Terrible Advice Tuesdays: A bubble tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) that doesn’t have bubbles in its tentacles is sick.
The rest of the story: No one knows why bubble tip anemones bubble up or not. I’ve heard lots of theories on the subject ranging from too much light, too little light, lack of a clownfish in the anemone, the presence of a clownfish in the anemone, poor water conditions, good water conditions, etc. Despite all the theories, nothing has been proven as to what makes the bubble appear.
While no one knows for why a bubble tip anemone will “bubble up” or not, you certainly don’t need to immediately assume the anemone is sick if it won’t bubble up. Some bubble tip anemones simply rarely or never have bubbles in their tentacles. Case in point is the 12+ bubble tip anemones I’ve owned. Most of them never bubbled up. At times some would have bubbles, then lose them for no reason. Regardless of the lack of bubbles, all of these anemones grew in size which is one indicator of good health. Add in all the countless healthy yet non-bubbled up bubble tip anemones I’ve seen in tanks and you’ve got yourself a nice sized data set.
If your bubble tip anemone won’t bubble up, don’t freak out. It’s nothing to be concerned about.