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  1. Anem-mom

    Wild Sea Nem, Help!

    Hi all… I’m very much a newbie to this hobby, and am in somewhat of an unusual situation… I really could use some pointers, so please please please bear with me... The extremely condensed version of my story is that I was unwittingly thrown into this hobby when I found a wild sea anemone washed up on the beach (in June) and decided to save the little guy. (And before you give me the lecture about making an “informed decision”, please take the time to read the more detailed account of my situation, which I’ll put at the bottom of this post.) Here he is the day I found him: After some foundational research and a successful trip home, I set him up (temporarily) in an old 1gal tank I already had. I did go out and buy a small Tetra Whisper power filter for the tank and later added some arag-alive sand. He was bleaching big time for a few weeks after the ride home, but once he was in the tank and not being handled he seemingly fully recovered. After the ride home, waiting for the new tank to filter - he seemed okay! After some research, I’m 85% sure that he’s a Tricolor Anemone - Calliactis tricolor - but have SCOURED the internet and found next to no information about them, save a symbiotic relationship with certain hermit crab species. I recently bought a 5gal as an upgrade as I know they need a LOT of space, and it’s currently being prepped and cycled before I add him to it. Knowing about the space thing I would’ve bought a bigger upgrade tank, but a.) he’s pretty small - I’ll attach some pics, and b.) it’s all I can afford right now since I didn’t get any prep time to plan out my tank. The Marina kit that the tank came in had a power filter, an LED hood, and I bought a small Tetra heater to put in there as well. My water quality has been relatively constant since I’ve had him, and after some experimentation I’ve set his routine at feeding once a week (bits of raw shrimp from the local grocery - frozen when stored, thawed when fed) and full tank water changes once every 2 weeks. I know it wasn’t a good idea to do full-tank changes, but he didn’t like to be bothered once a week, even if it was for a 1/2gal change, and like I said - the tank was only 1gal. My reason for sharing all of this though, is that recently he’s seemed to lose a bit of his vitality… He deflates and inflates relatively frequently - I know that’s pretty normal - but it seems almost convulsive… not in its speed, but in its shape-? I’ll attach pictures of what I mean - these are from a few weeks ago... he improved since then, but worsened again. Recently, however, he’s almost always a little deflated and his tentacles haven’t been inflated in quite a while (days). He is due for a water change, but I’m hoping to get him in the new tank very very soon (hopefully later today) but he seems to be in a fragile condition and I don't want to shock his system too much. I’ve tried to keep up with everything and replicate wild conditions as best I could given the circumstances, and I think he’s done fairly well thus far otherwise… Do you see anything that I’m doing that’s totally wrong? In essence, I’m hoping to get some advice/thoughts/tips from anyone about what I should do in terms of equipment, routine, and/or anything that you think I can do to help improve life for my wild nem… Thank you so much! More details: So here’s what happened: I was at the beach with my family this past June, and my cousin and I found a live sea anemone attached to a venus shell that’d washed up after a storm. Being the marine bio enthusiast that I am, my first inclination was to return it to the wild after showing it to my other family members. However, I soon realized that - since there was nothing but sand on the beach (i.e. no rocks or anything the nem could attach to) - ‘returning it to the wild’ would only result in a seabird winning the mealtime lottery. Now I know that death is a natural and vital part of an ecosystem, but I figured I had the foundational knowledge to keep this little guy alive until I could learn more, and hell- those birds were getting plenty to eat from the lady throwing bread down the beach. I only describe all of this for whoever’s made it this far into my post (bless you!) to know that I didn’t make the exact rookie mistake of saying “ooh! I wanna keep it!” Now I’m by no means an expert, but I do have a passion for marine biology and even did a summer program at a coastal university last year to study marine bio - in which we briefly studied anemone’s - so I already knew a little about what I was dealing with. So I brought him home and set up the makeshift tank, and after about two weeks he was in the best condition I’d ever seen him in! I’d put some other shells from the beach in the tank and it was so funny to see him exploring around the tank, climbing up the walls and the filter tube (it’s okay, I turned it off), and falling over on himself while trying to ninja-roll over a shell (yes, I have a video :3). He eventually chose one of the shells and hasn’t moved since. We established our routine and stuck to it, but now he isn’t doing too well. I haven’t seen him in his normal, opened, inflated state in days, almost weeks - and he’s never since matched the liveliness of that second and third week (I don’t mean the wandering, I know that’s not a super frequent thing). My profile pic is of that time frame. Also, he's been doing this thing where he appears to shed a layer of white-ish filmy skin-? I read that that could be a normal way of expelling a coat of bad bacteria, but have come up with mixed responses... If that IS the case, should I leave it be until it entirely detaches from him or can I clear what's only hanging on by a thread? And if this isn't normal, please give me your best guess. I realize I make it sound like he's expelling zooxanthellae, and he's done that a couple of times, but this is different. And finally, in the last couple of days there has been stuff that's seemed similar to zooxanthellae that he's expelled through his mouth - it's also white/clear but a little thicker... I would think it's shrimp but I haven't fed him in a few days... Help?
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