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FAQs on Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 4

Related Articles: Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, LTAs, Cnidarians, Coldwater Anemones, Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Anemones 1, Anemones 2, Anemones 3, Anemones 5, Anemones 6, LTAs, Bubble Tip Anemones, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Other Pest Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Systems, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Feeding, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Health, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Placement

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

LTA Husbandry... Hi, <Hello! Scott F. with you today> I love your site and have learned so much.  I just wish I could remember it all!  Perhaps you can help with a concern I have.  I bought this anemone yesterday and was told he was a Long Tentacle Anemone.  It was all white when I purchased him. Is that ok?  Should he have color? <Well, most LTA specimens that I have seen display some color. Your specimen looks really white to me, but it is probably normal coloration or this particular specimen...Do continue to observe it carefully to make sure it has not been overly stressed during transport and acclimation...> His pedal and column were not scratched or torn and are a pinkish color. He was open and all tentacles were extended. I got him home and put him in my tank. He kind of settled in for a few minutes and I thought this was going to be an easy task.  Well within an hour-or-so he started walking across the substrate. <This is a relatively common occurrence with anemones of many species; they will tend to "wander" about the aquarium until they locate a desirable location...You just need to make sure that you don't have too many hazards around the tank that could prove a problem> He is in no imminent danger because I had turned off the submerged power head and put foam on the intake to my Fluval 304 and hanging power filter. <Good moves!> He settled in next to some live rock the last time I checked before going to bed.  His tentacles were taking on a bright green and blue color and he looked quite nice.  When I awoke this morning he was buried in between the rock and receiving very little light.  I removed some of the rock and gently moved him back to the substrate. He settled in again and is looking really good.  Now, one hour later he is back against the rock.  I'm sure by the time I'm done with this email he will be back in-between the rock. I have attached a pic hoping it "sheds some light" on my descriptions. I have read the FAQ's and I am taking it that I should just let him go and he will settle where the light and current is best for him. <You hit it on the head! You will invariably cause the animal more stress by constantly relocating it...Let the animal settle in a place in the aquarium that suits its needs, not yours! 90% of the time, the anemone will settle in a place that satisfies both of you, however- so give it some more time!> How long should I give him to settle before starting to worry? <No set time table, but I'd give it around a week or so, and even then- it may "pack up and leave" if the site it chooses is not to its complete liking> How long should I wait until trying to feed him? <I'd wait about a week...give the animal time to settle in first> Specs on my tank:  29 gallon, 2 65 watt CFs, BakPak 2 skimmer, Fluval 304 and hanging BioWheel power filter.  My tests are all zero with nitrates being 5-10. <Good...Keep the water quality impeccable, and the lighting intensity extremely high. A larger tank would be a very good idea down the line, for a lot of reasons...> Any help and advise would greatly be appreciated. Blake <Well, Blake, just keep an eye on the animal; let it settle in on its own, and maintain the best possible conditions, and it will be happy for many years to come. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

A Friend To His Anemone! First of all, I want to say that this is hands down the BEST resource I have found for saltwater enthusiasts. period. <Glad you enjoy the site! Lots of hardworking WWM folks give their best to make it a great place for us all! Scott F at your service today!> Shortly after getting my first tank "going", like many other novices I had the great idea of getting an anemone for my clownfish which the local fish store vehemently supported. <Bummer....> This was unfortunately BEFORE I had the chance to read about anemones on your site... in any case it is in the tank, and I am going to make the best of it. <That's the right attitude...And it's probably better off in YOUR tank than in the LFS, believe me...> Particulars are as follows: I have a 25 gallon tank in with: 1 maroon clown, 1 yellow tang, 1 flame angel, 2 small damsels, and a long tentacle anemone (no other invertebrates). <You know I wouldn't let that go without the mandatory warning about this being rather overcrowded, at least for the long term...I know that you'll be considering a larger tank in the near future, right...? 'Nuff said> Water quality / parameters are good, all fish are active, eating, and seem healthy. I have about 2.5 watts of light (marginal I realize) per gallon, anemone is just less than 10" from 50/50 light source. <Well, it's not too bad...In close quarters, the lack of intensity can be supplemented somewhat by proximity to the light source, at least in the short run> After reading your various articles on anemones, I have been watching for everything to start going wrong, but the anemone "looks" healthy. I guess even if it wasn't I couldn't tell anyway in the earlier stages, but the one thing I have noticed is it does not seem to have eaten yet (two weeks), at least not anything I am feeding it. I have tried small frozen shrimps (cut to smaller pieces) and silversides. The anemone seems to have found a place it likes in the tank and dug in nicely. It closes up shop at night, but opens nicely during the day. Tentacles are sticky (stingy) and full of water, mouth is shut seemingly tight, and color looks good. Is this eating / lack of apparent eating normal? How long do I wait? <Well, the idea of meaty marine foods is a good one...I'd keep experimenting with a variety of food items to induce the animal to feed. Don't give up...Different species react differently to food and other stimuli- so hard to generalize...> Should I be putting any additives in my tank for anemone or / and fish (there are no other invertebrates besides the anemone)? I heard iron and iodine maybe? How much? <I would not worry about additives...In a small tank like yours, with lots of life, I'd use aggressive water changes as my "supplement". If you could perform two 5% water changes a week in this tank, and run aggressive protein skimming, you'll be doing a great favor for all of the animals...Anemones really like lots of light, and pristine water quality...Keep up the diligent husbandry techniques...> What are main signs to look for indicating anemone is on "the way out"? <Usually, lack of expansion (like a "loss in pressure" of the animal, if you get what I mean), expulsion of lots of mucus or other waste materials, and general lack of healthy appearance...you'll know when it's headed south, believe me!> Thanks in advance, Michael Micha <My pleasure, Michael...Hang in there- with continued effort on your part, you can make this animal thrive! Good luck! regards, Scott F>

- I Wish I Were a Clown Fish - <Hello, JasonC here...> I have fallen in love with the anemone. I wish I were a clown fish. I have a 55 gal aquarium set up since December. I bought a beautiful bright pink anemone at the pet store but I believe it may have been sick when I got it. I don't know much about them accept they are beautiful. It had its mouth open very wide when I got it and was not filled out but the tentacles were deflated. I didn't think much about the tentacles but the gaping mouth did bother me. There was very little light in the aquarium so Even though I felt it wasn't in the greatest condition I bought it. I was in love with the color. It perked up for a few days after I got home but then it went into a decline and died. I confess I cried. I saw a picture of one like it in the Dr. Foster Smith catalogue on their invert food page. I called them and they said it was a Condy. But I thought They were white with pink tips. The one I had was like the picture bright pink all the way down its tentacles and it had a bright red orange base. When I got it the pet store called it a purple long tentacled anemone. But the pictures I see of the purple Long tentacled all are quite dark. I wish I had gotten a picture of it before it died. But  at least I found wet web media. Since I was so worried about it I did a google search and Have been pouring over all your info since. I wish I knew then what I knew now. I also read a lot about the Mandarin fish. I got one and I am now worried about how long it will live. I wish they had told me at the pet store that their diet was so restricted. I've Had mine about 4 months and he seems to be picking things off of the rocks but now I am so paranoid that he will run out of food and die. I would never get anything that I thought would die because I could not take care of it. I always ask these questions" Will it get along with my other fish?" and " what does it eat?"  I know they told me brine shrimp. <Bad answer.> I have a 7 gal tank in another room and have set it up for salt water. If I got a culture of the copepods or whatever those little things are could I grow enough to keep the mandarin alive? <Doubtful.> I don't want him to die and The pet store here will not refund my money in fact he would have a better chance if I tried to help him. It's a shame he was taken out of the ocean. But I will do all I can to keep him healthy. I'm sorry for rambling so. I was just wondering about my critters. <Well... you know now, never buy anything without doing the research into their captive care first.> How many anemones can I have in a 55 gal tank. <It's my tendency to say none - anemones can live much longer than humans, but very rarely make it to a year in captive conditions. If you really love anemones, you should learn to dive and go see them where they live. In their natural habitat, they are infinitely more beautiful and captivating that they could ever be in captive conditions. If you persist in your desire to keep an anemone, please continue your research into lighting and system requirements before you add the anemone.> Jeri <Cheers, J -- >

Free Anemones?      I hope you get this real soon cause I was just at pet store and there were some rocks from Fiji that had Anemones on them. Some were brown and some were Green. They were rather flat  resembling the flower anemones. Are these the Anemones that are bad or good. I wanted to buy some more rock but the girls in there did not know if those were the kind that can take over your tank and kill everything. The tentacles don't look like they get very long. The brown ones weren't very pretty but the green ones were very beautiful. The rock was covered with them. My mom wanted me to buy it and get free Anemones with the rock. The green ones tempted me they looked like flower anemones. But even though they don't look like the Aiptasia I  am nervous about purchasing the rock. Thanks for your input. Jeri <  They are probably a type of pest anemones called majanos.  I wouldn't buy this rock unless you know that they are not a pest, which is unlikely. Check here to see if you can find them:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/otherpstanemfaqs.htm Cody>

New Anemone Husbandry Hi, My name is Sue.  We have a 72 gal bow front salt water aquarium that just finished its cycle period. We are very new to this hobby but want to give it our best shot.  I have been doing a great deal of research on line and love your website and liveaquaria's too.  This is why I want to get your opinion. <Well, I'm glad that you find it helpful! Hopefully, I can be of assistance...> We added 2 clown fish, one anemone, 1 sea urchin and 3 snails to begin with. We have 3 live rocks with shells and other rocks throughout the tank.  I have several questions: 1.Anemone was doing great yesterday and this morning.  Then we looked and it was shriveled up and lifeless looking.  A few hours later, it seemed to start to come out of it.  Was it sleeping?  Is it hungry? Is this normal? <Not sleeping, but this is a relatively normal behavior for an anemone that is acclimating o a new environment. There is a loss of turgor as a result of shock. With proper conditions and time, the animal will "come around", as yours did> 2.We have a coral life 50/50 bulb which our LFS recommended for this tank.  How long should we leave it on? We have heard many opinions from 8-12 hours. <This is the correct duration, but the real important issue for anemones is intensity. In a typical aquarium, a single fluorescent bulb is simply not adequate for long-term success with most anemones commonly found in the hobby...Do consider upgrading to either more bulbs, or a different lighting regime. It's that important!> 3.The larger clown fish is keeping the anemone to himself and chase the other away.  Do you recommend buying another perhaps different type of anemone for the smaller or let him just go without? <It's really not necessary for a clownfish to be kept with an anemone. In fact, the majority of the Clownfishes available in the hobby are captive breed, and may have never seen an anemone before! They can do perfectly well without one> 4.The LFS said to only feed flakes every other day and a liquid plankton once a week.  What do you think? <For the clownfish? A variety of frozen and flake foods are perfectly acceptable. Depending on the species, the anemone can be fed similar items, as well as marine-based "meaty foods", such as chopped squid, clams, etc> Thanks for your help.  I am sure I will be talking with you again soon. Sue Z. <Glad to be here for you, Sue. Do try to identify the species of anemone that you are working with, and do everything possible to assure that you give this animal the highest level of care! You'll be successful if you can provide him with the conditions that it requires to thrive! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Nocturnal Disappearances Hi Guys, Greetings from Dubai in the Middle east. Ok...there's war goin on here but I've got bigger problems... <Well, not really bigger, but a nice distraction from the war, nonetheless> I have a 66 gallon marine tank with ocean rock (made coral skeleton and shells) for homes stocked with 2 medium clarkii clowns 1 ocellaris, 1-3 spot damsel, 2 green Chromis 2 blue damsel Two weeks ago my wife went to Colombo and met a friend who has a marine farm and he gifted her...2 carpet anemones, 1 Formosa Wrasse 3 fire shrimp, 3 cleaner shrimp, 2 Anthias (squamipinnis) 2 seahorses (1 yellow 1 black)( I was against putting them in the tank but I hadn't a choice !), 2 bi colored blennies, 2 cleaner wrasse. I know what you're thinking by this overstocking (Don't shout at me please...) :) <Ok, but it's still overcrowded, LOL!> and yeah I was shocked as well at his kind gesture but they all seemed to get on well no arguments no chasing AND ALL WERE FEEDING WELL on the flake food + Raw shrimp pieces + blood worms. <Well, fish that eat are fish that live> One evening I returned from work last week and found the yellow seahorse missing....I looked about the rocks and there was no trace. Anyway two days later I saw the red carpet anemone burping the skeleton out!!! <What a nightmare!> My wife wasn't pleased as she's the seahorse fan...3 days later the black seahorse went missing...2 days later, a piece of the skeleton emerged from the same place again...Now One cleaner shrimp has disappeared and so has my poor Formosa Wrasse...Is there any chance that this wrasse has burrowed itself under the 3 inch coral substrate ? He never ever went near the anemones....was always eating 24hrs from the rocks... <Certainly a possibility...However, your guess is as good as mine here...I hope it wasn't the anemone....Just keep an eye out for him.> Also one of my blennies has got stripes along his body like stretch marks...What is this ? <Again, hard to say from here, but it could be a coloration pattern of some sort. I notice very subtle bluish stripes on the facial area of my lack Sailfin blenny...particularly noticeable when he is agitated...could be nothing...I would not be overly concerned about it> How do I stop this from happening ? I am a big fan of my tank and ensure that the water is in peak condition every weekend...I have done a crazy amount of reading on marine life and on WWM's FAQs so I'm kinda puzzled... <Well, if it is the anemone snapping up your fishes in the middle of the night, the only real solution is to remove either the fish or the anemones...That way, no one is at risk, and there is no problem...> Appreciate the help bud's Thanks God bless you all @ WWM <Thank you for the kind thoughts! Sorry I don't have any earth-shattering revelations for you, but I think that you need to review the stocking and compatibility of the animals...An hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Clueless ... Lyndon

Nocturnal Disappearances (Pt. 2) Hi Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for the reply...was eatin dinner yesterday and saw the red carpet anemone trapping my fire shrimp...I started a 911 rescue operation (aided by the Clarkii clown...hahaha) immediately but the anemone would not let go...so I coaxed the killer outta the tank and managed to extricate the shrimp carefully...but the poor bugger was almost dead...unfortunately I couldn't give him CPR and the shock must have accelerated his demise. Guess where the anemone is...Quarantined. <Given the recent events in your tank, I'd say that this was a wise move on your part!> Is this normal for anemones ? Perhaps its instinct ?. <Well, they are not "aggressive", but the tentacles do perform a "reflex" action by trapping whatever makes contact with them, be it a piece of food, or an expensive fish! They certainly don't discriminate!> Also I've noticed that my two Clarkii's behave in a curious manner...the bigger one chases the smaller sized one and the smaller guy does a kind of vibration act with his whole body slanted or sideward...then he proceeds to eat the rock...and this continues....now I notice both are doing this side act.....what's up with them ? Are they bumping each other or is it Break dance ? <Actually, more like a courting dance! The smaller, submissive fish is almost certainly the male. In clownfish courting, the mail will generally "tremble" in the presence of the female (don't get any ideas, ladies out there), before he submits to her and a pair is formed. It's fascinating to watch, and definitely a sign that a male/female pair is becoming established...In the near future, you may even see a spawning event! Start reading up about breeding and rearing Clownfishes, if you're interested! It's an amazing and fascinating hobby in its own right!> Thanks Once Again Regards Lyndon <My pleasure, Lyndon! Have fun with your newly formed clownfish pair! Regards, Scott F>

New Anemone And Clownfish... Hi, Yesterday I bought a 1.5 inch pink skunk and a long tentacle anemone, I didn't put in quarantine the anemone (just acclimatizing) and the fish was isolated in a hospital tank. <Good procedure!> The clown looks great, bright and alert, the anemone moved itself to a mid position in the tank (I put it at night) this morning I found it attached to a rock and full open. Ok, 3 questions: 1)How to feed, how often, with? the anemone? <I'd feed the anemone several times a week with meaty "marine-origin" foods, like krill, squid, clam, etc...> 2)After 2 weeks? of quarantine, can I expect the pink skunk will get in symbiosis with the anemone? <Quarantine should last a minimum of 3 weeks, and there is simply no guarantee that a clownfish will take up residence in an anemone...Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't (how's that for an answer, huh?)...But, as we know- fishes have a mind of their own and won't always conform to our standards, unfortunately... the best you can do is provide a good environment, food, lighting, and hope or the best> 3)In my tank 200 lts- I have only one yellow surgeon, one yellow tail damsel (1.5") and blue devil damsel (3"), now the clown, do I have to expect some kind of aggression from the damsels to the little clown? <Quite possible...damsels tend to be a bit less than welcoming to new fishes, particularly clownfish...Keep an eye on the new clownfish...> Thank you, if you have another observation, I will be grateful Carlos D?z <Well, Carlos...just keep an eye on things, make sure that you provide optimum conditions for the anemone, and you should be successful...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Mystery Anemone Good morning Crew,     I have read everything I can, trying to get an ID on this hitch hiker.  It must have come with my Walt smith Fiji LR and survived the cycle and a week in a bucket (after my 72G aquarium leaked)  It does not like a lot of light but has started to stay extended through out the day.  I have target fed it shrimp and has a large appetite.  Any help would be great.   Thank you Jason McKenzie <Very likely a type of Glass Anemone (Aiptasia). Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and the associated files (linked, in blue, above). Bob Fenner>

Giant Feces Hi Bob & Crew,  I searched your website but couldn't find anything on this topic so this may be a new question for you (or maybe not).  Lately I have been finding very large feces (1/4"x3/4") around in my tank daily in pretty large quantities and it's making me crazy.  The only new additions to the tank are a Bubbletip Anemone which is about 3-4" in diameter and gets fed Mysis shrimp every 3 days or (my primary suspect) a Queen Conch which is getting larger by the day, now about 3" long.  I have been trying to watch where they are coming from to no avail, any experience in this nasty area?  I have no desire to have my tank become a "septic" tank.  Thanks, Rich <Likely these feces are from the anemone. They "regurgitate" (only one opening in/out with these animals) a day or so after being fed. A good idea to remove these pellets with a siphon when you find them. Bob Fenner>

Beginner or misinformed? The basics with anemones 3/3/03 I put a bubble tip anemone in my tank, and  within about 3 hours, it began to die.  The mouth became enlarged, and he began to shrink in size, and within 24 hours he was dead.   <for how potentially disastrous a dead anemone can be in an aquarium (beyond the need for being a responsible and conscientious aquarist) you simply must quarantine all new anemones at home before even dreaming of adding one to your tank. A separate QT tank is mandatory for success and sensibility... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quarinverts.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm > I suspected that I got a bad one from my dealer, so I went to another store and purchased one that was perfectly healthy.   <we must be very careful of using such unrealistic phrases like "perfectly healthy". I doubt that this anemone was kept in isolation for a full 4 week QT in the LFS/shop and observed by anybody for the interim. At best, this anemone navigated import days ago and still looked good. But it, like most, was very stressed... hence the need in part for "hardening" and acclimation in a quiet QT> I came home and introduced him to the tank, and the same think happened.  I have also tried polyps, and something the dealer called a flower pot which had green flowers and about 4 inch tentacles. <Wow! You are getting scary bad advice, my friend. Flower Pot coral are extremely(!) difficult to keep even for experts. What you really need to do is stop the impulse purchases, read about the needs of these animals before you buy them... then go shop your local stores as an educated consumer. You will be safe and successful then I assure you. In the meantime... please buy a good aquarium book on corals like Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals"> They have all died of in just a few days.  My water tests perfect. <Ughh... "perfect".  Alkalinity, Calcium?> Nitrates are less than 10, ammonia is 0, and the salinity is right on the money.  No phosphates either.  I use R.O. water.  Please help. John <John... do help yourself with research first. Please go to the index page at www.wetwebmedia.com and click the link for "marines" at the top... then click the link for "non-vertebrates" and explore and all articles and FAQ topics that interest you. There is so much to learn and enjoy, but none will happen if you continue to conduct yourself uninformed. Else I fear that you will leave the hobby, or worse... continue to needlessly kill animals. The lesson here is proper species selection and proper husbandry beginning with a full 4-week quarantine in a cheap 10 gallon aquarium at home for all new livestock (rock, corals, fish, sand, etc). And mind you, that the local fish store that says you don't need to quarantine your/their livestock is the same place that wants you to keep buying "impossible" (for beginners) creatures to keep alive like Goniopora flower pots. You are more profitable that way ;) Best of luck, Anthony>

Re: Sebae Do you need sand for a saddle carpet anemone because I have rocks from my LFS and I would like to know if Saddle carpets can't attach in rocks? <While anemones are very popular, they are not an easy to keep inhabitant, please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  to learn much more about Carpet Anemones and their needs. They are not Sebaes and they also get incredibly large, up to a few feet across. I sincerely hope you are researching this animal before buying.  You will find the information you seek at the above link, along with more information on care, habit, selection, etc.  Do not take this purchase lightly, these animals are *immortal* in the wild, you are taking-on the responsibility to keep a pet that in the wild, would live forever.  Can you offer more as an aquarist?  If not, best to think about another choice, perhaps a captive bred clone of an easier to keep species. Anemones need pristine water, well aged systems, consistent conditions, regular feeding, high intensity lighting, and protection from powerheads, pumps and other moving/rotating/sucking aquarium fixtures.  They do not need clown fish nor do clownfish need anemones.  Craig>  

Anemone ID question 2/28/03 Hello again and thanks for the quick response on the dyed Turbinaria, <our pleasure <G>> I think he will be OK with the feeding you recommended.  I have another question about an anemone I purchased, can't seem to find a picture of this model. White/tan body w/long clear tentacles that have a white spiral structure up to the tips.  Any idea? <tough to say without a pic from the general description. Are the tentacles corkscrewed? Perhaps a Bartholomea... see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/twaanemones.htm Else... there are some such beautiful non-pest Aiptasia species... rather ornate> When I first put him in the tank he decided to move himself.  Where he ended up is on piece of LR towards the bottom 1/4 of the tank.  Since relocating he now "stretches" himself (the foot) about 6-8 inches. I assume he is trying to find a stronger light source.   <again... do feed to compensate for lack of light. Just like with dyed/stained corals> Second question; should I try to move it or leave alone?   <best to simply leave in place and feed> If he starts to suffer what symptoms should I watch for? <shrinking/attrition is usually the first step> As usual your help is really appreciated. Mike <kind regards, Anthony>

Algae, Mandarin, anemone Hello crew! <Hi Aaron!  Craig here today.> Another question about my small set up. <Sure!> I don't consider it an algae bloom, because its only growing on the two rocks with which it came in on. It does not look like the harmful algae that I have seen online, and it's not spreading, just getting thicker on the rocks it came in on. It's been about 3 months, and there is noticeable growth, but not drastic and it's been over time. It now looks "furry" it's green and purple, almost in a "brindle" pattern. I have snails (that don't seem to be interested) that keep the glass clean, and the brown algae that was on my sand and other rocks almost eradicated (took 3 snails 2 days) to rid my tank of the brown algae 2 months ago.  No blooms since. I also have 5 small hermit crabs that leave it alone as well. It is very pretty and unless harmful I don't want to lose it. My question is, what small fish/invert can I get that will keep it trimmed? In case you are not familiar with tank it's a 7 gallon, 12# LR 3" DSB, Emperor 280 hang on filter (40gal per hour) 2 small clowns, 1 anemone (waiting on ID in earlier letter), Mandarin ( I know I am getting a bigger tank). <No great suggestions for this size tank other than manual trimming. A Tang would do in a much bigger tank....about the size you will need for your Mandarin to do well (somewhere in the 55 gallon area up) with about 75 lbs of live rock and plenty of macro algae and perhaps pod introduction. See Indo Pacific for pods and macro algaes. And Aaron, don't go putting anemones in your tank without ID, known needs for lighting, feeding, habitat, etc. This is VERY dangerous, especially for only 7 gallons. No one at WWM would ever suggest an anemone in 7 gallons. DO get into a bigger tank for your mandarin AND for the anemone. It will likely need Metal Halide lighting to survive, along with regular feeding. (Every three days or so). Have you searched the anemone photos at WetWebFotos to ID your anemone?  Keep him away from the pump inlet and find a way to shield it or he could commit suicide unknowingly and wipe out your tank.> Also the two clowns I have, one is about 1 1/4" and the other is about an inch long, they share the anemone, and sometimes swim kinda strange in a jerky motion next to each other. Is this a precursor to a possible mating pair? <Possibly. It is likely that if they aren't, one will change and become a female, (usually the larger one). They may do this with other items in the tank as well.> Oh and I also witnessed my Mandarin eat a small feather duster, pulled it right out of his tube, is this normal? <If you saw him do it, it's normal enough!> If that's the case would a star polyp be in danger? Don't have one yet, but was thinking of one in a larger tank that I was going to put the mandarin in. <I doubt it. I do suggest a much larger tank, at least 75 lbs of good quality live rock, well established is best, or at least introductions of plenty of macroalgae and pod populations to give the tank a jump start in keeping ahead of the mandarin's consumption.> As always thanks for the advice. <You bet, hope this covers it!  Craig>

The Plight of Sea Anemones 2/19/03 Hello crew: I was wondering if there are other creatures that look like anemones, but are not?   <not many in similar size... perhaps a large corallimorph> You know, one that looks like the Entacmaea or Heteractis species. The reason I ask is that as a kid I remember creatures like that in a friend's marine tank that he had for years, but he didn't have any intense lighting system like MH.  Are there imposters that require less light? Thanks, Rich. <well... a few anemones will live in low light for a couple years if fed well. A brown (not white or yellow) malu/sebae anemone is a prime example. Common carpet anemones too. Still... it is a childhood memory <G>. 3 years could have been 14 months or even 6 years (and 4 anemones from the parents). And the value/presence of even indirect sunlight from a window is enormous (!). So many variables. Even if all were true (childhood anemone lived well in low light, little food, etc))... that still doesn't change the fact that most all today need bright light and frequent feeding. These are animals with no known (terminal) lifespan. The ones we receive int he trade are decades old (some large carpets pegged at over 100 years old). They also reproduce very slow in the wild. Studies where storms or collectors have cleaned out a patch of reef of Acropora coral... 2-3 years later are fully recovered. However, patches where anemones are cleared out... are still devoid of any anemones 10 years later. It is heart-breaking- and this is one case where our hobby truly has a clear and negative impact on the environment. We simply must limit our consumption of anemones and keep the ones we do get to the best of our ability. No anemones in mixed reef tanks with other corals/anemones or low light systems, etc. Best regards, Anthony>

Heteractis malu anemone-stings?  - 2/15/03 I was wondering if the Heteractis malu anemone stings...thank you  Kim <Cheers, Kim... yes, indeed. This anemone like all cnidarians (its order) can sting. The real danger is with other tankmates. You are relatively safe from its sting unless sensitive, allergic or if you have an open cut or wound that comes in contact. Keep this and all anemones as the only cnidarian in the tank (no other anemones or coral) for best success.> p.s.  how will i find the answer to my question will you email me back or what.. sorry I'm new to this <we reply to all directly and paste all sent messages on the daily FAQ page within 24 hours typically. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone possibility? Hey guys, <You get Ananda here tonight...>   I have an eclectic mix of fish in a 90 gallon. I have a Porcupine puffer, a Percula clown, a Tomato clown, a red spotted hawk, a Sailfin tang, a Fairy Wrasse, a 4 spot yellow wrasse, a yellow tail damsel, an orange tail damsel and a Velvet Damsel. <Uh-oh. You're going to need a second tank, one bigger than this one. That tomato clown is going to get more belligerent when it gets older, and your percula clown is a likely candidate for its nastiness. And the porcupine puffer is going to get the size of a football. At some point you'll probably want a much bigger tank to give him room to swim around in -- these guys can get over a foot long.> Everyone except the Orange Tail get along great, my fianc? can hand feed the porcupine (named "Luigi"), and the Percula Clown (named "Count Percula"). <If he has fangs, I want a pic.> I was wondering if it would be possible to place an Anemone in the tank for the percula. <Neither of your clownfish "needs" an anemone to do well in a tank... possible, certainly -- but just as possible that the anemone could die and take all of your fish with it. Sad, but true.> If so, what kind of anemone would be best?   <The artificial kind. I've seen some that are remarkably realistic. Do check if your local fish store stocks any. If not, check out the photos at www.naturesimageonline.com for some ideas.> I appreciate any assistance you could lend.  Rory and Anne <Valentine's Day gift suggestion: a new tank (bigger, naturally) for the puffer and some of the other fish. :-) --Ananda>

Anemone placement and clown association Hello. <Hi Don with you> I am thinking about adding an long tentacle anemone to my tank. <OK> I am using crushed coral as a substrate.  Will this be okay for the LTA because I been reading up on this and some of the information said that they like to burrow there foot in sand.  I need to know will they be able to burrow in the crushed coral.  I also have live rock in the tank. ps will my tomato clown take to the anemone because I had a Condylactis anemone and he did not pay any attention to it. <Check here for a clown/anemone chart and the placement links at the top of the page. Good luck, Don> [Editor's Note: it would seem that Don forgot the link - that information can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm ]

Anemone Feeding Hello, My name is Chris Hepburn <and mine is Paul. How do you do?> and I just have a quick question.<Cool> I purchased an Anemone about a week ago. I am not exactly sure what kind it is.<Chris, it is really important that you try in the future to find out as much as possible about your future inhabitants before you purchase them. Some may have no chance in your particular set up without some sound research. However, I do applaud you for coming to this site seeking information. It is a step in the right direction for sure!> It was labeled as an Atlantic Anemone. <Ok> The main part of it a light tan and goes to a darker tan on the tips. My question is: today I was watching my tank and noticed that one of the arms of the anemone has a few good size air bubbles in the very end of it. I have no idea how they got in there. Will this affect the anemone? <Tentacles can tell loads regarding anemone health, mood> Is there a way to get rid of the air?<Usually will expel itself if it is not a permanent feature of the tentacle. Again, an id will go a long way in determining physical shape, food needs, and environment> It keeps shrinking the arm down so that it is all shriveled up, but the air is still in there. Also what would be the best thing for me to feed the anemone? <Please start with this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm. Usually meaty foods, various shrimp, clam, etc. There are plenty of offerings that can be found in the FAQs at the preceding link> I have been giving it Brine Shrimp, but heard that Brine Shrimp does not have enough nutrients for an anemone.<Brine shrimp really doesn't have the nutrients for almost any animal to be honest. Fresh or salt. I guess it could be gut loaded with something to "enrich" it but overall a poor choice over the long haul. See the link. I am positive it will help you greatly.> Thanks, Chris Hepburn <Thank you Chris. Paul>

Odd little anemone 2/8/03 Hey Crew, I got about 6 of these little guys as hitchhikers with a coral frag and I can't determine if they are a mushroom or anemone.   <hard to see from photo (do resend a clearer image if possible). My guess is an anemone at a glance> I thought they were a Ricordea mushroom or maybe a Stichodactyla tapetum (miniature carpet anemone) but the polyps are frilly as well as round and didn't really look like any pictures I could find.  They range between the size of a dime and quarter, have a more oval than round mouth and they motor across the LR.  I have fed them and they readily accept food but I don't want them to perish from lack of light (only have NO Fluorescent ). Any help would be great. Thanks, Aven <really not clear enough to ID, but It's likely to need regular feedings of fine meaty matter. Can you tell me what coral it came in with, if the coral was freshly imported or if it was held at length in a mixed dealers display. Any such history? Best regards, Anthony>

Surprise anemones I was admiring my salt water tank and was looking at the live rock and noticed two small-tiny anemone on the rock. I am not sure how they got there. I have a bubble tip anemone right now and I had a purple anemone that is no longer in the tank as of about 3 wks ago, but I have had this rock in here for about 2 months+. I am not sure what to do, or if I need to do anything. I moved my rocks around 4-5 days ago after adding some more and I am not sure if there may be more around this one rock or possibly underneath. Do they need special food? How fast do they grow? what is there life span? Can they reproduce on there own? Please let me know..........................thank you............. <There's a possibility that these new anemones are the asexual reproductive product of one of your bought anemones, but more likely that they're a pest species like Aiptasia... Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Arguments are presented re their merits, means of removal in the associated FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Anemone questions I have two questions. My white sebae anemone hasn't been eating. I feed him silversides. He has ate them before. I don't think it is the water, but are they that weak. I have lost one before & I didn't know why. Another thing is one of my white Condylactis has a dark brown color to him and I'm wondering could be sick. Or is normal. He is eating well, I just don't know. <You soon will. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm See the blue filenames at top? They're links to matters to do with aquarium husbandry of anemones. Study them well. Bob Fenner>

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Anemones? Hey Scott, Thanks for the quick response! <That Thai iced tea works fast! :)  > Sorry to bug you again, but I just wanted to clarify on a couple specifics.  So do you think I could support the live rock and effectively grow coralline algae with just the NO lighting I use now? <I think that you could. of course, there is more required to grow coralline algae than just light, such as calcium, magnesium, etc.> Would it be enough for an anemone or two? <Not a chance, my friend! I'd use at least VHO or PC's for that- better yet, I'd employ some metal halides. Light intensity and quality is very important for anemones> I'm pretty certain that with my Humu trigger, I won't be doing the reef thing. ;)  The anemones will be an "experiment". <Hmm. Please don't experiment with the anemones and a trigger...Yes- it can be done, but anemones are difficult enough to keep thriving in captivity without exposing them to a potential tankmate who may use them as a chew toy! They would not become best of friends, that's for sure!> And is it a good idea to try to convert this regular NO light strip into one using VHO?  I am afraid it may not be able to withstand the heat. <VHO's do burn hotter, and you may need to use different hardware in the hood for them to operate safely. I'd talk to the people at some of the better lighting suppliers, such as Champion or Hello Lights for more advice on conversion...> One other thing, do you know or have you heard anything about Coralife's Aqualite PC light strips?  I think they're rather new on the market, can't find much on them. <I've seen them, but I haven't read much about them. I'd do a search at Coralife's website for more information> Thanks again! Tim <Any time, Tim! Good luck! And, do reconsider the anemone/trigger thing, okay! Regards, Scott F>

Unwanted free anemones Hi Robert, I just bought a live rock over the weekend and later on that night I noticed that it has like 4 curly q anemones on it. I'm not sure if I want these or not. I heard they sting, and I was wondering if they would sting my clown fish or my corals that I have in the tank? And will they sting me? If I don't want it, how would I remove them? Or do you think I should just take the rock back to the fish store where I got it at?  Thank you, for your help. <Mmm, need to know more definitively what sort of anemone this is. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and the linked files (above, in blue) of Aiptasia, "Other Pest Anemones"... can you see the species you have? There is information in the FAQs files re their eradication if this is indeed a "pest species"... they can all sting you on thin (non-calloused) parts of your body (like your wrists, forearms). Bob Fenner> Tammy Neal

Anemones And Eels! Hey guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight> Thinking of changing my crushed coral substrate to live sand.  My LFS guy told me it can be done but to be very very careful of spiking levels. Would one of you be so kind as to give me a very brief idea of how to go about this in the safest possible way? <I'd gradually (like over a week or two) remove some of the crushed coral and replace it with the live sand...I'd do this lengthwise, about a quarter or a third of the tank at a time, and wait about 3 days or so between removal/replacements. Monitor nitrite and ammonia regularly during this process> Secondly, I am going to upgrade to a power compact light so i can have some anenomes.  I'd like to mix a few different types of anenomes but I've read your section and seems there can be some war. <I would not mix anemones of different species in all but the largest aquariums. There certainly can be "chemical warfare", even with the same species, in many instances> Any particular recommendations of species that could co-exist in a 75? Numbers? And do the tiny blue claw hermits pose a problem to them?? <Quite frankly, I'd limit your selection to one anemone in this sized aquarium. Do study up on the species that you intend to keep. Remember, the vast majority of all anemones in the hobby are wild-collected, and their removal from natural habitats directly affects the wild reefs. It's changing slowly-but the long-term success with anemones is really not that common at this time. If you are starting with an anemone, make sure that it is either one of the hardier, more abundant wild-collected species, such as the Atlantic Condylactis, or a captive-propagated species, such as Entacmaea quadricolor ("Rose Anemone"). Really make sure that you provide for their needs in every way; these animals may have extremely long wild lifespans (possibly over 100 years!), and we must be responsible when attempting to keep them. I have not seen the small hermits that you mentioned posing a problem with anemones> Lastly, I'd like to put a small eel into the tank. This may seem silly bc I'm sure eels in the wild don't just ram into anenomes and die, but then again, I've seen some stupid eels!  Would an eel just carelessly run into an anemone and get killed?? <Well, it's entirely possible. Do take into account the appetite of morays and the effect of their metabolic products on the water quality...anemones require very good water quality...!> Thanks so much guys. Rick <Our pleasure, Rick! Just do some studying on the wetwebmedia.com site about these animals...I'm sure that you'll be successful if you proceed with caution! Good luck!>

Re: lost fish (full anemone) Hi I have a new reef setup I bought second hand from a friend. 120 gallon tank, plenty of LR, a Tunze System sump with skimmer. The tank cycled well according to plan, a diatom explosion occurred, but quickly resolved with a yellow eyed tank, snails and hermit crabs. Then two weeks ago a ritteri anemone and 2 perc clowns, orchid Dottyback and a yellow tailed damsel were added. Anyway, all seem to have been very happy, although the clowns have gone nowhere near the anemone,  but over the last 5 days both the Dottyback and damsel have disappeared! No powerheads have intakes that they could have been sucked into, and there is no sign of them jumping out of the tank. They all seemed well with no sign that there was any problem. I can only assume that the anemone has eaten them - is this possible? <Yes. Though these fishes could have been lost in other ways (jumped out, died and quickly dissolved...)> If so, is there any safer fish that I could replace them with? <Not really particular types but it may help to place new livestock either early in the morning, or to leave the lights on the tank or one near the tank on overnight the first night or two. Know that ritteri (Heteractis magnifica) will eat most any fish, invertebrate that happens into its tentacles, and that they can/do expand quite a bit at times... Bob Fenner> any advice would be very welcome, Thanks Ron Patmore,

Moving anemones Hi, all, <Marc> The recent spate of anemone questions has reminded me of an observation I've meant to pass on for some time. About 9 months ago, I moved my sebae (Heteractis crispa) to a new tank. I had it mostly but not entirely deflated. In the process, I supported the anemone body when it was out of the water but even then several tentacles burst from the weight of the water in the tentacle (imagine each inflated tentacle as a very delicate water balloon). This anemone is very large which exacerbated the problem but in general, given the chance of tentacle rupture, I'd recommend making sure the anemone is as deflated as possible by gently shaking it before moving it. And then support the body when it is out of water and keep it out of water for as little time as possible. I wasn't able to move it submerged but that is probably best if precaution can be taken to prevent the anemone from being rubbed between moving container and the rock it is on. On the other hand, the ruptures didn't seem to cause the anemone any problems, immediate or long term. In the wild, I'd imagine tentacle damage isn't too uncommon and anemones can deal with it but given the state many anemones arrive in, it is better to stress them as little as possible. Arriving from the LFS, they are often so shriveled that bursting tentacles aren't an issue but for the hobbyist moving an established one, something to look out for. Marc
<Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

- Anemone ID - <Greetings, JasonC here...> Hi i wondered if you could help me identify a weird anemone/coral that appeared on some live rock in my 50 gal tank. It has nearly tripled in size which i assume is from feeding as i only have 1 white 40w tube and one actinic blue 40w tube. I thought it was a bubble coral but it looks nothing like the pictures on your site or any other site i have searched through. It is pink and has the bubbles but they are long and have a curled tentacle on the end. These bubbles are lined up around the edge of a wide circular disc and there is a mouth in the centre. There are no obvious hard or stony parts to it except from a circular base from which it grew from. I hope the picture i attached worked as it will give you a better idea. <Well, I'll apologize in advance for my cheesy answer, but... this is obviously some type of Anemone species. But you already knew that, I'm sorry I can't do better but it's a pretty diverse group of animals. At least it doesn't sound like one of the pests like Aiptasia. It does sound though like it might like a little more light that it is getting.> Thanks for your help.
<Cheers, J -- >

- Thoughts on Anemones - Jason, <Hi...> Reefkeeping is so much harder than I thought! <It doesn't need to be that way at all.> Don't ask me why I ever thought it would be simple...maybe wishful thinking. Thanks for the info.  I'm hoping for the best then, and leaving my false Percs to try and warm up to the sebae.  If not, perhaps I'll try the trade for the Clarkii...The blue carpet was so touchy (I thought better left to expert hands)...and the Haitian was rough on my other fish (hence the "evil" tag!). <All anemones need very good lighting.>  I feel a bit better to know I'm not a natural born failure at figuring out this anemone/clown thing. <Well, I would just advise that even the experts in the hobby have a hard time with anemones, and truly... they should be left in the ocean. For whatever reason, the pairing of clown fish and anemones in aquaria is so compelling that anemones keep showing up in the stores.> Will just be patient (usually the best advice that I'm prone to ignore). <Ah well... this is the most important lesson to learn in marine aquaria.> As for the sebae, I have 220 PC lights on my 75g tank (also have a yellow leather coral, red brain and 2" Ricordea mushroom)...should I re-think the lighting? <You might want to augment it sometime in the future.> Thanks. Vicki <Cheers, J -- >

Anemone: conflict of advice on your web site. help! <cheers, Maureen> I was reading your web site last week and came across several questions about feeding anenomes and the answer to all the questions was small pieces of food at least once a day otherwise the anenomes will die within 1 to 2 years of starvation.   <this is true for many popular anemones... not true for others. Know your species. Carpet anemones need heavy feedings, but Ritteri anemones need amazing mounts of light (more than most coral) but very little feeding it seems (organismally speaking). It really comes down to understanding the needs of your species within the framework of the advice given.> So, I immediately changed my feeding habits to once daily rather than once weekly. Tonight I read this on your web site: "Underfeed, underfeed, don't feed! Underfeed, underfeed, don't feed! Most losses in captive systems are the result of over-feeding. How many more times do I feel I need to write this? Bunches! Some anemones have been kept for YEARS without any intentional external feeding. Know your stock! Many anemones (especially larger species) are detritivorous (a polite term meaning they eat poop), planktivorous, and largely chemoautotrophic/photosynthesizing species/individuals that hobbyists try to over-stuff with meaty/prepared foods. My bid for largest cause of loss of anemones is the consequences (lack of oxygen, hydrogen and other sulfide production...) from over-feeding. Cut it out! Within normal temperatures and other conditions, most can and do do well on weekly feedings. If you're going on vacation, leave them alone." So, which is it? <both to some extent. As an analogy... one wouldn't feed a Toy poodle and a Bull Mastiff the same amount of food daily just  because they were both dogs. Different critters in the same family have different needs. Our advice on WWM serves the greater good as best we can. We add a lot of content daily but are still generalized in some areas that we haven't been able to develop or refine yet> I was researching my feeding habits today because our Rose Anemone barfed out a mucus ball today that had about 4 pieces of food in it. *gross*  *yeeeechhhhh*   *Ack* I've been cutting the food in tiny chunks, less than 1/4" so I don't think the pieces were too large but I know the previous owner was feeding once weekly so I wonder if I'm overfeeding by doing it once a day? I couldn't stand the thought of the little darlings starving under my care. Thanks! Maureen <a very good and thoughtful question dear, thank you. And to be specific for your anemone... Rose anemones favor fairly bright light and can live on moderate organismal feedings (daily not needed here). Target feeding 2-3 times weekly would be very fine. Please keep in mind too that the content on our site is written by more than a few people over a period of years. Opinions differ and understandings evolve in time in the hobby. Simply make an intelligent consensus that seems to support your animal and husbandry style. One act of regurgitation is not enough to make you stop feeding daily. After weeks of daily feeding... was the anemone better or worse looking? If no better than before, perhaps scaling back would be fine. Best regards, Anthony>

Flower anemone Hello Crew! <hello, Sam!> I have a question about my flower anemone that I've had for about a year. <Okey-dokey> When I first got it, it was fairly small, and at that time I would feed it directly maybe 2 times a week. <a reasonable schedule> It would eagerly take small pieces of squid, shrimp and sometimes clams. It seems that lately though, it doesn't want to be fed. It releases any food I offer it, no matter how big/small the pieces. <interesting> Full grown now, at about 5" across, I have seen it grab food when I feed the fish so I'm wondering if it no longer needs to be fed? <very unlikely. I'm wondering if this isn't an expression of duress from an aspect of husbandry that has strayed unfavorably. A common catalyst here for such zooxanthellate organisms is light bulbs that have aged beyond use or simply become scary dusty/crusty. Fluorescent lamps are only good for 6-10 months. Some are only 70% effective at 6 months old... none are likely usable after 12 months. If your bulbs have aged beyond 12 months, that is a likely catalyst for the unhappy symptoms. When changing to new bulbs or cleaning very dirty old ones, be careful not to shock the corals and anemones below with the sudden increase in light. Raise the lights slightly if necessary. Fluorescents lights should also be mounted no further than 3" off the water's surface. Do consider all>> The Firefish also has the habit of pooping directly over the anemone <awesome for the anemone!> and, not that I watch this kind of thing that often, I have seen the anemone eat the poo. <yes... fecal matter in reef aquaria from well fed fishes is very helpful> It "seems" healthy, (we all know how that can be....that's why I'm worried), color is good, tentacles are sticky, it poops regularly. Should I be worried? <perhaps not at all> There is so little info on the flower anemones..... Thanks for your help! Best regards, Sam <kindly, Anthony>
Re: Flower anemone
Cheers, Sam Hello Anthony! Thank you for your quick reply! <always a pleasure> I hadn't thought about the bulbs being old, but I bet that's it! <its easy to forget about them. If there is any significant coating of dust or debris (salt creep, etc) on them, it is definitely an issue, We shall see if it is the primary stressor soon enough> These are PC's BTW and the bulbs are around 9 months so I guess it's time. Thank you again! Sam <best regards, bud. Anthony>

- Roam Where you Want To! - <Greetings, JasonC here...> I have a 55 gal. with 40 pounds of live rock.... 2 anemones; shrimp, crabs, snails, and 1 sea cucumber, and several feather dusters.  I started w/ 2 damsels to cycle the tank.  The fish I *had* were:  coral beauty, mandarin goby, Basslet, yellow tang, clownfish, and a fox face..  I emailed a week or so ago about the sudden death of my tang.  Then the anemone ate the goby.  Since then, the coral beauty died (apparently from ich) but no other fish shows signs of ich.  I replaced the tang, only to find him in the anemone 3 days later.  Just 2 hours before that he was fine.  The Basslet was also consumed by the anemone.  I have lost almost all of my fish to the anemones (except the first tang and the coral beauty).  Can you help me to understand what is going on. <I can try. My take on this is that there isn't enough room in the tank. Anemones are best kept in either very large systems, or better yet systems all to themselves. With 40 pounds of live rock in a 55 gallon tank, even a wary fish can accidentally run into an anemone.> I cannot figure out if the fish are sick and being eaten, or if I just have a couple of mean anemones. <Anemones don't have good or bad intentions, they are what they are.> I did treat the tank with NO-ICH at the first sign of the coral beauty getting sick. <Personally, I am always skeptical about 'reef-safe' ich treatments because they are either not reef safe or they are completely ineffective against ich.> All of my parameters are OK... salinity, PH, ammonia, nitrite/ate.  I just do not know what else to do. <Don't pack so much into this tank, that's where I would start.> I would get rid of the anemones if I knew that would help. <It would.> My tank is crystal clear, coralline algae growing good.  All the invertebrates are thriving. I keep the sides and front clean and let the back glass go.  I do have some white (calcium like) deposits on the back glass and living rock.  I was told this is probably some coralline growth... true? <Or some calcium-based tube worms... shouldn't be a big deal, bleached coralline is another possibility.> It is just like specs or dots. <Probably the worms.> Right now I am down to 4 fish, the 2 damsels (one is acting funny)... the Foxface and the clownfish.  The clownfish is the oldest fish I have besides the damsels and he seems to be thriving well... no signs of sickness with him. <Consider in the future when treating these types of problems a separate quarantine system - more about those here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm > I am just beginning to wonder if my local pet store knows what is going on. <So many variables here... no matter the business, it's hard to find good employees, and even then the owners may only be in it for the money. Sad but true, but not all local fish stores are this way. Consider looking for some alternatives.> I enjoy this hobby, but I cannot afford to keep loosing expensive fish. <Who can? Certainly not me.> Thanks for your help. BTW, last time you suggested toxins in the water.... I have kinda ruled that out now.  I have done a 20gal water change and have changed the carbon 2 times in the last couple of weeks. <Hate to say it, but that's not enough for me to rule it out. A 40% change still leaves you with 60% of the regular water remaining... and again when you change the same amount later. Likewise, activated carbon won't get everything - try a PolyFilter, these are much better at removing a broad spectrum of badness from your tank.> Thanks again, Michael <Cheers, J -- >

Anemone Setup I want to put together a reef aquarium,  with live rock, clown fish and sea anemones: Here is my set up: Do I need anything else especially in the filter department?  Please any help you can give me would be of great help.  Also should I switch the Magnum 350 with the Eheim Pro2 Canister Filter 2028?  And do I need powerheads with this setup? <I'd choose the Eheim over the Magnum, myself, but both are good quality. In my opinion, the Eheim is easier to maintain and change the filter media, which is very important when using canister filters. People tend to put off maintenance if the unit is difficult to work with, and the Eheims are very easy to use, in my experience>    Marineland MAGNUM 350 PRO SYSTEM WITH DOUBLE BIOWHEEL Magnum 350 Deluxe package, BIO-Wheel PRO 60 Wet Dry Biological Filter, Power Kleen Gravel Washer. Certified Flow 350 GPH All Glass Brand 75 GAL ECONOMY AQUARIUM-BLACK 48X18X20     All Glass Brand VERSA TOP 48X18"-BLACK RAINBOW LIFEGARD LITTLE TIME OR TEMP RED SEA PRISM HANG. SKIMMER Aqua Pharmaceutical RENA EXCEL HEATER-300W    INSTANT OCEAN REEF CRYSTAL SALT 200G Pail     INSTANT OCEAN FASTEST KIT-MASTER    Instant Ocean MILLENNIUM 3000 FILTER  as backup help I thank you for any help you can give me. Yours, Leo Evans <Well, Leo, sounds like you're okay in the filtration department, as far as capacity is concerned. If you did not purchase your components yet, maybe you'd consider a sump set up? With a sump, you can really have a lot of flexibility. Sump set ups are incredibly simple, and keep all of the intakes, heaters, etc out of your aquarium, giving it a nice, clean look. Read more about sumps in the wetwebmedia.com site. I didn't see any mention of a protein skimmer in your set up. A protein skimmer is an absolute necessity when keeping demanding animals such as anemones. Anemones require very high water quality, good circulation, and very intense lighting. You didn't specify the type of lighting you are considering. Ideally, you'd want to utilize metal halides, maybe compact fluorescents, or VHO fluorescents. There are lots of different lighting packages available out there that would suit your needs. Check some of our wetwebmedia.com sponsors for the brands that they offer. Finally, a suggestion, if I may? Anemones are fascinating animals, and are very hardy when provided the proper conditions. However, at the present time, almost all anemones are wild-caught, and their removal from the reefs directly impacts the wild population, so you really need to know a great deal about the species that you want to keep. These animals have extremely long life spans in the wild (some possibly HUNDREDS of years..), yet many do not last long in captivity. For your first anemone effort, I'd try the more abundant, less demanding Atlantic Condylactis species. These are available in a variety of colors, and are every bit as attractive as the more rare and delicate Indo-Pacific species. If you are not up to the potential challenges of anemones yet, you can create an awesome set-up with some hardy soft corals, which will provide you with years of enjoyment and challenge. Whatever route you take, just learn all that you can about your potential purchases, take it slow, and enjoy. You'll definitely be successful! Feel free to contact us any time! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone riding on cucumber hello, I just recently bought a bubble tip anemone. As soon as I put him in the tank, he attached onto a cucumber I have that is about 6 inches long. I was really worried that the anemone would kill the cucumber, and I would have a huge mess going on. I didn't want to try to separate them, because cucumbers can really get "stuck" onto things, and was worried about injuring either of them. Half a day went by, and both of them seemed fine other then them basically being mounted onto each other. I started to think that if I gave them time the cucumber would just leave the anemone and all would be fine. <agreed> Now, its been two days, and the two are still together (anemone mounted on cucumber). <it must be a nice view :) > Funny thing is though, that they both seem quite content with this situation. the cucumber moves around and seems to appreciate the protection it gets from the anemone, and the anemone seems as if it likes being carried by the cucumber. <you really have too much time on your hands to think about this <G>> I'm really surprised the anemone hasn't killed the cucumber yet. <no surprise here... many mutually deterrent animals. Remember that Holothurians are toxic too> I'm just wondering if this could actually be a healthy relationship for the two of them, and maybe I shouldn't worry so much about it. Any info would be great. Thanks <they will part in days/weeks if they haven't already. You should separate them if not... the cucumber could drag the anemone into a dangerous place (pumps, intakes, near other cnidarians, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

New with Anemone hi i have a pink tip Condylactis when i got up this morning is was a white ball but after the lights came on it came out is this normal?? and how often should i feed ?? <there is so much to learn here my friend... you really need to get the information needed on animal husbandry before you buy an animal... please, my friend... respect for living creatures. Most anemones die prematurely because people see a cheap and cool addition to their tank but have no means to care for it properly. Anemones in fact are more demanding than most corals for light and water quality. Do you have full reef lighting for this creature? Nitrates are near zero? For feeding, please feed meaty foods of marine origin (mysids, Pacifica plankton... never brine shrimp though... all frozen)... very fine or minced... never larger than 1/4"even though they will sting it (large chunks can tear, harm or kill in time). My advice to you is to spend some time in our wetwebmedia.com archives reading articles and FAQs on anemone husbandry. Begin on this page (scroll down for anemone info): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm   Best regards, Anthony>

Bought an Anemone.... now what do I do? Pt 2 Yeah but you didn't have to answer me like you're putting me down. That's what I was getting at. <While there was absolutely no deliberate attempt to malign you, there is some truth in the perception...  you are responsible for taking an animal into your care that you know nothing about. How hard would it have been for you to read information in a good book or on the Internet first before buying this creature? You could have taken 15 minutes and read three articles to form a fundamental consensus of its needs and your ability to meet them. Instead, this creature suffers while you learn... if it even lives at all. That is no better aquarium keeping than your claim that you've gone three years without a water change and made your animals live in their own dissolved and accumulated fecal matter. I was merely pointing this out to you with the hope that you wouldn't do it to another living creature. Do try to understand, please. Anthony>

Anemones Thank you for the prompt reply!  Based on your reply, I've already removed the colt and cauliflower corals from my tank.  I will turn this into an anemone and clam tank.   <all are better for it... very good> As far as clams go, I've done a lot of research and have pretty much come to the conclusion I should be able to keep any of the Tridacna sp. without any problems.   <with the limitation that T. crocea and T. maxima species have to be kept in the top 10" of water under your VHOs. Have you read the Tridacnid sample chapter of our new book? Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BookMatters/WWM/NMA-RI/NMA-RI_Tridacnids-demo.pdf > If you'd give me your quick opinion based on my tank specs it would help in planning and making sure the creatures in my care survive and thrive (that being very important to me, even more so than the cost involved to an extent). There are no other corals in the tank.  Livestock is your basic clean up crew... hermits, snails, sand sifting starfish.   <keep an eye on those hermits with the clams> Adding an emerald crab and some other various clean up type snails tomorrow <avoid crabs of all kinds... they are opportunistic predators. Adult Mithraculus (emeralds) can kill fishes and clams> (if liveaquaria ships my order grr!).  Also one common cleaner - Lysmata sp.  Approximately 25lbs live rock.  1.5" deep fine aragonite sand bed.   <I'd like deeper or more shallow sand... never in between 1-3": not deep enough for good anoxic activity but too deep for efficient aerobic activity> One Premnas biaculeatus, also one dragonet (forgot Latin taxonomy for it) which I am giving to a fellow reefer with a 150gal tank so it can thrive (uninformed purchase - never ever will I do that again).  Unknown form of green, stalked, branching macro (possibly a Chaetomorpha sp.?).  Adding Gracilaria tomorrow.  Some pest majanos in the tank as well, but none are larger than 1/4" and for now they are more pretty than they are pesty.   <agreed> Bakpak2 skimmer, AquaFuge 3.25 gal refugium, with 1.5lbs live rock and 1.5" deep aragonite sand bed.  Tank measures 30"Lx12"Hx12"W.  55w PC x2 - 1 10k and 1 03 actinic.  Lights are about 1.5" from surface of water with 1/16 acrylic in between. <awesome placement of lights... never more than 3" off water for fluorescents> What other inverts besides clams could I safely keep with my anemones in this tank? <the list of appropriate and safe animals is staggering. Too long to mention here indeed. Simply avoid stinging animals (other anemones and corals> Also, should I dump the bleached sickly anemone?   <I'm going to smack you <G>. Let me quote you from the paragraph above: "making sure the creatures in my care survive and thrive (that being very important to me, even more so than the cost involved"... a direct quote. In fact... forget the smack- where do you live? I'm going to burn some frequent flyer miles and fly out to kick you in the jimmy. Heehee... Ahh, my answer in other words is... no. Don't give up on the anemone. It is no more of a risk than your healthy anemone waiting until you go to work and then diving into an overflow or pump intake.> I'm afraid if it dies it will take my healthy one with it and all my livestock. <the same risk you take getting married... deal with it <G>> I cannot thank you and the crew enough for all the help provided to the hobbyist! <and thank you for being good humored fodder for my sense of humor or at least attempts at it :)  > BTW, as far as the consulting goes, I would pay to use your site, and I would pay well.  I am sure anything paid in dues for your expertise would pay for itself in the long run.  Luckily I've made very few mistakes (at least I learned how to research while I was attending university) with my nanotank so far, and have corrected several possible disasters, mostly due to advice from your site and published works.  Once again, a heartfelt thank you for what you provide to the aquarist community! <thanks kindly for saying so... but we barely have the motivation to write books <G>, I'm sure we are too laid back to collect money for a pay site. I would rather sit back, answer e-mail and scratch myself for free. Best regards, Anthony>

Clams, Anemones and Crabs Anthony I can keep the crocea and maxima species in the top 10" of my tank.  I might have to rearrange some of my rockwork, but that's alright.  I'm going to check out the sample chapter in just a moment.  I'm sure it will be excellent reading. I thought emeralds were ok with clams.  Hmm.  Might move it to the 34gal as well then.   <there are no crabs that are wholly reef safe... all are scavengers. Some favor algae but none to exclusion. Mithraculus (Mithrax) emerald crabs literally grow large enough to eat after a few years. They can pull down 4" fish at that time. So if something is weak or sleepy enough... its fair game. I personally enjoy many crab species and fine them interesting. I would almost never put them in a reef tank though>> I'll leave it in until I acquire clams though, as it'll help with the algae (small bloom, probably due to the every other day feeding of zooplankton to the anemones...  switching to small cuts of silversides soaked in Selcon so that should help with the nutrient pollution as will the further stocking of my refugium). <exactly my friend... the problem isn't a lack of crabs, we just need better control of nutrients. You can continue to feed heavy too (I almost prefer it)... just be more aggressive with skimming, water flow and water changes (weekly carbon changes too)> They have been easy enough to catch for me. After re-measuring the depth of my sand bed it's around 1"-1 1/4" deep.  I had read from many sources that a sandbed deeper than 3" on a tank my size is next to worthless.   <I would disagree... and I have some experience here. I imported 48,000 pounds of sand for my greenhouse and coral farm. Used it in every way imaginable for the last decade. Pictures of it in my Book of Coral Propagation. I'm not saying I'm right.. just that I have a valid contention> I suppose I could pull out more sand without any issues though, <agreed> and remove the starfish to the other tank as well since this will be lacking the depth for it to be comfortable. Yes I noticed in some of my physics classes the effect of lighting through the atmosphere and the surface of water. <huge> I've actually been able to lower them down to about 1" off the surface.  That brings up a good question..  I have an overflow on my skimmer.  It helps with the surface gunk but there is still more there than I would like.  Any ideas? <I'm not sure what the question is specifically> Smack me all you want!  muahah I slap back!  I was thinking of the rest of my livestock in case the bleached anemone were to die.   <how about putting it in your waiting quarantine tank then and resisting the purchase of a new organism until the anemone recovers, dies or a second QT tank is purchased. A 20 gallon tank in a South or East facing window would be very fine for anemones> Better to let it go alone than to take my entire tank.  hehe  But I definitely see your point, and will keep it.  It will be a good test of my husbandry skills - to nurse it back to health.   <agreed <G>> Did not mean to seem hypocritical with the statement about flushing it. <no worries... I know that you really meant that you would find another aquarist in your area to carry the torch for it anyway. No destroying right?> That said, I just ran out of test kits and since I needed a better quality test setup I just ordered a full Salifert test kit.  Tests some 9 parameters of my water.  I should be able to keep a closer eye on water quality with that one.  Not to mention more accurate. Err I'm getting married soon!  Don't scare me! Hmm scratching is good! Any aquascaping suggestions for an anemone/clam tank?  Never really seen or heard of one.  Right now I have kind of an island like this -------------------------------------------------------------- | | |              oo oo oo o   o o o          o o oo  o oo    | |           ooooooooooooooo       oooooooooo     | |              ooooooooooooo     o o o oo ooooo    | | | -------------------------------------------------------------- that is the top view.   <you really have way to much time to spend on the computer<G>> Probably a side view would be more important considering clam placement.   <do a keyword search on Reefcentral.com for "Japanese reef aquariums"... some excellent and artistic examples> There aren't really any flat areas that a clam would likely be comfortable on.  I can put the Squamosas and derasas in the substrate ok, <agreed... but still with a flat rock buried underneath them in the sand to protect against predation> but any croceas and maximas will be hard to place I believe. Hrmm.  Aquascaping isn't my forte...  yet.  Give me more practice!  I can be very artsy ya know.  hehe Wow I'm full of questions.   <I would certainly agree that you are full of it> I really hope I am not bothering you.   <heehee... no worries. We are here to answer and abuse you with pleasure> Just so you know your time is not in vain, as I am learning more and more every day, especially through such e-mail correspondence! RVM <very good to hear... do pass your wisdom along in kind. Best regards, Anthony>

Snakelock Anemones Dear all <Hi, James, JasonC here...> My name is James and I'm a marine biology student in the UK. I currently working on my dissertation on Snakelock anemones [Anemonia viridis], I'm having great difficulty in collating any information on any aspects of there feeding behaviour. Therefore if you could help me in any way it would be gratefully appreciated.! <Well... this was a bit of a stumper. We typically deal with species that are tropical, but what I did was enter that common name into the Google search engine to find that Latin name along with four pages of links. I would suggest that you start there.> Thanks <Good luck with your research.> James <Cheers, J -- >

Copper & Anemones Hi, <Hello Leanne> I have a question on copper and anemones.  I have a 125 gallon tank that I recently treated with copper to eliminate diseases.  I removed my anemones and inverts to another tank and they are doing fine.  I have done several water changes on my 125 gal. tank and the copper level is at or below .05.  Is it safe to put my anemones and inverts back in my main tank. <No, not until there is absolutely no detectable copper>   If not, what can I do to eliminate the copper.  I have been running with charcoal and have approx. 100 lbs of live rock in this tank.  Please help if you can.  Thank you so much in advance for any advice. <You may need to use a "better" variety of activated carbon, or even a product called PolyFilter. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/curemovalfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Macrodactyla doreensis: LTA anemone Thank  you very much for providing such a fine service.   <thanks kindly for noticing/appreciating. Do pass a good word along please> I recently added the attached anemone to my tank, but my false  percula is not taking it up after a few weeks.  Can you help me ID this anemone, <Macrodactyla doreensis... "Green Long Tentacle > and what clowns it will host?   <very few natural species: The Pink perideraion clown, and the brown polymnus saddleback. Most others are rare occurrences> I have a feeling it is a regular LTA, <correct> and would not host a false perc but maybe a pink skunk clown or other?   <correct again, my friend. Still... a very nice anemone and reasonably hardy> Thanks again crew.
<best regards! Anthony>

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