Bubble Tip Anemone - A spawning event

On 7/30/03, my Bubble Tip Anemone looked especially fluffy and content, prompting this Kodak Moment. I'd fed this BTA two days in a row, after not specifically target feeding it since March.

Here is a full tank shot, for a point of reference.

The next day evening, a whitish smoke pumped out of the mouth of the anemone for 45 minutes. I've seen Zooanthellae expelled from various creatures in the past, but never for this long. The whole time this occured, none of the tank inhabitants seemed to be affected by the change in water conditions. As soon as I saw this happening, the first thing I did was start making RO/DI water for a water change. My guess is this was a spawning event, and one other person suggested it was sperm. Honestly I have no idea, but I wanted to document this incase others have similar experiences and wanted to comment.


Then I grabbed my Fuji S602Z and began shooting. Taking over 100 pictures of this event, it is still difficult to see the smoke unfortunately.


Four shots in a row help a little though. The smoke is dead center. Click here for a short slide show. 667K

Full tank shot. Note how the anemone looks very shrunken down, and the water is murky. The clam doesn't seem disturbed either! Using Kent's Sea Salt, I quickly mixed up my water, matching salinity and temperature exactly. Wasting no time, I turned off all equipment including the sump, and pumped out 10 gallons from the display. Leaving my corals exposed to air for no more than 3 minutes, I pumped in the new water (into a cup to avoid blasting the inhabitants). Within another two hours the tank looked pretty much back to normal.

On 8/1/03 (the following night) during the late-night hours, I noticed the BTA looked a little odd to me. There seemed to be a harder section, almost dividing it in half. The clownfish seemed to try to ram this zone, but was stone-walled. I took this picture in case the BTA was going to split. However, that did not occur.

On 8/2/03, the BTA looks bigger than ever. Its span is 9" wide, and over 10" tall. In a 29 gallon reef, that is a huge chunk of real estate.

The colors in my tank seem more vibrant than ever to me. I don't know if the event with the BTA fed the reef, or if the 10 gallon water change caused this. Regardless, even after all this excitement, no losses!