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Unread 10/17/2009, 12:15 PM   #1
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Any thoughts on the lack of sexual reproduction of anemones in aquaria?

Simplistically, the life cycle would seem more appropriate for it than with many corals, yet we still see none.

Is it just that not many folks keep enough individuals (giving both sexes) of a single species long enough in the same system to see it?

Or are skimming etc, just too prone to kill any fertilized eggs in the water?

Not enough moonlight control etc?


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Unread 10/17/2009, 06:48 PM   #2
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I would say that it would be due to the fact that not many people keep them in the same tank(both male and female)long enough to find out.Also the skimming idea sounds very possible.Although if someone would have wanted to really "breed" anemones I would think that they would not have a skimmer and would try(this would be very hard to do almost impossible IMO)to keep both sexes together to find out.Also we would have to see what triggers the anemones to spawn.I mean there would have to be something?Stress water temp change.ect.


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Unread 10/17/2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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I feel that there are to many underlying variables, that if it where that easy to figure out we would be seeing it. Perhaps as well, that we are not inducing the proper settings for these inverts, and adjust them to our show reefs. Correct me if i am wrong but a lot of nems are in shallow waters, and are held in constant changes of be it salinity due to rainy seasons, in constant heat since they can be known to be seen in tide pools, as well as high nutrients that are provided in that specific ecosystem. So they are creatures of chaos as apposed to, constant parameters, that us as hobbyists are worried about for balanced ecosystem. But i am pretty sure that the time will come soon, as with everything, time will tell.


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Unread 10/17/2009, 11:46 PM   #4
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I don't think we're near the point where skimming comes into play.

Finding "known male" and "known female" anemones is quite a challenge in and of itself.

Then, there's the challenge of providing conditions sufficient to encourage gamete production. While there have been a number of in-tank spawnings of seemingly healthy anemones, I don't know of anyone who has them spawn predictably.

Nor do I know of anyone --excepting an ocean water flow through anemone tank-- who has had both male and female anemones spawn simultaneously in captivity.

I've been trying to get my "girls" on a regular cycle for years... they're not being very cooperative:




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Unread 10/18/2009, 12:04 AM   #5
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I think given how poor the lifespan of most captive anenome are, I think most of the splitting that occurs is due to survival instinct and stress, rather triggered for reproduction.

If correct, could help explain why sexual reproduction happens as little.

In which case REALLY hope is true as most use that as a benchmark....and a sign of "success".


But one would think given all this vodka dosing recently, there would be a whole lot more going on in these tanks in the middle of the night....hmmmm?


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Unread 10/18/2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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I would agree with most of what has been said (especially the vodka enduced late night mystery ) I think as it's not even well documented in the wild as to what triggers the events, we are far from understanding how to replicate this in captivity.

Here is an interesting article from 2003 on an event being captured in flow-through seawater tanks at the National Marine Science Centre

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1000860.htm

I may be completely wrong, but I don't think much headway has been made in a semi-captive environment since.


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Unread 10/18/2009, 01:45 PM   #7
marc price
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here is a article from SeaScope spring '89 "Reproduction in the Sand-Dwelling Sea Anemone"

http://www.instantocean.com/uploaded...Vol06_1989.pdf


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Unread 10/20/2009, 08:20 AM   #8
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Thanks for the comments everyone. I'll keep watching to see if my H. crispas ever sucessfully reproduce.


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Unread 10/20/2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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I currently have 5 Haddonis, the oldest one being with me for the last 10+ years. 2 have been in the same tank for the last 2 years or so. Back in March of those 2 spawned (( stress spawn )), and I didn't notice any reaction from the other one in the tank.

2 other ones have been sharing a tank for about 3 months, and so far nothing has happened between the two.

This thread did make me think that perhaps the reason I have only had a stressed spawning event is because I don't feed all that often --- every 3-4 week or so. And while the Haddonis are healthy -- as much as I can tell -- perhaps they don't have the extra energy to spawn. I might try to increase the feedings of 2 of the pairs to see if I notice anything. Will leave the other pair on their normal feeding schedule --- a poor control group if you will.


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Unread 10/20/2009, 03:37 PM   #10
ILLiDaN
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well aren't they a high nutrient creatures in the wild? i would imagine with constant supply of wild life...


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Unread 10/20/2009, 03:44 PM   #11
Gary Majchrzak
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I'm willing to bet there are more anemone spawns happening in captivity than people realize. The event itself is short lived and good aquarium filtration can remove most of the evidence rapidly.
Without a male/female anemone it's all a dry run ...if such a thing is possible in an aquarium!


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Unread 10/20/2009, 04:13 PM   #12
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This has just become my new favorite thread. My new setup will be nem only (S.Gigantea and S.Haddoni) with the express aim of spawning and hopefully getting reproduction of these amazing animals. There is so much info out there on (stress) spawning but I have yet to find any meaningful info on babnems (baby anemones) and sexual reproduction of carpets in captivity. Hence my mission and the next 10 years of dedication to nems. The only real way of getting info is through forums and these types of threads. Looking forward to more posts and fellow hobbyists experiences with nems and spawning - triggers, factors, parameters etc.... Excellent posts so far ... nice one guys...


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Unread 10/20/2009, 08:03 PM   #13
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While we are on the topic, how would I be able to tell if my RBTA is a boy or a girl?


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Unread 10/20/2009, 11:15 PM   #14
marc price
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i currently have two sebae's, haven't decided if the first which i've had for 2.5 years is H. malu or H. crispa?





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Unread 10/21/2009, 04:46 AM   #15
jasonrp104
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I don't like to say that I'm positive, but I'd bet that the top one is a malu. I have a crispa and they don't tend to have the sharp looking tentacles like the top one. Most I've seen (mine included) look like the bottom one


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Unread 10/21/2009, 07:42 AM   #16
Randy Holmes-Farley
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I agree, my large purple H. crispa looks just like the bottom one.


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Unread 10/21/2009, 12:15 PM   #17
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I think it is due to a combination of factors:

(1) The lack of necessary environmental triggers - i.e. lunar or tidal.
(2) The lack of appropriate community of individuals - male/female, or for that matter, other members of same species (since spawning is often a community event).
(3) The fact (as pointed by others) that any evidence of spawning is rapidly removed.

The only reliable account I have read of captive raising of S. gigantea had water from the spawn/brood tank constantly flowing into a large reservoir in full sun filled with fine macroalgae. This was not a closed loop either - it used fresh salt water. The spawning was triggered by stressing the adults. The "fry" were found in the macroalgae mats some time after the fact, and it was felt that most were washed out to sea because attachment to the macroalgae was strictly random.

To have success in this area, I think you would need to create a large dedicated system specifically for the purpose.


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Unread 10/21/2009, 12:27 PM   #18
Gary Majchrzak
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fwiw

(my lone specimen) S. gigantea spawned in my aquarium several weeks ago. Even though the anemone is located in a prominent place in my reef aquarium (which is smack dab in the middle of my house and you can only imagine how much I watch it) I almost missed the event entirely- even though I clearly knew something was up with the anemone beforehand (body puffing up & outwards).
My gigantea does receive several hours of direct sunlight (through window screening) each day this time of year.
No other spawns were observed at the time.

FWIW2: I've had S. haddoni and Macrodactyla doreensis spawn in my reef aquaria (in the past). Unfortunately, I've never kept multiple specimens (male/female) of the same species in an aquarium.


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Unread 10/21/2009, 03:08 PM   #19
marc price
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonrp104 View Post
I don't like to say that I'm positive, but I'd bet that the top one is a malu. I have a crispa and they don't tend to have the sharp looking tentacles like the top one. Most I've seen (mine included) look like the bottom one
I know, was thinking the same. Another difference which could be related to size is that it dug itself in open sand from the get-go. Also retracted into the sand before and doesn't seem to need to attach to rock/sand interface. The greatest aspect is size having stayed ~8" oral disc /1.25"-2.75" tentacles, which are usually ~1.5"1.75".

The plan was for two of the same species sebae's in hopes of a ♂♀, after all we're on the cutting edge. I'm not convinced the "H. malu" spawn of the Waikiki aquarium referenced in my first reply is the same species of what i've seen of the so called H. malu's from other geographical locations to the west. I've seen anemones resembling those of that report at the lfs and they look like smaller more delicate versions of clown fish hosting malu's havinf "non dyed" yellow tentacles and bright orange columns and included in a Hawaii shipment. Although they do host a damsel and clownfish aren't indigenous to Hawaii, I still think they're a sub species or something else.
I may get rid of the presumed H.malu. In the meantime hope there aren't going to be problems with the two if they are different species. I did add carbon as a precautionary measure.

The pink crispa is being a pita. It has attached and released and wandered four times since i got it ~two weeks ago. Found it in a A. humilis and blue tort 6am this morning, wasn't the first time, good thing it's not a bta or they would be toast. I dug more sand away from where it was to expose more rock and returned it there. Next time i'm going to either rotate the slab 45 to line up a A shaped end cave for it to insert part of the foot column or remove that slab of rock and put in a large open upside down show size cats paw coral for it to attach like bta's. It's column was attached down into rock like a bta when i picked it up from the fish store and i know that crispa's can be found between corals in the wild. I'm also thinking of sandwich it where it is between the vertical A slab with a L shaped table top like rock. Not sure yet, i'll see how long it stays put this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Holmes-Farley View Post
I agree, my large purple H. crispa looks just like the bottom one.
Yes and so did my first H. crispa which started out looking just like H. malu when 3" 'till it got to ~7", having grown 10"+, within the first year.
My local petco has a crispa i'm thinking of picking up to have two. It's ~4"-5" tan/purple pin dots at the tips. I'm sure it's a crispa, resembleing my last one. Will have to get rid of the presumed H. malu first to free up realestate. Not something i'm in a hurry to do given how few and far between purple's are in fish stores. On the other hand i'd like to think we're attempting to break new ground which cannot happen without experimenting with multiples, so we'll see.


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Unread 10/21/2009, 04:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Majchrzak View Post
(my lone specimen) S. gigantea spawned in my aquarium several weeks ago. Even though the anemone is located in a prominent place in my reef aquarium (which is smack dab in the middle of my house and you can only imagine how much I watch it) I almost missed the event entirely- even though I clearly knew something was up with the anemone beforehand (body puffing up & outwards).
My gigantea does receive several hours of direct sunlight (through window screening) each day this time of year.
No other spawns were observed at the time.
Can you describe it a little more? Time of day, appearance, etc? Any thoughts about what might have triggered it?


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Unread 10/21/2009, 05:38 PM   #21
Gary Majchrzak
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all anemone spawnings in my aquarium (S.haddoni, M. doreensis, S.gigantea) have occurred late in the afternoon photoperiod.
A 'puckering up' of the anemone is usually observed before the actual spawning event. Fishes usually eat gametes.
I don't think any of my anemones had 'stress spawns'.
If I had to pin it down to any one condition that might have triggered the spawns it would be the sun. Late afternoon sunlight shining on each anemone in early spring and early autumn.


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Unread 10/21/2009, 05:57 PM   #22
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My two cents...

Isn't it the case that depending on the Order of the given anemone it can reproduce either by sexual or asexual reproduction?

On the skimmer removing the eggs/sperm front... I would wonder what the amount of total water filtration occurs in N amount of time in relation to what the concentration of eggs/semen is in the water and the the behavior of the planula which is to seek a hard surface to attach to... In other words are the enough planula in the water column so that at least some subset of them survive long enough to firmly plant themselves and become a polyp before they are sucked out of the water column by the skimmer?

That said I believe that most hobbyist aquariums don't have allot of anemones in them thus limiting the chance of a sexual reproduction...

I had plans in mind for a species only tank of maxi-mini anemones so it will be interesting to find out.


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Unread 10/22/2009, 01:01 AM   #23
marc price
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...and my problem with your experiment is that maxi-mini's divide much like bta's so they may continue with that mode long before a spawning event and also that they're not a clownfish hosting anemone.

Gary, my aquarium receives south western sunlight around the same time of year. To date i've yet to see a spawning event from E. quadricolor and solitary S. haddoni's, H. crispa and presumed H. malu. Never the less i will be watching next spring.



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Unread 10/22/2009, 06:35 AM   #24
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I got three of the S. tapetum (larger variety) in a tank and two H. crispa (possibly S. malu) in a tank. They are in my office and I am not feeding them a whole lot. I am bringing them home in the near future, then I can take better car of them.
H. crispa (or S. malu) was the species that the A. Scott, PhD, in Australia was able to sexually reproduced in captivity. She initially called them H. malu but lately what I read ID them as H. crispa. There are maddeningly little detail as to how she was able to achieve this. It seem to me from reading she is trying to keep this a secrete in hope of able to use it commercially (just my feeling I may be wrong). Anyway, if anybody know of more detail on this please point them out to me.

I hope I will be able to do something. I had them for more than three years and they only about 1-12 cm in diameter. I have not feed them a huge amount but I am feeding them every week or 10 days.


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Unread 10/22/2009, 07:14 AM   #25
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A. Scott worked with both E. quadricolor and H. crispa anemones which were maintained in flow-through outdoor seawater tanks. So, while the information she provides on embryonic development is very interesting, it provides little help to us in determining what environmental cues we need to replicate to induce spawning in captive tanks.

I've had a number of the larger S. tapetum (maxi-mini) anemones for several years now. None of them have split (on their own) and I haven't witnessed any spawning events.


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