Bartholomea and Friends

The curlicue sea anemone, Bartholomea annulata, plays host to several types of crustaceans. These relationships form the basis for a unique biotope aquarium.

Aquarium Capacity 20 gallons (high)

Life Support live sand, live rock, hang-on filter with skimmer

Lighting one to two fluorescent lamps

Background pale yellow green

Decoration none

Special Requirements reef water conditions and moderate current

Fish none Invertebrates

Algae snails 2

Brittle stars 1

Bartholomea annulata

Alpheus armatus

Periclimenes yucatanensis . . . Or Periclimenes pedersoni Or Thor amboiensis . . . .

Seaweeds (optional)

Halimeda incrassate 3 to 5

Or Penicillus 3 to 5

Or Udotea 3 to 5

Set up this tank with most of the live rock located to one side, leaving an open space near the center of the tank for the anemone. The tall tank design allows Bartholomea to expand to its full height without restriction. The seaweeds, in any combination of species, should be planted in the sand on the end opposite the live rock.

1 or a mated pair 1 or a mated pair 1 or a mated pair 3 to 5

Place the live rock so it hides the filter equipment, and add the sand after the rock is in position. Allow the tank to run for a couple of weeks before adding the utilitarian invertebrates. Introduce the anemone next, giving it another two weeks to settle in. Feed it a small piece of fish or shrimp about every three days. It will contract after feeding, subsequently expelling a waste pellet in a day or two. Remove the waste as soon as you see it. Feed the anemone again when it is fully expanded.

Once you have the anemone established in the tank, add its symbiotic partners. The Alpheus shrimp should be added last. This will avoid its preying on one of the other shrimps, should they not immediately move into the anemone's tentacles. Once all the invertebrates have been added, this aquarium should be relatively trouble free with proper maintenance.

MODEL DESIGN 37

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