Reef Central Online Community
Marine Depot

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > Marine Fish Forums > Anemones & Clownfish
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 10/19/2017, 05:30 PM   #1
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
New BTA's have been hiding for 2 weeks

Hey fellow reefers, I'm the new one and as a welcome present, I'm going to throw my problems right at ya!! haha

Ok, focus!

My wife and I got two BTAs roughly two weeks ago. A bigger one (maybe like 3-5" across) and a smaller one (approx. 2 -3"). Both nems seem to do OK but they're hiding behind the rocks in the shade. I left them for about two weeks but decided to move the rock they're attached on so they could be in the light. The bigger one started to bubble up quite nicely but when the lights turned off it moved back into the shade and has remained there ever since(the lights are on right now). The smaller nem followed the bigger one and hid as well. They're both open and their mouths are closed but they look a little brown which leads me to my major concern. I have a cheap China fixture. This is it: https://www.amazon.com/VIPARSPECTRA-.../dp/B00UMXAR5S
I'm at 40% blue, 20% white and the fixture is approx. 18 inches above the water. So it shouldn't be too strong but the fact that they're hiding makes me wonder whether it's the spectrum or quality of the spectrum, not the intensity.

My water parameters:

ph 8.2
Alk around 8.3dkh
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0 -2.5ppm (I'm still using the API test kit and it's yellow but not bright yellow so I guess it's not really 0 but def. below 5ppm)
Phosphate 0.1 - 0.25 (this is high I know but I don't think that's why they're hiding)

I have two powerheads, one Korralia Nano pointed at the surface and one EcoTech Mp10 on the opposite site in reef crest mode (approx 20 -30%). It's not a lot of flow. It's a 40g roughly 7 months old by the way.

I perform bi-weekly water changes with Instant Ocean. Otherwise I have one hammer, daisy polyps, star polyps, a blue mushroom and blue xenia. They're all doing fine except for the fact that they are a little dull looking. This could be due to the high phosphates or the light fixture. Actually, I'm almost certain it's the light. All my fish and snails are doing fine as well.

I don't think there is something in the water that aggravates the nems. It must be either the light or the phosphates but I don't see why the phosphates would prompt them to hide.

Has anyone ever had nems that were hiding for more than 1-2 weeks? I'm really concerned that they might not adjust to the light and die in the shade. I keep reading that BTAs like A LOT of light and they NEED a lot of light to survive. If anyone knows what to do let me know! Thanks in advance!


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/19/2017, 08:26 PM   #2
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
Just checked on them. The little one is getting brown and the bigger ones tentacles black?! Really weird.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/19/2017, 11:12 PM   #3
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
Since your parameters look pretty good, it could be the light or the acclimation process.

Under stress, new nems usually lose their bright colors and get brown, though hopefully they have enough of their original zooxanthellae to color back up. Black? I'm not sure. Could just be the lighting and zooxanthellae being really ****ed off.

A bad acclimation could also stress them out. Anemones (like most inverts) are pretty sensitive to ph changes. I've seen people just dump anemones in after a temp float, but the ph hit on them cause them a lot of stress. Those who drip acclimate for 1.5 hours or more seem to get their nems to recover faster.

If they're not puking guts, totally deflating, or have their mouths open, you could probably leave them until they get used to everything. Everytime you tweak a setting, it takes them time to adjust.


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/19/2017, 11:33 PM   #4
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
It might be the light and the water. I floated the bags but didn't drip acclimate them. I added 1/2 cup of water every 5-10 min until I reached a 50/50 solution. Then I put them in the tank. They hid right away. Just wanted to make sure others have had similar experiences. I'm a nem newbie so next time I'll def. drip acclimate them. I heard of people just dumping them in a freshly cycled tank which made them split like crazy.

Do you think they'll get used to the light or should I get a T5 fixture?


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/19/2017, 11:54 PM   #5
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAClownFish View Post
It might be the light and the water. I floated the bags but didn't drip acclimate them. I added 1/2 cup of water every 5-10 min until I reached a 50/50 solution. Then I put them in the tank. They hid right away. Just wanted to make sure others have had similar experiences. I'm a nem newbie so next time I'll def. drip acclimate them. I heard of people just dumping them in a freshly cycled tank which made them split like crazy.

Do you think they'll get used to the light or should I get a T5 fixture?
If they're healthy, they will eventually get used to any light that provides enough for their zoox. But colorwise, I can't speak for that fixture (I don't know it well enough). If you watch some of BulkReefSupply's latest videos, they talk about a light fixture like yours. While it'll grow corals, not sure if it's the best choice.

Going to T5's, or better LED's, or even a MH/T5 combo couldn't hurt. But of course changing the light will probably make the anemones move again.


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/20/2017, 10:47 AM   #6
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
The little one has a really long foot and is kind of just dangling off the rock in the shade. It doesn't look healthy to me. Maybe I'm just panicking ^^

This is from earlier. The lights are still off.
http://ibb.co/fBaO0m


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/20/2017, 02:15 PM   #7
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
I've seen a lot worse make it through. The long foot just means he's reaching for flow/light. My BTA has it's foot WAY under the rock, and opens up well above it. He probably just likes that spot for the foot. Yours should, at some point, walk out.

Another thing is, clownfish could really agitate a new anemone. Ideally the anemone isn't hosting a clown until it's well established. If your clown is just smashing into it constantly, it might take a long time to adjust and establish itself. You can try using a big acclimation box to put the clown in temporarily. TBH clownfish could care less, whereas an anemone is way more sensitive when first being introduced.

Maybe get a breeder box, put the clown in there for a week and let the anemone figure itself out?


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/20/2017, 04:00 PM   #8
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
I figured it could be the clowns bugging the nems. It's really annoying. I'll try the breeder box. Thanks for the tip!


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/20/2017, 04:11 PM   #9
Small Heavens
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 119
If it got too much sun "yesterday" it will retract again, but it can stand all day without understanding that it might be too much in the first place.

See it as a person desperate for sun, that only notice that they have gotten too much, too late.

They tend to not think about the sun, they just jump into it and get burned and THEN figure out how to adjust to it. See if time and careful attention is all they need, imo they have not had sufficient light during import and at the sellers and now need some time to prevent the nutrients and light from causing oxygen to rise inside it to toxic levels.

What do you do to remove phosphates, are you a carbon doser?
I know the dark purple colours can look kinda black when they aren't overly inflated, is that the kind of black that you meant, or does it look sickly?


Small Heavens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/21/2017, 10:05 AM   #10
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
No I’m not dozing. I run a skimmer, some carbon, and I perform bi-weekly water changes. I think my phosphate problem stems from using too much ditilled water in the first months after setting up the tank. The rocks might have sucked up all the silica and are now releasing it into the water. I thought about running gfo but I heard that it can bleach corals.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/21/2017, 10:22 AM   #11
Small Heavens
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 119
If you get something like red sea nopox, it triggers the bacteria inside the liverock (anaerobic bacteria that breaks apart if they get into contact with the aerated water column), to eat your phosphates and nitrates more efficiently. If they don't have proper carbon sources to eat, they don't do as much about it as they can do, so you could also try to see if something like that works for you.

Remember to always make any changes slow, when starting to dose carbon, the anaerobic bacteria will add an increase of ammonia that needs to be balanced before doses can be raised, etc. etc. etc.


Small Heavens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 03:40 PM   #12
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
I just found out that I've been doing the API nitrate test wrong all this time. I did it the way people here say on the forum you should do it. My nitrates are beyond 160ppm. No wonder the anemones are doing bad. The little one actually did and nuked one of my Kenya tree frags that was a couple inches next to it. The werid thing is that all fish are doing fine. That explains why some of my corals aren't as colorful. It's simply too much.

I got the Red Sea stuff. I heard that people overdosed and ended up with more problems. Do I have to keep dosing it until the nitrates are down and then stop?


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 05:25 PM   #13
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAClownFish View Post
I just found out that I've been doing the API nitrate test wrong all this time. I did it the way people here say on the forum you should do it. My nitrates are beyond 160ppm. No wonder the anemones are doing bad. The little one actually did and nuked one of my Kenya tree frags that was a couple inches next to it. The werid thing is that all fish are doing fine. That explains why some of my corals aren't as colorful. It's simply too much.

I got the Red Sea stuff. I heard that people overdosed and ended up with more problems. Do I have to keep dosing it until the nitrates are down and then stop?
160ppm is really high. Inverts are normally way more sensitive to nitrates than fish, which is what you're seeing.

What stuff did you get? In my opinion, you should absolutely know what this is called at least before getting it. I'm guessing NoPo4x. Yes, if you overdose you can get gigantic bacteria blooms which could remove all dissolved oxygen fast and kill everything. In my opinion, NoPo4x helps maintain levels, not fix a problem or source.

Before you rely on that, you need to figure out the source of the high nitrates. Normal water changes should easily have helped, but if you are doing weekly or bi-weekly changes, your nitrates should be lower. Things to do before NoPo4-x:

1. Weekly water changes
2. Really good skimmer that removes particulates before they decompose to ammonia->nitrite->nitrate
3. Adjust feeding or bioload. All nitrates come from ammonia, which is what happens when you add organics in through food. You are either feeding too much, or enough for your bioload but have too many animals to feed

All 3 items above are related. The more you skim, the better your system handles bioload. The more bioload you have, and the more water changes you have, the better your system (which is YOU doing water changes) can handle.

At this point, you should do a large water change. If you only do 50%, your nitrates will still be 80ppm. You can do a few 50% water changes over the next couple days to get it down, or if you can manage it, I would just go for 80% to start. That'll get you down to 32ppm (about), and I think your inverts will be in range to not be in terrible shape, and you can start managing all the three items above.


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 07:18 PM   #14
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
I don't really feed heavily. I feed 2x times a day (mysis shrimp, brine, sometimes dry food). I turn off the pumps and add a little bit at a time with a syringe. if they eat everything within a couple seconds I'll add more. Usually they eat all of it. I started feeding BRS Reef Flakes to get better coloration which worked for the mushroom (turned a nice light blue with some turquoise in it and before it was just pale). My skimmer is pulling out a lot of yellow gunk. I keep emptying it at least once a day. You need to know that I don't have a sump. It's a really odd tank from the Phillippines. It's covered in bamboo and the stand doesn't have enough space for a sump. Instead, I run a canister filter with filter pads and a little bit of carbon and I have the skimmer in the tank. The skimmer is slightly undersized (35g, my tank is 40g). I have at least 50 lbs of rock and a lot of aragonite. There should be plenty of surface for bacteria. I haven't seen my nassarius snails in a long time. Maybe they died and are now decomposing?! I'll stop feeding for a week and do a couple water changes.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 07:19 PM   #15
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
Oh and I got the Red Sea No3Po4x.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 07:30 PM   #16
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
Your snails could've died from the high nitrates for sure, and are just compounding the issue.

You could also have buildup somewhere, like your sand or rocks. Are you stirring the sand and/or blast the rocks with a baster or anything?

I don't know, just trying to figure out why your nitrates are so high.

I would keep feeding, but try doing some massive water changes. 40g isn't too bad to do an 80% water change. A few big buckets or tubs would work.


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 11:02 PM   #17
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
I vacuum the sand bed quite often and blast the rocks with a baster. Should I not do it?


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/27/2017, 11:31 PM   #18
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
You should. I basically am just saying you should be trying to solve your nitrate buildup issue. I don't know what it is.


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/29/2017, 10:27 PM   #19
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
I found every snail except one Nassarius. I don't think that one could spike my nitrates. I tested for ammonia today and got a reading of 0.25ppm. I don't know but for some reason, I think it's the anemone. The moment I put the two nems in my tank I started getting problems. Well died and the other one doesn't seem to be doing so well either. I can't detach it from its spot and I can't catch the clowns. They; re too smart. As soon as I put a net only near the tank or a plastic container they know what's up. One clown is also extremely aggressive towards me. As soon as I get close to the tank he literally wants to jump out of the water and bite me. It's an extreme pain in the butt to clean the tank with a clown that's trying to bite your arm. At one point I was so stressed I just wanted to get rid of that clown...They are smart enough to understand that I'm about to catch them but they're not smart enough to make the connection that there is no danger coming from my hand. Don't bite the hand that feeds you lol.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/29/2017, 11:38 PM   #20
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
Any bioload will increase ammonia, but your ammonia should be quickly processed with the nitrogen cycle. Seems like you're seeing a tiny bit. But if things are just pooping regularly, should be OK.

Sorry to hear about the clowns. I've never had that. Mine are pretty friendly, though they're young and captive bred. When I put the net in the tank they just swim into like dumb dumbs. It's hard to catch just one, because they all get in. I can also feed them by hand (holding flakes or pellets between my fingers). Maybe since they were captive bred/raised since birth? I think you should sell the clowns and get nicer ones maybe!


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10/31/2017, 01:15 AM   #21
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
I got the clowns from a LFS I don't go to anymore. When I first started my tank i didn't really know anything. I'd never go back to that store and buy fish. The guy who sold me the fish gave me the two clowns and one tang including a bottle of bacteria. He said dump it in the tank and it'll cycle instantly. Three days later the tang was dead and the clowns were dwelling on the bottom gasping. I brought the clowns back so they could recover while I was looking for the problem. The guy from the LFS said it wasn't ammonia it was something else. He wanted me to believe that I poisoned my fish by using some kind of chemical in the same room (air fresheners or whatever, even though we don't use that stuff). He looked at the dead tang with a magnifying glass and said 'Look the fins are damaged, that's a sign of poisoning!!!'. This guy sold me unhealthy fish and screwed me over with that bottled bacteria crap. In a new uncycled 40g tank, three fish, that was too much. The issue was ammonia. I somehow get the feeling that my problem is coming from the rocks I put in the tank. I bought it from the same store. I still have diatoms even though I use RO/DI water. I can't get my phosphates to go down. I bet they're leeching from the rocks. My nitrates have only dropped to 40ppm. I can't get them to drop more. I added some of that NoPox stuff and now I have super cloudy water. Probably a bacterial bloom. I don't know man this tank is a pain. I think once my nano is up I'm going to shut this sucker down.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/31/2017, 02:05 AM   #22
Kinetic
Registered Member
 
Kinetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 7,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAClownFish View Post
I got the clowns from a LFS I don't go to anymore. When I first started my tank i didn't really know anything. I'd never go back to that store and buy fish. The guy who sold me the fish gave me the two clowns and one tang including a bottle of bacteria. He said dump it in the tank and it'll cycle instantly. Three days later the tang was dead and the clowns were dwelling on the bottom gasping. I brought the clowns back so they could recover while I was looking for the problem. The guy from the LFS said it wasn't ammonia it was something else. He wanted me to believe that I poisoned my fish by using some kind of chemical in the same room (air fresheners or whatever, even though we don't use that stuff). He looked at the dead tang with a magnifying glass and said 'Look the fins are damaged, that's a sign of poisoning!!!'. This guy sold me unhealthy fish and screwed me over with that bottled bacteria crap. In a new uncycled 40g tank, three fish, that was too much. The issue was ammonia. I somehow get the feeling that my problem is coming from the rocks I put in the tank. I bought it from the same store. I still have diatoms even though I use RO/DI water. I can't get my phosphates to go down. I bet they're leeching from the rocks. My nitrates have only dropped to 40ppm. I can't get them to drop more. I added some of that NoPox stuff and now I have super cloudy water. Probably a bacterial bloom. I don't know man this tank is a pain. I think once my nano is up I'm going to shut this sucker down.
Bummer! I'd say don't give up, sometimes you're just around the corner from getting on the right track. Though with rock leeching phosphates etc., that's going to be a tough one.

Also, bacteria bloom is most likely from No3Po4-x. Make sure your skimmer is going full blast and you have plenty of surface agitation. Bacteria blooms can deplete water of dissolved oxygen pretty quick, but having a skimmer etc. to put more oxygen in would save it.

You should probably stop dosing, maybe try running a cheap UV sterilizer (I just battled back a bacteria bloom too). Green Killing Machine works well!

Start dosing again after things clear up. I'd start with a very small dose, and increase over a few weeks until your levels are set.

If you run GFO, chaeto, and use No3Po4-x you'll eventually finish leeching your rock of all the junk. You could even use lanthanum chloride to quickly bind phosphates (be careful, read a lot about it before using).

Another option is yes, shut it down. Though you can do a restart the right way. It might be better in the long run. What I've seen work:

1. Take rock out and put it in a mild bleach bath (read more about it)
2. Give it a muratic acid bath (read about it)
3. Take a strong brush and rinse all the dead junk off the rocks
4. Let all the rock dry for at least a week (make sure it doesn't get rained on)
5. Put the rock in a tub of some sort with RO/DI water and a pump. Dose lanthanum chloride to bind to all phosphates that leeches out. This keeps it from being reabsorbed into the rock. Do this until you can stop dosing lanthanum and the phosphates levels don't rise anymore.
6. Rinse the rock out in RO/DI, let it dry for a few days, and then start up your display tank again
7. Cycle by dosing ammonium chloride to 2ppm, and use BIO SPIRA or Dr. Tim's One and Only to build up your bacteria. Once your ammonia and nitrites fall to 0, dose 2ppm ammonia again, and repeat until you can get your ammonia/nitrite down to 0ppm within 12 hours of dosing 2ppm.

That should do it.


__________________
Portfolio: http://artchang.com

Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer 170
Kinetic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11/02/2017, 12:53 AM   #23
JustAClownFish
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: California
Posts: 43
The bacteria bloom went away. I keep dosing 1ml every day. Nitrates are down to 20-40ppm. I'm aiming for 5ppm. Once I reach my goal, do I have to keep dosing it, e.g. maintenance dose? I still can't get my head around the fact that I have had such high nitrates probably for a very long time. I skimp on food and the tank is not overstocked. 5 fish in a 40g tank shouldn't be too much for the biofilter. And the rocks, well, I thought about switching them out. I started working at a reef store and today I found a huge container with dry Tonga and Fiji rock. Super white, probably bleached. I think I'm going to grab some tomorrow and then start cooking them at home. Once they're done I'll replace the fake rocks with the freshly cycled ones. I'll also grab some GFO from the store tomorrow. Well, at least I don't need to pay for all those things now. I can also get that phosphate binder.


JustAClownFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/10/2017, 02:52 PM   #24
LX20000
Registered Member
 
LX20000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Allentown, Pa.
Posts: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAClownFish View Post
I just found out that I've been doing the API nitrate test wrong all this time. I did it the way people here say on the forum you should do it. My nitrates are beyond 160ppm. No wonder the anemones are doing bad. The little one actually did and nuked one of my Kenya tree frags that was a couple inches next to it. The werid thing is that all fish are doing fine. That explains why some of my corals aren't as colorful. It's simply too much.

I got the Red Sea stuff. I heard that people overdosed and ended up with more problems. Do I have to keep dosing it until the nitrates are down and then stop?
I use the instructions on the bottles... what alternate (and apparently incorrect) instructions are widely used here on the forum??


LX20000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/15/2017, 06:46 PM   #25
Jokekash
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6
I have a Chinese led light and one of my recently added rbta’s has being hiding for the past three days. The other one is out and right in the middle of the tank. I guess every anemone is different when it comes to lighting preferences, however, in your particular case, your issue might be the high nitrates.


Jokekash is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:01 PM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2017 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014