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A Maroon Clown Fish Killed My Anemone - It's True!

Updated on November 21, 2013

Mysterious Cloud In My 60 Gallon Marine/Saltwater Aquarium

Yesterday, October 13, 2013, I came home to my 60 gallon marine aquarium that was so cloudy, I knew immediately something was wrong. Prior to yesterday, I purchased a long green tentacle anemone and being in the marine aquarium hobby for 17 years now, I've had my shares of anemone ups and downs. I bought a Haddoni green carpet anemone May 2013 that thrived but I had to take the anemone back to the pet store a month later because it kept eating all my fish.

Anemones in general are all unique but carpet anemones are more venomous than long tentacle anemones, however, this article will focus on a few characteristics of a newly purchased long tentacle anemone along with an introduction of all anemones in general.

Overview of Buying An Anemone

As with all anemones, when you buy one from a pet store, the animal will be stressed. You need to look for signs of an open mouth and also a damaged foot. Open mouths are ok but a damaged foot means the anemone will be doomed to death at some point in time so do not buy an anemone that has a damaged foot. The foot is important because it anchors the anemone inside a rock or inside the sand so that it can position itself upright to capture food. Without a foot the anemone will be upside down in your aquarium and that is why it will be doomed to die.

Newly bought anemones will be stressed when you take them home. Some anemones are much hardier than others but long tentacle anemones require a marine environment with stable pH between 8.1 to 8.3, stable temperature at 78 degrees with +/- 2 degrees, stable salinity between 1.025-1.026, Calcium between 400-450ppm, Alkalinity between 8 - 12dKH, and Magnesium between 1300-1400ppm. Anemones also require intense lighting, from popular LED lighting, now widely available in the marine aquarium hobby, to metal halide lighting. Whatever your choice of lighting, anemones need your aquarium lights to be bright.

Let Your Anemone Settle In First

I highly recommend allowing a newly bought anemone to settle in first for at least 2 weeks to 1 month before you allow any clown fishes to go near it. As mentioned earlier, newly bought anemones will be stressed out and they need to adjust to your home saltwater aquarium. Make sure you keep your temperature and salinity as stable as possible. These 2 points are very important or your anemone will be doomed. Anemones are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and salinity so keep these 2 parameters stabilized, always!

I've read a lot of information from other marine aquarists/hobby keepers around the world on reefcentral.com and they have also experienced their anemones death at the fins of their maroon clown fish. I'm telling you these marine clown fish are anemone killers.

The Photos Tell The Story

The pictures in this hub are of my own marine aquarium. The fluorescent photos represent my maroon clown fish inside the long green tentacle anemone the morning of October 13 just before the clown fish killed it. The other photos of the anemone and clown fish are with the camera flash from the night before. The cloudiness is what my aquarium looked like after the long tentacle anemone slowly died and I am saddened by its death. The anemone, as a last resort, was releasing "milky" clouds of eggs or sperm, I don't know what the sex was of the anemone, into the water which explains the cloudiness. The maroon clown fish did not allow the anemone to settle it, it roughly rubbed the anemone so much that the anemone stressed out even more and eight hours later the anemone died.

Photo Number:

1. Maroon clown fish enjoying his green "spaghetti" long tentacle anemone in the morning with sun lights off.

2. Again, happy in the anemone, now the clown fish is looking for "meatballs" and parmesan cheese.

3. Photo taken in the pitch black night of October 12.

4. Another photo taken in the night of October 12.

5. Photo of what my aquarium looked liked due to a dying anemone.

6. Another photo, look at my cloudy aquarium. My aquarium is filled with anemone sperm or eggs, don't know what because I don't know if my anemone was male or female.

7. My dead anemone inside of my tupper ware container. I tried to save it but the animal was a goner. When anemones die, they invert their stomachs inside out.

8. Same photo as 7. When sea creatures die they will pollute the water by raising the ammonia and nitrite levels well beyond a safe environment to live in so when you start smelling that foul air from your marine animal, it is time to respectfully release the animal back to the ocean.



© 2013 ssaffery

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