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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Deadly Transgressions - Death of an Anemone  >Hello,  >>Hello.  >I've had a beautiful rose bubble time anemone for a while now. About a week ago, it decided to up and move for no apparent reason (and I say apparent because I know there had to be a reason).  >>In its own anemone way, yes, there had to be a "reason", the only (philosophical) question remaining was it "reasoned" or reaction?  >Anyway, when he moved he got caught in the powerhead, but I was able to get him out in less than an hour from when he became stuck.  >>They are often wont to do this, and a means of guarding powerhead intakes is your best means of preventing fatal injury. However, they are known to survive if conditions are met.  >Sadly, there was a small tear near the edge of his body. I had read on your site that a dying anemone looks like a melting ice cream cone, and my anemone looked fine and inflated for the next few days. However, he was moving every evening and tended to end up near my hammer corals most of the time.  >>Hmm.. wouldn't be surprised if the hammer would send out sweepers in response. This may have been an indication of need for different water flow/velocity, lighting, or direct feedings. Something tells me we may never know.  >I thought he'd want to get away from stinging corals, so I don't know what he was doing. Just last night though I noticed that the tear had gotten bigger and he had deflated a little. At midnight I decided that he was probably going to die, so I started to rub his feet to get him off the rock.  >>Huh?  >His response was to inflate again and curl the edges of his body up as a response to my touching him. Because of this behavior I thought that maybe he would live. I was wrong. Six hours later I woke up to check on him, and it was as if someone taken the anemone out of the tank, put it in a blender and then poured it back in.  >>Definitely dead. Know that in most cases, if you're going to remove an anemone, go all the way with it, as even if it were going to survive, being removed from rock is quite stressful and easily enough to put it over the edge.  >The water was very cloudy and the fish looked miserable.  >>Oh, I bet.  >I immediately did a 25% water change and my Remora Pro has overflowed the collection cup twice in the past 8 hours after being emptied with very watery skimmate.  >>25% is hardly sufficient, you need to do a MAJOR water change, 75%-100% (yes, you read right).  >I also threw on a Penguin 330 with a ton of carbon. I am tempted to do another  25% water change right now because my fish and other corals look miserable.  >>Of course they do, but you've really got to make it as close to a full change as possible.  >How often should I be changing the water until it clears up?  >>You just answered your own question: till it clears up. If you do 100% one day, and come back the next and your organisms still look that bad, you'll need to do another one. If you can't do a full w/c, then you're going to have to do dailies till you've come close, but know that these 25% changes are not doing much at all to help here.  >Should I scour the tank looking for his remains to pull them out? It literally looks like he swallowed a grenade before it blew up.  >>No, doing a full change via vacuum should be pulling up most of the remains.  >I have attached a picture of the anemone that was taken 48 hours ago. It seemed so healthy. I have since read on your site that mixing anemones with corals is a bad idea, so I will not be getting another one. Nemo will just have to learn to live to be homeless.  >>Nemo will do just fine sans anemone, but it really is too bad.  >On a side note - Can you recommend a brand of chlorine remover that does not produce microbubbles when used with a skimmer?  >>I say go on the cheap, Google "sodium thiosulfate" and get it by the 5lb-10lb bucket! Can't say whether or not it'll mess up *your* skimmer, but it's caused no problems in the set ups I've used it with (never directly into the system, though).  >Thanks so much for the great site!! Justin  >>Very sorry to read of your experience, Justin. Do those w/c's and all should be well. Marina

Deadly Transgressions - Death of an Anemone, part Deux  >Thank you for the advice!  >>Very welcome, Justin.  >It's been about 24 hours since my anemone died, and the water changes saved the rest of the fish and corals.  >>Thus the mantra, "When in doubt, Do a Water Change!"  >I was worried about my Nemo (Ocellaris Clown) being homeless, and apparently so was he. Now that the anemone is gone, he has taken to my Alveopora, flowerpot coral.  >They have certainly been known to host stranger things.  >Is this a healthy or acceptable relationship?  >>As long as the coral doesn't object, sure. One thing, does the clown always have that "shedding skin" look on him? If so, it may be no big deal, and I know you didn't ask, but when I see a fish looking like that (two pix now) to me it's an indicator of a problem. Just curious how he's doing.  >If not, what can I do to keep one or both of the animals from being harmed?  >>Not much unless you remove one or the other (physical separation). Nice looking Alveopora, though.  >Thanks, Justin  >>Glad to be of help. Marina

Sebae anemone, need second opinion 4/12/04  Greetings crew.  <cheers Thomas>  I moderate another forum and am trying to assist someone with their sebae anemone. All the information that I have about this persons system right now is that it is only 2 months old, and he has MH lighting.  <I'll pray with you that its not a 400 watt fixture over a 55 gallon aquarium <G>. Too often newbies get steered towards excess lighting on the big SPS-keeper dominated message boards. Its a disservice to us all (especially the new folks that are most certainly keeping lower light species mixes)>  I am enclosing a photo of his anemone for viewing, I do not have permission from the member for publishing said photo.  He could not have had the anemone for very long and I don't believe he was foolish enough to try to cycle with it, so I believe he has only had it a week or two at most.  My opinion. As you can see this anemone looks stressed. I have never seen a mouth on an anemone look so much like a stem in its protrusion. Very odd. the tentacles seem to have ridges around them, if I had to guess it has suffered some type of acclimation shock. Beyond that I'm not sure. I have not ascertained if the anemone is still sticky or not or whether it will accept any food at this point. Not sure how it could with its mouth in that condition. Any thoughts or guesses to point me into understanding this photo? Thank you so much crew. Thomas  <although this specimen is rather far from optimal (health), it really does look very salvageable to me. If only we could do a Vulcan mind meld and share images of the anemones we've seen over the years, you'd be inspired that this specimen is really not that bad off. It is not bleached or gaping yet, and that's a lot. The protruding mouth is not an indication of ill health, per se, like gaping is. And the tentacle constrictions occur for many possible reasons in addition to acclimation/shock. Frankly, with this specimen on the bottom of the aquarium, getting enough water flow and feedings of very finely minced foods (meats of marine origin like Pacifica plankton and mysids), I can see this anemone being one of the few that actually survives and looks good several months from now. I'm concerned that it is in a newbies hands though. Shame on the merchant for selling it... and more so, shame on the aquarist for not being an educated consumer and taking into their charge an animal that they were not likely (initially) able to care for (lack of information). If you do chat with them further, please pass on my strong advice that they do not mix this or practically any anemone (motile cnidarians) with corals (sessile cnidarians). Besides being unnatural for most species, it is a recipe for disaster in the long run for many folks when (when...not if! <G>) the anemone moves about the tank. Read all about these sad stores in the wetwebmedia.com archives. With kind regards, Anthony>

BTA Demise (4/7/04)   Hey Steve (or whomever is in his stead, today) <Me again tonight.> Yeah, the anemone died. <Sorry to hear, :( > Yesterday he exhibited rather large openings around the mouth. It looked as if he were falling apart at the seams. It looked also as if his little squiggly insides (intestines or w/e) were coming out as well. My attempts at feeding him went unsuccessful each time. But the last day I did notice that he spit up a huge chunk of white food. <Or innards?>  Nothing I fed him, and I've seen around the FAQs that food too large could harm the anemone quite drastically. <Yes> Could that have been the culprit of my anemone's demise? <Possibly>  It saddened me greatly but soon enough it'll be back to the drawing boards. <Do read everything you can about anemones & strive to provide optimum conditions if you plan to try again. BTAs are "easier" than some other anemones. but you ought to consider alternatives. Read Rob Toonen's article in the March 2004 issue of Aquarium Fish Magazine.>  Thank you for all your help and I'll be around quite a bit more. :) <Glad to be of service when needed. Good luck.> Jason

Anemone In Peril?  Hello Crew.  <Hi there! Scott F. here today!>  I had a few questions about my new rose Bubbletip anemone. I recently purchased it about a week ago. I have a 29 gallon tank, roughly about 30 lbs of live rock, a Percula Clown, a Maroon Clown (took to the anemone immediately after being introduced) two Green Chromis. Now, since I've had the anemone.. it's been up and down quite often. One moment it looks as though it's ready to croak.. and the next it's nice and full and displays the bubble tips as it should. It will do well all day long.. but as soon as the lights go off.. t deflates almost completely, so that when I turn the lights back on the next morning.. it looks half dead once again. Is this normal? I'm hoping it is, but common sense tells me it's not.  <Well, these animals do put on an interesting hydrostatic show between dark and light periods due to changes in turgor pressure. They will also close up for extended periods if they are under some form of stress. Assuming that your water conditions and lighting are acceptable, then the animal should not remain deflated for long periods of time. If it's just a day/night thing, I would not be too concerned>  Also, I'll put it atop the highest rock in my tank which is about 3 or so inches from the water level and he'll move himself right back down to the bottom of the tank in a more less lit area.  <Could be a sign of stress...However, the animal will generally move to an area that it finds comfortable. Perhaps water flow or other conditions are more appropriate for the anemone where it is moving to. However, an animal that consistently shuns light may be in some sort of distress...>  Or I'll try to feed him about a 1/4 inch or so of shrimp and he'll basically roll it off himself, that or the clown will remove it himself. I'd just like to know if there's anything more that I can do really. The water clarity and everything is fine, I'm just confused. Thank you for your time in advance.  Jason  <Well Jason, if all water parameters and lighting appear to be in line, and the animal otherwise appears healthy, I would not be too concerned...Regards, Scott F>

Stichodactyla haddoni coloring  Hello All, <hello! Ryan with you>  Foremost, thanks for your site. I have a simple question. I have a Stichodactyla haddoni.  <Common name Haddon's Sea Anemone, for the search engine>  Oddly he/she/it is yellow...a somewhat large (about the "flat" size of a new pencil) <Gotcha> Its yellow...not green.  I have it in a 85G with two true perc's.  The tank is 3yrs old w/120 lbs of LR  Water Q. is excellent.  The light I'm giving it (I did research prior) is from PC's  2x96 watt 10K  2x36 watt 10K  2x36 Actinic  TW=336 watts /85= 3.95 WPG  <somewhat on the lower side of anemone requirements, but I'm sure he would move to a higher level in the tank if it wasn't reasonable>  Bulbs are changed every 180 days.  Why hasn't it changed to green ( I heard yellow is the "its not getting sufficient light color")? <Hmmm....some of these creatures are a more yellow/brown in their tone. You may just have one that isn't predisposed to a green tint. Color is often indicative of which part of the reef they were collected.>  The little tentacles sparkle and move around.. it seems happy, never moves. <Then I would say he will be more beautiful in time, but don't have your heart set on green. I encourage you to feed a variety of foods- and fresh if possible. Bob has a recipe in CMA that works very well, and will only benefit your tenants. Good luck, Ryan>  A tad of insight please. Thanks.

Health of Heteractis malu Hello from New Zealand, your site is certainly a wealth of information for which I am extremely grateful! Nice Work!  <Glad you have benefited! If this is a repeat reply, I am sorry. Occasionally a message slips back into the inbox, and I certainly don't want to risk your not getting any reply at all.>  If I may pose a scenario to you....I have been keeping a Heteractis Malu for about 6 months with a pair of ocellaris clowns with no problems. My tank is 300 gallons, water parameters 'normal and healthy' - Spec. Grav 1.023, pH 8.3  calcium 400 alk 10 dKH, no/minimal nitrates, nitrites, ammonia or phosphates. temperature a pretty constant 25 degrees C (yes its in Celsius!!) Lighting consists of 3 250W 10k halides, and four blue actinics.  <All sounds fine, but I prefer a NSW salinity of 1.025-1.026 for inverts.>  Anywho, as of late my poor anemone has deflated somewhat and lost much of his/her/its stickiness, hardly eating anymore. I read that this is a shallow water (which explains why it is high up in the tank) anemone, but more importantly that it is found in fairly still conditions. Care to comment? At present it is getting a LOT of current and I wonder if this is detrimental, I always thought more the merrier (without blasting it directly!) in terms of water movement, and if it wasn't happy it would move anyway?, it does not seem to be in great shape.. any help, thoughts and the like would be appreciated!  <If you don't adhere to a normal water change routine of at least 10% a month, I would suggest water changes. I agree that the anemone would likely move if it's location wasn't ideal, but you could try dropping the current a bit to see if that does the trick.>  Oh, and I have been dosing with potassium iodide as a substitute from iodine, do you think this may have something to with it??  <Depends on your previous source. Most iodine supplements are potassium Iodide. Lugol's also has I2. Generally KI is much safer to dose. FWIW, I don't consider iodine supplementation necessary in most cases as long as you are doing 10% or more water changes per month.>  Thank you so much, keep up the great work, conscientious comments, and commitment you have for our hobby and oceanic friends!  <Thanks for the kind words and best regards. Adam.>

BTA losing tentacles 4/5/04  Hi , I have a BTA which has lost a few tentacles. The tentacles start twisting until they resemble balloon animals with their separate sections. It's at this point ( the twisted part )the tentacles break off. Other than that the Anemone looks good and eats well. The set-up is a 20 Gal. with 130 watt pc and two powerheads for circulation and Remora skimmer. All water parameters are good. Tank receives twice weekly water changes of 10 percent. Could it be receiving to much linear water flow ? How much flow should it receive. Has anyone seen this happen before Thank You , Tony  <I have seen this in corals, usually when they are interacting with another coral. Is your BTA nearby any other corals or anemones? Water movement around the anemone should be just enough to gently toss the tentacles around. If they look as if they are being blowing in one direction, it is probably too much. Best Regards. Adam>

Long Tentacle Anemone - Is it happy? Greetings! I've had an LTA for a couple of months now, which hosts with two f. perculas.  While I have been assured by the LFS that I purchased the LTA from that everything is fine, I hoping to get a second opinion from you.  I've gained so much knowledge just from daily readings of your answers to FAQ's, I'm sure my tank and its inhabitants have benefited. <We're glad to hear that!> I have attached a photo of the anemone.  In the mornings before the bright 10000K bulbs come on (and at the LFS before I purchased it), it is a beautiful aqua green color.  It's tentacles are long and thin.  However, after some time under the bright light, it more than doubles in size (to about 10 - 12 inches) and its tentacles become much shorter and sometimes curl.  What really concerns me is that under these lights, his color changes from that aqua green to the brown/tan that you see in the photo. Over night, after the lights go out, the whole "cycle" begins again.  Is this normal and more importantly, is this an indication of a healthy anemone?  It's tentacles are always sticky, it's mouth never appears to be open, and it accepts food whenever I target feed it (all what I thought were good signs).  I'm just looking for some reassurance I guess.  I have 520 watts of PC's - 4 65W actinics and 4 65W 10000K bulbs in a 28" deep tank which I thought would be sufficient for an anemone. Thanks in advance for your help. <Good news, Your anemone seems quite healthy! The coloration change is caused by the different Kelvin temperatures hitting the anemone and causing different coloration pigments to come out. As an example, the anemone may seem to be bright green under 20,000k bulbs although under 6,500k bulbs, the anemone may appear brown. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about. During the night, it's also normal for the anemone to release fluids in its tentacles which would result in deflated tentacles. During the day the anemone will replace these fluids to fatten the tentacles which will capture more lighting. To repeat, your anemone looks extremely healthy! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us back!> Take Care,
Graham Stephan

Sick anemone? 1/26/04 hi  I have an giant purple anemone that has developed spots on its tentacles and it seems as though its spreading from the tips of the tentacles. the spots are the same color as the tip of the anemone. the fire clown fish living in it seems unaffected. my system is: 55 gallon, no nitrite etc but did discover my water is carrying a charge which has been grounded since. any suggestions? thanks <Hi Archie.  If the anemone looks otherwise healthy, I would not worry too much.  As for the stray voltage, I am not too much in favor of "grounding probes" and such, but rather finding and eliminating the source of the electrical charge.  It can often be traced back to powerheads, heaters or other submersible electrical devices.  Turn devices on one at a time until you find the culprit.  Replace any faulty devices.  Also measure before the lights come on and after to rule out induction from lighting, which can be eliminated by properly grounding the lighting fixtures.  If you have any questions about proper grounding please consult an electrician.  Best regards.  Adam>

Pink bubble tip anemone "shedding" ? 1/26/04 I have a question which I couldn't find on your site.  It could be that I have the wrong description for it.  I acquired a pink bubble tip anemone about 1 month or so ago.  Everything was well, till last week. it started shriveling up a lot. We fed it every 3rd day with "silverside" frozen fish about 3/4".  that's what we were told, now reading a lot lately we realized it shouldn't  be fed that much. so we were going to start feeding it every 7 days. <Every 7 days is probably much more reasonable, but will still encourage rapid growth.  Every two weeks is probably fine.> but... the last 2 days it moved location to hide underneath a rock near the gravel bed ...approx  3" away from its original location.  last night it looked like it had open it's mouth, but it looked like their was 3-4 holes...bizarre looking, no tentacles present for the last 2 days or so. It's base is kind of an orange type color. <Not sounding good.  Usually when anemones start to evert their mouths, it is a bad sign.> This morning it's covered, it appears to be a "cob web", everything is covered except the base. Now part of the base has seemed like it has let go of the rock. ( can't see the bottom and the rest of the anemone is laying on the gravel bed, with this covered web.) so I called the store, they had no idea, but told me that it wasn't doing well.........dah go figure. <Sounding very bad.  I would say the animal is doomed.> I called another store and I was told that it is not dying but the salinity had to have effected it. so I checked and its at 1.026 a bit too high.  Now remembering that I added water and salt 2 days ago. Maybe that's what caused this. Now the 2nd store is telling me that it is shedding ! Is this possible ? <Avoid taking any more advice from this store.  1.026 is not too high.  I keep my tanks at 1.025-1.026.  This is natural sea water salinity.  Anemones don't "shed".  They may produce excessive mucous under some stressful conditions, but from what you have described, it is dying.>  Is it protecting itself from the "Salinity" levels being too high ? I will do a water change and not add any salt to correct the level. Please advise <See above> Note: I have a Tomato clown fish that has been "harassing it"  since we got it, about a week ago I have move the rock with the anemone to a different location in the tank, because it kept on shriveling up, and gravel would seem to be stuck in its mouth area often. Now the Tomato clown fish has never found it again. Is this another problem.  Your answer would be greatly appreciated.  Great job on your site guys.  It's very helpful.  Jean <The fish should not have caused this reaction.  You either got an animal that was damaged/stressed in shipping or you have another problem in your system (water quality, not enough light).  Thanks for the kind words, and sorry not to have better news or advice.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Carpet Issues? >Hi everyone, >>Hello Andrea.  Marina here. >I hate to do this but I am truly worried about the carpet anemone I got about 5 days ago. >>What do you hate to do?  Ask a question or three?  It's why we're here! >I have a 100 gal tank with approx 125 lbs LR and a 2 1/2-3 inch less bed.  It has a Remora pro skimmer, a canister filter and multiple power heads.  The inhabitants are: 3 pajama cardinals, 1 algae blenny, 1 mandarin goby, 1 Percula clown, 1 stripped shrimp goby of some sort, 1 fairy wrasse, various types of polyps, a bubble tip anemone, a smaaaallll piece of gorgonian (less than an inch), various types of mushrooms and now a carpet anemone and the crab that lives on it. Oh yes, and a couple of hermit crabs and a billion baby snails. >>Ok. >It has looked fine up until the day before yesterday when my husband forgot to turn on the lights in the morning. We had a timer system, then he got me a Coralife light with 2 10,000K and 2 actinic bulbs that wouldn't work with the timer (too powerful for it) and the lights were off until about noon when I came home.   >>This is absolutely NOT a problem.  The problem with carpet anemones is much more so that they seem to do dismally poorly in home systems (require pristine water quality, from what I understand feeding is more important than lighting, though lighting IS important). >The anemone was lying on its side for hours but finally stood up again by the end of the day. >>It is not unusual for any anemone to spend a few hours to a full day, day and a half deflated and looking as though they're recovering from a bender. >Now it has laid down on its side a couple of times since then, and at this moment it is slumped over its rock and is totally deflated!   >>It is at this point that I'm more concerned about water quality, HOWEVER, you are not outside the window of normal behavior, especially if you do directly feed.  (Have you seen it exuding waste?  Does it appear to be disintegrating anywhere at all?) >I feed a mixture of frozen Mysis shrimp, BioPlankton and invert food but it has never really looked like it has eaten anything that I can tell.   >>Try chunks of fish, squid, krill, shrimp.  These anemones have such powerful nematocysts precisely to catch and kill larger creatures. >The tank is 24" tall and it is on the sand bed. >What am I doing wrong?   >>See above, test results are important, and when in doubt, DO A WATER CHANGE.  (That's my mantra, along with QUARANTINE) >My bubble tip has done so well that it has split about 5 times since I got it more than 3 years ago.   >>Wow, well it's good to know that you're not completely new at this anemone thing, but BTAs are a bit easier than carpets. >I am totally at my wits end.  please help...it would be sooo appreciated. thanks in advance.  Andrea Brown >>Don't panic just yet, remember, all animals are shipped in darkness, this DEFINITELY won't cause harm, especially only a few hours' worth.  Try the feeding, and do watch the water quality closely.  Marina <<Lives on rock... move closer to the light.... B>>

Sick Anemone (1/8/2004) Hello! I have looked on the faq's for hours and still have not found a question that is exactly like mine.  I am inquiring about my friend's anemone, so excuse the lack of knowledge and information.  <Nice of you to spend so much time/effort on behalf of your friend's anemone.> Several weeks ago she got a LTA (I think, long pale orange/pink base, pale orange/pink long tentacles, white mouth, up to 14'' in diameter) it was beautiful. She later got a clown fish who loves her anemone.  A couple of weeks ago the anemones tentacles started to turn brown and shrink, eventually they all did.  Now the anemone has shrunk down to about 2'' in diameter and is actually turning in around the edges. but occasionally it will get a little bigger, about 4''.  I am very worried. <Definitely not a good situation.> It was so big an beautiful and it is getting worse by the day.  The clown still hangs out with him though and even tries to swim in the little opening. 55 gallon tank, live rock, butterfly, angel, blue tang, dwarf lion, and other fish that I can't remember.  <Waaay too many fish of eventual large size for this tank.> No coral.  UV light (I think it is UV, it is purple) about 4 hours a day. <Is this the only light? Is it as actinic blue. If so, it is no wonder the anemone is dying. It is not getting near enough light.> Bought the anemone from a salt water aquarium/fish store.  The lady that owns it also comes by once a week to clean tank. <who exactly owns this stuff--your friend or the "fish lady" They have two other tanks: coral and another salt water fish and live rock.  The fish lady says that she doesn't know what's wrong with it and it makes me mad because she takes care of the tank so she should know about the products etc. <Indeed, I would strongly question this person's qualifications for the job if an anemone is in a tank with this kind of bioload and inadequate lighting and has no idea that this is what's wrong. Is she testing for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates.> Sorry for such a long e-mail but I love the anemone and the clown fish and want to do anything to help them if possible.  There is no direct feeding.  They say that the clown will feed the anemone. <How? Another sign that this person doesn't really know what she's talking about. The LTA needs bright lights for the photosynthetic algae they contain, brisk current, and a deep sand bed to bury its foot in. They do need to be fed, though how much of what when is controversial. Do read the Anemone FAQs. I am certain that this anemone's problems are due to a combination of inadequate light, undernourishment and suboptimal water conditions.> Please help before it is too late! <Address these issues and you may be able to save this animal. If it dies, it should not be replaced. The clown will be fine without it.> Thank you so much, Kelsey <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>
More Detail on the Sick Anemone (1/8/03)
My boss actually owns the tank.  She works out of her home so I see the aquariums everyday. <OK, I understand now.> She has three: 2 salt water fish and 1 coral.  She purchases her livestock from a local fish/aquarium store.  The lady who owns the store also comes by once a week and cleans it.  She does test the water. <Good. Anemones need pristine water conditions.> There is a white and actinic light that both come on together for about 4 hours a day. <Way too short a time for an anemone. 10-12 hours would be better. Also, what is the total wattage?> That is the only light source.  It is a 240 gallon tank, I'm sorry, I thought that it was fifty.  I know that is a big difference.  Sorry. <No problem. Changes my opinion on stocking though. I would certainly not add anything t the list below. Depending on what sort of angels they are, it may be overcrowded in time.> The tank contains: live rock; 1 blue tang; 1 dwarf lion fish; 1 butterfly; 2 angels; 1 comet (marine beta); 1 trigger; 1 Naso tang; 1 sand goby; small snails and hermit crabs, and sand with bits of crushed coral.  Please give me all of the information that you can.  How will I feed it if the tentacles are shriveled?  <As mentioned, his is a controversial area. Did you read all of the anemone FAQs? There should be a lot of ideas there. You might also start a thread in the Clownfish and Anemones section of the forum at www.WetWebFotos.com I'm sure folks there could give you a wealth of ideas that have worked for them. Unfortunately, the anemone sounds like it might be beyond help. The first thing I'd do is leave the lights longer. Don't shock it by going suddenly though. Increase be a couple of hours every 2-3 days so it can get used to it.> Thank you so much, Kelsey <Hope this helps>

Heteractis magnifica health 12/12/03 Guys, <Adam here this evening> I have had a magnifica for about 8 months (previous owner had it for 2years) <congrats on your success with this difficult animal!> and all of the sudden the mouth has protruded outward and it has not decreased in size. At night the mouth comes out even further. <I have seen this behavior in other species of anemones, and have always seen it pass in otherwise healthy specimens> The anemone has not lost its color or its ability to hold onto food (it does not eat food but holds onto it for about 10 min. and then lets it go) <Good signs that the stress it is experiencing is probably mild and still reversible.> It is about 12 inches wide and 2 clownfish host it one 3 inches long and one 1inch long. I have metal halides and bombard it with current. <You obviously are aware of this animals requirements in this regard.  If it has been healthy for 8 months in your care, I suspect that you are meeting light and current needs.  My next thought goes toward water quality.  Even if all of the parameters you test for seem to be within acceptable limits, there may be a water quality issue outside of the things we normally test for.  If this aquarium also houses corals, I would be suspicious or allelopathy.  If not, I would still recommend a couple of significant water changes.> I use to feed it 3 times a week but for about 2 weeks I have not feed it at all. Let me know what I can do to remedy the situation. <I would verify that all measurable water quality parameters are acceptable, and proceed with a couple of water changes regardless of the results.  If any large corals are present, I would consider moving them to another tank.  In the mean time, I would limit feeding attempts to only enough food to see if the animal resumes eating.  When it does, you can increase the amount.  If you don't ever vary the food, you may try that also.> Thank you for your input <Always a pleasure!  Please do keep us updated. Adam> Alexander Blanco

Throwing Some Light On Anemone Husbandry Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a couple of questions about anemones. The first one is on a long tentacled anemone It was a beautiful green color when we bought it. After being in the tank a short while, it has turned a brownish color and the base has lightened in color as well. The Tank that it is in is a 75 gallon, it has a wet/dry, protein skimmer. The lights on the tank are power compacts. I have two 50/50 smart bulbs. The water is in line with the parameters of a healthy tank. <Well, the change of coloration is most likely a reaction to lighting conditions, similar to the changes that many wild-collected SPS corals tend to undergo when introduced to new tanks with light levels far below what they are used to. Really, for optimum growth, you need a lot of light intensity. I'm a big fan of power compacts, but under most circumstances, I don't think that they provide the intensity required for anemones. Perhaps if you add more of them, this may make a difference. Usually, we recommend metal halide as the light of choice for optimum coloration and health of anemones...> The other question is on a small Haiti (not sure of spelling) <Not sure what this is- sorry...> It was eaten by the anemone talked about above, and ever since then has never been able to attach itself to anything. Other the fact of that it looks healthy good color and shape. Thank you for your help , Tom <Well, Tom- keep providing good water conditions, feed the anemone regularly, and entertain the idea of increasing light intensity. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Dyed BTAs? 11/26/03 I bought 3 rose anemones they were deep red we got them in the tank 3 weeks later they turned bright white with hot pink tips a we think maybe they were dyed could you email to tell me your thoughts <I doubt these anemones were dyed... not heard of with BTAs. Seems much more likely they bleached from stress from poor acclimation. If you feed them well (necessary) for the next few months, they will likely recover their color and survive. Anthony><<Were dyed... and H. crispa... re-read. B>>

Closed Anemone... I recently purchased a sebae anemone at a local pet store.  The aquarist told me that it was normal for the anemone to sometimes close up.    <Yes, but not for extended periods..> I brought it home - it opened up but has not stretched out in the 5 days I've had it.  My clown fish are not responding to it at all. <Not uncommon- many are tank raised and have never associated with an anemone before!> It has attached itself to the live rock but is just not expanding.  I have tried to stimulate it with food but I can't tell if its really eating or not.  It changes it's shape but it's not expanding.  What can I do to stimulate it so that it opens up and stretches out like my Condylactis anemone does? <Well, there are no guarantees here. Anemones require (almost categorically) intense light, brisk circulation, and outstanding water quality. Also, the presence of the other anemone in the tank is not a positive here. Potentially chemical interactions between the two are possible. You did not outline anything about your tank conditions, so I can only recommend that you check all basic parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, specific gravity) and see if there are any that need tweaking. Do read up on the WWM site about anemones and their care...They are rather touchy animals with exacting requirements, so make sure that your tank has the appropriate conditions. If these are met, hopefully your anemone will open up and settle in. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Another Bleached Sebae Anemone :(  - 11/22/03 Hi, we recently added an anemone to our tank. We've had it for about 3 days.  This morning I looked at the tank and it had a "ball of stuff" coming out of the middle of it.  As the day went on, it kept coming.  I've attached a couple of pictures of it.  Any ideas??  Thanks for you attention! Erika <this is a common reality/problem my friend. Your anemone is dying... and it was not a good candidate from go. Frankly (not berating you), your merchant should have known not to sell this animal and you should have known not to buy it (as an educated consumer... research your livestock's needs before you buy them). This species of anemone is naturally dark in color (usually brown) with dark purple tips. Yellow is not a natural color and indicated an animal that is bleached and/or has been dyed. It will be dead within days. Few live weeks beyond import. I really don't know why merchants pay for these things when they are shipped to them. If they stopped paying for them and if consumers would stop buying them, then the collectors would get their acts together and stop shipping them unhealthy. Please read more about anemone health and car in our archives. Be sure to follow the links at the top of the page too. Best regards, Anthony http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/sebaeanefaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sebaefaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemonelgtgfaq2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonehealthfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneselfaqs.htm

Ritteri blues Good Morning, <hello> I have a 50 Gal. tank that is 36"L X 18"W X 20"D, with 2 175 Watt Metal Halides and 2 65 Watt power compact actinic blue lights. My tank is completely cycled for almost a year now, and my water quality is exceptional ( I do a 30% water change every two weeks, sometimes more often), and I have a motion full tank with alternating wave action.  My question is I have purchased a 8"-9" Ritteri Magnifica about 6 weeks ago, I did the acclimation properly for a week, and he was in good health when I bought him. For about the lst 4 weeks he deflates himself for several hours a day several times a day ( at no specific time period for any amount of time) and he looks like a blob, but he isn't deteriorating, and then reinflates himself for several hours again.  I filter feed him only twice a week, and he is hosting a percula clown, he hasn't moved since the first day he was in my tank so I don't know if he is happy or not.  I also have a carpet anemone in my tank, but he is all the way in the other corner of my tank, and he hasn't moved for 6 months.  I am beginning to wonder if I am pushing to much light or not enough, could you help me please. < no you are not pushing too much light. This is most of the time normal. they expel water and take in new. this is one of the most hardest anemones to keep. the best way I have found to keep them is by making a raised platform near the top of the surface and place them there. turn off pumps for 10 minutes and he will stick if healthy). they love light and also love to get hit with a lot of random current. you should also try feeding him cocktail shrimp uncooked). Last it could be the clown is harming the anemone. If the anemone is small and the clown is big it can damage the anemone. the anemone should be at least 5 times the size of the clown. hope good luck Mike H> Thanks,   Michael C. Arnold
Re: Questions about my Ritteri
Thank You for your response, <welcome> I have a wave maker in my aquarium that is set on rolling action.  My clown is about 1" in length and my Ritteri is about 8"-9", so I doubt it is the clown <I doubt it too> Should I keep my lights on little longer, right now they are on 10 hours a day? <10 hours a day is good I would not go any longer than that Mike H> Thanks,

Anemone problems Dear Crew, <hello> I have a 65 gallon fish only tank with about 20 pounds of live rock, a double BioWheel filter  and a detestable Seaclone skimmer.  Its inhabitants are 2 false percula clowns and a wrasse with pink and blue pinstripes who's name escapes me at the moment. My local fish store employee told me I should have an anemone for the clown fish, <they do not need an anemone to survive or thrive.> and sold me a pink tip variety.  It died within 24 hours.  I returned to the store and a more senior employee apologized, explained that no fish inhabit this type, but suggested I try again because it's a good anemone to start with if I'm interested in invertebrates. <this is all true>   Of course I'm interested, I love my tank...but the goal is to do it right and keep everything alive.  Anemone #2 looked fine for 24 hours, and now, after 48 is shriveling and looking generally unwell.  On your website I found some info on keeping bright lights for them, and mine are only fluorescent. < you will need VHO or power compacts>   The water temp is approx 80degrees F.  Ammonia-0, Nitrite and Nitrate- 0, and PH 8.2.  What can I possibly do to keep the little critter alive? < I can make some suggestions on things you need for anemone care, you can also search this site and will give you much more info. anemones need light, water movement, food, and clean water. For the light you are going to want around 4-6 watts per gallon. water movement you will want to turn the tank over around 5 times per hour. you also need clean water and if your skimmer is not working right I would get a new one there are a couple of good hang-ons out now. CPR BAKPAK or Aqua c 's Remora. Good luck Mike H> Please Help, Angela C.

Bubble anemone What's wrong? Hiya Bob & Crew.  I recently purchased a Bubbletip anemone for my 26G tank.  My tank is fully cycled w/ NO3 5-10ppm. Also includes 35lbs cured LR, 40lbs live aragonite reef fine reef sand, SeaClone 100 and an Emperor280 filter w/ lighting 130W(10K&Actinic) Aqualight Coralife.  Tank currently have only the BTA( about 3-4inch), a coral banded shrimp, and a scooter blenny.  I had my BTA for 1 week, all was fine and seems to be expanding and then yesterday it produced some slime underneath its body <<Torn, damaged. B>> so I moved him to another corner.  Now it shrank to about 1-2inches. What's going on?? < do not move him around he will move on his own. he is expelling the water in him (which is normal) anemones can do this on a reg basis.  He was fine during the day and night the first week.  Feed him 2x a week w/ Micro-Vite and sometimes frozen Brine Shrimp. <you are feeding the wrong kind of food try some cocktail shrimp  (make sure is not cooked) break it up into pieces, the anemone can ingest. I have a rose anemone that is bigger than a football and I feed him 2 whole cocktail shrimp a week>  Also my coral band shrimp seems to be hiding 24/7.  Will this guy ever come out to eat?? <he is eating the food that the fish miss that makes it's way to the back .They are scavengers> How do I get him to come out? < they are nocturnal so it will be difficult> Is my lighting too bright? <NO>  My scooter blenny is not doing his job on the algae. <Scooter blennies do not feed on algae they ar more like a mandarin. try a lawnmower blenny he will take care of all of it> This stink! All I wanted was a tank w/ 2clowns and an anemone.  Any advice??? <hang in there you were given some misdirection hope this helps Mike H.>   

Anemone Health This could be quite possibly the stupidest question anyone has ever asked... <I highly doubt it.  We are all friends around here, in fact I need to ask bob if I can stuff my wetsuit to make me look more masculine, now that is a stupid question.> My boyfriend and I have a 55g tank we recently purchased a 'beaded anemone' we were told that it needed more light and we bought a new light fixture it is 2-65w pc.  my question is how do you know if the anemone is dead? <Anemones will turn into a pile of mush and deteriorate very quickly when they die.> It has been on its side for 2 days now and today there is something that looks like a huge tentacle hanging out of its mouth ( it is pretty disgusting looking)  We are reluctant to take it out of the tank in hopes of reviving it, and we don't want to kill it if this is a possibility, however we are also worried about the health of the other fish in the tank.  your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.  -Jessica <Test your water quality frequently and run extra carbon in your filters.  Anemones are very popular at the local fish stores, but not the easiest to take care of, they do best in well established tanks (years old).  How are its colors looking?  Bright white usually indicates it is bleached from stressed and does not have the necessary zooxanthellae to photosynthesize.  If it is in decent enough shape you might try feeding it.  Pristine water quality is key for the anemone and the health of the other inhabitants.  Throw on a pot of coffee and start reading here http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm  and the related links for more information and similar experiences.  Best of luck, Gage>

- Anemone Checks Out -  Hello,  I need some help with the picture that I attached. I added this green anemone about 2 weeks ago and all has been well up to about 4-5 hours ago. <Looks perhaps to be a carpet anemone to me... perhaps.> I noticed that the mouth area started to grow considerably and the tentacles have really shrunk. My Maroon clown has been taking good care of it; feeding, cleaning and protecting. <Hmm... you shouldn't be relying on the clown to do the feeding - they don't actually do this in the wild and the feeding behaviour is not really that at all - the fish takes the food to someplace where it thinks the food is safe and then typically drops it, but suffice to say, you can't rely on the fish to care for the anemone, you need to get involved in the feeding yourself.> I also noticed an area about 1" long that seemed to be decaying on the front center of the picture. Is there anything that I can do to help this guy out.  My water temp is 78.5-79 constant, salinity is 1.022, pH is 8.2, ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is 5-10 on average. The tank is 180 gallons with a 30 gallon sump, 4" DSB and Prizm pro skimmer. The light period is 11 hours by 4 72" VHO 160 watt bulbs that consists of 2 actinics, 1 daylight and 1 50/50 bulb. <Quite likely there is not enough light intensity to satisfy the needs of this animal. With a tank this deep, metal halide is what's really required. Please read this article: >  Thanks for any help, keep up the excellent site.  <Cheers, J -- > 
- Anemone Checks Out, Follow-up -
  Thanks for responding, <My pleasure.> the anemone ended up dying and disintegrating. <Sorry to hear that.> I know it was eating because I would watch it move food from it's tentacles to it's mouth and eject feces which the clown would pick up and move someplace else. I forgot to mention that I was adding Iodine, calcium and Iron to the tank per the bottle instructions. <I would only add these as test kits indicate you should - instructions on the bottle are too general.> I wonder if it's the lights as you mentioned? <I think it is.> I thought that 3.5 watts per gallon would be good. <General rules of thumb like this are rarely useful. Your tank is too deep for this much light to be useful to an animal that once lived under sun light.> The tank is very bright, almost too bright during the day cycle. <Perhaps by your standards, but I can assure you... spend some time in the tropics and you will see... your tank is not bright enough.> I am using a Solar controller to control the light cycle. The controller ramps up and down the lights and has occasional storms. Full noon which is 100% light output is 5 hours in duration and the morning and afternoon periods vary based on the program. Should I force the noon cycle to run longer? <Would be helpful, but I still think that part of the problem is the penetration of light energy to the bottom of the tank. Metal halides would do a great deal to remedy this.> I also noticed that the anemone never really latched onto the sand or rocks because the clown would push it around through regular motion. Could've this been a sign? <Sure... many anemones are poorly harvested and then handled after the fact. Any damage to the pedal foot of the animal will almost guarantee its demise.>  Thanks for reading my rambling, maybe something will act as a clue to this demise. I am leery about buying another anemone until I can figure this out. <I'm leery about people keeping these at all... too many die in aquaria.> My clown is definitely upset about the death and I want to get another home for him soon. <Your clown will do just fine without an anemone in captivity.  Cheers, J -- > 
- Anemone Checks Out, Reader Input -
>Thanks for responding, <My pleasure.> the anemone ended up dying and disintegrating. <Sorry to >hear that.> I know it was eating because I would watch it move food from it's tentacles to >its mouth and eject feces which the clown would pick up and move someplace else. I noticed a post (partly included above) about an anemone demise and wanted to add a comment about feeding them: I'm curious to learn more about what the aquarist described as feces above. I keep an H. crispa and have kept BTAs. I rarely see much in the way of feces. Thirteen years ago, I remember seeing something that I took to be feces from an anemone that eventually died. Turns out I was feeding the anemone chunks of food that were too large and it would spit out a slimy, barely digested chunk of food within 24 hours. That is, what an aquarist mistakes for anemone feces may be regurgitated, barely digested oversized food. Specifically, the anemone appears to be eating, is trying to eat, but isn't getting nutrition. For most anemones, a varied diet of small food seems to work well. Varying chopped clam, shrimp and scallops (all raw) works well as does additions of Mysis and even thawed bits of Formula I and II.  Marc <Couldn't agree more. Thanks for the comments, will add to the rest and hopefully will be read by those looking for information. Cheers, J -- >

BTA infected, splitting or what? >I have had this BTA for about 12 days now.   Got him from liveaquaria.  It was supposed to be medium sized (3"-5"), but this thing is enormous (10"-12).  About 3 days ago it started to develop "sores", and now his mouth is kind of funny.  I've attached some photos from day 2 of their appearance.   >>Yes, I've seen them.  These are NOT sores, it looks to me that the animal is dying quickly.  What I see is the outer membrane breaking open.  It will need to be removed ASAP. >For the most part they are confined to the area around the mouth although there are 1or 2 spots away from the mouth as well.  You can just see one of these in IMG_0051 (renamed "DyingBTA").  The "sores" look worse today and are now on both sides of the mouth. >>Indeed, once an anemone begins to go, it goes FAST. >All of the water parameters in my tank are good (no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, sg 1.024, pH ~8.2, kH 10).  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks! -matt >>Sorry I haven't got better news for you, Matt.  If it were me, I would contact the vendor and let them know what's happened.  In the meantime, if the thing is still around, move it to its own tank immediately.  Best of luck.  Marina
Rose Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) 10/18/03 Here are 2 pics before and after. The pics are only 3 days apart. Rose just introduced in the tank. Turning brown quick, but it still seems to be full. 125w MH. 55g tank likes the back of tank where there is less light. Also clown fish feeds it but seems to bug it more than anything. Any help would be great thanks. Irv <the pigment/color on this specimen looks quite good! Dense and rich. I'd suggest some more patience/no worries. BTAs are quite hardy and resilient. Many will even take on a sickly appearance just prior to splitting (reproducing). Lets take some more time. Anthony>

-White (eek!) Bubble Tipped Anemone- I have bought a white bubble tipped anemone <Ooo, just the name makes me shudder!> (about 2 weeks) and he does not look so hot.  His tentacles are withered and he shrinks up a ton when the lights are on.  The only time he comes out is at night, but even then his tentacles are still sad looking. <I would wager that this anemone is bleached.> I was told to feed him shrimp pellets and/or frozen brine shrimp along with a phytoplankton supplement. <This anemone should be fed frozen (completely defrosted!) meaty seafoods like shrimp, clam, krill etc. I'd skip the pellets, don't bother with brine because it is very small and of only a very low nutritional value, and continue to use phyto, but note that the anemone does not consume it directly.> He doesn't look good.  Can I have too much light?  I only have 4- 36W in a 55 gallon. <Normally, this wouldn't be a lot of light for a BTA. Since this guy is probably bleached, it is a little more than it can handle at the moment. Please, never buy an anemone that is clear or white in color as it is "sick". White or clear anemones have lost most/all of their symbiotic zooxanthellae whose photosynthetic activity inside the anemones tissue gives its host a valuable and important energy source. All may not be lost though, you should be able to sustain the anemone with food until it, hopefully, regains its zooxanthellae. I would feed it 3 times a week with one or all of the aforementioned foods. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and part 2 of the same article.>  I have no other fish, just a few crabs and snails.  Please help me. <Could you get a picture of it? From your description it sounds bleached, but it's hard to say without a picture or a very detailed description of the color. Good luck! -Kevin> Thank you, Brooke

Sick Anemone? BTA 10/17/03 Hi, I have a very small (3in across at most) bubble tip anemone.  I've had it for about 1 month now (tank has been established for about 6 months). <FWIW... its kind of a young tank to have purchased an anemone for. Little natural plankton available no doubt unless you also have a large refugium inline. I also hope you have resisted a mix with other stinging anemones or corals. It will be your best bet for success with keeping any motile anemone. Read more in the WWM archives about mixing cnidarians> Basically, when I first got it, it seemed fine and healthy and (I think) colored up a bit.  I originally fed it every day with some formula one, about an eight of a cube (fighting the cleaner shrimp off was quite the chore!).  And he seemed to be doing fine.   <agreed... a good habit here> Pictures of it, more or less chronologically are found here http://www-personal.umich.edu/~skotzaba/anemone.htm  I did some more reading, and as always, I came across a lot of opinions on how often anemones should be fed.   <does vary by species (and tank-- depending on incidental feeding opportunities with heavy fish populations)> The general consensus was that you should feed them, at most, twice a week--any more might harm them.    <I disagree... I would suggest 3-5 times weekly for most at minimum. The "harm" in feeding anemones is with chunks of food that are too large... not fine matter "too often"> Well, I did that, which  seems to be when the decline started.  It would spend a great deal of its time contorted and releasing mucus.  It did this for a while and then its mouth began to gape and it would spend a while looking as if he would puke out his internals (white squiggly intestinal things, which I think are the mesenterial filaments).   <correct... and commonly occurs with feeding large chunks of food. Yikes> I thought the outlook was grim, but I didn't have the heart to toss him out yet.  He spend a while continuing on that course, until one day he decided to move under a rock, then within a day he moved  back out and attached his foot at the base of the rock, near the bottom of the tank; so he is now horizontally oriented to the substrate.  He still looked horrid.  I took a mucus sample and looked at it under a microscope.  Obviously I'm no scientist, so what I saw didn't reveal much.  A lot of dark brown, various thin worms jerking about and one of what looked like those small calcareous tube worms one gets all over the glass.  I posted on a few boards asking for help.  Basically, one individual, who seemed to know what he was talking about, said that the anemone is exhibiting signs of malnutrition and that an anemone should be fed as often as it will eat.  So I embarked on the task of feeding it.  It, of course, didn't really respond to food like the majano anemones in the sump do (reaching for an grabbing, although his tentacles are so stubby, he never really reached in the first place).  I have to gently place the piece near its mouth.  In its glory days it would then close up and eat it.  Now it takes about 20 minutes before it coordinates itself enough to eat.  Its much like spoon-feeding a crippled patient.  Anyhow, the good news is that he started looking better, at least comparatively, so I've continued daily feedings and I'm hoping he might improve.  Is there any advice you can offer, based on what I've told you?   <I believe you are truly o the right track... feeding several times weekly if not daily will be optimal. Nothing larger than fine plankton/mysids (1/4" or smaller)> Tank is a 50 gallon with a 20gal sump.  pH: 8.3 Am:0 Ni:0 Na:2ppm Salin: 1.024 Alk:3 Ca:400 Regardless, thank you for taking the time to read my long story. <best of luck! Anthony>

Ailing Anemone 10/14/03 It was a pleasure to meet you at MACNA XV in Louisville. <truly my pleasure... such a wonderful conference... just gets better as the years go by and we collect new/more friends to meet> I need some help with an anemone which I have and do not think is doing well. In July 2002, I acquired some fish and the anemone from someone that was moving. I had my 90 gal bowfront up for about three months. The anemone was placed in the right front corner, put his foot down and quadrupled in size. He looked very healthy. One of the fish that came with him was a Solomon island Clarkii clown which lived in him. The tank is deep and I had 2-250 watt MH bulbs and two smart-lamps on the tank. The tank started to crack around the outer rim, (not the crossbar) so the tank was replaced by Oceanic. I swapped the tank out about three weeks before MACNA. It took me about 20 min.s. to tease the foot of the anemone away from the bottom glass with my gloves on when I swapped the tank. I replaced 1/2 of the sand bed. (was 5 inches, is 5 inches). The new sand is coarse on the bottom with South down on top  and then the rest of my former sand. I also moved the anemone to the opposite side of the tank. It has been ~10 weeks and he still has not put his foot back down. The clown (was 6 inches) was beating him up and creating chaos in the tank. I traded him to the LFS (He ready as a new home) <all good moves thus far> I placed two tank raised ocellaris in the tank which have moved into the anemone (two weeks ago). These were acquired from the raffle tank at MACNA and quarantined for 3 weeks. The anemone has shrunk to about 1/4 the size before I removed him from the defective tank. All tank parameters are good and all other residents of the tank have handled the move well. <do consider that the anemones for now are likely irritating. None are ever needed and some are downright harmful. It is a misconception that such anemones commonly host in the wild. Studies I have seen show that less than half of all species that can host clowns actually do. Its not clear that the anemone actually has a net benefit from the relationship. Sure... they sometimes get fed by the clowns... but they can feed themselves just fine without (plankton at night)... and the imposition of the abrasive clown takes its toll on many in the repetitive confines of an aquarium> (Mandarin, Purple tang, yellow tang, hawk fish, 3 Brittlestar fish, clam, anchor and torch coral, mushrooms, several leathers, two Acroporas, all the snails and hermits, cucumber and sally light foot.) So, I am not sure what to do with the anemone. Should I try to move him back to the other side? <please do not... excessive moving of weak cnidarians is a sure fire way to kill them as they struggle to keep changing/adapting to new levels of light, water flow, etc> The lighting is the same but the water flow may be different. Is the different sand bed a problem? Did I damage him (nothing was obviously torn on his foot)? <frankly... it may be none of the above. Some simply are disturbed for many days/weeks after a move. Be patient and let it adapt my friend> He won't hang on to krill if I try to feed him. I feed the tank with a mixture of Formula one, Moist krill, Mysis, Cyclop-eeze, garlic, Selcon and Nori. and occasionally live brine. I frequently find him upside down and have gently turned him back over. The tank raised clowns moved in and are not banging him around. I am out of ideas! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,  LaDawn <If you have an extra spot light (clip on reading book lamp) do consider putting it by the tank and shining it on him. I wonder if the extra light will encourage it to hunker down? DO let us know if this helps. Else time/patience. Best regards, Anthony>

LTA Injured >Dear Crew: >>Dear Angie, using Jeffrey's email.. Marina here. >I have a 44 pent saltwater tank w/an undergravel filter/Power Sweep 228 powerhead, Eheim Classic 2217, JBJ power compact lighting (1 36w actinic,  1 36w 10K), 1 15w Marine-Glo, and a crushed shell base.  The depth is 22". >>Ok.  Since this question, I'm assuming, is about a long tentacle anemone, I'm wondering why you've gone with an undergravel filter (assuming you're new to saltwater). >Currently, I have about 15 lbs of live rock, 1 Gorgonia, 1 flowerpot coral w/barnacles (these look like skeletal hands, it's really cool), 1 Montipora w/button polyps, a large hunk of Porites, some mushrooms, Ricordea, and what I think to be "waving hands" coral (growing like crazy).   >>That would probably be Xenia. >I also have a panther grouper, a Fiji damsel, a cleaner shrimp, a red fire shrimp and a curlicue anemone that I've had for 2 years. >>You've had *that* mix of fish for two years???  I would expect the panther (which is in a pitifully small tank for its ultimate adult size) to begin slurping up what fits in its mouth as soon as it thinks they'll fit. >All are doing great!  Ph is 8.4, salinity is 1.025, temp is 76,  no ammonia, 'trites or 'trates. (Pods and serpent stars are throughout substrate and live rock.)  Recently, I added an LTA and noticed that its pedicle was damaged (don't know if it was during collection or bagging at the fish store).   >>Uh oh.. rough handling, bad juju. >It looks like a white ragged rip about 1/4" long across the foot, which is 3" in diameter.  It wants to anchor but won't/can't (it seems to hover over the substrate, not quite off, but not quite in)  The coloring is great and otherwise seems healthy.  Is this anemone doomed or is there a way I can facilitate its healing? (I plan on upgrading the lighting to 2 55w PC bulbs instead of the 2 36w PCs within the next month.) >>Glad to hear you're going to upgrade that lighting.  I strongly suggest you set up a small (ten gallons should do) hospital tank, and line it with well-washed Astroturf (yes, Astroturf!).  This helps removal once the anemone has healed.  I would line all surfaces (remember, you don't have to fill the tank all the way up with water) with the turf.  From here you have two choices; you can either keep water quality pristine as you do in your main and observe, or you can begin treating with Spectrogram.  In either case, handle the animal with care. >Your site is incredible, one of the most informative I have ever seen on the web.  Thank you in advance!  Angie S. >>Thank you, and you're welcome.  I do hope this helps.  Marina
LTA Injured - Pt. II
>So sorry about my husband's previous question about undergravs.  I told him to look through the FAQs first!   >>You've made my biggest smile for the day so far. >Thanks again for the response, but we are taking the LTA back to our LFS today and getting credit or a better specimen.   >>Sounds like a good idea to me.  Though, upon reading our FAQs, you'll notice that we strongly discourage keeping motile cnidarians (anemones) with sessile inverts, as they can move about and inadvertently sting them to death.  Just so you're aware of the possibility. >Have relocated the grouper to our trigger tank (don't gasp, they are about 3" compared to his 5" and either he is really docile -he thinks he's a dog!- or we feed him really well and regularly) and all are getting along.   >>No gasping here, I've had panthers and found them to be sufficiently "froggy" for lots of triggers.   >Thanks again for such informed people running a superb site!!!  Angie S. (Using Jeff's email again!!) >>You're quite welcome, and thank you!  Marina

Long Tentacle Anemone Eviscerating? >Greetings, >>Hello.  Marina today (and sorry for the delay in reply, just found this in another inbox, he's having computer troubles I think). >I am having problems with a long tentacle. First off my tank is an older Dutch 55 gal., 39 wide 16 deep 24 tall.  Pump is a MagDrive 350 and two powerheads, one on each side of tank.  Lighting is power compact 2x96 watt 10,000k and a blue actinic. I don't use the protein skimmer in the Dutch but purchased an Excalibur hang-on-tank skimmer.  I have about 15 pounds of live rock in tank currently and about a 3/4 inch sugar fine sand bed  and Greenstar polyps.  SG is 1.021-1.022, pH is 8.4.  I purchased a long tentacle yesterday and did not do enough research before doing so. >>Uh oh, well, at least you know your mistake.  Let's see if we can rectify (although you've given no other parameters, and I don't know exactly what "older" means). >The long tentacle is white with pink base.  After reading several articles I realized that when they are white they do not have any of their algae.  I acclimated it for a hour prior to releasing it to tank, I put it in the corner and it started inflating and moving around the tank.  This morning when I check on it, I noticed a hole near the tentacles on the back side and it seems to be puking its guts.  I'm sure it's stressed. >>If you're positive these are its innards, and not just a mucous slime, then this is called evisceration, and yes, you're right, this indicates real stress.  In such a situation, you must remove it immediately, or it will die and likely foul the entire tank.  A small (ten gallons or so) hospital tank can be set up for observation. >What can be done to help?  The tentacles are still up but not real full, the clown tries to stimulate him while swimming but his mouth still open.  Should I wait and see or will this be terminal?? >>When it comes to anemones, wait and see is NOT the best approach.  The clown is only stressing it more, assuming it's not attached the best course of action is to remove it.  You should also line the vessel you place it into with well washed Astroturf  (this is to facilitate easy removal without tearing the animal up should it recover).  I believe you should also test your basic water parameters, as even trace ammonia and nitrites can be sufficient stress here. >Thank you for all your advice, Joel >>Hopefully this message isn't getting to you too late, best of luck.  Marina

Possible Sick Anemone? >Hello, >>Hello. >First I must say that you have a wonderful site with a wealth of info (and great sense of humor to boot). >>Collectively we thank you. >I am very new to the saltwater hobby. I find it absolutely fascinating to no degree (in as much I dove right in without knowing what I was doing), so here goes a few of my many questions...I have a 55 gal tank with a Cascade 1000 filtration system, a Prizm Deluxe Skimmer,  a 48" hood with 2- 20" 50/50- 55 watt bulbs (say that three times fast) each plugged into each end of the hood. Approx. 28 lbs of live rock and 3 bags combination of Bahamian & Jamaican live sand. I have in my tank... 1-Yellow Tang 1-Royal Gramma 1-Flame Angel 1-Niger Trigger 1-LongNose Hawk 1-Yellow Headed Jawfish 1- Maroon Clown 1-Blood Shrimp 2-Small Crabs (without shells) at least a dozen snails and a dozen hermit crabs 1-Anemone (not sure if the kind) 1-Sebae Anemone (purple w/green tips) 1-small Orange Starfish (we call "Patrick") 1-stick w/ 2 Christmas Tree worms on it 1-sm chunk of Sea Stars 1-sm chunk of Mushroom Coral (?) 1-sm chunk of Sea Buttons (not sure of the names) about 3 small growing things (lol) and last but not least...2 Feather Dusters >>Your tank, my friend, is grossly overloaded, especially with the Niger trigger.  I understand that you're new, so you may not have been or are aware of the full adult size of a Niger trigger, but suffice it to say that better than 18" would be it, and best tank size would be 200 gallons MINIMUM.  Also, the yellow tang should soon outgrow this tank as well.  Remove these two fish and your stocking load is much more in line with your system size and space. >Now don't gasp and fall over, but I've only had my system set up for about 1 month.   >>You have ALL this stock in a system only one month old???  I'm sorry, but that is simply too much too fast.  No wonder you have the ammonia and nitrite readings you do, this thing hasn't even had time to fully cycle yet. All water test are within normal parameters... Ph=8.4 Salinity= 1.023 >>A little too low for your inverts. >Ammonia=less than 0.25 Nitrite=less than 0.1 Alkalinity= normal (I know NH3/NH4 & NO3 should be 0, <<Not Nitrate, no. B>> but I don't believe it's at a dangerous level from what I've read). >>If you're planning on keeping the sebae for any length of time (2-5 years is a drop in their lifespan ocean) I would say it is.  Anemones are among THE most difficult of sessile invertebrates to keep, and have an absolutely dismal survival rate.  Reconsider these readings and what to do about them. >Everything is doing great (knock on wood), everything is eating, feeding with Live brine shrimp and frozen Formula 2. >>Please substitute the brine shrimp for Mysis.  The brine shrimp are the fishy equivalent of potato chips--nutritionally almost useless. >I hand feed both anenomes, the Jawfish and the blood shrimp (because the Trigger is a pig), all of which readily accept. Given all the facts, my question is in regards to my Sebae Anemone (which I have read are difficult to keep). My anemone found it's place to perch within the first 10 minutes and has been there since. It has located itself under an arched live rock with moderate water flow & lighting. I thought they were attuned to good lighting, but this one chooses to be more under the rock than on top. It has a wonderful relationship with my clown fish (which I also purchased as a pair). The first time I saw the anemone shrivel, I called my local pet shop and was told it was excreting waste, but over the last 2 days it has shriveled immensely with its mouth open and remains that way for quite a few hours while secreting a line of clear slime. It stays perfectly attached to its spot, never moving, but rather just hangs when it shrivels.  Then it will proceed to open fully in all its splendor (approx. 7-8 inches in diameter) with mouth closed. Is all this NORMAL given the fact that it seems to be doing this more often or am I feeding it too much (2x/day for all, but not heavy)? >>Yes, this is to be expected. >What is that string of slime?   >>My guess is that it is indeed waste.  If it were eviscerating (spitting out its own guts) it wouldn't recover and would soon begin to disintegrate.  If you ever do see this remove it IMMEDIATELY.  It's a goner at that point. >My other anemone also has never moved since being placed, but I do not see this type of behavior with this one. >>Not knowing the species, and knowing the there can be highly individualistic behaviors among those of the same species, I couldn't explain adequately why one would and not the other. >Also my Yellow Tang got these almost invisible tiny black spots, but than noticed that the Blood shrimp cleans them off (love this ecosystem), does that mean there is something in the water? >>Yes.  Parasites.  They're known as black ich or black spot disease, and this indicates to me that you probably don't quarantine all new additions, and didn't perform a freshwater dip (which eradicates this problem).   >No other fish has gotten it. The Tang is fine with no spots now, but it has happened twice. He seems to be great friends with the Blood shrimp. Oh and one last question...is it common that the Yellow Tang would pick holes in my Feather Dusters? I had to move them so he would not get at them. >>Not common, but not unheard of, either.  Offer it (and any other fish that will accept) a better variety of foods, Nori, and some other meaty aquatic (marine) foods.  Also, get and make use of Selcon, a dietary supplement. >All in all....all is well. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Joy >>Best of luck, make use of quarantine, and please seriously consider my suggestions.  Marina

Anemone Antics Hey guys/gals!   <Scott F. your guy today!> I just had a quick question as I can't find any information on my own.  I recently received a BTA with a clown fish at my local fish store.  I acclimated them both appropriately and they both seem very happy. <Excellent!> However I've noticed something odd and am not sure if this is normal or a warning sign for something serious.  It seems that everyday for about an hour, the BTA shrinks up to about nothing.  I have wondered if it was something I had done to the tank, etc. but this evening it shrank on its own.  The only thing that seems similar on the last 3 days is that it shrinks after about 10 hours of lighting.  Color wise it is brown/green and when it is inflated it is gorgeous.  Should I be worried or is this normal behavior? <In my personal experience, anemones will often shrink and open during the course of a day without being indicative of some greater problem. On the other hand, if you are witnessing discharge of mucus, or other materials, you may need to do some investigating here.> Some specs on the tank. it's a 20gal with 130W of light (65W 10K daylong/65W actinic).  Location wise, the anemone is about 1/2 way to the to the top of the tank.  It has moved lower in the last few days. <Anemones will move about when they are unhappy with their current location, only to settle in a spot that is more to their liking..> My salinity is 1.023, the temp is ~80 degrees, nitrite/ammonia is 0 and my nitrates are about 10.  pH is 8.2  Livestock consists of a Firefish and a tomato clown. Thanks for  all your help! <Other than the low level of measurable nitrate in your system (which can be brought under control by using tried-and-true techniques outlined on the WWM site), I don't see anything that really strikes me as bad. I'd keep observing and feeding this seemingly healthy animal, and only intervene if the anemone's behavior or condition take a turn for the worse (i.e.; remaining closed for extended periods during the day, excessive discharge, etc.). Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>  

- Anemone Crab in Disguise? - Good morning Bob, <Actually, JasonC here this morning...> I have been visiting your website off and on for about a year and found it to be very informative.  I am relatively new to the marine aquarium hobby (had fresh water systems for 15 years).  The question I have is: I bought a Porcelain anemone crab about 3 months ago and he/she has taken up residence with my long tentacle anemone, however the anemone has started to move around a lot and seems to be in bad health now.  Can this be from the crab? <Is a possibility, but there are likely other issues as well.> If so how do I get the crab a way from the anemone until I find a home for him? <Remove it by hand.> Thanks in advance for help, Bill <Cheers, J -- >

How Do You Know If Your Anemone Is Dying? Dear WWM Anemone-guru : <Um- no guru, just Scott F. in board shorts and a thrashed tee shirt!> I have an E. quadricolor (BTA) that I've been keeping alive - so far - by following every bit of advice I can get. How will I know if it dies or is dying? I can't find a description anywhere of what this will look like. Thanks, SLC <Did you ever see a partially melted ice cream cone on the playground when you were a kid? That's a pretty good representation of a dying anemone. Seriously, you will see lots of mucus or "dissolving" tissue surrounding the animal, and that will be your first sign. The animal will shrivel and decompose rapidly, and must be removed or it can negatively affect water quality! I hope that you'll never see this- just keep giving your anemone the best possible conditions and care, and it can live a long healthy life...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Anemone Emergency? I recently purchased a Condy for my 55 gallon after consulting the petstore. They said my system was fine but they almost always do. The anemone looked great for the first two days and on the third day he was shriveled up and barely moving. I have 130 watts of actinic on him but my daylight bulb busted and I'm waiting on a new one to arrive. Is this my problem? <Well, these species, like most anemones, do need lot's of full-spectrum light to maintain optimum health. However, I'd run some very careful checks of all basic water parameters just to be sure here. Sudden changes in conditions can result in an unhappy animal. Consistent environmental parameters are critical in anemone husbandry...> My water parameters all are fine but I don't think that the anemone likes the shrimp pellets that the store sold me to feed it. <You can do better. Fresh seafood, or frozen marine fish foods are much better fare for these animals> Please help, I don't want the little fellow to die. <Do a little re-checking on your water, adjust parameters as required, and see if this guy perks up with better light, flow, etc. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>        

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