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FAQs on Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 5

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

Related FAQs: Anemones 1, Anemones 2, Anemones 3, Anemones 4, Anemones 6, LTAs, Bubble Tip Anemones, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Other Pest Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Feeding, Anemone Systems, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Health, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Placement

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Anthopleura xanthogrammica and live rock drama Hello, I am glad you are there. I couldn't find my predicament with your search engine and I don't trust information from my LFS's. I am thinking of making your daily Q&A my startup page. <Please do> Like so many, I jumped in as an ignoramus. While visiting the California coast I harvested a two inch and 3 nickel sized giant green anemones from the carpets of them I found at the tidepools and decided to begin my marine aquarium with these specimens. I began in a terrarium paradigm. <Mmm, for a class in College I chose a congener, A. elegantissima... the "clone anemone" for a histological study in invert. zoo.> I set up a 10 gal tank with live sand, rock and a  side mount filter and  then made a second similar ten gallon tank. I fed the anemones bits of dehydrated krill and they seemed to remain healthy. <Hope you have bright lighting... or they won't stay green for long> All was well and  I built up to 4 damsel fish in the second aquarium without the anemones and they were active and hungry. <Uhh, four damsels in a ten gallon system?> I decided to add a new 4 pound chunk of live rock, removing a two pound chunk to the anemone aquarium which also had three damsels. I was alarmed at the rotten egg smell that came from the bottom of the two pound live rock from where it was stuck in the live sand when I moved it to the anemone tank. The fish in with the new 4 lb. live rock in two hours began to die, showing rapid gill movement. There was a very slight jump in ammonia like less than .10, otherwise all normal. <All "normal" that you could/did test for> I immediately moved them to the other normal aquarium where two revived, one died, and the other started to recover from near death and then disappeared when I turned around. Suspecting the larger anemone as the fish predator, I moved it to the new live rock tank where I saw what looked like excrement coming out of it's mouth in the morning and it appeared inordinately robust. I put the dead damsel on it and it also disappeared when I turned my back again. I had no idea it had this capacity so quickly. <Yes> The anemones seem to be ok at tropical temps and I note tide pools often get warmer. Should I get rid of them? How? <Mmm... up to you, and by freezing (as in the freezer, in a plastic bag, then the trash on or about "trash day"> I couldn't find anything really definitive on what was wrong with the live rock. Was something dead on it emitting toxins? <Something dead, likely, toxic... yes, to your fish> Will carbon and time clear the problem and then test with a damsel? <Yes> Water change and isolate the live rock? <Just regular maintenance> I know I am overloading the one aquarium. I am looking forward to getting a used 30-50 gallon aquarium and moving my little family to that. Greg <Ahh, you will find this a vast improvement... easier to maintain, more fun to experiment with. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Questions Is there such thing as a baby blue bubble tip anemone and a blue carpet anemone? <Yes> What anemone do you recommend? <None> when my tanks has been established I am thinking of purchasing a bulb-tip anemone. What do you think? Jahner <I think you should read, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm then on to the many Related Articles and FAQs (linked, above, in blue)... Anemones are not simple livestock... not easily kept... as you will see either from direct experience or through the relating of others. Bob Fenner>

Suitable material to make molded false anemone for clowns Ok, here is my dilemma, I have looked and looked for a natural looking simulation of a sea anemone. <Mmm, there are a few companies that currently make faux anemones... none are very real in appearance or "action", being too stiff> The only one I have found is at http://www.gellife.com/.  However, this company is no longer in business. I have now decided that using a clay or plaster based mold which I will line with plastic wrap.  What I need is some type of very flexible silicone or food safe rubber compound that I can heat and pour into the finger mold that we are making.  Then we take polished stones or other aquaria safe weight and silicone attach the fingers to the stone. <Sounds good> Thanks for any information you can give me, I love your site it is extremely helpful. Best regards, Chris Rabkin <I would experiment, given information from folks in the molding business, trying flexible materials that will stay so, and are non-toxic to aquatic life. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility follow-up Hi, MacL...thanks so much for your thoughtful reply and your suggestions.  Let me try to both answer your question and give you an update. <Thank you kindly!!!> You asked whether I ever found out why those fish died.  No, I never did, and there has never been a clue. <Has to be so frustrating!> No temperature fluctuation, and no unusual readings of any kind; I did pH, salt, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate, iodine, calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium tests, but nothing was unusual. <There's always old age and natural causes but the timing is suspicious.> I don't think it was a parasite, either, at least none that I could see on any of the fish.  Possibly a poisoning of some type, but that's only a possibility; nothing got into the tank, as far as I know,  My guess is either a parasite that I couldn't pin down, or some form of poison (the latter seems unlikely, but perhaps something got into my top-off water, which comes from an RO unit that I have outside the house in a protected area). <There is so much that can cause problems, things like lotions, or even Windex or the sprays to make rooms smell well.> The RO water goes into a covered plastic bin, but maybe something got into it. Now, here's an update.  My service guy misunderstood me; I had told him of my interest in replacing the percula who died with another one or two, along with an anemone, but told his assistant that I wanted to check it out with an expert first.  Well, he never got that message, and brought me a Sebae anemone and two perculas on Monday afternoon.   I do not yet have a quarantine set-up, and so he acclimated the perculas well, handled the anemone like he was supposed to (got rid of the water in him, etc) and they both went into the tank.  Well, the big purple tang (who can be quite a bully) left the perculas alone...as though he couldn't care less about his new neighbors.  Weird, huh?  But, it's about what you expected, I think.  So, I never had to move any of the live rock. <There is usually such a difference in size and body shape that clowns don't threaten the tangs territory but you just never know.> The perculas don't seem to care much for the Sebae anemone, but you probably knew this would happen, too, as you told me that some clowns don't like some anemones. <Yeah that's what I was worried about.> But, they are both happy on their own (and the perculas enjoy each others' company), so perhaps all's well that ends well.  The anemone is walking about a bit, but not too much -- and seems pretty happy.  Now, I just need to figure out how and what to feed him. <The good news is that Sebaes I find quite easy to feed. Mine ate Mysis and brine shrimp and flake. The big thing was to put it in a turkey baster and aim it directly at the anemone so the tentacles could catch it. The big thing to remember with an anemone is that they need some specialized lighting. The lighting in actinic bulbs usually works well but if your tank has the same spectrum in other types of lighting that works as well.> Best regards -- and thanks much for the suggestions, even though they are now a moot point with respect to the perculas, anemone and purple tang. <Maybe they will help someone else in the future Ralph, its all good.> Ralph |

For love of an anemone Hey I had this Anemone for almost three weeks now in a 20 Gallon tank with Amon 0, and Nitrate .1. <Large anemones are hard to husband in such small quarters> I can't really identify the Anemone, and I cant seem to work my digital camera so a photo is out of the picture, <You bought an animal w/o knowing what it is, what it's living requirements are?> but I've been feeding it with 1/2 Brine shrimp every three days <... most anemones do not live on Artemia...> and it seemed like it grew at least three inches in the first two weeks. Then all of a sudden since the beginning of the this week ( third week) it detached its roots, and its jus laying sideways onto the bottom, and I noticed that it looked like it was growing a white tentacle-like thing off the side near its root. <Very bad> I thought at first maybe it was reproducing or something. But as the next day passes by, the white thing seems to be getting bigger and bigger, and so far its almost half way off the stem of the Anemone, and its also growing this yellowish egg-looking bubbles off the bottom of the root and some along side. The Anemone also closed its top, and never seems to open. At first I thought it was dead, so I lifted one side of it open, and it quickly closed itself up again. But I'm not sure whether its just a reflex or what. I don't know what to think. What should I do? <You should study... quickly... learn the species you have, its living requirements... and supply them. Please start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and after discerning the species, on to the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Take responsibility, action for your "purchase". This animal's life is in your hands. Bob Fenner>

Heeeeeeelllllllpppp..... anemone issues Hell-o  Been using the website a long time, never thought I would use it though <?>....  Anyways...  I have had a marine reef tank for 1-1/2 years now in a 75 gallon tank.  Last month I bought a 120 reef ready tank, Excalibur skimmer, power compact light system, 120 canister filter, and a bio wheel filter.<Sounds like a nice set up, though I am not in favor of bio-wheels and canister filters for reefs.> My goal was a tank with a lot of corals and a few reef fish.  I got a yellow tang, 1 cleaner shrimp, a flame angel, a hippo tang, and a lawnmower mower blenny, and a percula clown.  I have 120 pounds of live Fiji rock, and 4 mushroom corals. <So far so good. No overcrowding and no major incompatibilities.> I bought a bubble anemone and placed it where I wanted it.  Well it of course moved where it wanted to.  I knew it would do that before buying it so I am not concerned. <Power compact lighting is probably barely enough light.  If the anemone continues to wander, consider giving it up or increasing your light.> I have had it now for 2-3 weeks and it is tucked between 2 rocks and every time I try to feed it (small silversides) it will not hold onto them.  I watched the guy at the pet store feed his and it closed around the food and within about 25-30 minutes opened back up and the food was almost gone.  I was wondering how long it can go unfed. <This is not uncommon with newly moved specimens.  They will rarely accept food unless they are fully expanded.  It will be fine for several weeks without feeding.> The clown wants nothing to do with it. <Also very common, especially since BTA's are not natural hosts to Percs.  Give it time.> Also I got a liquid food for my mushrooms called Marine snow plankton diet they recommended it at the store for filter feeders.  And I feed them once a week. My question is that will the anemone filter feed and will my mushrooms multiply and what should I do about the anemone not eating? <Anemones and mushrooms are not filter feeders and will not eat the marine snow product.  Very few commonly kept reef animals will.  The mushrooms will multiply in time, often to pest proportions.  Give the anemone some more time to acclimate and withhold food until it fully expands. Helpless in Western PA...... Christopher J. Negley <If you are in western PA, please see www.pmas.org  We would love to have you drop by a meeting.  We have lots of really knowledgeable members who are glad to share their experience.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Making Friends With His Anemone (Anemone Acclimation) Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. at your service> I have learned quite a bit from the posted articles, but I think I have a different problem from the others. Most people seem to be having problems with LTAs roaming around the tank. Mine hasn't moved at all. <Well, that may not be a problem, per se...> When I put it into the tank, it didn't seem to be attaching. Eventually, it flew free from the ledge that I had placed it on. <Ah, that can be a cause for a little concern.> Realizing that I should avoid handling it, but at the same time worrying that it would get sucked into the overflow after being dragged around the tank for half an hour, I dug it a hole in the substrate and "planted" it as best I could. I heard they like to be in the substrate. <Some do-some don't...that's the long and the short of it!> Since then it hasn't moved any perceptible amount (in 3 days). It hasn't really buried itself in any further into the substrate either. I got a good look at its foot when I bought it from the LFS and it didn't seem to have any abrasions or tears. It grabs onto food, but doesn't seem to actually eat it. It is secreting wispy threads of "snot" from all around the foot. <Perhaps mucus in response to some sort of stress or injury> The first day, it belched some of that brown algae stuff, but hasn't since. It still seems to have pretty good color and the mouth is closed tightly. Is it healthy? <Hard to say. The fact that it is not adhering to substrate, and not digesting food is of potential concern. This could be simply a result of acclimation; that is- part of the acclimation process- and it may pass in a few days without any further disturbances.> I am running a 196 W 50/50 actinic/10000K PC light.   Is that enough? <For long term maintenance of this anemone, I'd have to say that it is marginal. Anemones, almost as a general rule, demand intense lighting. Such lighting is most economically provided by metal halides, IMO> How much substrate do they need? <Not really a matter of depth. They are found on hard substrate (rocks), sand/rock interfaces, etc. Given a variety of locales to "choose" from, the animal will eventually settle into one that suits its preferences.> I want this anemone to live, what should I do? <At this stage of the game, keep the water quality high, and the lighting intense. I'd avoid disturbing the animal any more than necessary.> Here are the other parameters: V = 55 gal T = 77 F pH = 8.2 S.G. = 1.024 NH3/4 = 0 ppm N03 < 1 ppm Ca = 400 ppm about 16 lbs of live rock I am running a fluidized bed filter, a skimmer, and a small live sand bed in the sump. Thanks so much, Justin <Well, Justin- your water conditions sound pretty good. Just keep the environment stable. Do think about upgrading the lighting for the long term. Give the animal another week or two to settle in a bit. With patience, careful attention to the water quality and lighting, and the passage of time, the animal can acclimate successfully. Keep attempting to feed on a regular basis, too. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Anemone problems Hi <How goes it, Michael here today> I'm worried my anemone is dying.  It seems to shrivel up half way through the day when the lights first go on, then opens but then a little later is all shriveled. I feed it fresh prawn meat about once per week <Make sure it's finely minced/shredded meat, and not large chunks>  I've recently discovered my lighting is not strong enough <What wattage\type\temperature lights do you currently have?> so I will be getting stronger lights in two days <What do you plan on purchasing?> but I'm not sure if that's the only problem. <Maybe, maybe not.  How is your water quality?  What species of anemone is it?  What are the tankmates?  How large is the tank?>  I'm not even sure what species it is it is pink on the stem and when open the disk is very pale pink or orange colour the tentacles are about 1 inch to 2 inches in length and are positioned around the outer disk. <Can you send a pic?> Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would like to do all I can to keep this guy healthy and living <Good outlook, but please educate yourself before purchasing next time!>  Thanks, Natasha <Send me the above information, and a picture if you can.  Also, please use proper sentence construction and punctuation when emailing us from now on.  It takes longer to edit an improperly written email than it does to reply to it!>

Multiple questions about anemones Wow.  Just discovered your website yesterday and I've spent many hours reading over this overwhelming store of knowledge.  I spent months researching before finally purchasing an established saltwater system 6 months ago, but in retrospect, I guess the vast majority of my research was done among sources who stood to profit from my mistakes.  As a passionate environmentalist (I was finally convinced to try saltwater only when I discovered that many species can now be captive bred), I have been appalled at the total lack of knowledge and concern for these creatures suffering in the hands of the pet industry. Anyway . it seems that in spite of some misdirection, I have done a number of things right, <Always nice to hear!> and have also made some mistakes that need to be corrected.  I have a standard 55-gallon tank with a Fluval 404, Prizm protein skimmer, excellent water conditions (with the exception of traces of phosphate that I am trying to correct via water changes - hate to use chemicals unless it's a crisis ??), and 5 moderately-bold hardy fish that I purchased very young and "aqua cultured".  So far, so good - I think.   Knowing that I wanted a reef aquarium, I purchased a compact florescent lighting system (4x65w bulbs, 2 white daytime {10,000k}, and 2 blue actinic and 4 lunar lights) that I was assured would be more than adequate for anything I could ever want to keep - after reading FAQs on lighting, I'm now thinking it's only minimally adequate for some invertebrates. <Its not going to be enough for a lot of corals as well.> I have recently added a few corals that are not among the more demanding in terms of lighting, so I think I'm ok there.  My big mistake came about 3 weeks ago when I purchased a bubble tip anemone.  I was aware that he could move around and potentially sting others, but was led to believe that this was a very remote possibility and that the stings would be more of a "warning" than anything fatal. <EEEK I really wish people would fully inform others when they are making purchases.  Let them make an informed decision.> Clearly I have a long term issue with having corals and the anemone living together.  Interestingly enough however, my anemone instantly attached itself to a rock covered with some small mushroom polyps, and the two seem to be living side by side peacefully. Are certain types of corals immune? <I would think they might work okay close by each other, although they will continue to sting each other.> Is there any chance they will coexist in my tank indefinitely, or is it pretty much a matter of time before one or the other dies?  Given my feelings about the pet stores around here, I feel like their chances are better here under close supervision than they would be being donated. Another possibility would be for me to set up my 10-gallon tank as a saltwater tank for the sessile invertebrates, but I'm concerned about maintaining water quality in such a small tank, as I'd have no margin for error whatsoever.  Is this advisable? <Lots of people do keep the "nano" tanks but they do take considerable amounts of work. Stability issues can be taken care of with regulated water changes.> Also concerning my anemone - I was under the common misconception that my maroon clown (who bonded within 20 minutes) would take care of the feeding. <They will sometimes bring an anemone larger pieces of food, such as krill etc.> Obviously not correct . biweekly feedings of Mysid shrimp and plankton, right?  He currently is quite eager to grab onto whatever floats his way when I feed the fish (krill & Spirulina mostly), and always immediately retracts for hours afterwards. <Typical eating and digesting, so a healthy anemone.> Not sure this amount and/or type of food is healthy. <Its fine, but he will grow fast!!> Should I make an effort to keep the food intended for the fish away from him?  Also, I had been advised to keep the lights on for no more than 8-10 hours to control algae, but it sounds like maybe 14 hours of blue lights and 12 hours of white lights would be more like it? <The anemone is going to need the blue lighting spectrum.>  I'm going to gradually start increasing that over the next few weeks.  Oh . and I was astonished a couple of nights ago to find my 3-spot damsel all cozy-fin-to-fin beside my clown nestled down in the anemone. <Domino or three spots are great and they love anemones as well! Love their antics but they can sometimes get aggressive.>  I thought they only liked carpet anemones, but apparently he decided to make due, and the clown allowed it.  Weird.   Long term, do you have any advice as to what, if any, other invertebrates I can safely add to this tank? <I would stay away from the SPS and possibly some of the LPS but most soft corals should do wonderfully in your tank. Love the zoanthids but be careful because they are poisonous.>  I've always admired the beautiful pictures of the lushly colorful reef tanks I've seen, but I'm sad to discover that this may just not be a realistic or healthy environment.  <If you deal with people who are "fragging" corals you should be just fine and get healthy propagated corals. One place that deals with this type of coral is www.fragexchange.com.> If I get rid of the corals, how many bubble tip anemones can be safely kept together in 55 gallons?  <They get really big I would only put in the one and let it grow and multiply as it wishes.  The bubble tips will propagate in an aquarium.> Is it safe to put any other type of anemone in there as well? <I've seen people with Sebaes and others in tanks with bubbletips and they have not had much problems. I'm always cautious about anemones simply because they put out a LOT of waste.> This turned into a much more lengthy note than I'd intended.  Any thoughts, corrections, or advice on any of the above would be much appreciated. <I think you just need to decide what type of tank, possibly looking at biotypes might help you. John Tullock's book is amazing help with that. Not to mention the Borneman's book The Conscientious Aquarist.  That book is just simply amazing!!!!> Wanted to get all my questions in at once!  I apologize if I've duped questions. <No worries about that> There is so much info out there, I'm bound to have missed some.   It's refreshing to read about people out there who treat aquatic life seriously, as opposed to some type of decorative house plant.  Thanks.  <Good luck Jenny, MacL> Jenny.

Anemone Question Hi, Was wondering if you could help me figure out what this is? http://www.chepstow.ca/mypics/sw002a.jpg http://www.chepstow.ca/mypics/sw002.jpg I didn't know if it was a type of coral, sponge, or whatever.... It's about 1 inch wide, and dark red. Seems to be a slow grower. It's very pretty whatever it is. :-) Also, I bought a rock anemone a few days ago that appears to be splitting. Do I need to do anything special for it or just let it be? And is there a link where I can get more info and pics on rock anemones as I haven't found one on wetweb that looks like it. Thanks, Patsy >>>Greetings Patsy, From your pic, it looks to be like a species of algae. However the pic is very blurry, and I can't be 100% sure. "Rock anemone" is a common name thrown around quite liberally describing a few different genera. I've seen everything from Sebae anemones, to flower anemones sold as rock anemones. The best thing would be to get a good pic, then post it either on the forums here, or on Reefs.org. I, or someone else will meet you there and help you figure out what it is.  As far as splitting goes, there is nothing you can do but let it happen. :) Cheers Jim<<<

Anemone care I just wanted to start this e-mail by letting you guys know you have a great site...I've used it many times.  I've had my tank for about five months now...it's my first.  I have a 55 gallon tank, an Amiracle hang on wet-dry with a built in skimmer, Coralife power compact lighting with two 65 watt actinic blue and two 65 watt 10,000k bulbs and three moon lights (I'm a sucker for gadgets), UV sterilizer and an oscillating power head.  The substrate is crushed coral.  I have 25 lbs of purchased cured live rock and 40 lbs of "reef bones" which have been seeded by the live rock and are showing good growth.  As far as livestock I have a percula clown, blue hippo tang, six line wrasse, scarlet cleaner shrimp, a fire shrimp, two Halloween hermit crabs (about 1.5" with bright orange legs), an emerald crab, 2 scarlet hermit crabs 10 blue leg  hermit crabs, 5 turbo snails, and 15 Margarita snails.  The tank started as fish only with no live rock (about one and a half months) and was converted to a reef system (about four months now) after a battle with new tank syndrome and Ich.  I recently purchased what I think is a Heteractis malu anemone.  It is white (a little greenish yellow) with purple tips.  I purchased it before doing any research on your site which I now think might have been a mistake.  Now for the questions.  I am feeding it 3-4 times a week with Liquid Life bio plankton and Mysis, brine and flake that floats by after feeding the fish.  I put the plankton in about an hour before the actinic blue bulbs go off.  (lighting cycle:  1 hour actinic blue, 8 hours actinic blue and 10,000k, 1 hour actinic blue.)  Am I feeding properly?  Is the anemone getting enough Mysis brine etc.?  Is the lighting adequate...bulb size cycle etc.? << This is the big thing that jumps out to me.  I had four 65 watt pc bulbs on my 55 gal.  Looking back that was not nearly enough light.  If you only have two bulbs I think you are way under powering your tank.  Feeding the anemone is important, but lighting is so much more important. >> The anemone has not really moved since I put it in the tank (4 days now)  I put it on a piece of live rock at the bottom of the tank.  It has moved partially off the live rock and has dug it's foot into the crushed coral substrate.  Is this okay? << Yes. >> Will it move if it's unhappy? << Yes. >> Is it stuck in the substrate? << No this is fine. >> Is it two far from the lighting? (tank is 21" high) << I think so, but don't move him.  Just let him go where he wants.  He may surprise me and do very well there. >> Are there any behaviors I should be looking for as hints to a problem?  The anemone seems to be more open at night and kind of tense during the day.  Is this normal?  Sorry for so many questions but I just want to make sure I'm treating the anemone correctly. << I'd see some other anemones in friend's tanks and in stores.  See if you are providing and environment like those of others (who are successful). >> Thanks so much Matt <<  Blundell  >>

Anemone Acclimation Issues hi guys <Hello, Ryan with you today> I just recently bought a LT anemone and he seems to be doing good, has opened up nicely, he's still pretty new to the tank I just added him last night, ha-ha. so far my clowns have only just looked at him, my smaller and brighter one hovers over it and every once in a while his fin will touch one of his tentacles. I knew that they wouldn't pair up immediately but if you have any idea about how long it takes the average clown and anemone to pair up that would be good. <There is no guarantee...They may never fill each other's niche> also I know its best to feed them brine shrimp and scallops but would he be ok eating just the regular flakes I feed my clowns. <Beautiful livestock is the reward of extra effort, my friend.> ummm my tank is 25 gallons (I know kind of small :(  with a metal halide I think 95 watts...I don't remember but the guy at the fish store said I could grow ANYTHING in my tank and that I had an awesome light setup for my size tank. <Yes, it is, but many anemones require better water quality than many are capable of providing in a skimmer-less 25 gallon tank.  All the same, but good luck! Ryan> any help would be good <Here you are: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm>

Anemone troubles? Howdy Crew, Looking for some info on Stichodactyla tapetum.  Found one attached to a colony of pipe organ. I thought it was a Ricordea  and chipped it off to give it (and the pipe organ) some breathing room. << No real need to chip it off. >> But when it stuck to my fingers, I thought it a bit odd an looked it up.   I'm not positive but from the bit of info I did find, Stichodactyla tapetum seemed to fit the bill.  The poor fellow doesn't look so happy after his move.   What kind of lighting do they prefer? << Lighting is big.  Lots of light, whole spectrum.  Also they eat anything.  I feed them krill and silversides. >> Any favorite foods? << Leftovers. >> I'd like to place the little guy ~20" directly under a 150W MH.   This is~4" deeper, but more direct than where I found it. << Well it will move around. So don't get set on a particular place. >>  Of course,  if it's not happy it I guess it will up and move ( will it??) << Yep. >>.  Thanks for your help. -matt <<  Blundell  >>

Anemones fare better in species tanks 8/15/04 dear bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead> have read several books, john Tullock, Robert Fenner, Michael p, Eric Borneman however, I yet to come across an article on what corals will not be harm by anemones. actually are there any corals that are immune to anemones stings? <mixing corals and anemones is usually a bad idea and generally not recommended. There are many reasons for this including chemical aggression, unnatural company and perhaps most of all (from a practical standpoint) the fact that anemones are motile and can cause problems when moving about sessile stinging corals> I plan to have BTA in 120 gallon tank with arcadia hm 2x 150watts and 2x30watts. recently I spoke to Ryan on my choice of lighting and plan for setup aquarium however, having been to reef central on mixing anemones, it seems not a good choice of my initial plan to mix LPSs with anemones. <very true! Please do not mix anemones with corals, my friend... anemones really do fare better alone in species tanks.> could u provide me a few names of corals compatible with anemones or direct me to existing hobbyist have asked similar questions or ppl who have taken a same route as I. also can have 4 families of clowns with 4 BTA? <this is possible in a large enough tank> pls help, I do mind if Ryan to follow on this. thanks. Steven from Malaysia <with kind regards, Anthony>

Inappropriate animals for aquarists/tanks 8/2/04 We have a new tank.  The water tested ready for fish.  I put in a clown fish, long ten.  sea anemone that has purple dots on the end of each "finger", a flounder,  and some new rocks that had great life on them (one that actually had a sea anemone on it).   <alas, you have been given some seriously bad advice and also most take some of the responsibility  for not being an educated consumer. The anemone is wholly inappropriate for any new tank and in fact  needs coral reef quality lighting. Few people are actually willing to spend several hundred dollars to keep  one common anemone alive. Worse, the flounder is almost certainly doomed to die (soon) in this tank...  the aquarium is too small by a measure of over 100 gallons... also lacks a mature (over 1 year old) deep sand bed  as a food source/supplement... and furthermore is not known to survive on captive foods if it  even eats them in captivity for very long. My very strong advice to you is to not buy any more livestock  and instead make a better investment in some good books like Mike Paletta "New Marine Aquarium"  for basics and Bob Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" for animals/husbandry info.  This will save you much grief and money while saving many creatures lives, I assure you> The tank is only 23 gallons, and does not have live coral in it.   <with the anemone now in it, it cannot either. Contrary to what many merchants/aquarists want to believe...  few anemones and corals live well together... and fewer still are natural. Do take the time to read more  about anemones in our archives here at wetwebmedia.com> The clown fish, rock and flounder look fine, but the anemone looks really bad.  In less then 24 hours, it flopped over and half of the "fingers" have really shriveled up.   <likely not dead so soon... just needs more water flow (this tank should have 500-600 gph)  and better lighting (minimum of 100 watts) to keep this anemone> It is barely responding.  I thought I would try to feed it a piece of shrimp, but it didn't eat it.   <feeding large chunks of food may also harm/kill it in time... only feed finely minced meats of marine origin  or tiny whole foods like mysids or Pacifica plankton> The only thing I can think of is insufficient lighting.  One of my bulbs is out, and I shut the lights off last night.   Should the lights stay on all night?   <10-12 hours by day should be enough of the bulbs are new. All fluorescents over anemones or corals  need to be changed every 6-10 months too> Is my anemone going to die? <in this tank, perhaps yes... do trade the anemone and the flounder back to a store> Thanks for the help. Keith Duncan <best of luck, Anthony>

Why are my anemone's tentacles elongating? Hey guys, I just can not figure out why this is happening. I have a bubble tip anemone, about 5 inches across the disc. Anyways, what is happening is the tentacles are getting longer and longer. Some of the tentacles are about six inches long. Does anyone one happen to know what causes the tentacles to elongate like that? I asked the guy at my LFS and he had read the most of the time it was due to low lighting. In my case I am certain that is not it. I have a 25 gallon tall with 175 watt MH mounted 6-8" off the water. << I now have three 150 watt halides 4 inches above my 29 gal. >> The water all tests ok, Temp 79-80, pH 8.4, Calcium close to 400, Nitrates are around 12.5 mg/l. I feed it Mysis, squid, and other types of meaty foods, also cut up into pretty small chunks. Would the spectrum of the light be causing this? The MH I have is a 10k,<< That isn't a problem, but I would also add some actinic lights to that. >> I was thinking about hooking up my twin 55w PC and putting them back in. << Yes, good idea. >> I have a 12k and Actinic light I could use to put some light higher in the spectrum into the tank. Do you think this is worth a shot or would not make a difference. I wish I had a pic of what it looks like. I had a smaller one in the tank and when it got to big I brought it to my LFS and he did not believe me that it was a BTA, he kept telling me that it was a long tentacle. Well I hope I have given you all of the needed information to help identify what is happening to my BTA. I look forward to hearing from you guys. << I would do a water change, and add those lights.  It may really help out. Keep me posted. >> Thanks, Chris Hepburn <<  Blundell  >>

The Ethics Of Anemone Husbandry Hi, <Hello! Scott F. in today> I was considering getting a magnificent anemone, partially to host a pair of Ocellaris clowns and was just wondering about the lighting. From your site it seems that only metal-halide lights are the only option but my LFS tells me that 4-40w fluor would be enough (for a 20inch deep tank), could this be because the anemone is an Australian variety or is the dealer mis-informed? <Well, it is possible to keep some light-demanding animals (such as SPS corals) under fluorescents, if you compensate through heavy feeding. However, where anemones are concerned, I would recommend halides, period. The intensity is so important for long term successful husbandry, IMO> I was considering (from the lighting articles on your site) to check out full spectrum fluor's but apparently they are not available in Australia, would you know if this is true and if (if they are suitable) there would be any way of ordering them to Australia. <I'm sure that they can be obtained from various internet sources.> It also appears that both the gigantic and carpet anemones are both natural hosts to ocellaris clowns. Do they need as much light as the magnificent variety? <I would say that they do. Lighting is not something that I would compromise on when considering keeping these animals> Also is it possible to tell me what size these species can grow to in captivity? <Depends on the conditions that they are kept under. They have amazingly long life spans in the wild (many decades or more!), so their growth potential is significant> Still on the question of lighting, how important is metal-halide lighting for keeping most varieties of corals (sorry about the vague question), I'm just trying to work out if it is worthwhile buying MH mainly for an anemone, especially when the MA will limit what corals I can get. <Glad you actually looked at it this way! You are correct in assuming that it is not a good idea to keep anemones and corals in the same system. Sure, it can be done, and has been done, but it is not a natural, nor responsible arrangement, IMO. A dedicated system is the absolute best way to go. As far as the metal halide lighting is concerned, I would say that this, along with excellent environmental parameters, is an "entry level requirement" with anemones. I'd rather not keep anemones if I could not supply the proper lighting. They are a potentially scarce wild resource, and they should not be kept by aquarists who don't want to (or cannot) supply these requirements.> Is there a chance these clowns would except a BTA? <Ocellaris are not symbionts with BTA's in the wild, but I have seen them adopt them in captivity. Another caution: Many clownfish are tank raised now days, and have not even seen an anemone! They sometimes never take up residence in them, much to the chagrin of hobbyists. Remember, an anemone is absolutely not a requirement for success with clownfish> While I'm here, I was wondering if you could help me with a more immediate problem, I bought a pair of Ocellaris clowns (both around 1 inch) 9 days ago and they both don't seem 'happy'. I should mention my water parameters are perfect, I even got my LFS to double check them. When I first put them in, my Bicolour damsel (village belle?) began sort of bullying them, flaring his fins etc. at them and subsequently kept the clowns in the top couple of inches of water. After two more days of this (and lots of reading, tried re-arranging LR etc) and no progress I decided I had to, regretfully, remove the damsel. After I did this, the clowns still keep to the top of the water, but do venture down further in the water (do you know how to encourage them to mix in with the tank-I only have a Vermiculated Angel and a Firefish-both doing excellently and both peaceful) but both hardly eat at all. The larger does eat bits and pieces but I think I have corrupted him by introducing live brine shrimp to the mix, in an effort to tempt the smaller one to start eating, which hasn't seemed to work. I have seen the smaller clown taste things and spit them back out, but nothing appears to be interesting enough to make a meal out of. I have tried frozen/live brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, spectrum pellets, marine green, fish dinners, I even bought fresh seafood (mussels, scallops, prawns etc) and blended them but nothing has worked. I noticed the small clown biting at the glass and later saw tiny white critters, possibly pods of some kind in decent numbers on another part of the glass. Could the little guy be surviving off these. <Possible, but not likely> The larger clown appears alright but the smaller looks skinny and I have been worried about him from the start, do you have any suggestions, or, if I returned him would his chance of survival improve. <I'd keep doing what you're doing. Tempting the fish with a wide variety of foods is the best you can do. Sure, you could move them to a temporary tank to provide them with a quieter environment, but I'd stay the course in the display for now> You guys probably find it amusing (or annoying) that I am having troubles with one of the easiest to keep marine fish, but am still considering getting one of the hardest to keep invertebrates, but be assured I will not get the magnificent anemone unless fully prepared. <Not annoyed at all! I'm frankly impressed by the enormous consideration and concern that you are showing for these animals. It is a special responsibility to take on an anemone, and your research and intellectual honesty is important. I'm sure that you'll make the right decision! As far as the trouble with clowns is concerned, that is no reflection on your skill as an aquarist. It happens to the best of them. We are dealing with living creatures which, despite our best efforts and expectations, do not always conform to our expectations...All part of the challenge of the hobby> Thanks for your assistance and for the excellent site - Chris <It's our pleasure, Chris. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Anemone Spots 4/13/04  Hi, First of all thanks for such a wonderful website...it has answered a lot of my questions....  <Hello Daniel. Glad WWM has helped!>  I purchased 2 anemones around 4 weeks ago....I woke up this morning and looked in the tank and there are white "spots" running all through the tentacles of one of my anemones...it almost looks like grains of sand?...I do know that in the last week and a half it has been shrinking back but opens up beautifully by the afternoon. All of my water tests are within acceptable ranges... Can you help....thanks Daniel  <A lot more info is needed here. What species of anemone? Please describe your set up, lighting, water movement, filtration, etc. Also, please list your salinity, ammonia, nitrate, pH and alkalinity. The shrinking/expanding you describe isn't that unusual. I am not sure about the white spots. A good quality picture would be very helpful. Best Regards. Adam>

A Words - Algae and Anemones >Yo Crew! >>Word up? >Point me in the right direction.  My daughter (8 yrs old) has mentioned to her 3rd grade teacher that we have aquariums and has talked about a few things in them.  Algae and the anemone.   Her teacher has requested I send some info on these things and possibly a few other tid bits of info. >>Let the coolness ensue. >What I'm trying to gather is some basic info on algae and anemones without throwing a bunch of 3rd graders for a super loop.   >>Understood.  Pictures, and if possible, examples would be helpful. >Most of what I find is entirely too technical.   >>I wonder where you're looking. >Do you guys know of where I might find some basic info on algae and anemones?  I can edit what I feel would be TMI for the kids. >>I'd Google it, honestly.  I Google everything.  If you can get into the school library, then look for the First Discovery series, though some of the books are VERY basic (looking at one of my boys' First Discovery "Fish" book, it's about 1rst-2nd grade level).  My suggestion is to keep the information scientific, don't dumb it down too much.  Explain to them that algae are plants, but not like plants on dry land.  Show them what anemones are related to, and have schematics of their nematocysts (they will find this to be uber-cool). >I'm pretty confused as to what the teacher really wants from me as my daughter couldn't quite spit it out.  LOL!!  Kids....   But some info that would enlighten the kids on marine life would be better than none. >>Exactly my feelings.. wait a minute!  I know YOU!  Heh.. it's Sea Maiden (aka "Seamaiden", "Seamaiden").  I only JUST looked at your email addy.  She can't tell you what teacher wants because she's the student.  But if you take the angle of what You'd teach her class if you had them to yourself, you'll do just fine.  I think, if possible (you're a 'puter person, right?) print out stuff that you design yourself, borrowing schematics and whatnot from online.  If you have or can get a hold of a few Aiptasia anemones, bring those to the class, same with a bit of algae, show a couple of different types.  Believe me, they'll be asking so many questions that you won't have to worry about figuring out what to tell them.  Marina >Thanks in advance, Eduardo >>Some linkage (sorry, can't hyperlink in this form) Googling "sea anemone" and "macro algae" and "seaweed": http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Cnidaria&contgroup=Animals http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&q=sea+anemone+&btnG=Google+Search&sa=N&tab=wi http://www.reefcorner.com/macroalgae.htm http://www.geocities.com/clevelandsaltwater/plants.html http://www.noamkelp.com/technical/handbook.html

Anemone Keeping Ethics... I have a small library of books on anemones which range in advice from "most anemones starve to death" to "feed large chunks of shrimp every other day". <Conflicting information? In our hobby? Nah! LOL. Glad to hear that you are researching, though. Take all advice-even mine, with a grain of salt and a dose of skepticism..> I'm confused and pretty disappointed to learn that if I were to follow all the advice I've read in books, I'd probably kill many anemones, something I'm unwilling to do. <Well, not necessarily. If the tank is configured to meet their requirements, and proper environmental conditions are achieved, success is indeed possible with these animals.> So I am on my third and final anemone, if this one dies, I will give up. Now, the question, what type of substrate should this anemone be sitting on? <Well, these types of anemones generally prefer a rather deep, soft substrate in which to settle into. Sand and gravel areas are generally the type of habitat you'll find 'em in naturally. If they don't find a spot with such a substrate, they could wander throughout the tank, frying any other sessile inverts that they run into.> My new sebae hasn't even attempted to root into the substrate. He's not looking good, having shrunk to half his size since yesterday. Deb Miller <Deb, it's pretty tough for me to assess what could be wrong with the anemone, because I don't have information on your setup, environmental parameters, etc. For sake of simplicity, let's assume that you have configured your system to suite te anemones needs (high water flow, sufficient lighting provided by full-spectrum metal halide bulbs, and good filtration capability). Let's also assume that your water parameters are up to par (undetectable nitrite, ammonia, etc.). The other consideration is the anemone itself. Did you choose what appeared to be an otherwise healthy specimen to begin with? Was it carefully acclimated, and allowed to adjust to your lighting, etc? Part of what could be going wrong is in the selection/acclimation process. Like all animals, anemones do suffer from the stress of collection, transport, acclimation (or lack thereof, in some instances!), and hunger! In the end, if all of these factors look good, you may simply need to wait it out a bit. If one or more of the required parameters have not been met, either adjust your system accordingly, or consider keeping a less demanding and more plentiful anemone  (such as the Caribbean Condylactis species) until you get the hang of their husbandry. As you are aware, anemones are a fairly precious, limited resource, and we need to be good stewards of their captive population. In the end, you need to do intense research on their requirements, create a system to optimize your chances for success, and develop the husbandry skills to sustain success. If you have not been able to accomplish any of these "requirements", there is no shame in your decision to pass on maintaining one in your aquarium. Good luck Regards, Scott F>
Anemone Keeping Ethics
Thank you for taking the time to answer. <You're quite welcome!> Based on what I read, the problem may be acclimation and I don't have a halide system, only full spectrum florescent. I'll wait it out as you suggested. <Sometimes, that's the best way!> Do you know where I can access a list of reputable dealers? <I'd start with Marine Center (a WWM advertiser), and look into some other e-tailers, such as Inland Aquatics and Sea Crop, which make it a point to carry properly handled animals. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>  

Anemone potential problems? Hey guys!  Love your site!   <Thank you.> My husband and I recently (about 2 1/2 months ago) set up our first salt tank.  We wanted to convert our community freshwater tank and went to talk to our LFS.  We were told it was fairly easy to do (not even close)  and it would be fairly inexpensive (again, not even close)  We expected a lot of hard work, dedication, and trial and error.  We have a 30G tank, we started with 2-12lb bags of crushed coral.  We have approx 20lbs of live Fiji rock. After a week we added 3 yellow-tailed damsels.  We did exactly what we were instructed to do, we tested the water daily, and waited for the tank to fully cycle.  When we were sure it was fully cycled, we brought our water to our LFS to be double tested.  He told us we were all set and ready to start adding livestock.  After a couple of days my husband purchased a Condy anemone.  It has done wonderful.  It's been about 4 weeks and so far so good.  We feed him krill, oysters, and squid.  He has grown significantly in 3 weeks!  He's absolutely beautiful, moves around a little, but I think he has found a comfy spot for now anyway.  We have a chocolate chip starfish who's doing very well.  We also have a banded prawn also doing very well.  15 crabs, and 15 snails. Everything was doing well. We then ventured out and found Nemo.  When we added him to the tank the damsels went crazy, they would not let up on him, they cornered him, and nipped at him until they made us crazy and we took them out and returned them to the LFS.  I'd rather see them go than the clownfish.   <Yellow tail damsels can be extremely aggressive fish, especially once they've settled into their environment.> The next morning we found the clown dead on the bottom of the tank.  We did a water change, and waited another week.  Went back to a different LFS and purchased a pair of Percs figuring we didn't have any fish in the tank to pick on them and we might be ok.  The lady at the pet store told us we HAD to have at least 2 anemones in case the two Percs didn't work well together.   <Remember that most pet stores (Not all of them- I've seen some fairly nice stores which really take care of their livestock and others which will do anything to sell you something, even if that includes lying to you) are in it for one thing...the money. I would stay away from asking the store any questions. It's important to always do as much research before hand, that's extremely important in this hobby.> Therefore we bought another anemone it was labeled as a Haiti and I wasn't sure I believed this, come to find out it is a BTA.  It is doing fine so far, but the more I have researched, (should have done that first) I have read that the two anemones could have some sort of chemical warfare.  Is this true?   <Chemical warfare isn't an issue with anemones. Instead, it's physical warfare which will often result in two or more dead anemones. Usually the anemones will move towards each other and compete for the light, space, etc. Most of the time neither anemone makes it out alive.> Now for the two Percs, they hit it off with each other right away, after 2 days, the male (I think) started hanging out on the bottom of the tank in the corner.  He spent a day and a half like that, my husband called me at work today and told me he was wedged in a rock (the fish, not my husband!)  he got him out of the rock and then he swam right into the Condy, the Condy wrapped it's tenellus around him and the clown fought his way out only to swim right back in and it happened again.  I haven't seen him since.  Is it possible that he was consumed by Mr.. Condy?   <That is a possibility. If the clownfish died and somehow floated into its host (anemone), it's quite possible that the anemone consumed the fish. If this was the case, several days later you should notice the anemone releasing matter (including bones, scales, etc.), which is often observed as "brown gunk" coming from the central mouth of the anemone. Usually during this time the anemone will appear almost dead with its tentacles deflated. If the anemone has not done this after 2 weeks after the clown was missing, I would doubt that the anemone actually consumed the clownfish and would start looking at other possible factors.> And would you recommend taking the Condy back to the LFS?   <I would recommend returning one of the anemones. Condylactis are usually hardier than E. quadricolor (bubble tip), and because of this the Condy may have a higher survival rate.> I love this anemone and the BTA as well, but if I want clownfish I would rather bring back the Condy.  If it could harm my BTA and other fishes that is.   <The bubble tip also has the chance to harm other fish and the Condylactis> One more thing, (sorry if I'm taking up too much of your time) Our PH level is between 7.8 and 8.0 we can't seem to get it to go to 8.2.  We bought Proper ph8.2 made by aquarium pharmaceuticals inc.  it did nothing and the directions are horrible.  Our nitrates at 0 nitrites at 0.  I just need some advice please I'm new at this and don't want to lose anything or anybody.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to me blab. <There are several pH buffers on the market. I would recommend you look into a pH buffer such as Kent Marine's products. I've found them to be highly effective in raising the pH. Take Care, Graham.>

Anemone Lifespan (12/23/2003) Hi <Greetings, Steve Allen here today> A few months back Anthony gave a talk to the Wis Reef society, where he discussed the life spans of wild anemones ... namely that they were amazingly long and this would be one more factor [never mind captive success rates] in avoiding wild-caught in favor of captive bred anemones.  Anyway, on another message board, my least favorite know-it-all <gotta love 'em> has repeatedly bashed anyone who suggests that wild anemones live long at all ... so I was hoping you could refer me to a couple references where I can read/discover this information myself - and help disseminate these views as I'm very much in agreement with Anthony ... just not sure where to find this info. I have Wilkerson's book ... and am tracking down Fautin's ... any other good references would be appreciated. Time is not of the essence on this one ... <A quick google search gave me a couple of good starting places. This article cites original research on the subject: September-October2.doc+anemone+lifespan&hl=en&start=28&ie=UTF-8 Check here as well: http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen8.html http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/BMLSS/Cnid-Old.htm > Thanks! <Hope this helps> Mark Felten

Anemones And The Hobbyists Who Love Them Hi Scott <Hi there!> I was thinking of adding an anemone to my tank.  Think it would enhance the beauty of the tank and give it a really nice ocean look. <They are fascinating animals, but are among the most demanding that we can keep. They require very specific conditions, and strict attention to husbandry to be successful. Many anemones have dismal survival rates in captivity; they are not casual impulse buys. They require the right conditions and techniques. I would avoid getting on until your tank is well established, and you have mastered some of the fundamentals of this new system....> I don't have any fish as yet but I was thinking of getting one anemone with the first pair of fish which are going to be two clowns. <Lots of people want to do this- and I can't blame them. But- the clowns don't require an anemone; and in fact, may not even associate with the anemone, as many clowns are captive-bred and have never even seen one!> Does the anemone need a lot of light, as I use natural light in the day and only turn on my lights at night? <Unless your tank get extremely high levels of direct sunlight all day, you'll need to use powerful artificial lighting. Halides are the requirement here!> Also how does one go abut adding an anemone to the tank.  Must it be like planted or just placed in the tank are there any other special requirements. <Much of this has been written of extensively in many hobby books and on line...Again, do wait until you've thoroughly researched the needs of these animals and are up to the challenge> Another question- I added some activated carbon to my canister filter about 2 weeks ago at that stage my tank was really smelling bad with the live rock that I introduced.  The smell has gone and the tank has cleared up considerably, my question is, when should I change the carbon. <I'd change it now> You did mention to me in the past that I should change the active carbon every 4 weeks but this first batch had some serious work to do so I was wondering if I should just change it or can I maybe leave it in for at least another week. Thanks Regards Ziad Limbada <You're right on...Change it now- you should be fine. Regards, Scott F.>

Improving The Odds Of Success With An Anemone Hello and thank you in advance for your help. I have a 65G (36"x24"x18") reef tank. It has now been setup for 1 year and I believe my system is finally ready for an anemone, but I wanted your input before I bought one. <Glad to throw in my two cents worth! Scott F. here today!> My tank houses 1 regal tang, 1 yellow tang, 2 false percula clown fish, and some soft corals. My lighting on this 24" deep tank is four 36" VHOs 95 watt each (2 actinic and 2 10,000K). I have a DSB and 85 lbs of live Fiji rock. Water quality is good (<5 ppm nitrates). Water circulation is > 10 times the volume per hour. I have been thinking of adding a 250 watt metal halide, but that may have to wait until next summer. My questions are: Are you confident that my existing lighting (VHOs only) is enough to keep an anemone successfully? <I have mixed feelings, actually. VHO's are great, and provide good intensity for many applications. In a 24 inch deep tank, you're probably pushing the outer envelope as to the minimum acceptable lighting for most anemones...I'd feel a lot better if you had that halide now. In my opinion, insufficient light (not to mention poor water quality and feeding) is probably the leading cause of attrition amongst anemones in captivity. Good lighting is just so important that it cannot be overlooked...> Which anemone would you recommend for my clown fishes? <I would recommend on of the "Bubble Tipped" anemones. They are relatively hardy if their requirements are met.> Will the later addition of the metal halides cause problems with the clown? <Not with the clown, but your photosynthetic animals will require some acclimation to the intensity, or they may suffer adverse consequences> Thank you, Jeff <My pleasure, Jeff. I guess my admittedly conservative call would be to wait until the halide is in place first. Sure, lots of people keep anemones under VHO, and some are quite successful. But when you take into account the very long natural lifespan of these animals in the wild and the horrific track record of these animals in captivity, we really owe them the best possible situation if we are to be good stewards of such life forms in captivity...I wish you the best of luck! Regards, Scott F>

Ritteri Anemone Questions Dear WWM Crew, I have few concerns about my anemone.  First off, I apologize if I have missed a previously posted answer to any these questions; however, in my distressed state I may have missed them.   I purchased the anemone from my local fish store 2 weeks ago and it has been doing great.  It immediately anchored to a piece of live rock near the back of the tank and it and the percula clownfish have been getting along fine.  However, Thursday night it began to move a little up the rear glass and this morning (Friday), to my horror, it was attached to a rock half-way across the tank being partially sucked into the pump intake.  I  immediately cut the pump to its lowest setting but had to leave for work. When I returned from work, it had freed itself from the pump and was attached to the rear glass a few inches away.  I thought everything was fine but when I retuned from dinner it was face down in the middle of the tank. However, its tentacles were moving and it was very large so other than its orientation, it seemed ok.  I turned the pump back up to its normal setting and the anemone floated up in the water and attempted several times to "right" itself finally anchoring on its side on a piece of live rock. However, it was a precarious perch as it was on a snail and an abandoned shell so it soon released itself again but this time was unable to re-attach to anything.  The next time it floated up I attempted to gently right it but when I would try to set it on the crushed coral bed upright, it would either be unable to attach itself or would attach itself for a short time and then float up again.  Also during this time his foot became very big and puffy. Finally, exasperated and unable to right it, I left it to try more on its own and it has by now partially attached itself on its side on some live rock and it is hanging out and down.  The only thing that has changed in my tank in the past two weeks is an algae explosion (I am guessing from the lights?).  During this ordeal I was able to inspect it and have found only one defect - a small, crusty-looking lesion on its top near the mouth. I guess in conclusion I have three questions.  What could have caused him to suddenly move (my specs are below), what do I do in the future if he ever gets upside down again, and most importantly, is he going to be ok?  Thank you so much in advance. < Usually when an anemone decide to move it is because he is not happy. Something he did not like such as Light, Water flow. etc. Ritteri anemone are one the most difficult to keep they require bright light prefer halides. They also  must have massive random water flow. You also should have no powerheads in the tank with  an anemone, because of what happened. If you have not fed him yet try to. Something like cocktail shrimp (nothing cooked) As for if he is going to be ok only time will tell. If this was your first anemone try a different kind next time like a Condylactis or a long tentacled the are much easier to keep. hope this helps Mike H> Size: 30 Gal PH 8.3 Ammonia trace Nitrite 0.05 Salinity 1.025 Age 6 Months Live Rock 35 pounds Lighting 192W (10,000K White, Blue Actinic) 4 Yellow-Tailed Blue Damsels 1 Lemon Peel Angelfish 2 Percula Clowns 3 Snails    
Re: Ritteri Anemone Questions
Thank you very much for your reply.  Unfortunately, the anemone ended up not making it.  During the water change the next day, he became dislodged and fell upside down in a crevice between two rocks.  I delicately moved him (I made sure first that he was not attached anymore) back to his original spot and he seemed ok but when I returned from dinner a few hours later, he was again upside down, flat like a melted ice cream scoop.  When I flipped him, he was lifeless and barely more than a white blob.  It was actually one of the saddest things I had ever seen because the clownfish kept nipping at the net when I tried to remove it and even jumped into the net to prevent me from taking it out. :( With regards to getting another anemone, I would greatly appreciate some advice.  First off, I have a question of etiquette.  Would it be rude for me to return to the fish store and ask for a replacement/store credit? < I guess I would say yes because the powerhead did the damage> I only had him for 2 weeks and given the high price of him, it will be financially hard for me to replace.  Second, what anemone should I get to replace him?  The only anemones available at stores in my area are Long Tentacled, Bubble Tip, Ritteri, and Carpet.  My primary reason for getting an anemone was to host the clownfish.  As long as the Percula clownfish will take to the anemone, my only preference is survival rate. <I would go will either bubble or the long tentacle I have had perks take to both> Finally, what other advice do you have to increase the chance of survival of my future anemone?  I have read some of the FAQs, but my main question is given my environmental conditions stated at the bottom of this e mail, is there any thing else I can do to prepare my tank for another anemone? Thank you once again for you caring help and advice and for simply doing what you do. :) <TAKE ALL POWERHEADS OUT OF TANK everything else looks good hope this helps Mike H.> Greg

Sea Anemones  My son just purchased a sea anemones and I would like to know any info you have on them. He would like to find out the right lighting needed etc..... Can you please help. The anemone isn't looking so good.  < go onto the search and type in sea anemone you will find all the info you need Mike H> 

Measuring success/keeping anemones 10/21/03 Thanks so much for your response! I will read about it and yes, the tank is only 6 months old. <Always welcome, my friend. If you do decide to keep an anemone again (in a species tank with no other anemones/coral) , then a bubble tip BTA (Entacmaea quadricolor) really is an excellent choice. Perhaps the best all around. Anthony>

Anemone Excrement...Or Is It? Hi crew! <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> I already wrote my hourly question (just kidding, seems that way though!), but I only want the best for my creatures and I know your site and crew knows the best! <Yikes- I feel no pressure...No pressure here...> I've had a bubble tip anemone for about a month.  It quickly found a crevice near the lights and below a powerhead stream upon introduction and has stayed there since, most of the time fully expanded. He's brown and has recently lost his "bubbles" on his tips, which I have read within the site is not all too uncommon. <I've seen it a number of times...> I feed him extremely fine pieces of enriched Mysis shrimp soaked in Zoecon twice a week. <Good fare> I have searched throughout your site in regard to how bubble tips expel their waste products.  I have read that 1) they deflate until they shrink considerably and expel white stuff (mine has done so once already) 2)  they spit up stringy dark excrement (a reply from Anthony).  They do both?  I am concerned because I have just recently witness mine expelling stringy dark stuff (different from the mucous balls of food) and just want to confirm that this may be just waste and not his poor symbiotic zooxanthellae ( does that look different)?! < A valid concern, but the stringy dark stuff is definitely waste product, so don't stress over it. If the animal was releasing its zooxanthellae, you'd see a great deal of color loss in the animal, and it would probably display other signs, such as loss of turgor, and a generally unhealthy appearance...Keep a close eye out for any of these signs, however...> I want to make sure he is thriving, otherwise I will give him to somebody that has more experience with them (don't want to kill the thing). <A commendable attitude!> Tank stats:   45 gallon, 2 X 96W PC, 1.025 SG, O ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrates, dKH 11, pH 8.4, 4.5 inches aragonite, 55 lbs live rock, activated carbon changed weekly, a pair of perculas, a green mandarin, CBS, peppermint shrimp, featherduster, some blue legged hermits and Astraea snails. <Well, sounds pretty good. However, I'd really strive to knock down the nitrate to an undetectable level, if possible (using any of the techniques outlined on the WWM site). Also, you should look into increasing the lighting available to the animal. PC's are good, but I think that you may need more of 'em to achieve the level of intensity that anemones need to thrive...Other than those items- just keep up the good maintenance and observe your tank carefully...Hang in there!> As always, thanks for all your help! Danny <My pleasure, Danny! Thanks for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>

Shedding Some Light On Anemone Coloration? I have a Sebae anemone that used to be white with purple tips.  Several months ago I moved the entire tank and now the anemone is always a light brown color. It looks like it's growing and healthy.  I also have 2 clown fish. Is it healthy or should this anemone be white? Thank you, Erin <It could be a function of the light that the animal is exposed to. The concentration of zooxanthellae in the animal's tissues can influence the color. Colors can vary widely in these animals. Other times, they can be a response to stress. In your case, because the anemone is feeding and responding normally, I'd think that it's a response to lighting. Perhaps the animal needs more light. The zooxanthellae may be concentrated in the tissues as a response to lower lighting than it is receiving. Try increasing the lighting a bit, and see how the animal responds. Regards, Scott F>

-Why only one anemone?- Hey  Kevin, thanks for the help, just curious, why only 1 anemone, <They can fight via chemical warfare, which is a big problem in only 30g of water. Still, either one may decide to take a walk about the tank one day and crash into the other resulting in two excessively stung anemones!> I have 2 in my  30 gal. reef and seem to be ok <Most will get giant in this tank and will end up touching just from expanding normally.> , you also gave me a little incentive, the reason I was going with anenomes is because I had heard corals were tough to keep and feed, can you recommend any good starters? <Hmmmm, if that is the case then you need to do some research! I'd buy Aquarium Corals by Eric Borneman and do peruse this website because generally speaking, that couldn't be farther from the truth, and information to dispel that myth is READILY available.> Also I would like to have my tank lit up from probably around 1 pm - 11 pm so I can enjoy it when I'm home <No worries about time of day you have the tank lit, just keep it under 12 hours (8-10 is good). Who'd want a tank that's never lit up when they're home?> at night more, is that timing ok or should I go thru the trouble of building a hanging hood style with  the metal halides and 1-6' actinic or whatever you recommend for the early hours in the AM. <I don't understand, change the timing or add metal halides? In your last email you said you were going to do halide pendants, but it would definitely be worth the trouble to build a hood so you can get some VHO supplementation to make the color fantastic.>  Also either way should I go with 2 or 3 metal halides? <3, one per two feet of tank length.> Hate to keep rambling but the ideas are flowing. Thanks again!     Louie <Good luck! -Kevin>

-Surprise! You've got a LTA!- Hello, Background: I am new to the salt water hobby.  Have put in a 20gal tank at work (stress reliever :-) ) as a test to learn about salt aquariums and do my trial & error before investing huge dollars in a 150+ at home. For approx 3 months tank had a 1 Scarlet cleaner shrimp, 1 blue damsel and 1 yellow tail damsel.  Tank has been doing fine and water test from the fish store are "OK" (after reading through your site, I am getting a test kit to obtain "exact" numbers or ranges).  <Excellent> Anyhow, the kids & wife decided to surprise me with a maroon clown and long tentacle anemone (I know this is probably a little over the limit for 20gal). <You may want to suggest gift-certificate surprises in the future...> Put them in and clown is doing fine, very active.  Anemones I know nothing about which leads me to write. <Anemones are reasonably difficult to keep, and should only be attempted by a seasoned coral enthusiast with the proper system and information, that's why they don't make a good surprise!> Situation: The anemone crawled around a little at first and now seems to like a spot in the back corner on crushed coral floor.  There is a moderate current in the tank and the anemone puts his tentacles up in ballet motion with the current (not sure what he does at night - also running a Marine Glo (blue lamp) and Power Glo (white lamp)). <Unfortunately, you don't have nearly enough light to keep this critter alive> Color of the anemone is basically a milky translucent white. <This anemone is what we call "bleached". That means that it has lost it's symbiotic algae <zooxanthellae> that allows it to use the light (a large portion of it's daily energy comes from this algae). So we have two problems here, no internal algae to photosynthesize, nor the light to get it accomplished anyhoo.> He does seem to change colors on the disk area from time which is one concern/question (sometimes a pinky looking color - not sure if this is from contracting and expanding). <Could be> The tentacles when extended are translucent turning to a pretty light translucent green at the tips. From time to time he will draw a section of them in and they look shriveled and a pale green color, is this normal? <Nope> Also the base where these draw up, at times, will look kind of pale gray.  The stalk or base is a bright orange.  The base also has long stringy mucus looking material attached from time to time.  Should this stay or be cleaned (removed). <I would leave it, it may be it's own slime, hopefully the base hasn't been damaged.>  A few days after putting him in there, I went and had the water tested again and they said the nitrates or nitrites (don't remember which) was a little high <Whoa, big deal here. Nitrites are exceptionally toxic at even the lowest levels where nitrates are not toxic until they're in the hundreds of ppm. A distinction needs to be made here, and quick!> and to add Nitromax for about a week to bring it down.  So basically is the color and actions of the anemone normal and is there anything else I should be doing? <You need to do a lighting upgrade; potentially a system upgrade. Check out these anemone lighting FAQ's http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm, and I'd suggest that you purchase Joyce Wilkerson's book entitled Clownfish. This book has spectacular anemone husbandry information. You'll need at least 2 full length sets of power compact or VHO lighting at a minimum to keep the critter happy in the long term, preferably metal halide lighting. First, pick up the book, and second write back with your system specs and we can take it from there. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks for all the help and all the knowledge you share! Bill

Anemone Health and Longevity Survey 9/1/03 Due to the poor survival rate in aquaria of anemone, and the lack of complete knowledge of exactly what is required to keep an anemone alive for the long haul, I am conducting a survey to attempt to identify in a statistical manner, factors associated with good survival rates. Could WWM please post this email to inform potential respondents? The results of this survey will be sent to WWM for your information. This survey is only in regard to clownfish hosting species, and I am interested to hear from anybody who has kept one alive for more than two years, but especially interested from anybody who has kept one alive for more than ten years. Replies can be sent to anemonesurvey@yahoo.com.au  Please cut and paste this address. This address will be kept active thru September, after which results will be analyzed and published. To help me deal with many emails in an efficient manner, I would ask that the following format be used:- Email subject line to be Species, plus years lived, i.e. - Heteractis Magnifica 3 years. The years to be full years, so 3 1/2 years would be 3 years, and if species is unknown, put Unknown for the species. If more than one anemone, please enter each one in the subject line. In the message section of the email, please start with:- 1. water chemistry, giving PH and all other levels. ( Don't say "good", give the numbers ). 2. temperature parameters 3. lighting in as much detail as possible including height from water surface, and depth of anemone. 4. feeding of anemone 5. all equipment to run the aquarium ( filters, water flow, skimmer, etc.) 6. management. This will include water change regimen, additive schedule, etc. 7 clownfish living in anemone 8 if there are other organisms in the aquaria you believe may be affecting the anemone 9 Has anemone since died, and if so is the cause known? 10 comments. This is anything else you consider important or of interest. Also, as some of the above parameters may have changed over time, an explanation can be given here. Please be brief and to the point, but give full explanation of any particular observations, or tips, you believe have contributed to the health of your anemone. If your email bounces, please do try again, I will be emptying the mailbox as often as I can. Emails will in general not be replied to, however the results will be sent to WWM around mid October, It is my hope that with a large enough response, some patterns emerge of factors that are consistent with keeping anemones healthy. It may be that some very useful information will emerge. To help with this, the more information the better. If you can respond to this survey, please do! Remember that in the wild, anemones live hundreds of years. My hope is that eventually we will know enough to duplicate this in the aquarium. This will also benefit conservation of stocks in the wild. Thanks, Alastair Little <Thank you. Will gladly post. Have you considered issuing this note to other sites, like Breeder's Registry, Reefs.org, ReefCentral? I would. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anemone Health and Longevity Survey
Thanks Bob for the suggestion, I will post to these other sites also Cheers <Real good. Looking forward to seeing your analysis, compilation. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Quandary? Greetings Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a couple of questions; 1.  I have plumbed a 30 gallon tank to my existing 120 gallon system. This tank is intended to house an anemone, the dimensions are 48x12x12"deep.  It has 4.5 to 5 inches of live sand so the water depth is only 7 inches at most.  Now for the question; Will four NO fluorescent lights (48"x40 watt) be enough for a long tentacle anemone (Macrodactyla doreenensis) in this particular setup?  This would be 160 watts of 6500 full spectrum lighting for seven inches of water (lights will be approx. 4.5 inches from top of water). By the way, the 120g tank is two years old with 200lb live rock and 5 inches of live sand.  Has a 30g sump and a refugium.  Tank parameters: zero ammonia, nitrites, nitrates - 11 dKH - SG .025 - Ca 375 - Temp 80 F. <Well, I have to tell you- it will be close. My initial inclination is to say that it is not enough light. However, if you can keep the lights right off of the water (like 2-3 inches), and the anemone is well fed, it just might work, IMO. It's a challenge...> 2.I would like to acquire a "purple" long tentacle anemone, my issue is that I see them identified (or perhaps misidentified) by different names.  When looking for "purple long tentacle" anemones I find the classifications Macrodactyla doreenensis and Heteractis Crispa used synonymously many times.  Are there in fact purple M. Doreenensis and purple H. Crispa ?  Or is this just misidentification?  Any "light" you can shed on this would be most appreciated. <Well, these two can be confused at times, and there are some color variations. My anemone-geek friends tell me that the feature that distinguishes  Macrodactyla doreensis from H. crispa (and others!) is that M. doreensis generally have white lines emanating from the mouth  and really straight lines of wart-like verrucae on the column of the animal. Based on the texts that I have read, and the specimens that I have seen- I'd say that this is a pretty good way to distinguish the species> Thanks in advance for the time you guys put into this, it is greatly appreciated by many of us, Jarrett W Cravey <Thanked so much for the kind words, Jarett. We love bringing this site to you! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemones in the Mix - 8/21/03 Hi Anthony Thanks for the quick reply. <always welcome... I suspect this one is even faster ;) Working I the box as it came through> I had not taken into consideration the dispersion of the light , was thinking more in terms of heat, but what you say makes a lot of sense. <experience will be yours too in good time> In regards to anemone and corals, if the corals were placed high upon the live rock could an anemone actually walk up the rock and do damage? <almost certain to happen eventually. There is also the risk of overflows and intakes with motile anemones. The keeping of anemones and corals together is not only impractical... but it is unnatural. There are few anemones occurring on the reef proper... and none are hardy beginner species> And if corals cannot be housed with the anemone then I guess feather dusters, etc. are out. <actually... the feather dusters are fine... they are non-cnidarians (non-stinging animals) Other than clownfish can anything else be housed in the anemone species tank? <most shrimp, crabs, brittle stars, many bivalves, sponges, tunicates, etc. Just no corals, jellyfish or other anemones> Thanks again, Steve <best of luck my friend. Anthony>

Anemone Hitchhiker? ID - 8/19/03 Please could someone identify this anemone? which has arrived on my live rock. He is approx 1/2" in diameter and sits fairly flat to the rock. When touched he retracts all his tentacles into a dome shape. Thanks very much in advance! (p.s. sorry about the photo quality, it was the best I could do!) Sonya <no worries... as best I can tell it appears to be a Florida rock (flower) anemone. Do send a better pic if you can. And be sure to read up more on anemone care in our archives at wetwebmedia.com Anthony>

A Good Friend To His Anemone! Hi, You were correct in your comments about real sunlight. I thought the  anemone was responding positively to attention from the clownfish, but actually it is the sunlight that makes it happy. I know this because the clownfish are now in this anemone full time, but it is when the sun shines on the anemone that it expands and looks it's best. <Yep- light is extremely important in anemone husbandry! That Bob Fenner is one smart guy, huh?> On days when there is no sun, it does not look as good.  My question is this, I know that most home aquariums are not the ideal environment for a Heteractis anemone, so I am doing the best I can for my one including feeding supplements, I just want to check if I am doing the right thing. Every few feedings I soak its food in Reef Plus to give it some extra nutrients. Is this a good idea? <Not a bad idea to enrich foods for most captive animals> Also, are there any other supplements that could benefit it? <Just the "supplementation" that you will get by engaging in regular water changes...> Also, as it responds to sunlight, I am assuming that my normal lighting may not be enough. If this is the case, are there any supplements that could help make up for this? <Just good feeding and clean water conditions> Having asked  all this, I should just say that the anemone is currently looking good and has a good rich color, and has actually improved since I bought it, but I just want to do the best I can.  Cheers <Sounds like you already are! Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone Waste - 8/12/03 Hello, <Hi Ryan> I have a 180 Gallon Reef/Fish with 5 anemones. <Wow. That's a lot of anemones!> The reef is fine. <Very good> The two long arm (Condy?)  pukes a long brown Cyanobacteria looking substance, everyday about 5:00 P.M. <A few things could be happening here. Likely excrement (food byproduct and the like), a reproductive event, or releasing some zooxanthellae (if applicable)> Can you explain this, every now and then they shrivel up and then shake it off and are their normal selves then.   What the.....Sincerely, Ryan <From what I have read, seems to be somewhat a normal occurrence. Check out the  links as I find these very helpful and chocked full of information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm -Paul>  

-LTA and scratching fish- First off I wanted to say thanks for all the VERY useful information you have provided all of us aquarium enthusiast over the years...Very much appreciated! <Hi there, Kevin here> My problem/concern is two fold. I have a 370 gallon tank in which most of the creatures (rock and all) have been in there or another tank for the last 3 years. <Well done!> PH is at about 8.2 as far as I can tell (old test kit) <Chuck it and get new reagents. Test kits are only good for a year.> Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are all at the very low end of the spectrum ( don't remember the numbers exactly). Salinity is at 1.023 or so. I am in Colorado and have been told that at the higher altitudes I don't need the salinity as high?? <Not sure about that, but 1.023 isn't going to hurt anything.> I can't tell you what alkalinity is but I have been adding the two part B-Ionic solution regularly. <Read this and now you can! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm If you plan on adding a calcium and alk supplement, you should understand what they do and test for both of them> Lighting is provided by 175 watt Metal Halide lamps. One concern is this: I recently added a large long tentacle anemone and it seems to be doing ok. It moved around at first but now has picked a place and is staying there. I have a tomato clown that has moved in and they seem to be getting along just fine. The problem is that the tentacles on the anemone have pretty much stayed curled since I have had it. <Nothing wrong with that, many display this curved tentacle shape.> I also noticed that at night when the lights are off, the tentacles are completely extended and its disc is more slightly upright and you can see its foot more. <In a better position to capture food and just doing it's nighttime thing.> Whereas in the day it is flattened out but with the curled tentacles. <In a better position to catch light. Pretty much every coral and anemone will display a different form from day to night.> What could be causing this? And how do I fix it? Second concern is this: All my fish inhabitants look great and have a good appetite but they will occasionally rub themselves real fast on the rock or sand. My tangs specifically will turn sideways and rub themselves on the sand. In my research I have found that fish will sometimes do that if the ph is too acidic. As far as I can tell though, it is right on??? <Usually an indicator that the fish may have the beginnings of parasitic infection. Your pH appears to be right on, but since the kit's old, it has no merit.> If you have the time, please let me know what you think. I am always concerned about giving these guys the best life they can have so please help me do that, if you would please. :) <Keep an eye out for any white specs on the fish, cloudy eyes, or a powdery glaze. I'd suggest soaking the food in garlic as an easy "herbal" type of preventative medicine. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks again for all your help!! Kyle

- Anemone Care - hey guys.. <Hello to you.> I was wondering if in the future when I plan to keep anemones.. do they require calcium, iodine, strontium.. and all those other things that corals need?? <Well... they need trace elements in trace quantities. Regular, small water changes will probably take care of this for you. The thing anemones need in a captive environment, similar to corals is proper lighting. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Cheers, J -- >

-Sebae in a 1-week old tank under 1 NO fluorescent- I just started a small saltwater tank (10g), about a week ago.  I have purchased a sebae anemone (about four days ago).  There currently are no fish in the tank, but will probably be adding some tomorrow. <Ouch, pacific anemone in a brand new tank?> I have never have any type of aquarium, but hope to be very successful with this one and hope to enlarge the tank by Christmas. <Unfortunately, anemones are not something that you would want to start off with. Be wary of the person that is giving you advice as they seem to be horribly misinformed.> I have just a regular fluorescent light <This is a big problem, this type of anemone requires very intense light, such as metal halide. Several VHO or compact fluorescent lamps would work also.> and I am currently feeding the anemone "Invertebrate Smorgasbord, A Gourmet Feast for Corals and Anemones"  should I be feeding it more? <I would return this critter to the shop you purchased it from because it will not survive for very long in your aquarium.> Should I put the food in a syringe or something and put it next to the anemone?  When I placed the anemone in the tank, I place it by one of the live rocks and it decided it wanted to be in the right front corner and you can see the foot through the glass and it is buried in the sand.  Is it normal for the anemone to pull in and then release?  Do I need to play with the anemone?  Is it okay for me to touch it?  Help. <Here's some recommendations for you: 1. Bring back the anemone to the shop you bought it from. 2. Pick up a few good books. Bob's book, the Conscientious Marine Aquarist is an excellent book for beginners and Joyce Wilkerson's clownfish book has indispensable information on anemones. 3. Write back with information on how the tank is set up so that we can make better recommendations about how you should stock (or even re-set up) the tank in the future. Anemones are difficult to keep in captivity (with some exceptions) so you should have plenty of marine fish and coral keeping under your belt before attempting such a creature. There are many other hardy choices for your aquarium, and we can help you choose them and be successful long term. Your salesperson clearly does not understand the basic lighting requirements of a very common anemone, nor what is going to happen to the poor thing as your tank cycles; I suggest you find someone else! Good luck Amy! -Kevin> Thanks so much, AMY

Branch anemone - Nemanthias anamnesis "the Gorgonian Wrapper" 7/21/03 hi crew <cheers> Just finished reading Calfo's book of coral propagation. Excellent. <thanks kindly my friend> And went ahead an installed a refugium just a couple of days ago. My question is this: On the live rock that I put in the ref., positively identified Nemanthias anamnesis anemones. Are they trouble, or rather harmless inside the refugium.. Thanks in advance.. Ozz <hmmm... likely no worries. This cnidarian is rather challenging in its niche and needs. AKA the gorgonian wrapper... it is heavily dependent on plankton to feed... and as such is unlikely to flourish to plague numbers in aquaria. Nonetheless... if it happens, simply limit feeding opportunities. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone ID II: question resent, link(s) re-sent plus - 7/7/03 Hi please can you help me identify my anemone so I can care for it better. I think its a Condy but am not sure. Thanks Doron. Oh it's from Australia. <Please enjoy the journey to enlightenment with pictures and information on husbandry and identification of this challenging anemone species in the following links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneselfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonehealthfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anehlthfaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anehlthfaq3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneplacemtfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemplfaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonereprofaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonelgtgfaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonef.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemfaqs2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemfaq3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemfaq4.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemfaq5.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Long Tentacle Anemone I recently purchased a long tentacle Malu that is huge!!!  At least 12 in. in diameter. <yes a very big specimen> My question is this, we were told to feed him silversides.  Is there anything else we can give him?  i.e.. gold fish, minnows? <do not feed your anemone or better yet any livestock feeder fish>  He's been picking shrimp out of the water when I feed the others, I'm just worried he's so large, he needs more than that. <Do read more about your specimen on this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anempt2.htm.  just make sure you don't overfeed your livestock.> Thanks!

Anemone Husbandry... Hey Guys, <Scott F. your guy today..> I just bought a new carpet anemone (don't really know what kind, it has bright green, stubby tips) <Might be Stichodactyla mertensii...can be a tough one to keep, since it requires a lot of light and food... Also, you could be looking at S. haddoni, which has shorter, blunt tentacles. It gets quite large, but is otherwise about average in care requirements as carpet anemones go...Meaning- it is touchy...> and went to get new lights for it.  I bought Aqualight 20" quad strip with 96 watts (do you think that is enough) and I was wondering if I should feed him live food or just let him photosynthesize? <Well, in regards to the light- I think that you might need to move the animal high up on your rockwork to get adequate light. You may want to keep a close eye on the animal's behavior to see if the lighting is enough (on the surface, it sounds like it's not...You'll have to feed often, almost daily, in order to keep the animal in good shape)...And, again- light...lots of light- and current!> If I should feed him, what should I feed him? <Various forms of plankton tend to be natural foods.> Also, one more question, do you think black percula clowns will be more prone to live in the carpet than orange perculas. <Hard to say...Many perculas are tank raised, and have never seen an anemone...It is often disappointing for hobbyists to find that their clowns don't go into the anemone...Here's to hoping!> Thanks a lot guys. <My pleasure...really learn all that you can about the species that you have an it's husbandry...Anemones are simply not easy animals to keep, and require a high level of care...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone ID 7/3/03 Hi please can you help me identify my anemone so I can care for it better.  I think its a Condy but am not sure. <Please be sure to research and ID the creatures you hope to care for before you buy them, mate... afterwards is makes success less likely and really lacks respect for life/your charges. Your anemone is not a Condy... please read more here and be sure to follow the many links atop the page as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Friends With Their Anemones! Hi guys! <Hi there! Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have been perusing your sight and am very impressed!  Thanks for all the great info!  I won't take much of your time but I did have a few questions. I am positive they have been asked before but all the info is a little overwhelming so please bear with me... <Hey, that's why we're here...Ask away!> We just set up a 30 g tank with 40 lbs pre-cured live rock (this stuff is awesome!) 2 clowns (I know they are unnecessary but we like them), a sebae (medium size), and 2 hermit crabs. The store we got our rock and sebae from is going out of business after 50 years so I trust them (although we are heartbroken to lose them!)  The rock we got is straight out of their very established tanks. <Sounds good so far...Supplying correct conditions for that anemone is very important> Here's the anemone part. The rock we have is filled with anenomes.  There are probably 9 that are of substantial size (at least 1.5 inches across) and probably 25 or more teeny ones (less than 1/4 inch).  They are everywhere!!! There is one dark brown, but the rest are kind of salmon colored (hope you know what I mean, kind of a pinkish-brown). <Hmm...without a photo, hard to tell what we're dealing with. Maybe the dreaded Aiptasia? If you can send a pic, we'll be able to make a better ID> Our larger sebae is the same salmon color with off white tips.  Seems healthy. From all I have read we have adequate lighting (10,000K and an actinic power compact) and our water seems pretty good. <Well, the spectrum of the light is good...As long as the anemone is located up high on the rock structure, close to the light, you should be okay...Do keep an eye on the anemone> Our pH is a little low (8.0) but we are working to get it up gradually, our ammonia is 0, sg is 1.024, nitrites 0 and nitrates 20, alkalinity is 240, no chlorine (of course) and no copper. We used distilled water to start up.  Hope this gives you a good idea. All the anenomes seem to be doing great, I fed the larger ones as you have instructed with a turkey baster and finely minced krill.  They all seemed to eat. Anyway.   Will all the anenomes be fine together?  They seemed to be in the store, but you have said repeatedly only one per tank. <Well, there could be problems with having more than one...However, as long as "nettling" is not occurring among them, tings may be okay for a while. Again- do keep an eye on theme> Will they phase themselves out? If we do need to weed them out how? I won't be able to kill them. I can't even squish a spider, and they are beautiful and fun to watch! <With anemones, the only real safe way to relocate them is to move the whole rock (or chip off a piece of the rock with the anemones on it). Attempting to remove an anemone from a rock is really dangerous to the animal. I'd either chip off the rocks, or leave them put> Hopefully you can give us some direction, I want to do what is right for them so maybe you have a suggestion. Thanks for your time and all the great information. Respectfully, Leah <Well, Leah, it sounds like you're doing okay here. Just make sure that you continue with good husbandry procedures to maintain high water quality (try to get the nitrate level down if you can), and observe your anemones carefully. You sound very diligent and respectful of those animals- they're lucky to be in your care! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone waste Thank You for the help with the DSB issue. Can I just leave the crushed coral and the tank be healthy without a DSB? <Yes, as long as you siphon the crushed coral on a regular basis as the large amounts of space will act as a trap for waste.> Also, we just received a Bubble Tip Anemone. I put into the tank and no more than half an hour later he opens his mouth very wide and what looks like a huge cotton wad (notice I didn't say ball, this was much bigger) is sitting inside. He stayed like this most of the evening. So I called my LFS and they said he was removing waste (aka Going Potty). So this morning when we got up he had let little bits of this stuff go throughout the night and it was all over the tank. Now he is much smaller but looks healthy, base is a rich brown color, tentacles are bright green and flowing around with current. Is this just "bathroom stuff" or is he in a state of failing health? I actually called 2 LFS and they both said the same thing about the bathroom. I just trust your opinion. <Here is what I found in the FAQs on this subject. First is the readers question followed by Anthony's response: "It also spewed out a large amount of mucus, I would guess the entire contents of it's gut.  <correct... and very common when aquarists feed food that is too large to corals and anemones... I preach this so often but hobbyists truly underestimate it. Often, the coral or anemone expel the mucous ball of waster at night and slowly starve to death even though the aquarists thinks its getting fed. Sometimes, the large chunks injure the cnidarian and kill it in time. The "rule" is feed small amounts frequently (3-5 times weekly is fine) but always finely minced (nothing bigger than 1/8 or 1/4 bits" Please look at the anemone info on this site at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and be sure to follow the blue links at the top of the page. I hope this helps, Don> Thanks Christy

Moving A Senior Clown.... No Joke!!!   6/10/03 Hi,<Hey Wazz up????  Phil here!>  I have a 15 yr. mated pair of false clown fish in a 75 gal reef tank.<15... wow almost as old as me!!  Good job on keeping them alive so long!!>    My friend had them for 7 yrs. and I have had them for 8 years. I also have four bulb tip anemones.<Kool!  Always wanted anemones, but I'd rather let them live in the sea.>  I started with one and it split 3 times!<Kool>   Unfortunately, I want to break down my tank.  I want to give the pair to a friend that has a 125-gal reef tank.  She moved her tank (without my help!) and lost everything but 2 bubble corals  and 4 aggressive green Chromis.<That's too bad!>  Two weeks ago, she decided to re-stock her tank.  Her water quality is excellent.  She bought 2 small (2") percula clowns (although one is a false clown), a Kole tang, blue tang, yellow tang and a fire goby.<Hmmmm lots of tangs for a tank this size.....>   If I give her my pair, will all four clowns exist well together?<Mixing two different types of clowns in almost never a good idea, even in a large tank.  I would hold off on this, it would be a shame to see clowns that have lived for 15 years die in such a manner.  Know what I mean?>  Will the two small, non-paired percula eventually pair up or will my pair bother the two smaller ones?<Very possible>  My pair is non-aggressive and stick to their choice of 4 anemones?<If you move tanks, the clowns might move anemones.>  Also, even though my friend has excellent water quality and does water changes weekly (I tell her she keeps her tank too clean, if that is possible!)<As long as everything is in order, it's probably ok.>   she has killed every anemone she has had.<Houston we have a problem.>  She has power compacts.<She's gonna need Metal Halides, might wanta tell her not to take the anemones.  Give them to someone who can keep them alive.> I really love my fish but do not have the time to spend any longer (I usually do water changes every 4- 6 months).<wow... I do mine, every 1-2 weeks.  LOL...>  I have no idea why I have had so much success with anemones multiplying and coral growth??<Maybe it's the time difference between water changes?> Thanks in advance!!! Jordan <No problem Jordan, and good luck!  Once again good job on keeping the Clowns alive for so long!  Phil>

New Anemone Tank >Hello there- >>Hello there yourself, Senor Josh.  Marina this morning. >I am planning on setting up a 20 gallon tank dedicated to either a pair of true percula or false percula (ocellaris) clownfish and an anemone.  I would like to keep a carpet anemone.   >>Eek!  Not in something so small as a 20 gallon, and, if this is your first anemone, please don't get a carpet.  They're gorgeous, yes, I know, but they can grow to FEET across (3'-4', IIRC), and are among THE most difficult for anyone to keep, including both the real AND so-called experts.  What about the much-easier and better-reputed BTA?  (bubble tip anemone)  Many folks are actually getting splits/clones off of other people's BTA's, the way to go in my honest opinion. >This is my intended setup with a few questions: >20 gal tank with stand and canopy >+/- 30 lbs live rock >4" DSB sugar fine aragonite (Southdown?)        >>Southdown is rumored to have appreciable amounts of heavy metals and other substances present, and I've been hearing stories (on other boards) of people's tanks crashing within a couple of years, they've extrapolated that Southdown may be the problem.  Not having it out here I'm not in a position to say one way or the other how good it is. >Aqua-C Remora Skimmer >Some type of BioWheel filter( is this necessary, or can I rely on the DSB and rock for biological filtration?) >>You can rely on them and the skimmer, but use 2lbs of GOOD QUALITY live rock, don't skimp and go cheapy with it.   >2-4 24" VHO (each 75W) (How many watts in total should I go with in order to keep the anemone?  150? 225? 300?) >>Eee. THAT's a toughie, I don't calculate well in watts.  I'll link you to the "non-vertebrate life" page, and THERE you will find more anemone AND lighting information than you can shake a stick at! >1-2 small powerhead(s) to provide circulation >Does this setup sound promising?  I will allow the tank to cycle fully before adding either the anemone or the pair of clownfish.  Would you recommend either the false or the true perculas over one another? >>I think it's GREAT that more folks are getting the idea that anemones should be kept in their own systems, I only question 1:) the size of the system--40 gallons with a refugium/sump would give you SO much more "wiggle room".  And 2:) the choice of anemone species.  Other than that, you seem to have a promising idea here.  Sorry I can't speak directly to lighting, I'll let the experts do that for me via the link (you really will be amazed at what we've got in that one page). >How about the carpet anemone?  Would it be possible to keep a rose anemone instead (if I decided to spend all that money)?   >>I believe a rose is a BTA, could be wrong, that's the difficulty with some common nomenclature.  Again, I'll use this place to reiterate that I strongly discourage you from getting a carpet anemone.  Also, did you know that anemones (especially the behemoths like carpets) are purported to have lifespans on a scale of centuries?  When one considers that, and then considers what a "success" story is (I've had MY anemone for FIVE years!), you'll find our "success" to be an abysmal failure as far as the anemones are concerned. >Thank you very much for your help.  I appreciate it! >>You are very most welcome, even if it wasn't quite what you were looking for, eh?  I do hope this helps, though!  Do be sure to look up not just lighting, but also about the anemones themselves.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm >>Best of luck, Josh!  Marina

Mystery Anemone Hitchhiker WWM Crew <Hi Yun, PF with you tonight.> I bought a Halloween hermit crab the other day from my LFS the other day to 1) help keep the surface of my DSB agitated and 2) because it had a hitchhiker on its shell.  I had an anemone hermit crab a while ago which I evicted when I found it munching on my feather duster.  But this anemone is different than the ones I usually find on hermits.  I think I've seen this type of anemone in the store but never bothered to ask about it because I was unsure of my abilities.  Now, feeling a little more confident, I'm excited with this bonus.  Can you help me ID this guy?  From what I could find on your site and elsewhere on the internet, the closest description I can find is Heteractis crispa.  The column is a dark, deep brown with similar dark brown but transparent tentacles.  This guy is only about 3/4 inches across, but the ones I've seen in the store have been about 2-3 inches.  My little guy detached himself from his host when another hermit came over to wrestle with it.  He didn't seem to want to set in the sand so I helped him onto some rocks and seems happy there.  What kind of lighting do I need (watts/gal, type)?  Thanks. Yun <Wow Yun, that's quite a puzzler. I'm not sure what that little guy is. It doesn't look like many of the Aiptasia I've seen. Surprisingly enough (to me at least) it looks like a hitchhiker I have on my LR. Mine is under an arch, and hasn't moved. I only really see it early in the morning (around 5am when I getting ready for work), it disappears after the lights come on. There's a number of different kinds of anemones, not all of them documented in the literature. Many someone will see the pictures and give you a better ID. Sorry I can't be of more help. Have a good night, PF>

With Girlfriends Like These- Who Needs Anemones? I have a 220 gallon reef tank and the other day my girlfriend came home and showed me that she bought a corn anemone. Her excuse is that she needed a friend for her clownfish. <Well- a common misconception- but understandable) The lady at the LFS said that after time the anemone will settle down and stay at one spot and not move once he is happy. <In all likelihood> Now the problem is that I have to figure out what else I can put in the tank along with it. So far all I have is live rock some damsels, a clownfish, an arrow crab, coral banded shrimp, snails and a starfish. How do I know if I can put anything else in my tank that will not get killed? Could you be so kind as to type me up a full list of what is compatible with the anemone? (joking) <LOL!> Point me in the right direction as where to look before I buy, I REPEAT BEFORE, I BUY.  I would like a variety of  things in the tank, corals, sponges etc. I have three really good books but it seems like everything I look up isn't compatible with anything but itself. This fish cant be with this coral, this invertebrate can't be with this fish, and no corals can be together? How do I set up an interesting tank without all out warfare? <Good question. The answer is "specialization"...If you are interested in a reef system, you really need to decide if you are interested in SPS, soft corals, LPS, non-photosynthetic corals, clams, etc. The "garden approach" to stocking is common, but not really the best way to go, IMO. Next, examine fishes that would be compatible with the sessile inverts that you plan to keep. For example, you should probably avoid fishes like Centropyge angelfishes, full size angels, many butterflies, triggers, etc. With anemones, you want to avoid the obvious fishes, such as triggers, butterflies, etc., as they can possibly harass or munch on anemones. For different reasons, you'd want to avoid fishes like mandarins, as they are vulnerable to being caught and eaten by anemones! Bottom line- you simply have to do your homework! Keep reading, keep researching, and you'll find a mix that will work. And, even though her intentions were good- you may want to gently tell your girlfriend that you can pick fishes TOGETHER...This can be a lot of fun, and can help avoid having to "retroactively" examine compatibility issues (with the fish, that is)! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

To Keep Or Not To Keep (The Ethics of Keeping Anemones) Dear folks at WWM <Scott F. with you today!> My family and I went on a vacation to Hawaii and (this sounds ridiculous) when we got back our long tentacle anemone was gone.  There is no sign it was ever in the tank.  I thought if they died they would toxify the water.  When we left it was beautiful and healthy.  We have 3 very attentive clarkii clowns that loved and cared for it well. Long story short, we got another long tentacle but different in color and the clowns pushed it under a rock.  So it wasn't doing well and I got it out from under the rock and it started to perk up a bit. <I wonder if that's what happened to your first one?> Unfortunately, I went to feed the fish and it looks like the chocolate chip star is doing something to it.  Is it helping or hurting?  And could it have done something to the other anemone? <Well- hard to say what the starfish is "doing to it", but it is a possibility that, at the least, the starfish is irritating the anemone to the point where it may cause damage...The damage can lead to infection or death....> Lastly should I even consider ever getting another anemone with the Clarkiis acting like they did? Thank you for your help in advance. Dona <Well, Dona- the clownfish do not need an anemone to live long healthy lives...Most are captive bred, and have really not even seen anemones until they are in out tanks! Anemones, even the so-called "hardy" ones, like the LTA, still have a very sketchy survival record in captivity. Quite frankly, they are really not good choices for most aquarists...Anemones are a truly precious resource, and reproduce slowly in the wild, making them scarce, at best. Is it worth trying again? It's your call...You need to see if you are up to the challenge...Think about it- and then proceed with caution. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Anemone Behavior - Hello Bob, <Actually, JasonC here today...> I have a question regarding a saddle anemone. I have had it for over two months now, and am not able to find answers to my questions on the "normal" behaviors of it. It has seemed to be doing well, has a wonderful mate in a Clarki clown, and has not shrunk in size, nor seemed to change color. It has been responsible, however for the death of 2 tangs I put in a unicorn, and a purple one, I was shocked that it could consume fish that large, but I saw it excrete the bones and that was about it. My question is this. I am worried because each night, it seems to retreat to a cave where it's foot is placed. It seems to do it each night, shrinking down into it, usually each evening, and then in the morning it is spread out wide again, for most of the day till evening again. Is this normal behavior? <A natural defense, yes.> It lives in a 75 gallon tank, with water parameters all good, lighting is about 220 watts power compacts/ the anemone is about 10 inches across the front. I feed marine snow for all the filter feeders and brine shrimp as well as fresh fish, clams squid tentacles, and well the fish it stole as well. <Yeah... that is a hazard of keeping this anemone - best to keep such things in species specific displays.> this is very new to me, a reef tank, I have had fresh .and saltwater tanks for 10 years but a reef is a new joy. Tammy <If you haven't already, please read over this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Cheers, J -- >

The poop on anenomes... Hi all, <Hi Aquah0lic, PF here tonight> Every couple of months or so in the morning, I find a little ball of beige colored stuff that looks like something you might cough up if you're sick rolling around in the sand <Sounds like Spring Break stories from my college friends...>.  Its very soft and about the size of a large marble.  The only thing I can think of is giant condy poop.  There is a lot of other things in there but they are all real small.  Any ideas? <Anenomes do regurgitate the bits they can't digest, and that sounds exactly like what's happening. It's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.> Thanks a bunch, Aquah0lic <You're welcome. Have a good night, PF>

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