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Bubble tip anemone dying?


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#1
Fishtales

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Hi all,

I'm hoping to get your opinions on a sick bubble tip that I have. I am keeping a 29g Biocube with stock lighting (PC). I currently have several soft corals and LPS that are doing really well and have grown quite a bit since I added them. My BTA has been in the aquarium for about 1 month and has recently been declining (or appears to be). I have been feeding it one small (1/2 inch) chunk of scallops weekly and it has been eating well until now.

Currently, the base remains securely attached to the rock, but the tentacles have retracted severely. For the majority of the time, the mouth remains closed. It has been closing up at night, and opening when the lights come on, with no inflation of the tentacles.

I recently returned from a weekend away and noticed that my nitrates were high (20-30), so I did at 25% water changed and bought new chemipure elite for the filter. I tested the rest of my parameters and they are in check.

I attached some pics and I am hoping someone can help me out (sorry about the quality - i'm relying on my iphone for pics for now). Does it look close to death? Should I remove it now to prevent harm to the rest of my tank? Do you think the nitrate spike is related to the health of the BTA?

Thanks.

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#2
Fishtales

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Also I forgot to mention that it began looking deflated about 4 days ago and has looked as pictured for 2 days now.

#3
Red Sea Reefer

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I'm adding a gbta to my BC29 this week. My understanding is that the stock lighting is NOT enough. I run a kessil LED. Unless you correct the conditions it will continue to go downhill fast.

Do you know anybody that has a tank with better lighting. You need to take action quick or the nem will be no more. Take a look at karensroseanemone.net. Lots of good info there.

#4
Bishop

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I dont see a huge problem at the moment. Changes in the tank will cause mine to look like that for many days at a time.

What is your water change schedule?
How old is the tank?

Other problems could be that it has just given up on your weak lighting as well as being a bit to small for the clownfish

#5
Fishtales

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Thanks for the quick replies.

My tank is 6 months old and I have been maintaining a schedule of 25% water change every 2 weeks. I have a feeling that my lighting is indeed too low, but the weird thing is that the BTA hasn't attempted to move around the tank to a more suitable spot (I've read that they often move around a lot prior to dying).

Perhaps I'll watch it for another day or two to see if it improves, then attempt to move it to a tank with more intense lighting.

Thanks again

I dont see a huge problem at the moment. Changes in the tank will cause mine to look like that for many days at a time.

What is your water change schedule?
How old is the tank?

Other problems could be that it has just given up on your weak lighting as well as being a bit to small for the clownfish


Thanks Bishop. How many days in a row did yours look like this? I'm wondering how long I should wait before removing it.

Ya the clownfish never leaves the BTA, so that could be a factor too.

#6
Lawnman

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Bump your waterchanges to 20% a week and feed it 3 times a week. I do not think it is dying.

You will know when it is dying. It will start to have my stringy mucus coming out of the mouth and the tenacles will start to fall off.

 sand is a litter pan <_<


#7
Tbone675

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Lighting too weak

Current tank - Radion lit Solana 34

 

Future  tank - Deep Blue 60 Cube

 

 


#8
Lawnman

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The RBTA is not closed up because of weak lighting. If lighting is to weak they stretch for more light they do not close up. I would say if anything it is because of high nitrates.

 sand is a litter pan <_<


#9
jestep

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I'd say there is a problem and it's not the light. Mainly because you say he's been in decline for the past month. BTA's a pretty hardy. I've seen them go for weeks without any direct light and suffered no loss in mass. If this was a 2 or 3 day thing, I wouldn't be too concerned.

My 2 guesses are the clown is messing it up by over hosting it and/or the water params aren't stable enough.

They need stable parameters and not necessarily a specific target. 20ppm NO3 that is always 20ppm is better than bouncing conditions. I would make sure you are doing water changes on a specific schedule, and making sure to match salinity and temp at the very least. Also, adding a lot of purigen, carbon, GFO or anything else all at once can also do more harm than good.

I would stop feeding him for now as well. They get most of their growth and energy from the lighting. Feeding is probably just messing with the water conditions. I would work on stabilizing the tank, observe and try to react accordingly. Unless it starts dissolving or detaches from the rock, I wouldn't take it out. If you have a friend with a really stable tank with high lighting, it might be a good idea to lend it to them so they can fully revive it.

Edited by jestep, 09 April 2012 - 03:58 PM.


#10
Red Sea Reefer

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I'm learning alot here. Good thread.

#11
Tbone675

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But if has been light starved long enough and it is continually pestered by the clown...shrivel then death...that being said I would still run a full system pram check.

Current tank - Radion lit Solana 34

 

Future  tank - Deep Blue 60 Cube

 

 


#12
Fishtales

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Thanks for all the great input everyone. I'll monitor closely for the next little while and consider moving it to a better suited tank if there is no improvement. I'll update this thread with the results in a week or so.

#13
Lawnman

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I'd say there is a problem and it's not the light. Mainly because you say he's been in decline for the past month. BTA's a pretty hardy. I've seen them go for weeks without any direct light and suffered no loss in mass. If this was a 2 or 3 day thing, I wouldn't be too concerned.

My 2 guesses are the clown is messing it up by over hosting it and/or the water params aren't stable enough.

They need stable parameters and not necessarily a specific target. 20ppm NO3 that is always 20ppm is better than bouncing conditions. I would make sure you are doing water changes on a specific schedule, and making sure to match salinity and temp at the very least. Also, adding a lot of purigen, carbon, GFO or anything else all at once can also do more harm than good.

I would stop feeding him for now as well. They get most of their growth and energy from the lighting. Feeding is probably just messing with the water conditions. I would work on stabilizing the tank, observe and try to react accordingly. Unless it starts dissolving or detaches from the rock, I wouldn't take it out. If you have a friend with a really stable tank with high lighting, it might be a good idea to lend it to them so they can fully revive it.

Just curious when has anything in a reef tank improved from not feeding it? He should keep feeding it and up his waterchanges plain and simple.

 sand is a litter pan <_<


#14
mike c

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Just curious when has anything in a reef tank improved from not feeding it? He should keep feeding it and up his waterchanges plain and simple.


It's very easy to overfeed a BTA. Whether hungry or not, it will try and take food. It will then spit out its half digested food a day or two later. They don't need to be fed THAT often. A 1/2 silverside will sustain it for days. Do NOT "keep feeding" it. Weekly water changes will benefit your tank in every aspect. I've kept RBTA under PCs (JBJ28) for months without problems. When I switched to LEDs, it stopped bulbing its tips. Although healthy, it lost its attractive plump look. They don't need as high of light as previously thought, more important is stable parameters.

Edited by mike c, 10 April 2012 - 09:46 PM.