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Sebae Anemone | Beginners To Expert Care Guide |

Sebae anemone is commonly known as Leather anemone, Leathery sea anemone, Long tentacle anemone, Purple tip anemone, or Leathery Sebae sea anemone. This fairy-like creature is an excellent addition to your aquarium. But to add this valuable creature to your collection, you should have advanced knowledge regarding the Sebae anemone. Do not worry, and I will make you an expert on Sebae anemone through this article. 

Sebae Anemone Beginners To Expert Care Guide

Quick Overview 

 Scientific nameHeteractis crispa
Common nameLeather anemone
Leathery sea anemone
Long tentacle anemone
Purple tip anemone
Leathery sebae sea anemone
Care levelDifficult
PriceAround $70
Reef CompatibleReef safe
Native toTropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-west Pacific Ocean area
Type (soft or hard coral)Soft
Color Column’s color is violet,
whitish, or greenish.
Tentacles are mauve,
brownish grey, or green
Tank sizeMinimum – 50 gallons tank
Preferred Temperature72-79 Fahrenheit
pH level
380-430 ppm  
1200-1350 ppm
0 ppm  
8-12 dKH
1.023-1.025 Specific gravity
Size of the animalAround 30 cm
Growth rateNo exact growth rate
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Recommended tank matesClownfish and juveniles of Three spot dascyllus
Preferred foodShrimp Fish
Feeding frequencyLarge- daily
Medium – 5 times per week
Young or small – 2 to 4 times per week
Propagation bySexually and asexually

Scientifically, they are called Heteractis crispa. This creature belongs to the Stichodactylidae family. They are reef-safe species.  Sebae Anemone is native to the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-west Pacific Ocean area. They mostly live in waters at depths of 10 to 100 ft (3 to 35 m). Mostly, they wedge in rock crevices. On the surface, you can see their only oral disk and tentacles. 

There is a symbiotic relationship between S anemone and clownfish. Both species fulfill their protection and nourishment needs from this relationship. This anemone protects from threats or attacks and hunts prey by using its venomous cells or nematocysts in its tentacles. 

The Appearance Of Sebae Anemone

Nature has colored the Sebae anemone by using grey or violet-brown. S anemone has a leathery look, and that’s why they are called Leather anemones or Leathery sea anemones. They have a stuck foot at the base of their pedal column, and this sticky foot helps to adhere to the different surfaces. If the Sebae anemone does not prefer the condition or environment where they live, they will move by using their foot. When compared with other anemones, This anemone’s foot is larger than the column. 

Sebae anemone

Generally, their column’s color is violet, whitish, or greenish. anemone has around 800 tentacles attached to the oral disk. 

They have longer tentacles around 1.5 to 2.5 inches in length. Tentacles are so long that they are usually intertwined. The size of their tentacles is like the length of the bubble tip anemone. The tips of the tentacles are rounded. 

Commonly, tentacles of Sebae anemone are mauve, brownish grey, or green. But you can find some species with tips containing beautiful color ranges such as; Purple, Blue, and Mauve. Tentacles of Sebae anemone are situated all over the surface of its oral disk. It gives a “mop” appearance to the anemone. The mouth of the anemone is in the center, and it is visible barely. Typically, the S anemone’s mouth is closed and tight. But when they are hungry, their mouth will open. When the mouth opens, it is oval-shaped. If the anemone is gaping its mouth, it is a warning signal. 

Other Species of Heteractis Genus

Heteractis aurora

Common names                                Beaded sea anemone
Glass beaded sea anemone
Beaded sand anemone
Aurora anemone
Glass pearl anemone
Flat anemone
OriginIndo-Pacific Ocean from Red sea and East to Japan in the north Mauritius to the South
ColorGrey-green to chestnut brown
Required Water condition
Minimum tank size50 gallons
Calcium level380-450 ppm
Alkalinity level7-11 dKH Ideal level is 10 dKH
Magnesium level1250-1350 ppm
pH level8.1-8.4
Substrate typesand
Lighting conditionHigh-strong lighting
Temperature72-79 Fahrenheit
Specific gravity1.023-1025 SG
Water flowModerate

Heteractis magnifica

Common names                                Ritteri anemone
Bulb-tip anemone
Purple base anemone
Maroon anemone
Yellow tipped long tentacle anemone
OriginIndo-Pacific Ocean from the Red sea to Somoa
ColorColumn- avocado green,
greenish-browns, and white Tentacles and oral disk- green, yellow, white, sky blue, and magenta.
Required Water condition
Minimum tank size50 gallons
Alkalinity level3.5 mq/l
pH level8.1-8.4
Substrate typeAny substrate
Lighting conditionHigh-strong lighting
Temperature72-82 Fahrenheits
Specific gravity1.023-1025 SG
Water flowModerate

Heteractis malu

Common names                              White sand anemone
Singapore sebae anemone
Hawaiian sand anemone
Sebae anemone
OriginEastern Pacific Ocean Near the Hawaiian island
ColorWhite with purple,
green, pink,
white, magenta,
tan or, brown tips.
Required Water condition
Minimum tank size50 gallons
Alkalinity level3.5 mq/l
pH level8.1-8.4
Substrate typesand
Lighting conditionHigh-strong lighting
Temperature74-83 Fahrenheit
Specific gravity1.023-1025 SG
Water flowModerate

Behavior of Sebae anemone

Sebae anemone is semi-aggressive. but compatible with marine fish. If you see this anemone wander around the tank, the reason is poor conditioning. The water condition is not ideal for the Sebae anemone; they try to move away from the place and find a suitable location with a preferable water condition. They should need their own space. If not, you can experience chemical warfare between the species. It can cause one species to strike the feeds, shrink or even die. 

Sebae Anemone and Clownfish

There is a “symbiotic” relationship between the Sebae anemone and the clownfish. This relationship generates benefits for both species. Clownfish protect S anemone from anemone-eating fish species. Anemone protects the clownfish from predation too. Anemones can collect foods that do not eat by clownfish. Further, there is a belief that anemone feeds the waste of clownfish. If you add a clownfish, the anemone is 3 to 4 larger in diameter than the length of the clownfish that you introduced. 

Note : For example, you should choose a 1-1.5 inches clownfish for a 4-6 inches Sebae anemone. 

If you hope to introduce a clownfish, it is better to place the anemone first in your tank. Then give a few months to it. This time will allow the anemone to acclimate to the new environment and grow. Mainly, you cannot keep all clownfish species with the Sebae anemone in the same tank. Bellow are specific clownfish species that can live with this anemone. These are;

  • Clark’s Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii)
  • Pink Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion perideraion)
  • Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus)
  • True Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
  • Three-band Clownfish (Amphiprion tricinctus) 
  • Orange-fin Clownfish (Amphiprion chrysopterus)
  • Barrier Reef Clownfish (Amphiprion akindynos) 
  • Two-band Clownfish (Amphiprion bicinctus) 
  • Red Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion ephippium)
  • Wide-band Clownfish (Amphiprion latezonatus)
  • White-bonnet Clownfish (Amphiprion leucokranos)
  • Red and black Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus)
  • Oman Clownfish (Amphiprion omanesis)
  • Orange Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion sandaracinos) 

Tank Requirements of Sebae anemone

The basic fact is the tank requirements when you rear any fish or coral species in your aquarium. Therefore, to generate a happy and healthy Sebae anemone, you should follow the following guides. Also You should perform water changes in the right way. For example;

Bimonthly10% water changes
Monthly20% water changes

When setting up the tank, you should create about 4 to 8 inches sand bed. It helps Sebae anemone to bury their foot. 

Special note: You can use Purigen and Poly-fiber products to maintain water quality. 
Purigen product – remove the soluble and insoluble impurities from the water in the tank. It causes to maintain the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites level of the water. 

Size of the Tank

The recommended minimum tank size is 50 gallons (190L) to rear these anemones. But if you expect to keep two Sebae anemones in the same tank, you should have at least 4-5 feet long tank. If you do not provide enough space for them, it can be caused chemical warfare between the anemones. An excellent filter system and large tank (over 100 gallons) are the best things when rear the two S anemones. To prevent wandering into each anemone’s space, you can build a natural blockade. 

Water Quality

pH level8.1-8.4
Specific gravity1.023-1.025
Calcium380-430 ppm
Phosphate0 ppm
Magnesium level1200-1350
Temperature72-79 Fahrenheit
Alkalinity level8-12 dKH

Flow Rate

Sebae anemone lives happily in an area that has a moderate flow rate. So using an aquarium wavemaker can keep them happy. But make sure to use wavemakers that are safe to anemone or one containing anemone covers.


You should keep a moderate to high lighting condition for the Sebae anemone. Try below.

  1. USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light – Saltwater, Coral Reef Fish Tank
  2. NICREW Marine LED Fish Tank Light for Reef Tanks
  3. VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum for Grow Coral Reef Marine

How to Place Anemone In A Tank

Before placing the Sebae anemone, you should follow the acclimating process. You should place them in an area that has moderate water flow and moderate to the high lighting condition. It would be best to place them on the sand bed, and it should be about 4 to 8 inches deep. If you rear more than one anemone, you should highly consider the space. Therefore, if you do not provide adequate spaces for them, it can be caused chemical warfare. Therefore, when you are placing the anemone, you should place them with enough space.

How Long Do Sebae Anemones Live?

There is no exact estimation of the lifespan of Sebae anemone. Some anemones can live hundreds of years old in the wild. Therefore, some anemone’s life span shortens to 80 years in captivity with proper care. But you can keep them for a long time in your tank. Here is a way to keep them longer and healthier.

  • You should feed your Sebae anemone with quality and nutrition-rich foods.
  • The tank setup and water parameters should be at the preferable level. 
  • Lighting conditions and water flow should meet the ideal level. 
  • Place the anemone in a better place with enough space.
  • Eliminate the stressful factors of anemone

How to Frag Or Propagate Sebae Anemone

Typically, Sebae anemone does not breed in captivity. It isn’t easy. There are two ways to multiply the population of Sebae anemones.

  • Sexual 
  • Asexually 

Asexually Breeding Method

Fission is the one method. Therefore, Sebae anemone is split in half from the mouth and the foot. Through this, they form clones. The clone is similar to the twins. 

Sexual Breeding Method

Also, Sebae anemone reproduces by male and female sex glands or pairs with another anemone of the opposite sex. 

  • The ultimate result of this method is larvae called “ciliated planula larvae”. 
  • When larvae appear they fall to the seafloor.
  • The larvae grow a pedal disk
  • Then start to grow into a new Sebae anemone

Note: The sexual difference cannot identify by the appearance of Sebae anemone. 

How Fast Does Sebae Anemone Grow?

Sebae anemone can grow up to 30 cm (12 inches). Generally, there is no exact growth rate. The growth rate depends on the:

  • Feeding frequency and quality of the foods
  • Stability of preferred water parameters
  • Comfortability of the environment that they live in (lighting, water flow, and other required factors).

Special note: Usually, in my experience, Sebae anemones grow fast. They reached 3-7 inches within around 5-6 months.  

What Does Sebae Anemone Eat?

Sebae anemone is a carnivore species. They eat animal matter to collect the required nutrients to live. 

In the wild:

  • Sebae anemone collects the most required nutrients from the zooxanthellae. There is a symbiotic relationship between these algae and Sebae anemone. Therefore, Zooxanthellae algae live in the tissues of anemones. 
  • They catch the prey to feed by using venomous cells and nematocysts in their tentacles. 
  • Further, anemone fulfills its nutrient requirements by absorbing nutrients that contain in the water. 
  • S anemone also feeds the waste of the resident animals. A closer example is clownfish. 

Note:  Most of the time, clownfish brings chunks of food for Sebae anemone. 

In captivity 

  • Fresh shrimp
  • Fish
  • Mussel
  • Krill
  • Baby Scallops

Note: You can reach an outstanding achievement by serving the Sebae anemone with mix diet. 

How To Feed Sebae Anemone?

  • Take a small cup and fill it with aquarium water. 
  • Soak the diet of the water in the cup. 
  • Wait about 20-30 minutes. 
  • Then chop the foods and feed your Sebae anemone.

A. Feeding Frequency

Feeding frequency depends on the size and age of the Sebae anemone.

  • It would be best if you fed giant Sebae anemone daily. 
  • It is recommended to provide the medium size anemone five times per week. 
  • Small or young anemone needs food 2 to 4 times per week. 

B. After Feeding

  • You should remove the uneaten food particles from the tank. 
  • A properly functioning filter system is an added advantage. 

Note: Uneaten foods can produce ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite in your tank. These byproducts can harm your fish species and corals, including Sebae anemone. 

Predators Of Sebae Anemone

  • Nudibranchs – Nudibranchia
  • Sea stars – Asterias rubens  – the coral-eating famous starfish
  • Crown-of-thorns starfish – Acanthaster planci or COTS
  • Angelfish – Pterophyllum 
  • Other anemones –  Actiniaria
  • Bristle worms – Polychaeta

Note: In addition to these species, you should avoid keeping other fish species, non-fish species, and coral species that are not reef safe. Try to gather significant knowledge about the species before adding them to the aquarium. 

Related : Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) 9 Important Facts
Related : Rock Flower Anemone | Beautiful Rock Flowers

Read : Long Tentacle Anemone | Beginners To Expert Care Guide |

Sebae Anemone care Guide

Why Is Sebae Anemone Dying?

There are many reasons to happen in your aquarium.

Diseases/ Ailment

Sebae anemone can die due to the diseases. You can save them by offering ideal lighting conditions, water flow, water quality parameters, and quality feeds. If you observe them closely, you can recognize whether they like the conditions that you provide or not. Sebae anemone tends to move when they do not accept the current condition in the area where they live.

Predatory Activities 

Predators can stress the Sebae anemone. Continuous predatory behaviors can be caused to the death of an anemone.  

Chemical Warfare 

If you do not provide enough space for the 2 Sea anemones, it can be caused chemical warfare between the anemones.  You can prevent this by creating at least 4-5 feet-long tanks for them.

Poor Water Quality

If Sea anemones cannot tolerate the poor water conditions. Therefore, you should maintain stable water parameters in your tank. 

Lack of Lighting Condition 

If you do not create an area with moderate to high lighting conditions in the tank, Sea anemones cannot survive. 

Poor Water Flow

Sea anemones require moderate water flow to live in the aquarium. Changes in the flow rate can be caused even death.

Inadequate Feeds

You should feed the sea anemones properly. If not, they will weaken and cannot live healthily. 

Absence of Acclimation 

If you do not help them adjust to the new environment gradually through the acclimation process, it can be caused to generate harmful impacts to the Sea anemones. 


Are Sea Anemones Hard To Care For?

Sebae anemones are hard to care for due to their preferable lighting condition and ultimate size. You should provide a large tank to survive them with their maximum size. Further, you should maintain the suitable lighting condition properly.  Therefore, It is not better to place them in a new tank. they will help if you put them in at least a one-year-old tank. 

It would be best if you fed the Sebae anemone regularly and correctly. Lack of feeding can be recognized as the second biggest fault for most unhealthy S anemones or deaths in captivity. Sebae anemones can easily stress, especially from the capture and shipping process of the anemone. Also, you should remove them from the surface very carefully because tissue damage can kill the S anemone. 

Will Sebae Anemone Eat Fish?

All varieties of sea anemones, including Sebae anemones, eat fish. Therefore, you can feed them fish. On the other hand, do not keep small fish with your anemone in the same tank.

Do Anemones Shrink At Night?

In the wild, anemones tend to deflate partially in the nighttime. Here anemones do not shrink completely. But if you see carefully, the size of the anemone during the daytime is more prominent than at night.

Do Sebae Anemones Poop?

Sebae anemone will poop, and it can increase the ammonia level of the tank water. 


Olais, J.E.N., Luna, P.Y., Tan, Z.A. and Guzman-Genuino, R.M., 2015. Sebae anemone (Heteractis crispa) venom as an alternative cell lysis buffer reagent. Asian Journal of Cell Biology, 10(1), pp.19-24.

Angel, R.J., Thakur, V., Anuraj, A., Saravanan, K. and Kumar, K.L., 2014. Captive Breeding of Sebae Anemone Fish, Amphiprion Sebae for the First Time in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Journal of the Andaman Science Association Vol, 19(2), pp.215-215.

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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.