Synthetic Sea Anemones By Ocean Images Inc.
Over the many years of servicing and taking care of marine aquariums for our clients, there was a frequent request by many of them to keep anemones in their aquariums with tangs, angelfish, butterfly fish, wrasses, etc. Our response unfortunately was "NO, Those types of fish are not compatible with sea anemones. Also to consider the fact that we have potentially treated the system with medications that would kill an anemone."
This prompted us to begin the process of developing a synthetic sea anemone. After overcoming obstacles in numerous areas of the design and manufacturing process, 36 months later... We have achieved success! Beautiful, realistic sea anemones which are also extremely long-lasting, will not become stiff nor will they fade. Even enduring our signature 4 stage bleaching process for regular cleanings, they can handle it all. Last but most certainly not least, Our line of synthetic sea anemones are NON-TOXIC!!!
Clown fish frequently have taken up residency in our anemones...wrestling through / nestling in the tentacles, sleeping in, grooming them, and believe it or not clown fish have actually tried to feed them. Hobbyist tested, Clown fish approved!
Many of the flexible and semi flexible artificial anemones and other aquarium decor type replicas( polyps,mushrooms,etc. on the market today may start off looking great, some look terrible right out of the box. Once they are submerged in the aquarium they quickly become cloudy and or fade, become stiff and brittle. And in most cases produce an intense nauseating chemical odor as well an oil slick on the surface of the water. Those products are TOXIC!!! One or two in a tank initially doesn't seem to be an issue, but when properly tested for toxicity we find it does in fact cause death in many cases. Here is the scariest part, if the toxicity level is not high enough to kill the fish outright it can cause such a drastic decrease in the immune systems of the fish that it leaves them extremely vulnerable to the first disease that comes along. As a result they have far less ability to fight it and they perish before the owner/caretaker has the chance to figure out what to treat the issue with at hand nor realize that the toxicity of the decor was the cause of it all, wasting time, money, and lives, never addressing the underlying causes but trying to treat symptoms.
There are many people just starting off on the journey into the hobby who may not understand the entire picture yet such as disease, species compatibility, environmental requirements, dietary requirements, etc. Let alone potential toxicity risks caused by aquarium decorations made by companies who do not properly test their chemicals or perhaps these companies do know they are toxic in fact but also know that the average consumer/hobbyist just never even considers that to be a possibility. These manufacturers get away with using cheap, dangerous materials. Its seems to all be about how cheap can they get them made. Sellers make a profit, hobbyist get a new decoration but fish die. Sometimes rapidly, sometimes slow and gradually. The new potential life long hobbyist gets frustrated thinking they don't have what it takes to be successful with an aquarium. That is when the aquarium gets drained and put into the garage for the next yard sale which is sad.
We have performed extensive tests on a number of types of materials searching for the right combination for our synthetic sea life, and we have ''passed'' on a number of them that are currently being used in the industry which we have discovered to be toxic. The material we have come to rest on is not cheap but it is 100% safe-non toxic, has perfect material memory (does not take on an undesirable shape if it becomes warm as many do. We have been able to gently manipulate all of the physical properties of this material.
We have had our synthetic products in our customers aquariums for over 20 years with no issues. Well maybe one issue, puffers and triggers love to nibble on the tips. Does not hurt the fish at all but can ruin the anemone. So for that reason we recommend placing our anemones with puffers or triggers AT YOUR OWN RISK!