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mark1234

Captive breeding RBTA's

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mark1234

Hello,

For about the past 5 years ive been captive breeding red bubble tip anemones in a tank using non RO water. (yes you read that right) I probably get about 30 or so new each month in a 90 gallon display that currently has about 50 in it. This tank has been well established for over 25 years and is lit with AI hydra 26s. Unfortunately the house has sold and I have 2 new tanks to continue breeding them, however I am now in a city and therefore must use RO water. I have not ever heard of them being captive bred and am wondering if I will have any luck with newly established tanks. I am seeding one tank with water and rock from the 90, but must leave most of the rock as the owners want to keep the tank going. 

 

I have record of all my tests and recorded levels in the big tank over the last few years, and I know I can mimic those, my biggest question is what kind of bioload would 50 or so RBTA's added slowly to a new nonestablished tank (145g total volume) have? I have until the start of October to get these guys moved over, and I do not want to kill them. One tank has cycled, the other one just began its cycle. 

 

I also wonder if the non RO well water had some type of minerals that help them grow so quickly. The TDS of my well water was around 130 but I have no idea what exactly it was that was in the water. I have never seen one of these split, they spawn using pores in a similar fashion to aiptasia. The biggest I have may be 7 or 8" in diameter. 

 

Any help, suggestions, or experience is very appreciated. Thank you 

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hinnenkm

I can't answer any of your questions, but I find this to be very interesting and would like to follow along and see what others have to say. I know anemones can spawn in captivity, but I've not learned much about it and now am definitely curious about it. Thanks for getting this started and best of luck with everything!

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mark1234

Thank you! Id be happy to keep this thread updated throughout the process. I am not sure exactly how things will go as I have never tried them in another tank, but it all started with a green and a red one 6 or 7 years ago. The red ones took over the green one and eventually began spawning with a light oral disc and acid splashes throughout the bubbles. Ill get some pictures later on. 

 

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laurakclayton0403

You don't know how lucky you are to not have to use RODI in your tanks.....but now you do.  I took a reading of my city water yesterday and it was 370! 

Well water is the best because you can control all the nasties that go into it. 

 

Your bio load shouldn't be that big, because you aren't dumping food into your tank.  Don't feed before you put them in and there won't be as much waste.  

 

So, question is, what do you do with all these nems?  Do you keep them all, sell them or give them away? 

 

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mark1234
15 hours ago, laurakclayton0403 said:

You don't know how lucky you are to not have to use RODI in your tanks.....but now you do.  I took a reading of my city water yesterday and it was 370! 

Well water is the best because you can control all the nasties that go into it. 

 

Your bio load shouldn't be that big, because you aren't dumping food into your tank.  Don't feed before you put them in and there won't be as much waste.  

 

So, question is, what do you do with all these nems?  Do you keep them all, sell them or give them away? 

 

You are right! I lucked out for a long time. I was thinking the same regarding the bioload. 

 

Over the past few years I have been selling to friends as well as a LFS who buys about 20 or so a month. If I don't gently scrape them off every month or two they will take over the tank completely, it could be said they already have lol. 

 

Attached is a photo of the right side of the tank, ill try to get some more later, thank you all for the support!

nems1.thumb.jpg.7cb6bba20fedc5d3bfe2ff6d4c539855.jpg

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Tired

You could always get ICP testing done with a sample of the water you used to use, to see what's in there. Might tell you something. 

 

You should learn to ship them, then you could easily find new homes. 

 

Can you talk a little bit about how they spawn? At what time of year, for example. Does anything seem to trigger it? Do they seem to be either male or female, or do they have both gametes? Do they retain fertilized egg cells in their body and then spit out fully formed babies, like RFAs do? Or have you just been having random tiny babies pop up around the tank with no clear origin.

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mark1234

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I did not even know ICP testing was a thing. Shows how long its been since ive been on the forums! 

 

I plan to ship throughout the east coast, and possibly out to the middle of the country, assuming I can continue growing them in the same fashion. 

 

Believe it or not there is no noticeable effect on time of year and budding. They almost always seem to bud, I have not seen one split since the very first one which split at the same time as a regular bubble tip. I am not positive how to know the sex for sure, but I get the feeling that they may all be reproducing in a sexual plasticity manner as aiptasia do. Almost each one looks like a clone of the other, which leads me to thinking this is how they repdroduce. I have contradicted myself for years as I have never heard of any nem other than aiptasia doing that. 

 

I added a new one to a freshly cycled IM 30L with 2 USA orbits (50% at first) over it and the little guy looks great, bulbs reinflated completely after about 30 minutes of introducing it. 

 

Heres a pic of him/her 😛

nem1.jpg

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TerraIncognita

That's really an awesome collection.

 

I've introduced all of my Nems around 2 months of tank establishment. I've never lost a single one except for my very first one to a powerhead....

 

I've had Candy Cane's, BTA's, Carpets and just recently accidentally a Maxi-Mini.

 

Most LFS have seeded wet live rock, I would think with a 30/70 mix in both tank you could easily get it going now with some other Bacteria Seed Boost. I'm all about finding ways to speed up the cycle to be able to host things quicker. People don't like me. But I've been successful myself so idc.

 

But you also have about 3 more months. I was thinking maybe 8 10g's or 4 20G's or something instead of 2 larger. But it's totally up to you. I've just never "jump started" any tank over 30G. So no experience.

 

Good luck with whatever you do!

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Tired

If I were you, I'd almost be inclined to put a single one of those in its own tank. If they're reproducing asexually, one on its own would be able to do that without any others contributing. I wonder if maybe you have a slightly different strain than others in the hobby, if yours have never split but are reproducing some other way. 

 

I would not be very inclined to try to speed up the tank cycle, specifically in order to put anemones in the tank faster. This hobby isn't a race. That being said, good live rock will pretty much instantly cycle a tank. Not just stuff the LFS had sitting in a tank for a week- good rock, i.e. well-established rock from a tank that actually had ammonia going into it. How much rock do you think they'll let you take from the existing tank?

 

I agree that you won't have too much bioload at first if you don't feed the anemones much, but you should probably start feeding them after awhile, especially if you don't have fish in the tank. They gotta get nutrients somewhere. If it were me, I would at least test that the tank could handle having some rotting food in there, before moving any anemones. Maybe test with a single canary first, to be sure it doesn't keel over. Since you have surplus!

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mark1234
4 minutes ago, Tired said:

If I were you, I'd almost be inclined to put a single one of those in its own tank. If they're reproducing asexually, one on its own would be able to do that without any others contributing. I wonder if maybe you have a slightly different strain than others in the hobby, if yours have never split but are reproducing some other way. 

 

I would not be very inclined to try to speed up the tank cycle, specifically in order to put anemones in the tank faster. This hobby isn't a race. That being said, good live rock will pretty much instantly cycle a tank. Not just stuff the LFS had sitting in a tank for a week- good rock, i.e. well-established rock from a tank that actually had ammonia going into it. How much rock do you think they'll let you take from the existing tank?

 

I agree that you won't have too much bioload at first if you don't feed the anemones much, but you should probably start feeding them after awhile, especially if you don't have fish in the tank. They gotta get nutrients somewhere. If it were me, I would at least test that the tank could handle having some rotting food in there, before moving any anemones. Maybe test with a single canary first, to be sure it doesn't keel over. Since you have surplus!

Great minds think alike!

 

The one I showed in the picture is going solo into a IM 30L, skimmed and has a reactor. Will dose daily if I need to but its not necessary at the moment. I let this baby tank cycle for almost 2 months fully with live rock from Gulf. 

I introduce a "mini CUC" after the initial large bloom, and usually see 2-3 snails die off in that period, which gives me the same reading as feeding the tank. 

 

The other tank(115 gal) has a piece of 15 year old rock to establish the dry. I went without any pests in this tank. 

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Tired

Are there actually any pests that would do much to a BTA? I guess a big eunicid worm might be a problem, but those are really rare. Gulf rock is about the best way to start out a tank, challenged only by the other "we'll mail you this rock we got out of the sea" companies. 

 

I'll be interested to see if the solo one spawns, and continues to spawn. Some animals can retain sperm from prior fertilizations for a long period of time, but if it reliably reproduces for awhile yet, it's probably doing something on its own. I don't think I've ever heard of these spawning in aquaria, so we don't really know what they could do. It's entirely plausible that they spawn solo like aiptasia. 

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mark1234

Ill keep this thread updated. I must be honest - I am using almost 45 lbs of dry rock which was made out of, I cant even remember what, it was 15 or so years ago, It is a gray color that I have never seen before. I took a masonry bit to each rock and made tons of little crevices. The other 100 lbs is natural dry rock. I dont know what I bought 15 years ago but I dont imagine I would have purchased it if it was not reef safe. 

 

Live and Learn, the single most important part of this wonderful hobby!

 

And as far I know I have not seen any pests that bother RBTA's, but we know what the wrong nutrient levels can do to certain types of algae. 

 

I appreciate your knowledge, its incredible how much we can learn from discussing things with each other! 

 

Id be happy to send one your way in a couple months in exchange for your feedback on how it does!

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Tired

I unfortunately have a 4.5gal tank at the moment, so I don't think I should really be putting a bubble tip in there. I'm trying to get RFAs to spawn anyway. If you're still breeding these in a few years, I may see if I can buy one from you, because clearly they're healthy and they look very nice. 

 

If I were you, I'd test that gray stuff. Put it in a bucket with a powerhead, pop some snails in, make sure they don't die of anything. Just in case it's something odd. Live and learn is great, but it's best not to learn with your entire stock of anemones. 

Do you have a pic of it? I'm curious what it might be. 

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mark1234

Yes! 

 

I have a rough picture of one piece - underneath that pretty live rocks sit the same hideous gray seen in the first picture. I used this rock in a fish only tank(with LR) 15 years ago and it thrived for a few years. 

grayrock.thumb.jpg.964a20cfcd4fda90f53054d100f5ee56.jpg

With that being said, I am certainly taking chances during a financially strained COVID-19 world. 

 

Look at the piece up front on the left, that is what is under the pretty rock. Disregard the brown piece, it hasn't seen light in a few weeks but is full of pods. 

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Tired

Huh, that's interesting. Is it some kind of synthetic rock, maybe a cement type situation? At least the algae (and anemones, my gosh there's a lot in that one picture) will cover it over quick. A shame it's probably not as full of empty spaces as regular rock. 

 

Do you plan to keep anything in the tank, aside from anemones and cleanup crew? I vote you put some clownfish in, for obvious reasons.

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mark1234

Yes! I plan on moving the two snowflakes I acquired about 4 years ago. They were INCREDIBLY agrresive to that maroon seen in the first picture but a little filter floss in the right places allowed him to outgrow those two, and they live in harmony now. 

 

Assuming things take off, Ill likely put a baby queen angel in, moving it into a 250+ gallon after a year or so, as well as a volitan lion, they wont eat nems 🙂

 

You are right about it not being full of crevices. I took a masonry bit to to try and make it as "ridgid" as possbile; sometimes making full on goby holes thru the entire rock. 

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laurakclayton0403

 

Your Nems are simply beautiful.  I am starting a new tank (IM 38) And it's going to be a nem only.  I have never been able to keep a bubble tip.  Seabae's, long tentacles, carpets, all else thrives in my tank.  Everytime I try a bubble tip, it just dies.  I will try again. You are so lucky. 

021-AnenmoneClowns-IMG_6257.jpg

09a-IMG_6242-1.jpg

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mark1234

Hey guys.

 

Here is a little update on tanks - My DIY fixture for the bigger tank is being a PITA, so I may look at putting a couple hydras over it as I have one im not using. 

 

The Anemone in the IM 30 seems to be doing great. Adding the CUC at last in a couple days. 

 

The drain was leaking a bit on the big tank and I woke up to quite a wet floor the other morning - luckily after redoing some plumbing and a few hours with the shop vac everything seems ok. 

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