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FAQs on Bubble Tip, Rose Anemone Use in Marine Aquariums 3

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 4, E. quad FAQ 5BTAs 6, BTAs 7, BTAs 8, &  BTA ID, BTA Compatibility, BTA Selection, BTA Behavior, BTA Systems, BTA Feeding, 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

- Spawning Anemone - Good morning! It the crazy chick with the sexy tank.  Thought I'd send these to you for kicks.  My rose anemone spawned last night and I thought you might like to see the pictures. I had to work on them in paint because the stuff the rose put out was very hazy and hard to capture with a camera.  You'll get the general idea though. Enjoy...
<Neat - thanks for sharing. Cheers, J -- >

Clownfish and anemones Hello, <Howdy!> a few questions could you please answer I have just got a bubble tip anemone and a pair of maroon clowns one is about 9 cm long and the other is only 2-3 cm long I was wondering will they mate if so then when?<They probably will, I couldn't tell you when as there are many factors that effect this from the fish themselves to their environment.> The bubble tip anemone keeps moving around, is it normal what is wrong, also how can I stop it from moving?<Do you have enough lighting?  If so just let him be and he will find a place that he likes.> Should the anemone be on rocks or is it ok for it to be on sand?<They usually climb up onto your rockwork. Cody>

BTA science fair project Mr. Fenner, <Ms. Maddie> I started a science fair experiment this year with bubble tip anemone's.  We have a 72 Gallon reef set up that has been really stable for over a year.  Our bubble tip anemone split in two about six month ago and then three months ago one of the anemone's split again. <Neat> My project involved the effect of food on the anemone's.  I target fed one of the anemones (Subject A) with Krill every day, the second anemone (Subject B) I target fed every third day and the third anemone (Subject C) I target fed every 2 weeks. After 4 weeks the first anemone split.  That was two days ago.  Today I came home and realized that one of the newly split anemones (Subject A-1) was pushed up against my crown leather coral.  I didn't want it to get stung so I went to move it and realized that the anemone was in the middle of splitting again with one piece of it attaching to my coral and the other part attaching to the rock.  I quickly moved the coral back into place so the anemone would be more whole while it finishes this process.  Have I hurt the anemone?  What about my coral?   <Hopefully both are fine... anemones do split more often due to "stress" of various sorts... perhaps the proximity of the leather coral hastened the onset of the process (Schizogyny) here> Also the other half of the anemone (Subject A-2) has crawled up under a rock and is really small - sort of like the night before it split the last time.  This has been a really cool experiment and I'm glad it worked but now I'm afraid I hurt Subject A-1. Also my single maroon clown fish has always taken care of the three anemone's but I'm afraid he's outnumbered.  I guess I will have to move the anemone's into my Dad's 200 gallon reef tank.  How long should I wait before I make the move to make sure the anemone's are stable? <I would wait several weeks here. Being genetic clones of the "mother" colony, these anemones should get along together semi-indefinitely> Thanks, Maddie Ball P.S.  This is for my 5th grade science fair project at St. John's Episcopal School in Dallas.  May I use your response as part of my report?  Thanks. <You are welcome to cite anything I have written. Bob Fenner>

Unequal BTA split 1/8/04 WWM : Hi, I had a single E. quadricolor Bubble Tip Anemone that split. The clones are doing fine, but it's been about three months now and only one seems to have taken its symbiotic algae with it, as evidenced by its brownish color. The other one is pure white, and has been since the split. What could cause this and should I worry or do something to help the albino twin? thanks, SLC <I'm not sure of the cause of a lack of zooxanthellae here (some stress), but can assure you that it will only survive and regiment if you feed it several times weekly or better with very fine (minced) meaty ocean meats and foods. Best of luck, Anthony>
Unequal BTA split II 1/11/04
Thanks Mr. Calfo, <always welcome my friend> Are brine shrimp and salmon soaked in Selcon and Zo? in 1/4" chunks, 3-4X a week OK? <Selcon is an excellent food supplement for most marine animals (corals, fishes, inverts)... Zo?I do not personally care for but a little bit of vitamins (like Vita-Chem) to go with the HUFA supplement (Selcon) is a good idea IMO. You portion size and frequency are fine... but you need to offer more kinds and more nutritious items. Salmon is excellent... but brine shrimp is nearly useless here (nutritively hollow... really only good for stimulating picky fishes to feed. A temp food). Add Mysis shrimp, Pacifica plankton, chopped krill or raw food shrimp, fish roe (grouper eggs from the pet store freezer or Tobago/flying fish roe from the Asian market (sushi)> That's what I've upped the schedule to in the last week.  Thanks for the advice, SLC  The Enemy of my Anemone is my Enemy <yes... and the rain in Spain falls gently on the plain. "I think I've got it... I think I've got it". Anthony :) >

Dyed BTAs? 11/26/03 I bought 3 rose anemones they were deep red we got them in the tank 3 weeks later they turned bright white with hot pink tips a we think maybe they were dyed could you email to tell me your thoughts <I doubt these anemones were dyed... not heard of with BTAs. Seems much more likely they bleached from stress from poor acclimation. If you feed them well (necessary) for the next few months, they will likely recover their color and survive. Anthony>

Dyed rose anemone? How can I tell if my rose anemone has been dyed or not. <there is no sure fire way to tell if an anemone has been dyed except for time. The anemone in a couple of months if dyed will turn back to its original color most of the time brown) or will die.> Bought from a guy on e-bay who sells lots of splits and had excellent feedback. My rose is pretty good color but has some green color at the base of his tentacles <normal on most> and red seems to be darker at top. <you will get many color morphs in rose anemones. I have one that is bright red all over and one that is hot pink.> Color seems to be in little dots when you look up close. The foot is pink. Tips look fluorescent orange. From what I am told dying different colors is a common scam throughout the industry. <It is but I have never heard or dying Rose anemones before.> If it is dyed how long before you think all the dye will have worn off? <couple months> I have hesitated giving this guy any feedback until I know for sure whether it has been dyed or not. If it has I want to be sure to alert others to his scam. $56 for a 3.5" Rose and $38 shipping. $56 seems too good to be true for a true rose don't you think? <YES> The pictures he puts on the web are not as dark red as the actual. You can see one of his auctions here. Check out his feedback. If it is a scam he is good. The dye lasts long enough for customers to post positive feedback? <If the guy has good feed back, I would say they are real. Only time will tell. MikeH> Thanks, Rob

Bubble anemone What's wrong? Hiya Bob & Crew.  I recently purchased a Bubbletip anemone for my 26G tank.  My tank is fully cycled w/ NO3 5-10ppm. Also includes 35lbs cured LR, 40lbs live aragonite reef fine reef sand, SeaClone 100 and an Emperor280 filter w/ lighting 130W(10K&Actinic) Aqualight Coralife.  Tank currently have only the BTA (about 3-4 inch), a coral banded shrimp, and a scooter blenny.  I had my BTA for 1 week, all was fine and seems to be expanding and then yesterday it produced some slime underneath its body so I moved him to another corner.  Now it shrank to about 1-2 inches. What's going on?? <do not move him around he will move on his own. he is expelling the water in him (which is normal) anemones can do this on a reg basis.  He was fine during the day and night the first week.  Feed him 2x a week w/ Micro-Vite and sometimes frozen Brine Shrimp. <you are feeding the wrong kind of food try some cocktail shrimp (make sure is not cooked) break it up into pieces, the anemone can ingest. I have a rose anemone that is bigger than a football and I feed him 2 whole cocktail shrimp a week>  Also my coral band shrimp seems to be hiding 24/7.  Will this guy ever come out to eat?? <he is eating the food that the fish miss that makes it's way to the back .They are scavengers> How do I get him to come out? < they are nocturnal so it will be difficult> Is my lighting too bright? <NO>  My scooter blenny is not doing his job on the algae. <Scooter blennies do not feed on algae they are more like a mandarin. try a lawnmower blenny he will take care of all of it> This stinks! All I wanted was a tank w/ 2clowns and an anemone.  Any advice??? <hang in there you were given some misdirection hope this helps Mike H.>   

-BTA question- Kevin's Answer I sent the following email a few days ago but have received no reply.  I am resending it in case it fell through the cracks. Thanks, Bryan <I apologize for the delay, but sometimes time doesn't allow for all emails to get prompt replies.> Hi, I'm having two problems that I hope you can help with.  First, I have a bubble tip anemone (had for a couple of months) that had been doing well until about two weeks ago.  It started spending a lot of time shrunk up. For the last several days it has opened but for all practical purposes its tentacles have shriveled up to the point of non-existence. I had been feeding it small chunks (1/4 inch) of shrimp a couple of times a week. However, the last time I saw it looking good a larger chunk of food (1/2 inch or so) had inadvertently blown into it.  It has never regained its glory since. <I can see this being bad if it was still partly frozen.> What do the shriveled or lack of tentacles mean?  Starving? Full? <Neither, it could be getting ready to divide, especially on that feeding schedule!> I've tried feeding but of course without full tentacles it isn't holding food. Its mouth has gaped a few times and a stringy clear intestinal sort of slime came out. <I would leave it alone, no poking, prodding, etc.> Generally, however, it's mouth is tight.  Water quality is good (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0.  DKH is around 10, calcium 300, ph 8.1) Lighting is from 260 watts of power compacts. <It may be getting ready to divide, but either way the best thing to do is to not bother it (this includes force feeding, don't worry about food until it is open per usual).> On the completely other side of the tank (55 gallons long) I have a star polyp that's mat is sprouting low-lying hair algae and the mat is brown from a thin layer of algae.  The polyps were not opening as fully as usual. One of the powerheads was moved awhile back and I know that this algae is forming due to lack of water flow.  I have corrected that problem but what can I do to get this algae off without permanently damaging the coral? <You can gently scrub it off with a soft bristled toothbrush> I have been picking at the hair algae with my fingers but it's hard to get hold of.  The brown algae seems to come off by rubbing my finger lightly along the mat but there are too many nooks and crannies for this to be effective. Any ideas for what I can use? <If you cant remove it from the tank, try a toothbrush taped to the end of a siphon. You can scrub and suck away the algae in one step.> The polyps haven't come out for a few days because of my messing with it. <Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks for your help!  Bryan

Re: BTA shrinking Thanks Mike for the reply, But it's been 3 days that my BTA shrank. Now I can't see him. He looks like a chunk of slime inside a hole of my live rock. Is he dead? < I would say so> Should I get what's left of my BTA?? <don't worry about it next time try I bigger one at least as big as an orange and start feeding right away thanks Mike H> I checked my water parameter again and all is Fine. pH 8.2, NH3=0,NO2=0, NO3=about 10. Ca= 420-430 Phosphate=0 Thanks-Donnie

Ring around the BTA? 10/29/03 Anthony : Since your response my sinking anemone split in two and both fled to the back of the tank behind live rock, where there is little light. The female clown followed them and wallows back and forth between them. <not uncommon (move to dim light)> So ... I have to decide what to do with these unpredictable set of events, taking into account your advice. One question: don't BTAs situate themselves between hard corals (like staghorns) in the wild reef? <good heavens no... it's almost unheard of with any anemone. Even those that hail from rocky habitats (in contrast to the more common sandy/muddy flats, etc) still avoid other cnidarians and instead seek the crevices of rocks> I understand your logic about separating these different types of critters .... but you know, reefers have to try everything once. <it's more than logic, my friend... it is what is, it is... unnatural to mix these creatures in such close confines. And it is an inappropriate use of a living resource. As conscientious aquarists... we are obliged to not make horrifying excuses like "reefers have to try everything once". Yikes... you do recall that the things you are "trying" are living. At least for now <G>.> Maybe I could build a coral-corral around these BTAs to prevent them from burrowing down into the sand or wandering around and thrashing on other cnidarians. <ahhh...no> Thanks, SLC <good luck. Anthony>

Anemone At "Low Tide"? Hello WWM crew! <Hi there! Scott F. at your service!> I've been searching the FAQs for information about bubble-tip anemones but I couldn't find anything particularly related to my situation. <Well, let's give it a shot...> One of my BTAs has stationed itself at the very top of the waterline for about the past 2 weeks. I want to do a water change, but in order to do this, the anemone will be out of the water for a period of about 20 minutes or so. Can it survive this? If not, would my next best option be to try to gently remove his foot from the glass? (The anemone's foot is stuck firmly to the glass of the tank.) How would I go about doing that? I've seen some posts about coaxing the anemone to move by half-shading. <Well, the anemone has "chosen" this spot because it is comfortable there. I'd avoid moving the animal for fear of injuring it. I believe that the anemone will be fine if exposed to the air for a limited period of time. If it makes you feel better, you could periodically splash water on it during the water change process.> The anemone itself is not doing as well as the other anemones in the tank: the tentacles are retracted and closed in and the color has faded slightly. I'm not sure why this one is not doing well as the others. They all were formed after a recently 3-way split of my original BTA. I don't want to give up on the sickly one, but I'd like to do a water change really soon! <I agree with your sentiments. Of course, the need to change water cannot be ignored...I'd go for the water change, if for no other reason than the fact that it will serve the "greater good" for this tank's population. In the end, changing the water may end up "coaxing" the animal out of whatever seems to be negatively affecting it.. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Any advice is greatly appreciated!   ----Stella

Bubble Tip Anemone - What's Happening? >Hello friends, >>Hello.  Apologies for the very late reply. >My bubble tip anemone is upside down and its center is open. It also has moved toward the back of the tank. Could it possibly be splitting? What signs should I be looking for and how long will the splitting take to complete?   >>Unfortunately, I've never seen a split, so I cannot tell you exactly what's happening.  There are those with much experience with this on http://www.reefs.org (on the forums).  If you can take a picture and post it there I'm positive you'll find someone (Minh Nguyen comes immediately to mind) who knows exactly what to look for.  However, here's my first take: to the best of my knowledge, when an anemone splits, they do not disengage from the substrate and flip themselves.  In my experience this usually means the animal is "unhappy" with its situation.  In other words it's often an indicator of trouble.  Again, my apologies for the late reply.  Marina

Bubble Tips Dying >I have had a successful fish & reef (small reef - some mushrooms and one leather) tank for over 5 years (75 gallon).  I lost power due to Isabel for two days about a month ago.  I have lost power before - sometimes even longer with no ill effects.  I have battery powered air stones and I agitate the water regularly and add hydrogen peroxide as part of my disaster recovery plan.  My Bubble tip Anemones are dying.  I have six altogether (started at two) that are from the same original stock.  They have divided happily over the years.  >>So, as I understand you, you've had these anemones (at least the original two) for at least five years, yes? >Only *two* things changed.  First I did about a 25 gallon water change after power returned due to the hurricane. Then I added some gravel to the bottom of my tank.  I do this every year or so to replace the siphoned gravel.  Suddenly ALL of my bubbles stopped opening fully!  Then one of them moved to the underside of one rock.  The tentacles remained as stubs or nubs up to this time on all of them!  Now one is starting to lose color.  Could my tank have been polluted by some unknown substance (metal) in the rock?  >>This is a possibility, to be sure, assuming your water source, etc. are all EXACTLY as usual. >Or could the stress of the Hurricane caused this?  Again, I have lost power for longer periods with the same bubbles and had no ill effects.   >>The hurricane itself?  I seriously doubt it, these creatures have to have evolved exposed to the problems associated with hurricanes and typhoons, wouldn't you think? >I have tested the water many times & so has my local reef expert retailer.  Everything looks good & is within level.   >>We do prefer to get exact readings on everything tested. >Sorry - that this is so long.  Should I remove them from the tank?  >>If they appear to be disintegrating, then yes, they really must be removed. >My reef pet retailer said he can store them for me.  I am worried that the stress of the move will kill them but if I do nothing - I will lose them as well.  Thanks. Diane >>I would worry about that if they're very firmly attached, otherwise, the move itself shouldn't be a terrible problem.  However, if it were me, I would set up a hospital tank, rather than risk an entirely different system.  Marina

BTA infected, splitting or what? >I have had this BTA for about 12 days now.   Got him from LiveAquaria.com.  It was supposed to be medium sized (3"-5"), but this thing is enormous (10"-12).  About 3 days ago it started to develop "sores", and now his mouth is kind of funny.  I've attached some photos from day 2 of their appearance.   >>Yes, I've seen them.  These are NOT sores, it looks to me that the animal is dying quickly.  What I see is the outer membrane breaking open.  It will need to be removed ASAP. >For the most part they are confined to the area around the mouth although there are 1or 2 spots away from the mouth as well.  You can just see one of these in IMG_0051 (renamed "DyingBTA").  The "sores" look worse today and are now on both sides of the mouth. >>Indeed, once an anemone begins to go, it goes FAST. >All of the water parameters in my tank are good (no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, sg 1.024, pH ~8.2, KH 10).  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks! -matt >>Sorry I haven't got better news for you, Matt.  If it were me, I would contact the vendor and let them know what's happened.  In the meantime, if the thing is still around, move it to its own tank immediately.  Best of luck.  Marina

BTA infected, splitting or what?  II >Marina, The anemone died on Saturday. >>Argh!  Sorry to hear that, though it really looked like it was on its way out.  I hope you've called the vendor, as I don't think it should have gone that fast if shipped properly. >Just wanted to say thanks for the reply and for the heads-up on the ensuing disaster. >>You're welcome. >Took the poor thing and placed it in my QT tank.  By then (Friday the 24th) most of its outer membrane had broken down and there was a large hole right through the middle of it.   >>Uck.. good thing you put it in the q/t, and good thing you HAVE a q/t! >Luckily it was still rather intact.  Things only got worse from there as I'm sure you are familiar with. >>All too. >What a mess.  Sure am glad it was in my QT.  Thanks again. -matt >>Oh yes, I'm glad it didn't die in your display, that's a hell of a mess when that happens.  I think it came in rough condition in the first place, so I hope they make good on it for you.  Marina

Sinking Anemone 10/21/03 WWM Commensal Comrade : <Hola> I have recently introduced a pair of young Tomato Clowns (A. frenatus) into a 100 gal reef with an E. quadricolor anemone (BTA) that has been comfortably situated for about six weeks in the same spot, <ughh... how I do dread to hear of anemones with corals. So often a recipe for disaster in the long run (years)> and doing well (as in not imitating a melting ice cream cone.) <by a measure of mere weeks... do consider at least remitting the anemone to a refugium sans corals and with a protected overflow/pump intakes, etc> I have two questions submitted for your approval: a.) The BTA is about the size of ... well, an ice cream cone, and the largest clown ( I assume becoming a female, much darker and larger than the other paired clown) immediately took to the anemone, ditching its partner( I had been watching them pair together for six weeks in my LFS.) <common and temporary... she will drive the mate into the nest once the nest is established> The she-to-be takes up the entire nesting area of the BTA, leaving no room for the smaller clown, but that seems to suit her just fine. I've witnessed this behavior before in a different species, H. Sapiens, in the female preferring to take over the entire home and kick the male out of her life. Is this happening simply because the BTA is too small to host both of them, or will she not let the other clown co-habitate? <likely to resume in time> b.) This greedy clown seems to constantly wiggle in the BTA and this action blows a lot of the sand under the BTA out of the way (this BTA, like most E. quadricolors, is situated horizontally in a live rock crevice.) As this happens, the BTA moves itself downwards until it touches the sand again. The clown blows more sand out of the way, and the BTA sinks further down. Within 24 hours, they have sunk about 2 inches in my 5" DSB. <much has been writ about the subject at large... do peruse our archives of articles and FAQs especially. The undersized anemone and presence of a clownfish at all are potential sore spots here (some studies show that more than half of all anemones that can host clowns in fact don't (!) in the wild)> Will this continue until BTA & clown are touching the tank bottom, in the middle of an apparent DSB bomb crater? I'm not so much worried about losing the DSB benefits in that small area, but having the crater collapse in on the BTA and cause grief of some sort. Any advice? <just some of the many problems with keeping anemones in mixed community tanks... my pref/recommendation is to keep this and all anemones in dedicated tanks> Thanks ahead of time, SLC <best regards, Anthony>

Rose Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) 10/18/03 Here are 2 pics before and after. The pics are only 3 days apart. Rose just introduced in the tank. Turning brown quick, but it still seems to be full. 125w MH. 55g tank likes the back of tank where there is less light. Also clown fish feeds it but seems to bug it more than anything. Any help would be great thanks. Irv <the pigment/color on this specimen looks quite good! Dense and rich. I'd suggest some more patience/no worries. BTAs are quite hardy and resilient. Many will even take on a sickly appearance just prior to splitting (reproducing). Lets take some more time. Anthony>

-White (eek!) Bubble Tipped Anemone- I have bought a white bubble tipped anemone <Ooo, just the name makes me shudder!> (about 2 weeks) and he does not look so hot.  His tentacles are withered and he shrinks up a ton when the lights are on.  The only time he comes out is at night, but even then his tentacles are still sad looking. <I would wager that this anemone is bleached.> I was told to feed him shrimp pellets and/or frozen brine shrimp along with a phytoplankton supplement. <This anemone should be fed frozen (completely defrosted!) meaty seafoods like shrimp, clam, krill etc. I'd skip the pellets, don't bother with brine because it is very small and of only a very low nutritional value, and continue to use phyto, but note that the anemone does not consume it directly.> He doesn't look good.  Can I have too much light?  I only have 4- 36W in a 55 gallon. <Normally, this wouldn't be a lot of light for a BTA. Since this guy is probably bleached, it is a little more than it can handle at the moment. Please, never buy an anemone that is clear or white in color as it is "sick". White or clear anemones have lost most/all of their symbiotic zooxanthellae whose photosynthetic activity inside the anemones tissue gives its host a valuable and important energy source. All may not be lost though, you should be able to sustain the anemone with food until it, hopefully, regains its zooxanthellae. I would feed it 3 times a week with one or all of the aforementioned foods. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and part 2 of the same article.>  I have no other fish, just a few crabs and snails.  Please help me. <Could you get a picture of it? From your description it sounds bleached, but it's hard to say without a picture or a very detailed description of the color. Good luck! -Kevin> Thank you, Brooke

Sick Anemone? BTA 10/17/03 Hi, I have a very small (3in across at most) bubble tip anemone.  I've had it for about 1 month now (tank has been established for about 6 months). <FWIW... its kind of a young tank to have purchased an anemone for. Little natural plankton available no doubt unless you also have a large refugium inline. I also hope you have resisted a mix with other stinging anemones or corals. It will be your best bet for success with keeping any motile anemone. Read more in the WWM archives about mixing cnidarians> Basically, when I first got it, it seemed fine and healthy and (I think) colored up a bit.  I originally fed it every day with some formula one, about an eight of a cube (fighting the cleaner shrimp off was quite the chore!).  And he seemed to be doing fine.   <agreed... a good habit here> Pictures of it, more or less chronologically are found here http://www-personal.umich.edu/~skotzaba/anemone.htm  I did some more reading, and as always, I came across a lot of opinions on how often anemones should be fed.   <does vary by species (and tank-- depending on incidental feeding opportunities with heavy fish populations)> The general consensus was that you should feed them, at most, twice a week--any more might harm them.    <I disagree... I would suggest 3-5 times weekly for most at minimum. The "harm" in feeding anemones is with chunks of food that are too large... not fine matter "too often"> Well, I did that, which  seems to be when the decline started.  It would spend a great deal of its time contorted and releasing mucus.  It did this for a while and then its mouth began to gape and it would spend a while looking as if he would puke out his internals (white squiggly intestinal things, which I think are the mesenterial filaments).   <correct... and commonly occurs with feeding large chunks of food. Yikes> I thought the outlook was grim, but I didn't have the heart to toss him out yet.  He spend a while continuing on that course, until one day he decided to move under a rock, then within a day he moved  back out and attached his foot at the base of the rock, near the bottom of the tank; so he is now horizontally oriented to the substrate.  He still looked horrid.  I took a mucus sample and looked at it under a microscope.  Obviously I'm no scientist, so what I saw didn't reveal much.  A lot of dark brown, various thin worms jerking about and one of what looked like those small calcareous tube worms one gets all over the glass.  I posted on a few boards asking for help.  Basically, one individual, who seemed to know what he was talking about, said that the anemone is exhibiting signs of malnutrition and that an anemone should be fed as often as it will eat.  So I embarked on the task of feeding it.  It, of course, didn't really respond to food like the majano anemones in the sump do (reaching for an grabbing, although his tentacles are so stubby, he never really reached in the first place).  I have to gently place the piece near its mouth.  In its glory days it would then close up and eat it.  Now it takes about 20 minutes before it coordinates itself enough to eat.  Its much like spoon-feeding a crippled patient.  Anyhow, the good news is that he started looking better, at least comparatively, so I've continued daily feedings and I'm hoping he might improve.  Is there any advice you can offer, based on what I've told you?   <I believe you are truly o the right track... feeding several times weekly if not daily will be optimal. Nothing larger than fine plankton/mysids (1/4" or smaller)> Tank is a 50 gallon with a 20gal sump.  pH: 8.3 Am:0 Ni:0 Na:2ppm Salin: 1.024 Alk:3 Ca:400 Regardless, thank you for taking the time to read my long story. <best of luck! Anthony>

Anemone Antics Hey guys/gals!   <Scott F. your guy today!> I just had a quick question as I can't find any information on my own.  I recently received a BTA with a clown fish at my local fish store.  I acclimated them both appropriately and they both seem very happy. <Excellent!> However I've noticed something odd and am not sure if this is normal or a warning sign for something serious.  It seems that everyday for about an hour, the BTA shrinks up to about nothing.  I have wondered if it was something I had done to the tank, etc. but this evening it shrank on its own.  The only thing that seems similar on the last 3 days is that it shrinks after about 10 hours of lighting.  Color wise it is brown/green and when it is inflated it is gorgeous.  Should I be worried or is this normal behavior? <In my personal experience, anemones will often shrink and open during the course of a day without being indicative of some greater problem. On the other hand, if you are witnessing discharge of mucus, or other materials, you may need to do some investigating here.> Some specs on the tank. it's a 20gal with 130W of light (65W 10K daylong/65W actinic).  Location wise, the anemone is about 1/2 way to the to the top of the tank.  It has moved lower in the last few days. <Anemones will move about when they are unhappy with their current location, only to settle in a spot that is more to their liking..> My salinity is 1.023, the temp is ~80 degrees, nitrite/ammonia is 0 and my nitrates are about 10.  pH is 8.2  Livestock consists of a Firefish and a tomato clown. Thanks for  all your help! <Other than the low level of measurable nitrate in your system (which can be brought under control by using tried-and-true techniques outlined on the WWM site), I don't see anything that really strikes me as bad. I'd keep observing and feeding this seemingly healthy animal, and only intervene if the anemone's behavior or condition take a turn for the worse (i.e.; remaining closed for extended periods during the day, excessive discharge, etc.). Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>  

Bubble-tip Anemone Greetings crew, I've seen a lot of great color morphs of Entacmaea quadricolor lately and am considering setting up a dedicated system featuring them.<ok> I have an unoccupied 55 that will have LR and DSB, 20 gal  sump with little Tunze Comline skimmer. 2 150watt HQI pendants w/ XM 20,000K bulbs. Sump return will be about 600 GPH. Would like to place 5 different clones of Bubble-tips. I already have 2 large (4-5"d) greens. Have a source for smaller (2"+) rose and teals. Will they all just get along? or am I in for physical or chemical rumbles? Would also like to put a CB pair of Premnas and some porcelain crabs (Neopetrolisthes sp). I know these will fight for anemones but what if I have more anemones that potential occupants? <this still presents a problem... what happens if they want the same anemone? I would only go with one species> Okay, that's all for now. Please add comments if I am overlooking something. Again, thank you for your help <This link should answer all of your questions http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm> Regards, Bryan

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>

-Macrodactyla doreensis and Entacmaea quadricolor- Macrodactyla doreensis and Entacmaea quadricolor have interested me for a long time.. I have finally decided to give it a try.. the tank has cycled.. its a 60 gallon tank.. the dimensions are (LxWxH) 48"x15"x14.5".. lighting is what came with the system about 120 watts.. 2 4' Coralife 40w 50/50 and 1 4' 40w marine Glo.. I also have 30 lbs of live rock in the tank.. my question is what is this amount of light enough to keep these particular anemone's?? <I would suggest at least 4x55w PC's as a minimum for either, and of the two E. quad. is a much hardier specimen (they can also easily be acquired tank raised.>and if not, are there any other anemone's that would work in this amount of light??? <Not any Pacific anemone I can think of> and if not.. are there any corals that I could keep with this amount of light?? <'Shrooms and polyps may do alright, but I'd strongly suggest upgrading to my earlier suggestion. Good luck! -Kevin> thank u very much for answering.. Jiwan

-New BTA waiting' for some pals- Hello WWM anemone-guru: <Recently (as in 10 seconds ago) proclaimed anemone guru, Kevin, here today> I have a small (4" diameter) BTA that is doing very well after its rescue (purchase) from the LFS. I've heard that one should wait a while before introducing clowns (I'm thinking Perculas) to give the BTA time to firmly anchor itself, get adjusted, and most importantly, get somewhat bigger than 4". <A good idea> The advice I got says that clowns can actually smother a BTA to death if the BTA is too small when the clowns start to 'nest' in it. <They can really stress it out if it's not well adjusted to tank conditions. Clowns can dish some pretty tough love!> Do you have any advice on this matter, as far as time-in-tank or minimum size the BTA should reach before introducing the clowns? <Since you've got nothing but time, I would wait till it grows to 5-6" in diameter. This way it will have been well established and happy provided you have the appropriate system> Also, I feed the BTA small bits of Sweetwater zooplankton and shrimp every other day, and it seems to gobble this stuff up. Any change to my manual feeding regimen? <Frequent small feedings are fine. The more you feed BTA's, the faster they grow and ultimately divide. That said, a once or twice weekly feeding is enough.> I really feed the fish in the tank as little as possible, so there's not a lot of detritus floating around for the BTA to snag. <They're not interested in detritus, but keep them fish fat and healthy too! Good luck - Kevin> Great! Thanks a bunch, SLC

Problem Solving! Dear Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for responding. I promise this will be shorter than last message! <Hey- that's why I signed on for this gig! LOL> On the BTA-He has stayed in the same locale and will hopefully move on "foot" from now on. Since he has had that encounter with the strainer, I am concerned about how pale he is (the green is still good and there is a hint of brown). <As long as it appears to be recovering, that's a good thing!> Please talk to me about feeding. I have heard 1/week, 2/week/, 5/week, etc. and about completely different foods. I am confused. <Well, there are tons of different thoughts on this subject. My research seems to indicate that these animals feed daily in the wild, so I can't imagine it being detrimental (except if inadequate nutrient export mechanisms exist in your tank) to feed it daily, or every other day...I'd try a variety of frozen fish foods, and carefully observe which ones the animal "recognizes" as food sources. An anemone will usually "reject" what it does not recognize as a food, so go with what works!> Also, should the feeding be different after the strainer incident? <I would continue a routine feeding regimen. Just observe the animal a bit more closely> A small amount of Brine Shrimp Plus has drifted to him two days in a row and he has pulled it in. I know it doesn't mean he is eating it, but he acts hungry...please advise. <If it appears to be consuming this food, keep using it!> What is the best we can do for him with VHO lighting? We have painted the interior of the cover a glossy white to help reflect the light. <That's fine. If the animal appears to be reacting negatively to the lighting, you may have to augment as required...Again, observation is the key..> The six-foot (white) tubes only say - Aquasun/7 VHO-1. I have no clue what wattage... <Hmm...something the "expert" might be able to tell you. You need to know, especially when it's time to replace them...By the way- how old are the bulbs? Are they ready to be replaced?> I have removed nine molly millers, but not the tomato clown with ich. She was afraid of the net, so I am feeding her from it (that's how I got so many MM - smiling). I may be able to get her out tonight without much fuss (she has been half-way in the net). <Keep trying. It's important to get everyone out for the treatment> My question is, how do I set up a QT? I have a 10 gal tank, no cover, no lights, no heater and no pump, no nothing. I do have a bubbler and a long narrow heating pad. <Well, you almost have everything that you need. Here is an article by yours truly about setting up a QT...Hopefully, it will answer some of your questions, and the same idea works for a "hospital" tank: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm   > Am I nuts to think it wouldn't be wise just to dip and then put her back in with the others? My husband's aquarium pal gave four options: flush her (he had to be kidding), do a dip and put her back, put her in a dif. aquarium, or let the ich run its course.  Let the ich run its course, I'm not nuts. He's nuts! <Well, I'm inclined to agree! "Running its course" means that the life cycle of the causative parasites will go on and on- constantly re-attaching to fishes after dropping off...Until the fish dies. You need to address the life cycle of the parasite - knock it off on the fish with medication, and let the display tank run fallow, without fishes, for a bout a month - this will deprive them of hosts...Lots more bout this on the WWM site..> What about the other fish? My husband is on duty again (Hospital chaplain) and I just feel the other shoe is about to drop. I have ordered a total of four books, but need to correct these current problems before I get them. Help, I am drowning in a sea of misinformation! Crystal <Well, hang in there, Crystal! I'd start with a search under "parasitic diseases" on the WWM site, and you'll find plenty of GOOD information!> P.S. We have an RO/ DI water purifying system (not just RO) whatever that means. <"DI" means "deionization"- another phase of the water purification process...A good thing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Perculas and BTA Are they compatible with BTA?  <Yep> I have a 90 gal with 126 lbs Kaelini and deep Tonga rock with a 4" aragonite sand bed. I have about 15x water circulation. Lighting is 2 175w 10000k MH and 2 125w actinics. I am looking for an "easy" anemone that does not cause an allergic reaction. Am I heading in the right direction?  <These are some of the more hardy anemone and should be fine in your system.  I think all will cause a "sting" some, more so than others.  I have found these guys to be weaker compared to a carpet or LT though.  Cody> 

-E. Quad. issues- Hey guys, I just want to run this by you guys and see what you think. I have a Bubble tip anemone for about a month now it has been acting weird. It started acting weird around the same time I switched salt. I switched from Kent to Instant Ocean. Also around that same time I added a small Frogspawn frag. Would switching salt cause my bubble tip to act like this. Before the switch it would open up really big and would display the bubble tips. After the switch does not open as big and none of the tentacles have the bubble tip. Would adding the Frogspawn cause what you call "chemical warfare"? <Doubtful> The tank is a 25 gallon and about 10 months old. I have had no problems with it. <Is it under at least a pair of 55-65w PC's?> Water quality stay high with weekly 5 gallon RO water changes. Let me know what you think would be causing this. I have not changed anything else, I still feed on that same schedule, same food, nothing else has been changed. <Unfortunately, it seems that no one can figure out why these critters will develop (or lose for that matter) the bubble shaped tips. Just yesterday my BTA displayed bubble tips, they're gone now. It could have been the salt change since it likely effected several chemical levels in the tank. This isn't necessarily anything to worry about, providing it's well lit. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks,  Chris Hepburn
- BTA Bubble Tips, Follow up -
Kevin, I went ahead and switched back to the Kent salt. Everything in the tank seems a lot happier. Also the bubbles have started to come back on the BTA.  <Huh, go figure>  I did the water change with the new salt on Thursday. By the next morning I could see the difference. The BTA has opened up to its normal size, a lot bigger than before the switch. My tank did not like the switch to Instant Ocean salt.  My Xenia has not showed any different signs. What cause Xenias to shrink?  <They are sensitive to things like pH, although it usually only affects their pulsing speed. I really don't know...>  It is still pulsing and water quality is excellent. Ever since the switch it has shrunk in size. I just hope with the switch back it will recover to its old self.  <It should be fine, there's really only two states of xenia: dead or taking over the tank.>  I just wanted to let you know how everything is working out with the switch back!  Thanks, Chris Hepburn <Excellent, thanks for the follow-up! That's very interesting about the salt dependant bubble tips... -Kevin>

BTA Help 8/4/03 Hello, I have read most that I could find on your site about the Bubble Tips.  Thanks for such an informative site.  I still have a questions though,  I have a 75 gallon tank with about 55 lbs of live rock, I used all live sand, and the inhabitants include:  4 blue green Chromis, 1 orchid Dottyback,  1 Banggai cardinalfish, 1 flame angelfish, 1 maroon Anemonefish,  1 brown barred goby, 1 yellow tang, 4 turbo snails, 4 red legged hermits, 3 blue legged hermits, and the bubble tip anemone.  I do a five gallon water change a week, religiously. <excellent to see weekly water changes... but the portion is way too small. Larger would be much better for long-term success IMO. 10 gallons minimum (10-20% weekly)> The PH is 8.0, <Yikes! If this is a daytime reading... its getting much lower at night. Rather dangerous at any rate. Do raise this to a night/day range of 8.3-8.6> nitrite 0, nitrate 0, ammonia 0.   <you will need to let a few ppm of nitrate linger for symbiotic cnidarians like coral and anemones for their zooxanthellae> My anemone was fine for the first month or so but recently deflated and crawled into a crevice.   <it may be wanting to split/reproduce. They do this and look dreadful for some days/weeks before splitting> The maroon was having a difficult time getting into him so I moved him out (basically just flipped over the rock he was attached to ) and now he is doing something I haven't been able to find in any of my research.  He looks like he is turning himself inside out.  He is totally deflated on one side and only very slightly inflated on the other.   <still perhaps fission... although it may also be morbidity> He has what looks like small white squiggles in long strings hanging out of  his mouth area.   <mesenterial filaments... defensive> I'm afraid to feed him while he is like this.   <agreed> He has been like this for most of a day now.  Any help would be appreciated.  thanks, Eric Hummel <tough to say with certainty. No worries about feeding for a while. Focus on water quality and observation... do share a pic if you can. Kind regards, Anthony>

BTA split, now is one stuck? 8/1/03 Hi there, <howdy, partner> My BTA recently split into three (split into 2 overnight then over the course of a week, one of them split again). It was about 4-5" wide when fully open before the split and now the anemones are about 1-2" wide. <outstanding... please do take and share pics of it> My problem now is I think one of the anemones is stuck inside my decorative coral rock. I'm not sure exactly what it's called, but the coral rock is kinda shell-like and hollow and has large holes. The anemone has its foot completely inside one of the holes and hasn't moved since the split. <no worries... give it time... and feed it duly in the meantime. Have patience> Overall, the anemone seems to be doing well, and I know that a happy anemone stays put. Can an anemone ever get stuck in a hole like this, not be able to get out, and be in distress? <no> It always displays bubbles (as opposed to the other two which never do) and has been eating fairly well. I'm just a little concerned b/c the hole opening is not that big and could be constricting if the anemone grows much more. Any advice? <no worries my friend... and it can be coaxed out with manipulation of light (half shading) if necessary> Thanks!  ---Stella <best regards, Anthony>

- Bubble tip anemones! - Hello and good morning :) <Good evening! Kevin here.> I recently acquired a bubble anemone from a friend who's lights went out and he wasn't able to replace with adequate lighting.  There are two anemones on the same piece of rock.  They've shrunk down to about 1" diameter and are mostly a yellow-ish brown color.  My water tests alright, what can I do to best rehab these little guys? <They'll need time to adapt to the new lighting and water conditions. As long as they were properly handled during transport and acclimated well, they should do just fine provided you have the appropriate system for them. Check it out: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm -Kevin> Thanks, Bill

- Bubble Tip Goin' Haywire - Hello Gang... Well I am afraid that this email is like my visits to the doctor...very few and far between... Which is usually a good thing... <That should mean everything is going well!> Well I have had my tank operating for almost three years now.  120 Salt water Reef.   Water Parameters: Ammonia. 0 Calcium 360 Phosphate: 0 Nitrates: 0 Nitrites: 0 <Carbonate hardness?!? As far as I'm concerned, calcium tests are useless without a KH test.> 8 Power compacts 4 Actinic, 4 10,000 Kelvin 4? sand bed. Aqua C Protein Skimmer. 80 Lbs Live Rock. Eheim Canister Pro Inhabitants: 1 Scopas Tang 2 Tomato Clowns. 1 Firefish 1 Banggai Cardinal 3 Blue Chromis 1 Pajama Cardinal 1 Brittle Star 3 Zebra Hermits 1 Porcelain Crab 1 Cleaner shrimp... The other recently died...what is the life expectancy here? <Several years, who knows what happened to it so long as your water parameters were in check.> 1 Cabbage Coral 1 Bubble Coral Some Ricordea Some Star Polyps. 1 Leather Coral My Christmas Tree worms that have been multiplying for the past three years :) And finally 1 Bubble tip anemone that is 2.5 years old....it started out the size of a golf ball and is now 9? across. <Sooooo, getting ready for a divide, no doubt.> So it is the Bubble that I am concerned about...since I put him in the tank he has favored a specific spot and has seemed to be happy.  Over the last couple of days I have watched him moving about on the rock and then when I came home this evening he is clinging to the glass... In the darkest portion of the tank...I have not changed the bulbs recently, 4 months ago... And everything else is fine?  Any suggestions.  He is now deflated and looking sad.  He gets fed three times a week on Mysis soaked in Selcon and occasionally some finely diced Krill... <Anemones move when they're not happy with something. Could be a change in water movement, lighting, a fish picking on it, there's a lot of possibilities. The deflating part may or may not be a bad thing, they do this when they're ready do divide. And with that feeding schedule, I'm surprised you don't have a hundred by now!> He has also never fully developed his bubbles.  He had them when he was small but since he grew, nothing. <Neither has mine. Some say a resident clownfish will make this happen, but I've seen plenty w/ clowns that didn't have bubble tips. Alas...> If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.  Other wise G-D willing I will write to you in another three years.  :) <Just keep an eye on it, there's really nothing you can do besides make sure it doesn't get sucked up into a powerhead! See ya in three years! -Kevin> Hope you are all well.... Cheers. Paul

BTA? Induced Schizogyny Bob, Thanks for the great presentation Thursday night in Phoenix. I had a couple Q's regarding BTA's reproducing. My two have spilt 4 times over the last 1 1/2,one just the other day. You mentioned that you knew of a way that they "repro" quicker? I would like to learn more about this. If I can prevent a couple BTA's being collected every year, I'd feel better. <Can be induced... often incidental with an "accident" that results in "poor water quality". In purposeful propagation (asexual) by cutting the animal... in the case of actinarians, across the body wall (but not pedicle) in line with the mouth slit> Let me give you some stats on my set up: It's an 80g tank with an 55g rear tank (fed my bulkheads). The return pumps are 692gph going into a pair of SCWD's (wave makers). The tank has been skimmerless for two years that's when the BTA's started splitting). I have 6" DSB and about 200# of very alive live rock (lots of sponges and such). Lighting is combo of PC and VHO (totally 600watts over the 80g).I overfeed the tank everyday and try to manually feed each BTA twice a week. they are pigs!. I have three species of clowns (only two of which host in the BTA's, the other Saddleback hosts in a rock anemone), two A Clarkiis and two Tomatoes (A frenatus?)(sorry not up on the real names). I'm hoping to get an Rose BTA, in hopes of reproducing them too. I will be setting up another 80g tank for that. Any info that you could provide would be appreciated. Do you know of another way to detach them off the live rock? <Best to slip a nail or dull plastic card (like an old credit card) under a part of the foot that appears to be on a flat/ter piece of rock and slowly (over minutes) nick away at that spot> I've tried the ice cube in a Ziploc trick and placing an powerhead directly at the BTA (the BTA after a day just loved the extra current!!) to no avail. Thanks again. Michael <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Bubble Tip Anemone BTA propagation 6/11/03 Good Afternoon WWM Crew- <cheers, my friend> My name is Tammy and I just turned 16 this year. My dad has a reef aquarium 180 gallons for 6 years and I help he with it all of the time. <very good to hear... a rewarding and educational hobby indeed! Perhaps it could lead you to a future vocation> I feed the fish and the coral 4 days a week. My dad does it on the other days. He has a rose anemone that split two month ago. My dad wants to sell it because he thinks two in a tank is a bad thing. <as clones of the same colony... they are not likely to fight. I do not see two being any riskier than one. I personally do not care for them in a reef tank. Mixing motile cnidarians with sessile ones is a recipe for disaster in the long run. I favor species tanks for most all anemones> I talked to him and he said that I can have it if it will be able to do well in a small tank. <I do believe that will work fine or better than your dads fending itself against stinging corals in the mixed tank!> We have a 20 gallon long tank that I would like to setup for the anemone only. <by a window with natural sunlight (east or south is best) I know that they can grow very big and sometimes never split. I don't want to be mean and keep it in a tank that is not right for it. The reason I wanted to mail you all was to ask if there is a way to keep them in a small tank and once they get big you can propagate it like a mushroom. <yes... all true. If you care to e-mail me next week with a reminder, I will build a slideshow of images and give you the link... our friend Daniel Knop illustrated this in a German magazine article called Koralle> My dad said he read that Mr. Calfo was working on something like that. <yes... really quite simple too... they are just cut in half with a clean scalpel or razor blade. Returned to same general position/location in the tank to heal. You can sell off the healed split clones in time> My dad will help me keep this anemone in this tank and he has a lot of experience fragging corals. He said I should ask you all if this is a smart idea or not. <its a great idea in my opinion. I do believe you can enjoy an anemone this way just fine> I hope it will be ok but I will tell my dad to sell the anemone if it is not a good idea. My dad said that if you wanted to talk to him about fragging the anemone when it gets to big that he will email you. <please feel welcome to do so... and do remind me again for the slideshow next week for you of the BTA cutting> Thank you very much and we love your website, Tammy <our great pleasure, best regards Anthony>

Are my BTA plans A-OK? Hello, Thanks for your Site! <Hi Flo, PF with you tonight> Sorry for the lengthy email, but I'm trying to get this right.  I am creating an anemone/clownfish tank because I've always wanted one but wanted to do it successfully.  I wanted to run these ideas past you before starting as I'd like to minimize any potential errors.  I've gotten fairly good advice from my LFS but they are in the business of selling me things, and have occasionally given me wrong advice.   <An all too common occurrence. Some of the translations of LFS I've heard are not appropriate for a family site such as this.> I have a 75 gallon soft coral tank with a couple fish including a Mandarin Dragonette (had a year and he is very healthy and happy- lots of live always available food).  Good water parameters, small weekly water changes help keep this tank healthy.  This is going well, so I'm trying another tank.   <Ok> I've done lots of research on BTA's through your well organized site and on the net, but as it happens cannot find exactly what I am doing and would rather modify my plans now rather than killing anything or trying to save something because I screwed up.  I'm looking at purchasing a BTA from someone locally who has had BTA's split in their tank.  I think I'll have a better chance of keeping it alive by purchasing a tank raised specimen that hasn't endured shipping, and from what I've read most of these shouldn't be taken from the sea.  So I'll be using my 40 gallon with one 175w MH w/a 10,000k bulb, and a regular 30w florescent for a bit of blue actinic light. The individual who has had these split is using MH's on smaller tanks and the anemones look good so I'm trying to replicate the environment.  Should I use one 55w actinic PC with the MH instead of regular florescent or does it matter? <Well, the actinics are more for our enjoyment, but 30w NO isn't that much. If you're looking for the fluorescent look, go with the PC's, or use VHO's. The lighting sounds good.> I have about 50 lbs of already cured good live rock used from another tank in the 40 gallon, but to move the tank a distance added new water.  There is nothing else in the tank except water, the live rock, and 3-4 inches of live sand and a bit of normal growth on the live rock like attached small dusters etc.  I'm thinking about waiting a month and then starting to stock the tank to let it cycle again.  Is this right? <Well, anemones like well aged tanks. I'd say wait six months (the number one commodity in short supply among most aquarists: patience). Provide the tank with a few pinches of food every couple of days so your detritivore population can build up, ramp up the food slowly and your population will grow.> Then I want to add 1-2 3" BTA anemones first and leave them for a month, then provided they are doing well, add two small clownfish.  I think I'm better off adding the BTA and letting it settle before the clownfish. <I would agree, but you might want to wait for the BTA's to get a little bigger before adding the clowns, say another inch of growth. Give them a couple of months (3-4) to settle in.> I'm thinking Percula Clowns as they are small and very attractive fish- it looks like they could be compatible possibly and I'm not sure I want a more difficult anemone.  If they do not take to the anemone that'd be ok- but I hope they like it.  Do you have any better recommendation for clownfish? <I like both true and false Percs. As for getting them to host, I Photoshopped a picture of a false perc and a Caribbean Rock anemone together and taped it to the outside of my tank. It took a week for them to get the idea. Be aware, they can and will change hosts. Mine moved from the anemone, to a powerhead (they don't call them clowns for nothing), and now my hammer coral. Go figure...> And is that timeframe fine? <See above> I'm looking at 1.025 Specific Gravity and a 78-80 Degree Temperature.  Is that good? <Yes, also, don't forget to feed your BTAs. Chopped seafood, preferably whole. Some prefer fish, others shrimp or squid. Guts and all.> After all the BTA and clowns, I'd like to add a couple maxima clams.  From what I've read on the site, that should be OK.  If anything out grows the tank (if all is happy it should) I'll upgrade to a larger tank. <I'm not completely up on clams, but I'm guessing they would be ok, you might want to ask around for a second opinion though.> I have a skimmer that is rated for up to 250 gallons and sump that is running on this tank.  And two maxi-jet powerheads to provide water motion. <Sounds good, remember, the anemones will move if they don't like where they are.> Sound ok?  Anything else I should do or add or change to give the prospective tank inhabitants ?   <A clean up crew, and maybe some cleaner shrimp, and peppermints. Just a few suggestions.> Thanks, Flo <You're welcome, have a good evening, PF>

Bubble tip anemone BTA 5/28/03 I have recently bought a large BTA and I just wanted to know how long it would take for him to split. <beyond water quality, it often depends on how well (and what) you are feeding it> I have talked to many aquarists and they have told me that I have sufficient enough lighting and plenty of space in a well established aquarium with corals and several Ocellaris clownfish. <I am certain that keeping anemones with coral is a bad long-term arrangement. It's unnatural for most and an unnecessary risk between motile and sessile cnidarians. And for optimal success (reproduction) you will fare much better with the anemone in a proper species-specific tank> My BTA is currently around 2 inches from the surface and I am feeding it on a regular basis. He seems to be in perfect condition although sometimes he will totally deflate and you can practically see through him. <ahhh... riiiiiight. Regular feedings of an unspecified frequency, and perfect water quality of undefined parameters definitely makes me want to chime up in agreement. Especially after hearing that "shrivelly, transparent" phase it like to got through. Heehee... ahhh, hope you are rested and receptive to sarcasm on reading this reply <G>. The anemone is likely all fine, my friend. But I really have little to offer you here with no information to go on. No tank mates, no age of specimen... no size ("large" relative to what?)... no tank size, types of food fed, etc> Thanks for all the great FAQs and messages provided that have really helped along the way. Best regards, Alex Harris <our pleasure, Alex. Let me suggest you delve deeper into the FAQs and articles, my friend. We have quite a lot of articles on BTAs. I have answered FAQs about artificially propagating them... we have an article posted describing husbandry and how to induce natural fission... an so much more. Good reading ahead of you bub. Kindly, Anthony>

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