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FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 23

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yellow transparent balls? -- 04/22/10
I have a 55 gallon salt aquarium and I am not understanding what these growing things are. They are about the size of a dime in diameter and seems to have a yellowish transparent layer for the exterior part of it and I can see lots of tubes inside. I would like to know if they are good or bad to have in the tank and maybe find a purpose for them.
<I think these are sponges>
I did not remove them yet due to they may be some kind of good living thing.
<They are indeed..a beneficial filter feeder>
I am kind of new to the saltwater tanks. Here is a picture to help explain this matter.
<Have a read/ look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm>
Sorry best pictures I could take.
<No problem. Simon>

Full size pix

Something Growing on My Rock? Snail Egg Casings -- 4/11/10
<Hello Bill, Lynn here today.>
I have a 90 gal salt tank 1 large lion-fish, 1 large eel (yellow with black dots), 1 large black pointy sea urchin, 4 conch snails,
<Do you know what variety/species?>
..many Mexican turbo snails, 1 brittle starfish, 1 chocolate starfish, about 80lbs of rock, water tests good most of the time.
<Need to aim for all of the time!>
I use a 1200 gph pump with overflow to sump containing miracle mud and mangroves and a canister filter and turbo twist UV light and a water chiller for temp with average 78 degrees. Can you identify what these things are growing off my rock see picture!
<Yep, they're snail egg casings, possibly left by a Melongenid (Family Melongenidae), which includes species commonly referred to as Conchs and Whelks. The casings you have are definitely not from a Fighting Conch (Strombus alatus or Strombus pugilis), or a Queen Conch (Lobatus/Strombus gigas), all of which are in the Family Strombidae. Their egg masses resemble an amorphous tangle of gelatinous string embedded with sand. Please see the following links for examples:
Strombus alatus (aka the Florida Fighting Conch): http://www.jaxshells.org/1562anne.htm
Strombus pugilis (aka the West Indian Fighting Conch): http://www.jaxshells.org/1540anne.htm Here's an example of a Melongenid's egg casings, specifically Melongena corona (aka the Crown Conch). They're a bit more rounded than the ones you have, but you can see the similarity (and they do vary): http://www.jaxshells.org/mcegg3.htm
Here's another Melongenid example, the Channeled Whelk (Busycotypus canaliculatus). Busycotypus/Busycon species' casings are similar but usually have a bit more surface texture (not as smooth): http://www.turtlejournal.com/?m=201002&paged=2
By the way, it looks like you have a nice little population of beneficial Collonista snails, aka 'Mini-Turbos', roaming the rocks! You can find more information on these at WWM. Just enter Collonista in the Google search engine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm >
Thanks Bill V
<You're very welcome. Take care, Lynn Zurik>

Two ID's if you please 3/26/10
Hello to the crew,
Hope you are taking some time away from the monitors/keyboards to enjoy some of the nicer weather! Two simple (I hope) questions this day:
I was cleaning some hair algae (hate the stuff) from a small specimen in my isolation tank and a 'critter' fell from the underside. Considering the rock was not much bigger then a Toonie (Canadian don'cha know), I wondered how it could remain hidden. The roundish portion is harder as a shell would be, but appears translucent. I have perused your snail ID pgs, but have yet to see similar - would you know what it is? Also, do I keep it... or cook it with garlic?
Second item: I purchased what was touted to be a red Galaxaura rugosa macro algae from a not so local fish store, but the coloration seems too dark - also, the growth does not seem to be in rings but rather in 'sausage links'. The older, inner, branches have what appear to be calcium showing - but only on the thickest ones. Is it what I was told or another?
Thanks for the time you take to help all of us in the hobby.
Richard J.C.
Rich... did you intend to attach some images here? Really need these to help you. Cheers, Bob Fenner
Two ID's if you please - sorry 'bout that 3/27/10
Ok, tell me off, I deserve it... coffee then read and send, I remember now.
<Now having my cafe... for the first, see WWM re "Scutus", the second is a Rhodophyte... maybe an Amphiroa or Galaxaura sp.; see here re:
Here are the pics.
Richard J.C.

Help ID Please 3/12/10
Wet Media
I live in Florida and purchased live rock from a local live rock farmer.
I have notice two different life form growing on the rock, they are probably very common species. I have seen the coral on various shell and rocks found along the shore. Thank you for your help.
<Mmm, tis a Glass Anemone (Aiptasia sp.) and a Montastrea sp., a member of the stony coral family Faviidae. Bob Fenner>
Dominick Perrone Jr.

Unknown Pink Growth: Foraminiferan -- 3/2/10
Hi all!
<Hey Debbie, Lynn here today!>
When I designed my acrylic 35 gallon SPS tank, I had a 10 gallon refugium set up to be next to it as a display refugium. I used pond foam to create a sort of dark cave for the Rusty goby and peppermint shrimp that I put in there along with some rubble, hitchhiker bivalves, sponges and the like. This section gets no light except for ambient room light and you still need a flashlight to see in it. I had sun corals in there, also, but moved them, as you can see there's a baby that got left behind.
<Yep, I see it.>
Several months ago I noticed this pink growth around one of the bivalves. It was so small I couldn't get a good picture to send in for identification. About two weeks ago all the tips were covered in a white spongy material and I thought some sponge had managed to start growing on it. However, after a few days the "white stuff" seemed to just disintegrate and the coral appeared just fine. But now I've started noticing these pink/red spots like the one under the word "New" that are starting to grow. I've counted about 40 that I can see. A couple are by the front and they have the same type of tentacles as the main colony. They're about the size of a pinhead. The main colony in the picture is only about 3/4 of an inch wide so it's quite small.
<Looks like you've got a nice little Foraminiferan colony! Forams are harmless, filter-feeding Protozoans that come in all shapes and sizes. From the looks of things, you have a common, stationary, branching variety called Homotrema rubrum. The pink coloration and presence of fine filaments (aka rhizopodia -- used for feeding) extending from the tips are distinctive.>
The tips have thin strand-like tentacles and I attached a close-up picture of those as well.
<Nice photo showing the rhizopodia! One thing I see that may not be a Foram is the small, darker object between the two light pink Foram tips. The fact that it appears so shiny and smooth makes me think it's an Ascidian/Tunicate, but it could just be a smaller Foram. Color can vary with these. If you get a close look at it and see rhizopodia, then it's definitely a Foram. Tunicates don't have those.>
I'm unable to reach it, so I can't tell if it's spongy or hard, although the tubes appear to be hard just by looking at them.
<Yep, they're hard/stony-feeling.>
I'm hoping that by chance somebody may have come across something like this and knows what this is.
<Oh yes indeed. I've had these in my tanks for years and love 'em!>
I'm stoked that it spawned in my tank so I'll be documenting their growth. Any information or insight would be great.
<This link should be helpful: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-07/rs/index.php
Be sure to Google WWM also, as there have been several references to these over the years: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm >
<You're welcome!>
<Take care, LynnZ>
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