Feeding Ritteri (Maroon) anemone

Discussion in 'Anemone's' started by FDB, 19 Jan 2010.

  1. FDB

    FDB

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    Hi all.
    I now have one of these in my clown tank, and they love thier new home.
    I tried to feed it some hake (like i feed most my other anemonies like teh jewel for example) and it seems not to like it.
    I read that you should try shrimp and even squid.
    Will do that.
    Any tips would be appreciated (Feeding cycle times, etc)

    I came across this cool article from
    http://www.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/ebooks/ch34.html

    CHAPTER 3
    BIOLOGY OF SEA ANEMONES
    NUTRITION
    Sea anemones that are host to clownfishes, like many tropical actinians and some temperate ones, harbour unicellular algae within the cells of their tentacles and oral disc (see Introduction). A portion of the sugars produced by these plants through photosynthesis are "leaked" to their host. This may be the anemone's major source of energy. The widely flared oral disc of many host actinians serves not only to accommodate fish, but its large surface area is well adapted for intercepting sunlight.
    However, actinians, like all coelenterates, capture and digest animal prey with their nematocysts. We have found small fish, sea urchins, and a variety of crustaceans (shrimps and crabs) in the coelenteron of host anemones. They also appear to feed on planktonic items conveyed by the currents. Although the energy they derive from photosynthesis may be sufficient to live, the anemones need sulfur, nitrogen, and other elements in order to grow and reproduce. These animals are not voracious predators: their prey probably consists of animals that bump into them (e.g. a fish fleeing a more active predator) or stumble over them (e.g. a sea urchin, which has no eyes). Therefore, the supply is probably small and irregular. A more predictable source of these nutrients may be from wastes of their symbiotic fish. This issue deserves to be studied scientifically. Anemones of some species are capable of absorbing nutrients directly from seawater through their thin tissues, and that may be another source of nutrition for these animals as well.
    SURVIVAL
    It is impossible to determine age of a sea anemone, except for one that has been raised in an aquarium or tracked continuously in the wild from first settlement. A small one is not necessarily young, for coelenterates grow only if well fed and shrink if starved. Individuals of species that harbour anemonefishes have been monitored for several years with no apparent change in size (although that is difficult to measure, due to the absence of a skeleton). However, studies on other species, in field and laboratory, have led to estimated ages on the order of many decades and even several centuries. There are scattered records of temperate anemones surviving many decades in commercial aquaria, and the life-span of a small sea anemone in New Zealand has been calculated, based on actuarial tables, to be over 300 years! From such data, it is likely that most individuals of the "gigantic" sea anemones we have encountered during our field work exceed a century in age. This is also consistent with the generalization that large animals of all kinds typically are long-lived.
    Coelenterates are protected quite well by their nematocysts, but some predators have developed means of evading their effect. Small tropical anemones may be eaten by butterflyfishes (see chapter 5), but large ones appear to have few enemies, and we do not know what might ultimately kill them.
    REPRODUCTION
    All coelenterates reproduce sexually. An individual of some species may produce both eggs and sperm; host anemones appear to have separate sexes, with an individual being either male or female its entire life. The typical coelenterate pattern is that of most marine animals, one that is fraught with dangers and uncertainty -- release of eggs and sperm into the sea, where fertilisation occurs and a larva (a tiny animal looking nothing like its parent that drifts in the sea) develops for several days or weeks before settling in an appropriate habitat. Many species spawn in response to an environmental cue such as a full moon or low tide so that eggs and sperm are in the same place at the same time. Typically, marine animals produce millions of tiny larvae, but the world is not overrun with them, proving that very few survive -- usually just enough to maintain a stable population. The rest of the larvae serve as food for a sea full of potential predators. Finally, the surviving larvae must find an appropriate habitat (how anemonefishes might do this is discussed in chapter 4).
    We do not know if host actinians follow this pattern. There is a bit of evidence that in at least some species, the eggs are not released, but are fertilised inside the mother (this is not especially rare in corals and anemones; sperm enter the mother with water that is constantly being pumped in and out, and which carries food and oxygen also), where they grow to be released as tiny sea anemones. What is certain is that we seldom see small individuals of most host actinians in nature. However, it is not unusual to find large ones with ripe eggs and sperm. Therefore, we believe that successful recruitment must be rare. Very few eggs may be fertilised, or few larvae may survive, or larval settlement may be difficult, or young anemones may have high mortality (perhaps especially when they are too small to harbour fish). The apparent rarity of successful reproduction is also biologically consistent with long life.
    In addition to sexual reproduction, some coelenterates undergo asexual reproduction. Entacmaea quadricolor is one of these. A polyp can divide longitudinally, resulting in two, somewhat smaller individuals, probably within the space of a few days. Each then grows to an appropriate size, divides, and so on. All descendants of the original anemone (the result of sexual reproduction) form a clone, a group of genetically identical individuals. In this species, each polyp is relatively small, but clonemates remain next to one another so their tentacles are confluent, and the associated anemonefish apparently regard them as a single large anemone.
    This is so mainly for shallow-water individuals; those in deeper water grow large, and do not divide (see chapter 1). Several other species of actinians also have two different reproductive modes: small animals that clone and large ones that do not. This appears true of Heteractis magnifica, too. In the center of its range (i.e. in eastern Indonesia, on the Great Barrier Reef, in New Guinea), it occurs as single, large individuals. To the east and west (i.e. in western Indonesia and Malaysia, and in Tahiti), several to very many small individuals of identical colouration are typically clustered together, appearing to be a single large (or huge!) anemone. Based on their shared colour and their proximity, we infer that they are clonemates.
    LOCOMOTION
    Once they settle from the plankton, most anemones seldom move from place to place. Although they are usually damaged when people try to collect them, actinians do have the ability to detach from the substratum, partly or entirely. Small, temperate anemones can do this in response to predators or unfavorable physical factors. Indeed, those of a few species can "swim," awkwardly launching themselves into the water briefly, a motion that often puts them beyond reach of the predator that provoked the activity. More typically, an individual glides on its pedal disc, covering a few millimeters in a day, or it may detach entirely, and roll or be carried quite a distance. That this is not terribly rare is attested by large animals suddenly appearing in well studied areas.
     
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  3. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I suspect that it was just stressed from the move - give it a week or two to settle in before you start to panic...

    Shrimp is good, but I don't think that squid is a natural prey, and because it is so tough I suspect that it would be difficult to digest, unless cut into very small pieces (I know that my BTA, and previous carpet, did not like squid...). When feeding shrimp of prawn, leave some of the shell on the piece you feed - it contains higher levels of certain nutrients (such as calcium and iodine) than the flesh, and is beneficial to the anemone (just as potato skins are more healthy for humans than the inside of the potato...)

    Hennie
     
  4. FDB

    FDB Thread Starter

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    This Anemone died.
    I have no idea why though.
    Here are some stuff i noticed, dunno if someone can map causes ot the symptoms:
    It started to push it's mouth out on day 2, then, it shrunk it's tentacles (Made them flat) and have swolen outs it's body..
    On day three, if fell flat.
    On day 4, it looked like one part of it's body was actually eaten by something (All i had in the tank with it, was a sea star and a hermit crab)
    Later that day it was dead.

    I have replaced it with a yellow one and it seems to be doing great!
    What on earth could have happened there?
     
  5. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Sorry to hear about your loss FDB.

    Tried to find some more info on your tank but couldnt , how long has it been going ?
     
  6. johnathan

    johnathan

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    yellow?hope its not a dyed one...
     
  7. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Oh no - FDB, please don't take offense, but unfortunately it needs to be said (take it as constructive criticism, and not as a flame...)

    From what I can gather, your tank is about 3 months old, and you've already bought your second anemone. Anemones are more difficult to keep than most corals, and require a well matured tank (at LEAST 6 months old, preferably established for more than a year, with pristine water quality, good water flow and bright lights (MH's or lots of T5's). In nature they can live for many hundreds of years, but most anemones kept by beginner aquarists die within a few weeks.

    Although your first anemone could have been injured when you bought it (which is another reason why one should be fairly experienced to start with anemones - at least then one can recognize if an anemone has been injured before buying it), it is more likely that it has been harmed by sub-standard water quality. Have you been regularly checking your water parameters - especially ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, but also pH, alkalinity and phosphate? If yes, please post the test results so that we can help to evaluate the readings... If the water flow was too strong (or directed at the anemone), this could also have injured it.

    It's a pity that you bought the second anemone so soon after the first one died, and not knowing what caused it to die. I believe that this anemone is also in great danger, and I hope that we can help you in keeping it alive. We all make mistakes when we start - I too bought an anemone as a newbie, not knowing how difficult it was to keep, so I'm not pointing fingers. We do, however, need a full, detailed description of your whole setup, with water parameters, type and number of pumps, ditto for lights, other inhabitants, etc if we are going to try to save this nennie.

    Please help us to help you.

    Hennie
     
  8. AndrévN

    AndrévN

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    I totally agree with this \ newbies new tanks is not good for nemmies (water quality - water quality - water quality) , ask me i was also reluctant and lost two when i started off so we all do make mistakes - we can can help you if you let us help you. Then waited got my tank to mature properly, read lots of info and then took on the task properly and well informed. And today i have 4 nennies in my system and all flourishing. (two was tiny and seriously busy dying when i got them and two was bleached when i bought them - white as snow) They need lots of care and attention, especially if they are bought from a LFS. 9 out of 10 times they are bleached and are seriously stressed after the long journey - in a bag - and then they cannot handle strong light until the simbiotic algae returns, good food regularly when they do want to eat - and no force feeding if they dont take it leave it be. Let them settle where they feel cumfy. If all is good and you place them and they happy good, when they bleached and move around they are seriously unhappy. Maybe looking for shade or somethings irritating them, water flow, water quality, light intensity or they dont feel comfortable. Dont place a sand digger on a rock it wont work!!! So make sure you know what your nemmie requires before you attempt to keep him. It is some of the oldest creatures around and can outlive you and your grand children if looked after and cared for properly.

    I wish you all the best best of luck and lets get the water parameters etc as mentioned by Hennie.
     
  9. AndrévN

    AndrévN

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    First of all they do fall flat as you call it (and most big tank reefers putts them in little juggs so they can shrink in the jug and then just re inflate again, the only way to replenish the water in the body is to totally collapse especially at night, drain all the old water and restock with new - open up fully again. Its like bathing in the same bath water for three months i wouldnt - would you.

    Secondly when it has swolen out its body or mouth for that matter it could be spitting out what it did not digest or leftovers or a big piece of food pushed down its mouth. You have to cut small pieces as big as your pinky nail and place it on its tentacles (gently) it will close by itself to eat. And squid is like rubber, get mussles and alike to feed, but a small piece is sufficient per day. 2 - 3 times a week. Again if it does not eat it let it be, in time it will eat if it requires food. Remember you should not try and over feed it, it takes time to get them healthy, so patience pls.

    Then half eaten or a piece of it eaten, any crab is a " CRAB " even a hermit and when something is dying or dead they will nibble on it they scavangers and they are like a cockroach cleaning everything and eating anything.

    What happened was you took on a huge task without knowing the outcome, 3 months old tanks is not good for those delicate creatures. And the LFS should have known better not to sell you the nemmie. Now go and find out how to look after your nennie, the name, the water flow, the light requirements, what is its natural food source, does it merely live of its algae, can it host clown fish or Danios etc. Search the web/ LOL
     
  10. FDB

    FDB Thread Starter

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    My Water parameters are perfect. (bought the test kit from Lanzo a month or two ago)
    I hate seeing animals dying so i'm thinking of selling the whole setup i have to someone who has more experience in this than me.
    If i can recover some of the funds spent, I'll be happy.
    2 Black clowns, 1 Watchman Goby, Brown Tang, Big yellow anemone, mated (not mating) pair harlequin shrimps, hermit crabs, live rock, 3 small powerheads on two filters, hang on protien skimmer, 90cm x 40cm tank, 60x30cm tank (Refrigium / DSB), 40cmx30cm tank (hospital or isolation), t5 lighting, etc.
    Worth in excess of R3500, will sell for R2000.
     
  11. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Hi FDB,

    There really is no need to give up on the hobby as a whole. Here is my 2C:

    Take the nennie back , your setup doesnt suit a nennie at this stage, if you got ot from a decent LFS the will take it back. Get a fellow reefer (maybe more experienced) to come have a look at your system

    We all go through tough times and losses in this hobby, the important things are to learn from our mistakes (and those of others), ask questions and do research, and never overestimate our abilities.

    This is an awesome hobby ...just take it one step at a time
     
  12. maj

    maj

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    FDB,dont give up so quick,it was a begginer mistake,just giv the anemone back to the LFS,and get sumthin easier like xenia or gsp's.

    Dont throw in the towel,this hobby is too rewarding!
     
  13. FDB

    FDB Thread Starter

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    I have has a jewel anemone in my tank since i bought my first liverock (was on the rock)
    It flourishes till today (Almost doubled in size) with Xenias or whatever (now almost forest) of others are i have in the tank.
    I don't beleive that the big anemone i had died of any cause that was water quality or anything other than damage coused when cought/shipped/handled by the LFS.
    When i move a big anemone, i put it in a container uderwater and lift the container out the water.. No gravity based grip on it.
    At the LFS, the guy cought it with his hands an put it in a bag. I dont think that is the way to go with a water filled, soft anemone.

    Naaah.
    This setup must go. I'll pick the hobby up again when i have enough cash to buy the tank i want, on a stand i want, with the skimmer i want, with the powerheads i want, with the isolation tank i need, etc.

    I love the little critters in my tank (Especially my clown and Marlequin pairs) but there are too many variables at this stage that i'm not comfortable with.
     
  14. FDB

    FDB Thread Starter

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    I think i figured out how to feed these host anemones.
    The answer is, you don't.
    I have the vitamins and the whatnots in the tank, but last night, i threw one of those small fishies you get at the LFS as fishfood into the tank. I just threw it in as in dropped it into the tank.
    The dominant Clown fish immidiately dashed to it, bit it a few times, grabbed it and rushed to the anemone.
    It wiggled it into the anemone almost right by it's mouth onto the tentacles closest to the mouth.
    It left it, swam forward, bumped it, wiggled itself in the anemone, bumped it again, and the anemony clearly took the fishy.

    What an awesome sight.
    This made me think.... Does the clown know:
    1. What the anemone eats and what it does not?
    2. When the anemony is in the mood for a snack?

    Personally, i would never feed a host anemony again. I would continue this method and simply remove a fishy or a prawn if the clown did not give it to the host anemone. I trust that the clown knows better than me.

    :)
     
  15. inflames

    inflames

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    Hi FDB,

    Sorry to hear about the loss of one of your Nennie's and also the yellow nennie you bought is probably dyed (saw 3 bright yellow ones this week at a LFS!)..I have also been down the road with loosing a nennie. It did not die in my tank, took it back to the LFS where I bought it and got a credit. this was after 4 weeks in my tank that (at that stage) that had only been running for 3 months. After the advice from guys on MASA and some research (proper research) I managed to get a RBT (Rose Bubble Tip) nennie about 2 months ago. Now that my system has been running for over a year now.

    It was doing great, untill 2 weeks ago! Started to shrink, lost its "Bubble Tips" and started to move (A sign that it's just not happy!)...I thought to myself...here we go again, the sad realisation that I just cant get this nennie thing right...:(! It refuses all food I try to give it (silverside, hake, muscle meat, shrimp, ect) Not even the clowns wanted to host it anymore.

    I then went and did some more research on my nennie (like we do only when things go wrong!) and did some reading on nennie's in "The reef Aquarium" by Sprung and Delbeek. Also on the web...some great info...

    I decided to add the MH lighting that I bought 6 months ago to my system in an attempt to try and save my nennie...I also broke up my lovely landscaped tank to make a special place for my nennie directly under the MH!! Got my Power heads positioned over the nennie to provide some nice flow around it (not to much, but just to get it moving nicely!) I also increased the time my DT lights are on..to allow maximum time for my Nennie to get some rays!! It has been almost a week now and the nennie has found a spot it likes and has attached properly. The Bubble tips are slowly starting to show signs of coming back and the nennie (although still not accepting food) is most definately on the mend!!

    So my 2c is this. T5 lighting IMHO are simply not sufficent lighting for nennies, unless your tank is only 30cm deep. I was running 4 T5 39watt with reflectors in my setup...and although its bright and fine (not optimum) for a number of other corals, it is simply not enough for a nennie! As soon as I added the MH light (70watt, 14 000k) the whole bottom of my tank lit up. The difference of how a MH light "penetrates" the water compared to T5 cannot be compared! So look into getting a MH fitting for your tank!!

    So I would say, this hobby will make you cry!!! When you are sad and when you are happy! Don't pack it in and view these little hicups as a learning experience!! I tohave wanted to pack it in many times!! But when you have a moment like you had watching your clown take a little piece of fish to "help" your nennie...feed the little bugger, it makes it all worth it!
     
  16. Anemone

    Anemone

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    FDB,

    T5 is not sufficient lighting for this species. As far as the clownfish feeding the anemone....sometimes it happens, sometimes it never happens. It is not something that I recommend for every case.
     
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