The Smithsonian Museum's Invertebrate Exhibit has succesfully sexually propagated Urticina anemones! Unlike 'splitting' or 'fragging', the sexual propagation involves the fertilization of gametes and the successful growout of the anemone from larvae stage to adult stage, something that's much more difficult to do. I performed some research at A&M University that involved the study of Metridium anemone larvae, and let me tell you that raising them to adulthood hasn't been done! From the Smithsonian:
For those of you unfamiliar with the publication, Advanced Aquarist is literally the best saltwater and reef aquarium publication for those that have progressed beyond the beginner stage, and has even been cited and mentioned in National Geographic. Second only to WetWebMedia in terms of sheer quantity of information, and arguably tied for quality, I can't recommend this (free!) publication enough!
Here is a video of a really neat purple/blue S. haddoni carpet anemone in one of our holding tanks in our small showroom. The anemone's color changes from purple to blue, depending on the angle at which you look at it. Very cool, I've never seen anything like it, so I thought I'd record a video - keep in mind, this is under 10k halide bulbs with NO actinics! For more information about these deadly giants, read all about carpet anemones here.
Like this? Please bookmark via the social bookmarking buttons below, subscribe to our free RSS feed, and sign up for our free weekly newsletter on the right!
The author's purple S. haddoni carpet anemone, in a species biotope aquarium
1. Anemones are not reef crest animals, meaning they do not live in the same area as most corals. Anemones fare much better in species aquariums than they do in a reef aquarium. Anemones will move around, sting and/or kill corals, and can consume your fish!
Anemones are fascinating creatures, but have a poor survival record in captivity, are difficult to care for, and are not recommended for the beginner. However, for the dedicated aquarist, here are a few tips and tidbits for mastering the care of these amazing creatures!
Stichodactyla spp anemones, otherwise known as carpet anemones, are fascinating creatures, and are highly sought after by hobbyists but have very specific care requirements. Carpet anemones are very challenging to maintain in the home aquarium, and few hobbyists are able to attain long term success. After caring for my own carpet anemones for the last few years, I’d like to offer my insight into these fascinating and beautiful anemones, and try to point out why aquarists so often fail to maintain these animals in the long (and short) term, and better prepare you for success.
P. yucatanicus engaged in a commensal relationship with C. gigantae on the Drowned Cayes, Belize. Mike Maddox
How do you think the public would react if they were told that cats and dogs, rather than being bred, were taken from the wild (and often injured in the process) before being placed in an oft-inappropriate home? How about if the public were told that 90% of the cats and dogs they bought would die in the first year? Do you suppose it would still be legal to own them?
While this scenario is just an example, anemones in the home aquarium have a dismal survival rate ("more than 90% die within a year " - WetWebMedia)!
Coral in shallow water, Belize barrier reef. Notice the lack
of species variety; all coral present is scleractinian in origin and
requires intense lighting. An aquarium simulating these conditions
would be a poor environment for 'LPS' or 'soft' corals. Mike Maddox
A current trend in the hobby as of late seems to be the 'conglomerate' or 'garden' reef aquarium, with many coral speces being crammed (for lack of a better word) into a reef aquarium with little to no consideration for the individual coral species' requirements. This tendency towards an "all-in-one" approach detracts from the health of the animals within, beacuse the aquarium conditions cannot possibly replicate the ideal habitat for such a variety of animals.