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FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 33

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 30, LRID 31, LRID 32, 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,

Hi all! Quick question about a live rock hitchhiker...   4/10/13
First off, LOVE your site! It helped me ID quite a few hitchhikers like Neothonidium magnum and a shy glass Cerianthid. Google helped, but you guys were the linchpin! Thank you so much!
Ok, my question. Recently we got some live rock from Florida and it came with the usual critters (unfortunately a few Aiptasia, but whatevs), but there's one thing that I can't seem to identify. It looks like a calcium carbonate free coral, about the size of a quarter, fleshy, and moves under current, but the "dusty" quality of it and the thick, cup-like shape of it is kinda throwing me. Also, from the underside it has a slightly orange/pink hue. Zoanthid? Anemone?
<Mmm, well, the size and arrangement of tentacles discounts the Zoanthid and Anemone possibilities... I think this may be a light-starved Corallimorpharian... possibly a Ricordea. Have sent this on to LynnZ for her input>
Also, sorry about the size of the pics. I'm doing this right before I leave for work!
Thanks again for the awesome site!
<Thank you for being part of it, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Mmm, maybe, but... what is this on the right? A Foram? Lynn... help!
Re: Hi all! Quick question about a live rock hitchhiker...  /LynnZ 04/10/13
Hi all! Quick question about a live rock hitchhiker...
Lynn, any idea/s? B
<Yep, I'm guessing it's a Corallimorph of some sort, possibly a bleached Discosoma carlgreni (aka the "Forked-Tentacle Corallimorph") or Discosoma neglecta (aka the Caribbean Umbrella Mushroom)?  I'm leaning towards D.
carlgreni because of the branched appearance on the "ribs".
<<Ahh, yes!>>
  Here's a link showing both spp.:
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/10/inverts D. carlgreni: 
Take care, Lynn Z>
<<Thank you Lynn. BobF>>
<Always a pleasure, Bob! Lynn>

Mystery Diagnosis   4/1/13
WWM Team,
I am reaching out to you for help with identifying some mystery "Goo" that is beginning to cover the rocks in my 650 Gallon reef. I have a feeling it is bacteria related but doesn't look like any Cyanobacteria that I have seen before.
<Have seen such and looked at under a scope a few times... When I did I found a mix of BGA, Protists and Sponges/Poriferans...>
 Water parameters are PH 8.3, KH 11, Calcium 420, Nitrates/Phosphates 0.
The substance is white, comes off when brushed and grows in the light (towards the bottom) but not in the shade. It is gelatin like to the touch and is beginning to cover rock that is on the lower ledges of the tank. I have attached a picture for your review and if you have any thoughts on what this could possibly be I could rest a lot easier! Thank you again!!
Dan Mathews
<I'd encourage you to do as I have done look/see wise... I'd also be pro-active in slowing its progression. Will cover, smother attached life/livestock. What is your ORP? Do you use Ozone? I would... Bob Fenner>

Re: Mystery Diagnosis   4/1/13
Thanks Bob!
<Welcome Dan>
To be honest I never looked at / tested ORP and do not use any ozone.
<Ahh, with a tank of this size/volume and what you have investigated in livestock, I definitely would>
 After reading your message I did my research and now understand whats behind your advice. I will have to pick up an ORP tester on Monday and check on the ability of the water to cleanse itself. Just for more context, my current 650 gallon reef is the consolidation of two reef tanks (90 and 92 g) I had before I recently moved.....so my current tank is only about 8 months old. I use all the usual gear for filtration..skimmer, Chemi-pure, Refugium with a lot of Macroalgae but after reading about ORP it seems there is more to the equation then just that. In terms of bio-load, I don't feed my fish any commercial food since my only fish are 3 tangs (Yellow, Purple, and Achilles) that I had for the last 5 years.. so I only clip Gracilaria and Ulva that I get fresh from Kona every two weeks through indo-pacific sea farms
<Ahh, know IPSF, and had places mauka of Kailua and down Ali'i Drive... and up in Waikoloa... had hoped to be living on the Big Island by now...>
 to try and minimize introducing phosphates and silicates. (I have two clownfish as well but they hunt on their own, eating pods and baby shrimp).
I bring this up because even though the standard tests say my water parameters are within range, and my bio load doesn't seem that high, I *feel* something is up.
I thought a bigger tank would be easier but it just presents its own set of challenges. Bob, thanks for pointing me in this direction..now at least I have an action plan.
Thanks for helping to protect my reef!!! (Picture Attached)
<Very nice. BobF>

Re: Mystery Diagnosis, algal plus mess     4/1/13
Thanks Bob!
<Certainly Dan>
I actually came back from the Big Island on Saturday since my 6 year old daughter wanted to see a "real" school of yellow tangs for her spring break.
There is no faster way to get a child hooked on the ocean than a day with the fish at Kahalu'u Beach Park and then food at "Da Poke Shack" on Ali'i Drive :-) I've dived the Great Barrier Reef and Caribbean but nothing makes my knees weak like seeing the large schools of yellow tangs at the City of Refuge
<Ah, Two Step immediately to the north is a treasure... and of course Cap'n Cook's, and, and...>
and it really reminds me of the responsibility we have to really care for these amazing creatures. I would say I hope you can disappear to the Big Island soon but all of us need your wisdom too much Bob... :-)
(Sorry for the digression :-) Being in Hawaiian waters is almost a spiritual experience for me so I get carried away)
Thanks Again so much!
<Cheers, BobF>

Hitch hiker ID 2/25/13
Hi!  I was wondering if you be of any help in identifying this live rock hitch hiker. The purple branching "critter" in front of the Ricordea mushroom has me stumped. It appears to be comprised of hollow tubes. I was thinking it was a species of foraminifera but I am not sure. Thanks!
<A bit too large to be a Foram, and the tubular shape of stalks in cross section would tend to negate it but I think this is a Red Algae... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redalgae.htm
I'd keep it for sure.
Bob Fenner>

Hitch hiker ID, redux 2/25/13
Hi!  I was wondering if you be of any help in identifying this live rock hitch hiker. The purple branching "critter" in front of the Ricordea mushroom has me stumped. It appears to be comprised of hollow tubes. I was thinking it was a species of foraminifera but I am not sure. Thanks!
<Kept thinking re this today... and am now thinking this might be a Stylasterine. Please see here:
and elsewhere re this Order on WWM. BobF>
Re: Hitch hiker ID 2/25/13

Wow!  In all my searches I have not even heard of these. Thank you!
<Ahh, welcome Jeff. B>

Help with ID of organism on new live rock – 2/24/13
<Lynn, more gastropod eggs? >
Re: Help with ID of organism on new live rock
More gastropod eggs?
<Yep, it could be an egg mass of some sort. I'll get on it asap.  Thanks,
>Thanks Lynn! B<

Help with ID of organism on new live rock: Possible Egg Mass – 2/24/13
Hi all! 
<Hey there, Mike!>
Just got live rock from Florida yesterday.  Comes from the gulf side. 
<Woohoo, you’re in for some fun! Grab yourself a chair and a flashlight and spy on the tank after the lights have been out for an hour or so.  Day or night, you’re likely to find all sorts of critters, from decorator crabs, to various snails, corals, clams, barnacles, filter-feeding sea cukes, etc.  Some, like the barnacles don’t seem to last long, but they’re interesting to watch as long as they’re around, so enjoy!>
There is an organism on one of the rocks that I can't ID.  It is mostly transparent with a beige tint, but also appears to have small white spheres inside.  My initial thought was some kind of egg sac but I really have no idea.  Any thoughts? 
<Hmm, it does look like an egg mass of some sort.  It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything emerges from it.  Unfortunately, it could also be a bacterial bloom around something that has died and is decaying.  If you have good water circulation in the curing system/tank, any rotting bits should detach and end up on the bottom.  As with any other decaying “blobs”, “globs” etc. that appear during a live rock cure, do try to remove then (with something like a turkey baster) so they won’t add to a build-up of ammonia.>
I'll send a second picture farther out for size context. 
Thanks so much!
<You’re very welcome!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>

Something weird on live rock? Possible egg capsules – 2/15/13
<Hi, Lynn here this evening.>
I bought some live rock and found this thing on it, I have no idea what it is, do you have any idea?
<It looks a bit like Gastropod/snail egg capsules.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like one may have already opened. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything emerges from the other capsule.  Please see the following link for examples of egg capsules: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SnailEggIDF2.htm >
<You’re very welcome, Lynn Z>

Re: Something weird on live rock? Possible egg capsules – 2/15/17     2/18/13
Thank you very much,
<You’re very welcome.>
Here is a video if it will help you get a better view.
<Thanks, but unfortunately, my computer can’t recognize the file-type.  I’d need something compatible with Windows Media Player (e.g. .mpeg,.asf, .wma, .wmv, etc.).   Take care, Lynn Z.>
Re: Something weird on live rock? Possible egg capsules – 2/18/13

Sorry about that, I think this should work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FT2HNpcq1M&feature=youtu.be If you can't get the video please tell me.
<Thanks, it worked just fine.  Those are definitely snail egg capsules, and if I'm right, they're empty.  If they still held viable eggs/young, you'd be able to see them within the translucent walls.  Do take a closer look, however, to see if I'm mistaken. If that's the case, let me know.  Otherwise, you can either choose to remove the capsules or let them remain.  They'll more than likely detach/disintegrate on their own at some point and disappear.>
<You’re most welcome. Take care, Lynn Z>

strange growths;19 days old aquarium... Cement and Fe decor     2/6/13
<BM... 13.5 megs of pix?>
Hello everyone.
I have tried looking for clues that could explain the strange growths that have started popping up in my nineteen days old marine-aquarium, but in vain. I have been keeping fresh water fishes for a decade now. With this unexpected encounter right in the beginning while the tank is cycling, that does not have any available records, its frightening. Intend to keep a fish-only tank with Prolifera algae and, an ocellaris clown, Andaman damsel and a Brazilian gramma( the last two fishes will be added after about three-four months post clown-addition) after the (4 weeks) cycling is done. What I have in the tank are -
1. tap-water with salt from Red-Sea,1.0018 SG
<One zero too many here>
(intend to keep the SG at this, prior to opting for live rocks and corals)
2. structure made of building sand, dark and white cement with iron-mesh re-enforcement.
<... this will have to go... the cement is likely toxic, the iron definitely so>

3. a cube of dry Tubifex worms, few three-millimeter sugar cubes added thrice so far, for bacteria culture.
4. a power head and an air-pump for oxygenation.
5. strong, ambient day light in summer and, slight direct sun-light in winter.
6. bottom is one centimeter solid mortar.
I could not provide the measurements of the gases, etc., as the tools are not locally available yet. I am from India(West Bengal).My regrets.
<No worries>
Please take a look at the attached images and kindly help identify and, meet the situation as required.
Warmest regards.
From-Anupam Biswas.
<Mmm, well, the "growths" are highly likely just "crystals" grown from the cement, parts of the salt mix here... The pH, alkalinity are likely sky-high (very)... Again, the construct you've built, placed won't work in a biological system.
Bob Fenner>

Re: strange growths; 19 days old aquarium     2/7/13
Thank you Mr. Fenner.
It was a pleasure conversing with you.
<Welcome... I would break off a piece of one of these growths and look at it a bit more closely to be sure... Under a microscope if you have one, or just a magnifying glass, loupe if not. Cheers, BobF>

Re: strange growths;19 days old aquarium     2/10/13
I will definitely try to do as you suggest Mr. Fenner the soonest and send an update to you for your valuable input.
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: strange growths;19 days old aquarium    2/15/13
Hello Mr. Fenner.
Had all the growths taken out and in the process they broke into a few pieces. Good for me. On exam with a 10x Mag Glass, found the exterior of the roughly conical structures to almost resemble the spiny, speckled surface of the skeletal branches of coral skeletons that are sometimes seen as decor in FW tanks.
The interior is a bit hollow. The walls have some visible concentric rings on the cross section. The material isn't completely opaque white. Apart from the speckles and rings, the remaining is slightly translucent and glows under sunlight. It tastes like chalk though, you might not  know what I am talking about unless you've tasted chalk.
<I have indeed. Was a H.S. science teacher... about ate pieces at times!>
At high pH, calcium compounds precipitate. The strucs are hard as calcium corewards but quite fragile outwards.
Thrown about a 100ml of vinegar into the 45-48gal of water that has given back a good misty bacterial bloom.
Cyanos(I guess) have lost strength as they no longer emit that many bubbles as before.
Kindly send me your views and advices.
<Thank you for your description... I still consider that these are calcium et al. ionic solids structures... Crystals formed by/from materials in the cement making up the decor here. Bob Fenner>

Re: strange growths;19 days old aquarium    2/17/13
Mr. Fenner
Thank you very much.
<Welcome Anupam>
The cement structure that is stuck to the 1cm thick concrete base, cannot be removed as I had intended to create something permanent, with on loose block anywhere, to facilitate ease of cleaning.
My mistake was that I did not cure the thing before putting it in.
As nothing lasts for ever, how long do you think it will take to settle down to a normal life.
<Depends on the make-up of the cement you used, how much you used, what steps you take to neutralize the over-alkalinity at this point>
Today is 16th of Feb and the 30th day with the cycling. I can wait many more months. Just want to know how far it takes me.
<I would read on the Net, books re the use of inorganic acids to counter the basic nature of the water, structure here... slow addition, on warm days when windows can be kept open to let fumes out...>
I've read that iron thwarts coral growth. and I have re-planned, if possible, only fishes, nothing else. And I want to turn this tank from the impossible to the possible. Am I being impossible?(lol)
<Far from it>
And also this, for how long will I be able to bother a good man with mails Mr. Fenner?
<Heee! As long as I'm about my friend>
Thank you again, hope I am not being a stubborn pest.(lol)
cheers -Anupam.
<And you, BobF>

Re: strange growths;19 days old aquarium     2/25/13
Mr. Fenner,   you have been able to pacify my mental up-stirr.its no flattery when I say that I am honoured to have been guided personally by Mr. Bob Fenner, whom the reefers world over rush to when in need. thus our friend indeed!
<Heeee! The world over?! Am feeling very olde now!>
This tank was meant to wet my hands. Just a fish or two.
I have big plans for the future, till then, happy reefing.
May the Almighty also bless those who help selflessly.
Cheers to WWM !!!
-Anupam Biswas.
<Thank you my/our friend. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Help Needed!!
Any idea what are these 2 things???  2/4/13
The green very long one , has it's bottom at the left of the screen , so as soon as you put a flashlight on it it shrinks in the hole at the left side.
It only gets out at late night after all the lights are gone and it goes back in the hole just before the lights light up early in the morning.
<... Likely an Echiuran. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/echwrmidfaqs.htm
Also after these 2 creatures an Euphyllia is damaged and maybe a  Sarcophyton.
Best regards

Re: Help Needed!!  2/5/13
You are great !!! But you already know that !! :):):)
And the other creature??? You believe it is the same??
<The "stringy thing" of the same colour? Yes if so. BobF>
Re: Help Needed!!  2/5/13

Yup that was the one I was talking about.
Thank you again!!
<Ah, cheers!>

Hitchhiker in my live rock   1/28/13
<Hi Paul>
Below is a pic of my very first piece of live rock. It has been in the tank for about 2 weeks now and up until today it hasn't been very interesting, you know what they say you can't teach an old rock new tricks. Anyway when I turned the light on in the tank this morning I found my first hitchhiker!!!! I'm still pretty new to saltwater and all the creatures one might find hiding in such rocks. Would you happen to know what this little guy is?
<Micro brittle star. Beneficial detritivore that max out around an inch in diameter.>
 I also saw a little insect looking critter but it was to fast to get a photo of it was about 1/8" long, brown and mighty fast. Not much to go on but if anyone had some ideas I could look it up and see if I find a match.
<Likely a Gammarid amphipod. Beneficial detritivores which double as fish food.>
Thanks in advance!!
<Quite welcome

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