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FAQs on Carpet Anemone Compatibility

Related Articles: Carpet Anemones, Stichodactyla spp., Use in Marine Aquariums by Bob Fenner, Carpet Anemones, big, beautiful and deadly by Mike Maddox, '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: Carpet Anemones 1, Carpet Anemones 2, Carpet Anemone Identification, Carpet Anemone Behavior, Carpet Anemone Selection, Carpet Anemone Systems, Carpet Anemone Feeding, Carpet Anemone Disease, Carpet Anemone Reproduction, Anemones in General, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding Heteractis malu

Clarkii's and a Carpet Anemone in Fiji. RMF pic.

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Carpet compatibility     11/6/18
Crew: I believe I have read most of what you have on your website concerning carpets, but I am not able to find an answer to the following.
Is the reason you do not recommend multiple species of anemones in the same tank, because of incompatibility when placed (or moved) near another one, or is it because of chemical incompatibility in a closed system.
<For the useful species, mainly the former>
I have healthy Rainbow BTA's at the top of the tank (90 gallon) and had a S. haddoni at the bottom for over two years and they seemed to get along just fine. I would like to replace the carpet with a larger one. Thanks Jim
<I would not do this... Even if the new carpet starts larger, it will likely shrink due to competition w/ your BTAs. Better to keep what you have. Bob Fenner>
Re: Carpet compatibility     11/6/18

Competition for space, food, light, or ?? Thanks for your help Jim Wedel
<All of these Jim. BobF>

Fish disease or issue.        2/18/15
Good evening guess (Thailand time)
Can anyone tell me what those white spots are on the side of his head (only one side of the fish is effected) and some spots on the same side fin.
They are too large spots to be Ich I believe. (or not?)
Could those be blister like spots from getting in contact with a carpet anemone?
Thank you very much
oxbow70's imageoxbow70's image
<Uh... nothing was attached, Dirk; do try attaching photos (nothing bigger than 1 MB, please) to your email rather than linking to other websites, hosts. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fish disease or issue.        2/18/15

OK so let me try that again.
Good evening guess (Thailand time)
<Five PMish here now>
Can anyone tell me what those white spots are on the side of his head (only one side of the fish is effected) and some spots on the same side fin.
<Can guess... REALLY need to sample, look at under a 'scope>
They are too large spots to be Ich I believe. (or not?)
Could those be blister like spots from getting in contact with a carpet anemone?
Thank you very much
<Yes to your guess; or other mechanical injury. Bob Fenner>

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

Carpet Anemone Compatibility; rdg.       4/20/13
Hey crew, Shea here. I have a question about my carpet anemone.
<Which species?>
I have had it for months now. It came on some live rock that I bought from my LFS. It is currently in a 220 gallon FOWLR tank with 3 percula clownfish as the only fish inhabitants. The anemone stung my dogface puffer,
<... common>
 ultimately leading to his death. Well I'm looking at adding some other fish in the near future. I am planning on adding a 5 inch Queen Angel, a Naso Tang, a Blue Chin Trigger, and a Fridmani Dottyback. I'm just wondering if this assortment could work with the carpet anemone or do you think I'm better off removing it?
<... a gamble>
 I would hate to remove it because it is doing so well. But if that's what I have to do to ensure my Queen Angel doesn't go the way of my puffer, then that's what I have to do. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Shea Carey
<Read through what is posted re Stichodactyla in aquariums posted on WWM.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Carpet Anemone Compatibility      4/20/13
Thanks for the response Bob. I am not completely sure of the species but it looks to be a Stichodactyla Haddoni. I have attached a picture for reference.
<Ah yes; and a healthy specimen by appearances. BobF>
Shea Carey

Re: Carpet Anemone Compatibility   4/20/13
Thanks Bob. It is doing great in my system and I would hate to remove it. I read the section that you recommended. I understand that you recommend that carpets be kept in a species only tank with clowns or shrimp as tank mates.
But with my aforementioned stocking selection, I am curious what you would do if you were in my situation.
<As you've recounted... keep this as a specialized set up if I intended to husband a S. haddoni>
 As you can see this is a tough decision for me! I want what's best for all of these animals. You can imagine, a 220 gallon aquarium with three Percula Clowns and one Haddon's Carpet is pretty bare!
<Perhaps another tank, Hmmm? Maybe a box like, hexagonal set-up for the anemone and some clown/s>
Shea Carey
<Welcome. B>
Re: Carpet Anemone Compatibility   4/21/13

Hey Bob I just had an epiphany. I have a sump filter with a built in refugium. I have the same style of lighting on the fuge as I do on the display tank. Do you think moving the carpet to the refugium would work?
<It might well do so.>
That way I could "have my cake and eat it too", so to speak.
Shea Carey
<Cheers, B>

Four years later    11/23/11
I sent you a question that appeared on Anemone Compatibility 3 for November 2007. I feel honored that photos of my anemones are posted on your site.
Of the three anemone, I still have two (In November 2007 I referred to a sebae and LTA - I think the second that I thought was a LTA was a bubble tip). The carpet and the bubble tip are still with me. Despite a move and a temperature problem (water temp would get up to 85 degrees), the anemones have survived. With the use of a chiller, the temperature is a constant 77.5 degrees. The carpet is stickier and bigger (I would put him a sticky contest and he would win). The carpet is probably 16 inches across and will come more than sixteen inches off the floor of the aquarium depending on his mood:
Picture 378.jpg
<Not labeled as such...>
Picture 376.jpg
The bubble tip disappeared during the temp problem. I did not see it for probably six months. Once the temp was under control, it appeared small and pale white. It slowly developed color and now appears to be very healthy.
Below are pictures of the same anemone in different moods:
Picture 367.jpg
Picture 375.jpg
I would love a determination from you as exactly the type of anemone the above are.
<The first is a carpet of some sort... See WWM re distinguishing:
and the linked files above>
The carpet had a clarkii that lived with him for years. The clarkii became big and a total bully in a 150 gallon tank. He would chase new tank mates around and forced them into the carpet. He had to go.
Now I cannot find a clown fish for either anemone. I have tried tank raised ocellaris and maroons. The carpet likes them in that he eats them. The only thing I have found that can touch the carpet are domino damsels and they do not seem too interested. I just want a small passive clown that will host with each of these anemone. I cannot seem to find any. I want to stay away from clarkiis.
<There are other choices... gone over and over on WWM>
I also am to the point that about 50% of whatever I buy dives into the carpet within the first twenty four hours. For the red algae I bought a Naso tang. It was gone within a day. Bought another, again gone within a day. I know the carpet got the fish because of the excretion of the skeleton a day or two later.
<Happens... Had you searched, read...>
For those of you interested in a carpet anemone, it has eaten the following in the approximately 6 years I have owned him:
Two yellow tangs (bigger than three inches), a mandarin, two oscellaris, a serpent star, two yellow watchman gobies, turbo snails, urchin, and two Naso tangs (there may be more that I have blocked from my memory or cannot pin on carpet).
It has been a love hate relationship with the carpet. Much more love than hate. The present tank mates seem to know the carpet's nature and stay away from him. I have had a red Hawkfish the entire six years with the carpet.
I write this email for the following:
I wanted to give you thank you for your work and help.
Give you an update on my anemones.
Ask for a determination as to the specific type of each anemone.
<Can't tell determinately from these pix. Again, please review what is posted on WWM re Actinarians>
Ask for recommendation as to a clown for each anemone.
<This too... Bob Fenner>
Thank you again and hope all is well with your team.


mini carpet anemone and large green bubble tip anemone 1/13/11

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

yellow carpet; colour, comp.  2/19/10
Are yellow carpet anemone's artificial in color?
<All I've ever encountered were artificially dyed>
are they compatible with my green and red bubble tip anemones?
<No... see WWM re>
thanks always for the great support!
<Your BTA pic attached shows a malingering BGA problem that should be addressed. Bob Fenner> 

Re: yellow carpet 2/20/2010
I don't know if this gets back to Bob, but BGA? I don't see it. Is that literally blue/green algae? Recommendations? I thanks again!
<The bright/brilliant pink mat material on the bottom. Read here:
and the linked files above re control. BobF>

Painted Frogfish and Carpet Anemone, incomp.   11/20/09
Hi. Great site.
I have a 4 inch painted frogfish in a 180 gals tank I have at home and wanted to put him in a 45 gallon tank I have in my office where I have a Haddon's carpet anemone.
<I wouldn't do this>
The fish is so interesting I figure it's a shame to keep him at home when I spend most of my day in the office.
Mistake putting the two together in a 45 gal tank?
<With a carpet anemone, yes. Too likely to end up being consumed by it>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

An ID Question (flatworm) and Anemone Behavior Issues  6/27/08 Crew- <Craig> May I please get a positive ID the first attachment? From what I have read, it appears to be an Acoel flatworm of the genus Convolutriloba. <Is a flatworm evidently> If possible, can we confirm what behavioral info you might have and point me to it? <Mmm, not following you here... what beh. info. re what?> Additionally, can you speculate that these flatworms would be suitable prey for Chelidonura varians, the "Blue Velvet" sea slug? <Might be... but if they're numbers are low (enough) I'd ignore them> For some time I have wanted to purchase one of these animals, but have never went down that path since I knew they were specialized predators that I  could not feed on a consistent basis. <Correct... and when prey numbers are low... it/they "disappear"...> Right now, these flatworms are in the midst of a population bloom in an aquarium that only has a pair of percula clownfish in a BTA. I have added a pair of peppermint shrimp, but they have not had an appreciable impact on the population of flatworms. <Many are unpalatable... as you likely are aware> Also, if these guys pose any risk to my aquarium inhabitants or even my copepod population I would rather introduce a predator or siphon them out. It seems that is the consensus of the responses on WWM. <Okay; glad to find you've searched> The second attachment is of a BTA I purchased about a month ago. I wanted to contribute to the knowledge base about some observations I have had with this animal. It is probably the 10th BTA that I have owned - the others I have sold to other aquarists after pairing various clownfish species and getting the pair to host in the anemone - it's just something I enjoy doing. It's often a challenge to pair clowns up (especially maroons) and even more so to create to commensal relationship between clowns and their host anemones. <Interesting... that you state/find this symbiosis to be such, rather than mutualistic> I believe I have read on the site that the behavior of BTA is more sedate than other anemones; meaning that while all anemones can/do wander, BTAs tend to find a rocky crevice and lodge their foot inside. <Mmm, most so with successive asexual clones here> I have found this behavior to be true of all the BTAs I have kept until I brought this one home. THIS anemone wandered around all night for about the first two weeks. Each evening it would fill itself up with water at the end of the day and then it would go on trips around the aquarium. Each morning I would move it back to the place I wanted it to occupy and it would attach itself there for the day. I thought, "Well, evidently the anemone will tell ME where it wants to stay and I will like it." <Yes to the former, hopefully so for the latter> Interestingly enough, the LFS had it in its display tank and it had never moved the whole month or so they had it; in fact, we had to chisel it out of the rockwork just to get it home. Both my tank and the LFS run MH lighting: theirs a 250W at 10K, mine a 250W at 14K. I have about 15X water flow per hour, the LFS had about half that. About a week after bringing it home, I knew something was amiss with nocturnal roaming of the BTA, so I went back to the LFS to check their water parameters. It turns out they run their SG at 1.023 and my tank was at 1.025. When I lowered by SG to 1.023, the anemone promptly returned to the place I had been trying to keep it and it hasn't moved since! <Interesting as well. Coincidence?> The third attachment is of a carpet I bought the same day as the BTA. Could you confirm whether it is S. gigantea, as I suspect? <Looks to be... on the basis of the pedicle> It is in a different system than the BTA and currently hosts a pair of black ocellaris clowns.... which is very sweet. The SG of the system I found this guy in measured 1.028. I took most of the day I bought it acclimating it to 1.026 SG, which is the highest I feel comfortable keeping the tank at. It was under a single 10K VHO bulb in a plumbed in 29G tank at the LFS, <Much too low> now it's under 400W of MH in a 92 corner bowfront. Apart from its weak coloration, it looked great at the LFS and I have to say it does look a little less turgid these days than when I bought it (its tentacles are longer and not as "plump", but it eats weekly and has NOT moved once since I introduced it to the tank. I found this ironic since the guidance on WWM indicates that carpets tend roam excessively. <Some do when first brought in from the wild, but exceedingly rare once settled. Heteractis magnifica are the kings of travel> I guess we can try to observe general tendencies among species of aquatic life but there will always be exceptions. <Well-stated> At this point, I have a pretty keen eye to catch the behavioral cues that anemones exhibit to show how they are doing in a captive system. Would you suggest gradually letting the SG increase to 1.027-28 and see if the carpet really does prefer such a high SG? <Mmm, no> Part of me feels like it should have settled in by now and be looking better - I can say its coloration has darkened significantly (since it has better lighting) but it doesn't seem to be as large as it once was and I suspect the SG may be a little too low for its liking. I am not worried it would die tomorrow, but I am thinking long term here about what parameters I need to stick to. <Near natural seawater, NNS> I am sure that had I not been reading WWM for years now and researching some of the overarching principles of marine aquaria I would have at least lost the BTA. I remember back in my early days I probably would have been desperately trying to FIX something instead of focusing on stability and incremental changes, if needed. <Ahhh!> I definitely wouldn't have suspected SG. I wouldn't have even considered that my instrument might need to be calibrated. I definitely would have thought about ammonia, or even nitrate, as a culprit....but not SG. So many thanks to all you at WWM for your contributions to the many of us hobbyists out here. We are all definitely made better for your efforts in what we do. Thanks! Craig <Thank you for sharing as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Carpet anemone in a fish only tank 5/6/08 I have an ever growing carpet anemone which has polished off several fish from the reef tank it is in. Can I move it to a fish tank with the following? 2 large angels, 1 small angel, 2 tangs, 1 trigger, 1 Foxface and 1 tomato clown? Tank size 200 gallons. I'm worried that the trigger, angels and tangs might pick on it. What do you think? Thanks, Marci <They may... or even be consumed... Large carpet anemones should be in specialized (i.e. their own designated) systems. Bob Fenner>

Set up anew 55, Carpet Anem. incomp.     5/15/07 Hi Guys it's been awhile since I've been on here so I'll try to be short.. I   have a 125 reef tank and due to health issues I'm down sizing a bit, here's my problem if you will, I have one rather large green carpet anemone <Yikes... not easily kept> and one tomato  clown and one bi color angel and loads of live rock to which a lot of it I have  colony's of bright red/pinkish w/ blue in them mushrooms I started with just  about 8 I now have over 100 and baby's blooming as we speak, and in the 55  that's almost a few weeks old I have one damsel I use compact lights and have a  wet dry/skimmer I've been adding rock a piece a day I also used live bacteria to  kick start it a bit and several cups of my old substrate from 125 all my  chemicals are good but it's still new so yeah I know what's the question here  goes can I safely move my stuff from the 125 to the 55 <Not with the Anemone I wouldn't> now or should I wait as  my tank conditions aren't so grand in my big tank I have algae blooms taking  over and my carpet isn't happy at all!!! <Bingo... allelopathy. It would surely die if moved to this smaller system> In the 55 I'll be adding a new case of  live rock once established and many corals but that's a bit down the road.. So  please tell me what is best and in advance I thank you and bless you for being  here.. Guess I probably should be reading all them Robert Fenner books I bought  but this seems best for me .. Take care, Robin <You as well my friend. Do give away or return/trade in the Anemone. Bob Fenner>

Strontium and anemones   3/11/07 Bob, <Sorry to disappoint, but tis' Brandon tonight.> A few months ago I purchased a blue carpet anemone.   <Big buggers.> I introduced it into the tank and it immediately buried its foot into the sand and took up residence.   <Definitely a good sign.> It would fully expand and I would feed it dime sized pieces of raw shrimp from the grocery store a couple of times a week.   <My buddy and me.  I love Anemones and would not trade mine for the world.> It was doing so good that I bit the bullet and dropped a hundred bucks on a very large green carpet.   <Bit the bullet indeed.  Two huge Anemones in one tank?  Sounds like a clash of the titans to me.  Seriously, there should never be more than one Anemone in any given system.  And there should never be an Anemone in a system that is new and/or does not have an experienced caretaker.> I introduced it and had the same results.   <This is sheer luck my friend.  The outcome could have been far worse.> I was also adding Reef Solution by Ecosystem (highly recommended by my online retailer) at the rate of ½ tsp every other day to an approx. 70 gallon system. <I 'like' all the products that I sell, as well as highly recommend them. (;^D)> At about the same time, I started looking at my strontium concentration. <Here it comes.>   I had always monitored my Calcium level (kept around 420-440ppm) and alkalinity levels (maintained at 3 meq/L), but after reading that strontium is the second most important component next to calcium, <<No... RMF>>  I decided that I needed to start looking at it for the health of my clams and SPS corals.  I obtained a Salifert Sr test kit and tested my water.  The test indicated that no Sr was present.  So, I discontinued the use of the Reef Solution (a blend of many components) and started slowly increasing the Sr concentration by using Kent Turbo Strontium.  Over the course of a few weeks, I was able to get the Sr concentration up to 10-16 ppm as recommended in the literature I've read. <I don't personally advocate the use of supplements.  I believe that if you use the right salt mix, there is no need for this, as you can easily replenish missing or depleted elements with regular water changes.> But during this time, both carpet anemones started behaving strangely.  They weren't expanding like they normally had, they started moving around very frequently, and the green carpet quit accepting the shrimp altogether.  Both eventually died. <Sounds like poisoning.  Or likely too rapid an environment change.> Now, after reading some of your literature, I think I realized what happened.  I overdosed the system with strontium and killed them.  Do you agree?  <Tis' possible.>  I've since read that Sr (considered a heavy metal I guess) has no place in a system hosting anemones.  If this is true, knowing that Sr is critical for corals, how can a balance be struck?   <Sr is present, in all seawater.  I don't dose Sr, and I am successfully keeping Euphyllia, Acropora, Montipora, Trachyphyllia, Tubastrea, Galaxea, and many others.> Or do you think I just over did the strontium trying to get my levels up?  What do you recommend using for additives in a clam/coral/anemone system? <Tinker with your water at your own risk.  Please see above Re: water changes.> I have since discontinued use of the Turbo Sr and switched back to Reef Solution every other day at a1/2 tsp. dose.  My remaining anemones (a Sebae and four pink tube anemones) seem to have weathered the storm and are doing ok. <Please see above Re: one Anemone per system.  This is a ticking time bomb.> Thanks, <You are welcome.  Do try to get the other Anemones into other systems.  Brandon F.> Bryan S.

Stocking SW   2/17/06.... clowns/anemones, cpt. comp. Hi every body!<Hello Sam.> This is Sam from India. Now I have a 50 gallon marine tank which has lot of rocks and a deep sand bed. In my tank I have a Haddoni sea anemone which has two Allard's anemone fish living with it, two Feather duster tube worms, two Red anemones which are not touched by any fish. I have Haliclona sp. sponge growing on the rocks and a Purple back Dottyback in the tank. Now I want to know what kind of fishes, inverts can be added in the tank without disturbing the present livestock! Something that will happily  settle with the current setting and arrangement and add some  beauty and no problems. <Other than clownfish, I wouldn't recommend putting other fish in the tank, sooner or later one or more will be stung/killed by the anemone.> thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Sam

Carpet anemone and green star polyps 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>>

Anemones (Carpets) Hello, Will a green and blue carpet do well together in a 180 gal? Or will they poison each other? I was thinking about adding a red carpet.  <probably no anyway you slice it. Green carpets are a legitimate and natural color/species. Blue, Red and Yellow carpets are most often dyed and most are not destined to live long for the stress of it all. If they are otherwise naturally occurring distinct species, then you are still beat from the extra specific aggression. Bottom line... two different anemones are not recommended together. Besides... carpets get enormous and you would need a huge tank for two three foot diameter carpets <wink>. Do read though the archives for information on dyed anemones> also what else can you feed them besides Thawed krill, shrimp silver sides? <the above foods are good if finely shredded. Feeding large whole prey otherwise can be harmful to an anemone in the long run. Most meaty foods of ocean origins are fine (Pacifica plankton, Mysid shrimp, fish roe, etc). Thanks, Scott <best regards, Anthony>

Captive Anemone Compatibility Hi there again... you guys are so smart... <flattery will get you very far here <smile>> you often say that two different anemone will kill each other, knowing they are in the tank. give off poison.  <yes...so to speak and/or literally> can two anemone of the same variety be together, like two carpets? or do they have to be exact carpets, like s. magnifwhatever. <if/when possible they must be the same exact species... and even then there is no guarantee. With coral there is an action known anastomize branches... it is when two separate colonies of the same species will tolerate each other in proximate growth. Very often though, separate colonies of the same species will not tolerate each other at all. It does vary among such cnidarians. I can't imagine how big of a tank you would need anyway for TWO carpet anemones (adult size measured in feet in diameter). If you are interested in a pair though... they are said to actually have distinct sexes and can actually be sexed at times. Dr. Ron Shimek has discussed/written on this topic among others. You could court him on Reef Central for further advice on the topic if so inclined. Best regards, Anthony>

Injured Chromis, Carpet Anemone, Corals Hey Guys salutations!.... <Salute!> I have a 150 gal reef tank with 3 Maldives clowns, 2 carpets, various SPS's, a school of 8 Chromis, and an Asfur. Today I noticed one of the Chromis' having one side of its scales ripped off by its gills. Its still active and eats with the school but is it a disease of some sort?  <tough to say but unlikely... if so it may be quite a condition. Fears here of a Septicemia. Without a clear photo were speculating here> The Asfur does magnificently disperse the school periodically in a fit of rage but I have yet to see him actually nip at one.  <statistically he'll succeed one day if he hasn't already...Ha!> My other thoughts are that I have lost 2 Chromis' to the carpets, I guess they stupidly float in there at night or something because on the afternoon after the disappearances my carpets spit out a meatless carcass of bones that suspiciously look like the frame of the Chromis. <indeed> Could this particular Chromis somehow brushed the side of its face against the carpet causing some blisters?  <possible... but carpets are so potently aggressive I would expect a kill> Everything seems normal, but I will make a water change today just in case. Give it to me straight...thanks!!!!  <OK... separate the anemone and other cnidarians (SPS corals and the like)... its a long term recipe for disaster (3-5 year plan). Noxious chemical warfare and the motile nature of the anemone> Oh yeah any good clubs to join in the Los Angeles area? <Absolutely... MASLAC at http://www.maslac.org/ I'll be speaking there in two weeks :) several other clubs in neighboring areas... SO CAL reefers, San Diego, etc> Regards, Dennis <best regards, Anthony>

Wrasse type/safety and carpet anemone move Hello again Anthony Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've had a minor op on my foot and only just come back to work.  <no worries... hoping you are well!> I must also apologize for the long e-mail but I have a couple of worries to share with you. In my last e-mail I was asking about a Lawnmower Blenny and the fish it would have to live with in my two tanks, the gist of the e-mail and my return response is this: [regarding algae control] << I know about the skimming but I have a problem in getting a hang on type to fit my tank which has glass ledges 6" wide each end as well as front and back ledges of 2" plus no room for a sump! if you know of any skimmers I could use please tell me the brands.  <Tunze makes some fantastic rail mount models if you don't mind the top mount. Else, you can use a sump model and pump from the display to an upstream vessel like a refugium with a skimmer and them let the water overflow back down to the display> I have an adapted sea clone that came with the tank (2nd hand) and the glass was broken at the top to accommodate the SC. I plan to get a new tank eventually but not yet. The other tank is newish but not reef ready and I bought a prism skimmer for 140 pounds sterling before I found your site!>> <Ughhh... sorry about the sea clone and the prism <G>> >In the FOWLR he would have to mix with 1 7" Naso , 1 7" green wrasse, 1 3 1/2" yellow tang, 1 3" pyjama tang, 2 percula clowns and 2 green Chromis. ><hmmm... I do have concern that the Green Bird (?) Wrasse will eat the Percs, Chromis and lawnmower in time. They get quite large and aggressive at sexual maturity.. they behave for a year or so. After that, I have seen them fed 4" crayfish which they smash to pieces off the rocks. Do consider removing in time. Kindly, Anthony> << I think my Wrasse is a male Thalassoma lunare , mainly green with slight flecks of blue on the body and blue/red markings on his face, he also has a yellow tail. He is very active, nosey and a fast swimmer but I haven't seen him be aggressive towards anything else in the tank. Is he fully grown at 7" and will he continue to be a good chap in my tank? <alas... no. Lunare wrasses are magnificently hardy and beautiful fishes but the are notoriously aggressive...eating live feeder fishes and crayfish as adults! I have seen specimens over 30cm long> I am very fond of him because of his character!  <yes... a wonderfully personable fish> I also think my Pajama tang is not what you think of as a Pajama tang! looking on your site I got the idea that in the USA you call a Naso a Pajama tang is this right?  <not correct... perhaps a typographical error. We call Nasos "Naso" or "lipstick" tang> mine looks just like a Acanthurus Lineatus (Pajama surgeon) oh dear! what now? can he stay with his tank mates listed above or not? >> <indeed... you do have a "pajama/clown" tang which is a somewhat challenging fish to keep. Easy to feed but difficult to keep alive on a captive diet for many. Also needs large long tanks with very strong water movement and they can be quite aggressive> While I have your attention may I ask about my Carpet anemone's re housing? I have moved him ,his two clowns and a cleaner shrimp into a two foot tank which I know will not do for long term but thought this would be good for a while because of the chemical warfare you warned me of in the reef where he was. <agreed> He was stuck fast and would not budge, I dare not handle him without gloves because of his stinging. I had to use some pressure to force him to let go but I don't think I damaged him in any way except for stress.  <very good... and know that the edge of a credit card can be quite handy for extracting them> I didn't know they were so strong, He shriveled up to a fraction of his normal size and seemed to turn almost inside out, I was very worried for a while, he seems o.k. now though apart from a bit of mouth gaping which I know is not good but as his body has returned to normal (even bigger than before) and he is feeding I think he will be o.k. (I hope) . <agreed... perhaps just a little agitated> The problem is that he has wandered up to the very top of the tank near the lights and I'm worried he will get burned but I don't want to touch him again in case I stress him out again. What should I do if anything?  <nothing just yet... the movement is common on acclimation in trying to find good light or water flow. If it continues for weeks, consider that more light or water flow may be needed> How can you move a carpet without hurting/stressing him ?  <folks have also used a spoon or long thumbnail to slowly/gently peel them away from the substrate> I will need to know when he has to go into a big species tank. Also I bought 1 marine white and 1 actinic fluorescent lights for him but am wondering if this is enough light even though it is a small tank.?  <may not be enough... more daylight is better for most corals and anemones... the actinic light is more pleasing to us :) > it seems bright but ...what do you think? <they are very demanding for light... it sounds modest to me but you can compensate somewhat by extra feedings (fine meaty foods)> many thanks for you patience and help. Jenny <truly my pleasure... Anthony>

Purchasing a Blue Carpet Anemone - 7/21/03 I just have a simple question and I hope that you don't mind answering it for me. <Sorry for the delay. No problem at all> I am thinking about getting a blue carpet anemone for my 30 gal tank. Well, I have lots of feelings on this subject so please hear me out. <First and foremost, regardless of your lighting, size of your tank, and even if it is the only inhabitant in the tank, carpet anemones do not typically do well in the captive environment as it stands. Many, many sources on the "why's we shouldn't" so I think I will avoid delving in to that area other than to say that anemones of this type are not prolific in the wild (because of breeding reproduction habits as well as habitat destruction). Just not a good idea to "TRY" one just to see if you can do it, in my opinion.> I have 35 pounds of live rock in it and am using a 400 gal/hr power filter as well as a 300 gal/hr protein skimmer. <Very good. I like the over spec on the hardware. Well done, my friend> For lighting I am planning on using two 96 watt power compacts. The tank is 3 feet long and 15 3/4 inches tall. and the ph is 8.3 with no detectable levels of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. So far I haven't added any livestock to the tank besides what resides in the live rock itself. <Sounds good to me, but I still have strong feelings for leaving wild anemones in the wild. Please look through our website with the keyword "carpet anemone" and see what others have had to say as well as search the web and a few books and articles on the subject. You know my feeling, now establish some thoughts on your own. From the tank perspective, I think it would be on par for success with some sort of anemone. I must say though this would be a great aquarium for some hardy Sarcophytons, Sinularias, hard corals, clams and such. Have you thought about these instead of the carpet anemone? In any case. good luck to you, and thanks for letting me speak on the subject. Please do more research and become knowledgeable on not only the specimen but the overall effect we, as consumers, have on animals that we claim to love and respect. (This goes for me as well) OK -Paul stepping down of his soap box>  Would this be an adequate setup for the blue carpet anemone? <I believe you have a very adequate aquarium for most anything. Just do a little research on the needs and current environmental impact of your specimens.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. <thank you for visiting the site and taking the first step in being a Conscientious Marine Aquarist. -Paul>

Carpet anemone questions 10/18/03 After reviewing your site can you confirm the following: 1)  The specimen in the attached photo is a S. Mertensii. <cannot say with certainty from most any photo. But on gross characteristics, I'm inclined to wonder if this isn't S. gigantea which has dense short tentacles of equal size whereas S. mertensii has colored verrucae (peach/pink) and longer tentacles approaching the mouth> 2)  Your usual recommended feeding regimen of a wash of Mysis shrimp or other 1/4" food applies to this anemone as well.  Not too frequently. <yes... a must with all anemones to be safe. There are few if any large chunks of meat/fish falling through the water column untouched on a reef <G>. Many eyes watching and waiting to consume such matter. Anemones instead feed on fine zooplankton (like most carnivorous cnidarians) at night> 3)  I bought this carpet unaware of the numerous posts of it eating tangs and other fish.   <yes... does occur because of the unnatural and crowded confines of aquaria. Far less so in the wild> I am willing to assume some risk and leave it as is in my 200 g tank with 5 fish, but I might change my mind if it's a virtual certainty that at some point it will eat my purple tang.  Can you roughly ballpark the percentages?   <nope> Is it 50/50 that my fish will survive or are the odds against me 95/5? <hard to say... truly pot luck. I never recommend anemones for mixed community tanks. I believe they should always be kept in a species or biotope display, else somebody's life (anemone and/or fishes') will be shortened.> As always, thanks for your help. <my strong advice is to house the anemone in a proper species tank. Perhaps a nice 60-90 gallon drilled and plumbed inline with your 200 gallon to spare you the expense of another filtration system. If your anemone is mertensii... it is a rock dweller... and if it is S. gigantea, then it is a sand/lagoon denizen (soft substrates). Best of luck. Anthony>

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