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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Health 11

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 Disease 1, BTA Disease 2, BTA Disease 3, BTA Disease 4, BTA Health 5, BTA Health 6, BTA Health 7, BTA Health 8, BTA Health 9, BTA Health 10, BTA Health 12, BTA Health 13,
FAQs on BTA Disease by Category: Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (e.g. Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
& E. quad. FAQ 1, E. quad FAQ 2, E. quad. FAQ 3, E. quad FAQ 4, E. quad FAQ 5, BTA ID, BTA Compatibility, BTA Selection, BTA Behavior, BTA Systems, BTA Feeding, BTA Reproduction/Propagation,

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

BTA Concern/BTA Health 10/11/10
<Hello Richard>
Bought my first BTA last Friday, It appeared "bleached out" but otherwise healthy. It was firmly attached to the rock in a hole and after arguing with the LFS employee I convinced them to let me buy the rock rather than tearing the foot. My tanks parameters are; Salinity 1.024, PH 8.0, Calcium around 325, Nitrites and 'rates are bottom of the scale. While I am going to build my own canopy with MH lights, I am using Twin compacts at 12K and Twin compacts at 6700 for a total of 260 watts, as well as twin T5's that are 50/50 actinic/6700's for a total of 130 watts. My tank is an 80 gallon.
Within a days time the BTA had already darkened and really filled out. I fed it some very tiny pieces of raw shrimp which it ate very quickly. I fed it again, same way 24 hours later. Last night it withered up, thought it was dying but finally decided it was voiding. This morning it looked great again, but when my lights came on, (which are set on a 15 hour cycle) it withered up again and looks like its voiding again, tiny clear film with a touch of "brown" in it coming from its mouth. I have taken the two best pics I have of it one with it looking okay, the other, not so okay. Any input on what's happening would really be appreciated.
<Mmm, the gaping mouth isn't a good sign, but continue to observe. May just be expelling waste as you state. Time will tell and while you are waiting read here and related articles/FAQs found in the header.
Thanks for everyone's efforts on this site, it is really appreciated,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

BTA splitting or dying? 9/12/10
Hi all!
For the past day or so, my BTA has been moving around on his rock. He began stretching a little yesterday, but I didn't think anything of it. I thought he was just moving. I recently added 2 clowns to the tank that have immediately hosted him ( about 6 days ago). I keep going back and forth on whether he is splitting or dying. I have researched many other videos/pictures of BTAs propagating, and all the tentacles have been inflated.
<Usually, yes>
Mine aren't (see attached picture). This is leading me to believe that the anemone is just committing suicide and is just dying.
<Too likely so>
Can an anemone split without having its tentacles inflated?
125 gal tank with 25 gal sump/fuge, skimmer, t5 lights (2 actinic, 2 daylight). NH4,0 NO3,<0
<This life needs some soluble nitrate, phosphate...>
NO2,0 pH 8.2-8.4 Salinity 1.026 and Mg 1380.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/btareprofaqs.htm
and the linked files above, particularly the FAQs files on BTA Systems, Feeding... Bob Fenner>

Bubbletip Anemone, Housing, Death 9/1/10
Hello Crew,
I have had a 46 gallon saltwater setup for 3 years. It has 50+ pounds of live rock, 4-5 inches of live sand, a BakPak skimmer, hang on back filter and T5 lighting. It is currently occupied by the following:
Pair of Tomato Clowns

Blue Damsel
Yellow Tang
<Needs a much larger tank.>
Button Polyps
Feather Duster
Today, I lost a BTA that I had for 2 years.
<This also needs a larger tank, better lighting, and probably was battling the polyps chemically.>
It occupied the same rock during it's entire stay in the tank and was beautiful. It was on a gradual decline recently, with a loss of color and refusal to eat (silversides or raw shrimp).
<Water quality, lighting, and tankmates most likely causes here.>
This is a loss for both me and the clowns.
I have had very few issues with the tank, performing regular water changes and checking the water chemistry regularly. My question is two-fold: do BTA's die from "old age" and what are the chances that the clowns will accept a new BTA?
<Anemones do not die from "old age", in fact they don't really age in a conventional sense, something killed this animal, most likely environmental conditions.>
Thanks for your help,
<I would not restock this animal here, the tank is too small to house once fully grown, reaching at least 12" in diameter fully grown. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inver

The Unfortunate Battle Of Anemone Versus Filter Intake :-(/Anemone Reproduction/Health 7/25/10
Hey Crew,
<Hello Manda>
I have some not so good news here, but a double part kind of question. I have had a Rose Bubble Tip for about 2 months now in my 60 gal tank. PH 8.2, SG 1.025, Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites all 0.
Along with 200 watts of T5 lighting. Was doing fantastic! Even had it split into two very happy bubbly guys. About a week ago, I had added a Yellow headed <Head> Sleeper Goby that went to town rearranging all of my
sand to create his tunnels. Having returned after a week being gone, I cannot find our little clone. Is it possible that he got buried in the substrate?
My boyfriend who was taking care of the tank while I was gone said he had seen him a day and a half ago. If he is buried, is there any chance of survival?
Would he find his own way out?
If he can't and has/will die, what do I do to avoid him contaminating the water?
<I would make an effort to find him, and if dead, remove to prevent contamination.>
Second part: The other half of the cloned pair decided to hang out by the intake of my Marineland C360 filter. It has a cover over it with lots of little slits in it so I didn't think it would be too detrimental, however... I just moved the tube away and about half of the anemone has been sucked up and of course looks awful. It almost looks as it has been cut in half right down the center. I know you can cut an anemone in half,
<Whoa here for the benefit of others. I have also read that it is possible to cut an anemone in half to propagate it artificially, and that only anemones that naturally divide will predictably survive this procedure.
In my opinion/experience, the percentage of success is minimal and one is likely to end up with two pieces of
dead anemone. My advice here....let the anemone divide naturally.>
so I am wondering if it is possible that he will make a recovery, or if I need to pull him off of the live rock so he doesn't contaminate the water.
<Anemones experiencing this trauma rarely recover.>
If I need to take him out, what's the best way to not affect the other fish?
<The best way is to remove the rock the anemone is attached to and remove it with a stiff brush.>
The water isn't cloudy, the skimmer is skimming efficiently, and I cleaned out the intake cover so there are no more pieces stuck in there. All of this makes me never want to leave for an extended period of time again!
<Yes, it sure seems that problems always arise when one is gone for a period of time.>
(I also lost my fire fish who apparently decided a day ago to jump out of the "covered" aquarium and found him on the floor today)
<And I'm still wondering how my Flasher Wrasse jumped out through a 1/8" slit in my "covered tank".>
Thank you very
much for your help!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re The Unfortunate Battle Of Anemone Versus Filter Intake :-(/Anemone Reproduction/Health 7/25/10 - 7/27/10

Hey James!
Thank you very much for the quick response!
<You're welcome.>
Just thought I'd give an update...
I still haven't been able to find the anemone that wants to play hide and seek. Apparently, he's much better at it than I am :-( I even rearranged all of my live rock last night and sifted threw my gravel and no luck. So I am slightly worried there.
<May want to consider using a Poly Filter or Chemi Pure to curb possible contamination.>
As to the RBTA that got into it with my intake, he is making a beautiful recovery! Yay! He has closed his foot around the gaping hole, his tentacles are all bubbled up, and he has even taken a piece of scallop.
<Very good news, most do not make it.>
Again, thank you for the help! If you have any more suggestions about the missing anemone, that would be very helpful. Take care!
<As above. James (Salty Dog)>

Rose Anemone, hlth. 7/22/10
I am new at salt water aquariums. I inherited a 2 year old tank that I was told by someone with experience that it was in great shape. I have been doing 20 to 25% water changes every 10 days, using RO water that I purchased. Yesterday the local pet store (good reputation and I do trust them) told me I didn't need to use RO water, but use tap water. They have a beautiful reef aquarium and lots of tanks of salt water. All are using tap water, no RO. I told them that my water was "treated" and she said that didn't matter. I was told just to add the Prime water conditioner, which I did. The previous owner only used tap water as well. I removed about 25% of water and at that time the large anemone was very open and large. After adding the new water I was shocked that the anemone retracted and shriveled and started turning black. The tentacles are rose, but the stalk and area where tentacles grow from has gotten blacker and blacker as the hours go by.
<Not good>
The fish are fine, shrimp, feather duster, everything is acting normal except the anemone. I am just horrified that I did something to apparently poison this most beautiful creature and I need to figure out what I did so it never happens again, or if there is anything I should be doing to try and save it.
<At this point... not much to do... I'd wait here... IF you had another established system I would likely have moved this animal to it in an effort to save its life... Evidently "something" directly or indirectly to do with the water conditioner or water is amiss here. I would just aerate the new water for a day or so ahead of use and leave off with any chemical treatment.>
I have tried searching on rose anemone turning black on Bing and Google, with no luck at all. I have tested my water for ph, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, calcium, phosphate, salinity and all are in normal range.
<There are many "other" chemical and physical factors that we/hobbyists/humans don't have test/gear for that could be at play here>
Temp is fine. I am really at a loss.
Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
<If you have/had a pad of PolyFilter I would add this to your filter/water flow path... this would likely help.
Bob Fenner>

Damaged BTA.. Is he healing or is he a goner? 5/24/10
My name is Laura. My boyfriend and I have had our marine tank for about 5 months.
I have done alot
<No such word>
of reading. Your site was really informative, but I'm having trouble finding information about what to do for my anemone. I have posted on forums.. but I feel as though I'm getting annoying since he doesn't appear to be getting any better. Here is some background:
55 gallon tank

Eshopps PSK-75H Hang on Tank Skimmer
(4) 48" T5 lighting
Regular power filter with carbon and filter fiber (2) Koralia3s
<With anemone stuck against>
about 65 lbs of live rock and 50 lbs of sand
2 Ocellaris clowns; 2 green Chromis; 1 tiny watchman goby, 1 scooter blenny,
1 blue hippo tang (currently 1" in length), and a purple fish (I always forget the name.. size of a royal gamma.. but all purple)
Turbo Snails, those small snails that are always on the glass (name.. again), and hermit crabs
Ricordea, Frogspawn, Mushroom, and 2 more I forget the name (sorry!) You can
see them in the attached pictures.
My tank parameters:
pH- 8.2
Okay, my anemone..
When we first got him, he footed and moved the night we got him, and then stayed there for about 10 days. We fed him krill and he took and finished all of it. I think he was a little bleached when we got him, but with lighting and food he was looking really healthy and gaining color (brown and green).
2 weeks ago he was sucked up into our strainer for our filter. I did a water change, and he gradually got himself out. He refooted and didn't really suffer any damage except for a loss of maybe 3 tentacles fortunately.
About 4 days ago, I woke up to him chopped up in my powerhead (see photo).

I turned it off immediately, my water wasn't too cloudy. I set the powerhead on the substrate by rocks so that he could get himself out. He got himself out and footed on a rock. He was is really bad shape. I covered my powerheads with filter floss ( my strainer and skimmer intake were already covered).
The next morning he was stuck to the powerhead, but there was no more damage since there was the filter fiber. ( I did my water change, about 12 gallons, today because I couldn't run to get some water the day before). Turned off powerhead, he gradually let himself go.. and then floated around the tank.
He was just getting swept away by the powerheads. So I turned them off. He was bobbing around with the small flow in my tank, so I "trapped" him with a fish breeders box (all I had handy that would permit some water movement for him) between the glass, sand and a rock so that he wouldn't damage himself and hopefully foot. He ended up footing for about 3 hours and then let loose again.
Today he still looks terrible. He only footed during the day today, but then around 7pm he just let himself fold off it. He is not folded onto himself on the sand. His foot is inflated and his mouth has been open all day. His tentacles are inflating, but there is white "flesh" still partially coming off him. I don't know if this means he's dying, dead, healing. So I have been watching him all day to make sure he won't get sucked back towards the powerhead. I turn the powerheads off at night while I cant watch him.
What do I do?
<I'd remove this animal... Very unlikely it will recover, but if you have another established system to risk it dying, dissolving in...>
He just wont foot anywhere and stay. I have crevices all over my rockwork for his foot, but he just doesn't seem to like any.
I would put him in a small tank that I'm about to set up for a sump, but I don't have any filtration or lighting for it.
I woke up this morning and found him completely deflated and looking absolutely terrible. He still reacted to the lights being turned on.
Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to help him?
I have done water changes, let himself get himself free, lowered flow (only
1 powerhead on during day) so that he might re attached, covered ALL intakes and powerheads. I haven't tried to feed him since he was injured because I read that it can further stress them out. His mouth is still open a bit. I will close for about an hour a day, and then re open.
Thank you,
Picture 1---photo of damage while hanging on powerhead
Picture2-- what he looked like yesterday morning (5/23)
Picture 3--what he looked like last night after I turned off lights.. he just let himself unattached and folded on himself.
Picture4-- today (5/24)
Picture 5- our tank
<This Actinarian is done. Bob Fenner>

Sorry for the 2nd email. 5/24/10
I wanted to also ask, should I take him to my LFS and see if they should hold on to him? That is, if there is a chance that he can survive.
Thank you,
<Mmm, worth asking, but as previously stated, and on WWM in many places... such incidents (getting sucked into pump intakes, powerheads, overflows... are generally fatal. BobF>
Re: Sorry for the 2nd email.
I don't know if you were able to look at the pictures or not, but does it look as though he might survive?
I hate to "flush" him if he might have a chance.
Thank you for the quick response, Bob F.
<I really wish I could present a more "up beat" diagnosis, but there is exceedingly little chance of recovery here. And, if not removed, the decomposition of this animal may cause a good deal of further trouble. B>
Re: Sorry for the 2nd email.
Thanks Bob. Anything I should look for today to show he might make it? If not... he will meet the toilet tonight.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/anemsysfaqs.htm
and the linked files... B>

Re: Damaged BTA.. Is he healing or is he a goner? 5/28/10
Just wanted to give you an update. He seems to be recovering well.
<Ah, good news! B>

Something is wrong with my BTA 5/23/10
Hello again!
About a week ago one of my powerheads detached from its very reliable suction cup........ This created a strong current right in the path of my clown hosted BTA. I removed the clown fish and placed him in the refugium since its small and vulnerable and my BTA retracted inside the rock. It's been over a week now and it has yet to come out of its hole and I am concerned that it may be sick or perhaps injured due to the high current.
My water parameters are normal but I am worried because it wont come out anymore. Any clue as to what may have happened?
<Likely as you state>
Perhaps it ingested a large amount of sand?
<Or was badly abraded>
Is there anything I can do to lure it out of its crevice?
<Feeding, good care in general...>
Before that I also noticed that it was not longer as sticky as it used to be. I figured it was probably due to the newly introduced clownfish and how it was always rubbing up against it. Any ideas?
<Yes... general reading re the species:
and the linked files above and patience. Bob Fenner>

BTA Bubble Tip Anemone/BTA Health 4/16/10
<Hello whomever you are.>
Here is a picture of my BTA anemone. I know they say that they rarely get bubbles, mine definitely doesn't. Anyways judging by this picture would you say that it is healthy.
<Appears healthy to me. The lack of "bulbs" does not necessarily indicate the anemones overall health.>
Also what type of BTA is this it has a orange and greenish hue to it.
<Mmm, best to read/learn more here.
Also is it normal for it to be huge and wide open like it is?
Coral, my clownfish sure does love the anemone.
<I hope Coral continues to enjoy the relationship. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Foggy water (RMF, can you help with the marine part of this question)<<Yes>>
Entacmaea hlth., env... and sand stirrers/stirring 4/1/10

Thank you very much for the quick response. That's what I planned on doing tonight when I get off work.
Also would adding activated carbon do anything worth putting it in there now for the cycling process.
<No help at all. Carbon removes dissolved organic acids such as tannins.
Since organic acids aren't the problem here, carbon won't fix anything.>
Also on a different note. The 75 salt tank that I mentioned. I have a Entacmaea quadricolor anemone for two maroon clowns the anemone has been in the tank
now for about 8 months going on a year I can't quite remember when I got him. Now he is staying all deflated and small.
<<Not good behavior>>
He was about 6 inches in diameter and full and the maroons loved to take it pieces of Mysids, brine, clams, and other meaty bits not the flakes and the pellets that they get every other day. Also I have quite a bit of detritus on the substrate and short of siphoning all of the time cannot figure a good way to keep it under control. Other inhabitants are 4 burrowing snails not sure what kind 2-Narcisus?? 2-Olive?? a purple Pseudochromis 3-blue green Chromis, and a small 3 inch Niger Trigger he so wants to be a real fish one day.
<<May consume much of your other livestock>>
I run a protein skimmer, Wet dry filter,
<<See WWM re removing the plastic media here:
Sump/refugium, Filter wool,
activated carbon, also lava rock
<<Mmm, some of this is unsuitable for aquarium use>>
for bio media. The Maroons are small also like 3 inches and a male about one and half inches. I know that the Niger could be a little big when full grown but am planning to upgrade soon. The question goes to What fish would you recommend to stir the sand bed as it is about 3 inches deep and dirty. Thanks in advance
<Outside of my field of expertise, so I'm asking Bob. I will make the general observation that *adding* livestock rarely, if ever, makes an aquarium cleaner. Looking for animals that'll minimise the requirement for
maintenance or better filtration is usually a hiding to nothing.>
<<This is indeed my position. I would count on YOU to stir the bottom occasionally... Please use the search tool, linked on all pages... on the left to read re input here... or read: http://wetwebmedia.com/substclng.htm
and the linked files above. RMF>>
<Cheers, Neale.>

RBTA Question, env. "dis." 2/28/10
I have had my RBTA for about a month, he has been very happy and looking great. He lives in a 29G biocube
<Is really too small a volume for a healthy Entacmaea...>
and is about 4" across when open.
<Get to about a foot across when happy...>
My water was last tested about 3 days ago and all was as it has been just like every weekly water test, right where it should be, but my calcium is a little low this time 325 but my Mag. still tests ok, so who knows what that's about.
<... I do>
Anyway, I was sitting watching my tank with my morning cup of coffee as I do very Saturday, and my RBTA started shrinking up, which I was ok with, I fed him a silverside last night.
<Not a complete, steady diet>

This time though, nothing came out except white stringy looking stuff that I have not seen before. See attached pictures. He has been sitting like this for over an hour now.
Any ideas? Am I just freaking over nothing?
<Looks like a "hull breach"... this animal and system is in trouble; read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Dyed and dying. B

Bubble Tipped Anemone/Systems/Health 2/12/10
<Hi Lauren>
I recently acquired a Bubble Tip Anemone, and I'm worried that in his quest for a home, he's going to sting my corals.
<No need to worry, it likely will. Not a good idea mixing the two and mixing anemones with non-immune fish.>
Admittedly, if I'd thought this through, I'd have bought the anemone first, let it settle, and then added the corals. Unfortunately, I don't really have that option. I thought I'd poked him in a well-lit hole so he'd nestle in, (silly me.)
<Not true, even a change in water flow can cause the anemone to relocate.>
I've heard of a couple different ways to make them stay in one place. The first was to simply keep moving it back, but that seems like it will just aggravate it. I've heard of poking it into a piece of pvc pipe, but I don't know why that would be any more effective than poking him anywhere else.
Are there things I can do to encourage him to stay in one place?
<No, they will move until they have found a spot to their liking, and yes, you will aggravate it.>
If not, I still need a way to protect my corals. Most are small frags, and movable, but I can't babysit the tank all day (law student.) I also have a large frogspawn coral, which hasn't branched at all but spans nearly 9 inches. I'm worried the anemone will cause problems, and I'm looking to mitigate them. Any advice you can give, on either ways to help the anemone situate, or simply protect the corals, would be really helpful.
<If you enjoy your corals, I strongly suggest taking the anemone back to your LFS.

You mention nothing in the way of equipment used. Lighting, tank size, and water quality are all important factors in keeping anemones. If conditions are not to their liking, they will soon die and poison the entire tank. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm >
Thanks in advance!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Bubble Tipped Anemone/Health 1/22/10
Good morning,
<Hello Jeanne>
I have just spent quite a bit of time searching your site, and lots of great information, but I am not seeing a situation similar to mine.
<Mmm, have you looked at BTA/Health FAQ's.>
I will try to be brief, as I know you are so busy. I have had a Rose Bubble Tip Anemone and Maroon Clown for a little over three years now.
The anemone has split numerous times ( I always take the second one out) and (this tank is in my office) everyone loves to watch the two interact.
<Wondering what size tank this is.>
Lately, over a period of a week to ten days, the anemone began to look sort of miserable--the base fine, but the tentacles quite shrunken and the area around them sort of weird and flat--sort of like a brush. Color remains normal. I checked all parameters and everything fine and there is nothing in the tank that could be picking on it (not that the clown would allow that) and It will not ingest food.
<Also am wondering what your lighting consists of.>
I decided to do a water change yesterday. The nitrates were up to 5-10 ppm when I checked a couple of days ago. After the change, I have taken a number of readings and my nitrates are through the roof all of the sudden (I use reverse RO water from my systems at home and that water used for the change tested perfect ). They are around 80ppm.
Fish are still fine, but of course I am concerned. I thought that dying anemones caused a spike in ammonia levels, but I do not have a trace. If the anemone is dying, could it cause a spike in nitrates?
<Yes it could,
a dying anemone has a very nasty smell, akin to rotten eggs (hydrogen sulphide).
Try bringing the anemone to the surface and give a whiff. You will immediately know if it is dying or dead.>
I have no other explanation. I will pull the anemone out and do another (big) water change but wanted to see if you could provide any insight.
<Likely environmental conditions, tank size, lighting, infrequent water changes, etc. If your sand/gravel bed isn't frequently cleaned by way of siphoning during water changes, it will become a nutrient sink thereby raising nitrate levels well above the norm and can/will release hydrogen sulphide gas into the water. Keep in mind that anemones are not easily kept long term and it appears you have done quite well in this regard with continued success exceeding three years.>
Thanks you so much for your help and your site.
<You're welcome, and glad you enjoy/use the site. James (Salty Dog)>
Bubble Tipped Anemone/Health 1/22/10
Forgot to mention that the attached photo is that of a small bear/animal. James (Salty Dog)><<Heeeeee! RMF>>
Bubble Tipped Anemone/Health 1/23/10

Thanks so much for the super quick response.
<You're welcome, Jeanne.>
The anemone has no odor at all.
I keep anemones of various types in all my tanks and have for many years. This tank is only 40 gallons but has metal halides and very frequent (every 1 -2 weeks, about 20 %) water changes with siphoning.
<Sounds good.>
There is also a protein skimmer on the tank. That is the other weird thing--I got almost no sediment or sign of anything but very clean substrate when I cleaned it yesterday, and no problem with the other corals (just easy stuff like mushrooms and xenia) so I really cannot explain the huge spike. She (the clown) is so unhappy since I removed the anemone but I will stick it in a hospital tank for now.
<Yes, observe, and you may want to read this anemone survey taken by Joyce Wilkerson PE. It's a good read.
Thanks again
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Bubble Tipped Anemone/Health 1/24/10
Thanks for all your help.
<You're welcome, Jeanne.>
Just an update--turns out the reactants in
my test kit were flawed--had both the LFS and another kit from home test the water and it is about 5 ppm nitrates, so no rationale on the anemone but everything fine in the Nano.
Now in hospital tank. Also-- that attachment is a CU logo (buffalo) not a photo of sickly anemone.
<Geez, and here I thought your anemone turned into a monogrammed buffalo.>
Sorry! I work at the university. Take care!
<Have a nice day, Jeanne. James (Salty Dog)>

Rose Bubble Tip Anemone Dropping Tentacles/BTA Health 12/11/09
After fruitless searching online and stumping many a reef forum, I turn to you folks for some insight on my RBTA problem. I added a 15cm or so RBTA to our 54g reef a few months ago and while it has maintained it's colour and appetite, it has the poor habit of dropping a tentacle or two every now and again. A tentacle will pinch off at the base and float around the tank inflated only to inevitably settle on a coral leaving nasty burn marks on my other livestock. My decorator crab enjoys picking them up but I don't think the other tank inhabitants are pleased. The anemone itself quickly regrows the lost tentacle and I can't say I am overly worried about it's overall health but clearly something isn't right, right?
<Yes, you mention "our reef tank", and it's not a good idea to mix anemones and corals especially in smaller systems where allelopathy can cause problems/death.>
I am keeping it under 160w of T5 lighting (1 X 6,500k, 1 X Fiji Purple, 2 X Blue Plus) and with the exception of the occasional mild nitrate spike (10 - 15) no other parameter gives me reason for suspicion.
<With the type of lamps you are using, I don't think that your lighting is intense enough for long-term success with the anemone as they are shallow water animals (along with most corals we keep) and do better with more light intensity in the 6500-12K range. I would swap out the Fiji Purple and one Blue Plus for two 10 or 12K lamps. The other thought is that you may need to provide more food for the animal as they do like to eat. Re the nitrate spikes...are you using a protein skimmer in the system? If not, it is a vital component for successful reefkeeping.>
We keep many inverts, SPS/LPS corals, a clam, a GBTA, etc, and everyone is doing well. For fish there is a Mystery Wrasse,
<Wow, a gorgeous and pricey fish and difficult to find.>
Tailspot Blenny, and two Firefish Gobies. So what do you think??
<As above. James (Salty Dog)>

Possible Scenario For BTA Bleaching?/BTA Systems/Health 11/29/09
Hi there!
Position of anemone in tank, bottom right, on the right of torch coral.
BTA first day in the tank before bleaching
This anemone has moved to a position with minimal light and flow, and has stayed there ever since I got it ( 2 months plus ). The anemone hosts a pair of Maroon Clownfish, ( female 3.5 inches and male 2 inches ) . It is housed in a 187 gallon tank with no corals near it.
Lighting : 2x250( 20k )w metal halide
<Anemones do much better with Kelvin temperatures in the 10-14K range.>
Flow : around 24x turnover with Vortech mp40w, return pump, and chiller return.
<Mmm, 4500gpm is an awful lot of water movement for this system. I can see why the anemone positioned
itself in a minimal flow zone.>
Water parameters
Salinity 1.025
calcium 460ppm
Alkalinity 9dKH
pH 8.2
Magnesium 1350ppm
Nitrates 0.1ppm
Nitrites 0
Ammonia 0
<Looks good here, although the calcium is a bit high, 380-400ppm would be my goal.>
I do not test for phosphates but the last time I tested it was close to zero.
The anemone is fed piecies <pieces> of shrimp / squid every 1 or 2 days.(cut into a shape of a silverside around an inch long )
Is it plausible that when I first introduced the anemone to my tank, it expelled it's Zooxanthellae due to stress and light shock ( as it was under much weaker lighting at the LFS) , so it hid under the rock to hide from the light.
<Is likely why it hid/moved, but unlikely that it expelled it's Zooxanthellae.>
But I continued feeding it every one or 2 days so it didn't feel the need to allocate much Zooxanthellae inside anymore.
<These animals require Zooxanthellae for their survival. I would only feed a couple times a week.>
Because if this is the case, I should probably cut down feeding to once a week or so?
<Do read here and related articles/FAQ's linked in the header.
James (Salty Dog)>

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