anemone article

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!
Status
Not open for further replies.

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
O.G. and Dave sorry this is so late! I moved was robbed and more in the last two weeks . Here you guys go and I hope to be around a little more from here on!
Common Anemones
Hi everyone
I've been noticing that lots of people all over the place are adding anemones to their tanks. I though it might be nice to give a brief description of some of the more common ones. The first three are all Caribbean or Atlantic species and aren't naturally host for clowns. There will be another larger post on pacific clowns some time in the near future. Please feel free to add any comments or thoughts.
General:

All anemones need stable water conditions in order to survive. Some are more forgiving than others as will be explained in the species accounts. In general you don't want to add an anemone to a tank that is less than eight months old. You should also have a large amount of live rock,pc or halide lights depending on the species. I would also recommend that everyone please consider what they are getting into prior to purchase. In order for many species to thrive you have to more or less design the tank with the anemone in mind. Very few of them will breed in your tank and they all sting so be careful what you glue down next to them. Most of them are not able to sting through your skin. I'll talk a little about clowns when I do the Indo/Pacific rant. Here are three most common.



1. Epicystis crucifer "rock or flower anemones"

These are one of the most hardy and forgiving anemones out there. They are also very inexpensive. They are from the Atlantic/Gulf they tend to stay small aren't as picky about water conditions as many. They are also easy to feed don't move around too much come in a great variety of colors. They tend to confine them selves to rocky areas so you can place them on rocky islands on your sand bed and it will limit movement even more. They need to eat about every other day fish, squid or other meaty food preferably pre-soaked in selcon or other supplement. They will also appreciate the occasional dosing of phyto or other food for filter feeders. They also aren't as aggressive as many including the ever popular bubble tip. I highly recommend this species for new reefers and people with nano's due to their forgiving nature,"for newbies" and small size for nanos. These are the only large anemone species that I would recommend in a newer set up.


2. condy, hatian , pink tip "Condylactis gigantea" These guys also are very easy to take care of and are inexpensive. They don't require metal halides you could probably manage them under p.c. They are very easy to keep and forgiving of water parameters. Their diet is much like the Epicystis. There are some major issues to be considered with these guys. They are very prone to moving around the tank they also can sting corals and other sessile inverts to death. They are also notorious fish eaters. They get BIG as well sometimes larger than a professional league basket ball. I wouldn't recommend these guys to anyone wanting a non gulf origin reef IMO more trouble than they are worth.


3. Curly que "glass anemone no not aptapsia"
These are really very neat little critters. They aren't as hardy as either of the above anemones. They also stay very small in size and have a number of symbiotic critters that live with them. They are mostly filter feeders and no direct feeding is required although they will grab bits of food out of the water column . They don't look much but if you can find some of their symbiotes they can be really neat. They are also very likely to reproduce in your tank. If they are happy with the situation they can be as big a plague as astapsia. They reproduce like shrooms from pedal laceration so removal is pretty easy. You don't have to worry about small bits breaking off and growing into new ones if you get all of the foot. They will also work in pico tanks.
next part Indo\pacific and part 3 general care and tips.
Hope you all enjoy let me know what you think!!



General care:

Please before you buy an anemone make sure that you really want one and can house it properly. If you are buying one just to give a clown new homes don’t. Most clowns are tank raised and have no need or idea what an anemone is. Anemones will also make clowns MUCH more aggressive than they are in tanks without them. Having an anemone to defend will bring out their defensive nature. For species like Tomatoes for example that may well mean that all your other fish are cowering in a corner as far from it as it can get. Some of the wild caught clowns will need an anemone before they will settle down and adjust to tank life. Again in these cases make sure you know what you're getting into with both critters as they will often have some exacting care requirements.

All anemones have some things in common as far as care goes. If your are new to salt water or reefing in specific please pay close attention to this. First they are not easy to keep alive. I would try out other soft coral etc first and make sure that I could keep them healthy and growing. To many people buy anemones on impulse so do as much research on the critter as you can before you buy. A number of people change their minds after they see what they are getting into. They will all eat fish if they get the chance so don't add anything slow," Mandarins being a prime example," or that likes to live in the same areas they do. Even clowns have to develop an immunity to the anemones sting what they do is cover them selves in the anemones mucus so that it doesn't identify them as an invader. On the whole I'd have to strongly discourage anyone without at least one year of invert keeping experience from trying them.

They all need tanks with very stable water conditions. They don't deal very well with rapid changes so if you're correcting an issue please be sure to do it slowly. A sudden change from a bad water situation to normal will stress these critters as much or more than the issue will also applies to lighting etc. They do best in tanks with either glass bottoms or sand bottoms. Nitrates need to stay below 10ppm in order for them to really thrive. For photosynthetic species they require either halide or p.c. lights. Keep up on your bulb replacement as well because a large portion of their nutrition comes from them.
They also need a well established tank with 1.5 to 2 lbs of l.r. per gallon. a large portion of their nutrient will come off the critters reproducing on your rock. I wouldn't attempt any variety in a tank that was less than about 8 months old if you are new to reefing. If you’re not new any rock that's been in tank for 5 or 6 months will do. You in either situation will still have to supplement their diets with as wide a variety as possible of foods for inverts. They also need meaty foods as often as every day supplemented with selcon or other additives.

When you purchase your new anemone there are some things you want to look at. Fist make sure that they are intact no rips in the foot are missing tentacles. Don't ever buy a dyed anemone some species like the Sebae are much more likely to be dyed than others. They very seldom recover from this process so know how the critter you want is supposed to look. Bleaching if an anemone looses all the symbiotic algae in its cells it's what we refer to as bleached. They will appear white or lighter in color again; know what you’re looking at. In minor cases of bleaching it can be corrected by the frequent additions of small meals. Never buy an anemone with the plan of nursing it back to health it's usually not likely. This is also one the few critters I'd say buy just as soon after it comes into the shop as possible. Lots of times that will be when they are in the very best shape at the lfs.

When you are adding this critter to your tank it needs to adjust to temp and your tank conditions very slowly. I'd very slowly fill the bag with water from the Lfs with no more than 1/8 cup of water every 25 mins. When the bag is full start taking water out of it and disposing of it. Continue process until you have replaced the contents of the bag twice. I know it's going to take a while like this but you really do have to go slow. Don't ever place an anemone in hospital tank directly introduce it to your main tank.
There are some things that every anemone keeper needs to know about their new pets. They live for a very long time some species more than 100 years in the wild. You shouldn't add more than one sort of anemone to most tanks. They carry out bio-chemical ware fare so you may have to run carbon if you have other corals. They can move and sting that's real bad combo and you'll have to keep an eye on them. You should try your best to avoid removing an anemone if possible. If you absolutely have to please post or pm me there are several different ways to do this and it depends on what sort of anemone you have. Never use any copper based mrd in your anemone tank.
Please read the species specific articles and post if you have any more questions. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any observations etc. please feel free.


Chris

Author: C. Morris (Maxilaria)
Copyright: www.Saltcreep.com




Bubble Tip Anemone
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
Bubble Tip Anemone

Bubble Tip Anemone

This write up is going to be a little more in depth than some of the others due to the popularity of these critters. The majority of this information also applies to the majority of other species as well. The bubble tip anemone," from here on b.t.a." comes in a number of color morphs. Their care is pretty much identical with one caveat that can be applied to all species. Anemones like the majority of soft corals and kin can and do engage in chemical war fare. If you have a variety of different types please run carbon ! They will end up killing each other off over the long haul. I also wouldn't attempt keeping two in the same tank unless it's fairly large and has a d.s.b. with a break in the rock and bare sand between the colony or colonies. Even then close observation is recommended. This would also apply if you are attempting to place more than one species or color morph in case of b.t.a.

Tank raised anemones have several advantages over wild caught b.t.a and only one real disadvantage cost . That however is mitigated by the much higher chance of survival and reproduction that your captive raised critters have. The other advantages are: They are much hardier than wild caught. There is much less shipping stress and chance of bleaching. They adjust to changing water conditions slightly better than wild caught as well.



Care of b.t.a.

b.t.a. need very stable tank conditions, they are much hardier than some like the carpets but, in all honesty that really isn't saying too much. They can't take rapid fluctuations in S.G., ph, kh and are also very sensitive to soluble nitrogen products amonia, nitirite and nitrate. Any nitrate readings over about 10 is bad for the long term health of these guys IME.

I wouldn't recommend these guys in any tank that has been set up for less than 8 months. If you are a newbie you'd do better waiting for a year. They also need Metal halide or p.c. lights. The tank should have from 1.5 to 2 lbs of well established live rock as well a large portion of their nutrition comes from other critters spa wing on the l.r. I also would use a d.s.b or Berlin set up avoid crushed coral and filtration systems that use mechanical removal of detritus. This WILL be a nitrate factory down the road and will be very bad for the long term health of your b.t.a.

If you have to get more than 1 please make sure that they are clones. Clones can touch each other with no ill affect. If they are different though they will sting each other to death if they are in reach. They also will engage in bio chemical ware fare if you have for example rose bta and green bta or other anemone species. I wouldn't try it unless you have a larger tank. I would also run bags of carbon somewhere in the system and remove them every two weeks or so. It's generally a situation to be avoided except by very experienced individuals.

They need to be fed some sort of meaty food at least once every other day. They will reject this from time to time if so just remove if your scavengers don't get to it first. I'd also soak food in some sort of nutritional supplement like selcon," not a plug just what I use." On off days I target feed them with either live phyto or other liquid invert food. They also do void their bowels they like all there cousins have on opening. They use it for both ingestion and defecation. A lot of people are scared by their b.t.a. when they see them voiding for the first time. They tend to ball up and look pretty poorly until after they have voided the wastes. This process usually takes a couple of hours so please don't panic unless the condition persists for a day or two.



Reproduction

bta are one of the few that will reproduce in the home tank. This isn't something that happens on a regular basis for most. They require pristine water conditions good lighting conditions,"halide" frequent feedings and a little luck. That or they are under stress that will frequently trigger a split. This happens often after a recent introduction. Some individuals are very unlikely to clone,"mostly wild caught." I saw somewhere that individuals from shallow waters tend to reproduce sexually and ones from deeper water by division. I don't know if this is true or not but some do seem to only grow larger and others,"the ones we want most" will divide in your tank. I haven't ever seen or heard of a case of one of them reproducing in a home tank. Doesn't mean it can't happen just pretty unlikely. Division is much more likely. At first their mouths begin to stretch out until it crosses their disk. They then will pull them selves in half and you get two for the price of one. This process can also be mistaken for a sick critter. They look very bad for a number of days while in process. After reproduction none of the new bta will have a mouth for a couple of weeks. As soon as they develop a new mouth please start an intensive feeding regimen to get them back up to strength. Sometimes they will split into more than one clone as well in which case the mortality rate for the smaller clones is much higher.


My bta is ill

What can you do honestly not much. Your anemone will tell you it's not feeling well a number of different ways. They will look droopy, will refuse food for a number of days or weeks, loose their mucus coats, develop holes in their bodies, bleach or expel their intestines. The first thing to do is check you parameters and make sure it's all in line. If it's not SLOWLY not more than .1 per hour in case of a s.g, ph, kh issue adjust your water back to norms. In case of soluble nitrogen products please make sure that you have a chemical media on hand to remove excess from you water. They are very sensitive to these conditions and can't take them very well at all. I however wouldn’t recommends using these chemical media to keep tank conditions stable it's too easy to loose track of last change and your b.t.a will suffer. The last three are extreme conditions and I'll write a little more on them.
Bleaching: Never buy a bleached anemone,” unless it's very slightly", with the thought that you can nurse it back to health. A healthy b.t.a will have a dark rich color with no white showing at all. Ethical lfs will not sell these and if they aren't and are trying make them eat the cost that's their best lesson. Bleaching can be cause by a number of different factors I will list them in order of # of posts I've seen about the issue.


1. Unknown " check water conditions, increase light and frequency of feeding.

2. "This is the most common reason IMO” Starvation these guys need to eat
a lot increase feeding to every day until condition is corrected. Don't worry you can't over feed these guys they will reject foods that they don't need. “Make sure it doesn't foul you water.

3. Lighting "sorry to sound a little cold here" Either replace your bulbs or up grade lighting they sometimes won't do well with p.c. and halides wear out afer about 12 to 18 months.

4. Harassment by clown," this can also cause some other issues." Make sure that your clown is not more than 1/2 the size of your bta. Other wise they can will and do love them to death by stealing their food or constant rubbing. This more true with tomato and other large aggressive clown species.

5. There is plenty more but, I'm drawing a blank sorry make a post and we'll get back to you and add to this.


Hole in body.

1. Check water conditions
2. Look for large bristle worm and watch you peppermint shrimp on the next feeding.
3. Correct condition and pray.


Expelling guts

This will look like you bta is releasing white noodles into your tank. If this happens dispose of animal immediately. There isn't anything that can be done.
My anemone looks dead. “I just thought of this sorry for the stick in"
smell it if it's dead or dieing your nose will know trust me.

To sum up my bta rant these guys are wonderful critters. I would urge all reefers to reconsider though prior to purchase especially if you are just getting them to host clowns. I'm changing to bullet points because I'm starting to get a bit tired.


1. They aren't easy

2. Most clowns are tank raised and haven't seen one in their life. You have a 50% chance or so of the clown ever using the bta.

3. They live a very long time 100's of years maybe no one knows for sure.

4. Clowns are just as likely to host in a far more common and less demanding soft coral.


Cardinal sins “stuff that will kill your bta pdq"


1. Copper don't use it ever!

2. Never put a bta in a tank where it has been used,"bta's like most inverts have copper based blood copper acts in their system much like cyanide does to us.

3. Crushed coral bottom

4. N.o. lighting

5. Attempting to remove them from where they want to be. Never try to move one of these guys unless you absolutely have to. Use an ice cube in a plastic bag or a credit card to get under their foot if you can't get ice. Having a ripped foot is most often a death sentence to these guys.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
Tube Anemones



Tube anemones "the anemone that isn't one.”


Tube anemone “order Ceriantharia” aren't true anemones at all. They are much more closely related to the black corals. In the hobby though they are often lumped in with their cousins hence their inclusion here. Their care however is nothing like any of the photosynthetic species.
Habitat needed in the home tank.

They are found world wide in a variety of different environments but, most of the in the us are indo/pacific species. They are also one of the most brightly colored critters in our tanks.


Habitat

These guys live in mud and or sand in the wild. In the home tank they must have some sort of sand to dig into If they don't they won't live very long at all. I also wouldn't use crushed coral they won't dig in. They require low light conditions so front and center under halides is a bad idea. If you have such lights make a cave or over hang to house these guys under. They also can tolerate water pollutants much more than any of the true anemones.


Interactions and tank mates.

This would be one of the few that you could manage in a FOWLR type set up if you don't have any fish that will eat them. The standard fish exclusions for cnardinas apply Triggers, big hermits, puffers, butterfly's etc. These are also among the least likely to eat a fish. They filter feed and are very unlikely to capture a healthy fish. The obvious exceptions with these and most other anemones would be slow moving fish like hawks and dragonets as an example. When you place these guys make sure you have at least 8-10 inches between them and any other sessile critters their sting is quite potent to other corals, anemones etc. They like all most other anemones can't sting through your skin so unless you are allergic to them you shouldn't have issues. If you decide that you have to get more than one of these guys there are a couple of options. First and best make sure they are the same species and they have the advised amount of space. Sometimes members of the same species can even touch with no ill affects but, I'd still highly recommend caution. Second you can add another rock dwelling anemone but, you are taking a fairly big risk. If they get together one or both critters won't make it. There is also a highly increased chance of chemical ware fare in either of the above situations so active carbon filtration is recommended.


Diet

These guys are filter feeders use cyclops, baby brine, mysis, ground formula 1 and 2 and other fine meaty foods. They also for the most part are active at night so until you can train them to take food with the lights on nocturnal feedings are recommend. Target feed at least once per day. I also wouldn't try one of these in anything but a well established tank with lots of l.r. other inverts and critters that will have eggs and fry for them to munch on. Most filter feeders get a good portion of their food from l.r. They aren't as size specific as critters like scallops or dusters so you won't have starvation issues
if they have a varied diet.


Reproduction.

It's not very likely and if it doesn't happen it doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. If it does happen it will be sexual in reports I've seen in various posts they will leave the substrate and breed at the surface of the tank. They aren't hermaphrodites so you have to have a male and female. Again this is apparently fairly rare in the home tank and I've seen very few posts about it. It also hasn't ever happened in my tank or any other that I know of personally.


How to select my tube and how to situate in its new home?

First if at all possible make sure your new critter has a tube when you buy it. It takes quite a bit of energy to construct a new mucus tube. It takes quite a bit of abuse to get one of these guys to quit it's tube as well. If all you can find is a one with out a tube," a lot of importers will remove them," make sure it doesn't have and rips or tears. I'd avoid the naked ones myself. I would also recommend putting down a small deposit on one and watching it for a week or two. They tend to be really healthy or just about dead with out too much in the middle. If they are just about dead please don't try to save them there isn't anything you can do. These guys also don't like sudden changes much like their cousins. Acclimate them very slowly to your tank or you're asking for trouble. A healthy tube will pull down into it's tube when it's reached for. If it doesn't pass on it.


Situating and placement of your new tube.

When you first place them in your tank use a plastic tub/large pvc pipe etc, full of sand etc for it repair or construct a new home. You can then place them in their new home. It needs to be a place out of the halides or p.c. lights. They won't come out under bright lights. Also make sure that they can't reach any of their neighbors give a 8 to 10 inch perimeter. These guys get pretty big and really resent being moved, touched etc. So plan for their adult size not what you see at the lfs. The way they dig in is pretty neat they draw water in through their mouth or mouths and pump up their foot. They then expel the water and pull themselves down into their new home.


Nano?

Maybe, for a while. These guys will probably out grow anything under like a 20 tall pretty fast. They also really don't like bright light and it might be more trouble than it's worth. If anyone with a nano has tried them out please add to this. I've never tried it myself.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
Carpet anemone



Carpet anemone “Stichodactyla species"

*** THIS CRITTER CAN STING YOU BADLY. THEY MAY BE DEADLY TO A SENSITIVE INDIVIDUAL. THEY WILL ALSO EAT PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING THAT'S NOT A CLOWN**



These are one of the most demanding anemones in the hobby plain and simple. You MUST design your tank with this critter in mind if you want to get one. The only fish you can safely keep with these guys are Clowns also they will can and do eat other mobile inverts and sting anything in reach including you. I would strongly discourage any newbie from even considering one of these. That having been said I'll rant a little about their care and needs enjoy.


Care and cautions

These are one of the most beautiful anemones out there hands down. They do have some very exacting requirements though. They need at least a 50 gallon tank IMO ,"if you just want them ". The tank also needs to be very well established and the water conditions should be very stable. I would recommend and auto top off and an electronic ph meter they really are sensitive. They also mush have halide lighting 10000k at least and HIGH surge at least 15X tank volume per hour. Even then they will usually get as close to the light as they can and right in front of a power head. Their tanks also need to have at least 1.5 to 2 lbs of l.r. per gallon. Avoid any media c.c. old carbon bags etc that will catch debris. They are again very sensitive to water conditions. Frequent water changes and carbon," if you want corals etc" should be used.

After your tank is about 8 months old you can add one of these guys. Please remove any fish other than clowns as your carpet will eat them. Place the anemone in your tank and it will move to where it wants to go. During this process keep a close eye on it this critters sting is very powerful. It is one of the few critters in your tank that can sting through your skin so always wear gloves and exercise extreme caution. **In the event of a reaction to their sting seek medical attention**. In normal cases this will be about as strong as a WASP OR HORNET STING PER TENTACLE you can treat with vinegar or a bee sting kit IN THE EVENT MINOR CONTACT ONLY!!! If you don't have an allergic reaction this should suffice however if you have any doubt call 911! They will also shed their stinging cells from time to time so even if other critters in the tank stay away there are no promises.

These guys are absolutely beautiful they are also one of the few anemones that can house a small colony of clowns. They require frequent feedings of meaty foods ,fish, shrimp , squid etc soaked in a vitamin supplement like selcon. I would feed a small amount daily. They also get a lot of their nutrition from your lighting so make sure your bulbs don't loose too much strength change them one bulb at a time on a yearly basis.

I really don't feel comfortable saying too many of the good things about these guys. They really are one of the prettiest things ever. Unfortunately you really should be a fairly advanced aquarist before even attempting one of these gems of the ocean. This one of those cases where you want to go to your lfs or buy from a very reputable on line dealer. Reject any that show much bleaching,"in minor it's probably from starvation and you can feed it out of the problem. With white varieties it can be very hard to tell so trust the source. Never buy one with a ripped foot or holes in the body. Also you should really know what you're looking at before buying and don't always trust the lfs.


These are one of the very few anemones out there that can host a small colony of clowns. The interaction between clowns and these guys are really neat. They will tend to it feed it and sometimes sucker other fish into it. You will also probably need to replace your cleaning crew as it eats them. I would avoid anything toxic because when your carpet catches it you might wind up with major problems. You can add other sps and soft coral species but, avoid other moving stinging inverts like bta's. You could possibly manage a tube but, there is still considerable risk if they get together.

Hope you enjoyed as always comments are welcomed.

For our next instalment lta's, and sebae
then general anemone care
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
Sebae anemone (Heteractis crispa)



This anemone has some pretty exacting care requirements most of them don't do very well unless you are an expert reef keeper. A word of warning of all the anemone species these are dyed more than any other I've ever seen. It's very difficult to keep a dyed anemone alive they will loose all of their zoolanthe and slowly starve. If it's too late and you already have one that has been died They are usually brown to creamy in color some species are colored but, be very careful who you buy them from.

These anemones need a tank with lots of live rock and a sand bottom. They very hard to keep alive if there are rapid fluctuations in water quality or temp. I'd say they are number two in difficulty right after carpets. They are also extremely sticky to the touch and if you accidentally brush them it can be very difficult to get them to let go with out hurting them. I'd always wear gloves so that you can just pull your hand out of the glove and leave it until they loose interest. They can also get pretty big around 1.5 to 2 ft in tanks so please figure for their adult size.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
Lta

Lta Long tentacle anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis)



This is a pacific species that requires the same stable water conditions that most of its relations do. They live in the sand so require it as a substrate in your tank. They eat meaty foods and filter feed. They are also aggressive and require some space between them and any other sessile tank mates. They will also eat fish like any other anemone.

These guys really don't have a lot of color and they can get to a fair size. They do however have a ton of critters that live with them or in them. I'd say except for the curly ques they have more than any other species of anemone. Everything from sexy shrimp to clowns call this home.

When you first place these in the tank put some sort of shelter around them until they can get their foot into the sand bed. They need a decent water flow so the buffeting of your power head may slow their adjustment. If you have a very deep sand bed it will help them if you put a rock under them so that they can anchor their foot to it. Like any other anemone don't buy one that's bleached or has a torn foot recovery is very unlikely.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Max

It's me
Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
2,567
1
0
Mars
Visit site
Hello, I just wanted to clarify an issue or two here. When I say I feed my anems a little everyday or every other day I mean just that, a very little. Usually a chunk of meat about the size of two kitchen match heads. In the wild they are oportunistic feeders and will eat a little every day if they can. If they show signs of shrinkage or other distress raise amount of food you give them slightly and see if they perk up.

IME most people starve vs overfeed their salt water tanks and the large sesil inverts like anems suffer more than others like fish etc. Any way I hope this helps you all out and ALWAYS think twice before one of these critters and make sure you mention them in your will.

hth
Chris
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store