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FAQs on Tube Anemone Selection

Related Articles: Tube Anemones, Cnidarians

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


Cerianthus TYPO  9/29/08 Hi Bob, <Carrie> I was just reading over your "tube anemones" http:// www.wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist Tube Anemones, Order Ceriantharia) Under Territoriality, the same group of sentences is repeated several times: Can be a big problem. Tropical and temperate tube anemones do not mix well and can and will sting each other to death if too over-crowded. Some tropical species as individuals will mix. This becomes a matter of experimentation either at the dealer's or your system. I suggest a good eight inch spacing between a tube anemone and any other sessile organism, though some writers have reported success with virtual stacking of the same tropical species; which may be of different colors. Can be a big problem...... starts to repeat 3 xs.... <Thank you for this. Will fix... a common glitch from transferring old article/book section writing software> Hope that is helpful. I do have a question. why do you not have Pachycerianthus information. Are these just the cold water variations with the same care, with the exception of cold water? Thanks! <Yes, this is basically so. Still "shedders"... though not as much so as tropical species. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cerianthus TYPO  10/1/08 HI Bob, <Carrie> Thanks for the info. I was trying to do paper for my job, and I was having a hard time finding anything on the Pachyceriantharia. Interesting articles I read that they are filter feeders for the most part and any "fish" attack was probably a dead or dying small fish that it was "tasting". lol! They spit out anything that is bigger than a small piece of food. With those delicate tentacles, they would all be gone during a fish fight! lol Take care! Carrie :) <Will do, thanks. Bob Fenner>

See here... Sea hare 5/3/04 Tube Anemone Good evening my wonderful reefers! lol <live it, swim it, smoke it... er, well.. two of those things at least> I won a Aplysia dactylomela the other day at a raffle.  I won it on purpose out of sympathy, I didn't want it to end up with some poor bloke w/out a clue where it would starve to death. <interesting... perhaps a polite mention to the club/donors to be more conscientious about submitting items of challenging needs for random win/purchase by others> After a bit of hunting around my tank for some red algae (which proved non-existent, the info on the specific type of algae these guys eat is rather lacking, a lot of authors say they eat red algae they just don't specify what kind! I think it must also take them awhile to adjust their diet to green algae) <I do not spy it quickly at hand... but we have a link in our bibliography for our Reef Invertebrates book to a web page that lists the exact foods for many species of opisthobranchs> I tried putting in some red/purple Nori by Two Little Fishies (Julian Sprung & Co) and my guy started to chow down. Since then all it does is eat and sleep. hehe <ahhh... good to hear> I was wondering if you could tell me approx how long this sea hare lives?  I've read from 1-2 years is all.   <hmmm... I am not certain, although I recall the larger temperate  species living somewhat longer than the typical 24 months or less> Do they live longer if they don't mate?   <nope... not to my knowledge. There is precedent to support this in other mollusks (like the famous octopuses with a defined lifespan, breed or no)> It's funny, I live in Miami and went snorkeling the other day and saw a mated pair of Dactylomelas.  I didn't know mine was the same even though I've seen them many times when I snorkel. Also, treading into dangerous waters... are there any colorful Nudi's that can be easily kept in a reef tank or is this a lost cause? <hmmm... sort of. The key to any Nudibranch is identifying and supplying their food source. Many will keep and breed easily if you can do this. I keep an active colony (several hundred!) of beautiful blue Berghia (Aiptasia eaters). Other folks keep and breed Elysia sp algae eaters... some folks even dabble with the Zoanthid eating species. The problem with keeping in reef tanks is that most such systems have excessive powerheads and overflows. If you plan well though, you can keep some beauties> I always feel so bad when I see these really amazing looking, doomed Nudi's at the LFS.  There should be a campaign on to stop the collection of specialized feeders such as these. <no formal campaign is needed. Educated aquarists simply vote with their dollars and do not buy them. They die in the dealers tank, and when it happens enough times, the dealer stops ordering them <G>. You might help this along with  a polite mention of the reality (supported by a helpful list of web links or photocopied documents) that you give to the LFS. If that doesn't work... tell us their name and we'll post them on the wall of shame <G> Ha!> Oh, about how big will a tube anemone get in a reef tank?   <it won't... because it does not belong in a reef tank and will never be placed there by a conscientious aquarist. If you know of anybody tempted to the contrary, please direct them to our extensive archives at wetwebmedia.com for an explanation why not <G>> Will I need meters of sand eventually? lol I hope not. ( <8-12" would work nicely... let it mature for 6-12 months before putting a Cerianthus in a species specific tank (no corals or other anemones unless you intend to sacrifice some)> Ah, the pot calling the kettle black I know, but I'm going to try and provide for it) It's only 3 inches long at the moment and eating fine. <sigh... disappointing> Thanks for all your help! Love you guys, Morgan <sob...sob... another anemone destined to be a statistic. Anthony :p>

See here... Sea hare II 5/3/04 Tube Anemone Blast! hehe Why is my tube anemone doomed?   <the problem is not so much the anemone (Cerianthus are aposymbiotic and actually can be kept well if fed well enough - several times weekly with a variety of finely minced meaty foods in substitute for plankton... a plankton reactor in support better yet). The real problems here are that most people are not willing or able (busy lives) to target feed these anemones by hand several times weekly for a lifespan that exceeds the family dog (anemones live decades and some seem to be "immortal", as in "no tissue degeneration", read: no definable lifespan). Without speaking to the extreme end of the potential lifespan, my argument is that few people will commit long enough to get the anemone to live more than just a few years (and that's being generous). We see most of these animals die very slowly of starvation. Add to that the fact that they are extremely aggressive and pose a direct and serious threat to fishes and other cnidarians in the confines of aquaria. I frankly think they are excellent choices for anemones (well... maybe not "excellent for their ability to sting people fiercely... but still a hardy candidate)... IF, one is willing to keep them in a proper, species specific display> I've read a lot of faq's on people that have kept them for years. <yes, agreed. Still... most die within just a few years. That's not responsible aquarium keeping IMO> I will be moving it to a 180 in a few more months and we keep 4-5 inch DSB, it'll probably be deeper when we get the 180. <I'm truly glad to hear it... but we hear this story all the time. Everyone expects to move into a bigger tank. Some folks do, and other folks "life happens": job change, house move, children, finances change, etc. And this anemone does not need a bigger tank... but rather, an isolated species tank. Perhaps a DSB refugium at the very least (still will not temper allelopathy)> It eats really well and I feed it meaty foods, DT's, Cyclop-Eeze, etc, etc.   <the DTs is interesting... and likely not needed at all... these are zooplankton feeders> I am also willing to give it plenty of breathing room so it doesn't sting stuff when it gets larger. <focus instead on not mixing unnatural species my friend. You and your animals will fare better for it> Why is it doomed??   <as per above> All the WetWeb faq's I read made it sound okay to keep. I don't want it to die!! sniff, sniff... <understood... no worries. Hopefully clearer now :) > I've kept my flame scallops and tunicates, etc for almost 2 years now.   <very nice to hear... but to consider it against their actual natural lifespans. We can't claim victory yet> What do I have to do so it doesn't become a doomed anemone??? <you've got the right mindset my friend! And the solution is really simple and inexpensive. Could be a 29 gall or 38XT tank with 8" of sand. Preferably offline of the main display, but tapped in if you must> Cheers, Morgan <best of luck, Anthony>

See here... Sea hare III 5/3/04 Tube Anemone I'm back about the tube anemone. ;]  I reread all of the WetWeb faq's and general info about these guys and there is nothing in there that says these guys are doomed.   <no worries... as per prev e-mail, this is a matter of risk to other inhabitants for their aggression and concern that most folks do not have the time to hand/target-feed this azooxanthellate feeder several times weekly for all the years of its lifespan> Quote: <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.> <yes... agreed> Let me clear up a few things: I keep a DSB 4-5 inches of very fine Southdown, have a huge EuroReef skimmer and a refugium, lots of flow in the tanks, do monthly-bi-monthly water changes, and provide plenty of space for the anemone so it doesn't sting other creatures. <excellent to hear all, except the latter presumption that space of mere inches/couple of feet will spare allelopathic aggression from unnatural tankmates in the confines of a closed aquarium system> The small one I have is temporarily (one month) in an 11 gallon tank w/ pc lighting, 3 inches of fine CaribSea live sand, two powerheads, and a hang on the back refugium w/ Chaeto, Caulerpa, and miracle mud, and bunches of decapods all over the glass (no fish). <OK> I have various other corals in the tank which are doing fine, no obvious signs of chemical warfare.   <we have two different perspectives here my friend... I am talking long term> The anemone is very responsive/retracts quickly and opens up fully at night.  It also eats well. <a beautiful animal indeed> I also spoke with some people on ReefCentral that keep tube anemones and they said chemical warfare does not seem to be a problem.  Of course they had larger tanks like I will have this guy in soon. <neither they nor I can quantify the impact of allelopathic aggression in the confines of a variable 3-d environment (your tank/husbandry/stock). Unless they cited scientific papers that you can kindly point me too to add to my collection/perspective?> Is it still doomed?   <not at all... just needs specialized care. No casual keeping of anemones in mixed reef displays. Its neither natural nor practical> As you can see I'm a bit stubborn. hehe   <not the word I would have used... but OK <G>> If you tell me something's doomed I work harder to make it not doomed, like the flame scallops. ;] <sigh> Thanks for any and all advice! Morgan <Anthony>

Sea Hare IV 5/3/04 Tube Anemone Hi Anthony! <cheers> Nice to get your reply so soon.   <we eat sleep and breath our hobby/passion :) > Well, I nor my husband are casual reefkeepers, we are along the line of obsessed reefkeepers. hehe   <Hmmm... to clarify, what I mean by casual keeping is/was the state of keeping organisms in "garden style" mixed displays (species mixed randomly or in unnatural combinations... diff parts of the reef [sand flat anemones, reef crest corals, lagoonal fishes, etc] or those form entirely different oceans. For better or worse, that is your tank (mix of anemones, e.g.) and what I meant by casual keeping (versus specialized care)> He's kept saltwater systems for 9+ years and I've only been in it for 2 yrs and I'm almost more obsessed than him. I got hooked when I looked up an Acro of his to see if it was a valida or loripes. Since then I've done my best to become an unschooled marine biologist. lol <heehee... very cool> To reassure you, I have four other anemones (ha! how did I end up with so many??!! I'm going to have to train several generations in saltwater aquariums now) two flowers, a green bat, and a rose BTA.  Therefore I'm used to feeding at least twice a week w/ a mixture of Proplan/Frozen brine shrimp/bloodworms and DT's/BioPlankton.  I'm trying to keep my Tubastrea alive/not receding and I think that will prove to be much more of a task than keeping the tube anemone alive. <Hmmm... same frequency of feeding (3-5 times weekly), but indeed tougher as the Tubastrea needs each individual mouth fed> I usually dose DT's every other night and feed a variety of foods to my fish/creatures during the day (Cyclop-Eeze, Spirulina, pellet).  I also feed live brine shrimp about once a month. Now you can see why we have a 2 1/2 foot EuroReef on a combined 135gals of tanks. hehehe  And it does a great job. <a very fine skimmer... one of the best> I definitely will do all that I can to provide for this anemone as with all of my creatures.  I have lost a few corals since I began and learned from it, I've had a very good teacher too.  I understand that there are some things that just cannot be kept under any circumstances. We don't have any choice but to move into a 180.  We have a 75 and 58, between our two tanks there is literally no more rock space to put corals, including on the sand! haha My husband would get a larger tank if I let him, but then our living room would be reduced to a closet. lol  I know you guys never worry about esthetics, only about bigger is better. hehe <its a pervasive thought for the masculine gender> As for the flame scallops, I know I haven't reached the victory point yet, but I can taste it. ;] Okay, onto another strange subject.  The 11gal is strictly an invert tank and I have several tunicates in it. Some even came w/ the LR, which was a surprise, I guess it really was cured! ;] Anyway, I go snorkeling in the Florida bay a lot and collect a few encrusting colonial tunicates that live on turtle grass/Halimeda/other stuff.  They're small, very colonial (like pilgrims), and come in various cool colors (mainly orange and red).  Here's the question, well leading up to it... I've tried to keep them before, but my hermits always found them and said "Ah! Desert!" after a few days.  Now I have no hermits in my invert tank. Bwahahahaha! So I bring them home and glue the Halimeda leaf to the rock.  Then in a matter of days the tunicates walk over to the rock and completely desert the plant leaf.  I've seen it happen several times now. Here's the question:  How do these colonial tunicates know to move onto the rock?   <chemosensory response... water flow... dunno> How smart are tunicates?   <1300 on the SATs... beats me> Do they have unknown sensory organs?   <if so, we don't know of them ;) > I know that they're pretty sophisticated, but hmmm... The tunicates that I collected recently were on Halimeda leaves and in about 4-5 days almost all of the tunicates have moved onto the rock and deserted the vegetation. <my guess would be seeking optimal water flow places/patterns for optimal feeding opportunities> Well, that's my big stumper for the night/am. Always enjoy talking w/ you.  Maybe one day I'll go to IMAC and meet you guys. <excellent... looking forward to it :)> Goodnight! Morgan <ciao, Anthony>

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