View Full Version : LTA affraid of the dark?

09/19/2017, 07:32 AM
I got my purple LTA about a week ago after doing much research and reading everything i could on the subject. I know my tank is not the most mature, but my cycle went well, and all my nutrients are spot on, so i figured wth, why not?

Right away, it was a challenge to get him to stick anywhere, i'd dig a hole and put him in it, and put some small rubble burried next to him to help him feel secure, and to help with the current. Invariably, the next morning i'd find him either floating around in circles, or wedged in some cave in my live rock away from direct light. After a few days of this he started retracting completely and looked like an orange ping pong ball floating around in the morning... i'd plant him back under the lights, and he'd open up again... i did target feed him some rehydrated mysis shrimp early on, but then he just stopped eating after being so stressed out. every morning i'd find him wedged in some crevice seemingly unable to find an adequate spot. i tried slowing my flow a bit and stopping my ph completely, but i was worried about my bio-filter holding up, so i restarted it and brought it to a moderate/lowish flow.

Last night, i stayed up late to observe, and like clockwork when the lights went out, he retracted his tentacles and started to come out of his deep sandy spot. before he was completely free and floating i put on all the lights to full, and low and behold, he opened back up and sank back down!

To see if I was going nuts, i again put the lights on nighttime cycle (which was 3% blue and 0% white) and bam, he'd close up again! so I tweaked, and found a sweet spot that he stays open for the night cycle with 25% blue and 0% white, which my Chromis dont seem to mind, because they were asleep, but my clowns never settled down. i am going to try to slowly, over the next several days decrease the lux for the night cycle and see if i can find a sweeter spot to let my clowns rest, but have a night light for my chicken ish Anemone.

Anyone else observe this?

Small Heavens
09/20/2017, 10:50 AM
It just needs help.

Think of it as a tree rolling around on your living floor while you are considering what could be wrong with the air conditions or the window positions.

Everyone told you that it will do fine without a pot because it will move by it self & anchor by itself ..but your eyes are confirming differently.

Just help it settle in and you should be fine to enjoy your Macrodactyla.

09/20/2017, 12:27 PM
Sounds like you may be dealing w/ issues from non matured tank to me, and maybe not in right location, but darkness is not an issue, they should just close up w/ lights out.

Pics would help

Small Heavens
09/22/2017, 05:24 AM
A tank that has not matured for a full year, has the potential to become slightly toxic when different growth of bacteria is stabilising itself, sometimes propelling a rise in ammonia and nitrites long after the so-called cycle of starting the tank.

If the tests are literally showing no toxins, and there is nothing otherwise obviously wrong (temperature completely wrong, lack of skimmer leaving the tank without enough oxygen, forgetting that anemones only live in saltwater or such), then there is nothing the anemones can do to sense the age of the tank.

Don't let worry about air or the position of the window be your concern if a tree is lying on its side in your living room.

Put it up straight in a good position and help if with the digging.
The macrodactyla works like a sun-clock.

It gets up in the morning, curl all its corkscrew tentacles into position to catch pray, and pulls back in for the night.

When it has been moved, it will stretch a lot to examine it's new surroundings. If it does not have a fixed place it like, it will try jumping the current.

Making macrodactyla settle seems to be about making the flow appear to stop where it is at. If all flows seem to lead to the place it is in, it will like it. If the flow seems to take all the food past the place it is at, it will jump the current to settle where the flow seem to be taking everything.

Using a small cup or tube with a closed end can make it feel safer and it is easier to place and gently pile up sand to it.

If the Macrodactyla Doreensis can't find a place for its root, it can give up life on that basis.

If your tests are all showing no toxins, don't worry about the water chemistry.

Remember to keep a slight hint of phosphates for it, but never too much, so be ready to pull it back down with Carbon dosing etc.

The Macrodactyla will settle if it can. But it runs on a spriral clock all day every day. It will have to pull in at nighttime and then it will rearrange it's foot to suit what it learned about its current position during the day.

Just look at the little thing , rolling around trying to find a place to grow. Just because everyone told you that it would plant itself right in there, doesn't mean that it is doing what they said it would. Think for the plant, it can only move, it can't think about it. It will stretch around and try to move to the best place. It wants good currents to bring it food and it wants it's foot to be safe. Make that happen for it and it will start rolling in and out during nighttime and daytime cycles, preparing to grow in the direction that seems to be best for expansion.

Don't give up, they are worth it.

Small Heavens
09/22/2017, 05:34 AM
On a side note, regarding recognising when it is too late to fight for your anemone:

If you at any time see the tentacles melting their outer surface, the anemone has already died, and should be removed from any other livestock as they will release not only ammonia but also stinging cells into the water so fast that it almost always bring complete devastation to the tank they reside in.

09/22/2017, 09:19 AM
update, and the reason i haven't gotten back to the thread since i started it...

so, my aquarium was going great, pH was at 8.3 and very stable, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate around 5ppm, phosphate was also very low. the only issues I had was the quirky behavior of the anemone.

The day after posting the thread, i did a standard 30% water change (using reef crystals which seems to help stabilize pH). the only part nonstandard was that after I was done, my return pump did not start back up, it was dead! and of course i did not have a backup. It was 12 hours before i was able to get a new pump in there working, in the mean time i put an airstone in the fuge hoping to quell a dye off in my rock/sandbed.

At this point I probably SHOULD have tested the water in the sump before starting up the new pump, but alas, i did not. I still had the powerhead running in my DT so I was hoping there would be no die off there either. after a few hours of starting everything back up again to tested my parameters, and i was completely shocked!

salinity 1.025
pH- 7.8
Ammonia - 6ppm
Nitrite - 5ppm
Nitrate near 0.

SO, it looks like my nitrogen cycle has restarted! great! problem is, i have 3 chromis, 2 clowns, an LTA, a mini-maxi, and assorted invert CUC! i rushed out to petco and bought a bottle of Ammo-lock and Bio-Spira to jump start things again, and neutralize the ammonia in the water. also dosed with some sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for the pH, and some vodka, to help the bacteria growth. before dumping all this mitigation into the water i performed a 50% water change to no effect on the levels. i also stopped my skimmer to not take the bacteria before they got to colonize. now 2 days into this cycle, and my parameters have not improved at all. and both nems look like they are about to die. i don't have a quarantine i can move them to in the mean time i put them in separate specimen containers hanging inside the DT with an airstone in each. the water is brand new mixed salt water, and I added a piece of live rock with each.

i am not sure what else to do. the maxi is shriveled up with a big ol' gaping mouth and the LTA is open with shriveled up tentacles, and had some brown stringy stuff coming out of its mouth. but it is completely unresponsive to any external stimuli the purple color is still very good though.

not sure what else i can do... ideas?

Small Heavens
09/22/2017, 10:31 AM
Oh no, what a nightmare, I am sorry about that.
You are doing everything I can think of already.

The ammonia have probably burned the gills of the fishes, so I am not sure how to deal with it from here. If the nems die in the tank, a lot usually dies with it, so remove them fast if they continue to decline and you think that you can still save the fishes, would be my best advice.

09/22/2017, 11:23 AM
Thanks! I am hoping I got the ammo lock in before too much damage was done to the fish. They look ok aside from being hungry since I have not fed them since yesterday morning. I may give a small amount of flake tonight just to keep them going. The bio-spira should have started doing its thing by now, but last night ammonia and nitrite was still very high. I guess it's a waiting game. Anyone have experience with ammo lock? It says to dose every 48 hrs until ammonia is gone. Can I overdose?

Small Heavens
09/22/2017, 02:34 PM
That is good to hear. The types I have used was all natural and you can't overdose as far as what I know, so if ammo lock is based on the same basic formulas, it should be safe enough. It should render ammonia harmless if temperature and alk is level, at high alk, it last shorter before the effect stops.

I was just watching my LTA close up its skirts up for the evening, and I was wondering how you were doing.
I hope luck and hard work is on your side, and thanks for the update. Keep going and best of luck.

09/23/2017, 12:24 AM
QT tank does not have to be a tank. Find a couple buckets, cheap tubs, or something.

You can get 5 gallon buckets at home depot for $5. If you have salt buckets, just use those. Get the nems out of the ammonia fast.

Put in airstones, or a (protected) powerhead, a small heater, and brand new water. You can throw in some dead rock and bio-spira in the meantime. If you see ammonia spike in the bucket, just dump seachem prime in there (that'll probably be bad for the bio-spira, but at least you'll fight off the ammonia). Doing 4 - 5 gallon water changes every couple days in the buckets should do it while you figure out your main tank.