Sea anemones Actinia

These live on the substrate, attached by their single foot, which acts as a sucker, but they can move around and find the place that suits them best (sometimes the tank's front pane). Some rare species live in the sand and can retreat into it. They are fairly robust in an aquarium if in water that is well lit and aerated (some anemones have Zooxanthellae). A large living space must therefore be planned for them, as other Anthozoa do not appreciate their tentacles; moreover, they sometimes excrete filaments of mucus that can pollute the water. Only clownfish can accustom themselves to contact with their tentacles. Anemones eat small pieces of mussel, shrimp, fish, or a choppy made from these ingredients. Sexual reproduction is a possibility, and some anemones are livebearers; asexual multiplication can take place via budding, which will go on to produce a young anemone. When buying anemones, make sure that they are puffed out and unfurled, as these are signs of good health.

Heteractis (formerly Radianthus)

This has a large number of tentacles, which are quite long (up to 10 cm) and somewhat rigid. Species of this genus can achieve a diameter of several dozen centimeters, and they are appreciated by several species of clownfish. Diameter: 30-40 cm.

Heteractis magnifica


Stichodactyla mertensii

Stichodactyla (formerly Stoichactus)

In its natural habitat a species of the Stichodactyla reaches lengths of 1 m. The tentacles are arranged in dense ranks, particularly round the edge of the anemone. Diameter: 20-50 cm. Entacmaea

This genus was created a few years ago to cover some species from the old Radianthus genus (the remainder being included in the Heteractis genus).


The glass anemones are often introduced to an aquarium along with rocks or water. They are livebearers that can quickly colonize a tank, to the detriment of other Anthozoa. However, they do have advantages in an aquarium with butterfly fish (Chaetodontid family), as they constitute these fishes' staple diet. Diameter: 5-10 cm.

Stichodactyla mertensii

• Entacmaea quadricolor sheltering the clownfish Amphiphon bicinctus.


These resemble anemones, although they can be distinguished by their non-retractable tentacles. Moreover, they are not attached by a single foot but live in a self-secreted tube, whose support requires a layer of not too rough sand, 15-20 cm thick. Ceriantharia feed on finely ground mussels, fish, shrimps, or brine shrimps. Certain species can sometimes be found in the aquarium trade, although their name is often unknown or incorrect. Height: 20-30 cm.

Aiptasia sp. Parazoanthus sp.

Cerianthus sp.

Zoantharia (colonial anemones)

These are neither anemones, as they live in colonies, nor corals, as they have no calcareous skeleton. These animals colonize rocks, mollusks' shells, and sometimes sponges, corals, and Gorgonians. They can harbor Zooxanthellae, and therefore need the appropriate light level.

Parazoanthus sp.

This colonial anemone consists of small polyps which can reach a height of up to 2 cm, with tentacles that do not exceed 5 mm in length. They must be placed 10 or 20 cm under the water surface in an aquarium to take maximum advantage of the light, due to the presence of Zooxanthellae. They must not be put close to stinging Anthozoa. Like many other animals in this group, their food consists of a fine choppy based on mussels. When buying this encrusting anemone, make sure that it is attached to a rock.

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  • Haile
    What is the Actinia sp (sea anemones) (cherry) adapted for?
    3 years ago

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