FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification
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Red algae ID 2/11/18
Hello, I wrote in many months back and you were super helpful identifying some
algae for me. I hope you can help again! I have attached a photo of the reddish
pink tree-like algae that is spreading like wildfire through my tank. I didn’t
see anything like it in your algae ID archives... can you tell me what it is?
<I wish I could... the regular branching... I don't think this is an algae/Thallophyte,
but a very pink Hydrozoan of some sort>
Does anything eat it that I could use to help control the spread? Thank you!
<There are some notable Seaslugs that ingest various Hydropolyps, but I don't
know anything re this particular one. I would remove it from the system, as it
may be producing stinging elements that will bother your other livestock. Do you
have a microscope with a USB connection? I'd like to see some 100-200, 400 time
magnification shots. Bob Fenner>
Re: Red algae ID 2/12/18
Hi Bob, I don’t have a microscope unfortunately.
<Perhaps a local fish store does, someone from a marine aquarium club>
I have tried some manual removal but ripping it off leaves traces behind
that I cannot remove, and it is widespread, including my tank overflow box
and powerhead. It also grows very very fast.
<Yeeikes! I wish I could tell definitive what this is. I have never
encountered something this shade of pink, nor with the array of branching it
Is bleaching my tank and starting over my only option to eradicate this
<It may well be>
Also, can it sting fish or just corals?
<Can't tell w/o testing or microscopic looking. BobF>
Help with jelly infestation on Coral system
I visited this weekend some friends that have a Fish and Coral store.
They are having some kind of Jelly infestation in their coral Beds and need
I've never seen something like this before.
I took some small videos that show the issue. Is there a way I can send them to
you so maybe you and other WWM experts can help with this problem?
I could send pictures but the videos show much better the problem.
<Please post on YouTube (or such) and send along the link. We have limited file
space from our ISP>
Please help me to give them a solution.
<I can tell you in general what the choices are... finding where the jellies are
strobilizing from (rock usually) and removing them "by the roots" (scraping and
vacuuming); and for ones in suspension, VIGOROUS water movement, mechanical
filtration that removes them readily from the system. No chemical treatment,
predators... will work here. Bob Fenner>
Estado de Mexico
Re: Help with jelly infestation on Coral system... Hydroids? 1/9/18
I call it jelly for not having any other way to call it. I don't know what it
As you can see on their first Triton Test (attached) from December 27 when this
problem was starting their water parameters are not that bad.
Please find the links to YouTube for 2 short videos:
It's like gelatinous strings with bubbles that raise from the corals and all
<Mmm; this may be... a Hydrozoan... but need a much closer, better resolved
image to tell. Preferably a few ten power microscope shot. Otherwise... there
are MANY possibilities for what this might be. I don't see marks on the
fishes... which leads me to think this isn't likely a very toxic thing at any
length. But; do have your friends look up "Hydrozoan", "Hydropolyp", "Myrionema"
for some input possibility>
Hope this helps to show you what I mean.
<Not really mate>
Re: Help with jelly infestation on Coral system
Thank you for the info.
I took the attached pictures of the gelatinous thing.
You can see how its on corals like a spider web and it is white when is inside
the water. But if you take it out it turns reddish as you can see on the other
<... five megs of gelatinous....>
I will try to get better 10X zoom pictures tomorrow.
Let me know if the attached pictures help.
Re: Help with jelly infestation on Coral system
Sorry for the size of the pictures before.
They sent me these 4 pictures attached.
This is the best I can get with the cameras I have.
But we will try to take a sample to a lab Microscope and get pictures.
<Good; these images are not much better; but another thought came to me re
control. Do you measure RedOx? Likely increasing such (via ozone use, perhaps
UV... at worst peroxide) to about 400 microsiemens/cm. will improve water
quality, decrease the food et al. available to whatever this is. This is what I
would do, and via O3 use. B>
Thank you again.
Critter ID 10/25/27
Hi there, I've got a funny little dude on one of my corals. I've asked every
reefing group I can find and no one has an idea. It started off between these
two heads of hammer coral and looked like a Chiton at first--it's a series of
armored plates. Then it sort of curved as you can see here in the photo and it's
growing fast. There are three of them now.
It is very, very hard--harder than the coral stalk and absolutely nothing budges
it, even trying to slide a razor blade under the edge hasn't been successful.
The picture below shows it just opened its 'mouth' end which is usually shut
tight. Any ideas what it could be? I'd hate to kill it if it's a reef safe
critter. Thank you!!!
<Mmm; can't quite make out in your pix, but would have guessed at first glance
that these were Chitons as you mention, and with the clue that they can't be
removed with a razor blade either limpets of some sort or, my final guess (for
now) that these are a species of calcareous tube-building worm. I would leave
Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
My local aquarium shop suggested that I submit a question about some critters in
my tank. The attached images show these "sand-sized" organisms (about 1mm in
diameter) blooming in my tank.
<Neato! These are Foraminiferans! Sign of a healthy system, lack of predators>
They have been there for months and seem benign, or maybe even helpful (eating
algae?), though they do obstruct the view of the tank some. There are thousands
of them in the sand bed, on the rocks, and on the glass.
They move very slowly...as indicated by some time-lapse video. The close-up
photos were taken with a macro lens.
Can you provide any insight? Are they helpful? Harmful? Should I be concerned?
<No concern; are helpful... Enjoy them while you can, as changes in your system
will result in their crashing population wise... other life becoming more
dominant in time>
<Thank you for sharing. There's a bunch on the Net (even WWM) re:
Re: Snails? 8/23/17
Excellent. Thanks for the info Bob!
<Welcome Ryan. BobF>