Why Is My Bubble Tip Anemone Splitting? Is It Good or Bad?

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Your bubble tip anemone started splitting, and you wonder whether it is a good or bad sign.

The bubble tip anemone splitting is an asexual reproduction of the anemone. Bubble tip anemones split when they are in bad water conditions, feel in danger, or have an insufficient food supply.

However, they split when they are in excellent water conditions too. 

Bubble tip anemones are prolific splitters in the wild. We still don’t know the exact reasons anemones split in our home reef tanks and what causes them to it.

However, we can determine whether it is good or bad based on the signs these animals show us. Does your bubble tip anemone start splitting because it’s living in bad conditions? Find out in this article.


Why do anemones split?

We’ve briefly mentioned why anemones split earlier in this article, and now we will explain it in more depth.

Anemones can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Bubble tip anemones are prolific splitters in the ocean, creating large clonal beds.

In captivity, bubble tip anemones reproduce asexually through longitudinal fission creating small clones. The new anemone is a different animal, but it’s a twin to its mother colony.

In the ocean, bubble tip anemones can reproduce sexually too. Sexual reproduction occurs through broadcast spawning, where anemones release sperms or eggs in the water. 

After the fertilization is done, the created larvae swim in the water column until it finds a suitable place to settle.

There are different opinions about why bubble tip anemones split in our reef tanks. 

Some people claim if the anemone is healthy and well-fed, it will have enough energy reserves to reproduce asexually. 

In theory, the bubble tip anemone will often split in a reef tank with good conditions and excellent water parameters.

However, the majority of hobbyists believe that anemones split due to stress. In bad water conditions, two anemones have a better chance of survival than one.

So, which of these statements is correct? I believe both reasons can be a trigger to anemone to split. The right reason is in the eye of the observer.

Anemone splitting signs

Before an anemone splits, it will increase its body size. Then, it will elongate and stretch in every direction on the rock. It will look like it is trying to rip itself in half. 

A clone will form in no time, and you will have two anemones instead of one. The new anemone will take a couple of days to heal itself and be ready to eat. 

It’s important to maintain good water parameters in your reef tank in the splitting process to allow the anemone to heal faster.

Related: What is the best placement for Bubble Tip Anemone| What is the best anemone for clownfish| Do clownfish need anemones

How long does it take for an anemone to split?

It usually takes a couple of hours to a day for a bubble tip anemone to split. However, in some cases, it may even take a week.

Don’t worry if it takes more than a couple of days for your anemone to split. Observe the situation and make sure that all the parameters are on point and everything will be alright.

Final Thoughts

There is no scientific proof that will tell us why anemones split in our reef tanks. Is it because they are well fed and living in good conditions? 

Or is it because it’s their survival mechanism, and they are trying to survive in harsh conditions?

The truth is will never know. In the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what we provide for our tank inhabitants to feel like they are in the ocean. 

We are not even close to what the ocean represents for these creatures, but at least we can try to replicate as much as we can and provide the best possible conditions in our reef tanks.

It’s the only way to ensure that these organisms live a healthy and happy life.

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