Feeding Anemones

Discussion in 'Anemone's' started by Anemone, 20 May 2009.

  1. Anemone

    Anemone

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    FEEDING ANEMONES:

    by Brenda Furtak




    In the wild anemones are opportunistic feeders, meaning, they eat when ever food is available. Anemones need meaty foods to survive. In captivity, there are many choices when selecting an appropriate diet. It is important to only offer raw foods to your anemone. Some of these include Silversides, Mysis shrimp, Krill, Lance fish, and even raw table shrimp from your local deli. Newly hatched brine shrimp may also be used occasionally and is sometimes recommended for sick anemones that are having trouble eating. However, brine shrimp must be less than 24 hours old to provide any nutritional value. Brine shrimp older than 24 hours has lost the yolk sack, and has no nutritional value.

    Most anemones should be fed ¼” sized portions or less. This can be done 2 – 3 times weekly. It is important that portions are kept smaller than the anemones mouth. For heavily fed reef tanks, it is possible that you may never need to target feed your anemone. However, this should only be attempted by experienced anemone keepers.


    Regurgitation:

    Feeding too large of portions or feeding too often will cause anemones to regurgitate several hours later. This not only causes the anemone to miss a meal, it has also wasted energy trying to digest and expel meanwhile the anemone has not received any nutrition.

    Regurgitation may go unnoticed. It can take place several hours after the lights are off leaving you to believe the anemone is eating well. Now that you are convinced your anemone is eating well, you continue this process, months later your anemone is showing signs of starvation.


    Signs of Starvation:

    Signs of starvation often include loss of zooxanthellae (bleached), a wandering anemone, or short stubby tentacles. The latter is the most severe, and death often follows if appropriate measures are not taken immediately. The recovery process can take several months. However, as long as your anemone is eating, your anemone is on the road to recovery. Small portions, is the key to recovery here.


    Feeding your Sick or Injured Anemone:

    Injured anemones should not be fed until the mouth has completely healed. Healing time will depend on the health of the anemone before the injury, the type and severity of the injury, and the conditions that the anemone is kept in during recover.

    For sick anemones that are recovering from loss of zooxanthellae, I recommend 1/8” sized portions or less, fed daily until the anemone shows improvement. If the anemone is not able to take this, try smaller pieces or newly hatched brine shrimp. I also recommend feeding foods soaked in Selcon to sick anemones.

    Never force feed an anemone. Their mouth is very delicate and you will only add to the problem by tearing the mouth.


    Protecting your anemone during feedings:

    Occasionally clownfish will steal food from an anemone. If this becomes a problem, you can place an inverted strawberry basket that is commonly found at the grocery store over the anemone giving the anemone time to digests its meal.

    I have also witnessed shrimp stealing food from an anemone. Unfortunately for the shrimp, he was eventually eaten by the annoyed anemone. So keep your shrimp well fed if it is pestering your anemone for food.


    Expelling Waste:

    Anemones will shrink to expel waste. For those who have never seen this before it can be quite frightening, and many believe their anemone is dying. You will likely see black, brown, or white expelling from the anemones mouth.


    The Falsely Accused Anemone:

    You’ve just walked by your tank and have witnessed your anemone expelling your favorite fish. Why? Your fish was likely sick or already dead. Being the opportunistic feeders that they are, they are not going to skip a meal.

    There have also been cases of clownfish feeding a sick or dead fish to its host anemone. The anemone is sometimes later seen regurgitating this fish, and falsely accused for the cause of death.

    Now here comes the exception: Tube anemones are known predators of small fish. There have been several people who have also witnessed carpet anemones eating small, healthy fish.
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2009
    viper357 and Dikdaan like this.
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  3. Brandon WJ

    Brandon WJ

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    thanks for this, it came just at the right time. Thought my anemone was dying.
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Many thanks for this, Brenda! Awesome article!
     
  5. Prodigy

    Prodigy

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    Thanx brenda will come in handy later in my tanks life;)
     
  6. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    You're welcome! It is just part of something I started a while back. I hope it is found to be useful.
     
  7. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    Thanks explains alot.
     
  8. AndrévN

    AndrévN

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    Very interesting thanks
     
  9. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Very interesting, thanks Brenda!
     
  10. aminyassien

    aminyassien

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    thanks a lot
     
  11. callie

    callie

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    How long must a new tank run before i can think to put a anemone in.
     
  12. inflames

    inflames

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    Thanks for this info Brenda!:thumbup:
     
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    At least 8 months.
    Not a golden rule, but a very good general rule to keep to. Also by that time you would have masterred the art of keeping stable water parameters.:)
     
  14. callie

    callie

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    Thanks. Cant wait to put my 1st anemone in.
     
  15. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout

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    Thanks a mil

    Hi, Thanks very much for this. I am new to the world of anamone's and thought that my 2 were on deaths door. However I was ablw to get them to open up again, but they are definitly showing signs of being starved. I can now hopefully put them on the road to recovery.
     
  16. dizzyg

    dizzyg Red Sea Max 250

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    My maroon clown at work often "feeds" the nennies, passing food into them. Its so brilliant to watch as he hosts with two separate nennies!
     
  17. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    Nico, Welcome to MASA

    Please start a thread and tell us about your set up and show us some pictures of your anemone.
     
  18. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    FEEDING ANEMONES:

    by Brenda Furtak
    LOL I thought this name sounded familiar, a massive Thanks Brenda you have perfect timing :thumbup:
     
  19. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    Perfect timing? :lol: Check the date of the posting.
     
  20. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    LOL I meant for finding the thread as I was getting really worried about my bubble tip. For some strange reason the tomato clowns stopped feeding the nennie & the nennie doesn't like target feeding as it expels whatever it's been fed. Now the nennie has closed itself only exposing a small portion of it's face & the clowns are trying to force the nennie to open up.
     
  21. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    You may want to start a new thread with pics if the anemone starts to go south. Tomatos can be aggressive, so keep an eye on that.
     
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