Keeping An Anemone

There is understandably great fascination with some anemones, mainly because of their well known association with clownfish. Seeing these colourful little fish nestling in among what are normally dangerous tentacles is amazing.

Before an aquarist obtains an anemone, the usual research into type and requirements is necessary. Many anemones require good [tag-self]aquarium lighting[/tag-self] because of symbiotic algae, and water movement must be to their liking. In fact, and much to the aquarist’s annoyance, if an anemone is not happy with its position in the aquarium it may well go for a walkabout.

As with all marine livestock, the aquarist must be careful when buying. The anemone shouldn’t show any signs of damage anywhere. If there is damage to the crown or stalk then a purchase should not be made. There can also be damage to the base foot, which attaches the anemone to the rock. Sometimes this area is damaged during collection. It is more difficult to spot problems in this area, the aquarist can but do their best. Retailers are usually willing to spin a specimen round underwater to facilitate inspection.

When positioning an anemone in the aquarium try and put the foot in a hollow in the rock work if possible, with the crown fairly close to the water surface (but not too close because of expansion etc). Water flow should not be fierce, only moderate, and should be random rather than linear. Hopefully this will mean that the anemone will settle in the aquarist’s chosen position, but is not a guarantee.

Feeding is not a problem. A piece of de-frozen lancefish once or twice a week will usually suffice. Dropping the fish onto the tentacles is easy, the fish will be taken and moved towards the mouth.

Keeping an anemone is not for everyone and is not suitable for any marine aquarium. As with other livestock, some are more difficult to keep than others. As said, pre-purchase research is necessary and a clear understanding of the needs of the anemone obtained. If the attention is to keep clownfish with the anemone, then it should be noted that different clownfish have different preferences for anemone types. It could be that a clownfish doesn’t take to an anemone at all, even though carefully chosen.

Could it be that the clownfish is aquarium bred and doesn’t ‘know‘?

To assist in obtaining information on some of the more popular anemone types I have provided a link, below.