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Rock Flower Anemone | Beautiful Rock Flowers To Your Aquarium |

If you love the anemone and wish to add them to your reef aquarium, the Rock flower anemone is the best selection for you. Because they are hardy, not very expensive and easy to find. Also they ideal choice if you want to add vibrant colors and diversity to to your reef aquarium based on my experience. In this article, I’ll answer all your questions regarding Rock flower anemone. Hopefully by the end of the article, you’ll feel confident adding them to your collocation

Something about them

rock flower anemone

This anemone is commonly known as flower anemone, sea anemone, beaded anemone, and rock flower. This beautiful anemone belongs to the Phymanthidae family. Rock flower anemone originates in the sandy bottoms of the Caribbean Sea. Also, you can find them across the West Indies. They have a wide array of colors. The oral disc of the anemone has a different color than other anemones. They are hardy. Therefore, can rear in captivity easily. Therefore, they can be recommended to beginner aquarists. 

As mentioned earlier, rock flower anemones are hardy. Because of that, they have an ability to adapt to the wide range of lighting conditions.

Normally, they live in as a group or singly. They are semi-aggressive. This type of anemone-like to live on shaded, vertical rock walls, or within the substrate. They tend to bury their body except for the oral cavity and tentacles. Because they only show their oral cavity and tentacles.  Another interesting thing is, this pretty Rock flower can move. But they do not move around much in your aquarium. If they settle in a comfortable place, they rarely move from this place.

They tend to move when they are not happy with the place where they are sitting. It may cause poor water parameters and lighting conditions. In the wild, they can live hundreds of years. But in captivity, they can live around 80 years. They are carnivores. Because of that, they like to eat meaty foods like small fish, and shrimps. 

One look care guide 

Scientific namePhymanthus crucifer
Common nameRock flower anemone
Sea anemone
Beaded anemone
Rock flower
Care levelEasy
Reef compatibleyes
Native toCaribbean Sea and West Indian ocean
Type (soft or hard coral)hard
Color Orange, Blue, Green, Red, Purple, and Tan
Tank size5 gallons
Preferred temperature72-78 Fahrenheit
Other water parametersNitrate – 0
Nitrite – 0
Ammonia – 0
Preferred salinity1.023-1.025 Specific gravity Or 35 ppt
SizeGenerally, they grow up to 5-6 inches.
Some can grow up to 8 inches.
Growth rateNo exact growth rate
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Recommended tank matesSexy shrimps (Thor amboinensis),
Porcelain anemone crabs (Neopetrolisthes spp.) 
Anemone shrimps (Periclimenes spp.).
Preferred foodThey are carnivores.
They eat shrimp, fish meat, mussels, and frozen foods.
Feeding frequencyOnce or twice per week
Propagation bySexually and asexually

How they looks like

Rock flower anemone

Generally, this anemone looks like a flower. They are available in a wide variety of colors. You can find these attractive anemones in orange, blue, green, red, purple, and tan colors. The disk of this rock flower is flat and has an edge. These tentacles look beaded in appearance. Normally, this species grows up to 5-6 inches.

But some Rock flower anemones reach 8 inches as their full size. Normally most of the anemone reaches half of this length and diameter. When compared with other anemones, the oral disk of the anemone has different colors. You can create a stunning anemone garden by matching the best colors and types. 

Rock flower anemone colors and types 

Red beaded anemone – Phymanthus crucifer 

You can appear in a pedal column of Red beaded anemone and there is a sticky foot that attaches with the pedal column. This sticky foot helps to adhere to the different surfaces. They are available in white, red, brown, green, cream, and purple. It has about two hundred short tentacles. These tentacles look beaded in appearance. Rock flowers can grow up to 6 to 8 inches (15 cm). When fully extended, the column can reach 6 to 8inches (15-20 cm) in length. The diameter will be 5 – 7.5 cm (51 -76 mm).

Minimum tank size5 gallons or 19L
Substrate typesand
Temperature75.0 to 82.0 Fahrenheit 
Specific gravity1.023-1.025 SG

Here I mention some Rock flower anemones varieties and all of them live in the same environment.

  1. Phymanthus buitendijki  
  2. P. coeruleus
  3. P. laevis
  4. P. loligo
  5. P. muscosus
  6. P. pinnulatum
  7. P. pulcher
  8. P. rhizophorae
  9. P. sansibaricus
  10. P. strandesi

Therefore, you can provide below mentioned requirements to grow healthy anemones. 

Tank requirements for Rock flower anemones          

Size of the tank

According to their small size, these anemones can live in the Nano aquarium. The recommended minimum tank size is 5 gallons. 

Water quality

If you want to generate a happy and healthy anemone, you have to maintain the following water quality parameters. 

pH level8.1-8.4
Water hardness8 – 12 dKH
Calcium400-450 ppm
Magnesium1250-1350 ppm
Temperature72-78 Fahrenheit
Salinityspecific gravity 1.023-1.025
Ammonia, nitrate, and nitriteZero

You should maintain levels of ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite in water at zero. Because these chemicals are toxic to Rock flower anemones. Thus, if the levels of these compounds exceed more than 10 ppm, it badly affects marine organisms. Fish waste and fecal matter are the main sources that produce ammonia and other compounds. 

Flow rate

They prefer medium flow rates.They highly appreciate water movements. Generally, they can survive in many different water parameters. But you should verify that the water flow is not too high and too low. If you need to provide the best of the best, you should maintain the medium water flow with a varied flow pattern.   


This anemone has the ability to adapt and survive in a wide range of lighting conditions. If you provide low to medium range lighting conditions to your aquarium, it will be better. If you have to maintain high lighting conditions for other species like SPS corals, you can place the anemone down lower in your aquarium. You should keep them away from the high lighting conditions.  

Acclimatization Rock flower anemone to the tank

When you purchase the Rock flower anemone from the pet shop, do not directly put them in your main marine aquarium. Because they can be stressed and it will be fatal to them. Therefore, firstly you should acclimate them.

You can use the drip method to acclimate rock flower anemone.

  • Take an empty bucket (3,5 gallon) and Fill the half of bucket using treated water (decholorinate water)
  • Add aquarium salt and create the salinity level around 1.023-1.025 specific gravity (35 ppt)
  • Sock the Rock flower anemone with package on the basket for 20 minutes
  • Then slowly release anemone to the basket
  • Slowly add 1 cup of your aquarium water to the bucket
  • Continuously add aquarium water to the basket in every 5 minutes for 45 minutes
  • After 45 minutes, carefully remove your Rock flower anemone from the bucket
  • Dim the lights of aquarium
  • Then place them in a safe and preferable place of your main aquarium. This place should be a sand bed or rock walls in the shade.  Keep in mind, do not place them too close to the aggressive species.
  • Monitor them for a few days. 
  • Keep the low to moderate light condition for 3,4 hours in aquarium
  • Finally discard the water of the bucket

Rock flower anemone placement

Rock flower anemone likes to live on the sand bed or the rock walls in the shade. Therefore, you should place them in one of these two places. However, if you place the rock flower on the substrate, it tends to bury its body except its oral disk and tentacles.  If you place them in a comfortable place, they will not move. But if they are not comfortable about the place, they try to move.

Therefore, if you have a vertical rock wall with enough space , it is a better place for them. Then Rock flower anemone can live happily and comfortably. But proper placement is not enough to make them happy and healthy, you should pay attention to maintain other water quality parameters too. 

Frag or propagate of the Rock flower anemone

Rock flower anemone is a dioecious species. Dioecious species can be defined as they have separate female and male individuals. They have the ability to reproduce/propagate sexually. Their eggs are developing inside of the parent and produce the larvae. Then parents drop larvae into the saltwater and grow pedal discs. 

In addition to that, Rock flower anemones can reproduce asexually through fission. This fission process occurs by splitting the anemone to produce a clone. The reproduction cycle of Rock flower anemone is longer than annually or biannually. The reproduction rate of Rock flower anemone is proportional directly to their food intake. If they feed more, they tend to reproduce asexually and sexually.  

How fast does rock flower anemone grow?

There is no exact growth rate. However, they grow faster in natural habitats than in captivity. In captivity, the growth rate depends on the foods, lighting, flow rate, and water parameters of the aquarium. If these factors do not reach optimum level, their growth rate will slow. When you keep them at a preferable level, you can create happy and healthy Rock flower anemones in your aquarium. This will directly affect the growth of them. If you provide meaty feed gradually, it helps to grow your Rock flower anemone. And you should keep water quality parameters according to their preferred level.

What do Rock flower anemone eat?

Rock flower anemones are carnivores. Thus, they only eat meaty foods. You can feed them by using shrimp, fish meat, mussels, and frozen foods. You can prepare a mixed diet for them. It will help to increase the appetite and growth of your anemone. They do not eat phytoplankton. 

How to feed them

The important thing is, when you feed them, you should cut the food into small pieces. Because small food particles help to eat and digest food. You can achieve a better growth rate and healthy Rock flower anemone by providing meaty foods regularly.  

Feeding frequency

You can feed your Rock flower anemone once or twice a week. Large Rock flower anemones need more frequent feeding. If you feed your Rock flower anemones well, you can keep a healthy and happy one. 

After feeding

There is a possibility to overfeed your Rock flower anemone. Therefore, after feeding, you should pump back up uneaten foods. You should do this about 10 to 15 minutes after providing feeds. 

Predators of rock flower anemone

Generally, predators of Rock flower anemone are sea stars and nudibranchs. But there are few predators to this fish species.Major predators are;

  • Slugs
  •  Eels
  • Codfish
  • Some starfish varieties
  •  Founders

 You should keep your Rock flower anemones far from these predators. 

Why are rock flower anemones dying?

rock flower anemone

There are several reasons. These are:

Poor water quality 

If you do not provide preferable water parameters to your Rock flower anemone, they tend to die. Because of that, you should maintain the following parameters to generate happy rock flower anemones. You should maintain ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels at zero. If these levels exceed 10 ppm, most creatures of your aquarium will die. Fish waste and faecal matter are the main sources that produce ammonia and other compounds.

The poor water flow condition 

Poor water flow conditions are also a reason to stress them and tend to die. If you provide too much high or too low water flow, it will cause stress to your Rock flower anemone. If you do this continuously, they will die. Because of that, you should provide moderate water flow to them. They like to live in medium water flow with a varied flow pattern. 

Unpreferable lighting conditions

They can tolerate a range of lighting conditions. But if you provide high lighting conditions into your reef aquarium, your Rock flower anemone is unable to survive. Because of that, try to maintain the low to moderate level lighting conditions for your Rock flower anemones. Rock flower anemones are hardy and can survive in a range of conditions. Due to that reason, aquarists do not care about them. But do not do that. Because they also need proper care to live healthy and happy. 

Do not follow acclimating process

When you introduce a new Rock flower anemone into your aquarium, the initial step is, you should acclimate them. Because they are sensitive to water conditions. By acclimating, you help them to adjust according to water conditions of your main aquarium. If you put them into your main aquarium just after purchasing them, it will cause stress. Therefore, you should acclimate them before putting them in your main aquarium. Firstly, you should acclimate them.

How much they cost

Rock flower anemone is not more expensive. Their price of Rock flower anemone ranges from $35 to $100. 

Is rock flower anemone poisonous to people?

There is no record regarding their poisonous to humans. But do not try to use them as food. Because many reef creatures are rich in several toxic materials. Some creatures produce Neurotoxin. These chemical compounds have the ability to kill you. Based on these cases, it is not recommended to use Rock flower anemone as a meat. But do not worry about rearing them in your saltwater aquarium. They are safe to humans for ornamental purposes.

Does rock flower anemone overspread?

They are not overspread. Normally they are tiny in size and they are recommended to rear in a Nano tank.  

Why does rock flower anemone lose tentacles?

There is a probability to lose the tentacles of any anemone. Because they feed their own tentacles to sustain their hunger. But do not worry. Tentacles have the ability to regrow. But you should set your aquarium according to the preferable conditions to avoid it. You should maintain the water quality parameters properly. And you should highly consider light conditions and flow rate. Try to maintain these two in the ideal level.

Can you touch rock flower anemone?

It is not recommended to touch any anemone type including Rock flower anemone. Because it can badly affect both you and also Rock flower anemones. Always try to place them by using a tool. It will be safe for both of you. 

Can rock flower anemone kill fish?

Yes, they can kill fish in your aquarium. But it is not very common. If the fish try to get very close to them, there is a probability to sting or eat. A simple example is clownfish. Rock flower anemone does not host clownfish. There is a possibility to sting and eat the clownfish by them. Normally, other anemones like bubble tip and carpet anemones are hosting clownfish. But Rock flower anemone does not host clownfish. Also, they do not host anemonefish.  

But you can keep them in the below species. Because they accept them.

  • Sexy shrimps (Thor amboinensis),
  • Porcelain anemone crabs (Neopetrolisthes spp.)
  • Anemone shrimps (Periclimenes spp.)
Credit to: ReefDudes

Read More : Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) 9 Important Care Facts

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.