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21

Jun 2004

The things we do to keep our animals healthy

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

More bad news about the Rose BTA. This guy is really going to be a struggle to keep alive. For some reason, my Cleaner Shrimp just loves that anemone and continues to find a way to get past one barrier after another, and I find it standing in the anemone picking it clean. If the anemone was strong and healthy I wouldn't worry, but since the clown fish nibbled off all the tentacles it is pretty darn defenseless.

The mouth has been gaping open, and I'm pretty sure the shrimp has been picking at the innards of the BTA which really can't be good. So I came up with yet another method to try to save it:

I took an empty container that used to hold Kent's Phosphate Sponge granules, and drilled a bunch of 3/8" holes all around it. Then I used zip ties to secure it to the heater in the tank so that the top of the container is open about 1.5" - 2" above the water level. Using a plastic spatula (like for flipping pancakes) I carefully slid it under the foot of the anemone. It was dangling from the upper rear corner and looked very very bad, but as soon as I tried to pry its food from the glass it immediately retracted suddenly which is a very good sign. Without damaging it, I was able to relocate it in the container, sitting on the base facing upward. Within a few minutes it was grabbing hold of the base of the container. An hour later it was normal looking with the mouth closed up and sunning itself in the lights.

I fed it a piece of deli shrimp, and walked away to feed the other tanks. When I got back, the food was gone and I'm guessing it was readily consumed. Tonight, after lights out, it was much more inflated, and still shrimp free. One more thing was done to keep that guy out: I put a piece of eggcrate on top of the open container, and using a wooden clothespin I clamped it in place. My focus right now it to get it strong and healthy. After that, I'll decide where its next home will be.

Over in my 29g, things are looking better. One of the three BTAs has been having some trouble eating. Because it is hanging off the side of a rock, gravity isn't a benefit plus the neighboring BTA seems to be stealing its food. Keeping the clownfish out of these anemones during feeding is a must, because they are just so hard on it. I can't wait for these to grow larger so they can defend themselves and actually consume a meal without needing so much intervention on my part.

The sun coral is doing great, and while my fish continue to act innocent I really believe they are stealing food each time I look away. During those feedings, I drop a little bit of mysis on each polyp, but it takes a little time for those to eat. After 5 minutes I come back to feed again and the coral is all clean of the previous food. Since it looks so pretty my guess it is eating, but I still think Tucker (the Regal Tang) and the green Mandarin (needs a name still) are guilty of pilfering some of the juicy morsels!

The orange Montipora capricornis is growing daily, and is really creating a nice little shadow now, beneath its form. It is a really nice coral and it makes me happy to see corals that thrive.

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