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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Health 2

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 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 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,  

A healthy Rose Anemone may or may not have bulbous tentacle tips.

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Bleached GBTA - Can he pull a Rocky and make a come back? 2-09-06
Hello gang,
  I would like to say first off that I love the website! <Glad to hear it.>  I have found it to be very, very informative.  Keep up the good work.  I'm not a noob to the saltwater world. I have had fish only tanks before, but doing the coral thing is new and exciting to me.  I have been taking in a lot of information in since I started, some of which has been confusing. Let me tell you a little about my system to start off.  I have a 36 gal bow front which has been running for 7-8 months now and has fully cycled, 35 lbs of live rock, shallow crushed coral bed, a Fluval filter system (sorry don't have the model #'s, but the LFS said it was more than enough for the tank)  I have an extra power head for additional water movement. Lighting (again don't have the specs on hand) I have them on a timer with the night lights....it does have the additional "blue" light (according to the LFS) to support my soft corals and such.  Of which the corals are doing fine....the mushrooms have exploded!  They are everywhere! lol  Stats on this are as follows:  Salinity 1.023, pH 8.2, Alk and Cal were a little low when I tested early this week, but, I'm slowly add'l sups to bring them into the norm. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate 20 (water change for that is scheduled for the weekend)  Current residents:  1 mated pair of Maroons (yes I'm well aware of the tank is to small for them for the size they can get to...but they are small now and it will do until I can get them something bigger), assorted shrimps, snails and crabs.  There are several other fish in there, but I'm in the process of finding homes for them because I'm just going with the clowns and I'm sure they will eventually get the crap beaten out of them if I don't lol.
  On with my question(s).  I have had a GBTA for about 7 months now. I'm finding out now that he may be "bleached" from other pics u guys have on here and going to several different LFS's and showing them a pic of it.  Unfortunately the pics makes it look more bleached than what the actual eye can see.  The problem is he was bleached to a degree when I got him. (a grievous error on my part, but at the time I didn't know what I know now)  So I don't know what his actual color should have been.  Within a day of putting him in the tank he move to a spot mid level in the tank and has not moved since.  His color varies from week to week, one week he will be a lighter fluorescent green and next he will be darker fluorescent green. Not as green as other "healthier" specimens I have seen, but, never the less green.  He has these very tiny purple tips on the very end of each of his tentacles.  He is white without a doubt but has the green tint all over everyone of his tentacles.  His base has always been cream color, never the typical red that I have seen on others.  Should his base be red or can it vary between individuals? <It can vary.> His tentacles are always fully extended and he has bonded with my female maroon.  He takes food readily. I feed him once every 3 days or so. I'm mixing up his diet with frozen squid and frozen plankton.  Am I feeding him to much? or not enough?   I been reading on here you can over feed them.   He rarely bubbles any of his tentacles, but, from what I understand that doesn't mean that he is in ill health.  <You are correct that bubble tips do not need to be inflated.  As for feeding, feed every other day and feed small pieces. Mysis or Omega enriched brine are good choices.>
  What is the definition of "bleached"?  From what I understand they don't live longer than 7 months once they reached the "bleached" point and since he was more or less in this condition when I got him. I don't know for how long he was this way before I purchased him.  When can I say he is pulling a "Rocky" and making a come back? He's seems to be going strong. He is not "withering" or collapsing in on himself like some of the other death throws that have been posted on here.  I know that they use algae that grows on them for food as well and I know that adds to the color of the animal.  I thought it was on here that I read that they can alter the amount of algae that grows on them depending on the algae that may be in the water column and use that instead of the stuff growing on them, correct?  If that is the case does that mean I have a good supply in my aquarium and its using that instead?  Would that explain the color loss (whatever that color is suppose to be)?  Is he beyond hope?
Do I need to get another one?  I'm not really looking forward to having to get another and hope my maroons don't tear it up trying to bond with it before it has time to get settled in.  Unfortunately this whole "bleaching" thing is freaking me out.  Any help or suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
<Your diagnosis and understanding of bleaching is correct.  The theory that they can pick up new algae is a bit far fetched in my opinion. <<Mmm, no... scientifically "proven". RMF>> Feed your anemone well and it should recover, but make sure to keep your nitrates low in the mean time. Travis>

BTA beh. health  2/3/06
Hi <Hello Danny.> I've just got a green BTA & it has shriveled up a bit & has something by its mouth that resembles mucus. I would appreciate it if you could advise me if this is normal or is it going to die. My tank holds 200 litres & has sand bed & about 40 kilos of living rock with efficient skimming. All the levels seem fine but the BTA has only been in the tank for about 4 hours, am I jumping the gun? Thanks Danny <Don't pull the trigger, your BTA is just ridding itself of waste.  Give it a chance to adjust.  James (Salty Dog)>

BTA Mystery  1/16/06
Dear WW Crew
Thank you for all your hard work and support. Being sensitive to the thousands of emails you must receive I have scoured WWM and still feel I still have questions.  
1.5 Years ago I started with a 50G and without proper knowledge about BTAs I of course bought one. It did not fair well and continually shrank to almost nothing. After about 6 months I installed a 90G overflow tank with skimmer, proper lighting etc. I wasn't going to even add the BTA however my wife convinced me not to give up on it. Apparently there was something about the new environment it liked. It has gained back its diameter 4X and tentacles have grown the same. Tentacles have yet to get bulbous however color was good. During this growth phase I was feeding Mysis (3-4) daily.
2 Months ago I purchased a Rose based on the apparent success of the revived BTA. It is fairing quite well. Maintaining its bulbs and color and appears
to be growing and feeds well. Until the last 2 weeks the G BTA was continuing fine. I have changed my feeding for both to shrimp for human consumption soaked in Selcon. Also about two months ago I added a refugium.
<Likely related events>
Problem - G BTA is losing its color in the last 2 weeks. It feeds lethargically and portions of tentacles are now white. I have never seen the
BTA lose color even when I tortured it as a neophyte aquarist (maybe I still am!). I know this means loss of its zooxanthellae
Tanks Stats
90G 15G sump
150 lbs LR
120 Aqua C Skimmer
RODI  Water
10G Refugium
with Gracilaria. (my Chaetomorpha died off)
Recirculates at 350G /Hr with clean (return) side of sump
1 65W 10,000K
5 in DSB
Chemistry OK but not great. Nitrates 5pp, dKh 7, Ca 250 ppm,
<These last two need raising>
0 PO4, sp gv
<I would raise to 1.025>
Recirculation 750 G/Hr
Tunze power head cycling between low and mid rang appox (600-1300 G/Hr)
8 X 65W Dual PC. 4 Dual Actinic (420nm/460nm) and 4 Dual Daylight (6,700K/10,000K). This lighting is included in 2 X 48 inch Current
Satellites. One is 6 months old. The other 1 year.
14 Hrs light per day offset with 12 Hrs offset light in refugium
5-10 G / week water exchange
2 Clarkii (They love both Cnidarians)
2 damsels
1 Yellow tang
1 Coral Beauty
1 Royal Gramma
1 Anthias
Few hermits snails etc.
1)       I know I can't mix Cnidarians but I presume that isn't my issue since both are theoretically  E quadricolor. Are other species passed off as
E quad?
<Not that I've encountered, no>
2)       A couple of weeks ago I decided to try to get my chemistry back to classic conditions dKh 8-12 Ca 400. I am always working at Nitrates. Could I
have shocked it?.
<Possible, yes>
There was no effect on the RTA and as previously stated even when near death for the last 1.5 years BTA never lost its color.
3)       Both are about midway up the 24 inch high aquarium including 5inch DSB. The RTA is in open light. The ailing BTA is in a crevasse that is
slightly shadowed.  It has room to move if it wants to. Could this be due to degraded lighting? Would more  or new light help.?
<Likely yes... along with the other three changes noted above>
4)       During the summer I had trouble keeping temperature 80 or below. I used 2 4 inch computer fans in the sump which seems to hold the temperature
down however I had to make up huge amounts of water. Most all my make up water was Calc water.
<Ahh... another possibility... that this chronic use has changed the proportion of magnesium too much...>
Now i the winter I don't need to do this and use very little make up. Will Klc water help? Was this creating some super saturated condition?
<... not necessarily. Kalkwasser has its uses/place, but is inferior for doing what good it can do... relative to other means>
5)       Should I go back to the Mysis shrimp? The RTA seem to do so well on the larger pieces.
<I would stick with "larger pieces">
6)       Any other thoughts or recommendations.
<Consider the four items mentioned and testing for magnesium, restoring its proportionality... about 3:1... Bob Fenner>
Re: BTA Mystery, Kalk expl.    1/19/06
Bob - Thanks for your consideration. I will refresh my lighting, adjust my dKh and Ca gradually, and test my magnesium and adjust 3:1 and stick with
the larger shrimp pieces.
<Very good>
I was a bit surprised about your comment regarding Kalkwasser. I got the impression from WWM that it was the superior method despite the
inconvenience and the concerns over pH when added to fast. I will use CaCl to improve the situation.
Thanks again.
<Mmm, not to be mysterious or misunderstood here. There are a few dozen of us "here", with quite divergent opinions on some subjects. With diligence, Kalk/wasser can be used to advantage (IMO of course), but in actual practice it is too easy to fall into lazy habits with it... in actuality poisoning ones systems to a degree... As opposed to superior results to be had with calcium reactors (for folks with large enough systems/organism collections, money enough... or home-made units... many clubs have get-togethers to fashion) or simple commercial or home-made/DIY "two-part" solutions. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Donut Anemone?  1/16/06
Hi folks, <Hi Pete>
I have searched for this through your site and have found nothing about it.
I have also never heard anything about this and definitely not seen it.
I have a Bubble tip anemone (actually 2) in my tank that as of this morning were both healthy. This evening I looked at them and one of them has become
a donut??!! He is on a rock where he has been for three months now.
Occasionally he (they) will swell up and then deflate over a period of time.
When I saw him he was deflated but when I looked close I realized that his mouth was wide, and I mean gaping wide open as I could see his white
innards. <Can't be good>
I wasn't sure if this was just an anemone thing (they can be so weird) so I thought I would wait a bit and see what happened. I checked about an hour
later and it was the same except I could see the rock he is perched on right through his mouth! His body is generally the size of a golf ball and he was deflated to the size of a flat quarter, tentacles totally withdrawn, with a hole the size of a dime right through him. I was sure he was dead.
I yanked him (with the rock) out of the tank and put him in my QT tank figuring he was a goner but you never seem to know with these guys. He
looked terrible, like a plate coral with a hole shot through the middle.
Well, I checked him a few minutes ago and guess what? He has reinflated, tentacles extended, mouth shut, and looks perfectly normal??!!
I haven't fed them in a couple of days, did a water change two days ago,
and all the water parameters are fine. Everything else in the tank.. fish, corals, inverts etc are fine. Do you have any idea what happened here? Is he a dead man walking? Should I be doing anything????  <Best place for him is where you have him (QT).  Either a dead anemone walking or quite possibly he is trying to split creating two separate anemones. Without seeing it I really can't give you a definite answer.  Just keep an eye on it.  Wouldn't be in a big hurry to put him back in the display tank.  James (Salty Dog)>
Thanks in advance for your help. <You're welcome>

BTA Treatment
Hi, <Hello Fawn>
I have searched your site for information on how to treat an anemone that has been damaged.  I noticed my water was really murky this morning and in
searching for the reason, found my BTA had been partially sucked into the power head.  I have a sponge filter that fits over the intake to avoid problems like this.  However, is somehow got pulled off. The BTA has a rip from it's mouth out through the side.  The foot appears intact.  This is a beautiful anemone that I have had for quite a while. Please advise me regarding what I can and should do.
I have done a partial water change and removed the pieces of the anemone that I can find.  Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. <Fawn, for the best interest of the rest of the tank inhabitants, do give the anemone it's last water change (down the toilet).  There is nothing you can do to reverse the damage.  In leaving the anemone in the tank it will soon die and foul the whole system and more than likely wipe out the remaining inhabitants.  James (Salty Dog)>
Fawn Curtis

BTA Tissue Regeneration - 12/31/05
I've been scouring your archives for an answer to my new question, but I can't seem to find it.  It's not a huge question so I'll make it fast.  The other day one of my BTA's tentacles twisted.  I left it alone for about a day to see if he would naturally fix the problem, but the next day it twisted more.  I gently tried to turn it in the opposite direction, but then I realized I didn't know which direction opposite was so I left him alone.  I just noticed today that the same tentacle has fallen off.  I'm guessing it
somehow twisted so much it pinched off.
<<Mmm, or maybe damaged by another tank inhabitant.>>
My question is will it grow back and is there anything I can do for him for quicker tissue regeneration.
<<Best to leave it be.  If water quality/tank conditions are suitable for this animal and it is not diseased/harassed by other critters it will take care of itself.>>
Thanks again for all your help.
<<Regards, EricR>>

BTA  12/26/05     /James
Your site is fabulous. <Thank you.> Great (needed) information.
Can you help.  I have 30 gal eclipse system that I have removed the fluorescent fixture and now use a CoralLife 130w fixture.  I have about 75lbs LR, 3" sand, 1 powerhead with undergravel filter and use the eclipse filtration system.  As for as fish, I have 1 clown, 1 lawnmower blenny, angel (don't know what kind), 1 blue damsel.  I also have a cleaner shrimp.  
My system is about 1 1/2 yr old.  I do not have a skimmer.  I change 5 gal water with distilled water every 2 weeks.  I have been rotating between phytoplankton and ZooPlex (Kent) every 3 days.  I feed the fish formula 1 & brine shrimp.  Feeding small amounts twice daily.  I have been supplementing with coral Accel (Kent).  I only test Ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, & PH.  
All are excellent, with PH being 8.0.
My question involves my BTA which is about 8 mo.s old.  It used to open large to about 4 inches.  It hasn't done this for quite some time.  It now spends more time as you see in attached photos.  It used to respond quickly to hand feeding (small pieces raw shrimp), and was also "sticky".  Now it won't take food.  It has done so well for so long that it's condition now has got me baffled.  I'm hoping the attached photos will give you some clue to help me.
<Gary, your email doesn't surprise me.  Anemones are not easy to keep for an extended period of time. Larger tanks with good circulation, (10X tank volume) addition of trace elements along with an iodine supplement increases your chances for success with anemones.  Larger tanks offer more stability with much less swings in temp, ph, etc.  Weekly 10% water changes are more in order than twice a month.  In looking at your pics, I'd say the anemone is on its way out.  I would remove the rock that it is on and scrub the anemone off.  If it is allowed to die in the tank, and especially in a small tank, you will more than likely experience a complete wipe out.  James (Salty Dog)>
Thanks for any help you can give. <You're welcome>

E. quadricolor Troubles  12/24/05      /AdamJ
I have a 29 gal, CoralLife 130W lighting.
System is about 1 ? years old.  Lots of live rock.  1 Percula Clown (lives in the anemone), 1 Angel,
<What type of angel? 99% chance it’s in too small of a system.>

1 Blue Damsel, and 1 lawnmower blenny.  I don’t have a protein skimmer.
<You should strongly consider one with invertebrates in the tank and such a heavy load.>
  My question is regarding my Rose BTA.
I have had it for about 8 months.  It used to expand and get fairly large.  It was also “sticky” and would respond quickly when fed with small pieces of shrimp etc…  Now it is no longer sticky, and stays small.  It is often “exhaling” and mouth open.  It looks healthy and stays in one spot, but is no longer interested in feeding.  I am alternating Phytoplankton and Zooplankton every 3 days.  Any thoughts?
<I’m guessing some nutrient accumulation with the heavy fish load and possible over-feeding of liquid foods. What are your water parameters? When was the last water change? How old are your light bulbs?>
Still Learning
<Please answer the above questions and I will be able to help you in more detail, until then please read up on www.wetwebmedia.com
, use the search tool and enter: E. Quadricolor (BTA) and read there for some more insights. Until next time, Adam J.>
Re: E. quadricolor Troubles  12/26/05
Thank you for your response.
<Quite welcome.>
I'm sorry I don't know what kind of Angel I have.
<Okay, I would try to identify it though, read through WWM re: Marine Angels.>
It's about 2 inches in length, mostly gray in color except for the fins and back part of tail which
are black.  I've had it about 6 months.  It seems to be the boss of the tank.
<I can imagine.>
My water testing is always excellent, but I only test Ammonia, pH (8.0), Nitrates & Nitrites.  I change 5 gal every 2 weeks.
I will be changing water today again.  I use distilled water.  
<Careful with distilled water, some distillers use copper coils.>
Light bulbs were purchased at same time as BTA approx. 8 months ago.
<About time to replace in the next month or so.>
I have recently bought a 150 gal that I am slowly getting set up (very expensive).
<Oh I know, hehe…Oh boy do I know.>
  I would like to make this tank more dedicated to anemones and less towards fish and coral.
<That’s great, Anemones really should be placed in species tanks (only one type of anemone per tank). Start researching the needs of these animals on WWM Re: Marine Anemones and E. quadricolor. Adam J.>

Bubble Tip Anemone and Water problems 12/8/05
Hi. I am having a few problems with my tank, one dealing with my Anemone and one dealing with using marine builder to improve my water quality.
Bubble Tip Anemone: About a month and a half ago I bought a very young BTA that had recently split from the pet store owner's Anemone. Within fifteen minutes of being placed in it's new home, it had found a crevice and happily found itself a new spot. Once a week I fed it a small chunk of frozen shrimp, which it accepted with no problem. It grew to about 3 inches, and looked very healthy until recently. 
It started by shrinking a bit on one side and retracting all of it's tentacles on that side, which made them look like very small nubs. The opposite side still had it's tentacles out and inflated. A few days later, the position of the knobby tentacles switched to the other side. I went to my local fish store and they assured me that the Anemone was splitting, but now I'm not so sure. 
The Anemone has now shrunk dramatically and it's tentacles are not present at all. There are a few nubs around the mouth and they are actually a purple color now. During the day the Anemone is closed up fairly tight, and at night it opens but it looks as if it is pinched horizontally right below the mouth, causing the base to bow out a bit. It has looked like this for almost two weeks now, should I be worried or is it really just taking a long time to split?
<It is possible that it is splitting, but it could also be responding to some kind of stress. If you have not changed the lighting or current recently, I would suspect water quality. A couple of decent size water changes (25% or so) never hurts, and may help.>
Marine Builder: My kH and is only 6, and the pH stays at a constant 8.0. I am trying to get my pulsing xenias to pulse again, so I need to bring my pH to a steady 8.3. After doing some research on your site, I think the problem lies in my top off water. I did not know that the RO/DI water needed to be prepared in a certain way before using (buffered, etc.) I'm having to add about half a gallon every two to three days, and have been doing this for about seven to eight months.
<Adding buffers to top-off water can be helpful, but is not necessary. In my experience, alkalinity is more important than pH when it comes to xenia pulsing. I would suggest using double (or up to four times) doses of a good quality buffer daily until you get your dKh in the 10 range. You don't mention what your calcium level is, but beware that aggressively raising the alkalinity will cause the calcium to fall, so monitor both closely. If your calcium is low to begin with, I would use a two-part additive like B-Ionic or C-Balance to raise both Ca and Alk in balance.>
I know now that I need to add marine builder and marine buffer to my top off water. My question is, If I use both of these additives in my top off water and continue to use the water as I normally do, will it cause problems in the tank? If so, what can I do to get the kH and pH where it needs to be.
<I am not familiar with these specific products, but would not suggest mixing them, as this may cause some of the ingredients to precipitate. No one specific product is necessary and they don't have to be added to top of water. They just have to get into the tank somehow. Adding calcium and alkalinity in a balance fashion is necessary. This can be accomplished with Kalkwasser, two-part additive systems or separate buffers and calcium products.>
Sorry if both questions were a bit too wordy. Thank you very much for your help and for your website. It has come in handy for many problems that I have come across as a beginner and I'm sure it will help me in many more ways in the future. 
<Glad you have benefited from the site. Hope this helps. Best regards. AdamC.>
Bubble Tip Anemone and Water problems part 2 12/13/05
I have recently changed the current in my tank to help with the horrible Cyanobacteria problem I am having...
<A-ha!  Change in current will often cause anemones to behave oddly, especially if the change is drastic.  Also, you Cyano problem is an indicator of general water quality issues.  Try to arrange your current so the anemone's tentacles are gently tossed about.... not blasted, and keep up the regular water changes.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>
Bubble Tip Anemone and Water problems part 3 12/15/05
The change came when I put in a second power head that brought the current to 320 gph in my 29 gallon tank. I turned the second power head off four days ago and the anemone is still closed up just as it was before. As for the water quality, I only use RO/DI water for top off water and for water changes. After doing research on your site I saw that the water needs to be aerated before use, but I've never done that before. Could that be the problem for my water quality? If so, what steps should I take to get rid of the horrible outbreak of Cyano that I have? Thanks again for your help!  <Newly mixed saltwater should be aerated overnight before use, but any problems from skipping this step should be temporary.  The keys to beating Cyano involve nutrient control.  Good skimming, manual removal of the Cyano, water changes and discipline in feeding are all important.  Like any "algae" problem, it takes sustained effort and patience (often a few months) to really gain control.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

SICK ANEMONE? Please Help! 8/29/05
Hi Guys,
Thank you for your wonderful site, it appears to be the only really useful one on the web. Unfortunately I've looked for hours and can't find the answer to my question so i thought I'd just ask...
Again, like many others I'm new to the game have a small tank- I'm an Aussie so i have no idea how many gallons
<There's approximately 231 cubic inches to a gallon...>
but i have live rock and two false clowns which were tiny when i bought them and have now almost doubled in size over the past 5-6 months. I also have a little royal Dottyback that i recently introduced. All well and happy. Not to your surprise the problem is with my anemone i assume it's a bubble tip
and I've had it for about 4 months. first 3 it was thriving, i feed it once a week with some liquid feed out of a bottle that the pet shop recommended,
<Mmm, no... Please read here:
seemed to be doing great always full and open. it's really beautiful when it's open right up and my clowns have been madly in love with it from day one. unfortunately over the past couple of weeks it's decided to go walk abouts all over the entire tank- don't know why because he seemed so happy but it squished between the back rock and the glass and slowly started shrinking,
<Something amiss with its environment... water quality, light quality/intensity...>
i tried to move the rock so i could see him again and so he would open up -maybe a bad move?

but he didn't appreciate it and went straight back behind. now he is completely shriveled up and is just clinging on the rock with his big orange-brown foot which is getting darker in colour each week. He inflates and deflates small parts of his 'body' but never is full and open. He looks very unhappy and has tried just about every position in every spot of the tank. He's been like this for 3-4 weeks and I'm getting really worried? From looking at your web site they are dying if they turn white, go on their side or loosen off the rock. He's not doing any of these but he is not happy. All my level's I've tested and they appear fine. My pH went up from 8.2 to 8.6 so i did a 30% water change and it now seems fine.  
<... what was the cause of this pH swing?>
Please help... Thank you for your time, it is very appreciated, all the way from Aus! Kind regards, Jodi.
Ps. here is a pic when he was happy...he's now about a quarter of the size with a floppy gapping hole and no 'full' tentacle arm thingy's they're flat and shriveled.
<Do read through WWM re all the anemone articles, FAQs files... I would be looking at the age of your lighting/lamps, and doing some very large water change-outs... Also do switch to larger, meaty foods. Bob Fenner>

Rose Bubble Anemone 7/25/05
<Lovely day today?>
You guys have been so helpful in the past, hope you don't mind me asking another question.
<Not at all :)>
My set up is a 5 ft tank, with MH lighting and significant water movement.
<Not too specific there, but ok>
I've got leathers, fan corals, cup corals, mushrooms, green carpet anemone, and a NEW Rose Bubble Anemone . ALL seems to be doing well, except for the Rose.
<*sigh*.  I'd be hard pressed to think of a more unnatural mix of creatures from completely different geographic and reef locations.  Please, PLEASE don't put anemones together with coral, and it's not a good idea to keep two anemone species together.  If you want my opinion, return that anemone, and the carpet or the coral as well>
When I got the Rose 3 weeks back, it was about 2 inches in diameter.  I placed it in a prime location in the tank,
and was doing well for the first 2 weeks.  In that time, it grew about 50% in size.  Suddenly last week, it moved to another location to the side of the rock. Anemones move 'cause they do not like the existing location, but moving to a shady location?
<Newly acclimated animals do not "grow".  They may expand themselves, trying to gather more light, but they won't start growing until completely adjusted and their energy reserves have been built back up.  If it's moving, it's not happy, and it probably just ended up in a shady location.  If it can still stick itself out towards the light, it should be fine>
I left it there till 2 days ago, when I rotated the rock so that it is facing up towards the light again.  However, it seems to be "hiding" in the stone, showing only partial tentacles, as if it were avoiding bright light.
<How was it acclimated?  If it came from a dealer (with usually inadequate lighting) it's probably suffering from light shock.  These animals need to be acclimated slowly to new lighting conditions over days/weeks, not hours>
I tried feeding it commercial anemone food 2 weeks ago, but it did not seem to like it.  My older green carpet anemone easily consumes the commercial food.
<What is commercial anemone food?  You should be feeding finely shredded seafoods, like shrimp, fish, scallops, crab and the like>

One other point is, I've got 2 clown fish with the green carpet, but the rose does NOT have any clowns.
<Good - just what a stressed out anemone doesn't need is clownfish hosting in it.  BTA's are only a natural host for Maroon clownfish, anyway - your other clowns likely won't move>
I heard of cases where after long periods of darkness during shipments, anemones avoid light when they reach the tank as they are not able to adjust.
<See above>
Should I continue to move the anemone towards light, or just leave it?
<Leave it alone>

Should I but it a pair of clowns?  What should I do?
<Clownfish are not beneficial to anemones, at least not in captivity, they would only stress it further.  For now, just leave it alone, and let it move to where it wants>
<M. Maddox>

- BTA Problems, Follow-up -
Hi, I really do appreciate your time and I will cease emailing as it seems the replies I get insinuate that I do no research. <If that's how you took it, then that was unintended and I apologize. There are no "experts" here, only folks with the urge to help and share their knowledge. Additionally, we get 100's of emails each day asking similar questions so we often refer folks back to previous responses in an effort to not have to type out repetitive volumes of information when it is already archived for all to see. If you've read it all already, then we appreciate your diligence.> I DID read through all the BTA facts and nothing described there fit what I was seeing, and for the love of my pet, I emailed you for help, not criticism on my lack of supposed NON-RESEARCH. <I don't believe I criticized you for anything... only suggested some additional reading.> I see replies from you all from 10 different emails stating the same thing, and you post them all, and it is on SIMPLE things, not the complex organism that is a BTA. <I can only apologize so much.> Anyhow, to update you, an hour after I wrote this my Rose BTA was fine! <Glad to hear.> I think you were right, just expelling mucus.  But, I have one more question about star polyps and I will not bother you all again.  I saw a lovely Aiptasia on the rock that was sold to me with the polyps on it!  I was horrified as I did NOT see it at the LFS.  Anyhow, after reading the nightmares of this little evil creature and the hardness of getting rid of it. I just decided to take the rock out of the water and took a screwdriver and hammered the sucker off.  It was near the edge, so there were a few polyps that came off with it, I figured like war, for the better of the majority, a few deaths were acceptable! <I suppose... if you approve of war... am not a fan of the axiom that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Life is not an omelet, and the day that one of those eggs is a member of ones family, then omelets are not longer appetizing. Back to the Aiptasia - could have been killed without such extreme measures - am a big fan of Joe's Juice which is a very effective spot-treatment against Aiptasia while being safe for other life in your tank.> Anyhow, I took the few "tubes" of the polyps that came off (they are just encrusted on top of the rock) and I put those back in the tank.  Now it has been 2 days and none of the polyps have come out, either on the larger rock or the ones that slid off the rock when I executed the Aiptasia.  Will they be okay, or did I just flush $29 down the toilet? <They're actually pretty tough and will likely come back, although they may settle down somewhere else.> Plus, I heard you can super-glue frags in places. <Yes, although I've not had much luck with super glue myself... is suppose to work on polyps. You need the gel-type to get the best adhesion.> Is that the parts that are on the rock still, or the ones that slid off? <Either.> Thanks!
<Cheers, J -- >

BTA Not Doin' so Hot
Good morning! 
<Good evening, Kim> 
Thanks Salty Dog for your quick response yesterday. 
<You're welcome> 
I asked about my sickly BTA's chances for survival (lost color and most tentacles seem retracted or gone). I have a better view of the anemone today as it has moved during the night (5 gal. water change last night). It has attached to another rock, open fully, and its mouth looks to be in good health. Many of the anemone's tentacles seem to be gone or severely shortened. It also seems to have begun to split on one side (but not to central disc yet) maybe. Is this possible? Will the anemone's tentacles begin to grow back? Should I give it a while longer before I remove it? Thank you for your time. 
<Kim, do what you are doing and, do not feed the anemone. I'd say you have a 50/50 chance. James (Salty Dog)>

James, <Kim>
I hate to inform you that I got nervous and flushed my poor anemone. <Probably was the best thing to do.> It seemed to look a little worse today and was attempting to move under a piece of rock; your earlier advise to remove it then began to hit me.  I really did not want to risk the entire tank and I figured that I was beating a dead horse.  I am a bit regretful now but I will perhaps try again in the future with a larger, more appropriate tank.  Oh well...I guess now I can think about making my 30 gal. hex a mini reef (hopefully I will be more successful).  Should I take "bio bale" out of Bak Pak for a reef (I've heard of doing this before)?  <Only if you have plenty of live rock (35-45 pounds).  Anyway, thank you so much for your help; it was appreciated.  Have a great evening. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Anemone Husbandry...
<Hi there! Scott F. with you today!>
I have 2 questions. First, I bought a Rose Anemone for my Goldstripe Maroon Clownfish. My Goldstripe is a 2 inch female and I got a 6 inch Rose Anemone. The clown loved it, but then it kept going in and pushing the rose around. The clown killed it.
<Hmm...to be honest with you, I think that it is unlikely that the clownfish killed the anemone. Rather, I'd bet that some sort of environmental factor stressed the anemone and led to its untimely demise.>
Do I need a bigger anemone?
<No. You need to provide optimum conditions for anemones in order for them to thrive. That's really the key.>
And I have it in a 10 gallon nano reef. Do I need a bigger tank?
<Well, I'll say an unqualified "YES!".
You need to provide environmental stability, and enough water volume to dilute metabolic waste and area for the animal to grow. A 10 gallon tank simply will not provide this. Not to mention the fact that you need very intense lighting, which, in a small tank, can create major heat issues. All in all, you need a larger tank to really do the job, IMO.>
Is there any way I can keep it in the 10 gallon?
<I would advise against it, for the very reasons cited above.>
I have a Rena XP3 filter. Thanks from Todd Encino California
<Well, Todd- I certainly don't want to discourage you from keeping marine animals, but I do urge restraint and caution when attempting to keep them in tanks of the size you mention. In the long run, it's so much easier-and more beneficial for your animals- to keep them in a larger system. Do your homework, then set up a tank to meet their special needs. You can do it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Bubble Tip Anemone
Hi WWM guru's. I have a question about my green BTA. I have a 46 gallon bow front, with 50 #s of LR, good coralline growth, a 4 inch sand substrate bed with 2 sand sifting stars and misc cleaning crew, a healthy finger coral, a healthy open brain, healthy fire coral, xenia polyps and a 2" Derasa clam. I
have a neon Dottyback, a small 6 line wrasse, a (new) 2" maroon Clown and a 3 " short fin lionfish. The water parameters are salinity 1.023, PH 8.2, temp 79, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, calcium 400, nitrate 10.
I bought the BTA a month ago or a bit longer with its tomato clown. I set the BTA in a rock near the bottom front of the tank and for a week the BTA
expanded to an unbelievable size and the tomato clown was doing his thing also. The clown, unfortunately, died the following week (cause unknown). The BTA started to wander and after about a week finally settled under a rock ledge backside of the tank where I do not think it gets the best light, but it attached and has been there ever since. So, that is when I bought the new clown. Well, the BTA improved and the clown took to it right away. Now, I
noticed the BTA is not expanding anywhere
like it did in the beginning and it does not seem to show all its tentacles and looks, well, pathetic. The clown still lives there and seems happy. I  feed it weekly and I do notice other foods that I feed the fish (brine, blood worms, small krill chunks also float by that area as does phytoplankton.
After this long winded explanation, what do you think is up with my BTA?
Thanks for the great site! <Rob, you don't mention the lighting you are using.  I am assuming that with the clam, you did your homework on lighting required.  Ten percent weekly water changes are certainly a big help in maintaining water quality.  Most invertebrates do better with a higher salinity (1.025).  You might try raising it to that level slowly during the next two weeks.  A strontium/molybdenum addition helps also. Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Rob

- Anemone Losing Tentacles -
Hello and thank you in advance for your assistance.
I have what was sold to me as a captive bred rose anemone.  It is  housed in my 110 gallon reef tank that is lit with two (2) 250 watt 10,000 k  halides and two (2) 55 watt pc actinics.  I have had the animal for over  one (1) year and it seems to be thriving.  It has quadrupled it's size,  hosts a pair of true percula's that spawn ever 4-5 weeks like clockwork, and has  never wandered.  Part of my daily routine involving my tank, is to spend 5  minutes or so observing it after the lights have gone out.  Tonight when I  checked on my tank, I noticed two of the anemone's tentacles no longer  attached to the anemone.  One was on the substrate and the other on a piece  of live rock on the opposite side of the tank.  The anemone itself still  seems healthy and no different than any other night.  Have you  ever heard of this happening and should I be concerned. <I've not heard of this before... and I'm hoping that perhaps the reduced light is causing you to misidentify perhaps a worm as a loose tentacle. Is just a guess really, but the alternative seems too odd to be true.> I truly hope this is not the beginning of the end. <Me as well... could also be it's getting ready to split - in half, make two of itself.> Thank you for any answers you may  have, and if it would help, I can take and attach photographs for your review. <If you prefer... just don't make them too large.> Thank you for again for your anticipated assistance.
Michael J.
<Cheers, J -- >
Re: anemone losing tentacles
So this morning and throughout today, the anemone looked fine. It fully inflated and ate it's Sunday brunch of scallop. Seeing it in full light, it definitely lost two (2) tentacles. The flaccid tentacles were lying on the substrate (which I just realized I ought to have removed from the tank) and the spots where they were lost on the anemone were identifiable but seem to have "healed." After I sent you guys my nervous E-mail last night I scoured the web for some reference to this type of occurrence but found nothing, nor was there any reference in any of the books I have.
<Is strange>
I hate not knowing what this is, especially if there is something I could or should be doing to help. If you have any further thoughts please let me know. Thanks again!  Michael S. Jacobs
<Anemones can anastomize (toss off, sort of like some lizard's tails) tentacles that are damaged... Bob Fenner>

Shriveling and ballooning Bubble Anemone in a tiny tank
Hi there--
I've been in the fishkeeping hobby for about 15 years, and finally jumped into salt a year ago. I now have a 20 gallon tank with about 20 lbs of live rock, a cleaner shrimp, fire shrimp, and camel shrimp, a black/white damsel, and a blue damsel. I also have a bit of pumping xenia, star polyps, and green mushrooms. Recently, I acquired a rose bubble anemone from a pet store. it had just recently divided, and seemed to be healthy (albeit ratty-looking). It's been in the tank for about 2 days now, and just keeps shifting shapes. It moved about 6 inches, and is now at mid-tank height. It goes from a loose, spread-out look to being almost folded on itself, but most recently has been looking terrifyingly desiccated. It shrivels down to almost nothing, and the bubbles deflate into little raisins. I called the pet store and asked for some advice, and I have turned off my powerheads (already done), but also turned off the 10,000k daylight because I was told it might be irritating it. (I also have a 50/50 light on the aquarium--65watt actinic, 65 watt daylight). It's been about 2 hours since I turned off the light and the bubbles have re-inflated and the anemone looks fuller and less death-like, but is still sloppy looking, and I worry if it's being stressed by something.
<It is... from just being moved... being in a very small, variable system (due to volume)... though this is about the best of large anemone species for aquarium use, AND it's great to have a cultured individual to start with... Most all the behavior you so well describe is to be expected... but these animals are exceedingly hard to keep in little tanks... as you will learn>

I fed the tank with Marine Snow the other day, but I don't know if I should be feeding the anemone shrimp right now or not...
<This product... is a sham... it's the "Emperor's new fish food"... of exceedingly little to no nutritive value>

any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, because I really don't know what I should do! Thanks for the help--you guys are really great.
<I do: read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm  scroll down to the area re Anemones... go over their systems, feeding... Bob Fenner>>
My water composition is pretty good too-- 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, 10ppm nitrate, specific gravity of 1.021, pH of about 8.2.  Thanks!  Bryan R

Illin' BTA
I just got home to find my Rose BTA lying facedown in the sand.<Normal, I've been like that at some beach parties.> It's tips are Rosy but flaccid and the tips are gray. I can see the mouth quite clearly. The water is fine, and I have a 250 MH running with 120 watts of Fluorescents, 60 of which are actinic. <Dan, your lighting seems quite adequate unless you've got a huge tank. I would place it in the quarantine tank just to avoid it dying in your tank and really making a mess of things. There is not much you can do to cure an anemone. Most people don't keep them alive more than two years. Did you feed it weekly? They don't require much since they do manufacture most of their food themselves. Here is a link on what a healthy BTA should look like. http://www.wamas.org/photos123/showphoto.php/photo/342 . And, here is another link worthy of reading from the wetwebmedia.> www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm 
Any suggestions? Should I remove it to a QT? <Do as outlined above. Good luck Dan. James (Salty Dog)>
Many thanks, Dan 

Bleached Rose
<Hello, Ryan with you>
Hi, I just bought a bleached out Rose that I am attempting to bring back to health. Anyway, I have some questions--if you don't mind: <No problem>
1. What can I do to help it recover? Any reef supplements? Right now I am just hand feeding it. <Lots of water changes, high water quality.  I would feed Cyclops-eeze, clams, shrimp, formula 1.>
2. I saw one a FAW re: propagation that you have a slide show that demonstrates how to properly propagate BTA's, is there any chance I can have it emailed to me? <I don't have the access to that file...sorry.>
3. I placed my Rose BTA in the tank, and immediately my Maroon Goldbar Clown took to him. Would it be imperative that I remove the clownfish, or is it OK as long as the anemone is "opening-up". <This can be overly stressful to the animal, and is not recommended.  I would actually remove the anemone to a quarantine, as it sounds like it may or may not make it.  Not worth the chance of melting down in your system in my opinion.>
4. The "open-mouth" look of an unhealthy anemone; is that the result of it being "hungry"?
<It's probably expelling it's symbiotic algae, thus resulting in the "bleached" look.  If it's eating the food you give it, that's a good sign.  Good luck, Ryan>
Thanks very much! I really love the site, there are tons and tons of useful information in the FAQ. I've found a new favorite reef site :) <Enjoy, learn lots!>

-Bleaching BTA's-
Hi all, <Hellooo, Kevin here> I have a major problem. My 1 big rose BTA has split into 3 BTAs <Sweet!> and they are getting bleached in my 60 litre tank. <Not so sweet> They can't feed well because of the torn up mouths but has healed up quite nicely over the few weeks. 2 of them has moved into the top my tank into a dark corner and 1 has settled nicely onto a rock with partial lighting. How do I feed them? <I suppose you'll have to wait until their mouths have healed enough to handle food.> Will DT's live phyto plankton help? <Not directly, but it will help other critters in the tank which could be eaten by the anemone.> they can't eat the Mysis shrimps that I have because their stingers don't work and their mouths are still not quite up to swallowing. Only their tips are a faint pink with most parts of their tentacles being whitish green....Not a good sign I suppose. <Not very good at all, but in a healthy tank they should recover. I'm sure tearing yourself into three parts is quite stressful, and I'm sure I would bleach as well should that happen to me!> Is there anything I can do to restore their colour to the rich rose and also, is there a way to feed them? <You can't force feed them, so you'll just have to keep trying every couple of days until they start taking food again.> Will strong lighting help? <No, not if they're bleached, they won't be able to handle large amounts of light. Given some time, if the tank is in otherwise good shape, I would suspect that the anemones will begin feeding once again and regain their zoo., Good luck! -Kevin>
Ben Chua (Singapore)

-Bleached BTA clones-
Hi Kevin.. Thanks for the information. I shorten the lighting time to about 8 hrs a day ... <I would keep the photoperiod the same, no use getting all the other critters out of their usual day-night cycle.> However I think I am jeopardizing my clams but I think those clams should be all right for awhile. <I'm sure nothing negative will happen to your clams, but I'm sure the sun rising and setting at strange times is rather upsetting to them at first :) > Just another few questions. I think they healed up pretty well but they are still bleached. I managed to feed them mashed up prawns and they seem to be really hungry. However, roughly just how long will they be able to regain their zooxanthellae and be a normal rose BTA again? <Time will tell, no definitive answer here. I'm sure they'll be fine in the interim. Just keep on feeding!> They have been like this for about nearly a month now... Do you need pictures to see how badly they are bleached? <Would be interesting, but regardless they should (keyword: should) regain their proper coloration and symbiotic buddies in due time. BTA's are as hardy as they come, just be patient. Let us know what happens! -Kevin> 

Banged-Up BTA? (Anemone With Whitish Streaks)
Greetings Crew!
<Hi there! Scott F. with you today!>
First let me start by saying how much I enjoy the new Conscientious Aquarist Online Magazine.  A great addition to an already incredible site!
<Glad to hear that you like it! Adam and I really want to make it better and better. This is just the beginning! We're lucky to have some great people here to help us make it all happen! Look for next issue in July, and monthly starting next year!>
Now for my question.  I just got a rose BTA for my minireef.  I have been on the lookout for a BTA for quite a while and just none came around that looked truly healthy for me....until this one.  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it!  I examined it closely in the store and being satisfied, brought it home.  It immediately wandered in my tank for a day and has been in the same spot for several days and looking happy.
<A good sign>
I noticed several white streaks around it's "mouth" (don't know what it should be called)
<yeah- "mouth" is just fine!>
that I did not notice when I bought it.  They have not changed in the last few days and it is still in the same spot, looking
good and readily eating the small tidbits of food that I feed it.  I know that white on most any anemone is bad and I am concerned.  Attached is a pic.  Is this anything to worry about or is just the natural coloration of this specimen?  
<Well, to me- this specimen looks otherwise healthy. If you are not noticing necrotic areas, or obvious physical traumas to the animal, then you are probably okay. Sometimes these streaks are simply areas where the animal came into contact with something in the immediate environment (i.e.; a rock, etc.), and are analogous to a scar on a human. it may simply be coloration, too. Do keep an eye on the animal. However, if it appears otherwise healthy, reacts to stimuli, and feeds regularly, I wouldn't be overly concerned.>
Thanks again for all your help and keep up the incredible work.  You guys (and gals) don't get nearly enough credit for all your hard work. Ray
<Ya know what, Ray? just knowing that we're helping others enjoy the hobby that we all love so much is pretty darn cool! keep sharing with others and growing in the hobby yourself! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Bubble Tip Anemone Question
I just inherited a tank which contained a BTA.  We have had the tank for about a month and I have noticed the BTA has changed colors and has started to shrivel up.  He just does not look good.  Can you tell me if something is wrong and what do I need to do?  Thanks
<Hi, since you haven't told me anything about your system, all I can do to help is refer you to an article about these animals.  Please read over the FAQ's for an understanding of how this system works.  Thanks! Ryan>

BTA happiness with light
My bubble tip anemone used to puff up rather large on a regular basis, now it is mostly hanging down and stringy.  It used to get this mostly when the lights were out but not as often as now.  Most of the time it is small and stringy.  There is also a stingy thin hair like film coming from it or getting caught on it.  I thought it was dead, but it puffed up and I fed it (which I do 3 times a week).
It hasn't moved, well just about an inch to the left, but has been happy.
50 gallon bow, 70# live rock, aqua c remora, canister filter.  192 watt PC Coralife light.
I think is enough light!?! <<Hmmm, doesn't sound like much light to me.  I would be like to see more, or at least the anemone near the top. >>
Now, I feed it Mysis shrimp or krill, chopped up fine.
Water : 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, low to zero nitrates.
Fighting to keep phosphates low, but with water changes, keeping it low.
Alkalinity is high, around 20dKH << Wow, how did you manage that?  Most people struggle with low dKH.  I would think that could definitely be a problem.  What is the pH? >> which in turn is keeping calcium around 200 good water flow.
what else, I don't know, is it just been very sleepy lately.
Need anymore info?
I have a maroon clown loving it.
<<  Adam B.  >>

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