My Ritteri Anemone Thread

gig 'em

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Ok, if it is I’m still happy because it’s beautiful and would therefore be easier to keep. Why do you think it’s a bubble tip?
Like of verrucae down the column. And I generally recognize what an unhealthy BTA looks like. Still a beautiful anemone! Most likely won’t see that bright purple foot very often since BTAs tend to keep them covered up.


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Thanks for the id, I will try and nurse it back to health. My clown seems to like it which is great.

Sophie"s mom

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Ok, so.... a Ritteri anemone has been on my list for a long time. I am an experienced reefer who enjoys experimenting and trialling different reef methods and responses.

I set up back in January a off shoot tank from my main aquarium to this 55 gallon. The point of this tank is to mainly host a pair of clown and the Ritteri Anemone (H. Magnifica or Heteractis Magnifica). The intention is for it to be a self sustaining reef (mixed LPS and SPS - grow out of frags from my main tank) with a Ritteri at the front and centre. The bigger the better. So here's my journey so far:

Ordered a Ritteri online from a really good seller who had some very healthy looking nems. He regularly sells Ritteri's and often has them for long periods. From conversations with him, he had some interesting concepts. Here's what worked for me so far (not saying that these have worked long term, or that they are the right choice for everyone).

Day 1
Nem arrives. The water was murky and it looks like a bag of jelly, its mouth is gapping, detached foot and floating in bag. I tested the water, extremely high in ammonia and nitrates. It looked dead.

Acclimatisation Method: A quick temperature acclimation (15 mins) and then chucked the nem in a jug. Jug goes into a bucket and then I started adding water for another 10 minutes at a quick pace slowly flushing the toxic water out. I continuous flushed the nem with tank water until the water was clear and testing 0 for Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia (as per my tank). This took several flushes (about 10) before the new was fully clean and sitting stably in fresh water. I left it 10 minutes before checking the water each time so the nem had time to purge.

Hypothesis: The principal here is that the nem although mainly deflate contains stagnated water from transport. Each time you flush the nem, it exchanges bad water for good and keeps doing so until all bad water is expelled including toxicants. The water movement from the flow of water flushing replicates strong water movement and encourages the nem to switch out water. A sign that the nem was healthy and responding well was its tenticles began to curl and mouth closed partially.

Here it is at various stages:

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I then took the jug and placed it into the water (at no point did I expose him to the air). I turned my powerbeads off and placed him in a position of very strong flow and very close to the water surface for light. I gave it 5 minutes and checked back. He was attached mostly but remained deflated. I turned on the covered powerheads. The lights were reduced to 10% (LED AI SOLs). Almost immediately I saw the nem begin the inflation process. He was a bit tangled up and his foot was puffy and inflated. He slowly turned his foot to the rock and attached fully. 1 hour later he was fully inflated. mouth is large and puffy but closed.

(I did not treat with antibiotics but had a hospital tank and treatment to hand)

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And this was him on the first night:


Day 2
The next morning after introduction the nem was fully inflated, mouth tightly pursed and about 1 inch puckered up like a kiss. He had moved very slightly up the rock. Tenticles were not sticky. Remained inflated for the whole day.

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Day 3
Now, here starts the journey of panic and concern. I stress to anyone getting a Ritteri standby and don't react until there is a clear sign of issue. These nems go through stress cycles when first introduced and moving them unnecessary will cause more issue than standing firm.
So I wake up on day 3 and the nem is inflated but its mouth is massive! It is puffy and extended by an inch but a good 3 inches across. Very different from the puckered look before! Was worried and didn't know what to do. Had some minor deflation of partial tenticles. ie 10% of its tenticles would deflate, and then inflate continuously and quickly (particularly on one side) but this was only a very small section and probably only every few hours. Research of this was that this was usual for partial tenticle deflation for newly added Ritteri but full deflation was a sign of stress.

This is the mouth starting to reduce in size after 3 inches and puffy.


Day 4
Mouth back to usual. Lights were on reduced setting at 25%. Ramped lights up to usual setting of 50/60%. Nem fully deflated within 5 minutes of ramp. Reduced lights back down after an hour. Did not reinflate all day or night.

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Day 5
Put lights back to 25% (sellers were also at 25%). Begin slow ramp up of lighting (1% per day). Anemone reinflate and remains healthy looking.


Day 6-9
Fully inflated, has grown in size, remains cycling through small number of sectioned tentacle deflation every now and then - particularly on one side. Clowns host nem (Clarki's) for short periods. See picture of sectioned deflation.

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Day 10
Get impatient with the light ramping so up 2% per day. Nem deflates 5 minutes after increasing. This time looks like death. Complete deflation, expelling of zoos, mouth gapping and flat as a pancake. Terrifying. Clowns are brutally rubbing the nem which is flat. Concern they will rip it due to it deflated and on rock. Separate the clowns from it but they persistently try to get to it. Clowns get to it over night despite efforts.

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Day 11 - 20
Fully reinflated. No further deflation (including any tentacle section deflation) and clowns won't leave the nem. Lights continue to ramp up 1% every 2 days. Now up to 40%.


Since settling in day 11-20 I have noticed a stabilisation of the change of appearance. During intro, the anemone took many shapes from a mushroom style coral (with purple base exposed), to folded or twisted. It now remains like a carpet anemone with a wave like curve throughout, expanded heavily in size reaching 12 inches from 8 prior to stabilisation. In the evenings it reduces in size by about 10-20%. In the morning it reached for the light as they ramp up, settling in a flat position with no base exposure during peak light hours.

Tenticles were not sticky but quickly became so and he now feeds by catching the fishes food. Colour has remained the same at this time.

The mouth changes from time to time but mainly remains 1 inch off of the oral disk in a puckered position. When feeding he puffs his mouth up and out but remains closed.

The clowns perform maintenance often by removing debris and waste and feeding the anemone, often by pushing their body and rubbing food into its mouth. At this time they are not very protective of it and allow the angel (only other fish in the tank) to pick the rocks nearby.

The foot has remained attached at all times, and it has moved only 2 inches up the rock to get in more flow. 777DE386-3076-496A-BB36-1144638F3BE7.jpeg


  • Yes, I'm a reefing wizard.

    Votes: 38 26.4%
  • Yes, but it was a battle.

    Votes: 25 17.4%
  • I'm working on it!

    Votes: 40 27.8%
  • Nope...

    Votes: 9 6.3%
  • I've never tried, but I will eventually.

    Votes: 18 12.5%
  • I value my peace of mind, so I'll stick to LPS.

    Votes: 9 6.3%
  • Other (Please explain!)

    Votes: 5 3.5%