Saltwater sea anemones are a popular aquatic life form in saltwater aquariums and reef tanks. Numerous types of anemones are available for purchase. Most of the species are hardy. The small varieties of anemones are the easiest to care for. Choose only healthy anemones when populating your tank. The anemone should exhibit bright colors with no white patches that can indicate illness, and it should be firmly attached to the surface or rock of the aquarium. All anemones sting or cause skin irritation but a few varieties can produce extremely painful stings and should be avoided by the novice.
Wait at least a month after setting up a new tank before purchasing anemones. A tank requires time for balance to be achieved. Anemones will do better in an established environment versus a new tank.
Ask the fish store owner how long the anemones have been in the tank for sale. Anemones that have been in a commercial tank environment for longer than a week will stand a better chance of survival than ones that have only been in the store for a couple of days. The anemone can suffer a great deal of stress from being moved from tank to tank.
Look closely at the anemones and only pick ones that offer excellent coloration. There should be no white spots on the anemones. The tentacles should be extended and appear firm.
Place two clown fish in the tank with the anemone. The clown fish will care for the anemone. They will provide it with all the food it requires and you will not need to feed the anemone. The clown fish will bring food back to the anemone or feed it through direct defecation. Adding additional nutrients to a tank that is populated with clown fish and anemones will cloud the water. Feed only the clown fish and not the anemone.
Feed the anemone fish and shrimp meat. Measure out 1/4-inch amount of food to feed each anemone. The anemone cannot digest anything large. Feed only once per week.
Propagate the anemone by feeding it three to four times per week and change the tank water once a week. This will cause the anemone to divide.
Always feed the sea anemones sparingly or they will regurgitate the food and dirty the water.
Sea Anemones can sting if touched or handled.
- If stung by a sea anemone promptly wipe the spot down with white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate mixed with a little bit of water onto the wound.