Originally Posted by Atari
Steve, when you say they don't need it.. do you mean to get-by or to thrive?
To thrive. I have never believed in the "get by" way of doing things.
Any animal we care for should be given optimal conditions to prosper, not minimal.
Lets be clear though, wether or not to suppliment the feeding definately depends on the overall circumstances of the tank and how much is generally fed. Each set up being different, there will always be variances.
Would there be any detrimental effect from feeding?
Definately. Anemones store a fair amount of energy reserves in their tissues. When feeding solid foods too often or in large amounts the anemone uses up a good portion of those stored energies as it must process the food and then expell the wastes. It is when expelling these wastes that the anemone can burn up a great amount of the stored energy especially when done on a continual basis. When the anemone shrinks into nothing to expell the waste and the recoveres to it's original glory many assume this to be a normal happening and nothing to be concerned about. In fact this is increadibley stressful to the animal and often contributes to their downfall and shortlived captive lives if on any kind of regular basis. They will often start to lose overall mass and begin slowly shrinking in size or worse never adapt to the constant food source and simpley give up. They should not need to go through this draining event frequently or unneccessarily.
Treat this part as purely speculative but if you consider that over 85% of their natural food source is from the zooxathellae in their tissues in which is converted to sugars, you are in effect changing their high carbohydrate food diet to that of a high protein diet. This too will have an effect on their overall health and what I believe also contributes to wasting and in some cases a quick death for those that cannot adapt.
I am by no means suggesting that an anemone should never have supplimental proteins but it should be minimal and what is given and in what frequencey should (if any) be balanced with what is fed for any fish that may also be in the system.
Thank for the opportunity to rant 8)