Black Widow Anemone vs Rose Bubble Tip

Bubble Tip, or Bulb Tip, Anemones are some of the most beautiful creatures to have in a reef-friendly tank.  Their bright and unusual coloring with unique capabilities provides hours of gorgeous wonder and mystery. But, there are many different types of anemones out there.  Rose Bubble Tip and Black Widow Anemones are two species many people consider adding to their aquariums.

Both Are Bubble Tip Anemones

Both the Black Widow and the Rose Bubble Tip Anemones are Bubble Tip Anemones.  So, their care, behavior, feeding, and propagation will be the same.  But, one is more available than the other.

Rose Bubble Tip Anemones

Rose Bubble Tip Anemones are good for most reef tanks because they’re very affordable and ideal for first-time owners.  Their colors are a beautiful deep pinkish rose, hence the name. They reproduce often which contributes to their popularity.  When resting, the enlarged bubble tip ranges between red and rosy pink colors.

In the wild, they live on coral rubble or solid reefs.  Its pedal discs attach deep within dead coral or behind a living rock.  The tentacles stretch into sweepers when they’re hungry.  This means the tentacles elongate to capture food, then shorten and return to their normal state.

Food Maintains Color

To maintain the beautiful colors of the Rose Bubble Tip Anemone, it must have a moderate to a strong light source.  If you plan to keep them in a tank, they need a metal halide, LED, or intense fluorescent light that can provide six watts per gallon and live in a 90-gallon tank or larger.

To ensure their happiness, make sure there’s an established colony of clownfish.  Their diet should also include things like chopped fish, shrimp, and worms, especially if clownfish populations are low.

Black Widow Anemones

A Black Widow Anemone is also a Bubble Tip.  But these are very rare and difficult to come by which results in a high price tag in order to obtain one.  The price for one Black Widow Anemone starts between $300 and $400.

They have a deep blood-red coloring that’s unusual for most invertebrates.  The inner part should never be green and they have a black, dark reddish, or dark purple foot.  There are webbings on the oral disc that may or may not have speckles on the tentacles.  Some varieties have a rose-like concentric pattern around the oral disc.

Even though there are many discussions about Black Widow Anemones, there isn’t very much documented about them through verifiable sources like aquamarine biology institutes, schools, and research.


Do bubble tip anemones like high flow?

No, Bubble Tip Anemones don’t like a high flow.  They prefer a mild, moderate flow.  Also, do not keep the anemone next to any pumps.  Too much power from the water will force them to stretch out and get stringy. 

But, if you have live coral, it may be good to direct the water pump to it.  This will keep the Anemone away from the coral and will force it to seek out an area to settle away from the pump.  Unfortunately, Anemones will hurt live coral with their tentacles.

How Big Do Rose Bubble Tip Anemones Get?

Rose Bubble Tip Anemones can get to be as big as 12 inches in diameter and across the aquarium.  They often stay compact and only gain bulb tips under intense lighting. 

If they don’t get enough light or food, they can stretch across a vast expanse of the tank to take advantage of as much light as possible.  Once they reach their maximum length they split as a means of reproduction and preservation.

Are bubble tip anemones easy to keep?

No, Bubble Tip Anemones are not easy to care for, they require a little bit of work to keep them alive.  This is why first-time aquarists shouldn’t own one to start.  Only those experienced with reef aquariums backed by a solid knowledge of anemones should have one of these. 

They’re very sensitive to the slightest changes in water, light, and temperature.  If they die before their time, the tank environment as a whole could sustain damage, thereby killing any other aquatic life in your tank.

Why do bubble tip anemones lose their bubbles?

Sometimes, Bubble Tip Anemones lose their bubbles, and tentacles elongate.  Some people say this is normal and yet others claim it a mystery.  Yet some theorize it’s because of age or stress.  It’s important to have sufficient light for the bubbles to inflate.  Insufficient lighting forces expansion to make the most of the light available.  

If you’ve had yours a while, it could be a food or light issue.  Make sure illumination is strong and that they have some clownfish along with protein-rich snacks and meals.  Also, make sure you’re not giving any other fish in your tank medicine with copper in it.  Copper is poisonous to Anemones.

But, if your Bubble Tip Anemone is new to the tank, it could only be getting used to the new environment.  If you feed them thawed shrimp a week after they settle, they should bubble up again.  Also, their tentacles can appear stringy if there’s not enough light or food.    

Varieties of Bubble Tip Anemones

There are about 14 different species of Bubble Tip Anemones with only a handful of those capable of handling aquarium life.  When discussing Black Widow Anemone vs Rose Bubble Tip Anemone, the difference lies in their coloring and rarity.  But, either one can make for a wonderful, colorful addition to your personal aquatic world.

Remember, though, Black Widow Anemones may only exist for dealers to make a killing in profits on what is just a run-of-the-mill Anemone.  Solid research and documentation about them are so sparse that it raises an eyebrow as to whether they actually exist or not.  They seem to only be available as a product for sale on aquarium sites and a hot topic in online forum discussions.

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