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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 9

Related Articles: Marine Invertebrates, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Lighting Marine Invertebrates, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Non-Vert IDs 1, Non-Vert IDs 2, Non-Vert IDs 3, Non-Vert IDs 4, Non-Vert IDs 5, Non-Vert IDs 6, Non-Vert IDs 7, Non-Vert IDs 8, Non-Vert IDs 10, Non-Vert IDs11, Non-Vert IDs 12, Non-Vert IDs 13, Non-Vert IDs 14, Non-Vert IDs 15, Non-Vert IDs 16, Non-Vert IDs 17, Non-Vert IDs 18, Non-Vert. ID 19, Non-Vert. ID 20, Non-Vert. ID 21, Non-Vert. ID 22, Non-Vert. ID 23, Non-Vert. ID 24, Non-Vert. ID 25, Non-Vert ID 26, Non-Vert ID 27, Non-Vert ID 28, Non-Vert ID 29, Non-Vert ID 30, Non-Vert ID 31, Non-Vert ID 32, Non-Vert 33, Non-Vert ID 34, Non-Vert ID 35, Non-Vert ID 36, Non-Vert ID 37, Non-Vert ID 38, Non-Vert ID 39, Non-Vert ID 40, Non-Vert ID 41, Non-Vert ID 42, Non-Vert ID 43, Non-Vert ID 44, Non-Vert ID 45, Non-Vert ID 46, Non-Vert ID 47, Non-Vert ID 48, Non-Vert ID 49, Non-Vert ID 50, Non-Vert ID 51, Non-Vert ID 52, Non-Vert ID 53, Non-Vert ID 54, Non-Vert ID 55, Non-Vert ID 56, Non-Vert ID 57, Non-Vert ID 58, Non-Vert ID 59, Non-Vert ID 60, Non-Vert ID 61, & Marine Invertebrates, Marine Invert.s 2, Marine Invert.s 3, & FAQs about: Marine Invertebrate Behavior, Marine Invertebrate Compatibility, Marine Invertebrate Selection, Marine Invertebrate Systems, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Marine Invertebrate Disease, Marine Invertebrate Reproduction& LR Life IdentificationLR Hitchhiker ID 1, Anemone Identification, Aiptasia Identification, Aiptasia ID 2, Worm Identification, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Snail Identification, Marine Crab Identification, Marine Invert.s 1, Marine Invert.s 2, Marine Plankton

Critter ID Hello, I have been enjoying this hobby for about 6 months now and with all of the information I have gathered from here I have had very good success at starting and maintaining my marine aquarium. <Ah, good> I started with some live rock that didn't appear to have much of anything other than coralline on it and now have a thriving tank growing so much life that I find something new about once a week. Thanks for all of the great advice! <Welcome> I saw this critter yesterday and haven't seen it since or I would have taken a picture. At first glance it looked like some sort of snail but upon further investigation and not looking like it has a shell, I'm not sure. I have searched and browsed but haven't read anything that resembles it. It resembles the aft section of the common house wasp with the stripes being orange and white and is about the size of a grain of rice. It appears to have an antenna (only one) about 2/3 the length of its body that seems to sample it's intended path. Any ideas? Thanks William <Good description, but "doesn't ring a bell"... any chance of a pic? Bob Fenner>

"Thing" on Firefish I just purchased a firefish on Sunday, and yesterday, Monday, I noticed that he has something coming out of a hole behind his pectoral fin. The hole is in his "armpit" and there is not one on the other side. This thing is a yellow-white curlicue that comes out, and looks like it goes back into the hole it came out of. It is maybe 1/2 cm long. By curlicue I mean kinda like wood shaving, or piece of sawdust. He is having no problems swimming or eating. This thing doesn't seem to be bothering him at all, but I would like to know what it is and if I can do anything to make it go away. (The way it is shaped, I think it may be a piece of intestine, maybe?) Thank you! <Mmm, my guess is that this is an external parasite... a copepod likely (do put the terms "copepod fish parasite" in Google and look at the "images"... Can be excised with forceps likely... and careful holding while in a net... Bob Fenner>

- 'Pod or Sponge? - I have found some information on your web site that states these are probably Syconoid Sponges. One good picture is shown as "Non-Vert IDs7". I have numerous of these growing on various rock and they do grow larger (size of a pencil eraser). A couple of days ago the opening seemed to be getting larger. Then last night the pod was gone and a small white/brownish snail was in its place and seemed to be attached to the rock where the pod was located. The snail continued to move until it seemed to pull loose of the rock and is now moving everywhere.  So... could this pod actually be an egg that has hatched?  <Think you were right the first time... a sponge that was likely dislodged by the snail.> Thanks for any information you can give. Beverly L. <Cheers, J -- > 

- Odd Critter ID - Hi Guys, First time on your Forum. I have a well established (3years) 150 gal. reef tank. 250lbs of live rock, 4 soft corals, 5 fish and a sea urchin. Also have lettuce, lots of polyps and a clam. Coral line algae was doing nicely. Everything was great until about 5 months ago when I supposedly had a nutrition explosion which caused the tank to be overrun by hair algae. It was a hard fight with the introduction of more snails, 3 different types of crabs and a lawnmower.  Tank is finally l turned around, but now the soft corals are dying. (probably from the constant water changes).  <Huh... unless you're not matching the new water parameters to the old, this should have no affect... reef animals get an influx of millions of gallons of new water each day in the wild.>  We introduce Photoflex to the tank for the first time. Within 1 week, the corals are happy but we now have what appears to be small white parasites. They remind me of maggots with tiny antenna.  <Do they move around like maggots?>  They are all over the glass. and we siphoned quite a few out. What are these critters and are they dangerous for the tank?  <Very hard to say with any precision based on your description - they could be amphipods if they move around, they could be sponges if they don't. A photo would help.>  How do we control them or get rid of them all together?  <If they are amphipods, they don't really need control... they're beneficial [eat detritus, etc.] and tend to multiply to numbers only as large as their food sources will allow. If these are sponges, you can continue to siphon them out, but they are likely the result of overfeeding.>  The only new addition to the tank was a soft coral about two months ago. <Cheers, J -- > 

Sponge? Greetings: Have searched your archives and forum, but haven't seen these, and I'd like to know if they're "bad" or "good". They resemble small (.5 to 1 cm) pineapples, but appear to be sponges. They prefer lower light in my 125 reef tank and my 44 FOWLR, judging by placement. I've attached a small photo. One or two reside on live rock, but most are on "reef bones" or other dead / ornamental rock. Bob's book discusses sponges that can harm other invertebrates, and I have various corals / anemones. Any worries?  <Don't think so... do they move about? Looks like a small sea cucumber to me... oriented as it is on its apparent side... with processes/tentacles grouped on one end> Also, I have very small (1mm) hard, white objects on plumbing and glass. They're semi-circular, looking like miniscule gnocchi (sans alfredo or marinara sauce). Any concerns there? <Nope... these are very likely tubiculous tubeworms... large ones are often called featherdusters...> Indispensable web site and archives! Have found answers to every question (few hundred or so!) since starting a year ago. Someone needs to collate your archives into a curriculum. <Yikes... you're frightening me...> My fish and invertebrates most sincerely THANK YOU for putting in all the hours answering these questions. Jon in da Nort'woods
<Bob Fenner in strangely rainy Southern Cal.>

Can you identify this Coral? I was wondering if you can tell me what kind of coral this is? The store I bought it from said they couldn't find any information on it. If you can let me know where I can get more info on it , I would really appreciate it. <Mmm, not a coral. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm  Bob Fenner> 

Re: can you identify this coral  YOU'RE RUDE!!!!! What kind of answer is that?  The site didn't tell me what kind of sponge it was!  If you don't know what it is, that's all you had to say was "I'm not sure" not "Mmm not a coral" <Ummm, was a sponge... IS pictured where you were referred> Why is it that when a question is asked of you, you people are so rude! Like we hobbyists are so freakin' stupid.  I tried to do research, but came up empty.  I thought I would ask your crew.  This has happened more than once. It's one thing to be confident on what you know, it's another being an arrogant idiot.   We come to you for help, not smart ass comments.  If you know so much, tell me exactly what kind of sponge it is, (name)!  From now on, I will find someone else who isn't rude help me! <Good luck to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Can you identify this coral.. err sponge. Bob and crew, Please don't allow this type of lowbrow behavior to influence you in helping the rest of us that come here for questions/knowledge. <Will, would not> Even if you did spoon feed the answer (re page 2, 3 photos down the page) to them I still don't think they would have liked the 'tone' you wrote in.. Some people... Craig <Agreed... some days think I'm missing a grand opportunity to try a go as "Dr. Phil" of petfish... or bartending... BobF>

Something strange sliding around... An update Hey crew! I wanted to give you all an update. I was having a problem with a clam I have. It had lost a chunk of white fleshy looking something and you all said that it may have been its foot. Well I took it out of my main tank and put in a 27 bowfront I have and when I checked on it today it is starting to grow its foot back and has attached to a nearby snail shell. Thank you for the help.   Now for the real reason I am writing... I was checking out my main tank and its sump tonight and noticed what I thought was the bottom of one of my snails. Upon further inspection it was nothing like a snail. This thing is about 1 1/2" long by 3/4" wide and maybe 1/8" thick. It has two antenna (eye stalks?) and is a very neutral speckled sandy looking thing. I have never seen one of these before smaller or larger (I hope they don't get much larger!).  I have these same pictures in higher resolution if you want me to send them, (I adjusted them so they would be so big).   The second picture has the top of a AA battery in it that I wanted to use for scale but it ended up looking bigger than is really is so disregard it please.  Anyway, thank you very much for your time and I (and I am sure everybody else reading this) really appreciate everything you guys do for the marine/reef community!!! You guys are the BEST! <Randy, this animal certainly appears to be from the limpet family. It looks very much like the Black Limpet, although yours is not black. If it is this, they are not very reef safe. Some will eat coral tissue. James (Salty Dog)><<Mmm, not... this is almost certainly a turbellarian... free-living flatworm. RMF>>

Flatworm in today's Posts Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 James, I think the pictures of the strange slug/snail like creature in today's FAQ posts, the one compared to a AA battery, is actually a flatworm. Check out  http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=flatworm or http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~bu6/index.html  <Phil, I compared it to a photo in Julian Sprung's Invertebrate quick reference guide and it sure looked like the limpet in the photo. Thanks, James (Salty Dog)> 

Flatworm in today's Posts Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 James, No problem. There are soooo many animals out there, <So right, since invertebrates make up about 90% of all living things on earth. James (Salty Dog)>  it's hard to keep track of them all. I just happen to be VERY interested in sea slugs, and flatworms pop up on a regular basis on the Sea Slug Forum. I appreciate the work you do, and the site is amazing. Thanks, Phil

Squid like animals Fri, 4 Feb 2005 I have only had my tank for about 4 months. For the first two months, I had   live rocks and live sand in, and no livestock. I kept the filter running and   always tested the water. It was fine. I have recently added 2 clownfish which   are doing fine, and two different kinds of anemone. The most recent  addition is a Bubbletip anemone. Well, this morning I looked in the tank as I  fed the fish and I noticed several extremely tiny animals swimming around.  Maybe you can tell me what they are. They swim by expelling water  similar to a squid or jellyfish, but I am guessing they might be baby  anemones? They definitely have tiny tentacles.<Well they aren't anemones for sure.  I'm guessing a type of hydra, not sure, but they won't last long.  The food supply they require won't be there.  Should be nothing to worry about.  James (Salty Dog)> They are not attached so I'm a  little confused. Please help me if you can. Danielle

Small white sponges (?) in skimmer - Tube worms, Maybe Dear All,  Hope you are well.<We are and hope you are well to.> I know you hate trying to ID stuff without a picture... <It is not the easiest in the world to do.>  ... and I do have a new digital camera as a Xmas gift, but these little fellows are tucked well away so here goes.  Inside my skimmer are a collection of small shapes, white, conical around 5 mm in size, with possibly a tiny filament/pair of filaments on the top end (as always, hard to see). <From the description it sounds like you have something called tube worms.> Should I leave them, or will they impair, (could they even improve?) the skimmer's functioning. <Well that is not an easy question to answer. Your skimmer won't run more efficiently but you water quality will improve. The tube worms feed off of tiny particulate mater such as zooplankton and phytoplankton. So you water will be cleaner. Your protein skimmer pulls out dissolved organic matter which prevents the "Yellowing" of your fish tank.>  I like all these weird things inside the system, so I will keep them, unless you say otherwise.  Many thanks. Peter <I would keep them. They are a benefit to the tank. Good Luck. MikeB> 

What's That Popping Noise? Hi Bob, <Simon> With regards to the popping noise coming from my tank - I have done some snooping around at night with a torch and it appears to be a crab?! Do you think its the crab or a hidden shrimp making the noise? <Could be either, neither> I have looked around your site to try and identify the crab and from what I gather it appears to be an emerald crab - however the colour is more like an orange brown.  I found a picture on another site - which is the closest I could find to what I have. I actually have never seen the whole thing - mainly just its feet. Do you think this is the cause of the clicking/popping noise? <Maybe> There are a bunch of dead snails lying around. Would my Harlequin tusks have eaten the snails or the crab ?  <Possibly> I have never had any green algae on any of my live rock. So maybe he is doing a good job.  Is this guy okay in my tank? My Harlequin Tusk sleeps wedged between some rocks so I wouldn't want him to be attacked - albeit he is relatively quite big. Thanks for your help once again.  Regards,  Simon <Keep reading on WetWebMedia.com re marine crustaceans my friend... Bob Fenner> 

Identification - White Squigglies on the Glass: Snail Eggs 1/25/05 I seem to find these weird patterns on my glass from time to time. Do you have any idea what this might be?  <clearly gastropod (snail) eggs of some kind> The only things that I see roam the glass are snails and slugs. <BINGO... you win the hairy kewpie doll <G>> For reference, that line is about 4 inches long.  Thanks! <best regards, Anthony>

- Something Sprouting - Hi Crew, Had a good search round but can't find a similar picture! Any idea what these are? About 5mm in size, stationary (or not visibly moving anyway!). There are quite a lot growing in the "non-functional" parts of my sump, i.e.. where the overflows run in, skimmer return, not where the plenum etc is. Got a couple in the display too. Good, bad or indifferent? <They are sponges... usually show up in systems that are overfed. Not harmful.> Marine critter ID link http://www.tcnj.edu/~maughme2/faq.htm is no longer there unfortunately. <Yes, unfortunate.> Thanks Peter <Cheers, J -- >

UFOs - Unidentified Fishtank Organisms - 01/18/2005 Hello, <Hi, Bryan.> I have a tank that I have just set up about two weeks ago, and am currently cycling (without fish).   <Ahh, good.> Anyways, I noticed this morning when I turned my lights on that there are a bunch of tiny organisms on the glass. They don't appear to be bigger than maybe a couple millimeters, and are white-clear in color. They are able to swim, but seem to prefer being on the glass. <Hmm....  it'd be good to know whether the tank is a freshwater or marine system.  If marine, does the tank contain live rock?> From what I can tell, it looks like they have legs and a tail, but I'm not certain of this....  I would send a picture, but they are too small to photograph.   <How about a drawn diagram?  There's not enough to go off here, I'm afraid....  Either a very detailed description or a diagram would be of great help.  Have you got a magnifying glass or microscope that you can use to look at these critters?> I'm curious to know how harmful they are, if at all, and how to solve this problem, if necessary.   <Chances are, fresh or marine, that these aren't a harmful organism - but again, with so little to go off, there's not a whole lot to suggest, unfortunately.  Right now, my best guess is that this is a new marine tank, with live rock - if so, this creature will probably soon fade....  and give rise to something else new and interesting, and so forth.  Lots of wonderful stuff to be seen in your near future!> Any advice would be appreciated. -Bryan <Feel free to write back with more information on your system, Bryan.  Wishing you and your new tank well,  -Sabrina>

UFOs - Unidentified Fishtank Organisms - II - 01/19/2005 thanks for responding in such a timely manner... <You bet.> truly a great service that you do... <Thank you very much for the kind words!> Anyhow, here is my artist's interpretation of the organisms I mentioned previously... <Looks good, very helpful.> Again, they're clear and tiny (barely visible) and seem to like hanging around on the glass. <And probably unseen everywhere else, too.> The tank is a marine tank by the way with live rock. <Aaaaah, now THAT's a help, yay!> I was able to see them under a magnifying glass, but it is still tough for me to make out some of the details...  hopefully the drawing will help some. <It helps a great deal.  My best guess is that these are a harmless copepod of some sort, and I can assure you, they are only one of a great many astounding things you'll find....  For some REAL excitement, sneak out after lights-out on the tank, and bring a flashlight with a covering of red cellophane to shine in and see what you have....> -Bryan <I'll try to see if one of our more experienced saltwater folks might be able to give you a little more specific idea of what these critters are.  Wishing you and your new tank well,  -Sabrina>

- Bugs - I have a 210 gal mixed reef has been going for a year all parameters are fine I just looked at the bottom of the overflow on the right side of my tank an I can see 50 or 100 or more little brown like bugs or something crawling around just around the algae on the overflow I have not seen anywhere else in the tank and they are so small I cant make out what they are only that they are brown and moving any ideas fellas? <They are most likely copepods... part of an entire milieu of zooplankton that often come along with live rock. Are beneficial and a good sign of development of your tank. Enjoy!> thank you for your time <Cheers, J -- >

Thing ID 1/11/05 I wrote you guys a few months ago about my saltwater aquarium that I was setting up to use natural sunlight as it's primary lighting.  So far this tank has been a total success (the algae hasn't tried to claim my office as it's own territory yet). <very good to hear> Today while glancing at the tank I saw something strange.  I saw these two long stalks poking out of a hole in the rock.  At first I figured it was algae and just before I pulled the top off the aquarium and tried to remove it, I saw a head with eyes pop out.  At least it looked like eyes. Two spots where eyes would be if I had to imagine something having eyes. Anyway, this thing glides it's way up to the top of my rock, stops, and then starts squirting cloud after cloud of white stuff into the water.  I have a pretty good idea of what it was doing, I'm just not sure why.  Even more, I'm not even sure how it got in there.  The rock it came out of was a piece of dry rock sitting on the floor of the LFS which I bought for just over a dollar.  The only rock in the system that it could have possibly come from doesn't seem to have holes big enough for a 'pod to fit in. After it was done blowing off "steam" it turned around and went back into it's hole. Is this a nudibranch?  If so, can you point me in the direction of any more information? Pictures attached.  First picture shows Mr. Thing caught in the act. Thanks, -Eric ps. I have a few more pictures of this thing if you are interested.  I also have far more pictures of algae if for some reason anyone is into that sort of stuff... <really tough to say, my friend... the image is not full frame or clear enough to determine. The form in the center of the image actually looks like a tunicate. The behavior you describe could be any of a number of things though. A better pic would help mate. Anthony>

Red Bubble Algae et al. ID Hey crew!  Happy Holidays! <Happy holidays! Ryan with you today> Can't thank you enough for all your help.  2 ID Q's from attached file-->  Could you id this red bubble on LR, on left? <Yes, a bit blurry but it appears to be.> Its about 1-2 cm and there are mini bubbles popping up on same rock: red algae? good, bad or ugly? <Bad...Remove.  Evidence of excess nutrients.> Also, the opaque, light blue and milky (like an opal) fuzzy-ish substance on LR on right.  It seems to be slowly developing a bubble protrusion, a sponge?? <Sponge- Beneficial.  I'd leave it to do what it does best: Filter water, add biodiversity.> Just want to nip any problems in the bud.  Thanks, Christine <See ya! Ryan>

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