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FAQs on Sebae Anemone Behavior

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

Related FAQs: Sebae Anemones 1, Sebae Anemones 2, Sebae Anemones 3, Sebae Identification, Sebae Compatibility, Sebae Selection, 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

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

anemone size, H. crispa behavior f'  - 10/21/2012
Greetings gentlemen.
 Since my last e-mail I have upgraded to a 300 gallon reef tank.  It is doing great.  My question is that one year ago I purchased a Sebae anemone about the size of a golf ball.
<Malu or crispa?>
  Now a year later it is 18 inches across with two very happy Clownfish  attending it.
<18"... sounds like H. crispa>
 My question is is it possible to trim it to a suitable size?
 or otherwise reduce its size?
<Stop or reduce feedings.>

 The Clownfish really enjoy this anemone and I don't really want to get rid of it.  Please help me before it gets any bigger.
<Situation could have been avoided with a little research. H. crispa is one of the larger host Anemones.>
You guys did a great job in helping me set up my new system.  Thanks
<Quite welcome, Jordan>

Heteractis crispa Question, beh f' mostly      2/23/12
Hi WWM Crew,
I read your article on H. crispa and much of the anemone FAQs but couldn't find what I was looking for... I have a Heteractis crispa specimen in my tank now for over two months. Tank Specifications are 55g 48"X18"X15" fish only with live rock and invertebrates, with 25 gallon sump/DSB/Screen ATS/Carbon/Skimmer. Lights are 2X150W 14k MH. Flow in the tank is created by propeller pumps
<Screen these... to prevent a mishap w/ the anemone>
 and the return pump. PH 8.0 - 8.3 Salinity 1.025 (with hydrometer. Can't wait to get a refractometer. Not found one here yet.)
Temp 28-29C Ca. 440ppm Alk 9-10 NO3 0 PO4 0. Live Stock 1 Xanthurus Angel (4") 1 Yellow Finned Blue Damsel 1 A.clarkii (1.5") 1 Centropyge multispinis (3"), Dancing Shrimp X 3, Blood Red Shrimp X 1, Coral Banded Shrimp X 1, Fromia elegans X 1.
When I got the anemone it was largely bleached and didn't look too healthy at all. However I have nursed it back to health and it has regained a lot of florescent greenish grey hue.
<A good sign>
Only a few outer tentacles are still white but they are no longer translucent. Normally during the day it is fully open, tentacles turgid and extended and at night it shrinks in size
<Natural... to avoid predation in the wild>
although it rarely ever closes at night. In the morning it is smaller and the concentration of colours is greater, however one hour after lights on it regains it's normal size.
There is plenty of current in the tank as the tentacles wave about in the water. It feeds well (fed piece of shrimp every other day to every two days) And it appears to have grown during its time in my tank.
This evening however I noticed that the anemone didn't look normal and some of the tentacles although full, turgid and not bleached appeared to be curled up and the colour in the centre section of the anemone seemed more intense than normal. Within five minutes of lights out the anemone was closed, very unusual. However, now, about 1.2 hours, after lights out it seems to have opened again and tentacles appear somewhat normal although the anemone is not fully open. Could it be that there is too much current where it currently is, since I changed this about two weeks ago until the anemone tentacles were swinging around merrily as opposed to gently earlier (however it is not receiving a direct jet of water).
<Not really; no. This animal would have moved if there was too much water movement>
 Also the photo period has been reduced a week ago from 11 to 9 hours per day. This was done to control temp swings and also to combat algae growth in the main display and it has worked well in both these areas.
<No big deal; anemones can widely shift their nutrient sources>
What do you think? The anemone is firmly attached and shows no other signs of a problem. Water quality is as usual and the fish/invertebrates appear totally normal.
Also I am planning to take the Centropyge multispinis back from where I got him. He was damaged when I got him but has now returned to full health and fullness but I'd rather a more colourful fish given that there are no corals in my tank. Would it be possible to safely house a Powder Blue Tang in my tank given the dimensions?
<No... this volume is too small. You'd be "asking for trouble">
 If not could you please recommend a fish that would eat micro algae and which is available in Sri Lankan waters as I am limited to fish from Sri Lankan waters as there are no imports for retail sale here.
<A small spinefoot/Rabbitfish species, specimen would be my choice>
Sorry for the length of this email and thanks for all the help your team have given me readily and when i have needed it...
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
 Re: Heteractis Crispa Question
<Hello again>
Thanks for that reply. I feel much better and the Anemone too has opened more since i sent that email. The propeller pumps are screened :-D. This is my first anemone and I am anxious because I waited nearly five years before getting one, practicing good husbandry etc...
Will the yellow spotted Foxface be a good idea? What about a bicolour blenny?
<Both can/could work... the Ecsenius might bother your shrimps...>
<Again, welcome. BobF>
Re: Heteractis Crispa Question    2/24/12

<Good morrow>
Just to let you know the Anemone is doing fine this morning... I think I was just over reacting but thanks for bearing with me...
Warm Regards
<Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

Sebae anemone behavior 12/12/09
Hello, I've read through your sites FAQ on Sebae I'm curious if I can tease more information out of you :).
<I am very ticklish... particularly behind the ears>
I've had my Sebae for 11 days now. I purchased him at a local pet store that had him for over 3 weeks, I checked in on it every few days to see how it was doing. It had a light tan color, no basal tearing, elongated tentacles, was extremely sticky when I put him in the tank after drip acclimation for 2 hours, was not attached to anything
<The first two are good signs... colour and stickiness... Non-attachment is bad>
and had its mouth slightly gaping (I know that's a neg.). I have mostly randomized flow in my bio-cube, 29 gal.
<Too small for much chance of success with large Actinarian species>
Im aware this size tank is on the lower end if not the minimum they are suggested at being kept, I will have at least a 140 gal setup for it once I finish graduate school.
Well since I've had him, he had migrated around the tank a bit, starting on a rock midway up, down to the sandbed and now in a crevasse between three pieces of live rock. During the day he locks into the rocks opens up and
extends its tentacles slightly. I have LED lighting with tested PAR values equal to that of 200W metal halides.
<Really? Wow!>
At night the anemone expands normally, released from its places and floats around the tank
<Not a behavior indicative of agreement with its environment>
(I have women's pantyhose covers for my Koralias), and in the AM when the lights pop on its in the same spot on the sand due to the currents.
He happily accepted mysis the first 4 days I had it, but has since lost its stickiness.
<Return this specimen>
Im aware they aren't 'stick' when no hungry,
<Or healthy/happy>
I assume he is happy with the light as he stopped feeding and was taken from a dimly lit tank at the LFS, also he had gotten much darker and now has no areas that are bleached.
<A positive>
Im aware they migrate till they find their sweet spot, so here is my question: What types of currents do Sebae's like?
<Moderate in a word. Live in "lagoons" for the most part, in a few to several feet of water>
What type of footing do they prefer? (live rock, sand bed etc)
<... read here:
and finally do you know of anyone else who has had success with a Sebae under LEDS?
<Hmmm, I do not... as yet; but don't "see" any reason why this light source should not work>
Thanks for your time.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
missed question
my apologies, I forgot to add this question: why does my Sebae Anem expand at night, detach and float around?
<... "Looking" for a better place to be>
but hunker down tight and suck in the light, I was under the impression they contract at night to preserve themselves from damage.
<And predation generally. But expansion can be indicative of hunger/feeding, other drives. Again, I'd return this animal to the LFS. B>
Re Sebae releasing at night.... still not reading  -- 12/14/09

Hello again,
Last night I noticed when my Sebae detached suddenly there was a 2-3' bristle worm where its base had been. Im aware they are one of the predators of sessile inverts such as anemones, upon inspection of my Sebaes' base it has some localized damage that I believe to be caused by this worm.
<Mmm, maybe...>
The sebae had been migrating at night for a few days now but always goes back to the same spot where he reattaches. Id like to remove the worm incase its what is causing my Anemone to move, any ideas?
<... read... and search before writing us:
and the linked files above>
or little guys I can pickup to eat the worm(s)?
<... posted>
The anemone still is not accepting food, but is relieving itself at least once a day (brown stringy or clumped feces). It dark brown color is also continuing to develop, and its mouth has been staying tight (it was gaping at the LFS and for the first few days in my care).
<... my friend, stop writing us and start reading where you were referred to last>
Im aware that these worms are great detritus cleaners, but if its the cause of my anemone discontent id like to be rid of it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I called the store I purchased it from as you advised me to return it and they said they would not refund me my money.
<What? Contact your "Consumer Affairs Board" at the State level and report them>
Since he is still relieving himself and its mouth is no longer gaping I believe my tank parameters are to its liking (tested last night, all parameters are 0 for nitrite, nitrate,
<... read... NO3 is necessary>
ammon. Calc was 480, KH was 10, All these parameters have been stable for several months now. Thanks for your time.
<READ. BobF>

Sebae anemones sudden loss of color in my tank   5/4/09
Hi Bob
I have several sebae anemones (3)
<I'd count this as a "few" rather than the ME word "several" meaning many>
in a system and all three have done well for months. They have had great tan/green color/sticky to the touch/and foot well. The only change with in the system was I tried using the Brightwell products (BIO FUEL AND BACTER 7) used only for a few days and quit. Also I normally feed frozen krill every 3-4 days, but have given bay scallops from local seafood counter.
<Mmm, I'd expand this diet. See WWM re Heteractis crispa feeding>
These changes in color and size occurred about at the same time. Could either of these things caused this problem and if so what should I do.
<I don't know... am unfamiliar with these products, their use. The timing, events could simply be coincidental... some other factor...>
The reason for using Brightwell products was to do small amount of nitrates (20-30)
but these anemones thrived under these conditions for 6-8 months. I only used these because of some peoples opinions on nitrates even though I was seeing no problem with health of my system. (NOT BROKE DON'T FIX IT).
Darrell Crowe
<Welcome. I do hope your Actinarians recover. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Losing Tentacles -- 2/28/08 HI <Hello Lewis, Brenda here!> I have a 100gal reef tank and an extremely large anemone that measures about a foot in diameter. <Is large, but they can get much bigger.> It has been in my tank for about 3 or 4 months now. I've noticed that it sheds quite a good amount of tentacles then re-grows them. Is this common for a Sebae anemone? <No, this is not normal. There is likely something bothering this anemone. What else do you have in your tank? Such as fish, crabs, shrimp, etc. To be safe, please give me a list of your water parameters and equipment. There is more information found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemhlthfaq6.htm > Thanks, Lewis <You're welcome! Brenda>

How Big Will My Sebae Anemone Grow? 12/04/07 Hey crew, <Hello Cathy! Brenda here tonight!> We have owned a Sebae Anemone for about 10 months now. It was bleached out and only about 2 inches across when we purchased him....not healthy now, as we know. <Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for anemones to expel zooxanthellae from the stress of collection, handling, and shipping.> But anyway, we had him in a 20 gal tank for about 8 months with a true Percula clown. <A 20 gallon is much too small. More information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm > The two are inseparable but the anemone just keeps growing and growing and growing. It has also been a healthy brownish color for a very long time now. <Congratulations on saving the anemone!> We have moved it with the clown to a 40 gal breeder tank about a month and a half ago and added a second clown to pair. <A 40 gallon is still a bit small for anemones. Do you also have a sump? Was the 40 gallon an established aquarium before the transfer?> They both host the anemone now since the move. It seems even bigger; maybe 8 inches across...it is huge. <What lighting do you have? If you are lacking on lighting, it may not actually be growing. It may just be stretching itself to reach as much light as possible.> We generally feed it krill twice a week and then the tank get feedings of phytoplankton, brine, Marine Two, and Cyclops alternately every other day. <Brine shrimp has very little nutritional value unless it is newly hatched brine shrimp.> My question is how big do you think it will eventually get? <This anemone can easily grow to 18 inches or more. Some have been known to reproduce asexually by splitting themselves in two. This is not as common as it is with the E. Quadricolor. Some experienced hobbyists have actually cut through the anemone creating a clone. However, I do not recommend this unless you are fully knowledgeable, have witnessed, and know the requirements and care required after the procedure. This is a choice that some have made when the anemone has outgrown its environment. This also saves another anemone from being removed from the ocean.> Cathy <Hope this helps! Brenda>

Clarks Clownfish behavior, New Sebae Anemone Not Attaching -- 11/18/07 Ok so I have 2 clarki clownfish that I've had for about 5 months now, they are in a 90 gallon tank right now with a couple other fish. The fish seemed to have gotten along fairly well, they would swim side by side sometimes no problems. Then maybe a couple months ago they started to chase each other around, and looking this up I realized that this was completely normal behavior. They have never tried to nip at each other so that was the good thing. <Yes.> Well I just added a Sebae Anemone yesterday and the first one to get there was the male. Then they were sharing it for about an hour and now the female has completely taken over. I thought at first maybe they were both going to share it, I know it's not something that happens often but I thought I would get lucky since there was no aggression. Well now the female has taken over and the male just kind of hovers around trying to find his way back in. If she notices that he gets too close she will go after him mouth WIDE open and attack, he does fight back though. He sticks up his fins on the top, opens his mouth wide and then kind of twitches around a bit. He looks pretty angry while he does this too. He doesn't attack her back but when he does that 'dance' she just watches him and leaves him alone. This has happened maybe about 5 times in the last hour. I'm curious what that behavior is and whether it's normal. <The male is surrendering to the female. This is normal.> Once in a while he gets back in the anemone with no problems from her but then she turns on him again and the same process is repeated. <The female is letting the male know that she is boss. This is normal. In time, it may lessen.> I also have a question about the anemone. Right now we've only had it for just under 24 hours and it hasn't found its place yet. We right now have the powerheads off. It was too much flow and it was just floating aimlessly about, that and I've read horror stories about when they're floating aimlessly they cant get a grip on anything and sometimes they get stuck right in the powerhead damaging some of their tentacles or even killing them so I'm not taking that chance. <I do not recommend the use of powerheads with anemones. If you must have them, they must be covered to minimize the chances of an anemone getting sucked in. See here: http://www.karensroseanemones.net/coverpowerheads.htm > I just don't know how long it is supposed to take for them to find a home. <It may never. It depends on the environment and the health of the anemone. If there is no happy place to be found, it will roam, and possibly die.> He's right now just lying on the sand, his color is good and all other things seem to be alright. His mouth is completely closed. He's just kind of slowly moving but not really going anywhere. Unfortunately he won't be able to find a home in our sand bed because it's a deep one so his only choice is our rock. <It can find a home in a deep sand bed.> Will he find a place? <I hope so. I need more information. How was the anemone acclimated? What are your water parameters? What equipment do you have, including lighting and skimmer, powerheads? What lighting was it under before you got it? Was it recently shipped? What is your livestock list, including fish, corals, and inverts? How long has your tank been set up?> I know I read that it can take weeks for him to find a home but I can't keep the powerheads off for that long since the tank won't have flow or be cycling to our sump. <You must have flow in your tank. Shutting off the flow to your tank is dangerous to all of your livestock.> Any information on either or both topics would be so helpful. Thank you. <I have corrected your grammar and spelling this time. Please be sure to use proper English in the future. For example, use capital I when referring to yourself. I don't have time to correct these.> Jennifer <Brenda>

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.>>
Sebae Anemone part2  3/20/06 beh., dis.
Hello Crew, Thanks for the quick reply AdamC, just thought I would update you on day 2 of the anemone, I took your advice and put it into a lower light area of the tank, I placed it on a large smooth coral skeleton I had picked up from a fellow reefer a while back for glue frags to. I placed this flat cup like piece in between to rocks in a sorta crevice and placed the anemone on it. This is protecting its foot nicely underneath. It has not attached to the rock but seems to be cradled nicely in place and is swaying from the gentle alternating current. <<Sounds very good.  Hopefully it will attach soon.  It has been my experience that anemones that have spent an extended amount of time tumbling in the water column in a dealer's tank are often slow to attach when placed in an aquarium.>> Its tentacles look thick and full but its mouth is still open slightly. the foot looks to be pinched in to a ball shape atm. Color wise its is more off white today, not yellow , not tan/brown  more tan white( good or bad?). I am hoping that the foot being pinched in is a good sign as I can not see the damage as well as I could last night. Thanks Again for your advice and help. Cheers, Drew <<All sounds OK here as well.  A slightly open mouth is OK... a seriously everted one is bad. Based on the color, it sounds like your anemone has some zooxanthellae left, so this is good.  The "pinched in" foot may be a reaction to protect the damaged area or just a result of being unattached.  The real hope is that the foot will extend naturally and take hold of the substrate.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>> Anemone Growing Double Tips  12/1/05 Dear Crew, Great site, very informative, and must say that I am getting more and more stressed over the fact that I've purchased 3 items that I should not have after reading your site (Dendro, Goniopora, and Sebae yikes!). Although I would like to believe that from what I see they are all doing ok.. for now =D I did notice that the sebae is slowly regaining its brown color. Oddly enough, it is also growing tentacles out of other tentacles... where on some there are 2 purple dots or in more serious cases Y shaped tentacles. Is this normal? What is it trying to do?  <Isn't abnormal for this to happen, can't give you an answer as to why.> In addition to placement, I do have a sea fan that is just "upstream" from the anemone in terms of powerhead flow. Should this be avoided?  <Any corals and relatives shouldn't be placed in the same tank as an anemone. Just a matter of time before the anemone will decide to move and sting anything in its path. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for all your help.  <You're welcome> Sincerely, Ambrose

Leather Anemone upside-down  9/19.5/05 Hey guys, my anemone has been upside-down in the sand for a week.  He rolls over at night just enough for an adult tomato clown.  It sort of looks like he slowly swings his column/foot like a pendulum above him all day.  Had him for a month and his size is the same.  Feed invert smorgasbord, DT's phytoplankton, and brine shrimp, mix it up, usually feed the brine shrimp once a week directly (not much), and one of the others about two or three times a week total to the tank. <TB, never heard of a leather anemone. You sure of the correct name? James (Salty Dog)> <<Is another common name for Heteractis crispa... most often labeled "Sebae". RMF>> TB
Re: Leather Anemone upside-down  9/19.5/05
Heteractis crispa is known as the Sebae or Leather Anemone. WWM FAQ Crew <crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com> wrote: Leather Anemone upside-down Hey guys, my anemone has been upside-down in the sand for a week. He rolls over at night just enough for an adult tomato clown. It sort of looks like he slowly swings his column/foot like a pendulum above him all day. Had him for a month and his size is the same. Feed invert smorgasbord, DT's phytoplankton, and brine shrimp, mix it up, usually feed the brine shrimp once a week directly (not much), and one of the others about two or three times a week total to the tank. <You don't mention your lighting.  What are you using?  Flow rates must be high for anemones, 15X tank volume minimum.  What size tank is he in?  What are water parameters? Also search our WWM site, keyword, "anemones". James (Salty Dog)> TB

Shriveled Sebae  9/4/05 We just bought an Anenome yesterday. it is white and has purple tips. <Sebae Anemone, Heteractis crispa. This particular individual has expelled its symbiotic zooxanthellae due to stress resultant from poor water conditions, shipping, too much handling, general bad, health, etc. This is known as being "bleached." A healthy sebae is usually a deep brown/beige color. As a general rule, no zooxanthellate cnidarian should ever possess white polyps (in this case, the anemone itself can be considered a polyp).> I has already started to shrivel up. The pet store told us that it would do this when it expels old water and takes in new water. <Yes, this is a common occurrence with anemones. Sort of a "body column water change." If the shriveling is accompanied by a gaping mouth/expelled internals, however, it is a sign of severe stress.> It has almost been a day and it hasn't blossomed back yet. Is there something wrong with it? <Too soon to tell, really. Give it another 24 hours.> could it be dead already? <Possibly, but I doubt it.> and how long does the process of expelling water take? <usually, the water change can be completed in around ~12 hours, but this is by no means a concrete rule.> Please Help ASAP Please email me back <It's funny you sent me this email at this time. A family member of mine recently purchased a bleached sebae, and it, too, shriveled up beyond recognition, was vomiting entrails, etc. on day 2. I just 5 minutes ago received an email from him with pics of the now-healthy anemone. I advised him to use a syringe (sans needle, you know, the ones you get with test kits) or pipette to force feed the anemone a mixture of Cyclops-eeze, liquid garlic, and Selcon by placing the tip of the syringe/pipette between the anemone's "lips" and squirting gently and slowly. He did this twice daily, and the anemone bounced back and is now a deep shade of brown after only 2 months. The anemone stopped requiring the force feeding after 2 weeks of it, at which point it was rather sticky and could accept whole krill soaked in Selcon twice daily. At any point where all hope seems lost, it's not. Trust me. Never give up, and best of luck! Mike G>
Re: Shriveled Sebae  9/5/05
thank you for all the info. <Welcome.> I came how from work and it had moved itself and blossomed back up. <Good to hear.> Now another couple of problems. How do I feed it the silver side without the fish floating to the top and without getting to close to where it will sting me. <Well, if the anemone is sticky enough, you can just place the fish on its tentacles without any problems. If the anemone is not sticky, it would be best to force feed it the previously mentioned mixture. If it is not sticky, chances are good it could not harm you if you came in contact with its tentacles. However, if you're cautious you can buy a pair of rubber gloves specifically for your tank.> Another question we have a clownfish, cowfish, yellow tang and a blue damsel. <How large a tank?> How do I keep the nitrate and ammonia  levels low with all the fish, and is there some way to clean the waste away from the sand. <Siphon off the debris or, if your tank is large enough, get a detritus-eater: Tigertail Cukes are a good choice. They pass the sand, metabolize the debris, and expel clean sand in neat little pellets.> Sorry to keep bothering you. Stephanie <Not bothering, glad to help. Mike G>

Sebae Anemone 8/3/05 I have tried to find books on the topic of anemones but they are hard to find and I found your article on the web along with a few others but they don't answer all of my questions or really even cover the behaviors of an anemone. <Anemone behavior? You mean, eat, deflate, inflate, grow, wander?> I just bought an anemone on Saturday for the first time and I picked out a Sebae anemone, however I think I made two major mistakes.   <I'd say your first was picking out one of the harder species of anemones.> First, mistake the anemone wasn't attached to anything in the tank, but it was puffed up and looked healthy and beautiful, however I read afterwards that a creamy colored anemone may have started the bleaching process already.   <Indeed. To add to this, Sebaes are often sold bleached.> I can still see a brown pigmentation on the body but the tentacles and foot a more of a creamy color.   <Could very well be bleaching, though it does not sound like a serious "case"> Second mistake, I didn't make the dealer feed the anemone at the store. <I never even considered that to be a part of buying a healthy anemone. I always look for coloration, fullness, a closed-tightly mouth, a full foot, etc.> I acclimated my anemone for about 2 ½ hours and placed him in my tank, and he just started to float around so, I didn't want him to get hurt floating around in my tank, so I think I may have held him too long...a couple of minutes.   <Does not sound too great.> Finally he attached in a cave in the rocks where he gets some light but not too much.  He stayed attached for a little over one day, however he didn't eat anything that I tried to feed him.   <Could have simply been acclimating. When you picked him up, did he feel sticky? That is a sign of good health. Conversely, lack of stickiness is a sign of very poor health.> I have tried to feed him silversides, chopped up, and Mysid shrimp.  He started to eat some of the shrimp the first day but then spit it back out.  About a day later he flipped up side down on his mouth <No good at all.> so my husband and I moved a powerhead so it was pointing in the anemone's direction to tip him back over, which worked.   <Unnecessary stress.> Now another day and half later he won't attach to anything <Very bad.> since the previously mentioned, and he leaves his mouth open a lot <Very, very bad.> and he still won't eat. <Quite bad indeed.> I don't think his stinger cells are working either.  One of my baby Chromis has come in contact with his tentacles and is still alive swimming around in the tank, but food does stick to his tentacles when I try to feed him.   <Then, yes, his nematocysts are still in operation.> I did see the anemone expelling some brown stuff the first day and some creamy colored stringy balls from inside his mouth are mixed within his tentacles.   <Normal.> His foot is not damaged and I haven't seen any rips or tears on his body or tentacle.  I have T5 lights, 4 Blue actinic and 2 white <Actinics have considerably less photosynthetically usable light than white bulbs. I would not go so far as to count them toward your wattage.> and get a little over 4 watts per gallon in a 75 gallon tank. I am at a loss due to good information on the Sebae anemone, Heteractis crispa.  Do you have any suggestions?   <Give it a place where it will get good lighting as well as be able to shade itself, decent flow, daily feedings... make sure it eats at least once a day, even if it means sacrificing 100 Mysis to feed one. When feeding, cut the circulation and stick the food nearest to the mouth as you can.> Is my anemone dying?   <It is unwell, but can recover.> When do I know when to give up and get him out of my tank before he becomes harmful to other specimens in my tank?   <When he dies.> I don't want to throw out a live anemone...I would feel really bad but I don't want to lose my other fish and coral that I have put time and money into. <Watch him closely. If he dies, remove him immediately. I recently brought a Ritteri anemone with extremely similar symptoms back to life: it is now a deep shade of brown-green. You can save it, even when death seems unavoidable. Best of luck, Mike G>

Sebae anemones turned tannish/brown Hi I have a small 12 gallon tank with a small (was creamy white with purple dots on the end of each tentacle) sebae anemone.  <Bleached> I had two small clowns and a small blue tang. <This system is too small...> All my fish got ick, and were transferred to a hospital tank. The two clowns died after a week and half of treatment, but the tang lived. Finally the tang <Too small a world for a Tang...>  has been put back into the main tank. Well my problem is that when the fish got ick and were removed from the main tank the anemone turned from a creamy white with purple dots on the end of the tentacles to a tannish/light brown color. <A step in the right direction> When the anemone was first put into the tank, we placed it in a hole on one of our live rocks and it stayed and started spreading. Seemed happy, but since the fish were removed it's color changed. It still opens and shuts with the lights and retracts when the crabs touch it. Is it sick or is it ok. <Ok> I am planning on buying two more small clowns to replace the two that died. <I would not... the stress from being crowded... likely was largely at play in your last ich episode. Save up and get a larger system. For what you have, want, at least forty gallons minimum> I think that my first mistake was buying all three fish from three different places. But I want to make sure that the anemone is ok or if it needs treatment or what? Please help. <Please read re Heteractis crispa (Sebae Anemones) on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Sebae Anemone 'spurting' Bob and Crew: <Ed> Let me first thank you for the invaluable advice and direction that you have provided me over the past couple of years.  I've found your website to be extremely useful in providing the information needed by the modern aquarist.  Due to the excellent organization of your site, I haven't had the opportunity (or need) to contact you directly.  However, tonight something happened in my tank that has me baffled.  I've not seen anything posted regarding what I saw tonight. I'll begin with a sincere 'thank you' regarding the advice provided by prior posts regarding our Sebae anemone.  My wife and I purchased it about 18 months ago.  It was small (about 3 to 4 inches across) and beautifully white.  I soon learned that it shouldn't be white.  With your advice, I slowly nurtured it back to excellent health by gingerly feeding it every two days and adding Combisan to the tank weekly.  The Sebae now measures about 14" across when fully spread out and is a dark, rich brown. <Outstanding> Yesterday, my wife called me at work and said that the aquarium was really cloudy.  I was baffled and nervous because I've never seen it cloudy except when I used AZNO3 about 9 months ago to eliminate my nitrates (which worked ).  When I got home from work, I was greeted with 'pea soup'.  I couldn't even see the back of the tank.  I figured it was some sort of bacterial bloom and added some carbon.  All the while, hoping for the best. Tonight, the tank was looking fairly clear, but still a bit hazy.  Just before the lights go off (at midnight), I looked at the tank and noticed that the Sebae anemone was a bit more 'scrunched up' than normal.  As I watched, it suddenly began to discharge small round 'balls'...  somewhat like eggs.  The spurting continued for several minutes, until there were perhaps thousands of small, greenish "balls" suspended in the water column.  I'm attaching a photograph of the sebae's mouth during part of evolution.  (I can send a much higher resolution picture if it would be helpful)  I'm completely baffled now...  Sebaes reproduce by splitting, not 'eggs' right??  The tank immediately clouded up again. <Mmm, actually can/do reproduce in a few ways... including sexually, but these are not eggs> Is the clouding, or the "spurting" anything to worry about?  My wife and I love this tank, and we would like to avoid a crash if at all possible. <They do worry me... am wondering... where they came from... likely something that was eaten. Do you, did you have Caulerpa in this system? Is this a Caulerpacean reproductive event?> Ooops...  almost forgot:  My tank parameters are as follows: Salinity:  35 ppt (refractometer...  about 1.025-6 SG) Temp:  79 Deg. F. pH:  8.2 Ammonia:  0 Nitrite:  0 Nitrate: 0 Phosphate:  0 (or so...  if you believe the test) Alk:  10-11 dKH I also measure Silicate, Iodide/Iodine and are ok Equipment:   75 g AllGlass Rena Filstar Canister, 350 GPM AquaC Remora Pro with Magdrive and skimmer box Two other powerheads, 175 gph each 15 W UV (TMC Vecton) - which was running during the cloudiness Stocking:  (fairly light) Sebae Anemone - 14" Yellow Tang - about 5-6" Cinnamon Clown - 4-5" Yellow tailed Blue Damsel - 2.5"  (for sale...  cheap ) 9 Astrea snails 10 Blue Legged, small hermit crabs About 15 Lb. of Live rock Thanks in advance for your help, and please let it be known that your work is truly appreciated! Regards, Ed <Something is missing here Ed... what sort of object could have caused the cloudiness? What algae do you have? Bob Fenner>
Re: Sebae Anemone 'spurting'
Bob, <Ed> Thank you for your prompt response.  I don't have any macroalgae in the system whatsoever.  I have a bit of film and hair algae, but it's fairly light.  I also have some really dark brown algae that grows on the substrate that persistently exists, but it is a relatively small amount.  It is somewhat filamentous and is difficult to siphon out because it merely 'clumps' when it enters the siphon.  Other than that, there's no algae other than coralline. <Strange. Am at a loss to explain the green color, the balls...> I currently feed the Sebae a homemade seafood mix about once a week.  I keep it frozen and whittle off a bit into a bit of tank water, then feed with a turkey baster.  It doesn't seem that I'm missing any livestock, and the Sebae doesn't eat anything that would seem to produce the small balls that I've described.  I feed the fish a varying combination of flake food and the homemade seafood mix on occasion.  Once in awhile, I enrich the food with either Selcon or VitaChem. <Oh, does the homemade food have a vegetable/algal component?> Two days have passed since the event, and the tank is now fairly clear.  It's not as clear as it was before the event, but close.  I cleaned the filters last night and they were almost entirely plugged with a slimy substance that was difficult to wash off.  I had just cleaned the filters about 1.5 weeks before the event, so the plugging was very unusual.  The skimmer has been acting strange, too.  It's been removing about 1/2 of it's normal amount, and what it removes right now is a nearly opaque, milky tan liquid instead of the medium tea to coffee colored liquid it normally removes. The livestock, including the anemone seem unfazed by the event, which it probably a really good sign. <Yes> Another thought:  Could the clownfish have laid eggs directly into the anemone?  The clownfish is A. Melanopus and has been hosting in the anemone since shortly after introduction of the anemone.  I know it's a long shot, but I'm running out of ideas. <Mmm, no... very often (in the wild) Clownfishes will lay their eggs on to the hard substrate under (by pecking at it) the foot of their host anemone... but not on.> Thanks once again for your help! Ed <Lastly (the paranoid question)... is it possible someone placed/dumped something in your tank? Other than this, some sort of reproductive event (by ?) is about all the general possibilities that come to mind for the cloudiness, slime. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sebae Anemone 'spurting'
Thanks once again, Bob. <Welcome Ed> I don't currently use any algae/vegetable component in my seafood mix, so I guess that's likely ruled out.  Our clownfish has always dug holes around the anemone, all the way to the bottom glass; however I've never seen it attempt to nip at the anemone's foot in any way (or lay eggs for that matter).  I guess the possibility of the clownfish laying eggs is ruled out as well.  Also, no one has had the opportunity to dump anything into the tank, so I guess that's also ruled out. <Yes> I guess it shall remain a mystery.  The mysterious behaviors of marine life are exactly what attracted us to the hobby in the first place!  Imagine my surprise when late the other night I watched the anemone spurting out a constant stream of the small, greenish balls!  At least I captured several images of the event with my camera, otherwise I don't think anyone would believe me. <... yes, strange> The tank is now crystal clear once again, so I think that everything is getting back to normal. I'll continue learning and growing in this fun and interesting hobby, and I truly appreciate the service that you and your crew provide. Regards, Ed <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Sebae Anemones Dear Sir, I have had a Sebae for about 3 months now. Yesterday I noticed he was turning a brown around the edges it looks healthy other than that and has grown since I have had it. Could it be a bacterial infection? <No, it is a return to normal coloration. Most host anemones have expelled their symbiotic zooxanthellae (algae) and are bleached white and near death. You are to be congratulated. Do read here for additional anemone care information http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and following on through the other linked pages.> If so what can I treat him with, he has a tomato clown as a host. I checked all my water and my ph is 8.0 a little low but it has been that way. <I would try to increase the pH, 8.2-8.4 is appropriate.> Any help would be great. Thanks, Sue <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Sebae Anemone Hi, <cheers, my friend> I just purchased a sebae anemone online and it just arrived today in the mail with two false Percula clowns.   <a fine species although I'm not convinced the clowns are likely to take to it> I guess I shoulda done some research before hand, but didn't.   <we live and learn... do learn and grow from this> I read in your FAQ's that they are not naturally white in color.   <correct> Mine is white with purple tips.   <too common> I was wondering, if the anemone will live?    <yes... easily, if you take the time to feed it very fine minced meaty foods (nothing larger than 1/4" bits) 3-5 times weekly perhaps. It will go through a blotchy ugly stage when re-coloring but should finish rich brown with handsome purple tips in time> It appears healthy, It attached itself to a rock in my aquarium.  I have power compact lighting...this should be sufficient, shouldn't it?   <if the water is shallow (anemone in 12" of water from surface ... not much more?) Also, I fed a chunk of frozen Mysis shrimp.   <excellent,. but so thaw first> I placed it on it and it grabbed it and has eaten it all. <very good and one of the very best foods for marine animals at large> I would appreciate any feedback you have on caring for it.   <keep feeding several times weekly and maintain good water quality and all will be fine> Another quick note, my two clowns are not going into the anemone at all, do you think after a few more days of acclimation they might or does this anemone not host them? <the latter... and know that clowns harm more anemones than they help in captivity. Not needed or recommended> thanks, Ronnie <best regards, Anthony>

Sebae question Hello, I just got a Sebae last week at the LFS and it hasn't attached to anything yet and gets blown around by the current even though I dropped the current down to practically nothing. <Common problem and is explicitly stated throughout fish literature> What current should it be at? low? med? <Most likely current isn't the problem. These critters are easily damaged and in general, do not survive well in captivity although there are exceptions to the rule> It is about 4 inches in diameter and looked decent at the LFS according to others that I've seen.  It does have coloration to it and the tentacles aren't shriveled up but its mouth is open a little.  I have it in a 29 gallon tank with a 55w actinic pc and a 65w 50/50 pc plus a near by 120w plant light <Plant light won't help anything except nuisance algae> next to the aquarium that I was using for my banana tree and I have it aimed right at the anemone, was that a wise thing to do? <Good for growing hair algae. Won't help the anemone at all. Most likely it's the wrong spectrum> Is just the 120w of PCs enough for it? <Probably> It was under less lighting at the LFS. <LFS didn't want to keep it for years. I assume that you do>   It is open but it is all bunched up right now next to a piece of live rock and you can see the foot.  I tried to put in on the live rock close to the lights but it keeps dropping off and going to the CC.  The current wasn't real strong but it kept getting blown over on its top. I even dug a hole in the CC and placed the foot in there so it wouldn't blow over but it just crawled out and got blown over anyways.  It did make it to the side of some live rock where it is now but one side isn't getting any light, is that ok? <It will settle wherever and whenever it wants. That's one the many problems associated with anemones>   I also dose micro Vert invert food, coral Vite, reef calcium and iodine once a week.  The tank has 20lbs of live rock, a Red Sea Berlin air lift skimmer and the eclipse 3 filter that I only use once in a while to just clear the water up.  I was told not to run the eclipse filter often because the carbon will absorb beneficial things and the filter adds nitrate and nitrogen to the water and to leave the filter to the DSB, live rock and skimmer.  Should I use the eclipse filter all the time or once in a while as I have been doing? <If what you're doing is working I would continue. If not then leave the filter on all of the time> Thanks for the help. <You're welcome! David Dowless> Aaron

Sebae Anemone Hi, <Hello there> I've tried to look up as many articles as possible, however I haven't really found a full answer to my question. <Go on> I had 3 false Percula clowns...I believe my new sebae anemone ate it as it was the clown that had really taken to the anemone that was eaten. <I see> I've only had it for a couple of weeks. Since it "ate" the clown fish...it's been tipped over sitting on its side and really not looking healthy at all. I've checked the water and the levels seem to be fine. I've also cleaned up the water so that it doesn't choke on its own waste. <Cleaned up? It is a good idea to remove solid waste (after the anemone disgorges it), but they don't like sudden or large changes in their environment> I have a standard two ft tank and have one fluorescent and one blue light as the pet shop lady told me that coral and anemone really love the light so I hope it's not too bright. <Mmm, take a read through WetWebMedia.com re this species (actually Heteractis crispa)... they require a surprisingly intense quantity of light... is yours "bleached out?"... that is, white or whitish with pink to purple tips at the ends of its tentacles? It may be impugned from its collection and shipping ahead of your purchase... very common> Can you please let me know if this is normal behavior for an anemone to be rolled over like that? Thanks Cheryl <Not normal... not healthy. Though almost all "giant anemone" species/specimens that live in conjunction with Clownfishes do have periods of more or less tumescence, they should not be flaccid... for any period of time. A warning sign. Again, there is too much to convey to you in this space, time. Please read through the articles and FAQs files archived on WWM. 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

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>
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