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FAQs on Anemone Reproduction

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

Under favorable and unfavorable conditions anemones may divide

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Carpet anemone question     6/22/19
Hi Bob,
<Hey Frank>
I hope all is well. I have a question for you regarding a carpet anemone I just received. To my knowledge, carpets reproduce through shooting eggs and sperm through their mouths
<Yes; sexually... they do asexually divide, leave bits behind as well>
(my rock anemones did this which I did record the action on video and I actually had little rock anemones show up months later).
This one I received had a little carpet growing on the underside of its column. Did you ever see something like this and do you have any knowledge of this as another way of reproducing like budding? Thank you as always!
<Have seen and wondered re... Is this "just" a bit of the capitulum (top) being extruded from the pedicle/stalk of this animal? Or... yet another means/example of asexual... fragging; if you will? Bob Fenner>
Re: Carpet anemone question     6/22/19

That can be interesting if does reproduce asexually as well. I didn't check for a small mouth. However, I will investigate and see. Thank you
<Please keep me/us "in the loop" Frank. BobF>

Propagating Rock Nems      10/29/18
<Hey Tyler>
I'm looking for some feedback on propagating Rock Flower Nems. I heard someone or when we last talked about slicing the mouths of Rose Bubble Tips
and it caused them to split. Would this technique work on Rock Flowers?
<Indeed it will; or I should say, can. Best to cut through both sides of the mouth (bilaterally) to ensure success; AND only do so when you're sure the animal is in very good shape (opening daily; readily accepting food; staying turgid...) AND only do on an every several month basis (like twice a year). Bob Fenner>
Tyler Johnson,
President of Addictive Aquaculture LLC,
YouTube Channel:
Addictive Aquaculture Website:
Re: Propagating Rock Nems      10/29/18

so let me get this straight start the cut at the corner of each side of the mouth and then all the way through to the outer skirt?
<Yes; through the entire mouth, sideways/long ways, through the body.
SEE/READ on WWM re Iodide-ate use in this procedure. BobF>

Spawning Nems?!? - 01/27/2013
Your email has been deleted due to being too large a file size. We only accept hundreds of Kbytes, not ten plus Megs
 re: Spawning Nems?!? - 01/27/2013

You guys couldn't even just read the text of my email and disregarded my attachments? Ill resize my images and resend.
<Thank you... I assume/d your image was necessary to understanding your msg.... the Net here is verrrry slow. BobF>
Spawning Nems?!?
It was one attachment that slipped by me that was the huge culprit. Sorry
about that. Round two.
<I see your demarcated areas... but can't really make these out... They are
the base/pedicle of Polypoid animal/s I take it... see below>
Subject: Spawning Nems?!? - 01/27/2013

Hi Everyone at WWM,
I have a mysterious growth, for a lack of better words, in my 22 gallon nano aquarium. I am a new hobbyist and am puzzled by what these little creatures could be. After looking into every avenue I am aware of and asking my local LFS experts, I am still left puzzled by what this is. So I turned to your expertise in the area, I am in awe of the knowledge your crew at WWM possesses and love the great resources/information you provide to the hobbyist! So thank you in advance for your help!!!
So here's the current line up in my tank:
1 6 Line Wrasse
1 Clown
1 Nudibranch, not sure of the species it looks like a white ribbon
1 Speckled Green BTA
3 Maxi Mini Carpet Nems
Various Common Zoas and Polyps about 45 to 50 in four small colonies
6 Crying Oranges Zoas

2 Stalks of Pulsing Xenia
1 Leather Coral
1 Flower Pot Coral
1 Chili Coral (Sponge)
2 Blue Mushrooms
2 Branches of White Star Polyps
3 Headed Candy Cane Corals
<Amazing that all this Cnidarian life gets along here in such a small volume. Do see WWM w/ the word "allelopathy">
I had, but have since my discovery removed, 3 large turbo snails and 2 nasserua (sp?) <Nassarius> snails. Here's why, is it possible that the growth on my glass could be BTA spawn?
<Not spawn per se, but possibly pieces left over, pedal laceration; a kind of asexual reproduction... by this or other polyp life>
The best way to describe these little guys are bright pink to almost bright orange in color round egg looking creatures with arms (maybe tentacles  that fly's around it, not longer than its length of its body) that are the size of a pin head. They are not moving about my glass like cope-pods in fact they seems affixed to the glass until in the morning when the lights come on they have since moved around the glass. They seem to be forming clusters. Its hard to capture a picture of them because when you zoom in you get almost a transparent kaleidoscope effect with the camera lens  I didn't notice anything too unusual from my nems except the following. Possibly my RBTA smoking, except the "smoke" was brown and the Speckled BTA seemed to have some secretions coming from its tentacles  Whatever the case I found very limited information on this matter or images to reference for the development of sexually reproduced BTAs. I attached the best pictures I could, to show these little guys, as well as a drawing of what they look like to the naked eye :). Hope you can ID these for me, I highly doubt I would have a successful spawning of BTAs. I love this hobby but am definitely still learning the ropes.
<After decades of earnest study, I as well>
Looking forward to your response,
<I encourage you to peruse/read the various Reproduction FAQs for the Cnidarian groups on WWM. Bob Fenner>


The Unfortunate Battle Of Anemone Versus Filter Intake :-(/Anemone Reproduction/Health 7/25/10
Hey Crew,
<Hello Manda>
I have some not so good news here, but a double part kind of question. I have had a Rose Bubble Tip for about 2 months now in my 60 gal tank. PH 8.2, SG 1.025, Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites all 0.
Along with 200 watts of T5 lighting. Was doing fantastic! Even had it split into two very happy bubbly guys. About a week ago, I had added a Yellow headed <Head> Sleeper Goby that went to town rearranging all of my
sand to create his tunnels. Having returned after a week being gone, I cannot find our little clone. Is it possible that he got buried in the substrate?
My boyfriend who was taking care of the tank while I was gone said he had seen him a day and a half ago. If he is buried, is there any chance of survival?
Would he find his own way out?
If he can't and has/will die, what do I do to avoid him contaminating the water?
<I would make an effort to find him, and if dead, remove to prevent contamination.>
Second part: The other half of the cloned pair decided to hang out by the intake of my Marineland C360 filter. It has a cover over it with lots of little slits in it so I didn't think it would be too detrimental, however... I just moved the tube away and about half of the anemone has been sucked up and of course looks awful. It almost looks as it has been cut in half right down the center. I know you can cut an anemone in half,
<Whoa here for the benefit of others. I have also read that it is possible to cut an anemone in half to propagate it artificially, and that only anemones that naturally divide will predictably survive this procedure.
In my opinion/experience, the percentage of success is minimal and one is likely to end up with two pieces of
dead anemone. My advice here....let the anemone divide naturally.>
so I am wondering if it is possible that he will make a recovery, or if I need to pull him off of the live rock so he doesn't contaminate the water.
<Anemones experiencing this trauma rarely recover.>
If I need to take him out, what's the best way to not affect the other fish?
<The best way is to remove the rock the anemone is attached to and remove it with a stiff brush.>
The water isn't cloudy, the skimmer is skimming efficiently, and I cleaned out the intake cover so there are no more pieces stuck in there. All of this makes me never want to leave for an extended period of time again!
<Yes, it sure seems that problems always arise when one is gone for a period of time.>
(I also lost my fire fish who apparently decided a day ago to jump out of the "covered" aquarium and found him on the floor today)
<And I'm still wondering how my Flasher Wrasse jumped out through a 1/8" slit in my "covered tank".>
Thank you very
much for your help!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Sand Anemone Spawning: <RMF Help Please?> 4/18/10
Hi LynnZ,
Hi Crew ,
<Hello Claire, it's good to hear from you!>
Hope everybody is well there.
<Doing very well, thank you. I hope you're enjoying fine health as well.>
I have a question about this sand anemone staying with me for two months now.
<Neat, but I have to warn you, anemones are definitely not my forte so it looks like we'll be learning together!>
Is there a chance that she releases eggs too
<If it's a female yes, otherwise it'll be sperm if it's a male.><<Mmm, depending on the species may be dioecious or monoecious... "one house"... both male and female. RMF>>
(I think she can release both of them - not at the same time - if she is hermaphrodite) or do I have to look for another sand anemone to form a couple?
<Apparently they have separate sexes, so there would have to be both male and female present in order to procreate successfully.>
Could you please tell me the ID of this beautiful creature (I saw a lot of pictures, but I'm still hesitating on the name).
<I wish I could because it is indeed a beautiful creature. Unfortunately, I looked around but wasn't able to find an ID (Bob, any ideas?).><<Unfortunately, no... I'd refer Claire to Daphne Fautin's Hexacorallian site for more help: http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/hexacoral/anemone2/index.cfm
I attached a picture of the spawning.
<Love it, thanks!>
I saw her slowly raising on her feet and then she began. It was beautiful. I closed skimmer and filter for a short time with the futile hope she'll release eggs. She stopped spawning then after 30 minutes approximately she began again for a shorter period of time and she burrowed slowly again in sand. The whole episode lasted for approximately one hour.
<Great observations, Claire.>
Thanks for answering, and for your patience.
<You're most welcome, but unfortunately, this is a situation more likely to try your patience! What I could find regarding the reproduction of tropical sand anemones (genus Phymanthus) was limited but can be summed up as follows: they have separate sexes but externally appear the same, some broadcast spawn (females release eggs and males release sperm) while other species' females (like Phymanthus crucifer) are viviparous (bear live young/no eggs) and may brood them for a bit, and finally, tropical species are more likely to reproduce more often than temperate species. I wish I could offer more, but that's the sum total.>
Take care and have a wonderful weekend.
<Thanks, you too!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>

Anemone Clone Behaviour   1/1/10
Hello WWM crew,
<Morning Cnid>
how's it going?
I have had some thoughts recently about Clone behaviour.
Is it possible for Clone Anemones of the same Recent ancestor to sting one another
<Mmm, yes, but...>
or are they benign towards each other?
<They do tend to ignore each other greatly>
I know its a rather broad question and is likely not to have a clear cut answer but I thought this might be worth knowing.
<I "worked on" a "clone anemone" species (Anthopleura elegantissima) for a marine zoo. college class years ago... This species shows a great ability to recognize, ignore genetic alikes... and dis-alikes. Bob Fenner>

severed anemone tentacle still alive?  9/25/08 Hi folks, This is my first question, although I've been reading and learning from your site for several months now. I have had freshwater aquariums off and on for maybe 25 years, but I'm on my first marine setup - it's been up for about 2 years now. It's on the small side - a 30 gallon tank with about 25 lb. of live rock, one yellowtail damsel, a Condylactis anemone, and a beautiful pair of tank-bred Clarkii clowns that host in the anemone. I've had the anemone in my tank for about 10 months now. About two weeks ago it got itself tangled up in the slotted intake cover of one of my filters. This had happened once or twice before with no apparent harm - I just turned off the filter and let the anemone deflate itself and pull its tentacles back out. <Good> This time, a couple of the tentacles seemed to be stubbier than they were before, so I assume that they were broken off when the anemone pulled itself free. Thankfully, the anemone does not seem to be adversely affected by the injury as far as I can tell. Now the plot thickens: yesterday I noticed an inch-long section of tentacle lying on the bottom of the tank, and it appears to still be alive (inflated with water, same color as the anemone). Should I remove the tentacle? <Yes, I would> Is there a chance that it may grow a new body, or will it eventually die? <The latter... though Actinarians/Anemones are noted for "powers of regeneration", reproduction via scission, this usually calls for part of the basal disc being involved. I have not heard/read of tentacles re-growing a specimen.> Thanks in advance for your advice, -Ben <Bob Fenner>

BTA spawning, no  ? 07/10/08 Hello WWM Crew, I believe that my BTA was spawning last night. I was checking through your site for some pictures of a BTA spawning and couldn't find a good picture of it happening. I snapped some pictures, and have attached them. Maybe someone will benefit from them if they don't know what their anemone is doing. In one of the pictures you can actually see the gametes coming out of the anemone (from the white tip). Thanks for the great and informative site. Joe <Mmm, not this. See here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8LGZaezpV8 and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonereprofaqs.htm Actinarians release gametes through their "mouths" BobF>

Spawning Anemone -05/10/08 Ahoy! <Hola> Yesterday, I received a large bubble-tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) from a leading online vendor. After acclimating, I added it to my community reef, a 90 gallon tank that's been in existence about a decade but has had more time, effort and money put into it over the last year or so, with the addition of a number of soft corals, inverts and additional fish. Lighting on the tank consists of four compact florescent tubes, two 10,000K and two actinic. Photoperiod is currently about 12 hours on/12 hours off but I've scaled back to 8 hours on, 16 off in the past when algae becomes noticeable on the rockwork. The tank is well stocked with fish, including four pugnacious Dascyllus melanurus that I would love to get rid of, six small yellow-tail blue damsels (Chromis cyaneus), a half-black angel (Centropyge vroliki), a purple tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum), a mandarin dragonet (Pterosynchiropus splendidus), a small Valentini puffer (Canthigaster valentini) who has never shown any interest in nipping at anything but is watched, three juvenile clarkii clowns(Amphiprion clarkii) and one huge tomato clown (A. frenatus) raised from a tank-bred juvenile.  Inverts include a variety of mushrooms and soft corals, the usual hermit crabs and snails, a monster green serpent star that I raised from something a quarter of its size, a chocolate chip star (also watched closely), an arrow crab and a tuxedo urchin. There are no stony corals in the tank.  The anemone, sold as a "medium" and a bit bigger than a fist in the shipping bag, immediately attached itself to the rockwork and over the next few hours moved a couple of feet to the spot in which it's remained. I moved some mushroom rock and cabbage coral out of the way as the anemone continued to inflate late yesterday. Overnight, it grew to about 14 inches in diameter and has remained somewhere between 11 and 14 inches since. <Ah, it didn't really "grow"... it was probably stressed and withdrawn, but is now showing it's more "true" size.> The tomato clown, which I've had for many years, moved into the anemone ten or fifteen minutes after the anemone was added to the tank, though I purchased it with three small Clarkii clowns in mind. A porcelain anemone crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai), purchased at the same time and added to the rockwork after the anemone settled in, found its way to the anemone overnight and was seen this morning to be at home, with a grasp from behind on the rim of its new host. <cool> The reason for my writing is this: This afternoon, I observed within a number of the anemone's translucent tentacles, collections of roundish light green bodies that almost look like smooth grains of sand. They seem buoyant and roll around within the tentacle as it changes shape and orientation. My reading has led me to believe that these may be embryos or planulae. I've attached photos. <Thanks!> Can you confirm that these are potentially future E. quadricolor? <It certainly looks like it... but I'm not 100% sure.> Is there any way to guess when these will be released into the water column? <Probably soon!> Assuming any of these survive powerheads, pumps, filters and skimmers, how long after they're released will it be until they anchor to a substrate? <Well, these are eggs. We don't know if they're fertilized or not...> Is it possible for a home aquarist with a well-fed and active mixed species tank to raise planulae to become juvenile anemones? <It's possible, but exceptionally difficult. You would have to remove the eggs (should do this anyway). You might try asking for help/advice on the MOFIB forum.> Thanks for your time and help, Jeff Newman Brooklyn, NY <De nada, Cleveland, OH> 
Odd Appendage on Anemone, repro.  5/1/08 Hi guys, I am coming to you once again with a question. In the past you guys have helped me on different occasions with some cool hitchhiker ID's. Today this might just be my lack of experience in what I am seeing, and may not be uncommon at all for this to happen. My apologies if this a J.V. question. I attached a pic of a bubble tip anemone. From everything I have read and seen, they reproduce 2 ways sexually and asexually, when reproducing asexually they split, right? <Yes> To my knowledge the splitting starts with the mouth and the anemone divides itself from there. <Mmm, no... there are a few ways this scission occurs... some from a bit of pedal laceration (a part of the foot torn away)... or, in your case...> As you can see from the picture this is not the case. This anemone looks like it has a Siamese twin, LOL. I have no idea how the process is done sexually and maybe this is part of it. However I am clueless, any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks, you guys are fantastic.. Joe <You too... Yours is becoming two... Congrats. Bob Fenner>

Re: Odd Appendage on Anemone 5/1/08 WOW... I never thought Mr. Fenner would be the one to answer my question, its an honor... Thank you very much... I had an idea it was just my lack of experience but I wanted to make sure. <Heeee! A pleasure to share Joe. BobF>

Anemone Spawning Event ? 4/24/08 Good day to you and everyone who reads this. <Hello, Brenda here!> This was a first for me, I came home from work to find my LTA normally the size of a dinner plate down to the size of a cup saucer but standing up a good 10 inches with the tentacle's tight and curly. The mouth was out about half an inch to three quarters of an inch with white "smoke" coming out no pun intended. This lasted for about three to four hours as it slowly went down in size. My 72g tank now looks very milky and the skimmer has stopped working (just like when oils from your hand get to it). So I guess my question is: Is this sperm and what is the best way to clear my water without over doing a water change? <Yep, your anemone spawned! You need to do a large water change, no other way unfortunately. I also recommend running some fresh carbon. I would do this as soon as possible. Keep an eye on everything, and be prepared for more water changes. Good luck! Brenda>

BTA Split, Entacmaea quadricolor ? 8/28/07 I have read through your forums in detail, but could not find the answers I was looking for, also thank you in advance. <You're welcome!> My tank is actually doing very well; All items are within the recommended limits. <Recommended limits for Anemones, and not coral or fish I hope.> I have had my Rose BTA for about a year, it was growing very large of approximately 1 ft across, It split the other day into 2 similar size pieces, I have read that it is due mostly to stress or very good conditions. I would like to think the latter since my corals are growing like crazy as well. <It is most likely related to some level of stress. Your corals growing like crazy may be the reason (chemical warfare). It may also be caused from something such as a temperature swing, large portions of food, old bulbs, new bulbs, etc. It is also possible that your anemone grew too large for comfort.> My main question is if there is a healing period that these need to go through? <You bet! I recommend a water change after all splits. I also recommend waiting 3 ? 4 weeks before removing the anemone, should you decide to find it a new home.> Also they appear after a few days to be swelling up a little bit like normal. <This is a very good sign.> Also should I hold off feeding the 2 for a bit? <You need to hold off until the mouth is completely healed. This typically takes 7 to 10 days.> Also in my ventures I have heard that the new offspring will not split, only the original, is this true? <That is 100% False.> Sincerely, John Bailey <Your attachment did not open for me. If you would like to resend it, I will be happy to take a look at it. Good luck with your anemones! Brenda>

Anemone problem, repro.  ? 07/03/07 Hi, My husband's reef aquarium is 90 gal, we have had it for 2 years with little or no problems. Tonight, he fed his fish, brine and Mysis, the usual diet, within 20 minutes the 2 bubble tip anemones <Are these clones? I do hope so> were emitting a white substance that has totally clouded the tank. <Mmm, very likely sex products...> He tested the water, everything has tested normal, along with the salinity. The fish seem o.k., along with the corals. We do not know what is happening with the anemones. We have no R.O. water on hand to do a partial change and cannot see into the tank to remove the anemones. We only hope that when we wake up tomorrow that we will not loose <lose> any of our fish. We have no new additions to our tank, the current fish have been in the tank along with the anemones for over a year. Can you shed any light on this? Thanks so much. Janice <As stated, this is likely a reproductive event... Actinarians/Anemones do this as well as various degrees of asexual fission. Neat! I would make the largish water changes... and add activated carbon to your filter flow path... and spiff up (clean) your skimmer... Hopefully all the gametes will be eaten, removed, otherwise not cause a crash here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Addenda to Graham's notes re Anemone prop.   3/11/07 Bob, <Big G> I wrote this as prompted by my buddy Rick about his recent losses with a poorly planned attempt to propagate some attractive anemones (8 or so with 5 diff. species) in a single 300 gallon system. <... not a good idea... to mix species here... or even more than one clone/type...> Let me know what you would add subtract. I don't like saying anything that is not actually confirmed by the industry and hobbyists at large, but dislike even more the idea of leaving something potentially important out, so... read on! -Graham 'Allo, Here's what I have been able to glean on the incompatibility theorized and experienced with multiple anemones in a single system. And some other ideas too. Allelopathy All anemones are capable and willing to detect/poison each other in a small (less than 1000 gallons) system (even Aiptasia).  The best way around this is still under scrutiny, and thusly, conjecture at this point. What we know is as follows 1) One anemone has no apparent need/mechanism for detecting anemones of the exact genetic material; i.e.., clones. Starting with one and allowing/inducing to divide is the only absolutely sure/safe way to propagate anemones on a profitable scale with limited space available. This means that even two blue carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) can/may still decide to poison each other instead of ignoring the threat to territory. This is, admittedly, less likely (in the order of one in ten or even one in twenty will exhibit this beh.) than, say, a Condy and a Carpet going at each other. It should still be prepared for. This brings me to my next point(s). 2) In systems where multiple unique individuals or even species are to be housed/propagated, there need to be multiple levels of control and planning to avoid mass die-off. The most important is an easy concept to get a handle on (actually, they all are) as marine aquarists: Large systems. Big, churning volumes of water. <<Mmm, actually, would be best to utilize the sort of cubicle system first designed by Phil Shane at/of Quality Marine... individual feeds, separate drains, central processing of water... for dilution, filtration (mechanical, physical, biological and chemical> <<<Will look into, thank you.>>> We all know the value of dilution in marine systems as related to bioload. Now we need to apply this to a slightly different time-building poison. The larger the system, the greater the turnover and turbidity, the smaller and more distant the perceived threat for each of the individuals' perception in question. Huh? Dilute the traces of other individuals and the resultant chemicals (inhibitors, toxins, what have you) are lessened and also further diluted by the sheer volume of water. Unfortunately, this is not enough by itself. We would like to believe that there at least some kind of toxin in our systems takes care of itself, but we know better than that, don't we? The second most important step in abating nasty chemicals is also well-known by the marine aquarist. Constant, aggressive and efficient skimming and the fulltime use of activated carbon. Make sense? These two in combination just serve to further dilute (by removal) the levels of nasty stuff in solution. <Unfortunately, skimming won't expediently remove the chemical or cnidocystic portions of import here...> <<< Would you recommend anything that is more efficacious that carbon?>>> I always love to end by throwing in the eternal wildcard: variability. Sometimes, multiple anemones cope/flourish in each other's company. While there is still no apparent rhyme or reason to this, one thing can be considered to be true for 80% of these situations. The longer the multiples are in the same systems without negative effects, the longer you can expect them to stay that way. I assume that this is for two reasons. 1) Individuals learn to cope/adapt to the weapons being directed at them. 2) They "get used" to each other and stop the war altogether. A "truce" of sorts. In closing, for those planning to commercially propagate attractive anemones (you know who you are!) I suggest you not tempt fate by housing multiple species in single systems. If this is simply unavoidable (as strange as that seems to me), then you will be best served to take a few steps to protect you (probably large) investment. Build low, large-volume setups incorporating lots of flow with virtually zero dead zones, lots and lots of skimming, and lots of carbon. I would highly recommend the runner-style systems here, with provision to keep the two physically distant by at least one whole runner-length. Start with the most important specie's) you plan to propagate, maybe just the RBTA and Carpets at first. This will allow them to "get used" to each other, which does happen sometimes.                                    Feeding I was thinking about Bob's question about suitable foods for anemones, and how his idea was based on the size of the tentacles of a given species. For example, Stichodactyla gigantea would want very small particles, while a Condy or LTA would appreciate the dime to nickel-sized chunks of food. The more I think on this, the more I considered how darn sticky carpet anemones are! They can catch large animals if they wish. I don't believe they would have evolved this way to catch planktonic foods alone. I think a more useful yardstick would be the size of the mouth. If it fits, they can eat it. Obviously, we don't want them eating the biggest chunk that fits inside their gut, but rather a percentage. I would think starting with 60% and working down if the individual rejects the food overnight (in entirety, and this is VERY important) to the largest acceptable Cutting You're on your own here, Bob. I have some info on this, but it is purely anecdotal. Hey, I can't give you all the answers! After all, you are the one with the degree in Marine Bio. (I will suggest some reading for you though, and also some search strings for google: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonereprofaqs.htm    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/e_quadfaq3.htm and the keywords for google are, "anemone" "cut" "fission" "fissionary" "propagate" "scalpel" "razor" in many different combinations.) -Graham Tasker <One wants to carefully and quickly make a long, single cut (just two new individuals per cycle is best) through the ciliated groove of the mouth (siphonoglyph). In actual practice, this entails cutting through both "corners" of the mouth... This work is (of course) to be completed in a separate small pan of water... and this water changed out to rinse material (to waste), and finally the animal soaked in a bath (that I would include potassium iodate, some modicum of simple (hexose, pentose) sugar) at a slightly lowered spg (a few thousandths below NSW)...   Much more could be stated... if this were an earnest enterprise... Currently, there is really only a reasonable market for culture Entacmaea quadricolor (all other large actinarian species are more economically wild-collected). The BTA can be stressed in a few ways to speed up fission, fragmentary asexual reproduction... and fed, environmentally manipulated in a single large system... to produce profitable replicants. BobF> <<<Honestly, Rick hopes to slowly propagate desirable anemones for his service company. He may have gotten carried away with the runner-system he uses for the Aiptasia food-source for his Nudibranch...er, what is the plural of Nudibranch? <Nudibranchs... or to familiars, Nudis.... or lover gastropods, Nudi-cuties....> I know he has supplier looking for the most attractive RBTA she has seen so he can have it for propagation. I think he'd love to have the blue carpet as his focus, but I think he knows that the E. quadricolor is far more useful in this respect. Do you have any anecdotal info that would cement the position that carpet anemones aren't usefully propagated in this way? <They just aren't... in the wild these species are almost always HUGE... three to five feet across... are only "tiny" in captivity from having been literally squeezed down to almost nothing... for holding, shipping... this and the overwhelming cases where they are not provided living circumstances... makes their culture, AND sale untenable> Thanks for the attention, Bob. If I can help out, let me know. (I'm so swamped with this house, but I took this weekend to focus on fun. Am currently researching Aluminum-oxide and its adsorption of PO4 and silicates. ) -GT <Mmm, no worries... My best advice... keep living... and live well... Besides Real Estate accumulation and reproduction, we'll get you out on the world's reefs for a first-person up-close look-see at the real world... Sobering, informative, and fun as the Dickens. BobF>

Anemones/Reproduction   4/21/06 Hey there guys I am sorry to bother you... I just had a magnifica split after a water change and rock readjustment...the small "offspring" lasted about 28 hrs.... I woke up this morning to a full skimmer.... : Is my anemone telling me he's mad at me???? Oh and I also just added an African clown too.... any input would be great.. <Anemones split to increase their chances of their survival and this generally happens more often from poor water quality rather than good as indicated by the "offspring" death.  Do read here along with related links for more info on anemone keeping.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm> Thanks , <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Skinstainer

Frag An Anemone?...What's That Anthony Up to Now!? - 03/29/06 Hi, <<Hello>> Whom else to ask about fragging if not Antonio Calfo? <<Indeed!  Too bad he's not hanging out at WWM anymore.>> Recently I read on a forum somebody's mentioning that you successfully fragged an anemone during one of your presentations. It sounds like a Sci-Fi story! Can you please comment on it and maybe give some more information or refer to a reading? Thank you very much for all your help and input! Sincerely, Inna Dzekunova <<Inna, Anthony now writes to a thread on the Marine Depot Forum.  You can reach him to ask your question(s) here:   http://www.marinedepot.com/FORUMS/Forum13-1.aspx .  I'm not familiar with the process you describe, so I want to suggest you look up Antoine and get the skinny from him.  Perhaps Bob can even CC him re when this gets posted.  Regards, EricR>>

Bubble tip Anemone reproduction   3/14/06 Hey guys, <Lisa> Just a quick esoteric question.  When a bubble tip anemone splits does it first grow a new stomach/gastric pouch etc and then split, or does the tissue split and then the internal organs develop? <Good question... some of the mesentery, and its contents do get "pinched off" in these fission events generally... though as you likely know, there are incidence where small bit of the "foot" get left behind and the undifferentiated "daughter" cells can/do become all the other cells...> I can't seem to find anything on this and am really curious.  I've been doing a science fair experiment on anemone reproduction and have been watching them for three years now, but I can't really get a good look to see what's going on internally. <Unfortunately this requires the sacrificing, embedding, sectioning and staining of specimens... can be done though. I worked on Anthopleura elegantissima as histological specimens in college and did this.>   It's not crucial to the parameters of the experiment which focus's more on water quality and nitrates, but I'm just curious and a little frustrated that I can't answer this question.  Also if you know any great books on anemone reproduction I'd love to hear your suggestions. Thanks, Madeleine B. <Mmm, as far as am aware, the pet-fish literature is scant re such. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Green BTA Triple Split  - 03/12/2006 Hi guys! <Robin> Two months ago I bought my first anemone, a 6-7 inch diameter Green Bubble Tip Anemone. I've been feeding him/it a thawed Formula One gel cube about once every three days and he has seemed pretty happy. I did the usual 20% bi-monthly water change over the weekend and it was uneventful, but now in the past 24 hours something interesting has happened to him. When I went to do the usual B-Ionic dosing this morning I discovered that overnight my BTA had split in two! <Happens> I thought to my self, "Cool!" and went off to work. Gotta pay for this aquatic addiction after all. When I got home from work tonight I was very surprised to see that I now have THREE anemones! <Bonus!> The larger of the two clones had split again. Have you ever heard of a BTA splitting itself into thirds like this? <Yes... usually under some "stressful" cue...> Am I correct to assume that my anemone reproducing like this means I'm really starting to get the hang of this reef tank thing? <Mmm, actually the opposite... this "fission" is most often a "means" or function of dangerous influence reaction... the animal dividing to "hopefully" (teleological but instructive), live by "doubling its chances" in two varying environments. Bob Fenner> Thanks! Robin

Re: Green BTA Triple Split  - 03/13/2006 Hi Bob, <Robin> Sorry to bother you again. I have a follow-up question regarding my Bubble Tip Anemone splitting in three. You mentioned in your reply to my original e-mail that a BTA splitting is a reaction to stress. <Most often, yes... particularly multiple fission events> The fact that I got three anemones from one is very cool, but I don't want my BTAs to be stressed. <Happens> My question is, what sort of stressors prompt a split? <Rapid change in physical, chemical, biological make-up in their environment mostly...> Could it have been the water change and the resulting slight change in alkalinity, pH or calcium? <Yes> Or perhaps it's the fact that the salinity creeps up from 1.025 in the morning to 1.026 in the evening before I get home and can add RO water to compensate for evaporation? <Could be a contributing cause, yes> Could another possibility be the daily fluctuation in pH? In the morning before lights on the pH tends to be low, around 7.8 to 8, then by the end of the day it's up to 8.2 to 8.4. <Again...> Nitrate, Phosphate, Ammonia etc. all test negative and the tank averages between 80-82F degrees. The calcium level in the tank stays between 400 and 440 depending on the time of day I measure. The only supplements are 45ml (each) of B-Ionic daily in the morning and 8ml of Seachem potassium iodide every other day. <I'd cut this back to once weekly... with measurement> The tank the BTA lives in is 75g Oceanic display (no overflow) with: *  75lbs of live rock *  1 inch live sand *  CPR BakPak Skimmer powered by a MaxiJet 1200 (I plan to get a Turbo Floater Multi when I have the cash) *  H.O.T Magnum in which I run Black Diamond Carbon *  A small Penguin power filter with bio-wheel removed that houses only a PolyFilter Pad *  Current Outer Orbit fight fixture with 2x150W MH Lamps and 2x130W power compact actinics (actinics on from 8am-8pm and MH on from 10am-6pm with        lunar LEDs at night) *  15w Aquanetics UV *  3 MaxiJet 1200 powerheads each with a Hydor Flo wave maker attached *  1 MaxiJet 600 powerhead pushing water across the back of the tank In addition to the BTA the tank houses: *  A medium sized colony of Xenia coral (Xenia umbellata - pumping happily and growing well) *  1 small Amethyst Porites coral frag (Porites annae) growing with good polyp extension *  1 small Pink Birdsnest frag (Seriatopora stellata) growing with good polyp extension *  1 small Leather Finger coral frag (probably Sinularia sp., it was a live rock hitchhiker) *  A few small colonies of assorted Zoanthus polyps *  Half a dozen assorted Mushroom corals *  1 Tuxedo Urchin *  2 generic sand-sifting cucumbers *  1 Green Mithrax Crab *  1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp *  2 Blood red Fire Shrimp *  A few dozen Scarlet, Blue Legged and Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crabs *  3 Mexican Turbo Snails *  1 Astrea snail *  3 Nerite snails *  2 Ocellaris Clowns *  1 Royal Gramma *  1 Hippo Tang *  1 Six Line Wrasse *  1 Flame Angel Thanks in advance for your thoughts! Robin <Sounds/reads like a very nice system... Thank you for the follow-up. Bob Fenner>

Chemical Filtration for Post-spawn Clean-up  12/1/05 Hello, <Good Morning> I looked over water-polishing entries on WWM and I didn't see the answer to my specific question, so that's why I'm asking the crew. I have a rose bulb tip anemone (male) that spawns every month or two. When he spawns, the water becomes milky and the spawn is obviously toxic--he once killed an otherwise perfectly healthy damsel. Anyway, what I do now is use activated carbon in a power filter and also a canister filter, along with floss to help clear and detoxify the water. However, this takes 12 hours or maybe more.  I was wondering, would a water-polishing filter (which I know nothing about) clean the water up quickly. If yes, what would be an inexpensive, quality product you might recommend.  <Gary, a water polishing filter such as a diatom filter will only trap the substance and once this is completed you need to remove the filter from the tank and clean. A Marineland Magnum HOB, using the 5 micron filter should do the trick. The filter cartridge can easily be cleaned in a bleach/water solution for reuse. Another product you can put in your canister filter is Chemi-Pure. It has scavenging and ion exchange resins along with a excellent grade of carbon. I use this product myself and love it. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you in advance, Gary  <You're welcome>

Anemone splitting 8/29/05 I just got a anemone yesterday its foot got huge is it splitting but I  don't see 2 mouths. <You will... takes time. Bob Fenner>

Anemone reproduction 7/29/05 Hello again WWM crew. I bought a anemone of the genre Stoichatis kenti. I heard about cutting the anemone near the oral disk. could you help in this process? <Can be done, but I don't advise this... the animal needs to be sufficiently settled (a few to several months), in good health, of size...> I would like to know about the feeding to be given and the conditions to be maintained? I would be thankful if you help me out. <Please do read on WWM re anemones... their reproduction, keeping. Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and read the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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

Baby anemones in my tank? > do anemones reproduce in a home aquarium << Yes they do.  Certain species prolifically and others a little more uncommon. >>if so what do > the young look like << Like larger anemones, only smaller. Not trying to be funny, that is it. >> the reason that I ask is I have > about 6 things growing in my tank that look like small > anemones but I am not sure some of them are the size > or a dime and others the size of a pin head they look > like a very small anemone just curious if that is what > they are and if I should get rid of them << Probably anemones, but I wouldn't get rid of them.  I'd keep growing them for many months and you learn more about your tank, and then can see what they really are or are not. >> > thanks > Joe Edmondson ><<  Blundell  >>

Anemone splitting? Hi, Is our Anemone splitting? It has developed what looks like a seam/line down the side of his shaft. It also wraps over the top and almost to his mouth, and there is a dark purple discoloration along it in this area. You can see it fairly well in the image. My LFS said he is a LTA. Thanks . . . Dave <From what I can tell from the image it appears to be Entacmaea quadricolor.. the bulb-tipped anemone.  Kind of hard to tell whether it is splitting or not...could just be curling from not being attached to anything.  Was it attached recently?  Keep an eye on it, and see if it starts to develop a second mouth.  Let me know how it goes - M. Maddox>

Artificial Bubble Tip Anemone Propagation Hey guys, <Hello John> I've got a question for you regarding bubble tip anemone propagation. I read most or all of the FAQ's on your site about cutting the anemones to divide them. Cutting one completely in half sounds kind of harsh, and also seems risky. I was wondering if any one has tried making a small cut on the edge of the oral disk with any success. I read about making an incision down the side of the anemone, from the oral disk to where the pedal disk begins, but the description was rather vague to me. Should the cut be deep, or only superficial? <Deep> What do you think would happen if you made a small cut on the edge of the oral disk with some scissors or meat shears? <Better to use a razor blade or such... much cleaner cuts> To give some background info, I tried the feeding every three days for two weeks before a water change thing and it worked fine. I ended up with six anemones from one. I'm down to two now, one ended up in the sump after wandering in the aquarium for a while, and I gave the others away before a move. I want to try to get them to split again, but the heavy feeding contributes to hair algae, which I have had problems with in the past, but not since I moved. I cleaned it from the live rock with a toothbrush while I had it out of the tank, and none has popped up so far (3 months since the move). Anyways, I would appreciate more detailed info about artificially propagating them. Any help will be gladly received. Thanks, John Jordan <Not much more to say... there is substantial anecdotal input from folks on BB's (ReefCentral, Reefs.org...) re how often, at what size... Bob Fenner>

Anemone Reproduction? Hello! <Hello! Ryan Bowen with you today> Thanks for all the terrific advice that you provide! <You're welcome!> My carpet anemone shrank up about 4 weeks ago and I thought he was going to die. My tank is 175gal, 300lbs LR, 3-175w MH with only five 4" tangs and 2 Clarkiis and its been set up about 3 years. I had gotten about pretty lazy about doing my water changes so when this happened I tested the water. Everything tested out ok except nitrates that were off the chart. <Are you skimming?> I have been doing water changes now (30% with RO/DI) every week and have the nitrate levels down now to 60ppm. <OK...Going in the right direction> My anemone I've had about two years. It doesn't seem to be getting any worse in fact, I almost believe it is reproducing. It would seem that a smaller version is coming out of its mouth. I've included a photo because I'm not sure. Please advise! <Certainly could be.  I'd continue with the scheduled water change, and leave him about his business!  Cheers, Ryan> Thanks, Mike

Anemone balls/budding? 8/14/04 I have a large long tentacle anemone. Over the past two weeks, the anemone has been developing little balls on his tentacles. <maybe its mistletoe... have you tried standing under them and seeing what happens?> They start out small and gradually get larger. Once they reach a certain size the LT drops them. <ah, interesting> In some cases, he has carefully placed them on the live rock. <be careful with anthropomorphizing here> In other cases, he has  moved to place them elsewhere. There's been at least 7 or 8 of these balls. One person suggested that they were sea squirts and another said they were vomit balls. <neither IMO (the former certainly not). Regurgitation would come from the oral disk/mouth only mate> I read that anemones can reproduce by splitting or budding. Can anyone explain the budding process? <not in the brevity of an e-mail, alas... but the gist is that one means of asexual reproduction in some cnidarians is to take a modified tentacle and pinch it off> I've attached a couple of pictures, any help would be appreciated. Thank You   <do delve into the bibliographies of your favorite coral topic books for more information on modes of coral reproduction. Anthony>

Fun With Anemones! Just thought I'd add to the list of anecdotal stories about Bubble-tip anemone splitting. Given that we are in the summer months, the temperature in the tank has been slightly higher than normal (82, rather than the normal 80). All other factors, lighting, feeding, pH, Na etc etc had all been constant for some time. Well, yesterday we had an unusually warm day and I'd not turned on the sump fan. The result was a balmy 88 degree tank temperature. Nothing looked *too* bad. The frogspawn was deflated and one of the heads was releasing a tad bit of brown mucus (what is that? zooxanthellae?) <Quite possibly...Coral have been known to expel zooxanthellae under stress conditions...Or, it could simply be waste product!> and the anemone was deflated. Well, the next morning I notice the BTA has moved slightly and is in an odd position. By the time I come home, I have two very healthy looking inflated BTAs. They seem very protective of the portion of the oral disk where they split. They constantly had it covered so it was nearly impossible to get a good luck. Of course, I'd do the same if I had an open wound from a recent split. Doesn't it seem as if this would be a slightly easier (and less risky) way of inducing a split in BTAs, rather than the whole "pollute the water and do a water change" regime? Just spike the temp for half a day. Of course, it would be best to hyper-oxygenate the water, just in case. Anyhow, just wanted to get the info out there. <Really interesting stuff! I guess it's a real trade-off between different forms of stress...Heat or pollution! With your attention to increasing oxygenation, I suppose that it is safer to go with the heat...On the other hand, high temperatures can really stress out other animals, too. All interesting experiments, though. Thanks for sharing! Regards, Scott F> Stratos Kotzabassi 

BTA with eggs? 4/5/04  I just added a second rose anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor, to my 110 gallon tank. The first one was a captive spawned "baby" which seems to be doing very well.  <Spawning generally refers to the release or transfer of eggs and sperm or planulae and implies sexual reproduction. Most captive raised BTA's are formed by asexual division. Waikiki Aquarium and a few others have grown out E. quadricolor larvae, but I don't think it has been done by hobbyists.>  It has grown over time and is the host to a pair of A. percula which regularly spawn near in its vicinity. Allegedly, it's wild caught ancestor was collected somewhere around Bali. The new addition, added only several hours ago, is larger than the first one, more pink in color and, according to the importer, wild caught from Singapore. When I placed the new one in the tank it  immediately attached to the rock in a place of moderate/strong current and began opening.  <All sounds good. Do realize that reports of where an animal was collected are often quite suspect.>  Attached to the tentacles were/are what look like little blue eggs  and the way, the bag I took the anemone home in had many of them floating around in it. Also, those that ended up in my tank were quickly consumed by my fish. I am attaching a picture of taken approximately 6 hours after placing it in my tank. Any idea what these actually are, and if they are eggs, from what? Thank for any help you can offer. Michael Jacobs  <It does sound like planulae or eggs were released by your anemone. My guess is that as a wild caught animal, it was ready to spawn when collected and the stress of shipping induced the spawn. Nothing to worry about. It sounds like it is healthy and happy in your system. Best Regards. Adam>

Divided BT Anemone 3/26/04 My BT divided 48 hours ago and the clone does not look well at all. It has moved between two rocks and is very deflated and sorry looking. It barely moves its tentacles. The original BT looks great and appears as nothing happened. The owner of the fish store I bought the BT said that it is exhausted like giving birth. I have a hard time believing that. What can I do to help this clone or is it a goner and is slowly going.  Stacy Frakes <Stacy, I would give it a couple of days to recover.  Your LFS explanation is bogus.  They are parts of the same animal, why would one be "exhausted", and the other not?  I think the more likely explanation is that it is putting energy into moving away.  Your anemone should be fine.  Do watch that it can't wander into anything that it will be injured by or that can injure it.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Rose BT anemone splitting I think! Need help Hi all, <howdy> I got a rose which was in my tank abt 2 weeks. Recently there's a hole from its mouth to the base. I think it is splitting! <quite possible/common> I've got 2 friendly maroon clowns in the tank that's trying to nestle into the anemone! Should I remove those 2 maroons and let the BTA split naturally or will they help the splitting process ? <they are irritating to the process in aquaria... and were frankly put in too soon with the anemone only 2 weeks established. Somewhat to very stressful> The smaller maroon seems to be drilling into the BTA! <yes... a problem> I need help. Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated! Cheers, Ben - Singapore <Ben... please do take the time to read through the bounty of information we have on this topic in our archives. There is an article on them splitting and many more FAQs. Do a keyword search in the google search tool at the bottom of the wetwebmedia.com home page. Also, search similarly on the big message boards. I have at least 3 large threads over there myself on this topic. Best of luck! Anthony>

Splitting Condy Concern  Very important question for you. I have this Condy anemone and it seems to have split overnight  is it ok??? <Without a picture I cannot be certain, although it sounds like your anemone has reproduced asexually. Provided it's in a good environment, it should recover just fine. You shouldn't worry about it unless the clone moves towards neighboring corals.> how do I help it  <Observe it for several weeks and watch its overall condition. Feeding it krill, squid, shrimp, or other meaty foods will help benefit the anemone.> also how does this happen/ why??? <Asexual reproduction is common in some species of anemone- it's a way to make an exact copy of the original anemone as its offspring.> thanks for your help <No problem. Keep in mind that a picture of the anemone would really help in this situation, as I cannot be completely sure that the anemone is asexually reproducing. If you can take a picture of the anemone and send it to us it would help out a lot. Take Care, Graham.> Thomas Wood

Unequal BTA split 1/8/04 WWM : Hi, I had a single E. quadricolor Bubble Tip Anemone that split. The clones are doing fine, but it's been about three months now and only one seems to have taken its symbiotic algae with it, as evidenced by its brownish color. The other one is pure white, and has been since the split. What could cause this and should I worry or do something to help the albino twin? thanks, SLC <I'm not sure of the cause of a lack of zooxanthellae here (some stress), but can assure you that it will only survive and regiment if you feed it several times weekly or better with very fine (minced) meaty ocean meats and foods. Best of luck, Anthony>

Unequal BTA split II 1/11/04 Thanks Mr. Calfo, <always welcome my friend> Are brine shrimp and salmon soaked in Selcon and Zoe, in 1/4" chunks, 3-4X a week OK? <Selcon is an excellent food supplement for most marine animals (corals, fishes, inverts)... Zoe I do not personally care for but a little bit of vitamins (like Vita-Chem) to go with the HUFA supplement (Selcon) is a good idea IMO. You portion size and frequency are fine... but you need to offer more kinds and more nutritious items. Salmon is excellent... but brine shrimp is nearly useless here (nutritively hollow... really only good for stimulating picky fishes to feed. A temp food). Add mysis shrimp, Pacifica plankton, chopped krill or raw food shrimp, fish roe (grouper eggs from the pet store freezer or Tobago/flying fish roe from the Asian market (sushi)> That's what I've upped the schedule to in the last week.  Thanks for the advice, SLC  The Enemy of my Anemone is my Enemy <yes... and the rain in Spain falls gently on the plain. "I think I've got it... I think I've got it". Anthony :) >

Anemone Division? - 9/24/03 Can a Heteractis malu be safely divided by cutting in half? <the mortality rate is much higher than with Entacmaea quadricolor it seems. Although not enough folks have done both for the numbers/rates of success to be reliably accurate> And also, how big does this species get? <a relative answer: incalculably aged specimens in the wild may appear to approach bath-tub sized. Well <G>... maybe not quite that big (but 24"+). But in captivity, the are slow to grow (poor husbandry in part) and are not likely to see too far past 12" across> The reason I originally went for this species is that I wanted a small one,  and the literature I read said this was a small species that normally grows to about 10 inches. <agreed for most, yes> The one I got was smaller than that, but has got bigger and bigger and will now expand to 19 inches. <outstanding!> It has a good color and seems very healthy, if it can be done with this species I would like to divide it and start again. ( Yes, it is definitely a H. malu ).Thanks <I would not experiment with this one. Perhaps, rescue and recover a bleached one from a pet shop... and try it on a smaller specimen first after some months of nurturing. Please take pics along the way and share your results too. Anthony>

Anemone question    Hi I need some help please ,  my long tentacle anemone is growing a bubble on its base. It looks like it strangled it self, but it feels hard. Could it be ill or is it splitting?. Thank you. <most likely splitting Best, Chris>

BTA? Induced Schizogyny Bob, Thanks for the great presentation Thursday night in Phoenix. I had a couple Q's regarding BTA's reproducing. My two have spilt 4 times over the last 1 1/2,one just the other day. You mentioned that you knew of a way that they "repro" quicker? I would like to learn more about this. If I can prevent a couple BTA's being collected every year, I'd feel better. <Can be induced... often incidental with an "accident" that results in "poor water quality". In purposeful propagation (asexual) by cutting the animal... in the case of actinarians, across the body wall (but not pedicle) in line with the mouth slit> Let me give you some stats on my set up: It's an 80g tank with an 55g rear tank (fed my bulkheads). The return pumps are 692gph going into a pair of SCWD's (wave makers). The tank has been skimmerless for two years that's when the BTA's started splitting). I have 6" DSB and about 200# of very alive live rock (lots of sponges and such). Lighting is combo of PC and VHO (totally 600watts over the 80g).I overfeed the tank everyday and try to manually feed each BTA twice a week. they are pigs!. I have three species of clowns (only two of which host in the BTA's, the other Saddleback hosts in a rock anemone), two A clarkiis and two Tomatos (A frenatus?)(sorry not up on the real names). I'm hoping to get an Rose BTA, in hopes of reproducing them too. I will be setting up another 80g tank for that. Any info that you could provide would be appreciated. Do you know of another way to detach them off the live rock? <Best to slip a nail or dull plastic card (like an old credit card) under a part of the foot that appears to be on a flat/ter piece of rock and slowly (over minutes) nick away at that spot> I've tried the ice cube in a Ziploc trick and placing an powerhead directly at the BTA (the BTA after a day just loved the extra current!!) to no avail. Thanks again. Michael <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Bubble Tip Anemone BTA propagation 6/11/03 Good Afternoon WWM Crew- <cheers, my friend> My name is Tammy and I just turned 16 this year. My dad has a reef aquarium 180 gallons for 6 years and I help he with it all of the time. <very good to hear... a rewarding and educational hobby indeed! Perhaps it could lead you to a future vocation> I feed the fish and the coral 4 days a week. My dad does it on the other days. He has a rose anemone that split two month ago. My dad wants to sell it because he thinks two in a tank is a bad thing. <as clones of the same colony... they are not likely to fight. I do not see two being any riskier than one. I personally do not care for them in a reef tank. Mixing motile cnidarians with sessile ones is a recipe for disaster in the long run. I favor species tanks for most all anemones> I talked to him and he said that I can have it if it will be able to do well in a small tank. <I do believe that will work fine or better than your dads fending itself against stinging corals in the mixed tank!> We have a 20 gallon long tank that I would like to setup for the anemone only. <by a window with natural sunlight (east or south is best) I know that they can grow very big and sometimes never split. I don't want to be mean and keep it in a tank that is not right for it. The reason I wanted to mail you all was to ask if there is a way to keep them in a small tank and once they get big you can propagate it like a mushroom. <yes... all true. If you care to e-mail me next week with a reminder, I will build a slideshow of images and give you the link... our friend Daniel Knop illustrated this in a German magazine article called Koralle> My dad said he read that Mr. Calfo was working on something like that. <yes... really quite simple too... they are just cut in half with a clean scalpel or razor blade. Returned to same general position/location in the tank to heal. You can sell off the healed split clones in time> My dad will help me keep this anemone in this tank and he has a lot of experience fragging corals. He said I should ask you all if this is a smart idea or not. <its a great idea in my opinion. I do believe you can enjoy an anemone this way just fine> I hope it will be ok but I will tell my dad to sell the anemone if it is not a good idea. My dad said that if you wanted to talk to him about fragging the anemone when it gets to big that he will email you. <please feel welcome to do so... and do remind me again for the slideshow next week for you of the BTA cutting> Thank you very much and we love your website, Tammy <our great pleasure, best regards Anthony>

Smoking Anemone? I'm in the process of moving house, and temporarily have an LT and two clowns in a 20 gal tank ready to take to the new house and put back into their show tank (150) FOWLR. The 20 Gal has plenty of live rock too. This evening, the anemone starting pumping out what looks like smoke from it's 'mouth' and is clouding the water to the point that it's almost white! <Start doing lots of water changes and add some fresh activated carbon. The clouding will likely begin to be broken down by bacteria and put a huge bio-load on the system.> What's happening? I feel that I need to remove the clown fish urgently! <Sounds like it's spawning, although usually cool, this is likely stress induced. Do your best to keep the water clean and clear in the meantime, then test the water to make sure everything's alright. Let us know what happens! -Kevin> Thanks! Lucy

Smoking Anemone! 5/31/03 WWM Crew, thanks for replying so quick! <always welcome> OK, so tonight, the anemone decided to give an encore of yesterday's performance. We felt much better about it this time, because there's no other stuff in the tank besides some live rock. We managed to take some pictures. Watching this happening was pretty amazing! <hmmm... it does not look at all healthy/natural to me. At best, it looks like regurgent from an inappropriate feeding (too large chucks... > 1/4")> The first stuff to come out was more stringy, then later it was like smoke billowing out. Some smoky stuff was coming from two of the tentacles as well as the mouth. Who needs extra-terrestrial life forms when you have this?! I attached some pictures we took before the water got too cloudy. Enjoy! Lucy. <my apologies, Lucy... I could not find any previous messages from you on this topic and as such do not know the history of this anemone. It is possible, if the anemone has been kept for a while (perhaps over a year) and well fed/cared for that the "smoke" is the release of gametes. Still... from the single photo proffered, the amount of product (mucous or gametes) is still a risk to water quality of not the anemone itself. Water changes and careful observation are the call for the next couple of weeks. Kind regards, Anthony>
Re: Smoking Anemone! III 5/31/03
Hmmmm. There were three pictures. We never fed it anything directly! <Yikes... a year of no feeding may be the problem. Unless the clown was feeding it heavily, your anemone may be giving up the ghost (or zooxanthellae packets in this case ) from attrition/starvation. Anemones need fed weekly bare minimum. More often for most> It was always fed by the Clown fish. Occasionally we'd feed the fish MYSIS shrimp, and the anemone would get some. We've had it for well over a year now and it started out pretty small. It's grown a lot (from about 4" to over a foot!) <its hard to measure growth in anemones (and corals). Under waning lights (bulbs/covers not cleaned weekly, fluorescent lights  aged over 6010 months or over 3" off surface of the water), cnidarians may swell tremendously large in an attempt to catch (panning) the waning/aging light> We're changing the water diligently, but I'm not moving it back into the show tank until it's settled down a bit. Hopefully we won't lose it through poor water quality in it's temporary home, but I feel the worst. Kevin was the guy who answered our first note. We just sent pictures out of interest. Let me know which ones you got, and I'll resend the other two if you like. He responded as posted below (comments in note as normal)... <agreed still that a reproductive even is still a possibility> I'm in the process of moving house, and temporarily have an LT and two  clowns in a 20 gal tank ready to take to the new house and put back into their show tank (150) FOWLR. The 20 Gal has plenty of live rock too. <all good... best regards, Anthony>

Bubble tip anemone BTA 5/28/03 I have recently bought a large BTA and I just wanted to know how long it would take for him to split. <beyond water quality, it often depends on how well (and what) you are feeding it> I have talked to many aquarists and they have told me that I have sufficient enough lighting and plenty of space in a well established aquarium with corals and several Ocellaris clownfish. <I am certain that keeping anemones with coral is a bad long-term arrangement. It's unnatural for most and an unnecessary risk between motile and sessile cnidarians. And for optimal success (reproduction) you will fare much better with the anemone in a proper species-specific tank> My BTA is currently around 2 inches from the surface and I am feeding it on a regular basis. He seems to be in perfect condition although sometimes he will totally deflate and you can practically see through him. <ahhh... riiiiiight. Regular feedings of an unspecified frequency, and perfect water quality of undefined parameters definitely makes me want to chime up in agreement. Especially after hearing that "shrivelly, transparent" phase it like to got through. Heehee... ahhh, hope you are rested and receptive to sarcasm on reading this reply <G>. The anemone is likely all fine, my friend. But I really have little to offer you here with no information to go on. No tank mates, no age of specimen... no size ("large" relative to what?)... no tank size, types of food fed, etc> Thanks for all the great FAQs and messages provided that have really helped along the way. Best regards, Alex Harris <our pleasure, Alex. Let me suggest you delve deeper into the FAQs and articles, my friend. We have quite a lot of articles on BTAs. I have answered FAQs about artificially propagating them... we have an article posted describing husbandry and how to induce natural fission... an so much more. Good reading ahead of you bub. Kindly, Anthony>

Toxic spawn? 3/14/03 Quick question about a Condylactis (sp) anemone...last night. seemed to be spewing out a murky film. with in 10 minutes all the fish were dead!. they were floating upside down as I was trying to do an emergency water change...but no luck... they all died as well as 2 cleaner shrimps/banded shrimp as well...all snails and other critters are fine...the tank is  3 years old and had been totally fine until last night. these were all original inhabitants of the tank. fish/anemone. everything was added together. I thought the anemone was dieing ..looked all deflated etc.. but this morning it is fine. inflated to regular size...which is huge! the foot is close to 3 inched across...but seemed to have the same murky film coming from its mouth. although not as much as last night...water is cloudy as well. another water change today...any ideas?. there is no foul smell coming from the tank or anemone...all water param's are fine...weekly changes etc...I am stumped/bummed out...any ideas? Thanks guys Pete <the first thing that comes to mind is a reproductive act where the gametes were toxic. "Toxic eggs" are rather common among reef invertebrates...a sensible evolutionary strategy. In the wild they are simply noxious in the vast expanse of seawater and dissuade most predators from eating them by taste. In a closed aquarium, however, merely "noxious" can become "fatal". Just a guess... it is a bit odd that all but the anemone died. You can rule out a pathogen too as both inverts (shrimp) and fishes died and diseases are almost never shared between the groups.  My regrets, bud. If its any consolation, such events are rare in captivity. But continue to do several large water changes (25-50%) in the next week and use chemical filtration media heavily (carbon/Polyfilters). Kindly, Anthony>

Splitting Anemone Reproduction Hey Guys, <cheers, bub> Good news! I recently re-setup my 120 gal. tank. <That is good news!!! Oh, wait... there more...> Among other things I moved a bubble anemone from my 29 gal. to the larger one. I thought it was sick because of the move since it positioned itself sort-of under a ledge instead of a more brightly lit place. I turns out that it is in the process of dividing and the pair only have a small bit of tissue left connecting themselves. <excellent> While I'm happy about this event, it brings up a few questions. Do I need to separate the pair (Could they, I don't think so, attack each other?). <they will likely live peacefully together although not all such divisions are peacefully isogenic> Could an improvement in there environment (lighting, water quality) have caused this event? <or a stress> What about injury during the move? <exactly... I post a picture series in my lectures about propagating these anemones by cutting  them in half with a scalpel!> And finally, could you point me towards some good material on anemone reproduction? <yep... and bless your heart  for wanting to learn! Begin here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm > Thanks for your help, past and present John Jordan <do follow the many links at the top of that page too. Best regards, Anthony>

Bubble Tip anemone splitting: articles and link to slide show (Entacmaea quadricolor- BTA) <welcome, my friend!> yes hello my English is not so good but I would like to ask a question please.   <no worries... it is good to hear from you> I'm at a friends house and he will help me a little bit with my English grammar so hopefully this will be correct for you to read.  he doesn't speak my language too well and I'm not speaking English too well so should be enjoy to read!   <actually, you communicate in English very fine> he has asked this for me elsewhere but no one knows and says you are the experts and best of best to ask any kind of question. I have 1 Entacmaea quadricolor.  It is violet kind of color a little bit of rust color and some green too.  it is not too big maybe 13cm oral disc sometimes.  it picked a rock to sit on with vertical side so that oral disc is perpendicular to bottom of tank.  one side of disc seems to stretched some.  the part closest to the sand is stretched out some.  the other side is kind of shrink some.  the disc now is lopsided with the tentacles on shrunken side short and getting longer as you go around to the stretched side and mouth now look not in the middle.  it eat shrimps and clam well I feed once or twice a week.  it almost always extended.  it stays in tank with some current I have plenty of lighting for it too.  he looks healthy just do not know about the stretched part and shrunken part.  also it likes to extend very long its body part like a tree looking.   <it sounds like it may be going through reproduction... a fissionary split. Do read these articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm and check out this slide show on a BTA split: http://reefkeeping.com /issues/2002-11/reefslides/index.htm best regards, Anthony>

Splitting bubble tip anemone Hello, and if this is Anthony, thanks for speaking in Cleveland, you gave us lots of valuable information. <thank you my friend!> Anyhow, I have a bubble tip anemone I want to split.  It went from 1" disk to a 12" disk in 8 months.   <outstanding> I started feeding it 4 months ago, and only fed it for 3 weeks, and that is when most of the growth took place.   <indeed... this is a common realization with corals and anemones. Most are literally starved in captivity> I stopped feeding it when it got too big.  I realized it continued to grow after I stopped feeding, it just grew slower, so I started feeding it again - no sense delaying the inevitable. <very wise> From my understanding, there are 2 types of BTA, <some say three> colonial and solitary.  The colonial ones split, the solitary ones don't.   <I would essentially agree> But it has to eventually split or stop getting bigger - right?   <at some point yes> Is there any definite way to tell the 2 types apart?   <you almost certainly have the colonial one. The solitary variety is not encountered much in the trade as of late> Is there a limit to how big these guys can get?   <yep... but that limit is still way too big for most aquariums> Can anything be done to propagate a solitary bubble tip?   <BTAs do respond favorably to cutting/fissionary splits imposed on them> I have only recently found reports of 12" BTAs online - I thought they only got about half that big. <good heavens, no... even larger in the wild> I have heard people talk about "encouraging" these to split. <yep... after Cleveland I showed Michigan a series of slides on how to do this (This was their second presentation from me this year... had to give them something different <G>)> Most of this discussion (cutting directly in half, constricting with fishing line, wounding, etc) sounds like really bad ideas. <actually quite as simple as it sounds and relatively safe with a healthy established animal> You mentioned a German article about cutting anemones, and I wondered if this meant cutting it in half, or just cutting off a small piece.   <from Daniel Knop... and yes, literally cutting it clean in half with a scalpel> Has the article made its way onto WetWebMedia yet (I can't find it)?   <nope... we just got it... in German (!)... from Koralle magazine. No formal permission to reprint yet> Would cutting off a tentacle, or small section of disk, do any real damage to a large, healthy anemone? <little damage or help here> Is there any truth to a large water change helping these split? <it clearly is not the primary catalyst... such an event it not defined in the wild. I suspect that it is the vehicle used for stressing or manipulating water chemistry to induce the animal. I'm sure it can be replicated another way. For now, its a great idea> If so, any ideas on why it works? <as above> >I would love to try propagating it, with proper feeding and care, I think these could grow as fast as Xenia. <agreed my friend. But do not attempt this in a full reef display. A cut and stressed anemone forced to deal with the concentrated toxins of corals and other cnidarians in the water just is not sensible. Cut your anemone once it is established in a proper isolation tank of its own.> Brad Bellomo <best regards, Anthony>

Re: BTA Split I don't know if my information will be helpful because I have not had the BTA very long and its a story of 2 tanks. Its a long one but here is the info. Put BTA in a 50 gallon salt water tank starting parameters pH 8.0, specific gravity 1.023, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, temp 78 we have fans to keep temp between 77 and 80 degrees - also a heater but it is not a problem yet for us in Florida. Lighting 165 watt fluorescent lighting with 55 watt actinic 12 hour lighting, 1 hour am just actinic and 1 hour at end of day just actinic. Total light time 12 hours. BTA was added July 6, 2002. Fish life in tank 1 snowflake eel (12-18 inches), one yellow damsel and two Clarkii clown fish, 1 green crab, 5 turbo snails, and 3 glass anemones (not by choice). Approximately 50 lbs Florida live rock. I should note that this tank was aged and moved to our home in May and we had adopted the fish that came with the tank - sand and original water came with. Nitrates were originally over 200. <Wow!> Water changes brought it down. <As they usually do.> The anemone seemed fine. I also should note that we do weekly water changes 8 - 10 gallons, which keeps the Nitrates at around 20, but occasionally higher. <Nice schedule and dedication> I know this is high and we are planning a major sand change and rock cleaning soon. Note about our water we have a well screened in the Floridian aquifer - limestone aquifer and our water is not filtered chemically or physically. We have a 3rd tank filled with salt water with a physical filter and a pump to keep water moving. This water is somewhat cooler than the display tanks 76 degrees but specific gravity is around 1.023. Anyway the Clarks clowns were/are very good to the anemone and feed their anemone. The fish are fed krill, shrimp, mysis shrimp, and brine shrimp, all frozen. They feed the host with pieces too large for them. We add "micro vert" 2-3 times weekly and "Phytoplex" (like phytoplankton) (both Kent Marine) weekly. The biological filter hangs over the top of the tank we have 1 power head and a physical filter with charcoal medium. The protein skimmer is built in to the biological filter. All filters get cleaned weekly except for the protein skimmer which is cleaned more often 3-4 times a week. <Sounds ok> We later added another BTA at the opposite end of the tank on July 11. Both anemones were fine and the clowns were feeding them both and so were we. On August 12, the first BTA started looking bad. Tentacles went very very skinny, closed up and the clown was having a hard time trying to fit in. It would still open and never let go from its holding place - this one was located furthest from the power head and closer to the biological filter - lighting about the same at each end of tank. This went on till Aug 26. We had started a second tank on July 7th. This tank had great conditions; 220 VHO fluorescents, 1 55watt actinic with same schedule as the original tank. All parameters in this tank are much better. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, pH 8.0, Nitrate 0, specific gravity 1.023-1.024 temp 78. <Your pH is still a bit low for my tastes.> This tank has a trickle biological filter, over the top physical filter with charcoal and a larger protein skimmer. Fish in this tank are 2 blue green Chromis and one domino damsel, 1 Condylactis anemone (which by the way the domino damsel sleeps in) <It happens sometimes.> and around 40 lbs of Florida live rock, one brittle star, 1 green crab and 4 Turbos another good note no glass anemones yet (most have come from live rock). We put the BTA in there on August 26. We do the same stuff with Micro vert, phytoplankton. This tank did not have clowns to feed the BTA. We did a mix of sand eels and mysis shrimp mix and sprayed the anemone before putting it in the new tank. The BTA seemed to be doing better, but then the side that had looked good initially started looking bad again. On Sept 3, the BTA started to split. I am happy to report that both sides are doing good. They have completed the split and have small chubby tentacle ends. Like I said most of this won't really make you happy - novice keeping anemones, bad water conditions, over stocking, mixing anemones. We are trying to read more and learn as we go along - your site has been a great source of information. Our town is relatively small and the closest place for quality stuff (food, rock, products, fish) is 2 hours away or over the internet. Thanks for the help. If the other BTA splits I will keep you informed - so far that one is doing good also. I have cut down on feeding the clowns so much, but they still feed their host. They both sleep and "play" in it. Thanks again for the great info. Tammie <Thank you for the information. -Steven Pro>

Bubble tip anemone split. Hello again. My bubble tip anemone split today. When I went to work it was not extended very much. When I came home half of the anemone was crawling one way and the other a different direction.  <Congrats, this happens... for "good" and/or "bad" "reasons"... Schizogyny... a form of asexual reproduction.> I saw it put 2 more inches between its 2 halves in an hour of observations. I assume this is a good sign? I have had the anemone for 15 months now. It has always been the hardest thing for me to judge growth wise. It expands variably each day and hasn't moved in 14 months. <Sounds good> I am pretty sure it is growing but it is hard to tell.  <Well stated> Is the division a positive sign for the animals over all health? I hope so because it sure has confused my Tomato clownfish. <How would you feel to find your house moving, now two?> The division process itself was fascinating. It looks like it just popped in half. Each half has good tentacle extension for night and is moving from the original anchor point. Thanks, Everett. <Thanks for the report... Now if only I can teach my money to do this...  Bob Fenner>

Re: Bubble tip anemone split. What bad conditions could make an anemone split?  <Poor water quality, predation, overall "stress" factors...> They are 6 inches apart this morning and have both stayed on their big rock. Hope they don't get wanderlust I was kind of liking it not moving anymore. Thanks for the advice, Everett <Me too, not the splitting, but the hoping. Bob Fenner, who wouldn't, doesn't worry>

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