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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Compatibility

Related Articles: Bubble Tip, Rose Anemones, Entacmaea quadricolor, Use in Marine Systems by Bob Fenner, Bubble Tip Anemones by Jim Black, Recent Experiences with BTA's by Marc Quattromani, Anemones, Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed Anemones 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, by Bob Fenner

Related FAQs: E. quad. FAQ 1, E. quad FAQ 2, E. quad. FAQ 3, E. quad FAQ 4, E. quad FAQ 5, BTA ID, BTA Selection, BTA Behavior, BTA Systems, BTA Feeding, BTA Disease, BTA Reproduction/Propagation, Anemones, Anemones 2, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding, Heteractis malu,

Puffers, large Angels, crabs, some shrimp Other stinging-celled life (Corals, Zoanthids, Shrooms.....), Shrimps... Peppermints?
Crabs real and Hermit
Not safe Maybe... Perhaps... No
Likely not

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Morays and Anemones      8/28/18
Attention Marco, Lord of the Eels and co.!
<Hi Sam.>
I recently lost my golden dwarf moray of many years and initially chalked it up to old age (he was elderly).
<Sorry to hear that.>
About 3 months prior I had added a rose bubble tip anemone for my Perculas. Given that this was the only change to the tank (water parameters, etc. are good) it made me wonder if my eel may have been stung to death swimming blindly at night, perhaps going after the clowns. This may have been a dreadful oversight. I know that anemones sting to paralyze to capture and eat fish/etc. I am not particularly educated on an potential problems an anemone might cause a moray and have since done some reading on this site but have found only one mention of morays and anemones. Could my rose bubble tip have contributed to my GDM’s death? Should I remove any anemones from my tank before replacing my eel friend? I feel absolutely terrible about the loss and the thought that my own ignorance was to blame doesn’t make it any better. Thanks. Sam Porter
<I don't think the sting of a Bubble Tip Anemone is potent enough to kill a moray eel or contribute to its death. It might be able to eat a small dead or dying eel, but that's all I consider realistic. Maybe your eel was just old. Larger anemones (e.g. Stichodactyla haddoni, Heteractis magnifica or maybe S. gigantea) are a far greater threat to a small, careless fish. Cheers, Marco.>

Rainbow BTA not doing well after tangling with Bristleworm     5/1/17
I have a 29 gallon,
<Mmm; large Indo-Pacific Anemones need (much) more room than this... Too unstable.
with 165w full spectrum led, 8 month old tank with a RBTA, one clown, one Firefish, one cleaner shrimp, one peppermint shrimp,
<Shrimps may be eaten by the Anemone in time; as well as the Firefish.>
<Incompatible... too allelopathogenic w/ the Anemone>

a small maxima clam, scan,
<? Acan?>
pulse and Sinularia. Everything is doing well except the BTA.
<Losing; per the statements above>
One day about a month ago I woke up to find some bristles stuck in her. She was deflated, disc shaped, I removed the bristles and hasn't reinflated
since. She is getting smaller and eating less each day. We try to feed her krill and shrimp but she isn't really interested.
<... how small are the pieces?>
Now she has moved about a half inch closer to the light and will react a small amount when the lights are on.
Nitrates 0,
<.... sigh; all chemosynthetic life NEEDS some N, P, K...>
nitrites 0, ammonia 0, ph 8.4, temp 76.2. Is there anything I can do for her?
<Please read here:
and all the linked files above. You've set yourself up for failure here; do educate yourself>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Bubble-Tip Anemone Compatibility    2/23/17
Hi Crew,
<Hey Shelby>
I am working on growing my 30 gallon saltwater aquarium. I currently have 2 Percula Clownfish, 1 Engineer Goby, 4 Mini Carpet Anemone, and 2 Nassarius Snails. I want to get a Bubble-Tip Anemone eventually for the Clownfish to host with, but am also interested in urchins or sea stars. I am wondering if a Bubble-Tip is considered compatible with Blue Tuxedo Urchins or Chocolate Chip Sea Stars. Thoughts?
<Mmm; the one word answer here is "no"; but I'd like to offer some explanation/s: First, it's hard to keep even the better species of anemones in small volumes; like your thirty gallon here. They're just not stable enough. Second, there is very little chance an Entacmaea would live with the Mini-Carpets... they're incompatible in such a small space... would
likely either physically meet and fight (to the death) or chemically compete. Third, sea urchins cruise about, especially at night time and will poke sessile life forms like anemones... Unless the latter are mounted high up on rock out of the way. Lastly, see here re CCS: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ccstarselfaqs.htm
and the linked files above>
Shelby Shotwell
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Anemone help from South Africa. Anem. incomp.    7/31/16
Hi all
I have a 250l Red Sea Max, that is matured.
I added a bta to my current setup which has 2 magnificent anemones
<Yikes... not good to mix large Actinarian spp.>

yesterday (clones). I do not have a qt at the moment.
This morning the bta and smaller magnificent were touching. I then separated the bta this morning and put him in a basket, still in the main tank
The 2 magnificents are sulking and have turned a very dark cokour compared to normal. I think this might be due to toxin from the bta. The bta was completely open.
<The winner>
I have removed the bta and put him in a bucket with a pump and airstone to separate from main tank.
<Good move>
I am running some extra carbon Brightwell carbonit x3 and want to do a 30% water change tomorrow morning when I can create enough water and prep it sufficiently.
Any other advice,?
<Yes, a treble dose of iodide-ate; a double dose tomorrow... and some (a tsp. or so) of simple hexose sugar if you can find it (just one level for the whole tank, dissolved in system water); glucose preferred>
Your response is appreciated
<And you; Bob Fenner>
re: Anemone help from South Africa   7/31/16

Thank you for the response,
I'm not sure what iodide-ate is and I don't think get it in over here.
<Mmm; yes you can. Look for SeaChem's line>
For sugar can I use plain brown sugar or glucose syrup ?
<The latter>

Once again thank you
<Welcome. BobF>
re: Anemone help from South Africa   7/31/16

Hi Bob.
Thank you for all the help and prompt response. Will pick up the iodide today and the glucose syrup.
Will do a 30% or so water change.
<And this>
The magnificents are already looking better.
We give the iodine to allow for an immune booster? And the glucose for energy?
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Allelopathy Inquiry      5/11/16
Dear Bob & Crew,
Thanks again for your time and experience!
<And you for sharing Joe>
Another question today on the fascinating topic of allelopathy. I am gradually changing my 155 reef to all stony corals. Like many, I have witnessed the problems of allelopathic chemicals in a closed system. I first noticed these in large Eunicia sp. and lastly, in a colony of large hairy mushrooms. The remarkable fact is that many corals proved more or less adaptable to these chemicals, even within the same species!
I have since moved these soft corals but am still noticing some loss of heads in some Euphyllia species, most notably, hammer corals. I'm sure that some chemicals remain in the system despite water changes, skimming, and carbon (which doesn't remove much of these toxins IMO).
<Yes and yes>
Moving the corals to the far side of the tank, away from where the mushrooms were, helps the problem. I'm baffled because it seems as though the hairy mushrooms are still in the tank, noticing that the loss of heads is always on the left side of the corals (the mushrooms were on the left side of the tank)!
I do have a Rose bubble-tip anemone that resides on this side (unaffected by the toxins I might add). It is a 8" specimen and I have had many of these in the past with little evidence of allelopathy.
My question is, are bubble-tips known to produce toxins like some soft corals?
<Wild Entacmaeas more than domestic, cultured; and less than other large Pacific Anemone species
It would explain why the left side of some LPS corals in the tank and closing up and dying.
I might also add that interestingly, no SPS corals seem to be affected.
Thanks so much!!Joe
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

RBTA issues. Using WWM   3/23/16
Hi all,
<Have you searched, read on WWM re Entacmaea?>
I have a question about my rose bubble tip anemones. I apologize for layman terms in advance...
I currently have 3 RBTA's that have been beautiful and healthy for over 3 years. They've never "bubbled" but from what I've read this is a normal condition for alot
<No such word>
of these.
I recently added a "tube" anemone
<Incompatible. Add "Cerianthus" compatibility to your WWM reading
that is a beautiful bright pink and brilliant green. I added this one to the opposite end of the tank just as a
precaution. About 2 weeks after it was added my roses turned the same bright pink color as the tube. I'm concerned the new addition has been releasing chemicals affecting the roses.
<Oh yes... the reading>
Do you think this could be possible?
1.026 salinity
Nitrate about 10ppm
Phosphate .02ppm, Cal 400ppm, ALK 6.4dkh
Lighting is t-5's 10k, 14k and 460 actinic
<Bob Fenner>

ocellaris clownfish/bubble tip anemone    8/24/13
Hi guys! (and gals!)
Hope all is well, I recently (two weeks ago) moved my ocellaris pair (female is "naked", male is black and white) from a 65 gallon--they have been there 4 years--to a 90 gallon. In lieu of the xenia they had been hosting in, I placed a bubble tip anemone (it had split off from one of mine hosting a maroon clown in another tank). Not only were they not interested in the bubble tip, (I guess not that surprisingly), they have now apparently decided to host in a large toadstool coral. What will be
will be, but now I have a large bubble tip that is moving all over the tank and can't decide where to place itself.
<I'd be moving, pronto>
I would almost rather not deal with it bothering all the other corals and popping up in a variety of places.
Should I just pull it or is there the possibility clowns will eventually discover the anemone and we will all just get along?:)
<I'd pull>
 I know ANYTHING is a possibility but interested in your experience once the clownfish have chosen their host, is that typically a done deal?
<Clowns are... "funny" re host selection; but I'd not have a wandering Actinarian in a system w/ other Cnidarians>
Thanks for your help as always!
<As often welcome. Bob Fenner>

Rose Anemone, sys.     1/6/12
Hi there, I have a 180 Fowlr, slowly switching to reef tank. I have Emperor Angel, BlueLine Angel, Harlequin tusk, Naso tang, pair of tomato clowns, Moorish idol, porcupine puffer (I am thinking of getting rid of him), and some Chromis. Yes I do know they will need a new larger home in the next few years. I have been adding a few leather corals, mushrooms, and hammer corals. so far everything has been good. I keep them fed very well and seem to have no interest in the corals. I really want a rose anemone. I do know I take a risk at my fish getting ate by the anemone, but I think they are smart enough to stay away.
<Maybe if the Clowns occupy the Anemone it won't be consumed by the angels>

 My problem is my closed loop for the return. They are two foot tall screens, about 3" around. I am not sure what to cover them with, without damaging the pump. I have two dolphin external pumps. They are 1/3h.p. and pump a lot water through them. Maybe to <too> much? I think just from the flow of my main system I do not need the closed loop going, because there is plenty. I would love your advise for this. Thanks!
<You'll have to just take the risk of the Entacmaea drifting up to the pumps, the Pomacanthids nibbling it, should you choose to try this Anemone.
here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Rose Anemone; sys.     1/7/13

Bob, I got the Anemone. so far so good I think. I have had my closed loop off for a few days now before I bought the anemone to observe my fish and make sure nobody would be stressing. He is deflated at the moment only been in for 15minutes or so. My question is as soon as I put it where I think it would be happy, my tomato clowns were already trying to host it. Is this alright? This my first one and I am nervous. Thank you!
<Should be. B>
Re: Rose Anemone     1/8/13

Bob, My Anemone has not expanded to his regular size yet, Should I be worried, or give it a week?
<... wait, read (all) on WWM re Entacmaea>
Temp 78, Ph 8.25, Nitrate 10, Nitrite 0, Ammo 0. My calcium is high in the 520 range. Is that my problem?
<Could well be... read re this too, as well as Mg conc., bal.... B>
 Thank you for your time!
Re: Rose Anemone, Angel incomp.     1/10/13

Bob, I actually had to time to set in front of my tank and stair at it for few hours last night. Even my kids left me alone. (amazing!) My anemone problem is my BlueLine angel it nips at it,
<Not atypical... many Pomacanthids eat anemones in the wild>
 Not much, but enough to where its not happy. Getting a bio cube for my new friend. I love Fowlr not willing to trade it in yet for a reef. Thank you for your time. and happy diving!
<Thanks! BobF>

Re: Gorgonian/cleaner shrimp question, now stkg. Cnid.s in a 38 gal. w/ a BTA     7/29/12
Hi Bob:  Thanks again for your advice.  I have given away the flowerpot and the zoos, which from reading WWM seemed to be the most likely conflict with the anemone. 
<Tis so>
  My BTA had an almost immediate reaction, bubbling much more than usual and staying out until the moon lights came one,
<Ah good>
which he (it) does not typically do.  I would like to get a couple of new corals and would appreciate your suggestions as to what would work with a BTA without creating havoc.  To recap: I now have a 38 gallon with a mated pair of clownfish, a BTA, live rock, live sand, aqua Maxx hob skimmer, aqua clear filter (50 gallon), 2 shrimp, some hermits, snails, a couple of very small clams, a couple of mushrooms, a  troubled gorgonian and one AI sol super blue led unit  which is suspended above the tank.  I do weekly water changes of at least 10% and dose ESV calcium and 1 drop of Lugol's once or twice a week.  Salinity 1.025, water temp 78-80 degrees, ph 8.4, calcium 380,PO4 0.  Most of the info i have found suggests what corals don't work, so i was hoping for guidance on what will, with the BTA and with my lighting.  Thank you.
<Actually... in this size/shape system I would stick w/ what you have Cnidarian wise. Wait till you have more room to start mixing these disparate species together; or until the Entacmaea is elsewhere. Bob Fenner>
Re: Gorgonian/cleaner shrimp question

I will follow your advice again - thank you - I am planning on getting a larger system, (I know everyone says when faced with the prospect of having to confess to you to having an anemone in a relatively small system, but I really am) .  Thanks again and thank you for such a fantastic resource.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Clownfish/BTA Anemone Hosting 3/7/12
Dear WWM,
<Hello Jillian>
Thank you for your wonderful website and service! It has been a blessing to me!
<You're welcome.>
My question today is in regards to Bubble-Tip Anemones and clownfish hosting. I have a 75 gallon Anemone tank with a beautiful 6" Rose Anemone. The tank is set up with reef parameters but only has a handful of small Zoanthids, mushrooms, and Ricordeas. I know that these are somewhat toxic but there are so few of them, that I'm sure very little allelopathy exists
in the tank.
<Zoanthids and mushrooms can multiply quickly and allelopathy will increase proportionately.>
I wanted the emphasis to be on the clownfish/anemone relationship.
<I'd just include Ricordea in this system and place in a low flow area of the tank.  They aren't quite as allelopathic as the other two.>
The tank has been set up for about 1.5 years and the anemone has stayed in its spot the entire time, growing wonderfully.
 I have had wonderful success with it but have found great difficulty in finding a mated pair of clowns to host with it.
<Not unusual.>
My first attempt was a wild Clarkii that hosted but would not accept a mate. The second was 2 wild Clarkii pair that began to fight horribly with the result being the smaller dying. The third attempt was a pair of Ocellaris clowns that although fought on occasion, eventually became a mated pair but refused to host with the anemone.
<Do not host with a BTA in nature.>
 I had them for about 6 months.
 <Then what?>
The tank is now without clownfish (I only have  a small school of Pajama Cardinals). Any suggestions on finding a mated pair of clowns (any species) that will host with the BTA? My next thought is to purchase 4 tank-bred Clarks that will surely host and hopefully pair off.
<Mmm, scrolling down in this link you will find a chart which shows which species of clownfish will naturally host (in nature) with a specific species of anemone.
May also want to read here as well.
Thanks for you help!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Clownfish/BTA Anemone Hosting 3/7/12
Thank you so much James!
<You're welcome Jillian.>
I will look over the links in detail. In addition, I have Wilkerson's book on Clownfish.
I will remove the Zoanthids and Mushrooms as you recommend. Luckily, they are on rocks that can be easily removed from the system and haven't spread much beyond this. Most of my Zoanthids are common Yellow Colony Polyps.
<The Yellow Polyps are a Parazoanthus species and not quite as nasty as the Protopalythoa and Palythoa species which have high levels of palytoxins. 

Care must also be taken when handling these animals; use throw away examination gloves which can be bought at Home Depot in the paint department.>
 I was under the impression that they were less toxic then other Zoanthids
<You are correct but in your first email you did not state Yellow Polyps and I'm not very good at mind reading. :-)>
but I will remove if you say to. I'm glad that the Ricordeas are less of a problem. These are one of my favorites!
<Mine as well but wouldn't fair well in my high flow system and I do not believe I have a low flow area.>
I have recently sold the Ocellaris pair in an attempt to try again at finding a mated, hosting pair of clowns. I am constantly keeping my eye out for mated pairs of Clarkii's for sale. I would prefer to avoid the Maroons due to their nasty reputation but perhaps a tank-bred pair would work.
<Frenatus (Tomato Clownfish) are also nasty in my opinion.>
Do you recommend the idea of adding several to the system in hopes that 2 will pair off and host?
<That's usually the best way to get a pair.  You will know when that occurs as the pair will drive the others away from the anemone.>
Thanks for your time James! You're great!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

BTA compatible with each other?/BTA Compatibility 2/29/12
I looked around your site and didn't see an answer to this topic.  I'm aware that they won't sting clones, however can they sting another BTA Introduced to the tank?
<Can happen.>
I have a rose BTA and recently bought a green one. One moved right next to the other and so far I don't see any harm with them touching each other. 
I'd hate for them to sting each other.
<I'd try to keep some space between them if possible but would not risk injuring the pedal disc in doing so.
If stinging occurs, one of the anemones will likely move away.>
Thanks for your continued knowledge.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re Lysmata wurdemanni's killer/Shrimp Compatibility 1/26/12
<Hello Leonardo>
This is what I suppose too.
I'll try to catch him and find him another home ;)..
<Good luck.>
Which is, in your experience, the best way to catch an hortulanus?
<I've never tried catching one but using two nets is definitely a plus.

Might want to read here for additional help/ideas.
I know he used to sleep in the sand bed...May I try to catch him with a net while he's sleeping?
<Yes, might want to cover the area it sleeps in with a suitable glass/plastic container then hold a cover over the top once he is in the container.>
Any input will be welcome.
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>
not so sure now that a BTA's sting would be powerful enough to kill/stun a shrimp. 1/26/12

<Indeed... the sticky, stinging cnidocysts... they are!>
The shrimp are generally smart enough to avoid these creatures.
I will ask Bob for his valuable input on this.><<From ayer's mail, I see this is a Halichoeres hortulanus... will get bigger and VERY likely consume any shrimp in time. I would not place these together. RMF>>
The above is what I was asking for input on. I believe I told the querior about the wrasse eventually making a meal of the shrimp.
<And you, B>

Purple Flower? (Nope'¦a Clavulariid) -- 11/24/11
Hi there, love your site!
<<Hey Julie'¦thanks!>>
I recently obtained this tank from someone and didn't get a whole lot of information on its inhabitants. I've been trying to find what this plant or coral is, turned out blue in the picture, but they're really purple, small flowers almost. Any idea?
<<Indeed'¦ Is an Octocoral'¦a Clavulariid species'¦often sold/traded under the common name of Clove Polyp. Have a look here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clavulariids.htm ) and among the links in blue at the top of the page'¦do also search the Net in general re>>
Also since he managed to get into the frame, although a little blurry... what is the brown sun-like plant/coral in the background? Once when cleaning the tank, I bumped him with the siphon and he retracted completely into the rock.
<<Is an Aiptasia species'¦commonly considered a 'pest' anemone and generally undesirable (can proliferate explosively and damage its neighbors). Do read here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm ) and browse here and among the links as well (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aipfaqs.htm)>>
My new green bubble tip anemone snuck into the picture as well. :)
<<I see it'¦and likely too close to the Clove Polyps. Please search our site re the mixing of sessile and non-sessile inverts>>
Thanks for your help!
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Re: Purple Flower? (Nope'¦a Clavulariid), & now... BTA comp. -- 12/07/11
Thanks for the info!
<<Quite Welcome, Julie>>
Well the anemone moved there himself. But has moved a little ways away now. Could that be why he's lost his color? Being too close to the polyp?
<<That'¦or other environmental issues (e.g. -- lighting, water quality, etc.)>>
Also apologies but I'm having a hard time finding the sessile/non-sessile info on your site.
<<Mixing sessile with non-sessile inverts (though it 'can' be done in a large enough system) is generally not encouraged, especially with new/inexperienced aquarists. In fact, compatibility among Cnidarians as a whole is often overlooked or even ignored by many hobbyists, inexperienced and not. Have a read of the info at these links, and do also browse among the links provided at the top of the pages.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Bubble Tip Decimated by Hermit Crabs 6/8/11
Good evening,
This past year, I have searched topics that have come up while learning about the care of my saltwater inhabitants and have always come back to your articles.
This time, I have an issue I'm hoping you can help me with.
<Let's see>
I purchased a beautiful Rose Bubble Tip Anemone that arrived yesterday.
Was doing well, acclimating fine. Today, I came home from dinner to see three hermit crabs feasting on it. Most of the bubbles are gone but it is still alive.
Is there any chance of this anemone surviving and what can I do to help?
<There is always a possibility... Have seen this tissue grade life "resurrected" w/ little left. I would treat w/ an iodide/ate compound to high concentration>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

BTA Questions, comp. w/ "Polyps" 3/1/11
Hello Crew,
I have a 90 gallon clownfish/BTA tank with a 30 gallon sump. The aquascaping consists of three bommies. I have GSP confined to one bommie.
There are no other corals in the tank nor do I plan to add any. The inhabitants are a pair of Black Ocellaris Clowns, a pair of Orange Skunk Clowns, a Kole Tang, an Eibli Angel, and a tank bred Orchid Dottyback. No more fish will be added. I recently added three tank bred anemones, two RBTA's and one GBTA. I'm happy to report that all seem to have settled in nicely on the two non-GSP bommies. They all have their feet buried deep into crevices, are expanded, and eagerly eat. I have two questions:
1. From reading the FAQ's some of the crew has said that the GSP is chemically aggressive and others have stated that the aggression has to do with its grow rate and ability to grow over other corals. Should I remove the GSP for the long term benefit of my BTA's or should it be okay confined to one bommie?
<You should be okay... with all growing up with each other>
2. I'm very entertained by feeding the BTA's. I've read in the FAQ's that feeding the anemones 2-3 times a week is sufficient, but am I doing them harm by feeding them small meals daily with a turkey baster?
<Mmm, no; not really>
Essentially, some of the Mysis and chopped raw table shrimp stick to the BTA's and the rest that floats in the water column is devoured by the fish.
Thanks for all your help,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

mini carpet anemone and large green bubble tip anemone 1/13/11
Hey, you guys have always been very helpful with your advice so I come to you with yet another question. A friend of mine said that I would be able to have a mini carpet anemone live peacefully with my large bubble tip anemone in my 55 gallon tank..
if you could please give me your opinion on this that would be great as the last thing I want is to go ahead and put one in with my BTA and have one or both of them killed or have them kill off my corals. I currently have 45lbs of live rock, 25 hermits, 16 snails, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, a cleaner wrasse and large Allards clownfish, a decent amount of pulsing xenia, some candy cane coral, some brown polyps, 3 blue mushrooms, a Kenya tree, and a grassy type coral (not sure what type), and of course my lovely large green BTA. I just need to be sure that all of these will be safe if I introduce a mini carpet anemone. Hope to hear back soon.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: mini carpet anemone and large green bubble tip anemone 1/13/11
That's what I thought thank you for confirming have a great day!
<And you, B>

Re: Upgrading Tanks; and anemone comp., test kit grade/SW 10/18/10
Thank You for the quick response. I do have a couple of questions. I read that a Bubble Tip anemone *can* get along fine with a Sebae anemone.
<Can... have photographed them in the wild, contiguous>
Mine do well. I got the Bubble Tip prior to discovering WWM or I would have forgone that acquisition. I have tried to get the Bubble Tip out, after reading that there can be a problem, unsuccessfully.
You showed doubt in my Phosphate readings, something to do with my stinging-celled life. I truly get 0 phosphates when I check them weekly.
<Assuredly, the measure is less than 0., perhaps less than 0.0... but not altogether absent>
My Nitrates never get to 20. I either misunderstood your reasoning or my test kit is not very good.
<Likely the test kit precision to significant figures>
I guess I am unclear on what you wrote.
<And I apologize for not being clear/er>
If my test kits are not accurate then I should purchase a better brand.
<Mmm, not really. I suspect your kit/s is/are fine for what you have in mind>
I am using API.
<Not the best, but passable for most aquarists' use>
Thank you for the link. Most times I find what I am looking for. I no longer purchase anything of importance without referring to WWM. Thank you for this awesome site.
<Certainly welcome John/Tracey. BobF>

Anemone Decisions, comp., stkg. 5/18/10
Hi crew,
I haven't asked a question in awhile but am constantly browsing through all the FAQs. I'm in a quandary as
to which way I should go with my tank. I have a 125 gallon that I have had for close to a year. I had been
fighting a Cyano outbreak for awhile and finally decided (darn, should have listened to Bob)
that the two puffers were just too much for my system. My 125 now only houses:
1 diamond goby (5/6 inches)
1 flame Hawkfish
1 harlequin tusk (still a juvie)
1 Copperband butterfly
1 Foxface (who's been acting weird since the puffers disappearance but I think he'll be okay)
80/100 lbs live rock and about another 10 lbs in the 20 gallon refuge.
My LFS just got in a bunch of gorgeous faux corals in so I want to add some of them to my tank to add more color.
Here is my quandary (I'll listen this time, I promise). My LFS has some tank bred clowns (Perculas I believe) that
are hosting a BTA (also tank bred). Would it be possible to add these three critters to my system?
<So, the puffer/s is/are gone? I do think the clowns and BTA would add a great deal of interest here, and get along w/ all else you list>
Here is what I know needs to be done either way. I want to increase my sand bed from 2 1/2 - 3 inches to at least 4 with some crushed coral mixed in.
<Mmm, can I urge you to consider, read about replacing this w/ more fine/r sand?>
I just have live sand at this point. I also need to stabilize my nitrates
<Do see WWM re... perhaps a tied-in sump/refugium...>
as I've always had issues but I'm thinking the puffers had something to do with that.
<Very likely so>
(nitrites, ammonia always 0) I'm also due for new light bulbs.
All this would be taken care of before I bring the newbies home. I have no live coral. Not that I wouldn't love
to but I'm all for "save the reefs and stuff". I also am working on getting my Sg up to 1.25 as it usually is 1.22 - 1.23.
<Good to raise to 1.025-6>
So is adding a BTA with it's host clowns do-able or is there possible issues with the fish I have now ? Truth to tell
I was also thinking about a yellow tang or a coral beauty but I don't want to get into the same boat I was in.
<These would go here as well>
If its not a good idea with the BTA , is adding a yellow tang and coral beauty too much?
<Is/are not>
I run my lights about 8 hours a day, they are 2 10,000 bulbs and 2 actinic (sp.) I also think I would have to increase the timing on these.
<Could, or better, put the actinics on/off an hour or two ahead of the whites>
I do have a couple of small snails and hermit crabs left, I thought they all got eaten by the puffers but now that they are gone (the puffers) it seems they sense that and I see them out and about occasionally. I do have a couple of somewhat good sized bristle worms that I'll be pulling if I ever see them out again. (I saved them for my puffers).
Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again crew for taking good care of us. And people....
listen to Bob!!! Wish I had.
<Dang! Hope to see you about! Bob Fenner>

RBTA compatability 2/23/2010
<Hello Brian>
I would like to buy an RBTA but am unsure if my current tank mates would be compatible.
<What size is your tank? This is the main consideration here. And do you have any other Cnidarian life present?>
I have a Foxface an Engineer goby and a Coral Beauty Angel. The last one being the only one I'm concerned about. If I wanted to get a RBTA would I have to move the Angel or are they sometimes compatible?
<They can be, depending on the amount of space you have, but all animals are at risk with Anemones. I'm recalling a recent incident with a Volitans here as a prime example. These are best in species tanks w/ Clowns.>
Also in the tank I have some Peppermint Shrimp any problem with them?
<These should be ok>
Thank you in advance
<No problem!>
Re: 23/02/10 RBTA compatability 2/24/10

<Hello again Brian. Please include prev. correspondence as I am responding to you from memory here... >
Sorry I should have provided more information. The tank size is a 75 gallon and I do have some blue mushrooms but that is all.
<Ok, you should be fine here as far as long as the Anemone settles somewhere away from the Corallimorphs. I would not add anything else. >
My risk assessment here is to make sure the Anemone lives or will live without
being threatened until I introduce a pair of Clowns which I'm hoping will host and protect it from then on.
<It won't need protecting from a Rabbitfish and a Dwarf Angel - maybe the other way around...>
I'm aware that they move in order to find a suitable location and understand there may be some loss of my mushrooms or fish. If I were to get a RBTA is there anything in my tank that will attack it?
<Not likely, I give you good odds here. Make sure your lighting is sufficient, or it will move around continuously in search of a spot. Also read re: feeding these animals on WWM if you are not hosting it with Clowns. Simon. >

Sexy shrimp, porcelain crab, Perc clowns, and rbta compatibility? 2/11/10
I have a large biocube
<An oxymoron... jumbo shrimp, military intelligence...>
currently with a RBTA and 2 juvenile (est. 6-8 months old) onyx Percs hosting in it, running on DIY LEDs.
The biocube has SteveT's fishguard installed, and plastic mesh (sewing grid guide for yarn projects, as per Karen's Rose Anemones site) tied completely around the powerhead intakes, as part of my efforts to anemone- and fish-proof the tank.
I'd like to introduce sexy shrimps and/or porcelain crabs to this system.
I did some quick Googling and reading WWM FAQs and noted from some forum posts that porcelain crabs may attempt to boot my clowns out of the rbta, which is why I'm considering adding another (r)bta.
<Mmm, I wouldn't do this... unless they're genetic clones, there's too much chance of trouble twixt>
I'd probably get one from a fellow area reefer whose rbtas regularly clone themselves (in fact my current one is from him, it's healthy, feeding, and very colorful, etc.).
Is there any compatibility information on sexy shrimp, porcelain crabs, and clowns in a tank with a limited number of host anemone?
<I can/will only offer my personal observations here. Have seen Porcellanids and Clowns together in Carpet Anemone species in the wild... and Sexy Shrimp in Anemones that had or lacked Amphiprionines, but have not
"run" (or swam) into a situation where all three were resident in one such Actinarian species, and have never seen two of them in an Entacmaea. I don't know, but don't think this will work. Bob Fenner>

Elegance coral and bubble tip anemone, incomp. 2/9/10
Hi WWM crew!
<Howdy Adam>
I have a quick question regarding the speed and severity of allelopathic interactions between cnidarians and Euphyllia sp.
<Can be quick (hours) and severe to the max. (death)>
A friend of mine is moving but has a weeks worth of lag time between taking down his current tank and setting it back up in the new place. He has a much smaller holding tank that he's been able to put most of his coral in the mean time, but he also has a very small rose bubble tip anemone (maybe an inch and a half across) that decided it hated the smaller/dimmer temporary accommodations and began walking all over the place. In such small confines, he was afraid that it would either damage or be damaged by the other corals
<Mmm, Anemones/Actinarians aren't corals>
and asked if I would take it until his system is back up and running at his new place. I spent the entire day yesterday getting it to attach itself firmly to a small piece of rock, put mesh socks over my Vortech MP10's
(I've had bad luck with anemones in the past... one of the many reasons I don't want to own one) and stayed up till 1 in the morning making sure it wouldn't move.
However this morning, my otherwise incredibly robust Australian elegance coral wouldn't open. At all. The branching frogspawn on the other side of the tank was also a shadow of what it normally is half an hour after the
lights turn on. Is this kind of reaction this possible overnight?
<Oh yes>
The elegance coral is about 6 inches across when it's fully open and the frogspawn is at least a foot across when it fully extends. I know that cnidarians in the long term are not really compatible with other aggressive species, especially the Euphyllia,
<More so the Catalaphyllia>
but I had thought that such a great size disparity and short time around one another wouldn't have been a problem, or at least if it were a problem it would inhibit the anemone as opposed to the established tank inhabitants
(something I warned my friend of, though we thought it was the lesser of two evils at the time). Is immediate removal of that tiny anemone required?
<Yes I would... and water change/s, and use of chemical filtrants. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above...>
The only other thing that I can think of would be that yesterday I was also trying to bring my calcium levels up from 360ppm in to the 400ppm range. I was adding Seachem reef calcium and getting rather frustrated with how
little impact it was making on measurable Ca levels until I sat down and did the stoichiometry and realized that a) I would need like 150 doses of the stuff to make the change (more than a whole bottle) and b) it has something called polygluconate in it which even with the companies assurances that it's safe makes me nervous.
<Is relatively quite safe>
I did add the maximum number of doses of that product that it says you can add to a tank that size in one day (just under 15 capfuls), so I don't know if that could have had a compounding effect.
I have since ordered lab grade calcium chloride to make my own 2 stage additive as it's unbelievably more cost effective.
<Ah yes>
Other parameters:
approx. 100 gallon total volume
pH 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate under 5ppm
Magnesium 1250
<Mmm, high for your [Ca]>
Alk 10.6 (not going to raise it until I get the calcium)
SG 1.024
Thanks for the advice!
<Do read where you are referred... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Is my Clown going to love my Anemone to death? - 01/18/2010
Good afternoon Crew!
<Mornin' Cilla>
Because you all are so comprehensive I am sure the answer is in here somewhere, but alas, it has eluded me and I trust hardly any source but my beloved WWM recently. I have been reading through "FAQs on Anemones and Clownfishes" et all, because I have an overly attentive clown I fear is doing more harm than good. Let me give you too much information which I promise I'll try to keep succinct, but I'll fail at...
<Let's see...>
My husband and I have a 72G bow front we acquired via Craig's List two years ago which we have added to over the months slowly. Last month we had 1 Scopus <affectionately named Ting Ting>, 1 six line wrasse <Sassafras>, 2 tomato clowns <Phil Jr. and Chris Jr.> and 2 yellow tailed damsels <Maxwell and Agent 99> with assorted cleaner critters. We were having our floors re-done and our floor guy was talking about how he had a saltwater tank, which he hated, and was planning on flushing his inhabitants later that week. Of course we promptly adopted said mystery fish, which turned out to be the largest Tomato clown you have ever seen <Big Momma>. For the time being everyone is playing nice, we will promptly take action if this changes. Two days ago after some research we decided to add a Bubble Tip to our soap opera, and he charged around the tank for about 3 hours until he found the perfect spot. About three hours after that Big Momma discovered the anemone and it was love at first sight. Except she is too loving I fear. Every time I try to feed the anemone a krill he starts to close in around it, but Big Momma steps in and pulls it out in an attempt to "clean house" I think. She also shoves herself so violently in and round his tentacles I'm afraid she is doing damage.
I realize it's early in their relationship and I do need to let it play out a little bit more, but at what point in time do I become concerned?
<When the BTA is apparently damaged, or not opening>
My LFS says "If I were him" I'd remove the Tomatoes and other Damsels "before I even put them in" because they are just too mean, but I named them and now I'm attached (silly females). Or am I just completely over reacting and she is supposed to do bizarre things like the aforementioned?
<Hard to judge from here>
I hold you all in the highest regards and hope to hear from you soon!!
<Do keep a "strawberry basket" handy to cover over the anemone if it isn't opening... or a plastic colander to float the Tomato otherwise... Bob Fenner>

RBTA Compatibility 10/8/09
Hi again,
<Hello Nick>
I have had my tank up for around 7 months now and have yet another question. This is in regards to a Rose Bubble Tip Anemone. I'm thinking about purchasing one and am concerned about any possible allelopathic
interactions with some of the other coral. I have some Zoas, a Candy Cane Coral, about 12 mushrooms, and a Finger Coral (I think this is what they are called). To best suit the RBTA, should I remove all other coral from the tank to maximize the suitability of the tank or are some of these compatible with the anemone? I have read a lot of things about the poisons that the mushrooms and Zoas can release into the water when they feel threatened and am concerned that the anemone will trigger an outbreak of toxins. I also have several fish in the tank (90 gallons) that I'm concerned about. Will these toxins affect their health as well (I would think so)? I have 2 clowns, 1 purple pseudo, 1 pajamafish, and 1 Sailfin (which might become too large for the tank) and I might add a blue tang. Any information or suggestions will be helpful as I will continue to read the miles and miles of information on your site. I can't think of a greater knowledgebase for the hobby.
<Although I've seen this done quite often, anemones and corals should not be kept together.
Anemones are mobile and in being so, they can/will sting anything in their path during a move and may
be at risk from being stung by sweeper tentacles of a nearby coral.
I also would not recommend keeping non-anemone safe fish with anemones.
They will definitely be at risk.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Rose Anemone Being Eaten. BT Anemone Compatibility 4/21/2009
<Hi Toby>
I have had a rose anemone for about six months.
<Bubble Tip Anemone: Entacmaea quadricolor>
I have had no problems with it until about a week ago.
It looks like several tentacles have been bitten in half and some cut down to the base. Is something eating it or are the tentacles dying?
Here is a list of what is in my 55 gallon tan:.
2 clown fish,
1 flame angel,
1 skunk clown,
1 bi-color blenny,
1 sand sifting blenny,
1 yellow tang,
3 peppermint shrimp, <Ding... We have a winner>
turbo snails,
red and blue legged crabs.
I have never seen anything bother it.
<You won't, Peppermint shrimp generally will not come out unless it is dark. Peppermint shrimp eat anemones.>
The clown and skunk both occupy it. I also had a sand sifting star fish for months with no problems then almost in a weeks time something nibbles away all its arms. I cant figure it out.
<Difficult to say definitively, but I would suspect the peppermint shrimp here as well, as they are not "reef safe".>
Thanks, any info would be appreciated.
<My pleasure>

BTA, dying... Premnas incomp. 9/16/08 Hello Crew, <Seth> I have a quick question about my dying BTA.... A little background first. My BTA found himself a spot he really seemed to like close to the sand (under a live rock over hang). <Mmm, something amiss here... should situate itself out in the open... for light> It was extremely difficult to feed him in this spot, but I figured out a way to get the right angle through trial and error. The problem is my Maroon clown that hosts... <Here it is> he has been relentless about stealing the BTA's food. Even when I keep my hand in the tank attempting to scare him off(and while feeding the tank at the same time)...he eventually gets to the food. Even food that is half in the Anemone's mouth.. he pulls out! This has caused a slow decline in his health(he may have kept some food once in two months. <These two need to be separated> Okay, here's my question(thanks for your patience). He is now about the size of a crab apple and has managed to work his way into a deep hole in the live rock. Based on where he is in the rock, there is no way of getting him out unless I tore down all the rock and used pliers or something similar. Will he poison my tank when he dies? <Maybe, to an extent> I have a young but thriving 75 gallon SPS tank...would hate to lose anything else..I thought the damage might be minimal due to his size, but thought I would ask. I'm not even sure if I will notice him dying(unless he produces a huge amount of slime that leaks out of the rock. I figured the best move might be to watch...if I see any slime do a large water change(20 gallons or so). What do you think? As always, this is the best site and thank you for your help!!! <... Move the Premnas, stat. Bob Fenner>

Strange Occurrence... Not, Angel, Anemone incomp. 5/6/08 Hi to all at WWM, First I wanted to say that you guys have the best site on the internet for information. Hands down, a one stop site for reliable info needed regarding marine keeping. Okay, you guys are going to think I'm crazy when i say this, and if I didn't see it for myself I wouldn't have believed it. Yesterday I paid a visit to my cousin who has a 65 gallon reef tank with a 30 gallon fuge. He has had the tank set up for years as a FOWLR tank and just recently started adding corals to the tank. The only inhabitant that I told him may give him a problem was a lemon peel angelfish since angelfish have been known to go to the dark side and eat coral. He kept his eye on the angel and thus far had been co-existing with the corals in the tank. Now comes the strange part! He recently purchased a BTA for his clownfish and it was a nice sized healthy looking specimen. Was inflated, sticky tentacles, and eating krill. On this visit to his house, while paying close attention to his lemon peel, I noticed something and couldn't believe my eyes. The lemon peel was actively attacking his BTA. <Mmm, yes... Pomacanthids eat Anemones in the wild...> The first attack I witnessed I stepped back and asked if anyone else had seen it (I thought I may have been going crazy). The second attack came shortly after and at that point all in the room witnessed it. This lemon peel grew brass ones! He was actually biting at the BTA's tentacles and MOUTH!! <Yes> After a few attacks I noticed now the BTA's mouth was gaping as if it had been teared. <Torn> I knew this was bad news and told my cousin he should act fast and remove the angel. After moving all the rock out he finally got the angel out and put him into his refugium for the time being. <Ah, good> I spoke with him today to get an update on the BTA and it appears it was unable to recover. During a feeding today, while trying to eat, his mouth tore some more from the initial attacks from the Lemon Peel. Unfortunately, the BTA then deflated and was found floating around the tank in the current and was removed. I have looked ALL over for this type of behavior in lemon peel angelfish and even in angelfish in general. <Is common knowledge> The only info I have found is that they can be a danger to coral, clams, and some worms. Have you ever witnessed or heard of this behavior before? What may have triggered this angel to act in such a way? I figured since I couldn't find any information on this that maybe this behavior has not been recorded before and I should let you guys know. Thanks Huge Fan of WWM <Use the term "Angel and Anemone Compatibility" in the WWM search term linked on the left shared border. Read the (highlighted) cached views. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Environment, Water Volume, Allelopathy, BTA - 4/17/08 Hello, <Hello, Brenda here!> I've done a fairly exhaustive search on the following topic and feel that its answer may add to the database. I found reference to 100 gallons as a minimum system volume (understandably) for a bubble tip anemone. <Many keep them in smaller systems successfully; however, more water volume is better. I don't recommend anything less than 40 gallons for beginners.> Without debating other factors and assuming excellent reef quality water quality, movement, filtration, light and feeding would it be acceptable to keep these in a smaller dedicated species tank within a larger system, specifically a 20 gallon (tall or long) with a 15X exchange rate with a system approaching 200 gallons. <That is acceptable. However when mixing anemones with coral, you will want to run carbon to help with any chemical warfare.> The idea, of course, is to display the clown fish/anemone relationship as a refugium of sorts while taking advantage of the stability of the larger volume system. I would not want to attempt this unless the animals could thrive and reproduce. As an aside, would an anemone tank get along better within a larger SPS system or a soft coral system with regards to allelopathy? <SPS is a better choice in my opinion. However some soft corals are fine. Mushroom corals, leathers and green star polyps, to name a few, do cause chemical warfare in a reef tank. If you decide to keep these corals, keep them to a minimum.> Would you suggest a different species for this situation? <No, I think you are on the right track, as long as water parameters are up to par, do frequent water changes, and you are running fresh carbon.> Thank you for your time. <You're welcome! Good luck to you! Brenda>

BTA/Cleaner Shrimp symb. Question 4/13/08 Good morning WWM crew, <Hi Mike, Mike I with you today> I have been going through the FAQs and various articles on your site looking for something that might help me figure out what's going on here, but haven't come across anything regarding this situation, so I'm hoping you might be able to enlighten me. <We'll try!> I recently (2 weeks ago) added a L. amboinensis to my 36 gallon mixed reef tank. Within a day of putting the shrimp in the tank it took up residence in my BTA which has been in the tank for 3 months now. <OK> The shrimp stays in the anemone (right in the middle of the disc) for the whole time my lights are on and retreats into the live rock once the lights go off. Needless to say, my fish are rather hesitant with regard to trying to take advantage of his cleaning services in that location. <I'm not surprised!> I haven't seen or read anything that would have lead me to believe that this shrimp would choose to make an anemone his home. <Not *ordinarily*, but i have known this to happen in a few other examples> I've been through some trials and tribulations with my BTA for the 1st two months and I'm happy to say, it's looking like I've finally turned the corner during the last month and have a happy anemone. (I know a month isn't very long, just an observation of noticeable improvements based on what I've read and learned.) <Good to hear, and long may it last!? So here are my questions.... 1. Is this shrimp in danger of being eaten by the anemone? <Very possibly, but BTAs aren't that voracious an anemone, so it's likely the shrimp would be able to make a get away under good circumstances. A twist of fate may change that though> 2. Is there any way you might suggest to get the shrimp to relocate? <Have always found shrimp to be creatures of habit, and stubborn when you need them not to be. BUT, I would suggest that you start target feeding this shrimp a little more than usual, and always present the food in the same place (away from the anemone) - it may well make the association and being greedy blighters that they are, it may well decide to move> 3. Is there a possibility that the shrimp could harm or stress out the anemone? <Again, possibly - particularly at meal times. If the animal starts stealing food form the anemone then there's an obvious detrimental effect. If it starts doing it during ingestion, then the shrimp could irritate the anemone to the extent it stresses. Combat this by feeding the shrimp first, then the anemone. The anemone may move it feels stressed or irritated, and i would let that be my cue to perhaps think in more detail about allowing this relationship to remain> Any thoughts or ideas you may be able to share would be greatly appreciated. Mike <Hopefully give, and good luck! But come back to us with any other queries you may have. Regards, Mike I>

BTA Hosting Domino Damsel 3/10/08 Hello, how are you today? <Just fine Jessica> I have a question(s) that I have not been able to find the answer to online, other then a few user posts on a forum that was not real helpful. Yesterday my RBTA split 2 ways and it appears that it is splitting again. I have a Domino Damsel that has started hosting the original BTA, just yesterday after the split. Is this normal for a Damsel to do this? Since this fish does not regularly host anemones will the Rose eat the fish? And since the anemone is probably somewhat stressed out over the split, is the Damsel going to further agitate the BTA? (The Rose is still a very large size and much larger then the Domino)....I want them all to live and thrive, I just wonder if the Domino will ruin that for everyone. any words would be wonderful, and have a great day. <Jessica, it is not at all uncommon for Domino Damsels to do this. Quite common to see this on the reefs.> Thanks a lot. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jessica

Clown/BTA possible problem. -02/25/08 Good afternoon <Hi John, Mike I here today> I am in the UK and have a quick question, after lots of asking and trawling I haven't been able to find any reference to the clown behaviour I am experiencing. <OK, go ahead> I have a young pair of False Percs who have recently settled in a new Bubbletip anemone I have acquired. The anemone is looking healthy albeit slightly bleached. I have been concentrating on target feeding to keep the health up. however since the clowns have moved in I am having problems. Each time I feed about 1/2" fresh squid the anemone happily takes it. however soon after the female clown nudges, pushes and swims into the mouth to try to open it. The anemone soon give ups and releases the food - which the clowns aren't interested in. <Devils!> I have witnessed the clowns eating waste parcels from the anemone so assume they are trying to 'coax' more out of the vending machine. Have I got this right or is this some other kind of behaviour? Any suggestions? Many thanks for the help and good work on the site! John <Well, John, feeding anemones when you have a clown like this can be a bit if a pain. I suspect the behaviour is pure greed. There are other species that do exhibit this behaviour more, for other reasons (protection) but wouldn't imagine this being the case here. A couple of tips to hopefully help you along: Feed the clowns immediately prior to feeding the anemone - with a bit of luck they will be too full to bother the anemone. My clowns have always started to "store" food in the anemone tentacles when they get full, and then this is consumed the anemone, so this is a tactic you can use to your advantage. If that fails, feed the anemone at night. After the lights have been off a fair while, the clowns will be "sleeping", simply feed the anemone then, and knock the light off once it's got a good hold. Again, hopefully this should keep them from bothering the anemone while it eats. Good luck, and hope that helps. Mike I>
By BTA-hosting 2/18/08
I meant clowns that naturally host BTA's. I'm making a biotope. So again, what BTA-hosting clowns would be compatible? Would clarkii work? <Reading, READING! Please, help yourself... enough is stated on WWM re natural and not symbioses twixt Entacmaea and Amphiprionines... Go, read. RMF>

Symbiotic tank 01/21/2008 Hi, whoever's there today, <Riley> I'm in the early stages of planning a tank to show off as many symbiotic relationships as I safely can. <Mmm... a matter of perception my friend. Look about you... there is NOTHING but such arrangements on this planet... I take it here that you are referring to more overt ones...> The tank will be 65g about 50lbs live rock and 2-3 in live sand bed. So far I plan on having an ocellaris clown with Entacmaea quadricolor as its host, and a Hi Fin red banded goby with a red banded pistol shrimp. Any suggestions on other relationships that would co-exist peacefully? Thanks, your website is awesome. <Mmm, well... the goby may be consumed by the Bubbletip in time... but all might fit in such a small volume. Do seek out a "tank-produced" Entacmaea. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Tip Anemone/Compatibility 11/9/07 Hey WWM crew - you guys have been TERRIFICALLY helpful in getting my new reef tank up and running, much as it should be within the first 3 months, and I can't thank you enough for the quick and thorough responses (not to mention the wide range database of previous responses)! <You're welcome, glad to help.> To give just a brief background, I have a 72 gallon bow with 10k florescent lighting, sump, protein skimmer (Oceanic I believe) and pretty much all the necessary trimmings. Approximately 85 pounds of Fiji live rock, 6 hermits, 8 Turbos, an Ocellaris clown, a PJ cardinal and, the source of my questions today, a Bubble Tip Anemone (just added). So last night I added the anemone with the full blessing of my LFS. I tested my water, all looks good (had the store double check...I'm lucky to have an EXCELLENT fish shop nearby with a very friendly owner with whom I'm on a first name basis now)...and asked for advice as to what the next good thing to add would be. The guy suggested this anemone. So I took it home, acclimated it, placed it on the rock etc, and the tentacles which had withdrawn, all came back out and he seemed pretty happy. Went to sleep, woke up this morning and lo and behold, as I knew he would, the anemone moved himself. Now I'm cool with the anemone moving, but I guess I have 3 specific questions: 1. If he walks over any corals I have in there (currently just a Zoanthid or something like that...little tubes with red/green blooms on the end) will he kill them/damage them? I know his sting is relatively minor, <Is not relatively minor to corals/inverts.> but I want to make sure I'm not going to add anything after him that he's going to kill... <No anemones are safe with corals and is not recommended mixing the two for the very reason you have just observed....they move, and will sting anything in their path.> 2. Is my oceallis <Ocellaris> clown likely to take up residence? He hasn't shown any interest in even checking it out at this point, and I've read a lot of sites that seem to indicate that the oceallis <Please do a spelling check before sending and cap all pronouns. Saves us much time if we do not have to do this for you.> does not often take an anemone for a home...would I be better off swapping for another species? <On the contrary, wild caught Ocellaris Clownfish much prefer living in an anemone. Your clownfish may have been tank bred and these fish will unlikely habituate an anemone.> If so, which one? (My son loves the 'Nemo' look of the oceallis...is there another that looks similar but is more prone to the anemone/clown relationship?) <The True Percula is similar but a little more difficult to keep. At your low experience level, I'm surprised your dealer recommended an anemone, especially with corals present, and the fact that anemones are not long lived.> 3. Finally, the spot that the anemone moved himself to was tucked down behind a huge chunk of live rock. Is he likely to take this as his permanent hangout, or is he likely to continue moving about willie nillie and be in a different place each day? My primary concern on this is that if he's going to stay where he put himself, it's going to make feeding very difficult... <Your BTA will move until it finds a place suitable to it's liking, those factors are usually water movement and light intensity. As anemones are photosynthetic, it is very important to provide lighting intense enough to promote photosynthesis, as they do produce most of their own food. Thanks for all of your help, in advance...and I apologize that my one question turned into about 10 little quesitons <questions>! <I suggest you read here and linked files above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm> Also, here are a couple pics I snapped of the Bubble Tip last night, shortly after acclimation...one with the day lamps, the other (obviously) the night lamps.
<James (Salty Dog)>

Lighting and Flow for an E. quadricolor, Bubble Tip Anemone, Non-Reef Safe Fish - 9/24/07 Hi all, <Hello Dan, Brenda here> I am considering purchasing a bulb tip anemone for my 65gal FOWLR with 15gal refugium. I currently have about 1500gph of flow running through the aquarium, with about 700gph at night time. Do you think this is adequate current for the anemone? <Yes, the anemone will move to a place where the flow is sufficient.> Also I have a 442watt metal halide system, 1-250watt 15,000k metal halide bulb, 2-96watt true blue actinic PC bulbs. The tank is 24" deep, and I was considering putting the anemone somewhere on top of the rock I have set up, so that it can maximize its light absorption. <You do have enough lighting here. Unfortunately we can't always decide where the anemone will go. It will move to where light and flow are adequate.> I have in my tank a couple Ocellaris, a coral beauty, a blue tang and a docile puffer fish (I know your going to say he'll eat it, but the little puffer is well behaved and hasn't even bothered the Astraea snails in my tank, and he's coexisted with for almost a year, he just sticks to devouring the krill I feed him). <I would not trust any fish that is not reef safe with an anemone. A 65 gallon tank is too small for a tang, and most puffers.> The only critter in my tank I was worried about is a coral banded shrimp. He is pretty pesky and I was wondering if he would damage the anemone with his scavenging. <Is possible. It is also possible that the anemone will eat the shrimp.> On a final note, would the Ocellaris clowns accept a BTA as a host? <There is no guarantee with any clownfish. This anemone is not its natural host. However, it is possible.> Thanks, Dan <You're welcome! Brenda>

Entacmaea quadricolor (BTA) Compatibility - 8/19/07 Hi <Hello, Brenda here> Great website. It is very useful. <Thank you! Glad you find it helpful!> I have a 2ft by 2f by 2ft with a sump it holds 43 UK gallons my skimmer does 300 liters an hour. I have just bought a bubble anemone my tank is about 1 year old. What clown fish would you advise to host with my anemone and what fish could I keep with them? <Here are a few links to show you what clownfish host this anemone in the wild. http://www.carlosreef.com/AnemoneFAQ.pdf http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Clown_anemone/Clown_anemone.htm In captivity there is no guarantee that a clownfish will host. As far as what other fish to keep with them, choose only reef safe fish. Here is a fish compatibility chart: http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/compatibility_chart.cfm . Be sure to research tank size requirement and care before purchasing. Brenda>

New RBTA, Entacmaea quadricolor and Hyperactive Maroon Clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus, comp. - 8/18/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Wesley, Brenda here> First, great site! <Thank you!> I went from knowing nothing to running a successful reef tank for a year now largely in part to the information on this site. <Great! Good to hear!> Yesterday I added a rose anemone and a maroon clownfish. After acclimation, the RBTA attached its foot quickly then expanded and looks quite healthy. That evening it shrank up and expelled some waste and today is fully inflated and doing well. I was wondering how soon I should start feeding it. <I would give it a few days. If it doesn't accept the food try again in a day or two. Make sure you use small portions.> My second question is about the maroon clown. It seems I purchased a hyperactive one. Is it uncommon for a maroon to race around the tank all day? <It may be adjusting to its new home. Did you quarantine the clownfish? What size tank do you have it in?> The ones in my LFS display tank lazily drift around the bottom of the tank. After closely inspecting the live stock, I chose her because she looked the healthiest and most active. Now that she's in my tank she is even more active. <Keep an eye on it for now. This species is known to be aggressive.> I'm guessing she's just getting used to her surroundings because she hasn't yet claimed a part of the tank as hers or even taken notice of her tank mates (yellow tang, firefish dart goby, and sand sifting goby). <Hopefully it will find the anemone soon.> Thanks for your help, <You're Welcome! Brenda> Wesley

Suitable clown - 06/28/07 Hi, In my 130 gallon tank, among others, I've kept a pair of Ocellaris and E. quadricolor for over 2 months, but Ocellaris would not host the anemone. <Happens... maybe later> So I've been thinking of adding another clown that would be more likely to host the anemone. <... better not to mix clown species...> Which clown would you recommend for that? (after reading those comments on FAQ, I am afraid to buy the readily available Clarkii's and Tomato's) Thanks, Andrius <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm See the chart re naturally occurring relations? These are better bets. And read the linked files above re Clownfish and Anemones. Bob Fenner>

Can a clownfish be too big for an anemone? Yes. - 4/28/07 I recently purchased a RBTA <Rose Bubble Tip Anemone?> that is about the size of a golf ball. It appears to be doing well in my tank, and my very small F.P. <False Percula?> clown has taken up residence. I also have a larger G.M. <can't figure this one out - something Maroon?> clown (approx 1 1/2"-1 3/4") in my tank. The G.M. clown (Cletus) has never been aggressive to the F.P. clown (no name), and even allows him to be the main resident of the anemone. Cletus does however feel the need to at least visit the anemone every time he swims by. He will lay down in it or "wallow around" for a minute or two and then leave. He is about the same size as the anemone head, and the term "bull in a china cabinet" is fitting. Is this damaging to the anemone? <Yes, this can be damaging.> How can I tell if the anemone is being stressed? <If it does not fully extend as normal, or does not continue to appear to do well. You may need to separate them until the anemone grow more and has a chance to settle in. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marclnbehfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/btadisfaq2.htm Also, please don't abbreviate except for easily recognized terms, or at least spell it out once. I still can't figure out what a G.M. clown is. Cheers, Alex>

Mixing Anemones and Sessile Inverts. 4/26/07 I have a 155 gal. tank with different polyps, pink branch birdsnest, and xenia. I have a bulb anemone that has been in my tank for about six mon. I found a rose bulb that I want to trade mine in for. I plan to have more corals nothing fancy just the type I have and maybe a brain, plate, and open brain will an anemone walk around and sting and kill your corals, <Tis a risk, one that many people take and are happy with....but a risk nonetheless.> I would hate to pay this much for an anemone just to get rid of it one day. <Depends on if the risk is worth it, and only you can answer than question. For me personally, it's not a risk I would take again, as I <? RMF>

Puffer and BTA as Tank Mates? 4/18/07 Hi again, <Hello, Brenda here> I had another question, this one about my Saddled Valentini Puffer. He lives in a FOWLR tank with a fuzzy dwarf lionfish. I have been considering a BTA, and the puffer tank is the only one without corals so it seemed to be a good choice for the anemone. <Puffers and anemones should never be kept together.> I have read that every puffer is different and some may not pick on coral and inverts but others will. I know that my puffer will eats snails, but there have been polyps and 2 small mushrooms that appeared on the rock and he has never bothered those. I guess my question should be: Is there some way to know if my puffer will kill a BTA without just putting one in there and waiting to see? <It is safe to assume here that it will nip at the anemone.> I would rather not risk the life of the anemone without some assurance. This might sound stupid, but what if I put a fake anemone in there and see if he chews on it? (don't laugh) I'm hoping that you have a better suggestion. Carrie <My only suggestion here is to avoid this combination completely. Brenda>

Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel - 4/15/07 Please help me identify this anemone. <Sure will> I brought it from my local pet store and recently it killed my bicolor angel. His head was sucked in his mouth. <A bicolor angel should not be kept with an anemone. It is known to nip at them.> Did the anemone sting or just suffocate my angel cause he was hungry or for any other reason. I have been feeding the anemone since I brought it home on a regular basis. <Your anemone was likely defending itself. What have you been feeding your anemone? It is hungry. The short tentacles are a sign that it is not getting enough to eat.> It has a brown base with white chubby tentacles and at times they appear to be thin and pointy like. <Your anemone is a bubble tip anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor. It is known to have "chubby" tentacles at times. Your anemone is also bleached. This means it has expelled its zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae is an algae the lives inside them. I suggest feeding meat foods, like silversides, soaked in Selcon daily. I also suggest portions no bigger than the anemones mouth.> I have attached a couple of photos I took this morning. If it's not too much to ask could you send me a link or some information on his requirement and what if any special precautions I should take. <I recommend researching before you purchase. Anemones are delicate and difficult to keep creatures with special requirements. There is a lot of information regarding such on WWM. Also www.karensroseanemones.com is also a great site.> Thanks in advance for all your help. Cheers, Kristy
<You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel - 4/16/07 Thank you again for all your help. <You're Welcome!> I have been feeding frozen brine shrimp as the person I purchased from suggested and for now on I will be feeding it daily. <Brine shrimp has little or no nutritional value. Try some silversides. Once your anemone is healthy again, you can cut back on feedings to 2 - 3 times a week.> Will my clowns go in this as they haven't yet? <There is no guarantee with clownfish. It may take some time, and it may never happen.> Is this because he is hungry? <No.> I have a pair of Ocellaris. Also in my 5ft tank I have a large Regal blue tang, a very beautiful Large Powder Blue Tang (Surgeon Fish), Coral beauty and a Heralds Angel <C. heraldi?> along with some live rock and a Catalaphyllia. I also purchased a medium sized butterfly fish and was told it won't eat the Catalaphyllia as he will sting the fish. The fish pecked at the coral. I have now moved the butterfly to a different tank. Will the coral come back to its normal self again and why didn't it sting the butterfly? <Butterfly fish are known to eat anemones, which also sting. It is likely immune to the sting. It should never be kept with corals or anemones. It may come back. It really depends on the amount of damage and if it is in a healthy environment. You have to be careful with Angel fish and Butterfly fish with corals and anemones. As far as your anemone's health, it sounds like there is a lot going on here. Feedings need to be changed, and increase. It needs to be separated from the Angel fish, Butterfly fish and Catalaphyllia. It sounds like you are getting some bad advice. I suggest making a list of all your livestock and researching their care and compatibility.> Thank you.
<You're welcome! Brenda>

Update: Re: Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel - 4/17/07 Hi Brenda, <Hi Kristy> Ok so I have now separated the bubble anemone and Catalaphyllia. <Good> I moved the anemone into a smaller tank (3ft) I used once for quarantine. I used the same water from the 5ft and shell grit. So conditions didn't change much, I transferred the rock he was on along with him. I was watching his behavior closely. His mouth was closed up all day yesterday so I wasn't able to feed him any silversides so I went to the store and got some Aquasonic liquid sea food. <Yikes! You are putting the food in his mouth? Stop! The anemone will take the food itself. It will open his mouth all by itself. Never put anything in its mouth. Aquasonic liquid sea food? I don't know what this is. If it is a liquid food it is not an anemone food. Do not use it on an anemone. They need meaty pieces of food. Your anemone is bleached and in poor health. If you tear it, it will likely not recover. If the anemone is unable to hold onto the food with its tentacles, simply drop the food near its mouth from an inch or so away. Turn down the flow if you need to so it doesn't get blown away. If your anemones mouth is open that means its health is declining. It does not mean that it wants you to put food in it.> Last night when I went in to check on him, his foot was puffed up and was rolling/floating around the grit on the tank. Once he rolled right over until he was on his tentacles. <This is not a good sign.> I placed another piece of rock in the tank thinking he might be just moving. I carefully placed him on the rock. Did I do the right thing and he only done this behavior when the tank lights were off, was he searching for light. <Your anemone is looking for a happy environment. My guess is it will not find one.> I turned on the marine light (blue light) and decided to leave him be. Should I have done this? Should I have fed him when he was all puffed up and open. Anemones are so fussy but it is a learning experience and I like to learn new things. <Anemones are not fussy when they are healthy and placed in the proper environment. It may be a learning experience for you, and you may like it. However your anemone is sick, and will likely die. This is an animal that you chose to keep. It is your responsibility to provide it with the proper environment. This includes researching and knowing the requirements before you purchase.> So it is also kind of fun, and stressful at times. But it is all worth it at the end. <It might also be worth reading the information and website that I provided for you previously. Also, WetWebMedia covers all of these items. Myself and many others have covered them many times.> Sorry to bug you with so many questions, I just want the best for the anemone. Do you know the reason why he would act like so. <There are many reasons. As I stated in my e-mail yesterday, "As far as your anemone's health, it sounds like there is a lot going on here. Feedings need to be changed, and increase. It needs to be separated from the Angel fish, Butterfly fish and Catalaphyllia. It sounds like you are getting some bad advice. I suggest making a list of all your livestock and researching their care and compatibility." This morning he has settled on the rock I placed him on but is still closed and can't seem to put food in him and doesn't seem to want it as he closes more when I place it on his tentacles. PLEASE HELP MY ANEMONE. <Take him back to where you got him, or offer him to someone in a local club.> THANKS HEAPS. kind REGARDS KRISTY <Brenda> Update: Re: Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel - - 04/17/07 4/87/07 You must have had me mistaken. I didn't use the correct choice of words by stating that I tried to put food in his mouth meaning is mouth was visible but closed, I could see the center of the disk as the tentacle were sucked in so bad. No way will I do that. As I know the risks of driving further to anemone heaven. <Good> I have read the site that you gave me from top to bottom. Its a great site, also another document that I found useful was http://www.carlosreef.com/AnemoneFAQ.pdf Its really good and I read most of that one today, I recommend it to all that would like to purchase an anemone. <It is a good reference. It is not BTA specific such as Karen's website.> The more I read on my BTA the more I regretted buying it. I have chosen to see if the store will take it back and I have learned a lot from this experience and I would hate for this to die. I will be doing heaps more research on these before I buy another. <Both excellent choices. Do you have a local reef club? You may find someone local with experience that can help your anemone.> Thank you for all of your help; will let you know how my Catalaphyllia goes in the future. Kind Regards Kristy <You're welcome! Good luck to you! Brenda>

Condylactis gigantea, BTA, Entacmaea Quadricolor Problems - 2/8/07 <Brenda here> I have a 55 gal reef tank. I have about 90 lbs of sand, 100lbs of live rock, Fuji. I have 384 watts of actinic and 2-250 watts of halide. <That's a lot of light!> I have in there now a porcelain crab, 4 hermits, 2 red skunk cleaners, 3 Clarkii clowns, 1 zebra Turbo snail and plenty Nassarius snails about 25, 1 Condylactis gigantea purple tip. I just added a mushroom coral, a Rhodactis, it is a leather, and a Rose Bubble Tip anemone. <Yikes! You need to decide which anemone you want to keep, and remove the other. Also three clowns in your system will result in problems as they mature. I suggest removing one clown also.> I put her in 3 days ago all levels ok. <Please list actual test results next time.> When I first put it in she moved across the rocks on one side that I have set up for the anemone away from the Condi anemone. She found a place up side down and close to a power head so I turned the rock so she would face the lighting and away from being really close to the power head. <Your anemone will move where it is the happiest. It was also under stress when introduced to its new home, moving it will only add more stress. It also needs time to adjust to its new environment, including the lighting. It was most likely under much less lighting before it reached your tank. If those power heads are not covered to protect your anemone, it will eventually get sucked in and shredded.> She was doing ok, still showing her trunk and tentacles still small. <It may be hungry. Feed meaty foods such as silversides, krill, Mysis shrimp or raw shrimp.> Then she extended more and the second day her tentacles had got some what bigger still showing her trunk. She had a little to eat and then the third morning its mouth is open tentacles small trunk very small. What could be causing this activity? <It definitely needs to be separated from the Condylactis. Mixing anemones is never a good idea. It will cause chemical war between the two. Without a picture of the anemone when you first got it, it's impossible to tell if you purchased a healthy one. There was no mention of the age of your set up. It is recommended that a tank be a minimum of six months old and stable before adding an anemone. Please search WetWebMedia for more information on these anemones. It sounds like you may have a couple of things going on here. Brenda>

Mithrax Crab Pestering Bubble Tip Anemone - 1/15/07 Dear Crew, <Hi Billy! Brenda here with you today.> Thank you for any suggestions you can give me. I recently added a rose BTA to my 75 gallon. It is still rather small (2.5" in diameter) and I wanted to let it grow before giving clowns a chance to host. <Good choice.> It has been in the tank two days and seems to constantly be harassed by the three Mithrax crabs in the tank. I do not really underfeed or overfeed the tank. <Good> I assume it is because these animals are searching for food as it started to increase after I fed the BTA a small slice of silverside. <Yes> I kept the crabs away with tongs while it ate only to have it regurgitate several hours later. <Likely trying to get rid of what it couldn't digest, bones, or two big of portions.> Is this pestering typical of these animals? <It is not typical, but it does happen. Mithrax Crabs are opportunistic feeders. If food is not available they have been known to eat corals, small fish, and invertebrates.> Should I attempt to remove them? <You can try feeding your crabs prior to feeding the anemone. You can also try placing an inverted strawberry basket over the anemone while it eats. If the crabs continue to disturb the anemone I suggest separating them.> Should I not feed the anemone until I get a pair of clowns to host that will protect it? <Definitely continue feeding your new anemone with meaty foods such as silversides, krill, raw shrimp, or mysis shrimp, even after the addition of clownfish. Also, there is no guarantee that your clowns will protect or host your anemone.> Any advice would be much appreciated; I have planned this tank for this animal and would hate to provide an inadequate environment. Thanks you, Billy <You are welcome! Good luck with your new anemone! Brenda>
Update on Mithrax Crab Pestering New Bubble Tip Anemone 1/16/07
Thank you for the advice Brenda. <Your welcome> As an update the largest of the three crabs continued the pestering which I found somewhat odd considering it had never harassed any corals or invertebrates previously. I think it learned from the BTA regurgitating that if it pinched the anemone it would become stressed and vomit food which the crab could in turn eat. While the crab was too quick to catch during the day I was able to trick him at night by sinking a small Tupperware with a slice of silverside in it. The crab followed the rest of the inverts to the scent and was easily caught and placed in another tank. I look forward to the anemone having more peaceful days ahead! <You have made a wise decision. A crab pinching an anemone is never good. Your anemone should be much happier now!> Thanks again, Billy <Good luck to you! Brenda>

Mystery Tentacle Snipper - 12/29/06 Hello, <<Hello>> I have a green BTA and every now and then (three months or so) I see one of its tentacles on the bottom of the tank or elsewhere in the tank. <<Hmm...>> It is normal looking tissue, good coloring but usually vanishes soon after. I only have one percula, some Turbos, two very small blue-leg reef crabs, and a boxer anemone crab. Any help is appreciated. <<Can't say I've ever heard of these anemones "shedding" tentacles...unless maybe it's a defensive reaction. More likely something is snipping these tentacles off...you may have an unintentional and unwanted visitor vis-?vis your live rock. Some nocturnal inspections may reveal the culprit. You could also try sinking a small glass jar in to the substrate with a bit of shrimp, clam, etc. and see what turns up. Do also have a close watch of that boxer crab to make sure this isn't the cause. Regards, EricR>><RMF's bet is on the Boxer Anemone Crab...>
Re: Mystery Tentacle Snipper - 01/2/06
Does that mean its curtains for my BTA in the long run or more like a small bother for the BTA? <<Continued nipping/removal of tentacles will likely result in the demise of the anemone. You definitely need to identify/remove the culprit...I suggest you remove the Boxer crab and see if this stops the assault>> BTW, forgot to mention I have a brittlestar also. <<Not a player in these incidents. Regards, EricR>>

Rose BTA, clown rel. 11/27/06 Hello Crew, <Hello, JustinN with you today> I Have been reading through the forums, but have not found what I am looking for. I just purchased a gold stripe maroon clown XL for my 65 gal. tank and I wanted to buy a host for him. My tank's lighting is provided by one 175 watts 14k HQI bulb and by two 65 watt Actinic bulbs (130 watts total). I supplement my water with Kalkwasser mix every night using an evaporation method. I also use strontium. <Sounds good so far> My inhabitants are as follows 1. Sailfin Tang <...> 2. Naso Tang <...> 3. 6 small damsels 4. 1 long spined urchin 5. 1 Decorator Crab 6. 2 Cleaner Shrimp 7.75lbs. of Live Rock 8. 3"-4" of sand bed 9. Crocea Clam <You are on a road to, if not already, overstocked for this tank. There is simply not enough room afforded in a 65 gallon tank for either species of tang, much less both. The cluster of damsels could prove to be problematic too, they can be bossy little buggers!> My question is this. How can I introduce the anemone without the clownfish bothering it while it tries to acclimate to the new tank? Thank you for your time <Not a whole lot you can do but let nature take its course. There is a possibility the clown won't host the anemone immediately as well. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Brain Coral Stinging BTA? 11/4/06 Have searched around the site (SO MUCH INFO - THANKS) and can't find an answer to this one. I recently got a rose BTA and he found a spot one day later that he liked and has stayed there for three days. It happens to be right behind and slightly under my Brain Worm Platygyra Coral. When I try to spot feed the anemone (clowns aren't paying any attention to him),<for some reason I haven't had any luck with clownfish and rose BTA's either!> the brain's sweepers inevitably come out. I was worried about the proximity for both their sakes,<I would be too!> and today my anemone looks completely shrunken and BAD. Is the brain stinging the anemone? I know brains can sting other corals, but was afraid to move the anemone since he seems happy there (although the spot he lives in is extremely hard for me to reach for feeding - I can only shoot some shrimp in his general direction and hope he catches it - can't spot feed directly in his center due to awkward location). Do I 1) move the brain to another spot; 2) move the rock that the anemone is attached to for easier feeding/safety; 3) leave them alone because something else is wrong with my anemone (like he's not getting the food). All advice appreciated! Thanks so much! Have gotten so much great advice from your FAQs for everything I do. <I would move the brain since it would be more difficult to move the anemone, try feeding him and hopefully he will perk back up!, IanB>

Bubble-Tip Anemone Gone Mad! - 10/14/06 Hi there, <<Hello>> I have a 75 gal tank...filled with bubble-tip anemones...they are constantly multiplying....all the water conditions are right and the tank has been set up for over two years. Just recently though I've noticed that all my watermelon mushrooms have died, could the bubble-tip anemones be the cause? <<Most assuredly>> Six of them were on the rock amongst the mushrooms. Now my Ricordea mushrooms are dying (noticed anemones amongst them also). <<Same issue>> Done water changes, tested pH, ammonia, and hardness all conditions are fine. <<Not a water quality problem...you have a compatibility issue>> I really have many many bubble-tip anemones near 100 about an eighth of an inch to quarter inch in size. <<That is a LOT of anemones...I hope you have an eventual outlet for these>> Are the anemones the sudden cause? <<They are>> Had some of the anemones since I started the tank (they are multiplying like mad)...the mushrooms a year or more...what could be happening? Need your help. Thanks, Tree <<Well Tree, you simply have incompatible organisms trying to share the same (too small) space. Anemones are always best kept on their own. It is not even recommended to mix multiple anemones in the same tank, even of the same species, unless as in your situation they are reproductions/clones of the host anemone. I think you best resign yourself to keeping this tank as a species-specific anemone tank. Regards, EricR>>

Peppermint shrimp, anemone and Dottyback compatibility 10/2/06 Hello, back for my weekly question. Hope you are doing well. I am sure there is an answer to my question somewhere on WWM, but I am having trouble finding it. On my endless quest for a cure of Aiptasia, I am thinking of purchasing 4 or 5 peppermint shrimp. My question is, will the peppermint shrimp go after my bubble tip (huge) or any of the LPS corals I have (yes, bad mix I know)? <Likely so> Lastly in your opinion would my blue flavivertex Pseudochromis go after my peppermint shrimp? <Maybe if/during molting if there is insufficient cover> If either of these answers are yes, I can put the peppermint shrimp in my sump with some Aiptasia covered rocks, right? Thanks, Ryan. <Yes. Bob Fenner>

PLEASE HELP ASAP!!! Ammonia spike!!! Cnid., Anemone incomp. 9/30/06 Hey crew. I need your advice. I have (maybe had) a 29 gallon reef with a 15 gallon refugium. I was gone for 2 days and came back to see I had a bubble coral looking like it had died twice! I removed it, and took a water sample. Ammonia was .25 ppm. Well, I just so happened to be out of salt and needed to wait till the morning to go get some. All of a sudden... white slime (looks kinda like mucus) come off of everything. Every piece of live rock, every mushroom... everything. I tried syphoning as much as I could. <Yikes> I ran and got an old Fluval and threw some carbon in it and ran it for the night. <Good try> I woke up the next morning to about 10 dead mushrooms, a dead hammer coral, and a rose bubble tip <... incompatible> that was not looking good at all. I removed all of them.. <Best... but not back together... the root cause...> and noticed lots of goo coming off over every part of the anemone. So, ... as i tried not to freak out, but rather act quickly..... I went as fast as i could and got some salt. I did a 10 gallon water change right then, and had to run into work. I cam back from work and did a water test and the ammonia was 1.0 ppm. I was at a loss of what to do. I contacted my LFS and asked what they recommended. I was instructed to do a very very large water change. <About the best stop-gap measure> I changed 21 gallons of the 29 or so (less cause of live rock) and left the water that was in the refugium. I added a bag of live sand and mixed it with the sand currently in there hoping not to destroy all the helpful bacteria. I then added 21 gallons of freshly made water and added a packet of bio-Spira marine. Before the water change... everything looked like they were saying good bye to life... now they look like they want to fight to live. I have a strange feeling this large of a water change will cause the tank to cycle again. I was hoping to defeat this fear with bio-Spira.. but only time and your advice will tell. I did a full water test. Here are the results: Ammonia - .25 (maybe .5, holding the test tube looks like both of them. More so the .25 but I guess i should error on the side of caution) Nitrite .05 Nitrate 5.0 Alk 2.9 Ph 8.4 Ca - 300 Salinity 1.026 Please give me some advice on what to do. Anything and everything I can do. I was planning on doing another 8 gallons tomorrow to try and lower that ammonia. Are the benefits of doing the change worth the risk of further causing the tank to cycle? I am soo lost and need your help. Josh Henley <Mmm, something "caused" the initial stress/reaction of the one Euphylliid... very likely something to do with the presence of the Anemone... cascade of bad-events after this... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, particularly re Anemone Incompatibility with other Cnidarians. Bob Fenner>

Re: Lunare Wrasse Rescue, fish scavengers, BTA comp. 9/6/06 Thanks, I never really thought about using just fish as tank cleaners. I'll try the fish you recommended. By the way, you seemed concerned about a BTA in the reef tank. <Am> I've found that by placing them low in the tank, in a "rubble" crevice with rock faces on all sides, they tend to not move at all. The lighting and water current arrangement I use may also be a factor, but I believe the rock arrangement is the key. Anyways, I'm sure you guys already know this, but I thought I would throw that out there as a data point. Thanks again for the advice. Chris. <And you for yours. Bob Fenner>

Rose Bubble Tip Anemone... mixed with a H. crispa... 7/19/06 I have had a rose bubble tip for about 2 months now, Today I noticed that it doesn't extend out, it is in a little ball and the clown who is actually too big for it has pretty much moved out and into another, a sebae anemone, <... not in the same system?> along with my other clown. The bubble tip will it krill and clams, but is staying pretty much closed. Is there anything that I should be doing or looking for?? Salinity 1.024 PH 8.2 nitrate 20 <A bit high> Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Lighting 2-65watt power compacts 10K 2-65watt Actinic <Insufficient for this size/depth tank, these anemone species> 75 gallon Tank Is the clown buffing it to death?? <Might be... but doubtful. You have a case of allelopathy... mis-mixed actinarians> Thanks for your time Bob <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Anemone help... BTA, comp. 3/4/06 Hi crew. This is my second attempt to get through to you. Fortuitously it allows me to give further update (included below). Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <Okay> Hi and thanks for such a great site! I have been scouring you site for a description and answer to my problem. We have a 72 gal reef tank set up for 8 months now. We have 356 watts of PC lighting. 1/4 of that is actinic. We have about 1200 gal/hr flow via sump and powerhead. Our skimmer is a SeaLife systems unit that only produces about 1/2 cup a week. The tank has about 75 lbs of live rock and about 2" of gravel bed. We have the following critters: 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Flame Hawkfish, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 Purple Firefish, 1 Blue Devil Damselfish, 2 Pajama Cardinalfish, 1 Spotted Mandarinfish, 3 Bar Gobys (16 bar Gobys?),1 Maroon Clownfish, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 4 sand sifting starfish, numerous snails and Hermit Crabs. Our corals are a Torch, Blastomussa wellsi, Open Brain, Xenia, Trumpet, Toadstool Leather, Mushrooms, and Zoanthids. All are spaced at least 6" apart and have distinct territories to grow. We do monthly 20% water changes, and tank parameters this week were Ph=8.2, nitrite & nitrate=0, ammonia=0, Ca= 450, salinity= 33 ppt. Water temp varies between 80-82 or 82-84 daily (2 degree change at most). We supplement with weekly Ca, Mg, Fe, Lugol's, and buffer. I feed the fish every other day frozen Formula One and seaweed. Twice a week I feed the corals Cyclop-eeze. <So far, so good> My problem arises with a Bubble Tip Anemone. I have had it for about 7 months now and it has done poorly. <In a word: allelopathy> I upped the light and tried to feed it small pieces of shrimp, blended Cyclop-eeze and shrimp, and most recently food pellets. The problem is twofold. Firstly the anemone has not had its tentacles out in months. <Very bad> It now looks like a butt hole (sorry so graphic, but I'm an ER doc and that really is what it looks like). So it takes a long time for it to react to any feeding. Next, my clown which has bonded with it from their fish store days (my wife couldn't let them be parted- now we know better) constantly takes food out of the anemone and deposits it on the rock beside it (making it impossible to feed). <Put a colander, strawberry basket or such over while feeding to exclude the clown> About its behavior: from day one it attached itself to a cool rock with holes and crevices about the size of its foot. It hasn't moved until my most recent salvage attempts 4 days ago. Prior to this, it allowed me to move it's rock as I added to the tank without any apparent effects. Lately as my attempts to feed and give it more light have failed, I went seeking advice at one of my LFS who have seemed rather knowledgeable (although I take everything they say with caution). Having tried the above, they recommended trying to partially shade it (causing it to "stretch out" toward the light). I took a small flat piece of live rock from another part of the tank, and made a ledge above it to partially shade the BTA. After work that day the BTA had moved over about 2 inches to get out of the shade. So then I figured it might really need more light. <Mmm, no... not a light issue> I angled the rock slightly and turned it around so that it would have good exposure approx 12" from the light source (see enclosed picture). I tried to feed it a pellet (the bump on the anemone) but it didn't seem to react at all. The next morning it was gone! After an extensive search I found it apparently alive and well at the bottom of the tank attached to a rock and in a very shady spot. Since that time it has moved around a little but always staying attached to a shaded rock at the bottom of the tank. Help! I want this guy to survive, and if it means taking him back to the LFS so be it. He has no sign of tissue necrosis yet, and it has been such a slow process. Does he have any chance in my tank, or am I just exposing the rest of the bunch to danger? Also, without tentacles, is he really a danger to the other inhabitants? Thanks for your advice and an awesome website! P.S. I bought Fenner's' and Borneman's' books on WWM's recommendation which have been a great resource also. Steve <This animal needs to be elsewhere... the present system has its "winners", the other cnidarians, and the losing anemone. Your best chance at saving its life is to place it in another system that has no other stinging-celled life. Bob Fenner>

Possible allelopathy problem 2/9/06 I recently added a small colony of xenias, a small colony of zoanthids (about 10 polyps) and a couple of assorted mushrooms to my 29 gallon tank. I noticed today my RBTA seems a little bit less expanded then normal. Could I have an allelopathy problem? <Unlikely, just be sure none of the colonies are touching the BTA.> I know my tank is rather small, <Yes, too small for keeping anemones.> but the colonies are also all very small and I have been following directions I have seen you give others for good water quality. I do weekly water changes of a little less than 5 gallons (should that be more?)<That's fine.> I also change the carbon in my Emperor 400 every week. Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite are all 0 and pH is about 8.3-8.4. If there are any suggestions you may have I'd really appreciate it a lot. <I'd start by reading here, understanding requirements/needs for keeping anemones. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm> Thank you so much. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> <<This is very likely a case of increasing allelopathy. RMF>>

Anemone shrimp disturbing BTA? 1/27/06 Hi guys Really hope you can shed some light on this. Tank is just under 2 years old, all parameters stable. Have had a Bubble Tip Anemone for a few months now. It settled in nicely, never moved much, feeds and looks healthy. We bought an anemone shrimp this weekend. He went straight in the BTA and the nem hasn't stopped moving since. I was just wondering if the shrimp could be disturbing or annoying it in any way? The BTA is about 5" when fully open and the shrimp is about 1" <Can, do at times> Any ideas would be appreciated. I am now considering returning the shrimp to the shop if the men doesn't settle by the weekend Many thanks Jo <Takes time... Bob Fenner>

Bubble Anemone with Small Fish 12-06-05 I just purchased a large bubble anemone for my 220g with 250lbs of live rock. My system has an ASM G4plus skimmer, 30g sump, three 175w 20k metal halides, and I plan to add a refugium. This was mainly planned to be a fish only tank but I've recently added a couple corals to the 5 Chromis, Banggai cardinals, and school of lyretail Anthias I currently have. <Sounds nice.> The place that I ordered this anemone from had it labeled as Entacmaea quadricolor on the invoice. From what I have read this anemone shouldn't bother or eat my small fish, but I've also read differing opinions. I plan to keep some smaller fairy/flasher wrasses, a flame angel, small gobies, etc. with the small fish I currently have. I'm just worried that the bubble anemone will eat them if given the opportunity. Could you please advise? <You should be fine. Bubble tip anemones are one of the most docile anemones available. I have heard stories of them eating shrimp and other small critters, but it is extremely rare. Be aware that your anemone will wander quite a bit and will want to be near the top of the tank to get good lighting. Let it roam and settle in. Never try to force an anemone into a spot like you can with a coral. Besides that, feed it well and don't worry about the smaller fish. Travis>

Anemone Hosting - 08/12/2005 Hey! <Ahoy!> Real short, <Actually, I'm 5'8", but that's okay.> I have a 20 gallon tank and am thinking about getting a bubble tip anemone and a mated pair of false percula clowns. I have good water circulation, and filtration is more than adequate, lighting is also suitable for a bubble tip. I was wondering, will a tank raised clown take to an anemone? <Very, very iffy. Not entirely likely. Not entirely *un*likely, either. I've even seen 'em hosting hair algae of all things.... and seen plenty that wouldn't host anything, ever.> And I'm not so sure a false percula would even take to a bubble tip. <I've seen some do so.> Can you help me? Thank you. -Andrew C <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Anemone Hosting - II - Speedy Delivery - 08/12/2005
Wow fast response, thank you very much. <You bet. -Sabrina>

Bubble Tipped Anemones and A. ocellaris soulmates? Dear amazing & awesome crew member!!! <Now I have to respond. :)> I have been told and have also read that a BTA won't host an ocellaris? Is this true? <It is and it isn't. The Bubble Tipped Sea Anemone is NOT the natural host for False Percula, or Ocellaris, Clownfishes. However, many Ocellaris will most certainly adopt one as their own. I've never had good luck with the combination, none of my False Percs ever hosted any of my BTAs, but maybe that is just bad luck. I do know that I have seen it many times before, and there is certainly a good chance of such a pairing to occur. Best of luck, Mike G>

Rose Bubble Tip Anemone and Ocellaris? Hi crew, I have a 29 gallon reef with a 250w double ended halide over it. I change out 5 gallons of water weekly. I have a pair of clowns, a royal Gramma, six line wrasse and a yellow watchman goby. I feed once a day and very little. I am wondering how to get the anemone to stay put. I don't want it to kill my SPS and zoanthids. Also, how do I get my pair of ocellaris clowns to host it? The female is 3" and the male is 2". Also, the clowns are tank raised. The person I bought it from never had an anemone. Are they naturally attracted to anemones? I'm afraid that since my clowns have been raised and living in captivity and have never seen an anemone that they won't host. They swim around the tank and don't even notice the anemone is there. >>>Hi Jonathan, Bubble tip anemones (Entacmaea quadricolor) like a nice deep hole to bury its foot in. Provide that, and it will usually stay even if current and light are less that ideal. I'm not saying that light and current will not matter still, it's just that I've found a nice "roost" is valued above all else with these animals. Find a good piece of live rock, and carve or drill a 1 1/2" by 6" deep hole. Then place this rock so that the anemone has access to good light and medium current. Or find a rock with a similar natural feature and place as described above. This should go a long way toward making sure it stays put. Now, as far as this species of clown is concerned, they DO NOT host in bubble tips in the wild, but rather H. magnifica, S. gigantea and S. mertensii. Frankly I have little experience with any of the last three, but can tell you that none of them are as hardy as E. quadricolor in captivity. Even if you have the clowns natural host, tank raised specimens of this species often do not take an anemone as a host. Also, your tank is a bit small to keep any of the above animals long term, so you might want to think about a larger tank down the road. :) Good luck! Jim<<<

Tank Bred or Wild - part II? III? Hi, <Hello again> I just wanted to know which clownfish looks more like 'Nemo' is it the Amphiprion ocellaris or the Amphiprion percula? <the percula> And is there one of these clown fish that is more likely to host the BTA than the other? and also which one has more chance to host the BTA Tank Raised or Wild ? Thanks <Generally either the percula or the ocellaris both will host to a Bubble tip anemone, though a wild caught one is much more likely to host than a tank raised which may have never seen an anemone. Your local fish store may have clownfish in with anemones already so you might be able to get some that have already hosted and or paired. Hope this helped> <Justin (Jager)>
Re: Tank Bred or Wild
Hi, <Hello> Is there any other things that can contribute to them hosting the BTA? <Not really just give them time and a healthy BTA> And what sort of lighting ETC does the BTA need? <I highly recommend that you look this information up on www.wetwebmedia.com as there is a lot of information on what to do for various anemones.> Thanks <Hope that helps. Justin (Jager)>

BTA Splits & Questions Hello All, I have a BTA that has split 3 times in a year and all clones are healthy. I read through the FAQs and am unsure what causes this. Is it stress or health?<Sounds to me like you have a healthy well balanced system><<But can be either. RMF>> Water parameters are perfect. Lighting is 4 x 65w & 1x 96w PC( changed every 6 months). 75 Gallon with 15x water turnover. Loaded fuge w/macro and bugs. In addition I have 2 Percs hosting all of them.<sounds good> Last, I have the following corals in a tank and wondering if I am brewing a chemical cocktail and If so can you tell me the proper grouping for corals I have.<I don't follow "proper grouping"? All corals should not be allowed to touch another one. Most hard corals have sweeper tentacles that insures no other corals get too close. You may have trouble with the BTA's if they start moving and touching corals. James (Salty Dog)> LPS- Frogspawn, Hammer & Pearl Bubble Soft: Star polyps, zoos, mushrooms, corky finger, yellow polyps & Dendronephthya (was sold to me as a carnation coral). 4 BTAs (3 clones) Thanks. To date all coral is doing well exception is the mushrooms ( go figure).

BT Anemone/Clown matching hi, I was just wondering which types of clownfish will accept the Entacmaea Quadricolor and live in there happily????(would the common clownfish)??? thanks <No, thank you! Please help yourself and read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and on to the numerous Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

OH NO! PLEASE TELL ME MY ANEMONE DID NOT EAT THIS $150 FISH! I just purchased an absolutely beautiful geometric pygmy Hawkfish. As you know, it is a rare fish and commands big bucks. I watched it laying under the rockwork yesterday after acclimation, and after a while it slowly started to move underneath all of the rocks. The next day (today), I didn't see it under any of the rocks. I fed the other fish hoping the smell might draw it's attention. It didn't show. Then, to my horror, my rose bulb anemone starting egesting something reddish/brown in color. It was kind of stringy, but had a leather look. Kind of what a fish looks like after you skin them to cook them. Problem is, I haven't fed my anemone in over a week. I was under the impression that Entacmaea quadricolor ate shrimp, and didn't care for fish. <Umm> Could it have eaten my Hawkfish that might have mistakenly jumped into the anemone? <Yes> Or are Hawkfish aware enough of an anemone to know to avoid it? <Not all species, individuals... Let's hope yours is still hiding somewhere... not consumed, jumped out... Bob Fenner> Thanks! Re:
I just have to ask one more thing I should have asked before: would the anemone egest fish skin, or consume the whole fish? <Will egest whatever is not edible... including skin, skeleton...> The book I read that mentioned bulb anemones liking krill over fish also mentioned that the only things egested are parts that are unusable, like chitin. I wouldn't even be worried if I hadn't seen the anemone egesting. Is it possible that it could have been something else, or would it have to have been a food item? I know I'm stretching here, but I just can't believe it. I just thought the fish would know to avoid the anemone, but I fear the worst. Man, I feel stupid... <Happens. Bob Fenner>

Perculas and BTA Are they compatible with BTA? <Yep> I have a 90 gal with 126 lbs Kaelini and deep Tonga rock with a 4" aragonite sand bed. I have about 15x water circulation. Lighting is 2 175w 10000k MH and 2 125w actinics. I am looking for an "easy" anemone that does not cause an allergic reaction. Am I heading in the right direction? <These are some of the more hardy anemone and should be fine in your system. I think all will cause a "sting" some, more so than others. I have found these guys to be weaker compared to a carpet or LT though. Cody>

-New BTA waiting' for some pals- Hello WWM anemone-guru: <Recently (as in 10 seconds ago) proclaimed anemone guru, Kevin, here today> I have a small (4" diameter) BTA that is doing very well after its rescue (purchase) from the LFS. I've heard that one should wait a while before introducing clowns (I'm thinking Perculas) to give the BTA time to firmly anchor itself, get adjusted, and most importantly, get somewhat bigger than 4". <A good idea> The advice I got says that clowns can actually smother a BTA to death if the BTA is too small when the clowns start to 'nest' in it. <They can really stress it out if it's not well adjusted to tank conditions. Clowns can dish some pretty tough love!> Do you have any advice on this matter, as far as time-in-tank or minimum size the BTA should reach before introducing the clowns? <Since you've got nothing but time, I would wait till it grows to 5-6" in diameter. This way it will have been well established and happy provided you have the appropriate system> Also, I feed the BTA small bits of Sweetwater zooplankton and shrimp every other day, and it seems to gobble this stuff up. Any change to my manual feeding regimen? <Frequent small feedings are fine. The more you feed BTA's, the faster they grow and ultimately divide. That said, a once or twice weekly feeding is enough.> I really feed the fish in the tank as little as possible, so there's not a lot of detritus floating around for the BTA to snag. <They're not interested in detritus, but keep them fish fat and healthy too! Good luck - Kevin> Great! Thanks a bunch, SLC

Sinking Anemone 10/21/03 WWM Commensal Comrade : <Hola> I have recently introduced a pair of young Tomato Clowns (A. frenatus) into a 100 gal reef with an E. quadricolor anemone (BTA) that has been comfortably situated for about six weeks in the same spot, <ughh... how I do dread to hear of anemones with corals. So often a recipe for disaster in the long run (years)> and doing well (as in not imitating a melting ice cream cone.) <by a measure of mere weeks... do consider at least remitting the anemone to a refugium sans corals and with a protected overflow/pump intakes, etc> I have two questions submitted for your approval: a.) The BTA is about the size of ... well, an ice cream cone, and the largest clown ( I assume becoming a female, much darker and larger than the other paired clown) immediately took to the anemone, ditching its partner( I had been watching them pair together for six weeks in my LFS.) <common and temporary... she will drive the mate into the nest once the nest is established> The she-to-be takes up the entire nesting area of the BTA, leaving no room for the smaller clown, but that seems to suit her just fine. I've witnessed this behavior before in a different species, H. Sapiens, in the female preferring to take over the entire home and kick the male out of her life. Is this happening simply because the BTA is too small to host both of them, or will she not let the other clown co-habitate? <likely to resume in time> b.) This greedy clown seems to constantly wiggle in the BTA and this action blows a lot of the sand under the BTA out of the way (this BTA, like most E. quadricolors, is situated horizontally in a live rock crevice.) As this happens, the BTA moves itself downwards until it touches the sand again. The clown blows more sand out of the way, and the BTA sinks further down. Within 24 hours, they have sunk about 2 inches in my 5" DSB. <much has been writ about the subject at large... do peruse our archives of articles and FAQs especially. The undersized anemone and presence of a clownfish at all are potential sore spots here (some studies show that more than half of all anemones that can host clowns in fact don't (!) in the wild)> Will this continue until BTA & clown are touching the tank bottom, in the middle of an apparent DSB bomb crater? I'm not so much worried about losing the DSB benefits in that small area, but having the crater collapse in on the BTA and cause grief of some sort. Any advice? <just some of the many problems with keeping anemones in mixed community tanks... my pref/recommendation is to keep this and all anemones in dedicated tanks> Thanks ahead of time, SLC <best regards, Anthony>

Bubble Tip Anemone Hi Bob and gang: I have a 300 gallon reef tank with a variety of corals under MH lighting and a great deal of live rock. I have a number of fish, including various tangs, a shoal of purple Firefish, and a mated pair of maroon clowns. I want to add a bubble tip anemone for the clowns. <They really do not need one.> But, I also have two large scooter blennies that have been with me for over a year, and a dozen huge-size cleaner shrimp. I have no desire whatsoever to jeopardize the scooters or the shrimp (or anyone else, for that matter). What do you think, is the bubble tip a bad idea? <Well, I do not like to mix anemones with corals. There is too much of a risk of the anemones wandering around and getting stung or stinging the corals. I prefer to see anemones in display designed for their needs above all other things. All that said, BTA's are not known for eating fish like many of the carpet anemones are. Please see the articles and FAQ files on www.WetWebMedia.com regarding anemone care. Their is also some good information on the chat forum from people who have breeding/cloning BTA's.> Regards, Dale M. <Have a nice weekend. -Steven Pro>

29 Gallon Small Reef Hi! <Hello! Ananda here, answering the small reef questions...> I set up my first saltwater tank last September (after several freshwater endeavors, two of which are still thriving) and have found your website to be very helpful in the care and maintenance of my aquatic friends. I work at a pet store and frequently direct my customers to your website and books due to the amount of good information I've been able to glean. <Thanks! Glad we can help.> My latest tank is a 29 gallon small reef tank. The system is lit by a 110 watt pc unit (1 bulb 6400K, the other actinic 03) and contains 35 lbs of liverock, 20 lbs of live sand and 15 lbs of a slightly larger grade aragonite. I have an Aqua-C remora protein skimmer with a surface skim box and bubble reducer and an Aquafuge refugium (approx 2.5 gallons) lit by a 13-watt 50/50 PC. There is also a penguin 170 for mechanical filtration. Two sponge-filter equipped penguin powerheads provide 320 gph of circulation with the protein skimmer, filter and refugium adding to the flow as well. <Very nice setup, very similar to the one I'm planning.> Right now the tank has a red hermit (not sure of species, but it's not the large variety), a 6 blue hermit crabs, one Ocellaris clown and a small Bubble Tip Anemone (located on an isolated stand of rock to prevent movement around the tank). <Ack! I'm not a fan of keeping anemones in tanks this small or this new. And I suspect the anemone might still be able to move around. Read here, and follow the links to related articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> My eventual plan is to maintain a few soft corals in the tank along with a single Mandarin, the Ocellaris and the small cleanup crew. <Please skip the mandarin! Your tank is not large enough, even with the refugium, to sustain a sufficient pod population for a mandarin. Please use the WWM search tool and read the mandarin pages (there are several).> The refugium is aimed at sustaining colonies copepods and amphipods (which abounded in the smaller tank (a 10 gallon micro-tank w/ a twin lamp eclipse hood and regular harvesting of macroalgae as nutrient export that this is an upgrade for). <I am also upgrading from a 10 gallon nano.> Now the questions. What are some hardy soft corals that would work in this setup? <I have a Sinularia dura aka flower/cabbage leather that has tripled in size in less than a year (in the 10 gallon tank). Green star polyps work well, as do zoanthids and most types of mushrooms. Come to think of it, most photosynthetic soft corals should be "relatively hardy". Just avoid the non-photosynthetic varieties.> In addition, are there any other small fish that may work in this setup? <Yes, several. Smaller gobies, some of the Dottybacks, blennies, grammas, *some* of the small wrasses... a much bigger selection compared to a 10 gallon tank.> And, would it be ok to not run the Penguin all of the time and instead use it as a mechanical filter during water changes or other events that might disturb the sandbed and cause debris to enter the water column? <I would suggest that you keep it running, with carbon. Your softies are going to wage some chemical warfare, and the carbon will help alleviate this.> Let me know what you think and any comments/suggestions! Thank you very much for your time and all of the helpful advice in your publications! -Christopher Fulkerson <You're quite welcome. Do wander over to http://www.nano-reef.com and its forums. The people there specialize in smaller tanks (generally less than 30 gallons). I have learned a lot from them. --Ananda>

A bleach blonde bubble tip Hey Bob, Got another problem I wanted to query your opinion on. I've got the 11 gallon Nano reef system (a vertical tank)-- pretty good numbers, my nitrates seem to stay around 10 ppm with regular water changes and iodine and calcium both need to be constantly replenished, but everything seems good right now (FYI-- I removed my oversized skimmer and have been working with just a cartridge (carbon) filter now for a while and it seems to be working fine-- that is, the water chemistry didn't exhibit drastic swings, I do more frequent water changes, etc and it saves me huge $ in all the things that the skimmer kept me adding like crazy). <Yes> My problem is a bubble anemone. It's in a tank with a pretty large red brain Lobophyllia and two proto/Palythoa zoanthid colonies and I think it is chemically irritated by something. <Is this in the eleven gallon system?> It has moved away from the direct current to a place where it also gets very little light and now has stayed there for about a month or so. My single attempt to get it to consider a different home (by moving the rock it is attached to) was predictably rebuffed as it moved back to the same place. Meanwhile, it has bleached (for lack of light, I assume--the tank has 36w of compact lighting, but the where the anemone is, it gets little direct light), but continues to live, though it has never looked really very happy (it also reacts negatively to several coral additives-- vitamins and so forth, which I have stopped adding, and to iodine and calcium unless I administer them very slowly to the water, which I now do). Does my chemical interaction theory sound likely? <Yes, plausible> Who is the best guess for the culprit in your opinion? I know the zoanthids can emit neurotoxins from hell, but the brain coral is large and a hard coral. They both seem to be doing fine, although periodically, small white worm-like coils appear on the brain coral-- almost like its losing its stuffing so to speak, but they merely sit on the surface of the coral, going nowhere (though eventually disappear-- back into it?). Have wondered about those, but can't find information there, either. <The latter are likely "nothing"... the zoanthid is the best cause thus far> Should I try adjusting the flow? Increasing? Decreasing? <I'd increase the lighting, check alkalinity, feed the animal> I hesitate to change much in the system, b/c for the most part, everybody but the anemone is happy. Should I add one of those "Skilter"/back pack type filters in the hope that better filtration could reduce chemical interaction problems? My fellow* Nano-reefers seem to like this model for a small tank like mine. Any chance of the anemone's color ever returning? <This system is too small for this animal> A second question on lighting. My tanks came with 1 18w white spectrum compact and one actinic 18w (its the little open-top "Via-Aqua" if you know the model). The light has seemed too strong for some of the organisms, so I switched one bulb to a split bulb (1/2 white, 1/2 actinic), so I can run 18w of both spectrums. This suits some of the organisms who seemed not to like the stronger light and doesn't bother the ones that did okay with 36 watts. My question is now what do I do? Just run the 18w split indefinitely? <Get a larger system, or switch out some of the organisms, at least the anemone> Turn on the second 18w bulb for part of the day? If so, should my second light be a white spectrum, a blue spectrum or is it better for me to shell out the $ for a second split light and run it that way? Finally, if I wanted to decrease the overall wattage my creatures get from the light without replacing the bulbs, what's the best way? <Thirty six watts of mixed full-spectrum should not be a problem with the organisms you list... some other anomaly/ies are at play here. Likely water quality related> Inserting plastic between the bulb and the water? covering part of the plastic cover the tank came with something to obstruct the light (i.e. plastic tape, etc)? Cant quite figure out the best way to experiment to see what the creatures like best, but don't want to flip them all out by experimenting/learning the hard way, etc. One other question: am planning on shifting everything to a 90 gallon tank in a few months (I expect I can "solve" my anemone problem this way, but it could be a few months yet) and would like to keep more than a single pygmy angel. LFS guys tell me I'd have better luck putting three in there than two because that way the aggression is distributed to more than a single individual. I know this worked with my Elephant Noses in my fresh tank, but haven't read much on this point in your book or in S. Michael's stuff. Your opinion? Are they trying to sell me up the pygmy angel river here? <For the real dwarf-dwarf species three should be okay> Many more questions, but will leave you alone for now... thanks, as always, for whatever attention you can give to me and my poor beleaguered anemone, other problems. Sigh, Derek <Try to expedite the schedule for the ninety gallon system. Bob Fenner>

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