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Old 03-29-2006, 12:34 AM   #1
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Anemone is dead...... trying to figure out why

Added my first anemone two weeks ago, and now he is in the trash. Any insights into why and if I should try again will be greatly appreciated.

I have a 45 gal setup with 50lbs of LR and 35lbs of LS. My tank (my first venture into this hobby) has been up for about 8 months now. My lighting is 192 watts (2 x 96; daylight and actinic) compact fluorescent... I was informed this would be adequate, is this correct?

Scenario:
Added LTA that seemed pretty healthy in the LFS, no scrapes of his foot and even witnessed him eat before I bought him. Once I added him to my tank there was a brief spike in ammonia (remedied by adding bacteria-in-a-bottle, and confirmed with subsequent daily water testing) but other than that the water parameters were good and constant. He did not seem to settle in at first, as he roamed around half the tank for the first week or so. I became concerned when I found him upsidedown one morning. So about a week ago I figured I would facilitate by digging him a nice hole (about 4 inches) in the sand. After that he seemed to be OK. This morning he was all shrivel up and laying on his side. This afternoon he was still shriveled, half his foot had turned into a whitish mush, and he stunk like nothing I had ever smelled before.... now he is in the trash.

Where did I go wrong?
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:03 AM   #2
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I would guess the ammonia spike may have done it. It doesn't take much ammonia to kill an anemone. Your lights are fine, but even if they weren't, an anemone isn't going to die that quickly from inadequate lighting.
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Old 03-29-2006, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Anemone is dead...... trying to figure out why

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcurlsjr
Once I added him to my tank there was a brief spike in ammonia (remedied by adding bacteria-in-a-bottle, and confirmed with subsequent daily water testing) but other than that the water parameters were good and constant.

Where did I go wrong?
With the bacteria in a bottle. The ammonia reading could have been there or there is a small possibility you got a false possitive. Either way, any such reading should have promted an immediate large water change with well aged/aerated SW. Reducing these numbers is by far the fastest safest way of bringing them back into line.

FWIW, adding an anemone to the tank should not have caused any kind of change in water quality. I would suggest regular testing for a few weeks to be sure it does not pop up again before adding any new animals. Have there been any recent deaths/changes prior to this?

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Old 03-29-2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: Anemone is dead...... trying to figure out why

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
FWIW, adding an anemone to the tank should not have caused any kind of change in water quality. I would suggest regular testing for a few weeks to be sure it does not pop up again before adding any new animals. Have there been any recent deaths/changes prior to this?
There were no recent deaths or changes... the last animal was added about 45 days prior. I have been doing testing every other day since that ammonia spike, and everything seems fine.
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Old 03-29-2006, 03:56 PM   #5
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I'm wondering if perhaps the anemone may have expelled some ammonia from a stress related factor. I don't know if it's possible with coral and anemones as it is with fish, but a stressed out fish generally has somekind of labored/heavy breathing (respiration increases) and this produces ammonia from the fish (the gills are a source of ammonia). Coral and anemones don't have gills, but surely they do breathe. Given the fact the anemone died so quickly after introduction, perhaps something about it may have produced ammonia...something 'not right' with the animal itself health wise.

A curious question here...do you let the bag water into your tank or do you discard that after acclimating the animal???
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TCTFish
I'm wondering if perhaps the anemone may have expelled some ammonia from a stress related factor. I don't know if it's possible with coral and anemones as it is with fish,
They don't

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Old 03-30-2006, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCTFish
A curious question here...do you let the bag water into your tank or do you discard that after acclimating the animal???
I did not let any of the bag water into my setup.

As for it being stressed, I have been thinking the same thing but if my lighting was good, and my water parameters (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH, salinity, and temperature) were all good, baring that initial jump in ammonia, what could have stressed the animal out?
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:17 PM   #8
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Adding coral and anemones into a system really doesn't put any dents into the bio, so something somwhere caused the ammonia spike and that is what most likely killed the anemone. Perhaps something did die and it's just all coincidental. Reef hermits, crabs...oh and snails...a dead snail can make the ammonia go up. Another thing I had in mind is perhaps the anemone spit up its innards (a classic sign of an anemone on it's death bed).

The most stressing times for any animal is going from one environment to another. Even if your water parameters are perfect, the chemistry, molecule by molecule is different. Acclimation should be slow (a drip line for an hour) is most recommended. This gives a slow introduction of different water to the animal's biology and lessens stress.

There are times when things die and baffles and defies common knowledge. After all, we are dealing with wild animals and anything can happen when you put a wild animal in a see through box.

Better luck next time.
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The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
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