Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Social Health  

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, 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,

Though Entacmaea are the toughest of the symbiotic anemones for aquarium use; they still need to be gently introduced to systems with other Cnidarians present. From quarantine, some water poured back and forth daily for a few weeks.

Do keep your eyes on symbiotic/sharing Clownfishes, and any crabs, large shrimp... as these can damage your Anemone.

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

BTA Health\System Overstocked with inappropriate species\Allelopathy . No surprises unfortunately. 5/4/2009
Hi everyone,
<Hi Sarah>
First off I have to say your website has been an invaluable resource to me for my all things Salt and Fresh water related.
<Thank you for the kind words.>
I am writing to you today because I have an issue with a newly purchased BTA.
I acclimated it over a couple of hours and added it to my tank. I had to go away for a couple of days so I had another friend who has salt water (whom I thought knew what they were doing) look after my tank for top ups.
Normally I keep some salt water premixed with a higher alkalinity to use over the month.
<?? Higher alkalinity?>
Since my place is cold in the winter, I find keeping the water at the higher alkalinity and then adding hot water to above temp and to the correct parameters helps as I can let it sit for a few hours to allow the salt and water to mix
<I think you are talking about salinity.... very different than alkalinity.>
Unfortunately, my friend did not read the instructions on my bucket and decided to add a gallon the mix directly to my tank. After a couple of days when I came home to find my tank was over 1.032. Yeah.. I wasn't impressed.
The BTA was still shriveled up, my branching hammer I had, developed brown jelly disease ( I have since quarantined it and took a soft artists paint brush to it to remove as much of the jelly as possible and then freshwater dipped it and am changing the water daily to meet the tank specs). The fish were not affected. nor the other corals.
<From the stocking list, it could have had several causes, stinging, allelopathy, or attacked. see below.>
Other tank inhabitants in 25g set up for 6 months, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 2, alkalinity now 1.026,
<You mean salinity, not alkalinity. Read here for information on alkalinity. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm  and salinity
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spg_salinity.htm >
calcium 420, ph 8.2, temp 78 degrees.
130w 24" pc lighting:
AquaClear 70 for fuge
Koralia 1
25lbs live rock
- True Perc
- Damsel
- 2 Scissortail Goby
- 1 cleaner shrimp
- 1 peppermint shrimp <Peppermint shrimp are NOT reef safe.>
- GSP <Green Spotted Puffer? Inappropriate for this tank. Certainly NOT reef safe. read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i6/lonely_puffer/lonely_puffer.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsysfaqs.htm >
- Suncoral (seemed starved from buyer. I've been segregating in floating container and target feeding crushed wet pellet food, brine shrimp, krill and Mysis. polyps now starting to expand) Only a couple of days old.
- Xenia on a shell
- Mushrooms 4 quarter size or less
- Zoas 4x10polyps frags
- Duncans 4 big heads and 11 babies
- Blasto Wellsi
- Acro frag
- Candycanes 6 heads.
- Toadstool very small
- Halimeda
- Feather Caulerpa
- Branching hammer (in recovery)
- Frogspawn (which has a feathery thing that pumps in and out of what looks like a mouth. never seen that before.)
<Lots of noxious corals here. Very high potential for 'chemical warfare' with each other. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/envdisphysiof.htm
(Note: Will be upgrading to 55g with 6x39w Tek T5 lights in a month)
<Still too small for the fish you have listed.>
So over the last 48hours I have been doing water changes to reduce the alkalinity. I am now at 1.026. I am checking it every couple of hours now, watching fish health and watching the other corals. They all appear to be acting normally.
<1.026 is fine, particularly for invertebrates.>
The BTA has now moved today, from the rock on the back of the tank to a position towards the front of the tank. The pick I have included it showing where it is now. The top is still attached to the rock. It appears to open and close it's mouth.
<Not a good sign.>
There also appears to be some tissue degradation. It also looks like it was chewed a bit,
<Given a peppermint shrimp, chewed is likely.>
though the area that is attached to the rock look fine. It is mostly in the middle that it looks a little nasty. There is only a small little area that appears to look like the same kind of melt you would see on a hammer, but it isn't brown but white.
<Dead tissue.>
It is only on 10% of the anemone.
<For now...>
Is there a chance this nem will make it, or should I make my friend buy me a new one?
<It doesn't look good, but I would not be so quick to blame your friend.
This system is completely inappropriate for an anemone.>
I have read BTA have made come backs after being chewed up in a filter etc, so I am hoping I can get this to survive, even if it is only going to be half or a quarter of the size it was originally. What can I do to try to save it?
<Get it out of that system to start. Lose the peppermint shrimp, and a fair number of your corals.>
(i.e., cut off the white area? dip in meds?) I am thinking this guy is super stressed so I am hoping after a week or so it will improve.
<Pages have been written on this Start here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/btadisfaqs.htm >
Your advice is greatly appreciated.
<Please read the above linked articles.>
Thank you.
<My pleasure>

Re: BTA Health\System Update 5/5/2009
<Hi Sarah>
Sorry, I always get the names for alkalinity and salinity mixed up.. you are correct I am referring to salinity. the alkalinity in the tank has been between 4 and 4.5 mEq/litre. duh.. we all have our moments.
<Yes we do. I spent two minutes yesterday morning trying to start my car with the wrong key.>
GSP - Green star polyps. ( no puffers in this tank or future tanks. don't like them)
<Ahh OK.GSP normally means Green Spotted Puffer Do keep in mind that Green Star Polyps do spread, and will sting other invertebrates>
I must also note these corals are small even for colonies. No larger than 3 inches by 3 inches squared. The others are frags and yes I know they will grow, but that is why I have purchased the corals as frags or small colonies. The toadstool is half the size of an average persons thumb.
<Understood, but still realize that some of these corals secrete very toxic substances, even when small. This can and will have an effect on other livestock, especially in a small volume.>
I removed and quarantined the BTA in a hospital tank. I will be observing over the next 24hrs, but prognosis definitely not good.
<It usually isn't at this point.>
I will need to purchase iodine for any future issues.
All the fish are just fine and other corals are doing very well. Frogspawn has not developed any issues. I was concerned it might start to show sign of the brown goopy slime from the hammer, but I guess I got it out of there in time as soon as I noticed it, and no issues from the degrading BTA.
Suncoral eating good and more flesh showing from polyps. Fish eating nicely.
<Very good>
I will ask for your advice now then, when setting up the 55G (36x18x22) how many fish would you suggest max to put in it?
<See Below.>
I have to say I am rather confused on this subject as I have come across on information on several sites stating you can have up to 4-5 fish 3.5" max size fish in a 25g with corals, and others who say it is too much.
<Too much. Conservatively, 1 fish per square foot of tank surface area.>
In addition to my current stock, I would like to be able to add 2 Firefish goby and 1 other onyx clownfish.
The damsel may be removed as it gets older if it's territorial behavior becomes a real issue and causes stress to the other fish.
<Given your current and future tank size, I would lose the damsel, lost the peppermint shrimp, and add the Firefish. You should not add another clown.>
I will also be adding the following
- 25lbs live rock (in addition to what I have)
- 40lbs aragonite sand wet
- skimmer (eventually)
<Skimmer sooner rather than later, especially with corals.>
- additional Aquaclear filter to use for Just polyfill and weekly carbon filter changes, in addition to the AC70 currently in use as a fuge with live
rock and Chemi-pure. Purigen will also be added.
- Maxi-jet 1200 for flow from the opposite side of the tank with one of those wavemaker things on it.
I hope to create a scape where I can create a border in the middle by about 6-8 inches to break up linear water flow. I also hope to separate different types of corals to either side. such as Zoas, GSP, xenia and leather on one side, and Hammer and frogspawn on the other side, with a couple Acro frags (maybe 4 favorites max) secure on the top of the stacked rock.
<Not enough light for Acropora, not really enough light for anemones either.>
The BTA will move where it wants,
<Stinging all of your other corals in the process. Anemones really should not be kept with corals.>
but I hope I can create a foothold somewhere it will live.
<Better to skip the anemone altogether.>
I have added a couple of pics to give you an idea of my current tank size.... note the water is filled past the black line now.
<No pictures attached.>
That was just a quick shot. I have tried to keep the corals separated so they are not touching. In the 55g. they will be given a lot of space to grow out.
Your advice is much appreciated. I want to ensure I give the best home to my fish and corals that I can provide (on my limited budget).
-- Sarah

Sick Anemone / Possible unknown toxic conditions... Allelopathy, light, lack of HPO4...  -- 03/13/08 Hello WetWebMedia Crew, <Brad> First of all your website is amazing. The wealth of information is so useful. I have been struggling to find the cause of my problems for weeks now and I'm finally just going to ask your help. First of all my 75 gallon SW tank w/ a 20 gallon sump underneath has been set up for about 11 months. Currently in my sump i have: about 10 lbs of rubble Chaetomorpha macro algae 8 mangroves floating (have had for month and a half...just starting to grow new roots) <... Mmm, these may prove problematical with time, growth...> 700 GPH Mag Drive return pump w/ 500 GPH actual Whisper 20-40 gallon hang on mechanical filter which i use to run phosphate resin pads <... these may be an issue> and Chemi-Pure 18' 10,000k Daylight bulb 6500 k long lasting bulb from Wal-mart <... this as well> Also my sump is connected to a 5 gallon bucket <What is this made/composed of?> with filled w/ a deep sand bed probably 3/4 of the way full In the 75 gallon tank i have: about 60lbs of live rock an inch of live sand 2 Hydro Koralia 1's at 400 GPH 1 Hydro Koralia 3 at 850 GPH SeaClone Protein Skimmer rated for up to 100 gal <Uh, no... I'd upgrade here> Whisper 20-40 gallon hang on mechanical filter which i use to run phosphate resin pads and Chemi-Pure 4 46.5' VHO Two Super Actinic R's, 1 Actinic white 50/50 12,000K, and 1 Aqua sun 10,000K replaced about 5.5 months ago <I'd replace, get rid, cycle out anything called actinic... see WWM re.> My inhabitants include 1 Green/Brown bubble Tip anemone Mushroom Coral A few Green button polyps A couple of clusters of Zoanthids 1 Ocellaris Clown 1 Yellow Tang 1 Engineer goby 2 Peppermint Shrimp 2 Cleaner Shrimp 2 Emerald Crabs 4 blue legged hermit crabs 2 electric blue hermit crabs 2 unknown small hermit crabs 1 unknown large hermit crab 2 Turbo snails 4 Cerith snails 4 Astrea snails 2 more snails (i can't remember what their called) Water Quality on average for the last 4 months: Ammonia (API) 0 Nitrite (Tetratest) 0 Nitrate (API) 10-12.5 Calcium (API) 400-420 KH (Tetratest) 12-14 PH 8.3 Salinity 1.024-1.025 My water is RO/DI free from a friend. I do 10 gallon water change every 3 weeks and top off water every 3 days which i also add iodine 8 drops (Kent Marine), Iron 8 drops (Kent Marine), Trace Elements 8 drops (Kent Marine), check my alkalinity (Seachem reef builder supplement), check my pH, and check my calcium (Kent Marine supplement). <I'd switch to SeaChem> All this started a couple of weeks ago when i noticed that my 3 stripped damsels where too aggressive for the newly added ocellaris pair. I decided that i needed to give the damsels back to the fish shop where i bought them and had to take out most of my live rock to do this. I finally got them out and my clowns started hosting my BTA (I have had him a month and a half at this point) immediately and all seemed well. Then about a week later the clown pair stopped hosting the anemone, they just ignored it for a few days then mysteriously one of the clown fish started mouth breathing and i noticed one white lump on his head. Within 12 hours he was dead (i had him for two weeks exactly). Shortly after (a couple of days) the clown's death i noticed the BTA's tentacles where changing shape (pic: anemone health). I watched the anemone closely and he did not really get in better or any worse. Then a few days later my tank developed an algae bloom. My friend told me it was b/c i stirred up my sand and probably had a little die off from removing most of my rock from the tank. I started learning about Diatom algae and how to control it and found that it is more of a silicate problem <Unlikely> then a phosphate problem and that it needs plenty of Nitrate and plenty of red light. By this time my anemone had moved to underneath his rock and was acting like he was uncomfortable. I noticed that he had little nodules on his tentacles (anemone health 1-5) <I see these> and was not inflating like usual. My Zoanthids and button polyps where all closed up with little strings of diatom algae hanging of them. <A clue...> I did a 10 gallon water change and scraped the algae off of everything. The polyps and Zoanthids opened up a little but soon closed right back up. So i started searching around on your site to see if i could find anything about the condition of the anemone and possibly to see if high phosphates or silicates could cause such this burning scaring on his tentacles. I searched Google as well and even for pictures but could not find any information on anemone diseases or toxic reactions except that their is not much known and no way to really treat them. The anemone has plenty of circulation, decent light, <Mmm, maybe> and before he showed signs of stress i was feeding him about 2 times a week (brine shrimp mostly-I know not very nutritious-have switched to Mysis Shrimp-will buy Selcon). So i decided to run Chemi-Pure to my tank in case some toxin had gotten into the water and to do a 20 gallon water change. After the water change the anemone looked a little better but since then (5 days ago) he has gotten much worse. I read online that if the anemone has any openings or tears in their tentacles they are decaying. So i picked up the rock out of my tank and smelled him but he does not smell bad and he still inflates a little during the light hours. I noticed that he has been puckering his lips a lot too. I did another 10 gallon water change today with some distilled water i bought for Wal-mart thinking that maybe my friends RO/DI unit needs new cartridges. I also replaced the Chemi-Pure which had a bad odor as well as my phosphate resin pads. I also stopped adding supplements into the tank except for iodine, calcium and reefbuilder. I took some advice from your site and bought an iodine/iodide test kit. Tested it yesterday and found that it is .01 mg/L which is low so I'm slowly bringing the concentration back up. Also something i forgot to mention probably about 4 weeks ago i noticed my shrimp had all developed little black dots on them. I read that this is commonly due to either high or low concentration of iodine? <Can be related or not> All the livestock is perfectly fine right now. The ocellaris is a little stressed and i noticed he is a little reluctant to eat spectrum Thera pellets (he has eaten in the past) i have been feeding the past two days. <Also possibly related> Also i have little micro bubbles coming into the water from my Whisper 20-40 hang on filter recently as well as my protein skimmer. Is this ok? Is their any potential threats to the livestock from tiny air bubbles being blown all around the tank by power heads. <Likely not an issue, factor> I'm wondering if my whole problem is iodine in regards to my anemone? <Mmm, no> Would a combination of low iodine levels, high nitrate levels, and the presence of phosphate / silicate cause these kinds of symptoms?. <Actually, the lack of presence of soluble HPO4 is likely a contributing cause...> Could the tiny little air bubbles be hurting the anemones tentacles? From what you see in the pictures is my anemone decaying alive? If this was your aquarium what would you do next? Thank you so much for taking your time to read through this and helping me out. I'm really at a loss right now as far as what to do. Let me know if you can't open the pictures i attached with this email? brad <Likely the root issue here is allelopathy. Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  but the phosphate pads should be removed... and you should do a bit of reading re Entacmaea on WWM... measure the quantity, quality of light... The best short/er term solution is to move the Actinarian elsewhere... as you'll see by reading. Bob Fenner>

Bleached E. Quadricolor, Zooxanthellae, Inadequate Environment -- 1/6/08 Hello, my name is David. <Hello David, Brenda here> I have just started my saltwater adventure and am running into a little problem. I have an 8 gallon tank, everything is running very smoothly. I have one false Percula clown, 5 snails and a peppermint shrimp. <An Ocellaris needs at least a 20 gallon aquarium.> I also have one grape frogspawn. I recently bought a white anemone from my LFS. I need help identifying the anemone. I can't find any pictures that resemble it. <It is a bleached E. quadricolor (Bubble Tip Anemone / BTA). Your anemone is white because it has expelled its zooxanthellae. This is an unhealthy anemone, and should not be kept in an 8 gallon tank. It needs to be kept in an established (6 -- 12 months old) tank of approximately 50 gallons or more. Some people have kept anemones in smaller tanks (20 -- 25 gallons). However those that are successful at it have been in the hobby for a while, and are knowledgeable in the care and requirements of an anemone.> Also I keep placing it in a little hole in the rock and it keeps floating down onto my frogspawn and they seem to bind tentacles, I think they may be fighting. <They are stinging the heck out of each other. The anemone is unhealthy, and will not be the winner.> This is going on quite consistently and it has me worried. I bought the anemone as a host for my clown; will this provide a good host? <No, this anemone will not survive long term in an 8 gallon tank.> How can I stop these attacks? <You can't. The anemone is stressed, unhealthy, and in an inadequate environment. It will continue to roam until its death. I recommend taking it back to the place that you bought it from and researching before your purchase.> Thank you so much. <You're welcome! I wish I had better news for you. Brenda>

Going, going...

Success! BTA... health, clown symb.     12/17/06 Hello To All.       I just wanted to take a moment to thank all you. Your informative sight has given me the ability to  successfully mate a pair of wonderful animals that belong together. Took me a couple tries. I had a percula clown who was not interested in my BTA. So, the poor guy went from a 150 gal tank to a 10 gal hospital tank. He's fine, but the tomato would of beat him up. <Oh yes> That and my son wanted him. :-)  I have browsed your sight left and right and continue to do so. All the articles i read and some personal attention through emails are all greatly appreciated. Please see enclosed pic of my tomato clown fish 2 days old and a 3 week old BTA. <This last badly bleached...> Not even 24 hours in the tank, well as you can see he's having a blast. Although, i feel the clown is a bit large for the size on the anemone but he doesn't seem to mind. <Do keep a close eye here... Clowns can be too exuberant... for their hosts> Right  now i am running 2 150w MH bulbs. Is that enough light or do you think i should upgrade to 2 x 250w MH  bulbs? <Mmm, not necessarily, no> Just wondering. All I can do to make him grow is make sure my water is in check, and feed him.  In time, he'll grow. It seems like the BTA accepted him. My clown has been cleaning him. All good stuff.   Thanks again. I really love your web site. <Ah, good... Your Anemone needs to re-incorporate useful endosymbiotic algae... Do a bit of searching re this issue please... and thank you for sharing your success, enthusiasm. Bob Fenner>

Re: Success!   12/17/06 Thank - you so much bob! <Welcome> I am not really sure what you meant by your comment here: <This last badly bleached...> <Please see, read on WWM re... the indices, search tool...> In regards to this comment: <Do keep a close eye here... Clowns can be too exuberant... for their hosts> What do I do in this case? <Again... reading> I am a bit worried about that. He seems to be a but rough with him. Before I had this clown, my BTA would be fully open! Not he has parts of him open and certain parts covered. I just thought it may take some time for the BTA to get used to its host. Last night the clown was doing allot of moving around here. 3 weeks later the BTA has not moved. Only once the first day after that he seemed to be happy. in regards to this comment: <useful endosymbiotic algae> I most definitely will and thanks again for the advice. <Ah, good. BobF>
Re: Success! Bleached BTA   12/18/06 In regards to: <This last badly bleached...> <Please see, read on WWM re... the indices, search tool...> Just to clarify, you want me to do some more reading on an article title " This last badly bleached"? or did you want me to search for an article titled the indices <The article, FAQs on BTAs...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm and the linked files above...> Also what article should I search for in regards to the exuberant clown? <Please... learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM> Should I type that or is there a title or link you can recommend? I have read almost every FAQ on Anemones and clown fish. Most clown and anemone behaviors. Sorry, hope I am not a bother. <Please make known what process you've employed to find this information... specifically. Am desirous of amending what we have in the way of "instructions", examples of how to find what folks are looking for. BobF>

Re: bleached?   12/18/06 Hi Bob,    You saying that my BTA looks bleached. Now I understand. Please note that when that photo you saw was taken, it was taken at night, w/ no light on or anything. What ever color you see in the pic came from the camera's flash. Can that be the reason? <Mmm, no> I never really thought it was a problem because he does have some color. His tip when they are bubbled up during the day are white, but he was always a cream color. <Read my friend... Don't write, read. RMF>

Rose Bubble Tip Anemone... mixed with a H. crispa...  7/19/06 I have had a rose bubble tip for about 2 months now, Today I noticed that it doesn't extend out, it is in a little ball and the clown who is actually too big for it has pretty much moved out and into another, a sebae anemone, <... not in the same system?> along with my other clown. The bubble tip will it krill and clams, but is staying pretty much closed. Is there anything that I should be doing or looking for?? Salinity 1.024 ; nitrate 20 <A bit high> ;Ammonia 0 Lighting 2-65watt power compacts 10K ;2-65watt Actinic <Insufficient for this size/depth tank, these anemone species> 75 gallon Tank Is the clown buffing it to death?? <Might be... but doubtful. You have a case of allelopathy... mis-mixed actinarians> Thanks for your time Bob <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

BTA all balled up Good afternoon, <Hi there> Yesterday, I did an extensive search through the bubble tip anemones, only to not find exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully someone out there could shed some light on the subject, or at least put me at ease. Here goes: First the basic info - 37 gallon Fish: (2) ocellaris clowns, (1) 3 stripe (which will be on his way out soon enough), and a lawnmower blenny. Inverts: (1) peppermint shrimp, (1) emerald crab, various red & blue leg hermits, Mexican turbo snails, Astrea, Cerith and Nassarius snails. Corals: a few yellow polyps, brown buttons, white and green striped Palythoa, various colored zoanthids, Ricordea, and mushrooms. Lighting: (3) 65 watt pc lighting (12 hrs on, 12 off) Filtration: (1) AquaClear 50 - sponge cleaned weekly, and carbon replaced every single month without exception. Skimmer: Excalibur hang-on Water movement: (1) Maxijet 1200, and the outputs from the skimmer (powered by a Rio 800) and the AquaClear keep things moving pretty good - I'm looking to add another Maxijet in the near future.   All together, probably 60 lbs live rock, and a shallow sand bed. my BTA has been in the tank for almost a month, and the tank itself went through a cycle that seemed like no other! It has been stable for about the last 6 to 7 months. The tank is fed once a day with a mixture of Nori, raw shrimp, freeze dried brine, and formula 1 flake, (all soaked in Selcon), along with DT's phyto every other day. over the past weekend, I decided to add about another 10 lbs of base rock. <This is a small tank/volume, a bunch of life to be moving about, adding so much in such a short time span...> Of course when adding the rock, other things had to be moved around and re-stacked. I also looked at it as re-arranging things a bit to break up territorial issues between my clowns and my 3-stripe. <This aggression will only get worse in time...> Anyway, after adding the new base rock, and doing some scraping and cleaning, and so forth, I did my weekly water change. I specifically waited to the very end to do the water change. The rock my BTA attached itself to happens to be the back of the rock with all my Palythoa and zoanthids. <Oh oh...> I had to move this rock up a little, and off to the side a little. The new location appears to have similar water movement, but it happens to be exposed more to the light. I specifically did not try to move the anemone itself, as I didn't want to tear it or stress it any further than what I had to. <Good> After the whole cloud of crap finally started to settle / filter out, I cleaned the sponge in the filter to remove excess garbage, and changed my carbon. All water parameters appear to be in good standing: pH - 8.2- 8.3, alk - normal (Red Sea "generalized" test), temp 79? - 80?, specific gravity - 1.025, Ca - 460 (a little high), ammonia - 0, nitrites - 0, nitrates - <10.  I don't test for anything else, and rarely test the amount shown here. usually only sg, pH and alk. Now, the BTA has only opened up maybe halfway, but usually stays tightly balled up (looks like a purplish red onion).  It still has all of its coloration (purple- maroonish colored base, very green tentacles with pink tips). When it is partly open, the mouth looks to be very tight, and I can't see any signs of decomposing. It's not expelling any waste that I can see. I know that they will move wherever they want to go when they want to, but this is the second day, and it appears that it hasn't moved an inch. Hopefully I'm right and everything will be ok within a couple of days. Should I attempt to feed it, or should I wait until it is fully open? <I'd definitely wait> Right now, my intentions are to just leave it alone. Any comments, suggestions, constructive criticisms? Hopefully I'm over-reacting. Sorry for the long winded message, but I wanted to put as much info out there as possible. Thanks. <IMO you are not over-reacting... There is a potential disaster brewing here... with the small volume, so much chemical change going on and trying to keep this anemone in the presence of the zoanthids... Please read re these animals: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm particularly their chemical incompatibility, danger to humans... In this tiny tank you will either have to be super-diligent in making water changes, checks on quality, use of chemical filtrants... perhaps add volume, filtration, other mediating influences through the addition of a refugium... or get rid of the zoanthids... possibly the anemone in time. Small volumes are just inherently too unstable... to house mixed cnidarian populations, particularly some groups. Bob Fenner>

Grr.. Sick BTA <Did these anemones feed regularly in the first month?> However for the past 5 days or so one of them has never inflated beyond half way, and the tentacles have remained all straggly.  It will open a bit more at night, but the tentacles never inflate.  It will not accept food, either.  The second BTA is doing great, eating, growing, etc. <Many possibilities here... not the least of which (no worries) is if it came form a tank with much lower light. Its not an issue of light shock, per se... but under aged lamps, weaker lamps, dirty/dusty lights and canopies/lenses... anemones and corals will swell up and pan for light (giving the appearance of being healthy ironically). Then when they get into better light, they do not need to pan so severely. It is that simple at times.> I did find a small Aiptasia anemone (the bastards) near the BTA.  I'm not sure if it was close enough to have stung it or not, but the possibility is definitely there.  If it was stung, would it be behaving like this? <Nope... they are much tougher than that.> Any way to get it eating and healthy again if so? <Try feeding small amounts of meaty "juice" to the tank at the same time every night. You can condition a feeding response in just a week or two this way. Do it at the end of the day or after the lights go out for zooplankton feeders like this.> My water quality is excellent as of yesterday (0 ammonia, nitrites, less than 5 ppm nitrates, pH 8.3, temp 80F, SG 1.025). <You may want to double check the accuracy of your hydrometer. If this is a plastic job (or handheld refractometer... crap), then I definitely would consider keeping at least one other meter (glass hydrometers are excellent... sparing the need for tabletop refractometers) for periodic calibration.> Lighting is a 150w metal halide and 2 55w PCs (10,000k and actinic).  Water changes are performed at least twice weekly of about 4 gallons <Hmmm... great that you're doing twice weekly water changes but the amount is rather modest/tiny... this will not adequately dilute the undesirables. It would be better to do much larger exchanges.> Also in the tank is a yellow headed Jawfish, ~2" maroon clown, a few xenia bunches, a few patches of green star polyps, a Ricordea (partially shadowed by the LR), and a few gorgonians. <Likely not the issue, but star polyp and gorgonians are very noxious... two of the worst (re: allelopathy) > Anyone have any ideas?  The BTA still has a firm grip on the rock it came on, hasn't move more than an inch, but it's looked half dead for about 5 days now.  It's stressing ME out. <Be patient my friend... and above all - DO NOT move this anemone. A surefire way to kill it :( > Anthony

Sea anemone  hi  <cheers, Marc!>  I have an odd situation going on with my large solitary cloning variety rose bubble-tipped anemone which appears to be healthy. it eats when fed and will expand by day and contract at night yet over the past month it has been dropping tentacles at @ 1- 2 a day followed by days when it does not loose any . To look at the anemone it seems o.k. the lost tentacles are not even missed , it almost looks as if they are being replaced by new ones although I can not be& sure as the smaller ones may just be contracted but perhaps not because they are shaped and lack the "flat tire deflated look" . <understood.. I have seen this before. Not uncommon at all. Not clearly understood either. Often ascribed to allelopathic duress (chemical poisoning of the self or from other cnidarians in the display)> the dropped tentacles are all intact and usually somewhat inflated looking and look to have had a tunicate tied around the base ( point of detachment ) . The anemone does not appear to be torn& or show scaring . The tank does contain H. crispa which is fine and has a A. nigripes clownfish which would not use the E. quadricolor when I isolated the H. crispa in a basket at the other end of the six foot long aquarium ( 72"x18"x18" ) . when I had met you in Lancaster at the that fish place seminar we discussed my system and you recommended that I remove the H .crispa as the E . quad. may eventually kill it could this or the opposite be what is happening ?  <I would have to agree that it is possible. At the very least the anemone seems to be responding to the presence of its competitor by sending our aggressive noxious aborted tentacles (powerful stinging "weapons" sent out into the drift upon the sensation of a competitive neighbor)> I have read of other's who keep the two together ( the latest being an article in f.a.m.a. on bubble tips and another on the web . )  <not exactly, my friend... while it is true that many people do mix species together for a year or two... it is extremely rare to find someone that succeeds in doing it for more than two years. And are you/we willing to play the odds that you will be the one person in a hundred that succeeds while 99 others own dead anemones <G>? Ha!> The only other fish is a springeri Pseudochromis . It would not appear to be a predator as the dropped tentacles do not get consumed by anything , not even by the small bristle worms .  <understood and agreed... they are noxious and potent for having been imparted with stinging mechanisms.. a defensive strategy most likely>  Someone had suggested that this may be a normal part of E. quad's lifecycle.  <I strongly disagree... few reef animals abort viable tissue on a nutrient starved reef. They only abort when necessary (necrosis, defense, reproduction)... the contrary is RARE. If the tissue was unnecessary it would likely be reabsorbed or eaten (as arthropods do with molts). >  The only thing different to my set-up since we met and before this started was that I reassumed use of the protein skimmer and add another 2-2.5" of sand ( @ 4.5" total depth.  <both excellent moves :) >  Thanks for the sand tip I found it packaged as Caribbean play sand.  <quite welcome!>  Every thing else in the tank is doing fine ( tank does not contain soft corals ) . I am wondering what you think , any info would be of interest . thanks  <indeed... the tank is maturing and noxious compounds accumulate inevitably. Any way you slice it, it sounds defensive to me. Have you noticed that the people that acknowledge shedding of tentacles from anemones commonly (always!) have other anemones or aggressive corals in the tank ;) There's a common thread here <G>. I'd pull one anemone on the assumption and for the greater good of both and watch to see if the shedding doesn't slow down or stop. Do extra water changes and skim/carbon to dilute the noxious elements. I'll be back at That Fish Place (Lancaster) April 6th by the way! Best regards, Anthony>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: