The Pink-Tipped Anemone has a pink “hue” and likes its water cool!
The Pink-Tipped Anemone Condylactis gigantea ( previously: Condylactis passiflora) is one of the most familiar and commonly available anemones in the aquarium trade. Its beautiful colors and inexpensive price make it popular. This attractive Florida Condylactis is more pink in hue than the well-known Giant Golden Anemone form, which is commonly called the Condylactis Anemone or Condy Anemone.
Unlike the Condylactis Anemone, the Pink-Tipped does not require as much feeding in the aquarium, due to the cool waters it is harvested from. The range of the Pink-Tipped Anemone, just like that of the Giant Golden Anemone, extends from Brazil to Bermuda in the Western Atlantic Ocean. However the Pink-Tipped Anemone is primarily collected from Florida, while the Condy Anemone is usually collected from areas outside of Florida. Consequently this anemone is also called the Florida Condylactis Anemone, Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone, Florida Condy, and Florida Condi Anemone. Some other fun names for its appearance include the Purple-Tipped Sea Anemone, Purple Passion Flower, Hybrid Passionflower, and Passion Flower.
The Pink-Tipped is almost a temperate anemone. It enjoys cooler temperatures of 68Â° – 75Â° F (20 – 24Â° C), so a chiller is a must to keep it in reef tanks in warmer climates. It can also get very large, so will need plenty of space to grow. Though its body only gets to about the size of a tennis ball, it has tentacles that can extend over 6.” It can reach about 20″ when fully inflated and so will need an aquarium of at least 50 gallons for an adult.
The Condylactis are hardy aquarium anemones, but this species does need bright light to do well in the aquarium. Like all sea anemones they are photosynthetic and need light to keep the zooxanthelle that lives within their body tissue alive. Condylactis have been known to deflate at times. This is normal if it happens once every few weeks, but no more than that. This behavior, the sea anemone purging, may indicate a water change is needed.
Sea anemones use their venomous cells, the nematocyst found in their tentacles, to sting their prey and to deflect any attacks. However, a Condylactis in general, is more like a predatory anemone and will move all over the tank. It does eat fish, so it is risky to allow it to host a Clown Fish, especially since Clownfish are not found in the Western Atlantic Ocean. However this anemone does have a really interesting symbiotic relationship with Cardinalfish, Cleaner Shrimp (the Atlantic specimens), Arrow Crabs and Emerald Crabs. Just give these tank mates a little time to acclimate and you’ve got best friends for life.
For more about the types of Sea Anemone Species, see:
Sea Anemone – Tube Anemone
The Pink-Tipped Anemone has a familiar cousin call the Giant Condylactis who prefers warmer water. The Pink-Tipped Anemone is found in and does better in cooler temperatures of 68° – 75° F (20° – 24° C), so a chiller is a must to keep it in reef tanks in warmer climates. These are predatory, constantly moving anemones, so a species specific tank is best. They do not host clownfish, however an unwary clown will try to host it but eventually die and be eaten from the more than normal, powerful tentacle stings. Due to it’s movements, do not house them with other anemones or corals yet they are fine with their own.
- Minimum Tank Size: 50 gal (189 L)
- Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
- Temperament: Aggressive
- Temperature: 68.0 to 75.0Â° F (20.0 to 23.9° C)
- Size of organism – inches: 20.0 inches (50.80 cm)
- Diet Type: Carnivore
- Suitable for Nano Tank: No
Habitat: Distribution / Background
The Pink-Tipped Anemone or Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone, Condylactis gigantea, was described by Weinland in 1860. It had originally been described as Condylactis passiflora by Duchassaing de Fombressin and Michelotti in 1864, however this description is now invalid and considered only as a synonym. The Condylactis genus is a member of the Actiniidae family, and contains 3 species. The C. gigantea species are found in the Western Atlantic Ocean from Brazil to Bermuda and in the Caribbean. This anemone is not on the IUCN Red List for endangered species.
Common names the Condylactis species are known by include Atlantic Anemone, Caribbean Anemone, Haitian Reef Anemone, and Condy. However this anemone is primarily collected from Florida, so is commonly called the Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone, Florida Condylactis Anemone, Florida Condy, and Florida Condi Anemone. It is also known as the Pink-Tipped Anemone or Pink Tip Anemone, Hybrid Passionflower, Passion Flower, Passionflower, Purple Passion Flower, and Purple-Tipped Sea Anemone.
Pink-Tipped Anemones are found at depths of 0-90 feet (30m). They occur alone or in small loose groupings, living within rocky crevices in shallow waters such as in inner reefs and lagoons. They eat fish, zooplankton and unwary invertebrates that wander into their potent stinging tentacles. Condylactis species also use the zooxanthellae that lives within their tissues for nourishment.
In the wild, this anemone has a symbiotic relationship with Cardinalfish, Cleaner Shrimp (the Atlantic specimens), Arrow Crabs, and Emerald Crabs. However, these anemones do not host clownfish. Their sting is much stronger than that of clown-hosting anemones, and will eventually the anemone will eat them. Some predators can be other anemones, nudibranchs, sea stars and some angelfish.
- Scientific Name: Condylactis gigantea
- IUCN Red List: NE – Not Evaluated or not listed
The Pink-Tipped Anemone can grow large, reaching up to 20″ (50 cm) in diameter when it is fully extended. Its body only grows to about the size of a tennis ball, but the tentacles can reach another 6″ or more. It is unknown how long they live, but some anemones can be hundreds of years old in the wild. In captivity, there are anemone species known to live 80 years or more. The Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone has also been known to split in captivity, thus reproducing.
The Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone is similar, but a bit more pink in hue, than the Giant Golden Anemone. it can be several colors including pink, purple, gold, white, green and peach. They mostly have white or cream tentacles that are either tipped in one of these colors, or just a small dot on the end of each tentacle. Like most sea anemone species, they have an algae called zooxanthellae living in their tissue. They are photosynthetic and need light to keep the zooxanthellae alive in their body.
Their tentacles are spaced and considerably thicker at the bottom, then tapering near the tip. The base of their short, wide pedal column is a sticky “foot” that they use to adhere to various surfaces and to move around. They do this by contracting the circular muscles of the foot and pushing forward, or they may crawl on their side. The foot can be shades of yellow, brick-red, or bluish gray.
At the top of the column is an oral disc with an opening, or mouth, in the center. Their tentacles are on the outer margin of the oral disc. The Pink-Tipped Anemones take food in and expel waste through this same opening. The mouth should be closed and tight. It will open when hungry, having an oval look. A gaping mouth is a warning signal that the anemone is not doing too well. To defend themselves or if water quality is not to their liking, they will fold up into a ball.
- Size of organism – inches: 20.0 inches (50.80 cm)
- Lifespan: 80 years – It is unknown how long they live, however, some anemones can be hundreds of years old in the wild, and in captivity have been known to last 80 years or more.
Difficulty of Care
The Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone can be moderately hard to care for since they do have lighting needs and must be in a large enough aquarium to satisfy their ultimate size. They do not tolerate higher temperatures in the upper 70Â°s (21Â° C). Keeping the water temperature below 68Â° to 75Â° F will ensure their survival. Putting an anemone in a new tank will result in failure. The tank should be at least 4 months old and stable before adding your new C. gigantea anemone.
When choosing your Pink-Tipped Anemone, make sure the color is good, their mouth is not gaping open, and their foot and tentacles are sticky to the touch. Also, they should be attached to something and make sure there is no damage to the foot area, often a result of pulling the anemone off its surface.
To transfer a C. gigantea anemone from another aquarium, use a thin blunt item like a credit card. Gently wiggle it under the foot, slowly nudging it away from the glass. If its attached to a rock, ideally you can simply purchase the rock as well. If you cannot purchase the rock, then directing water at it or wiggling the rock gently upside down while tickling the foot can work.
- Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult
- Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate – May need a chiller in warm climates.
Foods and Feeding
The Florida Condylactis Anemone is a carnivore. In the wild they eat fish, zooplankton, and small invertebrates. In captivity you can feed your anemone chopped silversides, shrimp, krill, and mussels, fresh chopped fish (from your grocery store), as well as frozen carnivore preparations.
Since this is a cooler water anemone, their metabolism would be much slower than the more tropical sea anemones. Feed once a week, unless the mouth is open, then feed as often as it is hungry. Younger ones seem to need smaller daily feedings with food that is finely clopped.
- Diet Type: Carnivore
- Flake Food: Occasionally – Carnivore preparations if they like it.
- Tablet / Pellet: Occasionally – Carnivore preparations if they like it.
- Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet – From marine sources.
- Liquid Foods: Some of Diet – Zooplankton.
- Meaty Food: All of Diet – From marine sources.
- Feeding Frequency: Weekly – Feed once a week unless their mouth is open, then feed more often. Also, younger anemones often need daily feedings.
Water changes of 10% bi-monthly or 20% a month are typical. Monitor your water quality for your particular situation and adjust your water changes accordingly. Waste production created by your anemone can be calculated in inches. Basically, every inch of anemone is equal to an inch of fish, so an average-sized Pink-Tipped Anemone produces a bio-load equivalent to 4 or more fish.
The Florida Condylactis Anemone has been known to deflate at times. This is normal if it happens once every few weeks, but no more than that. The anemone is actually purging and taking in what it thinks will be â€œfreshâ€ water. So when this happens, a water change may be in order.
Purigen and Poly-fiber are great products to help in maintaining water quality. Purigen is a synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water at an exceptionally high rate and capacity, helping to control ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Additional chemical additives, such Chemi-Pure, GFO, and carbon also help maintain quality water parameters. Poly-fiber can be cut and used in sumps, etc. A good protein skimmer is a must.
Although anemones are not as dependent on calcium as stony corals, magnesium and calcium is still needed to keep the pH and alkalinity stable and within the correct parameters. Additions of trace elements are suggested. Phosphates should be kept around 0.03 or less. Control phosphates with products such as Phosban and the Phosban reactor.
- Water Changes: Bi-weekly – Water changes of 10% twice a month, or 20% a month are typical.
- Calcium Levels: 380.0 – 450.0 ppm – Helps to balance alkalinity. Aim for 420 ppm, or 385 ppm if you are using Seachem calcium.
- Alkalinity Levels: 7.0 – 11.0 dKH – (2.5 to 3.9 meq/L) Aim for 10 dKH (3.5 meq/l) for reef tanks.
- Magnesium Levels: 1,250.0 – 1,350.0 ppm – Test magnesium levels and adjust before checking calcium.
- Strontium Levels: 5.0 – 15.0 ppm – Aim for 8 ppm.
- Iodine Levels: – .030 to .060 ppm: Control is not recommended.
The typical reef environment is what is needed for your Condylactis Anemone. Live rock and a sand/reef environment is typical of the Western Atlantic.They need live rock or some other solid material they can attach to. Be sure to have all of your pumps covered, most good quality pumps have guards on them and are worth the investment. Because this anemone will move about, you will want to provide foam filters over any power head intakes.
The Pink-Tipped Anemone gets large, needing an aquarium of 50-gallons or more for one specimen to thrive. They like the typical reef environment, however, the tank should be at least 4 months old, stable, and completely cycled. The temperature should not exceed 75Â°F, , which almost puts them in the temperate water category.
Live rock and a sand/reef environment is typical of the Western Atlantic. These anemones need live rock or some other solid material they can attach to and crawl over. Any substrate is fine, however, and the water movement can be moderate. Moderately strong lighting is also necessary for them to survive.
The Florida Condylactis Anemone is very mobile! They are predatory anemones and always on the move. Be sure to have all of your pumps covered, most good quality pumps have guards on them and are worth the investment. Because this anemone will move about, you will want to provide foam filters over any power head intakes.
- Minimum Tank Size: 50 gal (189 L)
- Suitable for Nano Tank: No
- Live Rock Requirement: Typical Amount
- Substrate Type: Any
- Lighting Needs: High – Strong lighting – Moderate to high. Coming from shallow waters in the wild, these anemones will do their best with stronger lighting.
- Temperature: 68.0 to 75.0Â° F (20.0 to 23.9° C) – The highest temperature limit for survival is 75.0Â° F
- Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
- Water Movement: Moderate
- Water Region: All – Generally inhabits the bottom of the aquarium, but this sea anemone will move around.
The Pink-Tipped Condy Anemone is an aggressive anemone because it will move around the tank and sting all fish and corals in its way. After splitting, anemones will tolerate their own “clones” and sometimes their own species. Like all animals, they will compete for space, so this needs to be taken into consideration.
Keeping corals in the tank can be a risky thing to do. Some corals, like hydrocorals, may be okay, but most corals are tropical and may eventually be stung and killed. If attempting to add cold water corals, allow the anemones to settle first. Once they are in place, you can then try placing a coral away from them. However, because this anemone moves around, there may eventually be detrimental affects on any other corals or other anemone species.
Most small fish will also fall prey to this anemone, so a species specific tank may be the best choice. Allowing a C. gigantea anemone to play host to a Clownfish is a big gamble, especially since Clownfish are not found in the Western Atlantic Ocean. Clownfish are from tropical waters, and again, Condylactis do eat fish. If the tank is very large, keeping larger cold water fish should be fine. Problems occur when keeping small gobies, blennies or other small cold water fish. These can easily become dinner if they wander into the very sticky (more sticky than typical) tentacles of this anemone.
In the wild they are often a host to a variety of commensal shrimp. What is cool is that they have symbiotic relationships with the Arrow Crab Stenorhynchus seticornis, Atlantic Cleaner Shrimp Periclimenes anthophilus, and juvenile Cardinalfish Apogon spp. Some have even noticed Arrow Crabs and Emerald Crabs buddying up with the C. gigantea. Try natural symbionts and watch that interesting relationship for yourself!
- Venomous: Yes
- Temperament: Aggressive
- Compatible with:
- Same species – conspecifics: Sometimes – They will tolerate their own offspring.
- Anemones: Threat – Do not house with other anemones.
- Mushroom Anemones – Corallimorphs: Threat
- Leather Corals: Threat
- Zoanthids – Button Polyps, Sea Mats: Threat
- Sponges, Tunicates: Threat
- Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Monitor – Only commensal animals.
- Starfish: Monitor – Reef safe species.
- Feather Dusters, Bristle Worms, Flatworms: Threat
- Clams, Scallops, Oysters: Threat
- Crabs: Monitor – Commensal crabs are okay.
- Snails: Monitor
- Sea Apples, Cucumbers: Threat
- Urchins, Sand Dollars: Threat
- Nudibranch, Sea Slugs: Threat
- Copepods, Amphipods, Mini Brittle Stars: Monitor
- Stony Corals: Threat – is aggressive
- Soft Corals: Threat – is aggressive
Sex: Sexual differences
No sexual difference in appearance is known.
Breeding / Reproduction
The C. gigantea anemone is known to reproduce in captivity. The propagating techniques are unknown to be successful at this time, although they have been known to split on their own. In the wild, they reproduce by fission or by external fertilization of egg and sperm.
Anemones in general can multiply by sexual and asexual means.They will multiply asexually by fission, which is when they actually split in half from the foot or mouth to form a clone, which quickly develops into a new and complete anemone. They will also reproduce using male and female sex glands or find another anemone of the opposite sex. This results in the production of ciliated planula larvae. This planula will eventually fall to the sea floor, develop a pedal disk, and then begin to grow into a new anemone.
- Ease of Breeding: Moderate
Ailments / Diseases
Problems for the Pink-Tipped Anemone are pretty minimal. These anemones are pretty durable once they settle in, unless your lighting, water movement, feeding and/or water quality is low or inadequate. Then your anemone will detach to look for â€œbetter conditions.â€ In general, if your anemone moves, it is not happy. If you notice any change in its shape, color, or see other indications that there is a problem, you need to check your lighting and water quality, and make sure the temperature is under 75Â°F.
The Pink-Tipped Anemone has been known to deflate at times. This is normal if it happens once every few weeks, but no more than that. The anemone is actually purging and taking in what it thinks will be “fresh” water. So when this happens, a water change may be in order. Also, if there are any non-reef type fish in the aquarium, like large wrasses, look for possible attack marks. Some predators can be other anemones, nudibranchs, and sea stars as well as some angelfish, triggers and large wrasses.
The Pink-Tipped Anemone, also commonly called the Florida Pink-Tipped Anemone or Florida Condy, is easy to find in stores and online. It is fairly inexpensive, but the cost will vary depending on size and color.
- Animal-World References: Marine and Reef
- Condylactis passiflora Duchassaing de Fombressin & Michelotti, 1864, WORMS World Registry of Marine Species
- Condylactis gigantea (Weinland, 1860), WORMS World Registry of Marine Species
- Condylactis gigantea (Weinland, 1860) giant Caribbean anemone, SeaLifeBase
- Ronald L. Shimek, Guide to Marine Invertebrates: 500+ Essential-to-Know Aquarium Species, Microcosm, 2005
- Anthony Calfo, Book of Coral Propagation, Volume 1 Edition 2: Reef Gardening for Aquarists, Reading Trees; 2 edition, 2007
- Alf Jacob Nilsen and Svein A. Fossa, Reef Secrets: Starting Right, Selecting Fishes & Invertebrates, Advanced Biotope Techniques, T.F.H Publications inc., 2003
- Bob Goemans, Pink-tip Anemone, Saltwatercorner.com
Condylactis gigantea (giant Caribbean sea anemone) (Image Credit: James St. John, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)