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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Health 5

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 6 BTA Health 7, BTA Health 8, BTA Health 9, BTA Health 10,  BTA Health 11, 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 4E. 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

E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues -- 11/14/07 Hello once again! <Hello Ryan, Brenda here> I have yet another question for you. <Not a problem!> It never ends, does it? <No, but this is how we all learn, and why we are here.> Thanks for all your great help so far and hopefully you can help me out with this interesting situation? <I'll try!> I recently moved my bubble tip anemone and its clone to a new tank. The new tank was setup with existing live rock and water, as well as some Chaetomorpha algae. <This is not an instant cycle. This creature needs an established environment, including the sand bed. This takes a minimum of 6 months, one year is best.> Everything has been going well, except the endless walking around the tank. <It is not happy.> Different flow and lights will cause that. <The new tank is likely the cause.> Yesterday I came home from work and found something interesting. The anemones had been fed the day before and looked a little unhappy. <What are you feeding it?> I took a look and found something interesting? I've posted this on three forums and no one has responded, which, in my opinion means no one has an answer? Today the anemones look much happier and the "egg sac" in the attached picture is gone. After I took the picture last night I noticed the tentacle started to tear open but I did not stay up late enough to see if anything was released? I added some carbon and did a water change just in case something in the tank was off. <You need to keep a close eye on your water parameters.> Thanks for looking, Ryan. http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s7/RyanSc_photos/IMG_1496.jpg  It is just to the right of the mouth. <Yes, I see this.> Any ideas? <Well, I can tell you, it is not an egg sac. Here is a link to a thread that shows eggs inside of an anemone. The pictures in this thread are amazing. http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic74210-9-1.aspx This is also a good article to read: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/feature.htm As far as what is going on; it could be a number of things. It looks to me like one of its tentacles has become injured or irritated. What are the tank mates, including fish, corals and invertebrates? Have you noticed anything bothering it? Are there any possibilities that salt accumulated somewhere and dropped into the tank, landing on the anemone? What are your water parameters? How long has this tank been up and running? Did you transfer the sand bed over also? If so, how long did you leave it cycle before adding the livestock? Thanks again. <You're welcome! Brenda>
Re: E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues -- 11/15/07
Hi Brenda, thanks for the reply. <Hello Ryan, and you're welcome!> You are not going to like this? <Yikes!> I did the entire change over in one day! <Ouch!> After asking many people if it would be OK if I used existing live rock and water as well as some Chaeto, they all said yes. <No, it is not ok, especially with anemones.> So if this was not OK what can I do now? Water parameters were fine until I fed the anemones, I fed them shrimp, same shrimp I've fed for over a year. My ammonia was a little high the day after and I'm assuming that one or both of the anemones did not eat their "dinner", causing the higher ammonia. <The ammonia spike is caused by the cycle. This is extremely toxic to anemones.> I did a water change to fix the problem, a rather large water change and after that they both looked fine. Here are the water parameters, ammonia 0, nitrite 0 (yes I'm sure), nitrate 0, calcium 400, Alk 10 DKH, salinity 1.025, temp. 79....I think that's it. <I do recommend a salinity of 1.026 for anemones.> The tank has a couple of frags that were attached to the live rock, Montipora and that is it, no other corals or fish....oh other than the one Palythoa hijacker. Please let me know if there is a way I can fix this situation? <I suggest getting the anemones out of there for a while. See if you can find someone local to take it in. If you are starting with a new sand bed, you need to wait a minimum of 6 months. If you transferred the old sand bed, it will take less time, but I can't give you an exact time frame. It could take a few weeks, or even a few months. There are too many variables. You will need to keep checking your water parameters. Once everything has been stable for a while, you can put the anemones back in.> I assure you I did a lot of questioning before I went ahead with this move and everyone said it was fine. Now I need your help, please. I did not check the links yet because I'm in a bit of a rush and trying to catch you today rather than tomorrow. Thanks for your help, Ryan. <You're welcome! Brenda>
Re: E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues -- 11/16/07
Thank you Brenda! <You're Welcome!> Sorry to keep this going back and forth with you. <No need to be sorry!> The sand is new, I thought I was saving myself cycling issues by doing this rather than using old "dirty" sand, apparently I was wrong. <Even when using old sand, there will still be a cycle.> I have little trust in others in my area, I work at a LFS but don't want my anemones there because they cram them all in one little tank. <Ouch! I know what you mean! When visiting a LFS, I first look at how they treat their anemones. I can't count how many times I've left feeling sick! I have found very few LFS that provide an adequate environment for this creature.> I don't know anyone else (local) with a tank that would be suited to keep anemones. <Wish I could help, I would gladly take the anemones in for a while if you were local.> So that being said I would prefer to try and fix the problem by myself. I watch things very carefully and hopefully I can pull this off? I have a SPS reef tank that has been doing great for over a year (started it before that). Here's what I've been doing. I'm making 5 gallons of new saltwater per day, letting it rest (with a pump) for a day, adding that to my reef tank, then I take 5 gallons out of my reef tank and change 5 gallons on my anemone tank. <This is a waste of effort in my opinion. You simply can not create an instant cycle. Your new tank needs time to cycle. Dirty water is not the solution. Once your tank has cycled it will still not be an adequate environment for anemones.> Not the best method but hopefully this will get me through this 6 month period? I know you are not going to be all that fond of this idea. <No, I'm not fond at all, neither are the anemones. They need an established environment, no less than 6 months, no short cuts here.> Do you think it is possible to keep my anemones if I continue to do this? <It is a possibility, but not a probability, also not fair to the anemones to be kept in such an environment.> My other option would be to somehow get them back in my reef tank. <This would be my choice, with a slow drip acclimation to reduce added stress.> I would prefer not to lose my corals. That is an option that I would rather not go for. <Were the anemones in the SPS tank previously? Were there problems that made you decide to move them, roaming, etc.? I keep anemones with SPS, and have had no issues. My anemones do not roam, and I keep the SPS away from the anemones. Granted, this is not a guarantee that they won't roam someday. Can you tell me more about your SPS tank? Size, equipment, livestock, water parameters, amount of flow, RO or RO/DI water, is there room for the anemones? I appreciate your help a lot. Please try and see things from my point of view on this. <I do, (and the anemones view) we've all made mistakes.> I am doing my best to keep them happy. I guess I should have emailed you first, before I made the transfer. By the way both anemones look very healthy and happy! <This may not be long term.> Thanks so much, Ryan. <You're welcome! Brenda>
Re: E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues... Brenda! Refer Ryan!  -- 11/16/07
Hi Brenda, <Hello Ryan!> Thanks again! <You're welcome!> The anemones were in the SPS tank before but the two used to be one, it split and then both started roaming. <Both are a sign of stress.> They are also very large so their tentacles swaying in the current (lots of flow) were causing problems with my corals and clam. <Yes, that is a problem!> I use RO/DI water, have 4000 gph of flow (90 gallon tank), <That is a lot of flow, likely too much for anemones.> a EuroReef skimmer, Kalk reactor, refugium with a DSB and Chaeto, 500 watts of metal halide lighting (10K), 100+ pounds of live rock, 30 gallon sump, etc. <Nice equipment!!!> My water parameters in the SPS tank are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 1.5, calcium 400, DKH 11, Ph 8.3, temp. 79, SG 1.025-1.026.....I think I got all of those? My SPS tank is packed full of corals and my main concern is the anemones wandering or letting loose of the live rock and floating into a Tunze powerhead. <I don't recommend the use of powerheads with anemones. If you must use them, they need to be covered with something to protect the anemone.> I can provide you a link to a picture to show you my tank so you get a feel for how packed it is. My other thought was putting them in the refugium but then I would have to buy an additional light and most likely keep that light on at the same time my tank lights are on (not sure why I think that?). <I don't know why you think that either. I recommend the refugium light to be on at opposite times of the main tank. Placing the anemones in the sump (with proper lighting) is an option as long as you can be sure the anemones are protected from all pumps. Anemones going through a pump can wipe out an entire system. Without seeing your set up or knowing how much flow is going through it, I really can't recommend it.> I certainly want to keep the anemones happy so I'll do what I need to. I'm also wondering if there would be a safe way to connect the two tanks for a period of 6 months. I cannot drill the tank, it's brand new acrylic and cost enough that I would not feel comfortable putting a temporary hole in it. <I don't blame you. What size/type tank is your new one? How close is it to the old one? What lighting do you have on it? Do you have any old tanks around that you could temporarily connect to the established tank, a 20 gallon or so? I do suggest running carbon, and frequent water changes when mixing coral and anemones. The initial problems you experienced may have been caused by chemical warfare, along with too much flow.> I really appreciate all your help. Here's a picture so you can see what I'm dealing with. http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s7/RyanSc_photos/IMG_1508.jpg <Yes, a bit crowded for anemones.> I guess the other option would be to cage them in with some egg crate until they are attached and happy? <There are no guarantees that creating a cage will create happiness. I believe there is simply too much flow in your main tank, and possibly chemical warfare. In the mean time, take a cup or two of sand out of your established tank, and start seeding your new tank.> Thanks once again, Ryan. <You're welcome! Brenda>
Re: E. Quadricolor, New Tank Issues -- 11/17/07
Thanks Brenda! <You're welcome> Wow the longest running WWM FAQ ever....I'm joking. I do have extra tanks but connecting them safely would be an issue. The only way I could do that is to have a pump in the main tank and a pump in the connected tank, both pumping water back and forth, we both know you should not do that. The refugium may work. I have no pumps in the Fuge, just a feed pump from a different area of the sump which supplies clean water and lower flow. I would need to upgrade the lighting but other than that I think that may work. Here's what I'm going to do today. Take some sand out of the refugium, add it to the anemone tank, take a large amount of Chaeto and add that to the anemone tank as well. I am also going to try and add some flow without having a pump directly in the tank with the anemones. I think they miss the flow. Both settled in a very high flow location in my reef tank so maybe that's what they're looking for. <They are suffering from being placed in a non-cycled/non-established tank. It is important that you get them out of there. This is not only very stressful on anemones, but also one of the leading causes of death in captivity.> I'll assume this will be the last email about this, so once again thanks so much for all your help. I'll give you an update in a month or so. Thanks, Ryan. <Good luck to you! Brenda>


Sponge ID, Anemone getting healthier -- 10/12/07 Crew, <Hello Andy, Brenda here! I have received both of your e-mails, and will answer both here.> Hope all is well. I have two questions and have attached three pictures related thereto. <Okay.> First: I purchased a piece of Tonga Branch with 4 greenish mushrooms on it. At the bottom of the LR is what appears to be some type of hairy sponge. When I tried to reposition this piece of LR, I noticed that it has become attached to the piece of LR on which it rests. On closer inspection, it appears that this sponge (or whatever it is) has grown and bonded to the underlying LR. Any thoughts on what this is? <It is hard to tell with a picture and there are so many different sponges.> Second: I have had a BTA for 5 or so months. When I got it, it was tan. Since then, it has gotten progressively darker and is now a purple/brown color. <Congratulations! Your anemone is getting healthier.> I feed it 1 frozen cube of Mysis (thawed and soaked in Selcon) 2 times per week, and it is a very eager eater. <A full cube may be a bit much. I would also mix up the diet a bit with some Silversides, Lance fish, raw shrimp, etc. Portions should never be bigger than the anemones mouth.> My Gold Stripe Maroon Clown is in love with it. <Yes, I bet! It is a wonderful relationship to witness.> In any event, as you'll see from the attached photos, its tentacles have lost their bubble tips (which it only had for a month or so), which I know is typical/normal/not indicative of problems. <No, it is not a problem, and also not completely understood yet why some have bubbled tips and some don't.> What has me curious is why the tentacles sometimes look like curly-cues and whether it is normal for the anemone to go concave on me (first picture). Its mouth is very tight. It has not moved from that spot since I added it to the display. <Is it expelling waste when it looks like this?> As background, I have a 110 gallon display (48" x 18" x 30") with about 80 lbs of live rock, a 30 gallon LR/Chaeto/DSB refugium, a wet-dry filter, and a Coral Life Super Skimmer. Lighting is six 54W T5 HO (four 10,000k and two 460nm actinics). <Do you have individual reflectors?> The BTA is positioned almost on the bottom of my tank. Parameters are: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate all 0; pH is 8.2; Salinity is 1.024-1.025. <I recommend increasing salinity to 1.026 for anemones.> Temperature is 78 -80 degrees. I do 10% weekly water changes with aged RO/DI water (Instant Ocean). Other tank inhabitants are Sailfin Tang (I know . . .), Gold Stripe Maroon, Brown Combtooth Blenny, Royal Gramma, Filament Flasher Wrasse, Yellow Wrasse, Clown Goby, about 15 mushrooms (various types), 2 unidentified tree corals, 1 Lemnalia, hermits, snails, and two Sally Light Foot crabs. I appreciate your time/thoughts. Andy Crew, Sorry to cause confusion and delay, but in re-reading my e-mail below I realized that I asked about my BTA's oral disc being "concave" from time to time, when I meant to say convex. Sometimes, it turns outward/upward to fully expose its oral disc. <It may be trying to reach for light. From the pictures it looks healthy.> Just so I'm clear, it never turns itself "inside out"--just appears to reach for the stars. <It is reaching for light.> Because it has never moved and has great color, I can only assume that it's not in need of more light, but I am just a reader of law and no specialist of inverts. <It may be that the anemone has positioned itself in such away that it is partially shaded, and needs to extend in order to reach the light. It does not mean that you need to add more lighting. The anemone appears healthy. If you have individual reflectors on your T-5s, I would leave things alone.> Thanks! <You're welcome! Brenda>

Re: Sponge ID, Anemone getting healthier -- 10/12/07 Brenda, <Hello Andy> Thanks for the response. <You're Welcome!> I don't think I have individual reflectors. I know that some T5 bulbs actually have internal reflectors, but I don't think my bulbs (SlimPaq T-5 HO) have this characteristic. <Without the individual reflectors, T-5 bulbs are comparable to PC lighting.> What I do know is that my fixtures are Current Nova Extremes (I have one 4 bulb fixture and one 2 bulb fixture). The product information states that the fixture has "A German parabolic reflector increases light output up to 99%". <With the use of individual reflectors, lighting can be increased up to 300%. I am really surprised that the anemone remains so low in your tank, yet appears healthy after 5 months. I suspect that your clownfish constantly feeding it, and the use of Selcon, is making up for the lack of lighting. The 'reaching' out that you see, is the anemone trying to get as much light as possible. Keep a close eye on the anemone. Keep all intakes protected in case the anemone decides to take a walk looking for more lighting. If its health decreases, it may be time to upgrade lighting, or find the anemone a new home. At this point, I am not seeing any immediate concerns. Brenda>


BTA -- Need More Information! -- 10/7/07 Hi crew.... <Hello Tracy, Brenda here> I have a 30 gal. tank, fluorescent. lights, <How many watts, what K value?? 3 clowns, <two clownfish is the limit for less than a few hundred gallons.> 5 damsels, <Yikes! That's a lot of aggression, and way over stocked!> live rock, all the tests are perfect. <What exactly is 'perfect'?> I purchased a Green BTA a few days ago. It looked good for a day, but now it is totally closed up, and blown up like a balloon, and laying on its side even though it is still attached to the glass. <It should be attached to live rock, not glass.> Is it dead? <I don't know, I can't see it. You might want to send me a picture of it, along with the rest of the information I requested.> I don't want to R/M <remove?> it if it isn't of course. I was hoping it is just adjusting to its new home. <It could be, but doubtful, how did you acclimate it, where did it come from, internet, LFS, friend? Thanks, Tracy <Brenda>

Re: Rose Bubble Anemone hlth.   9/7/07 I've not changed the set up in any way. The only thing introduced in the last 2 weeks is a small colony of mushroom corals which are usually the other side of the tank. The lighting I have is 2x24" Acadia blue fluorescents and 2x24" white. The tank size is 25 gallons (U.K gallon that is). <Ah, anemones rarely do well in small tanks.> Water parameters are S.G 1.023, <salinity should be closer to 1.025sg> No3 10mg, <doesn't help> Nitrite Nil, Ammonia Nil, Phosphates Nil, Ph 8.2, Calcium 360mg and KH 7-10, temperature is a constant 77.25. <closer to 80 would be better> I do a 25% water change weekly but this is mostly to try and starve the annoying patches of hair algae before they get a grip in the whole tank. I have an Aquaclear 4000 power head directing the flow of water across the tank. The only other inhabitants in the tank are 2 clowns (male & female) and a Banded Coral Shrimp, so the tank is hardly overstocked. <Sure, but I wouldn't add anymore fish.> on the forum suggested that my lighting was incorrect and not powerful enough for a BTA. <That's quite possible. However, even if you had ideal lighting, the tank is still too small for a BTA.> Any suggestions would be grateful as the BTA is truly beautiful when at full health. (If you have any ideas to kill the hair algae that would be appreciated too.) <About all I can suggest at this point is that you get a bigger tank. For the time being, running activated carbon might help. Best,
Sara M.>

Stressed BTA due to shipping, Entacmaea quadricolor -- 8/19/07 Hello, <Hello Wesley, Brenda here again> I've got a question about my rose BTA. I added it a few days ago to my tank. The first day it expelled some waste then expanded to its current size. After reading through your FAQs I think it is expelling some symbiotic algae. I've attached two pictures to show the change. <Yes, I see, and agree.> The first picture was taken 6hrs after it was placed in the tank and is expelling waste (though it is hard to see). Second picture is day 3 (color is actually more vibrant than it appears). You can see that it has opened up and the tentacles have elongated. Could be that the algae is simply being stretched over a larger area resulting in less coloration. I have noticed that at night when it shrinks down the colors are stronger. <Typical> The open mouth makes me think it is somehow stressed/expelling algae. <An open mouth is a sign of a stressed anemone.  It does appear to have lost some of its zooxanthellae.> I ordered it online, so it did spend an entire day being kicked around by FedEx. <This is likely the cause.  Shipping is very stressful on anemones.  How was the anemone packaged?> Also, my maroon clown has now made the RBTA its home, though she isn't beating it up. <A maroon clownfish with a stressed anemone can cause more harm.  Keep a close eye on it, and be prepared to remove the clownfish.> Tank specs: 50g 2 x 150w 20k HQI (same temp online store kept it under) Ammonia = 0 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = 0 Alkalinity = 10.5 Calcium = 380 ppm (slowly being raised) PH = 8.1 (slowly being raised with Calcium) <A pH of 8.1 is acceptable.> Salinity = 1.235 (also being raised to target of 1.25) <Slowly bring salinity up to 1.026.  Use saltwater as your daily top off until you reach 1.026.  Where is your magnesium at?  What is the temperature?> Slow = at least a week (hah) I did the drip method acclimation procedure over roughly 3.5 hours. <Perfect!> I haven't started feeding it yet pursuant to Crew member Brenda's advice (thanks!) to wait a few days. Is it bleaching? <It is slightly bleached.  I have seen much worse completely recover.  I have high hopes for this little guy!!!> What should I do if it is? <Start feeding small portions of food such as silversides, lance fish, or Mysis shrimp. Start with portions approximately 1/8 inch every other day.  Don't force it to eat.  If it doesn't want to take the food, try again the next day.  Food soaked in Selcon may also help.  http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/207914/product.web  Keep checking your water parameters and keep up with water changes.  Once it recovers feed two to three times a week, with portions no bigger than the mouth.> Thank you for your help, Wesley <You're Welcome!  I'll keep my fingers crossed!  Brenda>

Possible Torn Anemone -- 8/19/07 <Hello, Brenda here to help!> I have a rose bubble tip anemone and I lifted the rock he was under but half of him was connected to it and it looked like it pulled him away a little. <Ouch!!> I'm not sure if I did something wrong but I laid it back down when I saw what I did. <Yes, you did something wrong. However, it is not likely fatal if the anemone was in good health to begin with. When you say the anemone was 'under' the rock, are you saying it was hiding and not getting any light?> I lifted the rock slow but when I could see him I noticed the small part pull away. Help me please. My finance will kill me if he dies. He is a week old. <I have to confess! I have done something similar! I have also witnessed another crew member/friend do the same. You may have torn the foot. Don't try moving the anemone anymore. Keep your water parameters perfect! The anemone may end up splitting, giving you two. Many anemones have survived going through unprotected powerheads. You should know in a day or two if the anemone is going to split. Do not try feeding the anemone for a few days. If it does splits, wait a week to 10 days to give the mouth time to heal before feeding. I hope this helps! I'll keep my fingers crossed! Let me know if you have any more questions. Brenda>

E. quadricolor, Bubble Tip Anemone Not Fully Inflated, Mixed Species Tank??? -- 7/28/07 Hi there! <Hello, Brenda here!> Well I have a bubble anemone and would just like to have a concern addressed if possible? <I'll try!> My water quality is perfect and lighting is good (in fact all other anemones and inverts are happy and are growing like mad). <All other anemones? Unless the anemones are clones, it is likely the problem.> My bubble anemone just doesn't fully inflate. It rarely deflates. It's open all day long and very occasionally moves around, but not too often, changed positions once in the last 2-3 weeks). <A moving anemone is a sign that it is unhappy. It may be getting stung by a nearby anemone or coral.> My main concern is why does it never fully inflate? It is inflated but not to what I have seen it do before! I would say it is about 3 quarters fully inflated but that is as far as it goes! Any theories? <I need more information. Are the anemones that you keep the same species and clones? If not, I would separate, that is likely the problem. If they are the same species and a clone: What are the other tank mates? I also need actual water parameters, tank size, equipment list, including lighting. How long have you had the anemone? Have you changed anything lately, bulbs perhaps? What do you feed, how often and what sized portions? How long has the tank been set up?> Many thanks, Jamie <You're Welcome! Brenda>

Stressed Bubble Tip Anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor, Tank Overheated -- 6/19/07 Hi Guys! <Hello, Brenda here> So this is the deal, I've had a bubble-tip anemone for about 10 months now and it has always seemed happy. It is brown colored with a very orange base. It attached itself to the lowest point in the fish tank against some live rock and stretched its body through the live rock so it could get light. It always took to food and always opened up when the lighting came on in the morning. A few weeks ago, the temperatures in the area went over 100 degrees and we didn't have our air conditioner on at the time. <Ouch!> I didn't anticipate the heat (darn that weather channel) so I didn't have any type of cooling for the tank when it happened. (I now have some emergency frozen 2 liter bottles of water to float for such days). <Great! Using a fan to blow air across the surface of the water will also help.> Now, the anemone will not come through the live rock to get light. I moved some rock around to see what it looked like, and the foot does not seem damaged at all. Its appearance around the mouth looks very leathery while the mouth itself used to be very tightly shut but now stays open to about the diameter of a pencil. The tentacles are no longer bubbly at the tips, they taper to a point. I moved the live rock around it so I could have access to it to feed it in the morning, but when I got up to look at my fish tank, the anemone was completely shut. Is my anemone out of whack, sick, sensitive to light now, trying to get better? <Your anemone is likely still stressed from the heat. Leave it be, don't try to move it. It will move when it is ready. Moving it will add more stress.> I've had the water tested at the LFS and they said everything is fine. <I don't trust tests done by LFS. You really need to be able to test your own water parameters. Parameters can change over night. Pristine water conditions will be the key to its recovery.> The only other issue I can see with the tank is that a bit of my purple coralline algae seemed to turn brown after the day of overheating. <Your coralline algae will return.> Thanks for your help! <You're welcome! 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>

New Bubble Tip Anemone Stressed!  Is it Dying?  5/18/07 I've had my Bubble Tip Anemone 5 Days now. It has spent most of the time since then shriveled up and hidden away in a hole it moved to on the third day. <It may still be acclimating to its new home and/or your lighting?  Do you know what kind of lighting it was under before you got it?  What lighting do you have?  How old are your bulbs?> It was acclimated over several hours. <Good> I bought the rock it was attached to.  It is small maybe 6 cm. Now it has shriveled up to nothing, it has turned white and now has started to turn brown. Should I get it out? <White is not good.  It has expelled its Zooxanthellae.  It can recover from this with proper care.  Can you see the mouth?  Is it open?  Can you send me a picture?> I have an established tank. Water checked every 2 days (every day during this crisis) ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 5-10. pH 8.2. <What is the salinity, alkalinity and temperature?> I noticed my cleaner shrimp having a go at it as well (he is a little monster, he's learned to knock my snails over and eat them, getting expensive to feed him this way). <The shrimp may be adding to the stress, but I doubt it is entirely responsible.  The knocking over and eating snails sounds more like a crab to me.  Do you have any in your tank?> This is my first attempt at an Anemone and I feel really bad as I've not lost anything for ages. <I understand completely.  If at anytime the anemone looks to be melting or decaying, it is dead. Be prepared to do large water changes.  If it dies the ammonia is going to sky rocket.> <Brenda>

BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor not looking well, Clownfish moved out, 4/19/07 Hi Guys, <Hi Nancy, Brenda here> For the past year I have had a 180 gal homemade reef tank up and running with minimal problems.  I have an Eco System filter, 2- 60" VHO lights and 3- 175watt MH.  Numerous soft and stony corals, a few fish and 'house keeper' inverts.  Also a green and a rose BTA, a Sebae Anemone and one tomato clown who had chosen to live in the Green BTA.  All anemones have a clay pot for a home. <Why the clay pot?> A few weeks ago the green BTA started to look flaccid and the clown moved out.  I have read that when they are going to divide they will look poorly so I let it be. <Not necessarily.> It has at least a 4" base on it, has thrived up to this point and has been in my possession for a couple years. Concerned that as it had shrunk to the bottom of its pot and was not getting sufficient water flow I tipped the pot on its side and the anemone moved out.  It is now hanging off the side of the live rock where there is maximum current but still looking less than healthy.  Now and then the clown will come over to visit but does not stay.  What do you think?  Getting ready to divide or getting ready to cash out? <I doubt it is getting ready to split if it has been like this for a few weeks.  You should not mix species of anemones in one tank.  All those corals you have in there are not doing it any favors either.  I imagine there is a lot of chemical warfare going on in there.> As it is so large I hate to leave it in there to slowly die and contaminate the rest of the tank but we have been together for some time now and I feel like I need to give it a chance.  I owe it to the critter. <Yes, we are ultimately responsible for the animals we keep.> I did change the VHO bulbs and put in two blue instead of one blue and one 50/50.  Is that enough to make a difference? <Not likely enough.  What are your water parameters?  I suggest doing a water change and running some carbon immediately.  If that don't help in a day or two, I suggest removing one of the anemone species and some corals.  What have you been feeding your anemones?> Thanks, Nancy <You're welcome!  Brenda>
Re:  BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor not looking well, Clownfish moved out,  4/21/07
Thanks for the timely reply Brenda, <You're welcome> Water parameters :    temp 74.5, SpG .023, Ph 8.2, Ca+ 400, Alk 300, everything else 0. <Your temperature and salinity are low.  Gradually bring temperature up to 79 -- 80, and Salinity up to 1.026.  I would bring Salinity up by topping off with saltwater over the next few days.  Alkalinity at 300?  I'm not sure what test kits gives Alkalinity in that type of measurement.  It is not one I am familiar with.  Alkalinity is typically expressed as meq/L or dKH (when expressed as carbonate hardness), with 2.8 meq/L or 8 dKH as a target for anemones.> I do have carbon in the sump that I change when they get covered with algae and did so around a month ago. <How are you running the carbon, through a reactor or in a mesh bag?   A reactor is best as it will force the water through.  It is my understanding that carbon is only good for 3 weeks at best.> I feed the anemones silversides, shrimp (that I would like for myself) and then whatever type of frozen food that I am giving the fish I will squirt a bit on them. <Raw shrimp I hope.> The interesting thing is that they were together in a 75 gal tank along with soft corals and mushrooms and did fine.  The BTA and the Sebae have been in the 180 for three months or more and the rose was put in two months ago. <Yes, interesting.> It is still on the side of the live rock right in the inlet water flow this morning and is looking better than it has for some time.  I will try a H2O exchange and give it a few more days. The flower pot is to give is a comfort and secure spot to live so it won't wander all over and get itself into trouble.  That was suggested to me by a dealer and has worked well.  No one messing with water intakes or heaters or other critters. <I'm surprised you can get it to stay in there.  I would still protect your intakes with some needle point canvas.> Nancy <Keep me posted with any improvements or decline.  Send us a picture with your updates if you can.  Good luck!  Brenda>
Update:  BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor not looking well, Clownfish moved out, 4/26/07
Brenda, I wish I had good news to share with you regarding my BTA but unfortunately that is not the case.   <Sorry to hear that.> The temp is partially determined by the ambient house temp with supplement from a heater in the sump.  When the temp cooled off outside after a short warm spell I relit the fire and the temp came back up to 76-77.  I guess that I need to adjust the heater a bit.    <Yes, needs to be warmer, 79 -- 80 degrees.> I did raise the salinity up to .026 over the course of a few days.  When the BTA initially vacated its flowerpot and hung on the side of the rocks in the current I thought that it was improving as it was well stuck and the base was inflated although the tentacles remained short.   <Short tentacles are a sign of hunger.> I was out of town for two days and when I got home it had moved/dropped to the bottom of the tank, lost all tentacles on one side and looked mushy.  I hated to do it but as I feared for the health of all the rest of the critters I took it out and sent it to anemone heaven. <Sounds like it may have been time to remove it.> Since that time the red Brain Coral has been inflating better than previously.  Could be circumstantial or could be it's happier without some irritant. <Likely the later.> Life in my mini ocean sure is interesting.  Thanks for all your help. <You're welcome.> I do think that I will forgo adding any more anemones.  The Sebae and the Rose are both looking chipper and the clown is sharing his time between the two. I'm going to leave well enough alone. <As previously suggested, only one species of anemone per tank.> Nancy

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>


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