Anenome Help


New member
Hello, i am new to the saltwater community and i believe i may have made a crucial error. Decided i was going to start up a saltwater reef tank, did my reading, new i had to take it seriously.

Setup : 55g tank ; eheim 600 classic @ 264gph ; 200w heater ; (2) Koralia power heads @ 565gph (placed left side rear 2" below water surface and right side front 3.5" below water surface.) each power head pointing across length of tank ; CoraLife Seascape L.E.D. Lighting @ Avg output 12" 65 par peak (42 avg)

Habitat : crushed coral substrate, (1) large live rock, several dry rock placed in tank.

Livestock : (2) Fire/Cinnamon Clowns (1 medium size female, 1 small male) ; Green Wolf Eel ; (2) Hermit Crabs ; (2) Anenomes

Tank parameters : as of 8am 1/26/21
PH - 8.2
AMMONIA - .75 (spiked from .15 previous day)
SALINITY - 1.024

Right now the clowns and the blenny are fine, no signs of stress or struggle. Crabs as well.

However, this i believe is my crucial error, the Anenomes. The first is a Long tentacle anenome. A beautiful purple tentacle, red footed Macrodactyla. When fully bloomed tentacles are about 4"-6", disc is 5" in diameter (est). The Anenome has taken hold in the substrate since its first day and has bonded with both clowns. Has taken food and goes thru its deflating cycle at night, coming back to full bloom in the morning. I have noticed that its mouth, is now open consistently and i have noticed a white-ish discharge coming from it. I don't want to lose it, so any advice on how to save it, please. It would be much appreciated.

Member No. 1

Ver. 2.1.1
Premium Member
How old is this set-up?
You need to get your ammonia levels down. I would start with a 50% water change.
Your nitrates are high also.
Temp should be lower, shoot for 77-79*.
Can't speak for the anemone, as I have very little experience, however, it seems to me that daily feedings are way to much. Others will chime in, but I'm thinking once per week is plenty.


Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
When did you start your tank? If you've done your reading, then you know anemones are not recommended for new tanks (less than six months).

Your tank has measurable ammonia - that's a non-starter for both fish and inverts, including anemones. Nitrate might be a little high for delicate inverts like anemones as well, but it wouldn't be immediately fatal. About the only thing you can do is large partial water changes (matched to temp and salinity) to lower the ammonia, and hope. Personally, I'd also lower the water temperature to 80 degrees - 82 doesn't leave you much margin for error if you have a temperature spike.

Good luck,


New member
They can stand higher nutrients but nitrates at 50 are too high and any ammonia is going to be detrimental. The par is also low for the anemones you'd need supplemental lighting

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Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
First off, welcome Fugetaboutit05 to RC! It was a good call to come here and ask for help. That puts you ahead of a lot of other beginners. Also good to study up as well. Knowledge is key to succeeding in this hobby.

I agree with all of the above. Basically, it sounds like you added livestock a bit too early. Water changes will help. Also consider adding a nutrient-greedy macro algae like Ulva. It will suck up ammonia (and Nitrate) quickly and help keep it down.

Anemones are beautiful, sensitive creatures, that really need stable parameters, which you don't have yet. They are just as challenging as corals, which they basically are. The Anemone's mouth is also its annus, so what you're seeing may well be normal digestion. But given the conditions it sounds like it is stressed. Don't feed it for a while and give it good light. Get ammonia down to zero and Nitrate to 5-10 ppm and keep them there (stability).

We all made the same mistakes. Be sure to learn from them. Right now you are in the 'patience phase'. Best of luck!