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FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 5

Related Articles: Live RockReef 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 5, LR ID 6, LR Hitchhiker ID 7, LR 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 27, LRID 28, LRID 29, LRID 30, LRID 31, LRID 32, LRID 33, LRID 34, & Hitchhiker ID 3, LR Hitchhiker ID 4, LR ID 6, LR Hitchhiker ID 7, Non-Vert IDs 1, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Live Rock 1, LR 2LR 3, LR 4, LR 5, Curing Live Rock, Live Rock Selection, Shipping/Moving, Placement, Lighting, Water Quality, Live Rock Studies in Fiji Collaboration & ChartsCopper UseMarine Landscaping, Marine BiotopeSumps, RefugiumsFaux Rock,

- Hitchhiker ID - New to this whole thing, 3 weeks into cycling live rock red tubule thing shrunk up, was it a sea squirt??? <??? Indeed.> green round things with one translucent mucous tentacle for movement crawling on rock has like red feelers does not move much looks like rock color good or bad??? Ever since they appeared sea squirt is not looking good they seem to be living on top of sea squirt??? help <Best to try and take some pictures of these things and send them along and we'll give it another try. Given your descriptions, it's very difficult to say with any certainty what it is you have seen. Cheers, J -- >

- What is This Blue Stuff? - I have some blue or gray stuff starting to form on my live rock and I was wondering if it is a good sign or a problem. To give you some background on this tank it is a 10 Gallon tank with about a 2" layer of crushed coral base with 11 pounds of live rock, power head, Aquaclear 200 filter, and a heater. I am going to be attempting an 8 gallon sump mostly for putting a protein skimmer but if that does not work out then regular water changes are going to be the key to keeping the tank healthy. I know that the 10 Gallon tank is mostly for those who know their saltwater inside and out but I like to start with the hard stuff I guess. <You have certainly done that - let's hope it's not at the expense of your livestock.> I have been keeping freshwater for years and am trying to go to the saltwater side. I have this 10 Gallon tank sitting on my desk at work and everyone comes by to see what new fish I have in it. Well recently all the freshwater went home to the 180 Gallon Cichlid tank and I had to do something with this. It ran just saltwater and crushed coral for about a week then I put the live rock in once the salinity was stable at 1.022. It has now been running for another week and the gray stuff seems to be showing up. So now that you know all of that is the gray blue stuff in these pictures something normal (That is if you can even see what I am talking about in these crappy pictures from my cell phone camera) or should I be happy to see this type of growth? I tried to circle the stuff so you could kind of tell what I am talking about. <I can sort of tell from the images - unfortunately not easy to tell in these photos. I'm going to guess that it is Cyanobacteria - also known as BGA. More reading on that here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > Thank you for your continued help and excellent web site. Mike <Cheers, J -- >

Small Organisms in Sand Dear Crew, I have a 29 gal reef tank that has been set up for approximately six months, and includes a pair of maroon clownfish, <Yikes... crowded> a Pseudochromis, and various soft and LPS hard corals. I have been trying to propagate some purple mushrooms, and about two weeks ago I cut a mushroom off the rock, placed it in a small plastic dish, and put a soft mesh over the top. I took it out today, and the mushroom was attached to the coral rubble, but I found a copious amount of small organisms in the dish. They were very small (1mm) and had the shape of very small fish with clear bodies and a dark center stripe.  Being a person fascinated with science and all of the microorganisms in reef tanks I wanted to know what this is, and what effect it will have on my tank. Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my question, and congratulations on such a successful website. <Bizarre... Have your Maroons spawned? Bob Fenner> 

Green growth, Capitalize those "I's" for Marina, Please!  Hello everyone! I have a quick question. My tank is cycling right now my live rock has sprouted this green algae. They resemble a fern they blow around in the current at first they looked cute now they are about an 2 inches long. I'm sure they are common but are they a good algae or bad? I don't like the way they look, it looks like seaweed in my tank. My nitrate is at 12.5 or less. ammonia and nitrite 0. How should I rid these guys. or should I let them be? They also are little sprouts sticking to the glass, I removed them all will a scrubber. little help please. thanks Mike, East Lansing <... impossible to say what this is from your description... A photo would really be helpful... Bob Fenner>  

LR growth id Hello, I just have a question as to these newly noticed growths on my live rock. I was reading up on your site, but I have not found a picture that looked like it, but from other hobbyist's descriptions, the closest I could relate it to was a polychaete. I am still waiting to get my digital camera back, so until then I will just describe these creatures as best as I could.  First of, I have only noticed the growths on one rock, and there's at least over 20 of them. They range from almost unnoticeable to about 1/4 of an inch in size. They have a tube-like body that is whitish in color but incredibly thin that they can be see-through. They seem to be permanently attached to the rock, and at the tips of these tubes are red dots, like a red head or something. These red dots have tiny hair-like tentacles coming out of it. The tentacles or hair are very fine and are white to colorless.  When I blew some water on these creatures, the red dots closed up, taking in the hair with it, but some hair still sticks out of the entrance I guess. I have two growing pom-pom xenias on this rock and I was just wondering if these little critters would overtake the rock and do harm to my xenia. Any help would be much appreciated.  Thanks, Agnes <Does sound most likely like some sort of tube-building polychaete. Bob Fenner> [Marine] White strands attached to rock - what is it? Hello crew, <Jag...> I have 180g FOWLR tank with 200lb Live Fiji Rock & 3" of Live Sand. It is about 4 months old right now... <I'm about 53> About a week ago I noticed some small white "things" growing on one of my smaller rocks. Today, the rock is completely covered in these long white strands of... something. The strands are soft and squishy, and they are only attached at points, with little loops of unattached bits hanging off the rock, and swaying in the current.  <Neat> My question of course is simply, what is it? Is it evil? Should I remove the rocks that are affected? At this time the strands are only attached to two very small bits of rubble (maybe 1" - 2" each), so I would have no problem removing them. Yes, I do have pictures.  http://www.picolio.com/Gallery/180marine/RockWhiteWorms052505b  http://www.picolio.com/Gallery/180marine/RockWormSquishy052505b  Best regards, Jag <Yep... do look like white tubiculous worms to me... No worries, not evil, part of some (other) imaginary axis... reason to toss your own economy down the poop shoot... Oh, these too will pass... some other opportunistic organism/s will "pop up" or be added by you that consumes these. Bob Fenner> 

- Live Rock Critters - Hi, I am new to SW tanks and just started a 12gl tank. I just added 15lbs of live rock about a week ago. So far all levels are fine, but from what I am reading, this could change.  <It could, then again... you have so little water, things could already be sorted out.>  Yesterday I noticed this a couple of different critters and have been searching the web to find out what they are. I have heard a lot about bad hitchhikers on LR, and want to make sure they aren't bad. Pic 1: looks like a centipede, about 2in long, black middle with an orange head and tail, seems to come out when dark only, they seem to live in holes, I have also noticed smaller ones, they almost look like baby ones.  <Is a harmless bristle worm - is a sign that things are going in the right direction.>  Pic 2: there are a bunch of these critters, they are fast moving and mostly out when it is dark but a few out in the light. They are really tiny, ranging in size of a gnat to a small mosquito.  <Likely amphipod and/or copepods... also harmless and a sign that things are progressing well.>  I know the pics are poor quality, but they were taken with a camera phone, can't find my digital:( This is an awesome site, the best I have found so far. Thanks to all for being so dedicated!!! TIA, ~Pam <Cheers, J -- ><<Photos of exceedingly poor quality, blurry, not posting.>>

Question - Boring Holes Into Live Rock? In my live rock I have two almost perfectly circular holes that were not there before. They are about a 1/4 inch in diameter. One has a hard purple growth coming out of it. What could have created the holes? What is the growth? <Brett, a photo would help with an answer to your question. James (Salty Dog)>  <<Editor's note: There are species of "boring" worms that do just this.>>

Live rock creature Hi crew, Brad here, I have just started to introduce live rock into my 155L tank and I was moving one piece and what I thought was a worm fell out of the rock to the bottom of the tank and it looks like some kind of star fish. <Neat> It has five legs around 7cm long and only about 2mm in width. It hides all bunched up under or in the rock and doesn't stay in the open at all. It is yellowish in colour with dark stripes. I have searched on your site to try and identify it but can't seem to find anything like it, do you have any idea of what type of fish this is? Thanks for your help. Brad <Not much to go on here... sounds more like a Serpent Star (Ophiuroid) than a worm... many species of both... and could easily be something else altogether... Send along a photo if you can. In the meanwhile, enjoy... likely this and several hundred other animals are your live rock. Bob Fenner>

Live Rock Hitchhikers (5/5/05) Hello Again Everyone:  <Hi. Steve Allen with you tonight.>  My tank has finally finished cycling and am now waiting for my fish to go thru their QT period. In the meantime, things are starting to appear in my tank.  <That's the beauty of it. If I had it to do over again, I would have left my tank devoid of fish for several months to allow these creatures to flourish.>  The brown algae  <diatoms>  I took care of (with a little help from my cleanup crew), but I can't tell what the following three things might be. I'm mainly concerned that these are no good, and should be removed ASAP. Attached are some photos of the mystery growth. Thanks in advance, Stan  <Well, the pictures are a bit unclear, but the organism circled in Pic03 looks to me like Aiptasia or anemone Majano. It should be removed forthwith. Read about Aiptasia on WWM for removal techniques that won't cause it to proliferate. All I can see in the other two pictures are some small leafy brown algae. If it is these you are referring to, I would let them grow and see how they turn out. There are a number of leafy red, green and brown algae that are attractive and useful in the marine aquariums. You might want to obtain Julian Sprung's inexpensive and helpful book "Algae: A Problem Solver Guide."> 

Yet another LR critter question... Hi there, <Howdy> My partner and I have just begun the set up of a fish-and-invertebrate system after I introduced him to the joys of keeping tropical fish. We bought a Juwel Rio 240, kept its internal filter, added an EHEIM Professional 2224 external filter, a PRIZM skimmer and improved the lights. We're lucky to have the help and advice of one of the best aquarium shops in the UK only a few minutes drive away (they have been incredibly patient with us). <Very helpful> Anyway, that's the big picture, now on to the questions. After setting up the tank and leaving it for several days, we added a small amount of ocean rock and enough live rock to take up about ¼ of our aquarium space, plus coral gravel substrate. We have been having great fun looking at the creatures emerging from our rocks and trying to figure out what they are exactly, with the help of the internet and a few books (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist amongst them). 2 creatures however are stumping us; I'll do my best to describe them accurately.  1) Out of more than one piece of LR we have what look like fan worms from what I have read, but I can't seem to find any photographs that look like what we have. When watching them emerge from the tube like holes in the rocks they inhabit, what looks like a white, trumpet shaped 'snout' almost, with 2 tiny white antenna attached to it comes out first and very slowly, as if 'testing the waters'. Any sudden movements outside the tank cause them to retreat instantly, although they seem to be getting braver the longer they are in our tank. If they do emerge all the way, just behind the white part there is a red stripe, and then another white one, and then they suddenly 'flower' into twin-crowned red and white fans. The white 'snout' (sorry, I simply can't think of any other way to describe it) remains attached to a small section of the fan, floating in the water currents. I have seen pictures that resemble the crowns, but none with the white tip attached. Any ideas? <Is some type of tubiculous polychaete, no doubt, but there are many species as possibilities> 2) Second, a small (maybe half an inch across), hairy brownish crab that looks very much more like a spider than a crustacean.   <Ooh, might actually be a pycnogonid... a sea spider... We have pix of these posted on WWM as well as several "spider-like" crabs> The first fishy inhabitants of the tank will be two juvenile maroon clowns which our LFS will be obtaining next week and will hold for 2 weeks for us until they are ready to come home. After that a long-nosed butterfly and either a coral beauty or perhaps a flame angel at 1-monthly intervals, with the addition of a fire cleaner shrimp at some point. Beyond that, we will see how the tank is developing before deciding whether any more additions are necessary. Any advice you might have on the mysterious identities of our creatures would help, as I would like to know as much as possible about what is in my tank and how things are going to co-exist. <Sounds good. If the "crab" stays small it should present no problem> Many thanks and kind regards, your site has been a goldmine of useful information. Kate (and Steve) <Glad to have been found as such. Bob Fenner>

LR ID- rice-like growth with pointy tip We had to do some moving around of live rock to get at some fish that had to be quarantined and we noticed some growths in the LR that weren't there when we bought it- or at least, weren't visible when we bought it. They look like grains of rice, they are attached to the rock and they also have a "pointy" thing on the end of them. We also have these tiny little white spiral things on the rock as well. <A worm of some species.>  These aren't visible from the top- they were growing where the LR was sitting in the substrate. And is it possible that our 1 peppermint shrimp laid eggs and some of them hatched? I noticed a few larvae that looked an awful lot like tiny shrimp.  <Possibly copepods, doubt whether they are shrimp larvae.>  I wish I could get a picture for you to help with the ID, but they are in the nooks and crannies of the LR and I don't think I could get an accurate picture. There was nothing in your FAQ section that matched what I'm seeing. I'm hoping they aren't detrimental! In case you haven't noticed- I am very new to the marine aquarium hobby and am still very much in the learning process!  Thanks for your assistance!  <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

White Hair on Live Rock Thank you for all the wonderful information posted on this site. I've found myself many nights staying up in the A.M. absorbing as much as I can to improve in my responsibility as a saltwater hobbyist. <Outstanding... me too!> WetWeb has proved helpful for many. My question is, I have searched and found nothing about this mysterious white hair-like organism, about an 1/8" in height, growing on the tops of my LR. I haven't observed it extending but it does seem to shrink slightly after a water change and seems to only grow where the light hits the rocks at maximum. A good way to describe it would be to say that it looks just like green hair algae, only white and with a nice crew cut!  Thank you, Missy <You are very likely correct here re the identity of this organism... it is probably an algae... some are not colored, or change their apparent color given different light, nutrients, mineral content in their water... If you have access to a low power microscope we can go over some simple observations to further down our guess. Bob Fenner> 

Re: White Hair on Live Rock Thanks Bob for replying so swiftly... I don't know how you keep up! <I key quickly, get up early, and don't have a day job> Honestly, I think that you are right (being an algae). I've been struggling with my phosphate levels because I was naive enough to add a liquid Zoe formula to my tank when there wasn't enough inverts to absorb it. Now others are feasting! I think that I will take the safe route and siphon it out. Thanks again, Missy <Thank you, BobF>

Red/brown growth on my live rock Hi Crew!  Hope you are all well....... <Yes, thank you> I have a question regarding something in my 75 gal reef tank that has concerned me for quite a while.  I have this dark red "growth" all over most of the live rock in my reef tank.  I would describe it as a dark maroon in color; it has a microfibrous feel to it - almost like fine terrycloth.  It is prominent on the rock lower down in the tank.  Nothing seems to get rid of it - scrubbing is useless, as it is almost impossible to scrub off even with stainless steel brushes.  I'm running an AquaC Remora skimmer with an Ecosystem, and the  tank parameters are excellent.  All fish and corals are doing extremely well. My main problem with this stuff is that its ugly and seems to keep the coralline algae from growing on the rock instead.  Instead of nice pinks and greens, I have this ugly maroon red stuff.  Any suggestions for eradication, or a lead to its identity? <That it is not smooth and slimy discounts the possibility of it being a thallophytic/algal or Cyanobacterial... Do you have a microscope? My first guess is that this is some sort of sponge/poriferan... and hard to eradicate as you state... If you have room, patience, I would remove all such infested rock and starve it out in another container... not feeding it with either exogenous foodstuffs or light... for a few months. Bob Fenner> Any help you can offer would be most appreciated.  If a picture is needed, I would be more than happy to send. Thanks a lot, and take care, <A pic, especially close-up, would help> Danny Robshaw

Re: Red/brown growth on my live rock Dear Bob, <Dan> Thanks so much for your quick reply - and what you say makes perfect sense as from what I know, most sponges don't like strong light (explaining why its on the lower rocks mostly, and the shaded parts of some of the upper rock).  If it is truly a sponge, then I really have no worries about it being "bad" for the tank, correct? <Mmm, likely not... though in profusion some sponges can be detrimental to other sedentary invertebrates, even fishes> Will try to get a good microscopic pic.  I'll break a small chunk off and use the light optical scope to capture a good view.  What mag would be best for you to ID? <Low to higher.... fifty to one hundred or so. We should be able to see osculae, sclerites at these magnifications. Bob Fenner> Again, many thanks for your time and help.  Take care, Danny  

Re: Red/brown growth on my live rock Cool Bob. I'll work on the pic. My light optical scope is hooked directly to an image capture PC so it should come out pretty good. <I have a cheapy QX3 by Intel/Mattel that works great for these purposes> I'll go as high in mag[nification] as I can w/o distortion. I must say though that the sponge, although all over the lower rocks, is still a fairly thin layer, but if it can be detrimental (to sessile inverts, fishes? how?) <Occupying space/habitat, utilizing foods... but mainly in possible chemical allelopathy> I'll try to eliminate it. I'm pretty sure I can trace it back to some uncured Haitian rock I got from an LFS about 2 years ago when I was just starting out, and didn't know cured from uncured. Thanks so much Bob. Its very rewarding to be able to deal with an expert like yourself in this manner. Its like talking to a friend, and I very much appreciate it. <You are welcome my friend. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> Kindest regards, Danny

Follow UP- Live Rock and Critters within Thanks again !   You guys should be Wet Web Encyclomedia. <Neat term> Just to follow up with ya on the live rock.. Yes, he sold me a hefty nugget that had sponges, and some other soft duster looking things all over it, among other things.  This new LFS is really cool, and lets me in the back room, and I get to gawk at all the stuff he is curing, and he lets me pick out the stuff with the most thingy-ma-bobs on it.  If I can throw a plug in... it's the Aquatic Depot in Berlin CT. :) <Great to have good dealers> Once again, THANKS for this service.  You guys save us a TON of TIME and MONEY, and help to avoid, or at least soothe royal headaches  !! !!     <Welcome> John <Bob Fenner>

Pistol Shrimp Hello all, In my 3 month old 12g tank with 20lbs of Marshall live rock, I've had clicking or popping noises coming from one area of my tank from the beginning. Early on after first hearing the noises I pulled my rock and dipped it in carbonated water in the hopes of shaking loose a mantis or pistol shrimp but no luck. I've been reading all sorts of posts on noises like this and the consensus seems to be that its either a mantis, pistol or my hermits might be slugging it out. I'm leaning toward ruling out the hermits as the cause as my two Scarlets are the most lazy creatures in my tank and I don't see them putting forth the effort to sling their shell at anyone and my dwarf blue hermits are so small that I can't imagine they can generate enough oompf to make such a loud clicking. So I figure it has to be one of the two shrimp. What confuses me is that its been almost three months of this and my head count for all my critters appears ok so if its a mantis what's he beating on? Also, I've been peeking at my tank after lights out almost every night (about 2 hours after lights off) and usually in the morning too (about 5am) - wouldn't I get a peek at who ever this is or would they lay that low? And the stupid things have to grow so won't it eventually have to out grow whatever space he's in thus possibly revealing himself? And I guess the last thought was could it be something else? I hear everything from 1 to 4 clicks in some sort of succession almost every day and usually more than once. I've read that Pistols usually click in twos and Mantis will beat on something until they get dinner. I have not tried to trap yet as I'm not sure its really a Mantis I'm dealing with. And having past my cycle I'm not excited about the idea of pulling my rock again but I will if I find evidence that something has been killed. Currently the tank has 2 very small false Percs, a dozen snails, 7 hermits and a Skunk cleaner shrimp - all happily going about their business as best as I can tell. Thoughts? <Matt I am almost sure it is a pistol shrimp, I have one and know what you're talking about. If it were a mantis, your cleaner shrimp would be history along with some hermits and possible the clowns. Pistol shrimp aren't bad to have in the tank. You will very seldom see them during the day. If mine smells food I can see his antennae waving out his hole. They do occasionally move from time to time setting up new quarters. This will be evident by gravel looking like it was bulldozed around his hole. James (Salty Dog)> Much thanks, Matt Selchow <You're welcome> 

Pistol Shrimp Follow-up I really appreciate the quick response. It's great to get a second opinion from the experts to put my mind at ease. I was hoping it would be the Pistol and therefore nothing to be worried about. You guys are fantastic, keep up the great work.  <Very much appreciated, Matt. James (Salty Dog)>

Live Rock, it Costs! And...? I just bought a piece of LR for my s/w tank I am slowly trying to add more and more rock in my tank that stuff is spendy. My LFS sells ultra Fiji for $10.00 a pound! Well anyway I bought a piece, 1-2 pounds maybe, and it has what looks like white coralline algae encrusted on there. Do you know what it is? Also on some LR I are about 3-4 cm.s across and are a drab olive green with a kind of bubble than point with a bright pink tip. Any insight on these topics would be great.  <Aaron, the white stuff is more than likely dead/bleached coralline and your other item (without seeing) may be some kind of anemone. James (Salty Dog)> 

Growth out of Live Rock I need help identifying what something is. I have a piece of live rock that has 2 stick like things growing from it. The rock is about a month old and was put in the tank when I only had a 50/50 light (1-30W). a week ago I got my new light (used from Hi-Tide) and now I have 2 stick like object that seem to have started to grow. Below is a picture of what one of them looks like. It seems to be stationary and I haven't seen anything come out of it. Is this something I should remove? Is it Good, bad or what? <Mmm, looks to be a sponge of some sort... not harmful, in fact, indicative of your good care. Bob Fenner>

White Spots on Live Rock - not moss-like Hello, I have a 29 gal tank, 65lbs of live rock, sun coral, 3 colonies of button polyps, Bubble Tip anemone, bubble coral, Long Tentacle anemone, couple random mushrooms, feather dusters, frogspawn, and a couple other misc. corals. <Heee heeeee! Is there room for water?> Everything is doing great. I have 166 watts compact fluorescent lights. (2 65 wt, 2 9 wt, 1 18, wt). I also have Fluval 404 + Fluval 304 with surface skimmer attachment, Prizm Deluxe protein skimmer. My pH is 8.4, nitrates 0ppm, nitrites 0ppm, calcium 460 (b-Ionic), iodine added every other day, strontium every week, trace elements every 4 days.  What my problem is the last couple days I have noticed that small pieces of my live rock have started getting white spots. I noticed that some is even turning yellow. Is that good, bad, indifferent? Am I adding too much stuff to my tank, too much light, too much calcium and iodine?    Thanks, Matt Pramschufer <Interesting... good pix. Does appear to be some sort of precipitate event... I would let your calcium drop to about 400 ppm... you don't mention alkalinity... do make sure this is "in balance". Bob Fenner>

Re: White Spots on Live Rock - not moss-like Thanks for the quick response. I am uploading new picture of entire tank. Everything is kinda small so their is plenty of room for water. I was thinking about trying some of the stuff called "Black Powder" for reef enhancement. What is your take on that? <There are better products, manufacturers of similar> I have stopped the b-ionic for the past 2 days, calcium is still up there.  Is the drop in calcium going to hurt any of the corals I have?  <Could... if stays high... in absence of alkalinity> I will check my alkalinity and get back to you on that. What is the correct level the alkalinity should be at? <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm and the linked files above> Thanks, Matt Pramschufer <Matt, read! Bob Fenner>

New live rock with weird stuff, or "Why you should quarantine everything" So we got some live rock and obviously we are new at this, and it had Aiptasia all over it. We went back to the store and asked why the guy sold it to us without telling us and he said, "Well what can you do? It's the way it comes- we have to sell it!" Is this true? It is this normal?  <Here is where the old term "buyer beware" comes in. Always observe anything you plan on buying for your tank. Store owners can't see what they are getting so they are pretty much stuck with it.>  So there's lots of other stuff inhabiting this rock too, lots of red and orange little furry worms and these white tiny barnacle things with translucent whiskers coming out of them. One of them created a pile of sand, like an anthill just under its opening.. (sort of remarkable actually) The guy at the store said those worms are pesky too and will get really long and live in our substrate. This is a 100g tank - we decided to take this LR out and return it to the store, the guy said he'd give us store credit, but is it too late? are we now forever stuck with these freaky worms and Aiptasia?  <There are so many different kinds of worms, it's really hard to determine which you have. I'm guessing they are bristle worms and they can be destructive to small clams and some corals. Most live on the detritus in the gravel bed. I don't believe you had the rock long enough for the Aiptasia to spread, but keep an eye out in your tank for them. As far as the worms, you will have to pick them out with tweezers as you see them. James (Salty Dog)>

- Worms on Live Rock - I have had my tank up for over 2 years and have recently noticed small, white worms crawling in and out of the live rock. They are up to 3/4" long, but extremely thin in diameter. Can you help me to identify these and tell me if they are a parasite or not?  <I'd guess they are a type of bristle worm... mostly harmless.>  If so, how do I get rid of them?  <I wouldn't get rid of them... they help clean up detritus and perform other useful duties.> Thanks, Kim
<Cheers, J -- > 

- Can You Id This? - Hey, I have a 10 gallon saltwater tank with a few pieces of live rock in it. It has been up and running for about 6 months now. About 4 months ago, I noticed a little white fuzzy oval shaped organism (it also has some sort of cilia looking protrusions on top that form a funnel) growing on the rock (it looks actually like a pic found in my Bio.197 class book that is of a sponge). Lately I have noticed that it has spread across the tank. It seems like it will grow until it bursts, then more of these guys will sprout up. I am going to attach a pic that I have of them, you should be able to see 2 of them in the picture. Sorry I could not get a closer pic of them, my camera would not focus any closer. Do you guys know what they are?  <I think I do... they are sponges.>  And should I start trying to clean them off of the rocks?  <I wouldn't, they're not harmful. On the other hand, these sponges are good indicators of nutrients present in the system... if you find you're being overrun by these, then you're probably overfeeding.>  Thank you for your help!!!  Thanks, Joe
<Cheers, J -- > 

- Uninvited Guests - Hi, I have reading and have heard stories about crabs and worms in the marine tank. How difficult it is to catch some of them and the damage they can do.  <Depends on what sort of drastic action you want to take, but more importantly not all worms or crabs are dangerous... you need to ask yourself, what makes you think this IS an actual problem for you and not just something you're afraid MIGHT be a problem?> I would like to totally remove all these uninvited guests.  <I'd advise against this unless you KNOW you have a problem already.>  May I enquire if it appropriate to either soak the new purchased LR into a tub of FW for a couple of hours before adding it into the tank?  <That is pretty drastic, it would kill most everything on the rock.>  Or would it be better to add boiling water / boil the LR to remove both beneficial life forms and uninvited guest.  <This would also kill everything on the rock.> I am prepare to loss all good things it comes along with the LR.  <This is a mistake... once live rock is no longer live, it never quite returns to its former self... live rock has many, many benefits to offer and its good attributes outweigh the rare cases that an uninvited guest should arrive on it. I would let your live rock stay live, and determine in time if you've brought in any nuisance creatures... it would be a crying shame to outright kill everything on the rock to try and kill something that isn't there.>  Is this approach conscientious and effective?  <It's effective but not conscientious, or what I would consider to be good for your system in the long haul.> Please advise. Thank you, slcw <Cheers, J -- > 

- Uninvited Guests, Follow-up - Thanks, I will not take the drastic action. I will cycle the LR. <Good plan.> Thanks Again  <My pleasure.>
slcw
<Cheers, J -- >

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