Facts about Bubble Tip Anemones

As the name rightly suggests, bubble tip anemones have bulb-like tips on their tentacles. Go through this article for a brief overview about this sea anemone.
PetPonder Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Otherwise known as bulb tip anemone, bulb tentacle anemone, or bulb anemone, bubble tip anemone is named after the bulbous tips of their tentacles. These sea anemones belong to the genus Entacmaea, and family Actiniidae. They can be found in different colors, like red, tan, brown, orange, rose, and green. Bubble tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) is said to be among those sea anemones, that can be easily grown in a saltwater aquarium.
Some Interesting Facts
  • So the characteristic feature of this anemone is its bulb-like tentacle tips. It is said that some of these anemones have prominent bulbous tips, whereas others lack that. In some individuals, the bulbous tips appear and disappear intermittently.
  • In their natural habitat, these sea anemones are found in two types. One is the larger, solitary type with long streaming tentacles, and the other is the smaller type with numerous, small tentacles.
  • The larger ones are solitary, and are found in deep waters, where light is scarce. The smaller ones are found in groups, that too in shallow waters, where they get bright sunlight.
  • The bulbous tips are more prominently seen in the smaller type of bubble tip anemone. It is believed that, the presence of bulbous tips is related to the amount of sunlight received by the anemone.
  • These anemones use their tentacles to collect nutrients. This is done through filter feeding.
  • Bubble tip anemones are the natural hosts for several clownfish species. The anemone feeds on the debris from the body of such clownfish.
  • It is said that these anemones have a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae (flagellate protozoa), which help the former in deriving energy from solar radiation.
  • These anemones are found to attain a diameter of around one foot. Even though clownfish and sea anemones are found to be the best partners, it is not necessary that you have to keep the former along with the latter, and vice versa.
Bubble Tip Anemone Care

While buying these anemones, make sure to choose individuals that are anchored to some object. Avoid those with a distended mouth, which is an indication of poor health. As these anemones can sting, you have to be cautious, while handling them.
Bubble tip anemones are ideal for reef tanks. A tank with a minimum capacity of 30 to 40 gallons is required for housing this anemone, which can grow big. The temperature must be maintained between 77 to 82.4 °F. You must also make sure that the pH of water is between 8.3 to 8.4, and the specific gravity is 1.024 to 1.025. Another requirement is the intermittent water flow in the tank. You may require at least two power heads to create medium, indirect current. Make sure to cover the intake of power heads, to avoid the anemone from getting sucked up.
Another important factor is sufficient, bright light. You may use VHO or Metal Halide lighting for this purpose. For a 30-gallon tank, you may use a 150W Metal Halide or a 120W VHO. You must also provide with live rocks in the tank. Apart from making the tank look more natural, live rocks are also useful in filtration, and are good substrates for the anemones to get attached with.
If you notice that the anemone is moving places, then understand that there is some problem with the settings, particularly with the lighting or feeding. You have to feed them once or twice a week with small pieces (1 to 2 inch size) of brine shrimp, Mysid shrimp, mussels, squid, or clams. Gently place the food in between the tentacles, using feeding sticks, chopsticks, or tank tongs. Never feed them with your hands, as they can sting. The amount of food must be increased slightly, if you notice that the anemone is shrinking in size.
If kept in favorable conditions, bubble tip anemones may grow large and split. Tanks with insufficient light may lead to withering away of these anemones. Even shortage of food may result in their death. So maintain the specific tank conditions. Taking care of bubble tip anemones is not a difficult task. If you take care of them properly, these anemones will have a good lifespan, and split to form new individuals.
Bubble-tip anemone tentacles
Clown fish in bubble-tip anemone