Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Sea Anemones

Natural Habitat

Tropical Reefs

Tank Temperature




Specific Gravity


Tank Requirements

Provide a sand bed 4-6 inches deep, medium water flow & high lighting


Carnivorous, photosynthetic; most nutrients from lighting and dissolved nutrients in the water, but occasional feedings mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, mussels, and other similar items are beneficial.


Most anemones are community and reef safe with caution (since stinging cells may injure corals and other tank mates).

Species Overview

Anemones get most of their nutrition from the aquarium lighting and dissolved nutrients in the water but occasional feedings are beneficial. Shrimp, clam, krill and other meaty foods can be fed occasionally by placing the food on top of the anemone near its mouth and making sure no other tankmates take it before the anemone can take it in.

Anemones have a high aggressiveness rating because they are mobile and have strong nematocysts (stinging cells) that can kill or damage other corals or animals. They will need large areas in which to expand their tentacles and should be placed in an aquarium that will allow them to open fully. Once they stay in a particular place, make sure no corals are too close as the anemone may sting the coral, causing tissue damage with prolonged contact.

Anemones can sting people - avoid touching the tentacles of any anemone without proper protection, especially if you have sensitive skin or known allergies to other stings like bees or wasps.

When first placed in the aquarium, anemones are known to move around to find the place where they feel they are having all their requirements met. This may happen anytime a change is made to their environment. Most anemones like to have their bases under a ledge or in a hole for protection, positioned so that their tentacles can extend into the light. Lighting and water movement may affect the appearance, as may the presence of clownfish hosting in the tentacles. They generally need medium direct light, with medium water movement.

Clownfish and Anemones

Clownfish or Anemonefish may be best known for the unique symbiotic bonds they form with sea anemones. Although it is certainly enjoyable to watch a clownfish interacting with an anemone, it is not necessary for the survival of your clown. Host anemones require high output aquarium lighting, ample water circulation and other special care. While we do not recommend anemones for a beginner aquarist, our expert staff can help you to prepare your tank to house an anemone and to choose the right type when you're ready. Not all anemones are right for clownfish! Also, keep in mind that since tank-raised clowns are born and raised in tanks, it may take some time for then to approach and bond with an anemone. Some may catch on to hosting right away, but some take months or years. See our article Clownfish & Anemone Preference for recommendations on the proper anemone species for common clownfish species. Other animals like some shrimp species may also host in an anemone as well.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

Recommended Items

Coral & Invertebrate Food
Wave Maker
LED Lighting
Aragonite Sand