Thursday, 12 April 2012

Snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis) in native marine aquarium

I have finally been able to collect some snakelocks anemones for my native marine aquarium. I have wanted some for a long time, but they are not very common in North Wales. I found most of them attached to pieces of algae on the low shore.  One of them lacerated into two within 48 hours of being placed into the aquarium.  This is how they can rapidly colonise an area, they clone themselves! I have a lighting bulb with is designed to promote the survival and growth of photosynthetic organisms. It is important to have this as snakelocks anemones have zooxanthellae in their tentacles which require high light levels and specific wavelengths for photosynthesis, which keeps the anemone healthy and colourful. The tentacles are also stinging and capture live or dead prey.  If the anemones turn brownish then I will know the light levels are not optimum for the symbiont zooxanthellae in their tentacles. They also have fluorescent proteins in their tentacles which gives them their beautiful fluorescent green colour.  I hopeful that these anemones should flourish in the aquarium. 

Anemonia viridis as found on the rocky shore

Anemones in the tank showing bright green tentacles

Anemonia viridis (snakelocks anemone) lacerating itself into two new individuals

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Regatta 4 person tent at Nant Y Big campsite near Abersoch

We took our Regatta 4 person tent (there was only two of us) to Nant Y Big campsite near Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula. The camp site was brilliant and the tent was great too. It is a cheap tent really but kept the rain and out and stood well in a fairly windy and wet night. It is easy to out up with two people and only takes fifteen minutes. It has a good porch with a ground sheet included and two large air vents in the roof. It is quite heavy and large when packed up compared to other four man tents I’ve seen, but I would recommend this tent. I would recommend the campsite too! A nice beach was only a short walk away and the views form the pitches were amazing. Shame it is so cold at night in April!
View from our pitch at Nant Y Big

Air vent

Fly sheet and inner tent

Beadlets (Actina equina) like their personnel space

The tentacles of beadlet anemone (Actina equina) do not sting, they are just sticky. However, these anemones do have specialised stinging ‘beads’ around the base of their tentacles. These are not used for capturing food but are used to sting and repel other anemones and protect their personnel space. This is so they do not compete for food as beadlet anemones are static ‘almost’ scavengers. The pictures below show an anemone in my aquarium stinging another anemone which is become too close. They pump water into the stinging ‘beads’ and lean towards the other anemone touching it with the purple sting beads. Afterwards purple scars are left on the attacked anemones that are the same colour as the stinging beads it was stung with. Everyone needs their personnel space I guess. 

Beadlet with swollen stinging 'beads' leaning towards another beadlet

Another anemone being stung

Basal disk of a beadlet anemone

Colour varieties of beadlet anemones