Rock flower anemones may be one of the most overlooked, pieces of beauty, color and intrigue available for saltwater aquarium.
When people say anemone, the first thing that usually jumps to aquarists mind is Bubble Tip anemone — red bubble tip anemone… rose bubble tip… green bubble tip…
The bubble tip is by far the most popular anemone in the hobby – and, in my humble opinion that’s a bit of a shame because there are several other amazing anemones getting lost in their shadow.
Case in point: Rock Flower Anemones.
I have to admit, when I first set up my own little reef in a box, even I immediately jumped to the conclusion that if I were going to get an anemone for my tank, it would be a bubble tip anemone.
But an unexpected little surprise quickly changed my mind…
When I received my aqua-cultured live rock from Tampa Bay Saltwater, one of the extra little bonus included by Richard was a rock flower anemone.
It was rather dull looking – with an army green center and light gray frills. Even my wife said, “That’s kind of drab and weird.”
But I put in the tank any way — and in less than 3 weeks it has become one of our favorite tank residents.
Turns out it is one of the easiest anemones to keep.
Unlike most other anemones are which often times wander around the tank (killing corals in the process), once the rock flower finds a spot it likes it is VERY content to stay put.
It’s one of the least aggressive anemones you’ll ever see as well as one of the least toxic to a tank if it dies.
Although it may not host clown fish, it can host sexy shrimp, anemone shrimp, and porcelain anemone crabs.
And it comes in a very surprise and amazing range of colors — red and gray… blue and teal… bright green… blue and purple… yellow, red and black… bright green, red, white, blue and purple… almost every combination of the rainbow you could imagine.
I had absolutely no idea rock flower anemones could be so peaceful, interesting, and stunning beautiful.
Better yet, with a maximum size of 5 to 6 inches and a starting price of about $10, they’re great for nano aquariums and large aquariums alike. I’ve even seen a few pictures of people who place 6-10 (or more) next to each other to create wildly colorful rock flower anemone gardens in the tanks.
If you’d like learn a little more, this Reefbuilders article is a great place to start: The Beauty of the Flower Anemone
And to see just how amazing some of the colors can be, as well as to get a feel for how little or much rock flower anemones can cost you may want to check out LiveAquaria, Tidal Gardens, and VIP Reef. (I haven’t purchased anything from any of these sites yet so I’m unable to offer any opinions or experience on any of them yet.)
As for our little green-gray pal, he’s a definite keeper! And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if joined by a new friend in the not-to-distant future.