Anemones and why you should wait.

Crabs McJones

I'm so shiny!
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
26,930
Reaction score
136,854
Location
Wisconsin
Anemones and Why You Should Wait

When is the proper time to add an anemone to your tank? Right away? 1 month? 4 months? WHAT!? A YEAR YOU SAY!?

That is correct. In most instances it is better to wait 8 months to a year before adding an anemone to your tank. And here is why:

A tank is first started with rock, sand, and saltwater. That tank needs to cycle before adding any livestock to it. This we all know. But what you may not know is even after your cycle has completed your tank is going to go through many different changes. Parameters are going to raise and decrease (some even dramatically). You’re going to see algae come and go, and find all kinds of new and exciting hitchhikers. Not only that, but if you are a new reefer and are just getting your toes salty, there are many mistakes you’re going to make. It’s just the nature of the hobby. Don’t feel bad as there are mistakes that even expert reefers make. It’s our nature.

With that being said, anemones are extremely sensitive and generally cannot handle the parameter swings of new and maturing tanks. A new or maturing reefer may add one to the system and find that the anemone looks good to begin with, but as time progresses it starts looking bad; inflating and deflating, closing up, losing its tentacles, losing its color. You may also notice that the anemone won’t pick a spot and keeps releasing its foot and floating around the tank. This could potentially be due to a number of things:

1. Parameter swings

2. Parameter out of acceptable range

3. Insufficient lighting

4. Anemone isn’t getting along with neighboring coral

5. Handling (when you want it to attach in a certain spot, but it doesn’t and you keep moving it back to that spot)

6. Starvation (could be correlated with insufficient lighting depended on the circumstances)

With the exception to insufficient lighting, all the other potentials listed above are common of new and maturing tanks.

When an anemone dies it releases toxins into the tank that could potentially wipe out all your other inhabitants and coral. Avoiding that by waiting is the best thing you can do for your tank and inhabitants.

How do I know if my tank has matured? Aside from the time, other indicators that your reef is mature enough would be water quality stability. No swings or shifts in parameters after several weeks. Also you haven't observed any random outbreaks of algae that you cannot explain.

I hope that this info is found useful to those thinking about an anemone.

Remember that in this hobby nothing good happens quickly, only bad things. Take it slow, and let your tank mature before adding your anemone and your inhabitants will thank you.

 
Top Shelf Aquatics

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
17,030
Reaction score
108,434
Location
New York
Anemones and Why You Should Wait

When is the proper time to add an anemone to your tank? Right away? 1 month? 4 months? WHAT!? A YEAR YOU SAY!?

That is correct. In most instances it is better to wait 8 months to a year before adding an anemone to your tank. And here is why:

A tank is first started with rock, sand, and saltwater. That tank needs to cycle before adding any livestock to it. This we all know. But what you may not know is even after your cycle has completed your tank is going to go through many different changes. Parameters are going to raise and decrease (some even dramatically). You’re going to see algae come and go, and find all kinds of new and exciting hitchhikers. Not only that, but if you are a new reefer and are just getting your toes salty, there are many mistakes you’re going to make. It’s just the nature of the hobby. Don’t feel bad as there are mistakes that even expert reefers make. It’s our nature.

With that being said, anemones are extremely sensitive and generally cannot handle the parameter swings of new and maturing tanks. A new or maturing reefer may add one to the system and find that the anemone looks good to begin with, but as time progresses it starts looking bad; inflating and deflating, closing up, losing its tentacles, losing its color. You may also notice that the anemone won’t pick a spot and keeps releasing its foot and floating around the tank. This could potentially be due to a number of things:

1. Parameter swings

2. Parameter out of acceptable range

3. Insufficient lighting

4. Anemone isn’t getting along with neighboring coral

5. Handling (when you want it to attach in a certain spot, but it doesn’t and you keep moving it back to that spot)

6. Starvation (could be correlated with insufficient lighting depended on the circumstances)

With the exception to insufficient lighting, all the other potentials listed above are common of new and maturing tanks.

When an anemone dies it releases toxins into the tank that could potentially wipe out all your other inhabitants and coral. Avoiding that by waiting is the best thing you can do for your tank and inhabitants.

How do I know if my tank has matured? Aside from the time, other indicators that your reef is mature enough would be water quality stability. No swings or shifts in parameters after several weeks. Also you haven't observed any random outbreaks of algae that you cannot explain.

I hope that this info is found useful to those thinking about an anemone.

Remember that in this hobby nothing good happens quickly, only bad things. Take it slow, and let your tank mature before adding your anemone and your inhabitants will thank you.


Very nice crabs!

If one is getting that first anemone, they should consider, anemones hold seawater and that makes them very sensitive to changes in external seawater parameters. it is best to acclimate them slowly, for a couple of hours, using the drip method. Turn off pumps and lights, let the foot take hold, and then slowly raise them back up.
 

Sunny Goold

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
343
Reaction score
369
Location
Brno, Czech Republic
Nice write up, I hope new reefers will heed your warning!
Well I had been thinking if I would get one I would probably need to add it pretty early.

The more time goes on and the more research I do the less inclined I am to getting one.
 

SDReefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
342
Reaction score
355
Location
San Diego, CA
Great write-up! You should also note that the 8-12 month waiting period isn't just for the tank to mature - it's also for the fishkeeper. We learn a lot in the first year of actually setting up a reef such as how to keep parameters stable and getting in tune with the tank.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

JBKReef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
1,865
Reaction score
2,223
Location
Bloomington, Indiana
I'm dealing with issue now. The tank has been up and running 6 months. Other than the occasional drop in alkalinity I keep the tank stable.

I believe I let my nutrients drop too low, I dont have a large bioload in my tank, and some red gracilaria in my tank melted away. Since then the newly introduced anemone I brought into the tank has been deflated, hanging out in a cave, and looking all around horrible. I believe its on its last leg but cant decide when it should be pulled.

Any write ups on here, or suggestions on "when its time" for an anemone?
 

Zach W

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
612
Reaction score
1,937
@crabs_mcjones do rock flower anemones fall under this same category of waiting or are they able to be put into newer tanks? From what I’ve read they are hardier then typical nems and more suited for beginners.. I would love to hear your advice!
 
OP
Crabs McJones

Crabs McJones

I'm so shiny!
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
26,930
Reaction score
136,854
Location
Wisconsin
@crabs_mcjones do rock flower anemones fall under this same category of waiting or are they able to be put into newer tanks? From what I’ve read they are hardier then typical nems and more suited for beginners.. I would love to hear your advice!
Rock flowers are a little more hardy, and more forgiving, but i'd still wait a minimum of 6 months before adding one, and always test your levels first to make sure you're within spec :)
 
Last edited:
OP
Crabs McJones

Crabs McJones

I'm so shiny!
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
26,930
Reaction score
136,854
Location
Wisconsin
I'm dealing with issue now. The tank has been up and running 6 months. Other than the occasional drop in alkalinity I keep the tank stable.

I believe I let my nutrients drop too low, I dont have a large bioload in my tank, and some red gracilaria in my tank melted away. Since then the newly introduced anemone I brought into the tank has been deflated, hanging out in a cave, and looking all around horrible. I believe its on its last leg but cant decide when it should be pulled.

Any write ups on here, or suggestions on "when its time" for an anemone?
Have you tested any of your parameters to see where they're at? And what lighting do you have it under?
 

JBKReef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
1,865
Reaction score
2,223
Location
Bloomington, Indiana
Have you tested any of your parameters to see where they're at? And what lighting do you have it under?

2- A360's on a 93 gallon cube. I couldnt imagine light is the issue but I'm borrowing my local clubs PAR meter in the next month or so (once my name in line comes up) I have it ramp up from 10% to 100% intensity in about 2 hours, stays that high for about 5 hours, then ramps down slowly for 3 hours. Blue to white, back to blue during the same time for color.

Parameters are in line other than alk which dropped to like 7-7.5. I hate the titration tests. (Using all Red Sea) 0's for Ammonia/Nitrite, Nitrate ran at 0 for a couple weeks but once the Red Graciliaria melted away it spiked up to about 15. temp I cant seem to keep completely stable but swings from 77-79 through the day a couple times. SG is 1.026. I have seen an explosion of bristle warms since the Gracilaria melted away.

Tankmates leave it alone. I have 2 mocha clowns, 2 blenny (Tailspot and Starry), skunk shrimp, blood shrimp, tuxedo urchin, a smattering of CuC (fighting conch, emererld crab, and trochus snails) also a porcelain crab thats been hosting in the anemone stump since it was purchased as a pair.

I have a coral QT that is currently empty it could be moved to but I'm almost certain if I try to move it that it will bite the dust. Once it was introduced it hid in a cave for about 10 days, deflated completely, came out for about 36 hours, then retreated back into the cave for another week. It emerged again Saturday morning and has been in this position since then. He is on the back half of tank which is in a corner so photos are tough to get, this is the best I have from yesterday.

Updated Nem.jpg

Not trying to hijack your article which was very well written.
 
BRS
OP
Crabs McJones

Crabs McJones

I'm so shiny!
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
26,930
Reaction score
136,854
Location
Wisconsin
2- A360's on a 93 gallon cube. I couldnt imagine light is the issue but I'm borrowing my local clubs PAR meter in the next month or so (once my name in line comes up) I have it ramp up from 10% to 100% intensity in about 2 hours, stays that high for about 5 hours, then ramps down slowly for 3 hours. Blue to white, back to blue during the same time for color.

Parameters are in line other than alk which dropped to like 7-7.5. I hate the titration tests. (Using all Red Sea) 0's for Ammonia/Nitrite, Nitrate ran at 0 for a couple weeks but once the Red Graciliaria melted away it spiked up to about 15. temp I cant seem to keep completely stable but swings from 77-79 through the day a couple times. SG is 1.026. I have seen an explosion of bristle warms since the Gracilaria melted away.

Tankmates leave it alone. I have 2 mocha clowns, 2 blenny (Tailspot and Starry), skunk shrimp, blood shrimp, tuxedo urchin, a smattering of CuC (fighting conch, emererld crab, and trochus snails) also a porcelain crab thats been hosting in the anemone stump since it was purchased as a pair.

I have a coral QT that is currently empty it could be moved to but I'm almost certain if I try to move it that it will bite the dust. Once it was introduced it hid in a cave for about 10 days, deflated completely, came out for about 36 hours, then retreated back into the cave for another week. It emerged again Saturday morning and has been in this position since then. He is on the back half of tank which is in a corner so photos are tough to get, this is the best I have from yesterday.

Updated Nem.jpg

Not trying to hijack your article which was very well written.
Not a problem. I would get my hands on that par meter. 100% intensity for a pair of A360's may be to much light. The A360's are alot more powerful then they're given credit for.
 

Lance M.

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
364
Reaction score
173
Location
SC

I would possibly consider separating the porcelain crab from it if you can. If have had issues with mine bothering a bta in the past. For some reason, it just seemed to irritate that one bta specifically (I guess it didn't like the crab?). The other bta's tolerated it. I separated the bta from it and did better. Now I have 10 bta's that my two porcelains rotate around in and all the bta's seem to be fine with it.

It may be similar to how clowns can "love" a new anemone too much, stressing the nem.
 

Do you utilize the weekends for tank tasks?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 202 63.5%
  • NO

    Votes: 24 7.5%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 86 27.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 1.9%

Online statistics

Members online
2,489
Guests online
7,535
Total visitors
10,024
LA
Top