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FAQs on Anemone Compatibility 1

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 5, & 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

Not with slow moving, unaware fishes... Generally not with other Anemone species... With predaceous Seastars, Crabs...
With Angels, particularly large/r species
e.g. Seahorses, Mandarins... Unless the system is HUGE, well-established, stable If you want them to be eaten... Are predated by in the wild if not protected by Clowns

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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

Yet Another PC vs. MH Query Hi Bob, I've read through the FAQ on lighting but can not decide which option is best for me. <begin here for starters, my friend: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm> I have a 72-bowfront (48Lx13-18Wx23D) where I want to keep various corals and one or more anemones (I read these really like the light).  <please do not mix motile anemones with sessile corals... it is a recipe for disaster in the long run (1-3 year picture). Inevitably one will die. Anemones truly need dedicated species tanks to be treated fairly> I'm considering a 4x55W PC setup or a 2x175W MH with possibly a fluorescent or PC actinic.  < the MH are a better route for most... more bang for the buck so to speak. The PCs simply do not penetrate deep enough into the aquarium and you will be limited to cnidarians in the top half on the tank only... may be limited by species too> This gives me anywhere from 3-5+ W/gal which is what I've always heard, but which is it?  <such rules of thumb are inaccurate and useless.. explained in article above. Pick your species first then pick your lights bud> I understand you can't compare watts-to-watts between systems, but how much light is necessary?  <as much as your selected species need... hence the need to make a guest list first. Are you keeping low light cabbage corals or high light yellow Porites? Etc> Will coral grow near the bottom of the tank with 3 W/gal of PC?  <very few species unless you plan to feed heavily to compensate> With MH, will I have to worry about what I place near the top?  <again... depends on the needs of the species you pick. Corals in the trade are collected anywhere from 0 to 80 feet at depth> Thanks for any advice you may have. Jason Jacobs <best regards, Anthony>

New sebae... anemone... along with two others, one dyed, in a tank filtered by a canister... 7/7/05 Hello, I have a few questions about an anemone that I rushed into buying and will probably regret. <You do already> first off... I have a 75 gallon tank with 265watt pc 50/50, a Fluval 404, a remora pro skimmer , 75 lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock. <You need more filtration> all of my levels are at 0, calcium-400, ph a little low at 8.0 right now... the tank has been established for 7 months and has been stocked with many crabs, snails, and shrimp. Fish include a flame hawkfish, 2 fairy wrasses, 2 perculas, and a flame clownfish. as far as corals, I have a candycane coral, frogspawn, green star polyps, many leathers, xenia, and tons of zoanthids.-Q1- (( I also have a green BTA that is growing huge and is already about a foot across, he is being used as a host by the fire clown. a small question with him is, he is pretty much brown and ugly... he has really dark color and sometimes has green or purple hues but how do I get some real color out of him? <Time, feeding> i feed all of my anemones formula 1 frozen food, phyto with invertebrate smorgasbord, and krill))  -Q2-  ((next I have a small rose BTA that is about the size of a golf ball, I have had him for about 4 months, and he is about six inches from the top, but he has been bleached since the day I got him. it is white with hot pink color <Dyed> in the tentacles and it hasn't gotten any color or size in the last 4 months since I got him. it eats a lot and seems healthy otherwise and it even split about a week ago..... any advise)) -Q3-(( yesterday, I saw an awesome anemone at the pet store and I bought it. <... three anemones in a seventy five... trouble> it has a slightly green base, and the tentacles are a deep pink with purple tips, I was told it is a sebae after I bought it I found out about its aggressive nature and high light requirements. I placed it at the top of the rockwork and learned that they like their base in the sand... it hasn't moved yet and looks ok and is opened pretty good. will this anemone work in my system? why or why not? is it going to have problems with my BTA? thanks for any help you could give me. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coloredanemones.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, look into better filtration... stop buying livestock till you know what you're doing. Bob Fenner>

Urchin being consumed by an anemone Hello, I just  got home from work and my green carpet anemone which I have had for 1 year now has got my sea urchin. I tried to pull it out of the anemone but it wont move, the anemone has a firm suction on it. what can I do? will my  anemone eat my sea urchin? if he does what about the  sea urchins spikes, wont it hurt the anemone . this is really stressing my out.....:( thanks for your help <At this point... leave it... the anemone will either ingest it or release it... Bob Fenner>

Hi bob! my anemone again Hi Bob. first I'd like to thank you for answering my other 2 emails personally.  I was so honored!!  :-) <Mmm, thank you for writing> I took your advice and upgraded my pc lighting to 250W mini pendants, 14K Hamilton bulbs, purchased a 20 gallon life reef, custom made w/protein skimmer sump. two MaxiJet 1200 power jets and actually had to purchase a chiller .. to refresh your memory  I have a 72 gallon bow front, with live sand, 100 lbs of live rock, 2 tomato clowns, a flame angel, a blue eyed Anthias (which eats flake food, lucky me!), a black cap Basslet and a scopas tang, bleached BTA, a crocea clam, toadstool leather,  mushroom coral, frogspawn, red open brain, green mushrooms, 2 cleaner shrimp, various hermit, green and anemone crabs, some snails, 3 giant feather dusters and several peppermint shrimp.  Oh, and yes, I have not tried to capture the hairy teddy bear crab (a hitchhiker, but he seems to be harmless at this point). My water conditions are great, except 10ppm of nitrates. I guess I tend to overfeed.  I need some advice: 1. My BTA bleached white (the final straw, I upgraded my system).  She seems to be doing better; I shaded her for a week before letting light really get to her.  I feed her 3 times a week, different "fish", krill, Mysis, cod, we save little amts from dinner... she is still small, but her tentacles do puff up and she has a tad of color in her tips now. will she ever fully recover?   <Very likely so in your good care. Takes time... months> Hoo hum 2. I also have a green sponge growing all around her.  Seems harmless enough, will this effect her? <Maybe so... I would keep the sponge trimmed a few inches away> If this sponge will hurt her, how to get rid of it.?   <Best to use a siphon and single edged razor blades... if you can't easily lift the substrate/rock out it's attached to and scrub with a brush... with running (fresh) water...> The BTA will not move, is it possible for her to be "stuck". <Mmm, no> 3. I do have a problem w/brown slime every day.  It's so dam annoying. I do weekly water changes of 5 to 10 gallons, I use R/O water for top off, but use my well water (tests fine, no anything) for water changes...my R/O system is for my drinking water, therefore does not make enough for water changes. <Look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm Follow the links where you lead yourself... consider competing macro-algae use, perhaps a refugium with same and a DSB...> 4. Without a pic, I know this will be hard to determine, but on my live rock, over 60% of it, I have small, white, semi circles, they are hard, almost look like small feather dusters, but they are not.  My LFS (whom I've learned NOT TO TRUST) says they are harmless worm pods, and will bloom and then die off? <Mmm, no problem... likely sabellid worms... tube-building polychaetes... read about them on WWM... they're harmless to beneficial... will "go" on their own accord in time> I am concerned because of the clam. any comments? <Read> 5. I also have white tiny small bugs on the front of my tank.  I'm assuming some type of pod? <Or other smallish crustacean...>   They are very tiny, but I haven't seen any fish pickin at them.. 6. Last. I have detritus lots of it, in my water column. It's dam annoying also, any suggestions how to get rid of it..? <Better, additional mechanical filtration> Thanks BOB, you're the greatest, Loni
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Sudden loss of fish... environmental... biochemical poisoning Bob, <Yes>     Please help!  In the last 5 days I have lost  1 large yellow tang, 1 blenny, 2 Chromis,  and 1 tomato clown and my long  tentacle anemone that was sucked into a power head. <..... did the anemone go first?> My mushrooms and  leather appear to be fine.  I checked my water quality and all appear  to be normal:  Ph 8.2, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0  and ammonia 0.1.  My tank setup is a 72 gal bow with 20 pounds aragonite, 40 pounds live sand,  approximately 45 pounds live rock, lots of coralline algae.  I only have 2  yellow tangs left alive in my tank.  the last time I added anything to my  tank except for water changes was on April 8, my tangs all 3.   <What?> My tank has  been setup over a year now.  One of my tangs appears to have lost some  scales and has a white film starting to grow on him as well as having cloudiness  in his eye.  Additionally it appears to have blood coming from the line  that runs down his side with the cloudy eye. I have included a picture of my  tang.  The only thing that I have done differently was where I   purchase my RO water.  and I have been using this new source over 2  weeks.  Could this new water source be what is killing my  fish?      Thanks for your help, Jim Tobia <Likely a "biological-chemical cascade" effect of the life (mainly the other cnidarians) reaction to the anemone... massive water changes, chemical filtration, or moving the fishes to another system... Bob Fenner>
Re: Sudden loss of fish Bob, <Jim>     Thanks.  But by the time I was able to get the  water changed, both tangs had died.  I still have my finger  leather and a couple of mushroom frags.   Hopefully, the water change will  keep these guys alive.  Will it harm these guys to do another partial  water change in say 3 days. <I would do them daily> I already have done a 20% water change.       My anemone was the first to go.  Could it  have contaminated my tank? <Yes, absolutely> should I move the leather and mushrooms to my  hospital tank and do a complete breakdown to ensure I do not have anything  else contaminating my tank.  Your thoughts are greatly  appreciated. Jim Tobia      <As I recall these cnidarians weren't mal-affected. I would not move them... just do the water changes, chemical filtration route. Bob Fenner>

My Darned Sebae Anemone Hello Crew, <Hi there> I've perused your FAQ's for a couple of weeks now- and what a wealth of information! This is by far the best informational site... and I've referred many a person to it for general reference and troubleshooting. Great job! <Thank you> I've tried my hand at saltwater fish tanks for a couple of years now, on and off (only because I've moved so many times, from the Bay Area to San Diego and then back again), and I'm starting on slowly introducing invertebrates into my new tank. It's now been set up for a little over three months. Anyway, please allow me to give you the specs on my tank: 55G saltwater tank (water from the LFS) Fluval 304 canister filter (running w/ Activated Carbon, ceramic bits, & phosphate sponge) 192W Coralife lamp (92W full spectrum, 92W Actinic) Bak-Pak 2R+ Skimmer Fluval 3 underwater filter (for water movement in the lower 1/2 of the tank) AquaClear 50 powerhead (at the top of the tank) 70+ lbs LR 30 lbs LS A couple bunches of Caulerpa racemosa <Illegal now in SF and SD BTW> ~20 snails (including 1 "Conch snail") 1 mandarin goby 1 yellow tang 5 (assorted) damsels 2 skunk cleaner shrimp 2 brittle stars (one I bought, other little guy was introduced with a mushroom coral) 1- 5" rock w/ mushroom coral (there's about 7-8 on it) 1 toadstool leather coral (about 2 & 1/2" in diameter) 1- 4" Galaxea coral <A tremendous "stinger" as you're likely aware> 1 sebae anemone EVERYTHING except the anemone is happy. I have the actinic on an hour before and an hour after the full spectrum light is on (actinic on from 1pm - 11pm, full spectrum on 2pm - 10pm). After that, the moon lamps are on until the next light cycle. I do partial water changes weekly (~5 gallons, siphoning the detritus off of the bottom). Here are the water specs: Ammonia: 0ppm nitrates: 10ppm nitrites: 0ppm pH: 8.5 alkalinity: 280ppm Ca: 350 mg/1 The anemone was nice and full when I got it... and the LFS guy said that they had the animal about 3 weeks prior to the sale. It was a nice, light brown, with purple tips. Actually, only the tentacles nearest the mouth were more of a yellowish color. <Previously dyed likely> I referenced your site and thought that it might have been lacking some zooxanthellae from these tentacles... <Yes> and I know my lighting is a bit on the low side, <Yes> so I placed the anemone at the top of the tank. <Not a natural place...> It didn't like it. Maybe it was the high water flow. It deflated, and "spit" out the contents of it's gut. I pulled out the brown substance and left it where it was. <Good. It will move itself> The next day, it had moved from the top of the tank all the way down to the substrate. It has only fully opened twice since then (stays open for about a day, then deflates for 2 days). I know not to attempt to feed it if the gut is out and the tentacles are deflated... so I've only attempted to feed it 3 times since I've acquired it (frozen silversides, defrosted of course, live brine shrimp on a different occasion, live plankton w/ liquid vitamin mix on another). Most of the time either the other fishes steal the food, or the shrimp steal it. I've had it about 2 weeks now... should I return it? Do you see problems in my set-up that could be causing the animal distress? I am hesitant to move it around... I know that it will find a place that it likes eventually. This animal is playing with my emotions! Oh, and the other creatures in the tank have been moved to accommodate the motility of the anemone... since the anemone is on the substrate now, the Galaxea is at the top (middle) of the tank, toadstool is left mid-tank, mushroom coral rock is right mid-tank, and the anemone is on the substrate, in the middle. None of the corals or anemone have touched one another. <At least not physically> It's been two days since the anemone was last full and happy. Should I be patient, as this could just be a "Sebae" trait, or is it doomed? <Not doomed... but should be moved, removed from this system> Sorry this was so long. I wanted to make sure I got any and all factors affecting this animal's health in this message. I hope you can help my Sebae! Thanks, Karen <Thank you for writing so well and completely. You are experiencing a "classic" case of cnidarian incompatibility. Your 55 gallons is just too little a volume to contain all the types of stinging-celled life you have. Alike to chemical allelopathy in plants, where there are types of "chemical warfare" with delimiting growth, germination, the Corallimorph and Galaxea here are poisoning the losing Sebae/Heteractis... Really, the only solution is its removal. Bob Fenner> 

Long Tentacled Anemone/s I have two long tentacled anemone, one which has settled in nicely. The other though is puzzling. I turned off one of my powerheads (2 in a 45 gal tank). The anemone shriveled up and my husband said it was dying. I turned on the powerhead again and it came back to life. I guess it prefers the powerhead.  Today I added some items to the tank, 5 shaving brushes, one coral beauty two horseshoe crabs (very small) and two curly q anemones, and a pencil urchin.  <Trouble... anemones are not easily kept in home-hobbyist settings... two LTA's are not compatible... mixing in the other species, disastrous> Now the anemone that played dead the other day is just floating around the tank. I have tried to get it settled, but it refuses to attach to anything and keeps floating around. It looks to be in good health, the tentacles are full with purple tips.  Any ideas?  <Plenty. The U.S. should stop invading sovereign nations and realize that commerce is "king", people should turn off their teevees and exercise a great deal more. Oh, you mean re your circumstances? Yes, read... on WWM re Anemones, their systems, compatibility. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm.  Read, act, now! Bob Fenner> <<Time for an editorial page!>><Heeeee! RMF>

Condy and BTA - How can I Detect Silent Warfare? By Their Screams! Hello, <Hi there> Unfortunately I've mixed a Condy and BTA in the same tank, they never come near each other physically, but since they have both been introduced the BTA has been on the decline. <Uhh, separate them...> I'm prepared to get rid of the Condy if they are agitating each other through chemical means. <This and more> The BTA has lost almost all of its color and its tentacles are flattening out. My question is two fold; How can I tell if the Anemones are 'at war'? <The decline of one or both...> and is it possible for the BTA to recover its color and shape once the Condy is gone? Thank you, Robert Kirkbride <Yes. Please, please read re these animal's care on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Anemone Compatibility Question Hi Gang,  <Hello Brandon> How are you? I have a question on anemones. I am very fascinated by them, and have the perfect tank conditions to have one. I have about 9 watts per gallon of MH and PC lighting, with the MHs being 20K Radiums and 192 watts of actinic PCs. My question is this, are there any anemones that are better tank inhabitants when it comes to waging war on SPS corals and some LPS corals, such as acans? I will be making the anemone the featured item in my 125G reef, and feed regularly for health.  <It's never a good idea mixing anemones with corals. Eventually the anemone will move and possibly sting nearby corals. Some people have success with this, but there is always the possibility of losing a coral or two or possibly the anemone.> Any thoughts on the best choice for a mixed coral tank?  <You have the lighting to keep most anything, so the choice is yours. Just have to be careful in placement so one coral doesn't sting another.>  Also, I'm hoping it will cause the mated pair of A. percula to come away from the very top corner of the tank to the middle of the tank in the anemone.  <The perculas do prefer the carpet anemones and unfortunately, it's amongst the most lethal of the bunch. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Brandon <You're welcome> 

Anemone + coral - who will win? - 4/25/05 Should I remove my sea anemone from my reef tank? I have a 90 gallon reef system that has been working quite well (thanks mainly to the information that I've read on this website). On a recent trip to my LFS, I was convinced to buy a sea anemone - they told me my clown would love it and it would keep the clown from bothering the xenia. From the little I've read on anemones, I've summarized that maybe an anemone in a reef tank is not 100% ok. I echoed these concerns to the LFS, but they told me that the LT that Im getting would not move around and is quite reef friendly. <Not really any such things.  It's completely unnatural to mix anemones with coral, as they are found in completely different habitats.  Plus, the motility of anemones leads to the downfall of your coral, or vice versa> The first 2 days were fine...I fed it and it pretty much stayed within a small area of the tank. This morning however it decided to relocate...and looks like it burned a brain that it was up against. <Case in point :)> I moved the brain away and also moved the anemone to a safe area (i.e.. no corals around). My first reaction has been, lets return the anemone to my LFS, but wanted to get some thoughts from you before making this decision. <An excellent idea> The anemone is quite nice (LT, greenish, about 6 diameter when open). The reason I got it was for the clown...and so far the clown has stayed away, although this morning the clown looked a lot more interested in the anemone...but has yet to actually touch it. <I would advise a species tank if you want to keep it.  I'm completely against mixing corals and anemones> Thanks for your help on this and all the other questions you've answered for me on your site! <No problem :)  M. Maddox>

Re: sea anemone - reef tank Thanks for the response. I've returned the anemone to the LFS and all my corals are smiling again. <Yay!> When I returned the anemone, the manager (who wasn't there when I purchased it), was going to make a point to educate everyone that work there and gives advise, to highly recommend that hobbyists avoid what I went through. Thanks again for the help. <Thank you for the report, "making my day". Bob Fenner>

Mixing anemone species Hello, I love your site. I've been reading it every night. I can't seem to find the answer to this question though. Can I have a Rose Bubble Tip in the same tank as a Green Bubble Tip. <Not a good idea> They are in a twenty long that has been established for three months. <Way too small for even one anemone> Water is perfect. Specific grav 1.025, 0 nitrites or nitrates, 0 ammonia, ph 8.3. Tetratec 350 filter, 4 lbs live rock, power compact orbit 130 watts. Only one Maroon Clown and one small domino. <Too small for these fishes as well> 5 snails, 2 hermit crabs, and one camel shrimp. The green is balled up a lot for the past three days and I'm worried. <Me too> 10% water change every week or two. The lights can be put on timers also to mimic the sunrise, full day sun, sunset and moon light. What would be a good amount of time for the lights to be on independently and together? Lots of questions I know. This is all so addictive! Many thanks, Lucius <Get your fix... by studying on WWM re anemone systems, health, compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Anemone and Damsel query Hi, first of all I would like to thank you for a great site and I really commend you for it. <Thanks! An honor to help out here> I have a question about a carpet anemone I bought from my local fish shop yesterday. It is tan color and is about 4 inches. I have read across your site and it is often mentioned that they can eat fish. I have two three stripe damsels, two green chromis and one tank bred true percula clown. Is it possible that the anemone could eat my fish? <Definitely. These opportunistic predators are going to snag anything that they can> My second question is this recently I bought a lyretail wrasse because it was cheap big mistake and I learned my lesson and I returned it. <Research in advance always pays off, but at least you returned it> It had scared my damsels into hiding all of the time. Now they never come out and they seem to be pale when they used to be a really nice solid black and white. They now seem almost grey and their eyes are not solid black either. I thought there may have been something wrong with my tank but everything is fine and all the other fish are ok. Do you have any thoughts of what is going on, or what has happened? Please help I love my damsels. <Likely they are just stressed from the wrasse and it's removal. Give them a few days and they should be fine. Please make sure you have the lighting required by your anemone. When emailing us in the future, please use proper capitalization\grammar as these emails are archives for future viewing. Thanks - M. Maddox> 

Wrasse Q again - Misunderstood? Sorry you must have misunderstood me but what I meant Was that I've got one and was wanting to keep corals and BTA ETC are they OK together  Thanks <Answer still works IMO - it can be done but we don't recommend it. I also am completely against keeping anemones in a reef tank! Take a look at a picture of a coral reef. Do you see any anemones? Nope. A coral reef is a completely different habitat from where anemones are found. If you want an anemone, set up a species tank, devoid of coral and any other hazards, such as powerheads. Many of us have made the mistake of introducing anemones into a coral garden tank (myself included, I ended up giving away my anemones), but it is most definitely not advisable. M. Maddox> 

Coral/Anemone Compatibility Dear Crew-- Thank you for this site, which I find invaluable. I've had a 24-gal. Nano-Cube DX for ~3 months. Foolishly, I bought a clown fish and a host Condy anemone (unusual, I know) that had paired happily, before I read that anemones and corals are an unadvisable combination. Although we hadn't had much of a problem with the anemone moving around, we realized that with such a small tank we would need to take action and remove the Condy.  I moved too slowly and awoke the other morning to find the Condy wrapped around a Frogspawn frag I'd been nurturing. It seems both the Condy and the Frogspawn were affected by their encounter, and neither in a good way. Long story short, the Condy has been removed. I'm worried about the Frogspawn. It looks horrible -- it seems to have withered or sloughed down to the skeleton. There are only a few "normal" looking polyps, and they seem to be getting worse. Are these sorts of interactions generally fatal for Frogspawn and is there anything I can do to help it recover? It's been thirty-six hours and it's not coming out of it. I apologize for the lack of a photo -- the best way to describe the degradation is that the polyps have become almost transparent and tinged slightly brownish. They also look somewhat slimy and as though they're disintegrating.  <There is not a whole lot you can do. That is why anemones and corals are usually not recommended, especially in a nano. You could do a couple of water changes, it may help some, but I'm thinking the coral will probably not survive. James (Salty Dog)> 

Carpet anemone and green star Hello! I have been reading the FAQs trying to find some info. I recently bought a green carpet anemone. It was very sticky when I bought it but has lost much of its stick. I have it in a tank with two types of green star polyp (I think one is Briareum and the other is Pachyclavularia) some mushrooms, a small colony of zoanthids and two clownfish. When the lights are off the anemone opens up and looks fine. When the lights are on the anemone shrinks down and its mouth is partly open. All tests are in the perfect ranges, pH 8-8.6, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, calcium 425, KH 11. Nitrates are slightly higher then I would like but not too bad (waiting to get a new test kit as the one I am using is old and may not be giving me correct readings). I have 6 watts per gal of PC lights. What could be the problem? Could it be chemical warfare from the green star? I have read that they can be aggressive. The anemone is nowhere near the green star. Everything else in the tank is doing fine. Please help!!!  <Six watts PC per gallon? A lot depends on the depth of your tank. These anemones are difficult to keep with all conditions good, and they do much better under halide lighting.  Even with a shallower tank, 6 watts/gallon really isn't enough for these guys to thrive for any length of time. Please read, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemlgtgfaq3.htm. James (Salty Dog)><<This is little doubt, a case of chemical incompatibility between all this cnidarian life... the size of the system is not stated, but all the water gets mixed about... I would remove this anemone, post haste, to another system. Bob Fenner>>

Anemone Compatibility Hi. <Hello>  I was wondering about the anemones in my reef tank. I have three LTAs, one Condylactis, and one Green Saddleback Carpet and up until now all have been fine. One of the LTAs has moved his way over to the space occupied by the Carpet, I should add that the LTA is huge, as is the Carpet. The LTA seems fine about being so close, but the carpet appears to be tucking himself in, which normally doesn't bother me as he does this in the morning hours and pops back out to his normally huge size later in the day. So I guess I would just like to know if these different types of anemones can peacefully coexist, even when and if they are in close proximity to each other.  <Not a good idea for them to be near enough to another one to sting them. Interesting link I'll post on anemone compatibility. Do read. James (Salty Dog)>

Anemone question (MikeM's much better go) Hi. <HI!!!> I was wondering about the anemones in my reef tank. <I can guarantee you they're not wondering about you> I have three LTAs, one Condylactis, and one Green Saddleback Carpet and up until now all have been fine. <Aack all in one tank! I wouldn't have attempted that> One of the LTAs has moved his way over to the space occupied by the Carpet, I should add that the LTA is huge, as is the Carpet. The LTA seems fine about being so close, but the carpet appears to be tucking himself in, which normally doesn't bother me as he does this in the morning hours and pops back out to his normally huge size later in the day. <Surprised Vinny hasn't "taken care of him" with concrete shoes and the local bay...>  So I guess I would just like to know if these different types of anemones can peacefully coexist, even when and if they are in close proximity to each other <I think it's a stupid thing to attempt, and I would find new homes for all but one anemone ASAP, if you want my advice. However, should you choose to keep all of the anemones, you can only want and hope, run carbon\poly filters, and perform frequent water changes. M. Maddox> 

- Anemone Shrimp Kicked Out - Hello, and thanks again for all of the assistance so far. I have a fairly large carpet anemone who seems to be thriving. I've had him for about a year and he has easily doubled in size. Presently he is about 18 inches in diameter. He houses a mated pair of stingy true perculas whom refuse refuge to either my anemone shrimp or my anemone crab. My tank is 55 gallons standard. I have some green bubble coral which is thriving and some frogspawn which isn't! Neither my shrimp or crab like any of my other offerings. First of all, what can I get to house these guys that will get along with my current inverts?  <I don't think there's anything you can do.>  And what the heck do you think could be wrong with my frogspawn.  <Given the size of the tank, it could well be suffering from chemical warfare with the anemone.>  I bought him about 7 months ago. He has three branches, with each end about 1 inch in diameter. One branch died right away, the other has been hanging on by a thread for about 4 months, and the other hasn't gotten any smaller but no bigger either.  <Could also be damage that occurred during shipping/transport, not at all uncommon for these corals.>  It hasn't eaten since I got him. Up until about 2 weeks ago I only had 220w PC 1/2 blue/ 1/2 10k white and a standard fluorescent 40 watt 50/50. I felt maybe my problem was insufficient lighting so I upgraded to a 2x175 MH plus the PC fixture I had (220w +350w). I'd hoped with the upgrade he would have been looking better by now.  <Did you just switch lights one day? If so, you probably "blasted" this coral and it's not adjusting well... you need to acclimate corals to new lighting slowly.>  I'm having a hard time finding any calmer place in the tank to try to put him because I understand they like low current. My nitrates, calcium, pH, temp salinity all within normal limits. Any suggestions?  <Try increasing the distance between the anemone and the frogspawn, consider running some activated carbon, and moving to 5% water change each week to try and keep the allelopathy to a dull roar.> Thanks, Corey <Cheers, J -- >

Allelopathy and sand anemones Dear Crew <Jim> I have had some sand anemones creep into my tank on live rock. <Sand... Googled... are these Aiptasia?> My Tank has been set-up four years with a massive profusion of live rock and is 6ft x2ft x1.5feet. My tank is a mixed garden reef with the following stock :- 2 colonies Caulastrea 1 Montipora (grown 2-3 inches in 6 months) 1 hammer coral (growing well) 1 torch coral 2 Turbinarias (scroll coral) 1 not opening with polyps 1 Porites soft corals 1 colony of Sarcophyton (massive) 1 colony cabbage coral zoanthids and star polyps of various types My question is can these sand anemones cause allelopathy against my less defended LPS corals, they are around 1 inch in diameter (not near corals at moment). <... Yes... as can/do your soft corals and the stonies...> I am considering removing them to my refugium is this wise? <Better than having them more proximal to your other anthozoa, yes> Also I have this fish stock 1 maroon clown 1 yellow tang 1 Pseudochromis 8 green Chromis 1 scarlet hawkfish 1 flame angel 1 Midas blenny Is this too much for a mixed reef garden such as mine along with said coral stock?. <Sounds fine for this size system, other listed livestock> I am considering de-stocking some corals because of allelopathy concerns; although I do take regular cuttings from the Sarcophytons to the LFS. Best regards, Jim <Good idea... know that much of allelopathogenic properties are diminished by long-residence among species... in other words, that most all detrimental effects are greatly lessened by the life "getting used to each other" over time... New livestock will have a much harder time "making it" in your well-established system. I would be "fragging" to help pay for my habit! Bob Fenner>

Sebae and Rock Anemones Hello, my name is Ross. I have recently started a small 10 gal. tank, and have aspirations of eventually increasing to a larger tank (perhaps 50 gal. or so) My question is, is it necessarily a bad idea to have such a small tank with a Sebae and a Rock anemone together? I only have 2 Perculas in the tank right now with only 3 lbs. of live rock. My water quality is pretty good, and stays pretty stable. I also want to ask, with this picture included...does my Sebae look healthy? or at least decent for being in the tank for only 24 hours? I am relatively new to the whole Saltwater aquarium hobby, but I want to know EVERYTHING about this really fun hobby!!! I have been delighted with the success I've had thus far with my fishes and anemone!! I'm sure I'll be back for more questions, but thanks in advance for your help and infinite wisdom on this very complicated and rewarding hobby!!! Thanks again!! Ross<Ross, you poor dear.  A ten gallon tank is much too small for a Sebae and rock anemone.  Problem is that anemones sometimes move to a better location.  One or the other will eventually get stung in that close of a quarters. I strongly suggest you do a search on the wetwebmedia on anemones and please read all the helpful information.  Lighting is also a factor for anemones.  You do not mention the lighting you are using. I do not see any link to a photo. I would take one of the anemones back to the dealer if he will allow you store credit for it.  It also sounds like the tank has not been up long enough to put an anemone into it.  Do some reading on the site as to your interests, especially in starting a marine aquarium.  James (Salty Dog)

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

Bubble Tip anemone question If I were to get a anemone in the future do you think it will get along with these fish: Regal tang firefish Humbug damselfish ocellaris clown (yes, duh) <Yes, but maybe or may not host with Entacmaea Quadricolor> royal Gramma Flame angelfish Kaudern's cardinalfish Would these fish be fine with this anemone (vice versa)? (As long as you have a sufficiently large tank, they should be fine...though if they blunder into the anemone they're toast> Jahner <M. Maddox>

Anemone Q's Hi Guys, <How goes it, Michael here sneaking in some answers and purgatory...I mean...my job> Thanks for your time. I recently encouraged my wife into upgrading our FW to a SW system. I am very pleased and after cycling(2 months), then the introduction of a damsel (another 2 mths) and just recently a pair of clownfish which have also been in the system for 2 mths, giving the system a total of 6 mths operation. <Good going so far> My wife is dead keen on getting an anemone, and I have read extensively about keeping them on your site, and although they seem difficult we would still like to try.  <What species?> My concern is, what type of fish are suitable for a system with an anemone? <Any reef safe fish will be fine (e.g.. no triggers, puffers), but that's not what my main concern would be.  The main concern should be proper lighting and water conditions.  Please consult our archives, and see the FAQ's posted on the reefcentral anemones & clownfish forum (www.reefcentral.com).  The sticky in that forum has a ton of useful information > It seems most will eat them, any help welcome! <Not many fish will eat an anemone...however anemones love fish!> Love the site, <We try>   Adam Wade <M. Maddox> Youth Minister <Slave to capitalism until I graduate>

Urgent Question on Butterfly - Anemone Compatibility Just had a once in a long while opportunity to purchase a juvenile Chaetodon mitratus from the fine folks at Marine Center. Even though I have a couple of Acroporas in my tank, I've always loved the family Roa butterflies. <I too admire the chaetodonts of this subgenus. In fact, a friend is visiting (JasonC) who has a declivis tattoo on his calf! And is looking forward to perhaps buying a couple in LA tomorrow> After purchasing the butterfly, I started thinking about the lovely rose bulb anemone in my tank. It's doing exceptionally well due to lighting and supplemental feeding. I am now worried that the C. mitratus might eat my anemone since there are no clowns to protect it. Do you guys and gals know if Family Roa butterflies have been know to dine on anemones? <Not commonly, but have heard they will nip them at times.> I'm hoping not since they are typically deepwater fish, and I don't suppose there are many types of deepwater anemones due to lack of light, although I know there are some carnivorous species. Any thoughts on the danger to my rose bulb? Also, what types of corals would be safe with a Roa butterfly? Thanks in advance! <I give you very good odds that they will co-exist. Bob Flavocoronatus Fenner> Thank you for the quick response. Also Bob, if you wouldn't mind, ask Jason how the 5 bar mystery wrasse is doing that I sent him. <Will do> I believe it was Jason anyways. About a year or two ago I had a small 5 bar that was destroying all of my kids pet cleaner shrimp, and sent the little guy to Jason I believe for an autographed version of your book! It is now proudly displayed in my reef room, along with 'A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes' signed by Rich Pyle, Jerry Allen, and none other than Jack Randall. Pretty good company your keeping Mr. Fenner! <Very fine folks indeed. Bob F>

Big and little anemones Hello, I have another question, thanks again for the quick response to the last one.  I have a 50-gallon main tank (36"X18"X 18").  I have a large (17") ritteri (H. magnifica), a H. aurora ~ 8" across the oral disc, an ocellaris that lives in the ritteri, and a bicolor blenny.  I also have a rock covered with green starburst polyps and a rock with a few mushrooms.  I've read repeatedly on WetWebMedia about the dangers of allelopathy, and I'm worried.  The anemones look great, but the polyps and the mushrooms aren't looking as full or growing as fast as they used to.  << Well most anemones are high light animals, and most mushrooms are low light, so that is my first concern. >> What are the symptoms of allelopathy?  The animals have been living together for two years now.  I have a protein skimmer (Pro Prism) attached to the 29 gallon sump which has a deep sand bed.  I use Chemipure or carbon most of the time.  Do I have to take the polyps and mushrooms out?  With skimming and Chemipure can I keep the two anemones together, at opposite ends of the tank? << Yes, and after two years I'd say you must be doing things right. >> Again, the anemones look to be in perfect condition- both eat voraciously, really beautiful.  The H. aurora I've had for over 4 years now--two years in the same tank as the ritteri. Also, I read about the necessity of MH with H. magnifica, but I have two 96-watt 10,000K power compact bulbs and two 55-watt 10,000K bulbs and the anemone has tripled in size in the past two years--with regular feedings, as well. << Well that is great to hear.  Keep in mind that regular feeding is basically like adding more light. >> It lives in the top half of an already relatively shallow (18") tank, maybe that accounts for the success.  Would I be better off with MH lighting? << If it is growing so well, then don't change anything. >> I love the PC's, but I'll do what I have to make my babies happy. << The PC's are better for the mushrooms anyway, so if the anemones are doing well then just keep doing what you're doing. >> Tank parameters: temp:  81F SG:  1.025 Nitrates:  0 ph:  8.1-8.2 Thanks, Gary    <<  Blundell  >>
Re: Big and little anemones
Thanks Thank you for the response.  I will remove the star polyps and mushrooms and leave the anemones put for now.  I just bought a 20 gallon tank to put the star polyps and mushrooms in to get them out of the "anemone" tank.  Hopefully they will return to their former size and robustness.  Thanks again. << Good luck. >>  Gary << Blundell  >>

Anemone, missing fishes Can a rock flower anemone eat fish?  I have  3 damsels. one sexy shrimp, and 3 baby gobies  missing??????? <Yes. Bob Fenner>

Demonic Damsels Strike Again Hi <Hi! Ryan Bowen with you today> I've had my reef for over 3 years, I had a half dozen or so tanks (fresh+salt) but now I've moved and consolidated to one 29g reef-tank. <Sounds good.> I've got a weird problem wish fish behavior. I have three anemones and they are all very polite. <Polite, yes, but if you aren't skimming furiously, there is invisible war being fought.> I have three fish and they are all quite rude. The fish wont leave the anemones alone, they are constantly pecking at the tentacles. Even when it is mostly closed and retracted they will carefully line up and position themselves (with a curious, intensely concentrated midwater hover technique I've rarely seen elsewhere) so as to get a peck or two at the parts that are exposed. I have a three-striped damsel, a blue velvet damsel and a 14 year old clown fish I got for free. I've had the fish from 6-12 months and the anemones for a couple years. I'm obviously more attached to the anemones, and I don't want any silly makeshift ideas like strawberry baskets interfering with their migration and movement. Can you suggest anything that would be causing the fish to do this, or any solutions? <Yes, remove the damsels!  They're trying to defend their territory...Encourage the anemone to choose a new home, but obviously the anemone cannot.  Permanent harassment will kill your inverts at some point.> BTW even after the fish have been fed they do this, its more of a social activity than a survival thing at this point. <Territory is survival in nature...sadly it seems, a luxury in aquaria.> Also, the clownfish does not reside in any anemone, the people who gave him to me did not keep any inverts and simply had a single fish in a tank for 13 years before they had to move. He has expressed no interest in any of the anemones, large tube worms or anything else aquarium clownfish are sometimes found basking. <Perhaps he's stressed- Remove the damsels and watch things settle in.  Cheers! Ryan>

Another saddle carpet anemone AWOL Hi I have a issue regarding my carpet anemone.  It is in a 46 gallon bow aquarium, w/ 2x96 watt VHO and 175w MH.  I feed him every other day, ground up misc. seafood (shrimp, perch, squid) Mysid shrimp and occasional live brine shrimp and black worms.  Water tests are fine and I did a 20% water change on Friday as I do every other week with R/O water.  I test my water myself and occasionally I take samples to my LFS and everything is inside the normal range. Nitrate is usually undetectable. <How about Ca and Alk?> I've had him about 13 months.  The past two weeks it has gone crazy eating fish--3 clowns, a lawn mower blenny, maybe a damsel. <All anemones are predators, and carpet anemones have some of the most powerful stings of all of them.  I have lost several shrimps and a couple of fish to mine.  These are definitely not community tank animals.> I now have a tank with 100 lbs of live rock, xenia and a Chromis, and one beautiful, green anemone, about 10". <Hmmm...  I am a bit suspicious here.  Who identified the anemone?  Although green saddle anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) do come into the aquarium trade, they are unusual.  There is a similar looking Caribbean anemone that is also unusual in the trade, but (being Caribbean), is not a natural clownfish host.... and it is a vicious predator.  See Delbeek and Sprung, "The Reef Aquarium, Vol 2" and/or Fautin and Allen's "Anemonefishes and their host sea anemones" to try and properly ID your anemone.> I've been pondering getting rid of him.  Although I was willing to dedicate my only  tank to it--I at least wanted to be able to keep some clowns or something, otherwise it just is not worth it.  I've struggled, knowing that if I trade it in--most likely will not get the same level of care and lights, maybe not enough to survive. <Good to see that you are providing proper care and don't want the animal to fall into less caring hands.  Your local aquarium society can be of great help here.> Today he is missing.  Somehow he has berried himself under the gravel/sand in the tank.  It is only 1.5" deep and he is under it.  He did this all  within the last hour. He has never moved before. I wondering if it is complications from eating such large food, or if he is just dying as so many anemone's long term do.  Should I leave it or try to fetch it from the tank? <Both S. haddoni and the Caribbean look alike are capable of withdrawing completely into the sand (although into 1.5" is surprising) as well as wandering the tank.  Be sure it is not on the move (inevitably toward a powerhead, drain or pump inlet).  They do this occasionally as a response to disturbance or sometimes for no reason at all.> Honestly I'm done with anemones--everyone out there--they are too much of a pain, even if you do everything seemingly right? Thanks.  Jennifer Von Canon  <How very true.  Just like any animal, they have specific needs and certain problems associated with their care.  Unfortunately, they are exaggerated compared to many other animals.  Best Regards.  AdamC>

Mixing anemones? Hi, I have a 125 gallon tank with a power compact that has 3- 96watt actinic bulbs and 3 -1000k daylight bulbs and 4 moonlights. The light is over 5 watts per gallon and was told I have enough for anemones and corals. << Yep, but I'd be careful.  Not enough light for stony corals, but enough for most soft corals. >> Everything in the tank has been good, fish and corals with no problems for the last 8 months. Now I just put a long tentacle in my tank. The pet store told me that this would be good for my false clowns and tomato clowns. I first didn't believe this but saw one in their tank with a pair of false clowns that were 6 years old. Does it take that long for them to pair or was I really looking at a Heteractis magnifica. << The will pair up.  It can take a while.  I told this to someone else, and he told me today (wow what a coincidence you asked me today) that after 6 months his ocellaris has now paired up. >> Should I return the l.t. and but a H.M. tentacle or will the clowns later go into it. << Well you have no guarantee they will host in a HM or in anything.  I wouldn't try to force them to host, just let them do whatever they want to do in your tank. >> Also how big can a long tentacle get in inches? Also can you mix anemones together like a L.T. and a bubble tip or L.T. and the H.M. << Most of those anemones will get to about 6 inches in diameter.  They can get larger, but most will split as they grow.  You can mix them in a tank, but they don't really like to be touching each other.  Therefore they typically move apart, given that the tank is large enough to do so.  So I wouldn't worry with a 125 gallon. >> Please let me know. Also is the H.M very difficult? Will it sting my tangs and my corals? << Not difficult, but I would probably increase your lighting first.  They aren't harmful to your tank, but they do need light and food. >> Thanks in ahead Harry <<  Blundell  >>

Lost Mandarin Hello, <Hi Rob, MacL here tonight> I noticed about a week ago that I was missing my Mandarin fish. I looked all over the tank (72 gal), with no luck. (2) things struck me as odd- I was missing the Mandarin, and secondly, my softball size bubble tip anemone was acting strange. Putting 2 and 2 together, I think my anemone gobbled up the Mandarin. <Very possible, as I understand it mandarins don't know what anemone's are and therefore are prone to getting eaten by them.> The anemone which is almost always fully extended, just hid under the rock in which his base is attached. He was like this for about a week- just wouldn't come out. Only a day or so ago, he started coming out a little, but not much. <Probably digesting, full tummy> I tried offering a piece of food to him, but he pulled away, obviously not interested. I have nothing else in the tank that would have eaten or killed the Mandarin. What do you think? I have a strong feeling the anemone received an expensive meal, but also read that a mandarinfish doesn't make for a great meal. I suppose the anemone could care less of what it tasted like, possibly not until it was too late. Will my anemone be OK? <The anemone should be fine> Thanks for any help.

Malu anemone and cleaner shrimps <Hi, MikeD here> I would like to know if my 2 candy striped cleaner shrimps could be hurting the malu anemone? They are constantly picking on it and steeling its food whenever I feed it.<I'm not familiar with a Malu anemone and almost gave this to someone else when I remembered some of my own experiences. Some of the long armed spider and arrow crabs are adept at reaching inside anemones to remove food, almost using them as a personal larder.  I also suspect that if really hungry they might dine on the gut of the anemone itself, but that's just a suspicion.  With the long arms of the Candy Striped  Shrimp there's a chance they might be guilty of this too, and if so spot feeding them specifically might help>. Thank you<You're welcome. I hope this helped> - Grace

Anemones in mixed garden tanks? Please resist 5/26/04 Hi, I have a 260 litre marine aquarium. When I started almost a year ago I bought a good quantity of living rock. In the time I have had this tank I have not lost a single fish. I have pulse coral which is growing and spreading. Plenty of light, double the filtration I should need, and oversized protein skimmer and UV filtration.  <all very good to hear... although it would help to have more info about your critical hardware like lighting> The tank is carefully monitored and very well cared for. BUT I have lost 4 anemones, one after the other.  <there are many possible reasons for this. The first of which is the common (and often fatal, and unnatural if nothing else) mixing of motile cnidarians (your anemone) with sessile ones (corals). Most anemone species imported do not come from areas of the reef where corals are prevalent, if they exist in company at all. This very often leads to problems in captivity. It is one of the worst uses of living resources in our hobby/trade. Please do take the time to read through any of the dozens of pages of information on our free content website wetwebmedia.com to learn more> The only common factor appears to be external wounds from which the creature exudes a white foamy stuff in an attempt I assume, to repair itself.  <no my friend... these are mesenterial filaments, and they are issued defensively. The presence of the corals in the tank or other anemone species alone is enough to issue them> My question is, what's killing them?  <most all anemone need a species tank for long term survival. The inappropriate mix is not helping here> I attach a picture of the wound to my latest anemone, <no picture was attached, mate> a type of sand anemone, which is still currently alive but not looking very happy. Since the picture, taken last night, it got out of the plastic box and is sitting once again on the sand. I did find within it, what I took to be a dead and mangled bristleworm. Do these attack anemones? I have bought today a pest trap which I will try tonight. At the shop they tell me it might be a crab. Not the porcelain crab I have that seems to live happily with the anemone, but some other creature that only comes out at night. Is this likely?  <Crabs can be dangerous... but I really don't think this is your problem/culprit> Your advice would be very welcome. Thanks, Rolf Evans <best of luck, Anthony>

Anemone Mix Can I safely mix a condy anemone with a new BTA or LTA in a 55 gallon tank? I have not been advised otherwise. Also, what is their preferred salinity. I have 220 watts of lighting. My filtration is mechanical...the emperor system, SeaClone 150 and I have over 50 pounds of live rock.<I would advise against it since Condys are usually wanders and may bother the others. Cody> Thanks for your help. Wade Smith 

Alien Anemone-nappers?  >I purchased an Atlantic carpet anemone a while ago. I did not experience any issues with it. It was eating properly and moved from time to time to different spots on the live rock. The last time I saw it, it was attached to the glass wall in the aquarium. The next day, it was gone. I thought that maybe it was simply stressed out by something but about 9 days later it still did not show up. I started moving the live rock around to see where it went but after moving every single rock, I did not find it. The question is what could have happen to it?  >>Wow.. now that's unusual. You *should* be finding either very cloudy water from the anemone dying, or a hole with " goo" that would be the anemone shrunken up inside (alive).  >Besides that anemone I also have a bubble tip and Haitian Pink Tip.  >>The Caribbean anemones being mixed should be of little trouble, as long as there's sufficient room for them to spread, but the BTA is a Pacific anemone. Generally, we discourage mixing of anemone species altogether, allelopathy is one of the reasons, as is outright nematocystic warfare.  >There are several crabs (Sally Lightfoot, hermit) and one cleaner shrimp. My aquarium is 90G. Do you think something ate it? It could not die that I would not notice it. Let me know what you think. Appreciate your help. Greg Zejer of Chicago  >>Yeah, that's my thinking, too. Watch the Sally crabs, if they're large they can do some real damage. I know that there are crabs that feed on anemones, but the only ones I've got direct knowledge of are all temperate species found in tidepools. Since I don't know what fishes you have, I can only guess that if you have a large angel, puffer, or trigger that could be another possibility. Marina

Gaggle of Anemones 4/28/04 I have a 125 gallon tank with a pretty big long tentacle anemone a rose, and a sebae and two little Condys and a carpet. <yikes... what an unnatural mix!> They aren't near each other except the Condy and long tentacle <that means little in such a small volume of water and with motile stinging animals like your anemones against the sensation of "chemical warfare" conducted against each other. They will seem to get along for some months... maybe even a couple of years. But statistically your chances of making this work are near zero for the long term. Please do reconsider> but I was wondering if they do touch what exactly happens and what about touching other corals such as my hammer? <oh, no... corals too. Ahh... please do read more in the wetwebmedia.com archives about stocking, compatibility and allelopathy (keyword searches an simply navigate the menu> I also heard if one seems to be dying although there not you should remove or risk killing the whole tank. <this really is a dreadful way to run an aquarium with living organisms. Putting it in a stressful environment and then pulling it before it kills others. Anemones are really a dubious group regarding sustainable harvest. They naturally can live many decades (some with theorized "immortality" in the sense that they have NO definable lifespan) and tragically never live more than months or a couple of years because ill-advised aquarists put them in such mixes as yours.> I understand I'm sure I have to many anemones in there but I have an attachment to all of them. <please make the conscientious choice and keep only one species per tank, and do so in a system that specifically meets its needs (hard substrates, soft substrates, lagoon with grasses, etc). Most of all... please, please, please research the needs of all living organisms before you buy them and throw them into potentially harmful or unnatural mixes> Is this possible to keep. <no> thanks <sigh... best regards, Anthony>

Anemone compatibility 4/27/04 Hi!  I wrote last week thanking you for the info available on your site . This week I need a little help. I've looked on the site and not really found an answer. My husband and I are newbies to saltwater and we researched compatibility before stocking our tank. We have a 50 gal tank W/ live rock, a tomato clown, 2 fire tail gobies, a feather duster (which recently "popped its top), 2 candy stripe cleaner shrimp, and 1 anemone (which we were upset to find has been bleached- it's white W/ purple tips). <Sounds reasonable.  Feather dusters sometimes lose their crowns from shipping stress or rough handling, but often recover.  However, they do fare best in well established (at least many months old) tanks.  Bleached anemones (especially "Sebaes") are a sad epidemic in the hobby/industry.> The anemone we have had for a month was content on the live rock but has recently begun moving around the tank. I feed it shrimp (raw) and food from the pet store. it has been growing and changing to a more opaque tan color. However I came downstairs today to find it on top of the dusters tube. I gently moved the anemone back to the other side of the rock(10-12in long 6 in. high in middle of tank). <Anemones require very specialized care, including high light (at least 175w MH for most species) and the freedom to roam and find a spot it likes.  You can coax it all you want, but it will find it's own place.  You are doing the right thing by feeding it, and the fact that it is regaining color is a good sign.  Please be sure that there are no powerheads, pump inlets, overflows, etc. that your anemone could get caught in as it wanders around.> The duster is still in its tube and attached to the rock.  Is the anemone a predator of the duster? <No.  I suppose the anemone could eat a feather duster, but they only capture prey that falls/wanders/swims into it's tentacles, anemones don't "go hunting".> Should I set up another tank to separate them? Is the Duster safe in W/ the anemone?  Is it normal for this anemone to move much? Sorry for so many ?s but we can't find clear answers at the library. Thanks . DOD  Diana D <Your feather duster is at some risk of being stung by your wandering anemone, but they are generally safe together.  Anemones will move all around the tank looking for ideal conditions.  Lack of light and too little or too much current are the most common causes of wandering.  Best Regards.  Adam>

White sebae with purple tips I purchased this anemone (white sebae) <Actually, this is a bleached (lack of light damaged) Heteractis crispa. Normal, healthy ones are colored> a month ago. It is in my 30 gallon tank. My 30 gallon tank includes a Power Compact 2x96 watts (actinic blue and 10000K full spectrum) with Moonlite system, a 330 penguin bio-wheel power filter, a 100 SeaClone protein skimmer and undergravel filter which is powered by two powerheads (AquaClear 301 and 802. The tank is currently overloaded space wise but all chemical parameters are ideal for a marine system. The tank includes a snowflake eel (12"), a porcupine puffer (3"), a yellow tang (3"), and a true percula clownfish (2.5"). <Are you joking? Really? In a thirty gallon system?> It also includes a baby (3"long arms) serpent seastar, 4 turbo snail, 4 blue legged hermit crabs, and an array of anemones (this is where it gets messy). I have an Atlantic carpet anemone with a 8" diameter which is very very sticky, three Haitian anemones, two have yellow tips and one has pink tips, a zebra mat anemone (Phymanthus crucifer?) <... please read through WetWebMedia.com re Anemone compatibility... your system is soon to crash> and the anemone in question (a purple tip white sebae anemone). The sebae had not moved since I had introduced him to the tank until two days ago where he moved from the side of the glass to three inches away where it wedged it's column between a rock and the crushed coral substrate. It behavior has been very weird. During the day, the tentacles have been short and extremely stalky almost shaped like small quarter-balls while at night with the Moonlite on the tentacles become a half inch long and are about 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch wide. It also expands at night two about three four inches in diameter as opposed to the 3 inches during the day. Is this behavior normal? <Normal? Yes, per your overcrowded mis-stocked conditions> I also read on a webpage that there white Sebaes actually are not suppose to be white at all but have become bleached. Is that true? <Oh, yes!> I have actually observed that it is very slowly becoming slightly darker. I have been trying to feed it small scraps of frozen formula and even a piece of shrimp. It seems to have taken the food but I didn't observe it long enough to see the food being introduced into it's mouth. Thanks for your help. Absalom <Absalom... your enthusiasm for the hobby needs matching with more tanks, volume... do separate these anemones... get larger quarters for your fishes... quick! Bob Fenner>

Solo Anemone?  Thank you Scott for your suggestions. Although now the skimmers are working again, I will get a controller for the ozone input.  <I think it's a very good idea>  I have to ask this just to rule it out once and for all.  I have a BTA in a 6 x 2 x 2 display. Does this mean quite simply that I can plan absolutely NO invertebrates in this tank, sessile or motile?........So in other words, fish only?  <If you really want to do the absolute best thing, I'd avoid other corals or sessile inverts. No problems with shrimp, crabs, etc. The idea here is to avoid allelopathic competition ("chemical warfare") between potentially incompatible inverts (i.e.; corals and anemones). anemones fare far better in a dedicated tank. >  I very much appreciate your help again.. Think I owe you all a drink or three.. <Nah...But if you insist!>  Take care Simon.  <You, too! Regards, Scott F.>

Cocoons and anemone pest? I have been searching your site for a good answer and have asked around, now I need the pros advice. On my live rock, I have what appear to be many small, white "cocoons", some have opened...now my long tentacled anemone is having what appear to be wounds, like if a triggerfish was biting. I don't have any idea what the cocoons might be...if the culprit happens to be bristleworms, then they have to go before they make my anemone look like a leopard. Thanks for any info! Ian <The "cocoons" may well be some type of tubiculous (tube-dwelling) polychaete worm, but I very much doubt that they are directly or indirectly involved in your anemone's health issue. Time to "go back" to basics, have you read through the many anemone articles, FAQs archives on WetWebMedia... test your water, gain an understanding of what is involved in their husbandry. Bob Fenner>

Is this normal anemone behavior? 3/19/04 I have a 55 gallon tank with a twin 48" fixture and a single 48" fixture.  All 40 watts and 1 blue actinic bulb.(120 watts). <This is woefully inadequate light for anemones.  I would recommend a very minimum of 4x110w VHO over a 55 to maintain anemones.> A wet/dry, a power filter, and a magnum. <This is not ideal filtration for maintaining inverts.  All of these filters promote nitrate accumulation, and the intakes of the power filters are quite dangerous to wandering anemones.  How much live rock and sand do you have?  Skimmer?> The ph is 8.2 and my nitrates is <10. <I am surprised your nitrate is so low. Do you have a deep sand bed?  What about alkalinity?> I have 1 true percula and 1 tank raised percula, 2 damsels, coral banded shrimp, a green carpet anemone, a Condylactis anemone, and a green long tentacle anemone. <Yikes!  Three anemones in a 55 is asking for trouble (aside from the light and filtration).  Interactions between them will be very unfavorable.> The Condylactis found itself a spot in the back away from all the others. It seems to be doing well.  The carpet found itself a spot right up front. <Condys can be reasonably sturdy in captivity.  Carpets range from moderately hardy to very difficult depending on the exact species.  LTA's are very difficult.  All of these anemones demand high light (at least strong VHO) and will not thrive long term under your lighting.> The LTA wants the carpets area and keeps traveling to where it is.  I keep moving it but no matter where I move it, it goes right back to where the carpet is. <This is very stressful to the animal.  When keeping anemones, you have to be prepared to allow them to settle where they are happy.> It literally smothers the carpet.  Neither seem to be affected by the others sting.  Neither backs off and neither moves away.  I was told that the carpet has a strong sting and would kill any other anemone that touches it. <I would have to agree.  I am very surprised that they are this tolerant of each other, but in the long term, both animals will suffer from this interaction.> For about 1.5 weeks they have been doing this.  Is my LTA going to die?  Are these 2 anemones able to share an area together without harming one another?  The perculas that I have share both of the anemones.  They swap back and forth.  Should I just stop worrying about the anemones and leave them alone?  I just don't want them to die?  Please help.  I keep separating the 2 but the LTA keeps going right back on top of the carpet.  I can send pictures if you want me too.   <You need to make some major changes to your system or your anemones will at best waste away over several months until they die.  Anemones are very difficult to keep in captivity and are very demanding of high water quality, high light and lack of aggression by other animals.  Increased light may put a halt to your LTA's wandering, but it is likely that even with changes to your system, you will have to give up the carpet or the LTA.  Also, while the interaction between clownfish and anemones is entertaining and fascinating, it is not necessary.  The clowns will do just fine on their own.  I am sorry for having such bad news, but the fact is that anemones are very demanding and delicate.  Best of luck!  Adam> Michele Morehouse

Ughhh... another anemone in a reef tank: do resist! 3/18/04 My FPO (fish permissions officer) has decided she wants a clown+anemone in our display. <besides being unnatural to keep most anemone species in mixed reef tanks (most/many are found away from the dynamic areas of the reef with corals, and instead are found in soft substrates and other/specific niches)... it is generally a recipe for disaster in the long run to mix sessile reef invertebrates with motile ones. Our WWM archives tell of these sad stories> 230G evolving from FO to reef ( yup I know the probs on anemones and corals together) I have purchased but not yet brought home a Malu Anemone or "purple tip" as the FPO calls it. I have 3x150watt MH lights. Turnover in tank is 12x per hour the question I really want to ask is can I keep this Anemone with this lighting? <the lighting is likely fine if the anemone is fed small portions weekly> At present the calcium is a little low at 290ppm Nitrates are a little high at 30 ppm <yikes! stop the presses regarding corals and anemones here. Bear in mind that your actual nitrate reading (nitrate ion versus nitrate as nitrogen) is a multiple of 4.4 times the hobby test kit reading. Thus... you have well over 100 ppm of nitrate. To get the "reef safe" level under 20ppm range, you need to be reading 5ppm or less on a hobby test kit> Should I just forget this idea and try to pacify the missus as she is hell bent on an anemone + clown. <you might both very well watch the crash of an entire system if this is pursued. I would never recommend the mix of common/popular anemones and corals. Too often it is simply tragic (reasons detailed at great length in the FAQs on this subject)> Please give me your opinion(s) I really do take into account what you say, much to the annoyance of the fish shops in the uk Many thanks indeed for your unbiased approach to this subject. (maybe a bubble tip would be a better choice?) <agreed... a bubble tip is a much hardier anemone> Sincerely yours Simon <please do emphasize to the wife that anemones truly need a species tank apart from mixed cnidarian communities. Do consider a tank in the 200-300 liter range with a single 150 watt halide. Safer and more successful I'm sure my friend. Anthony>

Anemone Shock Hi, <Hello! Ryan with you> i have recently acquired a new carpet anemone despite the fact that i already have a Bubbletip. i noticed that my Bubbletip has lost its ability to feed.. it is still able to hold food in its tentacles but unable to ingest it. could it be the chemical warfare going on? <Almost certainly a stress response.  You can try increasing skimming and water changes to counteract> if i remove the carpet, how am i supposed to "revive" the Bubbletip? <Water change, fresh foods, perhaps some Cyclop-eeze?  Be sure to conduct a water test so that you know where the stresses are coming from.> regards, Alvin  

Bubble tip anemone corresponding with carpets... Hi I was Just wondering if the bubble Tip anemone to you would be considered fairly hardy in a  marine aquarium, and the same with a carpet anemone. I was also wondering if either anemones could be in the same spot, and correspond with other anemones <I believe your questions will be answered simply by reading the information provided by the following link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm Good luck, IanB>

Adding Inverts or Anemone with puffer/tangs Hi, I was wondering if I can put any type of invert, cleaner or maybe an anemone in my 75 gallon tank. I have a stars and stripes puffer, a black and white striped percula clown, a yellow tang, a ocellaris percula clown and 5 damsels in my tank. <First off, some of the fish in your tank will be needing a larger one as they become older.  A Yellow Tang should be in a 90 gallon tank when they are adults. Even the puffer will get fairly large when it becomes an adult. The problem is that you really will not be able to add many types of invertebrates to your tank because of the Stars and Stripes puffer.  Puffers natural diet in the wild is snails/crustaceans/and other invertebrates.  The only inverts I have managed to keep with my puffers are red and blue legged hermit crabs.  Even then I have found empty shells and a puffer with a fat belly. If you did not have the puffer in the tank then you would be able to keep some inverts.  Though in my experience some damsels pester ornate shrimp, so they might pick at a cleaner shrimp to death. You have quite mix of fish in this middle sized tank, which is why it would be hard to add almost anything.> I know I would need to upgrade my lighting and all in order to house a anemone but I would like to know if it would work out in my tank first. <Anemones really don't have that great of track records in the home aquarium.  Some experts say that 90% of anemones imported in die within the first 5-6 months of being kept in aquariums.  These animals really should be kept by the experienced hobbyists.  The problem is that your tank really wouldn't be suited for such a sensitive creature such as an anemone.  They need the right water conditions, primo lighting and tankmates that won't bother it.  And I'm afraid that the puffer might bother it.  Also, you have to take into consideration that an Anemone stings (depending on which species, some can be quite powerful). A tank such as yours the other fish like the tang, and puffer might come in contact with the anemone quite frequently and become stung, which will really stress the fish!  In short, I would not put an Anemone in your tank.  If you wish to learn more about Anemones species and how to care for them I suggest you check out some of our marine articles here on WetWebMedia, or you can also look at purchasing some of the reef books on the market today.  "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner is rather nice.  As there are also books specifically written that explain the care needs for Anemones.  Visit you local bookstore and you are bound to find many that will help.  After you learn more about them, you might wish to set up a reef tank just designed for an anemone it's hosting fish!  Good luck with the tank.  Not a lot can be added to you tank safely.  If you do feel that you want to add some clean up crew then I suggest you look at protected hard shelled critters.  Red Legged Hermits worked quite well for me, spread around some empty shells so that the crabs can move to new ones when older and act as decoy's for the puffer.  Good luck.-Magnus>

Corals and Anemones? (Almost) never together 2/5/04 Dear WWM crew, <howdy!> Thanks in advance for the help.  I am running a corner tank (custom made) approx. 50 gals.  I am running 3 CFs, one 10,000K daylight 50-50 and two actinic 50-50's all 65W for a total of 195W.  I am running a Fluval 303 with biological and chemical media attached to a UV sterilized processing between 50-75 gal/hr.  I recently added a refugium ( a 10 gallon aq. capacity is about 7.5 gal and a sump about 3.5 gal.  I'm using an overflow box to get the water from the tank to the sump and it free flows from the sump to the refug. and a quiet one 3000 pumping at about 400 gph.  The refug is about 2 weeks old, Q1. How long and when should the refug be lit?   <depends entirely on the needs of what is growing inside (just like light over displays). Anything you read about 24hr illumination applies only to Caulerpa, which you need to understand well if you are going to use... many merits and dangers with the genus. Chaetomorpha or Gracilaria are better/safer macroalgae IMO to be lit on a simple 12hr photoperiod (reverse of display if you like to help with pH stability> I had some problems with Cyanobacteria so I backed the lighting off of the main tank.  I am running the two actinic from 10am - 6 pm and the daylight from 11am to 7 pm. <Cyano is not about lighting my friend... it is entirely about nutrients. That is what feds/fuels Cyano... and its caused by many things: quality of source/tap water, overfeeding/overstocking, poor skimming (less than 3-5 dark cups minimum weekly), and most commonly - a lack of adequate water flow (10-20X) which allows detritus to settle and feed nuisance algae> The main question I have is this.  I did some drilling on my stand to run the hoses for the refugium and I lost my yellow tang.  I thought he had died from stress, but my Condy anemone is getting huge.  Could he have eaten a silver dollar sized tang.   <yes... possibly> His base is about the size of the palm of my hand and he stretches from about 10-12".  He seems to be getting to big for the tank.  Will he eat other fish?   <they can indeed. And please take note to read further about the perils of mixing anemones with corals. It should almost never be done in my opinion (beyond being an unnatural mix with most sp.> I recently (1 month ago) bought a sebae anemone, white w/purple tips.   <Oh, no... mixing anemone species is arguably even worse. Arghhh. These anemones simply are not commonly found mixed in/on a reef with corals... and even when they are, the condition of confinees in an aquarium with motile stinging cnidarians (anemones0 with sessile ones (corals) is a recipe for disaster in the long run. Please reconsider> I know this isn't good but he seems to be doing OK and my maroon has taken to him.  He is between golf and baseball size.  He has taken up residence under a ramosa shell I have in the tank.  He wasn't eating very well but I have read some of your articles and will change my feeding regime.   <OK> I have a Goniopora coral, the Condy, a sebae, and Xenia in the same tank.  Can/Will they get along?   <The fact that your young tank also has a Goniopora in it tells me that you are getting staggeringly bad advice on buying decisions... or you are not taking good advice from your LFS, my friend. I say this to help you... there are several red flags going up here that earmark your tank for an all too common disaster in the near future. Fish/coral losses at very minimum> The Condy is slowing growing and is getting pretty close to the Goniopora.  Will he sting in and kill it.   <Yes, possibly. It is one of the problems with mixing anemones with corals as mentioned above> He has already harmed the Xenia?  How far apart should they be and any info you can provide will be nice.   <10" is the minimum distance to keep between most corals to start with> I just found your website today and spent about 4 hours here.  My wife is ready to kill me. Thanks, Dave <read on my friend... and buy flowers <G>. Anthony>

Friends For An Anemone? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I currently have a FOWLR with a mated pair of percula clowns, an Auriga Butterflyfish, a Blue Tang, a Coral Beauty Angel, and a pair of cleaner shrimp.  I have wanted to get an anemone for the clowns and have the correct lighting, no corals, etc., but have not because of the presence of the butterfly. <Good for you for holding off> However, I recently read that clowns in the wild defend the anemone from its predators.  During feeding time, the clowns together seem to be able to chase the larger and more aggressive butterfly off of their food so I was wondering I this was a possibility. Thanks, Rem <An excellent question and a good thought, but if it were me, I'd hold off on the anemone. Even if the clowns are there, they may not take to the anemone, and therefore not "defend" their "home". It's quite possible that the butterfly could damage the anemone. And, if the clowns are "defensive", they could cause much undue stress for the butterfly, once they have a "home" to defend! Things to think about! Regards, Scott F>

Starfish-Eating Anemone (1/22/04) Howdy crew, <Steve Allen today>    Have you ever heard of a Bubble Tip Anemone eating a Linckia starfish? <Can happen> I just assumed that a starfish would touch part of the anemone and then pull away.  I guess it is possible that one could "fall" into it, then it would be history.  So anyways, I go to feed my fish and I notice something orange in my Green BTA.  Weird, the body is not that color....sure enough, it was the starfish!  He only had a leg or two sticking out, the rest was in his mouth.  Don't know how long he had been in there.  I tried blowing water at the BTA with my trusty turkey baster so that I could be a better look, but no help, I couldn't see anything.  About 15 minutes later, I see him sticking out again, more so than when I first noticed him in there.  It looked like the BTA was spitting him out.  So I reached in and pulled it out, but alas, he was dead.  I didn't think the BTA could eat something that big. <You'd be surprised.> The BTA is about 10" - 12" across, but the starfish was about 5".  I certainly don't want that to happen again, so I am leery about getting another one.  Is this common? <Hard to say. Anemones will try to eat pretty much anything edible that they can get. Can't rule it out. How long had you had the Linckia to start with? It may have already been dying. They're not very hardy.> Thanks, Paul <Sorry to hear of your Linckia loss. I lost several of them before giving up on the genus.>

Anemone for a thirty gallon tank - 1/23/04 hello, I have a thirty gal that has been established for about 4 months. I have a percula clown, 1 French angel fish, <You're kidding right?? This fish is going to be much too big for this tank very quickly> 1 striped damsel, and a fire fish and a couple of small hermit crabs. I wanted to fit an anemone in the tank to top it off and complete it. <Not so sure if I would do one. Could be very dangerous for the other fish in such small confines although, I am aware that this is a very typical setup for many> However I do not know what type of lighting I would need to make it livable for an anemone and the fish at the same time. <Depends on the anemone, but in most cases lighting with a T-5 or Power Compacts is a best bet at the minimum but feeding is way more important than lighting in most cases. Do your research here and on other sites. Talk in the forums and get as many views as you can> what should I do, or is it even a good idea to get something that fragile in my tank? <Do some research and make that determination for yourself. I think, though, that it could be a detriment to your other animals in the long run. ~Paul>

Carpet Munching Angel >Is it normal for my juvenile Koran angelfish fish to continually nip at my new (approx 1 week old) green carpet anemone?   >>The angel isn't one week old, he's been in your system one week, yes?  (Oh, I do hope quarantine has been done first!).  Short answer, yes, it's normal.. well, not exactly normal, but not unusual.  Of course, I have honestly never kept a Koran with a carpet anemone. >How is he doing this without getting stung?   >>Not all fish are as susceptible to nematocysts as others, though those of a carpet do pack a punch!  I would either remove the anemone, or the angel.  Do expect the fish to continue until the anemone dies. >He is nipping right at the tentacles.  My Percula clown will not go near the anemone yet.  Do I need to do anything to protect the anemone?     Thanks, Brian F >>You really can't, short of removing one or the other.  The clown WON'T go near the anemone if it's too small to have any hope of driving off the angel.  A tomato, maroon, or skunk clown pair, now they might have something different to say on the matter!  Marina

Carpet Anemone with crab problems - 12/9/03 oh yeah, your reply on the carpet....  no nibbling from the crabs.  I had a large crab, and it took a huge chunk out of it, as well as swallowed a feather duster one lonely night. <Hmmm. What kind of crab??> As you might think, the large crab is no longer with me......<understood if you are sure the crab was a the likely suspect>  Since then (about 4 weeks), the carpet anemone has stared growing it's tentacles back. <Fantastic! ~Paul> GR

Moray/Anemone Mix...Nah! I've seen a few rare comments of people that keep snowflake morays with anemones. I was thinking of adding a bubble tip anemone to my tank but am worried my snowflake will go after a piece of krill I'm feeding the anemone and get stunned/injured. Is it a good idea to mix the two? <I'd pass, for this and other possible problems...> Also I know morays prefer low lighting conditions. Will a moray do fine in a 4x55W (my tank is 55G) compact fluorescent system (the bulbs are mixed 10000k/dark blue actinic) as long as he has enough space to hide during the day? <The lighting should be fine for the Moray, but a bit lacking for any anemone commonly kept in tropical aquaria...> I'm currently feeding my eel about two small krill every other day (in addition to some small live ghost shrimp I stock the tank with). Is this acceptable? He eats great and is quite active! Thanks for your help! <Krill is an excellent part of a balanced diet, but I'd mix in plenty of other seafood items, such as clam, squid, mysis, chopped shrimp, etc... Mix it up, and your Moray will do even better! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone of some kind? 12/3/03 I have sent you questions recently about ich.  I have moved all fish to the QT tank as per your recommendations.  The fish are fine by the way. <very good to hear> Quite a challenge to get them though, all the live rock had to be removed.  The corals had to be placed at the bottom of the tank to do this though.  I damaged my open brain coral.  I am not sure how I did it.  I noticed a small tear in the outer parts of the fleshy parts of it (not good) to say the least.  I have not had much luck with restoring damaged corals back to good health.   < largely a matter of good water flow... keep this coral on the sand bottom in this case (natural... never on rock)> I have been given 4 by my LFS that were in bad shape.  They all have perished in my QT.  My question is what I do about the brain coral. <Hmmm... Trachyphyllia is actually a very hardy coral. It needs to always be kept on soft substrates... and if fed 3-5 times weekly is one of the most hardy LPS corals. Truly a beginner species. I suspect lack of feeding here for this very hungry coral> Obviously I cannot move it to the QT tank as there are copper meds in it. And to make matters worse my wife bought some kind of anemone today.   <ughhh! please do not mix anemones with corals. Motile cnidarians with sessile cnidarians is a recipe for disaster. At best, keep this anemone in an inline refugium... and not in the display proper. A seperate tank would be better. A 20G by the window might even be fine> I have no idea what kind it is.  It looks like a carpet of some kind.  Please let me explain what it looks like.  It is cream colored with short stubby tentacles.  Each tentacle is tipped with a blue or purple dot.  It is round when it is fully extended (hence why it looks like it might be a carpet) Rather pretty I must say.   <my guess from the description is that it is a (commonly) bleached Sebae anemone (they are white/yellow with purple tips when bleached) and it needs extra special care to recover to a healthy brown color if it is to have a prayer of surviving. Shame on your LFS for selling this if so/true.> But I have no idea how to take care of it.   <please look at the picks and descriptions of sebae anemones and others in our archives and FAQs at wetwebmedia.com. Use the google search tool on the home page for a fast hit of links> And I have common anemones in the tank already. <ughh... you are killing me <G>> Chemical warfare will become a problem.   <ahhh... yes> I already fight this with all the corals I have.   <BINGO... you win the hairy kewpie doll> Really aggressive skimming and frequent water changes have been good so far for that. 3+ years.  Fish are relatively new additions.  I added them about a year and six months ago.  Never had ich until this week.  Still not sure were it came from as I quarantined them for about 5 weeks, before I added them. Thanks yet again for your help. Craig B <wishing you the best of luck and return to good health for the system. Anthony>

Long Tentacle Anemone 11/26/03 Hey guys I have a question for you regarding my LTA.  I have a well established 100gal tank, all water parameters are normal.  I purchased (3 weeks ago) a very healthily and large LTA.   I bought this LTA in hopes my Clarkii would host, within minutes of introducing this anemone he did host...literally minutes.  Here is my issue, the LTA refuses to stick to anything.   <sometimes unknown reasons for this... other times for lack of adequate or correct water flow> I have tried placing it in a corner with rocks holding it in place, <yikes> tried to place it in a crevice in a rock to stay in place and nothing works.  For the past 3 weeks it has been drifting around the tank.  I have a Bubble Tip anemone on another part of the tank that is doing very well.   <aha... here may be part of the problem. Please do mix anemones. Motile cnidarians need species tanks. Your LTA may be sensing the chemical aggression in the water from this established anemone and is simply picking up the chemical cue and trying to evade the local> The LTA I purchased has a perfect "foot" and is extremely healthy.  The disk is over 5 inches in diameter when fully open.  It has never closed up, shriveled or anything.  It just drifts around, fully open with the Clarkii always swimming in it and into it.  I think the Clarkii may be too active and may be the reason it is not staying in place, the Clarkii just moves it around. <I highly doubt that the clownfish are the matter> Is this normal, will it eventually find a spot in the tank and bury its "foot".  I have sand as substrate which I understand is what they need to thrive.  I have live rock as well.   Am I doing something wrong, is there a technique I am missing? <I truthfully would never recommend mixing anemone species in the same tank under any circumstance. I'd recommend removing the LTA or the Rose> Please help place this wandering anemone. Thanks. <best of luck. Anthony>

- Anemone Stings and Toxic Tank Question - Do you mean that if they are stung by the Tube Anemone that they will die immediately? <Really depends on the extent of the sting.> Or can it take a few hours? <Both.> From the contamination in the tank, could that cause the fish to look as though they are peeling or flaking? <Yes. Cheers, J -- >

Too common anemone mixed with coral woes... 11/1/03 I sent the following email a few days ago but have received no reply.  I am resending it in case it fell through the cracks.  My bubble tip anemone is in serious need of your wisdom!!! It no longer has any visible tentacles but it's mouth is tight.  Thanks, Bryan <the first and most significant problem you have mate is that this anemone (any) is mixed in with other cnidarians/corals. The mix is unnatural, not recommended *by real experts that have had decades of experience in this realm) and the root of many problems here. Please take the time to read through our archives and FAQs in the abundance of data/questions on this common problem/topic> Hi, I'm having two problems that I hope you can help with.  First, I have a bubble tip anemone (had for a couple of months) that had been doing well until about two weeks ago.   <the anemone has not been in your possession long enough to say "doing well", alas... it was/is simply hanging on and now finally shows the symptoms of allelopathy (another good word to do a google keyword search of our site with... much info here)> It started spending a lot of time shrunk up. For the last several days it has opened but for all practical purposes its tentacles have shriveled up to the point of non-existence. I had been feeding it small chunks (1/4 inch) of shrimp a couple of times a week. <your feeding schedule/size is very good> However, the last time I saw it looking good a larger chunk of food (1/2 inch or so) had inadvertently blown into it.  It has never regained its glory since.   <not a crime nor a good habit... no worries though for this occasional happenstance> What do the shriveled or lack of tentacles mean?  Starving? Full?   <almost certainly neither... rather irritation at a physical parameter of water quality (water flow/light/water clarity for lack of weekly/monthly carbon use, etc)... or from allelopathy if kept with other fierce/noxious corals (mushroom anemones, star polyp, gorgonians, etc) I've tried feeding but of course without full tentacles it isn't holding food. Its mouth has gaped a few times and a stringy clear intestinal sort of slime came out.  Generally, however, it's mouth is tight.  Water quality is good (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0.  DKH is around 10, calcium 300, ph 8.1) Lighting is from 260 watts of power compacts. <if this is 260 watts of light on a 55 gall or smaller, the lighting is good/enough... do check water flow and ensure a reef-appropriate 10-20X turnover per hour> On the completely other side of the tank (55 gallons long) I have a star polyp that's mat is sprouting low-lying hair algae and the mat is brown from a thin layer of algae.  The polyps were not opening as fully as usual. One of the powerheads was moved awhile back and I know that this algae is forming due to lack of water flow.  I have corrected that problem but what can I do to get this algae off without permanently damaging the coral?   <the stolon mat of star polyps is very durable... simply take a soft bristled toothbrush and scrub off the algae> I have been picking at the hair algae with my fingers but it's hard to get hold of.  The brown algae seems to come off by rubbing my finger lightly along the mat but there are too many nooks and crannies for this to be effective. Any ideas for what I can use? The polyps haven't come out for a few days because of my messing with it. Thanks for your help! Bryan <do focus on nutrient control to prevent the algae... larger/more frequent water changes... and improved protein skimming that yields a full cup of coffee dark skimmate 3-5 times weekly bare minimum. Else re-examine your skimmer style/quality (many many FAQs on this subject too at www.wetwebmedia.com) Anthony>

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

Arghhh! Still mixing Anemones with corals 10/21/03 First and foremost what a great site I stumbled on. <thanks kindly> You have helped in more ways than you know with answering my questions but I have one that no one seems to answer confidently at my local shops. I am running a 60 gallon cube, 30 soft corals, mushrooms, polyps, etc. 3 Coral life 65watt power compacts. I have not lost one coral or even a fish and have had exceptional luck with all my inverts. <hmmm... do be realistic about what is success. I'm guessing your tank is young (months old/less than one year). We hear of these problems commonly with corals and/or anemones in in small overstocked aquaria. 30 random coral species in a 60 gallon is quite a challenge in the long term regarding chemical warfare over time (months/years). Please do a google search from our homepage for "allelopathy" to read more in the archives about what you are/will be experiencing> Problem is that I have lost every anemone I have introduced into the tank! 1 long tentacle, 1 sebae and now a bubble. <anemones simply do not fare well in mixed cnidarian displays with corals More often than not, they will die prematurely. Unfortunately, a few aquariums/LFS's give false hope that it can work for all> I have 2 tube anemones but spaced extremely far apart from each other and 10" from the newest anemone which is slowly withering away. I have taken great care in choosing non torn, good looking and eating anemones. Am I missing something? <we have a lot of info in the archives here at wetwebmedia.com on this topic... please do read through> The PH is 8.1-8.2. Salinity is 1.021. Temperature is 79 +-1 on average. Is there one part to the puzzle I am missing? I would lose the tubes if you were 100% confident they were the issue? Thanks in advance for your help! Regards, Kevin Tippitt <your lighting is weak for many corals/anemones (well under the est. 5 watts per gallon needed. The issue is also compounded by the depth of the tank... fluorescent technologies are only effective in the first 12" or so of water... poor penetration below that. Yet, your anemone problem here is much bigger than a lighting issue. Read on to enlightenment my friend. Start here perhaps: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and be sure to follow the many blue links at the top of the page. Anthony>

Mixing Anemones and Corals - Ahhh...no 10/13/03 Hi im new to this site and would like to say this is by far the most informative site I've come across. <thanks kindly> I currently am running 2 systems. A 75 gal FOWLR with 160w 1 50/50 2/actinics 1 10k with cpr 192 wet/dry driven by a mag 7 with cpr skimmer in sump with uv sterilizer in sump also.1 powerhead 190gph sweeper. Fish are 4.5 in Australian harl. tusk 1 foot zebra moray 2" yellow tang  3" maroon clown 2 inch arc eye hawkfish and a 2" blue spotted Toby. <Hmm... FWIW... the tank is ultimately overstocked in light of the adult sizes of the eel, tusk and maroon clowns cumulatively> Since adding the LR about a month and a half ago algae probs have been pretty bad. Green blue on the glass  and brownish stringy algae on the LR. Because of the Tusk who made light work of 50 Nassarius snails and 5 scarlet hermits I need another course of action to control this problem any suggestions? <its all about nutrient control. I'm guessing your skimmer does not produce a full cup of coffee-dark skimmate a few ties weekly let alone daily. If so... therein lies the rub> And I would like your opinion on my 37 gal reef I just set up. I have a plenum system in tack set up with 1" pvc framed out screened off with 1" pieces of pvc l spaced out under the framing with 1" short on each side but flush front to back topped with 1 to 1.5 Carib sea aragonite  2 to 2.5 deep another piece of egg crate diffuser grid to prevent diggers from rupturing the plenum. one the egg crate is another 1 to 1.5 inches of the aragonite then topper with 20 lbs or 1.5" of live sand (very fine grade). About 40 Lbs of LR with 1 130 gph powersweep and a skilter 250 (which disperses very tiny bubbles to the system because of the skimmer (venturi driven) Good or bad? <I'm not sure what your question is here> lighting is 130w pc with 10k and 03 bulbs. what would be the best corals for these conditions? <the sheer number of viable ref inverts is staggering here... please do look through our archives for species that attract you and then consider which are compatible after that> I would like to keep xenia and anenomes what else would you suggest that would do well in this system? <anemones (motile stingers) should not be mixed with corals (sessile) in my opinion. There is a lot of info in our archives again on this subject. Please do help yourself to the articles and AQs for insight> Habitants at this point are 1 blood red cleaner 1 coral banded 1 false percula 15 blue legs 3 Nassarius that I rescued from the tusk : )  1 sally lightfoot and a couple star shelled snails. The tank has copepods already (only running a month) And just purchased some small frags of frogspawn xenia and star polyps. Would  you foresee any probs with this setup? Thanks a lot for taking time to read this (THIS SITE ROCKS) <the tank here is so small that you really need to focus on a group or biotopic niche... mixing LPS, SPS, softies, etc will be a big problem sooner rather than later for you. Also so a keyword search of our archives on allelopathy to begin a search on the topic of suitable mixing of cnidarians. Anthony>

Bubble-tip Anemone Greetings crew, I've seen a lot of great color morphs of Entacmaea quadricolor lately and am considering setting up a dedicated system featuring them.<ok> I have an unoccupied 55 that will have LR and DSB, 20 gal  sump with little Tunze Comline skimmer. 2 150watt HQI pendants w/ XM 20,000K bulbs. Sump return will be about 600 GPH. Would like to place 5 different clones of Bubble-tips. I already have 2 large (4-5"d) greens. Have a source for smaller (2"+) rose and teals. Will they all just get along? or am I in for physical or chemical rumbles? Would also like to put a CB pair of Premnas and some porcelain crabs (Neopetrolisthes sp). I know these will fight for anemones but what if I have more anemones that potential occupants? <this still presents a problem... what happens if they want the same anemone? I would only go with one species> Okay, that's all for now. Please add comments if I am overlooking something. Again, thank you for your help <This link should answer all of your questions http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> Regards, Bryan

- Angelfish & Anemones, Compatibility - How do anemones fare with a Queen angel? <Very hard to predict.> Dinner? <Perhaps not dinner exactly, but very likely the anemone will end up picked to death.> I'm planning a 180 for a queen, and have a couple of BTA clones & their clownfish that I'd like to put in the tank with the live rock. <Believe it or not, a 180 is on the small side for an adult Queen Angel - these fish top out at around 18" making a 24" wide tank a bit cramped.> MH lighting with actinic supplementation, good skimmer, lots of flow. <Should be a fine tank otherwise.> I wouldn't mind if the angel ate the xenia or tree corals, (those grow like weeds anyway), but NOT my BTA's! <Hard to predict. Many times Angel fish start off as model reef tank citizens and after a couple of years decide to take a bite, and worse yet, they decide that they like it. May want to consider a separate system for the anemones.> Thanks,
<Cheers, J -- >

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