New To Reefing


Jun 2, 2016
Bleached Crispa Anemone
Hi everyone,
I'm hoping someone here may be able to offer some advice...
I am very new to marine tanks and have had my tank set up for a little over a year. I have been trying to take it slow and have 2 clowns and a couple of rhodactis which seem to be doing well.

My problem: I visited my usual supplier about 4 months ago and let myself be talked into getting a purple crispa anemone. My parameters at that point had been stable but I really was (and still am) lacking some knowledge of how to look after him. I realised after I got him home (and researched) that he was totally bleached, but otherwise he acclimated well.
For the last couple of months he has been attached to the base of the tank (beneath the sand), hasn't appeared 'sick' at any point, has sticky tentacles and readily accepts food every few days. However, he doesn't seem to be regaining any zooxanthella. Am I doing something that may be preventing his recovery?

Ammonia, nitrate = 0
Nitrate = 0.5 ppm
Kh = 8 dkh
pH = 8.1
Phosphate = 0.2 ppm
Ca = 400 ppm

Under AI hydra led light - Spectrum/intensity may be the issue? I've read that nems should be under at least 14 000k...





I am no expert, but if it's eating, attached and fluffy- it is ok. I think just feeding it and ensuring it has adequate light is a good place to start. If any of those things change, then I would start by putting it in a basket nearer the light and give it TLC.


Team Leader
Nov 24, 2011
Brisbane Northside
@somethingfishy76 just got hold of a bleached nem for his clowns and it looks spectacular, we're hoping it stays the same, it really stands out in the tank and is quite the centre piece. Maybe just let it do what it's going to do.

Savage Henry

Feb 2, 2015
Is it a Malu? If so, it's a hard one to keep.

Would it be better to keep the clowns away or would they assist it to recover?


Oct 27, 2015
South Gippsland
When I was in Fiji I saw hundreds of white anemones around a fairly secluded place called Dravuni Island. The elders say there have always been white anemones there. I unfortunately don't recall the species and don't really have any reason to disbelieve them. Just throwing that out there.

Also you need to lower your trust level when it comes to the LFS that sold it to you in my personal opinion.

Now something you can try if you want. It worked here but it wasn't me that did it, it was a women I saw for a while. She knew nothing about aquaria but had good instincts it seems.

I like you, took on a bleached/white BTA nem a few years ago. I knew it was all but stuffed but wanted to try to save it. No matter what I did it continued to shrink in size albeit very slowly, and shrinking is a true indicator of poor health. Eventually it just disappeared so I got a new bright green BTA. The new one cloned itself to seven in under a year so I rearranged rocks to try to accomadate them all. Lo and behold, there was the white nem, about the size of the old 1 cent coins (smaller than 5c).

I positioned the rock to bring it close to the light and because I had heard some people claim nems can transfer zooxanthellae to each other I thought I might as well try it. As it happened, by the time all the BTA's settled it had two neighbours. My lady friend took to feeding my fish as if it was amazing fun and she started to mix different foods with tank water and using a 3ml plastic pipette, she began to squirt food straight at it's mouth. Initially there was no response but after a number of weeks it seemed to show movement when food was introduced. But it appeared to be too weak to do anything about it. She made an offhand comment saying she wished she had something that she could put in its tiny mouth.

A while later while testing water parameters, I realised that the smaller of the syringes (the 1ml) in Salifert test kits was probably ideal - and it was. She began to gently push just the very tip of that tiny syringe inside the nem's mouth. Initially it would spit food out so she reduced the amount to tiny portions and we noticed after a month that whenever we fed the tank, the nem had a definite response. She continued to feed it twice a week for months until eventually it would take food out of my hands like all my other nems (and most fish) do.

After about a year it started to get it's colour back, just a little but you could see it increasing. Unfortunately, as subscribers to my TJ know, I just had a major system meltdown after a deep sand bed incident and lost just about everything except fish - they all survived.

I have no idea if there was colour transfer between the nems or it was just getting better, but I have no doubt that my lady friend's feeding regime worked. I've actually asked my LFS to try getting me a couple of almost dead nems so I can try this again. If ever they turn up, I'll try this again and get my son to photograph the progress.

Your nem is clearly nowhere near as sad as mine was but as Ezza suggested, make sure it eats and also gets plenty of light.
I bought one that looked the same as yours... I had it in a previous tank and I loved the white. It did just fine and ate well. In time it started to colour up and after about eight months it was coloured fully. I preferred the white...(-:

Keep doing what you are doing and it'll be just fine. Enjoy the white as you will get a colour change down the track.