The “6 month anemone rule” question (quarantine)

BRS

Miami Reef

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Here’s the deal:

Last week I set up my coral and invert quarantine tank. Purpose for QT is solely for FISH parasites.

The sand is dead, but I purchased 10 pounds of extremely mature live rock. It has thick coralline, sponges etc. It’s most certainly over 6 months old.


Anyway, how long should I keep this coral QT running before I think about adding an anemone? I do want to add softies, stonies, and even clams to QT, but I want to start slow.

First step: ensuring tank is mature before I add any livestock. I just want to know how will I know when this system is ready for an anemone?
 
AS

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I think that number is made up and not very useful. I am not sure what magical thing happens at 6 months or a year as many people say. Honestly, I think it is just because some people who get anemones right away often don't know what they are doing in general (since they are brand new), and thus end up killing it. Add an anemone when the water levels are correct (including some nitrate and phosphate) and you have flow and lighting correctly setup
 

Delloman

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Ya stability is key what can a nem bring in? It may not be worth QT I am all for QT for fish and dipping coral but nems are so finicky I am waiting to get one for my current tank when I feel the tank is fully stable i will get it. I thought I was getting close but then I nitrates dropped to 0 and now dealing with diatoms and and algae. Started dosing nitrate so stability is not there yet. But the six months was probably people giving a number so newbies would stop asking all the time.
 

Gedxin

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Stability and maintenance is key. If you've got a groove and are able to maintain good water parameters, along with good lighting (anemones love light,) I'd say get it whenever. I purchased a rainbow BTA at two months and just over a month later it's doing fantastic, and has already split once.
 
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I think that number is made up and not very useful. I am not sure what magical thing happens at 6 months or a year as many people say. Honestly, I think it is just because some people who get anemones right away often don't know what they are doing in general (since they are brand new), and thus end up killing it. Add an anemone when the water levels are correct (including some nitrate and phosphate) and you have flow and lighting correctly setup
Agreed.
 

Timfish

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Since the animals (or maybe more correctly the benthic organisms) in a reef ssytem are manipulating the microbial processes I'd argue a system can't begin to mature and develop the all the microbial processes needed until the animals we want to keep are added.
 
Fritz

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3CCEA1CA-F345-4D38-AAAB-F0CD5A563AAC.jpeg

Nems were placed in tank after 3 weeks of cycling. No issues and they love it
 

Mibu

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6 month rule is for new people. Tell them to keep a log and track their parameters. But guess what? most new comers usually don't post until something goes wrong.

Come to think of it, we have all these laws on reef aquariums. But, no reason why it was made. "here's some rules, follow them".

And then, the person asks themselves,
"Why, what's parameters, why do those mater? What's a swing? The one in the park? None of this makes sense, I'll just buy a bta, a bag of sand, clownfish, couple pieces of dry rock to go in my nano cube I just picked up at the fish store. The fish person was extra helpful and said I could." This is the usually scenario.
Sometimes I read "Great forums! I learned a lot. Here's my plan for my upcoming reef."

Anyhow @Miami Reef DO NOT buy a wild anemone. This is were most problems come from. Unless you are used to getting wild anemones and tank raising them, leave that to those who do know what they are dealing with and have the meds to deal with illness.

Buy aquacultured. This is a night and day difference. Less healthy problems and it will still need time to acclimate.
 

Jeff Hall

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I am almost certain that ich, velvet and other external fish parasites do not live on anemones. So I wouldn't quarantine at all. If you are really concerned you could dip them to get rid of the water from the LFS.
 
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Miami Reef

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@Mibu Thank you! I prefer aquaculture as they are hardier! Once I finish quarantining the rest of my fish (about 3-4 weeks left) I can devote my time to the coral QT system. For now it’s going to cycle. I’ll ghost feed it to grow bacteria and pods.

@Jeff Hall Anemones can hold water from their surroundings for 16 days. Ich free swimmers will die after 2 days, but velvet can survive for about 14 days if I remember correctly.

I need to quarantine everything as my tank is very large and I spent time and $$ to ensure it’s parasite free. :)
 
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Chrisv.

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I'm not sure why more people don't start out with rock flower or mini-maxi anemones. They're gorgeous and much more forgiving than many of the long-tentacled ornamental varieties commonly available.
Brace yourself for a controversial statement:

I'm not sure why more people don't start with locally cultured RBTAs. Hear me out. 1) They are relatively robust if locally aquacultured. 2) They are cheap and readily available from folks in your local club. 3) they have zero ecological impact if you accidentally kill one.

That last point is really important to me. Let's face it: the "we must respect all aquatic life" concept is completely arbitrary in it's application. We kill aptasia without batting an eye. And yet people lose their minds when a BTA it put at risk. But BTAs grow at aptasia proportions once they get going. There are a ton of examples on here.

On the other hand, rock flower anemones and mini maxi anemones are, for the most part, wild collected. Removing them from the environment does have an impact, if only minimal.

So as controversial as it may be to say, I see the loss of a RBTA to be similar to the loss of an animal that was bred en mass for any other purpose (e.g. cows, chickens, etc.) They deserve respect, but to be blunt, I'm way more comfortable experimenting with them.


Edit: I will add that I don't think some species should be harvested from the wild at all. Some of the H. magnifica etc that live for 75 years and reproduce slowly should not be imported due to high mortality, even in successful tanks. Let's face it, you would be hard pressed to find a reefer with a tank that was thriving for as long as their natural lifespan.
 
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Rmckoy

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I agree with a lot of the comments above .
the rule is made up .
I believe it’s more for the purpose of the new person gaining experience and knowledge of how to maintain a stable system .

6 months is enough time for most to understand the basics . Let’s hope ?
but I agree …. There is nothing saying any system will be mature in 6 months nor should anemones or sps be avoided until that point
 
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