Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 30

Related Articles: Live Rock, Reef Systems, Refugiums,

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 21, LRID 22, LRID 23, LRID 24, LRID 25, LRID 26, LRID 27, LRID 28, LRID 29, 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

ID help please    7/16/12
Can anyone help me identify the purple item in this picture?  It has been growing on my live rock like a vine, or at least that is the best I can think to describe it.  I have tried looking at some of my favorite websites under plants and corals with no luck.  I don't know what, if anything, I need to do for its care.
Thank you for all your help and all you do.  Your website has the best information out there. 
Thanks Again,
<Looks to be a species of Glass Anemone. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: ID help please    7/16/12
Thank you for the amazingly quick response.  I checked out the link and I think I asked my question wrong.  I am trying to ID the other thing.
  They/it looks almost like it opens like a flower on top. It closes up with the lights off and opens back up when I turn the lights on. Underneath it is like a vine that goes down the rock and wraps around.
Thank You,
<Ahh, this is a Clavulariid, and the collective tissue/vine... Please see here re:
and the linked files above. BobF>
wot a hoot!

White translucent tube like growths 7/4/2012
Hi crew,
<Hi RA, Mich here.>
Great job you do for the community, thanks.
<On behalf of Bob and the volunteers here, you're welcome!>
I have multiple translucent tube like growths appearing all over my tank.
<Mostly in dark places I presume...>
See pictures.
They are sticky and soft. Water quality is good, 30% water change twice a week with the addition of supplements and LED lights (that may actually be too strong!) They come off with a good brushing. What do you think they are.
<Looks like sponge growth to me.  If it were my aquarium I would let them grow as opposed to brushing them off.  They are beneficial filter feeders.

Two ID's requested, please   6/28/12
Hi wonderful experts!
 I am always running into unexpected critters in my tanks.
<Wonderful freebies, well most of the time...>
 Usually "Reef Invertebrates" helps me to identify them, but these two have me stumped.
<I'll see what I can do.>
The first is a worm-like thing living in the midst of a small colony of star polyps. I apologize for the poor picture, but I tried like crazy, and this is the best I can do.  I'll try to describe it.  You can tell the size from context.  It is curled in a small spiral, an obviously soft worm encased in a hard tube (except for its head).  The color, not done justice in this photo, is a brilliant orange, almost Day-Glo.  It has two prominent, long, thin antennae.  It also has a short tube-like orifice that convulses rhythmically.  I am almost certain that it is pumping water in (or out) through the visible orifice on its head, and pumping it out (or in) via some other orifice whose location I cannot see.  Enough of the head extends from the end of the tube to allow it to continually 'look around' itself, almost as if it's searching for something, although I cannot see anything that looks like eyes.
<Likely a worm from Family Serpulidae. Not a cause for concern, unless you are a copepod or bacteria.>
I found the other when I removed a pump for cleaning.  I laid them on a 3x5 card so that you can see their size via the ruled lines on the card.  I have not seen them anywhere else in the tank, but there were many of them on and near the pump.  They are very soft-bodied, with no features such as antennae, eyes or mouth that I could see.
<These are Syconoid sponges, commonly called Pineapple or Q-tip sponges.
They are harmless filter feeders that live in low light/high flow areas.
Check the inside of your skimmer and under rocks- you will find more.>
Any thoughts on IDing these things would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Possible red Macro Algae please ID.   6/21/12
So about two months ago I bought a new T5 lighting system  for my 46 Gallon bow front reef aquarium. After about four weeks with the new light I noticed red "spots" forming on all of the live rock. At that time I took a picture and went to a forum to see if anyone could ID it, most people thought it was a form of sponge,
<Mmm, maybe>
 so I just left it alone and let it grow.
Now four weeks later it has grown bigger, and I have noticed that it doesn't have any vents like most sponges do and it seems to be growing in colonies. Which makes me think it's probably not a sponge. Also it is growing on moving objects. The other day I say a few pieces of it on one of my hermit crabs and snails, and from what I have heard sponges don't grow on things that move.
<Some do>
 So my main question is "What is it? and is it
harmful?" it has been fine since I had it, kind of pretty too. But if it's aggressive and will choke out my coral I would like to remove it, or at least as much of it as possible. Thank you for your time and help.
<Need a better resolved ("close up", in focus) pic... this could be a type of Rhodophyte... even a reddish Brown/Phaeophyte, like a Ralfsia sp.... or could be another class, group entirely. I'd leave as is for now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Possible red Macro Algae please ID. – 6/21/12
Thank you for you reply it left me with some comfort. I would add more detailed pictures but I'm limited by what my phone can do and my real camera takes worse pictures. When I do get a better camera I'll take some shot and send it your way to get a real ID, just so I and possibly other people know what they have.
<I thank you. BobF>

LR ID    2/9/12
Hello WWM crew!<Hello Emily, Jordan here> Your site is very helpful and full of amazing information, but I just wanted help in identifying some specimens in the SW aquarium I recently became in charge of.<I'll do my best.>
In SW1 is this Cyanobacteria?<Looks like a genus of Cyanobacteria called Lyngbya.. I have found that Kent's Tech-M will kill it. A macro photo would help for an absolute identification.> I have recently fixed many problems and our Cyanobacteria problem has gone way down, almost to nothing, except for this rock and the substrate in this tank.<Good job!> It is at the end of the flow of a large 3 tank system. (1st tank 100g, 2nd tank 200g, 3rd tank 100g).
In SW2 I was wondering if this was a bad algae or a good algae and what species it might be.<Appears to be Derbesia sp.>
In SW3 this is a new polyp of some sort that showed up after the CB problem went down. Wondering what it was. SW4 is a close up.<Pseudocorynactis sp.>
In SW5 I was wondering if this was a Syconoid sponge or something else? It looks a little different than the pictures you have on the site.<Spheroid sponge.>
And then SW6.. This started to proliferate in our 200g tank once the CB was under control. What is it? Harmful or safe?<Bryozoans or possibly Foraminiferans, harmless.> Are any of these harmful (other than CB)??<Lyngbya and Derbesia sp. may overgrow corals and are hard to remove once they have gained a foothold. Both are best to eradicate early.
Pseudocorynactis sp. will eat small invertebrates such as pods.>
<You're welcome>
Emily Collier

LR ID    2/9/12
Sorry in SW 6 I want to know what the white filamentous things are. I don't
think I made that clear.<It was clear. Jordan>

Please Identify if Possible: Poriferan â€" 12/17/12
Hello WWM crew.
<Hello, Lynn here this evening.>
I have a 55 gallon reef tank. I have one RBTA and a bubble coral as well as a rock anemone. I also have 2 clowns a sailfish tang as well as a 6 line wrasse. The tank has been running for 3 years and now I have these strange looking things growing in the rock behind the bubble coral. I have enclosed a picture.
<It appears to be a harmless Poriferan/sponge of some sort. They typically reside in out of the way/more protected areas of the tank (e.g., tucked underneath overhangs, rock crevices, behind rockwork at the back, etc.). For more information, please see the following link, as well as the related links at the top of the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm
Take care, Lynn Z>

Re: Please identify if possible: Poriferan â€" 2/18/12
<Hello again!>
Thank you for the quick response!
<You’re very welcome.>
I read the link you sent me. The one question I still have that the article didn't really address is, do you think they are harmful?
<No, I don’t. While there are some encrusting sponges that can cause trouble (over-running corals and such), what you have is nothing to worry about. It’s basically a beneficial, water filterer. If you get a chance, do go through the various â€Sponge ID†links listed at the top of that link I sent. You may not find a photo of the exact sponge you have, but you will find corroboration that what you have is indeed harmless, beneficial and in most cases an indication of a healthy system.>
If so how do I safely remove them?
<I would leave them in place and enjoy. Take care, Lynn Z>

Marine aquarium question for the crew, Id, Sponge 1/15/12
Hello WetWebMedia crew,
I have an ID question for you, recently I have been noticing white masses around some of the corals in my tank, the masses are very porous to touch and seem very hard, I've attached a picture with the masses circled, so I'm wondering what they are, are they harmful and if so how do I get rid of them? Any help would be much appreciated.
I would also like that I think your web site is great keep up the great work.
Thanks for your time
<Looks like a sponge to me, I have similar in my own tank. Not harmful except the space it is taking up around your polyps, remove them if you don't like the look, otherwise generally harmless.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm >

small orbs, Id 1/12/12
I have a 12 gallon Nano cube, live rock, 2 damsels, one clown, one delicate sea anemone. Had for about 4 months. /Found two pea sized balls, dark greenish black on rock, firm shell. Is this good or bad?
<Perhaps Valonia or another green (Chlorophyte) algae. See WWM re. Bob Fenner>
Re: small orbs 1/15/12

Thanks, finally figured it out. Bubble algae, seems to be Ventricaria ventricosa, recommended to get emerald crab....
<Ah yes... also members of the Valoniaceae... Do see WWM re Mithrax/Mithraculus crabs, other means of controlling the algae. The search tool on every page... BobF>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: