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Old 02-07-2006, 11:16 AM   #1
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Shrinking and expanding Anemone

Hello,

First of all I am a saltwater newbie but have been doing a lot of reading/research and very recently starting reading many posts on this board... which by the way is full of GREAT information! First, a run down of my tank:

20g
UGF (I know, this is not recommended but I found out to late)
HOB whisper 20 power filter w/Activated carbon and zeolite mix
~8 lbs LR
2 black/white striped damsels
1 blue devil damsel
2 percula clowns
1 peppermint shrimp
1 pink tipped anemone
--------------------------
1 month old tank
0 ppm Ammonia
0 ppm nitrite
20 ppm nitrate
8.2 PH
1.022

I am saving for a protien skimmer to replace the undergravel filter. I will have questions when it comes time to break down the UGF (how to minimize stress on my inhabitants when I do the switch) but will wait until I actually have the skimmer to ask those questions.

My question today is regarding my anemone. I just purchased him last saturday and was doing fine...until last night. When I came to feed everybody I saw he was half balled up with limp grey tentacles. This morning however, he was back to his full glory looking seemingly normal. So far I am only using an 18" 15w 18000K Full spectrum powerglow flourescent light. Do I need better lighting for him? Also, How much and how often should I feed him. I have been told to feed him a piece of krill once a week so I have only fed him once.

Thanks in advance for fielding my questions and helping me along!
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:30 AM   #2
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Wow, this quite the quandary. Since you are aware of the problems with your filtration, I won't hash that. I feel I should start by stating, that's alot of fish in a 20g tank. Also, a month old tank is still establishing itself regardless of the readings and it is normally suggested anemones not be considered til the tank has a chance to mature. 8-12months.

That said, by pink tip I'm assuming you are talking about a condy anemone. They do require more lighting then what you have. You have less than 1wpg and condy's like light. Feeding it once or twice a week may help but it's not an ideal situation for the animal.

Reasons your anemone may be shrank up could be the lights, it could be expelling waste, if this only happens at night, it could be resting. Since he was fully expanded this morning, I'd lean toward expelling waste as the culprit. I'd look at new lights, PC lights are reasonably priced, before I'd bother with purchasing a skimmer.
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:35 AM   #3
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Hi! Welcome to AA!

I'm have never kept an anenome, so a more seasoned SW anenome member will have to help you here.... but just from your post and what I do know, your 20g is over stocked and way too new/young to even think about an anenome. Your lighting is nowhere near enough for it to live either.

I would guess the best thing would be to return it to the LFS and wait until you can properly house an anemone... Stinks, but will stink worse when it perishes eh?

Your also very likely not going to be able to keep ANY other fish with those damsels you have... they get very aggressive. Lose them and keep your clowns and inverts.

You need to be testing your water daily to make sure you are through with your cycle and keep up with PWC, even more so since you have quite a bit of fish in such a new tank.

Anyhow, Upgrade your lighting, age that tank and then add some things back...

Keep reading here, loads of great info!!!
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlammert
been doing a lot of reading/research and very recently starting reading many posts on this board.
You need to do quite a bit more research before going too much further and loosing your tank due to miss management.

The articles on this site, articles on liveaquaria.com, and buying a good book are good places to get the “basics” of keeping SW fish.

I’d also recommend returning the anemone back to the lfs or at the very least returning all the damsels and upgrading to PC lighting of at least 130w if you want it to live.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecwzrd
You need to do quite a bit more research before going too much further and loosing your tank due to miss management.
I think part of the problem is that I have too much info from too many sources ... In all my reading on this topic I have seen so many contradictions Im not quite sure what is right and what is wrong. Being that you guys are here and offering your advice from experience I plan on following your recommendations. Please try not to pick on me!

Anyway, I had introduced the damsels first, left them by themselves for a week, then added the clowns. Also from what I read the general guideline for stocking the aquarium in the first 6 months is to keep a ratio of 1 inch per 2 gallons. I am under that limit now and dont plan on adding more fish. I do have the best interest of my inhabitants in mind so I will take the advice of returning the anemone if the conditions aren't right. If you guys think the tank is still overstocked, would you recommend going for the protien skimmer right away or going as far as returning the damsels as well. As far as there aggressiveness is concerned, the 3 stripe damsels do fight with each other sometimes but strangely the blue damsel is the mediator of the fish and doesnt let them pick on the clowns.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:17 PM   #6
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No one is picking.
We have your best intrest as well as the interest of the fish in mind and want to help you be successful. The one thing you have going for you is that your fish are all damsels. Even the clowns and is why your not having to bad a time with them, yet. They will establish a hierachy but in time as they grow they will become more territorial and are gonna require more space than a 20g tank can give them. I don't like the inch per gallon rule since it really depends on the nature of the fish. Damsel by nature are aggressive and territorial. While it may work for now, later on you may have more aggression issues. I would choose two or three fish you like and return the others. And yeah, I would return the anemone and wait til you can upgrade your lights, give your tank a few months to mature then try again. I wouldn't worry to much about the skimmer. Of course it will help but I'd put that money into changing over your filtration.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:20 PM   #7
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No picking on ya! Just trying to help you fix a train wreck about to happen.

If you got most of your advice from your LFS (local fish store) you might have gotten off on the wrong foot... everyone here will try to help you get it corrected, even if it's not "feel good" advice. No one here has anything to gain (other than a new happy sw member), unlike the fLFS who want your $$$$

1 week isn't enough time for your tank to cycle, no matter if you cycle with fish or a dead shrimp. so you reallllllly need to return the anenome and the damsels.. if you are going to keep the clowns and all, you need to test a lot and stay on top of PWC and

Inch per gallon rule doesn't really apply to SW for many reasons... diff. fish types produce more waste, some need more space for territory, and also, water conditions going down hill fast can cause you to loose everything, so it's always best to understock and atleast with a smaller tank and while you are new to this hobby... most of us have learned this the hard way

I say return those fish and the anemone, get a skimmer, lighting can be upgraded later

again, READ READ READ and ask away... This will be a fun hobby if you educate your choices and have patience
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Kimberly in NE Florida
*******
Cycle complete Early 2-06
29g reef
2 ph and 1 HOB =460 gph
130watt Orbit lighting system
50+lbs lr
1 blue green chromis, domino, blue devil
6 turbo snails
1 mantis GRRRR!
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:22 PM   #8
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LOL I could have just waited 3 minutes and said "Ditto" to FLUFF
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Kimberly in NE Florida
*******
Cycle complete Early 2-06
29g reef
2 ph and 1 HOB =460 gph
130watt Orbit lighting system
50+lbs lr
1 blue green chromis, domino, blue devil
6 turbo snails
1 mantis GRRRR!
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlammert
In all my reading on this topic I have seen so many contradictions Im not quite sure what is right and what is wrong. Please try not to pick on me! .
Not picking, we all make beginner mistakes and the sources I linked to are pretty helpful

Quote:
Also from what I read the general guideline for stocking the aquarium in the first 6 months is to keep a ratio of 1 inch per 2 gallons.
That guideline is closer to FW and not SW. For saltwater fish the general guideline is 1” per 5 gal and you are over that limit considerably which is why Fluff said you are overstocked. The two clownfish would be fine in a 20 gal high and even 2 more smaller fish if you have a 20 gal long could be done once your tank is more mature and you have adequate filtrations ie: 1-1.5 lr, a quality skimmer, & good circulation. SW doesn’t exchange O2 as well as FW which is one of the reasons that you should keep less fish. The other is that SW fish/inverts come from a stable environment (the ocean) and need stable water parameters or else they will die. FW fish can tolerate much less then “perfect” water conditions because they come from less then perfect conditions naturally.

Quote:
would you recommend going for the protein skimmer right away or going as far as returning the damsels as well.
Neither will help your anemone since it mainly needs high light in order to survive. Returning the damsels and getting a protein skimmer will help improve the water quality though.

Do you know which anemone you have? Tube anemones are one of the few that can survive in low light but they are not used as hosts by clownfish.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida8
LOL I could have just waited 3 minutes and said "Ditto" to FLUFF
I’d much rather have 3+ replies with varying ideas then only one with a bunch of people parroting each other I think we all contribute greatly with differing points of view and it’s what makes this site so helpful
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