Saddleback polymnus pair and sun anemone

Corpus Callosum

Premium Member
Two weeks ago I purchased a small 1" black saddleback polymnus from the LFS and it has been doing well. Today I bought a larger specimen imported from the same bali location but another shipment with the hopes of them pairing up. They seem to be tolerating one another well and swimming side by side so it may not be too far in the future.

I also purchased what was labeled as a sun anemone but it looks like a sebae to me. It's bright yellow and has a red foot. The larger clown immediately took to it and the smaller clown is following.

Any information as to ID'ing this anemone, how much size tank these guys will need when fully grown, and any tips on maintaining the anemones health.

They are currently in a 30 gallon tank with a 36" T5 HO fixture. The lighting is adequate but I'm well aware the clowns and anemone will shortly outgrow this tank. I will likely upgrade as my equipment can handle it . There is a 75 gallon sump plumbed to the tank and a 20 gallon refugium will follow shortly so water maintainence is not a problem.




That may be a dyed sebae. If that is likely the case try and return it, since many can be stressed beyong recovery. When you think about it the anemone could be completely bleached but the dye gives it a color. If you can't return it just feed it regularly and keep the water quality high as im sure you already are.
It's not dyed I have a friend who purchased the same one and said it remained the same color in his tank as it grew the past few months. Does that still mean it could be dyed?
It is not dyed. These have been coming in regularly for the past year of so. We have had this discussion several times this year. Most agree that it seems to be a color variety of H. malu (sebae). It is not unusual for H. malu to have red stripes or markings on their column and base, but these individuals are certainly extreem.

Do a search for "carnation anemone" as that has been one of the more popular names.
so.. Heteractis malu you say? not crispa? What pictures can I take to help clarify? I'm wondering why my saddlebacks took to it so fast aside from being wild specimens malu has been said not to be hosted too quite often.

IME the black color variant of A. polymnus is not picky about the anemone species.
good to know.. it would be great if i could get them to spawn but i know this is not common in captivity. tank raised black variant would be sexy though.
These are called carnation Anemonies. I have had one for approx. 6 months and is probably the most low maintanence anem. I have ever had. It will take small pecies of shrimp if you desire. It seem to be a very slow grower. I have not found any information on how large they will get. Hope this helps.
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6948568#post6948568 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sci33
so.. Heteractis malu you say? not crispa? What pictures can I take to help clarify? I'm wondering why my saddlebacks took to it so fast aside from being wild specimens malu has been said not to be hosted too quite often.

Let's see if I can answer all these questions at once. Since I have never seen any pics of such a beautiful anemone hosting any species of clown, I would speculate that it isn't a natural clown host. H. malu are often found without clownfish, where other clownfish host anemones are rarely found without clowns. The faint rings around the tentacles are a H. malu trait rather than H. crispa. The length of the tentacles (although this can vary according to the condition of the anemone) is in line with malu, too short for crispa.
I am not a Taxonomist, nor do I play on on TV. It could very well be that it is neither malu or crispa, but a different species unto itself. However, if the color was photoshoped out and you re-submitted the picture for ID, I would say H. malu without a doubt.

As for your clowns, as Scott said, saddlebacks are not very picky and are also know to accept condys as hosts. BTW, the color combo of the anemone with the black clowns is awesome!
I'm pretty sure now it's H. malu but here are better ID shots..

The clowns are really loving it as well as the continually spreading anemone. There indeed are faint rings on the tentacles and they are shorter than most sebae specimens I've seen. Thanks for the comments I love the bright yellow color with red foot on the black polymnus contrasts.



Very nice. The fact that it has buried its foot into the gravel is a very good sign.
I suggest you feed it meaty foods at least twice a week until you get some obvious growth, then you can cut back to once a week as long as it doesn't start to shrink. How much fish food it can catch on its own will determine how often you will have to feed it.
very nice. I really love the color contrast betwen the clowns and anemone. I think you will be OK in your current setup. The 75 galon sump should give you the filtering capacity you need to keep both fish and anemone happy. I personally like the aesthetic of a smallish display, filled with life. And the bonus is that clowns seem to be content with a cozy little home- no need for a large territory to briskly swim around like so many other marine fish species. Best of luck with them.
while it recovers i got a green carpet anemone for the saddlebacks.

my LFS will buy these sun anemones back from me so i will keep splitting them.
You split the sun anemone in half?
I think Anthony might have recommended that you waited a month or so to make sure the anemone was well aclimated and strong.
Keep us updated on how your experiment works out. Even if you fail in keeping both new individuals alive, it is still useful info for those who are willing to try to divide anemones.

Good luck!