Sea Anemones belong to the order Actiniaria, and are classified as cnidarians, related to corals, jellyfish, and Hydra. There are many different species in the world’s oceans, only a few dozen of which are commonly found in the aquarium trade. The anemone attaches itself to the substrate using a structure called the basal disk. Many sea anemones form a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, whose photosynthetic processes provide the anemone with food and oygen. Most anemones contain stinging structures, known as nematocysts, which reduce the likelihood of the animal being eaten by herbivores.
In the aquarium, several species of anemones are known to play host to Clownfishes, providing a wonderful example of a symbiotic relationship. Although many anemones adapt well to captivity, and may indeed be propagated by the home aquarist, they are not for the causal hobbyist. Most require high water quality, bright lighting, and occasional feeding of marine-based meaty foods.
With proper care and feeding, these animals may be wonderful additions to the marine aquarium.