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Reef Safe Critters Explained - Reef Safe Anemones

Anemones For The Reef Aquarium

Bubble-Tip Anemone (Entacmaea Quadricolor):

The Bubble-Tip Anemone is one the most sought after and easiest to keep anemones you can have in the reef aquarium. They come in a variety of colors including white, brown, green, and red. Red, being the most desirable, has been given a special name, “Rose Anemone,” and can run upwards of $100.00/pc. The Bubble-Tip Anemone requires medium to high lighting and good water flow. It is really a waste of time trying to specifically place one of these, or really any anemone, in your tank because they will all move to find a spot that is suitable for them. The best thing to do is to place the anemone on a rock, making sure that it has attached. Then, just stand back to monitor in which direction it moves because all of the coral that’s in the way of the anemone needs to be moved so it doesn’t get stung. Hopefully, the anemone will find a home and not start rolling around in the current. If this happens, everything is in danger! It is very important to get the rolling anemone stuck to a rock as soon as possible.

The anemone should be fed small pieces of fish, shrimp or worms on a regular basis to ensure it is getting the nutrition it needs. The Bubble-Tip is best kept in an aquarium with Clownfish as they will help feed, clean and shelter the anemone. This particular species of anemone will host Maroon, Clarki, Tomato, Percula and Ocellaris Clownfish.

Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis):

The Long Tentacle Anemone, as the name implies, has long cylindrical tentacles that are often white with some form of striping. The tentacles originate from a round disk and the anemone’s foot is either yellow or orange. These guys grow to about 10” in diameter and require medium to strong lighting and water flow. The Long Tentacle Anemone hosts most Clownfish and will be more settled and happy if provided with a fish to clean, feed and protect it.

Sebae Anemone:

The Sebae Anemone is a favorite amongst experienced hobbyist due to its bright coloration and unique shape. This anemone will host most, if not all, Clownfish species and, in fact, will benefit from the diligent care of the Clownfish. These anemones are typically yellow with purple or magenta tentacle tips, but they sometimes appear bright white when seen in local retail stores. Note: The Sebae Anemones that are bright white have lost the majority of their zooxanthellae and should be avoided at all costs! Without zooxanthellae, the anemone cannot make food from sunlight and, thus, will starve in a short period of time. The rule is this: if the Sebae is yellow, green or even a shade of brown, then the zooxanthellae is healthy and you have a much better chance of keeping it alive. If the Sebae is white, avoid it at all costs no matter what the salesman tells you! After all, they are SALESmen!

The Sebae Anemone is an advanced aquarist’s specie and should only be kept by reef hobbyists with an established aquarium providing perfect water quality and bright lighting. Acclimation of this species is easier if there is a Clownfish in the tank, but care must always be given when trying to place one of these anemones in your aquarium.

Tube Anemone:

The Tube Anemone makes its home in the substrate of the reef aquarium and is particularly suited for sand beds greater than 5” deep. This anemone creates a tube from the tentacles is throws away and makes a home in the sand or rockwork of you aquarium. The Tube Anemone comes in a variety of colors with the most desirable being the red, yellow and purple varieties. Being a nocturnal animal, it will take some time for the Tube Anemone to come out during the day, but after acclimation, it will come out on a regular basis.

This anemone is non-photosynthetic and, thus, must be fed often to maintain its health. A refugium provides a good source of food in the form of microalgae, but small pieces of fish, mysis shrimp or brine will also need to be introduced to meet the anemone’s dietary needs.

Carpet Anemone (Stichodactylia sp.):

The Carpet Anemone is one of the most prevalent anemones in the reef aquarium hobby. Its natural ability to host all species of Clownfish coupled with the different colorations available and its hardiness in the reef aquarium make it very well suited for most enthusiasts. The tentacles of the Carpet Anemone are short and originate from a large disk that makes up the majority of its body. These anemones come in variety of colorations including brown, green, white, red, blue and purple. The brighter the coloration, the higher price you can expect to pay. You may be expected to pay over $300 for a purple or blue Carpet Anemone.

These anemones require high lighting and good water quality to stay alive and flourish in the reef aquarium.