Do Sea Anemones Need Iodine In A Reef Tank?

Sharing a closeness in type to corals and jellyfish, sea anemones are known around the world as the flowers of the sea. Given their remarkable beauty and appearance, it isn’t hard to see why the term applies so well.

Can you keep sea anemones in your reef tank? Yes. Do sea anemones need iodine in a reef tank to be happy? The answer to this is also yes, particularly if you notice any sort of deficiency among your corals and/or sea anemones. However, the general question of whether or not to add iodine to your reef tank is ultimately something you must answer on your own.

Let’s take a closer look at the basics of caring for sea anemones, which will also cover whether or not they’re going to need iodine in the reef tank you’d like to add them to.

Do Sea Anemones Need Light?

Sea anemones are known as cnidarians. This refers to a grouping of creatures with systems that could be described as being very plant-like in nature. Using a pedal disk along the lower body as a means of travel, they also use this disk to attach themselves to surfaces such as rocks.

Their bodies make it possible to catch small fish for their food, but this can prove to be extremely difficult. Because of this, many sea anemones form mutually beneficial relationships with other creatures in the tank. Clownfish would be one example of this, which is perhaps why you see so many reef tanks that include both clownfish and sea anemones.

Sea anemones can make for a wonderful addition to any reef tank. However, there are several things about adding them to any aquarium that should be taken to heart. You can start with the fact that sea anemones require a great deal of lighting to be content. This means you’re going to require special LED lighting to ensure their needs are being met.

As you learn more about caring for sea anemones, it is important to make sure none of their requirements are going to upset conditions for anything else you might be keeping in the tank.

Can You Put Anemones In A Reef Tank?

In a word, yes. However, as we indicated above, they have a number of unique requirements that you are going to want to keep in mind. They are highly delicate creatures, and it isn’t going to take very long for you to notice if their health takes a turn for the worst.

Keeping that in mind, we’ve assembled some basic care tips. From there, you can more easily appreciate our larger question of whether or not sea anemones are going to need iodine in your reef tank:

  • Do your homework: These are highly sensitive creatures, and there is not an infinite supply of them in the ocean. Make absolutely certain your tank will be able to meet the necessary conditions. You should also consider giving your tank time to mature or stabilize in its day-to-day conditions. Many experts suggest waiting at least twelve months before you make the decision to add sea anemones to your tank.
  • Purchase from a reliable retailer: Make sure you’re researching and vetting a potential retailer very carefully. They should have a good, ongoing relationship with their importer. You can also ask them any questions about care, beyond your research.
  • Getting them home: If your anemone does not have an open mouth, a pale color, body tears, or any indication of stress, you can begin to acclimate them to the tank. This is going to involve opening the bag and giving them a period of approximately thirty minutes to an hour to get used to things by floating the bag along the top. After that, add approximately 10% water to the tank every fifteen minutes.
  • What about the tank? While you should do considerably more research on sea anemones beyond this article, the basic tank conditions are worth discussing. The lighting needs to be very good, while the temperature should fall somewhere between 76 and 78 F. The pH should be somewhere in the vicinity of 8.1 and 8.3. Salinity should always be around 1.024 and 1.026.

You should also remember that sea anemones require a flow of water somewhere between moderate and brisk.

What Do Sea Anemones Eat?

In terms of feeding sea anemones, you’re going to find this subject to be fairly straightforward. In most situations, sea anemones are content to eat things like plankton, crabs, and certain fish. They will also, as we mentioned before, form relationships with creatures that can ensure they are getting the nutrition they require to survive.

Zooplankton in general is good for sea anemones. You can also purchase products that are designed to meet their various nutritional needs. If they are getting the right amount of food, they should begin to grow at a healthy rate. You only need to have them fed once to three times in a given week.

Many do well with just one feeding per week, but you will obviously want to keep an eye on them. You should also remember the smaller your sea anemone, the more they are going to need to be eat.

Do I Need To Give My Sea Anemones Iodine?

Iodine is absolutely crucial for the health of not only your sea anemones but for everything in your reef tank.

If your tank is particularly heavy on corals or similar creatures, including sea anemones, you may be wondering if everyone is getting enough iodine for the transferring of nutrients within their cells. Natural iodine concentration for sea levels should be between .025ppm and 0.08ppm.

Higher levels than that can in fact kill everything in your tank.

So, will natural maintenance and monitoring keep the iodine levels healthy? Generally speaking, the answer to this question is yes.

At the same time, you may have a tank that is heavy with sea anemones, coral, and similar animals. If this is the case, you may want to check your levels, and consider adding iodine to the tank should the situation call for it.