RBTA farm build

RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:32 pm

Hello All,

I have just recently setup an anemone propagation tank. I have purchased 11 rose bulb anemones during the last 2 weeks. Of the 11 anemones, I can confidently say that 9 of them are confirmed aquacultured speciments, 1 is from the wild, and 1 im not really sure. Of the 9 aquacultured speciments, 5 of them are obviously cut, they are healed at the mouth, but there is noticeble gaps on the discs. Did someone prematurely sell these anemones without letting them fully repair themselves, or is this nomal for cut anemones? I have read alot of threads and articles, mainly by Anthony Calfo,that it is possible to cut them every 2 weeks. Will the anemones heal completely, and be perfectly round in that time frame? I have also read that starting with healthy stock is of the utmost importance. I have read that 4 months is a good amount of time to wait before cutting the anemones. Are there any visual cues for knowing when they are ready? Is it possible for them to be ready sooner than 4 months? What if the anemones have been aquacultured, will this shorten the time frame?

My propagation tank is a 50 gallon rubbermaid stock tank with a 175 metal halide 14k, and a 1500 gallon per hour wave surge system. The propagation tank is connected to my 300 gallon mixed reef tank. The tank has been up and running for 6 months, and I would say that things are going pretty well in the main tank. Water chemistry is good, with all parameters inline, including 0 nitrate. I have read that 0 nitrate is not ideal for anemones, and that they actually enjoy a little nitrate to filter feed on organic nitrogen. Can I make up for the 0 nitrates by heavily stocking and heavily feeding the 300 gallon display tank? Do anemones produce organic nitrogen from there waste, or only fish? Will cutting back on skimming help maintain organic nitrogen in the water column?

I am including photos of the propagtion tank and some of the anemones. Please feel free to make any comments on the system setup and anemone health.

Thanks,
Cisco

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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby TheChemist » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:20 am

Please show us a picture of the full tank from the viewing side.
Other than that in my experience it is not a good idea to rush with cutting and yes, the anemone has to be in perfect shape in order to avoid losses.
I notice they need a full month to recover from the cut and then I let them be and grow back a bit for at least another month. The problem is getting them to eat again and for the first month they will not take any food. Also if you rush with the next cut, the anemones will be really small and it will take them months to grow to any reasonable size.
One other observation I made. If I cut the anemone it takes it a long time to recover (1 month minimum). Once I lifted a rock with an anemone on it and little did I know she was attached to another rock also, so I accidentally split it in half using pure pulling force. That anemone was fully opened and inflated next day and was eating within the same week. Also it was much larger compared to anemones that were cut with a scalpel. To bad you can not hold them and split them like that intentionally as I am sure the results would be much much better.
Andy

Onyx A. percula, A. ocelaris. P. kauderni, L. wurdemani, L. amboinensis, black ocelaris, E. oceanops, grama loreto, P. aldabraensis
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby ctenophore » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:46 am

I've been aquaculturing anemones for about 4 years and I've not been able to get two weeks cut cycle and keep them a reasonable size. I feed mine just about every day, mostly bits of whatever the co-cultured clownfish don't eat, and they get full sunlight. It sounds like you have everything else set up well. I am interested to see your results with mixed genetics. Anthony Calfo suggests that they may fight each other when cut. I haven't seen it personally, but I've mostly kept mine genetically identical within culture containers- I have different anemones in the same system, but not allowed to touch each other. I'm considering just dumping all of mine together into a big tub. I use flowerpots rather than rocks for the anemones to attach to as they make it easier to get the anemone's foot off.
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:54 pm

thanks for your replies, I was worried that no one was out there!

I did not know that mixed rbta could be a problem.... Well Im gonna have to figure something out, I guess I will pick the strongest specimens, and just experimenting and seeing what does and doesnt work. I will say that unfortuanatly I had 2 anemones go through some rain gutter mesh and come out in 3 pieces each. So funny enough I have 6 fresh cuttings. 1 was too small, so I through it out, but the other 5, have begun the healing process. It has been 5 days, and they seem to be ok, and there were no ill affects in the main display tank which has 3 bta's. As for the anemones in the prop tank, I am not happy with there health right now, and until I see some better looking anemones I will be very concerned, but nonetheless, they have only been in the system for 2 weeks, and in my experiences, anemones take well over a month, before you see real good health. I guess it is possible that the close proximity with the cut anemones is affecting the others in the prop tank. Time will tell, it usually does.

I am very excited about propagating corals. I have some pretty radical ideas on how to farm them, but I have even more questions on how to farm them. I hope we can get this thread going, and keep this board flowing with information. It would be nice if Mr. Calfo himself could bless us with his presence. I will take a photo of the main tank tommorow when the lights are on, and post. It's really nothing special yet, its a young tank.

Thanks,
Cisco
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:48 am

wow ctenophore,

just saw thread on your solarium... I must say I like it very much. How much of your system do you dedicate to anemones, and how many are you currently producing?

cisco
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby xroads » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:07 pm

I dont remember reading anywhere that you can get 2 weeks cuttings. If you look at his stickys on the Marine Depot forum of his 4 weeks is usually the minimum.

Also he says start with 1 & start splitting. You are asking for troubles with that many different nems. You cant see it but they are waging chemical warfare. This can have some bad results not only on the nems themselves, but also on your other tank inhabitents.

I usually cut on a six week cycle & try to feed daily, or every 2.
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:27 am

Thanks for you comments xroads,

I could of sworn I read one of anthonys threads were he stated a 2 week cut cycle, but it is very possible that i am wrong. My apologies if I am mistaken. I was also unaware that there could be problems with mixing rbta species. I got very excited about doing this, and I just took the plunge. 3 weeks later I find myself with propagation tank with 11 RBTA's and the hopes of a sucessful home aquaculture business. Everyday I am learning more. Your comment about chemical warfare prompted me to do some research, and I just finished reading an article by Ron Shimek (Oh bartender, Ill have another glass of aggresion, on the rocks). Great Read!

Well I know that a mixed reef system for anemone propagation is not ideal, and that a species specific system is the safest bet, but right now that is not an option for me. I do have plans to expand my fish room and add a dedicated anemone system, probably 2 separate anemone systems, but I must see some results with my current prop tank to warrant the investment. My current prop tank was an easy and inexpensive add on to an existing system. Hindsight is 20/20, and if I could go back, I would have been more careful when purchasing my anemones, and I would have focused on getting anemones that were identical clones, but that is not the case. Am I doomed to fail? Personally, I dont think so. I have read some threads where people supposedly did everything right, yet they have problems with slow growth rates, and poor cut cycles. On the other hand, you read and hear of anemones in less than perfect systems doing well.

I would like to try raising this mix of rbta's to good health, experiment with cutting, and try to select the best specimens for propagation in separate systems. Do you guys think I am doomed to fail with this approach?

thanks,
cisco
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby xroads » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:48 am

No worries

Here is a link to Calfo's discussions

http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic24714-13-1.aspx

I would try what works for you.

Here is what I would do if in your situation.

Pick your best 3 canidates & sell the rest. Then do a cut on one. For me a 6 week wait works the best. I start feeding again within a couple of days. Very very fine foods work good for me.

If your first cut survives, cut again so you have 4 of the same clone. If those 4 survive I would think about selling the other 2 at this point.

At this rate you should still have several hundred within a year.

Right now I have a seperate tank of 1 clone attatched to my main system. I want to get it off soon however.

Good luck
Craig
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby Midnight Angel » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:03 pm

Cisco thanks for this thread. I'm learning lots here so again thanks for posting. And Ctenophore your greenhouse is amazing :!:


Amy
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby ctenophore » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:53 pm

cisco006 wrote:I would like to try raising this mix of rbta's to good health, experiment with cutting, and try to select the best specimens for propagation in separate systems. Do you guys think I am doomed to fail with this approach?

thanks,
cisco

I don't think you are doomed to fail, but a "successful home aquaculture business" is not an easy thing to accomplish. I think anemones are probably one of the easier ways to succeed with limited space though.

Concentrate on water quality and keeping the anemone tank clean. Carbon would probably help with any chemical issues. After cutting, put them in a 5g bucket with tank water and an airstone to help them de-slime for an hour or so. I have not tried this, but I suspect a few drops of coral RX or revive would help clean the anemones up while in the bucket.

Craig's idea of cutting them all and keeping the ones that seem to do the best is good. I think ideally you'll want all the same strain, but you might increase your demand if you have a few varieties, like pure red, red/green, pink base, etc.

FWIW, I am working on about 6 different varieties of BTA, with the idea that potentially slower growth rate due to a mixed system is worth the tradeoff of increased diversity for a larger catalog of aquacultured animals.

Good luck with your efforts.

Justin
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby ctenophore » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:54 pm

Midnight Angel wrote:Cisco thanks for this thread. I'm learning lots here so again thanks for posting. And Ctenophore your greenhouse is amazing :!:


Amy

Thanks Amy!
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby ctenophore » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:00 pm

cisco006 wrote:wow ctenophore,

just saw thread on your solarium... I must say I like it very much. How much of your system do you dedicate to anemones, and how many are you currently producing?

cisco

Oops, sorry forgot to answer this. Right now I have a few baskets & tubs holding all my anemones, awaiting transfer to one of my 750g tubs. I have about a hundred roses at any one time, and I am producing them on demand (i.e., sell 10 cut 10), and only a few of the other varieties. Once I get the big tub ready, that will be 1/5th of the entire system for anemones (5 tubs total). I may increase that to two tubs or maybe even three if the demand is good. I guess it depends on if the clown/banggai/etc co-culture idea works out.
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby Midnight Angel » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:02 pm

No really thank you ctenophore :!: You have given me some great ideas. My business partner here services tanks for some VERY high end clients. The corals that come through here would blow your mind. I just feel like it may be a good time to start cutting a few and putting the raceways I use for mollies to better use outside. Anyway enough about me what you are doing is amazing and you should be VERY proud of that greenhouse :!: Good luck to all you guys :!:


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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:36 pm

Ok everyone,

Here is what I have done so far. I separated the winners from the losers. The winners are on the left side, out of the basket, and the rejects are in the basket.
IMG_1718.jpg

I would like to keep the losers for awhile to see how they will heal, and see if they get better. Within the loser batch there are 5 accidental frags that are starting to heal. The 5 frags came from 2 anemones that decided to go through some rain gutter mesh and down the drain pipe. I have since modified the drain pipe, and I think it is secure now.
IMG_1719.jpg

So, on to the winners. The first is a wild specimen that has been in my system for 2 weeks, it has just recently accepted food, and I am happy for that. It is a large specimen, probably 9 to 10 inches when fully open, and as you can see is a vibrant rose color with a white base. I wonder if it will keep these beautiful colors. So far I have not noticed any decline in coloration or health.
IMG_1724.jpg

Next, these are 3 clones that I know came from the same pool of anemones. They seem very health, even though one of them is a little brown at the base, but I hope that it will regain the same color as its brothers. Pink tentacles, with green at the base of the tentacles. the fact that I have 3 already, should give me a nice head start with this variety.
IMG_1722.jpg

And Finally, This anemone is gorgeous, and it is in fantastic health. It's only been in my tank for a week, and it feeds voraciously, and it is huge. over 10 inches when open. It has very long red stringy tentacles with a very dark brown base, that appears black at first sight. I really like the contrast of this morph compared to the others.
IMG_1726.jpg

Please feel free to comment on the specimens, and let me know what you guys think of there overall health.
thanks,
cisco
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby ctenophore » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:43 pm

They look good. White is typically a stress sign in RBTAs though. The pink one with the green is a little bleached. The last one looks the healthiest. I'd keep all three lines if it were me. Keep them separate so if you do notice trouble with allelopathy, you can pick your favorite and go from there.
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:45 am

With ideal conditions, how long do you think it will take for the stress, and partially bleached anemones to regain there color. Also, do you think that my 175 watt 14k bulb is sufficient for the rbta anemone propagation?

cisco
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:01 pm

hello all,

Just wanted to let you all know that I have started a website to help promote the sale of aquacultured anemones. please visit http://www.aquaculturedanemones.com The website is a bit crude right now, as I am still dilligently working on it. But the goal is to connect growers with end users and retailers. Also to provide a site with information on the benefits of aquacultured animals and how to care for them. Please help spread the word.

thanks,
Cisco
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Re: RBTA farm build

Postby cisco006 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:02 pm

hello All,

Thank you all for your support with aquaculturedanemones.com. I have moved over my site to a new domain name so that we can encompass a broader range of responsible reefkeeping. Our new site will also feature responsibly collected corals and marine life. The new domain name is http://www.CulturedMarine.com
Kind Regards,

Cisco
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