Tube Anemone Care Guide

Cerianthus anemones, commonly known as “Tube anemones” or “Tube Dwelling anemones,” describe a variety of sea anemones belonging to the Cerianthidae family. Tube anemones hold themselves in place by secreting a parchment-like tube that they bury in the substrate. When disturbed, they will retract themselves down into that tube. This tube is very flexible. The tentacles of a tube anemone are long and tapered at the end.  Depending on the particular species, tube anemones can range from 8’ to 25’ in diameter. Tube anemones are usually white, green, orange, purple, blue, pink, or red. These particular anemones do not participate in the symbiotic relationship of hosting anemonefish that is often enjoyed by hobbyists, but will occasionally host certain species of shrimp and even porcelain crabs. To be honest, they are not actually true anemones.  They are distant relatives of anemones, but due to their structure and habits, they are definitely different.


Tube anemones do not require any kind of special lighting as they don't use light. These anemones also prefer moderate water flow to assist in bringing them food and removing their waste. They do not like strong flow. One thing they do need is a good deep substrate. Ideally, the substrate will be deeper than their tube is long. These tubes can be 6 inches or longer, so the deeper the substrate, the better. Please do not attempt to glue your anemone down. They need to be able to move. That said, try to place your anemone in a low area away from wavemakers and pumps. An anemone that gets sucked in, chopped up, and blown all over your tank could be a real problem.

Tube anemones are non-photosynthetic. This means they do not receive any nutrition from lighting. They are carnivorous and will require targeted feeding with meaty foods such as Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp,  or frozen preparations. Other than that, they will feed on zooplankton and organic detritus. To maintain good health, monitor your water conditions regularly to avoid any major changes or swings in parameters.

When placing your Tube anemone, please remember that these animals will move to a spot in the tank that they deem best. Be sure to introduce your anemone to an area away from wavemakers, pumps, and corals that could be damaged.

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