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FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 21

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Related FAQs: Live Rock, Answering Some LR FAQs by James Fatherree, LR Hitchhiker ID 1, LR Hitchhiker ID 2, LR Hitchhiker ID 3, LR Hitchhiker ID 4, LR Hitchhiker ID 5, LR ID 6, LR ID 7, LR ID 8, LR ID 9, LR ID 10, LR ID 11, LR ID 12, LR ID 13, LR ID 14, LR ID 15, LR ID 16, LR ID17, LRID 18, LRID 19, LRID 20, LRID 22, LRID 23, LRID 24, LRID 25, LRID 27, LRID 28, LRID 29, LRID 30, LRID 31, LRID 32, LRID 33, LRID 34, LRID 35, LRID 36, LRID 37, LRID 38, & Non-Vert IDs 1, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Live Rock 1, LR 2, LR 3, LR 4, LR 5, Curing Live Rock, Live Rock Selection, Shipping/Moving, Placement, Lighting, Water Quality, Live Rock Studies in Fiji Collaboration & Charts, Copper Use, Marine Landscaping, Marine Biotope, Sumps, Refugiums, Faux Rock,

Aquarium Inhabitants ID 11/22/09

Hello Crew!
< Hello! >
I'm helping a friend re-do his reef (its quite a mess). I have taken some photos of some things I have not seen in aquaria labeled A, C, D, E.
< No "B" ? >
Just wanted to know what the things in question are before we start taking apart the tank and redoing it.
Whether to keep or discard them in the new setup.
< OK, let's take a look.>
Attached is a pic.
< "A" - Apperas to be Acetabularia Aka Mermaids Wineglass. Acetabularia is one of the more desirable algaes available in the hobby and a personal favorite of mine.
" B " - Did we forget the "b" ?
" C " - Halimeda.
" D " - Looks like Caulerpa racemosa Aka Grape Caulerpa. It can become a real nuisance if not closely watched.
" E " - This one is hard to determine from the picture. Looks like some type of polyp.
Read here for more info on the algaes
Thanks in advance!
< You welcome GA Jenkins >

Re: Aquarium Inhabitants ID 11/23/09
B? never seen that symbol. Is that part of our alphabet? LOL...There was a B pic but I took it out and didn't want to re do everything to accommodate the correction (I had flattened the file in Photoshop).
Thanks for the help!
< '¹B'º is the second letter in the Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /ËbiË/) is spelled bee, plural bees.[1] It is used to represent a variety of bilabial sounds (depending on language), most commonly a voiced bilabial plosive.
I'm not just an aquarium guy, I'm a comedian too!
Your very welcome. GA Jenkins >

What is it?? Nyet! 11/19/09
What is the anemone looking thing in the close up of the larger picture, also what is all this hard white stuff?
<Where are folks manners? What re following instructions? You sent some 15 megs in pix? Yes... no!
The first is a Corallimorph, a Pseudocorynactis sp.. See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mushridf3.htm
and the linked files above. The white bits are Serpulid worms... Now get going on reading! Sheesh! And I mean, sheesh!
Bob Fenner>

Bubble tip anemone....a hitchhiker? 11/11/09
Hello everyone.
I bought a yellow Pavona coral about a year ago from my local pet store. It didn't seem to have any other live items on it. About six months ago we noticed these little tentacles coming out of the middle of the coral. It got bigger and bigger and now it has a 2 inch diameter. It has green tentacles and tan bubble tips and it looks just like one of the pictures for a bubble tip anemone you guys have on the site; so I guessed it to be a
bubble tip.
But my question is how did it get in my tank? If it came with the Pavona coral then how come it took 6 months for it to come out? Any ideas? I appreciate your help. Thanks for all the good information available on this site.
<Such hitchhiking events are not uncommon. And sometimes, as in your case here, do occur over a delayed period of time from introduction. Only takes a wee bit of tissue for Cnidarians, including Anemones, to regenerate individuals. This is part of the great enjoyment of our hobby; the discovery of new life! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Unknown pests/Tube Worms -- 11/09/2009
Good Morning,
<Hey Steve! JustinN here>
Recently in my 65 gal. reef tank I have noted several tube shaped animals growing from the rock. They all start as small tubes approx. 3-4 mm in diameter, slowly growing in length, but not diameter. In the "mouth" there are two small antennae/feelers that extend and a small mouth can be seen occasionally.
<Ahh yes, common Polychaete tube worms -- common hitchhikers of live rock.
Have a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/feather.htm>
They are not bothering anything else in the tank except they are constantly releasing a very fine thread-like substance that attaches to the rock and corals.
<Feeding appendages, yes>
It looks as if I have marine spiders in the tank. I am unable to provide a photo as our card reader has died.
<Mmm, not needed -- very common.>
Any chance you have come across a creature like this before? Should I attempt to remove them? Your help is always greatly appreciated
<These are beneficial (and free!) creatures that will help filter out further wastes from your tank, similar to the other benthic life provided by live rock in a marine environment. They are harmless, though don't be
afraid to remove some if they are disturbing the natural view of your aquarium. -JustinN>

Neon Orange Bubbles? 11/9/09
Hello, I was Wondering if you can tell me what this could be?
These bubbles pop up neon orange then in a day turn into a deep red bubble.
Thank you.
<Very interesting... something that is generating gas, enclosed within the colony... Would you please send along a better resolved (close-up) image?
Bob Fenner>

Fluffy beige stuff, LR HH ID f' -- 11/03/09
Hi Guys,
<And Gals Nan>
I have looked over your site as best I can as it is one large and informative place and have not been able to find an answer. My guess is that it is there but I am not computer savvy enough to pull it up :(.
<Wish I was better at making all more easily available>
I have a 180 gal reef tank that has been up and running for several years now. I have had some problems off and on but have been able to resolve most of them, up until now. A brief rundown : Eco system filtration, Tunze circulating pump, small Red Sea skimmer, well water run through Kati/Ani system. Livestock of several soft corals- the mushrooms thrive, a few stonies, one large Sebae anemone, a few feather dusters and some sponges that hide under the rocks. 6 large fish and several smaller ones. Misc crabs and snails and a few small bristle worms. I trapped the jumbo ones out some time ago. Water parameters: SpG 0.024, <1.024> ph 8.3, Alk 4meq, ca 450, the rest 0 with use of Tropic Marin Pro salt.
For a couple years I have noticed what looked like minute soft 'antlers' on the underside of the rocks. As they didn't seem to hurt anything and would be difficult to remove I left them there. Recently I have noticed a beige sediment occurring on the top of the rock along with these fuzzy antlers. I can blow the sediment off and it turns the water murky but the antlers stay. I have tried to suck it off with water changes but that is
impractical as the corals get in the way. I thought about tearing the whole thing down, cleaning it and starting over but that seems a bit drastic. I did attempt to take a pic for you but it didn't really show much.
Any idea what I may be dealing with and how to get rid of it?
Nancy D
<Mmm, best guesses are either some sort of sponge life, or an algae... Neither are really detrimental, may well be beneficial in many ways/aspects, and I would leave them in place. Just "blow water" about these areas during water change-outs. Bob Fenner>

Re: fluffy beige stuff 11/3/09
I can do that. In fact, it sounds like a quick and simple fix.
<Ahh, welcome Nan. BobF>

Live Rock Hitchhikers: Chiton and Whelk -- 10/9/09
<Hello Glenn, Lynn here this evening.>
I was hoping you could confirm a couple of live rock hitchhikers and maybe give some more information.
<Will sure try.>
Currently I got 50 lbs. of live rock curing in quarantine and I came across these two beauties.
<Neat! The pinkish, mottled, low-rider is a beneficial, herbivorous Chiton. The black and yellow snail is a whelk of some sort.>
Should I remove them or are they reef and invert safe?
<Keep the Chiton, lose the whelk.>
This rock will eventually end up in my 180 gallon tank with fish, squamosa clam, diadema urchin, snails, Acropora and Montipora coral.
I believe one is a flat worm maybe a Polyclad but not sure.
<Good news, it's not! It's a neat little Chiton (Polyplacophoran). For more information, please see the following link:
http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=298&p=3108&hilit=chiton#p3108 >
The other is a snail in the Buccinidae family.
<Oh yes indeed. It's a whelk alright, and very similar to one I've seen before. It's in the family Buccinidae Pisaniinae, most likely in the genus Engina (Pusiostoma), and I wouldn't trust it around a corner. Please see the FAQ titled 'Black and yellow snail ID: Engina (Pusiostoma) sp. - 5/2/08' at the following link for more information and a photo: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailid16.htm
Here are two possibilities (knowing location of origin will help rule in/out possibilities): Engina histrio: http://www.gastropods.com/0/Shell_53500.shtml
Or Engina alveolata fusiformis: http://www.gastropods.com/0/Shell_20970.shtml
More from this genus at this link: http://www.gastropods.com/Taxon_pages/TN_Family_BUCCINIDAE_PISANIINAE.shtml  >
In addition I have about ten Aiptasia or Anemonia that I've got to get rid of
<Good thinking - get rid of any pest anemones now.>
..and identify three little crabs.
<Next time you see them, count the walking legs. Do they have three on each side plus two claws, or four on each side (plus claws)? In general, three legs = porcelain crab of some sort and not likely much of a problem. Four legs = true crab and a potential concern. If you can get some good photos, do send them along and we'll take a look. If possible, leave the crab submerged in tank/container while photographing. Include a shot from above showing the carapace and all legs, and one from the front showing the claws. You can learn a lot about a crab from just looking at those claws!>
All I can say is quarantining my live rock has saved me a ton of trouble down the road.
<You are wise, grasshopper! Good luck and enjoy!>
<Take care, LynnZ>

Saltwater Hitchhikers - Wanted or Unwanted? - 10/07/2009
re: saltwater PESTS :-(

<Hey there!>
I got 60 pounds of live rock from a friend these rocks were in his tank for about 2 years. I placed them in my tank about 2 months ago and this is where it all starts. I have noticed many little white
What do you recommend, should i clean out the tank and start all over again or .... ? Please advise.
<Mmm, I would not. Most of the things you have listed are a good thing, and will not be a detriment to your tank -- the small white snails, the bristleworms, the Spionid worms, amphipods, and Collonista snails are all
welcome visitors and will help with detritus removal from the tank. The Hydroids, aiptasia and sundial snails can be problems, but can be treated -- read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hydrozoans.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestsnailfaqs.htm and related links above.
My tank 90 gallon about 3 months old
also 90 gallon sump in the basement, deep sand bed and Chaeto in tank i got
2 clown
1 Chromis
1 yellow tail damsel
1 blood shrimp
1 cleaner shrimp
2 peppermint shrimp
1 fox-face
10 mixed snails
1 mushroom
1 polyp
1 zoo
1 hammer head

Sponge I.D. 9/28/09
Hi Crew,
Have a sponge id I'm hoping you guys can confirm or help with a kick in the right direction. I know they're hard to id due to the 1000's of species, but after scouring databases and WWM, I believe this to be Spirastrella vagabunda.
<Mmm... I don't think so, but...>
I have thought this from their first appearance on the new live rock, but they have spread to 50% of the live rock(colonies approximately the size of quarters and dimes) in a 55 gallon aquarium in less than 3 weeks. I wasn't aware of this species reproducing at such high rates.
Hopefully the pictures aren't absolutely horrible. I'm an avid diver and aquarist.... but a HORRIBLE photographer. Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.
~ Glenn
<Your pix show definitely some sort of sponge, but also I think an encrusting algae... Definitive ID to at least Class... could be done with a simple microscope and reference. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sponge I.D., control 9/29/2009
Mr. Fenner,
Thank you for the quick response. I have "Systema Porifera: A Guide to the Classification of Sponges"
<!? Wow:
Have you a 'scope?>
and a couple of pocket reef guides by Ned DeLoach, but have found nothing that really identifies the sponge beyond class, Spheciospongia. My concern is that the rate of growth I am seeing is an indication that this is an unwanted organism in my systems.
<A subjective evaluation... but do agree with you concerning overgrowth... Can be undesirable>
Any opinion there?
<Rock removal and careful scrubbing... or more extreme... bleaching, rinsing, air-drying>
The 55 gallon containing my new spongy critters is only used for qt of rock and seeding rock. Thank you again.
Glenn Fritz
<Oh... bleached rock can be reinoculated with some new placed about... BobF>

Growth on Rocks 9/16/09
I have a greenish encrusting substance growing and spreading on my rocks.
<I see this...>
It was recommended that a pencil urchin be introduced to eliminate it.
<Nah... not an algae; even if so, not all are palatable...>
The urchin has been in the tank for 2 months and will not touch it. I have a 180 gallon mixed reef with a remote sump, total system is estimated at 200 gallons. The tank has been running for 3 years. It's lightly stocked with 2 tangs, royal Gramma, six line wrasse, 2 clowns, mandarin. Tangs are the largest but no fish is over 3 inches. I cannot take the rock out of the tank as it is too large and is the base for the upper rocks. I can peel this off the rocks but cannot get all of it. Picture is attached. Please identify this for me and recommend a treatment, as it is spreading out of control and suffocating my corals.
Thanks in advance
R DeNoia
<Is almost assuredly a type/species of Sponge/Poriferan... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/spongecompfaqs.htm
re Control, and the linked files above for more. The presence, growth of this life is evidence of your good care, stability here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Growth on Rocks 9/22/09
I've looked through the FAQ you suggested but cannot find the info I'm looking for. Do you have any other recommendations or ideas about what this is and how to get rid of it. I realize it's a sponge but what would
eradicate it from my tank as it's spreading out of control. Thanks again.
<Is a green encrusting sponge... To eradicate will require removing all the rock it's attached to, breaking most off with your fingers, scrubbing with a fine brush, letting the rock dry out. BobF>

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