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Old 07/11/2005, 03:58 PM   #1
Flighty
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Question QT setup for H.Magnifica

If you've read my other posts you know I am turning my mixed reef into a H. magnifica ( ritteri ) tank with two or three anemones.

I'm not ready to add a second one yet, but I want to be ready to buy any nice specimins that come along a few months from now.

I am wondering what to do about introducing a new mag into a tank with an established one already in there. I worry about transmiting an infection to the healthy one(s) and killing it.

I have heard of people having success pre treating new anemones with antibiotics, but this wouldn't help in the case of a virus or a bacteria that isn't effected by a particular med.

Is a qt tank just an unreasonable goal for a Magnifica? To not kill it I assume I would need a qt with the same bright lighting, high flow and excelent water quality as the display. That doesn't come cheap.

Any ideas?


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Old 07/11/2005, 04:58 PM   #2
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the idea of a quarantine tank for an anemone is hard to fathom. you really want to have a well cycled/established stable tank to add one to. I tried adding a second ritt to my 150 sump recently. The anemone in that tank ( 3 months at the time) actually moved over to the new one ( took a few days) and apparently stung it but good-- the new one died a few days later. I don't know if it was truly a case of territorial aggression, or if the new nem was just not going to make it anyway. The other ritt is still big and happy ( at 4 months), and will be staying in a tank of his own.


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Old 07/12/2005, 12:39 PM   #3
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maww - were they both H Magnifica? I was told that multiple specimens of the same species were OK to share a tank.


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Old 07/12/2005, 12:59 PM   #4
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The real point of this is to protect the established anemones from the possible introduction of a pathogen.

I want to be able to buy a nicely colored one if it becomes available even if it looks slightly stressed.

I'm thinking of a 35g hex tank half full with one mh pendant, very frequent large water changes from the main tank and no bioload aside from the anemone and maybe a clown. Flow I havn't worked out yet.


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Old 07/12/2005, 04:26 PM   #5
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Wryknow- yes, both H mags. I know that it is generally stated that same species should be fine together, that's why I tried it. The two individuals were very different morphologically. The winner has a caramel colored base with quite thin brownish tents/cream tips. The loser was a purple base/pinkish tents w/cream tips. Perhaps ritteris don't follow the rules. Ron Popeil tried adding a third to his tank- lost the new addition and almost lost one of the original two. Maybe the same thing happened with his?

Flighty- I don't think anyone knows anything about anemone pathogens. My gut feeling is that an injured/dying anemone is not carrying a disease, rather is hit with an opportunistic infection that is secondary to the injury from collection/transport. That said, it seems unlikely that a healthy anemone would be affected. Have you run this by Ron Shimek? He may have some sage advice on the subject.


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Old 07/12/2005, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
I don't think anyone knows anything about anemone pathogens. My gut feeling is that an injured/dying anemone is not carrying a disease, rather is hit with an opportunistic infection that is secondary to the injury from collection/transport

I agree, even moreso than pathogens I believe something is lacking or goes wrong in the collection process.

I have two purple LTA's three carpets and two Magnificas in the same tank. No special precautions were taken for any of the introductions. I did lose one magnifica around a year and a half ago; about two months after adding it. It was sitting next to my other Mag which I've have for quite a while and is doing well still today.

The two Magnificas I have now are almost always touching or near each other.

Best of Luck


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Old 07/13/2005, 12:19 AM   #7
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i had my first healthy magnifica for almost 6 months or so before i added the second. my initial observations were that of some problems between the two. the newest ritteri, a purple based specimen, was deflated almost constantly next to the larger white based ritteri. so i moved them apart: the purple on the sand, the white where it had always resided.

this seemed to work. no more problems. no more deflating. eventually the purple one started taking up too much space on the sand and stinging my clams, so i attempted to put it back with the other. it didnt make sense to me that two specimens of the same species would fight. especially since i had seen so many color varieties crammed together in thailand. when i put the two together again, there were no more problems. maybe i associated the deflation of the new anemone with chemical warfare too prematurely, or maybe they just came to accept each others "scent". i really have no idea why there was the initial problem.

when i added the third ritteri, it looked decent and salvagable at the store, but deteriorated within 36 hours in my tank. i do not know what caused this rapid death, but my white based ritteri did experience a whole wave of problems following the death of that third ritteri. it has now since recovered as far as i can tell, and inspite of that, i again have just recently added another third heteractis magnifica. the newest anemone has not had any problems, nor have any of the previous two specimens. the third anemone is not touching the other two, and is significantly smaller, but i think it will do ok.

this may not be completely related, but while i have a long tenticle in my refugium, two bubble tip anemones in the main display along with a small heteractis crispa i have been completely unsuccessful with keeping carpet anemones in either the main display or refugium.

while the idea of a anemone QT tank seems like an area i would love to see furthered in experiments and experience, i dont think its absolutely necessary, inspite of my past experiences. i think ill still depend on my intuitions, and just go for it and see what happens. especially with touchy anemones such as heteractis magnificas, i think they just need too much of a dedicated established tank in order to do well after their purchase to get acclimated to aquarium life. something that cant readily be replicated in a QT system. i think the experience on the anemone would be too taxing, more so than just being acclimated to the main display and letting accustom to that environment.

i believe there was a thread long ago by mihn nguyen about medications or a chemical being used on anemones. if i remember correctly, a debate was raised on the legalities of acquiring the chemical, but it was an interesting thread.


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Old 07/13/2005, 08:51 AM   #8
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I have been told that at an aquarium near me they have multiple magnificas and they have had much better survival rates using an antibiotic on incoming anemones. I don't know any more about why they believe this (ie research or just winging it) or what their procedure is, but my reef club is taking a trip there for a behind the scenes look, so I hope to get answers.

That is really what got me started thinking about this. If I do find out that there is some science and real results behind the practice, I would be more inclined to try and "save" a beautifully colored, but sick looking magnifica when I come across one. (unfortunately this happens too often) I would not want to do this at the risk of damaging my healthy one though, hence the need for a QT.

Maybe thinking of it as a temporary anemone home that I can put medications into would be better.


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Old 07/13/2005, 09:09 AM   #9
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Please share what you finds out Flighty. It's an interesting idea that one of the reasons for low survival rates would be infections. Unconventional, but certainly plausible. Perhaps the stress of movement reduces H Mags ability to defend itself from common pathogens (perhaps even ones that H Mag itself carries?) If this is the case it would stand to reason that an antibiotic treatment would be of benefit. Sounds like another good experiment to me.


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Old 07/14/2005, 04:38 AM   #10
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this sounds interesting -- have u found out anymore on what meds they are using --- i try to acllimate mine in my outdooor system before adding to the main system -- not sure if the natural sunlight helps or not --- i will know better when i can find another rit that i like enough to buy and add to the tank


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Old 07/14/2005, 07:47 AM   #11
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I know the name of the antibiotic, but if you wait until the end of August and I'll hopefully talk to the folks and get the real story. I don't want to spread erroneous information because it tends to linger on the web.

I will be setting up some sort of Magnifica specific FAQ or website later this year and I am slowly colecting information for it. It won't be for a few months though, I am just too buisy right now. Expect an email or pm someday if you have a Magnifica setup because I'll be wanting to pick your brain


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Old 07/14/2005, 11:15 AM   #12
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cindy

sounds good , just let me know ,, if i can help i will ---- i know there are alot more quialified people then me that will help to -- i hope


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Old 09/07/2005, 07:37 AM   #13
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Bumping this.

I didn't go on my trip to the aquarium, so I still don't know their procedure. Anyone have input?


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Old 09/07/2005, 08:16 AM   #14
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Ahhh, just found exactly what I was looking for right here on RC

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...tics+magnifica


Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Newflee
Just my .02 , but it must be said that Ritteri anenomes are problably the most difficult to keep. I think most suffer from trauma during shipment, but buying one that is healthy internally can be tricky. Even the most healthy looking Mags can die within days yet some live years. I personally feel that this species should be left in the sea.
I know that one or two people will post their success now, but if truth be told this species is imposible to keep even close to a natural life span (estimated to exceed our longevity).
Here's a good poll ..... What type of anenome do you have that has been with you for more than 5 years, and how long? I suspect this will be a short list.
Lee
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Used to have bad luck with them and other anemones till we quaranteened them which consisted of the following procedure. Without it, we were 0/8 on new Heteractis magnifica (now the accepted name, until they decide to change it again )
Upon arrival, all bag water is removed so you're left with a bag full of almost only anemone. The anemone is then added directly to a bucket of good quality tank water and aerated. If the water fouls or gets too much mucus, then discard that water. The anemone is then added to a 5 gallon bucket of good quality tank water which has been previously mixed with 10mg/gal of doxycycline. Most capsules available are 50mg, so a 5gal bucket works nicely. Water is gently aerated for 24 hrs mindful of keeping temp acceptable, which is done by floating the bucket in a sump or larger container of heated water, you don't want the heater in with the anemone. After 24 hrs, remove most of the water and refill with another 5 gal of good quality tank water with 10mg/gal of doxycycline. Leave for another 24hr then remove the anemone to a tank that is large enough to keep them for what could be a long time.
With this procedure, we were 6/8 and that was over 2 years ago and they're still here, with the largest now almost 30" in diameter.
As with any medication, especially anti biotics care must be taken not to overuse.
Joe

Hobby Experience: 30 years, Reefs since 1987
Current Tanks: 20,000 gallon 30' x 14' x 6.5' deep




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Old 09/07/2005, 10:46 AM   #15
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Thanks for the QT details Cindy! This will go in my Top Secret secrets for keeping H Mag file for sure :-)


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Old 09/07/2005, 12:14 PM   #16
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I've asked Joe to post on this thread and give us a quick update since that thread was from 2003 and I think there are 12 magnificas in that tank now.


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Old 09/07/2005, 07:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flighty
I've asked Joe to post on this thread and give us a quick update since that thread was from 2003 and I think there are 12 magnificas in that tank now.
Hey Cindy,
Joe here. I have two magnificas in the main reef tank, the other ones are in the 2000 gallon clownfish/anemone tank. Thankfully haven't had to add any new anemones since the last thread in 2003, and regularly thin out the BTA's from the clownfish tank, and RBTA's from the reef tank as they are quite prolific. The magnificas haven't split, even though the two in the reef tank are 30" diameter, maybe they'll split at some point.
When most anemones are shipped from overseas, they are shipped in bascially no water, and arrive in a soup of mucus. My feelings are they simply encounter too many bacteria, that in normal populations wouldn't be harmful or the anemone could easily slough off, but given the conditions and possible open wounds, they simply can not fight back. Its not proven, but sometimes real world results and some common sense can go a long way. I certainly don't recommend broad use of antibiotics so care must be taken, but I don't see the reasoning why some folks will instantly dismiss its use without proof or replicating a study, etc. Doxy is a broad band antibiotic and probably covers a majority of pathogens.

One of the heteractis from the reef tank can be seen in the top left of the pic below, which is of the east side of the tank (Suffolk County)




Some of the RBTA's can be seen to the left of the people, which is the west side of the tank (Nassau County) You can't tell from the pic but they are huge, over 30" diameter.



LMK how it goes with your new anemone.
Joe


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Old 09/07/2005, 08:45 PM   #18
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Thanks for the input, Joe. It really seems to make sence that infection would be a big factor based on the behaviour of an anemone I had in the past.



Well, I got the anemone tonight. It has gorgeous color, but I fear it may be too far gone. I am doing everything I can.

I told the local vet the situation and he prescribed the antibiotics for me to use.

I met the LFS owner at his shop when the shipment arrived and took the anemone before they took it out of the shipping bag. One less acclimation and chance of infection in the LFS water seemed worth the extra hour or so in the bag.

At the store it was inflated and I could see no obvious damage, but the mouth was open wide and the white stomach tissue was pooched out.

When I got home the anemone had deflated, which probably was a good thing because I was able to get it out into my bucket easily without worrying about damage caused by the extra weight of the water in the tissue. I followed the procedure that Joe outlined to acclimate and then transferred it to the antibiotic dosed water. The anemone immediately pooped (of course ) , but I decided to just get out what I could with a siphon for the time being.

I finally got a good look at it at this point. It has tiny tentacles compared with my other one, but they are very similar in shape and size to pictures of other red base magnificas that have been on the board lately. I hope this is a variance in natural characteristics and not a sign that the anemone has been consuming its tissue. The pooping seemed like half digested krill meat, so I think it has eaten recently at least.

My biggest wory for this anemone is an aparent tear in the stomach tissue. Of course it is really hard to get a look at, but I think it is potentially something fatal.

The good news is that after a few hours, the mouth has closed up pretty well and the anemone has atached its foot to the rock I placed it on in my bucket. The bucket is sitting in my sump and two airstones are providing airation and a little water movement. I would love to add some flow, but I couldn't think of a good way to do that woithout endangering the anemone further.



Last edited by Flighty; 09/07/2005 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 09/08/2005, 07:06 AM   #19
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I don't think it has a chance. Later last night the mouth opened more and it was apparent that the insides were mostly disolved. The smell is... lets say, not good.


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Old 09/08/2005, 09:03 AM   #20
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Rats! Sorry to hear that Cindy. You said that it was pretty far gone when you got it but I was still hoping to hear a miraculous success story with Jim's QT proceedure. :-( Where did you get the nem from? Did they tell you that it was in poor condition before it shipped?


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Old 09/08/2005, 09:03 AM   #21
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sorry to hear cindy

i have been speaking with joe on this alot and i have my anti biotics ready to go.

the anenomes that are at atlantis are quite remarkable and i mean that they are huge and i hope i can have one take over the top of my tank the same way his have. but lets hope for the best even tho the smell isnt the best maybe it can pop back. i know they say usualy once the smell gets bad the anenome is done. i have never had the expierence so i cant comment but keep us updated


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Old 09/08/2005, 09:10 AM   #22
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My LFS ordered it with their weekly shipment for me. They have gotten good ones and bad in the past.

This one was said to have come from madagascar, but I'm not sure how reliable that info is. The plane had been delayed, so it was bagged longer than normal, but I think it was probably not in decent shape before shipping. It did look ok on the outside, so you'd have to know what to look for and the guy at the supplier probably didn't.

I'm still doing everything I can, but I have low expectations.


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Old 09/08/2005, 09:42 AM   #23
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keep your head up as we have seen anenomes in general are very good at pulling thru the worst of situations. lets hope this one does the same.


you may want to get a limewood airstone and stick that in the tank should cause alot of movement with the air bubbles it produces i hear they are excellent i havent used any personally yet but i plan on it in the near future


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Old 09/08/2005, 04:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flighty
The real point of this is to protect the established anemones from the possible introduction of a pathogen.
Anemone pathogens? Anybody have links? (I've never heard of any anemone pathogens.)


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Old 09/08/2005, 04:57 PM   #25
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Let me rephrase that. I've never heard of communicable anemone pathogens.


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