Advice Re: H.Crispa

Discussion in 'Anemone's' started by jpaige74, 3 Oct 2013.

  1. jpaige74

    jpaige74

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    Hello all! This is my first post. I have been doing extensive research into the world of reef keeping over the last several months, and I always end up back here with the experts at MASA so I decided to join.

    Some background: I love creating aquatic ecosystems. I spent 15 years building and maintaining Koi ponds which has brought a great deal of joy and knowledge regarding the Nitrogen Cycle and plant/animal relationships.

    That said, I decided to move into saltwater. 29 Gallon Breeder tank, 20lbs live rock, 30 lbs live sand, T5 Solarmax lighting, 1 powerhead and stock filtration. I ran this tank for three months with no livestock. When Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites were stable at zero, I added one damsel and one peppermint shrimp. They were the only occupants for another 4 months. Water stayed at zero across the board with a 10% water change every two weeks.

    Last week I got the bug to add an anemone. I did a great deal of research on this and felt prepared to make a selection. I chose a partially bleached purple tipped crispa. I know these get large, but I did see several videos where these species did very well in a nano providing their parameters were met. The LFS was dishonest about the bleaching which research prepared me for, but its mouth was closed up tightly and when I asked her to feed it, it took food readily. I also took the Clarkii hosting it.

    After acclimation, the anemone immediately selected a nook in the live rock and and firmly anchored in. Within an hour he opened fully and appeared very content in his spot. Over the past week I have been spot feeding tiny ground up pieces of either muscles, squid or shrimp daily and the reaction time to ingesting these little morsels has improved.

    So my question (I took the scenic route) is this: How long is the average recovery time for a bleached anemone? Would you as the experts say that the signs I am reading are good indications of recovery? He is open all day, closes a bit under the moonlights, takes food, mouth closes, tentacles inflated. Water parameters are still reading zero, still doing the water changes, salinity is at 1.026, temp is 78 degrees. I am open to any suggestions or advice as I now understand why so many dont go to the LFS for information. Thank you all so much for the forum and the information Ive learned here! Cheers!
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Firstly welcome to MASA.:thumbup:

    Secondly, the neni could take several months to color up. The neni seems to be exhibiting "normal" behavior. Perhaps a picture so we can see what shape the neni is in would help. Perhaps your lights might be slightly under-powdered. But lest see the picture first.
     
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  4. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    Thank you for your reply. I will try to insert a photo here. (Still learning :))
    His tentacles are still a little stubby as I read is consistent with a starving anemone, but are getting increasingly fuller especially around the edges. I know its only been a little under two weeks but Im feeling very optimistic. Also, I have gotten conflicting advice regarding leaving the actinic on at night for a recovering nem. Some say yes and others say they need dark time. Whats your take on this?

    Crispa.jpg
     
  5. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    Welcome to masa :)

    I've brought three anemones back from bleaching and I saw the signs you have. They are pointing to recovery:thumbup: By keeping up with your feeding, the smaller pieces the better at first, and not nuking it with light(as its lost protection when it lost its zooxanthellae -the colour) will help it recover nicely. If its not shying away from your current light, then I wouldn't worry about it being too bright, it being not enough later on is another story. That being said T5s can sometimes be plenty bright enough for anemones. What the anemone needs now is stability. Don't go changing lights or flow or other things if its staying put and it's condition is improving.

    As butcherman said, it can take months for them to recover, but it can also be a few weeks, as my GBTA did. I would watch the clown to make sure it's not irritating the anemone or messing with its food. If that isn't the case then great. The tentacles losing stickiness is bad, it isn't however the end for it. Just needs more nursing ;) Soon you should be seeing freckles of colour as the zooxanthellae populations are restocked :)

    Can you post a full tank picture? Gallons and lbs are jumbling my mind at the moment so seeing an FTS for scale would be helpful :)
     
  6. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    Thank you Scubaninja (cool name btw) He has made no effort to move from his lockdown since introduction and stays open wide all day. I keep the food to softened tiny pieces i hope will be easier to digest. Day 1-5 I placed a small plastic strainer over him until the food was fully taken in. Now when I feed him it sticks nicely to his tentacles and he pulls it in before my hand leaves the tank. One instance where the food broke free the clown quickly returned it to the nems mouth :) The tank is a very simple set up. I do not intend to add any more livestock. The lighting is 12 inches from the nem. I suspected MH in this shallow tank would be too intense. Is this thinking incorrect?

    So thankful for you sharing your experience and advice.

    Setup.jpg
     
  7. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    aww shucks it's no stress:blush: Good plan on the strainer:thumbup: I just softly held the hake against the nennie's oral disc with the tip of my finger if it was about to float away. This was with all flow pumps off. I'm quite fond of feeding hake instead of tougher things like squid or calamari as the need for regurgitating wastes some of the nennies' valuable energy, but if it's taking it well then go for it. Your clown seems to be doing its job which is great.

    No more livestock, that makes this a designated anemone tank? That's pretty cool :) I've wanted to do that for a while as a side setup but it seems my community tank will just end up being nennie dominant regardless of what other corals i have :yeahdude:

    If you are thinking of a 150W MH, then yes it may be bordering on too much, but a 70W would be fine. How many watts of T5 do you have in total? I think you did the right thing with going T5s as opposed to a single source MH. At least you can turn some of your T5s off if you have too much, can't dim a metal halide ;)

    I like the open look of your tank, the minimalist approach. I've recently decided to go that route, removing lots of my liverock. I do have a small concern with the rock pieces on the right towards the front, in terms of detritus. Is there anything getting trapped under there? It could lead to algae issues later on if it becomes a place for detritus to sit.
     
    Last edited: 3 Oct 2013
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  8. Achilles

    Achilles

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    i have had a very large crispa like yours for quite sometime( 5 years now) , it was also bleached when i bought it, while bleached i would feed it twice a week not more but maintain very good water quality and make sure it has good quality light with sufficient blue spectrum if you look at pics of my tank under my username you will see my anemone in the middle section- best of luck - they are virtually immortal what kills them is the environment or predation. Crispa often likes a zone between sand bed and rocks when its comfortable .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 3 Oct 2013
  9. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    Achilles-Thank you for sharing. You have a spectacular set up. Beautiful! I was planning to cut back on the tiny daily meals once signs of zooxanthellea production become evident. I am mashing up what food I deliver and keeping the dose very small :) I hope to eventually have a tank as lovely as what you have assembled!
    Scubaninja- Yes, from its conception this tank is designed all around the anemone. Everything I had read said the anemone was one of the hardest marine creatures to sustain in a captive environment. I decided that if I could create such an environment and proliferate a healthy happy nem, then any tank I assemble from there should be cake. I went with more sand and less rock knowing 1) Crispas favor sand beds and I wanted him to have space to choose a home. 2) The nem and his clown are the focal point of the tank. The rocks in the front have been ok so far because there is a good deal of low over them, but the little damsel has a habit of digging around them and covering them with sand. I will keep a close eye out for build up in this area ;)
    One thing I have noticed is that occasionally when the clown(Clark Griswold as I dubbed him) rubs his body lengthwise across the nem, the nem will open his mouth slightly. Once the clown is done wiggling he closes it again. I was assuming this was the clown forcing a bit of food?
     
  10. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    Oh, I have 28W of T5. 1 daylight bulb 10,000K and the actinic with 8 led moonights.
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    you will need to upgrade at some point. Just not now and do not blast it with new strong lights.

    I would add a few mushrooms from the same area as the anemone. If the anemone is indo pacific, then get mushrooms from there. Reason, matured mushrooms do expell some of the beneficial algae in then and then the anemone can take that up. If there are none in the tank, where will he get it from? That is part of the reason why matured systems are advised for anemones. Just makes it easier for them to take up algae and to recover.

    Cannot find the better article on that, but here is another
    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1542715?uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102728516623
     
    Last edited: 4 Oct 2013
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  12. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    :thumbup: Welcome jpaige
     
  13. pkc

    pkc

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    Hey jpaige.
    Your T5s, how old are they and how long each day have they been running?
    They start to loose their photosynthetic quality from around 3 to 4 months, depending how long they are on for, the heat kills the phosphor coatings inside the tubes that gives the light its valuable colours that enables photosynthesis, that’s the main draw back to resistance lighting.
    The tank looks to deep for your anemone with that kind of lighting and heteractis in the wild are more so attached to a hard surface, not often are they associated with a substrate compared to with in a crack in the rocks.
    The young ones like the substrate to start out in, but most larger ones we find are attached more so in cracks or under ledges.
    Find the reasons it dropped its algae, which is usually unsuitable substances in your water or lighting, from there just regularly keep feeding a mix of foods now that it is relying on you to feed and with out help from its once symbiotic algae.
    They don’t need the algae to survive, it’s just easier for most reefers to keep them if they do have that algae support as very few reefers can hand feed them properly or give them what they need in relation to diversity and freshness with their intake.
    Their tentacles are usually retracted due to water conditions or when they are young.
    Anemones are not hard to have them thriving, where did you read that?
    There is a young one and an adult in our pics if you want to look at them.
    http://southeastqueenslandm.aforumfree.com/t1217-anemones-and-sea-pens-found-near-brisbane-in-seq

    Good luck with it.
     
    Last edited: 4 Oct 2013
  14. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    RiaanP- Woah! Hadn't even considered that! Great information. Guess I took for granted that some naturally remained within the anemone and good lighting would proliferate new growth. I originally had no intention of adding anything else to this tank but now I will reconsider.
    Thank you all for tips on the lighting as well. I thought I had that one all figured out. Sometimes its great to find out you were wrong!

    Thank you all for your kindness and wisdom. The anemone is looking better everyday. :)
     
  15. pkc

    pkc

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    This may be something for you, I don't know?
    It’s a well known thing that xenia helps produce needed algae for many corals algae clades including the more evolved anemones which are the hard corals.
    I have seen the sps let alone other corals colours change for the better when xenia was introduced in my tanks, from that alone for me it seems quite true that xenia do manufacture algae species for uptake by other corals-anemones.
    One thing though, it can get a bit out of hand, so I just cut it down with scissors.
     
  16. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    Hey guys quick update and question. My Crispa has been looking amazing, even turning a nice dirty brown. That is until two days ago. I went to LFS and asked about some coral frags that could be added to the tank. After the articles regarding zooxanthellea and the suggestions here, they recommended some green star polyps and a very small leather. The corals took immediately to the tank and look amazing, but not more than 2 hours after introducing them, my anemone released from his rock and has been in a slow decline. I read up a little on allelopathy. Could this be what is happening here? I found nothing indicating that these corals would be dangerous to anemones, in fact, it was all the other way around. It seemed slightly too coincidental that my anemones decline started immediately after introducing these frags. Any suggestions or advice from the pros?
     
  17. seank

    seank

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    Very interesting, did not know that

    :lookhere:

    :lookhere:

    :biggrin:

    Ohh, welcome to the Forum.
     
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  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    did you feed the anemone?
    If, then with what?
    and what size?
     
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  19. pkc

    pkc

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    Leathers are not a good coral to have with out protection for some invertebrate forms of tank life, even some fish will get stressed from what they excrete initially and possibly if they go on the attack later on.
    When they go in, their excreted mucus chemical make up will annoy many other life forms.
    Leathers can literally kill many corals and an anemone is a coral with out calcium structural support.
    A chem filter or really good carbon or very good algae will usually protect your tank life from what these soft corals excrete, unless the corals are next to them, and then it’s a bit harder to protect the coral next door.
    Two reef rules out of many, “unless it is xenia”,soft corals and large polyps corals may give your tank grief.
    Unless you have mainly only soft corals in there or only lps in there.

    This is not the species I am referring to but it’s a good example of one of my corals.
    When you are not watching or when lights are out, this can quite easily be going on, those tentacles are weapons let alone their signature chems they emit to tick off or kill the coral down current!
    The ocean, though incredibly beautiful, is totally about kill or be killed and we have to be aware of this when adding life to our enclosed piece of the ocean

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2013
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  20. jpaige74

    jpaige74 Thread Starter

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    RiaanP- I had cut the daily feeding of the nem back to every three days as he was looking healthier and my clown had been delivering him food. So I had not target fed the nem in 2 days before adding the corals.
    pkc-Thank you for the information regarding the leather. The lfs said there would be no conflict here and that green star polyps were in the xenia family. Perhaps this is inaccurate as I have found nothing in my online searches that validates this. I have however seen several tanks on youtube where the polyps and crispa were flourishing simultaneously.

    Due to the appearance of decline with the nem, I have moved him from the display tank to the fuge to give him some quiet time and resumed target feeding. I did a 30% water change with deionized spring water rather than the conditioned and filtered tap water i was using previously and now Im just waiting to see signs of improvement. I did not remove the leather from the tank yet, but i did change out the filter sock and add some charcoal (previously had not been running charcoal in the filter)Nem is not rejecting the puree of shrimp and squid, but is taking much longer to bring it into its mouth. Perhaps at this point I need to just exercise some patience. I fear that all my panic and constant messing with the tank will do more harm than good?
     
  21. DeanT

    DeanT Dean

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    Just saw this thread
    Welcome @jpaige74

    how old is the tank ? It seems to look quite young. I know you mentioned you keep your parameters stable , but a mature system is a good foundation for these interesting tank mates

    Also Nennie will need to be exposed to as much light as possible .
    Moving him to the fuge - what light is in there ?
    Not sure this is a good idea

    During my recovery of a bleached Nennie I was feeding it every 3rd day and initially it had moved to the top of my tank running nearly 1500w of lighting
    Most of this was m.h so I started with 3 hrs daily and slowly increased this to 10hrs over a period of about 4 weeks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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