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Purple Tube Anemone
(Cerianthus membranaceus)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Waterflow: Medium
Placement: Low
Lighting: Low
Color Form: Purple, Green
Supplements: Iodine, Trace Elements
Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Cerianthidae
Species: Non-Photosynthetic (NPS)
Species Information
The Purple Tube Anemone is a variety of Tube Anemone with an Purple oral disc, a green mouth area and long Purple tentacles that reach out well past its body. They are non-photosynthetic (NPS), which means that they do not have the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within their bodies to provide their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. Instead the Purple Tube Anemone uses its stinging tentacles to capture plankton and crustaceans from the water column. The tentacles sting the prey and then move the food towards the Anemones mouth.
Tube Anemones differ from other species of Anemones in that they do not have a foot or basal sucker, and instead build up a tube made of hardened mucus, sand, rubble and discharge nettle cells. The tube provides the anemone a safe place to retreat to when threatened by predators or while recovering from stressful events. Purple Tube Anemones are hermaphrodites allowing each specimen to produce both eggs and sperm. However, two specimens are required to reproduce as reproduction takes place sexually with one specimen releasing eggs, while the other releases sperm.
Aquarium Care
The Purple Tube Anemone is a good fit for non-photosynthetic reef aquariums, well established reef aquariums or mixed reef aquariums with plenty of live rock and a deep sand bed. It is important that the aquarium have at least a 4 to 6 inch deep sand bed in order for the Purple Tube Anemone to be comfortable. The Purple Tube Anemone uses the deep sand bed to build up its tube and root itself into the substrate so that it has a firm base to filter feed from water currents and protection from potential predators.
It is important that they be housed in a mature aquarium with potential phytoplankton feeding opportunities along with stable water conditions. Since water column filter feeders need to be fed meaty foods multiple times per day, there is a fair amount of leftover foods that do not reach their intended target. For this reason it is important that the aquarium have a mature filtration system including plenty of live rock/sand and a properly sized cleaning crew to remove excess detritus from the aquarium.
Feeding & Nutrition
Purple Tube Anemone feed primarily on plankton and small crustaceans that it filters from the water column. They will also prey on small fish and crustaceans that they paralyze with the nettle cells on its tentacles. One prey has been captured, the Purple Tube Anemone uses its tentacles to pass the food down to its mouth located in the center of its body. There are several species of worms and crustaceans that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the Tube Anemone. These symbiotic species use the tube anemone for housing and protection, and in return bring meaty food items to the Tube Anemone as a supplemental food source.
Additional Photos