FAQs on Bulb, Bubble Tip/Rose
Anemone Health 10
Tip, Rose Anemones, Entacmaea quadricolor, Use in Marine
Systems by Bob Fenner, Bubble Tip
Anemones by Jim Black, Recent
Experiences with BTA's by Marc Quattromani,
Cnidarians, Colored/Dyed Anemones,
Related FAQs: BTA
Disease 1, BTA Disease 2,
BTA Disease 3, BTA Disease 4, BTA
Health 5, BTA Health 6, BTA Health 7, BTA Health
8, BTA Health 9,
BTA Health 11,
BTA Health 12, BTA
FAQs on BTA Disease by Category:
Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...),
Nutritional, Social (e.g. Allelopathy),
Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral)
& E. quad. FAQ
1, E. quad FAQ 2, E. quad. FAQ 3, E.
quad FAQ 4, E. quad FAQ 5,
BTA ID, BTA Compatibility, BTA Selection, BTA
Behavior, BTA Systems, BTA Feeding, BTA
New Print and
eBook on Amazon:
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
A few questions about my BTA... 11/4/09
I have a 55 gallon tank with a 30 gallon gravy feed refugium and
a protein skimmer (not sure what kind) and a PC with 2 65w 10k
bulbs and 2 65w Actinic bulbs.
<Mmm, I'd be reading re the light requirements of
Entacmaea, and switching out at least one of the actinics here
for more 'white'>
I bought this tank complete from a man who had had it set up for
2 years and when I brought it home I brought the fish, water and
all. The fish that came with the system were, one clown fish 3
inch, one blue tang 1.5 inch, and one Sailfin who has been
rehomed because he was 4 inches and in a 55 gallon tank for 2
years (not good). Anyway there is also a serpent star fish which
is kinda big that I am thinking of rehoming as well. As of
Saturday I have added a BTA which is about 5 to 7 inches in
I have been doing 5 gallon water changes every week and all my
water parameters have been good. The only thing this far I have
had to adjust is the PH which tries' to drop but every so
often I have been adding buffer to control this.
<This photosynthetic organism needs some NO3, HPO4...>
My question is about my anemone... When I bought him he was a
very maroon and greenish color and when I got him home and put
him in the tank he expanded and started to change color to a very
normal tan color.
<Bleaching... a lack of light, nutrient... What are you
I am not sure if this is the beginning of bleaching or if the
color in the store was due to stress or if he is stressed now and
was fine then or what.
Then today around 3pm he shrunk down to about the size of a
baseball maybe a bit bigger and expelled something. I was
thinking he was dying, his tentacles where green and like thin
spaghetti noodles but then not long after maybe an hour he
returned to his normal size and has been doing his thing so I
thought maybe he was just expelling waste.
I should mention I have notices one or two of the tentacles has
had a lighter tan ring band on them. I have not been able to see
his mouth since I got him in my tank as his tentacles are always
flopping on or around it.
He moved around for the first two days and then stayed where he
is now. His tentacles have very rarely been bubbled maybe 3 or 4
of them and not very much.
Then something else I noticed, he isn't sticky at all to me.
I have had a smaller tan BTA in the past and it almost grabbed at
me but this one doesn't feel sticky at all and after my
reading this makes me nervous. Will he ever be sticky again? Can
I do anything about this.
In my reading before I got him I saw that if they aren't
sticky they can be impossible to feed.
I am worried about trying to feed him now while he is still
getting used to his surroundings which I also read was better to
leave them alone in the first week.
Any advise <advice> would be helpful I have been reading
and reading and I cant really find anything in
"English" that talks about the stickiness other than it
<Don't worry/be concerned re this... DO be acting re the
needs of this animal>
The rest has been scientific jargon which I cant understand. From
all of this can you tell me if you think I should return him to
the store while I still can or if there is any hope at all?
<Likely better for you to return. You don't appear
'ready' to keep such life>
Thank you for your help and the work you guys put into this site.
You help a lot of people who really would be lost with out
<Shall I refer you?
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
White banding on Rose Anemone 10/7/09
Thought maybe you could take a quick gander.
My rose anemones (the 2 pictures are of just one of them) have
white spots/banding. What's up w/that? They've been like
this for awhile.. ( year + )
<I don't know. Have seen this before... Is this de-
discoloration an indication of... disease? A lack of nutrition?
Just genetic expression? A beginning of riches for you from a
Never saw anything like it and Google didn't report back
<I wouldn't be concerned... Bob Fenner>
Anemone Question/BTA/Health 9/20/09
Hey, its me again lol
<James here with LOL.>
I have been looking through your anemone information but I am not
finding exactly what I am looking for. I picked up what was labeled as
a Bubble Tip Anemone, it was very healthy looking, had a good foot hold
in the sand in my LFS, all they have is sand, but I read that BTA like
rock. (I had been watching this particular anemone for about 3 weeks
before I bought it) I tossed him <in> the tank (not literally)
and he moved down under a rocky ledge and seemed fine. Later that night
he purged himself like I figured he/she/it would since it went from one
system to another. This is my question/concern.
It has not come back out of the rock work to sit facing disk up. I have
been peeking through the rock from the side of my tank and I noticed
that it is fully opened,(not stretched as if it were trying to get more
light) mouth closed tightly, tentacles are all inflated, really good
solid foot hold and from the look of it it looks really healthy but it
is vertical not horizontal.
<??? Should be vertical/upright.>
I moved a small piece of LR (which exposed more it's surface to
direct light) so my clown could get to it because she was trying to
basically squeeze through the rock work and I did not want her to hurt
herself and she has been in and out of it ever since.(Which is kind of
odd because it is a black false Perc and they are not known to host
but she also loves my pistol shrimp/goby combo so much that the shrimp
doesn't even see her as a threat anymore, he just does what he does
while she hovers above the burrow rubbing on the goby who also does not
seem bothered... strangest thing I've ever seen lol) All of my
parameters are perfect, salinity is a little high, 1.025.
The anemone is 9-12 inches from the light and I have 145 watts of PWC
lighting <PC?> ( 2 separate lighting systems that equal 145)
which is stronger that the T5's the LFS has on their 55gal tank.(I
asked) I have always seen anemones disk up which makes sense due to
their lighting needs but mine seems perfectly happy to be vertical
instead of horizontal. <?> About 1/3 to 1/2 of the anemone is out
of the rock getting direct light. Is that normal anemone behavior?
<Give this anemone some time to adapt, light acclimation may come
into play here with your more intense lighting system.>
I know they tend to just do what they want to and will find their
comfort zone/s but I just assumed that it would be visible if it was
healthy also, it is not very sticky to the touch which I did not notice
until it opened up in my tank of course but I target fed it a few Mysis
on phytoplankton and it stuck to the tentacles well. Is this a bad
I think I have covered everything...don't want to write an essay
<Give the anemone a little more time to "settle in". I
also would not feed until such time. Have you read here and linked
thanks again for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Algae on Anemone: Bleached Anemone Making a Comeback.
Anemone Health\Reading 6/28/2009
I have a Bubble Tip Anemone, it is white and has purple tips.
<Bubble Tips should never be white. White indicates it has
lost most of its symbiotic Zooxanthellae.>
I have had it in my tank for about 7 months. It appears to be
opening normally when the lights are on. I don't feed the BTA
specifically but I feed my tank daily with Superveggie
<Some target feeding will definitely help a bleached anemone.
Do read about their care here, and on the linked pages on top of
I have a 120 gallon mixed reef tank. I recently had a problem
with Cyano algae but I think that the media in my Phosphate
remover was getting old and causing some problems. It appears
that the Cyano has stopped growing.
My water health appears good and my nitrates are 0ppm.
Over the past month my BTA has started growing what looks like
algae (brownish/red) on the tentacles. I have attached a pic. It
doesn't look good, can you give me you thoughts on what is
<Based upon the pictures, it is regenerating its
Zooxanthellae. This is a good sign.>
Please read the linked article above and give this article a read
GBTA Tumor 5/13/09
Hey guys (and gals),
I have a bit of a problem, hopefully nothing malignant (I am
half-way done with my medical schooling; so please excuse the
<Your knowledge of medical terminology is surely beyond my
I have a GBTA that is probably four years old relative to my
care. It has split about 3 times since I bought it giving me a
small family of about 6 healthy clones (my clowns have moved from
a 1 bedroom to a 2 story nest-egg).
Anyways, one of the clones has what appears to be a benign
neoplasm originating from one of its tentacles.
The mouth is still intact, although the neoplasm is beginning to
interfere with its eating, and it is now my smallest anemone.
Simply put: can I just pull off the tumor-appearing tentacle and
let the anemone carry on its life; or could this lead to some
sort of toxic expulsion of its organs causing extensive death and
destruction of nearby clones?
<I would not hesitate to remove the tentacle in question.
Please do it with a sharp implement to avoid tearing or
unnecessary damage. That should resolve the feeding issues as
well as the aesthetic one.>
Chemical parameters have been stable for some time, at the
pH: 8.2; Nitrate 0ppm; Nitrite 0ppm; Ammonia 0ppm; Calcium 0ppm;
Phosphate 0.5ppm; Salinity 1.024-1.025; Temperature 81-82
(a little high, but I'm working on it)
<Other than the high temperature, and the lack of Calcium (I
am assuming that is a typo) those look fine. The fact that you
have six healthy anemone's makes me think everything else may
All of the other BTA clones are doing fine; this makes me think
that water quality is likely not the culprit.
I just figure anemones have occasional loss of cell-cycle control
like other organisms.
The anemone I'm asking about is on the far right of the
It is adjacent to three of its clone brothers. Thank you very
much for your time and advice. Best of luck in your
<Good Luck, and send us a post operation photo
Bleached, torn BTA... reading 5/11/09
Well as I ought to be studying for my biology and chemistry
finals, I get a picture sent to me from my mom (who is watching
my tank while I finish of my last week of my freshmen year) it
turns out that my BTA
that I put into my tank a little over a month ago after moving my
tank home has moved.
The tank has been up and running for a little over 2 years now
and has been well established. It is a BioCube 29
<Really too small...>
in which I had a little bit too much fun to say the least in
modifying the tank.
I redid the filtration system and in the first chamber have a diy
protein skimmer with a heater. In chamber 2 I have a layer of
sponge that is made for the Aquaclear 110, which happens to fit
perfectly, followed by poly fiber and a bag of zeolite of the
bottom. I have the standard lighting still (2x32w pc I believe) I
replaced the bulbs about two months ago. On top of the standard
lighting I also have two of Current's 50/50 PowerBrite HO LED
systems that I put into the hood and give me a nice shimmer
effect along with higher lighting in the rear of my tank. The
water was tested yesterday and the results are as follows:
ammonia -- 0, nitrite -- 0, nitrate -- 0, phosphate -- 0, PH --
8.2, and the temperature runs about 79-81°F. Since I have
been at school the tank hasn't had a partial water change for
a month,=20 but feeding is limited to once a day a small portion
of new life spectrum pellets.
<Interesting. I would offer something more substantial a
couple times a week... see WWM re...>
Even so there has been a growth of green hair algae, which I
currently am looking for a scavenger to eat and after reading the
articles here (instead of studying) I have rethought a fish
because my tank would be too small for a lawnmower blenny
or any other algae eating fish. For flow I have the standard
return pump and on the left wall a Koralia 1 angled to the front
right corner of the tank (I am currently thinking about placing a
Hydor Flo on the return and either a Koralia 1 or nano on the
right wall slightly lower than as well as opposing the flow of
the other Koralia.) The livestock is a pair of Tomato clowns, a
diamond goby that I rarely if ever see, a cleaner
shrimp, and 1 or 2 red leg hermit crabs. I have a cluster about
the size of a silver dollar worth of polyps, 2 small colonies of
pulsing xenias, and a candy cane coral all placed a decent
distance away from the BTA. For the past month since I have had
the BTA he has been in the dead center of my tank under one of
the PowerBrite strips
<Mmm, likely insufficient intensity, quality-wise>
with his base under a rock and bringing his body out so that his
oral surface was in direct lighting. I feed him once a week a
cube of defrosted formula one.
Then this morning it seems that my BTA had moved in the middle of
the night from the spot he has been for the past month to the
very top left front corner of the tank, right where the flow from
the return pump hits. His coloration, and body shape appear to be
as normal as ever (I am attaching pictures.) I am just concerned
due to this rapid movement because I know that a mobile anemone
is an unhappy one, and over the past month all that he has moved
is maybe a half inch or so this way or that but always on the
same rock and never far, it seems he always ends up where he
started. I wanted to know if you knew for any possible reason for
this behavior as well as what should I do when I do a partial
because he is at the very top of the tank and any decrease in
water level would expose him to air? Any advice or information
would be greatly appreciated.
<I salute your efforts at DIY... and thank you for providing
sufficient information and images. This specimen is badly
bleached, and the basal disc evidently torn... When you have
time, real interest, please read the sum total of what is
archived on WWM re Entacmaea. Bob Fenner>
BTA Health\System Overstocked with inappropriate
species\Allelopathy . No surprises unfortunately.
First off I have to say your website has been an invaluable
resource to me for my all things Salt and Fresh water
<Thank you for the kind words.>
I am writing to you today because I have an issue with a newly
I acclimated it over a couple of hours and added it to my tank. I
had to go away for a couple of days so I had another friend who
has salt water (whom I thought knew what they were doing) look
after my tank for top ups.
Normally I keep some salt water premixed with a higher alkalinity
to use over the month.
<?? Higher alkalinity?>
Since my place is cold in the winter, I find keeping the water at
the higher alkalinity and then adding hot water to above temp and
to the correct parameters helps as I can let it sit for a few
hours to allow the
salt and water to mix
<I think you are talking about salinity.... very different
Unfortunately, my friend did not read the instructions on my
bucket and decided to add a gallon the mix directly to my tank.
After a couple of days when I came home to find my tank was over
1.032. Yeah.. I wasn't impressed.
The BTA was still shriveled up, my branching hammer I had,
developed brown jelly disease ( I have since quarantined it and
took a soft artists paint brush to it to remove as much of the
jelly as possible and then freshwater dipped it and am changing
the water daily to meet the tank specs). The fish were not
affected. nor the other corals.
<From the stocking list, it could have had several causes,
stinging, allelopathy, or attacked. see below.>
Other tank inhabitants in 25g set up for 6 months, ammonia 0,
nitrite 0, nitrate 2, alkalinity now 1.026,
<You mean salinity, not alkalinity. Read here for information
on alkalinity. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm and
calcium 420, ph 8.2, temp 78 degrees.
130w 24" pc lighting:
AquaClear 70 for fuge
25lbs live rock
- True Perc
- 2 Scissortail Goby
- 1 cleaner shrimp
- 1 peppermint shrimp <Peppermint shrimp are NOT reef
- GSP <Green Spotted Puffer? Inappropriate for this tank.
Certainly NOT reef safe. read here:
- Suncoral (seemed starved from buyer. I've been segregating
in floating container and target feeding crushed wet pellet food,
brine shrimp, krill and Mysis. polyps now starting to expand)
Only a couple of days old.
- Xenia on a shell
- Mushrooms 4 quarter size or less
- Zoas 4x10polyps frags
- Duncans 4 big heads and 11 babies
- Blasto Wellsi
- Acro frag
- Candycanes 6 heads.
- Toadstool very small
- Feather Caulerpa
- Branching hammer (in recovery)
- Frogspawn (which has a feathery thing that pumps in and out of
what looks like a mouth. never seen that before.)
<Lots of noxious corals here. Very high potential for
'chemical warfare' with each other. Read here:
(Note: Will be upgrading to 55g with 6x39w Tek T5 lights in a
<Still too small for the fish you have listed.>
So over the last 48hours I have been doing water changes to
reduce the alkalinity. I am now at 1.026. I am checking it every
couple of hours now, watching fish health and watching the other
corals. They all appear to be acting normally.
<1.026 is fine, particularly for invertebrates.>
The BTA has now moved today, from the rock on the back of the
tank to a position towards the front of the tank. The pick I have
included it showing where it is now. The top is still attached to
the rock. It appears to open and close it's mouth.
<Not a good sign.>
There also appears to be some tissue degradation. It also looks
like it was chewed a bit,
<Given a peppermint shrimp, chewed is likely.>
though the area that is attached to the rock look fine. It is
mostly in the middle that it looks a little nasty. There is only
a small little area that appears to look like the same kind of
melt you would see on a hammer, but it isn't brown but
It is only on 10% of the anemone.
Is there a chance this nem will make it, or should I make my
friend buy me a new one?
<It doesn't look good, but I would not be so quick to
blame your friend.
This system is completely inappropriate for an anemone.>
I have read BTA have made come backs after being chewed up in a
filter etc, so I am hoping I can get this to survive, even if it
is only going to be half or a quarter of the size it was
originally. What can I do to try to save it?
<Get it out of that system to start. Lose the peppermint
shrimp, and a fair number of your corals.>
(i.e., cut off the white area? dip in meds?) I am thinking this guy
is super stressed so I am hoping after a week or so it will
<Pages have been written on this Start here:
Your advice is greatly appreciated.
<Please read the above linked articles.>
Re: BTA Health\System Update 5/5/2009
Sorry, I always get the names for alkalinity and salinity mixed
up.. you are correct I am referring to salinity. the alkalinity
in the tank has been between 4 and 4.5 mEq/litre. duh.. we all
have our moments.
<Yes we do. I spent two minutes yesterday morning trying to
start my car with the wrong key.>
GSP - Green star polyps. ( no puffers in this tank or future
tanks. don't like them)
<Ahh OK.GSP normally means Green Spotted Puffer Do keep in
mind that Green Star Polyps do spread, and will sting other
I must also note these corals are small even for colonies. No
larger than 3 inches by 3 inches squared. The others are frags
and yes I know they will grow, but that is why I have purchased
the corals as frags or small
colonies. The toadstool is half the size of an average persons
<Understood, but still realize that some of these corals
secrete very toxic substances, even when small. This can and will
have an effect on other livestock, especially in a small
I removed and quarantined the BTA in a hospital tank. I will be
observing over the next 24hrs, but prognosis definitely not
<It usually isn't at this point.>
I will need to purchase iodine for any future issues.
All the fish are just fine and other corals are doing very well.
Frogspawn has not developed any issues. I was concerned it might
start to show sign of the brown goopy slime from the hammer, but
I guess I got it out of there in time as soon as I noticed it,
and no issues from the degrading BTA.
Suncoral eating good and more flesh showing from polyps. Fish
I will ask for your advice now then, when setting up the 55G
(36x18x22) how many fish would you suggest max to put in it?
I have to say I am rather confused on this subject as I have come
across on information on several sites stating you can have up to
4-5 fish 3.5" max size fish in a 25g with corals, and others
who say it is too much.
<Too much. Conservatively, 1 fish per square foot of tank
In addition to my current stock, I would like to be able to add 2
Firefish goby and 1 other onyx clownfish.
The damsel may be removed as it gets older if it's
territorial behavior becomes a real issue and causes stress to
the other fish.
<Given your current and future tank size, I would lose the
damsel, lost the peppermint shrimp, and add the Firefish. You
should not add another clown.>
I will also be adding the following
- 25lbs live rock (in addition to what I have)
- 40lbs aragonite sand wet
- skimmer (eventually)
<Skimmer sooner rather than later, especially with
- additional Aquaclear filter to use for Just polyfill and weekly
carbon filter changes, in addition to the AC70 currently in use
as a fuge with live
rock and Chemi-pure. Purigen will also be added.
- Maxi-jet 1200 for flow from the opposite side of the tank with
one of those wavemaker things on it.
I hope to create a scape where I can create a border in the
middle by about 6-8 inches to break up linear water flow. I also
hope to separate different types of corals to either side. such
as Zoas, GSP, xenia and leather on one side, and Hammer and
frogspawn on the other side, with a couple Acro frags (maybe 4
favorites max) secure on the top of the stacked rock.
<Not enough light for Acropora, not really enough light for
The BTA will move where it wants,
<Stinging all of your other corals in the process. Anemones
really should not be kept with corals.>
but I hope I can create a foothold somewhere it will live.
<Better to skip the anemone altogether.>
I have added a couple of pics to give you an idea of my current
tank size.... note the water is filled past the black line
<No pictures attached.>
That was just a quick shot. I have tried to keep the corals
separated so they are not touching. In the 55g. they will be
given a lot of space to grow out.
Your advice is much appreciated. I want to ensure I give the best
home to my fish and corals that I can provide (on my limited
Bubble Tip Anemones... improper env... no ref!
I have searched, and cannot for the life of me found the information I
am looking for.
I have a small 29 gallon tank. It is a BioCube from Oceanic with 10K
light, blue actinic lighting, and a moonlight.
I have not made modifications or upgrades. The system consists of 16
pounds of live rock, 10 pounds of base rock, 20 pounds of live sand
(aragonite). The occupants are
1 false percula,
1 red scooter blenny, <May have a problem finding enough food in a
tank this small>
46 blue hermit crabs, <That is a lot of crabs.>
2 chestnut snails,
2 peppermint shrimp
1 bubble tip anemone.
<I think I see the problem already...>
My previous research did NOT indicate that the BTA would compact upon
<They can and will, sometimes because they "feel like it"
other times because of stress.>
At which point, I panicked. I now understand this behaviour, but I
still wonder about the frequency and the duration of this. It has done
it twice within twelve hours.
<That is excessive.>
If you could add images of a healthy 'hunkered down' BTA to
your FAQ, this would be wonderful. Adding the possible duration and
frequency and what isn't normal would be even better.
<"Normal" is very subjective.>
I researched Peppermint shrimp. And, now, I wonder if my shrimp might
be harassing my BTA. Can that happen?
<Ding - We have a winner. Peppermint shrimp are not reef safe, and
will eat anemones.>
I am still waiting for my BTA and my Ocellaris to form a
<Can take days\weeks, if it happens at all. Bubble Tips are not
natural hosts for Ocellaris clowns.>
I have had both for over a week and a half. The tank has been up for a
little over a month.
<A bit too soon to be adding anemones.>
The damsels were banished to my son's tank... and now we are down
to two of those little devils from our four!
GBTA not inflating (with pictures)... Premnas...
Allelopathy, lack of nutrition... more? Def. reading
Quick overview of tank...65 gallon, 2x150W 14K HQI w/ 4x39W super
actinic T5. SG=1.025, no3=0, ca=460,
<Need soluble phosphate...>
Problem: For a while now my green bubble tip has not inflated,
and/or stayed inflated for a long time.
<Getting beaten to death by the Maroons...>
I understand that if it wasn't happy it would move but the
anemone never moves. I tried to see if it was attached strongly
to the rock and sure enough holds the rock very strong. The
anemone is ~20 inches away from the lights in the middle.
<Mmm, may need more light, feeding...?>
All bulbs are about a month old.
Did not move or improve when the new bulbs were installed. The
mouth pretty much always stays tight, never is the mouth just
fully open and loose.
When the anemone does inflate, the tentacles are not smooth they
are all bendy.
No color loss, the anemone is always a green color. I've
tried feeding Mysis
<Mmm, not useful... need larger foods>
and still the anemone does not come around. Do you have any idea
or any suggestions that would make this anemone happy again?
<All sorts. Read here:
and the linked files above>
and if it doesn't like its location, why doesn't it move?
Should I try and just remove it from the rock if I can(without
ripping the foot)?
Attached are pictures of what it always looks like (deflated),
what it sometimes looks like(inflated) and the RBTA that sits
right next too it that is doing wonderfully....
<Oh... and re Allelopathy... These are fighting... the one
sorry for the quality of pictures
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for all your help. I have another question. I have a 55gl
flow with a 48" 108 watt T5 High Output Lighting Fixture. I have a
bubble tip anemone. I have had it for several months. My water
qualities seems superb as my sand sifter snails are laying eggs along
the tank wall. All my water tests come back within normal range as
My anemone is roughly 1/4 the size it was when I purchased it.
<This... is telling>
I just can't seem to keep an anemone without this "withering
<Perhaps a bit of reading>
I am curious as to what your opinion is. Is it my lightning?
<Maybe, but likely...>
Or is it that I would feed it from time to time
<Has to be>
, thus causing it to stop producing it's own food.
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>