Will Clownfish Host Condy Anemone? (Video Included)

When I had to consider the right anemone for my clownfish, Condy immediately popped up. This one is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive subtypes in the anemone category. However, I wasn’t sure if clownfish can host Condy anemones at all. That was when I began to research the topic. In fact, I’ve spent a few days doing so. 

No, clownfish will not host Condy anemone, since its sting is too harsh for the clownfish to handle. That may end up with injured clownfish that will be exposed to diseases and possibly death. Instead, a more suitable choice for clownfish would be Bubble-tip or Sebae anemones.

As we move forward in this article, I elaborate on the unlikely symbiosis between clownfish and Condy anemone. Also, I will show you in which particular cases you may be able to grow them in the same tank, and what things are crucial to consider for that to happen. 

Do Clownfish Host Condy Anemone?

Clownfish and anemones have a symbiotic relationship. They associate with one another because they can benefit from living within proximity to each other. The anemone protects the clownfish from predators, and the clownfish keeps anemone-eating fish away. 

But you cannot pair your clownfish with just any anemone that you encounter in a store. You need to learn what you can about the anemone to ensure that you can create the conditions required to rear it in your tank. 

You must also determine whether or not the anemone is compatible with your clownfish. This is where Condy anemones enter the picture. Well, this is what you need to consider regarding the relationship between the two creatures.

First of all, clownfish can host anemones because they have a film of mucus that protects them from the sting the creatures use to kill prey.[1] Some clownfish are born with this defensive feature. Others only develop the coat after coming into contact with the anemone.

They have to rub against the anemone’s tentacles. This harms them at the start. But over time, the mucus manifests, and it begins to protect them from the sting of the anemone, allowing the fish to swim freely within its tentacles.[2]

This defensive mechanism should technically permit clownfish to host Condy anemone. But it does not. Clownfish cannot host Condy anemone. It isn’t a question of whether or not they want to. The Condy anemone won’t allow it. Its sting is more powerful than what you find in anemones that host clownfish. The power of this sting makes Condy anemones a danger to clownfish.

People encounter clownfish that refuse to host anemones all the time. In some of those cases, they are told to wait patiently. That is because the clownfish needs time to acclimate to the presence of the anemone. In other cases, they are encouraged to deploy methods that will force the clownfish and the anemone to get along.

This includes isolating the creatures, sticking pictures of clownfish in anemone all over the tank, shining a light on the anemone in the dark, etc. While these methods have been known to produce results, you are discouraged from using them in situations that involve Condy anemones.

You do not want your clownfish to host Condy anemones forcefully. This is because the Condy anemone will eventually kill and eat the clownfish.[3] You are better off accepting that clownfish cannot host Condy anemone. Otherwise, you will doom your clownfish to a painful death.

Clownfish are not the only fish that can fall prey to Condy anemones. The creatures are aggressive. And the fact that they are mobile means that they will sting all the other fish and corals they encounter along the way. This is one of the reasons why you should keep them in a large tank. 

You need to give your clownfish plenty of room to maneuver without accidentally running into the Condy anemones. This is also the reason why you should think carefully before adding Condy anemones to your clownfish tank in the first place. They might prove to be more trouble than you bargained for. 

Condy anemones are not hostile to every single creature they meet. Yes, they will sting your clownfish. But you should note that these two creatures do not live in the same regions in the wild. Therefore, they have no reason to associate with one another.

On the other hand, even though they are aggressive and carnivorous, Condy anemones can still host Cardinalfish, arrow crabs, cleaner shrimp, and emerald crabs. They can also live peacefully with their own clones (once they split). 

As you can see, it is possible to keep Condy anemones if you have them in a tank with creatures with which they are compatible. Unfortunately, that does not include clownfish. 

  • Here is a Youtube video that illustrates what Condy anemone might do to your clownfish:

You may also find these articles useful:

What Anemones Should You Introduce Instead of Condy?

So clownfish and Condy anemone do not get along. However, that is not the end of the line. You can still get those that live in a great symbiosis with clownfish. You may even add them to the same tank with your Condy, but make sure they are far away from each other. 

The most suitable types of anemones that will host clownfish are Bubble Tip and Sebae anemones. These two typically host a wide variety of clownfish, regardless of their subtype. If you still encounter obstacles, I highly suggest that you read an article I wrote on how to make clownfish host anemone. I listed there seven easy steps that will increase the chances for symbiosis significantly. 

Mind that you don’t have to raise an anemone if you are growing your clownfish in a tank. When there is no apparent danger, there is no reason to keep them that protected. They will do just fine in bare tanks. 

Here is an article where I elaborated on whether or not can clownfish live without anemones. In the second part of the article, I provided a useful table that describes what anemones are likely to host different subtypes of clownfish. I highly recommend that you read that piece if all of this new to you. 

What if I Still Want to Grow Condy Anemone?

As was mentioned earlier, you may keep Condy anemone and clownfish in the same tank if it is large enough. That will lower the chances of dangerous encounters. You should stick to at least 50 gallons for that matter. 

However, there are a few essential facts you should keep in mind regarding that particular subtype of anemone. By learning their characteristics and requirements, you will increase the chances of success. 

General Background

Condy anemones have many names. Some people call them ‘Giant Golden Anemones’. Others call them ‘Pink-Tipped Anemones’. At the bottom line, they are named according to their appearance and the regions where they are found. For instance, you have the ‘Atlantic Anemone’, ‘Haitian Anemone’, and the ‘Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone’. 

Condy anemones are hardy, subtropical creatures that don’t cost that much (which is why they are relatively common). Their zooxanthellae need light to survive, although that is the case for every anemone. Typically, they can get by with a moderate current in their water.

When faced with danger, the creatures will use the venomous sacks in the tentacles to sting any enemies they encounter in their vicinity. They are a little challenging to keep because they eat other fish. But they get along with some species, including Cardinalfish, shrimp, and emerald crabs, to mention but a few. 

Origins

Condy anemones are members of the ‘Condylactis’ genus. They are natives of the Western Atlantic Ocean.[4] Besides the Caribbean, they can be found in the waters surrounding Brazil and Bermuda. They live at depths of roughly 30 meters. And while they tend to live alone, don’t be so surprised to find them in small, loose groups.

They are drawn to the crevices of hard surfaces such as rocks, especially when you find them in shallow waters.[5] Their diet in the wild typically consists of fish and zooplankton, although they won’t say no to invertebrates. This is on top of the nourishment they get from the light. 

Appearance and Biology

Condy anemones can reach sizes of 20 inches (diameter), which is why they are called giants in some circles. No one knows for sure how long they live in the wild. Some scholars believe that they can survive for hundreds of years out in the Atlantic. Even in a tank, they can live for a whopping 80 years, which is impressive. 

You can get them in a multitude of colors, including gold, peach, and green. If you have ever seen one, then you know that their tentacles are cream or white at the tip and thick at the bottom. They grow narrower as you approach the tip. The anemones contract circular muscles found in a sticky foot to move. That same foot can also adhere to surfaces. 

Their mouth is found at the top of a wide pedal column. It is typically shut tightly, only opening when the anemone is hungry. If the mouth is wide open, that is a sign that the anemone has a problem. Like other anemones, this species uses photosynthesis and algae in its body to nourish itself.

Care

One Condy anemone needs a tank of 50 gallons or more. You need to create a reef environment for them inside the aquarium. Give them hard solid material such as rocks upon which they can attack themselves. The substrate doesn’t matter. Whatever you choose will do. 

Also, you should only add Condy anemones to tanks that have been around for at least four months. Only at this point can you guarantee that they are stable, wholly cycled, and suitable for your Condy anemone. Do not place a Condy anemone in a new tank. Things won’t end well.

They thrive in temperatures ranging from 75 degrees F to 82 degrees F.[6] They will not tolerate higher temperatures than that. You should also keep the temperature fluctuations minimal. Here is my aquarium heat recommendation for that matter. 

Maintain a moderate current and moderate-strong lighting. They prefer intense lighting because they live in shallow waters in the wild. Therefore, they are accustomed to strong lights. 

When you’re buying your equipment, invest in pumps with guards. This will keep Condy anemones, which are mobile, from interacting with them. Also, the water must be changed twice a month. Pay close attention to the amount of waste the creature produces and adjust the water replacements accordingly. 

Some may worry whenever they see their Condy anemone deflate over time. But in most cases, this isn’t a cause for concern; it is a sign that the anemone is purging and preparing to take in freshwater. Once this happens, you should change the water. 

Choosing Condy Anemone

Look for a proper, healthy color. Pay attention to the mouth. If it is gaping, something has gone wrong, and that anemone isn’t worth your time. Look at the foot and tentacles. When you touch them, they should be sticky. 

Also, make sure that the foot area isn’t damaged. You should also be careful about that when moving your anemone from one place to another. If you pull a Condy anemone off a surface without applying the necessary caution, you can damage its base.

Food

Condy anemones eat meat. As was mentioned above, their diet consists of fish and small invertebrates. If you have a Condy anemone in your tank, you can give it everything from krill and shrimp to mussels and silversides. 

Condy anemones open their mouths when they are hungry. If you see this, you should feed the creatures. Otherwise, they only need food once a week. Try not to overfeed your anemone. That might pollute your water and increase ammonia and nitrates.

Conclusions

Clownfish will not host in Condy anemone, and there is no way around that. However, you could raise both species together in relatively large tanks (50 gallons and more). In this case, they may be able to live separately without harming one another. For that, you should get familiar with the Condy anemone’s essential characteristics. 

I hope my article had shed some light on your question. If you still got any hesitations, feel free to contact me in person. I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. In the meanwhile, I wish you the best of luck. 

References

  1. https://www.fishlore.com/clownfishanemonechart.htm
  2. https://asknature.org/strategy/mucus-coat-protects-from-sea-anemone/
  3. https://animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Condy-Anemone
  4. http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/MarineInvertebrateZoology/Condylactisgigantea.html
  5. http://www.saltcorner.com/AquariumLibrary/browsespecies.php?CritterID=2272
  6. https://www.fishlore.com/profile-condyanemone.htm

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