This article covers everything you need to know about keeping a Rock flower anemone in your saltwater tank.
Many anemones are known for their path of destruction as they move around the tank. They can get into equipment like powerheads and easily wipe out a whole tank. I have experienced this first hand.
The great thing about the Rock flower anemone is once they are settled in a comfortable spot in the tank, they rarely move from that position. They are hardy and can adjust to a range of water parameters providing they are within normal limits. Also, a great choice for beginners as they are a hardy anemone.
Overview and appearance
The Rock flower anemone originates in the Caribbean and is available in a variety of colors. Red, blue, green, purple, orange, tan, are just a few examples. The mix of colors you can create with these is simply amazing. You are not limited to just 1 or 2 color varieties.
The oral disc is generally a different color from the rest of the anemone and it does not have tentacles. The tentacles are beaded in appearance. They can grow to around 5-6” in size with some reaching 8” and have a “flower” like appearance. Some can be much smaller.
They can be kept individually or in groups. You can mix and match colors and types which can create a stunning anemone garden.
Placement in the tank
Rock flower anemones prefer to be placed either on rock walls in the shade or in the sandbed. If placed in the substrate, they will bury their body leaving only oral disk and tentacles showing.
As mentioned, once they are placed in the tank and comfortable, they rarely move. If you have a vertical rock wall with space available to place them in, they will be happy and thrive where they are. Providing other tank conditions are met of course.
For Rock flower anemones to stay healthy, the following water parameters should be met.
These anemones can adapt to a variety of lighting conditions provided it is not high. If you are in the low to medium range of light, you will be fine. Look for a PAR rating of around 50 to 150 with somewhere around 100 being ideal. If you have high lighting in your tank for SPS corals, you will need to place the Rock flower down lower in your tank away from the high light.
Rock flower anemones will appreciate a medium water flow in the tank. Almost bordering on high. They love water movement. Although they can adapt to many different water parameters, you want to make sure the water flow is not too low or too high. Medium flow with a varied flow pattern works well for them.
Rock flower anemone with clownfish
A very interesting fact about Rock flower anemones is they don’t host clownfish. In fact, the anemone can actually sting or eat them. Other anemones such as the bubble tip and carpet will host clownfish but not the rock flower.
It’s common to see them host porcelain anemone crabs, sexy shrimp, and anemone shrimp.
Do rock flower anemones eat fish?
Although it’s not very common, the Rock flower anemone can eat fish. If a certain fish gets too close and tries to steal food or annoy it, the anemone can sting and even eat it. I have heard stories of them never bothering with other fish and stories of them eating fish. So it can be hit or miss with them. With all anemones, it’s a bit of a risk.
How to acclimate a Rock flower anemone
It’s very important to properly acclimate the rock flower anemone into your tank. It most likely will be stressed from shipping and it will need time to acclimate to your tank’s conditions. Drip acclimation is recommended for 30 mins to 1 hour to allow time for the anemone to adjust.
How to feed
The Rock flower anemone is a carnivore and requires meaty foods. Provide them a mix of shrimp, fish meat, frozen foods. Make sure to cut the food small enough for the anemone to eat and digest it. Regular feedings of meaty foods are important for them to grow and stay healthy.
The Rock flower is a great choice for beginners if you are looking to keep an anemone. They are very hardy, adapt well to conditions, and don’t move around very much. They are not overly expensive and are easy to find. But don’t buy one expecting them to form a bond with your clownfish. It won’t happen. If you want to add some amazing color to your tank and have something very unique, then give the Rock flower anemone a try.