Logo
Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Anemone Compatibility 5

Related Articles: Anemones, Bubble Tip Anemones, LTAs, Cnidarians, Coldwater Anemones, Colored/Dyed Anemones, 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, by Bob Fenner

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

DSB Results & Mixed Reef With Anemones      10/24/17
Thank you Bob and WWM Crew for all the knowledge and support! First, will you give a link where the best place to buy your books, Bob?
<I suspect Amazon.com, Createspace.com, bookfinder.com might be the best. Tis a treasure/tool for me>
I’m pleased to share that my outdoor 150g. tide pool w/ 6” DSB and 100g. DT with 4” DSB is working like a charm! Nitrate and Phosphates are practically nonexistent. However due to this “natural” there seems to be lots of nutrients in the system as frags friends have given me seem to always have maximum polyp extension. I “lightly” siphon off the top of the crushed coral substrate and quarterly and rotationally, “deep clean” a small section. Recently a friend gave my a Sebae Anemone and a Long Tentacle Anemone. Bob, you suggested the Crushed Coral for my situation as that’s what I have access too. I’ve read that they can be too rough for these “sand dwelling” norms to bury there foot in.
<Mmm; not so much if fine grained; a bit of mulm twixt>
Since there's a lot of fines in the sand as well, should we be okay?
<Likely so>
After having them in the DT for a moment and doing research here, I’ve moved them outside to the Tidepool/Refugium. There I grow Macro Alga for scrubbing and don’t have any corals. They will also have the space to grow 12” and not have anything around them. I also Have a BTA and a Long Tentacle Plate Coral in a separate 20g. tank plumbed in-line with the system. Now that the corals are separate in the DT, at least in proximity, from the Nems, am I still likely to have chemical warfare in this system?
<You tell me/us>
I know I have stacked the odds in my favor by removing them to the refugium but would like some insight into long-term success.
<Should be obvious/indicated w/in a few days>
Also, I recently caught a small tear-drop butterfly. I know he’s a coral-nipper she's in my daughter's 20g until she gets bigger, then she’s going in the 150g. tide pool (The BFF, not my daughter! ;-) As long as I keep her well fed, will her nipping on the Nems or mushrooms likely cause serious issues?
<Hopefully not>
She hasn’t begun nipping yet but I’m sure she will as I’ve read they have voracious appetites. Basically, am I doomed? ;-)
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby
<Not doomed... the price of liberty my friend? Constant vigilance. B>
Re: DSB Results & Mixed Reef With Anemones      10/24/17

Well it’s been about a weeks with the Nems in the system and so far so good.. The tentacle tips sure purpled up in the outdoor/full sun on the Sebae. I am having a heck of a time getting it and the LTA to settle into the sand and have the Jebao powerhead on as low as it can go from fear of it blowing around and getting sucked into the pump. Any suggestions here?
<Surround it with structure... rock likely>
I almost want to bring the Sebae back into the reef tank, but I’ll go with the wisdom here and refrain. The best part is the Clarkii Clown isn’t stirring up the DSB in he display every 5 min.s! The Teardrop BFF has nipped at Gorgonian polyps but so far no Shrooms.
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby
<Me too. BobF>

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

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

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

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

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

Bubble tip and anemone crab compatibility    2/28/16
I had a Sebae anemone which had an anemone crab associated with it which were separated due to some issues with chemical war fare going on in my 220. The Sebae is improving in separate quarters and the bubble tips that
remain are clones and one has been unhappy since the anemone crab took up residence. At first I thought maybe the continuance of chemical ware fare was the reason one of the bubble tips was not looking healthy but the sister to it is fine and inches away. It occurred to me that since that has been going on it is about how long the anemone crab has taken up residence so can they be an irritant to a bubble tip and cause this?
<Yes; can be>
It look better at night than daytime but it has been secluded in the shadows out of the light for about 2 weeks now. I run a lighted sump with lots of macro algae 24/7 and the only thing shut down at night are the tank lights and Tunze wave box. I run a canister filter with carbon. Was running 24/7 but my stony corals seemed to not be as active at night so I only run it in the day during feeding cycle.
Thanks in advance.
Mike Murphy
<I would leave all as is for a few more weeks; in the hope that the Entacmaea and crab will become accustomed to one another. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bubble tip and anemone crab compatibility    2/28/16

Never occurred to me that the problem I described with the Sebae Anemone may have been caused by the crab also as that was his residence  prior to the bubble which now is posing the same symptoms but almost immediately within days of hosting. I may not have chemical war fare after all
<Possibly. B>

Mixing anemone/s     11/20/13
Hi again Bob,
<Jim>
Hope you are keeping well!
<Ah yes; thank you>
I have just a brief question which I have not found a definitive to and you know I value your opinion from our previous per comm, my Ritteri is still going extremely well, some 16" or so at full expansion, however here is my question if I may, I friend has blown the seams on his tank with a oversized VorTech on full power and so I took in his blue carpet and clown pair for the foreseeable, this was placed at the other end of my 6' but as per my fears decided it didn't like the spot chosen and has moved onto the rock adjacent to the Ritteri at the other end of the tank. But to my surprise no ill effects, being that both have a potent sting I'm surprised at the lack of hostility between the two nems! Is it possible that these two species will cohabit or will there be unseen chem warfare going on?
<You may find that these and other large Indo-Pacific Anemones are found in close proximity at times... I have witnessed such many times dive-traveling... and there are occasions when they've been mixed w/ no apparent negative effects in captivity>
 Should I fire up another tank or as there seem to be no noticeable problems run with it and see?
<I'd likely do the latter... being both curious and lazy at times.>
Kind regards
Jim
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Angels Anemones and select Softies, incomp.    3/19/13
Hi Bob and Crew,
<Ad>
Thanks for your responses so far. I love this site! I have a new one for you now :)
To recap from my previous queries, I have a 500g tank with a lot of small fish a few tangs and a Bicolor and Flame angel (total of 33 fish). I also have a LTA hosting 2 Ocellaris and a GSP hosting one Frenatus.
<Yes>
What I am considering doing - moving all my softies to the fuge and sticking more with a FOWLR setup with anemones (I maintain good reef level parameters, so hopefully the anemones will be ok).
<Should be in a system this size/volume; as long as they stay put, don't touch/encounter each other>
 With my tank size I figure I can keep more fish varieties in harmony than smaller tanks. Also getting corals in the part of the world I live in is quite a challenge. So the only corals I think I'll retain in the DT are the GSP and mushroom colonies. So far neither of my dwarf angels bother the LTA. The flame bothers nothing and the Bicolor nips the GSP mat only when it is closed i.e. dawn.
So what i will be left with is a FOWLR with LTA, GSP and soon to be added BTAs. I am considering adding either an Imperator/Majestic/Regal angel to the mix. Do these nip on BTAs?
<Yes; all large angelfish species are known anemone eaters. Clowns may protect their hosts though>
 My dwarfs haven't touched my LTA thus far.
Which one or more of these 3 would you think is most compatible in this system?
<Mmm, the Imperator is my choice of the three>
Sorry if I bore you with more details than necessary, just want to make sure I cover everything
Thanks
Aditya
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Angels Anemones and select Softies    3/19/13

Thanks Bob, quick follow-up question, would a Maroon clown hosting the BTA be a good pre-emptive measure for an Emperor. Or are all clowns equally defensive/not about their hosts
Aditya
<See WWM re Premnas... I'd skip. B>

Anemone Question, comp.     3/10/13
Hi guys!
<Gautam>
I've been through your site and understand that there are real
compatibility issues between types of anemones and between anemones and
coral. But here's my question:
I have a RSM130 with 2 Perculas, 1 YWG and 1 six-line Wrasse (plus CUC -- snails hermit crabs, etc) . Also a bunch of soft and LPS coral (leathers, mushrooms, frogspawn, Favia, etc). I just added a couple of 'non-aggressive, reef-safe' anemones -- a maxi-mini and a Rock Flower anemone.
<Mmm, "reef safe" is a matter of degree here>

They seem to be co-existing with each other and the corals just fine.
Should I anticipate long-term issues?
<Possibly. These Actinarian species aren't particularly given to moving about (which is good). Hopefully there won't be incidents that trigger Cnidarian warfare twixt them and other groups here. Bob Fenner>
Gautam Bose

BTA and Sebae, comp.  – 12/03/12
Hi WWM,
<Charles>
You guys seem to have all the answers and I trust you over my LFS. I have had a Sebae in one of my smaller tanks for about 6 months now, it was bleached but is now a pretty healthy brown and very sticky, i picked up 3 BTA's off eBay and they were delivered one about a month ago and the other 2 about a week ago, I am keeping the BTA's in a separate tank that is sharing the same water as the one with the Sebae and I am a little worried about allelopathy.
<Mmm, not likely an issue here; else you would have observed trouble by now. As long as these are physically separated, and "not upset" you will likely be fine>
I have set up a separate tank to put the BTA's in but it is still cycling and wont be ready for another month or so, and I am worried about the possibility of chemical warfare in the water. I have not seen any reaction on either side but it worries me they may decide to kill each other.
<Again, not likely>
 One of the BTA's is about 8-9 inches across and the others are about 4 or 5, and the sebae is about 6 fully extended. Am I just being paranoid?
<Mmm, no; not as far as I can tell; just cautious, curious. Good traits>
 also the BTA's are of differing genotypes what are the risks of them coming into contact with another?
<If all were captive produced, much less likely there will/would be damage>
 I want to house all 4 in the same tank eventually as I have read that Sebaes tend to plant between the rock and sandbed and bta's climb upwards but these btas seem to want to stay somewhat under the rocks, I am guessing for them to get used to the lighting as the one I have had for longer has been 'out and about' in the light.
<Have seen these Actinarians together (proximal) in the wild and captivity.
It can be done>
On a side note I have 6 ocellaris clowns hosting in them , 4 in with the sebae and 2 with the BTA's a pair of black and 2 pairs of orange, one of which is still very young, i.e. half the size of the other four, is there a possibility of keeping the two mature pairs in the same tank? it is a 35 hex
<Not in this small volume; highly unlikely they can/will coexist. And this is too small a volume to mix the anemones as well>
 that I want to put them into. the black pair gets along fine with the juvenile oranges, for about 4-6 months now in a 30 gal. Will the black and orange pairs stay segregated or will they eventually morph into a single dominant female or kill each other?
<Too likely this latter>
Thanks,
-Charles
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Question/s on a reef tank. Anemone incomp.      4/23/12
Hi Crew
<Cam>
Thank you for the opportunity to ask a question.  I'll use my best  grown up grammar.
I've got a RSM250 using a Deltec skimmer, CPE, Purigen.  I've had this  set up for 14 months. Temp sits around 27-28.  Touches close to 29 on  a hot day.  NH4 0; NO2 0; NO3 2.5; Mg 1500; Ca 475; Alk 137 (ppm  CaCO3); phosphate 0.34; SG 1.025; Tunze ATO.  Using standard T5 tubes and no extra flow.  Fish and invertebrates: yellow tang, flame  Hawkfish, long nose Hawkfish, 2x clown fish (Perc or occ - not too  sure), lawnmower blenny, royal gramma, yellow head goby, fire fish (or  dart fish), 10x Astrea snails, 2x blue legged Hermits, blue Linckia  starfish.  Corals: 2x Caulastrea, 2x Euphyllia, lots of mushrooms,  feather dusters, Zoanthids, Palythoas, green star polyps, leathers, 2x  Aiptasia!!! And two anemones.
<A bunch of allelopathy going on>
  I use filtered rain water for making  salt water and ATO.  TDS measures 0 or 3 on a bad day.
Here in NZ we are very limited to what we can get and then when we get  it it costs ridiculous money (e.g.: $20-$30 for A SINGLE Astrea snail) 
<Wow!>
and so often the name of the item is questionable.  So if you are a  reefer in NZ you're pretty dedicated ;-)
<I see>
Anyway - first question - What do you think the green anemone is?
<Mmm, likely Heteractis malu:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm
on the basis of the pedicle color, shape, tentacles size, placement>
  I  thought it was a BTA as it had bubble tips when I got it.  The  tentacles are long now.  there have been some arguments on a local  forum as to exactly what type of anemone it is.  I was given it by a  friend who's one had split.  I freaked as my tank was only about 5  months old but I'm pretty good with water changes (40l every week or  two) and it's grown heaps and as happy as a clam (well a clam in a  well looked after tank...).
<Mmm, very hard to keep different species of Actinarians in close proximity... in aquariums>
Second question - I got the RBTA 4 months ago.  It settled in nicely  and has been growing and growing.  About a month ago the green one up  and moved to the other side of the tank.  I think it was getting too  big for it's old spot.  It moved in right next door to the RBTA - 
<Not good>
Arrgh!  But they seemed to get on just fine.  When they inflated fully  in the morning they were in each others tentacles with no noticeable  stinging.  They both got bigger during the day - the green one would  reach the Zoanthids!  I'm so sorry if the photos are coming through  sideways - when I click on them they are the right way around.  Maybe  they will be the correct way when they get to the northern hemisphere???
<Heeee!>
Until last week :(  The RBTA didn't inflate fully during the day and  looked like this by lunch time :(  But at least you can see the  underside of the anemone to help ID...
And then this later one.
It's been sulking like this for over a week now and I'm a little  worried.  I've read up on your website about allelopathy.
<Ah yes>
 I thought  they were both BTA and would be fine together
<Not unless genetically identical... clones; no>
 but maybe they are sworn  enemies and I need another tank (that would make my husband happy -  sarc).
<I further see>
Another thing that may have upset the RBTA....  I took some water out  of the tank to use else where, the water level dropped a couple of  inches, I turned my ATO off.  My husband got up in the morning and saw  the lower water level so turned my ATO on.  It immediately dumped 15l  of fresh water into the tank. It was about 3 hours later when I  noticed.  The SG had changed to 1.023.  I slowly raised it back up to  1.025 over about 3 hours.  The anemone started playing up the next  day.  My starfish keeps going to the top of the tank and doesn't seem  too happy. 
<"Blue Linckias" are very rarely kept for any period of time in captivity>
I spent a long acclimating him (hours) when I got him 4  months ago and feel gutted that the sudden change in SG has hurt him.
Also I tested my Alk, Ca and Mg a month ago.  They were all low - Alk  97ppm, Ca 350, Mg 1140.  I've since bought RSM products and got those  3 balanced.
<Mmm, actually, the previous readings are fine; better than the artificially elevated ones>
Every thing else in the tank is happy.  Even the clowns - they have  just laid their first batch of eggs today!
<Stress-induced... not good>
Thank you again.  I hope the cell phone photos are OK for you.
Kindest regards
Camille
NZ
<Well... it appears you know what is going on and what needs to be done... at least one of the anemones needs to be moved to a different system... as soon as practical. Bob Fenner>

two fish dead from same or different issue(s)? Anemone/"Coral" incomp. 9/25/11
Hello! Thank you for taking a bit of time to read about something that has been racking my mind this week. My husband and I have recently gotten back into the hobby after a stressful getting-out-of-the-hobby experience 2 years ago. The new tank is a small 30 g cube with LED lights and is 6 months
old.
<Ok; welcome back!>
The inhabitants have been in the tank for 3-4 months and include one tank bred black clown (a juvenile), one algae blenny (a juvenile)
<Mmm, depending on species the last will require direct feeding in time... this volume won't produce sufficient foods>
and after lots of research and observation, one scooter blenny that eats frozen like a champ. Last week we introduced a long tentacle anemone.
<Mmm, may well eat your blenny and Scooter>
Unfortunately, as the anemone buried its foot it must have caught itself on a piece of rock-- once we noticed the rip in it's side it was removed form the tank. The clown never took to the anemone-- she has a staked out territory in the middle of the tank next to a frogspawn. This week, the scooter blenny and clown have died.
<... perhaps related to the Anemone, maybe interaction w/...>
The scooter went first-- his body condition seemed nice and fat including both his head and abdomen. He ate every day until I found him one afternoon stiff and in the grips of a hermit crab. I found this particularly
upsetting since I have made every attempt possible to ensure he ate his frozen everyday (and he did), while also including adding bottled copepods for his grazing pleasure. He wasn't going to starve on my time. We immediately did param checks and nothing out of the ordinary was seen (nitrite and nitrate
0, ammonia 0, ph normal *sorry, I don't remember this one exactly*,
salinity 1.021-1.022, temp 80) .
<Mmm, fine for the fishes listed; not so for the Euphyllia or anemone>
Not soon after the clown started acting "funny". She moved out of her normal territory and started exploring new areas of the tank, and stopped being as aggressive as before (she was a hermit crab bully and a finger biter). We had changed the flow of the tank to help accommodate the new anemone (the flow changes from one side to the other via a computer controlled valve on a regular interval) and we had originally blamed her new behavior on the new flow pattern. After a few days, the clown moved to a
hollow in the sand and was having what seemed like little clown seizures-
<Good descriptions of bad behavior>
she would swim fast and erratically but without purpose. A white gooey substance started to cover her body. I did not want to stress her further since we had our hands in the tank quite a bit during the anemone issues so we did not remove her. She never showed symptoms of breathing quickly, but she did lie in the sand and became lethargic and died shortly afterward.
The gooey white slim was at its peak at this time. From what I can tell, her demise sounds like Brooklynella
<Mmm, highly unlikely... timing-wise and the fact that the fish was (stated) tank-bred>
but it would not explain the scooter blenny's death. He had none of these symptoms. (erg) Note of interest: this summer we were having issues with the tank creeping up to 85 degrees.
<Do leave the light/s off during very hot days>
Now that the weather has cooled off, the tank is stabilized at 79-81. I understand that Brooklynella does not enjoy a warmer environment--- would this have held a current infection at bay while she seemed fine?
<This wasn't "Brook">
Otherwise, is this a disease that would have hitchhiked on the anemone?
<It was in part the anemone>
Corals have been added to the tank gradually, but there was at least 45 days between the last coral and the anemone. No new fish or crabs have been added in 3 months.
<Good data reporting>
The remaining fish in the tank is the algae blenny. I would have chosen him to be the most susceptible to disease since the first week we had him he took a trip over the overflow, down to the sump and on to and under the filter pad. I went to retrieve the "dead" fish when I realized where the new fish I had just bought had gone only to find a ZOMBIE fish under the filter pad. He lost his fuzzy eyebrows in the process and is no longer sociable.
He hides when anyone is near the tank and makes observing feeding habits a little difficult since he won't come out to eat if he can see you. His belly is always round and fat, so I believe he is eating well but it is much harder to observe him.
<Will become more outgoing w/ time>
My concerns are: Will my algae blenny be able to fight these issues off?
<It should now that the anemone has been removed>
Will he play host to any parasites/fungus even if he isn't affected?
<Not an issue>
What can I do to increase his chance of survival?
<Mmm, read/understand what has gone on here. VERY likely what your system experienced was a situation of "warfare"/allelopathy twixt the newly introduced anemone and the extant Cnidarians/"Corals"... the unwitting non-combatants, your fishes, suffering for being caught in "cross fire">
If he does die ---or---- does not die, how long should I wait until adding a new clown?
<A few weeks>
This is one of the most important questions I have, I do everything possible to ensure the living creatures I have are not unnecessarily put in harms way: If the scooter blenny can host the disease, but not be affected, can this be transferred to any new inhabitants or will the disease die off?
<The root cause/issue here was environmental; I am almost certain of it...
With understanding of stocking technique... placing small colonies only of Cnidarians, less stinging-chemically active ahead of more so... mixing water twixt the established system and the one you're isolating the new in... You should be fine. IMPORTANT that you read, comprehend what is posted here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
or the .ppt version, or here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
I have read a minimum of 40 days so the disease can die off (I am 100% fine with this), but am unsure if it is ok to add new coral to the tank during this time. I would like to introduce a tank propagated rose anemone before adding a new clown.
Whew... ok... well that's all the questions I have for now. Thanks for your input!!!!!!
Cassandra
<Thank you for writing so well and completely. A pleasure to deal w/ folks who are concerned and intelligent. Bob Fenner>

Please Help! Marine aquarium crises! Anemone et al. mis-mixing, poisoning... 9/20/22
Hello my name is Cara and I have a 75 gallon marine aquarium. My fiance and I started the aquarium about 3 months ago with a few rocks and a strawberry hermit crab. We initially used a freshwater hang on the back carbon filter.
After about 2 months we added our first anemone (a curlicue).
<Anemones are not "beginning hobbyist" animals... difficult to keep in most cases, problematical companions w/ most all tankmates>
We added some blue legs as well. About every week or so we added a Condy until we had a total of 6 condys.
<Yeeikes... and a bad idea to mix anemones>
The aquarium was doing very well and I tested the ammonia and nitrate levels every week. Both were zero. About a week ago we added a sebae anemone and a bubble tip,
<Aye yi yi>
a maroon clown and a sebae clown. We also added 2 baby grunts (about 2 inches in size) and a 2 inch pork fish (Not all in the same day). We removed a couple of Condy's too. Everything continued to be fine until about a week ago when we set up a sump with some sand from our front yard.
(We live on the ocean in Islamorada - Florida Keys).
<Ahh, nice! Have been there>
I am starting to wonder if this was actually imported sand and not live sand. Anyway it did have a strong sulfur odor, so we rinsed it several times before we put it into the sump. We used PVC piping to siphon the water into the sump and rubber tubing to push the water through a protein skimmer before it returns to the tank. PVC cement was used to glue some of the pieces together, could this be toxic if not completely dry?
<Yes, can be till cured>
About 3 days passed and our sebae anemone was attacked in the night with its sebae clown inside. The clown jumped out of the aquarium and the sebae anemone was almost torn in half. My fiancé was able to resuscitate the clownfish, but he died later that day. We fed his corpse to 2 different Condy anemones. The sebae anemone continued to look worse, so my fiancé smelled him and examined him and he appeared to be rotting. He took him out of the aquarium and put him into a cup of salt water, but he did not make
it. We added a pacific carpet anemone this same day.
<Ahh my friend... giant trouble>
About 2 days later he changed a couple of the pieces on the piping to brass pieces,
<Heeeee! Really? You're pulling olde Bob the Fishman's fins... Brass is an alloy containing copper... toxic>
so he could control the water flow better. he also did a 15% water change. The next day we added another pacific carpet anemone and 2 ocellaris clownfish.
<...>
The aquarium began to degrade rapidly a couple hours later, so we immediately started to do research.
<Oh!>
The ammonia level was up to 1.5ppm and the nitrate 15ppm. I researched many different things : copper toxicity, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and nitrate.
<Add general anemone/Actinarian husbandry, stocking/compatibility to your list>
I am not sure whether the copper had an effect or not, since it had not been attached for that long. We turned it off anyway, just to be on the safe side and went back to using the freshwater filter. We did another 15% water change yesterday morning and then another 25% last night. The ammonia level has been steady at 1ppm and the nitrate is down to 2ppm. The new carpet still appears to be dying (his mouth/insides are popping out and he is squirting cloudy stuff). All of the other anemones look a lot better than they did when the problem began. When the problem started they were all curled up inside themselves. From the research we found out they were trying to adapt to the water changes.
<Uhh... and each other. Won't happen>
Now they are open and flailing their tentacles about again. The carpet is open and being a host to the two ocellaris clowns. The bubble tip anemones also died yesterday, so they were taken out before they started to decay.
All of the fish are doing fine and even ate some food this morning.
Whatever the problem is, it seems to be affecting the invertebrates and anemones more than anything else. All of our pencil corals, tube corals and polyps were also sucked in,
<... allelopathy, poisoning>
but are starting to come back out now. The water changes seem to be helping a lot. We did another 20% this morning. Ammonia is still 1ppm, however. It has been recommended that we get our sump up and running ASAP with the protein skimmer, but NO SAND. I figured I would just throw some Caulerpa in there to help absorb nitrates and that is it for now. Do think this is the right thing to do?
<Will help, but won't save the mis-mix here>
Also, if you could tell me if you have any idea at all what may have happened and if there is anything more we can do please let me know. Please get back to me as soon as you can. This could be life or death for my aquarium :( Thanks in advance. I don't know if you guys make phone calls but my phone number is 305-619-XXXX, just in case.
Cara
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/AnemCompF3.htm
and the linked files above. You need to re-think your mis-mixing here...
and quick. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please Help! Marine aquarium crises! - 9/20/11

I understand what you are saying about the mis-mixing, but what I don't understand is, if the anemones are not touching each other how is there a problem?
<They interact chemically and from bits released... from afar>
Do they release toxins into the water that harm each other or something?
<Ah yes>
Also, we never had any problems at all until we mixed pacific anemones with Atlantic anemones.
<You would have had troubles in time>
I have heard of people having issues with Condy's traveling all the way across their tanks and causing issues, but ours never did any of these things. We had them spread out so they would not sting each other and they were all very healthy. Like I said we didn't have problems until we added the pacific anemones. I really think something else occurred here other than the mis-mix. Any ideas?
<... yes. See the previous email and citations/links. BobF>
Re: Please Help! Marine aquarium crises! - 9/20/11

Thanks for your help, it is much appreciated. After reading all about allelopathy, I understand much better now what occurred.
<Ah good>
Unfortunately, the aquarium store will not take back our carpet anemone.
We caught all of the condys and curlicue ourselves, so if worse comes to worse, we will have to get rid of them :( Actually, the curlicue was on the verge of death this morning, so I got rid of him immediately. Also, if you don't mind a couple more questions, how come the fish were not affected by this allelopathy?
<They very likely would be in time, but much of the "purpose" of these types of warfare are for "turf" twixt closely related species/families/orders of organisms>
Obviously the clowns would be more tolerant,
<Ahh!>
but I would think the grunts and Porkfish would have been poisoned as well, yet they showed no signs at all. My other question is, would there normally be a problem between the anemones and polyps/Zoanthids/corals, other than the anemone crawling across the tank and directly stinging them?
<If they came in contact, yes... and chemically in our small systems, ultimately yes>
Thanks again!
Cara
<Welcome. BobF>

Please Help! Marine aquarium crises! Anemone et al. mis-mixing, poisoning... 9/20/22
Hello my name is Cara and I have a 75 gallon marine aquarium. My fiancé and I started the aquarium about 3 months ago with a few rocks and a strawberry hermit crab. We initially used a freshwater hang on the back carbon filter.
After about 2 months we added our first anemone (a curlicue).
<Anemones are not "beginning hobbyist" animals... difficult to keep in most cases, problematical companions w/ most all tankmates>
We added some blue legs as well. About every week or so we added a Condy until we had a total of 6 condys.
<Yeeikes... and a bad idea to mix anemones>
The aquarium was doing very well and I tested the ammonia and nitrate levels every week. Both were zero. About a week ago we added a sebae anemone and a bubble tip,
<Aye yi yi>
a maroon clown and a sebae clown. We also added 2 baby grunts (about 2 inches in size) and a 2 inch pork fish (Not all in the same day). We removed a couple of Condy's too. Everything continued to be fine until about a week ago when we set up a sump with some sand from our front yard.
(We live on the ocean in Islamorada - Florida Keys).
<Ahh, nice! Have been there>
I am starting to wonder if this was actually imported sand and not live sand. Anyway it did have a strong sulfur odor, so we rinsed it several times before we put it into the sump. We used PVC piping to siphon the water into the sump and rubber tubing to push the water through a protein skimmer before it returns to the tank. PVC cement was used to glue some of the pieces together, could this be toxic if not completely dry?
<Yes, can be till cured>
About 3 days passed and our sebae anemone was attacked in the night with its sebae clown inside. The clown jumped out of the aquarium and the sebae anemone was almost torn in half. My fiancé was able to resuscitate the clownfish, but he died later that day. We fed his corpse to 2 different Condy anemones. The sebae anemone continued to look worse, so my fiancé smelled him and examined him and he appeared to be rotting. He took him out of the aquarium and put him into a cup of salt water, but he did not make
it. We added a pacific carpet anemone this same day.
<Ahh my friend... giant trouble>
About 2 days later he changed a couple of the pieces on the piping to brass pieces,
<Heeeee! Really? You're pulling olde Bob the Fishman's fins... Brass is an alloy containing copper... toxic>
so he could control the water flow better. he also did a 15% water change. The next day we added another pacific carpet anemone and 2 ocellaris clownfish.
<...>
The aquarium began to degrade rapidly a couple hours later, so we immediately started to do research.
<Oh!>
The ammonia level was up to 1.5ppm and the nitrate 15ppm. I researched many different things : copper toxicity, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and nitrate.
<Add general anemone/Actinarian husbandry, stocking/compatibility to your list>
I am not sure whether the copper had an effect or not, since it had not been attached for that long. We turned it off anyway, just to be on the safe side and went back to using the freshwater filter. We did another 15% water change yesterday morning and then another 25% last night. The ammonia level has been steady at 1ppm and the nitrate is down to 2ppm. The new carpet still appears to be dying (his mouth/insides are popping out and he is squirting cloudy stuff). All of the other anemones look a lot better than they did when the problem began. When the problem started they were all curled up inside themselves. From the research we found out they were trying to adapt to the water changes.
<Uhh... and each other. Won't happen>
Now they are open and flailing their tentacles about again. The carpet is open and being a host to the two ocellaris clowns. The bubble tip anemones also died yesterday, so they were taken out before they started to decay.
All of the fish are doing fine and even ate some food this morning.
Whatever the problem is, it seems to be affecting the invertebrates and anemones more than anything else. All of our pencil corals, tube corals and polyps were also sucked in,
<... allelopathy, poisoning>
but are starting to come back out now. The water changes seem to be helping a lot. We did another 20% this morning. Ammonia is still 1ppm, however. It has been recommended that we get our sump up and running ASAP with the protein skimmer, but NO SAND. I figured I would just throw some Caulerpa in there to help absorb nitrates and that is it for now. Do think this is the right thing to do?
<Will help, but won't save the mis-mix here>
Also, if you could tell me if you have any idea at all what may have happened and if there is anything more we can do please let me know. Please get back to me as soon as you can. This could be life or death for my aquarium :( Thanks in advance. I don't know if you guys make phone calls but my phone number is 305-619-XXXX, just in case.
Cara
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/AnemCompF3.htm
and the linked files above. You need to re-think your mis-mixing here...
and quick. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please Help! Marine aquarium crises! - 9/20/11

I understand what you are saying about the mis-mixing, but what I don't understand is, if the anemones are not touching each other how is there a problem?
<They interact chemically and from bits released... from afar>
Do they release toxins into the water that harm each other or something?
<Ah yes>
Also, we never had any problems at all until we mixed pacific anemones with Atlantic anemones.
<You would have had troubles in time>
I have heard of people having issues with Condy's traveling all the way across their tanks and causing issues, but ours never did any of these things. We had them spread out so they would not sting each other and they were all very healthy. Like I said we didn't have problems until we added the pacific anemones. I really think something else occurred here other than the mis-mix. Any ideas?
<... yes. See the previous email and citations/links. BobF>
Re: Please Help! Marine aquarium crises! - 9/20/11

Thanks for your help, it is much appreciated. After reading all about allelopathy, I understand much better now what occurred.
<Ah good>
Unfortunately, the aquarium store will not take back our carpet anemone.
We caught all of the condys and curlicue ourselves, so if worse comes to worse, we will have to get rid of them :( Actually, the curlicue was on the verge of death this morning, so I got rid of him immediately. Also, if you don't mind a couple more questions, how come the fish were not affected by this allelopathy?
<They very likely would be in time, but much of the "purpose" of these types of warfare are for "turf" twixt closely related species/families/orders of organisms>
Obviously the clowns would be more tolerant,
<Ahh!>
but I would think the grunts and Porkfish would have been poisoned as well, yet they showed no signs at all. My other question is, would there normally be a problem between the anemones and polyps/Zoanthids/corals, other than the anemone crawling across the tank and directly stinging them?
<If they came in contact, yes... and chemically in our small systems, ultimately yes>
Thanks again!
Cara
<Welcome. BobF>

All fish Under Stress - Anemone?/Macrodactyla doreensis/Compatibility 7/20/11 <<RMF>>
<Hello Aaron>
I recently acquired a small "long tentacle" anemone about 4" across when fully open. My clown immediately hosted in it. This morning I found a XL chromis and a Domino Damsel stuck in the anemone both dead. The chromis was partly digested. When I got home from work, my Yellow Tang was also stuck in the anemone and all the rest of the fish are breathing hard, staying towards the bottom and appear to be near death. What could be causing this?
<This is exactly why keeping fish other than anemone hosting species is not a good idea.>
are the anemone's digestive juices poisoning the other fish?
<Unlikely, my guess is the stressed fish got a poke.><<Or also too likely, there is a dire battle going on twixt the Actinarian and "corals"... Need to be acclimated to each other... gone over on WWM. RMF>>
The odds of an anemone catching 3 fish in the same day seem pretty low.
<Can, depending on tank size which you did not mention.>
The water quality is good and all corals and inverts are open and doing well.
<If the anemone decides to move, your corals will also be in danger.>
Any clues?
<Do an ammonia test and act if necessary. Bob may comment here as well.><<Return or separate this Anemone. RMF>>
Course of action?
<Best to keep anemones and clownfish in their own aquarium. I suggest taking the anemone back if possible, or find a new home for it.>
Much appreciated
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Aaron
More: re: All fish under stress - anemone? 7/20/11

Thanks for your input, Bob.
James
<Glad to be of assistance. B>
Re All fish Under Stress - Anemone?/Macrodactyla doreensis/Compatibility 7/20/11 <<RMF>>
Thanks.
<You're welcome.>
Its a 75 gallon tank. I've had anemones before without any issues but this one did position itself in the entrance to a cave the fish like to swim through.
<Is the risk you take. I've been down that road in the past and have lost fish to anemones.>
No ammonia. In the last 24 hours I've lost three 8 year old fish including a Yellow Tang and my original damsel from the cruel cycling process. (Btw Ill never cycle that way again and go a more humane route.)
<Have you read the dailies on our site today? Bob added his comments to this as well but he likely sent them along to you.
James (Salty Dog)><<Yes, I did/do. RMF>>

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

Condylactis and its clown. Anemone spp. incomp. 3/8/11
I have a pink Condy that for months has had a percula pair using it as a host. Everyone is thriving and doing well but just recently the Condy is starting to move around a lot, is this because its trying to get away from the clown pair?
<Possibly... or could be "looking" for more suitable setting... current, light, foods...>
I haven't changed any lighting in my tank and all parameters are fine. Only new thing is that we recently added a sebae anemone...
<Oh!>
will the Condy try to attack the sebae?
<Likely they are warring... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CnidIndex2.htm
scroll down to the FAQs files on Anemone Compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Snail Stuck To The Bottom Of Anemone 2/22/11
<Hello Peanut Butter>
We brought home a long tentacle anemone yesterday and placed him on the sand in the front of our tank since then he has started to move toward our live rock but I noticed this afternoon that one of our turbo snails is stuck to the bottom of his foot. I searched online but can't find anything about this. Should I try removing the snail if so what's the best way to this without harming the anemone.
<I'd try massaging the area in question with your finger tip until you can remove the snail. James (Salty Dog)>

Sudden Cloudy water! Worried for whole setup : \ 1/21/11
Dear WWM crew,
I haven't done tests yet, will do after I send this. Everything was fine last week. Just got a brand new pink tip anemone.
<... A Condylactis sp.?>
First, I didn't think that clownfish would reside in this, and the owner of the store told us it would,
<Even from different oceans, sometimes they do>
so of course my husband wanted it.... Pretty sure we were lied to, but we shall see. Secondly - the problem is that the water had gone cloudy. I'm talking, like I acclimated the anemone over the course of
2hrs, didn't use drip method, but I use a turkey baster (fish tank only turkey baster) and add about an ounce of water every 15 or so minutes. He did fine, looked awesome when he was added to the tank (this was last night).
This morning, he was stretched out, looking good, turned the lights on and he turned towards it a bit... All is still good. Lunch time, my husband and I went out for lunch, took approx. an hour. came home to cloudy water. I KNOW that it wasn't cloudy before we left - but man that's quick! Also, all fish are looking fine (2 clowns, 3 mollies, 4 chromis, 1 green mandarin, 1 bicolor Dottyback, 1 cleaner shrimp, 3 small hermit crabs, 1 brittle star, and a few baby snails, and a small hammerhead coral.... I think that's
it).
<Mmm, highly likely there is something of a tussle going on twixt your new Anemone and the Euphyllia...>
Our setup is one 55 gallons tank and one 20 gallon tank, both overflowing to a sump below. Total, we have close to 90 gallons running, cycling throughout. What could be the cause of this awful cloudiness? What do I need to do to fix this?
<The above... and removing the Anemone to a separate system pronto... there are other precautions you could/should take. Stat!>
We have never seen this problem and our water has been crystal clear, my husband and I were just remarking about it how clean and clear it looked last night. OOO, also, the anemone, as of right now, has started to close up. Like it's deflating and starting to hide within its body sort of. I'm very concerned for all of our life forms.
<I am as well>
Let me know if you have questions I hopefully can answer.
Thank you for you time,
Alicia
<Mmm, please go here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm
insert the words:
Anemone Allelopathy
and read the cached views. Soon. Bob Fenner>

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

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

What is the Ball of slimy stuff from the Anemone -- 06/09/10
Hi
<Howsit?>
I have had 2 anemones for quite some time now.
One of them is a Yellow Sebae Anemone
<Dyed>
and he is doing quite well. I had once read a post on your site about dyed anemones and I was very worried until
the LFS said that he does not get any of that stuff.
<Mmm, well, someone snuck one in while no one in charge was watching then... This animal is artificially colored>
. (I hope you can confirm that it is not one of those dyed anemones - the color is a little too bright as I am taking this pics from my camcorder... it is a tad lighter than what you see.)
<Thank you for this>
The other is a tube anemone.
<Cerianthus sp.?... incompatible with most captive marine life... Oh! The other anemone shown is not a Tube...>
He seems to be doing fine .. eats cut shrimp that I give him but the only thing I don't understand is the huge blob of slimy stuff he keeps ejecting from his mouth/anus.
<A "fecal pellet"...>
I have removed it and sometimes it looked like it was green eggs in slime.. it got me really confused.. never the less I threw it out. After he ejects the stuff he seems fine and sways around well and eats again and then tonight it has started to eject more of this stuff.. but this time it looks worse like someone has removed the intestines from an animal inside out.
Also he has shrunk like crazy...
<Is "anybody" missing?>
I might be exaggerating with this stuff for all I know it is a huge chunk of waste.. but I have never seen anemones eject so much waste.
<Can, do>
I have enclosed pics of the anemones that I have. Hopefully it will explain better what I am trying to say.
BTW do you have a specific page about Anemone selection and care.
<Oh yes... here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CnidIndex2.htm
scroll down...>
Thanks a lot for your help .
I really appreciate your website as it helps me a lot.
Joanna
<Good. Bob Fenner>


Re: What is the Ball of slimy stuff from the Anemone... using WWM -- 06/10/10
Hi Bob,
<Joanna>
I appreciate you replying back.
<Certainly welcome>
It is very sad to know that my sebae anemone is dyed. I also so foolish to have falling for the LFS's marketing tactics.
<Happens... to folks/consumers, as well as earnest, otherwise honest r/etailers>
He seems healthy right now, except when he deflates to poop. (That is normal is it not.)
<Is not abnormal>
Do tell me what care I should take to ensure that the anemone is not hurting.
<... read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm
and the linked files above>
I know some people may say.. Just don't buy dyed anemones.. but I have learnt my lesson and I seriously was not aware about dyed anemones.
<Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/coloredanemones.htm
and the linked FAQs file above. They can recover... lose the dye in time, reincorporate Zooxanthellae from others...>
Once again thanks to your website I have understood that topic also. I will surely give the LFS a good peace of my mine.. now that it is a little wise
<You are welcome to refer them to me>
Now to the very very sad reality .. The Cerianthus sp as you mentioned seems to be dying after ejecting more huge balls of fecal pellets.
<Mmm, ... anemones aren't generally compatible with other species... the one is being killed here by t'other... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/anemcompfaqs.htm
and...>
I think there is now <no, and no, tis poss.> way to save him right now
<Needs to be in a separate system...>
but I am enclosing pics so that other people can related to these questions visually and identify if they have the same issues.
<I/we have responded to sufficient numbers of folks that have made this error as you'll see. Become a good consumer, steward of our planet and study ahead of "buying" life>
I have included pics what he was and what he became.
He is totally deflated for a whole day now with some very occasional tentacle movement.
I am interested in keeping some shrimp.. Along with a Blue Damsels / Sebae Anemone / Clarkii clowns and a Snail. Which one would you suggest.
<That you read>
Lastly I would like to know how to make a good wet dry filter with built in sump and skimmer.
<Oh?>
I also wanted to know about the various types of media that are used in filtration. Specially about the different types of filter sponges. I am told that different ones do different jobs.
<... this, these issues/questions are all answered/archived on WWM... there are some 30-40,000 people (unique ISPs) who use this resource per day... Do learn to/use the search tool, indices...>
Do suggest some good books that give all information on known marine species for aquariums. I have been searching for some good books for quite some time now.
<Oh, there are a few mentioned here... in bibliographies, articles on the topic>
Thanks for all your help bob..
Joanna
<Welcome. BobF>

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: