Posted by: Brenda Kula | November 10, 2008

Porgie Nesting


For those of you curious sorts who noted my mention of Porgie huddling underneath the coral in the saltwater fish tank yesterday, I now have the reason why she was doing this. I emailed the couple who own Lonestar Aquarium service, and who come do maintenance on my saltwater tank on a monthly basis. I sometimes email them photos of the fish, and use them to pose a question. So I asked if there was a reason Porgie was exhibiting such behavior underneath this coral.

Aundrea’s email to me: Your clownfish is hosting in that coral, Porgie thinks the coral is an anemone.  This is normal behavior, Porgie is just making a home for herself in this coral.

So I Googled clownfish and anemones to educate myself on this matter. This is what I discovered: In the ocean, Porgie would pair up with an anemone.  The reason we do not place anemones in tanks in captivity is because of the following:

When an anemone dies in an aquarium, it releases massive quantities of toxins that could decimate every animal you have in that aquarium. These anemones are fundamentally unsuited to aquariums.

Despite this, thousands of anemones are raided from the ocean. This is a tragedy, because in the wild, anemones can live for hundreds of years. They also reproduce very slowly. When an anemone with a 60 or 70 years ahead of it is taken from the ocean and left to die in an aquarium in just several months, it is a tragedy.

When an anemone is not given the chance to produce offspring, it is a tragedy. If we keep up these destructive collecting practices, there will be no anemones left in the ocean. They simply do not reproduce quickly enough to keep up with the demand of the pet trade.

Anemones should be placed in the same category as whales, panda bears and black rhinoceroses: these huge beautiful animals cannot be killed indiscriminately. Imagine a vendor trying to sell baby panda bears to keep as pets in a living room. This vendor would find himself the target of million dollar lawsuits, and would be reviled by animal-lovers everywhere. Keeping pandas in a living room is ridiculous and cruel. Yet, when many large anemones are taken and put in aquariums, it is the exact same situation.

Isn’t that interesting information? You can sure get yourself in a lot of trouble if you don’t keep up on these things that concern natural environments. I for one did not know this. Boy, you learn something new everyday. And I can stop worrying about Porgie’s obsessive behavior with this coral. She is doing what comes naturally.

Mystery solved. For further reference: Don’t let some fool try to sell you an anemone!



  1. I knew clownfish in the ocean paired up in symbiosis with anenomes, but I had no idea anenomes reproduced so slowly, lived so long in nature yet lived so short in captivity…c’est tragique! Thank you for sharing this information.

  2. Brenda,

    I learn something everyday from your blog and today is no exception. You make me almost want to get a fish tank. (Almost). I can barely care for myself so it’s probably not a good idea. I live vicariously through you and your fish tank.


  3. Hi Brenda! I found your blog through Tina’s blog, In the Garden, where she featured this post.

    Love the story about Porgie! I don’t have an aquarium but i see “wild” anenomes at the tide pools all the time, and this makes them even more interesting. Kudos to you for providing this important conservation info!

  4. Very interesting post, Brenda!

    I saw a Christmas tree today, done up like the sea with colorful fish. I took a couple photos. Hoping they’ll be okay..will post later on this week.

  5. Oh, Brenda, I thought you were going to say the fish was nesting, in preparation for a litter (or whatever fish have when they have babies)!
    Isn’t it amazing all the info you can find on the internet?

  6. I’ve just learned something that may have never passed my way if it weren’t for you! I do appreciate that! Learning is always good for any of us and we never know when it will come in handy!! Watching salt water fish in tanks is very interesting and they do look like a lot of work to maintain!
    The trees in my post are not mine…just some in our area that I drive near often. I took the photo through my car front windshield when it was raining!

  7. Brenda– your photographs are always great, this one fascinating. I feel like I’m looking right into an aquarium– well, I know I am, but I meant that it looks that real. I love clown fish. They make me smile.

  8. Great pictures and it came with useful info how can you beat that !!
    Love the color that the fish have they are beautiful!

  9. What an interesting post today Brenda. I didn’t know that about Clown Fish & Anemone. Isn’t it fascinating how animals do things that we think are strange purely out of instinct.

  10. These two fish are so cute. It’s wonderful to see what a conscientious fish owner you are. These two little fish are very lucky!


  11. Hi Brenda

    wow very interesting, well they say you learn a new thing every day don’t they, and I did coming here today!

    thanks for your comments on my various ailments, I will officially claim you as my personal advisor…lol…seeing as you are older than me and thus have more experience and wisdom…I certainly need a mentor!


  12. Very interesting info indeed.

  13. Very interesting Brenda. My DH has a huge freshwater tank. It really is a lot of work to take care of but very beautiful.
    I don’t see any reason in the world why you couldn’t have a Japanese red maple in a large pot. I think there are dwarf ones.

  14. Wow brenda, I had no idea. I would have just bought the anemone because it was cool looking.

    I sent you an email about your comment on my blog this morning. But the email bounced back. Thanks for your honesty.


  15. Good morning Brenda…. I’m so happy to see you…. I don’t know how I found your new blog, but I’m certainly glad I did… I went to visit your old blog on several occasion but it was gone… no word from you… ;( I’m glad to see you’re doing good…. and still blogging.

    Have a blessed day


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