7 Causes of Bubble Tip Anemone Shriveled Up-Treatment

Bubble tip anemones are one of the very first choices for first-time anemone keepers. They have their reasons. Including their extravagant color, they are also less prone to consuming fish like the carpet anemone, and they even host almost all sorts of Clown fish. 

Bubble tip anemones may deflate and shrivel up for a while but they’d certainly get back to their previous condition unless they are stressed. They might be stressed due to an intrusion, poor water quality, improper lighting, temperature, water parameters, etc. 

Try to maintain their preferable water condition to treat them accordingly. Also, it’s wise to get a Clown fish to prevent the shriveling up in the first place.

Read this article and learn yourself the reason for bubble tip anemone shriveling up and learn the available remedies or measures to take if needed. In addition, get yourself acquainted with the simple DIY methods to prevent this from happening in the future.

So, let’s begin–

How To Treat The Shriveled Up Bubble Tip Anemone?[Remedies & Preventive Measure]

Anemone being a live creature has its own biological activities. Therefore, bubble tip anemone appears with lots of water inside themselves. That’s their body time.

Since there is water, they need to change the water from time to time because they are always looking for fresh water. That’s a usual reason for bubble tip anemones to shrivel.

As this very incident is a part of their daily life, they get back to normal a while after they are done with their typical routine. Apart from that, there can be some other reasons available as well for a bubble tip anemone to shrivel.

And when this shriveling happens due to an unusual reason, they tend not to get back to the previous condition. Therefore, you’ll find your bubble tip anemone shriveled up which is neither a pleasant nor an ignorable thing. Among the various reasons, let’s get to know the very obvious ones.

1. Intrusion from Another Creature

Bubble tip anemone is prone to live by in a subtle way. They are sensitive to almost all types of disturbances. Though they get along with a clown fish, they don’t welcome other creatures the same. The reason they can host a clown fish is that they share a symbiotic relationship between themselves.

On the other hand, any other fish or creature might consider your bubble tip anemone as a potential protein source. And they could approach your anemone to nibble on the anemone and try to attack the tentacles of your anemone.

By no means, this appear friendly to your anemone. They have their tentacles with nematocysts to ward off the attacker. And eventually, they get stretched out of fighting for their lives every day. They might end up shriveled up as a result of such stress.

2. Water Change Inside the Anemone

Water Change Inside the Anemone

This is the very usual cause for your anemone to shrivel up. Since their body contains a huge amount of water due to their biological actions, after using the consumed water for a certain time, the water becomes dirty. And your anemone needs the dirty water to be replaced with fresh water.

To get fresh water for further usage, anemone deflates from time to time. And then they appear shriveled up. Considering this as a very basic and usual thing for your anemone, they will consume the required amount of water themselves in no time.

3. Temperature Change

The change in water temperature also affects your anemone. They have their specific comfort zone. While implanting them in your tank (before acclimation) or having them in your tank, they will respond vividly to any major change in the temperature of the water.

When there is a misadjustment of heat in your tank water, bubble tip anemone will react. And while trying to cope up with the temperature, if the unpreferable heat remains for long, your anemone will be stressed out. That will certainly result in shriveling up. Ignoring the situation might be lethal for the poor creature.

4. Poor Lighting

Poor Lighting for the Anemone

Same as temperature, anemone needs proper lighting. If it occurs that they are exposed to overlighting or lesser, in both cases they might split up and be dead in the long run. However, before splitting the initial reaction is to be shriveled up.

When they are provided with improper lighting, that will affect their growth as well. They might be discolored as a side effect. Continuous improper lighting will lead to shriveling. 

5. Bad Filtration

If you have poor filtration in your tank, the tank water will get dirty more often. And that will hamper the tank environment. 

No living thing grows well in an unhealthy environment. The same goes for bubble tip anemones. If the tank environment is not suitable, they will start showing signs of getting stressed out. Shriveling up in one of them.

6. Water Parameters

The water parameters must be kept in order to ensure a healthy environment for your bubble tip anemone. Lacking a certain amount of phosphate, nitrate, and iodine might result in tampering with the alkalinity level of your tank water.

If the pH level differs from their comfort zone, they’ll react in a certain way. And the very first step is shriveling up.

Bubble tip anemone requires near perfect water parameters to grow optimally. If not maintained, you will start facing the consequences.

7. Lack of Nutrition 

Anemones usually get their nutrients from either photosynthesis or from the prey they capture. When the anemones aren’t getting enough nutrients from these sources, they tend to stress out and shrink. 

During this time, they can even shrivel up when a small pebble drops on it. Besides, when they are lacking nutrients they become very weak and even feel low about consuming any food. 

So, these are the distinct occasions where you will find your bubble tip anemone appearing as shriveled up. And if you keep ignoring the facts, they might cost you irreparable losses. Therefore be aware of the tiny details.

4 Ways to Treat Your Shriveled Up Bubble Tip Anemone

If you find your bubble tip anemone shriveling up due to any reason mentioned earlier, don’t freak out. There are ways to take care of things and get control back. All you need to do is to be specific and more caring. 

1)Keep the Water Clean

This is a must thing applicable for all Aquarists. If you find any of your aquatic creatures suffering in your tank, the very first step is to ensure the tank water is clean.

However, never hurry to do so. Sudden changes in water might not be as great as expected. It might even backfire from time to time.

If by any means, you are not assured of the water quality of your tank, go for the water change. Do it gently. 15-30% water change should need a duration of 3-4 weeks.

Clean water will relieve your bubble tip anemone from stress. And thus they get to heal faster.

2)Feed the Anemone Duly

Like other livestock, anemone needs food as well. And they need to be fed on a regular basis. Actually they need food up to three times a day.

You need to feed them duly to ensure their nutrition level. Though they have their own tentacles, they are not able to move them efficiently. Therefore, they need supplementary food to keep them in sound health.

You can either provide it with small pieces of frozen or fresh meaty sea foods such as brine shrimp, fish, squid, or mussels. Don’t forget to thaw the frozen ones before feeding them to your anemone. You can also use a feeding stick or any forceps to deliver the food directly to the anemone’s tentacles

If this seems troublesome to you you can get some specialized high quality commercial coral foods and plankton that are especially  formulated to meet the nutritional needs of anemones

You can also create your own food mixture by mixing various seafood, fish, and other marine proteins as you like. Just blend them or mince them very thinly and feed the mixture to your anemones.

Ensure proper lighting for the tank so that they can get to conduct their zooxanthellae, and photosynthesizing microorganisms to get their own meal as well.

3)Maintain Proper Lighting and Temperature

Proper lighting is required for your bubble tip anemone for both feeding and health purposes. Maintain the lighting between 220 to 350 PAR.

About the watts measurement, the requirement is 5 watts per gallon of water. Use fluorescents or LEDs in the tank to maintain the lighting. Don’t overexpose your anemone to light as well.

Keep the lighting tile 8 – 10 hours a day. But never exceed 12 hours

If your anemone gets covered with seaweed, make sure to make a way through it to get your anemone enough sunlight. Don’t keep your tank in a dark place.

Keep the tank temperature around 25 – 28 degrees Celsius or 78 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

4)Balance The Water Parameters

You need to keep checking the water parameters from time to time. Use a better device to get the exact reading. (Our Pick: API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT)

You must maintain the alkalinity something between 7.5 – 8.5. Ensure the pH level is somewhere between 8.1 to 8.4.

Maintain the below-mentioned elements as stated:

  • Calcium: 350–450 ppm
  • Iodine: 0.06–0.10 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1250–1350 ppm
  • Nitrate – Nitrogen (NO3): < 1.0 ppm
  • Phosphate (PO4): < 0.2 ppm
  • Strontium: 8–14 ppm

Whatsoever, a sudden change is not recommended at all. When your anemone appears sick, take time to treat it but don’t take too long for your plant to recover. You must not hurry to bring in the changes otherwise that can be a boomerang.

3 DIY Measures to Prevent Bubble Tip Anemone from Shriveling Up

While getting to know about the treatment, why not learn about the small and simple measures to relieve you from getting a headache in the first place? Let’s find out about the preventive measures.

1)Get a Clownfish

The best way to protect and prevent your bubble tip anemone from getting stressed out is to get a clownfish in your tank so that the anemone hosts the clownfish. 

You must’ve known that a clownfish & an anemone share a symbiotic relationship (a situation where both parties benefit from each other). Some of the reciprocal beneficial points are food supply, shelter from predators, more flow of oxygen, etc. 

If a clownfish makes a home with an anemone, other fish like butterflyfish don’t appear around the anemone to eat out of it as clownfish will ward them off.

On the other hand, at night, due to the swimming of the clownfish through the tentacles, the water flow gets increased resulting in bringing in more food and oxygen for the anemone.

On the other hand, when the clownfish releases the waste out of its body, that works like a biofertilizer for the anemone. 

Thus we can see that hosting a clownfish for an anemone makes things happen which is essential for the anemone not to get stressed. And when an anemone isn’t stressed, it’ll have far less chance to be shriveled up. 

You’d be happy to know that bubble tip anemone is one of the friendliest anemones to host a clownfish. However, there are many kinds of clown fish so choose your one wisely for a better match.

2)Maintain The Water Parameters

To prevent your bubble tip anemone from shriveling up, it needs to remain stress-free. And a suitable tank environment is such an element for maintaining your anemone. 

While talking about a suitable environment, water parameters must be kept near to perfect reading.

You should follow the stated water parameters in the earlier treatment procedure in advance so that you don’t even need to consider treating it. 

Maintain the pH, alkalinity, salinity, nutrient level, etc. accordingly to keep your anemone fit. Don’t fall for a weak measurement device to get deceived. Do some water change on a regular basis while maintaining the filtration as well.

3)Ensure Proper Lighting

If you ensure proper and suitable lighting for your anemone, it gets relieved of suffering from any issue like lack of nutrition, lack of growth, etc. 

Moreover, as anemones have some organisms like zooxanthellae, zoochlorellae, etc they need proper light including sunlight. Otherwise, their bioactivities get threatened.

Keep your tank in a place for modest sunlight. Never let it get overexposed to sunlight! Thus, you can prevent your anemone from shriveling up.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take for an anemone to settle?

For acclimation, let the bag carrying your anemone float in the tank for around 20 minutes. Slowly let the tank water enter the bag gradually. Take an hour to two for that. Then plant your anemone. It will take around 5-7 days to get settled. Don’t put an anemone in a newly established tank rather choose an already established one. 

Why did my anemone shriveled up after the water change?

Anemones are prone to react to the slightest change in the water environment. Bubble tip anemone shows the reaction vividly. However, let your anemone get adapted to the new water. By more or less 24h, it should get back to its previous position. Or the shrinkage might happen due to regular deflation of your anemone.


Being mostly filled with water, shriveling up isn’t a pleasant look on a bubble tip anemone. And while you are keeping an anemone for the first time, this scenario might be a headache for you. But you don’t need to worry about ‘why my anemone shriveled up’ anymore after going through the earlier contents. 

The knowledge and DIY methods to tackle bubble tip anemone that are shriveling up will come in handy to you all the time. You might even be able to use the tips mentioned in this article to deal if your carpet anemones and Sebae anemones get shriveled up as well!


Read More- 7 Reasons Behind Deflated Bubble Tip Anemones-Solution

Howard Parker

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