Looking for something unusual to decorate your reef with? Or are you looking for a suitable host for your clownfish? Corals are nice and all, but there’s more! Let us introduce you to the rainbow bubble tip anemone, a colorful variety of bubble anemone that’s become pretty popular in the marine aquarium hobby.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about rainbow bubble tip anemone care and growing this species in your own aquarium.
|Name (Common, Scientific)||Rainbow bubble tip anemone, rainbow BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor|
|Temperament||Will sting neighbors|
Rainbow bubble tip anemone appearance
It’s not difficult to see where bubble tip anemones get their name. Although they can stretch their tentacles to an elongated state depending on flight, lighting and more, in the aquarium they usually retract them to form a bubble at the tip.
Bubble tip anemones are naturally found in the Indo-Pacific and have a pretty wide range. They naturally host many different species of clownfish, including some commonly kept in the aquarium.
There are different types of these anemones available, of which the rainbow bubble tip is only one. The rainbow variety is characterized by its greenish base and red tips. You might also see rose and green bubble tips.
Rainbow bubble tip anemone care
If you’re looking to get into growing anemones, you’re in luck. Most of them are considered pretty difficult to grow, needing lots of light and very stable conditions. The bubble tip anemone, however, is a bit more forgiving. If you have some experience, you can probably make it work! This species isn’t known for killing fish and isn’t quite as specific about its environment as some of the others.
First and foremost, you need to keep in mind that rainbow bubble tip anemones are not sessile: they move around. This influences their care guidelines for better and for worse. It’s handy because you don’t have to find them the best spot in your aquarium. They do that themselves! It can be a pain as well, because if they settle next to a coral, you’ll have to move it out of the way. Their stinging tentacles pack a punch and can damage their neighbors, after all.
In terms of lighting and flow requirements, your rainbow bubble tip anemone will appreciate both being on the medium-high side. Make sure your aquarium has spots with around 250-350 PAR and good flow, so the anemone can take up residence there if it so chooses.
Lastly, don’t forget that even though they’re considered forgiving, a rainbow bubble tip anemone does need high water quality to thrive. Stay on top of aquarium maintenance to prevent issues.
Did you know? You have to be really careful with exposed wavemakers, powerheads and the like if you want to grow a rainbow bubble tip anemone. Because these guys move around, they can easily get stuck and end up dying. Use covers on everything!
Feeding rainbow bubble tip anemone
Like many corals, rainbow bubble tip anemones contain zooxanthellae, microscopic algae that allow them to use photosynthesis to obtain nutrients. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to feed your bubble tip, though.
If your rainbow bubble tip anemone hosts a clownfish, it might not need too much food, as its resident fish will help keep it well-fed. Still, be sure to regularly supplement with (thawed) frozen food or bits of squid and shrimp. You can target feed the anemone to make sure it actually consumes the food.
How to frag rainbow bubble tip anemone
If you’d like to divide your anemone, you can’t just take it and frag it like you would with a coral. After all, a coral is not a single organism, so it won’t mind being split. A rainbow bubble tip anemone, on the other hand, is actually a single invertebrate. It won’t be happy about being cut apart.
Instead, you’ll have to sit back and let the anemone take care of things itself. Rainbow bubble tips can be relatively small when you buy them, but they can reach a pretty respectable size (over a foot). If yours is thriving (or alternatively, if it’s very stressed) it will often decide at some point to split itself. Handy!
If you’re looking to get into keeping anemones, the rainbow bubble tip is a nice one to start with. That being said, you do need a good level of general aquarium knowledge to make sure yours thrives! If you just want to enjoy your tank with none of the hassle, we can help. Contact us here so we can help design, build and maintain your aquarium for you!