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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Predators, Pests  

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 11, BTA Health 13,
FAQs on BTA Disease by Category: Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (e.g. Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) 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,

Most often and most deleterious are over-zealous Clownfish mutuals... NEED to have these be small... a fourth, fifth the size of the width of the anemone... OR cover the latter with a strawberry basket or such to protect if damaged... Also, crabs, some hermits, large shrimps can/do damage anemones by walking on them, stealing foods, eating them outright.

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Bubble Tip Anemones... improper env... no ref! 4/27/2009
I have searched, and cannot for the life of me found the information I am looking for.
I have a small 29 gallon tank. It is a BioCube from Oceanic with 10K light, blue actinic lighting, and a moonlight.
I have not made modifications or upgrades. The system consists of 16 pounds of live rock, 10 pounds of base rock, 20 pounds of live sand (aragonite). The occupants are
1 false percula,
1 red scooter blenny, <May have a problem finding enough food in a tank this small>
46 blue hermit crabs, <That is a lot of crabs.>

2 chestnut snails,
2 peppermint shrimp

1 bubble tip anemone.
<I think I see the problem already...>
My previous research did NOT indicate that the BTA would compact upon itself.
<They can and will, sometimes because they "feel like it" other times because of stress.>
At which point, I panicked. I now understand this behaviour, but I still wonder about the frequency and the duration of this. It has done it twice within twelve hours.
<That is excessive.>
If you could add images of a healthy 'hunkered down' BTA to your FAQ, this would be wonderful. Adding the possible duration and frequency and what isn't normal would be even better.
<"Normal" is very subjective.>
I researched Peppermint shrimp. And, now, I wonder if my shrimp might be harassing my BTA. Can that happen?

<Ding - We have a winner. Peppermint shrimp are not reef safe, and will eat anemones.>
I am still waiting for my BTA and my Ocellaris to form a relationship.
<Can take days\weeks, if it happens at all. Bubble Tips are not natural hosts for Ocellaris clowns.>
I have had both for over a week and a half. The tank has been up for a little over a month.
<A bit too soon to be adding anemones.>
The damsels were banished to my son's tank... and now we are down to two of those little devils from our four!

Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel -- 4/15/07 Please help me identify this anemone. <Sure will> I brought it from my local pet store and recently it killed my bicolor angel. His head was sucked in his mouth. <A bicolor angel should not be kept with an anemone.  It is known to nip at them.> Did the anemone sting or just suffocate my angel cause he was hungry or for any other reason. I have been feeding the anemone since I brought it home on a regular basis. <Your anemone was likely defending itself.  What have you been feeding your anemone?  It is hungry.  The short tentacles are a sign that it is not getting enough to eat.> It has a brown base with white chubby tentacles and at times they appear to be thin and pointy like. <Your anemone is a bubble tip anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor.  It is known to have 'chubby' tentacles at times.  Your anemone is also bleached.  This means it has expelled its zooxanthellae.  Zooxanthellae is an algae the lives inside them.  I suggest feeding meat foods, like silversides, soaked in Selcon daily.  I also suggest portions no bigger than the anemones mouth.> I have attached a couple of photos I took this morning. If it's not too much to ask could you send me a link or some information on his requirement and what if any special precautions I should take. <I recommend researching before you purchase.  Anemones are delicate and difficult to keep creatures with special requirements.  There is a lot of information regarding such on WWM.  Also www.karensroseanemones.com is also a great site.> Thanks in advance for all your help. Cheers, Kristy
<You're welcome!  Brenda>
Re:  Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel -- 4/16/07 Thank you again for all your help. <You're Welcome!> I have been feeding frozen brine shrimp as the person I purchased from suggested and for now on I will be feeding it daily. <Brine shrimp has little or no nutritional value.  Try some silversides.  Once your anemone is healthy again, you can cut back on feedings to 2 -- 3 times a week.> Will my clowns go in this as they haven't yet? <There is no guarantee with clownfish.  It may take some time, and it may never happen.> Is this because he is hungry? <No.> I have a pair of Ocellaris. Also in my 5ft tank I have a large Regal blue tang, a very beautiful Large Powder Blue Tang (Surgeon Fish), Coral beauty and a Heralds Angel <C. heraldi?> along with some live rock and a Catalaphyllia. I also purchased a medium sized butterfly fish and was told it won't eat the Catalaphyllia as he will sting the fish.  The fish pecked at the coral. I have now moved the butterfly to a different tank.  Will the coral come back to its normal self again and why didn't it sting the butterfly? <Butterfly fish are known to eat anemones, which also sting.  It is likely immune to the sting.  It should never be kept with corals or anemones.  It may come back.  It really depends on the amount of damage and if it is in a healthy environment.  You have to be careful with Angel fish and Butterfly fish with corals and anemones.  As far as your anemone's health, it sounds like there is a lot going on here.  Feedings need to be changed, and increase.  It needs to be separated from the Angel fish, Butterfly fish and Catalaphyllia.  It sounds like you are getting some bad advice.  I suggest making a list of all your livestock and researching their care and compatibility.>   Thank you.
<You're welcome!  Brenda>
Update:  Re:  Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel -- 4/17/07 Hi Brenda, <Hi Kristy> Ok so I have now separated the bubble anemone and Catalaphyllia. <Good> I moved the anemone into a smaller tank (3ft) I used once for quarantine. I used the same water from the 5ft and shell grit. So conditions didn't change much, I transferred the rock he was on along with him. I was watching his behavior closely. His mouth was closed up all day yesterday so I wasn't able to feed him any silversides so I went to the store and got some Aquasonic liquid sea food. <Yikes!  You are putting the food in his mouth?  Stop!  The anemone will take the food itself.  It will open his mouth all by itself.  Never put anything in its mouth. Aquasonic liquid sea food?  I don't know what this is. If it is a liquid food it is not an anemone food.  Do not use it on an anemone.  They need meaty pieces of food.  Your anemone is bleached and in poor health.  If you tear it, it will likely not recover.  If the anemone is unable to hold onto the food with its tentacles, simply drop the food near its mouth from an inch or so away.  Turn down the flow if you need to so it doesn't get blown away.  If your anemones mouth is open that means its health is declining.  It does not mean that it wants you to put food in it.> Last night when I went in to check on him, his foot was puffed up and was rolling/floating around the grit on the tank. Once he rolled right over until he was on his tentacles. <This is not a good sign.> I placed another piece of rock in the tank thinking he might be just moving. I carefully placed him on the rock. Did I do the right thing and he only done this behavior when the tank lights were off, was he searching for light. <Your anemone is looking for a happy environment.  My guess is it will not find one.> I turned on the marine light (blue light) and decided to leave him be. Should I have done this? Should I have fed him when he was all puffed up and open. Anemones are so fussy but it is a learning experience and I like to learn new things. <Anemones are not fussy when they are healthy and placed in the proper environment.  It may be a learning experience for you, and you may like it.  However your anemone is sick, and will likely die.  This is an animal that you chose to keep.  It is your responsibility to provide it with the proper environment.  This includes researching and knowing the requirements before you purchase.> So it is also kind of fun, and stressful at times. But it is all worth it at the end. <It might also be worth reading the information and website that I provided for you previously.  Also, WetWebMedia covers all of these items.  Myself and many others have covered them many times.> Sorry to bug you with so many questions, I just want the best for the anemone. Do you know the reason why he would act like so. <There are many reasons.  As I stated in my e-mail yesterday, 'As far as your anemone's health, it sounds like there is a lot going on here.  Feedings need to be changed, and increase.  It needs to be separated from the Angel fish, Butterfly fish and Catalaphyllia.  It sounds like you are getting some bad advice.  I suggest making a list of all your livestock and researching their care and compatibility.' This morning he has settled on the rock I placed him on but is still closed and can't seem to put food in him and doesn't seem to want it as he closes more when I place it on his tentacles. PLEASE HELP MY ANEMONE. <Take him back to where you got him, or offer him to someone in a local club.> THANKS HEAPS. kind REGARDS KRISTY <Brenda>
Update:  RE:  Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel -- - 04/17/07
4/87/07 You must have had me mistaken. I didn't use the correct choice of words by stating that I tried to put food in his mouth meaning is mouth was visible but closed, I could see the center of the disk as the tentacle were sucked in so bad. No way will I do that. As I know the risks of driving further to anemone heaven. <Good> I have read the site that you gave me from top to bottom. Its a great site, also another document that I found useful was http://www.carlosreef.com/AnemoneFAQ.pdf Its really good and I read most of that one today, I recommend it to all that would like to purchase an anemone. <It is a good reference.  It is not BTA specific such as Karen's website.> The more I read on my BTA the more I regretted buying it. I have chosen to see if the store will take it back and I have learned a lot from this experience and I would hate for this to die. I will be doing heaps more research on these before I buy another. <Both excellent choices.  Do you have a local reef club?  You may find someone local with experience that can help your anemone.> Thank you for all of your help; will let you know how my Catalaphyllia goes in the future. Kind Regards Kristy <You're welcome!  Good luck to you!  Brenda>


Tiny creatures living on my bubble anemone! Misplaced  -- 06/11/07 I have a 20 gallon tank, been up for 4 months and very stable, no deaths and box fish, <... this is way too small a volume to keep an Ostraciid> mandarin goby, <Ditto> 2 clowns, a camel shrimp and a couple damsels <Ditto> are thriving and happy. <Ah, no> I just introduced a rose bubble anemone (I think, orangy white with a little green) to the tank 2 days ago. <A very poor idea> I might have to return it though, as it hasn't seemed to find a good spot and is contracting and expanding a bit. <They do this last...> Today to my great surprise, I observed tiny little mite looking creatures on it. There are probably 50 on this medium anemone. They are flat, same orangy color of the anemone and they are oval and about 1 mm in diameter. They are "crawling" on it sporadically and pulsate/lift up slightly from the surface of the anemone. Are these symbiotic creatures or contributing to the anemone's discomfort? <Mmm, don't know... there are acarinans in marine/reef settings... Many can become problematical in challenging/challenged situations. That is, these could be working this anemone woe...> Is this a sign of another general state of the anemone? It's mouth is a bit 'loose'. <... Likely trouble> Also, I am observing at times, what looks like digestive strands being exuded from some of the tentacles. Is this possible and why? <Stress... perhaps a damaged specimen> Thanks so much. Your website is a great contribution to the fish loving community! Julia <Julia... please do read re anemone keeping on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm And if it were my system, I WOULD return this animal/anemone post haste... There is too much probability that it will perish, take your other animals with it here... DO read re the Systems, Compatibility of the life you list... and going forward, what you intend to keep. You NEED a much larger system here. Bob Fenner>
Re: tiny creatures living on my bubble anemone! -- 06/11/07
Thanks Bob for your advice. I will return the anemone. <Ah, good> How do I go about catching the mandarin goby to return it also? Is there anyway to get around taking everything out??? <This may be necessary> I wish the store had told me the goby would not be healthy in my system before I bought it!!! Thus the importance of your site. Wish I'd found it before my purchase... Julia <I as well. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

E. quadricolor concerns 7/17/04 Hey there, I have recently added a bubble tip anemone to my tank 3 weeks ago, and it's habits seem strange compared to the information I have read over the internet.  It seems to thrive in the evening to early morning, but within a couple hours of the lights coming on it shrinks up and its oral disk opens right up and eventually turns inside out (some days).  This has been a constant since about 4or 5 days after it was added to the tank.  I have been feeding it Mysis soaked in Selcon and live phytoplankton every second day, although the poachers get a lot of it. <What you are describing is definitely some kind of stress.  The lighting you list below is probably not enough to maintain this animal, let alone light shock it, so I would suspect a water quality issue.> The first couple of days it moved around the tank, but since then it has been in the same spot about halfway to the surface under an overhang. It is however in a more turbulent area since it is directly behind where the two powerhead flows come together. <Too much current is often an issue, but if the anemone wandered and settled in this spot, I doubt that this is the problem.  Do  keep an eye on it to go on the move again.> Tank Specs: 32 Gallon, 130watt PC 50/50, 2 Powerheads @270GPH/each on opposite sides of the tank, Protein skimmer running 24/7 Temp:81, pH:8.2, nitrite 0, ammonia 0-0.6, salinity: 1.026, 35lbs live rock + 20lbs base rock. <All sounds fine, but your light is a bit low to be keeping anemones.  Also, any detectible ammonia is a problem, I would verify your results on another test kit (preferably another brand).> In the hopes of finding a solution it there is a problem, I'll tell you now the tank is probably overstocked, but since my levels have stayed consistent I have not been overly concerned.  The tank is about 4 months old. Tank Inhabitants: 2 cleaner shrimp 1 fire cleaner shrimp 2 peppermint shrimp 25 various hermits +/ - 25 various snails +/ - 2 ocellaris clownfish (medium) 1 regal tang (small) 1 clarkii clownfish (medium) 1 tube anemone 1 Hawaiian feather duster Blue mushrooms Button polyps Finger leather Plate coral <Waaaayyy too many hermits and snails for such a small tank.  Also, peppermint shrimp can pester desirable anemones.  Button polyps and mushrooms may produce chemicals that will adversely affect the anemone.> The clarkii is only a week new to the tank and has yet to go into the anemone, I added the clarkii hoping that it would keep the poachers away since the 2 ocellaris did not seem to care much for the anemone.  All corals are located well away from the anemone. <Clownfish often take a while to move into an anemone in captivity, particularly if the species don't normally associate in the wild and/or the clowns are captive raised.> Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thank you, Steve <I would suggest observing the peppermints for irritating behavior or removing them regardless.  I would also consider adding more light.  Using small amounts of carbon occasionally will help reduce the chemical competition from other animals.  Although it doesn't have anything to do with your anemone problem, I would also reduce the numbers of hermits and snails to 1/3 of what you have now and maybe considering giving up the hermits all together (too destructive with minimal benefit, IME).  Best regards.  Adam>  

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