Condylactis and Friends

The primary distinction between this tank and the Bartholomea aquarium is the need for proper lighting for the anemone. Bartholomea lack zooxanthellae and lighting is thus immaterial to its well-being. This model design is a miniature version of the sea grass bed tank described in the previous chapter.

Aquarium Capacity 20 gallons (long)

Life Support live sand, hang-on filter with built-in skimmer

Lighting two to four fluorescent lamps

Background light green

Decoration plastic reproductions of Vallisneria, or living Caulerpa prolifera to simulate sea grass, two or three pieces of live rock

Special Requirements reef water conditions and moderate current

Fish none Invertebrates

Algae snails 2

Brittle stars 1

Condylactis gigantean 1 to 3

Thor amboiensis 5

Seaweeds (optional)

Caulerpa prolifera 1 clump

Penicillus 5 individuals

Use the plastic if you must, but I think the Caulerpa looks much better. Add it when you add the live sand and live rock. Use the rock to build a tiny patch reef, placing it to hide the filter, which can be located anywhere along the back of the tank. Add the sand next, then arrange the strands of Caulerpa so they will grow into a carpet over the open space around the rock. Although Caulerpa prolifera most closely resembles sea grass, feel free to substitute any other Caulerpa species. Plant the Penicillus in a stand, spacing them about an inch apart in the brightest area of the tank. You will need to make sure calcium and alkalinity levels are maintained if you expect the Penicillus to thrive. It must have calcium to construct its supporting skeleton.

As usual, run the tank for about two to three weeks, add the snails and brittle star, then run another week or two before adding the anemone(s). Feed the anemone every three days, as described in the previous model design. When the anemone appears to be settled in, add the sexy shrimps (Thor). If you choose to add more than one anemone, you can place a different shrimp species, such as Periclimenes yucatanensis and P. peder-soni, in each one.


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