Bubble Tip Anemone: A Quick Guide for Home Aquarists

Bubble tip anemones are a popular and captivating addition to any saltwater aquarium. They are known for their vibrant colors and unique, bubble-like tentacle tips that make them an attractive home for your tank’s clownfish. As a reef hobbyist, you might be considering adding a bubble tip anemone to your aquatic environment.

In this species profile, we will provide you with essential information about bubble tip anemone care and husbandry. By understanding their requirements, you can ensure that your bubble tip anemone not only survives but thrives in your tank, providing a stunning and lively focal point.

Ready to learn more about these fascinating creatures and how to care for them? Let’s dive in together as we explore the world of bubble tip anemones and what it takes to keep them healthy and happy in your aquarium.

Types of Anemone

As you explore the world of anemones, you’ll come across various types, each with its own unique characteristics and care requirements. Some of the most common types include:

  • Sebae anemones: These colorful anemones are quite difficult to care for, demanding near-perfect water quality and anchoring in deeper sand beds. Beginners should be cautious when considering this species.

  • Carpet anemones: Visually striking, these anemones are known to prey on fish, making them suitable for clownfish-only harem tanks. Unfortunately, they tend to have a high mortality rate in captivity.

  • Long tentacle anemones (corkscrew anemones): This large anemone requires specific water parameters. Additionally, it must be anchored on a sandy substrate. Pay particular attention to these needs if you decide to care for long tentacle anemones.

  • Rock flower anemones: Found in the Caribbean, these vibrant anemones are relatively easy to keep but don’t host clownfish. Watch out for their stinging potential near corals. They need moderate light and can adapt to lower PAR levels in your tank. Although they have some mobility, they tend to move around less compared to other anemones, making them suitable for first-time anemone keepers.

It’s vital to recognize the negative aspects of anemones, such as their tendency to sting nearby corals and their inclination to move until they find a comfortable spot. Some species might be more challenging to care for and pose risks to other tank inhabitants.

In some cases, aqua-cultured anemones could be exceptions to general difficulty levels. However, they still need adequate care and consideration. By understanding each type’s unique care requirements, you can choose the best one for your aquarium and successfully nurture these incredible creatures.

Bubble Tip Anemone Basics

Bubble Tip Anemones are popular marine invertebrates, often being the first exposure to marine life for new fish keepers. Widespread in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, anemones differ from corals, as they are single organisms and more sensitive to environmental changes.

In a tank, Bubble Tip Anemones have a tendency to move around, potentially causing harm to themselves and the tank by getting stuck on equipment. Due to their stinging and dominating tendencies over nearby corals, careful placement and monitoring are required.

To thrive, Bubble Tip Anemones need high light levels, typically within the 220-350 PAR range, similar to SPS corals. Tank stability is essential, and it’s recommended to introduce anemones only after achieving coralline algae growth and stable alkalinity and calcium levels, usually around six months.

Known for their vibrant colors and less aggressive tendencies compared to other anemone species, Bubble Tip Anemones are an excellent option for first-time caretakers. They are also desirable for hosting various clownfish species. With proper care, Bubble Tip Anemones can grow up to a foot wide and often split and propagate in suitable conditions.

Protection from injury or death is essential, and precautions should be taken by covering powerheads and wavemakers. Aquacultured bubble tip anemones are also readily available due to their frequent splitting.

Successful care of Bubble Tip Anemones requires consideration of lighting, stability, and compatible tank inhabitants. These beautiful creatures are not only visually rewarding, but they also form intriguing symbiotic relationships with certain fish, making them an appealing addition to your tank.

Relatively inactive, Bubble Tip Anemones stay anchored in one spot like plants but have a slightly more active nature compared to other anemone species. They occasionally move or change shape, adding more life to your tank environment.

The most significant and well-known behavior of Bubble Tip Anemones is their ability to host a variety of Clownfish species, including Percula, Gold Maroon, Australian, Allard’s, Barber’s, Maroon, Tomato, Clark’s, Skunk, and Red Saddleback. This hosting forms a symbiotic relationship where the anemone provides protection and shelter for the Clownfish, and the Clownfish defend the anemone from predators.

Keep in mind that specific Clownfish-anemone pairings depend on the compatibility and preference of both species. Ensuring a happy, healthy relationship between your Bubble Tip Anemone and Clownfish adds to the enjoyment of caring for your marine aquarium.


Bubble tip anemones have various sources of food, including photosynthesis and eating food off the fish they host. To maintain their color and overall health, it’s essential to provide them with occasional feedings.

Offer protein-based snacks, such as small morsels of shrimp and squid, several times a week. Using a stick or large tweezers, attach the food and lightly touch the anemone, allowing it to grab onto the food with its tentacles and consume it. Ensure you don’t poke or shove the food towards the anemone’s mouth.

Feeding your bubble tip anemone three times per week should be sufficient. However, if there’s an Anemonefish in the tank, you can reduce the feeding frequency, as they provide nourishment for the anemone. For smaller anemones, you can feed them Reef Roids directly. As they grow larger, switch to mysis shrimp or larger chunks of frozen food.

Once a clownfish hosts your anemone, they will also attempt to feed it. Remember, regular feeding is crucial for the health and well-being of your bubble tip anemone.

Care and Tank Requirements

Proper care for Bubble Tip Anemones requires attention to water parameters, tank setup, lighting, and flow. In this section, we’ll discuss the necessary conditions and guidelines to maintain a healthy environment for your Bubble Tip Anemone.


Adequate lighting is crucial as Bubble Tip Anemones are photosynthetic. Moderate to high lighting levels using LED lights, metal halide lights, or fluorescent bulbs are recommended. Anemones expel zooxanthellae and turn white without proper lighting, leading to bleaching and potential death. Bubble Tip Anemones require higher light output, around 220-350 PAR, so powerful LED lights like Ocean Revive or Hydra are recommended.


Moderate flow is preferred to prevent the anemone from stretching out, and direct flow should be avoided. Moderate flow can be achieved with recommended wavemakers, and anemone covers should be used to protect them from getting stuck.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 72°F – 82°F
  • pH: 8.1 – 8.4
  • Water hardness: 8 – 12 dKH
  • Specific gravity: 1.023 – 1.025

Regular water tests should be performed using an accurate aquarium test kit. Regular water changes should be done to maintain water quality, but be cautious with sudden changes as anemones can be sensitive to them. Maintain a stable and consistent salinity level within the recommended range for optimal anemone health.

Tank Setup and Placement

Bubble Tip Anemones do well in natural aquarium setups with live rock but should be kept several inches away from coral to avoid stinging. When introducing the anemone, turn down pump flow, and adjust water jets if it moves towards coral.

Proper care for bubble tip anemones includes maintaining stable water parameters, providing adequate lighting and flow, and protecting them from coral stings and equipment hazards. Keep an eye on potential signs of distress or illness, such as closed or shriveled tentacles, excessive slime production, or unusual discoloration.

Be cautious about adding other aggressive or stinging tank inhabitants that could harm or stress the anemone. It’s important to monitor and control the presence of harmful pests like bristle worms, nudibranchs, or Aiptasia anemones that can harm or compete with the Bubble Tip Anemone.

Feeding Bubble Tip Anemones is essential for their health and can be done with a balanced diet of meaty marine foods like shrimp, fish, and squid. Anemones can also benefit from occasional supplementation with marine-based or specialized anemone foods.

Types of Bubble Tip Anemone

Bubble Tip Anemones are unique creatures that can greatly enhance your marine aquarium’s visual appeal. As you may know, they have tentacles with a distinct bulbous tip, setting them apart from other anemone species. The length and shape of these tentacles, along with the size and shape of the bulb, can vary depending on the anemone type and depth of water they inhabit.

You might be interested to learn that there are different types of Bubble Tip Anemones based on color and behavior. Some popular varieties include:

  • Rose Bubble Tip Anemone: This common and affordable variety is known for its prolific propagation and deep pink color.

  • Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone: These rarer anemones feature a vibrant neon blue base that fades into a rose color, making them quite exotic and often more expensive.

  • Green Bubble Tip Anemone: With greenish-blue tentacles, these anemones are both common and affordable, making them a good choice for first-time owners.

  • Black Widow Bubble Tip Anemone: Sought-after for their unique blood-red color, these rare anemones often command a high price.

Anemones in deeper waters typically have longer tentacles without the iconic bubble tip, while those closer to the surface boast shorter tentacles with thoseBubble Tip Anemones come in various colors, and it’s possible to find cheaper options through local hobbyist groups, eBay auctions, or online forums.

Remember, the ideal types to start with are Green and Rose Bubble Tip Anemones, as they are more affordable and readily available. If you’re looking for the stunning Rainbow or Black Widow Bubble Tip Anemones, be prepared to spend a bit more and search patiently, as they are rarer and typically more expensive.

When finding the perfect Bubble Tip Anemone for your aquarium, be sure to explore local resources and online options. These avenues can often provide you with more affordable and diverse choices, helping you find the best match for your marine environment.

Propagating Bubble Tip Anemone

Bubble tip anemones can be easily propagated in the hobby, and it can be a lucrative endeavor. To do so, it’s important to understand the difference between stress-induced splitting and feeding-induced splitting.

Anemones may split due to stress, triggered by factors such as salinity, nutrients, or lighting issues. Stress-induced splitting is not a sign of a healthy anemone and should be avoided. Instead, focus on feeding-induced splitting, which occurs when anemones are well-fed and allowed to grow naturally. This leads to natural splitting and propagation.

To promote splitting, feed your anemone regularly. Overfeeding with large chunks of food is not necessary; instead, provide small snacks frequently. The easiest method to induce splitting is through feeding the anemone more frequently. Once the anemone reaches its maximum size (around 12 inches), it will naturally split into smaller pieces that can be propagated.

Maintaining proper water parameters and providing suitable lighting can contribute to the overall health and well-being of your anemones and their propensity to split. The process of splitting can take time, so be patient and remain committed to the endeavor.

Observing your anemone’s growth and monitoring water quality parameters can help ensure optimal conditions for splitting and propagation. Propagated splits from bubble tip anemones can be sold to local fish stores or other hobbyists interested in acquiring them.

However, keep in mind that splitting anemones for the sole purpose of making money is not recommended, as it can be considered a form of cruelty and may lead to unhealthy anemones. Instead, focus on researching and understanding the specific needs and requirements of bubble tip anemones to ensure successful propagation and a thriving environment for these beautiful creatures.

How to Buy a Bubble Tip Anemone

When looking to buy a bubble tip anemone, it’s essential to keep a few important factors in mind to ensure you choose the healthiest specimen for your aquarium.

Firstly, opt for an aqua-cultured anemone over a wild-caught one. This is because aqua-cultured specimens generally have better success rates, milder stings, and can often be cheaper in price. A healthy anemone will be firmly attached to the substrate or glass and appear fully expanded.

Pay close attention to the anemone’s mouth. A healthy bubble tip anemone will have a closed, puckered mouth rather than a gaping open one. Additionally, smaller anemones, around 3-4 inches in diameter, are preferable as they tend to ship better and grow more rapidly in your aquarium.

Don’t forget to examine the health of the anemone’s foot before making a purchase. Ensure that it isn’t damaged or cut, as a damaged foot is more likely to cause the anemone to struggle or even perish. When observing the anemone being caught, make sure it’s done safely to avoid any damage to the foot.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to selecting a healthy and thriving bubble tip anemone that will be a vibrant addition to your aquatic ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I keep a clownfish with bubble tip anemone?

Yes, you can keep clownfish with bubble tip anemones. Clownfish form a symbiotic relationship with certain anemones, and bubble tip anemones are one of the preferred species for this partnership. Clownfish help provide the anemone with food, while the anemone offers a safe haven for the clownfish by protecting them from potential threats.

What is the best food for bubble tip anemones?

Bubble tip anemones require a varied diet to maintain their health. Some appropriate food items include small bits of fish, shrimp, and other marine meaty foods. You can also supplement their diet with specialized anemone food products available at your local aquarium store. This variety will ensure your bubble tip anemone stays healthy and vibrant.

How can I make my bubble tip anemone thrive?

To ensure that your bubble tip anemone thrives in your aquarium, it is essential to provide optimal water conditions, lighting, and feeding. Maintain a stable water temperature between 72 and 78°F (22-26°C), pH levels between 8.1 and 8.4, and a specific gravity of 1.023-1.025. Providing a high-intensity LED light or another reef-safe lighting system with 220-350 PAR is recommended. Feeding your anemone appropriately and frequently will also contribute to their overall health and happiness.

How often should I feed a bubble tip anemone?

Feeding frequency can vary depending on your bubble tip anemone’s individual needs and your specific aquarium setup. Typically, it is advisable to feed your anemone small meals 2-3 times a week. Observe how your anemone responds to the feeding schedule, and adjust accordingly to meet their nutritional requirements.

Why is my bubble tip anemone losing its bubbles?

Bubble tip anemones may lose their bubbles due to several possible factors, including stress, changes in water conditions, inappropriate lighting, or even the presence of other aggressive tank mates. Ensure that you maintain stable and optimal water parameters, provide adequate lighting, and ensure a peaceful environment in the tank. If the anemone’s condition does not improve, consider consulting a specialist for further advice on your particular setup.


Caring for Bubble Tip Anemones can be both manageable and rewarding when you follow the recommended guidelines. Despite their low activity, they add a fascinating aspect to your reef tank and provide an enjoyable viewing experience. Their regular splitting and fast growth introduce you to the world of coral and anemone trading.

By having Bubble Tip Anemones in your tank, you can create a natural environment for clownfish pairs and enjoy observing their symbiotic relationship. This guide was designed to assist you in achieving success with keeping Bubble Tip Anemones in a friendly and approachable manner. Happy reef keeping!