found out what killed my open brain

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Last week I posted that I came home to find half of the tissue of my open brain missing. The next morning, I awoke to find the brain engulfed in my carpet anemone. Apparantly, the anemone has been moving all the way across the tank at night. Needless to say, I will not be putting any other corals on the substrate from here on in.
Do you mean it moves at night and returns to it's original place during the day?

Now, how do you pronounce that again?

Reefgal in the desert
Man, that stinks! I've had the same problem with my Carpet Anemone. It's a killer! It killed a few corals so far. It killed a beautiful Tabletop Acropora with blue tips! I was pissed. I didn't even see it. I was away. My friend who was taking care of the tank came over to find my Carpet on a murdering spree! I also have a problem with it staying in one spot. It has to do with the spot it's in. There has to be a reason it's moving. I spoke with Frank Grecko from the Brooklyn Aquarium and he gave me a good idea. Fill a flower pot(plastic or clay) half way with sand and put the Anemone in it. It may work or may not, 50/50 chance. I think part of keeping them still is good intermitten water current and a spot that gets lots of light. That is usually a hard thing to do. Considering most of the well lit spots in my tank are hit with heavy current. I've finally found a spot for my Carpet, though. It's not a great one. It's behind the rockwork, but in full light. I can only see the upper 1/4 of the Anemone. The clowns do come out, though.
Well, Happy Holidays!

Most Interesting!!!

I have a carpet that I've had for over 2 years, my carpet has never "looked" twice at any coral in my tank, and never moved from where I put it. I had a heavily stocked 55gal reef which I broke down and moved everthing into a 125gal tank. It wandered for a few days then settled down again.

It does have a huge apeptite for my fish though, I have lost 4 fish to date, 2 were clowns that I wanted to host with my carpet. Most of my Reef buddies keep telling me to get rid of it But, It keeps growing. I finally found a pair of saddle back clowns that have hosted with it now and I'm in the process of setting up a tank just for my carpet.

I think the key to carpets is Excellent lighting and feeding! I feed my carpet almost every day. One or two lance fish, I also buy some fresh squid and shrimp from market.
I also think carpets prefer finer grain sand to sink into. My 125 has a large crushed coral base with a finer sand on top my carpet dug down for a day or so the moved against some rock and settled there instead.


[This message has been edited by Aquaman (edited 12-22-1999).]
It does move at night and then return to the same spot (or approximately the same spot) at night. I recently upgraded my lighting and I think that is what made the anemone start to seek shelter. This anemone has been trouble since I got him. He's killed fish and now coral. He stung a couple mushrooms last night, but I think they're going to make it.
Now that's a little negative, don't you think? Many of us have kept anemones for a number of years, the story is not always dismal. If one learns about the animal and is committed to keeping them, there is no reason one cannot hope for success...many have done so. Admittedly, it is not an animal for the novice, but hardly impossible.

Sorry to hear of your loss but would imagine the carpet is looking for a good home. Is your current too strong or lighting too dim at its current location? It will take a bit but will find the 'right spot' on its own. A compatible clown or two may help it settle down.

The anemone was in the same place for the first two weeks. Then it went behind the rocks for a day. Then it came back out and sat in the original spot from about November 6th until about a week or two ago. That was when I increased my lighting. Ever since then it's been moving around at night and hiding during the day. I think it's just trying to acclimate itself to the lighting. I don't have it in too much flow now, but as soon as my wavemaker arrives, I'll have a lot more flow in there. The powerheads already got here, and I'm afraid to turn them on for more than a few seconds, because I don't want to hurt the anemone. When I first turned them on last night, the anemone got blown pretty hard by a powerhead on the other side of the tank. I have a 75 gallon and just got 4 Maxijet 900's. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I didn't know that anemones were hard to keep when I got it (birthday present from my father), and now that I have it I want to do everything I can to keep it alive and thriving. I don't want it to barely survive for a couple of years. I want it to have everything I can give it. Sorry for the long post.
"Many of us have kept Anemones for a number of years" ...Many! you mean 1 out 100 don't you,or are you saying that when it dies you go buy another to replace it ;)....if you want to keep one then set your tank up right(even then it probably won't work)don't fall for the clown fish,Anemone LFS BS like most(myself)have...unlike 15 years ago,there's way to much info out there that tells us whats good and whats bad,how to do this and how to do that..."A little negative" NO, I DON"T THINK SO


I have to agree with Mark on this one. While some may keep anemones short term, I don't think there is much in the way of hard evidence that we can keep them responsibly in captivity.

Larry M

My Personal Site, Northern Reef
This is something that always bugs the heck out of me, people always saying that you absolutely cannot keep anemones. It wasnt that many years ago that you absolutely could not keep coral. It wasnt that farther back when you absolutely couldnt keep marine fish. See a common thread here??

The biggest argument always seem to be that anemones would live to 100 years or more. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is just a guess, no one knows how long they live. Naysayers always tell you that keeping an animal that wont live anywhere near its normal life span is irresponsible and even mean. But, think about the coral in our tanks. The coral has essentially an infinite life span. There is no old age, they dont die even if broken and scattered. Despite this, we still keep coral in our tanks. We cannot keep them for even a small fraction of its life span, but THAT is OK. Keep a coral for 10 years that could live a possible 1000yrs and people will say that you are a successful reefkeeper. But, keep a anemone that only lives say, 2years of a possible 100, and people will say that that is a failure, and that you are wrong. If you are going to strike out at anyone keeping anemones, then you should also blindly strike out at anyone keeping corals. Even if you keep a coral your whole life, you still have kept the coral only a tiny fraction of its possible life.

If someone tells you that they kave kept an anemone for years, you quickly slap them down and tell them how wrong they really are. Positive experiences are not valued at all. Think about Gonioporra, every time you hear a new technique for keeping them that might work, it is trumpeted loudly on all the message boards,"We can keep Goni now!!!". Despite that, they keep dying, and we keep trying. Just having an anemone seems to be a crime. Just look at this thread, Christine is not saying that she is loosing anemones right & left, she lost a coral. Yet some people take it as yet another excuse to bash anemone owners. I would like to remind you, the CORAL died, not the anemone, yet no one had any problem with that.

Ok, I am done complaining, but I would like to point out some things that have worked for me in keeping anemones alive. At the time I changed my 75 from a fish tank to a reef (1 1/2 years), I bought anemones. I didnt know about the poor survival rate. I bought a carpet, a long tentacle, and a bubble (E.Quad). I still have the bubble, and the carpet. The long tentacle died in a powerhead accident in Nov. So here goes:

Light: I bought my 2 MH lights at different times, and got different types. I had a 250w, 5500K lamp (now 6500k) & a 175w, 10000, lamp. My anemones DO NOT like high color temps. The positivly love 5500k lights. They are doing well under the 6500k lamp. When an anemone moves in my tank, it always moves towards the lower color temp. After a re-arrangement in my tank this spring, my bubble got put under the 10000k lamp. For about 3 months, I thought it was a goner, it was small, shruken, and looked terrible. Even its clown wouldnt visit it. Later, I noticed that the larger anemones only go under the 5500k lamp, so I moved the bubble. It made a complete recovery from what seemed to be certain death. Yet one more reason to use cheap bulbs.

Food: One common problem is that we generally dont feed enough, to corals, fish or anemones. Give it all that it will take, but never force any food down its oral disc. Most people will be surprised how much an anemone can eat. If its tentacles are retracted, dont feed it. Its tentacles will be pretty sticky when it wants to eat.

Movement: If it wants to move, let it. Dont try to force it into any place it doesnt want to be. To keep them, you have to be prepared to move corals around the anemone, not the other way around. Give plenty of water flow, but also places where it is sheltered. Let the anemone decide where it wants to go. An unhappy anemone is a dead one.

Sorry to ramble and gripe so much, but I would love to see people posting the things that have gone right with their anemones, instead of not posting anything because they will be flamed for having one.
Man! I know what you mean....

Hers's something that always bugs me..with all the info out on the WWW,all the great books out..People still buy critters for there tanks without doing one bit of research.Then, after they bring them home they start asking ? and or buy a I said before"unlike 15 years ago there's way too much info out there" ;)


Your anemone is probably moving around at night because of reduced oxygen levels at night, looking for a more oxygenated area. Sprung/Delbeek mention this in TRA Vol. 2 in a caption showing a Macrodactyla Doreensis doing this. Does your pH take a larger than normal dive at night?
This is a situation where I guess everyone has to make a choice. I don't think there is much argument that the majority of people aren't going to keep goniporas, anemones, moorish idols, etc, etc, alive in the long term, meaning more than one year. Sure, there are always exceptions to every rule, but overall, the success rate of these animals in captivity is to say the least, not as good as many, many other animals.

Do we agree on that?

So, then it comes down to this: Do you think you are "expert" enough to have success where others have failed? What are you going to do differently to ensure your success? What sort of proof do you have that your methods have are going to have a reasonable chance of succeeding? Is there scientific data to back up your claims?

If you can't answer those questions, in my opinion you have no business attempting animals that most fail to keep alive. I would seriously like to see literature that explains in detail what is needed to guarantee success in keeping anemones. With all due respect, ctenophore, the fact that Ron Shimek can keep an anemone alive should not be a factor in determining whether the average aquarist is going to attempt this.

I've written about keeping some of these animals before, now I wish I had kept that line of ranting. I think encouraging the general hobbyist population to start buying these animals is dangerous and one of the factors that has led us to the brink of regulation.

Larry M

My Personal Site, Northern Reef
The anemone died on Christmas. It looked like the picture on p. 363 of The Reef Aquarium vol 2. I don't think I will be keeping an anemone in the near future, but in the distant future I may try again. If that does happen, I will probably dedicate a tank to its care alone, and then try to add other livestock after it has been in the tank and doing well for some time. Oh, and I didn't have a huge pH jump during the day. I think the anemone was just acclimating itself to some new lights. I had doubled them a couple of weeks ago, and from then on it had been acting strangely. Oh, and jdthomas, thanks for including what you do that seems to be working. I agree that if people weren't afraid of posting, maybe we would hear some more success stories. I've printed out your response as a reference for the distant future.
Mark & Larry,
It would probable surprise you from the tone of my last post, but I probably wouldnt buy another anemone again when/if mine ever dies. They are a good deal of trouble even when they are healthy. But, I dont think its impossible or even(most likely) unrealistic. People are starting to come around to the idea that everything needs to be fed much,much more than we did in the past, for instance.
However, I have to point out a few things. Mark, much of that information on the WWW says that you can keep anemones. As for books, think of the reefers bible, The Reef Aquarium (v1&v2). It not only doesnt say not to keep anemones, it tells you a bit about how to do it! I have read as many books/magazine articles that say you can have anemones as say you cant. I for one was a person who did not study on anemones before I ever bought one. If I had, I probably still would have bought them because these books said it OK. We tell people to read these books, then we tell them to disregard whats in them (yet another gripe).
Look a Flying Fish Express's Q&A some time. Bob Fenner, another leading author, wont tell people not to get anemones. He will make suggestions, but not say no. If a person is new to the hobby, who will she/he believe(I have never read his book, only the daily posts). Will they believe the opinion of some unknown person on a message board, who hasnt been able to keep them, or will they believe authors,researchers, etc who say you can.

I'm really not trying to start an argument, just to show another take on the situation.
No problem Jon, always ready to have a good discussion. I think there are many parts of the books you mentioned which have come under fire, and I believe we should always take everything we read with a grain of salt anyway, regardless of the author. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a person to get everything perfectly right.
I just base my stand on this: If you were to poll all of the people who have attempted to keep anemones or some of the more difficult corals about their success rates, I'm sure you would find there is a large failure rate as compared to, for example, leathers, lps, etc. So the issue becomes where a person's conscience draws the line. And that of course, at least for the time being, is up to the individual.

Larry M

My Personal Site, Northern Reef
Its really not just the books. Most experts in the field, while not telling people to get anemones, dont tell them not to. This is the same as telling a person(given human nature) to do it. A lot of lfs owners sell anemones, and even recommend them. These are the people that most of the advice will be coming from. Despite varying opinions on any authors & lfs owners, these are the professionals in the reef biz. These are the people who will be giving out almost all the reef advice.
I really do agree that anemones are difficult to keep, but I dont think its impossible. While a hobbyist is not going to have the degree of experience & expertise than Mr. Shimek has, its not unrealistic for a hobbyist to USE the methods that he has outlined.
My complaint is more about the attitude towards people who have anemones. Anyone with a problem will be told not to have them, instead of what might be wrong with it. They bought it in a totally legal manner. Its purchase was sanctioned by most experts in the field, and was likely recommended to them by the lfs. This does not make that person irresponsible. If you took a poll of everyone on this board, you would also find that most people had also lost at least one coral in their reefing life. Yet, none of these people will come under fire for not being an 'expert' in the care of that specie. As for a person bringing home a species and THEN asking, bear in mind that they have asked. They asked the only expert that they had access to. Once again, this does not make them irresponsible. Simply buying books(at 40-50$each), does not help, they will tell you the same things the lfs does.
I dont consider myself an expert in the care of anemones, or anything else. I consider myself an expert in nothing at all, there is always more to learn in any field. After all, learning is the goal of this board. "In Pursuit of the Truth", and all that. To me, that pursuit should include trying to find out how to keep the animals that we have, ALL of them ;).
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