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antigonus

Thoughts on Rock flower anemones in a reef tank?

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antigonus

My mixed reef tank seems to be doing pretty well, all my corals are healthy as far as I can tell, and I think  its close to being fully stocked. I'm probably going to get one more LPS, ideally a Candy cane, but I  would love having something quite unique and interesting to 'cap' it off. Rock flower anemones look awesome, I love the idea of having an anemone but obviously can't have very anything large or aggressive. Based on the thread on them here, as well as stuff I've read on other websites and blogs they seem to be fairly small and relatively peaceful, I just wanted to ask if they are generally considered reef compatible, or if there is a serious risk of them eating fish and invertebrates? 

 

I have a 32 gallon Biocube, stock lighting, but so far my corals look good to me, and even the SPS Montipora has grown a tiny bit in the past month. In terms of livestock I have as follows; Fish, one coral beauty angelfish, one Banggai Cardinalfish, one Bi-Color Blenny, and two  ocellaris clownfish. Corals; mushrooms, Xenia,  a small Kenya tree, Zoanthids, hammer, one blastomussa, and two pieces of montipora. Invertebrates, one skunk cleaner shrimp, one rock urchin, one conch, along with a few hermits and several snails. I plan to get peppermint shrimp and an emerald crab again as soon as my LFS has them in stock. For parameters, 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 2 Nitrate, though I expect that to go up since I added the clownfish last week, Ph 8.3, salinity 1.025, alkalinity around 9 when I last checked. The only thing a dose is a calcium mix that contains strontium and magnesium.  There are still a lot of areas on there rock that don't have corals nearby it. 

 

Based off the above, do you think I could keep 1-3 RFAs? 

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Pjanssen

I'd start with one less expensive one. If it does well after a couple of months add an ultra. Keep in mind that they can reproduce rapidly if conditions are right. 

I've had one in my BC29 for years with no issues. I have 2 in my IM14 that struggle. 

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kimberbee
13 hours ago, antigonus said:

I just wanted to ask if they are generally considered reef compatible, or if there is a serious risk of them eating fish and invertebrates? 

 

Based off the above, do you think I could keep 1-3 RFAs? 

First, yes, they are generally reef safe and will not harm/eat healthy fish or inverts. 

 

Second, yes, you can probably keep a couple successfully in your tank. 

 

However... anemones can move so you do risk them being stung or stinging something else, to the point of either the anemone or other coral dying. Some anemones will stay in the same spot for years, and others will move around quite frequently. 

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antigonus
3 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

I'd start with one less expensive one. If it does well after a couple of months add an ultra. Keep in mind that they can reproduce rapidly if conditions are right. 

I've had one in my BC29 for years with no issues. I have 2 in my IM14 that struggle. 

Thanks, that is a good idea. Out of curiosity, where did you get yours? Did you you find them at your LFS or order them online?

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Pjanssen

Not sure where I got the one in my 29 gallon-I’m thinking www.gotcorals.com but I’m not sure. The 2 in my 14 came from Ltd

*lfs 

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antigonus
2 hours ago, kimberbee said:

However... anemones can move so you do risk them being stung or stinging something else, to the point of either the anemone or other coral dying. Some anemones will stay in the same spot for years, and others will move around quite frequently. 

That makes sense, it would definitely be something to keep an eye on. 

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antigonus
20 minutes ago, Pjanssen said:

Not sure where I got the one in my 29 gallon-I’m thinking www.gotcorals.com but I’m not sure. The 2 in my 14 came from Ltd

*lfs 

Thanks, I'll start poking around online and ask my LFS when they might have them again.

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Tired

Rock flowers are about the most suitable anemone for a reef tank. They do move and may bother some other things, but their sting is relatively mild, so they aren't likely to kill anything unless they park on it. The bigger risk is that they'll wander into an aggressive LPS and get fried. Most RFAs don't move around much, though it seems to vary by the individual. Put them where the rockwork meets the sand, and they'll shove their foot under the rock and be happy.

 

Unless you have very sensitive skin, RFAs are safe to touch. They're one of the few things in a reef tank I'll actually suggest handling! Gently take it out of the bag, hold it in your (wet) hand to get it into the tank and where you want it, and either hold it in place for a bit or turn off the pumps so it won't blow away. 

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antigonus
3 hours ago, Tired said:

Rock flowers are about the most suitable anemone for a reef tank. They do move and may bother some other things, but their sting is relatively mild, so they aren't likely to kill anything unless they park on it. The bigger risk is that they'll wander into an aggressive LPS and get fried. Most RFAs don't move around much, though it seems to vary by the individual. Put them where the rockwork meets the sand, and they'll shove their foot under the rock and be happy.

 

Unless you have very sensitive skin, RFAs are safe to touch. They're one of the few things in a reef tank I'll actually suggest handling! Gently take it out of the bag, hold it in your (wet) hand to get it into the tank and where you want it, and either hold it in place for a bit or turn off the pumps so it won't blow away. 

Thanks! My plan is definitely to put them at the edge of a piece of rock near the sand, do you think that could also work in the corner of the tank against the glass? 

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Tired

They'll probably settle into the corner and wedge their foot down under the sand, yes. The downside is that you don't want it to be either of the front corners, because then you'll only see the less colorful underside of the anemone pressed against the glass, not the top. 

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antigonus
56 minutes ago, Tired said:

They'll probably settle into the corner and wedge their foot down under the sand, yes. The downside is that you don't want it to be either of the front corners, because then you'll only see the less colorful underside of the anemone pressed against the glass, not the top. 

That's a good point, I would would want it to an open back corner. 

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FollyFish

I have 3 RFA in my lps dom tank. I got 1 and placed it on a dedicated rock. When it didn't move and looked happy I got 2 more. When I had all 3, 2 were able to wedge their foots into a small hole in the rock. Thoses two stayed where I placed them. The other didn't get a small hole and it ended up moving around alot. They will do well in a healthy reef tank in rocks with small holes in my experience. 

 

16048808757356079434381514318863.jpg

20201109_185233.jpg

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antigonus
2 hours ago, FollyFish said:

I have 3 RFA in my lps fom tank. When I add 2 they were able to wedge the foot into a small hole in a rock. Thoses two stayed where I placed them. The other did get a small hole and it ended up moving around alot. They will do well in a healthy reef tank in rocks with small holes in my experience. 

 

16048808757356079434381514318863.jpg

Very cool looking!

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banasophia

I have maybe 8 RFAs in my Biocube and I love them. You mentioned possibly getting peppermint shrimp... I’ve heard there is a possible risk that peppermints could harm a rock flower, but I don’t have any experience with that. 
 

Here’s a great thread, in case you haven’t come across it yet:

 

Here’s a recent pic of my tank, that includes one of my rock flowers. They can look great under the white lights and the blues in a Biocube with stock lights.

 

ED74FE5F-18FF-452E-B613-F7906D1C7BAD.thumb.jpeg.9049a8417eb2a667d43feace1cf22220.jpeg

 

And here’s an older top down of my tank, which really featured my rock flowers before they started to wander around about two years in when I switched salts. Even when they wander, it hasn’t really caused any issues... as someone else mentioned, their sting isn’t very strong. 
 

FB88EB6C-205E-48C2-AF8A-5C9A83EE5B8C.thumb.jpeg.2e72068b89fd3a4ae243507b0847145e.jpeg

 

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RedTheReefer

I think I have about 20 in my pico contest tank. I love them. I found that they mix well with peaceful corals.

Usually there won't be a problem unless they come in contact with another aggressive species/ coral, especially one that has the capability of stinging. And at the point, the RFA will probably lose because their sting is not strong at all.

 

20200927_210555.jpg

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kimberbee
6 hours ago, RedTheReefer said:

I think I have about 20 in my pico contest tank. I love them. I found that they mix well with peaceful corals.

Usually there won't be a problem unless they come in contact with another aggressive species/ coral, especially one that has the capability of stinging. And at the point, the RFA will probably lose because their sting is not strong at all.

 

20200927_210555.jpg

RFAs and gorgonians get along very well!! 

 

Also, I once had a 2in setosa frag lose to a 2in RFA, so their sting can be stronger than you think. 

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antigonus
12 hours ago, banasophia said:

I have maybe 8 RFAs in my Biocube and I love them. You mentioned possibly getting peppermint shrimp... I’ve heard there is a possible risk that peppermints could harm a rock flower, but I don’t have any experience with that. 
 

Here’s a great thread, in case you haven’t come across it yet:

 

Here’s a recent pic of my tank, that includes one of my rock flowers. They can look great under the white lights and the blues in a Biocube with stock lights.

 

imageproxy.php?img=&key=a72cef6f73776f2bED74FE5F-18FF-452E-B613-F7906D1C7BAD.thumb.jpeg.9049a8417eb2a667d43feace1cf22220.jpeg

 

And here’s an older top down of my tank, which really featured my rock flowers before they started to wander around about two years in when I switched salts. Even when they wander, it hasn’t really caused any issues... as someone else mentioned, their sting isn’t very strong. 
 

FB88EB6C-205E-48C2-AF8A-5C9A83EE5B8C.thumb.jpeg.2e72068b89fd3a4ae243507b0847145e.jpeg

 

Wow those are beautiful! It was actually the thread on here that first got me interested in them.

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RedTheReefer
4 hours ago, kimberbee said:

RFAs and gorgonians get along very well!! 

 

Also, I once had a 2in setosa frag lose to a 2in RFA, so their sting can be stronger than you think. 

Yeah they do. But I forgot to add. They get along with soft corals really well like gorgonians. I also heard they can touch the mantle of a clam no problem.

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antigonus
10 hours ago, RedTheReefer said:

I think I have about 20 in my pico contest tank. I love them. I found that they mix well with peaceful corals.

Usually there won't be a problem unless they come in contact with another aggressive species/ coral, especially one that has the capability of stinging. And at the point, the RFA will probably lose because their sting is not strong at all.

 

20200927_210555.jpg

Thanks, I'll be sure to keep them away from my hammer coral the best I can.

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RedTheReefer
1 minute ago, antigonus said:

Wow those are beautiful! It was actually the thread on here that first got me interested in them.

Which thread?

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RedTheReefer
7 minutes ago, antigonus said:

Thanks, I'll be sure to keep them away from my hammer coral the best I can.

I had a torch coral in this tank. It didn't take long for them to meet each other. It did not go well for the anemone. So I decided to only have my RFAs as my only agressive type species because it's such a small tank.

 

But I can't imagine having a tank without atleast 1 rock flower.

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antigonus
4 hours ago, kimberbee said:

RFAs and gorgonians get along very well!! 

 

Also, I once had a 2in setosa frag lose to a 2in RFA, so their sting can be stronger than you think. 

Thanks, I do have three Montipora, but they're up on top and I should be able to keep them away from the RFAs. 

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