Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday Am Quick Tip #106: Protect Nemo’s House


Everyone, (except maybe die-hard SPS keepers) enjoy sea anemones for their beauty and the relationship they form with clownfish. There’s one battle that a sea anemone will nearly always lose, so here’s how to help your invertebrate friends out.

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Comments for this article (24)

  • Leonard says:

    Mark,
    I tried using a foam cover on my VorTech MP40 powerhead but it seemed to get clogged by gunk after a couple of days and then the wave motion didn’t seem as active. The foam is so soft and easily torn that removing the foam and cleaning it properly for re-use seemed like too much trouble. Do you have any advice for cleaning the foam pads so that it is not such a pain to do and not so expensive to replace the pads when they tear after just a few days? Thanks.

  • mike says:

    Another good material RO use is to take plastic grid used for cross stitch and make your own covers with zip ties… They cover the powerheads and don’t clog as easily as the foam.. cut the pieces so they have a rainbow shape and they will form a tapered cone shape that fits better…
    Just another idea..

  • Bob says:

    I don’t mind cleaning the foam covers for these pumps as often as required but I do think Ecotech Marine could provide a higher quality cover that stays put and lasts longer. But, your point is well taken and our anemones need some level of protection from these powerful pumps. Hopefully, someone at Ecotech is listening and recognizes an opportunity to fulfill a customer need.

  • JasPR says:

    I agree, ‘propellers and motors and anemone don’t mix!’ I tried the foam and it does clog quickly and if you are away there is no one to check if the motor is free- this is especially true if you use an ehiem for circulation and chemical/resin ‘sweetner’ for the tank.
    I have a ‘vacation’ cover for my power heads and ehiem uptake in the form of ‘collars’ made out of THE number one ‘improvisor’ in home ornamental fish keeping— the apple juice bottle! I use this bottle ( plastic big boy size from Costco) for many many applications– in this case as a cover guard for the powerhead.
    I also use the bottom half for an acclimation hang on tank by using the smaller algae magnet ( thin gray ones) as a holder on the inside of the tank. This is also good for slow introduction in the case of contraspecies hostility. At any rate, in the case of a guard for protecting wandering anemone, the upper half can be fashioned as a shield . Best of luck,
    JasPR

  • Fredrik says:

    Hi.
    Another tip can be to put a waterlily-basket around the powerhead. Like one of these : http://www.aquainterior.se/upload/wcm_126.jpg
    Simply just cut out the bottom of the basket and then put it over the powerhead. You might just want to secure it with some cable ties or something as well.

  • L Vaughn says:

    U can use plastic screen also.

  • JasPR…can you post a picture of this apple juice contraption? Sounds interesting.

  • Brian says:

    Good tip
    Lost a green bta overnight this way. Really tested my emergency skills, tank was a mess. My question is does a tighter mesh grid really work if an anemone moves and attaches to it? Anyone seen it work?

  • jerry dishion says:

    Mark,
    we have some dark brown algee (stuff) growing in our tank and there is getting to be a lot of it, is it OK, it is very beautiful stuff.
    Where do we go to get the real info we need to take care of our saltwater tank and critters?
    thanks
    jerry

  • what “real” info are you referring to Jerry?

  • charley campbell says:

    whats wrong with using a squid or two, pump is in sump i love them

  • charley…nothing wrong with a SCWD, I just prefer to use in-tank circulation with pumps

  • charley campbell says:

    no powerheads in my tank plenty of water flow on the same note tho i am mainly sps but with the squids thier are no dead spots in my tank either granted its only a 75 galon so im not sure i got it used and its special made

  • charley campbell says:

    ok tks mark

  • charley campbell says:

    i am trying to have little as possible in this tank keep it all in sump it to is special made and i have alot of room in it

  • If that’s what’s you are going for charley, the SCWD would be a good choice.

  • charley campbell says:

    Mark, i am going through email and came across your guides i have had fish and fake decor for over 20 yrs i always wanted corals (what little i seen back then) im talking about starting with under gravel filtration to now days i lost my mentor and stores yrs ago but a friend showed me a new computer world of the hobbie my biggest propblem now is lighting like i said i bought this tank used and its all special made including canopy 6 bulb t-5 im trying to find the right combo will guide #2 show me more (educate me on lighting) I have ben keeping corals for a couple yrs know only lost 1 anemone and 1 bubble

  • Byron says:

    Excellent tip! My bubble tip anemone wants to get into everything that it shouldn’t.

  • Nick T says:

    Good tip I like that one

  • dave from brooklyn says:

    Those animals always move on me. Did you get yours settled in low flow on did they move to their final spot on their own? Got my clown sleeping on purple mushrooms. The equivalent of a futon..Lol

  • Howard L says:

    Great tip on the covers for the power heads.
    I also lost an anemone in the up take tube of an aquaclear filter that I use for the ability to add different additional filter mediums to my tank.
    My solution for the up take tube was to take one of the bubble up filters that are shaped kind of like the cardboard tube from bath room tissue and to slide the foam from the filter over the tube. There are similar filters made for reptile pond filters and they work just as nicely and can be cleaned over and over for years of use. Now back to the power heads, I think that an open weave mesh like cloth bag the size of the power head with a draw string would work well and they could get washed with my filter socks.

  • Dave…mine settled in different spots. One is in low flow, one in medium, one is inches in front of a mp60!

    equivalent of a futon! Hilarious!

  • Fernando says:

    So that’s what the stupid foam is for…
    Echotech did a terrible job with the instruction manual for the mp40’s.
    I had to google some of the “how to’s” when syncing two mp40’s.
    For the cost of those mp40’s, they should include full and complete instructions on how to program the mp40’s.
    The user guide doesn’t state what’s the purpose of the foam anywhere.

  • Lucas says:

    You can also use “pet mesh” from home depot. (it’s black, has a nice rubbery coating, and the inside is nylon).

    Just zip tie it around a the powerhead. It blends in well.

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