The beautiful Anemone.
Anemones, or actiniaria, are often called the flowers of the sea as their round shape and tentacles resemble flowers and their petals. With a variety of colors, these beautiful creatures actually have a very viscous side. Sea anemones use tiny stinger-like structures in their tentacles to paralyze their prey, which is usually small marine animals and fish, but some species will prey on microorganisms.
In the Wild
In the wild, anemones are found in tidal zones of all oceans, but the largest anemones are usually found in seas that are warmer, where they are also more abundant and colorful. Anemones can be smaller than an inch, but they can also grow up to 6 feet in diameter.
Though many anemones feed on fish, some specific types are well-known for their symbiotic relationship with clownfish. Because clownfish have developed a film on their scales that protects them from anemone stings, they are able to clean anemones and, in turn, receive protection from predators by hiding inside the anemones.
In the Tank
In marine, reef tanks, anemones can be beautiful additions, and anemones already have a good tank mate in clownfish, which are reasonably easy to care for as well. Other suitable tank mates will be docile and gentle reef fish. Tank anemones need plenty of light with well-filtered water that has high levels of oxygen. In addition, anemones need circulating water as this is how they absorb oxygen.
While anemones might brighten up your tank, water condition and pH level are very specific to the types of anemones you choose. Specialists recommend that anemones only be added to tanks that have “matured” for over a year, so that anemones can properly adapt to the conditions, and the conditions are stable. If you’ve got the time, anemones are well worth it!
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