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psiferret

Advice on problems with GBTA

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I've had a GBTA about 7" with a maroon clown for about 2 months now and everything has been fine. until last week, when it was completely withdrawn. i did a large water change, checked my params, and did all the things you do when something expensive looks on the verge of death. now, this is not to be confused with regular shrinking and expanding as anemones are known to do, but this was something severe. even now, no longer withdrawn, it is not healthy looking. sorry i don't have a working digital camera at the moment, but the best way i can describe it is this: you know how an BTA looks when it's healthy? it's tentacles are full and fat and have good color. my BTA at the moment is opened up, but it's tentacles are very small and the color is a bit off. this wouldn't bother me much, but i usually direct feed it small pieces of mysis shrimp along with doses of phycopure that i use for clams and other filter feeders in the tank. whenever i attempt to direct feed, the tentacles, or the nematocysts i should say, are not grabbing hold to the mysis. all in all, it just looks unhealthy. it isn't moving around in the tank as most are known to do when they are unhappy, it just looks unhappy. any advice? thanks.

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24 gallon Aqua Pod

150W MH 20k

30lbs live rock

Normal Parameters (Can't remember the exact numbers at the moment)

Refugium in back section

UV Sterilizer

1 Maroon Clownfish

1 Green Mandarin

Assorted Mushrooms

Silver Branching Xenia

Brain Coral

4 Clams (Derasa, Crocea, 2 Maximas)

2 Acropora (Tenius, Tortusa)

Assorted Cleaning Crew

Hammer Coral

 

Temperature is around 75-77F

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Where is it in the tank? Bottom, middle, top?

 

The reason I ask is that BTA's, when starving, consume their own flesh from the tentacles in. When starving, BTA's have those withered tentacles and an off-color oral disk, along with a loss of stickiness.

 

I've done experiments on this using clones of the same anemone, one at the bottom and one at the middle of the tank. Feeding the same foods, the 'nem in the middle thrived whereas the BTA at the bottom proceeded to starve over a two month period. This is a 30 cube with 250w halides over it.

 

If there can be that much difference in my high light tank, the differences will be even more noticeable in your lower light tank.

 

I have two suggestions for you:

 

1) Move the BTA higher up in the tank, out from overhangs, etc.

2) Start feeding meaty foods like salt water silversides instead of mysis.

 

Feeding alone won't do it as I fed my test 'nem the whole time and it still showed signs of starvation. To get a 'nem that is starving to feed, use your (clean) finger and work it around the oral disk until the 'nem contracts into a ball, once it does that you can place a ¼ inch piece of silverside in the ball; it should be contacting the mouth at which time it will probably eat.

 

A picture would help but I almost guarantee you're seeing starvation... something else could be exacerbating the problem like coral sweepers but the main thing is it's not getting enough food from either the light or direct feeding.

 

HTH

Edited by Chupacabras

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Chupacabras is right. Sounds like it needs more light and a better supplemental diet. Mysis are not very meaty. Try shrimp,squid or mussel. A 150MH is ok but the nem will need to be higher in the tank. Also a 20K temp might not be that great. My friend has a 20K MH in his tank and I have a 14K. I ended up with his RBTA for the same problems you have stated and he was actually feeding his shrimp. Mine stays in the top 1/4 of the tank directlu under a 150MH. It hasnt moved in 6mos since I put it there. Hope this helps.

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thanks for all the help guys. and the starvation seems spot on. my 'nem is in the middle of the tank (the spot he chose) and doesn't want to let go to be moved higher. i am feeding directly now, but will have to wait a day or so to get meatier foods. i really do appreciate the help!

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There's going to be a point where it'll probably move itself, but it'll look pretty bad right before it does. The only reason I didn't move mine was because it would have disrupted another BTA and a crocea... eventually it did move itself though.

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My guess would be that it needs some supplemental feedign in the form of meatier fare. Krill, silversides, chopped scallops etc... They aren't filter feeders. I would assume that if it needed more light, it would move toward it.

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I myself switching from 14k to 20k because I only have softies and a little worried about my GBTA after reading this thread. I thought they require good lighting but doesn't have to be great.

 

Don't you guys think that his clam would be suffering first before the anemone?

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Don't you guys think that his clam would be suffering first before the anemone?
Nope, it takes a long time for a clam to show signs of starvation if it's in marginal light (like sixish months to a year) wheras the 'nem will let you know pretty quickly.

 

The common knowledge is that the BTA can do well in low(er) light than the rest of the anemone's, but I've found that to be pretty variable by individual anemone.

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