Feeding Your Anemone



Feeding Your Anemone
Feeding can range from 3 times a week to every 2 weeks. Some aquarists have had success not directly feeding their anemones at all, although the anemones could be catching food meant for fish You can use any of the following types of foods, but remember to try to keep the pieces no larger than the size of the anemones mouth or the size of a pencil eraser.
Mysis shrimp, krill, silversides, clams, scallops, frozen plankton, cyclopeeze, crab, or even some small pieces of fish found at the local meat market. A large bag of peeled and divided shrimp can be obtained from one of the local supermarkets and may last a very long time, and has the advantage of being fit for human consumption. The above foods can usually be sucked up in a turkey baster and gently squeezed into the tentacles surrounding the oral disk, if healthy, hungry and sticky the anemone will grab onto the food and draw it in. In some cases like feeding silversides or krill to carpet anemones you can use a pair of plastic aquarium tongs to place the food into the tentacles of the anemone.
Never use frozen brine shrimp or the dehydrated kind, its nutritional value is almost worthless.
Never force feed your anemone, it will either take in the food or it will not, in some cases it may eject the food after a few hours, do not try to re feed it for a few days, most likely it is simply full and had enough.
Try to remember that most hobbyists will over feed their anemones, imagine what they really would get in the wild. I raise Bubble Tip Anemones and sometimes will go 2 months without having to feed them. Carpet anemones would be a different story, you may still need to feed them on a weekly basis. Over feeding can lead to reduced water quality, particularly around the anemone itself if it expels food often and the food lays idle around the anemones area.
Also remember that feeding is no substitute for improper lighting, it will only delay the inevitable slow starvation in my opinion. The zooxanthellae that lives in the anemone must have light in order to survive and continue its photosynthesis. It is this zooxanthellae that provides the anemone with nutrition.
Liquid foods and target foods may actually be harmful to your anemones directly, and indirectly through degradation of the water quality of the aquarium. I know there are a lot of additives out there that boast that they are ideal for anemones, in my opinion don’t believe it.
You may also try making your own homemade food in an attempt to keep additives and preservatives out of them. This may be one of the best things you can do for both fish and your anemones as well as other inverts.
Here is an article written by Beth about making your own food.
Home Made Food for Fish and Many Inverts

I basically make my own fish foods. You can get a bag of frozen seafood which are sold to make seafood salads, oriental foods, etc., at the grocery store [ask the attendant at the seafood counter] or you can see what is available directly from the fresh seafood counter such as: octopus, scallops, shrimp, squid, clams, etc. Generally, no oily fish, such as salmon, however, if you have a fish that is suffering from Head and Lateral Line Erosion [HLLE], you can certainly target feed the effected fish with small pieces of oily foods a few times a wk [high in Omega3 Fatty Acids which is known to improve many cases of HLLE. Food process** this mix until it is pretty much a "mush" then roll it out on a flat pan in a square shape. Freeze it until it is solid, but not frozen like a block. Depending on how much seafood you have, you may be able to cut this up in a few 4" sq blocks [the size that brine shrimp is pkged in--the non-cube variety]. Do the cutting then place each "block" into a small freezer ziplock for storage [each having their own bag]. You can cut off chunks as needed for feeding. Use Zoecon or minced fresh garlic added directly into the seafood as you food process. If you are also feeding your fish veggies, like seaweed selects, shredded carrots, broccoli, etc., you can, as well, mix this right into the food processor with the sea food. If your fish likes a particular frozen food a lot, go ahead and mix that in as well.
Make sure you wash down your fresh foods thoroughly before mixing and let them drain off excess water before you begin the food processing. No need to add any water to the mix. In fact, I don’t suggest doing that at all.
As far as I'm concerned, home made foods made specific for your type of fish is the way to go, particularly fish that are obviously not healthy. It is easy and cheaper than the watered down foods that are sold for the hobby. Look at the ingredients of any frozen foods sold for the hobby. What is the primary ingredient----? “Moisture”…..yeah, your fish needs more of that, right……….
**I use a small dedicated food processor/chopper that cost me around $12. Excellent just for this purpose.