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  L# Anemones... a pseudo FAQ
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SubscribeAnemones... a pseudo FAQ
Dan
 
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I notice alot of talk about anemones. As far as "possible" compatible clownfish/anemone combinations the following indicates the most preferred to least habitats for each type of clownfish.


False Percula Clown
Amphiprion ocellaris Carpet anemone,
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone

Percula Clown
Amphiprion percula Carpet anemone,
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone

"Sebae" Clown
Amphiprion clarkii Sebae anemone
Long Tentacle anemone
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Carpet anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone

Tomato Clown
Amphiprion frenatus Bubble anemone
Long Tentacle anemone
Sebae anemone

Maroon Clown
Premnas biaculatus Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Bubble anemone
Long Tentacle anemone

Pink Skunk Clown
Amphiprion perideraion Long Tentacle anemone
Sebae anemone
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Carpet anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone

Bubble anemone = Entacmaea quadricolor
Long tentacle anemone = Macrodactyla doreensis
Sebae anemone = Heteractis malu
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone = Heteractis magnifica
Carpet anemone = Stichodactyla gigantea
Saddle anemone = Stichodactyla haddoni

As well it should be noted as Shinigami has replied on more than one occassion. Keeping anemones is possible, feedings are required, as often as once a week or as little as once a month. Anemones get approximately 80% of their nutrition from photosynthetic processes, but they do require physical feedings of shrimp, squid to maintain an equalized balance with their zooxanthellae.

Anemones are actually fairly complex creatures, and lighting requirements need to be met before purchasing one.
Before considering placing one in a system, it should be noted that they will limit your choice of corals in future (should you feel you are interested in corals later on).
Anemones move on a regular basis, eventually finding a semi-permanent location in the tank, but sooner or later they will wander again.... this is a consideration, as anemones are VERY aggressive creatures, and they will NEVER fail to try and sting a competing coral into submission.
I have personally had a bubble tip sting my finger corals to death... this being the only incidence in 3yrs, I consider it minor... but others have had far more serious failures with placing an anemone in a coral tank... so it does need to be noted.

When picking an anemone from an LFS... they should show immediate retraction when touched, and they should be physically attached to something within the tank... and have colouration within their bodies... a translucent anemone may mean that it has expelled its zooxanthellae... and a starving anemone may take 3 or more months to die... and studies have shown that even naturally white coloured anemones do poorly in captive systems... so any anemones purchased should be of the pink,brown,yellow,red,green variations.

The balance between the anemone and its symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae... is precarious at best, and unstable water conditions, salinity will result in an upset of that balance... causing the anemone to expell the zooxanthellae... should this happen, the zoo needs to be immediately removed from the tank, and subsequently so should the anemone... as a dying anemone is toxic... but expelled zoo is even more toxic.
However... much like many corals... anemones will always have a period of "cleaning" for lack of a better term. During this period the anemone will retract its tentacles into itself, and a small amount of zoo will be expelled along with waste matter (usually brown in colour, with notable balls of matter within)... this period can last 48 hours... should the anemone be retracted for any longer a period of time, then it is very likely that it is dying.

If this all sounds too complicated... then it is probably best not to keep anemones... however, the relationship between anemones and clownfish is remarkable, and with enough diligence healthy anemones can be maintained.

In regards to the compatibility list... it should be noted that captive clowns will not always take to an anemone, regardless of the fact that the chosen anemone is a suitable host. It is best to try and pick a clown that is already living with an anemone in the LFS... otherwise it is not a sure bet that they will accept eachother.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Report 
d00dster
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Very good article dan [img src='common/images/smile.gif' border=0]....mods, can someone announce this for him?
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Shinigami
 
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Yeah, I'm aware that anemones can be successfully kept in captivity, but I think it's safe to say that most are still not for the beginning saltwater aquarist, although I guess I should leave it to the more experienced to give advice on the subject. I have heard on many occasions that anemones are not for beginners.
[Edited by Shinigami, 10/08/02 00:42 GMT]

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The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
ACIDRAIN
 
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Yes, anemones are deffinitely not for the begginner SW aquariust. As there is much to learn about when doing SW, the anemones are for the advanced and some even for the specialist. Most all require specific conditions and specific lighting. They have to be fed and since they cannot go out and get the food like the fish, they have to be hand fed or the food taken right to them. Now on the flip side, they are a wonderful addition to an aquarium. They have their own little active way about them and many have coloration that is simply out of this world.

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There is always a bigger fish...
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dan
 
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I agree on both accounts that anemones are not for beginning saltwater keepers.

But after a little experience, they make a great addition to any tank. But with anything in saltwater... read, read and more reading is required.

[img src='common/images/biggrin.gif' border=0]

Thanks Shinigami & ACIDRAIN for the input! [img src='common/images/smile.gif' border=0]
And a thanks to cmoreash for the compliments.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Oleta
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Thanks Dan, this is gonna come in handy when it's time for me to get my false percula.. Are the fish types pretty stringent about following that anemone guideline or will they take others than the ones on the list??
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Dan
 
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Oleta,

As I mentioned in the thread... the chances of tank raised clowns taking to a host are rare at best.
Clowns will only host to anemones that they would normally encounter in natural environments. So they are not so much picky about their host, but rather will not see an unfamiliar anemone as an anemone.

The list I gave here, pretty much gives the preferences from best to last options for a host, for each anemone. But that in itself is not a guarantee that if you even gave a clown ALL the possible hosts that it will host with any of them.... for the most part if the clown has never seen an anemone, unless a strong natural instinct takes over, it will not see the anemone as anything other than another critter in the tank.

Not that tank raised clowns NEVER take to a host anemone it does happen, and has happened with my tomatoe clowns, but my perculas never took to the 3 species of anemones I offered to them... so it is 50/50 for me so far.

The bottom line, as I am getting off track, is that clowns will not take to an anemone that it would never see in natural settings, so although there might be exceptions to that, IMO it shouldn't ever happen based on clownfish hosting behaviours that I have read about.

[img src='common/images/smile.gif' border=0]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DarkRealm Overlord
 
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/\bump/\
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
grasshopper
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I'm just setting up my first SW tank (I've done FW before), and I'm at the cycling the tank/setting the decor stage. I've got a 29 gallon with 20 lbs of live sand and one good sized piece of lava rock. I'd like to add more rock, but I thought I'd long term plan. I'd like to (eventually) add an anemone or two for the clowns I want to get (though the posts above are somewhat discouraging in that arena ). IF I decide to go for it in a few months, I'd like to have the right stuff for it to live on. What should I get? I like the look of lava rock. Would more of that be okay? Live rock? I've read that driftwood is generally a bad idea in SW tanks... Do different anemones prefer different kinds of rock? Are there easier-to-care for anemones?

Thanks, all!


[span class="edited"][Edited by 2003-05-26 21:29][/span]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Jordan
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Dan great article man

I have learned quite a bit from this one. By the way how do you ounce anemone An mon e ?

I never knew you had to feed anemone food, i thought they were more of a plant but i guess not. I also never knew they are mobile and can move around .

Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Clarkii
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I have heard of many captive bred clown fish taking to anemone's as well as Clowns that have been caught from the wild which is obviously more probable.

I have also heard of Clown fish taking to artificial anemone's which to the new hobbyist maybe a safer bet to start with but they are around 40 to buy. On the bright side is that it wont die and if the Clowns don't take to it the anemone looks great in the tank. It doesn't take any looking after accept a little cleaning now and again. As Dan said not all Clowns captive bred or caught from the wild will take to an anemone but there are cases out there which they have so give it ago, you never know and if they do take to it then you will be in for many interesting sites.

Just thought that those who don't feel confident about keeping an anemone but like the look of them and want to enhance the look of there aquarium than this is another possibility.

Look here:-

http://www.drmaccorals.com/sys-tmpl/artificialcorals/view.nhtml?profile=artificialcorals&UID=10071

Or here:-

http://www.price1.com/main.html

I would also suggest a book to anyone who is interested in Clown fish its simply called CLOWN FISHES by JOYCE D. WILKERSON ' A Guide to Their Captive Care, Breeding & Natural History'. It is filled with loads of information all about the Clown fish.

Have Fun
Clarkii
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Zack
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I have a few types of anemones in my 90 gallon. All the clowns love them and host in them.

The one thing I have always been curious about is what is going on with the clown-anemone host thing? Is there some food, safety, cleaning, etc. trade off? Why does it happen?


Zack

P.S. Great post with wonderful info!
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DarkRealm Overlord
 
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the anemone provides protection for the fish.....the fish also provides protection for the anemone from other fish that may eat the anemone....the clown will chase them away.

Clowns also will bring food back to the anemone and eat. when doing this they drop pieces of food that serves as a meal for the anemone
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Zack
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Thought so.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Piscesgirl
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That is very informative!


I know anemones need a lot of light. Is this fixture sufficient? The double strip 48 inch for a 55 gallon tank.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=9871&N=2004+113176+113133&in_merch=1
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DarkRealm Overlord
 
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For most anemone it would be fine. It wouldnt hurt to bump it up a little more though.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Piscesgirl
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Would I be able to bump it up using that same hood/fixture, or you mean another stronger fixure would be better?
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DarkRealm Overlord
 
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It would mean either adding another fixture, or going with a different set up to bump up the lighting.

There are some anemone that would do well under that light if you fed them atleast once a week.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Piscesgirl
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OK I'm stumped....I doubt that there would be room for another fixture ontop of the tank with that one on there. Would you know whether SW reef lights affect FW plants? Do they grow well in that intense light? Is it the correct spectrum? Maybe I have to check with some plant folks?

Does it seem I won't be able to get a fixture that can ultimately convert inexpensively?

Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Piscesgirl
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Hmm maybe I'm looking at the question wrong.

How many watts of light is necessary for keeping anemones happy and healthy in a 55 gallon tank (normal dimensions -- 48" I guess)?
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