How to Keep Rose Bubble-Tip Anemones

Native to the waters of the Indo-Pacific, rose bubble tip anemones or Entacmaea quadricolor are named for their red colour and their enlarged, bubble-like tips that sit atop large, branching tentacles. A saltwater invertebrate, rose anemones use their long tentacles to capture their food, which is preferably live clownfish. Like all anemone, the bubble tip will sting other anemones or coral in the tank, so they need plenty of space to survive amid other species. Though they are moderately difficult to care for, rose anemones provide a colourful, reef-like addition to your saltwater aquarium.

Check your salt water tank's salinity, pH and temperature levels. The salinity range should be between 1.023 and 1.025, the temperature between 22.2 to 26.1 degrees Celsius and the pH between 8.1 and 8.4. Use an aquarium thermometer to test the water temperature, a refractometer to test the saline levels and a pH testing kit to find the pH level. All three are available at your local pet store or aquarium shop.

Place a variety of rocks into your aquarium. Rock crevices provide the bubble tip anemone with a place to root its base. If rocks are unavailable, use branching coral.

Arrange the lighting in your aquarium to bright. Bubble tip anemone require strong illumination for survival.

Place your rose anemone in a tank that contains clownfish such as Premnas biaculeatus, Amphiprion frenatus, or Amphiprion chrysopterus. If clownfish are not present, feed your anemone chopped fish, shrimp or worms. When young, feed several small meals a day. Mature anemone require twice-a-week feeding.


When placing an anemone in a tank for the first time, allow for a two-hour acclimation period. Anemone are prone to infection, so check water quality often. If your anemone has stringy-looking tentacles, feed more often and brighten the light in the tank. It is normal for your rose anemone to expand its tentacles during the day and then retract them at night.


Anemones react poorly to copper, which is an ingredient in many aquarium tank medications. Do not add copper to tanks that contain bubble tip anemones.

Things You'll Need

  • Saltwater aquarium
  • Aquarium thermometer
  • Refractometer
  • pH testing kit
  • Rocks or branched cactus
  • Clownfish (or chopped fish, shrimp or worms as food)
  • Bright aquarium light
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About the Author

Leah Waldron is the head of Traveler Services at First Abroad, a gap year travel company based in Boston and London. As a travel, research and LGBT news writer, Waldron has publication credit on magazines and newspapers including "Curve Magazine," "USA Today," "The Sun Sentinel" and the "The Houston Chronicle." Waldron has a bachelor's and master's degree in creative writing from Florida State University.