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FAQs on Chemically/Physically Injecting Aiptasia Anemones 2

Related FAQs:   Chemical Injection 1, Aiptasia/Glass Anemones in General, Aiptasia Identification, Eradication by: Berghia Nudibranchs, Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfishes, FilefishesHypo/Hyper-Salinity.

Related Articles: Impressions of Methods to Eliminate Pest Anemones by Steven Pro, Aquarium Culture of the Aeolid Nudibranch Berghia, Predator on the nuisance anemone Aiptasia By Anthony Calfo, Anemones, Cnidarians

NaOH, Formalin (dangerous!), Lemon Juice, Commercial Chemical Prep.s...

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Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Aiptasia     3/25/14
Sorry if I spelled it wrong. I have some Aiptasia growing close to my rose bubble tip and IM wondering if I use lemon juice if it will hurt the bubble tip?
<Might indeed hurt the Anemone if too much gets on it... I would try just scraping the Aiptasia away. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia and the Peppermint Shrimp -- 12/30/11
I read a lot of your articles and question and answers, enjoy them all.
<<Good to know>>
I recently purchased two peppermint shrimp to take care of one Aiptasia anemone, but to no avail, they didn't even look at it.
<<Not uncommon, in my experience
'¦especially when/if the offending anemones are of any 'size'>>
The only thing that happened when I put them in the tank is my skunk cleaner shrimp went after both of them.
<<Again not uncommon>>
They escaped and went under the rocks. The cleaner shrimp now pretty much ignores them. On your recommendation I picked up the Red Sea Aiptasia X,
read the instructions, did exactly what it said to do, BINGO, it killed it immediately.
Thank you for your guidance.
<<I do like this product'¦  But do keep an eye out for more Aiptasia (is an insidious invader) and get them early should they appear>>
I am thinking of adding an orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani), and I was wondering if it will get along with the shrimp or have them for lunch.
<<Depends on the size of the shrimp versus the size of the Dottyback'¦if not overly small by comparison, the shrimp should be fine, in my experience>>
I also have heard that they are good at eating bristleworms/fireworms as I have a few of those.
<<Happy to share'¦  EricR>>

Aiptasia and copper 5/27/2011
I somehow picked up Aiptasia a while back and they spread all over my 50 gal FWLR tank. I used Joes' juice which took them out a decent amount of them but not all as they are so small and can hide everywhere. I took rocks out of the tank and let them sit out a few days and put them back in.
I cleaned in the filters and so forth. This went on for a year until someone in the fish store said try adding copper because it kills invertebrates but he had no idea if it would work.
<Uhh, well...>
Well it did work. After a week the anemones died off. So I put my carbon filter back in and took out the carbon and a week later a few Aiptasia popped back up. So I used copper again and they died off. After a few water changes I didn't refresh the copper and one day saw a couple come back.
Now I have been running with copper for a couple months and haven't seen any. I am wondering if the just go dormant and now I am faced with using copper forever.
Thank you,
<IF there was sufficient free cupric ion present for a few days these should all be gone, as is about all the other worthwhile life on/in your rock, and the residual copper difficult to remove. In other words, I wouldn't have gone this route. See WWM re Aiptasia control, and copper removal. >
Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia (and so it begins'¦) -- 12/27/10
Hello again friends,
<<Greetings Chris>>
So in the process of watching my tank today, I spotted *gasp* a small Aiptasia anemone poking out of a cluster of Zoas.
<<Best to 'take care of it' now>>
It's still pretty small, just a little bigger then a q-tip, but I want to get it sooner then later.
<<Indeed -- is one of the more resourceful and prolific organisms found in our marine tanks>>
I can't do peppermint shrimp (or any other livestock),
<<Most are unreliable at best, any way>>
as my QT isn't set-up yet (the bio-wheel just started curing in my display, so I'm at least a month away). I read the article about Aiptasia, and using Kalk to eliminate it.
<<Is one method that works (when done correctly), but there is a product I like that is easier for the 'Novice Aiptasia Killer' to use called Aiptasia-x, from Red Sea>>
So, first off, is that safe to do while it's embedded in Zoa polyps?
<If you can apply the Kalkwasser slurry without covering the surrounding Zoanthids, yes -- otherwise'¦>>
The three or four around it are closed right now anyways, but will the others be okay?
<<Likely so>>
I'm guessing the method is to prepare Kalk as per usual,
<<As in a clear dosing solution? '¦no, you will need to mix the Kalkwasser powder as a thick 'slurry' that can then be drawn in to a syringe and applied to the offending organism/s>>
then dose it directly at the Aiptasia using a baster (like feeding polyps)?
<<Absolutely not'¦ Though this 'may not' harm the surrounding organisms, it certainly won't kill the Aiptasia. The Kalkwasser needs to be applied as a thick slurry to cover up and burn away the pest anemone. But do yourself/your tank a favor and get/use the Aiptasia-x. It is easy to apply with the supplied applicator'¦and it does work!>>
I've got my eyes peeled for more!
<<The sad truth here is that you 'will' probably see more (like I already mentioned'¦VERY resourceful and prolific) -- but keep an eye out and knock'em down when you see'em and they can be controlled>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
R2: Aiptasia (and so it begins'¦) -- 01/08/11

Eric et al,
<<Hey Chris>>
Woot! Followed your advice yesterday, and haven't seen either since.
<<Keep a weather eye'¦>>
I'm waiting, though. Waiting and watching. Like a ninja.
I was a bit more violent in my approach, giving into my anger at them; I snuck the syringe up really close, then just started firing away and chased them down with the syringe, dosing the area again.
<<No such thing as 'excessive' here>>
Then I swore at them. Don't know how effective that was, but it felt good.
<<Always worth a shot>>
And the whole while the shrimp were happily picking away and still are able to see and feel and love, so all looks well indeed.
Thanks, as always, for the help.
<<And as always'¦happy to share. EricR>>

Who Is Eating My Peppermint Shrimp? -- 09/16/10
Good evening to all,
<<Afternoon Jeanne>>
I have a mystery that I hope you can solve.
<<I'll try!>>
This aquarium is a 65 gallon Red Sea with lots of corals (nothing difficult: mushrooms, torch and frogspawn, brain corals, lots of zoos)
<<Mmm, okay'¦>>
and I have been dealing with an outbreak of Aiptasia
<<I see>>
(It is particularly attacking the zoos.).
<<Just likely more 'susceptible' to the attack/stinging of the Aiptasia versus being specifically 'targeted' re>>
On several occasions, I have purchased peppermint shrimp,
<<More likely 'not' to help than otherwise, in my opinion>>
carefully acclimated them,
<<What does this entail I wonder -- very susceptible to rapid changes in salinity/specific gravity -- 'drip' acclimation is best here>>
watched them ensconced in their cave, eating, etc.
<<Not necessarily an indicator that 'all is well'>>
only to find that after a few days, they have completely vanished.
<<A common tale I think (have seen/heard of such more than a few times)'¦ The possibility of predation aside, any mishandling during collection/shipping/acclimation seems to result in the quick 'disappearance' of these shrimp in the hobbyist's system>>
I do not think it is the purple firefish, pearly jawfish or the dispar and tuka Anthias,
<<Agreed -- unless the shrimp were 'very tiny'>>
so here is the list of suspects:
small flame-tipped tomini tang
swissguard Basslet
solar fairy wrasse
exquisite fairy wrasse
ornate leopard wrasse
<<I wouldn't 'expect' these to be a problem either, again, as long as the shrimp were not really small>>
All are between 2 and 3 inches long and I have had them all at least a year. I feed very well and a very varied diet (mostly frozen, some gel).
<<Good to know'¦so many hobbyists 'starve' their fishes in my estimation>>
However, there is no refugium on this tank. There is also a small emerald (Mithrax) crab.
<<A possible culprit here'¦large/larger specimens have been known to attack/eat small fishes>>
The most aggressive fish is the tang, but I am leaning toward the (typically piggy) fairy wrasses.
<<Not out of the question>>
The leopard wrasse is also a dominant fish but has a very small mouth,
<<But can bash about and break up the shrimp for eating if so desired -- though I think it unlikely here (but still dependant on the size of the shrimp)
and is buried at night when the shrimp would be more active.
<<Wouldn't stop it if it decided it wanted the shrimp (you have likely notices the wrasse' 'search and destroy' method of browsing for food during the day>>
I use Joe's Juice but would prefer a more natural solution,
<<Red Sea's Aiptasia-X works very well in my experience>>
especially in the smaller tank.
<<Shouldn't be an issue>>
I don't think the tang would tolerate a copper-banded butterfly.
<<And not a good solution considering your tank size/stocking density>>
(Maybe you can tell me if Professor Plum used a candlestick in the conservatory?)
<<Maybe the Mithrax'¦and not pointing fingers at you (could have occurred anywhere along the 'chain'), but more likely a handling/acclimation issue>>
Thanks for all your help as always,
Jeanne Brown
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Re: Who Is Eating My Peppermint Shrimp? -- 09/16/10
Thank you for the response.
<<Quite welcome>>
I do drip acclimate and I have other tanks with peppermint, anemone and cleaner shrimp so I am familiar with their care.
They were all about 1" long.
<<Mmm, small indeed'¦ This 'is' desirable considering the short lifespan of these animals (one likes to get'em young), but can be a double-edged sword when trying to introduce them to systems with 'crustacean' predators, even those that normally go for the really small stuff (Mysids, amphipods, the larger copepods) like your fishes. Considering this, along with how well/often you feed your fish and the fact the shrimp weren't attacked/immediately perceived as food upon introduction, I still think it likely the shrimp simply did simply did not survive the whole shipping/handling/acclimation process. Of course, there's the Mithrax to consider too>>
I was interested to learn you do not find them particularly effective for Aiptasia,
<<Not at all, no. There are 'instances' where folks have reported success re, but I find far more often than not they simply do not live up to expectation -- and I find their own opportunistic predatory nature to be of counter-benefit in a reef system>>
and I am encouraged that you don't discourage the use of products rather than a biological solution.
<<Biological solutions are great -- where they work and/or are 'practical' to apply. But in some instances, commercially prepared controls are indeed necessary -- as when attempting to control an outbreak of Aiptasia. The Aiptasia-X works very well (better than any other such product I've seen in more than three decades in the hobby); though as I always state, is still not a panacea. It will need to be applied 'as necessary' to control the nuisance anemones, but it 'is' effective. It will take a little time to rid a large infestation, and do also be aware that short of nuking (bleaching) the tank and rockwork you will have Aiptasia pop up now and again'¦forever -- but give them a shot of the Aiptasia-X when you see them and you will find they 'can be' easily controlled>>
Thanks again for your help.
<<Good Luck! EricR>>

Aiptasia-X problem? Maybe -- 8/21/10
Hi WWM crew,
I have some Aiptasia in my 90g. FOWLR + cleaner-shrimp tank, and I decided to nip it in the bud with Aiptasia-X from the LFS. It worked fine, but in the evening my 3" orange-spot shrimp goby started "chewing" or breathing hard.
He looked like he had swallowed something, but didn't have any food at that time.
Then this morning, he went into hiding under a rock. At the same time, one of my Chromis (2-1/2") was breathing hard, and then died. The fire fish is also in hiding, but did eat this morning. I have about 6 other fish and they are fine, so far. Do you think the Aiptasia killer did them in?
<Too likely so... this is not, unfortunately, the first report of anomalous deaths associated with this Red Sea product. I have also to report that initial reviews of its use have proven to be less than totally effective...
Pest anemones returning in many cases>
Could they have eaten some?
<I think just the residual material in the water may be at play in many/most cases>
I didn't want to go the chemical route with the anemones, but I read my large goby would eat ornamental shrimp (peppermint shrimp) and I don't have a source for much else. We have only a couple small fish stores here in northern California. Maybe I should use boiling water injected into the Aiptasia next time.
<I prefer biological (predator) controls. See WWM re:
scroll down to "pest anemones">
Anyway, have you ever heard of fish being killed by that treatment?
I'd really like to know what is going on in my tank so I can avoid it in the future.
Incidentally, the parameters are in order, and I follow the suggestion on your website of a 5% water change twice a week--faithfully. It's easy, and effective.
Thanks again for all your help,
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Copperband and Mandarin Compatibility -- 03/20/10
Hi WWM Crew,
<<Greetings Steve>>
I looked over your web site and could not find a specific answer to my question, so here goes. First off, my set up (main tank) is a 120g Oceanic with dual over flows down to my 55g refugium. The main tank has about 4" sand bed CaribSea and 140# Vanuatu LR, lighting is 150 W MH/T5 and blue and white LED. The system has been up for 1 yr now with no issues. The fuge has about 6" sand bed crushed coral and about 100# LR, also housed is my UV/skimmer/200w heater/500gph return pump. The tank is along side a common wall to my garage, so I plumbed all PVC through the wall and into the garage where the refugium is located.
<<Ah, nice'¦having room to easily access the peripherals sure makes maintenance of these easier (I have to get on my knees and work in the very cramped confines below my in-wall system'¦but I digress [grin])>>
Water parameters are perfect, no detection of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/SG 1.024/79F with heat controlled chiller.
Livestock from beginning of setup: 1 blue tang/1 yellow tang/1 mandarin/2 Anthias
<<The Anthiines are haremic'¦generally groups of three or more are suggested>>
/7 green Chromis/1 clown/1 Pseudochromis/1 neon goby/1 Naso tang
<<This many Tangs; and particularly the 'Blue' and Naso, are going to need bigger quarters to avoid health/social issues further down the road>>
/1 cleaner shrimp/1 peppermint shrimp. The tank has various corals doing quite well along the arches I created with the rock.
I have no anemones.
The tank is thriving with many little creatures/stars and many others that have come out of the rock and that I believe the Mandarin eats.
<<Mmm'¦probably not as diverse a palate as you think. If you watch the Mandarin feed you will notice it likes to 'study' its prey before consuming. As such, any 'fast movers' are in little danger. Harpacticoid Copepods are a favorite'¦along with other benthic organisms slow and/or small enough to catch>>
I never see him eat,
but all fish including him are very healthy and round not skinny.
I feed frozen mixtures (Mysis/emerald entree/pellet/flake etc.).
<<The only thing here the Mandarin 'might' eat would be the frozen Mysis'¦but you should see it doing so if it is. Even in a system as large as yours, and supported by the plankton-producing refugium, it is not unusual for these fish to slowly starve if they won't accept supplemental feedings. But perhaps'¦in this case yours is finding enough natural fare>>
The question: will a Copperband butterfly (if introduced) compete with the food the Mandarin consumes?
<<Not to a large extent directly, in my experience. The Copperband will prefer larger fare like adult Mysis and other similar sized crustaceans (pods) as well as worms too large for the Mandarin (to sometimes include small Bristleworms, and any Feather Dusters you might have). The tiny Harpacticoid Copepods will not be in danger from the Copperband, but its predation on the adults of the other species mentioned may well impact the availability of enough 'juvenile' specimens to supplement the Mandarin's diet. And like the Mandarin, if the Copperband can't find enough natural food stuffs (unlikely to do so in the long term), and doesn't accept supplemental feedings (many don't), it too will slowly starve>>
Do they eat the same food?
<<Generally not direct competitors for the natural are available'¦but may impact indirectly as described (as do the Pseudochromis and Goby, already)>>
I'm worried that the Copperband will starve my mandarin.
<<I can't say if the Copperband will 'tip the balance' here re the availability of sufficient food organisms for the Mandarin. But I do think you are at good risk of tipping the balance of the entire system with this addition. As stated, I think you are already 'overstocked' re the Tangs>>
I want him to help with Aiptasia control as well as aesthetics.
<<Newly introduced specimens will often do so at first (but even then only 'small' Aiptasia are usually preferred). But most will eventually stop actively preying upon these pest anemones in captivity. Better to directly attack the problem in my opinion'¦and Aiptasia-x from Red Sea does a great job here. The product is effective (but still no panacea) and very easy to use as 'injection' is not required. Even if you do decide to get the Copperband (hopefully only after thinning out those Tangs [e.g. -- Naso]), I very much suggest you treat as many pest anemones as you can with the Aiptasia-x prior to its introduction to help it in its battle (assuming it even shows interest re)'¦don't worry, there will still be plenty you miss/little ones springing up>>
Thank you,
Steve S.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Re: Copperband and Mandarin Compatibility, Aiptasia contr. f'  -- 03/26/10
Thank you for the reply, very much appreciated!!
<<Quite welcome Steve>>
I have decided to forgo the butterfly and use Aiptasia-X to control these pesky buggers.
<<Ah'¦wise choice I think. You will find the Aiptasia-X to be extremely easy to apply versus most other similar products. But still, it is no panacea (one does not exist) and will require you to 'keep up' with these pest anemones (i.e. -- don't expect to apply it once and forget about it)'¦but I assure you it is the most effective commercial product of its kind that I have come across in more than 30 years in the hobby and will make these pests at least 'manageable.' Cheers, EricR>>

Aiptasia.. giving up the ghost.. not quite!   3/17/10
<Hi Jerry>
I've finally decided to surrender to the plague. But before I junk the whole 180 gal. tank, I'm considering one last hurrah. I've tried direct injections, Butterfly fish, Nudibranchs, Peppermint Shrimp... Nothing works.
But this I know. They are Anemones and they probably won't like a steady diet of copper.
<They won't..>
The fish shouldn't mind
<They will..>
but I guess I'll lose the inverts.
<You will, assuming that your substrate does not absorb the copper rendering it useless. I would not go this route>
If I don't get rid of the Aiptasia though, eventually they'll be the only inverts left, anyway.
<My fave control for this is the Forcipiger flavissimus Butterfly>
So my question is, will this extreme measure also wipe out the basic biology in my live rock?
<Yes, mostly>
I can re-introduce Xenia, etc. once the copper is cleared,
<Most likely, yes. After a while, with carbon added>
But will I lose the biologic filter in the meantime?
<Yes you will, if you add enough to kill the Aiptasia, which might be quite a lot with a substrate present>
And by the way, can the copper eventually be removed with huge water changes & carbon filtering?
<Yes it can. There is some evidence that a certain amount remains in the system, but after a while (weeks, months) you should be ok>
Does all this sound like the ravings of a beaten aquarist?
<It does Jerry.. I don't know enough about your system and it's inhabitants, but if you really do want to 'go nuclear' then you could consider dropping the salinity over using copper, gradually over a period of weeks so as not to disturb the biological filter too much.. you might have more/ better success this way. This is not something I would do personally as I have battled these with success myself, and do think that with some perseverance you can do the same.. try the Forcipiger.. a great, hardy fish to have.. and peaceful. Reduce feeding, increase skimming.. do you have many, and messy fishes? Reduce these>
<No problem>

Re: Circulation Advice (Detritus Accumulation), & Aiptasia chem. f' -- 01/22/10
Hi Eric,
<<Hey Lynette>>
Thanks so much for your help and advice.
<<A pleasure'¦>>
I ordered a Tunze stream and silicate and phos test kits.
I am unfortunately at my wits end. I cannot keep up with this slime; it is starting to cover my corals.
<<Hang in there mate'¦it can be beat. I assure you, you are not alone in this fight. Most every hobbyist will/does battle this'¦and very often more than once>>
I don't understand why this has resurfaced on a cycled and relatively stable tank.
<<Conditions became optimal for its progression'¦ Unfortunately, once established Cyanobacteria are a tough opponent to eradicate. Aside from correcting any chemical/bio-mineral imbalances, the persistent 'manual' removal (siphoning) of this blue-green alga is important to beating it. It is though that the 'persistent' manual removal somehow triggers a chemical reaction that helps with its eventual demise'¦but at the least, regular removal helps with letting the more desirable 'chemical users' within the system to progress and out-compete the Cyanobacteria>>
Please note that I have never had problems with my calcium (low) or pH (high) or this heavy of slime.
<<And again'¦what you are experiencing is in no way unique>>
I checked my nitrates again the other day and they are no longer stable at 5-10 they are getting higher!
<<You REALLY need to determine the source of this. I urge you to pre-filter you well water>>
I have never tested my well water since I have not had any problems for 3 years
<<These problems are likely a result of 'accumulation''¦and very possibly of elements you wouldn't/can't test for. Again I stress'¦pre-filter that well water before using it in your reef system>>
....I have had some events occur over the past 2-3 months and I am wondering if you thought they could be a cause.
<<Let's take a look'¦>>
1. Several months ago I added about 200 Nassarius snails
<<Mmm, too many I think (120g tank)'¦starving/dying snails are not going to help for sure. Even if these are the little guys (max size about ¼'), you should start with about one for every three gallons of tank capacity, in 'my' opinion. If conditions are right for their continued prosperity, they will quickly breed and adjust their population density to whatever the tank can sustain>>
to help keep the sand bed churned. I wonder if the new disruption of the bed has caused silicate to "leach out".
<<If these and other ions (e.g. - Phosphate) have been accumulating and become sequestered in the sand bed, yes, the actions of the snails may expose such to the water column. But these detritivores are still very beneficial to your system>>
2. Another problem is I have been fighting Aiptasia.
<<Another 'common' malady'¦and a battle a bit more easily won (though don't ever expect to truly win the 'war')>>
I have tried various methods with no luck. A LFS suggested formalin 1-2 cc injection into the Aiptasia with a hypodermic needle.
<<Mmm, too risky to the biological filter/system as a whole for my liking. Please do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm >>
Of course I was very skeptical and did some research finding nothing.
I talked with several staffers at the store that service local tanks for Dr. offices and they all report they use this. One of them even squirted about 5 or 10 cc directly into a display tank filled with corals and clams etc.
Desperate, I tried it on some of my largest Aiptasia.
<<Mmm'¦ Please don't do this. There's no true panacea for this pest anemone, but have a look at/give a try to Aiptasia-x from Red Sea. This is the best performing product for eliminating Aiptasia I've seen/used in decades'¦and much safer to your system'¦and to you!>>
Ironically shortly after this (which is about 4-6 weeks ago) I lost several corals that had been flourishing - xenia, bubble, yuma, taro tree.
<<Very possibly as an indirect result of injecting the Formalin in to your system (via the Aiptasia)>>
3. Another incident was the skimmer issue. I had been running a Remora Pro but I was not getting adequate skimmate so I decided to upgrade to the Tunze 9010. It was running great until shortly after Christmas, the pump went. I took about 12 days to get the new pump which meant no skimmer running.
<<This is not likely a large factor here>>
I did several water changes during this time frame. Now with the new pump it is not producing very much skim at all despite air valve adjustment.
<<This is possibly a result of your increased water changes, maintenance/cleanup, and reduced feedings'¦give it some time>>
4. I had a sea cucumber (baby poop yellow/brown color) that only lasted about a week or so.
I managed to find the dissolving mushy carcass and remove most of it but I wondered if this could have polluted the tank.
<<Very likely, yes>>
Could any of these be a culprit?
<<Any or all may be contributors'¦but I still can't help but go back to your use of unfiltered well water>>
Please note the fish have been great through all of this.
<<Just 'less affected''¦for now>>
I can't thank you enough for any help you can throw my way.
<<I'm happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Aiptasia in a Zoanthid Forest -- 12/14/09
<<Hi there!>>
and an overwhelming thank-you to WWM for providing such a wonderful educational resource here.
<<Quite welcome'¦we are happy you find it useful>>
I have been a saltwater aquarium addict since the early 1970s, but am just beginning with corals.
<<Ah, we share similar time lines'¦ I set up my first marine fish tank in 1976, but decided to 'go reef' in the late 80s>>
Recently, I bought several new items at my LFS-Euphyllia, Galaxea, finger leather, and some zoanthids.
<<Quite the 'stingy' and 'noxious' blend there>>
Since these came from tanks with fishes, I placed them in a 20-gallon QT, which also contains several small red-legged hermit crabs, a few Cerith snails, and a tiny tuxedo urchin. (All of these animals/colonies are extremely small.) I will skip details on setup and water quality, because, in this case, I don't believe they are especially relevant to my question. I am two weeks into quarantine, and all is well-almost.
Apparently I have some hitchhikers in the form of Aiptasia.
<<Ahh'¦the scourge of the reef aquaria'¦well, maybe next to nuisance alga>>
The good news is that I discovered these in the QT tank, rather than in my display tank.
I have at least three small Aiptasia on the piece of rubble to which the zoanthids are attached.
<<Should be easy enough to eradicate then>>
They're hidden right down in between the zoas, all about the same height. Aiptasia are about 3 mm in diameter. I am beginning to see the zoas shrivel where they have been stung.
<<Amazing that such a nasty and noxious organism itself can be malaffected so, eh>>
I have read the WWM articles and many, many FAQs, but still am not sure which method of control best suits this particular situation. The hermit crabs in the tank have not been helpful.
<<And you shouldn't expect them to be>>
Since I am already well into my QT time, I hesitate to add any more animals to the tank, because I would then have to start all over with the QT period. And with such a small tank, already housing a number of animals, I am nervous about overcrowding animals that are already somewhat stressed from being moved.
And would an Aiptasia-eating fish really dare to poke his snout into a colony of zoanthids???
<<This also is not the solution>>
I always prefer biological control for pests whenever possible, but what about chemical warfare?
<<A chemical solution is your best option here>>
Because of the Aiptasia's close proximity to the zoanthids, I worry about collateral damage.
<<Can be controlled/mitigated'¦and the Zoanthids are already being damaged by the Aiptasia>>
The whole colony is quite small. One little slip, or a wayward drip, and I could wipe them all out. I would much appreciate your advice.
<<I do think you can be rid of the Aiptasia with very little (if any) risk to the Zoanthids. I have found the offering from Red Sea called Aiptasia-x to be very effective at eradication these pest anemones. It can be precisely applied to the Aiptasia without killing your Zoanthids>>
Thank you,
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Aiptasia-X: Harmful to fish? Aiptasia control and removal\Fish Health 11/26\2009
Hello! Happy Thanksgiving.
<Hi D'Ann, Long time no hear from, and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!>
If anyone is online please tell me if you think Aiptasia-X would hurt a fish if it even touched him?
<I've never used the product - I get really good results with a Kalkwasser slurry. That said, I'm pretty comfortable stating that ANY chemical that is designed to kill should be treated with caution regardless of the claims of how reef safe it is.>
Yesterday I turned all power off, waited of the current to subside. the fish hid and I use the 'Aip-X 'on a large aiptasia and a small patch. It was well controlled and some very small bead floated away but that was it.
It just so happens that my Black Capped Basslet lives in a cave near, and under the large aiptasia that I took out.
IF this product leaked into the rock somehow and touched the Black Cap in his home, could it hurt him?
<There have been a few reports of fish being injured by Aiptasia-X, but nothing definitive - Much like your situation where the fish was fine before it was used, and now it is sick\injured etc. As the active ingredients are not listed (Aside from being a hazardous irritant) and while it specifies that it is safe for sessile invertebrates, but says nothing about fish, I would be comfortable stating that it is a distinct possibility.>
This AM he peeked out but did not come out to eat supper Wednesday night, nor breakfast this morning. He has not come out at all, all day. I am very worried about him. He is one of my favorites and is always in and out of his hole. Very unlike him not to come out. He is/was totally healthy and active, and visible all the time until after yesterdays treatment of the aiptasia.
< I would venture to guess that as the little globules floated away, it is likely that the fish ate one or more and they made him sick.>
The shop where I purchase my products says I worry too much. But; what if the stuff actually touched him?
<Only time will tell I'm afraid, the few accounts I have read all indicated that the fish did recover in time. Keep up with good water quality just keep an eye on things for now..
Thanks Again,
<My pleasure>
Re: Aiptasia-X: Harmful to fish? Aiptasia control and removal\Fish Health 11\27\2009

Hi wet crew! I am happy to say that my Black Cap Basslet came out for dinner tonight.
<Hi D'Ann, great news!>
The small Regal Blue Tang nipped at his "Cappy's" tail and he flew back into his cave, however he came back out when I served Mysis Shrimp, and continued to run in and out and around the whole reek and rock system the rest of the evening after feeding.
<A very good sign.>
Lights went out and he went to bed. I should have added that the day I used the "Aiptasia-X" product, I also added 3 more peppermint shrimp. I had had only one. The three new peppermints are way more outgoing than the one I had, or even the two cleaner shrimp. My pondering and dwelling on the Black
Cap's non showing, it occurred to me that maybe even "Cappie" was staying in his hole to make sure a shrimp didn't move in. (he is very protective of HIS cave).
<It's possible, though generally, fish do not seem to react to shrimp with the same territoriality that they would with another fish.>
Bottom line: not sure what happened. If it has anything to do with the Aiptasia-X, or the shrimp addition, or even a Blue Tank suddenly feeling his oats. (I mean shrimp:), but late this evening and tonight my Black Cap
Basslet seems to be coming around much to my relief.
<As I said before, you aren't the first one to report problems with fish after using Aiptasia-X, so I would not be surprised. In any case, it is good news to hear he has recovered.>
Thank You Mike for trying to help me and letting me know what you could. It is a great relief to hear from you guys when I am worried about something.
You are fabulous.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Take Care, D'Ann

Losing Fish  6/18/09
Okay have a 75 gal that had established inhabitants of:
Archer Fish
Blue Barred Pseudochromis
Orange Spotted Prawn Goby
Midas Blenny
Scooter Blenny
Pearly Jawfish
Lyretail Molly
Radiant Wrasse
Sump has a pistol shrimp
Have not added any new rock in years however I have been having a very annoying Aiptasia problem and they are spreading and growing very fast, I'll think they're gone using aiptasia X but they'll be back and stronger before you know it.
<Perhaps adding a biological control>
My fish are disappearing one by one over the past month though, today I found my hermits chewing on the corpse of my Orange Spotted Prawn Goby which I've had for over two years and who I saw showing no signs of stress and eating right before the lights went out the night before. Two nights before that the pearly Jawfish was found dead and 2 nights before that it was the molly. About a week before that the archerfish disappeared and I never found the corpse. A month before that an Exquisite Wrasse I had disappeared as well, after the archerfish died I was SURE it was the Pseudochromis harassing and killing as he would constantly dart out at fish from the rocks Damsel style.
<Mmm, doubtful>
So I caught him and took him in to the store where he is right now. So tank has Scooter Blenny and Midas Blenny left, neither show signs of illness or stress. Radiant Wrasse is there also but he's had some craziness going on for several months that have caused him to be blind in one eye and lay on the sand like he's dead when no one is around, and then swim around begging for food when I walk over.
So yeah, any ideas? Phosphates, Nitrite, Ammonia, Nitrate are all zero, other inverts in the tank consist of a Harlequin shrimp squatting on chocolate chip star, hermits, snails, two fighting conchs, spiny oyster, and two porcelain crabs.
<I fully suspect the overly-abundant Aiptasia here... poisoning, stinging your fishes... and the hermits just doing clean-up. I would work on ridding, at least reducing the Glass Anemone population. Please read here:
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia! -- 03/10/09
Hey Crew!
<<Hello Andy>>
I hope all is well with whoever finds this message.
<<EricR here'¦and doing fine thanks>>
I have a serious Aiptasia problem that I can't figure out.
<<Ah yes'¦not an uncommon issue. But they can be 'managed' with some effort>>
I have a long story but I'll try to make is short. In Feb 2007, I set up my 110 gallon that
I maintained in high school (20 years ago). This was replaced with a new 90 gallon reef ready in June 2008. I have about 90 lbs of live rock, a sump with live rock, an AquaC EV-180 protein skimmer, three Hydor Koralia 3s for internal circulation, a Little Giant 1350 gph return pump, and a 30 gallon Chaetomorpha/live rock/deep sand bed refugium. Lighting is 2x250W 14,000K HQIs and four 65W power compact 03 actinics (HQIs are on from 12 pm to 9 pm and PCs are on from 11 am to 10 pm).
<<A very nice setup>>
My tank was (I'll get to this in a minute) an SPS dominant tank with 4 or 5 small-to-medium fish. I fed my fish once or twice per day using live black worms and New Life Spectrum pellets.
<<Would prefer to see a bit more variety>>
I was very careful not to overfeed.
<<Though it seems to be going against conventional wisdom, I honestly believe hobbyists should be MORE concerned with assuring their fishes receive 'enough' to eat of the right types of foods>>
I also fed my corals about once per week using Brine Shrimp Direct Golden Pearls 5-50 micron, which I like very much. I had a few Aiptasia here and there, but nothing to get concerned about.
<<That's how it begins'¦ These organisms are very opportunistic and incredibly prolific'¦best to 'zap' em' as they are discovered (and as I think you have probably learned)>>
Part of this may be that I had a very healthy and hungry Copperband Butterfly that liked to eat Aiptasia.
<<Indeed'¦though in my experience these fish tend to swing away from this over time to the (more palatable?) prepared/frozen foods>>
My ammonia, nitrate and phosphate levels always tested well--0 ppm ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, no detectable phosphates. Generally, my tank looked awesome and everything was healthy and happy. Then last September, I went away on vacation and my power went out.
<<Mmm'¦I seem to remember something about this. I believe you and I had a couple exchanges re>>
Long story short, when the power came back on something tripped the circuit breaker, I had no one watching the house (lesson learned), and my tank turned into a disgusting pot of mucous soup.
<<As the saying goes'¦hindsight is always 20-20'¦ I and many others have stories of similar disasters. Something to be said for redundant circuitry (e.g. -- running two return pumps on separate circuits) and pet sitters, eh?>>
So, in spite of being devastated at losing lots of great SPS that I had grown from very small frags and awesome fish that I loved,
<<I can truly relate my friend>>
I sucked it up and restarted everything. I added a few new pieces of live rock to reintroduce coralline algae and pods, and left the tank fallow for 5 months so that it could stabilize. My tank went through some crazy times--ridiculous micro and macro algae blooms, Cyano, etc., (I assume from the dissolved organics that my LR absorbed during the crash and was releasing).
<<I have witnessed/experienced similar issues from such losses of power/circulation/oxygen/etc to a system. I think it is likely due to a 'combination' of increased organics/metabolites from decomposition AND the disruption/destruction of the systems bio-filter>>
I continued to do my regular maintenance this entire time. So, by November or December everything started to look nice. Over the months I added a few SPS frags to get that going again, and they are doing really well, growing like crazy, coloring up, etc.
In January, after doing much research and consulting with the Crew, I added 5 small Bartlett's Anthias which are doing really well. I feed them twice per day (all I can do because of my work schedule) using black worms or thawed/rinsed Selcon-soaked Mysis (one feeding) and New Life Spectrum pellets (second feeding).
I'm lucky in that they actually love the New Life Spectrum pellets, which I understand is not always the case.
<<Indeed'¦though this Anthiine species does usually take to this excellent food very well, in my experience>>
I am careful about feeding them, and feed in small increments so I can watch them eat everything before adding more food. Currently, they are the only fishes in my tank.
<<I see>>
Because I have no tangs in the tank as I did previously, some macro algae has started to sprout--mostly Grape Caulerpa but there is some Halimeda. I can deal with the Caulerpa, as I manually remove it every few weeks. What I can't deal with is my serious Aiptasia problem. I must have 100 Aiptasia scattered about my substrate (1/2" deep of Aragonite) and on my live rocks.
<<Mmm'¦again, not an uncommon occurrence'¦these pests can seemingly explode in population overnight>>
I shoot the ones I can reach with Aiptasia-X,
<<And this is the best product available for such use in my opinion>>
which works for the most part but . . . it is not solving/can't solve my global problem.
<<Ah but I disagree'¦ We share remarkably similar experiences'¦ Almost two years ago my own 500g system (375g display, 75g sump, 55g refugium) suffered a slightly less devastating power outage (about 10-hrs but exacerbated by carbon dosing) which didn't destroy 'everything' as yours did, but still cost me thousands in lost fish and corals. Afterwards I too was plagued by nuisance algae and Cyanobacteria, for many months'¦and then came the Aiptasia explosion. I made the mistake of not jumping on them right away, and before I knew it I had hundreds of them throughout the display and the refugium. I purchased the Aiptasia-X product and after nearly two 14oz bottles of the stuff, I have regained control of the problem. The key is perseverance'¦ You must condition yourself to spend a few minutes every day attacking those Aiptasia that you can see/find. You will never get them all in one go (they do move about'¦and are often just darn tough to spot), but after a while you will notice you are making a dent in the population. A couple hints re using the Aiptasia-X are'¦ Don't be stingy with the stuff'¦wherever possible don't just 'feed' it to them, but do also 'cover 'em up' with it. Also, rig an 'extension' for the applicator syringe'¦a couple short pieces of rigid airline tubing linked together between the syringe and applicator tip will give you much more flexibility and reach to get at the Aiptasia>>
I do a 15% water change every one or two weeks depending on my work schedule, using RO/DI water that I make myself (TDS is 0). My salt mix is, and has always been, Reef Crystals (although after reading some things on WWM, I'm thinking of switching to Seachem Reef Salt next time around).
<<Mmm, yes'¦ I was a huge fan of Aquarium Systems' salt mix offerings for several decades'¦not so much anymore'¦am now using Seachem's salt mix offerings (wish I could afford Tropic Marin [grin])>>
The only things I dose are ESV B-Ionic two part Alk/calcium and Brightwell Aquatics Magnesium-P, as needed with regular testing.
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable/experienced aquarist. I've read a lot about Aiptasia on this and other sites/books, and I know that Aiptasia problems are usually due to excess nutrients.
<<Population 'explosions' may be due to such, yes'¦but these organisms are so, how do I say it'¦efficient at life'¦that just simply ignoring them when the first appear will often result in problems/in their spread throughout a system>>
Honestly, though, I don't believe this is my problem.
First, the Aiptasia were showing up/growing in population before I added any fish. Maybe this has to do with the lingering effects of my tank meltdown?
<<I think it is a contributing factor to the increase in population as, I alluded to earlier>>
Second, I don't think I overfeed, although I do think some of the New Life Spectrum pellets may sink to the bottom without being eaten.
<<And as I also stated'¦I think this should be less of a concern than ensuring that your fish are 'well' fed>>
I do "broadcast" feed my SPS, but I only add one to two little scoops (maybe 1/2 a teaspoon max, dissolved in system water and sprayed around my SPS using a baster) of Golden Pearls 5-50 to feed a large Montipora cap, a small Blue-rimmed Montipora, a large Montipora confuse, a small Pavona, a large Birdsnest, and 4 assorted Acropora frags.
<<Also not a concern in my opinion. I too broadcast-feed my corals, and the tank in general, (many organisms other than fish and corals vying for/requiring nutritional supplementation in these closed systems)>>
Second, other than whatever phosphates are bound up in my macroalgae, my testing shows no excess nutrients. My EV-180 does a fine job and I regularly clean it to assure performance. I added two Peppermint Shrimp a week ago (that's all my LFS had--I intend to get a few more)--not only have I not seen these since I added them, but no noticeable signs of them eating the Aiptasia--I know these can be hit or miss.
<<My experience with these shrimp as well'¦not a reliable biological control>>
I also purchased a Copperband Butterfly that's been in my quarantine tank for 10 days (I know these don't do well in QT so I don't plan to keep him there much longer, but I always like to put my new fish in a QT and observe them for a period of time just to make sure nothing shows up). I know that CBBs are likewise hit or miss,
<<Indeed'¦or just eventually find it easier/tastier to go for the prepared offerings>>
But I'm hoping this one's a winner like my last one.
<<Will keep my fingers crossed that this is so>>
Again, I've read your general suggestions on WWM about reducing nutrients, etc., but can you think of anything else I should be doing/testing to help me win this battle?
<<I suggest you not do anything deleterious to your livestock'¦ Feed your fishes/your corals well'¦any issues arising from such can be dealt with>>
Is there some other component of water chemistry that I'm not thinking of/testing for that could be the culprit?
<<It comes down to just more elbow-grease. I can assure you, perseverance with the Aiptasia-X will win out eventually. And let me also add'¦ No matter what route you take, you will never be 'completely' rid of the Aiptasia. You can/will get to the point where they are no longer evident'¦but just as you begin to think they are gone forever, one/two/three will spring forth from your rock. And when they do, don't hesitate'¦ZAP'EM!>>
As always, your help is appreciated.
<<I do hope you find this exchange helpful. Regards, Eric Russell>> 
Re: Aiptasia! - 03/11/09

Thanks a lot Eric.
<<Quite welcome Andy>>
Your e-mail gave me hope that all is not lost.
<<Ah good!>>
I have started to zap the buggers every night, and will continue to do so until they are licked.
<<Can seem a daunting task; especially in the beginning when it appears two show up for every one you eliminate, but eventually you 'will' win out'¦at least as much as you/anyone can against these prolific pests [grin]. Eric Russell>>

Foxface Nipped-Fin Question And More -- 06/23/08 Hi there, <<Hello>> I noticed today that my Foxface is missing the tip of his right fin. I looks a little white at the end like a finger nail that was burned by a match (oops busted ex smoker). I haven't introduced anything into my tank in months except for a tuxedo urchin about 2 months ago. Prior to that a large toadstool leather that was attached to a rock 4-5 mo.s ago. I have a small snowflake eel that gets a little excited at dinner and sometimes bites at the Foxface (he's only about 7 inches long). <<Ah'¦and likely the reason for the missing fin tip on the Foxface>> I haven't seen that he has actually gotten him. <<The physical evidence would suggest otherwise>> He leaves the other fish alone including a scooter blenny that sticks with him and eats along side of him. <<The nipped fin was not likely an 'overt' action by the eel but more a case of 'mistaken identity' and excitement during feeding time>> I looked at all the pictures of diseases and none seems to be what I'm seeing. <<With good care/water quality the tip of the fin should grow back fine on its own'¦assuming no more 'nipping' from the eel>> Thanks, Stacy <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>> P.S. I have also read lots of the tiny starfish posts. I notice that the little buggers in my tank are overly interested in my frogspawn. The end of the frog spawn stalk broke off so I have it sitting in a plastic tube; they try to climb up it all the time. <<Most of these small stars are harmless in my experience. Unless you see them actually doing 'harm' to the coral I would not be concerned>> Aside from that I rarely see them. I did see one on the shell of a large snail that died, not sure if they got in the snail and killed it. <<It is more likely they were just 'cleaning up'>> I pluck them out. I love my frogspawn and don't trust them!! <<Is up to you>> P.S.S. One more thing, sorry. <<No worries>> I have an Aiptasia and some hair-like worm thing that lives in what looks like a sand tube that just showed up on a rock I've had for almost 2 yrs?? <<This is not unusual'¦though likely they have been there for some time, maybe just out of site. The worm is of no concern (a Terebellid Polychaete), is even beneficial'¦but I would dispose of the Aiptasia before they spread>> First of either I have had in my tank. Do they move? <<Yes>> Was it dormant in the rock? <<A possibility>> I got a syringe today and hope to kill it tomorrow. <<I tried Red Sea's Aiptasia-x recently'¦best commercial product for eradicating Aiptasia I've seen to date>> Is the tiny hair thing bad? <<Nope>> It seems to go in and out like a little snake. <<Is a beneficial detritivore'¦not to worry. EricR>>

Aiptasia inside Tridacna Crocea clam shell (cannot scrape it!) 6/13/08 Hello crew, <Betsy> I just purchased a ~5 inch crocea clam from another person who was breaking down a tank. During acclimation I noticed an aiptasia, but it is not 'on' the shell of the clam, it is between the layers of the shell right under the mantle, I declare it to be unscrape-able. I tried to use one point of a tweezers (which barely fit into the hole) to "squish" the aiptasia (which withdrew completely into the crack, you can see in the bottom center of the photo). I was a little timid though, very afraid of hurting the clam. From what I have read about Aiptasia, I imagine that I did not successfully kill it. I read on your site FAQs that Aiptasia can annoy the mantle of the clam (and boy, is it ever close to the mantle!). I also read that injecting anything that close to the clam might not be such a great idea. <Actually, I'd either ignore this pest... or look into a really neat new product by Red Sea... I saw this in action a few weeks ago at the Interzoo industry show in Germany... an injectable that appears to be "tasty" and non-toxic... that one can squirt into such pests... they eat it... and dissolve> So, any ideas on how to rid myself of this pest without injuring the clam? Also since I'm writing, I plan to let the clam attach to a piece of ceramic tile so I can place it on the sand bed. (I understand that crocea's prefer to be on a hard substrate). Is a tile a good idea? <Mmm, yes> The clam was living on the sand in the other person's tank, from what I understand. My lighting is very good ( 6 overdriven T5 bulbs on Icecap 660 ballasts - producing a PAR of about 350 on my sand bed). I would like to keep it on the sand bed rather than in my rocks so that I get the best viewing angle on it's mantle. <A very good point> Thanks very much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Thank you so much! and Aiptasia Removal 03/06/2008 Hi, <<G'Morning, Andrew today>> I am so sorry to take this direct route and not research more so please forgive me. <<tut tut>> I have a reef/salt water fish tank which I love so much!! I have had it for 4 years. I now have an invasion of Aiptasia. UGH!!! I tried peppermint shrimp but they got eaten. I want to try the lemon juice injection(?) Here is my question.... What is the best way to go about this? Do I inject tons of them at once or just a couple a day? Do I do a big water change after? Does this hurt my fish or my good corals? <<There are various methods used to rid a tank of Aiptasia. Inject a could at a time using the Joe's juice method. Most, on this route, use a hypodermic needle and inject the lemon juice into the nem. Another alternative is to fill a syringe up with boiling water and blast the nem directly and not have to worry about adding too much juice to the tank. Read more here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm >> I have a 55 gallon tank. My corals are torch, button polyps, brain, plate, sun polyps, mushrooms, toadstool, leather, frogs spawn, and candy! My fish are tang, wrasse, mandarin, damsel, fairy Basslet, blenny, chromis, and clown. <<I would suggest a bigger home for the tang, they fair better in larger aquariums more suited to their swimming needs>> Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond to me. My son is coming home this weekend and he is in his first year of college studying marine biology and I am feeling embarrassed about my mess in the tank!! Veronica Smead <<No need to feel embarrassed, your amongst friends here. Hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

Tree Coral Health; Nephtheid "juiced" along with Glass Anemones   7/31/07 Dear Crew, <Andy> I have a question about my small tree coral. It was sold to me as a "tree coral", so I'm not exactly sure what it is--I have searched for images of similar corals, and I'm pretty sure that it of the genus Capnella. "It" is actually two corals--two individual 3" trunks attached to one piece of base rock--and have a pink fleshy look, with darker pink polyps. <This genus does occur in a wide range of light colors/hues> I have had them in my tank for over a month and they have been doing very well. Fully extended during daylight, shrunk up a bit at night. Last week, I killed off small four Aiptasia that were within about 10" of the coral with Joes Juice. Although I was very careful with my targeted injection, a small amount of Joes Juice did become free-floating due to the pressure of submersion. Ever since that date, my tree coal has been completely retracted---I can send a picture if you need one, but basically they are just two tightly-packed "lumps". <No pix needed> They have been in this state for about 5 days now. They are producing no mucous, and they are not changing color or otherwise showing signs of disintegration. At the time of application of Joes Juice, they were perched on a ledge of rock--maybe slightly shaded, but not much--at about the 1/2 way point of my tank. About 3 days ago, while they were still totally retracted, I decided to move them up about 5" so that they could get more flow (thinking that if they are reacting to the Joes Juice, the flow might help "clear the air")--the consequences of this movement are that they are a little higher up and in full lighting. Other than the application of Joes Juice, I have done nothing new to the tank (other than normal maintenance)--no new livestock, rock, or any other addition. Now about my tank/lighting. Tank/lighting: 110g display (48" long x 30" high x 18" deep) with 30g refugium; 6 x 54W T5 HO (4 10,000K and 2 460nm actinics); wet-dry filter; Coral Life 125g Super Skimmer; 2 MaxiJet 1200 power heads; and return flow from Little Giant 1245 gph pump. Display livestock: 70lbs live rock, 1 Sailfin Tang, 1 Gold Stripe Maroon, 1 Atrosalarias fuscus, and 1 Royal Gramma, 5 green hairy mushrooms, 5 red mushrooms, 1 BTA, <This animal is stationary, open, has room about it?> the 2 tree corals noted above, 12 snails, 24 hermits, 2 cleaner shrimp; 2 Sally Lightfoot Crabs; and 1 small decorator crab that came in with my live rock. Refugium has 4-6" DSB, 3.5lbs of live rock, and a large piece of Chaeto, with lighting on a reverse daylight cycle. My parameters: Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0; alk is 3.5 meq/L; calcium ranges from 350-400; phosphate is 0; temperature 78*-80*. Daily top-off and 10% weekly water changes, both using buffered RO/DI water. The only supplements I add are Kent Marine Tech CB Parts A/B daily/as needed and Kent Marine iodine (6 drops daily). <... Do you test for this last? I would not apply it daily... perhaps weekly w/ water changes> The tree corals are on the far left side of my tank; the BTA is in the middle at the bottom, and the two colonies of shrooms are on the right side of my tank. Because everyone has gotten along for over 1 month, I am pretty sure that there is sufficient space between all corals such that there is no significant chemical warfare going on. I do run activated carbon in my sump, which I change every 3-4 weeks. <Okay> I am worried that the small amount of Joes Juice that may have made contact with the tree coral has really irked them, but I would have thought that it would have gotten over this by now? <Mmm, apparently not> Two other thoughts. First, I'm thinking that my decorator crab has attacked them. The other day I noticed that, in addition to the pieces of orange sponge that he walks around with, it appears that he has decided to add some polyps to his portfolio. These polyps look like they "might" have come from my tree coral (as I don't have any other similar coral in the tank, that's the only thing I can think of). <It's mainly the "juice"> Second, I do not target feed any of my corals. I realize that the mushrooms rely primarily on zooxanthellae. I guess I was thinking that my fuge coupled with daily feeding of Mysid to my fish would supply food to the tree corals, but maybe I am wrong. Am I starving my tree coral (and, if so, any suggestions on a good food product)? <See WWM, the Net... should be fed every other day... HUFA's...> Wouldn't a starving coral degenerate slowly and, in fact, remain extended looking for food? <Mmm, generally so, yes> If this is the case, how can I get this coral to re-extend so I can feed it? Any thoughts you have are appreciated. Andy <Give up the juice. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tree Coral Health  7/31/07
Thanks for the response, Bob. Tree corals have since recovered. <Ah, good. RMF>

ORP Fluctuations/Aiptasia Infestation Controls - 06/04/07 Hi Crew! <<Hiya Roger!>> 180g main tank w/55gal sump/refugium, ASM 300 skimmer, 170 lbs LR, 4" sand bed in main tank. Softies and LPS w/2 small frags of Acropora and Pocillopora. 4 Yellowtail Blue Damsels, 1 large Siganus vulpinus, 1 Ctenochaetus strigosus, 1 Gramma loreto, 1 Pink Spotted Shrimp Goby, 2 Engineer Gobies, 2 Black Axel Chromis. 1 Midas Blenny. 1 Large Lysmata amboinensis. Astrea Snails and various hermits, also 2, 2" Fighting Conchs. 6 80w T5's. I use Salifert for my water testing to confirm any test for which I don't trust the results. <<Very good>> Hagen, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals & Red Sea, are my routine test kits. <<Mmm...I hope you are using the Salifert kits regularly>> Calcium 450, KH 9-10, NO2 "0", NO3 "0" pH 8.3, and Temp 80 F. I have an ORP monitor that reads 425 - 450 overnight. <<You are administering ozone then? Be careful this reading doesn't go higher>> When I add food soaked with Selcon the ORP drops rapidly into the high 300's. <<Not at all unusual...>> I have checked the ORP probe with calibration fluid and it goes perfectly to 400. <<Nothing wrong with the probe here...the drop is related/a reaction to the addition of organic material (food, Selcon) to the water column...and a good example of how the REDOX meter can be used to monitor water quality>> My FO tank also has an ORP monitor and I have switched them, with the same result. Is this dangerous to my creatures? <<Not in my experience...as indicated, ORP levels fluctuate continuously in relation to water chemistry...and to be honest, readings in the 'high 300s' are still very good/quite acceptable>> Visually, everyone is doing well and actually growing! I feed Zooplan, Marine Snow, Phytoplan, enriched live brine shrimp, and Omega One flake soaked in Selcon or Kent Marine Zoe, alternatively. <<Do be cautious of overuse of the invertebrate foods...and for your fishes sake expand their diet a bit with some vegetable matter for the Tang and the Foxface, and I highly recommend the addition of New Life Spectrum pellets for all>> I have your book, Bob! <<Is an excellent read>> Second question. I also have an Aiptasia problem. <<A very common malady>> I feel my water quality is good and my tank is 10 mos. old. <<Good water - bad water...has little to do with the Aiptasia...these organisms don't even need light. The problems encountered with Aiptasia stem from their mere introduction to the system...and an adequate food source (reflect on my previous comment re the invertebrate foods)>> Many pods, etc. seen on a regular basis. I know there are no absolutes, but do you think a Copperband would be worth a try? <<This is a possibility, though they seem to prefer young/emergent Aiptasia as opposed to lager specimens, in my experience>> If not, what would you suggest? <<You can try the Copperband as a biological 'control,' even a few Atlantic Peppermint Shrimp...but these only address the 'symptoms' of the infestation and not the cure. Sometimes this proves to be enough...ofttimes not...>> Have tried Joe's Juice w/the same results as most of your correspondents? It kills, but babies pop up in bigger numbers. <<I have never used this product, but I have used Lemon Juice injected in to the oral disc with good result>> I very much appreciated your advice on a previous question about angels & you prevented me from making a big mistake; from a responsibility to the environment standpoint and from a responsible aquarist standpoint. <<Don't know who that was, but it is good to hear they were able to help>> Any guidance will be most appreciated. It seems as if Copperbands get good reviews in your threads, if they fit a system. <<Ah yes, your last statement is 'key.' These are not 'easy' fish to acclimate/keep...very susceptible to disease/poor water quality, and often difficult to get to eat. If you try this fish, be sure to get one that is feeding on something other than brine shrimp...frozen Mysids/Mysis preferably>> Thanks again! <<Happy to assist>> Roger Tisdale from the backwoods of South Carolina! <<Backwoods, forewoods, sidewoods...heck Roger, it's 'all woods' around this state! [grin] Eric Russell in Columbia, SC>>

Joes Juice for Aiptasia Control Versus BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor - 2/4/07 Hello, <Hi Sharon, Brenda here> I have 3 BTAs and an Aiptasia problem. Before using Joe's Juice, I would like to know if this will harm the BTAs. <There is mixed results with Joe's Juice for Aiptasia control.  To answer your question, too much at once may harm your BTA.  If you choose this route, I would not use it near your BTA.  Start out slow and watch your livestock closely.> My first thought was to move the infested rock to a bucket filled with saltwater and zap them there, but all of my rock can be removed. Help! <An alternative that I have used is Peppermint Shrimp, Lysmata Wurdemanni. Unfortunately others have had mixed results with Peppermint Shrimp.  There is more information on both here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm > Sharon <Hope this helps.  Brenda>

Re: Aiptasia (sorry I know you get a lot of these emails), Blue Line product  - 08/15/06   Thank you very much for the response.  I have read all the material you suggested and have decided that the Berghia sounds like the best option.  First I will try to eliminate using Kalkwasser, or Joe's Juice (By the way there is a new product available from Blue Line called Aiptasia control, so far the only place we at the LFS can get it is at Sea Dwelling Creatures, I find this works better than Joe's Juice, knocks them down for good in one shot), <Thank you for this input> although I don't like adding chemicals when I don't know what they are.  Just to be sure, you wouldn't recommend a Raccoon Butterfly in a reef tank, would you? <Depending on the size of the system, what other livestock there was...> Thanks again for putting up with my never ending supply of questions, Ryan. <No worries. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Control...In Your Face, Man   6/16/06 Had an Aiptasia growing near a nice clump of frog spawn in a tight spot. I hate the look and general attitude of these little guys. I bought a small syringe and needle at Walgreen's (30 cents) filled it with Marine Aquarium Iodine (I add some to my tank periodically anyway), stuck it in his face and gave him a blast.  No more Aiptasia.  Don't know if this is the Rosetta Stone answer for this pest, but it worked for me. <Bob, thank you for the info.  Will post on the dailies. Although this may work well for a couple of these critters, caution should be given as to iodine levels if eradicating larger amounts of Aiptasia with this method.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks. Bob

Re: Aiptasia and Frogspawn corals  5/31/06 Hello Bob. The return of the Aiptasia, imagine that! A strange thing noticed on the specimen growing among the frogspawn colony: The tentacles closest to the frogspawn polyps are receded and wilted while the pest tries to avoid these polyps. I found several others growing near the top of the tank where the P. skimmer empties into the water. I know why they grow here though only discovered their presence in the passed couple weeks. This is where I put food for dispersion by the flowing water and it sometimes collects near the top of the rock. I purchased what I thought are Peppermint shrimp but I am not so sure as these are larger than usual and the coloration seems more subdued and the specimens darker. These are neat little guys at any rate even if they do happen to be the wrong shrimp. I am still looking for the Berghia but have never seen one offered at any of the LFS(s). Right now I am using my QT tank for control though the one rock is exceptionally large where these pests reside. I may restart my 55 gallon tank and purchase a Copperband butterfly or similar species for control... not sure though as incurring more expenses and maintaining yet another tank might get real old real fast. Maybe if I can repair the light fixture on the 24 gallon (I think the external ballast went) then the new light I got could get moved.... Decisions, decisions.... Sincerely, James Zimmer <<James:  Frogspawn has a powerful sting.  Sounds like it is stronger than the sting of an Aiptasia.  Peppermints are hit or miss.  When I have bought them, only about 1/2 to 2/3 eat Aiptasia.  Berghia are available online.  If you do a search on www.reefcentral.com and other sites you may find people selling them.  Unfortunately, if they work, they will die once they have eaten all the Aiptasia.  Rather than use critters, if you don't have too many, I like to make a batch of Kalk paste and inject it into the Aiptasia holes with the plastic syringe you get with baby medicines.  After you inject it, don't scrape the paste off.  Eventually coralline algae will grow right over it.  Best of luck, Roy>>
Re: Aiptasia and Frogspawn corals
- 06/01/2006 Roy. Thank you for the advice on Aiptasia control. I have used the Kalk paste or slurry also and depending on location or orientation to preferred animals I am sometimes reluctant. Yes, this latest crop will have my work cut for me. I may just use the paste method again for the large rock as it is too much to move into the smaller QT. As for smaller rocks I can move them and train, hopefully, the shrimp to eat the pest anemones. I will not use concentrated Ca(OH)2 near the frogspawn if I can at all help it. Again, thank you. James <<James:  You're welcome.  Based on my experience, the Peppermint Shrimp will either like Aiptasia or not (that's why if you have a big enough tank, it's good to buy 2 to 3 to see who will eat them).  In my best case, one peppermint ate about 100 Aiptasia within about a day.  It was amazing to see him attack them.  He looked like a boxer working on a speed bag.  Unfortunately, for that Peppermint Shrimp a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp attacked him and ate him.  I guess the Skunk Cleaner liked the taste of Aiptasia fed shrimp. If you are careful with the baby medicine syringe and make a thick enough paste, you can inject the paste with a lot of control (like you are decorating a cake).  If some of the paste starts to float off, just disburse it as fast as you can.  In my experience, if a little bit brushes a coral (such as your frogspawn) as it floats buy, it won't hurt anything. Best of luck, Roy>>

Aiptasia Control...No Shots Please!  - 05/22/2006 I was wondering if you have had any knowledge of removing these with a hypodermic needle and vinegar into the stalk of the base? I have   one growing on a snail in my 50g reef tank. <Would not do this, vinegar is very acidic and not safe in your tank. Do read here and linked files above.    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Edwin

Aiptasia eradication plan  5/16/06 Hi to the fine folks at WWM, I will try to make this short; for many reasons I am invested with Aiptasia (mainly my live rock) in my main tank.  This is my plan:  Treat corals with Joe's Juice and transfer piece by  piece slowly to another tank.  When all my main coral's are in the new tank and appear to be clean I am going thoroughly clean the old tank and fill with fresh water and let it sit.  I will then start the process in reverse.  My main question is how tough is Aiptasia?  How long to leave it in the fresh water?  Thanks and please let me know if this is too radical? Yours (should buy stock in Joe's Juice Company), Greg <<Greg:  At the bottom of this link there is a lot of info about Aiptasia control http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Personally, my favorite method is to use peppermint shrimp (though only 1/2 to 2/3 will eat them).  I also like to make a Kalkwasser paste and inject it with a baby's medicine syringe into the hole the Aiptasia lives in.  Don't touch the paste afterwards.  Coralline algae will grow right over it over time.  I don't know how many you have.  Sometimes it is hard to spot them all.  I'm not sure why you want to move things back and forth and use fresh water.  Sometimes when people are really desperate, they carefully take everything they want off the rocks, pull the rocks out of the water and let them sit in the backyard for awhile.  In theory, everything, including the Aiptasia should eventually die.  Then, they put the rocks back and hope that the rocks will get recolonized.  Believe it or not, other people have even used blow torches.  Personally, I think those are crazy/radical approaches.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Archaster Star corrosion, Aiptasia removal success    4/20/06 Hi there! I was looking for information on why my sand sifter star seems to be losing the tips of his legs (29 gallon tank, has been set up for 20   months with one complete disassembly to move it downstairs). <Too small a space for this species... not enough room for endogenous food production> I finally found the information on your site, along with the information that I have too small a tank - and I really appreciate how you answer all those emails. You have also in the past had great information on getting rid of Aiptasia anenomes (I managed to get over 72 of them in my tank - that   was just what I could count!).  I ended up removing the various shrimps from my tank, added 4 peppermint shrimps, and later 2 Berghia   nudibranchs (although once they disappear in your live rock tank, it is impossible to find them again). The last few tenacious anenomes I   was able to get rid of by either covering them with a thick Kalkwasser paste (just thin enough to squeeze out of a syringe needle   tip) of injecting them with lemon juice (I eventually went with this because I thought it was slightly less dangerous to the tank). I have finally gotten rid of all the Aiptasia, and so my corals are very happy...will be resolving my sandsifter problem soon I hope. Thanks again for all your help, Kerstin DeRolf:-) <Bob Fenner>

When Life Gives You Lemons...   03/9/06 Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I recently purchase a 55 gallon marine aquarium that had around 20 pounds of live rock. All of the live rock was covered with Aiptasia anemones. I tried tweezers to pull them off  and was hardly successful so I tried injecting lemon juice in the Aiptasia mouths and only managed to kill a few.  Then I got Desperate and I had put all the live rock in a 20 gallon that was already 1/3 full of water  and I dumped the rest of the lemon juice bottle.  Which was nearly full. I had the live rock soaking in the tank for about 20  minutes  twice and I was wondering if this had ruined the live rock? Note that almost all the Aiptasia survived. I noticed also that some of the bristle or Fireworms had fallen out dead but there were still some left when I looked that   night. So basically I was just wondering if the live rock was wasted or useless now. I still have an equal amount from the previous marine tank I had that has not been soaked in lemon juice. Thanks, Riley <Well, Riley, I'm sure that some life was lost on the rock, but if the Aiptasia survived the citrus plunge, there is a definite chance that the more desirable stuff survived, too. At the worst, the rock can be re-used, and will "colonize" with new life over time. I say, use it! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Aiptasia status report/Aiptasia Control  - 02/27/06 Hi, Crew! <Hello Amy> Just thought I would weigh in on my experiences with Aiptasia control and a variety of methods, after reading all the FAQs.  Bottom line: Nothing yet seems to work.  I have tried 1) Injections with lemon juice.  This worked temporarily; they eventually grew back, and if you get even one or two hiding in crevices that you can't see, it's all over - they'll reproduce out of control from their hidden location.  2) Joe's Juice - this doesn't work very well either.  It does indeed kill the target anemone, but there is a significant problem: it seems to force the dying anemone to clone.  I tested this by feeding Joe's Juice to an anemone that was stuck to the wall of the aquarium, so it was clearly visible on all sides.  Sure enough, the Aiptasia died, but it left behind a ring of ~5 or so tiny clones, which are now growing to full size.  *sigh*  I have used literally a dozen boxes of Joe's Juice, and all it seems to do is induce them to clone.  Watch out! Since I'm very much against bringing any wild-caught animals into captivity now, I'm going to try Berghia nudibranchs.  I have two arriving on Tuesday morning.  I'm setting up a breeding tank, along with a holding tank for Aiptasias (not that this is a huge problem at the moment - my main tank is covered with hundreds now).  Will let you know how it goes!  If they clean up the Aiptasias, I'll pass them along. <Thank you for the email and do let us know your results.  James (Salty Dog)> Amy

Dropped Joe's juice right on my anemone 8/5/05 Hi <Tracy> I use Joe's Juice for Aiptasia control.  Though it does indeed seem to be harmless when in the water column, last night I accidentally dropped a medium dose on part of a Condylactis spp. anemone.  This anemone was actually part of a bigger one I have had for 4 yrs that just last week split into 2.  Both were doing great until this happened.   <Yikes> It immediately curled up looked like it was dying etc.  But this morning the victim had split into 2 pieces, each with base tightly adherent to different rocks. <Yes... stressed induced schizogyny>   Each piece has some normal looking tentacles and some shriveled, damaged ones.  (Now I have 3 anemones, unbelievable, my skunk clown is going nuts trying to take care of all 3.) 2 questions:  1. Is there anything I can do to support its recovery? <Optimized, stable water quality... patience> 2. What are the criteria for removing a damaged anemone to avoid poisoning my 150 gallon thriving system? <"If it's mush, time to flush" (Made this up just now!). Vacuum out the mass if it is falling apart, permanently flaccid> I called my LFS, and they said make sure I have adequate iodine levels. <A good idea... won't hurt anything> I called Joe, and he had no specific suggestions, but thought that it may do fine, since sometimes a half-poisoned Aiptasia will recover, and this is 20x that size. Thanks for being a consistent source of good advice for my weird problems! Tracy Creek/Atlanta <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>  

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