Bubbletip Anemone: A Simple Care Guide for Saltwater Aquariums

Updated on December 29, 2016

Caring for a Bubble tip Anemone

Bubble tip anemones come in all sorts of colors. Green is the most common color. Their scientific name is Entacmaea quadricolor and this article will go over some of the basic care requirements as well as a few characteristics of this type of anemone. This article will also feature photos and videos of my very own green bubble tip anemone that I bought October 20, 2013.

Selecting A Healthy Bubble tip Anemone

  • Make sure the anemones foot is not damaged or cut as this is the most important thing to look for when buying a new anemone. Do not buy a damaged foot anemone.
  • Make sure the mouth is not gaping wide open with the stomach expelled. Do not buy a "barfed" anemone.
  • Do not buy a "white"/pale anemone as they have expelled all their symbiotic zooxanthellae. Anemones are photosynthetic and absorb sunshine into their bodies which the anemone then converts into algae which the anemone then eats to make energy for strength and growth. Without zooxanthellae, anemones cannot photosynthesize so do not buy a "white"/pale anemone. Zooxanthellae gives the anemone "color" so you will know the anemone lost all its zooxanthellae because it looks bleached.
  • A non-sticky anemone is okay to buy, they will become sticky again once established in your home saltwater aquarium.
  • Make sure the anemone is not constantly closed up.
  • Make sure the anemone anchored its foot to something, even the glass bottom is okay.
  • Always ask the pet store owner what day the anemone was brought in.
  • You will know a bad anemone when you see one which you should avoid buying.

Bubble tip anemones are known to host several species of clown fish which make them very popular in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Some species of anemone will not host clown fish at all such as the purple tip giant anemone. Maroon, common percula, and clarkii clown fish will host in a bubble tip anemone.

Proper Acclimation

  • Float the bag in your aquarium for 20 minutes to acclimate the temperature
  • Slowly drip your aquarium water into the bag for an hour, an hour is recommended, 2 hours is best
  • Discard the water in the bag and transfer the anemone into your saltwater aquarium
  • Bubble tip anemones prefer to attach their foot inside the rock crevices of your saltwater aquarium so place the anemone within the rocks of your aquarium


This is my new bubble tip anemone being acclimated at 4:30pm October 20, 2013 in my saltwater aquarium. The anemone is still inside the bag and the bag is floating inside my saltwater aquarium.
This is my new bubble tip anemone being acclimated at 4:30pm October 20, 2013 in my saltwater aquarium. The anemone is still inside the bag and the bag is floating inside my saltwater aquarium.

Proper Saltwater Aquarium Parameters

Maintaining these parameters in your home saltwater aquarium is ideal if you want your bubble tip anemone and everything else in your aquarium to live happily. Keep your specific gravity stable at 1.025, which is where I keep mine, and also keep your temperature at 78 degrees +/- 2 degrees. The rest of the parameters can be easily kept in check with regular water changes and also getting free macro algae from other saltwater aquarium people in your area so don't worry about them.

Specific Gravity 1.024 - 1.026

Temperature 78 - 80°F

pH 8.1 - 8.4

Alkalinity 8 - 12

Ammonia (NH3) Undetectable

Nitrite (NO2) Undetectable

Nitrate - Nitrogen (NO3) < 1.0 ppm

Phosphate (PO4) < 0.2 ppm

Calcium 350 - 450 ppm

Magnesium 1250 - 1350 ppm

Iodine 0.06 - 0.10 ppm

Strontium 8 - 14 ppm

Additional Comments

  • Over time, bubble tip anemones will lose their bubbles and their tentacles will be long. This is normal. Feed them thawed frozen shrimp a week after they have settled in and they will bubble back up.
  • Do not feed them big pieces of frozen shrimp. Cut the shrimp up to a size that can fit in their mouth. Giving them huge pieces of food will damage their stomach and they can die.
  • Do not buy a bubble tip anemone if your saltwater aquarium is less than 6 months old. The pH in your aquarium is not stable enough yet.
  • Not feeding your bubble tip anemone is okay too but to get them to bubble up again, you will need to feed them. Because of the anemones zooxanthellae algae inside of their living tissues, as mentioned earlier, these anemones can absorb sunshine and photosynthesize energy for strength and growth. So feeding bubble tip anemones are optional.
  • Anemones, this goes for all species, are stubborn and might move from the place where it attached its foot if your water quality is not within range, the anemone is receiving too much light, or the anemone is receiving too much flow.

Final word of thought: Do not, I repeat, do not buy a bubble tip anemone or anemone if your saltwater aquarium has not been up and running for at least 6 months. Your aquarium is still undergoing rapid fluctuations in pH so do not buy any anemone for your saltwater aquarium if it is less than 6 months old.

My Bubble Tip Anemone Has Acclimated To My Saltwater Aquarium

The photos directly above are my bubble tip anemone fully acclimated to my saltwater aquarium October 21, 2013 at 10:21 am. Notice the anemone is inflated and its tentacles are healthy with bubbles. This is a happy anemone!
The photos directly above are my bubble tip anemone fully acclimated to my saltwater aquarium October 21, 2013 at 10:21 am. Notice the anemone is inflated and its tentacles are healthy with bubbles. This is a happy anemone!

© 2013 ssaffery

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