Hawaiian Mann's Anemone - keeping it alive

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by NemosHome, May 24, 2012.

  1. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Looking for information on how people have been able to successfully keep these Hawaiian Anemones. We have read lots about how delicate they are and how tough they are to keep alive because in the wild they are found in breaking waters. I've read that in captivity they do not do well but we are trying anyway because we would really like to keep it in our tank. It took brine shrimp this morning, but it hasn't really opened up much since we put it in the tank last night. It has footed on the rock we placed it on though.

    In the last 24 hours we added a clown fish and the Anemone.

    We have 3 clowns (2 different kinds that are living peacefully) and a bubble tip anemone which seems to be very happy and healthy. We also have a high output light on the tank - I'm not sure the specifics but it's the one the fish store recommended.

    Test May 22
    Salinity = 30.5
    Specific Gravity = 1.225
    pH = 8.1 (added buffer to bring to 8.2)
    Ammonia = 0.0
    Nitrite = 0.0
    Nitrate = 10

    Test May 24 after adding a fish and an anemone
    Salinity = 30.5
    Specific Gravity = 1.225
    pH = 8.2
    Ammonia = 0.20
    Nitrite = 0.0
    Nitrate = 40.0

    Will watch these numbers carefully. I suspect I've been overfeeding a little the last couple days so I am going to cut back. I'm guessing it's related to the addition of 2 new items to the tank, right?

    Wondering if maybe giving it a dedicated powerhead to create direct current might help.

    Thanks!
     

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    NemosHome, May 24, 2012
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  2. NemosHome

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    Keep the bubble and the other nem as far (which isnt that far) away from one another. They may fight one another. One dead nem would be more than enough to nuke a 38 gallon.

    You really shouldnt have one until the tank is about a year old, and very very stable.
     
    Kelz88, May 24, 2012
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    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    I would start doing water changes every other day. Those nems will not tolerate nitrates that high, and it sounds like you started your cycle over adding too much too soon. You should never get any ammonia or nitrite readings after your tank is cycled. I would also rehome both nems for a while. I know they are pretty, but they are best in established tanks. If a nem dies in your tank, it will likely crash the whole system.
     
    chichimom79, May 24, 2012
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  4. NemosHome

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    How long has your tank been running, how much live rock do you have, what method did you use to cycle your tank, and how long did it cycle for before you added your first fish?
     
    FishyReef, May 24, 2012
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  5. NemosHome

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    The bubble tip and clowns look nice and healthy, but I'm curious about your lights. I can't tell you how many people are sold lights that a fish store tells them are good for corals and anemones, and they really aren't. You really need to familiarize yourself with your equipment -- you are responsible for your tank and the critters living in it. Can you post a picture of your lighting? We can easily ID it from a picture.

    Also, how long have you had the two anemones?
     
    Bifferwine, May 24, 2012
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  6. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Hi FishyReef, thanks for replying. Here are the answers to your questions. I have since learned that people suggest not adding anemones until over a year. We want to do the best we can to be successful and will not make the same mistake (i.e. no more adding) until the tank is more mature. Sorry for the long responses, I don't know much marine jargon yet.

    Tank has been running almost 3 months.

    There is just under 30lbs of live rock, which we added in 2 batches (11lbs the first trip, 17lbs the second trip, a week apart).

    I'm not sure what "method" we used but what we did was ran the tank with the live rock, filter and live sand for a month, checking salinity, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite daily. We added a powerhead. We only added water/salt to account for evaporation, no water changes during cycle. We also used a pH buffer because our water is really hard and we had to bring the pH up from 7.9/8.0 to 8.2 but we don't have trouble maintaining that with a small amount of buffer. We waited until our Ammonia and Nitrite readings were 0 and Nitrate was under 10 for a week or so. This was about 4-5 weeks, maybe a few days more.

    We then added one clown. After another week to 10 days we added the clown/anemone combo, then another week we added a starfish then the next we added the newest clown/anemone. So we spaced the fish adding apart by at least a week as recommended by our store and we never added more than 1 or 2 things to the tank in each time period. It's been about a month of gradually adding fish/anemones to the point of having 3 clowns and 2 anemones (and a starfish). After the first clown and then clown anemone we had only marginal spikes in nitrate, but ammonia and nitrite stayed at zero. But then I think I started feeding too much trying to give the anemone food (rookie mistake), which it ate but sometimes the powerhead blew some food away so I added more... (rookie mistake #2). I don't do that anymore.

    I did a water test again this afternoon and my ammonia seems to be back at almost 0 after the little spike and nitrate has gone down a little, to about 30.
     
    NemosHome, May 24, 2012
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  7. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Hi Bifferwine, thank you for writing back.

    I've attached pictures of the light we have. Multiple people at our store recommended it, the manager said it's what he uses.

    We've had the bubble tip for about 3 weeks now, roughly. It seems to be doing well from what I can tell. Almost always puffy and colorful. The other one is brand new, not quite 24 hours. We got it last night. I turned the powerhead towards it this afternoon just to see what happened and it seemed to open up so I was wondering if another powerhead, creating cross-current directed at the anemone would be helpful.

    Thanks!
     

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    NemosHome, May 24, 2012
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  8. NemosHome

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    What kind of bulbs does the light have and how many? Cant really tell from your picture.
     
    Kelz88, May 24, 2012
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  9. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Hey Kelz88. It has 2 bulbs. Here's pics of the box, which I still have kicking around. Is this the right light?
     

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    NemosHome, May 24, 2012
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  10. NemosHome

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Thanks for the info! I wanted to make sure that you had actually cycled your tank and weren't seeing an ammonia spike because it hadn't been cycled. However I think your LFS is taking you for a ride by recommending that you add stuff so quickly. Typically it takes 3-4 weeks for enough bacteria to grow in your live rock to catch up to the additional waste and feeding each time you add a fish - which is why it is recommended that you wait 3-4 weeks between each fish that you add. You should also add a little more rock to your tank when you can (or you can add it to your sump if you have one. You should really have 1-2 lbs per gallon, so w/ a 38 gallon tank you really need at least 40ish lbs of rock.

    I'm also not sure those lights are going to be strong enough for an anemone - I think you typically need a T5 fixture with 4-6 bulbs, but I'll let someone else with T5 experience chime in on that.

    Out of curiosity, what type of food are you feeding? If it is flake or pellet food, I'd strongly recommend switching over to frozen - that will help with not overfeeding!
     
    FishyReef, May 24, 2012
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  11. NemosHome

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    When you are topping off to replace evaporated water, you are only adding freshwater, right, not saltwater? When water evaporates it leaves the salt behind. You should only top off using freshwater, or else your salinity will gradually rise.

    Two T5 bulbs is not a very strong light. I'm doubtful that light can sustain anemones long term. You want at least 4 bulbs. Many tanks use 6 or 8. Also, you should be leaving 3 to 4 weeks in between new additions. Many fish stores are out to make a buck, and they see newbies as an easy target, unfortunately. No one here is trying to sell you anything, so research before you buy.
     
    Bifferwine, May 25, 2012
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  12. NemosHome

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Also, I highly recommend you stop adding buffer. Your pH was fine where it was at. Adding buffer only makes the pH spike and drop, spike and drop. Stable pH is more important than anything else, and buffer creates an unstable environment and doesn't fix the root of any problem -- it's just a temporary bandaid. Your original pH of 7.9 is fine.
     
    Bifferwine, May 25, 2012
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  13. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Yes, only adding freshwater, except when we wanted to make an adjustment to the salinity at the start of our cycle to increase it slightly until we got the level we wanted.

    Thanks for the tip with the buffer... that makes sense. Had never thought of it that way.
     
    NemosHome, May 25, 2012
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  14. NemosHome

    Waddi Shenanigans? VIP Member

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    +1 Everyone
    Have a look into getting new lights. Maybe look into DIY LEDs.
     
    Waddi, May 25, 2012
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  15. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Thanks for the water and light info. The questions I still need help with relate to Care specific information for the Mann's Anemone.

    Would it benefit from current directed at it from a powerhead on that side of the tank, or is there a better way to create the current? I'm hoping someone has experience caring for this type of anemone.

    What should it be fed, and is it best to feed it once a week or twice a week?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
    NemosHome, May 25, 2012
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  16. NemosHome

    little_fish Moderator

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    You shouldnt have to feed a nem, they should get everything they need from the light and a few goodies if they float by.

    Nothing likes a direct powerhead current pointed at them, but you can point the powerhead a rock or the tank wall and it will bounce off the surface and diffuse out. If you have enough flow for the tank (about 30 turn over per hour is a good target), you should be able to keep them happy with randomish flow thought the tank.
     
    little_fish, May 25, 2012
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  17. NemosHome

    NemosHome

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    Thanks! That's helpful. We are going to add another powerhead to increase flow. Have you ever had one of these types of anemones, or know anyone who has?
     
    NemosHome, May 25, 2012
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  18. NemosHome

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    I've never kept one of these but, I did find this quote from someone else

     
    BL1, May 25, 2012
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  19. NemosHome

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    Id say take it back to the lfs or where ever you got it. Its really pretty, but its not made to be kept in the tank you have. We arent trying to be mean or anything, but those are living creatures in your tank that YOU are responsible for.
     
    Kelz88, May 25, 2012
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  20. NemosHome

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    I would also suggest you raise your salinity. Natural seawater around most reefs is 35 ppt or 1.026 SG.
     
    ccCapt, May 25, 2012
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