myself. Will you confirm the actual species of the Anemone, and tell me if it looks bleached? <Yep> This is the way it's always looked, so I'm not sure if it's bleaching or completely healthy. I do know that when I purchased it year or so ago, it was probably 6 inches in diameter, and now it's 10-11. <Ahh, much better. Likely deriving a good part of its nourishment from non-photosynthetic means> By the way, I have a 45 gallon corner tank, with all water specs within range. I have a algae Blenny, Goby, a pair of Clarkii clowns, the Sebae, some mushrooms, and a Kenji tree that won't stop propagating. Thank you for all your help, and for a great site! Vince
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Question - tankmate for H. crispa 1/10/07 <Hey John, JustinN with you today.> I have a mature Heteractis crispa in a 90 g tank - I have had it for a bit less than 2 years - got it when it was 3 or 4 inches across, barely alive from a severe bleaching - it recovered nicely - regained its algae and coloring, and is now a robust, delightful specimen sometimes over 20". It makes my pair of clowns so happy they breed regularly. <Sounds like an excellent arrangement.> What I would really like to do one day is have a massive anemone tank. For the meantime, I wonder whether it would be sensible / possible to add another anemone to this tank - I know that another H. crispa should be compatible - my question is, are any other closely related anemones compatible i.e. other Heteractis sp. or? I know almost any other stinging animal is not. <I would disagree with the assertion here. The only way another H. crispa would likely be compatible, was if it was a clone of the original. Otherwise, I would consider it under the same heading you've already placed other stinging-celled creatures in, "not sensible". I would just continue your current regimen and enjoy, if it were me/mine.> Cheers, and thanks in advance. Plus, thanks for the fantastic website - which I have whiled away hundreds of hours on. <Thank you for the kind words. Oh, to count the collective hours that this site has consumed worldwide.. Decades, to say the least! *grin*> John Mathieson PS - system has good flow, large fuge, well skimmed, very bright T5 lights, about 150 gal in circulation, quite stable clean conditions <Sounds excellent, John. I would just keep with what's been working, and enjoy. Cheers! -JustinN>
Re: Question - tanks mate for H. crispa
1/11/07 The temptation is always to tinker and add - the wisdom comes from leaving well enough alone! <Yes, my sentiments exactly!> Knowledge is common, wisdom is rare! <You are wise here.> Thanks very much. John <Anytime, John. Glad to be of service. -JustinN>

Sebae Anemone 3/17/06 health, comp. 3/17/06 Hello Crew, Now I am sure you saw the title and groaned, so give me a chance to explain my tank set up and such, I am sure when I am done telling my story you will be just as upset as I am. <<Hee Hee... no groaning at all!>> I have a 90 gallon reef tank with aprox 130 lbs of sand in the display and about 140 lbs live rock, with the display I have a 33 gallon refugium with 30lbs of sand and a 45 gallon sump with sand and rock, this is my filter system in conjunction with a Becket skimmer. <<Sounds good so far.>> I run the skimmer off a Mak 4 and circulation in the tank comes from a little giant (aprox 1300 gph) and the use of a SCWD along with 2 power heads (aprox 800 GPH on the PH) <<More good stuff, although powerheads and drains are good anemone traps!>> I have a number of LPS and SPS as well as leathers zoas buttons etc. and all are thriving. Sal 1.024 PH 8.2 Alk 4.0 Meq Calc 450 Magnesium 1350 Nitrate and Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Lighting consists of 400W 14k MH's along with 4 T5 HO bulbs. That pretty well describes my tank. <<Sounds great... that's ALOTTA light!>> I put a lot of thought and research into making my decision to buy the anemone and think I have every thing that would be able to keep it alive and healthy. Here is where the problem come in. I ordered my Sebae anemone in it arrived , appeared to be okay in the bag but was hard to judge, brought it home went through the process of landing it properly... Now I go to remove it from the bag and place it in my tank and it feels firm, but not overly sticky small concern here) I look at the mouth and its open, not gapping but not tightly closed.. alarms go off, looking at coloring its yellow to white with bright purple tips( I don't believe its bleached) <<So far, this all sounds normal for a just-shipped anemone, although I suspect that your critter IS bleached. H. Crispa is normally creamy light brown or creamy green, rarely pinkish or purplish. Yellow H. Crispa have been bleached (often by intentional heat stress) and then dyed with food coloring.>> so I continue a careful examination will it is still in the bag and check the foot.. well it seems that this poor creature was brutally ripped off the rock by the company (person shipping it) it has multiple tears on its foot. I am very PO'ed that they handled this anemone so poorly, I have placed it about 6 inches from the surface of the water which places it about 12 inch from the MH in a gentler (is this a word?) flow area so it is not tumbled around the tank. I am watching it closely for melt down and it seems to be moving its tentacles around and reaching for stuff but has not firmly grasped any rock. Is there anything I can do to save this Anemone or is it doomed due to improper shipping and care? Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to blast away. Cheers Drew <<This is one of the serious problems with mail ordering live stock. Had you purchased this animal locally, you would have had the opportunity to observe and inspect it before purchase. In any case, I would keep an eye on the anemone. H. Crispa can be pretty durable and it may settle in, heal and do fine. Exercise a great deal of diligence to prevent this anemone from wandering into a drain or powerhead! Once it does start to attach, I would start feeding it small meals (raw marine meaty foods, about the size of a marble) every few days. If it is bleached, feeding will be important for it to survive and recover. Also, you may want to lower the lighting intensity until you see signs that the anemone is recovering zooxanthellae. Best Regards. AdamC.>>

New Sebae... anemone... along with two others, one dyed, in a tank filtered by a canister... 7/7/05 Hello, I have a few questions about an anemone that I rushed into buying and will probably regret. <You do already> first off... I have a 75 gallon tank with 265watt pc 50/50, a Fluval 404, a remora pro skimmer , 75 lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock. <You need more filtration> all of my levels are at 0, calcium-400, ph a little low at 8.0 right now... the tank has been established for 7 months and has been stocked with many crabs, snails, and shrimp. Fish include a flame Hawkfish, 2 fairy wrasses, 2 perculas, and a flame clownfish. as far as corals, I have a candycane coral, frogspawn, green star polyps, many leathers, xenia, and tons of zoanthids.-Q1- (( I also have a green BTA that is growing huge and is already about a foot across, he is being used as a host by the fire clown. a small question with him is, he is pretty much brown and ugly... he has really dark color and sometimes has green or purple hues but how do I get some real color out of him? <Time, feeding> I feed all of my anemones formula 1 frozen food, phyto with invertebrate smorgasbord, and krill)) -Q2- ((next I have a small rose BTA that is about the size of a golf ball, I have had him for about 4 months, and he is about six inches from the top, but he has been bleached since the day I got him. it is white with hot pink color <Dyed> in the tentacles and it hasn't gotten any color or size in the last 4 months since I got him. it eats a lot and seems healthy otherwise and it even split about a week ago..... any advise)) -Q3-(( yesterday, I saw an awesome anemone at the pet store and I bought it. <... three anemones in a seventy five... trouble> it has a slightly green base, and the tentacles are a deep pink with purple tips, I was told it is a Sebae after I bought it I found out about its aggressive nature and high light requirements. I placed it at the top of the rockwork and learned that they like their base in the sand... it hasn't moved yet and looks ok and is opened pretty good. will this anemone work in my system? why or why not? is it going to have problems with my BTA? thanks for any help you could give me. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coloredanemones.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, look into better filtration... stop buying livestock till you know what you're doing. Bob Fenner>

My Darned Sebae Anemone Hello Crew, <Hi there> I've perused your FAQ's for a couple of weeks now- and what a wealth of information! This is by far the best informational site... and I've referred many a person to it for general reference and troubleshooting. Great job! <Thank you> I've tried my hand at saltwater fish tanks for a couple of years now, on and off (only because I've moved so many times, from the Bay Area to San Diego and then back again), and I'm starting on slowly introducing invertebrates into my new tank. It's now been set up for a little over three months. Anyway, please allow me to give you the specs on my tank: 55G saltwater tank (water from the LFS) Fluval 304 canister filter (running w/ Activated Carbon, ceramic bits, & phosphate sponge) 192W Coralife lamp (92W full spectrum, 92W Actinic) Bak-Pak 2R+ Skimmer Fluval 3 underwater filter (for water movement in the lower 1/2 of the tank) AquaClear 50 powerhead (at the top of the tank) 70+ lbs LR 30 lbs LS A couple bunches of Caulerpa racemosa <Illegal now in SF and SD BTW> ~20 snails (including 1 "Conch snail") 1 mandarin goby 1 yellow tang 5 (assorted) damsels 2 skunk cleaner shrimp 2 brittle stars (one I bought, other little guy was introduced with a mushroom coral) 1- 5" rock w/ mushroom coral (there's about 7-8 on it) 1 toadstool leather coral (about 2 & 1/2" in diameter) 1- 4" Galaxea coral <A tremendous "stinger" as you're likely aware> 1 Sebae anemone EVERYTHING except the anemone is happy. I have the actinic on an hour before and an hour after the full spectrum light is on (actinic on from 1pm - 11pm, full spectrum on 2pm - 10pm). After that, the moon lamps are on until the next light cycle. I do partial water changes weekly (~5 gallons, siphoning the detritus off of the bottom). Here are the water specs: Ammonia: 0ppm nitrates: 10ppm nitrites: 0ppm pH: 8.5 alkalinity: 280ppm Ca: 350 mg/1 The anemone was nice and full when I got it... and the LFS guy said that they had the animal about 3 weeks prior to the sale. It was a nice, light brown, with purple tips. Actually, only the tentacles nearest the mouth were more of a yellowish color. <Previously dyed likely> I referenced your site and thought that it might have been lacking some zooxanthellae from these tentacles... <Yes> and I know my lighting is a bit on the low side, <Yes> so I placed the anemone at the top of the tank. <Not a natural place...> It didn't like it. Maybe it was the high water flow. It deflated, and "spit" out the contents of it's gut. I pulled out the brown substance and left it where it was. <Good. It will move itself> The next day, it had moved from the top of the tank all the way down to the substrate. It has only fully opened twice since then (stays open for about a day, then deflates for 2 days). I know not to attempt to feed it if the gut is out and the tentacles are deflated... so I've only attempted to feed it 3 times since I've acquired it (frozen silversides, defrosted of course, live brine shrimp on a different occasion, live plankton w/ liquid vitamin mix on another). Most of the time either the other fishes steal the food, or the shrimp steal it. I've had it about 2 weeks now... should I return it? Do you see problems in my set-up that could be causing the animal distress? I am hesitant to move it around... I know that it will find a place that it likes eventually. This animal is playing with my emotions! Oh, and the other creatures in the tank have been moved to accommodate the motility of the anemone... since the anemone is on the substrate now, the Galaxea is at the top (middle) of the tank, toadstool is left mid-tank, mushroom coral rock is right mid-tank, and the anemone is on the substrate, in the middle. None of the corals or anemone have touched one another. <At least not physically> It's been two days since the anemone was last full and happy. Should I be patient, as this could just be a "Sebae" trait, or is it doomed? <Not doomed... but should be moved, removed from this system> Sorry this was so long. I wanted to make sure I got any and all factors affecting this animal's health in this message. I hope you can help my Sebae! Thanks, Karen <Thank you for writing so well and completely. You are experiencing a "classic" case of Cnidarian incompatibility. Your 55 gallons is just too little a volume to contain all the types of stinging-celled life you have. Alike to chemical allelopathy in plants, where there are types of "chemical warfare" with delimiting growth, germination, the Corallimorph and Galaxea here are poisoning the losing Sebae/Heteractis... Really, the only solution is its removal. Bob Fenner>

The Fate of All Too Many Anemones Hello, I have a purple tipped anemone and it seems to be dying. It's not moving around as much, not sticking its tentacles to its food, and its tentacles look like someone has wrapped tiny elastic bands around them, looks like the tips are going to break off it looked like it was doing well for approx 5 weeks. I have a Sebae clownfish, and I am wondering what its host anemone is, and what are ALL the requirements for keeping it healthy in my 60 gallon tank. I have standard (one normal one blue) double bulbs. I am a beginner (within the last 10 months) and I need help! <An incredible amount of information for you to learn my friend. The care of anemones is not something to recommend to beginners. They are generally difficult and slowly die. Most imported are dead in less than one year. You can read more about them at the following links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen8.html Perhaps try some mushroom anemones instead. Clownfish do not need an anemone to live and thrive. -Steven Pro>

Anemone Question I have a purple-tip Sebae anemone that this evening, excreted a large amount of mucus, and then shrunk down to about ¼ of its normal size. Is this normal? <Please explore this page and the many links on it to see what scenario is most likely to explain your anemones behavior. The brief description alone is no enough to tell... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/heteraccrispa.htm> Thanks! <Anthony>

Yellow Sebae anemones Hi, Anthony, <cheers, mate> I wanted to bug you about your anti-yellow Sebae anemone comment included below. While bleached Sebaes are certainly a challenge, I've kept a yellow one with blue tips for several years now without any trouble and see no harm in healthy light yellow specimens. <please understand my friend the context of my advice/comment. Here at Wet Web Media we answer queries for the benefit of so many more folks than the sole person proffering the question. On any given day, around 6,000 people (unique ISPs) read our answers to these posts on the FAQ page... the very place that you read my response. After the one day it is posted, it is archived for many more thousands of folks to read. Not all of which have the same experience or good fortune that you have enjoyed. The fact of the matter is, that of the thousands of "yellow" Sebae anemones imported any given year... almost all are bleached or dyed specimens. Very few are naturally occurring. Of the few that are naturally occurring, even fewer of them actually make it into the hands of a competent aquarist with reef grade lighting. I have a mere 10+ years of witness to this reality... Bob has about 30, my friend. We are talking near 100% mortality for white/yellow specimens 1 year after collection with over 90% failing within 6 weeks of import. And so... advice like this is quite easy to proffer. What serves the greater good is apparent. I truly appreciate your input, but cannot in my position and in good faith encourage folks to pursue and support the trade of a specimen when the majority will die just because a fraction of the population succeed. A favorite saying of mine... "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes." I respect that act that you are a competent aquarist and I'm grateful that this anemone has found its way into your hands. As a test to see if you are truly a rare exception... let me ask if this was your first anemone, and if not... how long did the other specimens or species live?> I'm pretty sure the anemone is not in decline as its color has never changed and it has grown from about 4-5 inches to well over 12 inches (I sent you a picture last month ;-) I'm assuming you mean an Heteractis crispa by Sebae, BTW. <actually growth is extremely slow in most anemones (decades slow!)... most swell in captivity as light bulbs age (decline in light, so the it swells to spread zooxanthellae to pan in effect)> These anemones do seem to prefer the strongest light, stronger than BTAs but they also eat quite well when established, picking Mysis, brine, formula I and II from fish feeds with gusto as well as taking larger supplement feeding. <I'll believe that>> Anyway, I'm a big fan of the yellow-ish ones and don't think they should be rejected out of hand. Marc <I must stand by the wisdom that serves the greater good at the expense of success like your. With kind regards, Anthony>
Re: Yellow Sebae anemones
Hi, Anthony, <cheers, Marc> I can appreciate the concern on the lighter anemones. I'm not sure I've come across dyed ones but I do admit that mine may be the only healthy yellow one I've seen. <agreed... more in the trade are simply bleached and not so many dyed although the dreadful practice seems to be resurging with dyed corals too: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm> If you are trying to steer people to greater success with anemones, though, I'd suggest sending them to BTAs. <Marc... I have no intent to steer anybody towards anemones for anything but species specific displays where they get necessary and direct attention. With the reality of poor shipping and collecting techniques, aquarists need to take the position as good stewards of the reef resources they admire so much and not contribute significantly to their further demise. Countless divers have observed that areas where many corals were collected heavily or damaged by storms have recovered in as little a one year. However, regions where anemones have been collected heavily are still barren even 10yrs later. We simply do not know enough about the physiology and reproduction of these animals to carte blanche recommend anemones for the masses of casual aquarists in tanks with unprotected overflows and powerhead intakes, other cnidarians (anemones and coral, etc).> These can be killed too, course, but seem to be a bit more tolerant and like lower light. They can be harder to feed and can sting and wander about more, though. <I feel comfortable recommending brown Malu/Sebae anemones and BTAs indeed to any aquarists willing to just do enough research to understand their basic needs in captivity> I've killed a few Sebaes in my day, mostly 10 years ago with poorer lighting. Within the last three years, this was my only Sebae but I did recently kill two BTAs before having success with 4 BTAs after that. <good heavens, my friend... this is my point exactly. You are indeed part of the same statistics. So we have 3+ (a few) Sebaes and 2 BTA dead and five that have lived. 50/50 at best unless there were more... horrible odds. And how do we define success/living in an animal with a theoretical infinite lifespan (they have no defined senescence)? Many corals and anemones can hang in for 2 years operating near their compensation point but still dying ever so slowly by missing it slightly (as in approaching their compensation point though photosynthesis and feeding combined at say even 98% efficiency, but still dying unnoticeably slow due to the 2% daily deficit). The proof is in the pudding. I have seen corals that were nearly 20 years captive... many more over 15 and 10 years... yet you and I will be hard pressed to find an anemone that is even 5 years captive. Sure... they exist, but how many have to die in the hands of casual aquarists to get those few to survive. To be clear... I don't want to see the collection of anemones halted at all... I'd like to see more aquarists research and care for them adequately. And I do my part in the meantime to educate those that are receptive to providing for those needs and dissuade those that don't appear to be> (Per D&S, I didn't feed the first two BTAs at first because they had clowns; by the time I realized my mistake, they were in irreversible decline although they took six months to actually die.) I'm not sure how you measure true anemone size. Counting tentacles, my healthy BTAs and Sebae don't seem to have too many more than the smaller ones although they do fork new ones all the time. However, their deflated mass is definitely more. <I'll take your word for it and am glad to hear it> The BTAs less so (i.e., much of their size seems to be extension) but the Sebae is much heavier when squeezed down than he used to be (had to move him twice in the last year). I think his increased growth is mostly more tissue mass. But short of drying him out and weighing him, it seems hard to establish. I think he'd prefer not to be dried out. <agreed <smile>> While the BTAs seem easier to establish, once established the Sebaes are great: they don't move, they feed very easily, east almost anything (can't say the same for BTAs which often spit their food out or let someone else steal it) and they don't seem to sting their neighbors as much. <alas... as many aquarists have had contrary experience. We cannot fairly make such generalizations> I have tried a BTA and a Sebae in the same tank. <this honestly bothers be... "silent" chemical aggression/allelopathy between popular anemones seems to be as potent or more severe than what we commonly ascribe to coral> In a large tank they did fine. <defined how... they live together without dying for 12 months...24 months? Still, I suspect they were battling and tolerating each other supported by your good skills as an aquarist and good water quality> In a smaller tank they stung each other too much. <the common demise of many coral> I've read the WWM warning about anemone chemical warfare and I've got to confess I'm a little suspicious of that. <good heavens my friend!... you and I could be buried in the data on this topic. I'll take the advice of the experts in the field, stay impressed by the bible length citations and spare my eyes of most> I'm sure they do try to poison each other but most soft corals are trying to poison each other as well and I'm sure anemones are trying to poison soft corals. <agreed> Doesn't good skimming pretty much take care of that? <not at all... browse analyses of skimmate. Indeed, skimming is tremendously helpful, but the quality of skimmate is highly variable and none take out enough or all such noxious element. Responsible husbandry is the key instead (and water changes <G>)> What is this comment based on and how was the normal risk of anemone decline eliminated as a cause? <the biggest wholesalers in LA (the primary and almost sole port of entry for all such animals into the US) track mortalities and the numbers are staggering. If you have any doubts, take a stroll down 104th street: you'll find the fine folks at Quality Marine counting every single damsel mortality, etc. The numbers don't lie. I realize that you are passionate about anemones my friend... but I'm not sure if you are looking for data, which I will help you secure as time allows, or just what the follow-up to your follow-up is for.> Anyway, anemones can be challenging but with good water quality, good lighting and the right tank mates they can be pretty easy as well. <all a matter of perspective, Marc. You are a fine aquarist but most of the new and still inexperienced folk that we counsel will kill 5 of their first six anemones just like you did by your own admission above ("before having success with 4 BTAs"). > Once established, I've yet to have one died and I can't say that about hard corals and some soft corals. <then you aren't doing it right ;) > I will say that I don't have anemones in a large, mixed reef tank anymore nor would I do it again (it can work but too much trouble). <much agreed> Currently I have my Sebae in a 45G tank and it's the center piece with some zoanthids and mushrooms to fill in the odds and ends. <Ughhh> Lighting is that 2x150W MH and 2 VHOs you were aghast about earlier ;-) <again... "even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes". Heehee... you are sure one lucky AND talented squirrel> Always enjoy the chats, Marc <yikes... it feels more like sparring. Maybe you can try the Vulcan mind-meld to get me to promote the continued wholesale slaughter of anemones? In all seriousness, Marc... if you get a good 10 (or 30!) year look behind the scenes of the industry, you will see and agree that the promotion of these animals to casual aquarists does not serve the greater good. I think we can all agree that we would rather self-police and limit their collection to prevent that they are always legal for us to keep in aquaria and so that there really are some left in the ocean for our grandchildren to see. Anthony>
Re: Yellow Sebae anemones
Hi, Anthony, <cheers, my friend> I must confess I do like a good argument from time to time; keeps the brain exercised. <heehee... I would have to agree. I've got a strange dichotomy of my own: the older I get the less fight I have in me yet I'm just as inclined to embrace "grumpy old man" syndrome early :)> I'll defer to your data from the wholesalers; that sounds like a good source of information. <yes my friend... by sheer volume of the sample> I questioned the original assertion for reasons you gave yourself: anemones tend to die anyway in captivity. That then makes it hard to separate cause and effect. <agreed> We have probably all be guilty of grasping for a cause when a specimen dies and "warring anemones" sounded to me like such a supposed cause. But, with a large sample size like an importer gets, that is statistically relevant data. Can't blame me for challenging you to the point that you revealed your data, though ;-) <true <VBG>> If you have them, I'd love to see the numbers but if not, I'll defer to your judgment on them. <actually, I don't think it would take much to dig relevant data/reports. As an aquarist (and especially the industry professionals) one of the best investments in your education is a trip to LA to visit the big wholesalers. You can walk into almost any facility and browse... you/we can arrange to chat with folks sometimes too. Fantastic to hear their reports/experiences and to see the inner workings of the industry. Many of the very biggest are all together within walking distance (industrial strip on 104th street by the airport). If you ever get the chance do check them out... a wild experience. Plus you get to see all of our dream toys! $15K skimmers.... tanks with 50 Goldflake angels, etc :P > What's the "ugh" part about the anemone mixed with mushrooms and zoanthids? <Corallimorphs and Zoantharians are categorically 2 of the top 10 noxious cnidarians. Zoanthidea has the most complex and arguably most potent toxin known (I've been poisoned by it before and lost my sense of taste for a full day). I suppose I have concern that they will contribute significantly to toxic soup> My experience is the BTAs will sting zoanthids and mushrooms. <agreed... but its not a one sided battle. The "losers" may be kept at bay but still will shed defensive compounds that degrade the water quality for all... all to concentrate in time and perhaps lead to a "mysterious" death that is not so mysterious> Both because they have a potent sting and because they just seem to get around more (a little shifting of the base creates a large sting zone). Dead, dying and warring corals are most certainly not a good thing; lots of bad chemicals released. I tried it, watched it carefully for a few weeks and having observed a bad response, sold my BTA to someone who has good success with BTAs. The Sebae on the other hand, doesn't appear to be stressed nor stressing anyone. If everything is happy and growing, what's the harm? <I do agree until we learn otherwise. I fully respect and value a trained eye of an aquarist... knowing ones charges> From my own experience and from what I've read in multiple sources, I got the impression that BTAs are hardier. Also, since some strains clone so much, it is possible to stock entirely from tank clones which is why, if someone asks me, I tend to steer people to BTAs rather than Sebaes. I take it they doesn't jive with your experience? <no my friend... in fact, I personally do like BTAs better for many reasons... especially the ease of cloning> Just for the clones, it seems BTAs are a better anemone to recommend, assuming one is recommending anemones at all (which I take it you aren't). <The truth is I simply hate to recommend any anemones to most people and if I have to, a brown Sebae/Malu anemone is less demanding for light than most BTAs. Since poor lighting is the most common problem we see... brown anemones get the nod for beginners just like brown corals do.> As to my mortality rates, nothing to be proud of but I do try to learn. <agreed, my friend... I have certainly learned the same way with some... sorry to say. Through our (you/me/all) articles and advice proffered to new aquarists we can hopefully teach them to avoid our mistakes> We'll see how long this one lasts and I am curious about my zoanthid/mushroom question (two paragraphs up) because if you can convince me it is a bad idea, I'll remove them. <I could live with it in a system with aggressive nutrient export: small weekly water changes, heavy carbon, efficient skimming... perhaps a larger tank> The anemone is my prize specimen and it trumps everything. However, all I have to go on is the apparent health of the tank which I watch closely (it's right beside my computer ;-) and with the corals reproducing well and the anemone getting bigger all the time, eating well and fully extended, it is hard to see a risk here. <awesome> Definitely not interested in killing the anemones so I support your and the rest of WWM's efforts to improve their lot. ... <thank you kindly> but what about advocating only tank-raised BTA clones? At the very least the doomed anemone isn't coming from the ocean. <although not all would, I agree with this idea and sentiment in essence fully> They aren't that easy to come by but there also isn't harm in making aquarist wait and think about their purchase longer. <yes> Most aquarist prefer tank stock any way since it tends to be hardier. <very much so> Anyway, I'll keep myself in the blind squirrel category until I can keep the anemone alive for a few more years... Marc Q <a wise squirrel at that! Likely wiser than I am :) Thanks for the good humor and stimulating discussion... many aquarists will benefit from our dialogue. Kindly, Anthony Calfo>

-Sebae in a 1-week old tank under 1 NO fluorescent- I just started a small saltwater tank (10g), about a week ago. I have purchased a Sebae anemone (about four days ago). There currently are no fish in the tank, but will probably be adding some tomorrow. <Ouch, pacific anemone in a brand new tank?> I have never had any type of aquarium, but hope to be very successful with this one and hope to enlarge the tank by Christmas. <Unfortunately, anemones are not something that you would want to start off with. Be wary of the person that is giving you advice as they seem to be horribly misinformed.> I have just a regular fluorescent light <This is a big problem, this type of anemone requires very intense light, such as metal halide. Several VHO or compact fluorescent lamps would work also.> and I am currently feeding the anemone "Invertebrate Smorgasbord, A Gourmet Feast for Corals and Anemones" should I be feeding it more? <I would return this critter to the shop you purchased it from because it will not survive for very long in your aquarium.> Should I put the food in a syringe or something and put it next to the anemone? When I placed the anemone in the tank, I place it by one of the live rocks and it decided it wanted to be in the right front corner and you can see the foot through the glass and it is buried in the sand. Is it normal for the anemone to pull in and then release? Do I need to play with the anemone? Is it okay for me to touch it? Help. <Here's some recommendations for you: 1. Bring back the anemone to the shop you bought it from. 2. Pick up a few good books. Bob's book, the Conscientious Marine Aquarist is an excellent book for beginners and Joyce Wilkerson's clownfish book has indispensable information on anemones. 3. Write back with information on how the tank is set up so that we can make better recommendations about how you should stock (or even re-set up) the tank in the future. Anemones are difficult to keep in captivity (with some exceptions) so you should have plenty of marine fish and coral keeping under your belt before attempting such a creature. There are many other hardy choices for your aquarium, and we can help you choose them and be successful long term. Your salesperson clearly does not understand the basic lighting requirements of a very common anemone, nor what is going to happen to the poor thing as your tank cycles; I suggest you find someone else! Good luck Amy! -Kevin> Thanks so much, AMY

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