Bubble tip anemones have always been a very captivating sight to see in aquariums. Their movement, along with their unique ability to host anemone fish, distinguishes them from other organisms in aquariums.

Unfortunately, bubble tip anemones also change when in the tank, sadly, usually for the worse. The change that happens to the bubble tip anemone’s behavior and appearance is mainly due to the tank being immature, without having the sufficient needs for an anemone. In short, this leads to the bubble tip anemone becoming bleached.

It’s likely that you’re here because your bubble tip anemone has already bleached. But what exactly does it mean and is there anything you can do about it?

It means that your bubble tip anemone is unhappy due to it losing its symbiotic zooxanthellae, presented by a loss of color. Many aquarium owners bring home bubble tip anemones and are ecstatic about the possibilities of it growing and thriving with anemone fish. However, after a few good months, they start to see a loss in color and the anemone starts to turn a depressing white. Having a bleached bubble tip anemone is a terrible feeling and usually results in frantically searching the web for solutions.

Why Do Bubble Tip Anemones Bleach?

Bleaching of a bubble tip anemone can be triggered by the following factors:

  • Insufficient or too much lighting level, total darkness.
  • Salinity being too low or too high.
  • Bad water flow inside the tank.
  • Physical traumas, or too much competition among species.
  • Sustained abnormal temperatures or changes that happen to rapidly. 1-2 degrees play a major role in the marine world.
  • Spread in values of pH or alkalinity.

Some chemical substances don’t completely decompose, affecting the inhabitants of the tank. I.e. low-quality water may contain heavy metals.

Can You Save A Bleached Bubble Tip Anemone?

The truth is that having a bleached bubble tip anemone sucks. The good news is that it’s possible to make it healthy again. If you really care about making it healthy again, you need to make a commitment and have great attention to detail. The first thing you must figure out is what the problems within your tank caused it to bleach in the first place. Did it happen because of poor lighting? Were the parameters unstable? A lack of nutrition. A common method to save a bubble tip anemone is to feed a bleached bubble tip anemone twice a day until it recovers. As a bleached bubble tip anemone doesn’t have the zooxanthellae to provide for its own needs, you must be there for it with constant care. While it’s not easy to bring one back, it’s certainly possible.

How To Save A Dying Bubble Tip Anemone

If your bubble tip anemone isn’t looking great and you believe it to be bleached, there’re a few things you can do to try to revive it. The first step you should do is to check the water quality in your tank. If all the tests looks fine, then you should take a look at the bubble tip anemone’s environment.

Are there any fish or invertebrates bothering it? Was it placed too close to power heads or other sources of strong water flow? If the bubble tip anemone is still not doing well, you can try feeding it some small pieces of shrimp, 2-3 times per week. Make sure not to overfeed the anemone, as it could actually do the bubble tip anemone more harm than good.

Finally, if you’ve tried everything else, you may need to remove the bubble tip anemone from your tank and place it in a separate holding tank with similar water conditions. Doing this will give the bubble tip anemone a chance to recover without having to compete for food and space in your main aquarium.


Bubble tip anemones are a beautiful and popular saltwater aquarium invertebrate. Although, like all anemones, they have a lifespan and will eventually fail. When a bubble tip anemone fails, there are a few things that can happen. 

The bubble tip will either deflate and sink to the bottom of the tank where it will decompose, or it may simply detach from its rock or coral host and float to the surface where it will be eaten by fish or other predators.

Although it’s possible to get a bubble tip anemone healthy again, it’s certainly not a guarantee. If you really care about making the bubble tip healthy again, you need to make a commitment and have great attention to detail.