Dying Anemone

grumpyandrex

I just got this anemone yesterday and after putting it in the tank after drip acclimating it, it’s been doing great. It’s color was vibrant and the tentacles were all over the place. Now some of it is almost a grey color and deflated. There’s a also a weird string on it and I’m not sure how to describe the mouth of the anemone. It’s in a quarantine right now, because I wasn’t sure if the live rock was safe for my 20 gallon. The stem seems to be good still, but I’m worried, help please?

Temp: 78 F
Nitrate: 0-20
Nitrite: 0-20
pH: 7
Hardness:40-80

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stella1979

It's completely normal for a new nem to get upset simply about moving to your tank. They can be quite sensitive though usually end up alright. I'm afraid it's just a waiting game now and your only job is to provide good water with stable parameters and a suitable light source.

Your numbers are confusing to me though. Do you really mean that you have up to 20ppm of nitrItes?? Nitrites in a cycled tank should be zero and over 1ppm is quite toxic.

Marine tanks generally run at a pH of at least 8, some higher, and this is achieved by the marine salt alone, so this leaves me wondering what your salinity level is. Are you monitoring this? It is important and if you don't have one already, I would highly suggest picking up a refractometer. You can find them for $20 or less on Amazon.

Hardness?? Saltwater is very, very hard indeed and we do not measure general hardness at all. Instead, we measure alkalinity (very important that this number is in range and stable), calcium, and magnesium. These are the Big 3 in reef tanks and though nems don't use calcium in the way corals do, a nem will still be unhappy if any are out of range or unstable, (meaning, the level swings from day to day or week to week.) However, I am happy to tell you that marine salt, that which is mixed with freshwater to make saltwater, and regular water changes by the aquarist should achieve healthy and stable levels. It is still important to monitor them though, and if you're going to get one test kit of the three, make it one for alkalinity.

If you'd like, we can discuss more about keeping a marine tank but it would help if you shared more about the tank (such as source water (the freshwater that is mixed with salt and used for topping off), the kind of salt you use, the test kits you use, and so on.)

Hope this helps!
 

grumpyandrex

It's completely normal for a new nem to get upset simply about moving to your tank. They can be quite sensitive though usually end up alright. I'm afraid it's just a waiting game now and your only job is to provide good water with stable parameters and a suitable light source.

Your numbers are confusing to me though. Do you really mean that you have up to 20ppm of nitrItes?? Nitrites in a cycled tank should be zero and over 1ppm is quite toxic.

Marine tanks generally run at a pH of at least 8, some higher, and this is achieved by the marine salt alone, so this leaves me wondering what your salinity level is. Are you monitoring this? It is important and if you don't have one already, I would highly suggest picking up a refractometer. You can find them for $20 or less on Amazon.

Hardness?? Saltwater is very, very hard indeed and we do not measure general hardness at all. Instead, we measure alkalinity (very important that this number is in range and stable), calcium, and magnesium. These are the Big 3 in reef tanks and though nems don't use calcium in the way corals do, a nem will still be unhappy if any are out of range or unstable, (meaning, the level swings from day to day or week to week.) However, I am happy to tell you that marine salt, that which is mixed with freshwater to make saltwater, and regular water changes by the aquarist should achieve healthy and stable levels. It is still important to monitor them though, and if you're going to get one test kit of the three, make it one for alkalinity.

If you'd like, we can discuss more about keeping a marine tank but it would help if you shared more about the tank (such as source water (the freshwater that is mixed with salt and used for topping off), the kind of salt you use, the test kits you use, and so on.)

Hope this helps!

Thanks for letting me know! I’m kind of knew to saltwater, but am learning as much as I can. I just ordered both the API saltwater and reef master test kit for more accurate readings. I am also looking for a specific test kit for alkalinity. I use ro water with instant ocean salt at a salinity of 1.025. The anemone is looking much better after a few hours, I think it was just adjusting as you said. If you have any tips or important things to watch for in a saltwater tank or concerning anemones, please let me know.
 

stella1979

I'm so glad the nem revived quickly. Hope you both are still doing well.

Hmm... tips...

RO Water - do you make it or buy it? Either way, it's best that you test the TDS rather than trusting RO water blindly. Don't get me wrong, RO is great, but it's not quite as great as RODI. The DI stage is what takes care of the very low level of TDS (total dissolved solids) that remains after RO filtration. For reef tanks, we're looking for our source water (freshwater mixed with marine salt for water changes and used for topping off) to have a TDS of zero. This is how we can be extra safe against introducing impurities to sensitive corals.

Speaking of topping off, if you don't have one already, I'd highly recommend putting an ATO (automatic top off unit) on the tank. To best avoid dangerous swings in salinity, topping off should be done every day, and it really is best to do frequent daily top-offs of small amounts of pure water... hence, let an ATO do it for you. This means... you can actually be away from your tank for a night or a week when you want to.

I mention reef tanks and corals to you because you have a photosynthetic creature in the nem. So, if you'll take the step into keeping a reef tank full of corals, then I'm sorry to say that you'll eventually want/need to keep a closer eye on calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium than API's test kit will allow you to. I'm sorry to say it but API just isn't sensitive or accurate enough for the Big 3 and to be quite honest, even the nitrate kit isn't great because it doesn't show us an accurate number for low level nitrates... which are exactly what we're aiming for in reef tanks.

Now, your nem isn't going to use calcium and alkalinity the way growing stony corals do but I mentioned the Big 3 anyway because nems can be sensitive. Sensitive to... impurities in seawater and swings in parameters or salinity.

So, your API kits can work for you for now because you are pretty much watching that levels don't waver drastically. Later, if you have corals, there will be uptake in calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium, and we must rely on trustworthy testing to show us the variables, so we may replace what is lost. Adding things like calc, alk, and mag to a tank is called dosing, something that is also automated on my own tank, but nothing you'll have to worry too much about just yet. Still, understanding these relationships and why these levels might waver is an integral part of reefing.

So, my biggest recommendations to new reefers are to read the stickies in the Saltwater Beginner's Forum and... watch BRStv on YouTube. They have a great channel and when we've got questions, they've got answers.
 

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