Sick Rainbow BTA Bounceback

Jud

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I’ll be the first to admit that my tank (at four months old) was too new for a BTA. However, the salesman my LFS here in Chicago was convincing. My second tank, an AIO, and weekly 30% water changes - I thought I could master this one.

After 1+ months of thriving in the tank, came home to a shriveled mess out of nowhere. Mouth agape, beginning to spew guts, tentacles like string, ejecting what I can only assume was zooxanthellae, and even strands coming off the foot. Was moments away from pulling it out.

Did a 50% water change, despite reading zero ammonia/nitrite/phosphates, a PH of 8, and a slightly elevated nitrate of 5 (I’ve been trying to feed less).

The BTA seemed to bounce back pretty quickly. Then I did another 50% change. Seems to be back in shape.

Possible to have them bounce back? This BTA seemed terminally ill, and now looks no worse for wear. Wondering if this is fools gold before it takes another turn south.

Also suspecting that nitrates and phosphates have something to do with this. Newer tank and at 40 gallons these swings can happen quickly.

Let me know what you think! First photo and video from yesterday, last from today.

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Nems do weird stuff all the time...look half dead one day and fine the next.
With a new tank and being so small it will be hars to keep parameters stable. Best bet is smaller more frequent water changes while the tank matures.
 
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Jud

Jud

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Thanks for the help! I’m just going to be militant about water changes every week for the next few months. Scaled back tank feeding to once every other day for a bit.

I’m working on getting a PAR meter. My 40 gallon is running a Hydra 26, onto which I downloaded BRS’ AB+ lighting schedule. I also have two T5’s that I haven’t kicked on.

Well, I kicked them on once for two hours. Seemed to be right before all of this happened. Wondering if I shocked the ‘nem, as he seems to be expelling zooxanthellae (occasional white string from tentacles, vs the brown waste I’ve seen post feeding)?

That said, it’s looking a lot healthier now after some water changes. Still shriveling up at night but fine during day. Has also positioned itself near top of rock work and “reaches” towards lights.

I’m guessing a proper PAR reading will alleviate some of my concerns.

DF6A8618-B116-4E32-A739-D79DC457B6B2.jpeg 1576836D-815E-499C-9521-984DD25B09A8.jpeg
 

laverda

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Some people make a big deal trying to get their nitrates to zero, however anemones like nitrates. They can use nitrates as a food source. Nitrates of 5 are no where high enough to cause a problem for BTAs. I have kept them in tanks as high as 120 and the grew like crazy. Anemones will shrivel like that from time to time. I doubt the water change made a real difference unless some other level like ALK was way off.
Your T5 are not going to cause a problem either. If they were getting to much light they would retract and move away from the ligh if exposed long enough. Anemones love light anyway.
 
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He looks really good in that pic!
 

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