August issue of Advanced Aquarist is available

by Owen James

The new issue of Advanced Aquarist features a great write-up on assexual reproduction of corals and anemones by veteran fishkeeper Dana Riddle.

The assexual reproduction of anemones is only in its infancy, having been popularised in the past few years by renowned aquaculture expert Anthony Calfo. Riddle writes of anemone reproduction:

Anemones reproduce sexually and asexually. All too many hobbyists are familiar with asexual pedal budding (or pedal laceration) of “pest” anemones such as Aiptasia and Boloceroides. On the other hand, some desirable species also reproduce asexually in aquaria through means known as longitudinal fission (”splitting down the middle”), budding, and possible cloning via parthenogenesis

Anemones must be among the most badly cared-for marine creatures, with seemingly every beginner deciding it’s their right to kill one before they are ready to to look after it. The situation has only got worse since Finding Nemo, which ironically, given its plot of returning fish to the sea, has encouraged so many clownfish to be wild-caught in Australia that clownfish populations are in serious decline.

AquaDaily is a blog for aquarists, and we’ve no problem with appropriately skilled fishkeepers keeping anemones, as long as they’re not endangered. But beginners simply shouldn’t go near them. That’s not elitist, it’s ethical and responsible.

In the meantime, it’d be great if more anemones could be captive bred by those who are caring for them successfully. I’ve heard of US fishkeepers experimenting with ‘production line’ methods to split and grow on bubble-tipped anemones (as discussed in this forum thread on farming anemones) but I’ve no idea if it’s commercially viable. If anyone knows, please do share in the comments below.

Other articles in Advanced Aquarist magazine include a spectral analysis of various 150 watt metal halide lamps, and a second write-up on marine aquaculture, this time focussed on button polyps.

Check out Katy's Tropical Fish Guide for more aquarium info.

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