Rock Flower Anemones Resurge in Popularity

rock-flower-anemoneRock flower anemones are trending in popularity as of late in the reef aquarium hobby. They have always been readily available in the industry, as they are harvested close by in the Caribbean. But despite their relatively easy accessibility, they’ve slipped under most aquarists’ radars for years, primarily because the specimens harvested did not have the most compelling coloration. Most were dull and sandy brown in color. Also, because they do not host clownfish (being a Caribbean anemone), their popularity suffered.

Lately, however, they are seeing a resurgence in interest. While most rock flower anemones are still some variety of green, more colors are turning up, such as brilliant reds. Every blue moon, a truly spectacular-colored specimen is found. I’ve seen some that are bright highlighter yellow and even hot pink. Their color is highly fluorescent, and actinic blue LED lights show off this aspect very well. The rare colors come at a significant premium at this time because specimens with varied and intense coloration are hard to come by.

Care Requirements: Lighting and Flow

Caring for these anemones is rather easy. They do not require specific light intensities or flow and can be fed easily. Here at Tidal Gardens, we have kept them in just about every lighting condition and seen them move themselves to spots of high flow or back into caves with very little flow.

I have noticed that these anemones prefer substrate as opposed to a bare-bottom tank. They tend to move less than other anemones, but in bare-bottom aquariums, they tend to move around quite a lot more.

Propagation and Feeding

As for propagation, rock flower anemones cannot be cut; however, they reproduce by laying down numerous buds. So far, we have not been able to cultivate the small anemones, but the general consensus is that feeding is required to grow them up. As we acquire some of the more rare color morphs, we certainly want to propagate them to make them more widely available.


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About Than Thein

Than Thein is the owner of Tidal Gardens and Advanced Reef Aquarium. Than's love for all things underwater began early on when dogs and cats were strictly off limits, but a fish tank? Sure! What started with a 10-gallon goldfish tank eventually turned into a 5,000-gallon greenhouse coral propagation system. In addition to coral aquaculture, Than's other hobbies include scuba diving and underwater photography and videography.


  1. Matt Bowers (Muttley000) says

    Do these anemones pack the same sting and problems mixing with corals as the pacific versions?

    • Chris Aldrich says

      Hi Matt – Though I don’t have any personal experience with rock flowers in my aquariums (which reminds me, I need some of these in my Carib biotope), from what I’ve gathered their sting is less potent than most other nems. However, they will sting corals if placed too close or their growth encroaches.

  2. Another great article thanks
    Keep up the good work

  3. I started with one rock flower… Just florescent green with brown tenticles. I gave two babies away already, and have 4 others in my tank, two already full size, two brand new. Seems they readily reproduce here!!! I have a 7 year old 75 gallon with a rose bubble that also cloned itself once. Oh, my rock flower anemone’s are hosting platinum clowns!!!

  4. Daniel Carrera says

    The second anemone that you showed(Green and Purple tentacles) is NOT a rock flower anemones. Purple/Green anemone is actually a Borneman anemone, which completely different than a Rock Flower Anemone.

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