View Full Version : RBTA Hiding under a rock for months now what should I do

11/18/2006, 07:39 AM
I have a RBTA that has been hiding under a ledge for months now and I am worried he is not getting enough light. He used to extend his tenticles but now he mostly stays shriveled up. He doesn't seem to be unhealthy.

Should I flip the rock over and expose him? He has an unbelieveable hold on this rock his foot must be 4" in dia.

Here is a before photo when I first got him.

And here is a photo of the rock he is hiding under I flipped it over to show you his current condition.


I did move the rock from one location to another just in case something was picking on him but he still didn't come out, even to feed.

11/18/2006, 08:43 AM
Flip the rock, redirect your flow, and see if you can shield him temporarily from your light: gutter guard might make a temp screen. The HQI may be strong for him after a time in the dark.

Think of your tank not just as a rock sculpture but as a water sculpture created by rock position and walls and your flow. He's nestled into physical rock and an invisible water-form. Change that and he may stay moved.

11/18/2006, 08:49 AM
He is not happy about something.. light/flow.. Try putting it in another area of the tank and see if it can find a happy place on it's own.. Depending on the size of your tank, it might be hard navigating around to different spots especially if your flow is strong enough to blow it back where it just came from..

11/21/2006, 01:27 PM
Since I flipped the rockover my RBTA ate once and seemed fine, and then did something crazy. At first I thought he was trying to split but now I'm not convinced. It seems like he was trying to crawl back under the rock while leaving one part of his foot attached to the rock and he has now PARTIALLY ripped away only a small segment of his body. So now he looks like he just ripped himself partly in half.

Is he going to die? Should I interfere in anyway?

I'll post a picture when I get home.

11/21/2006, 01:30 PM
Sounds like you stressed it into splitting. The other comments here were great. Adjust your flow, block a good portion of the light for now, etc. You want to give it a reason to stay up top. If it's hiding to the point it never sees the light, that is quite odd.

11/21/2006, 04:51 PM
I don't know if this will help you or not, but maybe he isn't happy because he has no where good to sink his foot? All of the rock I can see in your pictures is round and has no good crevices or crannies. BTA's are happiest when they have somewhere good to hide their huge feet and then they can extend their tentacles from there.

11/21/2006, 06:14 PM
Thanks sarah you may be on to something there. I know I need to do some rock scaping and add a little LR. Hopefully that with the change in flow will help things.

Here is a photo I took.

11/21/2006, 06:16 PM
WHat do you make of the short tentacles. I am feeding silversides once a week.

11/21/2006, 09:23 PM
The short tentacles look like something has been picking at them or nibbling at them.
Do you have any shrimps or evil crabs living in your tank that might be biting at the nem?
Can we get a list of your other tank inhabitants?
Have your clowns been hosting and if so, what kind of clowns and what size are they?

11/22/2006, 05:56 PM
Tank members include:
(2) True Percula CLown Fish - Hosting in Xenia
Yellow Tang
Neon Dottyback (Pseudochromis) - Possibly the problem
Copperbanded Butterfly Fish - New Edition, definately not the problem
(2) Paired Coral Banded Shrimp - Possibly the problem
Peppermint Shrimp - New Edition, definately not the problem
Various snails and Hermit Crabs

11/22/2006, 06:16 PM
I've stayed away from the coral banded shrimps in my nem heavy tank because I've read that they have a tendancy to nip and tear at anemones looking for food.
Have you been making sure that your coral banded shrimp are given pieces of shrimp before you feed your nem? Otherwise it is likely that they have been picking at your nem underneath the rock trying to get the food out of its tentacles and/or mouth.
A good way to try to recover your nem (well nems now that the stress has triggered a split) is to protect them from the shrimp and see if they bounce back. Place the nems into a container with holes so that the water can flow through. I think I remember someone successfully using a shower caddy with suction cups up against the glass for easy access to the nem and easy feeding and also good lighting up that high. Offer the nems food every couple of days. If they rebound it had to have been your crabs. If they die, it likely was your crabs, they would have died anyways, and at least if they die in the holder they will be easier to remove from your tank before they bomb it.

Just my .02

Good luck.

11/22/2006, 09:07 PM
OK, I think I am ready to 86 both of the shrimp and the dottyback because he nips at my corals as well.

Another question, I dont think my anemone split as much as just ripped himself. I don't believe the two have seperated. Should I be concerned about this factor?

Also will moving him again just put aditional undue stress on him. If I remove the problem critters would it just be better to feed him where he is?

11/22/2006, 09:17 PM
A split is essentially an anemone ripping itself. Your pictures definitely look like a split in process to me.
Moving him again is just going to stress him more, leave him be unless you are planning on moving him to a protective basket. Try to get some nice craggy rocks tomorrow and place them around the rock where the nem currently is so if it moves it will have somewhere nice to move to.
Whatever you're going to do, do it quickly.