Help - Anemones turning Brown.

Discussion in 'Clownfish & Anemones' started by nuz, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. nuz

    nuz New Member

    We have a Condylactis and Bubble tip anemone.
    The condy was opaque white with purple tips when we got it. It is now brown and doesn't seem to react to our touch any more - but still eats.
    The bubble tip was bright green and is now turning a murky brown color. It shrivels up about 50% of the time. But when it is extended it doesnt look very impressive. It's been eating as well.
    We have appropriate lighting. We feed them shrimp once a week and supplement the water with phytoplankton and biozyme, and have just begun supplementing with iodine and calcium on Sunday. Our water quality is excellent.
    What could be going on?
  2. spanko

    spanko Active Member

    For the white condy turning brown this is a good thing. Means its symbiotic algae is growing back. It still has the purple tips?
    On the green BTA I am not sure about it turning brown. I think we need PD in here to help PDQ.
  3. nuz

    nuz New Member

    How long will it be brown? I am glad to hear that this is a good thing but I must be honest and say that I miss it's pearly white color. Ha! yes, it still has it's tips.
    What is PD, and what is PDQ...?
    Sorry, I'm sooo new here.
  4. lexluethar

    lexluethar New Member

    They will turn brown when they regain their zooantha algae. This is a good thing. Avoid white anemones, as they are bleached. Your anemones are perfectly healthy - and in fact if you have proper lighting you can cut back on the feedings.
    My BTA's foot is tan, and the tenticles are almost a brown color.
  5. lexluethar

    lexluethar New Member

    It SHOULD stay brown from this point forward, unless it becomes unhealthy again.
  6. spanko

    spanko Active Member

    Hee Hee, sorry PD is a member on the boards Perfect Dark. He is the go to guy for anemone concerns. PDQ is Pretty darn quick.
  7. nuz

    nuz New Member

    Oh, ok - I had no idea. I thought that since they changed colors ever since we got them, there was something wrong...
    There's no problem with the BTA getting all shriveled up all the time? The condy does this when it's digesting, but the BTA seems to do it very frequently.
  8. perfectdark

    perfectdark New Member

    Originally Posted by Nuz

    Oh, ok - I had no idea. I thought that since they changed colors ever since we got them, there was something wrong...
    There's no problem with the BTA getting all shriveled up all the time? The condy does this when it's digesting, but the BTA seems to do it very frequently.
    The re-introduction of zooxanthellae appears to have been facilitated by good lighting and supplemental feedings, (this is a good thing). Gauging on how fast things turned around for you, I am speculating but your over feeding now. Anemones, like already stated if in the right environment dont need to be fed, and could actually be stressing over it.
    Brown is their normal color, a green bta is typically only green when flouresced. Its primary color is carmel brown, hints of shades of green are seen throughout. When it bleaches the pigments never go away so the green looks more vibrant which is why company's bleach their anems on purpose.
    If you not testing for calcium and iodine STOP DOSING!!!! Especially Iodine, this can be deadly to inverts. And I do not believe there is a test for iodine, so I am guessing this was some LFS advice. No more dosing phyto, its not benifiting much of anything in your tank. Although a list of other inhabitants would make me positive of that statment I took an educated guess. And for now stop the spot feedings. You say your water is good, it would be benificial to us for you to post specific readings on pH, alk, nitrates, nitrites, salinity and temp. Also more about your tank, and what type of lighting you have. BTW I am not demanding you do those things I listed just strongly suggested... Good Luck.
  9. nuz

    nuz New Member

    No problem! I understand that there are SO many factors, it would only be sensible to list specific test readings. I will have to go get those later today (I'm at work now). From memory, pH, alkalinity, ammonia, etc... everything is in the "ideal" range (judging on the charts given with the test kit). Out salinity is usually about 1.022-1.023. Temperature is about 78-79F this morning.
    The iodine was recommended by several friends who use it to supplement their tanks. In fact, no LFS ever mentioned it to us.
    The phytoplankton is for our corals like the pulsing xenia and polyps.
  10. perfectdark

    perfectdark New Member

    Originally Posted by Nuz

    No problem! I understand that there are SO many factors, it would only be sensible to list specific test readings. I will have to go get those later today (I'm at work now). From memory, pH, alkalinity, ammonia, etc... everything is in the "ideal" range (judging on the charts given with the test kit). Out salinity is usually about 1.022-1.023. Temperature is about 78-79F this morning.
    The iodine was recommended by several friends who use it to supplement their tanks. In fact, no LFS ever mentioned it to us.
    The phytoplankton is for our corals like the pulsing xenia and polyps.
    If you are using test strips, I would recomend getting some good quality liquid test kits. These give much better results and may show something you are not aware of. Your salinity is low, 1.024 to 1.026 or 7 is a better range to target. It would also be advisable to get or at least borrow for now a refracometer to measure your salinity. If you are already great. You have a 23 gal tank? How often are your water changes? They should be about 10 to 15% every week. This would also replace every trace element your tank would use. I STRONGLY recomend to stop dosing iodine, and find out exactly what your calcium level is. FWIW, Your corals wont benifit that much from phyto, depending on what types of polyps you can feed zoe plankton, cyclops and big palys can even take on mysis. You can dose phyto now and then but IMO its shouldnt be a weekly thing.
  11. nuz

    nuz New Member

    We are going to invest in a master test kit soon. We have a liquid test kit for ammonia. Scanning through the posts - I have already come to the conclusion that our salinity is slightly low so we will be fixing that.
    Tank has been cycling for about 4 months now (2 with critters in it) and we have done one 10% water change. We have planned to do this every 3-4 weeks if necessary. If our water quality is still good then we skip the change - why change water if the quality is still good? Don't want to remove any of the beneficial bacteria we have been creating!
    We'll stop dosing iodine until we can find a test for it. And yes we still need to find a test for the calcium as well.
    We have a hydrometer for measuring salinity.
    The polyps are doing very well on the phytoplankton IMO, after only a few weeks in the tank they have already begun budding and spreading.
  12. perfectdark

    perfectdark New Member

    Originally Posted by Nuz

    We are going to invest in a master test kit soon. We have a liquid test kit for ammonia. Scanning through the posts - I have already come to the conclusion that our salinity is slightly low so we will be fixing that.
    Tank has been cycling for about 4 months now (2 with critters in it) and we have done one 10% water change. We have planned to do this every 3-4 weeks if necessary. If our water quality is still good then we skip the change - why change water if the quality is still good? Don't want to remove any of the beneficial bacteria we have been creating!
    We'll stop dosing iodine until we can find a test for it. And yes we still need to find a test for the calcium as well.
    We have a hydrometer for measuring salinity.
    The polyps are doing very well on the phytoplankton IMO, after only a few weeks in the tank they have already begun budding and spreading.
    Ok to further explain, first about water changes, just because your underware dont look dirty doesnt mean they are not. Its the same theory there are only a few elements you test for but lots more that are used, stronium, magnesium to name a couple. In a small aquarium weekly water changes are a must. Water quality issues although may look good, in small systems go bad very quickly. FYI you can take out 75% of your water and replace it with new SW and not remove 10% of the benificial bacteria in your tank. While some of it floats around your water column most of it resides in your LR, sand bed and filter media. Looking at a SW tank as a self sufficient biotope is where a lot of mistakes are made. We must look at them as land fills and we try not to let the waste get to toxic levels.
    Most all soft corals, mushrooms, polyps of all types propogate very very quickly and this is facilitated by your trace elements in your tank. However dosing phyto isnt going to hurt them, the only thing it may do is contribute to poor water quality.
    Lastly something I didnt touch on regarding your anemones. You have 2 anemones in a small tank. Both are different species, both have never or will never see or meet eachother in the wild. Although it is done it is not recomended to have more than one in such a small space, even for one your tank is small and eventually it will out grow it. Having said that, anemones can sense eachothers presence in tanks. This can result in 2 things either they remain passive and things go well, or they seek eachother out and battle it out. The one thing we cant be sure of and seems to follow issues with them, is they are capable of chemical warfare. Releasing toxins we cannot test for to harm eachother. They can also release their stinging cells, in hopes to harm the other inhabitant. Just another idea to throw out there.. if things dont improve. Running carbon can help.
  13. nuz

    nuz New Member

    Thank you for all the information. So, you don't think weekly water changes will harm the stability of our tank? I am mostly worried about changing their environment so much that it will shock them. Weekly seems a little extensive to me (in all honesty), everyone we know has recommended like I said 3-4 weeks, this includes friends and LFS alike...
    I believe the BTA is pacific and Condy is atlantic...?? Might have gotten the two mixed up. They have been in the tank together for a few weeks now and have even planted next to each other. They actually touch frequently. My boyfriend went and got the BTA and it was large than I thought it would be... so there was a little bit of tension there especially when they moved closer to each other. But thus far, they seem very peaceful.
    We just make sure to feed the Condy first because when we fed the BTA once, we noticed the condy reaching for the piece of shrimp in the BTA. However, I probably won't even be feeding shrimp anymore based on the advice of everyone on here.
  14. perfectdark

    perfectdark New Member

    Originally Posted by Nuz

    Thank you for all the information. So, you don't think weekly water changes will harm the stability of our tank? I am mostly worried about changing their environment so much that it will shock them. Weekly seems a little extensive to me (in all honesty), everyone we know has recommended like I said 3-4 weeks, this includes friends and LFS alike...
    I believe the BTA is pacific and Condy is atlantic...?? Might have gotten the two mixed up. They have been in the tank together for a few weeks now and have even planted next to each other. They actually touch frequently. My boyfriend went and got the BTA and it was large than I thought it would be... so there was a little bit of tension there especially when they moved closer to each other. But thus far, they seem very peaceful.
    We just make sure to feed the Condy first because when we fed the BTA once, we noticed the condy reaching for the piece of shrimp in the BTA. However, I probably won't even be feeding shrimp anymore based on the advice of everyone on here.
    No search around here, 99% of nano tank owners myself included do weekly water changes, its a must. Your fish get used to you, your sound, your voice and your presence in the tank. My cleaner shrimp jumps on my hand every time i stick it in my tank, and he cleans my fingers. My clownfish litterally swims into my palm. More aggressive species may actually nip at you.
    Tank size and bioload has every thing to do with maintancence schedule, the larger the tank the less frequent the mainanence. The more fish the more maintanence.
    As far as your anemones are concerned, you wont notice anything happening between them if they are fighting, its not violent, its not fast, it just happens. And it mostly looks like they are just swaying in the water. But observation is key, sighs of stress, staying deflated for longer periods of time, small shrunken look. These are all sighs of stress from somthing that the anemone doesnt like. The condy is a much stronger animal and its stings are more potent too. Its likley they it will kill the BTA in time, especially if they are touching already. If they moved closer to eachother I can assure you it wasnt to cuddle... keep an eye on them. Good Luck.
  15. nuz

    nuz New Member

    That is very interesting - as I mentioned before, the BTA seems to be shriveling up very frequently!!! Our BTA was MUCH more expensive than the condy... should I consider removing the condy??
  16. perfectdark

    perfectdark New Member

    Originally Posted by Nuz

    That is very interesting - as I mentioned before, the BTA seems to be shriveling up very frequently!!! Our BTA was MUCH more expensive than the condy... should I consider removing the condy??
    If your asking me my opinion? YES 100% I would get rid of the condy, they have much longer tenticles they are more aggressive and their bite is far worse than a BTA's. Again JMO... and I have owned both.
  17. lexluethar

    lexluethar New Member

    I agree with dark 100% on this.
  18. nuz

    nuz New Member

    That's what I'll do then, because my boyfriend will kill me if my $6 condy kills his BTA.
    Will ripping it off of the rock harm it? Can I at least salvage it and find a new home for it?
  19. spanko

    spanko Active Member

    Thank you for getting involved here PD. You are the anemone man!
  20. lexluethar

    lexluethar New Member

    I definately wouldn't throw it away. Either give/sell it to a friend or give it to your LFS for store credit. See if you can peal its foot off of the rock w/o tearing it, if it doesn't seem to be working try to point a powerhead at it. This will probably make the anemone want to move on its own at which point you grab it up. If that doesn't work after a few days, then try the ice cube method of working a cube around its foot making it slowly release its grasp.

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