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FAQs on Anemones of the Caribbean/West Atlantic Foods/Feeding/Nutrition 1

Related Articles: Anemones, Anemones of the Tropical West Atlantic, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Atlantic Anemones 1, Atlantic Anemones 2, Condylactis, Tropical West Atlantic (TWA) Anemone Identification, TWA Anemone Behavior, TWA Anemone Compatibility, TWA Anemone Selection, TWA Anemone Systems, TWA Anemone Disease, TWA Anemone Reproduction,
FAQs by Genus: Actinoporus, Arachnanthus, Bartholomea,
Condylactis (see below), Epicystis, Lebrunia, Sticholdactyla helianthus, Viatrix, Others/Unknowns,
Anemones, Anemones 2, Clownfishes & Anemones, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding

"Feed me, feed my system"

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Haitian Anemone, fdg.  5/1/08 I was wondering what types of things these anemones eat? <... Condylactis... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/condyfdgfaq.htm Bob Fenner>

Feeding and care of Calliactis tricolor anemone  1/9/07 Howdy - I have some questions about the Calliactis tricolor anemone. <Let's see if we can answer them> Walking along beaches of the barriers islands near Savannah GA we have been finding anemones washed ashore that range from 3-8cm in length. A search on Google, and read through some of your pages, identified them as Calliactis tricolor/hermit crab anemone. <Interesting to speculate how they might have become separated from their usual host's shells> When we find them we put in a pail with some seawater and see if they recuperate. If so, dump them on the calm/estuary side of the island and hope they find their way. A number of ones we collected had defects in the pedal disc and couldn't stick to anything, possibly from desiccation after being washed ashore or otherwise. <Yes... and this sort of damage is a common cause of loss of "giant Pacific" anemone species... damage from extraction...> We brought some home and now have 8 Calliactis in a 3 gallon Eclipse aquarium. Only other inhabitants are a few small slipper shell snails that came with found shells placed in the tank. <Okay> The tank has 2.5 lbs of live sand. We started with ocean seawater, but have converted to preparing water (distilled) with Instant Ocean sea salt, to 1.023 sp grav (what local waters seem to be). pH and nitrite have been stable; ammonia sometimes creeps to 0.5ppm until we do a partial water change. <Mmm...> The tank has a charcoal and biological filter, and a fluorescent light built into the lid. We leave the light on for 12h/day. We haven't added a protein skimmer or additional circulation beyond the impeller that came on the Eclipse tank. Do we need additional circulation or light for this species? <Not essential... though some redundant filtration (perhaps a hang-on that the lid can be fashioned to accommodate, or a canister... will help you avoid the ammonia accumulation (important)> As best I can tell, they live in pretty murky water 'round here. 7 anemones seem to have recuperated and adhere to shells in the tank. One still can't open it's basal disk, though the area remains touch sensitive. However, the anemone is regularly open and seems to feed as well as its tank-mates. Can anemones repair damage to their basal disk and how critical is it that the anemone adhere to solid substrate? <The adherence capacity is indicative of general health (so is important) If not too damaged, anemones can/do heal here> As for feeding - reading some articles in PubMed, a few centers reported maintaining Calliactis for months feeding them daily-to-weekly, with as much as they could eat at a time (brine shrimp and krill). We feed them twice/week with minced raw shrimp. They don't seem to like minced clam meat or "Prime Reef" fish food/Ocean Nutrition. Sitting on hermit crab shells we would have thought anything dead would be fair game -- is there something else we should be feeding them? <I would get/use a small bag of frozen "mixed ocean meat/stew" from the grocery store... cut up bits of this... apply directly... with tongs, an all-plastic turkey baster...> They did well on the twice/week schedule for the first 2 weeks, now we find that they feed well one day, are refractory for two days (but open) and completely close up for 1-3 days thereafter. Not certain this is normal? Is feeding every 3-4 days too frequent? <Is right about right> Thanks for your help! Anna G. <Thank you for caring, sharing. Many others will find your words of use, interest. Bob Fenner>

Re: Feeding and care of Calliactis tricolor anemone   1/19/07 Hi Bob - Thank you so much for your reply. It was very helpful. <Welcome> In the interim.. The two largest anemones went back to the ocean before we headed inland (taking up too much space).  The other 6 have continued to feed well.. ammonia was ~ 0.25-0.5ppm. <Do watch this... no feeding if it approaches 1.0 ppm> Jan 9th they consumed a whole shrimp that had been minced.. <Too much> and by the 14th the ammonia had spiked to 8ppm (or higher, yikes!). <... dangerous> We're letting the tank complete its cycling. We transferred all inhabitants to a clean container with regular input of fresh saltwater. 4 anemones looked none the worse during this time. Two had developed 1-2 translucent/depigmented areas in the column and have been segregated into individual containers. The areas were covered in a lot of mucoid material though the underlying tissue was still firm -- attached images show one of the areas beneath my fingers (sorry for the poor image quality). They have continued to feed and adhere to shells during this time. The areas are not getting worse, nor do they appear to be healing, though pigmentation has started to return. Ammonia has stayed at 0ppm in our temporary refugium. <Good> I'm curious what causes such lesions? <"Environmental stress"> I swabbed the afflicted areas + normal skin from healthy anemones, & Gram stained the material (I'll admit that my day job involves a lot of biochemistry and microbiology). Didn't see anything obvious if its something bacterial or fungal. <Mmm, no, not until decomposition usually> <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

Re: Feeding and care of Calliactis tricolor anemone - 02/09/2007 Just wanted to say thanks again for your help. Bonus pictures attached ;) <Neat!> After waiting 2 weeks for the tank to cycle with just live sand, we invested in 2 lbs cured live rock, which dropped the ammonia to 0, almost overnight. <Ah, good> Nitrites range from 0-1ppm and nitrate 5-10ppm with 10% water changes over the week. <Very good> Everyone's back in the Eclipse tank. The anemone we found with a desiccated pedal disk adhered to a shell a few days later while being moved during cleanup of some goo  (skinny one in the back RH corner). The anemone in front, named "Goldenrod" by my husband, is definitely the tank poser (2nd picture). <Heeee!> Cheers.. Lynn AG <Thanks for sharing. BobF, who really likes the Tiger Cowry shell>

Anemone Feeding, Food Types And Frequency - 03/15/2006 Hi. <Hello.> I have been searching yours and other websites and am having a hard time getting a straight answer on this question. I have a Condy who seems healthy and happy. Just got him, is accepting food right away. Gets natural sunlight, will be upgrading our lighting system to 250 watt metal halide. The question: How much and how often do I feed our Condy? Twice a day? Twice a week? <Once to twice weekly.> We are feeding him minced, thawed shrimp...he seems to like it very much. Should I vary it or is just the fresh minced shrimp enough. <Best to offer variety. Meaty marine foods (fish flesh, crab, shrimp) only.> Again, How much and how often? Thanks...Melissa and Micah <Read up here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/condyfdgfaq.htm and on through the related links. Hope that helps. - Josh>  

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