A Reef2Reef Spotlight Entacmaea quadricolor "Bubble Tip Anemone"

ficklefins

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The bubble tip anemone has been one of my favorite reef invertebrates. I have owned many different types over the last 5 years with each variation displaying a different temperament and tank tolerance. Initially I purchased one to keep my clowfnish happy, but I quickly grew to appreciate the anemone more than the clown. And so began my interest with the...

Entacmaea quadricolor "Bubble Tip Anemone"



Lighting:
- The optimum light situation for a BTA is Medium/High light. A BTA will let you know what light intensity it prefers by moving itself around the tank until it reaches it's selected setting on it's own.

- Minimum light requirements would be a high amount of PC wattage per gallon, Metal Halides, or T5 lights.

Flow:
- Medium/High amount of flow, but not direct flow as this may cause the anemone to close up and/or wander the tank in search of calmer waters.

- Powerheads can cause a problem for BTAs. With their long flowing tentacles anemones can easily find themselves being sucked into pumps/powerheads which can often times lead to their death. Covering a powerhead with foam or fine netting can provide added insurance in preventing this type of demise.

Feeding:
- The preferred food for most BTA's are meaty items such as krill or silversides, but they will accept smaller foods like mysis and even pellets (how I use to do it). Enriching the food in something like selcon will also help to supplement the anemone's diet. Anemone's will spit up any uneaten foods such as whole silversides, so limit the size of the item you are feeding until you are more comfortable with your particular anemones capacity.

- Feeding also promotes growth and can aid in bringing BTA's back to health in cases of bleaching. Many hobbyists will feed their anemones to promote growth and/or to initiate propagation through division.

Placement:
- It is always best to start a newly introduced anemone off in a low/medium flow area, with it's foot in a crevise, and if possible in or near an area you want it to stay in.

- Anemones will move around the tank until they find a location that best suits their particular needs. Sometimes this means that it may not be the most visible location in the tank, but moving anemones to a new location will only build on the stress of acclimation and will not guarantee that it will stay. So allow your anemones to move around the tank, and if they setup in a location that is to your liking then try to encourage them to stay through feedings.

Propagation:
- On most occasions an anemone will divide on its own, but the process can be helped along by the hobbyist. During division an anemone may move from its established location and may look stresed while it is splitting into two. After an anemone divides it is important to try and minimize the disturbance to the aquariums water quality so it may be helpful to run activated carbon or do a water change. Described below is a few methods and observations of anemone propagation.

- Stress relates division: Some hobbyists have reported that their anemone split during a period of stress for the BTA. This can happen right off the bat during the process of acclimation, during a minor tank issue, or on purpose via hobbyist manipulation. Personally I have never been an advocate of purposefully stressing an anemone to induce division so I can not vouch for any techniques on how to accomplish this.

- Food/size related division: One of the safest, less stressful, and most utilized methods of encouraging an anemone to divide is through feeding.
I used feeding to trigger clones. I'd get them used to 2-3 krill every three or four days for a few weeks, then up it to 3-4 krill every other day and they'd split in 12 days. Did it three times intentionally. Not all BTA's split, though. I've heard some RBTA's (and GBTA's...) just get bigger and bigger and tend to have a stronger sting.
- Manual division: A method that is growing in popularity amongst hobbyist is the physical cutting of anemones. This is done by cutting the anemone, with a blade or a pair of scissors, in half leaving a part of the mouth on either side. Video courtesy of Chip (flowerseller), a member of my local reef club. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5tDIoLROyA]Flowerseller shows how to split a RBTA[/youtube]

More of Chip's videos are available here : http://www.youtube.com/user/flowersellers


Origins:


Rarity:
- Anemones in general are not a rare invertebrate, but some variations in color can be difficult to find and may fetch a decent price.

ID Confusions:
- There are several types of anemones out there and often times it can be difficult to distinguish one from the other. More on distinguishing characteristics later.

Other info:
- In addition to powerheads, I've had a peppermint shrimp develop a taste for anemone tentacles. The shrimp would go up to the anemone, snip off a tentacle, and retreat to the back of the rock work.
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Ladipyg

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Something weird and not recommended in the least happened to my RBTA about 3 years ago....it went "walkabout" and came in contact with one of the powerheads in the tank. While the main body avoided most of the contact about half the tentacles with a bit o body attached were ripped off. There were more pieces floating in the tank, overflow and sump then I could collect....about a year later when breaking the tank down for a move I found a couple dozen baby RBTA's along the back of my tank...I didn't notice them because although they were high up, they were on the back side of the rock. They varied from dime sized (the smallest) to 1/2 dollar size (the largest) and were in an area of med to high intermitent flow. I found good homes for half and did a dedicated clown / anemone tank with the rest.
 

mak060

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Ladipyg, you just have some amazing info on your posts. You should write a book! I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
 

Ladipyg

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Thanks for the compliment! Do this for 41 years and you'll be able to write a book too!!! While this was a piece of good luck, I have had my share of "you have got to be kidding me!" bad luck too...like the time I "bulletproofed" my reef tank before going on vacation and a power outage tripped a few GFI's...the tank sitter saw the lights coming on every day and thought "All's well!" NOT, heaters, pumps, skimmer, powerheads, everything else was off line...I was gone 2 weeks. Everything died, over $5,000 in rare corals, zoas, palys, clams and fish...many over 5 years old, grown from frags. As soon as I went to check the tank, the smell told me all I needed to know.My husband found me on my knees in front of the tank crying hysterically! I have since gotten my son into the hobby and since he moved in across the street from me we trade babysitting chores on each others tanks....no more worries!!
 

revhtree

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BUMP for more BTA info and pics!
 

roshi719

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Here's some pics of Anthony Calfo propagating one at our local clubs swap last weekend















 
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revhtree

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Awesome pics! Thanks for sharing!

We need to get Calfo here to do some nice articles. :D
 

Sikryd

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Great post and info! did anyone else cringe while watching the video? im such a wimp!
I didn't enjoy cutting the first few I did. But its pretty easy and they heal right up in a couple days.
 

aerius007

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I didn't enjoy cutting the first few I did. But its pretty easy and they heal right up in a couple days.

Ive actually used sharp scissors before and havent lost one yet. I have a breeder box with holes drilled in it for flow. After I cut them I put them in the breeder box along with some rocks and they normally attach within minutes.

The two nems are a bit deflated in these pics, it was the middle of the night when I took the pics but you get the idea.



 

Sikryd

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Right on. Yeah anything will work really, as long as it is sharp. I have missed the mouth completely before and they were fine. They seem to be pretty hardy for me.

Nice color on that. Its looks like my old RBTA - nice rich deep red.
 
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Steve Ruddy

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I concur with Ladipyg. If you get one into your power head just turn it off and let it be for a day or so. If it doesn't fall off pry it out. Leave it in the tank no matter how puréed it looks. I have had re-growth in all cases. Some you would swear it was toast.

This image made Advanced Reef Aquarium magazine.



Here is a 1/4" baby from sexual reproduction.



I maintain a 375 gallon that has about 30 or more. I will take a photo and try to post next week.
 

Steve Ruddy

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Personally I just pry them off with a flat utensil. I often damage the foot but never have lost one. I have heard of using a powerhead directed at the foot but have never tried it.
 

akabryanhall

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Bump, would lve to see some pics of quadricolors. I know they come in red, green orange, gold, brown, pink with yellow tips, and a variety of colors
 
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