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                                                                     [invertebrates] [starfish, snails] [crabs] [anemone]

Anemone

Anemones are invertebrates, as are 95% of the earth's creatures. Anemones attached to rocks or the sea floor. Anemones in the aquarium though, will often move around until they find a place that they like and then stay put. Most anemones survive in a symbiotic relation with with a marine algae called zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae are photosynthetic organisms whose waste products are used by the anemone for food. Since the zooxanthellae require light to carry on photosynthesis, anemones in turn require bright light to thrive in the aquarium.  Anemones all need lots of light to do well. They obtain most their nutrition from a symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) that lives inside their tissues. Anemones prefer water free of organic wastes, which in most cases means you need to have an efficient protein skimmer. Maintaining the levels of trace elements in the water by performing regular water changes or the addition of commercially available supplements also seems to be important. Iron supplements also benefit the zooxanthellae in the anemones. Moderate current, in addition to clean water, helps exchange needed elements and rid the anemone of waste products. Some of the more delicate anemones seem to prefer higher temperatures in the range of 23C-26C and pH in a consistent range of 8.2-8.4. Feeding can range from 3 times a week to once every 2 weeks. Some aquarists have had success not directly feeding their anemones at all, although we suspect their anemones are capturing food that is meant for the fish. Food usually consists of a piece of raw shrimp about the size of the anemone's mouth. Lance fish, silversides, clams, scallops and other frozen marine organisms can also be used, but I find them more messy. A large bag of peeled and divined shrimp can be obtained from one of the local discount supermarkets and may last many, many months. Liquid foods and Target foods may actually be harmful to your anemones directly (several aquarists stated that their anemones started to die as soon as they began to use liquid target foods) and indirectly though degradation of your water quality. The jury is still out on vitamins. Our suggestion would be to use them sparingly, or not at all.
Rose Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor sp).  The incredibly colored Rose anemone is a color variation of the Entacmaea quadricolor, bubble anemone. A hardy reef animal if set with proper lighting and water quality. Specimens in captivity will often lose their bubble-tips for periods of time and just have long straight tentacles, but the bulbs will come back. The base is often rusty-red but may also be purple or just tan. Normal reef lighting is enough (at least 3 watts per gallon). Their sting is rather weak and won't harm other fish. They are accepted by Clarkii 's, Tomato's, Maroon's Percula's and Ocellaris clowns. These anemones tend to wander around the tank more than others. They like to have their foot shaded inside a crevice in the rock or coral with their tentacles in the light. This preference might be met by placing a short piece of PVC pipe, sized to the anemone, where you want the anemone to stay and putting its base into the pipe.
Red and Green Tipped Bubble Anemone's (Entacmaea Quadricolor). A hardy reef animal if set with proper lighting and water quality. Specimens in captivity will often lose their bubble-tips for periods of time and just have long straight tentacles, but the bulbs will come back. The base is often rusty-red but may also be purple or just tan. They are accepted by Clarkii 's, Tomato's, Maroon's Percula's and Ocellaris clowns. These anemones tend to wander around the tank more than others. They like to have their foot shaded inside a crevice in the rock or coral with their tentacles in the light. This preference might be met by placing a short piece of PVC pipe, sized to the anemone, where you want the anemone to stay and putting its base into the pipe.
Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla Doreensis). As the name implies, these anemones have very long (up to 5-6 in.), smooth, thick tentacles sometimes with longitudinal stripes extending into the oral disk. The tentacles originate from a round flat oral disk, distinguishing it from the Condylactus anemone. The foot of the base is almost always bright red or orange.  They are hardy if kept under moderately good lighting, power compacts or better. Accepted by Clarkii, Maroon, Sabae, Tomato, and Skunk clowns. They normally live with their base buried deep in the sand and sometimes have a difficult time finding an attachment spot in a reef-type tank.
Purple Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis). The Purple Long Tentacle is a color variation of the Macrodactyla doreensis, long tentacle anemone. As the name implies, these anemones have very long (up to 5-6 in.), smooth, thick tentacles sometimes with longitudinal stripes extending into the oral disk. The tentacles originate from a round flat oral disk, distinguishing it from the Condylactus anemone. The foot of the base is almost always bright red or orange.  They are hardy if kept under moderately good lighting, power compacts or better. Accepted by Clarkii, Maroon, Sabae, Tomato, and Skunk clowns.
They normally live with their base buried deep in the sand and sometimes have a difficult time finding an attachment spot in a reef-type tank.
Purple Tipped Sabae Anemone (Heteractis crispa). The Sabae Anemone will host a wide variety of clown fish including Maroon, Gold Band Maroon, and Clarkii to name just a few. The Sabae's tentacles usually have magenta colored tips although yellowish-green tips are also found. The oral disk may also have a green sheen under actinic light. They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.
Yellow Sabae Anemone. The Sabae Anemone will host a wide variety of clown fish including Maroon, Gold Band Maroon, and Clarkii to name just a few. The Sabae's tentacles usually have magenta colored tips although yellowish-green tips are also found. The oral disk may also have a green sheen under actinic light. They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.
 
Purple Tube Anemone (Cerianthus). The Tube Anemone is best kept in a reef with a soft, deep substrate. It creates its tube from the nematocysts that it has discharged. Their coloration is highly variable and the most popular colors are bright orange, bright purple and bright green. The ideal aquarium for the Tube Anemone is one with a deep sand bed, plenty of live rock and a refugiums for a natural food source. They are non-photosynthetic and do not require intense lighting. In fact, they are nocturnal in nature and will take time to begin to open during the illuminated hours. Because they are not photosynthetic, they need to be fed regularly when it is fully expanded. Feed small frozen foods such as brine or mysis shrimp, chopped pieces of fish and zooplankton. 
 
 Orange Tube Anemone (Cerianthus)

Green Tipped Long Tentacle Anemone. Nice anemone, these beauties out of Haiti are a good choice. No two are exactly alike, but the coloration of each is unique! Feed pieces of squid, shrimp, and other meaty foods. Just touch the piece of food against the anemone. Its sticky tentacles will grab onto the food.

Rock Flower Anemone (Epicystis Crucifer). Nice anemone, the Rock Flower Anemone prefers to bury their foot in the sand, however they can attach to live rock as well. Do not try to move the anemone once anchored because its column, or foot, can be easily torn. Feed pieces of squid, shrimp, and other meaty foods. Just touch the piece of food against the anemone. Its sticky tentacles will grab onto the food.  

Colored Condylactus Anemone (Condylactus gigantea). One of the easiest anemones to care for, the Condylactus Anemone can be a good choice for a beginner. These anemones are quite popular, due to their relative hardiness and generally low cost. They have interesting colors with contrasting tips. The base color is usually orange or white and the tentacles can have magenta, purple, pink, or yellow tips. Not to often hosts for Clown Fish, in a home aquarium, Condylactus Anemones may move about the aquarium. This can be unfortunate, if other corals or anemones are present, as they could be harmed by its stinging tentacles. Condylactus should be fed once in a while a small chunk of fish, shrimp, squid, etc. An ideal set up for a Condylactus would include moderate to strong lighting and a moderate current. Good substrates include live rock or sand, into which the Condylactus can burrow to anchor it's foot.
Curly-Que Anemone (Bartholomea Annulata).  Curly Que Anemones are most often found in the Caribbean in murky waters rich in macro algae. The Curly-Que or Glass Anemone has very interesting appearances and can make interesting captives. Curly Que Anemones normally do well under moderate lighting conditions and a moderate water flow. They are generally not considered to be reef safe, because they may sting fish and other invertebrates. The Curly Que Anemone may be a translucent shade of brown, blue, or gray. Its long, thin tentacles are curled at the tips, hence, its name. They are often striped with a number of swollen white bands located inside the tentacles. At full length, most Curly Que Anemones are 4 to 7 inches in diameter including tentacles. Relatively Easy to care for, Curly Que Anemones can be kept under moderate lighting. A moderate water current should be established in the tank. To feed, offer a small chunk of shrimp, fish, squid once per week.
Carpet Anemone, Assorted (Stichodactyla sp). Carpet anemones have short pointed tentacles that seem to constantly move. The tentacles are usually not very densely packed except near the edges of the disk. Specimens with blue, bright green, yellow, or white tipped tentacles can be found and at some times of the year, but light brown is still the most common color. Carpet anemone's have strong lighting needs. Make sure the tank has Power compacts, VHO's or Halides for success. They also require good water quality and moderate water flow. They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.
Bright Yellow Carpet Anemone. This is the natural color of this beautiful carpet anemone. They have short pointed tentacles that seem to constantly move. The tentacles are usually not very densely packed except near the edges of the disk. Specimens with blue, bright green, yellow, or white tipped tentacles can be found and at some times of the year, but light brown is still the most common color. Carpet anemone's have strong lighting needs. Make sure the tank has Power compacts, VHO's or Halides for success. They also require good water quality and moderate water flow.
They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.
Blue Carpet Anemone.
These are not died colors. This photo has not been touched up. This is the natural color of this beautiful rare carpet anemone out of Bali. Carpet anemones have short pointed tentacles that seem to constantly move. The tentacles are usually not very densely packed except near the edges of the disk. Specimens with blue, bright green, yellow, or white tipped tentacles can be found and at some times of the year, but light brown is still the most common color. Carpet anemone's have strong lighting needs. Make sure the tank has Power compacts, VHO's or Halides for success. They also require good water quality and moderate water flow. They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.
Electric Green Carpet Anemone. This is the natural color of this beautiful carpet anemone. They have short pointed tentacles that seem to constantly move. The tentacles are usually not very densely packed except near the edges of the disk. Specimens with blue, bright green, yellow, or white tipped tentacles can be found and at some times of the year, but light brown is still the most common color. Carpet anemone's have strong lighting needs. Make sure the tank has Power compacts, VHO's or Halides for success. They also require good water quality and moderate water flow.
They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.
 Red Carpet Anemone. This is the natural color of this beautiful carpet anemone. They have short pointed tentacles that seem to constantly move. The tentacles are usually not very densely packed except near the edges of the disk. Specimens with blue, bright green, yellow, or white tipped tentacles can be found and at some times of the year, but light brown is still the most common color. Carpet anemone's have strong lighting needs. Make sure the tank has Power compacts, VHO's or Halides for success. They also require good water quality and moderate water flow. They are accepted by virtually all clownfish whether they occur together in nature or not. Acclimation to aquarium life is more difficult for this species than those above and its care should only be attempted by experienced aquarists. It requires strong lighting, live rock. The addition of a Clownfish will immediately help with its acclimatization and improve its chances of survival.

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Hakob Arakelian
Copyright 2005 [Hakob Arakelian].