We love to watch them wave majestically in the water current of our aquariums, in public aquariums, or even in the ocean if lucky enough to encounter them in the wild. Anemones make for even more interesting subjects to observe when they pair up with a Clownfish.
However, there is something important about these interesting creatures that we must take in to consideration when keeping Anemones in captivity. The base of the Anemone is generally referred to as its foot. This is where the Anemone attaches itself into rock crevices in the wild, in an aquarium with live rock, or on the glass of an aquarium from time to time. Anemones will move from location to location until they find a place where they have the proper amount of light, as well as getting a good amount of food.
Trying to force an Anemone to stay in a particular location in your aquarium is usually not a good idea. If you want to be in the shade on a 100 degree sunny day, you wouldn’t appreciate it too much if someone took away your lemonade and pushed your chair out into the blinding sun. It would make you unhappy, and you would look for another place where you were more comfortable. This is what it feels like to an Anemone which is forced to another location in an aquarium.
In addition, trying to move an Anemone may damage it beyond its ability to naturally recover. If the foot of the Anemone is damaged, it will often result in death for the Anemone. In wholesale fish sales facilities, the shallow Anemone holding areas are covered with an outdoor carpeting material (some might call it astroturf). This material allows for the Anemone to latch onto it and get a secure hold, but it also allows the Anemone to be easily removed and be shipped out to a new home if a little gentle effort is used. That is one of the ways a wholesaler makes sure it is sending out a healthy Anemone to its customers. Sending out an Anemone with a fully intact, non-damaged foot is a step in the right direction. When in your home aquarium, it is absolutely best to allow the Anemone to plant itself where it wants to be. It will move when it wants to, but only when it is good and ready.
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