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FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose Anemone Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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: 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 Disease, BTA Reproduction/Propagation, Anemones, Anemones 2Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding Heteractis malu

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Anemone Behaviour... Cause?      2/28/17
Good morning,
<Hey Dave>
I have a 60g tank with 3" aragonite bottom, 55lbs flat live rock for eventual coral placement, protein skimmer, 2 x Kessil 360's on 9.5hrs (1.5hrs are 5% intensity blue lights, that ramp up to 60% intensity), 78F, 1.025 salinity. I have two pumps circulating my filtration chamber at 10X/hr, and I have an MP40 on 40% power a variable Nutrient Export setting
that switches up the flow every 45mins (this adds another 27X/hr flow rate). The tank is 3months old, and my store had a rose bubble tip anemone that had recently split and was selling the new addition at $40 which I thought was a steal so I bought it two weeks ago.
<Mmm; a comment here for all would-be anemone keepers: Better to have "more seasoned" (older, established settings) than newer>
My water parameters have always shown ammonia/nitrite/nitrate at 0; however,
<Oh! DO need some (measurable NO3, AND P and K....); anemones are chemosynthetic to a large degree>

given my hair algae I perceive I have a little nitrate/phosphate that's feeding the hair algae but still shows untraceable amounts. I've read through your two main articles on BTAs, and I'm curious about the 7-14 day feeding regimen recommended there. How much for a small BTA?
<Twice a week... let's say, meaty food equivalent (bits) of half your last pinky segment in volume>

I have purposely let thawed mysis or brine fall on the BTA's tentacles and it doesn't seem to draw the pieces in. I've seen my Percula Clown bring the BTA food. Not sure what the BTA is supposed to look like feeding. I should
point out the BTA moved about 5" over night from my original placement and seems to have secured itself under a ledge in a lowlight area.
<Good; don't move it>
If the BTA were to move above the ledge it would be in a very will lit area, and I'm assuming that given it hasn't moved since day #1 that it is happy where it currently resides - otherwise it would move?
<Needs chemical nutrients; remove your chemical filter media (if using) and turn your skimmer down or off for half the day>
Three days ago, my BTA looked like this (picture attached), about 45mins later it looked normal. First thing this morning, my BTA looked like this again. Someone on a forum indicated this was normal behavior, but I wanted to ensure this was the case.
<They (Actinarians) do expand, contract to degrees>
Given my clown is over half the size of the BTA, I was curious if the clown might be harassing the BTA too much? Thoughts?
<Mmm; not this species.... the smaller clownfish are generally not trouble in this regard. IF you see, expect otherwise, place the clown/s in a floating plastic colander for a few days... see if this helps. IF it continues, fashion a plastic mesh over the anemone (straw- et al. berry baskets work well here)>
In particular, I'd like to know how much food is appropriate on a one or two week direct feed schedule. I also feed my tank Oyster Feast and PhytoFeast (one of them) twice a week for the feather duster, colt coral, star polyps, and Zoas.
<Oohhhhh; the soft coral, Clavulariid and/or Zoanthids... may well be winning a/the chemical allelopathy war here. Do you have another established system you can move the Entacmaea to? I would. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone Behaviour     2/28/17
I should add, the star polyps are upper tank range and a good 18" or more away.
I have three small heads on my Zoa frag that is nearly two feet away. The colt coral is at the opposite end of the tank almost 3' away.
<Uh huh... notice I wrote "chemical", not physical... they don't have to be anywhere near; just in the same water. Have you read my piece, ppt on avoiding Cnidarian warfare? My bit on "Boris Karloff-ing" by mixing water to/fro...? See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
I would say the coloration of the BTA has, if anything, improved since my acquisition showing deeper red and greens. Aside from this 'enclosing the tentacles' behavior that I am unfamiliar with, I'd say the BTA appears to be in great shape. I guess my question was regarding feeding, and if the 'enclosing the tentacles' was normal. Am I correct in saying the 'enclosing of the tentacles' occurs for either feeding or protection perhaps while sleeping?
<Seems to be all unrelated... Night dives find them mostly open.... just when the current or too brisk, or something is physically bugging them do they close in the wild>
Yes, I had read 6months or more in an established tank for anemones; however, my soft corals have been doing excellent and I'm a fanatic over water changes and keeping my tank as pristine as possible.
<Do you attend the MACNA do's? My pitch (okay presentation; better connotation) this year (August, in New Orleans) will be on Anemone Use in Captive Settings... I have a short book w/ about the same title as well.
See Amazon re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anemone Behaviour

I will for sure have a read and add your book to my "Fenner collection".
<Heeee! Yours is likely larger than mine!>
Chemical warfare, right... but yet I hear of so many people that successfully keep both and in smaller tanks.
<Yes; just need to be "properly introduced">
On your BTA anemone section of the website, you also have two articles from other writers who were guiding me to the every 7 to 14 days for feeding.
<This really is... "enough"; better by far to underfeed than over... Bob Fenner>

Naturose 03/29/09
Do you know it stuffing Naturose
<...an additive produced from cultured Haematococcus microalgae>
in a piece of whitebait to feed to my Rose bubble tip anemone once a week would help bring out the Red colour pigmentation more or does Naturose have no effect on anemones etc.?
<Don't know... but worth trying. Very likely otherwise harmless. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Tipped Anemone/Feeding 3/17/09
Hi there,
<Hello Dave>
Great website by the way!
<Thank you.>
I have a question about my bubble tip sea anemone as I am concerned about 'his' behaviour (I have called him Nigel.....).
I purchased him three weeks <ago> from my LFS, already attached to a rock and placed him in my tank (still on the rock) at the bottom of the tank.
Since this time he has continually moved around (except but for a short while where he appeared to be happy at the very top of my tank) and has again moved further down the tank. Whilst he is nice and fat I have tried to feed him (unsuccessfully so far by thawing the whitebait in aquarium water and placing it gently in his tentacles) but he does not close up and unless I keep a vigil the cleaner shrimps normally have a nice feast or the smaller clownfish tends to have a nibble.
<Would not attempt to feed anymore, this anemone is not settled/comfortable yet.>
I have checked the water parameters which seem fine, and in addition to this, <the specific> gravity is currently at 1.023,
<I would kick this up to 1.025.>
temperature is 26c and all the rest of the fish in the tank (8 in total)
<Yikes, eight fish in a 40 gallon (150 liter) tank. What kind, how large, little info here.>
and corals seem ok. In terms of my tank, it is a 150l nano serviced by a Rena XP2 external filter and a Deltec MCE600 protein skimmer. In addition to this I have a nano Koralia power head to increase water movement round the tank which is on a wave timer.
<This Koralia power head is not designed to be cycled, will not last long.>
The lighting is 4 x T5 bulbs which I was told should be sufficient.
<Will be.>
Should I just wait for him to settle down or is there anything else I can do? I am concerned that if he keeps moving and is not feeding he will die through stress so I am considering taking the old boy back to the LFS.
<You've provided your tank's temperature and SG, what are the other water parameters? I believe you are on the right track in considering returning the anemone. Forty gallons is not much space for an anemone and eight fish.
Problems are on the horizon. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's
Thanks for any advice/help given.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Anemones/Feeding 11/21/08
<Hello Linda>
I frequent several forums, my main area of interest is the Entacmaea quadcolor <quadricolor> anemone and Stichodactyla tapetum (mini carpet). I find this both educational and entertaining for I could talk/read on the subject endlessly and never lose interest. <Agreed, especially when kept with clownfish, a unique relationship.>
WetWebMedia has taught me much over the years, it is wonderful to have your site with it's wealth of knowledge at my fingertips.
<Thank you.>
Here is the question-
Do Entacmaea quadricolor anemones require feeding of meaty food? What would you say to the recommendation "An anemone gets 90% of its food from the light and trace elements in your water. Supplemental feedings will not hurt, but neither will not feeding them either." I have read your thread on bta requirements and feeding. I get irritated when people will give bad recommendations to new anemone keepers. They may begin with "first off, stop feeding your anemone etc..." If you could advise me how to handle these situations. I am just trying to be responsible and offer a little help to those who are obviously concerned and confused, I just want to be sure I am correct, and anemones do need feedings a couple times a week.
<Healthy anemones do produce much of their own nutrition by way of photosynthesis, and is why proper lighting is very important in keeping these animals in good health. Anemones seem to do better when fed occasionally, and small feedings twice weekly would be in order, but not absolutely necessary. Excellent water quality and proper lighting would be at the top of my list.>
Thank you in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Maroon Clownfish Loving its Anemone to Death, Overfeeding - 2/20/08 Greetings WWM Crew, <Hello Mike, Brenda here!> First I'd just like to say thanks for having such a great site with so much useful information. I've been using it quite a bit since I found it. First I'd like to give a little info on my tank... 36 gallon bow, Almost 7 months old, 50 lbs live rock and 40 lbs of live sand filtration/skimming: Aquaclear 50 running the foam insert and ChemiPure, SeaClone 100 <SeaClone skimmers are not the best. I recommend looking into a better product.> Circulation: Hydor Koralia Nano 1, Power Sweep 226, <I don't recommend power heads when keeping anemones. If you must, they need to be covered to protect the anemone.> 130w PC fixture, 1 65w 10K and 1 65w actinic; lighting period ~11.5 hours H2O Quality: ph 8.3, SG 1.024 <Gradually increase salinity to 1.026.> ammonia undetectable, nitrite undetectable, nitrate ~10 +/- <Nitrates need to be zero.> phosphate undetectable Alk ~9 calcium 360 I do a water change every 2 weeks of ~5 - 6 gallons. (I use IO Reef Crystals) Average temp 78 degrees F <I recommend targeting 80 degrees F.> Live stock: Fish - fed twice daily, alternating between Formula 1 & 2 flake, Mysis and frozen Brine Shrimp Plus 2 green chromis 1 Kole tang <A 36 gallon tank is much too small for any tang.> 1 Maroon clown Softies - add DT's plankton every other day, feed the open brain small piece of silverside 2x a week, 2 medium mushroom rocks, an open brain, 1 medium polyp rock and a small crop of pom pom xenia several snails, 1 red leg hermit, 3 blue leg hermits <Crabs can become predators of coral and anemones.> and a crop of feather Caulerpa. Hope this wasn't too much....Generally speaking, I think the tank is in good shape. There seems to be an abundance of life in the sand and all my livestock appears to be in good health. Two weeks ago I purchased a medium to large rose BTA from my LFS. It appeared to be in very good shape, no damage to the mouth or base, good color and bubbled up real nice. I drip acclimated over a 4.5 hour period prior to introducing into the tank (I know I should have a Q tank, unfortunately I don't). Placed it in an area in the tank with several crevices for it to choose from. Over night it moved into one of those crevices and has been there since. It is securely attached and, for the most part, been behaving exactly as I have expected based on the research I have done. It has had an excellent feeding response and appetite. I've been feeding a Silverside every 2 to 3 days <A whole silverside is much too large. I don't recommend feeding portions bigger than the anemones mouth. When feeding too large of portions, the anemone will likely regurgitate several hours later, ending up with nothing to eat.> and the clown also takes it pieces of Mysis and Brine Shrimp mix on the days when I feed those. <Brine Shrimp is not adequate. There is little or no nutritional value in Brine shrimp unless it is newly hatched.> My maroon clown (~2" in size) moved in on the anemone within minutes of it being in the tank and been hosting it ever since. Now for my problem/question. In 2 weeks, the clown never gives this anemone any peace. <This is not unusual for a Maroon clownfish.> It is in it or around it all day long and even sleeps in the anemone at night. At times it appears to be pressing its body against the anemone's mouth, as if it were trying to suffocate it. Over the last 2 days the anemone seems to be looking very "wilted" and has not been expanding as in the past. Is it possible for the clown to be stressing out the anemone? <Sure is!> I know the maroon clown can be an aggressive fish, but I haven't seen or read anything that they could potentially harm their anemone. Could you please give me any ideas or suggestions you may have. <Your anemone needs to be at least three times (minimum) larger than this clownfish. Maroon clownfish can love their anemone to death. They need to be separated until the anemone is large enough to handle the Maroon.> Thanks, Mike <You're welcome! Brenda>

Anemone Feeding 12/28/07 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I currently have about an 7-8 inch green bubble tip anemone and I have a certain question about feeding and anemone nutrition. I've heard that silversides were great for bubble tips but have also heard that they cannot digest the bones in the silversides well. <Not true, they can eat small fish.> I currently have been feeding my BTA whole silversides and he (I know you can't sex an anemone) eats them. <That is way too much food for a 7-8" anemone. You must feed it much smaller pieces. I'd dice them up into at least 1/2" slices or smaller & only feed 1-2x/week. Digestion takes a lot of energy for an anemone & they get a lot of their energy from light, not just from food.> He currently sits about 18 inches from a HQI 150W metal halide, so I'm pretty sure he's getting enough light. I respect your opinion and want your 2 cents on what would be the best food for a BTA. Any other recommendations you have regarding BTA I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. <Mysis/krill soaked in Selcon works well too. ~PP>

Starving Anemone, BTA, E. Quadricolor - 12/17/07 I have a long tip bulb anemone in a 250 gallon reef tank with 7 surgeonfish, 1 fox face, 3 clowns, and 1 mandarin. I have 3 175 watt Metal Halides over tank. <How deep is the tank?> I also have several cleaner shrimp too. I have been having a problem with my anemone. It used to be like 7 inches in diameter and now it has shrunk to 3 inches in diameter. <Yikes! How long have you had this anemone?> I have never directly fed it because I thought the Perculas were feeding it. <You can't rely on clownfish to feed anemones. Some actually take food away from anemones.> I do add Liquid Life BioPlankton and Cyclopeeze once a week. <This is not adequate for an anemone.> I do this mainly for my Derasa clam. I have tried to feed it frozen chunks of Mysis and he refuses it or my fish take it away from him. <Is the anemone still able to hold onto the food? What does the color look like? What are your water parameters? What size portion are you trying to feed? Try 1/8" sized portions of Mysis shrimp, silversides, krill, or lance shrimp. You may have to protect the anemone while it eats. A plastic strawberry basket that you get when you buy strawberries at the grocery store will work for this.> The tentacles have shortened up quite a bit too. <This is a sign of starvation.> How do I go about feeding this poor guy so that I can get him big and healthy again? <Correct feeding and proper environment is the only way.> Please respond back soon. Thank you Christopher <You're Welcome! Brenda>

Anemone-bivalve interaction. BTA, E. quadricolor - Possibly Starving - 9/30/07 Hi, <Hello Malcolm, Brenda here> Thanks for your amazing help! <You're welcome!> I've attached two pics-compressed. I wrote recently about spots on some clownfish - you were correct, no problem. <Great!> You can see them in the first pic - but the issue now is the second anemone in the right of the picture. <Yes, I see that! Definitely not doing well!> These two cloned in my regular tank (125g, now under repair) about 4 years ago. About six months ago the anemone on the right began fading away. I've tried hand feeding with little success. <It appears to be starving. What have you been feeding it for the last 4 years, how much and what size portions?> They have been on the same rock for all these years, so the decline of the one was a mystery. <The "healthy" one is not as large as it should be for a 4 year old clone. Is there something possibly stealing their food? Clownfish have been known to do this.> Their conditions were as identical as they were. Then, this morning I noticed that the anemone was even smaller than usual - the disc hardly wider than my thumbnail. Then I saw something behind and underneath it that moved slightly. With a flashlight and glasses I could see a bivalve of some sort - you can see it filter feeding in the second photo. <Hmmmmmmm, I'm not seeing this.> Could there have been some sort of anemone/bivalve feud going on all these months? Or was the bivalve perhaps attracted to its position because of the hand feeding or a taste for anemone waste? <Not likely.> I Googled the issue, but only learned about anemones eating clams. Should I separate them? <It wouldn't hurt.> And what's the best way to coddle an anemone back to health while I rebuild my plumbing. <Pristine water conditions, appropriate food and lighting. Try feeding tiny pieces of food soaked in Selcon daily. Keep an eye on both anemones to see if anything is stealing the food.> They are now in a 24 gallon AquaPod with frequent water changes while I get the big tank back up. <How long have they been in this tank? Was the tank established? What lighting is on this tank? How old are the bulbs? What other live stock do you have in here? Definitely keep an eye on this anemone, it is near death. Be prepared to remove and do a large water change if it continues to deteriorate.> Thanks again. <You're welcome!> Malcolm Young
North Carolina

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.net is also a great site.> Thanks in advance for all your help. Cheers, Kristy
<You're welcome!  Brenda>


Re:  Bleached Sebae Anemone - 3/13/07 Me again!   <Me?  As in "Drowning in Tank info"  LOL  Brenda here again.> Ya'll are great! <Thank you, happy to assist> I did get the silversides. <Good!  How about the Selcon?> Should the anemone pretty much eat it as soon as I present it to him, or might he hang on to it for a little bit? <A healthy one would typically eat right away.  A bleached or unhealthy one may take longer or not eat at all.> He did react with movement when I put it over its mouth but didn't eat it. <Good, try again tonight.> Should I gently force feed him? <No, never.  If you tear its mouth it will likely never recover.  The mouth is very delicate, very thin tissue.> He hung on to it for a few minutes but then the silverside floated away. <You may want to turn off or turn down the flow for a bit to allow it more time to eat.> I am a little afraid of forcing it in, should I be? <Don't even consider forcing it to eat.  Give the anemone time.   Brenda>

BTA not eating  11/12/06 Hello again, Thank you very much for your quick response to my last question. I have had a BTA for a number of months now, and I made sure to research it for many weeks before I bought it. After having it for these months I have really wanted to see it split but I have read that most splitting are caused by stress. I do not want to make it stressed just to get it to split. I did more reading about how to trigger splitting and I read that feeding it about 3 times a week will help trigger this. <Yes, can> My BTA is host to a clown that I thought was feeding it but over the past 2 weeks I kept watching but he never feed it, I understand that this can happen so I tried feeding it with a turkey baster but it did not respond to the food, I tried again for the next 4 days and there were still no results. <I'd try larger, single pieces of meaty foods... placing them directly on the tentacles...> I have been hunting and I can't seem to find anything to do in this situation. He is still fully expanded and seems to be acting very healthy (I don't know how you can be starving and healthy). <Derive a good deal of their nutrition from photosynthesis, and "fish poop"> Thank you so much for bearing with me, and if you can shed any light on my situation it would be greatly appreciated. Tom <I take it you have read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/btafdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Feeding a bleached anemone  10/4/05 Hello, <Pamela> We've been fans of your website for almost a year now.  You have been providing us with a ton of practical information and we're eternally grateful.  We also just finished reading your book - The Conscientious Marine Aquarist - one of the best Marine life readings out there.   We hope you can shed some light (pun intended) on our anemone situation. <Will try> To start, we have a 260g tank with some rock and artificial ornaments.   Lighting is provided by a 72" Coralife PC fixture (384W total).  The main lights (10K) are on from 3pm to 12:30am. The actinics stay on 30 minutes longer (before and after).  The tank is located in naturally well lit room but it does not get a lot of direct sunlight.  It has one overflow with an Iwaki 100 return pump.  We also have one power head, UV filter, in-sump ASM G3 skimmer, etc.   We bought our BTA about 6 months ago along with a hosting tomato clown.  The clown fish does not seem to feed it, so we feed it chunks of shrimp or squid and have tried krill.  At first, although it didn't actively grab the food, it did eventually accept and consume it.  About a month ago, it split. > stress... a lack of useful light energy related>   The two pieces remain in the same area, and the clown continues to host both of them.  Now, they only rarely accept food.  They must like this location as they have not moved (before or after the split).   Since they are smaller than the original one, it is harder to feed them because they do not reach out and grab the food with their tentacles.  We are concerned because they seem to be bleaching (one much more than the other) and they both seem to balloon and then shrivel for short periods of time. (The foot is an orange-red color like it was when we bought it.)    Lighting is a concern: <Yes> The tank is 30" deep and the anemones are located on a rock near the bottom.  Recently we also seem to be having an issue with temperature, up to 82-83 degrees (it used to be stable at 79). <This shouldn't be too much of a problem... stable enough in your size system>   The salinity is 1.025 and the pH is stable at 7.9.  (This week, we are going to add 250 pounds of live rock that we have been curing for a month. <Do add about 50 pounds per week... too much likelihood of trouble with placing all at once> Hopefully this will raise the pH).   <Should help... otherwise, do look into a good line (e.g. SeaChem) of buffering compounds to add during regular water changes> The ammonia is ok-no issue.     By the way, we have another BTA which is hosting a male tomato clown.  It is attached to a rock higher in the tank.  This clown doesn't feed it but it is easier to reach so we do.  It doesn't reach out with its tentacles but it accepts food more easily.  (Perhaps we are accustomed to watching a Condy eat in another tank-it stretches its tentacles out to grab the food and then it quickly consumes it.) <Yes... very different animals> Our questions are:  Should we continue trying to feed the anemone (when it's open) even if it doesn't take the food? <Yes>   Does it seem like it needs more light?   <It, they do> What do you recommend? <Adding some Metal Halides directly above them> We are considering replacing PC with either a 72" Coralife fixture with 3 integrated MH lights, or a 72" T5 setup. <Mmm, both/either would be an improvement... as stated, if possible/practical, adding MH pendants above the areas where the anemones are... or alternatively, moving them to another, shallower system with much more light...> Both are very expensive, so we don't want to make a mistake.  Also, since heat is already an issue-would MH make it worse or is it worth it? <Likely so, unless you plan and execute some means of alleviating the waste heat (fans, openings in the hood/canopy or even a purposeful chiller> Should we move the rock with the anemones to a higher location when we add the live rock (or will that stress them more?). <Best to do just one at a time... I'd leave on the bottom for a month or so after adding the new lighting> Is the higher temperature causing a problem? <Mmm, not much, likely> Should we expect the BTAs to extend their tentacles to grab food more actively instead of just closing in on the food?   <Under the present conditions, no>   Please help us-I really don't want to see the "twins" die.  In the event, an anemone does die in this size tank- will it cause a life threatening problem? <Likely not... but should be removed/siphoned out if "goes mushy"> Thank you for your time... Pam & Rob <And you for sharing. The new LR will help, but I would adjust alkalinity, pH, and definitely add, change out your lighting. Bob Fenner>

BTA And Clams? - 09/25/05 Hi WWW Crew <<Hello>> Well here's my questions, when you say you should feed the BTA Anemones what should I feed them and how often. <<Diced meaty foods (shrimp, clams, etc.)>> And also could I mix BTA's with other anemones? <<Nope>> Also could I keep ant T. clams with anemones in a 60 gallon with 260 watts of pc lighting. <<I wouldn't...though it has nothing to do with the lighting.>> Thanks in Advance <<EricR>>

BTA Clone feeding Three weeks ago my BTA cloned. The large anemone is doing fine and eats anything I feed it. The large one is now bigger than ever. It's probably close to 10 inches across when inflated. The clone will not eat anything. If I try and feed it it pulls its tentacles away and deflates. It seems to be doing all right though. It is staying on the same rock, and just moving around a little. It seems to spend a lot of its time inflating and deflating. You can sit and watch it fully inflate, and two or three minutes later it will be completely deflated. I have never dealt with an anemone clone before and I am not sure what to expect.  Is there anything I can do to encourage it to feed, or will it just feed when its ready? Thank you. <Just continue to offer foods as per the other one... a couple of times a week, don't be too concerned if the clone "moves away" to another part of the system. Bob Fenner>

BTA Good afternoon to all!  <Good day to you.>  I have had a BTA in my 30 gal. hex w/LR (been up for 1.5 yrs.) for about 5 weeks now. The anemone roamed almost daily but seemed okay otherwise. I fed it 1 or 2 1/4" pieces of shrimp, soaked in Kent Zoe, once maybe twice a week. I was obviously concerned about the roaming so I tested my water OFTEN and cleaned my Bak Pak weekly. At introduction, I was running my 150 W HQI MH pendant for about 8 hours/day, now I am up to 10+ hours/day (increasing time by 15 min. every 2-3 days).  I also had a temperature increase (from 79 to 81.5 even w/glass hood off) as spring returned. I have a fan pointing at the surface now so that is no longer a problem.  Next I had an evaporation concern so, taking advise from my LFS, I returned the larger portion of the 1/4" thick glass hood. Also, I top off with buffered RO water and change out 5 gals. every 1.5-2 weeks.  Inhabitants include Percula clownfish (in tank for 2 weeks now), hermit crab, 4 snails, sand star, and Peppermint shrimp. For the last 10 days or so, the BTA has been shrinking and seems to have lost all color. I have been feeding (added Mysis and Formula One) it almost daily for a week now.  <Too much food! Anemones cannot process food that fast. One feeding weekly would be plenty. Don't kill it with kindness.>  Its pigment is a darker maroon shade now with a few gray spots. It still has no bad odors and the mouth is closed. The anemone stays open often however tentacles are small and not at all fully extended. Is it starving?  <NO>  Can I nurse it back? Did putting the glass hood back on two weeks ago deprive the already stressed specimen of necessary light?  <No>  Should I spare the tank and just toss it? Thank you for bearing with me. I just wanted to give as much information as possible. I thank everyone for their contributions to WWM as it is a very valuable resource to many.  <Kim, stop feeding the anemone. Adding all this food daily doesn't help water quality which it does need. Keep a close eye on it, and if it does release from whatever it is attached to, remove it. James (Salty Dog)>

BTA behavior 4/30/04 Evening Bob or Anthony, <Anthony in your service> I recently purchased a small BTA from my LFS, its still small maybe 2" in diam. It looks healthy, pinkish tan in color and moved around the aquarium first two days till it found a spot it liked. I read about target feeding them if they don't seem to be getting enough in the tank so I used a small bulb syringe and gave it a few pieces of Mysis shrimp, it grabbed them greedily and I thought it was pretty neat hehe. so I figured every three days I would offer it some sort of food. I gave it some Mysis again and this time a number of tentacle turned a bright almost fluorescent green when it was feeding. <neat> I did some searching and could not find anything mentioned about this? <agreed> Is this common? should I be concerned about it? <no concern at all> what are your thoughts on target feeding BTA's? <necessary with finely minced foods on a weekly basis for best long term success (by you or by a hosted clownfish)> Thanks as always, Drew <always welcome, my friend. Anthony>

Feeding a Rose >Exactly what do I feed this beautiful rose anemone?  >>I don't exactly know what anemone you're referring to. Please search our site on "anemones". This should help you identify the animal you have, as well as how to feed and care for it. At this point I have to advise you to never buy animals whose care you haven't a clue about. Marina >How do I go about doing so and how often? Do I put the food to its mouth etc...thanks Attiya 

Feeding BTA 9/22/03 Reviewing your website, I haven't yet run across the answer to the following:  In feeding a BTA, say with a turkey baster and Mysis shrimp, where does one squirt this food?  Do you have to aim for the "mouth" or is anywhere towards the tentacles fine?  (Probably a dumb question.) <not a dumb question at all, mate... a very important distinction. You need to know that feeding with a baster is a bit tricky, and we must be careful not to blast or squirt the animal for fear of inducing a fright response (ceasing feeding). The mouth is not to be fed, but rather the tentacles. Stimulate receptiveness by putting a very small amount of food or thawed pack juice (literally just a quarter or half teaspoon) into the aquarium about 15-30 minutes prior to feeding. Also, be sure to thaw frozen food in the fridge or cold water to retain nutritive quality... but strain and discard this liquid just prior to feeding (scrubbing excess nutrients from pack juice to avoid feeding a nuisance algae bloom in the aquarium). Once thawed, ameliorate the mysids/meats in a slurry of aquarium water and gently squirt this in a stream towards the anemones tentacles> Oh, I just introduced my BTA about a day or two ago.  He has crawled under a rock where this is little rock and has yet to come back out.  He balled up big time but has expanded back out a fair amount.  Is this most likely the BTA adjusting to the new environment/light, and so on?   <not uncommon at all... adjustment to the tank/light likely. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemone Hi. I have a quick question about my new sea anemone. It is a green bubble tip and I've had it for about two weeks. I have been told by some that I don't have to feed it and by some that I should feed it about twice a week. <I think Eric Borneman said (paraphrasing) that corals are animals, not plants, and therefore need to be fed and I totally agree. What you feed them is the big question.> Well, I've decided that it can't be good not to feed it, so I bought a raw snapper filet that I cut into little pieces and I've fed it twice with this. Does this sound like a good thing or should I feed it something else and how often should I feed it? <The fish is ok as long as it is tiny pieces, nothing larger than a quarter inch. I would also vary the diet, too. Try some Mysis shrimp and plankton. Both would be excellent. I would feed it small amounts two to three times per week.> Any advise would be most welcome. <There is a lot more information on www.WetWebMedia.com  regarding the appropriate care of these creatures.> Thanks a lot, Laura Stalls <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Satisfying An Anemone's Appetite! Hi Bob + Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> I have read articles and I'm not sure as to the amount of food to give a Bubbletip anemone ( size approx. 3").   I read that food should be 1/4" or less, currently I feed one 1/4" piece of silverside, once a week. Is that enough? <Well, some species of anemones feed daily in nature, and can ingest an amount of food that makes up a percentage of their body weight! I'd try feeding small quantities of food every other day.> If not how many 1/4" pieces? I just fed one piece yesterday, should I wait to give more if needed? <I'd start with two or three pieces, and see if the anemone ingests it all> I am also thinking of including Mysis shrimp and clams. Once again how much? <Both of these foods are just fine, IMO. Once again, I'd try small amounts of food several times a week, and see if the anemone appears to be responding well. If the animal will consume more food, then by all means, I'd give it some more!> Also I would like to get your advice as far as mail ordering livestock, I am very concerned with doing the right thing environmentally and I have always purchased through a store but I have been told mail ordering will eliminate two acclimations. What's the scoop? If so any recommendations (LiveAquaria.com, FFExpress, etc)? <Well, regardless of where the fish is ordered from, the animals will endure several acclimations, from the collector to the transhipper to the retailer (or e-tailer). The journey from reef to store to tank is a difficult one, and the mortality rate among fishes along the way can be horrific! That's why it pays to buy your animals from a dealer who selects properly collected and handled animals. The places that you mentioned all have good reputations. My favorite etailer for rare marines is Marine Center. The people there select and handle their fishes very well, and make sure that the animals are eating before they are sold. You can't ask for much more than that. In the end, you have to give credit to the fishes themselves. They're tough!> Thanks for the help. This website along with the book " The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is great. Looking forward to the new book. Rich <We all are, too, Rich! Thanks for writing! Feel free to contact us any time! Regards, Scott F>

Visual Guide to Bubble Tip Anemone? Hi Bob, <You actually got Steven Pro today. I am part of the WWM crew and taking a turn answering questions this morning.> I've inherited control of my company's 55 gal marine aquarium which has the following: 2 damsels banded goby and pistol shrimp pair maroon clown and bubble tip anemone pair 3 hermit crabs couple of turbo snails some live rock and live sand I've had tanks with just fish in them, but the bubble tip is a mystery to me. <A mystery to most, so don't feel bad.> The anemone was a recent addition to the tank (about 1 month ago), and I have no idea what "normal" looks like. His visual appearance changes daily from long thin tentacles to completely splayed out, engorged, almost transparent tentacles. His body also changes color and configuration. Is there a visual guide to bubble tips? I especially would like to know if he's hungry. Sometimes it seems like he's hungry when his tentacles are engorged, then I feed him some live brine shrimp or frozen Mysis preparation and his tentacles "deflate" after eating. From reading the bubble tip article on this site, I want to make sure that I'm not overfeeding him. <I would feed him twice weekly with the frozen Mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon and Vita-Chem.> I do know that the lighting system is definitely not enough for the bubble tip. They've got three fluorescent bulbs (generic, actinic, and 10000K) which add up to only 90 watts. There's only room in the hood for 3 bulbs. What would you suggest? I'm thinking of removing the generic bulb and replacing with some VHO fluorescent. Cost is a factor, as the company is very stingy. I have invested some of my own money for the sake of the health of this tank. <You are right about the light being inadequate. You will probably have to change all three lamps to three 110 watt VHO's.> Thanks! I love the site...it's very informative and easy to read for beginners. ---Stella <When looking around the site, did you see this article, http://www.WetWebMedia.com/bubbletipanemones.htm? This gentleman has had some real success with BTA's and there is much to be learned from his experiences. Good luck. -Steven Pro>
Re: Visual Guide to Bubble Tip Anemone?
Steven, thanks for your quick response. I have read the bubble tip article, and I hope I can reproduce his success. I'm hoping to order the VHO lamps and ballast soon, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to tide the anemone over? Maybe a directional lamp as a light supplement? Thanks! --Stella <Increasing the feeding should help get the anemone some extra energy. I do not know what you mean by directional lamp, but it probably won't hurt. It may not help much either, though. -Steven Pro>

Feeding a Quadricolor I recently got a bubble tip anemone (one week ago) and have not observed my maroon clown feeding it. <Not unusual.> She has bonded with it in the sense that she's in it all the time, etc. However, I have not seen her give it food. Will she maybe start feeding it eventually? <Perhaps, perhaps not. Better for you to ensure the health of your animal by direct feedings.> The anemone has attached itself in a spot in the tank that is very hard for me to reach to feed it. It looks very healthy and is getting good light where it is but I'm just not able to reach it easily without moving rocks, etc. around it. What do I do? <Feed it. Try using a length of tubing connected to a turkey baster to gently direct thawed, frozen Mysis shrimp or plankton into the tentacles.> Will it maybe move again to a better spot? <Not if it is "happy" now.> Should I wait a few days? <Maybe a few days, but try to method mentioned above.> I'm assuming that it is getting food from particles in the water because I've seen waste. <I would not make that assumption.> However, I'm concerned because I've read that you recommend feeding it something like shrimp, Formula One, etc. once a week. <Sometimes more often, two to three times per week.> Any advice you can give will be much appreciated. <There is an excellent article, if you have not already seen it, here  http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> Also, I have not observed the "bubbles" on it's tips. Is this a bad sign. <No> It looks very healthy otherwise. One more question. . . when I feed it -- how do I do it - how much at one time? <About one half cube of the frozen shrimp mentioned above.> Do I just use my fingers and will it open it's mouth to receive it or should I just put it in the tentacles? <Never use your fingers to feed any stinging celled animal. Bad husbandry.> Do you have any articles on your website that deal with this? <Linked above.> Thanks again! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Bubble Tip Anemones Hi Bob & Marc, I just read your article (http://www.WetWebMedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm ) and found it to be very interesting. I just purchased a BTA about 6 weeks ago. And many of the attributes you mentioned have occurred with mine. It took about 2 weeks for my Percula Clown to move in. I've tried a number of anemones without success. I have a special affinity for carpet anemones, but one after another, they died.  <indeed... many problems with shipping for these animals before you even have a chance at them> My biggest success was a pink tip (something...can't recall that Latin name. LOL), which was WHITE when I bought it, but over time turned light brown. I was told that was a good thing.  <generally a good sign, yes> It ate and lived, but slowly began to shrink. It took a few months until it disappeared. I think my Coral Banded Shrimp had a hand in that, as he seemed to enjoy clipping off the tentacles, eating them like worms later. <ouch!> I've been feeding my BTA some brine shrimp,  <even enriched brine is a poor food... do consider Mysis shrimp or Pacifica plankton instead> as well as small slices of uncooked shrimp from the local supermarket deli.  <very good... remember to finely shred for best efficacy of feeding> It has shown large growth, as I've fed it about every 3 days or so.  <yes... very good> I was kind of hoping to encourage the possibility of a split.  <be sure to maintain very strong random turbulent water flow... stimulating for anemones> I have these tiny green anemones that split all the time, so I figured it would be nice to see a "real" one split.  <Anemonia majano... > Grin <agreed for the difference in market value> Here's my tank: http://www.sparklingfloorservice.com/maintank.html I'm open to suggestions of course, but I'd like to avoid any massive (costly) changes. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.  <for many animals... HUFA (fatty) rich foods help to condition for spawning. Do consider soaking your anemone's foods in Selcon (or Super Selco). And add the extra current too if necessary> And thank you again for your article. It was very informative. Marc Levenson Ft Worth, TX <best regards, Anthony>

Re: anemones Well yes my anemone seems to be faring well, because it has all its original coloring. It is an E. quadricolor, but no longer bears the bubbles on its tips (another question).  <one theory for this lack of bubble tips is a lack of dynamic water movement as it had on the reef> The water clarity is very good. I have an Ecosystem 60 filter with Caulerpa thriving; I have just changed my fl. actinic bulbs about a month ago, and my MH bulbs are coming up due for a change in about another month. The anemone moves a bit every once in a while but it never moves into the direct light. It has attached to the underside of a rock and the clown seems happy. I do regular water changes to keep everything in check and balanced. Any other advise for me? Should I slowly shoot brine into the anemone with a turkey baster and see what all it takes?  <never brine, please... animals starve on brine for its extraordinary low nutritional value. Mysis and Pacifica plankton would be better. feed thawed and decanted foods (discard packing juice) with a saltwater slurry to ease shock to invert upon feeding. A slow squirt with a turkey baster from distance is likely fine> I actively feed them either silversides or a thawed cube of prime reef.  <the prime reef may be fine (for its shredded size)... the silversides are arguably of little value. The sightless stinging animal will of course sting it and draw it in. But most certainly regurgitate this unnaturally large portion at night with respiration. The "rule" for anemones is nothing lager than 1/4 inch. Chunks of flesh would never sink through a reef to a sessile anemone without any number of other larger sighted animals tracking it first. Its unnatural and anemones are ill adapted to feed upon it. They feed on very fine zooplankton naturally.> I also have some small salad shrimp from the store I thaw and feed them from time to time.  <if raw, a good value, but remember to shred it fine or the anemone will hurl it later and effectively starve in time. It sounds like this anemone hasn't been getting a lot of usable sized rich foods. Perhaps we are dealing with some attrition here> Thanks!! You have been a great help! <I hope to have been of some service indeed. kindly, Anthony>

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