Leathery Sea Anemone Yellow (Heteractis crispa 'Yellow')

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Leathery Sea Anemone Yellow
Heteractis crispa 'Yellow'
Leathery Sea Anemone Yellow (Heteractis crispa 'Yellow')
Name Leathery Sea Anemone Yellow
Name Lat. Heteractis crispa 'Yellow'
Family Host Anemones
Family lat. Stichodactylidae
Order Sea Anemones
Order lat. Actiniaria
Origin Indo-Pacific
Diet Autotrophic, carnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 6-10 °KH
Lighting High
Current Moderate
Behavior Aggressive
Keeping Individual
Care Level Difficult
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 30 cm
Temperature 22-27 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium 200 l
US Units
Size 12"
Temperature 72-81 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution range of Heteractis crispa 'Yellow' extends from the Red Sea through the Maldives to Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines. They live in shallow water between coral blocks and rock crevices, with their bodies mostly hidden in the substrate.


They require an aquarium with a sandy substrate at least 10 cm deep to allow them to burrow between rocks, and they should be positioned in a very bright area with a moderately strong, alternating current.

Only substrates rich in lime and free of heavy metals should be used as substrate. Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. It is recommended that live stones be used to set up the aquarium. The bacteria living in the porous stones act as a biological filter. The lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 6-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
calcium content: 420-450 mg/l Nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l
Magnesium content: 1.250-1.350 mg/l phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l

Regular addition of trace elements, especially iodine and strontium, is recommended. For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention shall be paid to consistently good water quality and water values.


Zooxanthellae, which are unicellular symbiotic algae, live in their tissue and provide them with assimilation products of their photosynthesis (high light requirement). The zooxanthellae promote growth and provide additional food to the plankton and small particles collected from the water current. Accordingly, in addition to the food produced in the aquarium during fish feeding (mysis, krill, Artemia, etc.), commercially available supplementary food in the form of phyto- and zooplankton should be offered regularly. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Behaviour and compatibility

They live solitarily and should not be kept with fish that consider polyps as food (e.g., angelfish or butterflyfish). In nature, they are the symbiotic anemone of 14 species of anemonefish. Periclimenes shrimp are also accepted. Sufficient distance must be kept from corals to avoid encrustation

Reproduction and breeding

They are separately sexual. Their larvae are part of the plankton for several weeks until they settle in a suitable place. Reproduction by division is also possible. There are no reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


The anemone fish species living in symbiosis with it are very helpful in the not unproblematic acclimation.

Healthy animals have a closed oral disc, look "pumped up" and do not drift around. Recommended for their growth (zooxanthellae) is supplementing lighting with Actinic light, a short-wave violet-blue light.

Newly introduced animals must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium. If different species are kept together, make sure that fish and invertebrates match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements, as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the ecological needs of all species kept together

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: BAENSCH & DEBELIUS (2006): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch