Showing posts with label Sea Anemones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sea Anemones. Show all posts

2017-08-15

SEA ANEMONE

Sea anemones are a very common offering in the marine aquarium trade. All types of species are brought in from carpet anemones, filter feeding tube anemones to rose bulb tip anemones.

English: Sea Anemones at California tideppols....
Sea Anemones at California tideppols.
Sea Anemones look as plants,
but they are animals and they are predators.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

While most people think they are corals, sea anemones are actually under the phylum Cnidaria, which strangely enough, includes the jellyfish. They do share a common trait with corals, however. Within their bodies are contained symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae which extract energy from light and feeds the sea anemone with their by-products.

Where they differ spectacularly from corals are their ability to move from location to location. This behavior is commonly seen in captivity where the sea anemone will move around the aquarium until it has found a suitable spot.

Unfortunately, this behavior is undesirable mainly because their tentacles contain stinging cells used to capture prey and as a defense mechanism. As they move around the aquarium, they may come into contact with and sting any corals that are present.

The sea anemone shares a symbiotic relationship with a number of creatures in the wild. The most famous of their hosts are the clown fish family. They also play host to damselfish, certain crabs and a variety of anemone shrimp that rely on it for protection from predators.

They are a tricky species to care for in a marine aquarium as they require strong water flow and very strong lighting to do well in the long run. Should they die, they literally begin to melt. Which can really foul up the water?





Unfortunately, the great number of these creatures end up dying in captivity due to improper conditions. This is a shame because in the wild they are known to reach a lifespan of a hundred years or more. Some experts have pointed out that they may not even die if conditions remain good.

The family of Sea Anemone also contains a number of pests. Among them, the infamous Aiptasia and Majano anemones. Unlike their prettier cousins, these pests thrive in captivity and can quickly take over the entire aquarium.




2017-07-14

Saltwater Aquarium Stories - My CARPET ANEMONE

Saying Goodbye to my Carpet Anemone!

I purchased the carpet anemone secondhand with my aquarium and it came with 3 clown fish that were hosting in it, it quickly became the prize of my saltwater aquarium. In the first month I found that the anemone would move around the aquarium until it found a comfortable position. This proved to be a nuisance as it would knock over various corals and in some cases sting some of my corals. I found myself repositioning corals on a weekly basis. I decided to not to add any new live stock until the anemone appeared to remain in the one location.

English: Clown fish taking safety in a Sea Ane...
Clown fish taking safety in a Sea Anenome.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Over the first 6 months I noticed the carpet anemone growing further in size and although this looked amazing, it was quickly becoming a problem. Carpet anemones have a powerful sting (as I experienced first hand) and they are also very sticky. I am certain I lost a blue tang because it accidentally swam into the anemone. Most other variety of anemones such as the regular bubble tip to do not have the same level of stickiness as a carpet anemone which means fish can accidentally get stung however can quickly escape, unlike with the carpet anemone.


I made an executive decision to remove the anemone from my saltwater aquarium. This was difficult as it was the home for 3 clown fish and having this relationship between fish and anemone is never guaranteed. Nonetheless I wanted a coral rich saltwater aquarium which I just couldn't have with the carpet anemone. I would suggest that if you are thinking of keeping a carpet anemone that you base your saltwater aquarium around the anemone, this will provide a less stressful experience. They are truly remarkable creatures. In terms of feeding your carpet anemone, they eat almost anything you feed your fish. I would use a turkey baster to feed my fish brine shrimp and I would just squirt some towards the mouth of the anemone. Otherwise I know of people who have cut up some cooked prawns and used that. Just remember if you have clown fish that host in the carpet anemone, they actually provide food and you will find the anemone to be relatively self sufficient.

If you had the same problem as me and needed to remove the carpet anemone from your saltwater aquarium there are various methods. If it is stuck to the glass on the side or bottom of your aquarium, you are in luck. Put a non toxic plastic glove on and grab a credit card. Use the credit card to slide behind the base of the anemone's stem to remove it from the surface. If it is attached to a rock, you can try removing using the same method, however I found it much easier to just sacrifice the rock and try and replace it with another piece of live rock. My local fish store gave me $200 credit for the anemone above however if I wasn't as desperate to remove it from my saltwater aquarium as quickly as possible, I could have sold it privately with the clown fish for probably $500. I kept the clown fish and after a couple of weeks their stress levels decreased and they made a new home within the several caves and tunnels in my saltwater aquarium.

Later on I will discuss what happened with my bubble tip anemone's!



2016-12-13

ANEMONES - What You Should Know

Plate V in "British Sea-Anemone and Coral...
Plate V in "British Sea-Anemone and Corals" by Philip Henry Gosse, Van voorst, Paternoster Row, London, 1860. 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Have you ever been to a pet store and as you looked at the fish tanks you noticed something kind of weird? You began to observe it and after a while it looked kind of neat. You read the label and you see that this weird, neat thing is called an anemone. Your mind immediately begins to race as you think of how cool it would look in your tank. Well the truth is that it would look cool.

However, you should understand a couple of things about the anemone first. So let's take a brief look at a few common facts you should know. First, let's look at how to pick out the right anemone. Try to figure out something about your desired anemone ahead of time. This will make it much easier to tell if something is wrong. If you see an anemone with short tentacles that should have long ones then that might mean this particular one is not healthy.

Also look for spots on it that may be torn, especially near the bottom. If this is torn then it may not be able to attach to anything. Proper color should also be something to look for in judging its health. Now that you know a few tips for picking out your anemone let's look at some guidelines for keeping your anemone. For one, there should be no possible way for it to get sucked into the filtration on your tank. A good way to prevent this is to cut the end off of some tights and place it over the filtration. Also, good water quality is a must. Anemones can be sensitive to the water in which it is placed and therefore water quality must be good at all times.

Lighting should be of high quality as well. Anemones thrive with a high light source and metal halides are recommended. Feeding can be different for every particular anemone. Test it out to see how yours does with different techniques. Usually feeding a couple times a week using frozen brine shrimp is adequate and the use of various minerals will also help. If the anemone continues to look healthy this is a sign that it is being feed properly. If it is not then try feeding more often with various types of food. Last, let's look at keeping an anemone with coral. This can be a little tricky because some anemones like to travel around the tank at times.

This may not be good, because this means it has not found a good place in which it is comfortable. If this is the case then you might want to consider waiting until it has found its "comfort zone" before adding any coral. When placing coral with an anemone make sure there is plenty of room between it and the coral. If they touch one another it could cause death for both since many corals sting as well as anemones. Plan things out before you consider keeping both.





So now you know a couple of things relating to the anemone. Once you get the hang of keeping one, it is safe to say that there is nothing really quite like it. To see an anemone flowing to the current in your tank and the possible clownish or two making it their host is simply amazing. Good luck on this marvelous journey and I hope you have great success with your new anemone!




2016-11-27

CLOWNFISH and SEA ANEMONE: Symbiotic Relationship

Clownfish or the anemonefish are small fishes belonging to superclass Pisces and family Pomacentridae. There are about twenty nine species of clownfish are known all over the world out of which one belongs to the genus Premnas and others are kept in the genus Amphiprion. As their name indicates they form symbiotic mutualistic associations with the sea anemones in the ocean world. 

LARGER On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprio...
On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris. Some clown anemonefishes are brave.
When divers close to them, papa anemonefish will swim out to defense. (Looks like very angery!!) But, oftenly they will hide.(papa will hide faster than their babies. haha~) Lovely!!
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Depending upon the species these may be overall yellow, orange, reddish or blackish while others may bear patches or bars. The largest species are not to attain a body length of about 18 centimeters while the normal range of body length is about 10 centimeters. The well known popular movie entitled Finding Nemo by the Pixar/Disney figures out the clownfish as the leading character.

Clownfish are known to inhabit the warmer waters of Indian and Pacific oceans along with the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. Majority of the species are known to dwell in restricted areas while others have a wide range of distribution. They are generally host specific but some species also show coordination with other species also. They are known to dwell at the bottom of the sea floor confined in the shelters of lagoons or coral reefs. They prefer to live in pairs. 

They are also distributed in the northwest Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and the Indo-Malaysian region but totally absent in the Caribbean region. They are known to feed on small invertebrates otherwise they may cause damage to the sea anemone. The faecal matter released by these fishes act as source of nutrients for the sea anemone. They are strictly omnivorous and their gut content has revealed that their diet includes 20-25% of algae. The diet comprises of copepods, algae, zooplanktons and algae. They also feed on small crustaceans and molluscs. When kept under captivity they are provided fish pellets and fish flakes and food. They also feed on the undigested food material of the sea anemones.

Clownfish and certain damselfish are the only known species of fishes which are able to remain unaffected by the poison secreted by the sea anemone. Many theories have been put forward to support this view. According to one view the mucus coating of the fish may be composed of sugars rather than proteins so the sea anemone fails to recognize the fish as food sources and does not attacks it. Another view suggests that due to co-evolution clownfish has developed immunity against the toxins secreted by the sea anemone. 

It is well known that they tend to live in pairs in a single anemone and when the female dies the male changes its sex to female. This process is known as sequential hermaphroditism. Clownfish are born as males and that is why they are protandrous hermaphrodites. On top of the hierarchy reproducing female is present followed by the male but if the female dies this hierarchy gets disrupted. The largest member of a group is a female and the second largest one the male. Clownfish are neuter which means that they do not have fully developed sex organs for either gender.





Clownfish prefer to lay their eggs on flat surfaces where they can adhere properly. Spawning generally occurs around the time of full moon. The male is known to guard the eggs until they hatch after 8-10 days. They lay eggs ranging from hundreds to thousands. They are the first known fishes to breed in captivity. The average life span is of 6-10 years but in captivity they live up to 3-5 years. They show a special association with the sea anemone. The activity of these fishes result in greater amount of water circulation around the sea anemone and sea anemone provides them protection from its toxins. Clownfish depends on the sea anemone for its daily food. 

When anemone paralyzes a fish and consumes it these fish eat the chunks and pieces left after the feeding of the anemone. The fish also keeps the anemone free by eating up its dead tentacles and act as a lure by attracting predators towards itself by its bright colouration. This sort of symbiotic association of the clownfish with the sea anemone makes them the most astonishing creatures living under water. They are known bred in captivity in the marine ornamental farms in USA. If the anemone of the aquarium dies they tend to live in the soft varieties of corals. The corals may agitate the skin of these fishes and in some cases may kill the corals also. Once they get confined in the corals they defend it. We can conclude that they are amazing fishes showing unique features.



2016-04-19

How To Rid Your Tank of AIPTASIA

Aiptasia anemones or commonly know as glass anemones are a common pest in saltwater and marine aquariums. They are usually introduced into people's tanks as hitchhikers from new livestock, in particular new corals and live rock. The problem with aiptasia is that they can multiply extremely quickly and can be very difficult to get rid of once they have begun to take over your tank.

Italiano: Anemone bruno (Aiptasia mutabilis)
Aiptasia mutabilis
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They have a tendency to move themselves around to find the most suitable place and once they have their foot into the rock work or similar they are very hard to remove manually. The vast majority of the time you will be unable to remove the by cutting or plucking as they retract deep into there crevices as soon as you attempt to get near to them.

There are many products on the market that are suitable for removing aiptasia. One of my personal favourites is Joe's Juice. I have used this many times and it never fails to kill the aiptasia that you have targeted with it. Personally I didn't like the syringe that came with it, so I used a separate syringe that I had with a very long fine nozzle on it which allowed me to get much closer to the anemone and in turn apply Joe's Juice to it. This is a fantastic product and is completely safe to your aquarium unlike some of the more unorthodox methods.

You should start off by killing the larger anemones first as they are the ones that are producing the vast majority of spores which can lead to further infestation. Then once you have managed to remove the vast majority of the large ones you can focus on the smaller one. It is a rather time consuming job to actually get rid of them all and you can never be certain that they will all be gone as they embed themselves deep in the rockwork and other crevices that they deem suitable for their home. However you will be able to keep them under control and as soon as a new one appears or seems to popup out of nowhere you will be able to treat them accordingly.

Some of the more natural methods to removing and controlling aiptasia are to use actual marine inhabitants that consume them as part of there normal diet. Peppermint shrimp or a good choice for helping to reduce the amount but at the same time there are mixed reviews on the effectiveness as they don't just consume aiptasia and may only destroy a few of them. Between 4-6 peppermint shrimp for every 30 gallons of water should be adequate to help keep aiptasia under control, but as I mentioned earlier they also eat other foods such as fish and coral food you maybe adding to your aquarium.



Copperband Butterflyfish will also eat aiptasia, but it is recommended that your tank be 75+ gallons to keep these fish. They love to eat aiptasia and are an absolutely stunning fish to look at and watch. One problem with these fish is that they may start to target your corals and some of your invertebrates as food as well. So once again these may not be the best solution for everyone.

A more recent addition to the market, or should I say an ever increasing popular choice is the Berghia Nudibranch. These are extremely effective at destroying aiptasia as it is the only thing they consume for food. The main issue is that once they have ridded your tank of infestation they will slowly begin to die as they will starve to death. An alternative to buying Berghia Nudibranch is to actually rent them from a Local Fish Shop, which is also becoming common practice. Other ways to obtain them would be too look at your look marine / reef clubs as they also quite often have members that rent/lend them out to member's tanks.

Removing these pests from your marine aquarium is far from an easy task and can be time consuming. As previously mentioned Joe's Juice is one of the quickest and most effective ways of ridding your aquaria of these pests. Keep a look out for more articles from me. In a future article we will be looking into the use of a Majano Wand to rid your aquaria of aiptasia.

    By Matthew Braker
    Matt @ Coralswap has over 5 years experience in setting up and maintaining Marine Aquariums. Why not visit our site and learn more about maintaining and setting up marine aquariums as well as trading corals & frags with our other members. We hope to see you soon! Coralswap - Swap Corals You can also visit our store at Coralswap Store Cleartides

    Article Source: EzineArticles