bubble tip anemone

Caring for Bubble Tip Anemones: Water Quality, Lighting, Feeding & More

Bubble Tip Anemones are a mesmerizing species of invertebrates that many aquarists want to own. We often get asked how to care for these creatures in the aquarium and it is no surprise as they are incredibly interesting and can really add an ornamental look to any tank!

However, keeping Bubble Tip Anemones requires an understanding of their environmental needs and preferences. They may be low maintenance, but that does not mean they can just be thrown into any environment and expected to thrive.

This guide intends to provide you with everything you need to know about these animals so that you can keep them in your aquarium with confidence. By the end, you will have the knowledge required to keep a happy, healthy Bubble Tip Anemone.

bubble tip anemone
Image of this fascinating Bubble Tip Anemone, a must-have addition to any saltwater tank.

Species Summary

Bubble Tip Anemones ( Entacmaea quadricolor ) are one of the most commonly presented marine invertebrates in the trade and are unique both in appearance and behavior. They form symbiotic relationships with certain fish, making them engaging and captivating to watch in the aquarium.

In the wild, these anemones occur throughout the Indo-Pacific tropical waters, and they split and propagate extremely easily when occurring in the right conditions. This has resulted in large populations both in the wild and in captivity.

Appearance and Types

Bubble Tip Anemones are easily identified by their tentacle shape, which is characterized by an almost bulbous tip. The length of their tentacles and the size of their bulbs can vary considerably, and the whole tentacle may even take on a more stringy look if exposed to insufficient light.

Underneath their tentacles lies the anemone’s foot – a delicate structure made up of muscular fibers that enable the creature to move and attach itself to rocks.

Currently, scientists aren’t exactly sure why these bulbs form in the first place, though some believe it is due to either light or diet.

There is a wide range of Bubble Tip Anemones available in the trade, although most are variations on a similar physical pattern. The main differences are in their coloration and behavior.

Rose Bubble Tip Anemone

The Rose Bubble Tip Anemone is the most common variety you will find and is also generally quite budget-friendly. Its popularity may stem from its reputation as an easy propagator and its vibrant pink hue that stands out well against natural décor.

Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone

The Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone is the most sought-after and appealing variety, but unfortunately, it is quite rare. Its eye-catching neon blue base gives way to a rosy pink tip, making it an attractive option for aquarists.

Green Bubble Tip Anemone

Green Bubble Tip Anemones are one of the most readily available types and they come at a very reasonable price. These anemones typically feature a greenish-blue hue but can show off vibrant colors when under the right lighting conditions.

Black Widow Bubble Tip Anemone

The Black Widow Bubble Tip Anemone is a rare and prized specimen, costing multiple hundreds of dollars. Its deep blood-red tentacle tips are quite a sight, offering a stunning contrast to traditional coral and invertebrate colors.

Typical Size

When first purchased, Bubble Tip Anemones usually measure in at a few inches in diameter, though they can quickly reach up to one foot wide! Once this size has been achieved, they usually reproduce to preserve their numbers.

Bubble Tip Anemone Care

If you plan on keeping a Bubble Tip Anemone, you will need to take great care of them to ensure its health and well-being. Even with their relatively low-maintenance requirements, these creatures require a specific set of environmental parameters to stay alive and thrive.

We suggest that only experienced aquarists consider caring for Bubble Tip Anemones. If you are new to the hobby, you should be sure that you know how to test and maintain the following parameters before you take the plunge.

Water Quality

The water quality of your tank needs to be absolutely spotless in order to provide a suitable living environment for your Bubble Tip Anemone. This means that regular water changes and testing of the parameters are necessary.

Keep the nitrates and phosphates as low as possible, around 0.02 ppm and 0.01 ppm respectively. Nitrates are actually toxic to anemones, and a level above 10 ppm can result in serious health problems.

Likewise, the pH should remain between 8.1-8.4 and the salinity should be kept around 1.024. It’s also beneficial to use a protein skimmer to keep the water clean and oxygenated.


Having a good flow in your tank is important when keeping Bubble Tip Anemones. Low-flow environments can be harmful and limit their ability to expand and display their tentacles.

You should create an area of moderate to high flow for your anemone. This will help to keep the water parameters in check and the anemone’s tentacles extended.


Different lights offer different wavelengths that can affect the color and growth of corals, including Bubble Tip Anemones.

For example, lights with a higher Kelvin rating tend to push out more blue light, while warmer-toned lights, such as LEDs, provide more red hues.

Your Bubble Tip Anemone should be provided with mid to high-spectrum lighting that is similar in color to natural daylight. If you want to promote the color enhancement, you should opt for a higher Kelvin rating and lower CRI. This can help the anemone to take on the vibrant red, blue, or green shades it is capable of displaying.


When it comes to positioning your Bubble Tip Anemone, it’s important to mimic the conditions of its natural environment. This means ensuring there is plenty of light and good water flow, whilst also providing a safe spot for it to remain secure.

Anemones prefer to attach themselves to rocks or the glass of the aquarium, and can move around in search of the ideal location.

Note: To prevent the anemone from reaching places, make sure there isn’t anything too close like powerheads or sharp rocks. Prevention of injury is key here.

What To Look For In Terms of Water


When placing your Bubble Tip Anemone in the aquarium, you should consider the water flow and light levels. The anemone should be placed in an area with moderate to high levels of flow, and should also be able to take advantage of the light from the reef aquarium light.

You should also try to keep the anemone away from other corals or anemone species as they may compete with each other for food.


When you first bring home your Bubble Tip Anemone, you should always acclimate them slowly. This will help them get used to their new environment without any shock.

You should start by floating the bag with the anemone in it in the tank for 15-20 minutes. Then, add small amounts of the tank water into the bag every few minutes until the water in the bag is equal to what is in the tank. Once this has been achieved, you can slowly release the anemone into the tank.


It’s important to keep an eye on the cleaning needs of your Bubble Tip Anemone. As with all invertebrates, their tentacles can become covered in debris, which can prevent them from being able to obtain the nutrition they need.

A good practice is to use a soft brush to gently remove any debris that accumulates on the tentacles. You should be very careful not to damage the delicate surface of the anemone.


Bubble Tip Anemones reproduce very easily in the right environment. If you provide the right conditions, the anemone should split and form two smaller clones.

The best way to increase the chances of your anemone reproducing is to keep a good balance between lighting, flow, and nutrition.


The most common problem encountered with Bubble Tip Anemones is when they start to shrink or deflate. This usually indicates that the parameters in the tank are incorrect and need to be adjusted.

If you notice this happening, you should immediately check the salinity, temperature, and pH in the tank and make any necessary changes. It’s also important to ensure that your anemone is getting enough food and light.

Tank Mates

Bubble Tip Anemones are often kept in saltwater aquariums, and they are known to be aggressive toward other similar species. Suitable tank mates for Bubble Tip Anemones include:

  • Clownfish: These fish are often associated with anemones, and they make good tank mates.
  • Dwarf Angelfish: Some species of Dwarf Angelfish are also known to be compatible with Bubble Tip Anemones.
  • Tangs: Some species of Tangs are known to coexist peacefully with anemones.
  • Shrimp: Certain species of shrimp, such as Cleaner Shrimp, can make good tank mates for Bubble Tip Anemones.
  • Crabs: Some species of crabs can also be kept with Bubble Tip Anemones without causing any harm.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all species within a group will be suitable for every anemone, and the compatibility will depend on the size of the tank, and the individual personalities of the anemones and other animals involved.


Breeding Bubble Tip Anemones in captivity can be challenging, as it is difficult to replicate the conditions that they need to reproduce. Some hobbyists have successfully bred Bubble Tip Anemones by providing a suitable environment, which includes:

1. Optimal water parameters: Bubble Tip Anemones need clean, stable water with proper temperature, salinity, pH, and other parameters.

2. Adequate Lighting: Bubble Tip Anemones need bright, intense lighting to promote growth and reproduction.

3. Plenty of food: They require a regular supply of food, including small pieces of meaty foods, like krill or silversides.

4. Space: Bubble Tip Anemones need plenty of room to spread out and grow, so they should be housed in a tank with adequate space.

5. Mature Anemones: Bubble Tip Anemones need to be mature before they can reproduce, and they should be at least several inches in size.

Note: The success of breeding Bubble Tip Anemones in captivity is unpredictable and requires a lot of patience, skill, and knowledge. If you are interested in breeding Bubble Tip Anemones, it’s best to do extensive research and seek advice from experienced hobbyists.


In conclusion, Bubble Tip Anemones have some specific environmental and dietary needs that must be met to ensure their long-term health. Fortunately, however, these creatures are relatively low maintenance and simple to take care of once you understand their needs.

With the right care and understanding, Bubble Tip Anemones can make a great addition to any reef aquarium. It’s important to remember that they require specific environmental needs, so you should be prepared to meet these requirements before you take the plunge.

By providing your anemone with the right care and attention, you should be able to enjoy a beautiful and healthy Bubble Tip Anemone in your aquarium for many years to come.