anemone v cleaner shrimp


Reefing newb
I have 2 cleaner shrimp <2" long. Very busy little guys. My wife recently bought a condy anemone. I didn't know what she had until I started reading about it ... and wished that she hadn't, but there it is. The body is about 1.5" across & with tentacles is 5" to 6" across.

Incidental ... I also have had a yellow tang for about 2 years. It and the shrimp are doing their thing. Also 5 green chromis which also stop by the cleaners for picking over. And, a few others that seem independent of all of this. Life is normal.

Watching everyone really is fascinating. The condy has placed himself very close to the top of a pile of live rock & has been there for the past 5 or 6 days. The tank has strong lighting. Yesterday I was wondering what I can feed this guy. Wife, also a caterer, produced a bag of very small frozen shrimp a little less than a 1/2" in diameter (they are rolled up). I thawed one out, sliced a very small piece off the tail & fed it to the condy via tweezers. He took it immediately to his mouth. Before he actually got it all of the way in its mouth, one of the cleaner shrimp came over & stole it ... right out of his mouth! WTF?! The tentacles meant nothing to him.

In the past couple of days I had noticed that the cleaners hanging out pretty close to the condy. Occasionally a tentacle latches on to a cleaner. The cleaner pulls it off & continues doing what ever he was doing and not moving away from the condy. I really had thought that the cleaner was snack food for a condy. Not!

Later, during general fish feeding time, I decided to give the whole bit of thawed out shrimp to the condy. I thought the distraction of feeding time would keep the cleaners elsewhere long enough for condy to decide what it was going to do with this big chunk of shrimp. Again. Not! I had to push the cleaner away from the condy with the long tweezers. Twice. Pesky little guy.

Thoughts? I thought cleaner shrimp were complete pacifists. Second, condy anemones are described as aggressive. And, I expected to have to feed the condy by spot feeding from a dropper.

Last, I just saw a suggestion for anemone proofing power heads. Excellent, and high on the todo list.
I have 2 cleaners myself with the same issues except they say away from my rbta. I feed the tank and then feed the corals and keep a stick on hand to ward off the cleaners. They act like they never been fed and attack any unknown piece of food. I believe this means you have a very healthy tank imho. If they had more detritus to eat, probably wont be after the nems food, pretty risky for the shrimp to do that, dont you think? So, keep up on the healthy tank!
You can try covering the nem with something (the top of a 2L soda bottle will work if the nem will fit) until it's through eating.

You should also be feeding smaller pieces of food (like the size of mysis) to your nem.
@Erin ... you mean as opposed to a sword fight? Condy is pretty big.

I do feed the fish a variety of mysis and need to work out a power head flow on/off & direction so more showers the condy

Any suggestions about how much/often to feed it?
I don't have much experience with condys... giving it a squirt of mysis once a week should be sufficient, though.

What kind of lights do you have?
Aquatic Life 6 lamp TO5

built in controller/programmer currently running default for day. The 50g refugium has the 36" equivalent programmed 12 hours different.

Thinking I should tune these a bit such as 18 hours on bright white/blue for the ref.
An anemone with proper lighting, which you have, should never need to be fed purposely. My anemones would only get food maybe once a month when it would catch a piece or two of mysis when feeding the fish.
Wow. That is all??!? Is it possible to over feed this anemone? Is it like my dog & will need more exercise? What are the consequences of over feeding? I am being a bit facetious, but also serious.
It's definitely possible to overfeed. Anemones get almost everything they need as far as energy from the light. If you overfeed an anemone, it's digestion might not be able to keep up with the feedings. The food that can't be digested will start rotting in the base and start killing the anemone from the inside out.
Feeding one often will also lead to it pooping more often, not a big deal but when trying to keep good water params the more food you put in the more crap comes out.
+1 BL1 ---- I never purposely feed my anemones either but they occasionally catch a piece. My anemones are fat, happy and have been stationary for three years. Unless you are trying to revive a bleached or dyed anemone target feeding is not necessary with proper lighting.

A lot of anemone deaths are caused from over feeding and/or feeding pieces that are to big.
I have seriously debated (many times) getting rid of my skunk cleaner for the same reason you describe. He is a food thief! I don't spot feed a whole lot of my corals but i feed my open brain and RBTA occasionally. I try to give the shrimp a big piece of food before feeding them, but that doesn't always work. I've sat there for a half hour shooing him away with my tongs, that's no fun. I'm going to have to try the two-liter bottle trick.
Chichi, I have felt the same way about my coral banded shrimp. He can be a PITA because at feeding time he is like a monster truck all over the tank and knocks things over at times. I watched him monster truck right across my RBTA tonight.
I have ony spot fed my nem once just out of curiousity, but I've only had it about 3 weeks. I was told that you really don't have to spot feed them. The guy I got him from had them all over his 120g and he has never spot fed his. Started with one years ago and now he has like 10 or so from them splitting. Not sure if a condy is different as far as feeding, but I would think if your tank is healthy it would get all it needed on its own. So far mine seems happy and healthy(yes, i know it has only been 3 weeks so time will tell). It has only moved a few inches from where I placed it. I took a gamble with only having T5 lighting, but 35 bucks for a big RBTA I couldn't pass up.