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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A question about the health and prospects of my new-ish BTA was brought up in my "Tank Specs" thread, and because I'm still a rookie here, I thought it'd be worth tossing this out for more suggestions:

To save jumping over to my tank specs, I've got 4 T5HO's over a 90g tank. Tank had first cycle over the month of December, and a half-cycle over the first ~10 days of the year. First livestock in the tank was on 11 January. BTA was added 01 February.

What prompted this:
The only critter that concerns me is the BTA. It really needs a bit older more established tank as they are kind of finicky. Also I am not sure if 4 T5HO bulbs is sufficient in a 90 that is pretty deep. Is he pretty high in the tank? what color is he? is he sticky? does he eat?
On the BTA:
He is mid-tank, I placed him somewhere that would allow him to move up and down pretty easily to find a good spot himself. Within the first 12 hours he had retreated underneath the rock I set him on. After a few days, I decided that there was no possible way he could get back UP through the hole he went down so I moved a nearby rock to give him a better opening - with the hole now being vertical. He rotates between the bottom of the side of the hole (mouth oriented slightly down) and the top-side of the hole (mouth horizontal). When at the "high" end, every few days, I've been spraying some Rod's Food his way with a turkey baster. After feeding he tends to retreat to his "lower" position. His color is good, or at least similar to pictures I've found of similar BTA's - tentacle striations are almost iridescent with the actinic's. I'm not sure how to measure "sticky" but food sticks to his tentacles and he's living on a mostly vertical surface, so he's definitely not slick.

Thanks,
Will

This is a little over-exposed, so it's tough to see the striations on the tentacles, but this is 01 February (Day 0), and his general colors have been stable through today.

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/aGEzPoIpgtTMZ2UJUJallg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_AawgEvPpfSk/SYfJZ_pKf5I/AAAAAAAAATQ/kO16a2awba4/s400/IMGP1532.JPG" /></a>
 

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SO far he looks very good. If the food is sticking to him it sounds like he is sufficiently sticky and he is not washed out (turning white from loosing zoanthanelle (sp.)). He looks good so far. Anemones have very slow metabolisms so they go dwonhill very slowly if there is something out of whack. I mainly inquired about him due to the general recomendation is to have a tank up 6-12 months before getting a nem. It's not that they can't or haven't been kept in a new tank, its just not the recomended route.
 

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spaceman spiff
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It doesnt look unhealthy, and while it's a bit bland in color, I've definitely seen BTAs in worse shape. My first questions is, if you've got that much algae growth in the tank you're probably high in nutrients, so what are your nitrate levels (as well as ammonia/nitrite)? The other question is do you have individual reflectors on the bulbs? If so, you're probably giving it sufficient light. If not, I'd definitely look at adding those reflectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It doesnt look unhealthy, and while it's a bit bland in color, I've definitely seen BTAs in worse shape. My first questions is, if you've got that much algae growth in the tank you're probably high in nutrients, so what are your nitrate levels (as well as ammonia/nitrite)? The other question is do you have individual reflectors on the bulbs? If so, you're probably giving it sufficient light. If not, I'd definitely look at adding those reflectors.
The tentacles are less washed out and have more blue/green in person - that photo's a little burned out. The fixture does have individual reflectors. Ammonia and Nitrite levels have been fixed at zero since 11 January. It's been roughly 6 weeks since I've seen a nitrate reading above 4ppm.
 

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you will sometimes get an artificially low reading during a algal bloom. Algae mainly uptakes PO4 but takes in nitrogen as well. THis may be throwing results a bit. Tanks naturally go through various phases of algae as they mature and the tank is still quite young so it's not unusual but you just have to be a little more conscious of the nutrient levels with a nem in the tank than the average new tank :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
its just not the recomended route.
I knew I was a bit on the early side, but, as he isn't dependent on an established zoo-plankton population and my water parameters had been rock solid for over a month - even as I was adding livestock - that I'd go for it.

That and he had a best friend at the LFS (picture below), a tomato clown that's been at the store for quite some time was quite taken with this newer BTA.

Now that the BTA is holed up, my clown has (seriously) started sleeping (and hosting as best he can) with the jungle of hair algae growing on the back glass of my tank.

This is after a ~20 minute car ride home - BTA still open, clown still firmly inside:

 

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I didn't mean the zooplankton being fed but the zoanthanelle (I can't spell it I'm sorry) which are the symbiotic algaes living inside the nem that it gets energy from. Color is an indication of how the population is doing. They tend to expell some when they are moved from one tank to another as a stress reaction I believe. This is probably why he has lost a bit of color and is not uncommon while they acclimate, just something to watch.

Watch the clown if he pesters the Nem too much. Clowns can snuggle a struggling nem to death in an aquarium, something they are less likely to do in nature. I have no idea if the nem hiding in a rock could be seen as a reaction to this or not. I am no Nem expert. Elegance Coral would be the man to talk to about nems in my opinion

Clowns will host nearly anything. You name it, a nem will host it:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I didn't mean the zooplankton being fed but the zoanthanelle (I can't spell it I'm sorry) which are the symbiotic algaes living inside the nem that it gets energy from.
...
Watch the clown if he pesters the Nem too much. Clowns can snuggle a struggling nem to death in an aquarium, something they are less likely to do in nature.
I'm with you on the zoo-plankton vs. zoanthanelle (I'll misspell it too) item. My Xenia is growing at a loony pace, with it's symbiosis. I mentioned the zoo-plankton because I've been able to keep my water stable, but getting a good biodiversity in the water column really will require some more age on the tank.

Also, the Clown's helping me keep the back wall clean - and doing a good job! The BTA dove into a cave before the Clown was done exploring the tank.

Thanks!

--Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Given my algae growing abilities, If I could find a suitable clown car, I could probably get enough hair algae growing on it in a week or two to attract my clown....now I just need to find a marine-compatible car....
 

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The hammer is my...coral
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I knew I was a bit on the early side, but, as he isn't dependent on an established zoo-plankton population and my water parameters had been rock solid for over a month - even as I was adding livestock - that I'd go for it.

That and he had a best friend at the LFS (picture below), a tomato clown that's been at the store for quite some time was quite taken with this newer BTA.

Now that the BTA is holed up, my clown has (seriously) started sleeping (and hosting as best he can) with the jungle of hair algae growing on the back glass of my tank.

This is after a ~20 minute car ride home - BTA still open, clown still firmly inside:

at least he doesnt host your heater!
 
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