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FAQs on Tube Anemone Compatibility

Related Articles: Tube Anemones, Cnidarians,

Related FAQs: Tube Anemones 1, Tube Anemones 2, Tube Anemone ID, Tube Anemone Behavior, Tube Anemone Selection, Tube Anemone Systems, Tube Anemone Feeding, Tube Anemone Disease, Tube Anemone Reproduction, & Anemone Feeding, Condylactis,

Mmm, some folks report success with mixing Cerianthids with fishes, invertebrates, including other Cnidarians... My experience has been different. Tube Anemones shed so much noxious and stinging material... that they are best relegated to their own specialized displays. RMF.

Mushrooms and Zoanthids... allelopathy, starvation knocked on, reading and great self-discovery!   10/10/13
I have hard and soft coral systems that range from Acros to polyps and everything in between. My levels are acceptable if not near perfect for all of my tanks.

The tanks in question are a 75g drilled with 30 g sump. 80
watt led lighting, PhosGuard in a reactor,
<... you realize chemo- photo-synthetic life requires measurable soluble HPO4>

carbon in a bag a week out of the month, SeaChem matrix, refugium, two 750 gph powerheads, 1250 gph
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate 0
<... sigh: and measurable NO3. Please read on WWM re>

 phosphate less than .25, alk11, ph 8.22
daytime, I feed a mix of flakes heavily, bribe
<Brine likely; Artemia>
 shrimp once a week, phyto once a week.
<See WWM re this as well. Of little use in most settings>

Dose AquaVitro ions, calcification, 8.4, fuel once a week to where Mag stays around 1300, calcium 420, iodine at .06, iron not registering with my red sea test kit, but fuel has iron, so not sure if the test does not pick up this particular type of iron or what. Potassium at 385. This tank houses only soft corals and a tube anemone
<Cerianthus? Not compatible... see WWM re this as well>

 along with fish and inverts. The problem I am having is with mushrooms melting, Ricordea shrinking and detaching, and Zoas melting away.
<... after you're done searching, reading, you'll understand why. How to put it/this: Your problems are obvious>

<Likely "Palys">
do great, leathers do great, polyps do great. Tank has been up for two years and this started with just the Zoas 3 months ago. More recently, I have a separate soft coral frag system, 200 g, 2200 gph pump, divided into 4 stair step tanks.
One section has mushrooms and leathers, one has polyps , other two house fish. My Ricordea are starting to shrivel and detach in this tank as well.
It has same readings and fixings except ph is 8.16 daytime, nitrates are at 5ppm, and the lighting is 120 watts led 24" off the tank over a 75g area.
Both systems have skimmers,
dsb, ample live rock.
<.... So... what are your choices? Provide or don't eliminate needed nutrients, and either remove the Ceriantharian, or the other mal-affected Cnidarian life. Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
re: Mushrooms and Zoanthids  10/10/13

What is WWM?
re: Mushrooms and Zoanthids... "I (don't) want to hold your ha ha ha ha ha hand!"   10/10/13

I see, wet web media, what should I read and which section can I find it in?
<... the indices; search tool... on all 12k some pages... the topics listed on your first query... B>

Tassel file fish... injury?  – 09/24/12
Hey guys.  Can you please help me with identifying my tassel filefish problem?  This happened in just 2 days.  I have him in a hospital tank and I’m treating him with sulfa. 
I have other meds but I was guessing it might be something with his gill.  Can you please let me know what I can do for him?  Thanks in advance!!  You've always helped me and I appreciate it greatly!!  Tammy
<This looks to be (the reddish area?) a physical trauma... likely in capture or other in-transit handling this fish got whacked. Not much to do other than keep the system/area quiet... and hope. Bob Fenner>

Re Tassel file fish... injury?  – 09/24/12
Thanks Bob.  I've had this fish for 5 months.  I do have a tube anemone...
thinking maybe he got close to him.

<Yikes... yes. Cerianthids are very stinging... trouble in smaller volumes>
 The anemone is in the corner of a 155 gallon tank.  The filefish hangs out on the other side all day and night.
If this is from the tube anemone, can I treat him with something else? 
<Not really; no. I would not add to the stress here>
The sulfa is triple sulfa from API.  Should I take him out of the hospital tank and put him back in the display tank so he is in his regular surroundings?
<At this point/juncture, I would leave the fish where it is>
Sorry for the questions I just really don't want to lose him.  He has been eating fine even with the swollen face... forgot to tell you.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re Tassel file fish... injury?  – 09/24/12
Thanks... hopefully he will heal.  I'll finish his treatment and put him back into his regular tank to lower his stress level.
<Sounds good. BobF>
Re Tassel File hlth.  – 09/25/12

Update on filefish:  last night to no avail he died.  So sad... he was a favorite.  I did try something that I've had success with my seahorses but it didn't help him.  I have these insulin needles that I got at the pharmacy and tried to pull out the infection which I was able to get 70 units (about 45 cc) worth of infection out.
  Then I mixed a tiny tiny amount of EM Erythromycin powder from API with 10 cc of salt water and injected this into
the pocket of infection.  Made him eat some Nutramar with the syringe and hoped to see him this morning.  I really did try to save him but the infection was too far along.  I just wanted to let you know what I tried as I'm sure not many would be brave enough... this worked on a female seahorse with an infection in her neck with great results.
<Have done similar myself>
 Oh, I have the tube anemone in a bucket ready to go to a salt water warehouse.  Thanks for all your advice Bob... you're great!
<We all doing what we can Tam. BobF>

Bob Fenner please!!! Tube Anemone issues, incomp. compared w/ typical aquarium Actinarians   – 5/22/12
Hi Bob! I forwarded this correspondence between myself and www.saltwaterfish.com  because I'm puzzled.
Is this true ( below) what "Mary" says about all anemones being the same as my tube anemone?
I don't quite buy that and would like your expert opinion.
Thank you Bob!
<Mmm, I see the corr. below; and it is so that all Actinarian species are to varying degrees problematic in captivity... Ceriantharians are actually not "true" anemones... and are much more trouble than the seven or so commonly offered real ones... I encourage you to read a bit more widely, deeply. BobF>
Re: return
>> Hi Pam,
>> I read the article and it is factual.  It is however, the same with all anemones.   There is always some risk of keeping anemones.
> Compatibility is the customers responsibility.  You are welcomed to trade it at your
>> local fish store for credit or similar.  We cannot take it back.
>> -Mary-

Marks on purple tang 9/15/11
<Hey Simon>
Have you or any of the crew seen marks like this on a fish?
<Oh my! Yes... when in death throes... something VERY wrong here...
poisoned likely, or severely oxygen starved>
The fish was a normal Zebrasoma Xanthurum, uniform purple in colour. The owner reported the fish being normal in the morning, and then suddenly swimming about erratically and changing to these colours a couple of hours before death.
<Perhaps it ate a poisonous insect that flew into the tank? Ran into a venomous tankmate?>
I have been to the house and the colours had remained like this on the dead fish after death. This picture was taken while the fish was still alive. All other fishes seem fine including a Paracanthurus and a Pygoplites among others. Tests are Nitrate 2.5, pH 7.9, Temp 79.8, SG is 1.025. Carbon is run as well as GFO regularly. All invertebrates seem fine, including a Linckia Starfish and two Tube Anemones.
<... Cerianthus... the outstanding suspect here... They can be extremely stinging>
The water has turned slightly cloudy after this event with a rise in phosphate from 0.03 to 0.1ppm. There are no other missing animals that can be seen, although it is likely that something else has died, perhaps releasing a toxin of some kind. The only other thing that I can think of is a sting from one of these Anemones, or something that the fish had eaten?
Thanks, Simon.
<I cast my vote for contact w/ one of the Antipatharians... the Tube Anemones. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marks on purple tang 9/16/11
Thank you Bob, The tube anemones were my prime suspect also, will suggest they are removed. Feel free to use the image as you like.
<Thank you. Have posted on WWM>
By the way, your article on RedOx in Ultramarine Magazine is a fantastic effort, the best I have read on the subject and I'm quite sure I've read most if not all available!
<Oh gosh Simon... I practically begged the new editor, Richard Aspinall to not run this piece (have the long-standing habit of sending dozens of pieces to mag.s for back-up, offer)... I've tried on 2-3 occasions to make this subject known to hobbyists... almost always a failure... blank stares, folks incredulous, consternated... BUT, is standard technology, operating procedure for almost all public aquariums, aquaculture facilities...>
Cheers, Simon
<And you my friend. BobF>

Banded Cat Shark Stung by Pink tube Anemone 6/28/09
We recently brought a Banded Cat Shark and a pink tube anemone.
<... not together, no!>
Whilst feeding the Shark it swam into the anemone which stung him quite badly, as the shark actually jumped out of the water! The shark is now covered in white mucus and has a few of the tube anemone's 'arms' attached to it, which are slowly falling off. Do these stay alive or do they die and fall off?
<You should rub them off; do this ASAP>
The Shark is breathing fine and is still hidden in his cave, the anemone has now been removed from the tank (which is a shame as its a beautiful anemone)
<?! Not compatible>
I can not find anything on the internet that will say what will happen to the shark or what we need to do to save our shark. Can you please give me some advice?? will he be ok? I really appreciate any help you guys can give me.
<Is there a full moon? Bob Fenner>

Re: Banded Cat Shark Stung by Pink tube Anemone 6/28/09
Thanks for your quick response Bob.
<Welcome Lou>
We brought them together and the shop knew that they were going in the same tank, got told that the Banded Cat Shark was 'reef safe' after reading this site it shows that they are not.
<Dang! Wish you'd read here first, am sure>
Hopefully if we get them all off will he survive??
<I hope so as well>
Most of them have fallen off there is only approximately two on him.
<I'd still stick my hands in the tank, hold the animal steady... and wipe these off... Really sting like bejeesus... and keep on stinging!>
We had a shark previously and had to do a 7 day treatment on him due to it having cuts which got infected, would it be worth doing the same course of treatment as a precaution? the treatment is called ' Melafix'.
<Nah... please see WWM re this hoax... Soon I believe to be taken off the market (See MUMS, NADA... on the Net re Fish Remedies)... as is totally inefficacious>
Thanks for all your help.
<Welcome. BobF>

Copperband & Tube Nems/Copperband Butterfly/Compatibility 6/17/09
Hello Crew,
<Hi Bernie>
I love your site as it is so helpful to marine enthusiasts.
<Thank you.>
I just have one real quick question as I do <not?> seem to find a direct answer to it. I have a 92 gal reef tank, mainly LPS w <with> some softies & SPS here & there... I want to add a Copperband Butterfly ( I have done some research & am doing some more on this delicate fish) to be my show fish along w <with> a Foxface I already have. However, I have a purple and green tube nem <anemone> that is about 6-7" across that I cherish as I have had it for approx 3 years & it was my first non fish addition to my tank. If I add a CBBF, will it eat my prized tube nem <anemone>?
<Copperband Butterfly Fish are unique individuals, and much like choosing a chocolate out of a box, you won't know what you have until you get it. Some will nip the tips of corals and anemones, some will not. All Copperbands will devour Polychaete worms.
They are also a timid fish and should not be placed in a system with aggressive fish. The risk will be yours to take.>
Thank you in advanced for your answer.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Bernie H.C.

Something Amiss... SW poisoning event... from... 4/23/2009
Hi WWM crew(Wet Wise Men (and Women)),
Hope all is well with everyone. I am still a five year beginner in the hobby and have a 72g bowfront reef tank.
Problem 1 = The 2" Clown has not been eating very well and today not at all. For the last three days, he has been resting on the bottom of the tank and barely moving.
He also appears to be breathing rapidly and twitching. He opens and closes his mouth around 3 to five times a second. I think that there is some very minute white specks right below his first and second dorsal fin but it is not very apparent. The second dorsal fin also has a few small tears. The 1 " Clown is not staying close to her as he always did and is doing great. I put her in a 10g QT tonight.
<Good... something amiss here...>
Problem 2 = My Imperator Angel
<Needs more room than this>
has been acting strange the last few days as well. He is darting quite often and twitching his nose, tail and body. He is breathing rapidly (around 5 times per second). As of today, has a loss of appetite (He ate some freeze dried brine today but passed on the Selcon soaked mysis and flake food.) He is hiding a bit more than usual. He also appears to have some very minute white discoloration but doesn't really look like spots. He has been visiting the CB shrimp quite often.
Problem 3 = The Square-spotted Anthias has a fleshy tumor-like growth on his left lower jaw. I figured Lymph and no big deal with proper nutrition. He has had this since bringing him home from the LFS but it was barely there at that time. It has gotten bigger but does not seem to affect him. He has also been visiting the CB shrimp when the Angel lets him. He otherwise looks and eats great. So does the rest of his roommates except for the Clown and Angel.
I have searched for a few days but can't seem to decide what is happening. I doubt that it is Amyloodinium or all of my tank mates would be dead by now.
I thought maybe Brooks but didn't think it would affect the Angel. Except for the Anthias, it couldn't be Lymph with all the other symptoms. I am leaning toward Crypt but I have read about so many different diseases/symptoms that my head is swimming faster than my Anthias at meal time. I didn't want to overreact so after monitoring, I am planning to give the Clown and Angel a 10 minute FW dip tomorrow.
<Mmm, don't know if I would>
This seems to help (maybe not cure) with quite a few inflictions. Add the Angel to the QT tank. Monitor and take out the other fish to be QT'd if necessary. I have two 10g tanks I can use and a 42g BF tank if all fish need to be removed. The 42g has been up and running for 1.5 years and does not have anything in it right now except some bristle worms, CC, and live sand.
History = I restarted my 72g BF 17 weeks ago after it had been empty for 1.5 years. Ran tank for empty for 8 weeks even though it was cycled and the LR was cured. Purchased the Anthias 9 weeks ago from LFS and did not add anything else for 4 weeks. All other fish were in my 42g BF. Added both Clowns five weeks ago. Added Angel and Goby 3 weeks ago. Added blue Damsel four days ago which left the 42g empty. Kept constant watch on water quality and did frequent water changes (several times per week) during the moving period.
Water stats are:
NH3/NH4=0, NO2=0, NO3=40ppm,
<Way too high>
<Mmm, too low>
and alkalinity between 180 and 300. Tested using Saltwater Master test kit and Quick Dip test strips.
Tank mates are:
1 3" Imperator Angel (bigger tank soon) - With me for four months.
2 Percula Clownfish (1" and 2") - With me for three years.
1 4" Square-spotted Anthias - With me for nine weeks.
1 3" Orange-spotted Goby - With me for four months.
1 2" Blue Damsel - With me for five years. He was one of the original fish. I don't like him much but he has been through a lot with me (loyalty (-: ).
5 turbo snails
2 blue hermit
4 Nassarius snails
2 sand dwelling snails (I forgot the name but they are 2" long.)
1 Banded Coral shrimp
1 Tiger Pistol shrimp
1 purple tube Anemone
<A Cerianthus? Here's your trouble>
1 3.5" chocolate chip starfish
Diet = Omega One frozen mysis and brine shrimp and Marine Flakes with garlic, SF Bay frozen Angel and Butterfly and Cyclops, and Kent ZooPlex. I feed some flakes midday and 1.5 to two cubes frozen in the evening. Cubes are soaked in Selcon or Vita-Chem (mostly Selcon). I vary the cubes and only feed the brine on occasion. I also have Omega One freeze dried brine that I use as a last resort to get a fish to eat since all seem to love it.
72g BF with 3.5" to 4" DSB with CaribSea Arag-Alive sand
Circulation = Hydor 3 and Hydor 1 Koralia power heads
48" bubble wand
Mechanical/chemical filtration = Magnum 350 Pro with Fluval activated carbon, Kent nitrogen sponge and bio-wheels.
Bio-filtration = 20g converted wet/dry to sump/refugium with a 7" DSB in a
9.5" x 10.5" area. It contains LR rubble, Chaetomorpha, and seeded copepods
with an Aquaclear 10 power head. The skimmer, located on the intake side,
is a Turboflotor 1000 Multi. In the main tank, there are 65lbs of Fiji LR and 25lbs of Marshall LR.
Lighting = 2 21" 10,000k 65w compact fluorescents and 2 21" dual blue
actinic 65w compact fluorescents
Recent activity= Replaced all lights two weeks ago. Used All-Glass Aquarium silicone, HoldFast, Krazy glue, Quicktite glue and Superglue
<These could have started a "cascading" event here... biochemically triggering release of microbes, poisoning your system>
working on rock work and sump. I am hoping I did not poison the water.
Forgive me the overly detailed email. What do you think is going on and should I do as I was planning?
Thanks and kind regards, Ethan
<Please assure me re the Anemone (read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm
and the linked files above, particularly "Compatibility"... Otherwise your water chemistry is dangerously "off"... See WWM re...
I would be moving all desired livestock to a "better place" if you could, otherwise massive water changes, the use of chemical filtrants.... per what is archived on WWM...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Something Amiss 4/24/2009
Hi Bob.
Thank you for your quick response and words of wisdom!! Since I found your site around 20 weeks ago, I have spent numerous hours perusing the different postings. It is a world of knowledge. When I restarted my 72g tank 17 weeks ago, I used your site as a basis for setup (DSB, refugium, Chaetomorpha, LR, etc) so I could do it right this time. I have not lost very many fish for the last five years but I would rather lose none.
I am following your advice and doing large water changes. I had already did a 15g change last night and will do a 35g change tomorrow with PH adjusted with baking soda.
<Might need more... a source of carbonate...>
I had switched to Reef Crystals in hopes that it would help PH. Should I remove the LR that has glue on it?
<Mmm, no... too late... it's already "cured", the volatile (trouble-causing) parts gone>
I changed the carbon in the Magnum and wrapped the media container with Poly Filter.
<Good moves>
Also, I removed the tube Anemone and put him in my 42g tank for right now.
<Thank goodness... These are very toxic, problematical animals for captive use... their "shedding" alone causes losses every day>
As I may have researched my other tank mates, I am ashamed to say I did not research the Anemone or I would not have purchased it. My wife loves them and I bought it on impulse three months ago.
<I see>
My Angel seems better. He is at least eating very well today. My 2" Clown is about the same and still in the QT tank. I treated the 10g QT with Melafix to try to help with the fin tear. I have high hopes that they will pull through.
<I'd skip the "fix" and move the Clown back to the main display>
If I may, I have just a few other questions.
You mentioned (As I knew you would but when you're right, you're right:-)) that my tank size was too small for the Angel. I have my eye on a used 180g long tank for $700.00 and a used 340g tank for $1500.00. Cost is an issue right now so could I get away with two years in a 180g without shortening his lifespan?
<You could>
When it comes to tank sizes, is a smaller, longer tank better than a larger, taller tank?
<Longer in most all cases>
I hope to see you and other crew members at the Orlando Reef Caretakers Association Southeastern Reef conference on July 10. I would love to hear you, Anthony, Scott F, and Eric speak.
<Ahh, a view you shall have>
Thanks for all that you and the rest of the crew do for us aquarists. Ethan
<Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, and sharing in general. BobF>

Tube Anemone incomp. with other Cnid.s. Q. I've set up a 105 gallon tank in my office in March this year and I really wish I had know about Flying Fish Express and you back then. The fish store provided limited help. Our tank began with fish only. A few months ago I began to appreciate the value (not to mention the beauty) of live rock and sand and began to gradually "upgrade" the tank. So far all has gone well. A few weeks ago, I added a tube anemone (Cerianthus membranaceus). Within 48 hours of adding it to the tank, it began to stand up and it appeared to be doing well. Then however, it became quite sluggish and at the time of this note, it's completely disappeared from the top of a rock into a crevice. I've had my water tested several times and everything checked out fine. What could be the problem? I have a few other anemones (a Sebae and a Green Carpet) and they seem to be doing well, with the exception that they've moved several times. They don't seem to favor being on top of rocks or near the current either. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. >> A. Good observations, of a "tricky situation". Tube Anemones are (not can be, are) a real source of trouble in almost all settings. These specialized animals really need their own dedicated set-up... soft, deep bottom, a lack of other stinging celled life, and a short list of suitable fishes.... There is a sort of stinging and chemical war going on in your system that eventually everyone will lose. The movement of your other anemones points to this battling. Do take a long look at my articles posted at wetwebmedia.com on Anemones, Tube Anemones... for more of a complete rundown. I would return the Tube Anemone or accommodate it in a separate system... quickly. Then I would do a massive water change (maybe fifty gallons) with premade water, and add some PolyFilter in my water path flow. Be careful when moving the Cerianthus... you want as little mucus et al. to get in/stay in the system as possible. Bob Fenner

Coral and anemone follow-up... comp. Hello Everyone: <Cheers, my friend> Would like to give a special thanks to Anthony for his advise regarding the tube anemone. <my pleasure> I reluctantly removed it and couldn't believe how the rest of the coral has responded. <they are indeed hostile> Everyone is fully open and enjoying their meals per Anthony's instructions. Even the candy coral seems especially happy and has remarkably bounced back, <great to hear!> although I couldn't find the brand name frozen food he recommended, I bought Hikari's brand of Zooplankton and Mysis Shrimp (hope this is acceptable). <no worries if the protein is comparable (over 60%?)> Everyone seems to be eating just fine because they are obviously very happy. Have been feeding them 5:00 AM when their feeding tentacles are out. I do have a concern regarding a lime green feather duster (with a soft tube). I'm having trouble with bubble Caulerpa sprouting on it. Apparently some time back it must have seeded itself everywhere. <bummer> I have tried pulling it off the tube but it seems to stress the tube itself. Also, there is a thick dark velvety red algae growing on the last inch of the tube that seems to be getting thicker. I've tried to scratch it off with my finger, but it appears to be very dense. <do try a peaceful grazing urchin like a Tuxedo sp (Mespilia)> The rest of the tube is fine since I have it buried in the sand. So far it doesn't seem to have bothered the feather duster. Should there be concern? <little> Am also concerned about roots from the Caulerpa growing inside the tube and bothering the little guy. <agreed... remove when possible> Everyone at WWM is just great, thanks for all the professional assistance. <our great pleasure> May the force be with you. <it is... I had Mexican food for dinner. Thanks for noticing. Anthony>

Tube anemone and lion hi! <Howdy!> I recently got a tube anemone & was wondering if I could still get a lion, Or would the tube anemone grab & eat it ? assuming its a small juv lion, also, is there any chance of the lion stinging the anemone?<I would say go for it, they should be fine together. Cody> thanks <<RMF is not quite so sure>>

- Anemone Stings and Toxic Tank Question - Do you mean that if they are stung by the Tube Anemone that they will die immediately? <Really depends on the extent of the sting.> Or can it take a few hours? <Both.> From the contamination in the tank, could that cause the fish to look as though they are peeling or flaking? <Yes. Cheers, J -- >

Purple tube anemone I have a purple tube anemone and it is in with my reef which I have some corals and other anemones and fish I was reading some of the articles in your forum but didn't see anything about my tube which has long purple tentacles and by its mouth has short light greenish tentacles is this tube anemone a threat to my tank <From my experience, if you provide the tube anemone with enough space, it is not a threat to your aquarium. However, some people have noted that their tube anemone has eaten some of their smaller sized fish. Although this is uncommon, it can happen. Overall, I would keep it -- It's a very colorful and hardy addition to your aquarium.> and if it is how do I remove it , it has attached itself to my tank by wedging itself between a rock and live sand bed please help would greatly appreciate it if you could email me with help. <I recently removed my tube anemone from my tank due to an aquarium upgrade. I needed to remove the rockwork and substrate around the anemone to get it out. They are delicate which is why it's important to be extremely gentle if you decide to eventually remove it.> <Take Care, Graham.> Tim

Percula Pair Going Through Divorce? Small, mis-mixed cnid. system, Tube Anemone... 9/2/06 Afternoon, <Yawnnnn! AM here now> Thank you for being a resource for me! I've searched through the FAQ's and Daily Q&A for an answer but I've only found bits and pieces relative to my clowns' situation rather than the whole story. They've been a pair for nearly 8 months, 6 of which in my 12gallon nano tank with an appropriate watt Halide looming over it. The environment is littered with coral -- neon green star polyps, leather coral, devil's hands, bubble coral, frog spawn -- and presently has a single tube anemone. <Too crowded... and a Cerianthus? Toxic> My tank is not a good supporter of anemone's such as carpets, bulb, and long tentacles, or rather, I'M not a good supporter of them since they don't live longer than a couple months. <... agreed... small marine volumes are unsuitable for actinarians period> My guess is a lacking food supply since my clowns don't feed their anemone like the clowns I've had in the past. I'm now trying the turkey baster with brine method. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm and the linked files above> The problem (aside from my inability to keep an anemone besides the tube anemone) is that my pair aren't much of a pair anymore. When I had my last anemone -- which I just netted out of the tank today and tossed to the garbage men, <...> my pair started going through the mating motions -- which i identified by the smaller having the little seizure spasms near the larger. Now that the anemone is gone the two aren't getting along. The smaller will chase the larger into a corner, leaving the larger gasping at the top of the tank. <... too crowded... no where to get away... the cnidarians, incompatible, warring with each other... will take out any/all fishes> I'm worried because I absolutely adore these two clowns, <If you do... then grant them a decent habitat... Please... Read re the needs of these fish, provide them... A feeling will not support their health... only action, with knowledge can. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm and the linked files above> they're incredibly hardy and eat like triggers, and now that they're fighting as they are I'm pretty much just waiting for one to get too stressed out and end up being an offering to the porcelain gods. They're about an inch and a half and inch and three quarters long, the larger being thicker; they're a bright orange with three white stripes connected by two large black patches. The colors are immaculate and I haven't seen another like them in my LFS so I'm unable to attempt to find a like male to replace the one who's pissy now. Thank you for your time! Ian. <Translate your sentiment to focus, attention in gathering useful information re the life in your care. Read! Bob Fenner>

Pink Tube Anemone... Not For Mixed Livestock Systems - 05/17/06 Hey guys, <<Gals here too!>> To start...my tank: I have a standard 72" 125 gallon with 4x96watt PC lighting. 250ish/lbs live rock + 3" sand bed. I was helping a buddy unload his tank because of a move and was able to get some good looking things for free. <<Cool!>> I got a 4-6" Foxface (Unbelievably timid for size and potential venom!), <<Yes...a quite peaceful fish>> a 2-3" Sailfin (Incredibly bold), <<And the potential to get quite large>> a bicolor blenny, <<Not "reef safe" in my opinion>> a percula clown, fire shrimp and flame scallop (which is now all the away across the tank in a different cave. I find that kind of thing funny. That they move on their own, like a cartoon...no eyes...anyway.). <<Indeed...fascinating to observe, but unfortunately better left in the ocean as most die from slow starvation>> I also got a couple red Zoanthid clusters, a neon green torch coral, green polyps, a flat type of mushroom, and a big puffy species of Shrooms (softball size) and last but not least, a 2-3" diameter pink tube anemone which is sitting under a cave I've made out of live rock, away from other corals. <<Mmm...have you read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm >> Although it isn't my usual behavior to add things to my tank without research first, <<Ahh...was just wondering where to fit in this little "jibe" <grin> >> this was a short notice situation, and I figured it would be ok, since everything was living together in his tank previously. <<Why would you assume that? Because something is in someone else's tank doesn't automatically make it right...please do your research and base your decisions on your own good judgment>> I didn't even know they were low light anemones since most anemones I've heard about are high level light. <<Yes>> So when I put it in, I put him in the center (my rock makes a U shape around the back of tank). So I had the bulb part sticking out and I covered his "foot" up with some sand and waited. The second day I saw the new anemone under that cave I told you about. Did he climb out of his tube and make a new home there, or did he crawl through the foot of his tube and pop out on that side? <<Likely the former>> If he popped out, it should be safe to remove the old. <<Yes>> If he crawled out the foot, if even possible, can I remove his old tube? <<Yes>> I know that thing can be covered with those stingy nematocysts. <<True, but little danger to your hands...wear gloves if you are concerned>> So, wanting to know everything I can about what I have in my tank, I've been doing some reading and haven't found very good news about this tube anemone. <<?>> Most if the info I have found basically says this thing will kill any of the livestock I have that it touches. <<Very possible...the tentacles on the outer margin harbor very powerful stinging cells>> Also, even if my fish don't accidentally swim into this thing, it is releasing nematocysts (sp?) <<nematocysts>> that could sting my fish from across the tank? <<Yes, along with corals, et al. Another good reason for keeping anemones of any specie, in a specie specific tank designed/arranged for them>> I don't have a sump yet so those things would just be circulating in my tank. <<Will be even if you have a sump>> I'm currently using a Fluval 404 with only the sponges right now as a filter. <<Cleaned weekly at least I hope...better served as a chemical filter (carbon/Poly-Filter)>> This will be until I get a return pump for my 30g long sump. So should I get rid of this thing ASAP??? <<I would, perhaps a trade to your LFS...or set it up in its own tank yourself if you like it>> I know to keep my other corals away from it, which isn't a problem in a tank this size, but do the fish know to keep away from it? <<No guarantees>> What if they run into it at night? <<Exactly>> I have moonlights but is that sufficient for fish to see? <<Again...is no guarantee>> What about my snails and crabs? Are they doomed? <<Should be fine>> Would this be an instant paralysis type of thing if a fish touches it? <<Would depend on the size of the fish and the size/amount of the contact>> Like I've mentioned before when I wrote you guys about 1.5 years ago, I like to compile my questions so as to reduce the amount of time and mailbox space I take from you guys. I know you have a lot of E-Mails to go through and plenty of other fish to save from the unavoidable doom of their owners. <<All good...is what we do/hope to do>> I was also reading that most angelfish, dwarf especially, don't like to be in a tank with others. <<...? Other what?>> I was wondering your take on this because I previously, before I moved, had a Bicolor angel in with a Coral Beauty and they were what appeared to be best of friends. <<Indeed...I have kept different Centropyge species together before as well, though can be a bit of "trial and error">> Only reason I ask is because I was considering getting another pair of those to replace my previous ones. Bad idea? <<Worth a try in this size tank I feel>> I suppose although those two fish didn't fight, the next two could if it's in their nature to. <<Indeed so>> Heck, I've seen maroon striped clowns co-existing with Percs before, even though that is a no-no. <<Most times, yes>> So you see the list of corals I've recently acquired. These are the first frags I've ever had, and the first into the tank. <<All the more reason to start/continue with your research>> They really add an amazing look to the tank. <<Ah yes...isn't that why we do what we do? <G> >> I also have a Kenya tree frag coming which I hear won't be easy to keep. <<Be sure to feed it (all corals). Capnella is traded quite frequently amongst members of my local reef club...it can be maintained with research/proper care>> Based on this info, are there any supplements I can add to aid their growth and consistent health? <<With the corals you have listed, frequent partial water changes will be your best "supplement">> Maybe some phyto? <<Most "corals" are carnivores>> Buy a bottle of copepods? <<Always a worthwhile addition, though densely stocked tanks can decimate their populations quickly. Better to invest in a in-line refugium to help generate a continuous supply of "coral food"...among other benefits>> I am currently feeding the fish brine flakes because I don't have anymore of the frozen brine which is my norm. <<Ack!! Truly a poor choice (brine shrimp, flake or frozen)...very little nutritional value. Feed a variety of foods...frozen mysis, plankton, krill, supplemented with a "quality" flake or pelleted (New Life Spectrum) food soaked twice a week in Selcon or Selco>> I've done plenty of research on your site but specific answers are sometimes hard to find when it comes to anemones and other livestock populations such as this. Any comments and concerns are very welcome. I am very thick skinned and open to advice and new ideas. <<Excellent my friend, and I'm happy to assist where I can. Do continue your self-edification through continued reading/research/asking questions>> So no need to sugar coat anything...if I'm messed up let me know so I can correct it without any livestock losing their lives. <<No worries mate, we generally say what we feel>> Thanks in advance. <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

Pink Tube Anemone...Not For Mixed Livestock Systems III - 05/22/06 Hey Eric, <<Howdy Ben!>> Just thought you'd be interested in a little feedback on the tube anemone situation. <<Absolutely>> Check out below in RED for a little refresher. <<Okay>> I was able to sell it on a fish forum almost the same day I posted it! Great news there. <<Indeed! For both you AND the anemone>> At that point I still had his old "bulb" sticking out of the sand where I had originally tried to place him. <<I do recall>> I walked into the room the day prior and saw my chocolate chip star fish centered directly on the thing. Was he eating it? <<Is likely...not a good species to house with invertebrates/corals/anemones>> It looked pretty bad at that point anyway so I decided with no other objections to your response, that it was time to remove the old tube. I dug around it and followed it's foot through the sand waiting for it to end where I had buried it, and to my surprise, it in fact was the latter of my theories. The little bugger actually crawled down his "foot" and popped himself out the other end and built a new bulb above the sand for his new home...as a neighbor to his old exit. <<Amazing creatures, eh?!>> To solve that problem I followed his old tube down into the sand and picked a spot about 2" into the sand and cut the old bulb off and re-covered the new foot, which WAS the old neck, if you could associate animal body parts. After the initial shock of me jerking his tube around, he popped back out happy as he ever was swaying in the oceanic breeze. <<Yes, as long as you didn't damage the anemone itself (I'm sure you were careful), it will "remanufacture" the tube as needed>> Thanks for the help...I look forward to future correspondence. <<As do I my friend. Regards, EricR>> P.S. While I got you on here, just because it's fresh in my mind. Do you have a link or information on how to calculate how powerful of a return pump for my sump I will need? I know what kind of flow I would want, but how can you tell how much water is actually accumulating down there to pump back? <<See if this head-loss calculator makes sense to you: http://reefcentral.com/calc/hlc2.php >> I want to have about 700 gph returning through two separate sides of the tank in order to remove some powerheads. <<Okay, easy enough...after calculating head loss (see the link I gave you), purchase a pump that will provide about 20% MORE flow than you need and install with a gate-valve on the output side of the pump. The little bit of extra flow will be handy once the system ages and the plumbing restricts a bit (mineral/bio accumulation), and the gate-valve will let you "tune" the flow as until/as needed>> I know I could just keep lowering my overflow until the pump quit pumping faster than it was accumulating, but that sounds like a quick way to get a flood in a power failure. <<Ah, yes...use a pump/control the flow to something "less" than what the overflows can handle>> Just some quick thoughts/links to good resources I can do research on would be greatly appreciated. <<Try looking through the FAQs/links here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarfaq4.htm), more useful information to be gleaned>> This whole idea of starting my sump is intimidating to me because I know I'm gonna flood the place. <<Mmm...keep the towels handy, and have everything plugged in to GFCIs <grin>. But seriously, install the gate-valve, proceed slowly...am sure you'll be fine. EricR>> Ben

Co-habitation... with a Ceriantharian? Hi, <Howdy> I love your site and "The Conscientious..." Thanks for all the great info and excellent attitude. You guys are a rare source of "straight" info--with no sales pressure! <Welcome> I have a 35 g. tank with a medium (6-inch) tube anemone <Yikes... Cerianthus? These are dangerous to keep with other life, particularly in small quarters> and a newly added colony of Green button polyps on a small branch of live rock. The coral is 3 days old and opening for light, but I have noticed a few white marks on the polyps when open. Reading your site has me concerned about a negative biochemical situation between these two animals. My questions: 1. Can these 2 animals live together? I am willing to entertain a special setup to make it work. <Not really. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm> 2. If they cannot, how much time do I have to remove the tube save the coral (if indeed this is a biochemical warfare issue)? <Not much> 3. Would it be possible to keep a rose bubble tip anemone with polyps and other soft corals (and with the tube if I get positive answers to my first 2 questions)? <... please read...> What I am hoping is to keep some soft corals (a small number, I know my tank is on the small side) and also an anemone/clownfish duo. Can it be done? Again, special equipment, to a degree, is OK. <Not with the Tube Anemone> All the best and keep up the great work, Dave <Keep collecting those data points, you'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

Death of LTA Causing Pollution 3/29/07 Hi crew, <Hello, Brenda here> I havent written in a while, but have a somewhat urgent question that I cant find the answer to. I had a purple long tentacle anemone that mysteriously decided to leave his spot in a rock and apparently somehow tore his foot in the process. He actually looked as if I had forcibly moved it. I never touched it by the way. <Did it come in contact with a power head?> Anyway it was injured and then began to go downhill and within a couple of days totally disintegrated, died and had to be removed. In the process of removing it, it pretty much came apart and many parts of it (very small parts) went everywhere throughout the tank. <Yikes!> The tank is 150 gallon with a large ASM skimmer so I wasnt too concerned and figured that the skimmer would take care of getting the stuff out of the water, along with the crabs. <Not necessarily fast enough. I suggest a large water change also. I also dont recommend crabs with anemones. Crabs have been known to pester and attack these creatures.> I have no idea what happened to make him move or why he died, but my question really is this: I have a tube anemone that I have had about two weeks. <Your tube anemone is likely the reason your LTA decided to move. You should not house two anemones in one system.> He has been very active and healthy, stays totally open all the time and looks gorgeous; he has never closed since I have had it. This morning I get up and the tube anemone is TOTALLY closed. <Check your water parameters.> I have not seen this at all since I got it. Last night he was wonderful and seemed normal. Could he be suffering some sort of reaction to the death of the purple anemone? <Yes, from the pollution.> I have heard something about toxins getting in the tank when anemones die. Would this have happened and caused the other to have problems? <Yes, ammonia is extremely toxic.> My water parameters were tested the day before the purple anemone died and they were all perfect. No ammonia, no nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, SG1.024, <Salinity at 1.026 is best for anemones.> Temp is always 78-81 night to day and I have lots of light MH and actinic, lots. The calcium is steady at 440 to 460 and the ph 8.4. These tests were the day before the purple anemone death; I have not tested this morning. Any help or insight into this would be most helpful. I dont want to lose this other anemone too. <You definitely need to monitor your water parameters closely after something dies. Have saltwater ready at all times in case of an emergency.> Thanks, Debi <Youre welcome! Brenda>

Many Questions! Tube or other Anemone ID, Missing fishes/Mithraculus 5/24/07 Hi, I am new to the hobby and bought an existing tank 120g, complete with LR and LS. It has been up and running for about 10 mo. now. I have some questions that I am not getting answers that I trust. I have researched your site often and find much helpful info. 120 g, 55 g sump and VHO lighting, G2 skimmer, 1.025, 79 degrees, ca 440, 8.1-8.3. 4 tube anemones, <Stop! Are these Cerianthus? If so, this is going to be real trouble. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm and the linked files above. If these are not Tube Anemones, You/I need to know what they actually are> Sm purple tang, md orange shoulder tang, 2 true Perc clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp, 4 peppermint shrimp, 2 emerald greens, <What's? Mithraculus? Please see WWM re> (one pretty lg one) and many soft and LPS. (previously 3 Bartlett's Anthias and mandarin). First question, I have had a beautiful tank since I started it and no algae outbreaks, can still see through my back glass. I am told I will have an algae outbreak it's just a matter of when. Is this true if my tank, stays in the condition it's in? <? What? ... No, algae outbreaks are not inevitable... Again, time to search, read...> I have bristleworms to die for! I understand they are not an issue, however I have such an abundance, I have been told something is wrong with my tank. <What? Overfeeding?> i do monthly water changes. I have my own trapping system and over the past 2 mo have probably caught 125+ of the little suckers and some very large ones. I am just trying to keep them under control. They don't appear to be bothering my corals. <Likely not> I have had several snails turn up dead and many around my tube anemones. <Need to ID these...> i have actually saw the tube anemones touching some of them, including a turbo snail which soon died. I was told at the LFS that it is unlikely the anemones would sting and kill the snails. Is this true? <... depends on the species...> I have coralline algae growing on the rock and overflows but not much on the glass, why? <Read re on WWM> Now my main concern...I bought 3 Bartlett's Anthias about 5 months ago. They were all eating fine and very healthy appearing. Ate daily and sometimes 2x/day. After having them for 2 months, one disappeared. I had noticed another of them the aggressor and sometimes would chase this particular one, so I thought it stressed it out. Never saw the body. About 30 days later the aggressive one disappears without a trace. Now I'm wondering what the heck. I talked to the LFS owner and he was supposedly puzzled. Now I'm down to 1. Well about another 30 days later, he disappears and 2 days later he is in my LR about 30% eaten. All of these fish ate well and this was not the issue. I asked if the large emerald green could have killed them and I was told, not likely. <Actually... all too likely. Maybe in concert with getting stung by the anemone/s> I have many of those flea-like pods in my tank and my mandarin was shy and stayed in the LR mostly, he was very healthy and there is much for him to eat. About 10 days after the last Anthias died, i noticed I haven't saw him. <Note change of tense> It has been several days now and I'm sure he is gone. He used to sleep out in the front where I could see him. What is going on here? <You're not reading...> My sister (who has a tank) says that Anthias are just difficult and there is no rationale. I want some! I loved those fish and I want to know where I went wrong. Could it be the crab? <Yes> Bristleworms? Water changes? <No, neither of these are likely... perhaps a lack of nutrition at play as well...> I would like to get more, but I will not until I have resolution to why this happened. It wasn't a starvation issue for any of them. Are my clown fish next? Did I have too many fish in the tank? Thanks. -- Chris Young <I would read re the Mithrax/Mithraculus and remove them... and keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Many Questions! Tube or other Anemone ID, Missing fishes/Mithraculus 5/25/07 Thanks for the quick response. The anemones are Cerianthus. They are placed away from any other life, <Doesn't actually matter how far...> except of course moving things such as fish, snails, crabs, etc. They have been buried in the sand for many months and only 2 of them have moved slightly, about 3 inches ea. <Telling> I did read further and need you to clarify. These Cerianthus can release stinging cells into the water at anytime and therefore create death to other living organisms. <Yes> They potentially can kill off my tank without ever touching anything? <Yes> Do the tentacles need to be damaged for this to occur? <No> I am now hesitant to add any further creatures to the tank. <You are wise here> I knew they could sting others, I had no idea of the extent of damage/death they could do. I will get out the 2 Mithrax, it will be a job. <Bait, trap them out> Due to my ignorance of inexperience, I was unaware of their potential harm to fish/snails, etc. Do you feel it more likely the Mithrax got the Anthias or the Cerianthus? <Not possible to tell.. a combination likely> Thanks again for your time. Chris <Glad to share, be myself. BobF>

Sick/Dying Clownfish... Cerianthus!? 4/23/07 Hey guys, I tried to post a question in the forum but for the past 2 months I have not been able to register as a new member (says it's temporarily down) <I have repeatedly sent a note to the "sysop" (Lorenzo) re these notes... will do again here. We/WWM does NOT "run" WWF...> I've searched and searched your archives but am still unsure as to what I should do. I have a 40G SW tank with 30Lbs LR. 3 corals, 1 mushroom and 2 tube anemones. <These last, Cerianthids... are problematical with other species... fishes and invertebrates of many kinds... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm and the linked FAQs file above> My water quality is Nitrites 0, Nitrates .15, Ammonia .1. (Have been struggling to get my #'s to 0 ) I do weekly 15% water changes with deionized water. I am currently waiting on my 200G setup. I have 1 Tang, <Not enough room for one here> 1 Fire fish, 1 yellow Goby and 1 clownfish. Truth be told, this is my fourth clownfish. I've bought them all from the same place over the course of a few months. All have died, and I'm waiting on the outcome of this last one. <... small doubt THE reason could/likely is the Cerianthus> The first pair I bought, one died the day after I brought him home. Next one I added had Brooklynella, I tried FW dip and Formalin dip, but he died in the QT tank. Last but not least was my love, Nemo, he was the original and lasted 5 months until a sick anemone fell on him. Now is the last of my clownies. He has been gallantly hanging on for the past 4 days. White spot on his side, no stringing feces like the last one, mouth gaping wide open with labored breathing. Stays in one spot, under a coral. Darts out when fed but will not eat. Since I had trouble with my anemone I did a 50% water change (2 weeks ago) and put the anemone into a QT tank. EVERYTHING else is doing fabulous. My question to you is should I attempt the FW dip? Or help him out of his misery? (bag in freezer) Or just leave him to his agony? <Do you have another tank/system to use for treatment?> Whatever happens, this will have to be my last clowny until I get my new setup. Clowns are my absolute favorite fish and this is just making me heartsick. Any advice (or berating) would be ever so appreciated. Thank you in advance, and thank you for having a site where people can go to for help in this mysterious fishy world. Karley <Mmm... no need (or desire) for mystery here. Do read re the Anemones... they are likely the source of the nitrogenous anomaly as well. Bob Fenner>

Mushrooms, Cerianthus comp... 4/22/07 <Greetings Mich here.> I have been reading your site about mushrooms and have a few questions regarding them. I have a 55-gallon tank with LR, fish, sand, starfish, crabs, and tube anemones. Can mushrooms be added with the tubes anemones? <Not close by. The tube anemones will sting/kill most anything with in striking distance.> Will they sting each other? <The tube anemone will win.> Will the mushrooms multiply and take over the LR? <Usually not uncontrollably.> Will they release a toxin harmful to the other tank mates if stressed? <They have allelopathic capacities.> Lastly, they also should be put in QT upon arrival before adding to your main display correct? <Always a good idea.> (I have an Ich concern here. I'm not sure if the LFS has it in there system) <Thus, the QT recommendation.> Thank you for your advice. <Welcome! -Mich>

Dwarf lion and orange tube anemone. Comp. Qs 8/19/07 I have a couple of questions for you guys. I have a dwarf lionfish that was recently purchased and is only about 2 inches in length. <Small!> I also have a fairly large skunk cleaner shrimp <Will be inhaled in time> and I was wondering what his chances of survival were with the dwarf lionfish given that the lionfish is adequately fed. Let me add that the aquarium in question is a 75 gallon with large amount of live rock offering many caves and hiding places. Also, what chance do my crabs and snails have with the dwarf lionfish. <Mmm, could also be meals...but less likely> On a related note, if the snails and crabs were gone, would serpent stars be sufficient to keep the tank clean or are there other organisms that can replace the crabs and snails that are not at risk from the dwarf lionfish? <Mmm possibly... see WWM re marine scavengers> Regarding the orange tube anemone, your site states that they will consume fish, but then goes on to say that feeding a tube anemone meaty foods can be lethal as they are filter feeders and I find in unlikely that both of these statements can be true. I have on what I consider good authority that the orange tube anemone is a filter feeder and poses no threat to fish, but I always like to check your site as well since I like to have more than one point of view before coming to any conclusions and I have always found your site very informative and helpful. So if you could clarify your opinion regarding the orange tube anemone as to whether or not it will consume fish I would be greatly appreciative. <Mmm, is this a Cerianthid? Not recommended for a few other reasons... have seen these Antipatharians consume large animals... Perhaps more of a defensive mechanism than predation, but... the result the same for the hapless dead. Bob Fenner>

Reef Lighting... effect on pH, and in defense of Cerianthus mixing 9/20/07 I wanted to know what effects you may have experienced with PH while changing the color temperature of your metal halide bulbs? <Generally boosts pH a bit... a tenth of a point of two... for a short while> I have a 75 gallon tank, 100 lbs of sand, 100 lbs of live rock, ph 8.3, and 0 ppm on ammonia/nitrites/nitrates/phosphates. I dose with Lime water about 2-3 times a week. I use 2X 10,000K Current USA metal halide bulbs. Everything is fine while using these bulbs. When I try to change to 14,000K Phoenix bulbs, my PH drops to the 7.9 - 8.0 range. <Mmm, whatever the photosynthetic component of your systems' biota is, it doesn't like the change evidently> I have to constantly (almost daily) use limewater and Seachem reef buffer to maintain 8.3. When I change back to the 10,000k's, my PH is back to normal. I have corals of all types in my tank and you might say that the tank is medium to heavily stocked. Is the color temperature THAT important to photosynthesis and using 14,000k's means that I have an excess of CO2 because is the lower PUR of the bulbs? <Could be, yes> Also, I think that tube anemones (Cerianthus) get a bum rap from you guys. I have had 2 for over two years now and they have never exhibited the traits that you mention in your articles. I believe the dangers are blown out of proportion: <Thank you for your input here... My experience has been different> "Re: Many Questions! Tube or other Anemone ID, Missing fishes/Mithraculus 5/25/07 The anemones are Cerianthus. They are placed away from any other life, <Doesn't actually matter how far...> and I did read further and need you to clarify. These Cerianthus can release stinging cells into the water at anytime and therefore create death to other living organisms. <Yes> They potentially can kill off my tank without ever touching anything? <Yes> I have never seen them release nematocysts, causing the death, destruction, and mayhem that they purported to cause. They have never eaten a fish, corals don't mysteriously get stung or stressed, and they have never killed a tank mate (coral or fish). I have seen my purple tang with light marks (where she got stung) on her, but they clear up within a day and she has since learned to stay away. I feed them twice a week and they are as happy as can be. The only problem I have ever encountered is when I first purchased the tube anemone, the sand was not deep enough and it decided to go for a swim around the aquarium. It stung a green hairy mushroom pretty bad, but it recovered and it has multiplied many times since. The tube anemones are now in a 4 inch sand bed and they don't leave their tubes. I know that others feel the same way: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/june2004/invert.htm Thanks. <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Killer Tube Anemone 10/12/07 Dear WWM Crew <Hi Michael, Pufferpunk here> First, thank you for a terrific site. <You're welcome, we aim to please!> My question is this. I have a tube anemone (Cerianthus membranaceus), purple and green in the "middle". <Sounds gorgeous!> It has killed at least one fish, a Firefish (Decora) and other fish have vanished without a trace from the tank, maybe because of other things, but still! <I'll give you one guess...> I have a 79 Gallon reef tank, with the following fish: One yellow surgeon, an Argi, two Firefish, a common clownfish (ocellaris) a yellow clown goby and a Lawn mower blenny. Should I return the tube anemone to a store if possible? <Well, you could send it to me! :p I live in the USA though...> Are the rest of my fish in to much danger? <These anemones are one the worst stingers around. They will actually whip out their tentacles to capture fish & eat them. Small, slow-moving fish are not safe in the same tank with them. Especially gobies/blennies that rest on things. You also have to keep them a good foot away from any of your corals. Those tentacles have quite a reach. I have a beautiful peach one that has a whole corner to itself in a softie tank & lives with fast-moving fish. So far, all he's caught are guppies. Great link: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/june2004/invert.htm > Thanks. <Good luck, ~PP> Michael Fick Dragør Denmark

Re: Killer Tube Anemone 10/22/07 Hi Pufferpunk <Michael> Just a little update. I returned the tube anemone to my local store and in exchange got a beautiful Pink Button Polyp. Thank you for the advice. <You're welcome, good decision. ~PP> Michael Fick Dragør Denmark P.S. I must admit though that I miss the tube anemone but I know that I did the right thing. <Maybe another time, another tank...> The Dichotomy of Tube Anemones 3/5/08 Hi Bob...and crew, <Michele> Thanks again for your advice on my wet seals questions (Tank ended up working out fine and has large African cichlids breeding like rabbits in it). <Ah, good> Ok I read all the info I could find on tube anemones, on your site and books, hobbyists etc. I even contemplated adding one for 2 years. Well I got one a gorgeous hot pinkish/orange tube anemone looks like Cerianthus orientalis, from your pics on WWM. I know all about there reported habits and care my salt system is at total 240g (a three level inter connected system) I have bio filtration for a system many times my total volume, an established refugium, lots and lots of natural plankton maybe phytoplankton (need better scope). I have black foot snails breeding, rose anemones splitting; very stable and consistent water quality. So I cleared a 2ft area of my reef built a rock wall around the sand bed for the Tube anemone and added it, (it had a powerful enough sting to leave welts on my skin! I have been bitten and stung by everything; I would rather play catch with a Diadema urchin) <Well-stated!> Now you are expecting me to say it ate up my fish or 'stung' my coral right? Nope it built up a tube and one night disappeared. I looked everywhere, Could not find it (lots of rock), I didn't find any pieces, parts and it wasn't in my filters, so I assumed it was hiding from the light (I have direct non- obstructed supplemental sunlight on my reef). Weeks went by and no sign, during this time I had added a lime green Euphyllia divisa to go with my brown one I had for several months. For the next 4 days I watched a huge chunk of each (starting with the super green one of course) being cut/melted off, the lines were so clean the parts not affected were expanding like normal until the end. Naturally I assumed the tube anemone was to blame but alas nowhere to de found, I figured the new green one had an un-noticed bacterial infect, or something to that nature. A few days later I was going out to dinner and happened to go over to the tank and guess what? The tube anemone was all over my Galaxea coral!! (I moved it where the frogspawn was) I went to save it from certain death, upon closer inspection, the tube anemone was not just stinging it, the galaxia was being digested! I have had lots of big sea stars and it reminded me of how starfish feed, the tube anemone was literal coating the coral with digestive mucus/enzymes via- the tentacles, how do I know? I could literally see the polyps coated w/mucus melting before my eyes. I did save the Galaxea after a good washing I only lost 15 or so polyps on it, I moved it to the other side of the tank and put the tube anemone in a piece of PVC partially filled with sand to help immobilize it. Well not two days after I moved the galaxia to its original spot the tube anemone escaped its tube in the night and was back on top the coral in the morning trying to finish the job. Ok I had enough almost $300 short on corals, this guy had to go so I moved the galaxia back over to the other side of the tank and put the worm in the sand far away from the affected coral, I was in the middle of tank maintenance (I have multiple tanks, fresh and pond, terrarium, etc.) it was a couple hours before I could move the tube anemone out of the reef, and guess what? Yep he was attacking the galaxia again! (The galaxia lost a few more polyps but lived) I have since moved the tube anemone into a swim tank with med-large critters, wrasse, trigger, Fiji devil damsels, tang etc. I know the worm could look tasty to some fish, but the potency of the sting and he is in a PVC tube I figured he would be fine, and has been many weeks later not one piece missing from the tube worm he is loving life, very healthy and firm (not flaccid and melting). I specialize in predatory animals and this was absolutely (but costly) fascinating to watch, have you ever heard of these animals being this actively predacious on coral? <I have not> I mean not just stinging and such but actively hunting a specific area, and then following the coral to finish it off (nothing else was affected in his hunt). I never did lose any fish, shrimp or the like to him, I feed varied liquid and frozen foods I use lots of diced seafood for my rose anemones and other coral, but the tube anemone has not taken anything I have physically given him other than filter feeder foods. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. Thank you for any input, Daniel C. <Am very leery of suggesting that folks keep Cerianthids period... this account adds fuel to that fire... Thank you for sharing... Man! Something that not only can withstand the sting of an Oculinid, but enjoys eating it! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

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