Posted: 2008.01.13(Sun)13:07 Post subject: Anemone questions.
I recently purchased this anemone. Questions will follow shortly. I run a 5g nano reef with 5 pounds LR. I use two empty aquaclears to circulate. WC 50% every week for over a year. 22W over 5Gs is 4WPG so not bad. Water parameters are always in check obviously. Tank is in amazing health. Amongst other tank mates the suprize carpet anemone we got on some LR does very well and has grown from a dime to a saucer. You can see this below. Other tank mates, a doc occ (occelaris), banded coral shrimp, hermit crab, many bristle worms, and 1 turbo snail (wife edits... plus micro brittle star fish, mirco starfish, some little sponges, pest apastasia, majano anemone (also a pest but we like him) and decent pod population).
Questions are... OK.... I'm 99% sure this is a BTA, right?
Also I've been doing a fair bit of research into some anemones and zooxanthellae. So much so that I can even spell it now. LOL. Nothing I have found though says much about BTA's having to rely on zooxanthellae. I know that some anemones like Sebaes can loose their zooxanthellae and die 8-9 months later.... starved....
That said... My BTA as you can see in pictures is quite white. This is in other anemones a sign of lost zooxanthellae, but I have seen lots of pictures of BTA's looking just like this.
So.. ultimately do BTA's rely in zooxanthellae as others and if so, is this white color a sign of this in BTA's? Also if all this is true, what can I do to replenish?
Any help would be useful and your questions are welcome if you need info to better inform. _________________
Look! Someone left footprints on the ceiling!
Last edited by Moment on 2008.01.15(Tue)16:24; edited 1 time in total
I'm not sure that is a Bubble Tip. It is difficult to tell what species you have there, it's very withdrawn and appears unhealthy. Generally speaking, white tentacles in captivity are not a healthy sign. In my experience, this anemone is suffering from "bleaching" of the zooxanthellae, and will not survive long in this state. Hopefully your TLC will turn things around...
From Fenner's site:
"On the subject of light/lighting, this species is a moderate one in terms of intensity... 4-5 watts per gallon or so (more is fine) of high CRI, 6,500 K plus temperature is about right. MH and HQI are preferable, particularly for deeper water (more than 18" let's say), but boosted fluorescents of enough wattage will work.
Some symptoms of poor health in anemones include an open, droopy mouth, staying closed all the time, and turning to goo. Bleaching... turning more to completely white is a sign of diminishing health... the loss of endo-symbiotic algae that produce food and oxygen, aiding in the reduction of waste and CO2... Many factors can bring about this condition; heat-stress, poor lighting or photo-shock... The cause here could appear to be "nothing", but I would "step up" the feeding of the one specimen... try three times a week... for a while... And re-direct some/more circulation (likely via a powerhead, submersible pump) toward its general direction.
If your anemone, BTA or otherwise exhibits signs of poor health, what can you do? Remedy the root cause/s of the trouble... Provide better circumstances, remove obnoxious influences/animals, feed it better... Very possibly move it to another system, or return it or give it to someone who knows how, cares enough, has the proper set-up to care for it. Doing "nothing" is not an option... Often these animals outright dissolve... fouling the system, possibly taking most of your other livestock with them..."
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm _________________ Keepin' marines happy for 25 years
Still I guess my overwhelming question remains.... how can zooxanthellae be incouraged to replenish. That is if this specimen is bleached, it may just look like that naturally. My research isn't getting me far. I read a lot about their needs n such but nothing specific. Strong light and more frequent feeding seems to be the obvious best direction but thats just gleaned from the general care of anemones. The idea being that if bleached they won't get enough energy from zooxanthellae, so will need to eat more. Still though I'd like to find a food source with a lot of zooxanthellae if possible, or a way to encourage growth of any available zooxanthellae
There is no mystery here, the zooxanthellae require the proper spectrum and intensity of light. Proper lighting is essential to anemones! Depending on the depth of your tank and the location of the animal, you may get away with VHO tubes of the proper spectrum, or you may require metal halides for deeper tanks.
Do visit karensroseanemones.com, she has been keeping them for almost a decade, she has some good basic info including some examples of BTA's she has been able to save with proper TLC. Here's a link:
Thank you that site was actually very good. I swear the last 72 hours have included at least 12-13 of straight research on anemones. Most of what is out there is either uneducated or repeated from other sites. I found one article repeated at least 5 times, in whole or in pieces. LOL. Here though is what I have cobbled together. I'm answering my own questions in case forum readers in future need help on subject. Basically informing on my research.
FOOD: Seems that the best avenue is regular feeding of small bites. 3 times a week direct feeding (shrimp, clams, silversides, krill, plankton, mysis or any meaty seafood) plus whatever they can filter. Since Zooxanthellae is obviously depleted, anemone will be almost entirely dependent on captured food. Feed no bigger than size of mouth. One thing that occurs in reputable articles is the mention of iron supplements helping zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae is essentially dinoflagellate algae ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zooxanthella ). Iron can create algae blooms ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization ) I also found out from food nutrition sites that things like shrimp and clams which go well in their diet are in fact high in iron ( http://www.gicare.com/pated/edtot38.htm ). So high iron food or tank supplements with iron will help. I think though that iron rich food is most likely way to get iron to zooxanthellae and not create other problems in tank, but that is opinion.
LIGHT: Also is the obvious need for adequate light. Zooxanthellae uses photosynthesis to create carbs and O2 for anemone. Certain species need higher light than others but in general 4 wpg is adequate. That's what's over mine now. I think I will add some more n see if anemone try to seek shade. It would seem the more the better for zooxanthellae growth (since it makes energy by photosynthesis) but if they hide for shelter you've gone to far.
TEMP: Temperature is important too. 74 to 78 ideally but as always constancy is more important than exact. Though a note here... temp swings too far up or down can actually be the primary cause for them to lose the zooxanthellae in the first place. The anemone (or coral) ejects zooxanthellae that won't work efficiently in new temp in hope of finding new symbiont algae that will. Problem is that it rarely does find it soon enough and dies. Only a few anemones like temps higher then 78 so unless you know for fact you have one that does stay below.
Of course the one thing I know now that I didn't know then is that there is no such thing as a white anemone. At least not a tropical one (there is Diadumene leucolena, ghost anemone but it lives along from Maine to North Carolina). Don't buy an anemone without color. I know lots about fish and fish keeping but didn't know about things like coral bleaching which is like this. I have kept my carpet anemone happily growing and plump for 1 1/2 years. I'm not ignorant to anemone care, I just never had a problem before, so never had to dig so deep. I just kept tank pristine, fed it and kept lots of light on. Never a care in the world. You might all want to learn about coral bleaching so as to know about how to prevent it. It's also a serious environmental issue! You may already know, thats good. I don't have corals but would like to some day and I'm glad my research lead me to learn this.
I hope this helps if anyone comes about needing this information. I haven't said everything that could be said but gave most of the applicable stuff to the subject. You all might want to hit up wikipedia for definition to some of the terms used here. Wikipedia was actually the primary source for a lot of the scientific facts this is based on. _________________
Very good, I'm sure others will benefit.
Also the SPECTRUM of the light is very important, a few more links below on anemones... in general they are poorly understood and over-exploited in the industry. These creatures can live for a century or more in the wild, and the vast majority expire quickly in the hands of average aquarists, so I usually discourage them in captivity. I am glad to see your research, and wish you success.
Thank you for your input. That was a good source of info on selecting lights. I never really thought about blue light penetrating deeper. I should have realized. I may have already known but just forgot actually. lol. It does make sense though. Also the second quoted article is good, it is actually one of the ones I learned a lot from in my research, I just didn't remember to reference it. So thank you for showing everyone were to find that page. I think I saw sooo many sites I started to forget were all the info came from.
That site on light said actinic light was best for zooxanthellae but I don't have actinic unfortunately. I believe it said 5500k to 10000k is suitable. It's a nano reef and I don't think you can get actinic lighting that would fit. So do you think 6400k will be sufficient. I could get more of that. I have fixture that could install 8 wpg. I might try that. 8 wpg 6400k n see how anemone reacts.
Well I have to say (respectfully) I think you have no business with a bubble tip in a 5 gallon tank. I don't say that to offend you my friend, but the reality is they get LARGE and I think you need to understand that. (as I said, that one you have may not be a BTA, but you could move it I suppose).
This 110 gallon tank was once a balanced reef, but has been completely taken over by Entacmaea quadricolor (and clones), and you can see even one of these is quite large, (12-15 inches in diameter or more)
see the story at the link below... your lighting questions are addressed there as well.
Now why would you presume to turn an otherwise positive line of questions and deep research into an assumption of my intentions or of my ability to provide the needed care for this being?
Were you privy to my phone calls pricing 30 pounds of LR and 3 bags of aragonite at LFS? Did you know that I have cleared out one of my 30g tanks? Did you know that this last year with the nano reef was a dry run for something bigger? Of course not, so relax. I'm not an idiot. That 5g tank is soon to be my quarantine tank. Why do you think I want to know so much about lighting, you can't fit typical actinic bulbs over a 5g. If you had asked you'd know that my intention were for a 30g reef.
I'm not trying to be rude here even if I seem off putting. I'm just informing you. I appreciate your input.
That picture has 15 separate anemones by the way. I have one, they split on everyone not just me. That has to be dealt with no matter who you are.
I'm not trying to make any comparisons here but just so you can understand were I'm coming from... I have had as many as six tanks running in my house at once. I've been keeping fish for 5 years. I've been a member of this forum for a year and have helped many people with many a issue. Mostly in the high light, dry fertilized, heavily planted area, but I wasnt born yesterday. Fresh, brackish, salt, as well as currently run a 45g CO2 injected beautiful heavily planted tank with festivum cichlids. That plus the nano, and thats only because we just moved. Also I've successfully bred many species.
So please don't assume to embarrass us both implying that I don't know what I'm doing. I would think the time that has gone into my research would show I mean business.
Sorry to sound rash but I love this what I do and don't like to be made out to be foolish. _________________
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