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FAQs on Anemone Health 1

FAQs on Anemone Disease: Anemone Disease 1, Anemone Disease 2, Anemone Disease 3, Anemone Disease 4, Anemone Disease 5, Anemone Disease 6, Anemone Disease 7, Anemone Health 8, Anemone Health 9, Anemone Disease 10, Anemone Disease 11, Anemone Disease 12, Anemone Disease , &
FAQs on Anemone Disease by Category: Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
FAQs on Anemone Disease by Genus, Species: Condylactis Disease, Sebae Disease, LTA Disease, Magnificent Anemone Disease, BTA Disease, Carpet Anemone Disease, TWA Anemone Disease, Sebae Disease,

Related Articles: Anemones, Bubble Tip AnemonesLTAs, Cnidarians, Coldwater Anemones, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Disease, Anemones, Anemones 2, LTAs, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Selection, Anemone Placement, Anemone FeedingAnemone SystemsAnemone Lighting

Anemones health can be greatly added to, lessened with Clowns present

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Anemone Troubles 7/28/05 Hi guys <Hey, Mike G with you this evening.> I have taken command of my little brothers Jewel Rio 180 marine set up whilst he travels for a year and although he gave me step by step instructions I need your help please <And I'm glad to give it.> I have a white carpet anemone <"White" and "Anemone" really don't belong in the same sentence. Bleaching comes immediately to mind.> which he has had from day one (3 ? years) I have been looking after this tank for nearly three weeks now and she is gorgeous and I hand feed her mussels which she enjoys. <If it is, indeed, bleached, the mussels may very well be the only thing allowing her to continue living.> Yesterday I carried out my first water change of approximately 20% after finding that my readings were as follows PH - 7.8 <A bit low. Aim for 8.2, 8.4> ammonia - 0.25ppm <A bit high. Aim for no more than 0> NO2 - 0.25ppm <See above. Should be 0> but the big one was NO3 - 160ppm which was off the scale. <Very high, though you've got that figured out.> I got told 20% 2 weekly is the norm is this correct (question 1)? <Depends on the aquarist. Everyone does things differently, though 20% every two weeks sounds good to me.> Although all fish and anemones appeared fine in the tank before the water change. <Alright.> So I got my self some pre salted RO water from my local shop <Same brand of salt as your brother used in his tank? Same salinity?> set it up to an air stone for 24 hours and heated it up to the tank temperature I then begin the change of 20% of the water which appeared to go well for my first time. <Good to hear.> After it was done I then took the readings again and to my shock nothing had really changed the PH was still low 7.8 and my NO3 was still way over 160ppm <If it was off the charts before, there's no telling how high it was. It could have been at 500, and you reduced it to 161, in which case you'd still get the same reading.> How can I get these down (question 2)? <Do what you've been doing. Water changes, lighter feedings...> Secondly I bought some proper ph 8.2 and added just 2 scoops directly to my 180 litre tank to try and get the ph level up to what all sites tell me it should be. <"Proper pH" and other such pH buffers are, in my experience, nothing but problematic. When they "wear off," your water will go back to 7.8, and the jump up then back down will stress your inhabitants unnecessarily. Using Kalkwasser or other such additives commonly administered to reef aquaria can prove invaluable in situations such as these.> After I had done this my carpet shriveled up into a tiny ball as if to say no I was fine as I was, albeit now 2 hours after my heart stopped beating thinking that I may have killed my cutest little new found friend she appears again to be opening up very slightly. <Anemones tend to do a water change within their column from time to time, and will deflate completely periodically or when under stress. Unless it stays like this for a prolonged period of time, I'd not worry myself if I were you.> Is this normal during a water change that she will get the hump with me (question 3)? <See above.> As if I loose her it's the hose pipe and car exhaust fumes for me as I love feeding her? <I don't quite understand what you're saying here, though if it is white, I'd say feeding would be a good thing.> My final question is I also bought another anemone <With brother's consent?> the other weekend which is a brown anemone with brown tentacles with green ends that appear to have holes in them <Hard to guess the species.> as I could not resist her for my 2 clowns and on the say so of my local aquatic shop. On getting her home we set her up and put her in the corner of the tank, the next morning my dad screamed she is next to the carpet <When newly introduced, uncomfortable, or stressed, anemones will roam around the tank looking for a more suitable location.> so I dived in and moved her and since then she will not really take to anywhere and looks like she does not want to take refuge on the glass, sand or rock and will not really show her mouth for feeding and looks like her feet are damaged. <They are quite strong. Perhaps you tore the foot when you moved it?> So do you think she is in big trouble <A tear in the foot is usually a problem.> and how can I encourage her to settle (question 4)? <Provide it with a place it likes, and it'll take to it.> I thank you for your time and look forward to your answers at this difficult time <Not a problem. Good luck with your new anemone!> Gary from London <Mike G>

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

Long Tentacle Anemone Assistance My name is Mac Lewis, and just for the record I'm female *s*. <Hi, there...Mac. My name is Anthony and just for the record, I'm a Sagittarius (insert swanky disco music here). But seriously... beyond the wise cracks, my pleasure to be in your service> I've been out of the hobby for a couple of years but have recently returned and I've got a question about the strange behavior of a long tentacled anemone. <welcome back... I shall do my best> The tank he is in is a 75 gallon.  It has actinic lights, triton lights and sun spectrum lights on it.  I'm running a Magnum 330 with a quicksand filter on it, and a Fluval that is of similar size.  I plan on adding a protein skimmer in the near future <as soon as possible...critical, in my opinion for most> and a wet dry eventually. <may not be necessary if your fish load is light and you invest in enough live rock (a better filter choice for small/medium fish)> My base is a mixture of sand, and crushed shell. <hmmm... how thick? Course is a detritus trap...long-term problems if greater than 1/2 inch depth> I've had this long tentacled a couple of weeks.  When I bought it at the pet store it was lovely and thriving nicely.  I brought it home and brought the two Tomato clowns that had claimed it as well.  They all settled in nicely. The long tentacled kept his size well etc.  The pet store had tried to feed him a dead damsel fish <horrible idea...way too large food. Could even cause harm (rare)> but he rejected it when he got to my tank. <not surprised> The next day, after putting him in my tank I was amazed to see, 6 domino damsels and the two clowns playing in this anemone.  It was packed with fish. And the two clowns were playing in and out of his mouth. <fantastic...the beauty of the sea! How fortunate you are.> In recent days, while the base color remains Orange, he appears to have shrunken down.  At the top of the orange I'm seeing white which I don't recall seeing before.  His tentacles appear plump and okay, not withering. What worries me is that his mouth appears to be gaping open. <indeed often a bad sign> Upon testing the water it appears to be in great shape. <what is your pH, temperature, alkalinity and nitrate specifically?> The damsels are not in the anemone anymore, only the tomato clowns.  He moved in adjustment to a power head which made a current of water that I added because I was concerned with top water circulation and exchange. I was concerned about what he was eating and last night hand fed him a chunk of brine which he appears to have digested okay but there is just something not right about him. <fine but never feed anything larger than brine, and stop that food altogether. it is nutritively barren. Try fine zooplankton or Mysis shrimp> He feels sticking to the touch but he just appears to be drooping.  He has attached back to another spot so perhaps I'm worrying over nothing but I was told that a gaping mouth is a sign he's in decline and I'm going to lose him. <not necessarily> Could you tell me whether he's okay? What you think I might be doing wrong? How I could assist him? <please report back with your water chemistry readings...do a water change (always when in doubt do a proper/gentle water change). Beyond that... your lights will not keep this animal alive in the long run. Although the spectral mix you have is good... standard output fluorescents are fairly useless beyond eight inches of water depth for intensely symbiotic animals like anemones and coral. unless your anemone is right at the surface of the water, it is suffering from a net daily carbon deficit (not enough photosynthetic activity to produce enough carbon for basic survival). Feeding fine (easy to digest) nutritious foods will help, but the animal needs more light intensity. Consider a shallower tank or a brighter set of lights. A pair of VHO's (two 110 watt each) would do the trick or a comparable power compact light outfit. This hardware is a bit dear, so be sure you want to commit to the anemone or find a new home if necessary. Best regards, Anthony>
Anemone Follow-up
Thanks for your replying so quickly Anthony *s*.  let me try to clarify and give you some more details so maybe you can help. <Hi, Mac...quite welcome and ready for round two. Anthony> The tank he is in is a 75 gallon.  It has actinic lights, triton lights and sun spectrum lights on it.  I'm running a Magnum 330 with a quicksand filter on it, and a Fluval that is of similar size.  I plan on adding a protein skimmer in the near future  <as soon as possible...critical, in my opinion for most> The plan is to get the Protein skimmer this weekend <<be sure to focus on fine tuning it to produce a cup of product daily...tedious at first, but low maintenance after the initial learning curve. Seek further advice if you do not get a cup a day... there is no such thing as a "clean" fish tank that cannot yield that much skimmate>> and a wet dry eventually. <may not be necessary if your fish load is light and you invest in enough live rock (a better filter choice for small/medium fish)> I do plan to add some live rock and in the meantime added some live aragonite last night. <<excellent. Live rock and sand are very good investments in your tank's health>> My base is a mixture of sand, and crushed shell. <hmmm... how thick? Course is a detritus trap...long-term problems if greater than 1/2 inch depth> Nooooooo its only about 1/2 inch. <<too cool...you are quite on track>> I've had this long tentacled a couple of weeks.  When I bought it at the pet store it was lovely and thriving nicely.  I brought it home and brought the two Tomato clowns that had claimed it as well.  They all settled in nicely. The long tentacled kept his size well etc.  The pet store had tried to feed him a dead damsel fish <horrible idea...way too large food. Could even cause harm (rare)> but he rejected it when he got to my tank. <not surprised>  The next day, after putting him in my tank I was amazed to see, 6 domino damsels and the two clowns playing in this anemone.  It was packed with fish. And the two clowns were playing in and out of his mouth. <fantastic...the beauty of the sea! How fortunate you are.> Yes I know and I'm determined to keep this guy happy. In recent days, while the base color remains Orange, he appears to have shrunken down.  At the top of the orange I?m seeing white, which I don't recall seeing before.  His tentacles appear plump and okay, not withering. What worries me is that his mouth appears to be gaping open. Although the Clowns really keep staying in his mouth, and his mouth is very large.  He does still have all of his Zooplankton color. <indeed often a bad sign> Upon testing the water it appears to be in great shape. <what is your pH, temperature, alkalinity and nitrate specifically?> I don't have the specifics here with me at work but the ph I remember was 8.1 the temperature is 78 I didn't test for Alkalinity and the nitrates were not showing on the test kit.  Ammonia was not showing in the test kit either. <<pH is definitely too low and perhaps a part of the problem. Ph is highest during the day and if 8.1 is the best we can do, then there is a problem. 8.3 (night-time0 to 8.6 (daytime) is a well buffered tank. Average seawater is 8.45. You'll want to discover alkalinity to interpret why your pH is low>> The damsels are not in the anemone anymore, only the tomato clowns. He moved in adjustment to a power head which made a current of water that I added because I was concerned with top water circulation and exchange. I was concerned about what he was eating and last night hand fed him a chunk of brine which he appears to have digested okay but there is just something not right about him. <fine but never feed anything larger than brine, and stop that food altogether? it is nutritively barren. Try fine zooplankton or Mysis shrimp> Okay ordered some Zooplankton today, good foods are really in short supply around here. He feels sticking to the touch but he just appears to be drooping.  He has attached back to another spot so perhaps I?m worrying over nothing but I was told that a gapping mouth is a sign he's in decline and I?m going to loose him. <not necessarily> I did the water change last night( 15% ) and added the live aragonite.  When I did the changed he flipped over but quickly righted himself.  No signs of disintegration and his color still looks good.  His mouth is not gapping nearly as big today and I'm looking into the halogen lights.  And you are right they are definitely dear. <<a shame, but a necessary evil>> Could you tell me whether he's okay? What you think I might be doing wrong? How I could assist him? <please report back with your water chemistry readings...do a water change (always when in doubt do a proper/gentle water change). Beyond that... your lights will not keep this animal alive in the long run. Although the spectral mix you have is good... standard output fluorescents are fairly useless beyond eight inches of water depth for intensely symbiotic animals like anemones and coral. unless your anemone is right at the surface of the water, it is suffering from a net daily carbon deficit (not enough photosynthetic activity to produce enough carbon for basic survival).> Until I get the lights I could find ways to raise him, with rocks or even a shelf if necessary. <<very good in the meantime>> <Feeding fine (easy to digest) nutritious foods will help, but the animal needs more light intensity. Consider a shallower tank or a brighter set of lights. A pair of VHO's (two 110 watt each) would do the trick or a comparable power compact light outfit. This hardware is a bit dear, so be sure you want to commit to the anemone or find a new home if necessary. Best regards, Anthony> Thanks so much for your help again, Mac Lewis <you are very welcome... best of luck to you, Anthony>> 

Air Bubbles in Anemone Hi Robert, <Anthony Calfo... the author and reef addict, in your service> Need your help on this. There're some air bubble caught inside some of the tentacles of my yellow sebae anemone. Same goes for part of the bottom bit of the anemone... in the disk area. I believe the air bubble came from the airstone when the anemone was upside down.  <Very unlikely... although some cnidarians do ingest air bubbles deliberately as a feeding strategy (for proteins attracted to the tension of air/water interface) they cannot gulp air bubbles. And a static air stone could not forcibly insert them. Air bubbles are often seen in symbiotic animals when they have been exposed to excessive light (intensity or duration). Do you think this was possible? Will it die? <most can purge bubbles in time if ingested, but if formed by zooxanthellae in tissue from light stress...all bets are off>  Earlier it was floating upside down on the surface of my tank. I placed it back to the bottom. It sits but still looks hanging in mid water due to the trapped air bubble in tentacles and disk. What can I do? <see below> Also I noticed the purple tip seem to faded off leaving just plain yellow now. I also noticed small bits of yellow thing on the tank floor... I believe it's small pieces of the anemone. However it looks fine and fresh though it doesn't bloom like it was when I bought it. <Sorry to break the news to you...but you got snookered. There is no such thing as a yellow sebae anemone: what you have is either a bleached anemone (sebae/malu species should be rich/dark drown with dark purple tips) or you got a dyed anemone (common). Either way it is likely to die. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm , and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sebaeanefaqs.htm > Is it dying? Should I take it out now b4 it pollutes the whole tank? <if possible, return it to the LFS with the hopes that they have a brown (healthy) one for trade. Otherwise, feed it fine shredded ocean meats to help the zooxanthellae recover (a source of carbon/nitrogen)> I don't have a spare tank ready unfortunately. Pls help before the whole tank breaks down. Thanks a mill for your expertise. Cheers.. <Keep us posted... Anthony>

Fanworms and a Healthy Malu Anemone! <Greetings Benji... Anthony Calfo here for Bob while he is undercover as a park wiener vendor for the CIA...or was it the NSA, hmmmm maybe the FBI (no... not the Full Blooded Italians, the Federal Bureau of...oh, never mind> Attached are some pictures of some critters that I have in my tanks. I'm not sure if they are Aiptasia or some other harmless type worm. <the latter, goombah. They are sexy and desirable fanworms. Nice to have around although a bit prolific> They are very sparse in my main tank, but very heavy in my 29 gallon cycling/quarantine tank. It is most likely the total lack of any other tank mates in the 29 gallon that lets them get their numbers so high there. <nope... other reasons like dissolved organics/sediments, etc> Also I have attached 2 pictures of my anemone. I have only had him a few weeks now, but he is much more brown than when he first arrived. How much more color will he gain or does he look pretty ok. Thanks for your time. <Browner would be much better with dark purple tips. Too often these "Malu/Singapore" anemones arrive yellow or white with pink tips and even sell at a higher price... pretty ironic for a bleached, starved and unnaturally colored animal that will almost certainly die within a six months to a year! Anthony>

Sebae anemone, etc......... Hello Bob, Happy Turkey Day! <Already? Yum!> Just a question about the sebae anemone I've had for a couple weeks. When I got this critter I placed it on the DSB. <Mmm, this species, Heteractis crispa, lives attached to hard substrates.> After about 2 days, it moved 6" and proceeded to plant it's foot in a crevice in the LR and swelled up proudly. It has been doing great, accepting pieces of fish and shrimp. Yesterday AM I noticed that it was expelling a slimy brown strand from its oral disk. I assumed that this was just waste, but when I got home from work, the anemone was about 1/2 normal size, and had come unattached from it's LR perch. I inspected the entire animal, and there does not appear to be any injury or tissue degeneration. I was thinking, maybe this anemone just wants a change of location?  <If so it can, will move itself> I moved it to a different spot on the DSB where it receives a little less direct current, and this morning it was standing tall and proud again. Could current cause this animal to be unhappy, or is this a "sebae thing"?  <Both> I forgot to mention, I did add a little Zoe and reef supplements to the tank yesterday to boost things a bit (after I noticed the behavior). I currently add Zo?directly to the tank (5ml 2x/week) CA/Strontium/Molybdenum (5ml 2x/week) Kent essential elements (5ml 2x/week) Kent SuperBuffer dKH (as needed to maintain alkalinity). I feed 2x daily (marine enriched pellets and homebrewed frozen concoction). Water parameters are 50 gallon: NO2 = 0ppm ammonia = 0ppm NO3 = 0ppm PH = 8.4 Alkalinity = 14dKh I don't test for calcium, but maybe I should as I do have some LPS corals. <Yes> I'm using relatively new 4x55w PC lighting (10k/actinic 1:1). My one noticeable problem is diatoms. I get an outbreak whenever I do a water change because of silicates in my H2O (I do plan on a RO/DI unit in the future...too many projects, not enough $$). Would the silicates, or the diatoms affect the anemone? <Yes, possibly> Lastly, I purchased a tomato clown to be buddies with the anemone. As of yet he seems more likely to bond with a projecting point on the LR than the anemone. No interest at all, but a very friendly, outgoing fish. <This happens> Ok, this really is the last comment: Regarding water flow, in my 50 gallon flat-back hex TruVu I have the return from my CPR BakPak, and a 402 powerhead. Occasionally I use a 802 powerhead as well (like when I want to get rid of a bunch of diatoms after cleaning and I use a small canister filter on it) this seems to create too much current though. Whenever I use this pump my toadstool and bubble corals retract, and my colt coral is not happy at all. Thanks for your time! <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Caribbean sea anemone Good evening Mr. Fenner, <Buenos noches> My name is John Gumfory and I am currently starting on my saltwater fish tank. There are a few things that I need some help with and was wondering if maybe you could share some of your knowledge with me. I have a sea anemone in my tank at the moment and to me it looks upside down, and I'm not quite sure what I should do with it. If you have any helpful information on that subject or the anemone in general it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for you time. <Yikes... an upside down orientation is a bad sign... Please read over this part of our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonehealthfaqs.htm  on anemone health... and backwards to their on the links on Anemones in general. Keep your eye on this specimen, as it will likely have to be removed. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, John Gumfory

Carpet anemone Hi Robert, I've read the FAQs at wetwebmedia concerning anemones.. I have a carpet anemone question and am seeking your advice/help.  first let me tell you about my tank...  125 gallon SPS tank (set up for 5 years) 30 gallon sump mag 950 for return pump 4 MaxiJet 1200 on tsunami wavemaker 2 400 watt 10k MH 2 160 watt VHO actinic ~120 lb Fiji live rock ~80 lb live sand reef devil 3 skimmer K2R calcium reactor 1/4 hp chiller Ebo Jaeger heater <Sounds very nice> water parameters.. pH: 7.9-8.2 alkalinity: 10-11dKH salinity: 1.024-1.025 calcium: 380 temp: 80-82 ammonia, nitrite, nitrate: undetectable  inhabitants: various Acropora, Montipora, Porites, 1 elegance coral 4 Tridacna clams 1 purple tang, 1 yellow tang, 1 Swissair Basslet, 3 green Chromis Astrea snails blue legged hermits, red scarlet hermits 2 serpent stars 3 colored carpets anemones <Okay> I've had my 8" red and 10" green carpet anemone for almost 1 and 1.5 years respectively now. they are doing fine. they've stayed in the same spot since I introduced them to the tank. I feed them shrimp, squid, or frozen ocean nutrition cubes about 1 or 2/week.  I bought a 10" blue carpet about 2 weeks ago. it looked good when I put it in the tank. it opened pretty well. however, it never accepted food. it is not sticky when I touch it although when the LFS employee bagged it up, it stuck to his fingers and hand. for the last 3 days, I've noticed that it doesn't open up as much and it's mouth is open/everted. I can see the actinopharynx. also, the blue carpet was right next to the green one. today, I don't know if this means anything but the green one actually moved about 4 inches away from the blue carpet. does the green carpet since something is wrong with the blue one? <I'd bet this is so... and that there is actually something wrong... very likely consequent with the collection, shipping of the specimen (very trying)> is this blue carpet doomed?  <Not necessarily> sorry for the long story. I feel helpless. what should I do? <Thank you for sending the information re your system, and livestock make up, history... All seem fine on these counts... the one anomaly is the new specimen... I would leave it in your system and continue trying to feed it... keeping an eye for signs of outright dying, death... if it should perish, siphoning our the animal and water around it is advised. Most all Carpet Anemone specimens are torn in the process of extraction from the wild... and squeezed down, shipped for extended periods in very little water... Other insults take their toll in lost specimens... but specimens can/do recover given good settings, care... and yours appears ideal. Bob Fenner> thanks, Sam from CA
Re: carpet anemone
hi bob, thanks for the quick reply. I'll keep you posted on what happens. I hope this guy makes it. they look so cool together. <Yes, sometimes even found in the wild in close proximity> one more question. I know there are green, blue, red, brownish green, and grey carpet anemones. I was just wondering what other colors you've seen.  <Some surprising odd ones... bright red to orange, yellows, purple, whites of course... Bob Fenner> Sam

My poor anemone Hey Bob! Hope you are having a good day. I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about a white spotted puffer that was given to me. After careful examination of the fish and your site I think it is a Hawaiian Sharpnose Puffer instead. Looks just like that picture! <Yes? And quite odd to some, we have a puffer/Toby species off the coast down south here (Eastern Pacific) with the exact opposite white/dark markings!> He is doing fine, not eating a lot but I have noticed that once the food kind of rests on the bottom he is more likely to eat it there instead of grabbing it out of the water. Trying this more often. He just has to get to it before the Brittlestar does, he is a huge pig! I have not noticed him picking at any of the inverts in the tank so far. Just eating the algae that is plaguing me. Good for him! Now to the sad stuff. I have had a pacific long tentacled anemone for 5 months now. He had a clarkii clown friend and they were inseparable. However, the clarkii was very aggressive, killing another clown and a pacific Sailfin tang. I decided to trade her in for 2 juvenile tank raised false perculas.  <Good trade out> About 5 days after the switch the anemone started looking unhealthy. The tentacles would not fill with water (I assume that is what makes them rigid and look like normal) <Yes> and the anemone started moving around the tank. I let it move and tried not to worry, added some vitamins, iodine to water. About 2 days later it started shrinking and was not attached to anything so I gently wafted it over to a suitable rock and kind of surrounded it with other smaller rocks to hold it steady. Used a syringe to blow invert food and oyster juice mixed with vitamins at it. Looked better the next day.  <Good actions> Day after it looked like its stomach had turned inside out. White lumpy things were all over and around the mouth. Got so bad you couldn't see the mouth, just what looked like nasty tumors. Tentacles were all shrunken. I decided that it was probably dead and netted it. Smelled to high heaven! Fell apart in the net. Gave it a burial at sea. <Yikes, thank goodness for your quick actions> What could have happened? Was it that unhappy after losing its friend? All other fish, corals, etc are fine. Water parameters are fine. Nothing changed except for the clowns. I am very distressed about this. I really wanted the new clowns to have an anemone to bond with and I really liked that anemone. Should I try another? <Maybe, but not necessary as you likely know> What kind would be best for these clowns? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm  and the links beyond> Thank you for any answers you can provide or guess at. :-) Olivia- who is learning lots with lots more desired and trying her best to make her fish friends lives as happy and healthy as possible. <Good for you, the planet my friend. Bob Fenner>

Entacmaea, clown, new tank Hi Bob, <Howdy> I just recently got into the reef tank hobby....my tank just finished cycling and I added my first fish just last week a Maroon Clownfish along with a Entacmaea quadricolor. After, searching the internet for the last 2 months I have learned a lot about this hobby and the mistakes made by many.  <Good idea... no sense "re-inventing broken wheels"> I for one am one of the many that have already made a big mistake purchasing an anemone since I am fairly new at this and I know that anemones should not be kept by beginners. <This is so> Well, I wanted to let you know that your site has eased a lot of my concerns since there is so much information available here! I found this site yesterday and I think it is one of the better informative sites out there on Marine Aquariums.  <Appreciate this. How would you make it better?> You see, after purchasing the Entacmaea I was really worried about its survival since it was doing a whole bunch of things like wandering around, expanding and contracting, and changing colours. I was worried since I did not see that happening at the fish store. Anyway, after reading all the FAQ's about anemones I am more confident about his/her survival since all the questions that I wanted to ask were already asked and answered on your website. <Ah, good> I just wanted to thank you for making the website so that people like me can learn about this wonderful hobby. Also, I am an internet programmer and I think I can help you guys out with this site if you need any....but unfortunately I don't do graphic design so I cant help with the look and feel, but I really think adding a database to the site would make it more scalable since you do have an abundance of information. Regards, Robert Lee <Thank you for your input, involvement. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Anemones Hi, I had just bought an anemone and it smelled peppery. I know that sounds silly. It's a Sebae. Is it alright? <Interesting... smells can be important clues... don't know about "peppery" re anemones though. Sebae's are actually Heteractis crispa if you want to search further on the Internet. Our anemone coverage starts here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm  With health FAQs, links beyond. You might want to try the Breeder's Registry. Their link on the WWM links pages. Bob Fenner> Thanks, M.T.

Sebae anemone Robert, I have a 55 gal hex with a 50/50 and an actinic. I purchased a sebae about 2 weeks ago. Every now and then it deflates but after a short time it will inflate again. It has turned upside down for the past two days.  <Not a good sign...> It appears to be healthy. I also have a percula clown and am wondering why it will not "adopt" the anemone. I purchased a long tentacle anemone at the same time just to give him a choice of anemones. Instead, my clown likes to go over to the bubble wand and enjoys that.  <It may well not "take" to either... Please read the following sections on our site re this situation, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm  an continuing on with the "anemone health FAQs"... this species, Heteractis crispa (most often sold as a/the sebae anemone) needs bright light, is often damaged in collection... not easily kept> My clown also hangs out with my green Chromis, sometimes I think that my clown forgets he is a clown.  <It/he likely at this point is a clown, and a damselfish...> Is this normal for my anemone to be upside down and is my clown fish ever going to "adopt" the anemone? <Only time will tell. Please read through the WWM site. Bob Fenner> thanks, Cheri

Anemones and a greedy lady Hi Bob, Wanted to let you know that the smaller tank is straightened out, traded in the red spot hawk and have freshwater dipped and quarantined the gobies. Keeping the fish out of the tank for a month at least. Thanks again for your help! Well, I am greedy, greedy, greedy! I took the hawk to the petstore this morning, and also some coral frags. They offered in trade a bubble anemone and some turbo snails. Knowing that I shouldn't, I did! I have had a bubble in my main tank for 6/7 months and it is fine, at first was hanging upside down in a cave (you should have seen my poor maroon trying to sleep in an upside down anemone!) and I broke the rock and moved him upside down to a sunnier spot. He still pulls into the rock crevice at night, but is open during the day. I don't do any supplemental feeding. Am I OK to add another anemone? <Mmm, should be... if the system is large enough to support both> Will this confuse my poor clown? <No... it may "use both"> As long as he doesn't walk around I think that I would be OK? As we already discussed, even with putting this guy at the top of the tank I don't think that I have enough light in the smaller tank . . . Also, can you explain the danger of air bubbles in anemones? <Some species, individuals have an apparent difficult time evacuating gasses from their gastrovascular cavities...> I didn't watch them (bad, I know) and have a sneaking suspicion that they just lifted the guy into the bag . . . do I need to be worried? He is looking fine! Thanks, Cari <If this specimen seems okay I wouldn't be concerned... though this group is best not lifted into the air, but "bagged" underwater. Bob Fenner>

URGENT Question (Anemone health) Hi Bob, My Haddoni anemone has been excreting a white mucous for about 2 hours. I have read that Ron Shimek's Haddoni releases eggs once per year. Is this what is happening to mine or is it an indication of an eminent disintegration (death) ? <Possibly egg release, but more likely just excretion. Very unlikely a matter of imminent destruction.> Should I do a massive water change even though I have a 300 gallon tank ? <I wouldn't... are your other livestock reacting negatively? I would do nothing out of the ordinary with your regular maintenance. Bob Fenner> PLEASE HELP !!!!!! The anemone has been fine for the last year and has been growing. Thanks Chuck Spyropulos
Re: URGENT Question
Bob, It seems as if the anemone is back to normal today. Everyone else in the tank appears to be unaffected, so I guess they are in the clear. <Ah, as I suspected> Thanks again for your advice....I think I just may have panicked after hearing about Ron Shimek's ordeal with his anemone. <He is a science type... not a person with vast practical experience... not a person of/in the industry handling MANY specimens... Good to get several peoples opinions, relating of experiences... not just mine, his, or any ones> Regards and Many Thanks "Again", <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> Chuck Spyropulos

Sebae Anemone Hi Bob. I have a green-tipped sebae anemone that has turned brown. The tips are still green but the body, which was white when I bought it has turned a light shade of brown. It has been this way for about three months and seems otherwise healthy. My first suspicion is some type of algae problem. Is there anything I can do or should I even be worried? Thanks for all of your help. Walt <Hmm, not really an "algae problem".... an "algae adaptation" to your lighting, other conditions... the species (Heteractis crispa) "does this". Pls read over our site and beyond (the links) re anemones/health, www.WetWebMedia.com here. Bob Fenner> 

Anemone please help!!!!!!! have anemone problem, need guidance stat!!!! <Hmm, no other information? Size, type of system, history of set-up, what the "problem" is? Please read through our "Anemone" sections, FAQs: http://wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm You must help yourself... Bob Fenner> Monica

Need help w/ my sebae anemone Robert, I have a sebae anemone in my 12gallon eclipse tank, but I've been noticing that it detaches from my liverock at night, and begins to float around. why is this happening?  <Some "thing/s" are not to this Heteractis crispa's liking where it is... lighting, circulation, other animal/s nearby, in the system itself, poor water quality...> my sebae anemone almost died one night, because it got sucked into my filtration system?  <Happens> in the day time, the anemone finds a place to grab on too...and seems fine tentacles fully extended, open, etc..). what am I doing wrong? I do not want my anemone floating around at night!!! please help me!! <Please read through the Anemone sections on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com) and those on the Breeder's Registry (link on WWM)...> here is my tank setup: 12gallon tank w/live rock, live sand 32watt CSL PowerCompact (dual actinic/daylight) (1) true percula clownfish 78F(temp varies +2,-2 ) ph 8.2 ammonia-0ppm nitrite-0ppm nitrate-5ppm <Not an easily kept species... a too-small system... Bob Fenner> thanks, Eric

Lighting AND current Bob, I've got a two-fer question for you -- I have a standard 37 gal. tank with a Fluval 204, CPR BakPak2 protein skimmer/filter, 2 Coralife MiniMight lights (each with 1 actinic blue and 1 actinic daylight bulb) and a 24 inch fluorescent normal output (18W) Reefsun 50/50 bulb. The tank itself has maybe 40 lbs of live rock, a feather duster, some snails & hermit crabs, an ocellaris clown, a springeri, a mandarin and some mushrooms. Everything seems fine (water quality, temp, salinity, etc...) however, I just lost an anemone in record time (about 2 weeks).  <Not really a record... actually, unfortunately, more or less the standard> It was a pretty nice looking sebae anemone that just refused to eat, wouldn't stick to anything, etc.... I successfully kept a bubble tip anemone once before for about 2 years (it eventually got inhaled in the filter, beginners mistake unfortunately) using the same setup of lighting but the tank was a 20 gal at the time. I think it may be the lighting and was thinking of upgrading from the current setup (2 minimights w/ 4 bulbs total = 36W and 1 24" fluorescent is another 18W) to maybe a JBJ compact fluorescent setup....any ideas on what type of setup or wattage (I know I shouldn't be looking at wattage but it's so much easier to relate back an forth)... <3,4, 5 watts per gallon... have you read over the Marine Lighting FAQs posted on the WetWebMedia.com site?> I would eventually like to take a stab at another anemone and eventually some corals but don't want to rush in and lose something else. Now the second part of my two-fer question, could it be the current?  <Doubtful> It seemed adequate in the 20 gal but seems like the water hardly moves in the 37 gal with the existing filters. Any recommendations there?  <A couple of powerheads... perhaps an added refugium with lighting... Bob Fenner> Thanks for any help. Chris

Help (anemone health) Dear Bob, I purchased an anemone about 3 weeks ago, and he's been doing fine till about 4 days ago. he appears to be shriveled up and has a hard time attaching his foot to my live rock. Up till this point he's appeared healthy and opened up several times. I tested my water and it appears to be within all the right parameters. I've tried to offer him shrimp and other fish, but he'll grab it and then drop it. I've reviewed the anemone section of your web sight for some insight on my problem but I'm not sure what to do. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do within the next couple of days to give him the best chance for survival. Thank you for your help. Thang <There is not much you can do... this sounds like a/the typical large anemone specimen that has been damaged in collection, shipping. Likely the animal's pedicle/foot is torn... and hopefully it will heal, recover. Keep the system optimized and stable, read through the Breeder's Registry on anemones (their link is on our Links Pages)... and try to discern the species you're dealing with and its specific needs... your system may be under-illuminated, perhaps "too new" for such life. Bob Fenner>

Ritteri Hi I have a 65g tank that I have set up for a Heteractis magnifica. This anemone is the main reason for the tank so the other inhabitants a secondary. I had toughly researched the anemone and believe I have a suitable environment for him.  <May I ask, what leads you to label this animal as a male?> All of the tanks parameters normal: sg 1.023, ph 8.3, temp 81F, nitrogen's are all 0 <This specific gravity is a couple of thousandths below "normal" and the temperature a few degrees warmer F... not to be too nit-picky> Inhabitants: Royal Gramma, Lawnmower blenny, 2 tank raised Percs, coral beauty angel, cleaner shrimp, and a colony of yellow polyps. <Okay> Against my better judgment I bought an anemone that was not in the best of shape, mouth slightly open and not standing up. Since my LFS never has these I decided to try and shape it up.  <Good for you, the animal> When I put it in my tank it immediately attached to the side of a rock in the bottom right side of the tank. It would take any food that I gave it, but usually just spit it out the next day, except for brine shrimp. <Perhaps it was still deriving nutrition...> After about two weeks the top half of the anemone bleached, while the lower half stayed a tan color.  <Don't let this throw browsers: H. magnifica are purplish to tan on their pedicles/stalks...> I have my lights on timers <Good idea> with 2 actinics @96W from 10am to 9pm and 2 daylight @96W from 11am to 8pm. From about 8am to 12 noon the anemone inflates and somewhat stands, then the rest of the day it starts to deflate. <I would extend the total time frame... with the white lights on a good twelve hours (perhaps fourteen if it improves the animals health/appearance) with the actinics on/off an hour or so before/after> About week 3 it moved from the side of the rock to the top but still continued to inflate and deflate just the same. Lately it has seemed to start losing its stinging ability, food does not stick to it like it used to. <Not a good sign> I know I should not have bought a specimen that was not in perfect condition, but we very rarely get any at all in north Louisiana. I would like to do anything to save this anemone, so any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. <Do read through the "Breeders Registry" and Daphne Fautin's site on this species (links on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com)... I suspect a few things may be amiss... or help in your efforts to restore vitality. Do check your calcium and alkalinity... raise the spg to near natural seawater (1.025... and check the calibration for your hydrometer... for the temperature water you're using...), and add some iodide and a vitamin preparation made for aquatic husbandry use (like Selcon, Zoecon, Microvit). Good luck, Kia orana my friend. Bob Fenner> Tim Faircloth Software Engineer, WPSIndustries

Bubble Anemone with Air Bubble Hello Bob. In the process of attempting to dislodge my bubble-tip anemone from its perch on a pipe organ coral skeleton, he sucked in some air. Yes, I did this partially out of the water. Bad mistake, I know. Upon placing him in another tank, I noticed that he has some rather large air bubbles trapped near his tentacles. I read on your site that air bubbles trapped in anemones spells death for the animal, but I was wondering if there is anything I can do to rid him of the trapped air? Perhaps remove the air with a 1 cc tuberculin syringe? I sure don't want to lose him. Is it a foregone conclusion that he will die from the trapped air? Thank you, Sherri J. <Hopefully not... if this animal is in good shape otherwise, and the system optimized and stable "this gas too shall likely pass" through absorption over a few days to weeks time. I would leave the animal as it is. Bob Fenner>
Image of Bulb Anemone with Trapped Air
Hi again...I didn't think earlier to include a digitized image of my poor anemone, but one is attached to this email. You may use it on your site if you wish to utilize it to show this problem. <Thank you> Of course, most people are probably smart enough to keep their anemones in the water so hopefully this is a very rare problem. *Sigh* <Not so rare...> Sherri << Bubble_with_airbubble.jpg >> <Let's wait a week and see if the gas dissipates a bit. Bob Fenner>

Anemone turning brown Finally, I have found a web sight with all the answers to my questions.  <Wowzah! Many more questions to come for sure.> I  have an anemone in my tank for about 7 months. In the last two months, he has turned completely brown, and does not eat as well as he used to. I was told to stop adding any extra vitamins, or additives.  <Possibly the latter might be of more help than harm... definitely vitamins are not an issue in causing color loss.> I only use Start Right now. This did not help. I was also told to change my actinic bulb because it was over 6 months old. This did not help either. I do water changes every 3 weeks. I also have live rock in the tank. Any advice? Let me know if you need more details. Lora <A few things might help here... principally measuring your system for biomineral (mainly calcium) and alkaline reserve... Yes, both important to Anemones even though they're not biomineralizing life forms... Do you utilize iodide occasionally? You should... It may well be that this animal is under-illuminated by other light spectra ("white"), that it has cast out its endosymbiotic algae for other reasons... But I would be feeding it chunky meaty foods weekly, using a vitamin prep. to soak the food in and administering same to the water about weekly... and you may well find the animal will never re-color... or strangely enough, that it does with the introduction of other stinging-celled life that release some of their zooxanthellae that it re-incorporates. Bob Fenner>
Re: anemone turning brown
Thank you for answering my question so fast, but I am not sure what you mean when you say utilize iodide. I don't recall seeing this phrase when I read about anemones. Could you please explain? <This material (often called by the elemental name Iodine) is an essential nutrient/component of Anemone metabolism... Bob Fenner>

Long-Tentacled Anemone (induced) Troubles I recently purchased 4 long tentacle anemones. I added them to my system and they looked great for about 2 days. Then 3 of them started to shrink and eventually turned into mush which I rapidly cleaned up. I have checked and have had checked by my local fish store my water parameters and they are all fine. I have a 55 gallon with a Fluval canister filter, dual power heads on an undergravel filter, 60 lbs of live rock, a protein skimmer which is generating greenish material that I empty on a daily basis, and 160 watts of mixed lighting (50/50, 10k, actinic). I am concerned because this is the second time this has happened to me. I have some damsels and some turbo snails in the tank. Everything else is doing fine but I am at a loss, as is the fish store, as to what may be causing this. <Very likely one of two things or both... the specimens were "beat" otherwise doomed from the beginning from the rigors of collection, holding, shipping... and/or there was chemical, physical "incompatibility" between them... they don't "just get along" in proximity. Please see the "Anemone" sections posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com and the links from there on these issues. Bob Fenner>

Anemone (statement) Hi Bob Hope you are doing well today. I am half way through your book for the second time. Its amazing at how you can read things and still find new info every time you read it. <Yes> My question is a carpet saddle anemone. I have only been feeding him once a week with a varied diet of (clams, fish shrimp etc. He is pretty big 22inches across. He seems happy, I know they are mostly photosynthetic. I always add SELCON with his food , and once or twice a week in the tank itself. I have added 2 250watt 65k halides and boy he really seems to like all that light. (he really opens up with the halides. That's all for now. Once again thank you for this VERY helpful site you have created. <You're welcome and your care of this anemone sounds fine. Bob Fenner>

Sticky Sebae stuff...? (and much stickier situation) I just got a sebae today.... it is open all of the way, but for some reason, its laying on its side. Its foot looks very bubbly now, but did not look this way at first. Also, I'm seeing some "snot" looking stuff dangling in the gravel once in a while. I believe that its coming from its foot. Was this a bad pick?  <Umm, likely yes... Very common for large actinarians/anemones to suffer damage (especially to the foot/pedicle) on removal from the wild, consequent handling, shipping... And best to wait on such purchases... after the specimens have been in captivity a good two weeks... and this species, actually Heteractis crispa... not historically a good survivor. Please take a read through the "Anemone" sections, and especially the related FAQs, Links on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more... and quick> I've got it in a 20 gal with a tomato (they have not met yet), Koran angle, powder brown tang, 2 damsels and a porcu puffer. I've got 5 lbs of live rock. what do you think is going on with it? I knew I was taking my chances with it, but I didn't expect this!!! Keith Slagerman <I do hope the size of this system, amount of live rock, and/or types of livestock here are typos... All this life will not "go" in such a system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sticky Sebae stuff...?
>I know that you are a very busy person, but you brought me to  >another >interesting question... I have had my system for several weeks, like I said, I have a tomato clown, a Koran angle, a powder brown tang, 2 damsels and a porcupine puffer in a 20 gal. From your response, I am guessing that this is overcrowded. Is it severe? mild? What should I do? I do not believe in keeping animals in unfit or inappropriate conditions. I've about given up on the sebae, it looks sad. I wish I could help it. Thank you very much for your time. <For a twenty gallon? Very, severe, extremely crowded... Trade out, give away all but the two damsels... really... for such a small system. Or better, get a larger system going... Quick! This volume, amount, kinds of livestock... you have little chance of success keeping these animals going in this system for long. Bob Fenner>

Help I have an shriveled anemone and am worried I got this anemone from a local marine supply store. It seemed very healthy. Nice size, color and all, but I have had him about  a week and now its shriveled up it half it's size and keeps flipping upside down. It has not attached to any rocks either.  It has been resting on the bottom ground shell. I believe it is a Heteractis crispa, I'm not sure I don't remember.  It hardly moves and has really not moved since I put it in there. I am really worried about him, I don't want to lose him.  Please help. ASAP. I will be forever in your debt. Thank you Brandie Kagey <Yikes. Please log onto our site: www.WetWebMedia.com  and read over everything on anemones posted on the  Marine Index there... there are many incidents as yours... in the FAQs sections... that will likely trigger a better idea  of how you might proceed at this point... and references to other areas of help on the Net... see the Links pages on  WWM to "The Breeder's Registry... re anemones as well. Bob Fenner>

Another sebae anemone................. my mom recently purchased a sebae for my aquarium. currently I have one tomato clown, one true percula, one false percula, 2 blue damsels, and one domino damsel. I have about 10 hermits (red legged) 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, and 2 peppermint shrimp. I also have a few mushrooms, 1 bubble coral, and bout 30 lbs of various live rock that is turning some pieces of bland colored rock a real pretty garnet red with a few globs of pink stuff. <A vivid description!> the tank is a 37 gallon eclipse system. OH! by the way, I have a small harvest of Aiptasia too, lol. nothing major anymore, the peppermints took over that. I am running a protein skimmer, not sure how well it works, but the cup does fill up with nice green juices and some foam, so its doing something. everything seems to be doing good, except for the anemone. my lighting is one 20 watt actinic blue, and one 20 watt sun Glo. I'm working on building a rig for the second lid of may tank for 2 more 50/50 20 watt bulbs, but until then.... I cant add any metal halides because they'll probably melt the plastic.  <Yes, I understand... do finish the new hood retrofit> anyways, when she came home with the anemone, I set him in the tank. he has barely moved an inch. at night when the lights are off, he closes up a little, and rolls over on his side, not flipped, just on his side, and when the lights come on he rolls back on his bottom, and opens up. his mouth and bottom seems to be intact. but I have been feeding him a LOT. fresh raw shrimp every about 3 times a week. I have only had him about 2 weeks now, so maybe he's acting like this because he's getting rid of his waste?? <Or, perhaps because of the newness total... you can imagine what it must be like... to be in the ocean, removed, transported in all sorts of odd conditions... smooth sided containers... in the dark for days... And this animal does need intense light...> the thing that seems bad from other Sebaes I have seen online is that his tentacles or kinda short and stubby, and bright white with bright green tips. he is about as big around as a softball. his tentacles may be very very slightly transparent, but not much at all.  <This IS still likely a "sebae" (actually a Heteractis crispa)... see the images, explanations on this, other anemones on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com  and the numerous FAQs posted there about them> one morning my false percula stumbled his way into it and played around for about 20 minutes, then I had to go to work, and he hasn't been in since. he does react big time if he is touched. he then closes up, looks kinda like a star. I am having trouble feeding him now though. my peppermint shrimp like to run all over him, and ill put a piece of raw shrimp on his tentacles, he proceeds to fold it inwards, and here come the thieves. how ironic huh? <Asi es la vida. Such is life> the shrimp steal the shrimp and eat it. I have to combat them the whole time he eats. the try to eat my fingers. anyways, is there any hope???? <Always my friend> if this isn't too confusing for you, id greatly appreciate some help. thanx a bunch, Daniel Ralls p.s. by the way, I am having quite a few of the slug looking things, that have a very small bit of shell on them. looks kinda like they are growing a shell over time. sound familiar??? and what would lay eggs on my glass?? looks like air bubble sort of, and has small white eggs inside, and mainly concentrated by the heater. <Likely as you say... some mollusks... of no negative consequence. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Please help Bob, First I would like to say thank you for worldly renowned knowledge on saltwater fish.  <Don't know about world-renowned... and it is fishes! As they say in those multimillion dollar making snore-job movies for teens, "Whassup"?> Your FAQs has saved me a lot of money and grief, <Outstanding! Great to hear/read> and I was hoping if you could help me once again. Here's the problem: I have a long tentacle anemone in my eclipse 12 gallon tank with 32 watt (half daylight, half actinic) with 2 false perculas (which is another story), a damsel, a cleaner shrimp, and a small hermit crab. The first problem is with the anemone. I turn on the light in the morning (around 10am) and leave it on until around 9pm. It seems that every time I turn it on, the anemone tentacles (and itself) start to shrink, and it turns a fluorescent green color. It does this on a frequent basis, so I am not sure whether it is sick or not. My nitrite and ammonia levels are a little bit high, but that is because I just performed a big water change.  <What? No... the root cause is somethings else... this tank is likely under-filtered, under-circulated... would like to see, modify... put on a canister filter, small skimmer (like a Prizm, Skilter...)actually a hang-on refugium like the new spiffy ones being offered by CPR on this system... you need these... your tank has too much life in it for the type of stock Eclipse light, filtration, circulation...> But it has also happened to a bubble tip that I had in there before.  <Ah... your world has not changed... have you?> Please give me any suggestions to keep my anemone healthier. <Look inward my friend> My second question is regarding my false perculas. They won't host with any anemone!  <offered> I first tried the bubble tip, but they would even touch it, and now I have the long tentacle in, the closest I got was that one of them barely brushed one of the tentacles with it's tail. Is it the fish or the anemone, or both? <... a few possibilities... these tank raised Australians are a bit shy to develop anemone relations... the long-tentacle... is this a Heteractis crispa? Though this species (Amphiprion percula) will associate with other actinarians in captivity... Take a look through the anemone sections on the www.WetWebMedia.com site puhleeze> I have been trying for a long while to get my perculas to host with something, and the fish store person said that they would definitely host with the long tentacle. Any suggestions/methods to get them to host with the anemone?  <Take the animal back to this fish store> Once again, thank you so much for your wisdom and guidance. Dave <A pleasant time. Bob Fenner>

Will bubbles harm anemones? Dear Bob, All water parameters remain at your recommended ideal levels for inverts except Ca is only at 390 (Calcium reactor is my next plumbing project, using B Ionic till then.). <No worries with the present calcium... keep planning, dreaming on that reactor though> The three Mollies and the Blue Damsel are very happy along with Cleaner Shrimp and Hermit Crabs. The first 70 pounds of living rock is beautiful with pink and purple algae and another 50 pounds is getting a final curing in a spare 30 gallon tank. A True Percula Anemone Clown is in its third week in the quarantine tank - very healthy, beautiful color. <Sounds good> Now after a great deal of reading I am feel ready to introduce an Anemone along with the Clown. It concerns me that an article stated that air bubbles can kill Anemones. A 700 GPH/Pressure Iwaki pump provides circulation between the show tank and a large sump in the basement (500 GPH net circulation). I have not been able to eliminate the fine mist of bubbles accompanying the incoming water - they are picked up by the pump and/or plumbing. The pump intake passes through 2 inches of filter foam. <Only a great many bubbles are problematical... anemone species at times are found in areas of tremendous turbulence... But the fine bubbles may be coalesced in a few ways... like rigging up a box/refugium (ones are ready-made by CPR, Link on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com ) with plastic media like grob flocken by Eheim placed in it... this is my best route> My question is - can I have anemones? Will these bubbles harm them? <Yes, and probably not> If I go forward, I have access to Sebae Anemones. Is this a good choice? <Heteractis crispa... okay if you can get sturdy specimens (many damaged in collection don't make it...). Entacmaea are better... read over the anemone sections on the above cited site> What would be the very best choice for the True Percula? I am very patient and will hunt for the best! Again, many thanks! Howard <Please see the anemone/clown compatibility chart and notes on the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

Sea anemones I have purchased a green carpet anemone. Know it looks like the insides of it are coming out. Who you know why? <This is likely no big problem... often happens with Carpets when first placed in a new system. Please read over the anemone sections on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com and investigate the "Breeder's Registry" re them... via the link on the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

Anemones not so good signs hi bob, I have been reading over the whole website on anemones. I have found that other people tend to experience some of the same anemone symptoms.  <Yes, many/same common experiences...> I emailed you previously about the discoloration of my anemones base. the orange is pretty much gone or faded. last week it did turn upside down.  <Not good> since then it has not do that but has had other symptoms. part of me just doesn't want to believe it is dying. I hoped it would come back. this is what I have going right now. I have to eighteen inch 50/50. the tank is a 55 gallon. I run a wet dry filter. I have a skimmer and two powerheads. I put a small powerhead over by the anemone. I have a sand base and purchased 7 pounds of cured live rock. I put one piece over by the anemone hoping it would attach. no look so far. it does extend quite well to rub its tentacles on it. when the lights go off or close to that time the anemone shrivels and tucks itself in. the base then looks puffy since I have had it there has always been slime mucus waste coming from its base. it does look a bit more hairy now. it still opens up for the majority of the day. not to its fullest amount though. I feed him Phytoplex three times a week. I also feed him one half of a cube twice a week. the cubes are from a variety pack of frozen seafood. any advice? <Only not to give up. The feeding, opening/closing behavior you mention is good for the most part. Keep feeding this specimen and it may rally yet. It may just be in shock from collection, tearing of its base. Bob Fenner>

Help, of course! With Anemone Your book is excellent and is my main reference work. However, as you might suspect, I have a problem that I can't find an answer for.  <Thank you for writing, and count your/our blessings... the original length of CMA was over 1,100 pages... w/o graphics> I just bought a Heteractis Crispa from an internet based company. The anemone is not in good shape. At first I thought it was the shipping. The outside temperature here was probably in the high 20's with light snow. The inner and outer box seemed to be at about this temperature. All the bags of water were very cold. I did not take a temperature reading and I should have. However, this is my first anemone and I have a basic question that I can't find an answer to either in my own library or on the internet. <Good observations, relating> The anemone has two sides - up and down. I have assumed up is the side the tentacles seem to oriented to. This side has a white area in the middle that has what I would describe as a sphincter valve.  <Yep, mouth and anus> The other side is a white stem that grows and shrinks and is wide open on the bottom. Is this opening on the bottom normal?  <Yes, and the usual site of real trouble/collecting damage...> The anemone does not seem to be able to attach itself to anything. It continually gets knocked over and ever upside down (assuming my guess about top and bottom is correct). <Yes, and all too typical> This seems like such a simple question but the best descriptions describe the bottom of the foot as a disc which I think should be closed but I can't find any pictures/drawings looking up at the bottom. <Take a read over the anemone sections posted on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com  and the links page connection to "The Breeder's Registry"... and beyond... the basal or pedal disc of wild-collected anemones is problematical. I do hope yours rallies. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help, of course!
Hey, thanks for the quick and reassuring reply regarding my best guess about top and bottom. Whew! I was afraid I had the poor thing upside down. On top of collecting and shipping that would probably be the final insult. <Ah, perhaps...> Just a note about your comment about your book. It should have stayed over 1,000 pages (Clancy novels are this long now and not nearly as helpful). <Think of/for the trees! Have mercy, we'd have had aquarists with the biceps of Ahnold!> The longer the better. Several volumes would be even better. I have in my own library: Fenner, Tullock, Spotte, Delbeek and Sprung, Fautin and Allen, Wilkinson, Moe, Emmons, Andrews, Adey and Loveland, Loiselle and Baensch. Friese, Haywood and Wells, and others whose authors I can't recall offhand.  <Great company. You honor me> None of these books were helpful for my question of the day. The FAQ's and answers on wet media are great, BUT... It is difficult to group them in a logical manner so that they read like a textbook. They are very repetitious.  <Agreed. And thank you for this... Am endeavoring, every day, to make the WWM site more logical, functional... much, much more to put on... and an unbelievable time consumer... Great fun... And a few other printed volumes backed up over the last few years... Here's hoping some will see the light of day soon... Not to go overboard here, but it is indeed difficult to write articles versus books versus articles... The development of clear concepts, possibly new terminology into cohesive, accurate, significant and meaningful works is daunting... not knowing what the intended Reader may know, have read... You can understand how difficult this seems... not knowing the background, ability/interest level of the audience... Many are mere children, others foreigners, still others odd scientists and industry folk...> I guess we amateurs all have the same or nearly the same questions. What I would love is if you could spare the time to edit this material to make it part of a chapter on Anemones in book like CMA or something like that. The fact that we all ask the same questions over and over and that this information appears in no book to my knowledge just begs for a new publication. There are many books that are surveys (of anemones for example) with really nice graphics. But because of this they offer little in depth about any one anemone and little in depth on the entire subject. I think we need a chapter or book that just covers in depth the anemones that are most likely to be available in the trade. <Agreed. Perhaps you will be the person to see such a work/creation to reality?> Why not a series of monographs on various aquarium animals that is in depth and very practical - oriented to the hobbyist not to the amateur marine biologist? <Very good ideas...> Hope I'm not too pushy about this suggestion, but I'd sure buy the series. Thanks again for your help and on a Sunday too. <Anytime my friend in fish. Bob Fenner><<From the mouths of... Ala a new e- and print on demand re Anemones in Captivity. B, 2014>>

Anemone hello, I emailed you yesterday about my anemone. thank you so much for the information. I think it is great that you take the time to respond to all of these aquarist questions.  <You're welcome> I have spent a lot of time at the fish store asking questions about my anemone. I usual get the same answer to the same questions! they tell me only to feed my anemone twice a month??? is this right.  <IF you had one of the species that mainly subsists on photosynthesis... IF your system had "detritus" (some species "eat" a bunch of fish wastes... really, in the wild) in your system and/or IF you had lots of live rock, a refugium (lighted sump with live rock, perhaps mud, macro-algae) producing plenty of small foodstuffs, IF... otherwise, I would gauge this animal's health/appetite by its behavior... if it seems susceptible to feeding (open, eagerly attaching particles to its tentacles...) I would certainly offer it more food directly... at least once a week, likely twice... Your observations/interactions with the specimen are of more value than any/all's opinions> I have had it for two and one half of a month. it seems to like it where there is not as much flow or where the flow ends at the wall. no matter what I am pretty sure it wants to spend its life there. however I am worried that its life is coming to an end. the base is losing most of its color and is swollen like.  <The swellings may be natural (verrucae)... the color change may be due to diet, lack of intense full spectrum light, some aspect of water quality... Do read over the WWM site for the links to the Breeder's Registry and peruse the wealth of information there on captive anemone husbandry...> the tentacles shrink and expand but never like before. the base used to expand long and short. now it is puffy and odd shaped. is there something I should do. my water test comes out good. nitrate is about 30 everything else is good. there are no live rock in the tank.  <I would definitely add some live rock... many, many benefits here> just sand right now. I have a three clowns in the tank. one of them always stays with the anemone. since I have noticed these problems the past days the clown has been spending less time there. I feed it frozen cubes that I defrost. the cubes come from a variety pack. how often should I give these to it?  <The clown? Mix this diet with some flake, pelleted, fresh foods and feed small amounts 2,3 times per day> it has never once eaten the food either. lastly I have a SeaClone skimmer that collects nothing. not even water. is this because I have no organic compounds? thank you for you time. james <More likely the skimmer is inadequate. Please read over the skimmer, live rock et al. sections on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Sea Anemone Woes  hello, I apologize about the capitol letters. I read a lot on your web site. I thought the information was very informative and helpful.  <Thanks and no worries... trying to do my bit to see longer through the days onward...> I have a question about my sea anemone. his base is orange but now it is starting to get white blotches. he seems to be shrinking a lot more than he used to. his base also looks swollen up. my water test come out good. I test once a week for nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, and ph. I use two 50/50 bulbs. I have had him for 9 weeks. the angelfish I have often eats at his base. lots of the time lately some of his tentacles are shrunk while the others are open. he opens wide and stands up a lot too. he shrinks all the way when the lights go off. these are most of the observations I have made. do you have any advice for me? thank you <Bunches to say here... do read over the FAQs files again on the www.wetwebmedia.com  site re "anemones" and the link to "The Breeder's Registry"... I take it you don't have a clownfish that might be protecting the anemone from the Angel... your/its real problems may simply be predation! If there's some way to separate these two I would... Shrinking at night (or even during the day) is natural and nothing to be alarmed about... I encourage you to try a little more feeding (twice a week, something meaty like a crustacean or silversides, frozen/defrosted) and increase circulation about this specimen and see if these changes help to rally it. Bob Fenner>

Question on Sebae Anenomes I have a long tentacle sebae anemone who has suddenly become ill and has reduced in size and color turned from pink to gray. The sebae does this periodically but has recently become ill or is in the process of dieing. What is the life expectancy of her? Candace Ringle <The color change of this anemone (Heteractis crispa) is a very bad sign... I would quickly look to find what sorts of chemical and/or physical poisoning that may have led to this condition... and correct it/ or if possible, move the specimen to another going system. Many possibilities exist that would account for the sudden change/loss of this animal... most likely "something" in your water... likely from an additive/supplement... possibly a negative interaction with other livestock (frequently other stinging-celled life like Mushrooms...). In any/all cases, I would execute a large (50%)water change and install a "unit" of activated carbon in your filter flow path... Do this NOW. Bob Fenner, who also urges you to keep a close eye on the anemone and remove it (a large siphon works best) if it is obviously dead.>

!@#!%$! carpet anemones Dear Bob, I have read the archives and know you are plagued with anemone questions so please forgive me but I just have to ask... I have a 180 gal reef lit with three 250 watt 6500K lamps. The tank is close to seven years old and the only filter is an older six foot Marine Tech 3500 counter current skimmer. The substrate is live sand and crushed coral over a plenum forming a total depth of 3 inches. I have many Acro's, monti's, and several other genus of scleractinian corals that thrive and grow like weeds. I even have a sebae anemone ( Heteractis crispa) that I bought probably five years ago that has grown from no more than three inches in diameter to a huge 14-16" monster. This animal is the one that plexes me; why does it thrive in my aquarium but carpets DIE!!!!! <Hmm, another of those/these "great mysteries of life"... likely a "founder effect" at play here... The existing anemone is outcompeting/poisoning/stinging the new comers... Or maybe some of your other stinging-celled life is contributing... Or perhaps the other anemones (carpets) are just bunk specimens that wouldn't have lived... they come in terribly in general... torn, doomed... Or, maybe the conditions in your system in some way are simply unfavorable to them.> I recently received a beautiful blue carpet, it is my third blue carpet and like the two prior it is Stichodactyla gigantea. It came in rough and even had aconite/mesenterial filament coming through the middle of the foot.  <Bingo> I know this one is unlikely to live but it expands so nicely it makes me wonder why they die.  <It's more an artifact of our "subjectivity" here... our frame of experience generally entails warm-blooded animals... they live, and die quickly... should "things" go wrong... Such is not the case with much of the invertebrate and coldwater vertebrate world... they can be "insulted" and seem fine... for days, even weeks... only to succumb to those challenges later... with little or nothing to reverse the possibility> It like the two before it is located on the bottom in good flow and bright light. It is constantly undulating and its mouth is still open to about the size of a quarter. This is exactly what the other two did before they shrunk up and melted, one lived almost a month and appeared flawless when I received it, the other had a similar foot problem and kicked it in about a week. I know, I know, carpets even anemones in general, suck, but WHY????? I don't know if you have any suggestions, any would be appreciated. I can find little to no info other than the basics; from Sprung, Fautin, Nielsen, on carpets and so I thought I'd write down my frustrations and send them to you. Maybe if we all do this we can find a common theme, other than death, that will lead to husbandry success. Oh yes I can't end with out the standard tank parameter b.s. : ammonia 0.0mg/L nitrite 0.0mg/L nitrate 10-25 mg/L phosphate 0.0mg/L pH 8.0-8.3 calcium 400 mg/L KH 12 One last question, could my old sebae be battling the carpet chemically and do rival clowns, in this case ocellaris vs. polymnus have anything to do with the loss of carpet life? I am dreadfully sorry for the length of my letter, but let it be known, your suffering through it is most appreciated. Thanks again, ] Todd <Ah, you and I at least share some of the same possibilities and sensibilities... Do read over the wealth of info. on these animals husbandry stored on the Breeder's Registry, and send Stanley Brown there your observations to help others. Bob Fenner, who would place any further specimens in a separate quarantine system under bright illumination for a couple of weeks... utilize a bunch of activated carbon in your main system, right ahead of moving the new carpet(s) to it...>

Dead/Dying Anemones? I just bought a sebae anemone, and was wondering what happens to it when it dies <Hmm, well, this species, Heteractis crispa, does die way too often... generally from trials and tribulations of extraction (collecting, shipping, handling...), and secondarily from being placed under unlivable circumstances (inadequate lighting and filtration principally)... But if I understand your question... what happens? They turn to mush, dissolve and pollute the system they're in... sometimes taking other livestock with them... Best to assure the animal is alive (turgid, open, attached...) and if not (flaccid, shriveled, loose...) to remove it... if need be via a large-diameter siphon... to prevent more of its remains mal-affecting your system/other life. Bob Fenner>

Long-tentacled anemone Purple Bob, Hi I have a 55gal tank set up with live sand and rocks, Protein skimmer, power filter, undergravel filter with powerheads running forward and reverse. The lighting I have is 4-40watt fluorescent lights(1 actinic, 2 coral, 1 sun) and 1 metal halide 175watt 10k bulb. The tank has been set up for about 2 months. Currently I have 4 fish: 1 sebae clown, 1 tomato clown, 1 blue damsel (??), 1 (2 spotted) damsel. 2 feather dusters, several tiny hermit crabs, 4 sally light foot crabs (Percnon gibbesi). I recently purchased 1 sebae anemone and 1 long-tentacled anemone purple). The Sebae anemone is doing great, when it arrived it was small about the size of an egg, now it is sitting on top of a rock and is about 7" in diameter, it is eating silversides and frozen brine. The Long Tentacled anemone isn't doing as well. It eats, but it wont stay put. It is directly under the metal halide on the sand, (I tried to bury the foot once but it just climbed out) The problem is it gets moved around by the current and I don't want it to get sucked by the power filter when I'm not looking. It also was about the size of an egg when I got it and it grew about 2x its size, (the tentacles are about an inch in length). But it eats well, frozen brine and silver slides. The books that I have read say that it should bury itself in the substrate but it hasn't. The water quality is great, as far as all my tests show. Any ideas? Kurt >> Hmm, good observations... and the anemone will be much larger as it regains its health (they're squeezed down for shipping)... do your best to fashion intake strainers (pipe and coarse media work best) and otherwise leave this specimen to "find itself"... do not bury its base. Bob Fenner

Re: Anemone It's interesting you say this as the people at ffexpress had told me that bubble tips were relatively easy to keep. I've also looked through the FAQ on the wetwebmedia site but couldn't find any cases quite like mine. <My opinions are borne of many years in all aspects of the trade... have collected all ten species of "giant" actinarians used in the trade, worked developing collecting stations involving these cnidarians, been involved in tracking many tens of thousands of them... historically, less than a few percent are alive after 3 months... Entacmaea quadricolor is the hands-down best, but still dismal survivability... My opinion> Within my experience keeping anenomes, it seems that my anemone would continue to move around regardless where I put it, and continue to shrink. My Sebaes had at a couple points enlarged during only a short part of the day but would immediately contract again. I've taken them out after a certain point in fear that they would spoil the water. <Something(s) not right with specimens, system, altogether suitability with other livestock... much, much to state... do read through other accounts on Breeder's Registry> Do you know if anyone else has had this experience and have been successful in overcoming it? Thanks again for your help. David >> <See above. Bob Fenner>

Long tentacle anemone hi bob, I used to ask you so many questions, which you gave the best advice for, when you were on ffexpress... <I miss those times as well, though I do still help out with some of their new "intuitive system input"> now that I've found you again I have another question...I have a long tentacle anemone with a male and female saddleback clowns (they love the anemone)...the anemone looks fine, its tentacles are extended and look healthy, but its bottom part is not attached to the bottom...the anemone doesn't seem to like bright light (I have 2 - 55 watt power compact lites on a 55 gallon high tank)...I have a pile a live rock in the middle of the tank making a big cave in the middle. this is where it likes to be, but its kind of laying on its side, I thought the bottom part would attach to the bottom substrate (crushed coral)...like I said it looks healthy...is there anything wrong with it?...oh, and I've only had it for a week...thanks...Jeff >> Hmm, it may have a torn "foot" (pedal disc), which is common on their removal from the wild, and/or perhaps there is something about the system or present placement it doesn't care for.... I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point, nor try to move it (it will move itself), but I would definitely warn you about the dangers of the anemone being sucked against pump intakes... take care to cover these with sufficient foam, barriers... and take care to keep a sharp eye on this animal. Bob Fenner

Bubble-tip anemone Bob, First of all, I'd like to thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge in "the Conscientious Marine Aquarist." As a budding mini-reef aquarium enthusiast, I have found your book to be invaluable in guiding me through the myriad of considerations in successfully maintaining a marine aquarium. <Good to hear>  My question is with regard to keeping bubble-tip anemones. I have a twenty-gallon tank, approximately 25 lbs. of live rock, a few fish (including a pair of maroon clowns), a fire shrimp, button & mushroom polyps, a red serpent star, and a bubble-tip anemone. Lighting includes a 20W blue actinic bulb and a 55W HO bulb. I have a CPR backpack protein skimmer and a particulate filter. Temperature is kept at around 80 degrees, salinity at 1.023. When I first added the anemone, he spent a good deal of time "scrunched up." Also, I noticed that some of the tentacles on the perimeter of his body had "browned." The anemone has since become adjusted to the water and light conditions (seemingly) and stays open, with tentacles full of life. Still, though, a few of his tentacles have remained "brown;" it does not appear to have spread- but it also does not appear to be going away. Is my anemone ok? Any thoughts you could share would be greatly appreciated... and again, thank you for writing such a wonderful book! Sincerely, Steve Scully >> And thank you for writing. What you describe so well is not uncommon. The loss of zooxanthellae "symbionts" by their anemone host... subject to sufficiently stressful, inopportune circumstances. Not to worry too much though. Very frequently, the mal-affected areas will become repopulated with time, good care. Bob Fenner

I recently purchased a bubble tip anemone from ffexpress along with other animals. all the animals arrived in wonderful condition. Except the anemone. The anemone was flat and its mouth was wide open with a mass of white stuff coming out. I was concerned about it so I called ffexpress and was told that this was normal. So I went ahead and conditioned it for the aquarium. I placed it in the aquarium and it got bigger and bigger and finally with the help of my clown, it released all of the white mass. The anemone seems to be doing well. It is much larger then when I got it and the tentacles are all bubble tipped on the end. I have had it for a week and a half and it has not eaten yet (which I am concerned about), and it has what appears to be a lesion next to its mouth about 1/4 inch across. It kinda looks like another mouth. I am watching it carefully and my water quality is very good. Should I be worried about anything? Will it start eating soon? any help would be appreciated. thank you, Jeff >> Hmm, do agree with the statement about appearance on arrival of this Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor). Often they do arrive flat, and frequently with some sort of discharge. Interesting about the "gash" you mention, size and placement... this may well be another "mouth (and anus)"... your specimen may be reproducing through "splitting" (fancy scientific term: schizogyny). With time going by, health improving, you will find the animal dividing in approximate halves; two individuals from one. I would continue to encourage its feeding, maybe every other day with something meaty and discrete (like a bit of larger shrimp, silverside...) possibly soaked in a vitamin mix (Selcon, Microvit...) to enhance appetite and food value. But otherwise not fret too much about the lack of feeding. Anemones do go off-feeding at times, especially when undergoing large changes, like being moved to a new system. If your system is otherwise acceptable (plenty of light, water well-conditioned, no other stinging-celled animals nearby, good circulation...) the specimen(s) will recover, and thrive. Bob Fenner

Sebae anemone Could you please help me? I have purchased six purple tipped sebae anemone's in the past year and they all dye within weeks. I thought these were very hardy. Why am I having such a problem. I have a 50 gallon tank with protein skimmer, live rock,175 halogen light, 2 sebae clowns, damsel, coral beauty, blood shrimp, cleaner shrimp and boxer shrimp. I also have a fungi plate coral, colt coral and bubble coral which are all thriving !!!!!!!!!!! Can you help. Thanks, Susie Little  >> <Well, let's see. You have enough light, and good enough water quality to keep other stony and soft corals... And your list of livestock doesn't include animals that would kill/eat the anemones. The "Sebae" anemones you may be getting may just not be very good specimens, and if it were me, I'd try a hardier species. Look into the Bubble-tip Anemones, Entacmaea quadricolor from ffexpress.com instead. Bob Fenner>

anemone meltdown   In my 55 gallon reef (which has no fish in it currently, but about 55 lbs    live rock, a "pink anemone", open brain coral, 2 flowerpots, a few mushrooms,    polyps, a brittle star, sally lightfoot crab, and cleaner shrimp) my bubble    anemone died. It had sunk back in a hole in its rock about 3 days ago, but it    does this occasionally so I just kept an eye on it. Last night however, I    could see it was actually pulling away from the rock so I reached in there    and tried to get hold of it and it disintegrated. I pulled the rock out of    the tank, but on the way out it dumped a whole lot of liquefied anemone back    in the water (gross). the only real filtration equipment I have on my tank is    a large over the back skimmer and an undergravel filter with two powerheads.    I waited about ten minutes for the skimmer to suck up the chunks, then put a    bag of activated carbon over the skimmer intake. Do you think this will be    sufficient? all my animals look ok so far... I can do water changes too, if !   I need to. How does the anemone affect the water? Is it the whole ammonia,    nitrite process, or something more "poisonous"?  >> Good moves on your part, paying attention to what is/was going on in your tank... removing the remains (siphon next time...) and placing the activated carbon... Only time will tell if much/any noxious material effects there may be from this event... There is not "much" to anemones (mostly water), so "stinging/sticky" elements are about the principal worry (perhaps causing other life to in turn cause nitrogenous problems)... I would execute a large water change (50%) out of general principles and leave it, and watch, otherwise at this point. I'm sure you can understand why I'm so guarded about new folks to the hobby getting involved with anemones. Am hopeful you will be of the same opinion. Bob Fenner

Sad Anemone My anemone seems unhappy. It won't stay put and at times I find it upside  down in a corner of my 75 gal tank. Otherwise it and everything else in my  tank looks healthy and responds well. Any ideas? >> Something is not to the animal's liking in this system... or it was/is damaged from collection/shipping/handling... What species is this? How much lighting, circulation are you providing? What other sorts, especially stinging-celled, organisms are present... anything like stony corals, mushrooms? Do you have another system you can move it to? Bob Fenner
Sad Anemone
It's a beaded Anemone and after reading a little about it this evening I've come to realize that I might not be providing the right conditions in my 75 gal tank. I'm using crushed coral for a base, around 30 lbs of live rock, one power head for circulation, a canister filter (magnum w/ dual bio wheels), and limited inhabitance including: 1 soft coral, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 blue damsels, 1 yellow tang, 1 feather duster, 1 polyp rock, 1 Bisma worm rock, a few snails, and one of those 2" round rocks with the anemone type tentacles covering it (name??). Everyone get's along great, the shrimp ride the tang around like a school bus (doesn't seem to mind). I just don't think it can find a suitable anchor point. Should I make an area of sand or get some rubble rock for a section of the tank? >> >> A beaded anemone...? Well, you could try as you state... or maybe try wedging the animal near the front center in-between some rocks... gently. Do you have a light you could shine more directly on this animal? It might be photosynthetic... Bob Fenner
Sad Anemone
Forgive my ignorance but "photosynthetic"?  >> Yep, some, many of the species that aquarists keep... of anemones are photosynthetic... they have endosymbiotic algae in their tissues that help them by making sugar-foods, protect them from "sunburn", aid in getting rid of acidic carbon dioxide wastes... and need intense, full-spectrum light... Understand? Bob Fenner

My bubble tip anemone I just got my bubble tip anemone 2 days ago. It seemed healthy, it  immediately attached to the live rock and expanded. Well today it is  shriveled and a few strings of brown mucus looking stuff is sort of stringing  out of it. Is it zooxanthellae? Is it as good dead or do the release this  "stuff" from time to time? Everything else in my tank is doing great. My  pulsing xenia is looking the best I've ever seen it. The water quality is  great. Should I get ride of this time bomb or give the anemone a chance? Jared  >> Yikes... if you have another place (another tank set-up, even a quarantine...), I would move the animal... it doesn't sound good... not healthy... for whatever reason(s)... and could become a problem if it died/dissolved quickly (which they do)...  The stringy stuff hanging out is not zooxanthellae but part of the anemone's defensive mechanisms... and not a good sign either... Something... too much/too little chemical, circulation, light-wise... or chemical incompatibilities with other life in your system is likely "to blame"... Solution(s)? Find the missing/abundant cause and cure it... or move the animal where the cause(s) might/might not be... at least where if the animal does die, it will not cause other harm. Bob Fenner

Anenomes and others Hey Bob, We are having real trouble keeping our anenomes alive. What do we  need to know to keep them alive? We hand feed them and we have clown fish. In  our 120 gal. aquarium we have 2 tangs, 3 damsels, 3 clown fish, 2 shrimp, and  a fire fish. In this aquarium we have top water quality, everything is  perfect and in the last 2 weeks we have lost 2anenomes.(1 long tent anemone  and 1 coral anemone) HELP!!!!!! >> A bunch to know... re keeping the large, tropical anemones. First off, that most folks have no success with them either... due to... principally the initial quality of specimens (i.e. they're doomed from trauma, tearing from collection, processing from the wild to you)... Many species require intense, full spectrum lighting... and good circulation... and some "not very clean" water (in terms of particulates, metabolites, dissolved organic/inorganic nutrients...) some species are detritivorous just to give you an idea.  Much more to state, but you might want to read the survey articles on these animals posted at www.wetwebmedia.com or scan the Breeder's Registry on the Net, or get your hands on the latest ed. (1997) of Daphne Fautin and Gerald Allen's "Anemonefishes and their Host Sea Anemones". Bob Fenner, who should get his actinarian photos on the site (and his act together in general)

Anemone Color Loss Hi, well I have a long tech anemone for a few months and it has lost  some of its brilliant color since then, if I remember correctly,  adding iodine helps keep color. Is that correct or am I off base?  thanks Bob >> Well, I doubt if the iodine will have much effect. Mostly what's missing is adequate bright lighting of a full-spectral mix... to keep the algae that live inside the anemone happy... That and optimized water quality... Bob Fenner

Anemone problem Bob, My Sebae anemone has suddenly started acting funny. I have a 55 gal tank, 30 lbs of LR, 2 anemones (sebae and bubble tip), 2 small sebae clowns, 1 small tomato clown, and a mandarin. The tomato clown lives in the bubble and the other clowns share the sebae anemone. The problem is that my sebae anemone turned himself upside down so his mouth laid on the gravel and his foot sticking up. I left him alone thinking he was okay. After 2 days he started seeming to almost molt, with a hairy-like mucus shedding off his foot area. Even in the upside down position the clowns still enjoy him and his arms are plump and healthy. Is this normal or something I should worry about, he has been that way about a week and 2 days?? Brad >> Brad, I won't mince words or meanings here; it doesn't sound good. Do reach in and flip the anemone right side (mouth) up. If it is either stiff or obviously dissolving CAREFULLY scoot most of into a plastic bag underwater and dispose of it, and gingerly execute a large water change by vacuuming the water and glop around the area. Something(s) went wrong with the "Sebae" anemone in your system. What, exactly is difficult to say. I would not replace this specimen, and not worry about your clowns adjusting to being anemone-less. Bob Fenner

Disaster in the Making Yesterday , when I awoke , a new layer of green covered the top of my bottom sand & of course my rocks, don't know what's happening. my PH is 8.4, alkalinity fine- any other ideas. Question- my ammonia shot up to .2, I think its because an anemone died, should I do an immediate water change? or give my wet dry a few days to bring it down? Thanks, Hilton >> >> Life is happening. Don't wait. Do the water change immediately. Do add some activated carbon as well... Quick! Bob Fenner

Anemone Health I have a 55 reef tank with about 50 pounds of base and Live rock. The tank has been set up for about 5 months. My water tests out very good with no ammonia, nitrite and less than 10PPM of nitrate. I have a Berlin system with some mushroom corals, a big colt and two carpet Anemones (spelling???) + I am starting to get a growth of Caulerpa (Macro Algae). The Carpets were the first additions to the tank. One is medium and one is quite large I have two problems. 1. The smaller carpet opens and closes completely every day. Sometimes he looks like a pile of mush and a few hours later he looks pretty good. He never seems to open up all the way anymore. He is in a far corner of the tank and is all alone. he has not moved since I placed him in the tank many months ago. 2. The Larger carpet opens beautifully and stayed in one place for about 6 weeks. He now has moved around the tank. Is this a sign of stress? He still looks great. What am I doing wrong? Everything else in the tank is open wide and beautiful Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You, Andrew Elstein >> It's anemones, like the flowers they so much resemble (and were named after). Don't worry about the Caulerpa. Unless it starts covering everything up (just pinch and remove some), this is more a good thing than bad. Don't worry about the opening/closing Carpet, unless it doesn't open at all. I would redirect some current its way (like with a power head) and see if this stimulates it more. Are you feeding your carpets? Do you have many damsels (mainly a small school of Chromis) to "do" this? Bob Fenner

I am new to the business (2 months) of keeping animals in a glass tank. I have read a lot of material and trying to educate myself on marine systems. My tank is an All glass 92 gallon corner tank with approximately 90 pounds of live rock and 3/4 inch of crushed coral substrate. Trickle wet/dry filtration and a protein skimmer change the water between 5 & 6 times per hour. 275 watts of "Sho-Lights from Perfecto provide the sunlight. The 5 Damsels seem to enjoy themselves and appear healthy. One medium Haddoni Carpet anemone and one Sebae anemone however don't seem so happy. They both some what in the tank and at times shrivel up and turn upside down and look real sick and sometimes they are full and look real healthy. The lights are on 12 hour per day and there are two 295 gph power heads to provide circulation. What could be the problem and what could I do to make the anemones happy? Thank you for any suggestions that you may have! >> Well, this sounds like a very nice set-up... except for the anemones! In all likelihood your tissue-grade life is suffering from the ill effects of removal from the reef and the "still-processing" goings on in your two month old system. Maybe your supplier will trade them back for something else or credit. Seriously, do let the system "break in" a good six months before trying these animals. This is my best advice. Be chatting, Bob Fenner

Question: I have two 75 gal reef tanks set up. Everything is living and growing beautifully. However, I do find myself having a problem with anemone's and snails. Every time I get anemone's, (species doesn't seem to matter) or snails they don't seem to last long. After about 4 month's the anemone's shrink slowly away and die. I feed them worms fish and scallops. The snails clean the tank than they die off or disappear. The fish and corals that I have just keep going and growing. I do add Reef plus, reef calcium and reef iodine by Seachem weekly. Is there anything else I can do to keep these guys alive?

Bob's Answer: Hey Jeff, thanks for your note. First, the anemone losses don't surprise me. Many of these animals are roughly removed and handled prior to getting to your retailer. They wouldn't live for anyone. Secondly, many, by far the vast majority of anemone species should not be utilized for ornamental aquaristic purposes anyway: Most have extraordinary needs that will not be met by aquarists. For instance, many of the larger species are detritivores or even coprovores (they eat fish poop)... and the associations afforded them in aquarium settings are totally inadequate. If you must try an anemone, do research that species particular needs and learn how to pick out healthy specimens. The best place to start is the Internet at the "Breeder's Registry". Look to the works of Joyce Wilkerson and Daphne Fautin for much more.

Now the snail losses do concern me otherwise. I'm curious as to why these aren't making it. Maybe you have some crabs (like the so-called "picker-upper types"). All crabs used in the trade are opportunistic omnivores and will gladly eat your snails. Many fishes like to munch on them too, as do a great deal of the interstitial fauna like errantiate polychaetes (e.g. bristleworms). I'd skip on these, unless you want to go back and forth on the net winnowing out who the culprit(s) might be.

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