Sway Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee: Anemones in Saltwater Tanks


My favorite animal for saltwater tanks has plenty of beauty and even more bite.

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Comments for this article (36)

  • Danny Gutierrez says:

    Hey Mark, I have a question…will 2 bulb t5 be enough on a 55 gallon tank and for a ROSE bubble tip anenome? I got one, but it was too early my tank wasn’t even 4 months old! Now it’s 6 monhts but even so I want to wait a bit more, I just want to know your input..thanks! Take care Mark

  • Chris Kennedy says:

    how many different anenomes can you keep in one tank? i’m think of raiseing them to sell to happy slow down them being took out of the ocean.

  • Chris Kennedy says:

    how many different anenomes can you keep in one tank? i’m think of raiseing them to sell to help slow down them being took out of the ocean.

  • Derek says:

    Long Tentacle anemones also have little “warts” on the underside of the oral disk. They are pretty cool to look at and can add a little bonus when looking at them when they are closed.

    I didn’t think of using a sponge filter to keep them out of powerheads. Great tip! Thanks.

  • Matt Allen says:

    That’s the most straight forward advice I’ve seen so far on having an anemone… I didn’t for instance know that the carpet nem was so flipping lethal!

    Do you recommend only target feeding your nem and if so what do you find works best as a diet?

    Buying tips… mouth open or closed? I think its closed but I can never remember which for sure… Should you ask the LFS to feed it before buying? Is it better to find a friend who’s nem’s split to reduce the risk of buying a wild caught one?

    Sorry about the probing questions… Is just good to get as much advice on these amazing creatures… 🙂

    As always… Thanks for the vid Mark… Always worth watching!

  • Bob says:

    Good Video Mark, I have one question, as of right now. When you say be careful of the power heads, do you mean the more traditional with an intake, or does that include the more modern ones that are set up more like a fan?
    I have been reluctant to get any anemone because I do not want to kill one from some stupid mistake, or to kill my corals, but your video has me rethinking this…that being said I will have to give it a lot of thought, I am not going to rush out and get one.

  • aron l says:

    If he doesn’t answer the questions asked feel free to ask me. But mark is a good guy to get information from so wait for him first.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/xxL0CKHARTxx

  • Matthew says:

    Hey Mark, about two years ago i bought a green bubble tip anemone(though it was much more orange than green) from my local fish store to put in my 40 gallon reef tank and it was amazing! it lookeed just like yours, and it was just as big and as bright. I had it for about a year in my 40 and then about a year ago I upgraded to an 80 gallon and about a few days after i put the anemone in my new tank it split, only slightly shrinking in size. and then a few months later it split again! and i was a little disapointied becuase now i had three anemones running around my tank that were a risk for my coral, but eventually i got over it. And over the summer i had a pretty high spike in both temp and phosphates which caused my anemones to shrivel up and turn a pale white color, they were still alive and all but now i have three pale white anemones about the width of a golf ball and tenticles about half an inch long. what used to be the showcase of my reef tank is now just making it look bad. and so now i have brought my temp and phosphates down and there still like that. Do you know if they will ever recover? what can I do to help bring them back to normal? thanks for any help you can give me.

  • Now that was brilliant. Thanks

  • Lucas says:

    This is to Matthew… It sounds like your anemones are bleached. If the algae living in them dies, they will turn white and can only stay alive by feeding them. They can look really cool this way but make sure they eat about twice a week.

  • Matthew…Lucas had a great tip to make sure you feed your anemones as since they are bleached, they expelled their zooxanthellae. I’ve had success with placing a colored up anemone (From another tank) in with the bleached nems and the bleached nems re-populated their zooxanthellae from the colored up anemone.

    In the meantime, feeding them a small piece of silverside (fish) won’t hurt.

  • Bob…either way. If your nem gets to close to the powerhead, their tentacles can get sucked in which will shred the anemone and eventually the whole animal.

  • Mark, another great video! I’ve been meaning to ask you – where do you get your fish-themed shirts?

  • Grant says:

    Great video Mark. About a week and a half too late for me though. A girl at the LFS sold me one and my tank is only a month old. Sad thing is I made it very clear it was a new tank. Needless to say, it died. Now I’m dealing with a bacterial bloom that I can’t shake!

  • Debbie O'Rourke says:

    Hi Mark –
    Great Video! I can vouch for LED lights and anemones. I have primarily LED with one 48 watt t5HO. I have a rose tip that I placed on the bottom right of my tank on a rock 4 months ago and it has never moved except around the rock. It is getting larger in fact – very happy. I kept losing plate corals and bubble corals due to my maroon clown wanting to host them. We put the anemone in the tank and in about 8 seconds the clown was there and they have been buddies since!

  • Devin says:

    Do the anenomes only sting sps corals?

  • Mark H. says:

    Great tip Mark, keep them coming….:)

  • adam jelinek says:

    i had a nem get eaten by a powerhead. we moved it then 2 weeks later it moved by it again and got eaten up again. this nem has also had its foot torn and it still lives.

  • Benjamin wiggins says:

    i have had my anemone for a good year now. he/she walked all over the 30 breeder i had it in. no two days was it in the same place. now i moved it to my 20long reef tank and placed it on a lege were i thought it would like it and so fare it moved only 3 inches and its openning up huge. like a good 8 inches. it never was more then 4 in the 30 breeder

  • Matthew says:

    thanks mark and lucas for the tips! all make sure to start feeding them more often.

  • Matthew says:

    Btw Mark are you saying that if i get another anemone it will help bring back the color of my bleached ones? and the same thing happened to my torch coral as well, its tenticles turned from red to white, should i feed them too and/or get another one?

  • Usman says:

    Once my LTA was stuck in wavemaker and was badly injured.Changed water syphoned it and gave it a good light to go back normal.

    Once, during syphon i was playing with it, it came in syphon pipe head, badly injured,nem went stressed, released black stuff (which fish ate it) again water change and gave it a good light to be back.

    Now i be very careful about it.

  • Frankie says:

    Great Video Mark- Now I just to fine 1 for my Skunk Clowns

  • Animal Chin says:

    I have one that turned inside out yesterday. It looks horrible and I’m worried about it, any advice? Is this something they do? Good timing on your vid, i turned on my computer to research what my anemone is doing and was emailed this link by you…lol

  • Animal…turning themselves inside out isn’t a good thing. Has it ejected its guts or has it just shrunken up a lot?

    If it has ejected its guts, I would consider it on its last leg. Keep an eye on it and see if it happens to pull its guts back in. If it detaches, that’s a bad sign as well.

  • Adam…you got lucky that its foot got torn and it made it. Glad it survived.

  • Devin..they’ll sting anything they touch.

  • If your torch bleached as well, I’d get curious about what is up with your tank to cause them to bleach. Could be high temps, poor water quality, I’d get that nailed down before you add another anemone.

    And yes, adding another healthy anemone could help bring the colors back in the other. We did it with a friend’s tank. No guarantee, but having another anemone can’t hurt (as long as your tank is ready for it)

  • Madeline says:

    Including you…that is, they will sting people. I have a 125 with 2carpets, 2long tents,a condy, 2 others I think are brightly colored carpets. one of them stung me and I had a Mark for over a week!

  • Animal Chin says:

    Ya completely ejected the guts. Aw well, at least its not the anemone my clown is attached to, my big purple condy is his anemone of choice. Thanks for the reply, i’ll keep an eye on it….

  • Aaron says:

    Mark, great meeting you at ReefStock this past weekend.

    What’s your stance on feeding anemones? Do I treat them like fish and feed them or do I treat them like corals (aka less is more and don’t feed them).

  • Aaron…thanks for saying hi this past weekend. I always enjoy meeting my fans. I feed anemones a small piece of silverside once a month. Giving them flesh as part of their diet is a good thing.

  • Sabrina says:

    What is the best way to introduce an anemone to a tank?

  • Sabrina…I prefer drip acclimating them

  • tom de meulder says:

    mark, today i introduced a bubble tip in my tank. its a very small one, like 1,5/2cm. it is starting to move a little should i turn of the powerheads a few days? tomorrow i get go after som protective sponges.should i feed it to grow faster?
    thanks!

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