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genodesconte

are my new light settings killing my carpet anemone?

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genodesconte

i have 1 fluval marine on a 24 gallon aquatop. when i first got the tank i would randomly pick colors and and play around with the light settings allot for aesthetical purposes which i now realize was probably really bad for the anemone. it was extremely healthy when i got it but the tentacles have gotten much more sparse and shorter in the past 5 or so months ive had the tank. i did not feed it for a long time and it got kinda bleached out then i started giving it frozen brine shrimp but id melt the outside and put the chunk into the nem while it was still frozen which i imagine was really bad for it. for the past month ive been feeding it freeze dried krill pretty often and its only spat it out once. i had it on the same light settings as the store had it but i didnt like the color and switched to a program that has very little white light. the green in the tentacles and red/pink outside seems darker but it could just be the light. any way it looks like the parameter of his foot was peeling off yesterday so i did a 5 gallon water change. my salt is 1.025-26 ill update with other parameters tomorrow although i do get a fair amout of algae so i must have a good amount of phosphates and algae(but the tank also gets direct light from the window). the first pics are when i first got the tank, the blue light is at night in the past month or so, the picture with no light is tonight and its rather shrunken right now even though i know its hard to see. i will post a better current picture tomorrow.

 

i plan on doing more regular water changes adding an algae scrubber and changing its diet to scallops and fish in very small pieces. any suggestions on a specific light program or just adjustments to mine would be greatly appreciated.

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jservedio

Is this the light that you are using? https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Fluval-Bluetooth-Spectrum-Light/dp/B07BC2CZBN

 

If so, that is not enough light for a carpet anemone in a 18" deep tank even if it's running at 100%, which is why it is stretching so much toward the surface. How old is the tank and what are the parameters?

 

Edit: Also, freeze-dried krill isn't the best food for an anemone. It isn't going to hurt it or anything, but it isn't very nutritious compared to many other foods and nems don't eat as often as fish, you want to get the most bang for your buck - especially since it's very under-lit. For a smaller nem (under 8"), whole frozen mysis shrimp is ideal as a staple. If it's getting much beyond 8", you probably want to start feeding it just like you eat - cutting up things like shrimp, scallops, clams or really even any type of fish. Fresh that you freeze yourself is by far the best, but if it's pre-frozen, try to get STP free (most of the Trader Joe's and Whole Foods stuff is STP free) or at least rinse it well.

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genodesconte

yeah pretty sure thats it idk if its the same size i bought the tank with the light and live stock. i know people recommend metal hallides but the nem was doing great with the same light for over 6 months so i dont think its underlit so much as the light settings being wrong or something.

 

the powerhead used to flow straight into the anemone but i moved it because the anemone almost touched it. could that be the cause?

 

i also read a thread on reef to reef where a guy who had been keeping haddonis for a long time said that their tentacles thin out if theyre being fed too large of pieces of food. is that a likelihood?

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genodesconte

this is the same light.

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genodesconte

i plan on buying additional lighting in the future but i dont think its in the budget rn. thats why im mostly fixated on the settings of the light.

 

is lighting most likely the only issue causing the thinning of the tentacles?

 

is my light producing less uvb light and need does it most likely need replaced like the lighting used for reptiles where it needs replaced twice a year?

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jservedio
19 minutes ago, genodesconte said:

i plan on buying additional lighting in the future but i dont think its in the budget rn. thats why im mostly fixated on the settings of the light.

 

26 minutes ago, genodesconte said:

this is the same light.

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29 minutes ago, genodesconte said:

yeah pretty sure thats it idk if its the same size i bought the tank with the light and live stock. i know people recommend metal hallides but the nem was doing great with the same light for over 6 months so i dont think its underlit so much as the light settings being wrong or something.

 

the powerhead used to flow straight into the anemone but i moved it because the anemone almost touched it. could that be the cause?

 

i also read a thread on reef to reef where a guy who had been keeping haddonis for a long time said that their tentacles thin out if theyre being fed too large of pieces of food. is that a likelihood?

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your lights are unquestionably inadequate for a haddoni and they were inadequate at the LFS you purchased everything from (it's clearly stretching in the LFS IG photo). Without more light, the anemone will slowly wither away and die. At a bare minimum, you need 150 PAR, and should be targeting 250-350 PAR for a Haddoni. 

 

Your lights are putting out only 31 PAR at 18" below the fixture and 65 PAR at 12" below it at 100% (if you have the 15-24" light sized for your tank). This is nowhere close to cutting it - not even in the same ballpark. This isn't caused by feeding it krill (which are totally fine, just not ideal) - I've never heard about tentacles thinning out from eating large food, but even if there is truth to that, krill is on the very small end of what your anemone is capable of eating. Haddonis need strong flow, but they can move to where they are happy, so unless your tank is stagnate, I doubt it's flow when the light is very clearly not enough.

 

Your best chance for keeping the nem alive until you can get additional lighting would be to turn all channels to 100%, getting the nem as close to the light as possible, and feed thawed, whole mysis every 2-3 days. If you can move the anemone within 6-8" of your light, you'll just about crack 150 PAR, which even if it's unhappy, will be enough to survive.

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genodesconte
9 minutes ago, jservedio said:

 

 

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your lights are unquestionably inadequate for a haddoni and they were inadequate at the LFS you purchased everything from (it's clearly stretching in the LFS IG photo). Without more light, the anemone will slowly wither away and die. At a bare minimum, you need 150 PAR, and should be targeting 250-350 PAR for a Haddoni. 

 

Your lights are putting out only 31 PAR at 18" below the fixture and 65 PAR at 12" below it at 100% (if you have the 15-24" light sized for your tank). This is nowhere close to cutting it - not even in the same ballpark. This isn't caused by feeding it krill (which are totally fine, just not ideal) - I've never heard about tentacles thinning out from eating large food, but even if there is truth to that, krill is on the very small end of what your anemone is capable of eating. Haddonis need strong flow, but they can move to where they are happy, so unless your tank is stagnate, I doubt it's flow when the light is very clearly not enough.

 

Your best chance for keeping the nem alive until you can get additional lighting would be to turn all channels to 100%, getting the nem as close to the light as possible, and feed thawed, whole mysis every 2-3 days. If you can move the anemone within 6-8" of your light, you'll just about crack 150 PAR, which even if it's unhappy, will be enough to survive.

thank you very much for the help. can i add another fluval marine light or should it be metal hallide? any suggestions on a specific additional light i should add for an affordable price?

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jservedio
19 minutes ago, genodesconte said:

thank you very much for the help. can i add another fluval marine light or should it be metal hallide? any suggestions on a specific additional light i should add for an affordable price?

If you have a 150w MH laying around, by all means use it - it's infinitely better than the light you have now. But, there is no reason to go out and buy an MH anymore and nobody runs them on nanos with the maturation of LED fixtures. With the fact that your tank is 18" deep, I wouldn't be attempting to use the Fluval lights. While they are great for shallow, long tanks they are a bad choice for cubes because of the depth - you'd need 3 of the 15-24" fixtures, and you'd still be on the very low end for a Haddoni.

 

Your best bet for cheap and enough PAR is a Chinese Black Box LED. I've never used one (I run Radions and Primes), but they put out more light than you could ever need - other people on here can give recommendations for them and help with settings - they are very popular. If you wanted a name-brand suggestion, for a single fixtured I'd probably go with an AI Hydra 32HD.

 

I looked at the pictures again and what kind of powerhead are you running? Is that a Koralia Nano 425? As long as it's getting flow right over the top of the nem (not blasting directly onto it) it'll be enough to keep it alive, but you'll want more flow than that for a happy rug.

 

Honestly, your LFS screwed you and I would not trust them again. They sold you an anemone that will grow larger than the footprint of your tank with a light that can't even remotely sustain it and tossed a single powerhead that isn't powerful enough. Not to mention they are fairly difficult to keep even for very experienced reefers because they are much more sensitive to light, flow, and water chemistry than other nems. With the equipment you have, there is zero chance of keeping it alive long term and even if you get the proper equipment, you are going to have a hell of a time keeping it long term in that tank.

 

You have the perfect setup for keeping soft coral and LPS (higher in the tank), but as it is, this is an entirely inadequate setup for keeping a haddoni or other large Stichodactyla nem.

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genodesconte

its funny because they advise against posting on forums because you will get “grilled”. theyre a decent lfs and in their defense they said they would switch the anemone out for a soft coral or bubbletip and the clown for any other fish they simply put them in this tank because they were both killing livestock.

 

i do not know the powerhead but it puts out decent flow( by this i mean all of the corals except my rock polyps at the bottom of the tank get hit with a decent amount of flow. i also have the pump from the overflow box. i was thinking of adding a second powerhead but i thought that thatd just blast my lps corals.

 

the staff kept asking me how my tank was in a very questionable tone since i bought it i guess now i know why. 

 

the anemone is detaching its foot to get a better angle at the light and is within 4 inches so it should be getting 150 par i cranked the light to 100% and the pink and green of the anemone thats gettibg good par is improving in color slightly but the bottom 60% is still pale. ill be increasing the water level of the tabk so that the anemone can get as close to the light as possible.

 

as far as water chemistry should i be doing anything? i havent been testing water which im going to start doing. i have only done 3 waterchanges since ive had the tank. the employee who took care of this tank said she was having trouble getting the nitrates to 20ppm with feedings twice a day and she said the anemone would do better once she got some nitrates in the water the tank and live rock have been established for over a year. i feed the clown once a week so i imagine the nitrates are rather low. i wanted to add a clam so i was thinking id start doing weekly 25% water changes for stability in trace elements. the employee said that she wasnt having to do water changes because the nitrates were so low everytime.

 

would you advise me to get this “chinese black box led” i would like to just set it on a glass panel lid of the tank or would i have to rig it up to hang?

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Zer0

Advising against posting on forums?? That sounds literally like an abuser trying to keep their victim from reaching out to anyone for help, convincing them they know what’s best. Do yourself a favor and ditch that LFS entirely. 

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genodesconte
10 minutes ago, Zer0 said:

Advising against posting on forums?? That sounds literally like an abuser trying to keep their victim from reaching out to anyone for help, convincing them they know what’s best. Do yourself a favor and ditch that LFS entirely. 

lmao theyre the only one in town besides big box pet stores, i used to live in the same neighborhood as the wetspot in portland and had no idea how special that store is.

 

they told me that the white channels might be too high and bleaching the anemone which i now understand was complete bs.

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Matteo
29 minutes ago, genodesconte said:

lmao theyre the only one in town besides big box pet stores, i used to live in the same neighborhood as the wetspot in portland and had no idea how special that store is.

 

they told me that the white channels might be too high and bleaching the anemone which i now understand was complete bs.

Hey local pdx dude here. What store did you go to/who gave you that advice?

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genodesconte
1 hour ago, Matteo said:

Hey local pdx dude here. What store did you go to/who gave you that advice?

its in bend. all the lfs in portland i went to were pretty solid but the wetspot had the most consistent variety in rare fw. the name of the lfs i go to in bend is aquatopia, they have a pretty good selection of fish allot of the time.

 

some of the employees arent the most knowledgeable, i knew i was in trouble when i was getting advice about cichlids and an employee kept calling them cishlids.

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Zer0
36 minutes ago, genodesconte said:

kept calling them cishlids.

Lmao 🙃

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jservedio
15 hours ago, genodesconte said:

its funny because they advise against posting on forums because you will get “grilled”. theyre a decent lfs and in their defense they said they would switch the anemone out for a soft coral or bubbletip and the clown for any other fish they simply put them in this tank because they were both killing livestock.

 

i do not know the powerhead but it puts out decent flow( by this i mean all of the corals except my rock polyps at the bottom of the tank get hit with a decent amount of flow. i also have the pump from the overflow box. i was thinking of adding a second powerhead but i thought that thatd just blast my lps corals.

 

the staff kept asking me how my tank was in a very questionable tone since i bought it i guess now i know why. 

 

the anemone is detaching its foot to get a better angle at the light and is within 4 inches so it should be getting 150 par i cranked the light to 100% and the pink and green of the anemone thats gettibg good par is improving in color slightly but the bottom 60% is still pale. ill be increasing the water level of the tabk so that the anemone can get as close to the light as possible.

 

as far as water chemistry should i be doing anything? i havent been testing water which im going to start doing. i have only done 3 waterchanges since ive had the tank. the employee who took care of this tank said she was having trouble getting the nitrates to 20ppm with feedings twice a day and she said the anemone would do better once she got some nitrates in the water the tank and live rock have been established for over a year. i feed the clown once a week so i imagine the nitrates are rather low. i wanted to add a clam so i was thinking id start doing weekly 25% water changes for stability in trace elements. the employee said that she wasnt having to do water changes because the nitrates were so low everytime.

 

would you advise me to get this “chinese black box led” i would like to just set it on a glass panel lid of the tank or would i have to rig it up to hang?

 

 

Makes sense - a haddoni will nuke other anemones within a few feet of them, they are quite aggressive with chemical warfare and they have a powerful sting. Clowns can just be assholes. Makes sense they had it separated. If they are still offering to trade out the haddoni for other coral I would take it because even if you spend a bunch more money, the chances aren't great and your tank is pretty much already full. You may be able to fit some other corals on the rocks above it, but they will be gone in a couple of years when the nem is 15+" across. While I've never seen it in captivity, they are capable of reaching almost 3' in diameter. You could get a long polyp toadstool or a torch coral for the clowns that looks anemone-like and not have to change your light at all or spend any more money. Plus, you will have tons of room for other corals.

 

That's good that the anemone is walking up the glass to get close to the light - just make sure it's still getting flow up there. I'd put my powerhead directly across from it, maybe 3-4" below the surface pointing up toward the surface across the top of the nem. Don't directly blast it, but make sure there is a lot of water moving across it.

 

As far as water chemistry - yeah, haddonis are very sensitive to changes in nutrients. One reason they were long considered "expert only" is because they are also sensitive to changes in organic carbon, which they don't make test kits for. For the nem, you should have high quality nitrate and phosphate kits since those are going to be most important to your nem.

 

Your chemistry has to be at least decent even if you don't know the numbers and I wouldn't change anything at all without having a seriously good reason. You should test your Nitrate and Phosphate, note what they are, and test them regularly but don't chase any numbers and only make changes unless something is fluctuating a lot. Even if your numbers look off, or are out of the ideal range, don't change them because haddonis can live in a wide variety of conditions, but they don't tolerate changes. Don't change your salt mix, your water supply, anything at this point until you have a really good idea of your water chemistry.

 

I can't tell you what would be a good black box LED or what settings to use - you should read the lighting forum or post a question there. I've never used them before.

 

15 hours ago, genodesconte said:

they told me that the white channels might be too high and bleaching the anemone which i now understand was complete bs.

To give you an idea of how laughably bad that is, the PAR numbers that I gave you weren't just pulled out of some hobbyists ass. In the wild, Haddonis are not found living deeper than 40 meters - and depending on the water clarity of the particular reef, that's around 150-200 PAR. However, they are common in very shallow, sandy areas in water no deeper than 4-5m with PAR levels over 1250 PAR.

 

Most people who keep them shoot for the 250-300 PAR range not because it's what's best for the anemone, but because they wouldn't be able to keep other corals in the tank while maintaining more than 300 PAR on the sand - it's just too much light for everything except the anemone and gets extremely expensive in deeper tanks.

 

I've never once seen an anemone light bleach before - pretty much every nem we keep in the hobby are all shallow water and can acclimate up to well over 1000 PAR. Plus, if you change light intensity too rapidly, they aren't stuck in place like your corals, they will walk into the shade and hide until they acclimate!

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Nano sapiens

Shout out to jservedio for going the extra mile on this one 👍

 

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jservedio
4 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

Shout out to jservedio for going the extra mile on this one 👍

 

Thank you! It just really makes me sad when wild collected livestock gets treated like this by LFS with absolutely no respect for our wild reefs. I hate seeing people new to reefing being taken advantage of and sold big nems plucked straight out of the flats of seriously declining reefs and into tanks that are simply incapable of keeping them alive when there is no shortage of beautiful and appropriate aquacultured corals that will do great.

 

Aquatopia of Bend absolutely deserves to be called out for this.

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