Replacing an anemone that hosts Clownfish

Enad

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Hi all,

I have a question, and there may not be a definite answer for this but I figured I'd see what others think.

I have two massive Chicago Sunburst Anemones (one is around 8", the other is 12") and my Clown pair live in both of them. While I absolutely love the look of them, the size has caused them to be a bit problematic when it comes to stinging nearby corals. I've adjusted the flow so they're mostly okay but occasionally still drifts over towards my showpiece orange hammer.

In any case, I'm looking at potentially adding to my aquascape to add some sort of rock arch that goes above their current position and replacing the Nems with a SINGLE, much smaller Nem. I have a baby CSB that dropped off these guys a while ago, he's living in the sump so I could always use that one. Or I'd swap for a Sherman Rose, or Colorado. Just something else to mix it up a bit would be nice.

Now my question is, does anyone know if the Clowns will recognize this new Nem if I were to replace the ones they currently live in? Or is it like starting from scratch again?

Thanks!

IMG_8368.jpg
 

garygb

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If you replace one CSB with a different one, I would expect the clowns will take to it pretty much immediately. If it's a different size, maybe they would notice, but then again, anemones change their shapes often, so I don't think that would be much of a cause for apprehension on the clowns part. Since you're simply switching out a large CSB for a smaller one, there's no need for the clowns to develop immunity to the new anemone. The only issue that could potentially be an issue is that the "baby" CSB could be too small to host. BTAs in general can tolerate clownfish well, I would just want the diameter of the anemone to be ~twice the length of the largest clown. Then it should be fine.
 
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Enad

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If you replace one CSB with a different one, I would expect the clowns will take to it pretty much immediately. If it's a different size, maybe they would notice, but then again, anemones change their shapes often, so I don't think that would be much of a cause for apprehension on the clowns part. Since you're simply switching out a large CSB for a smaller one, there's no need for the clowns to develop immunity to the new anemone. The only issue that could potentially be an issue is that the "baby" CSB could be too small to host. BTAs in general can tolerate clownfish well, I would just want the diameter of the anemone to be ~twice the length of the largest clown. Then it should be fine.

So, you're saying replacing with another Chicago should be fine, but what if I opted to switch it for a different BTA variant - it may not be a seamless transition?

Right now, the baby Chicago is fairly small, maybe 2-3" but the Clowns aren't fully grown either, so I think they'd be fine. Plus, by the time I find the right rock structure and actually succeed in extracting the two Nems from my existing rock (will be extremely difficult to do the great crevices they've found), I'm sure the baby Chicago will have grown considerably. I feed it weekly and it has been growing steadily.
 

blecki

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They might be baffled for a day or too but clowns aren't too bright. They'll just think their house walked off. I wouldn't expect any issues at all getting them to host in a completely different bta.
 
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Enad

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Gotcha. Well...I have a few difficult tasks to accomplish before I can even think about swapping in a new anemone.
 

garygb

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So, you're saying replacing with another Chicago should be fine, but what if I opted to switch it for a different BTA variant - it may not be a seamless transition?

Right now, the baby Chicago is fairly small, maybe 2-3" but the Clowns aren't fully grown either, so I think they'd be fine. Plus, by the time I find the right rock structure and actually succeed in extracting the two Nems from my existing rock (will be extremely difficult to do the great crevices they've found), I'm sure the baby Chicago will have grown considerably. I feed it weekly and it has been growing steadily.
A different variety of BTA should be fine too. No need for the clowns to acclimate. I've had clownfish go between different species of anemone with no issue. Within the same species, I don't think your clowns would make much of a distinction. The size may be an issue, but the variety of BTA shouldn't be.
 

Jekyl

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They'll likely migrate but if the nem is too small it may end up beat up.
 
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A different variety of BTA should be fine too. No need for the clowns to acclimate. I've had clownfish go between different species of anemone with no issue. Within the same species, I don't think your clowns would make much of a distinction. The size may be an issue, but the variety of BTA shouldn't be.

They're spoiled right now with their double massive anemones. They'll need to learn to be humble and accept a smaller anemone.
 

blecki

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Just hoping every day for the two huge BTAs in my nano tank to finally split again. Well, it did used to be 1, so... some day the exponential anemone explosion will begin...
 
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Just hoping every day for the two huge BTAs in my nano tank to finally split again. Well, it did used to be 1, so... some day the exponential anemone explosion will begin...
Hah started the same with me. Had 1 for nearly a year that grew a TON and then eventually got to like 15" diameter before it split into two. Both are now huge and sit at the top of the tank enjoying a ton of light and flow and are deeeeply rooted into some small crevices.

Seeing as there's very little else on this rock, I'm thinking of holding it out of the water for a bit and seeing if they detach. My arms may get too tired though hah, not sure how long it would take for them to get ticked and detach.
 

blecki

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Hours. There are places where the reef is exposed at low tide and they survive there.
 
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Enad

Enad

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Hours. There are places where the reef is exposed at low tide and they survive there.

Any thoughts on a better approach? I really like this rock, so I don't want to destroy it. It's a proper reef rock too with 2 years of growth, no fake BS.
 

garygb

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Any thoughts on a better approach? I really like this rock, so I don't want to destroy it. It's a proper reef rock too with 2 years of growth, no fake BS.
A power head pointing directly at the foot/column may make it move.
 
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A power head pointing directly at the foot/column may make it move.

Tried that once in the past and didn't have much luck. How about a powerhead just blasting the nem directly? It's hard to target the foot considering it's hidden under a 12" nem hah
 

garygb

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Tried that once in the past and didn't have much luck. How about a powerhead just blasting the nem directly? It's hard to target the foot considering it's hidden under a 12" nem hah
Yeah, that should work. They don't like an uninterrupted strong laminar flow. They prefer to wave gently in a variable flow.
 

D-Nak

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The problem with anemones is their ability to move. BTAs tend to move quite a bit. Just know that swapping out anemones may solve one problem, but quickly introduce another.
 
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Enad

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The problem with anemones is their ability to move. BTAs tend to move quite a bit. Just know that swapping out anemones may solve one problem, but quickly introduce another.

I totally get that, but I do believe if I give them conditions they really enjoy, it should hopefully stay put.


The original Nem I placed in my tank has not once moved, and when it originally split, the other one took up residence on the other side of the rock in effectively the same lighting/flow/crevice conditions.


I know it's a risk but hopefully I can replicate that again with a new Nem in a slightly different spot.
 
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Enad

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Update: Managed to get the smaller of the two out. Definitely wasn't as gentle as I wanted to be, but he seems to be doing okay.

Next one is going to be much harder as the crevice is much more inaccessible. May need to try out the Nem Cannon technique for this guy.
 
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