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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Behavior 2

Related Articles: Bubble Tip, Rose Anemones, Entacmaea quadricolor, Use in Marine Systems by Bob Fenner, Bubble Tip Anemones by Jim Black,  Recent Experiences with BTA's by Marc Quattromani, Anemones, Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: BTA Behavior 1, BTA Beh. 3, BTA Beh. 4, & E. quad. FAQ 1, E. quad FAQ 2, E. quad. FAQ 3, E. quad FAQ 4E. quad FAQ 5, BTA ID, BTA Compatibility, BTA Selection, BTA Systems, BTA Feeding, BTA Disease, BTA Reproduction/Propagation, Anemones, Anemones 2Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding Heteractis malu

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Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Possible E. quadricolor, BTA with Multiple Mouths - 6/8/08 Hi, <Hello Katherine! > I am attaching 2 pictures, I hope you can see what I am talking about. It is hard to get a good picture because it has taken over a "cave" in one of our live rocks and there is a rock above the cave as well. But there are 4 places that appear to be lips (?)... and a ridge midline. <I'm seeing something in the pictures, but it is hard to tell for sure. Please see here: http://www.karensroseanemones.net/atwomouthrose.htm and let me know if this is what you are seeing. Also, since we do not know much about anemones with more than one mouth, could you please keep me updated on the status/progress of this anemone.> Katherine

Floating E. quadricolor, BTA, Plate Coral Doing Poorly, More Information Needed - 6/4/08 I am new to this site and am not sure where this will end up on the site---it appears to be a bit confusing to me. I have 2 questions. <Okay! > I found several articles on bulb tipped anemones and found some great information. Mine (Annie--2 weeks old) has just decided last night to fill with water and float all over the tank. I understand this behavior means she is not happy and is looking for a prime spot. <Correct> Also, she seems a little lighter in color---perhaps she is not getting the proper nutrition/lighting. <It has expelled some of its zooxanthellae. This can be caused from lack of lighting, nutrition or another form of stress. > However she refuses to stick anywhere and has very little reaction to tentacle stimulation---and refuses to eat anything. <This does not sound promising. > I used tongs to target feed some fresh shrimp, then brine shrimp---she may have eaten a small amount of a shrimp pellet. <Brine shrimp is useless unless it is newly hatched, or enriched. Discontinue the pellet food, and try small portions of Krill, Mysis Shrimp, or Silversides. > My tank parameters have been consistent and good, and all of my critters are doing very well. How long do they usual do the float? <Until they find a suitable spot. If one is not available, it may float around until its death. > I know no one that has a different/better set up. Any ideas I can do? I also was given a small tentacle coral plate. <Fungia? > I also have read about their behavior----swelling with water at times. However-mine lives on a sandy substrate and the only indicator I see that she is alive, is that she is still orange. I see no tentacles and no food moving towards her mouth and refuses target feeding. She also has mucous around her. <Is it getting any flow? What are you feeding? How long have you had it? > I hope to hear from you soon-in the meantime I will continue to read more on your website! <Good! > 38G, live rock---mushrooms and polyps (1/2 the tank)---"shelf" model---rest is sand and small shells Nova extreme lighting-4 T5s-2 actinic blue, 2 VHO-Led light at night Penguin BioWheel 150 filter and a protein skimmer <What kind of protein skimmer? Do you have any other flow? > 2 Percula clowns, 3 green Chromis, 1 black and white Damsel, 3 blue/yellow tail Damsels <That's a whole lot of Damsels! > Several species of snail and hermit crabs, <Crabs can be predators. > 1 scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 serpent star, 1 bristle star, 1 shifting sand star T=78, PH=8.2, SG=1.022, <This is much too low of salinity for anemones. Gradually bring up to 1.026 by adding pre-mixed saltwater as your top off daily. > ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrates=5-10, <Work on getting nitrates down to zero. > calcium---350-400ppm, 12-14 dKH, <Your calcium is a bit low and your dKH is a bit high. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm What is your magnesium level? > phosphates=.5 <Needs to be zero. > I also perform a 5 gallon water changes weekly and rinse filters daily. <Filters do not need to be rinsed daily. How old is your system? How much live rock do you have? > Thank you! Christina <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: Floating E. quadricolor, BTA, Plate Coral Doing Poorly, More Information Needed - 6/4/08  6/9/08 Thanks for the reply Brenda! <You're welcome! > Annie (BTA) is still alive-I am not sure how-unless she is getting minimal nutrition from the shrimp that I feed the fish. <It is likely getting some nutrition from the waste from the fish. > I lightly squished her into the live rock before bedtime-and hoped she wouldn't die---But she actually likes the spot!!! <Perfect! I'll keep my fingers crossed that it stays. Just be careful when handling the anemone. They are very delicate creatures.> Today I am going to buy some Krill, Mysis shrimp and silversides. <Great! > Re: the Fungia-I have no alt flow-I can buy a powerhead also. <You will need the added flow. This may have been what the anemone was looking for also. Be sure to cover the intake to protect the anemone.> I am feeding-frozen brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, sometimes fresh shrimp (small chunks), and Nori. The Fungia is still bright orange. I have had her for 4 weeks. My tank overall is a new tank---approximately 9 months old. I put in 19 lbs live rock when I set the tank up. I am bringing the SG up-as you said and yes, a lot of Damsels---a couple have a "gig" next week-to help cycle my mom's tank. <I don't recommend using fish to cycle a tank. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcyclfaq2.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm The parameters are better (ca2+ and alkalinity, ca=440ppm, and Alk=10dKH) Plan: Get Krill, Mysis shrimp, Silversides and Powerhead Slowly increase SG Get Magnesium tests I am trying with frequent water changes to bring the nitrates and phosphates down. <Have you considered a refugium and/or macro algae. More information found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm > What is the best food for Fungia-I have heard many different opinions. <Meaty foods such as the Mysis, Silversides or Krill. > I will have to get back to you about the type of protein Skimmer. Thanks again!! Teena <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: Floating E. quadricolor, BTA, Plate Coral Doing Poorly, More Information Needed - 6/11/08 Just a quick update--The Anemone is eating the Silversides and the Fungia is eating (I now actually see it) the Mysis shrimp!! Everyone if happy with the increase in flow! Thanks again and I will talk to you soon! <That is great news! Brenda>

Anemone Splitting, E. Quadricolor, BTA - 4/1/08 <Hello, Brenda here!> I need help. I think my bubble anemone is going to die because it punctured itself on a rock. <It did not puncture itself.> It was healthy (tight mouth, etc) when I received it and open(s) up normally but has recently shrunken a little. I've only had it for 1 week. The anemone set its foot down in a place and the rock has come through the mouth of the anemone. It only comes through the mouth it has not split...remains in one piece. <Give it time, it will finish the split. Start checking your water parameters to see if there is anything that has stressed the anemone. Brenda>

Traveling Anemone, BTA, E. quadricolor - 3/16/08 Good Afternoon WWM crew, <Hello Mike!> Your site is a wealth of knowledge and I have tried to do as much reading as possible to see if I could answer my own questions. <Thank you!> Unfortunately, I'm still looking for answers and hoping you can help. <Hopefully I can help!> I have a 36 gal bow set up as a mixed reef. Age 8 months 130 watts of PC lighting, 65 W 10K and 65 W actinic (~5 months old) <This is borderline lighting for an anemone. You may need to supplement with extra feedings to keep the anemone happy.> 11.5 on/ 12.5 off 50 lbs of live rock and a 2.5" live sand base, Running an Aquaclear 50 with Chemipure, a Bak Pak 2R+ and a Hydor Koralia Nano (240 GPH) for additional circulation, <I don't recommend powerheads with anemones, especially the Hydor Koralia. You'll have anemone soup if your anemone decides to roam.> for additional circulation, Water quality is Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10, <Nitrates need to be zero.> dKH 9-10, calcium 340, phosphate undetectable, SG 1.0245, <I recommend 1.026 for anemones.> ph 8.4, Temp range 77.7 - 78.9F <I would increase temp. to 79-80.> 5 gal water changes every 7 - 10 days (use DI water for mixing) Inhabitants - 1 percula clown, 1 small (~2") Kole tang, <A 36 gallon tank is much too small for a tang.> 2 Green Chromis, a medium star polyp rock, a medium button polyp rock, 2 small mushroom rocks (1 green stripe, 1 red), a red open brain and a small colony of pom pom xenia. The xenia was the only thing close to the anemone's original location, and was there when I put the anemone in the tank. Everything else was a minimum of 10" away. <You have quite the mix of coral in there. Are you running fresh carbon? Do you have a sump or refugium?> I've had a 4 - 5" rose BTA in my tank for 5 weeks now, and have had some issues along the way. Had a ~2" maroon clown that was beating it up, that has since been removed and returned to the LFS. <Maroon clownfish can be aggressive.> Once the clown was gone a crab (not one that I added, must have been in the live rock somewhere) took up residence in a hole in the live rock just below where the foot was attached, it has also been removed for about 10 days. <Good!> Thought all was going well, tank and inhabitants were all looking good. Through all of the issues my BTA stayed in it's original location, then yesterday it moved. It was originally attached to a rock about half way up in the water column on the right side of the tank in an area where it appeared to be getting moderate current and has now relocated to the back bottom center of the tank behind all of my live rock (all in a period of about 10 hours). It is now in a location where it will get very little light and will be almost impossible for me to feed. <It is best to leave it alone for now. If it is healthy, it will come out on its own, when it is ready.> I have been feeding 2 - 3 times a week with small pieces of silversides and Mysis shrimp. I've read enough to realize that I shouldn't try to locate it (I'd have to tear down half of my live rock just to get to it), that it would just cause more stress to the anemone. Just don't know what could have prompted the more. <Is the anemone white (bleached)?> I did a scheduled water change this past Thursday, but other than that there haven't been any significant changes to the tank environment that I can see or detect through testing. The anemone seemed in good health prior to the move. Could this be a stocking issue, do I need to get rid of some of the corals. <I would start by using fresh carbon.> Not sure what to make of the situation, from what I've read, BTAs usually stay put once acclimated. <No, Anemones of any kind, stay put when they are happy. An unhappy anemone will move, looking for a better place.> Sorry about the length of this and thanks for taking the time to read it. I just want to do the right thing. Any advice or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and best regards, Mike <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: Traveling Anemone, BTA, E. quadricolor - 3/18/08 Brenda, Good morning. <Hello Mike!> Thanks for your quick reply and suggestions. <You're welcome!> In answer to some of your questions...I don't run carbon in the Aquaclear, I use Chemipure in its place. Would you recommend replacing the Chemipure with carbon? Or run a smaller bag of Chemipure with an additional bag of carbon? <I have not used Chemi Pure. I prefer using carbon. However, I have not heard any negative issues regarding its use. More information found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/carbonfaqs.htm > No, I don't have a sump or refugium. However, I do have a crop of feather Caulerpa growing in the tank. <I do recommend the use of a refugium, especially in such a small tank.> I guess I could do a larger volume water change to help address the nitrates, just don't seem to be able to get them below 5 ppm even after a water change. My Bak Pak skimmer is a recent upgrade and I hoping that it will do a better job of removing organics then the SeaClone I was using, thereby helping me to reduce my nitrates. <I can imagine!> I really don't feel like I over feed (fish once a day alternating with different frozen and flake foods, soft corals 3X a week with DT's.) I'd welcome any other suggestions...Based on what I've seen and read, I would say the anemone is not bleached. The base/foot has a reddish orange color to it, the disk and tentacle bases are brownish with a slight green and orange iridescent coloring and from about mid way to the tips the tentacles are a bright fluorescent orange. (At least, prior to the move, this is how I would describe it.) <Can you send me a picture of this? I am concerned that this anemone may have been dyed.> By the way, it has since made another move yesterday into a cave in my rock work and is attached to the ceiling hanging upside down! It almost looks like it's trying to figure out how to get out. It is still inflating and deflating. <It is not happy!> I guess I'm in a wait, watch and hope mode at this point. Thanks again for your advice and help. Mike <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: E. quadricolor, BTA, Hiding, Acclimation - 3/16/08 Hi Brenda, <Hello Akila!> Thanks for your reply. <You're welcome!> I add the baking soda just to maintain the pH as mentioned in Dr. Bob Fenner's Marine Aquarist book under maintaining pH (p.130). My pH is within the safe limits I guess. <Just be careful not to add too much too fast. Anemones do not do well with a sudden change. Add it gradually.> And yes I use the Compact Florescent lights - CFL. Each has 125W, 1250 Im, 6500K & 50/60 Hz. I have 4 lights that totals up to 500W & 5000. This is being used on a tank that is 27 inches deep, 37 inches long and 18 inches wide. Do you think it is adequate??? <Yes, I believe it is, especially if the anemone has enough rock that it can climb to higher levels if it needs to.> I keep my temperature at 25C - 26C (78.8F) and the salinity at 0.024. <Increase salinity to 1.026 gradually by topping off daily with pre-mixed saltwater.> As I live in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) I bought the anemone directly from a collector and probably it was collected couple of days back. When I saw the anemone it was in a small tank with starfish and the place was pretty dark and the anemone was a little bit shrunken up. After directly putting it to the tank, only a day later the anemone got 3 times bigger than it actually was. Is this a good sign or a bad sign??? <Anemones will shrink to expel waste and to acclimate themselves to their environment. If this is happening often, it is a bad sign. However, since this anemone has only been in your system a few days, I don't see reason to be alarmed.> And I do not keep any corals except some dead ones. <Okay.> Today half of the anemone came out but the other half was still under the rock. The entire day it was like that. During the day time the anemone got real big on the side that came out and the tentacles were long and reaching upwards. But at night it again went to hiding and also became 3 times smaller. Why is this change in size??? Is it a sign of bad health??? Or bad conditions??? Shall I take it out from there and close that hole with some stones. <No.> Because I can't even feed the anemone when its hiding as I can't reach its month opening. <I don't recommend touching the mouth.> Is it possible to keep some bits of shrimp meat on the tentacles. Is it possible to feed it like that??? <You bet! This is the best way to feed in my opinion. Hopefully the anemone is healthy enough to be able to hold on to the food. If not, place food near the mouth, without touching the anemone.> I'll get some pictures of the anemone tomorrow and mail you. <Great!> I'll also buy another pH test kit along with Calcium and Alkalinity kits and send that data to you also if the kits are available at the LFS. Thanks, Best regards. Akila <You're welcome! Brenda>

Hi Brenda, <Hello Akila!> I have attached some pictures. <It appears that you have two anemones! This would explain why it went into hiding. Stress! Anemones do split in two when they are stressed, resulting in two anemones. Collection is enough to stress an anemone enough that it will clone itself. More information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonereprofaqs.htm > I have another problem. I tested my water for dKH and Calcium. I have 15 - 16dkh & 370 - 380mg/l. Can this be right??? <It could be. What test kits are you using? Are you adding anything for calcium and magnesium? For now, stop adding additives. There is more information here regarding Calcium and Alkalinity: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm > Best regards, Akila

E. quadricolor, BTA, Hiding, Acclimation - 3/14/08 Dear Mr. Bob Fenner <Hello Akila, Brenda here this time!> I have wrote to you a lot of times and you guys have been a real help to me over the years. <Good to hear!> I appreciate your advice with regards to what I am facing now. Some details of my 80G tank would be, I have 1 large canister filter (works as a refugium for me), 2 power filters (1500lph each), protein skimmer, UV sterilizer 5W, Compact Florescent lighting 6500K - 400W, <Are you sure this is compact florescent lighting?> & Chiller. My pH is 8.2-8.4(can't figure out the exact color from the chart), Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10. I do a 20% water change every month. <I recommend 10% weekly.> I also add 4 - 5 teaspoons of baking soda every month along with the water change to maintain my pH. <Are you testing before adding this? Are you gradually adding the baking soda?> I don't have fish in my tank at the moment due to some problems with lifted temperature that finally led me to buy a chiller. The tank is cycled and I ran it for 2 years with no problems. I currently have 3 tube worms, grape macro algae (I forgot the name of the algae), and some sails. After adding the BTA (Rose) 2 days ago it is hiding under a cavity inside my rock work. It did not come out for a day. I read a lot of FAQs on your site and learned that this could be normal until it gets settled in but is there any other parameters or something else I need to check. <Yes, what is your temperature and salinity? How did you acclimate this anemone?> Do I need to get any other equipment or something to make it feel more comfortable? <Do you know any history on this anemone? Was it recently shipped? What kind of lighting was it kept under previously?> I don't understand why it is hiding inside a rock. <I wouldn't be overly concerned just yet. This anemone may be acclimating itself to its new environment. Placing an anemone into a new environment is stressful. > Thought they liked bright lighting??? <They do, but I'm not convinced you have extremely powerful lighting.> Can the tube worms be a problem??? <No. Do you have any coral in the tank? If so, what?> Also how can I increase the calcium level in my tank. I heard the tube worms like more calcium in the water??? <Your LFS should have the additives you need. I do recommend researching before you start adding chemicals. Here is a good place to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm > Thanks in advance for your advice, Best regards, Akila <You're welcome! Brenda>

New E. quadricolor, Possible Acclimation Behavior - 1/29/08 Hi guys! <Hello Ron, Brenda here> A little background about the tank first...before my question... 58 gallon oceanic with overflow with 75lbs LR, and 1" sand bed, 40 gallon refugium w/ 10-20 lbs live rock, 6 mangroves, Chaeto, and grape Caulerpa with a deep sand bed and some cleaner clams somewhere buried, and an Aqua C Urchin pro skimmer. Fish include a maroon clown, rusty angel, small blenny, 3 Chromis, and a sergeant major. There are 2 medium sized finger leathers, another Kenya tree leather, assorted mushrooms / polyps, some xenia, and a toadstool leather. I recently purchased a rose anemone from Reef and Tails - the only LFS that is worth checking out (and I live within 40 minutes of That Fish Place.) Yesterday it appeared healthy directly after acclimation, but this morning I woke up to find the foot stretched out about 6 inches. It seemed as though the anemone was trying to close, but the clown would not let it. I have covered the anemone with a "strawberry crate," and the clown is letting it alone for now. However, now the mouth is visible, and the anemone's diameter increased about 1 inch since yesterday. What are your thoughts on this? <It sounds like it is acclimating itself to its new environment. This sounds normal. Just to be sure, what are your water parameters, including temperature, salinity, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, calcium and alkalinity? What size tank, and what equipment do you have on the tank?> Thanks, Ron <You're welcome! Brenda>

Anemone normal behavior or do I have a problem? 11/18/07 Good day WWM, <Hello Josie, Scott V. here.> My name is Josie. I'm so glad your site is there for me to search; however, I am having trouble navigating the site. I love reading through the FAQ's and the articles but sometimes I just can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I have a question on Anemone Behavior. First thing's first though. My tank equipment and parameters are as follows: 55 g show tank with 20 g sump with refugium and deep sand bed about 5-6" thick (sugar fine sand) in both the tank and the sump refugium that has now been set up for about 6 months (we cycled the tank using BioSpira for about 4 months before we added any inhabitants as we wanted to ensure the parameters were stable first.) Lighting: 342 watt total with 1-150 watt HQI (10000K); 2-96 watt (Dual 460nm/420nm) actinic by Current/Sun Pac Protein Skimming: Corallife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel 125 g Canister Filter: Marineland Magnum 350 Pro (350 gph) (I also have PolyFilter in the canister for phosphate removal as well as other bad stuff) Refugium: Two bundles of Chaetomorpha and One Grape Caulerpa and lots of copepods. <One algae will likely choke out the other in time.> Water Circulation in Tank: 2 Hydor Koralia 2 Water Circulation Pumps (600 gph) Tank: 90-100 lbs of live rock, 1 smooth leaf red kelp Tank Inhabitants: 1 - BTA (E. quadricolor) 1 - Condylactis sp. Anemone <<... trouble. RMF>> 2 - small Maroon and Yellow Stripe Clownfish (observing larger one being more matriarchal and smaller one being more the "slave") 1 - Duncanopsammia axifuga (Whisker) 6 - Nassarius snail 6 - Dwarf Scarlet Hermit Crabs 12 - Margarita Snails 2 - Fighting Conchs 3 - Peppermint Shrimp Tank Water Parameters: Calcium - 380 ppm Alkalinity - 15 dKH <On the high side.> pH - 8.2 Nitrates - 0 Nitrites - 0 Ammonia - 0 Temp - 78.8 Magnesium - 1300 ppm Maintenance Regimen: 5% Water Change every Friday and Monday (vacuum sand every Friday) <Should not need to vacuum the sand, only a very occasional stirring perhaps. Your livestock list should provide quite a bit of stirring in a 55 gal.> Clean all filter media, sponges, etc. weekly. <Good.> Moonlights on in morning 30 min, then add actinic on for 30-45 min, then add metal halides on for 10 hours; then the MH are turned off, 30-45 min later the actinic are turned off and then the moonlight is turned off about an hour later. Water test for pH, Salinity, Magnesium, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, Calcium, Alkalinity every Friday Supplements: Purple Up every 2 days; Liquid Calcium daily; Iodine daily; Essential Elements weekly; Strontium & Molybdenum every 4 days; Micro-Vert every 3 days <Not a fan of so many supplements (especially the Purple Up). With your livestock list your water change regimen should be sufficient for trace element supplementation. If anything you will need calcium/Alk additions, and only according to your test kits. The iodine can reach toxic levels if not monitored.> Feeding Schedule: Mysis with garlic supplement to Clownfish daily; Mysis with Phytoplankton to whisker every 3 days; Mysis to both anemone's every 3 days <I would feed the anemones once a week at most.> I have had a BTA in the tank for about 3 weeks and everything seemed to be doing fine. The Clowns have been taking great care of him and feeding him Mysis as I fed them and then 3 days ago I added a Condy Anemone to my tank (upon advise from the LFS as being OK. ARGH) and now the BTA has gone into hiding and been curled up into a ball most of the time. The clownfish are doing everything they can to take care of the BTA and coax him out of the cave he shoved himself into. I did not know at the time that Condy's were not necessarily a good choice for the type of tank that I have. The two anemones have not contacted each other; however, I'm not so stupid to think that they don't know each other is there. At least the BTA seems to be reacting to the addition in a negative way. Is this something that I should consider removing the Condy and returning him to the LFS or will this pass? Josie B <I would remove one or the other; anemones don't play well with others; corals or other anemones. Some water changes should help, as well as some new carbon. I would lay off the supplements, if you don't test for and monitor it, I wouldn't add it. It makes for more work, expense and adds more paths for things to go wrong. Water changes are the best way for trace element addition with your livestock. Good luck Scott V.>
Re: Anemone normal behavior or do I have a problem? 11/18/07
Hello again WWM, <Hello.> Thank you very much for your advice. <Welcome.>I am considering purchasing the test kits for phosphate, iodine, silica, boron, copper, strontium, and dissolved oxygen. What are your thoughts on the electronic methods using probes instead of the reagents? <The electronic monitors are nice, but by the time you account for calibration times and cost you might as well stick with traditional test kits. All the testing is generally not necessary, especially once your tank is well established, but I am also a nut about knowing what is in my water, it is kind of fun.> I found a site that offers these tests in a laboratory setting: www.aquariumwatertesting.com weekly, monthly, or one time for a fairly nominal fee. <Interesting.>Which macroalgae would be best, Chaetomorpha or the grape Caulerpa? I would think the Caulerpa would be best but it seems there are mixed feelings on which is really better, if any at all. I have ensured that it gets light 24/7 to prevent it from going "sexual" as I have seen it called, and disintegrating. <I personally prefer Chaetomorpha, but either works fine.> The alkalinity is high and the only thing that I know that I can do that will bring that down is water changes. <Yes.> Should I do a few 10% instead of just 5% water changes? <The amount of work is about the same. If you don't mind the extra expense in salt the 10% wouldn't hurt. Keep up on the water changes, this is where many aquarists start to slack off thinking everything is going fine.> Thank you for the clarification on not needing to vacuum the sand, I would much rather stir up the top a little every once in awhile rather than vacuum it. The reason we do vacuum it is the detritus that can accumulate on the sand and makes it, well, unattractive. I worry that that it will harm the animals so I remove as much of it as we can. <Good circulation and eliminating dead spots will keep this in suspension to be filtered or skimmed out. The idea with the DSB you have is to leave it undisturbed as much as possible to get anaerobic activity going on in the bottom layers.> We have considered getting a calcium reactor to minimize the amount of calcium that we need to add and also to regulate the alkalinity a bit better. <They are a nice addition and big investment. You can also see good results with a two part additive such as B-Ionic by ESV which includes most of the required trace elements.> It might have to be an after Christmas purchase ;-) We have temporarily moved the Condy to the refugium until tomorrow when I can take him back to the LFS. The carbon was changed last week. We will probably change it out tomorrow when we do the water change. Again, thank you for the assistance. <You are welcome, I too would have chose the BTA. Happy reefing, Scott V.>

E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues - 11/14/07 Hello once again! <Hello Ryan, Brenda here> I have yet another question for you. <Not a problem!> It never ends, does it? <No, but this is how we all learn, and why we are here.> Thanks for all your great help so far and hopefully you can help me out with this interesting situation? <I'll try!> I recently moved my bubble tip anemone and its clone to a new tank. The new tank was setup with existing live rock and water, as well as some Chaetomorpha algae. <This is not an instant cycle. This creature needs an established environment, including the sand bed. This takes a minimum of 6 months, one year is best.> Everything has been going well, except the endless walking around the tank. <It is not happy.> Different flow and lights will cause that. <The new tank is likely the cause.> Yesterday I came home from work and found something interesting. The anemones had been fed the day before and looked a little unhappy. <What are you feeding it?> I took a look and found something interesting? I've posted this on three forums and no one has responded, which, in my opinion means no one has an answer? Today the anemones look much happier and the "egg sac" in the attached picture is gone. After I took the picture last night I noticed the tentacle started to tear open but I did not stay up late enough to see if anything was released? I added some carbon and did a water change just in case something in the tank was off. <You need to keep a close eye on your water parameters.> Thanks for looking, Ryan. http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s7/RyanSc_photos/IMG_1496.jpg It is just to the right of the mouth. <Yes, I see this.> Any ideas? <Well, I can tell you, it is not an egg sac. Here is a link to a thread that shows eggs inside of an anemone. The pictures in this thread are amazing. http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic74210-9-1.aspx This is also a good article to read: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/feature.htm As far as what is going on; it could be a number of things. It looks to me like one of its tentacles has become injured or irritated. What are the tank mates, including fish, corals and invertebrates? Have you noticed anything bothering it? Are there any possibilities that salt accumulated somewhere and dropped into the tank, landing on the anemone? What are your water parameters? How long has this tank been up and running? Did you transfer the sand bed over also? If so, how long did you leave it cycle before adding the livestock? Thanks again. <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues - 11/15/07 Hi Brenda, thanks for the reply. <Hello Ryan, and you're welcome!> You are not going to like this? <Yikes!> I did the entire change over in one day! <Ouch!> After asking many people if it would be OK if I used existing live rock and water as well as some Chaeto, they all said yes. <No, it is not ok, especially with anemones.> So if this was not OK what can I do now? Water parameters were fine until I fed the anemones, I fed them shrimp, same shrimp I've fed for over a year. My ammonia was a little high the day after and I'm assuming that one or both of the anemones did not eat their "dinner", causing the higher ammonia. <The ammonia spike is caused by the cycle. This is extremely toxic to anemones.> I did a water change to fix the problem, a rather large water change and after that they both looked fine. Here are the water parameters, ammonia 0, nitrite 0 (yes I'm sure), nitrate 0, calcium 400, Alk 10 DKH, salinity 1.025, temp. 79....I think that's it. <I do recommend a salinity of 1.026 for anemones.> The tank has a couple of frags that were attached to the live rock, Montipora and that is it, no other corals or fish....oh other than the one Palythoa hijacker. Please let me know if there is a way I can fix this situation? <I suggest getting the anemones out of there for a while. See if you can find someone local to take it in. If you are starting with a new sand bed, you need to wait a minimum of 6 months. If you transferred the old sand bed, it will take less time, but I can't give you an exact time frame. It could take a few weeks, or even a few months. There are too many variables. You will need to keep checking your water parameters. Once everything has been stable for a while, you can put the anemones back in.> I assure you I did a lot of questioning before I went ahead with this move and everyone said it was fine. Now I need your help, please. I did not check the links yet because I'm in a bit of a rush and trying to catch you today rather than tomorrow. Thanks for your help, Ryan. <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: Entacmaea reading - 10/04/07 <Hello Jake, Brenda here filling in for Bob while he enjoys some time off.> Thank you for your response. <You're welcome!> I know my system is small, but I monitor the parameters closely, and do plan to upgrade. I received the tank and animals from someone who did not take good care of them, and I have nursed it back to health. <Congratulations on the recovery!> I was just wondering why the anemone was eating its own tentacle. <I'm not exactly sure. I'm also not 100% convinced that is what happened. You stated that the anemone put the tentacle in its mouth and when it spit it back out it was a shorter tentacle. An anemone is capable of changing the shape of its tentacles. I would not be alarmed here. My guess is that the tentacle had a small piece of food on it. It is common for an anemone to place a tentacle in its mouth during feeding.> I had read through most of the information and I did not see that question anywhere. Again, thank you Mr. Fenner, you and the other staff have been amazing in teaching me how to care for my animals. <Glad you find the site useful.> I highly recommend the site to anyone who asks. Jake <Good luck Jake! Brenda>

BTA & Candy Cane Coral Concerns   9/11/07  Good Evening, <Hi Jackie, Mich with you.> I have what I would call a disastrous problem. <Well, let's not panic just yet.> About a week ago, my BTA decided to move from his location (of nine months) atop a large rock. He attempted to travel through the rock (why not over the rock??) <Heehee! Why did the chicken cross the road?> to the <get to the> other side. However, it appears that he is stuck. <Mmm, perhaps, but I'm doubtful.> A third of his body is on each side of the rock, and half is inside of the rock. I don't imagine that he can survive for very long in this position. It does not appear that he is doing anything to remedy this problem on his own. <I suspect he may be trying to divide. Anemones often disappear inside the rockwork during this process, yours just may be more visible.> What, if anything, should/could I do to remove him from the rock? <I would wait and see. It is unlikely that he is permanently stuck... think Jell-O.> On a different topic...what's the best way to feed (teeny tiny pieces of shrimp) a Candy Cane coral? It's such a slow eater that when I place food in its tiny tentacles, it's not long before one of my greedy shrimp manages to confiscate the food. <They can be buggers, can't they? I accidentally killed one of my cleaner shrimp one time by trying to scoot him away from a coral I was trying to feed. A little guilt there... The best thing I have found it to place the coral you are trying to feed in an isolation container while they feed. A floating breeder container works well. It's not the most convenient option but it does reduce the frustration levels you begin to have with the shrimp.> I'm afraid it will starve to death. <Your Caulastrea likely won't starve but will definitely benefit from supplemental feedings.> Sincerely, Jackie <Cheers, Mich>

Rose Bubble Anemone, beh....   9/5/07 I've had this Rose Bubble Anemone in the tank for about 4 weeks. He was a beautify creature, well inflated, feed well and the clowns were right at home in him. But the last 5 days he has started moving around the tank from rock to rock and spend all his time deflated and shriveled. <::sigh:: He's not happy.> I know anemone do this from time to time to expel waste and restock on nutrients <True, but not for extended periods and they don't have to move around to do this.> but I've not known one stay retracted for so long. Is he suffering some ailment or is this quite a normal thing with bubbles. <He is indeed suffering. From what is the question. Have you changed anything about your set-up (lighting, additives, water flow, etc.)? Have you added any new livestock? How big is the tank? We can try to help but only with a lot more information. Best, Sara M.>

What is my BTA doing? Entacmaea quadricolor - 6/25/07 Hi Guys <Hi Dave, Brenda here> I have had a BTA for about 4-6 weeks now and everything seemed fine. I am feeding him a bit of cockle every 5-7 days and most of the day he stayed fully open. I have 2 x Common Clowns which have paid no interest in him what so ever (unfortunately). <There is never a guarantee that clownfish will take to an anemone in captivity. Give it some time, it may happen.> Every now and then he would pop into a crevice in my LR and out the other side, back and then forward to the front again. Saturday I saw what looked like a little pile of dust/parmesan cheese near his mouth but he seemed fine. <I would need to see a picture of this.> Yesterday (Sunday) he popped to the back of the tank and hasn't come out since (now Monday evening). <It may be nothing to worry about. Your anemone does not know that you want it in the front of the tank for you to view.> He hasn't moved around the tank since I have had him, and seemed happy and bubbly till then!!!! <Is your anemone actually roaming around the tank, or has it just found a crevice in the rock that it is able to expand on either side of it?> Any ideas? <How long has your tank been up and running? What are your water parameters, lighting, tank size, amount of flow, filtration, tank mates, and any other equipment you are using? If you can get a picture without disturbing the anemone that would be helpful.> Dave <Brenda>

BTA and Other Anemones - 06/17/07 Good evening Crew. I have two questions that I hope have easy answers. First: I have a BTA that seems to be doing quite well--was when I purchased and remains a nice shade of light brown, shows its bubbles fairly often, etc. One thing that concerns me a little, though, is that it seems to prefer locations that have limited light. I have a 110 g that is 30" high, illuminated with 6 x 54W T5s (3 10,000K daylights and 3 actinics--thinking of swapping 1 actinic out for a 10000K daylight, just haven't gotten around to doing it yet). I know BTAs like to perch in ledges, <Mmm, only in captivity. In the wild this species is most often encountered in crevices... wedged twixt... and if disturbed, pulled back out and away from touch> and I have plenty of rock, overhangs, crevices, etc. The other night I had to move the rock on which it was perched to deal with an unstable rock underneath, and the BTA moved and is now sitting under an overhang of rock, about 90% shaded. I realize that BTAs will move to find a suitable location, but is this normal? <Mmm, normal... for abnormal/aquarium settings, yes... It will move itself...> From what I read, my lighting doesn't seem to be too strong. <Agreed> Second: I purchased some really nice Florida aquacultured rock and noticed that the rock came with a few (4 that I can see) very small anemones. Some are striped (brown and clear) and some are clear. I have tried to identify them using WWM, but they are too small to make an accurate ID. My question is, should I be wary of any anemone that comes on Atlantic rock? <Possibly... there are many "pest" types... some can/will displace, sting other life...> Put another way, are there Atlantic anemones that one typically sees on rock that are not pest anemones? <Yes... by definition, like a terrestrial plant "weed", unwanted... or at least not found to have purpose as yet> As always, I appreciate the insight. Andy Bulgin <There are ref. works re... Maybe see the Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach series... Bob Fenner>

Bubble Tip Anemone, E. Quadricolor, Lost Its Bubbles - 6/3/07 Hey Bob F. and Crew, <Hi Luke, Brenda here> I have a question about my bubble tip anemone. It has become a droopy tip anemone. The tentacles have become stretched, and now lack the bubble tips. <It is not completely understood why some of these anemones loose their bubbled tips in captivity. It is not a health issue. However, your description of "droopy" and "stretched" does concern me. Without seeing a picture and knowing your equipment and feeding schedule, it is impossible for me to know if you have an adequate environment for this animal. It is possible the health of the anemone is deteriorating. The stretched tentacles may be a sign of not enough lighting or food. If you can provide me with your equipment list, feeding schedule, types of food, water parameters, and a picture if possible, I will be happy to look into it further.> I was wondering if you knew how to make it a bubble tip anemone again. Thank you, Luke <You're Welcome, Brenda>

E. quadricolor Behavior   5/10/07 Hi there. <Hello.> A quick question that I couldn't find an answer to on the FAQ's.  <Okay.> We have had a green BTA for about 3 months now that has a maroon clown hosting in it. <Neat.> The past Sunday, now Wednesday) we acquired more live rock  ( had our tank for 8 months or so, just added more prettiness) and did some aquascaping. <Was the rock precured or did you cure in a QT tank prior to adding to your display?> Anyway, my question is this.  <Okay.> The spot that my BTA has picked is no longer getting light, will he move on his own?  <Yes...it should.> We have 2 power jets circulating water currents, and plenty of light from what I have read on your sight.  I read that we shouldn't' try to move him, but will he move on his own?  <Correct...if you attempt to manually remove him, you may fatally damage the animal.> What can we do to entice him out? <You can get a powerhead or turkey baster and "impose" on it w/ strong flow to encourage it to move.>   Someone said that as long as the clown is feeding him he doesn't really need the light, but that doesn't sound right to me.  <A combination and balance of both is necessary.> Any help will be appreciated!!! Thanks so much, Love your site. <Welcome and good luck. Adam J.>

BTA expelling pink  3/23/07 Dear Bob, I recently transferred my BTA into my 6 week cycled tank. <You should not have an Anemone in a tank this young.> I moved him attached to the rock his foot was on and in a bag so he was always under water.   After placing him in the tank he started to expel some round pink objects   (please see unclear picture).   <Likely poop and bits of undigested Prawn.> I had just fed it that morning with some cut  up prawn shrimp. Any ideas what the pink expulsion is besides shrimp? <It's poop!> The  foot is a dark brown, the tentacles are green and full and it seems to be liking  the new halide lighting. <Please do brush up on the care of these creatures.  Try doing a search using the term Entacmaea quadricolor.> Best regards, <Good luck with your E. quadricolor.  Brandon.>

Re: BTA expelling pink   03/23/07 Dear Brandon, <Hello again Jason.> I know putting the BTA in my 180 gallon was a bit premature however its previous 55 gallon tank had sprung a leak and I had to transfer it over. <You gotta do what you gotta do.  I was just illustrating that these animals need established systems that's all.  Further, I suggested that you read up on the care of these critters, because you seemed shocked by what is an ordinary occurrence.> Most of the fish I was able to store in my QT tank however I did not want to combine the  BTA in that small an environment as it is crowded already with the fish. <Likely a stressful event.> My  question is what should I be looking for in the anemone to see if it is doing O.K. or if it is in distress?   <Droopy mouth, staying closed all the time, turning to goo.> The water levels are normal 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, ph  8.4 <Nitrite, Calcium, Alkalinity?> The tank has 3- 250W MH with 2 rows of actinic bulbs, a 30 gallon trickle sump and a 2- gallon mud refugium with mangroves. <Interesting setup.> Thanks again,
<You are welcome.  Brandon.>

Anemone seeking clown? - 3/21/07 Hello Crew, <Hello, Brenda here> I have a (I believe) unique, if not odd, question.  Do anemones seek out clowns to host by moving around the tank?   <No> I ask this because over the last 4 days I watched my BTA move from a location at the top of my live rock to the glass, overnight.  First, it moved to the top left, back corner and stayed there for two days.  Over night on the 2nd night it moved to the lower left back corner and was there for a day and a half (until yesterday morning).  By the time I returned home from work last night it had moved to the lower left front corner.  Last night, after the lights went out, my female percula went in and slept there for the night.  The male stayed very close but did not go in.  Neither fish had ever been hosted by the BTA in the past and have been together for several months.  As I've continued to think about this I began to wonder if the BTA knew how to find the clowns.  It sounds too weird to me to me to be true but the last three positions the BTA was in/attached to have been the last positions the clown pair has slept in the previous night.  Is this just a coincidence or did I see another amazing behavior of our saltwater friends? <It is odd, but is just a coincidence.  An anemone will move to find a comfortable position.  Hopefully it settles down soon.> Bob <Brenda>

New tank, New BTA Problems- 3/15/07 OK so here is my 24gallon AquaPod. Its been running for a month, set up with 20lbs. of great live rock in the display and in the rear chambers (LFS got it from a customers tank) with lots of nice coralline growth.  Water movement is handled by a MJ1200 with a FLO attached, and I just recently added a second pump behind the rockwork that has a spray bar that pushes water against the rear wall and out towards the front under the rocks.  A 70W HQI pendant (suspended 6" above water level) provides my light on a 12 hour duration cycle.  (LEDs at night).  A custom skimmer by sapphire aquatics completes the set-up.  Oh, and my current water regimen is to top off with RO/DI/UVed water, and my water changes are 2.5 gal. weekly with filtered seawater that we san Diegans get for free!  My long-term goal for the tank is only 3 or 4 small fish (1 blenny so far, and I would like to add one or two small clowns, and maybe an orchid dotty or a royal Gramma) and some mixed soft corals since this is my first reef foray.  I would also like to take a shot at an anemone and see if I can create a symbiotic environment with the clowns. <A 24 gallon tank is too small of a tank for this anemone, especially with corals.> SO After 2 weeks, I added a Clean up crew (snails, hermits, and one skunk cleaner shrimp) to take on the accumulating green algae.  The shrimp has been a treat to watch, and he eats readily when I add a small pinch of ground-up dry food (spectrum Thera A+....looks like quality stuff...)  I have had a couple of the snails and one hermit go missing, and I'm not sure if they're being eaten by the shrimp as well.   <They are not likely being eaten by the shrimp.  There may not be enough food available to them in a new tank.  Crabs can not be trusted and have been known to kill snails, small fish and pester anemones.  I am also not in favor of the bare bottom tank you have chosen.> (haven't seen any harassment myself).  Well, after another 2 weeks, the water parameters have all remained solid, and yesterday I took home a Starry Blenny, and a nice looking green bubble tip anemone. <It is recommended to wait six months to a year before introducing an anemone.> After an hour of drip acclimation, I was very careful not to damage the disk/foot, and was rewarded with a spectacular view for the rest of the day and even night (looks great under the blue LEDs).  Well you can imagine my shock this morning when I thought the anemone disappeared!!   <They will roam to find a comfortable place.  It may not find a comfortable place in its current home.> Here is how he looks now in the second picture. <Under the circumstances, this is normal.> I just re-tested all levels (all nitrates, pH, calcium, phosphate, Alk.) everything reads fine....I've been all over your site trying to figure out if he's stressing, or if he's just digesting!! <Did you come across a recommendation to wait six months or more before trying an anemone?  It does look stressed.  Digesting?  Did you feed it and what did you feed it?> How often does this kind of behavior occur with other BTA's and how long do they usually stay closed up for digestion?? <I can't answer that, I don't know if it is digesting, or if it is not happy in the environment.  It looks like it has gone into hiding or splitting, either would be caused from stress.> I was thinking at first that the halide turning on might have shocked it, but it was under similar lighting at the LFS and I am reading that they like lots of light.   <I don't consider 70 watts of metal halide a lot of light for your tank.> So, that is it! Sorry for the lengthy email!! <I suggest doing more research on these anemones.  I also recommend doing some research on the benefits of sand beds.  Brenda>

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