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Old 01-24-2005, 09:48 PM   #1
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Anemone stressed by Cleaner shrimp???

First of all, I should say stressed to death.

My anemone (RBTA) was near death for the last few days. My wife took the action of destroying it today before it destroyed my tank. I think it was the best option, although she did it before consulting me, I told her she did the right thing.

Here is the chronology and details. 180 gallon tank, up 1.5 yrs, anemone been in the tank 6 months. The anemone was never accepted as a host, which hurt its chances of survival I fear. For 4 months it was happy in one spot. I moved some powerheads and it moved accordingly. Unfortunatly it moved into the territory of my cleaner shrimp. The shrimp harrassed it for a month, but the anemone continued to feed and act normally, although it was forced to colse up a great deal. About a month ago, the anemone moved to the underside of a rock, making it impossible to feed, the shrimp continued to pick at it incessantly. 3 days ago I turned the rock over, the anemone was gaping open (not a good sign). It moved to a new spot and inflated, making me hopeful it may recover. It still had its coloration and looked ok. Today while I was at work, it began to deflate and was gaping again (no dark discharge, just looked like its guts were spewing). My wife removed it from the tank for inspection, there was a hole from the mouth through to the foot! She then disposed of it.

Question is this, Anyone heard of anything similar? I keep salinity around 1.25, ammonia, nitrites at 0, nitrate .1. No algea problems, no cyano, no apstasia. Tank seems very stable. Just looking for options before introducing another anemone to its death.

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Old 01-25-2005, 06:54 PM   #2
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An anemone can go without a host. It sounds as though the anemone had something on it that the shrimp obviously found good to eat. To be honest with you, I've never heard of or seen cleaner shrimp pester an anemone. Maybe if the shrimp were starving maybe, however in such a large and well established reef tank, this should not be the case. There's plenty of food in and on the rocks along with whatever you are offering. I don't know if parasites can affect anemones or not. Cleaner shrimp do eat parasites. This is an area of reef I'm not very familiar with (diseases of coral and other inverts).

Check the parameters of the tank to double check everything is balanced and later try again if you wish. I highly doubt the shrimp did anything to cause any problems with the anemone. If anything, seeing something like that should make for a good warning sign to you that something might be wrong. A healthy anemone would move away from what is pestering it. I've seen this behavior caused by clowns that sometimes get too rough with their anemones. The anemones "run" away...lol.
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