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Anemone Care for Saltwater Aquariums

Updated on December 29, 2021

Keeping Saltwater Aquarium Anemones

I've always had a saltwater aquarium since 1993 and I've kept many different types of fishes, corals, anemones, starfish, shrimp, you name it. This hub will be about anemones.

Overview: Anemones are interesting sea critters to watch inside your saltwater aquarium. They inflate, deflate, use the stickiness of their tentacles to snatch food from the water column. Sometimes the anemone eats the food, and sometimes the anemone doesn't eat the food. And anemones can live without clown fish. Anemones are wonderful creatures so how do you successfully keep an anemone alive?

Pictured here are my very own anemones. In the top photo is my purple tip giant anemone and in the bottom photo is my Aurora, Beaded Anemone.

Characteristics: Anemones available for your saltwater aquarium come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. Some anemones have long tentacles while other anemones have short tentacles. Some are orange, red, and purple. Some anemones like to attach their food in the sand whereas others like to attach their foot inside rocks. My purple tip giant anemone likes to attach its foot on a rock and my Aurora Anemone likes to attach its foot inside the sand and underneath a rock. When anemones feel threatened, they will shrink instantly and bury their entire bodies in the sand or inside the rocks. They shrink by releasing water from their bodies and get bigger again by absorbing water into their bodies. Trigger fish, butterfly fish, and angel fish eat anemones. These fishes can eat carpet anemones that are 2 feet big!

Would you keep an anemone in your saltwater aquarium?

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Below are pictures of my carpet anemone (Haddoni). Carpet anemones are venomous animals. They have the highest sting out of all anemones and carpet anemone tentacles are very, very sticky than all other anemones as well. So any fish, crab, oyster, clam, anything that you can think of landing inside a carpet anemone will lead to instant death.

Anemone Name
Care Level
Purple tip (Condylactis)
Likes to attach its foot inside rock crevices
Likes to attach its foot inside sand at least 4 inches thick
Carpet (Haddoni)
Moderate - Expert
Like to bury its foot through the sand and under a heavy rock
Carpet (Gigantea)
Like to be on top of rocks
Bubble tip (E. Quadricolor)
Moderate - Expert
Likes to attach its foot inside rock crevices

© 2013 ssaffery


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