Time To Admit I Need Expert Help - Anemone

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    Have what I am about 90% sure is a seabae anemone, and I'm having some issues. Here is the basic setup and stats:

    75 Gallon Aquarium
    3 40-watt 4 foot bulbs - 1 10,000 and two actinics
    4 or 5 gallon sump with live rock, protein skimmer, and a few bio balls plus other random filter material
    100 lbs live rock, cured
    About 2 inches of sand all the way around
    8 fish, a total of about 14 inches of fish total
    2 big globs of the green macroalgae
    All levels are good to go, nitrates slightly above 20 but the water change is tomorrow

    So I got an anemone and a pair of tank raised clowns. Took a few hours, and they were all up in the anemone's business - I figured everything was good to go, and the guy at the LFS told me I didn't have to feed them anemone, that the clowns would do it.

    They don't.

    So I feed the anemone like a week ago. A peice of frozen uncooked shrimp that is slightly freezer burnt - I kinda stuck it next to his mouth, and he ate it pretty quick. The clowns didn't seem to really notice.

    Every time I feed the fish brine shrimp or pelets, no one feeds the anemone, and he doesn't get any. So I try to feed him again. He spits out the chunk of shrimp. So tonight I get some frozen brine, put it in an eye dropper, and put it in his mouth. Now he is spitting it out in one big nasty clump that the stupid clowns keep eating.

    So he's not eating. I honestly don't even know what to look for to tell if he is sick or not happy. The clowns are so up in his business all the time I can't really even see him. He's kind of a tannish-pinkish color with tiny little purple tips at the ends of his tentacles - just like he was at the LFS I bought him from.

    Should I not be feeding him? Should I be feeding him something else? I saw something on here about feeding him silverslides, but my LFS did not have those in the frozen food section.

    I guess I moved too fast on this whole thing, and I'd really feel like crap if I killed such a neat creature. Not ready to give up and take him back to the LFS yet, and I know one of you guys can help me.

    Thanks so much!
    Kirk
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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  2. Buzzbomb

    cthegame

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    Hi Kirk.

    With anemones there are a few things to overcome before even considering one. How long has your tank been setup? Anemones are one of the hardest aquarium livestock to keep. They need excellent water conditions and a mature tank (min. 8-12 month).

    Additionally, one of the main factors with anemones is light. you have 3 x 40 watts on a 75gallon. That is no where near enough light and the anemone will die just based on this alone even if your water is perfect. They need at lest 6-7 watts per gallon for the hardiest of anemones.

    My suggestion to you is give it back to the LFS and increase your light first.

    Someone here will probably be able to provide you with more details.
     
    cthegame, Apr 12, 2008
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  3. Buzzbomb

    reeffreak

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    You have one of most difficult anemone,if not the most difficult anemone.Ct is correct in that 99.99% they will not survive under those lights and secondly the system being so young.

    Anemones don't eat everyday and they will only eat if they are hungry(and healthy).If you're trying to get the clowns to bring food to the anemone than try feeding the clowns food that is bigger than they can fit in their mouths.Chopped fresh shrimp,silverside may work.My clowns bring Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef to my brain corals because it has pieces large enough for them to carry but not swallow.
     
    reeffreak, Apr 12, 2008
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  4. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    Dammit.

    If life has repeatedly and cruelly taught me only one lesson, it's to take good advice when I hear it.

    However - I don't mind buying lights. I can buy some first thing in the morning when the LFS open (suggestions on lights?). As far as water quality, the live rock and sand was cured when I got it, and had been in the tank running for a couple of years - I bought it used, put in my own RO saltwater and started from there.

    If even after adding lights the experts here still feel like he needs to go back, that's what I'm going to do. If there is any way I can keep this guy, though - I will do it. I've never seen a happier fish in my life than a clown hosted all up in an anemone. :)

    Thanks for the advice, y'all.

    Kirk
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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  5. Buzzbomb

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    A sebae is probably the most sensitive anemone you can buy. If you can't return it, it will surely die. 20 nitrate is about 20 too high for something this delicate. Your lighting in not even close to enough for any anemone.
    The lfs gave you good advise in NOT feeding it. They get all they need from the powerful lighting the need. Without adequate lighting they will become stressed. Feeding a stressed anemone will cause more harm than good because it takes too much energy, that is doesn't have, to try to digest the food. I've had my sebae around 5 years and never fed it once.
    There is no guarantee any clown will ever enter a host anemone. Some do, some don't. Clowns do not need an anemone and an anemone doesn't need a clown. Please, return the anemone.
     
    ccCapt, Apr 12, 2008
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  6. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    What a horrible way to start my weekend. I have no idea why I'm so obsessed with these aquariums, why I stay up until the wee hours of the morning staring at my tank...and why this upsets me so much.

    I'll take him back in the morning. I know my LFS keeps their nitrates at around 20, so if that really is too much, I'd prefer to find someone else in the area (Atlanta) who can hold this thing until my tank is ready. This is really upsetting for me, and although I'm not rich I'm fully prepared to spend whatever it takes to make my tank ready. If that just can't happen, then that's just the way it is.

    What's killing me is the part inside of me that keeps telling me I can do it anyways. I have two world records and the worst attitude of anyone you've ever met - I always feel like I know more than other people, and can do things that they can't. But I can tell there is a problem here, and I want to fix it.

    So I'd appreciate advice on lights, and what I can do to get my tank up to snuff asap - if "asap" is a year or two from now, fine. I'd also really apreciate it if anyone in the area (again, Atlanta) could maybe come look at what I have and tell me if I am completely screwing up. Most of my friends think "the aquarium thing" is weird, and I don't really have anyone but my LFS owner to talk to about this stuff, and I guess he's just trying to sell me stuff.

    Thanks again, folks.:sad:
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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  7. Buzzbomb

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    It's not all that complicated or hard to keep a reef tank. I like to keep everything simple.
    How long has the tank been running in your house?
    First, check some water parameters. Concentrate for now on nitrate, salinity, pH (after lights have been on a few hours), calcium, alkalinity. Post these readings.
    Water changes and top off water. Do you use RO for everything? Get into a steady routine of maintainence for water changes. 20% every 2 weeks is good.
    Lighting. Do you have any coral in your tank now? What types of coral would you like to keep?
     
    ccCapt, Apr 12, 2008
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  8. Buzzbomb

    cthegame

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    Its normal to want to buy things out of impulse. We all go thru it. Eventually you realize if you dont slow down you just waste money. Patience is extremely important in this hobby.

    My suggestion to you is to hold off on the anemone until the tank is truly ready. Let it mature and in the meantime, take your time and make a well thought out decision on buying lights. I wouldnt make an impulse purchase when it comes to lights.

    Why do your friends think aquariums are weird? Its the greatest thing ever!
     
    cthegame, Apr 12, 2008
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  9. Buzzbomb

    cgoodman381 can i put whtever i want?

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    sebae anemones are very hard to keep.

    Check out this article, it has some great info.
    >>http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm

    Iv had 3 sebaes. The first went great and is still happy after I moved him into a larger tank. The second died on arrival from the store, but I convinced them to give me another since it wasn't doing well from the beginning. The third is doing OK. He's a finicky eater like yours. Try soaking some silverside in garlic and feeding it to him the same time you feed your clowns some mysis or brine or something. Also cut the silverside down into 'bite size' pieces. (About the same size as his mouth.

    Also how much sand do you have in your tank? Id recommend about 4" or more. Iv read that they need lots of light, but mine have done well with 4w/g.

    Well thats it for me, check out the article it goes into more detail.
     
    cgoodman381, Apr 12, 2008
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  10. Buzzbomb

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    OMG, Fatman, is that you?!?! :D

    I agree with what has been said. Your lights are not enough to keep even low light corals, let alone an anemone, which requires much more light than 90% of corals out there. And in a newish tank (established for less than a year) with any nitrates, the prospects are grim for an anemone. Sebaes just happen to also be one of the most difficult anemones to keep alive by anyone, lights and water quality notwithstanding. But you heard that already :).

    So, about lights. Your LFS will probably not have suitable lights for your tank. Stuff like that can usually only be found online, and what your LFS does carry will be twice the price than if you ordered it online.

    For a 75 gallon tank, T5s would be perfect, and would allow you to keep an anemone, although it's probably too late for this particular one.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 12, 2008
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  11. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    I have about 15 frags of soft corals in the tank now - mostly frogspawn, some kenya trees, the neon green grass stuff, a candy cane neon mushroom thing... My coraline algae is going freaking crazy growing on everything, I love it. Calcium is around 440. Nitrates at about 25. No nitrites, zero amonia, PH at 8.3, alkalinity at 280, phosphates close to undectable, I use only RO water and Seachem reef salt, which I heard was the best. I am extremely anal about my water, I check it twice a day, I have spent hundreds to thousands on crazy testers and chemicals and whatever else I can to create the perfect environment. I have a "kind of refugium" which I keep under the tank, it cannot run all day because I cannot level the pumps to where it won't overflow, so I run it about an hour a day into the large tank where I can watch levels and shut off pumps when the levels get to high and it is about to overflow.

    As for why my friends think it's weird - it's just the guys I hang out with and the type of person I am. Most of my stories revolve around the extremely insane things I do on a weekly basis and the folks I hang out with are mostly like me - I am an adrenyline junkie which means I was a criminal as a teenager (read: loser skater punk), and now I do things like boxing and motorcycle racing and such other really random dumb dangerous things. The aquarium thing for me is almost zen-like. So calming and just...beautiful. If it doesn't involve something that makes a good story to tell someone else later, most of the people I know just kind of stare blankly and go "uhh, what?"

    Maybe I just need new friends :D
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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  12. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    Oh, sorry - salinity is kept exactly at 1.022. I will add a cup or two of RO at a time to maintain that, since I've heard it is important. I can't stress enough how anal I am about this stuff.

    As for T5s, how many bulbs? My LFS has them. Yes, I am clutching at straws to keep this guy, but most important is keeping him alive. Biffer, you know anyone in ATL I can transfer this guy to temporarily? Is asking that some kind of a faux paus in the aquarium community?

    I keep feeling more dumb as this goes on.
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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  13. Buzzbomb

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I don't know of anyone in Atlanta, but I'm friends with several of the Chattanooga Reefers. You might want to sent Yote a PM -- he's in that club, and Chatt. is close by to Atlanta.

    If you are really anal about your tank, you should really figure out why your nitrates are high and work at getting them down closer to 0. Nitrates at 25 aren't bad, but will stunt coral growth and are high enough to kill certain inverts and corals over time.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 12, 2008
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  14. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    They are at 25 because my LFS owner told me that I was changing water too often - 5 gallons a day. They used to be at zero or really stinkin' close. It's KILLING me waiting 10 days between changes, but that's what I was told to do.
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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  15. Buzzbomb

    runningrandy04

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    Well, I'm just a newbie but from what you said about your refugium, sounds like you have a pump putting water in and a separate pump taking water out. Correct me if I'm wrong. Just guessing here!! But anyway, if you had your refugium running all the time like its supposed to, then the macro algae in it would help get your nitrates back to 0.
     
    runningrandy04, Apr 12, 2008
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  16. Buzzbomb

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    You should aim for 10 to 20% water changes weekly. So in your case, 7 to 15 gallons a week should be fine for maintenance. You may have to do more to get the nitrates down initially, and 10% a day is okay temporarily, until your nitrates get down low enough to start doing them once a week instead.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 12, 2008
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  17. Buzzbomb

    cthegame

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    Im concerned about your fuge. If you're running 2 pumps, you're taking a huge risk. What if one day you forget. Or something just comes up and cant shut it off? Its a huge risk IMP.

    Do your self a favor and just get an overflow box and release yourself of this risk.
     
    cthegame, Apr 12, 2008
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  18. Buzzbomb

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Try to figure out the source of your nitrates too. Overstocking? Overfeeding? Flake and pellet foods (only feed frozen!)? Crushed coral substrate? Canister/wet dry/trickle filters? Do you have protein skimmer? If no, you should get one.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 12, 2008
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  19. Buzzbomb

    Rcpilot

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    Dude,
    Buy an overflow box and run the pump in the refugium 24/7 . Drain the overflow into the refugium and use the pump to move the refugium water back into the tank.

    It will only oveflow as fast the water gets pumped back in. It can't flow too fast to overflow the refugium. And you can't suck it dry. The water that is returned to the tank is as fast as it will overflow and exit the tank.


    Not the cheapest, but one of the top name brands.
    http://www.cpraquatic.com/products/overflows.html
     
    Rcpilot, Apr 12, 2008
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  20. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    I already have a kind of standard government issue overflow box for my sump, and the exact overflow you listed for my refugium. What happens is the refugium starts filling to the point it overfills when I run it - so I figure hey, the pump I have down there might not be good enough? Well it worked find when it was the only pump in the sump. So I thought perhaps something else was wrong.

    I can upgrade the pump, but I just figured having two overflows was a no-no based on my short experience, and the sump nearly emptying while the refugium was overflowing. So instead what I've setup is a smaller pump that circulates water in the 'fuge, then for about an hour a day I'll watch the refugium pump and alternate turning the little vaccum pump thingy on and off that controls the overflow for the refugium, when the refugium starts to get too full. Does that make any sense?
     
    Buzzbomb, Apr 12, 2008
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