Anemone Mouth Open?

The Carpet Anemone is a beautiful addition to many aquariums. They help add a dash of color to the water, but they can also help protect a few of the fish in the tank. But what does it mean if you spot your anemone’s mouth open?

If an anemone’s mouth is open, the chances are that it is probably dying. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the water is just a bit too dirty for their liking. However, if the mouth stays open for a long period of time, then, sadly, it means that the anemone isn’t too long for this world.

Let’s go into a bit more depth on this. We will even give you more advice, so you know whether your anemone truly is dying. 

What Is Coming Out Of My Anemones Mouth?

If you notice brown waste coming out of your anemone’s mouth, it is likely them disposing of waste. If the anemone is newly introduced to the tank, then there is a chance that they may be disposing of some algae that live inside of them. This is in preparation for the anemone to move slightly to get more light hitting them. This isn’t an issue. 

If you notice white stuff coming out of your anemone’s mouth, then this could be the anemone releasing its seed. It is looking to reproduce. If you don’t want your anemones to reproduce, it may be worth changing the tank water.

In both these cases, the mouth will probably shut within a few hours. It isn’t really anything to worry about.

If it looks like your anemone is turned ‘inside out’, that could cause concern. As your anemone enters the dying process, it starts to expose the guts. At this point, your anemone may be a little bit too far gone to save.

Although, some people have discovered that an anemone exposing its guts just isn’t happy with the water quality. You may want to check the water, just to be sure. If the water balance is slightly off, then changing it could help, although there are no guarantees. 

Why Is My Carpet Anemone’s Mouth Open?

For the most part, your carpet anemone should rest happily at the bottom of its tank. You will spot the tentacles coming off of it, but not much more. However, every so often, that carpet anemone is going to open its mouth.

If you haven’t seen this happen before, then it may cause a little bit of worry. After all, there are tons of stories out there about how an open mouth on a carpet anemone spells its doom, but that isn’t always the case.

Most of the time, if your carpet anemone opens its mouth, one of the following is happening:

  • Your anemone is disposing of waste.
  • Your anemone is trying to mate (it releases a white substance when this happens)

If this is the case, then the mouth should close up within a few hours. 

In rare cases, the carpet anemone just isn’t happy with the water quality in the tank. If you spot your carpet anemone’s mouth open for longer than a few hours, then it may be worth checking that water balance, just to be sure. This is one of the perks of having an anemone in the tank. They will always try and let you know if something is wrong. 

That being said, an open mouth on a carpet anemone can still indicate that it is dying. You will know this if you can see the insides of the anemone or if the tentacles look a little bit limp. 

How Do I Know If My Anemone Is Happy?

Anemones are not one for showing their emotions. They don’t move around all that often, after all.

Perhaps the best way to know if your anemone is happy is to look at the mouth. A happy anemone will have its mouth closed most of the time. If you look at the lips, then they will seem nice and ‘full’. They are going to be almost puckered. 

A happy anemone will open its mouth on occasion, but for no more than a few hours. If you spot some white substance coming from your anemone, then you know that they are really happy with their environment. The white stuff is them looking to mate with other anemones in the tank.

Other than this, all you can really do is check whether the anemone is eating. If your anemone is eating, then you will know that there probably isn’t anything too wrong with it. 

Finally, if the anemone is wandering around the tank, this could indicate that they are not happy with their environment.

Although, do bear in mind that this is not a surefire way to work out the happiness level of your anemone. They do like to wander around every so often. They want the best position in the tank, after all. 

How Do You Know If Your Anemone Is Dying?

When your anemone is dying, it should be pretty obvious.

One of the first things that you will notice is that the tentacles on the anemone start to go a bit limp. The anemone may even lose a bit of its color.

Around the same time, you may notice that the anemone’s mouth opens up. Unlike normal times when your anemone’s mouth opens (i.e. when it is expelling waste), the mouth will remain open. In fact, it will only get larger. As it gets larger, you will be able to see inside the anemone. You may even notice their guts start to spill out of their mouth.

Of course, the anemone will stop eating at this point. It won’t be long before your anemone is dead, and you will have to remove it from the tank.

Final Word 

Anemone with an open mouth shouldn’t be too much of an issue most of the time. If the mouth stays open for hours on end, then your anemone may be dying. You may want to try and change the water, just to see if it reverses the process.