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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 52

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What is This? Harmless Acoel Flatworms -- 5/23/10
<Hello, Lynn here this evening.>
My son saw these crawling on the glass like little inch worms. The bulb end expands and stretches out and the two little tails follow. There were 5 or 6 between 1/16" and 1/4" long.
<No worries, they're harmless little Acoel flatworms. They tend to pop up, stick around for a bit, then disappear. For more information, please see the following links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flatworms.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flatwrmfaq3.htm >
<You're most welcome. Take care, Lynn Z>

Weird Sea Creature 4/25/10
Hi Guys and Gals,
I have a couple of creatures that I'm trying to identify. I've looked at a lot of pics and I can't seem to find these. I think they are an anemone but they seem to be part of a dark green mossy patch. They have a cone like center mouth area and clear tentacles with little white bubble tips. Each one is about 1/3 of an inch in diameter. I have one patch with about 3 or 4 of them and one single one. I have attached a picture, they are not that bright in color but I had to use a flash, in normal light they are pretty dull in color. Anybody know what they are? Do I need to remove them? They don't look like the AIPTASIA I had before.
<These are likely Hydropolyps...: http://wetwebmedia.com/hyzoanidfaq.htm
and the linked files/FAQs above re Compatibility. Most likely I'd ignore as being of little deleterious consequence>
Tank 75 Gallon, purchased 5 months ago used had been set up for about a year. We kept most of the original substrate and water.
Has a small 5 gallon sump and a 10 gallon refugium with some live rock and Chaetomorpha.
Temp 78
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates usually 5 currently 20 temporary skimmer malfunction. Creatures were they before incident.
PH 8.3
Calcium 480
Usually do small weekly water changes and add some Iodide and
<Man! That's bold!>
We had a cleaner shrimp and a Coral beauty completely vanish and have yet to figure out what happened to them. We thought mantis on a new piece of rock but haven't caught anything in our trap.
Thanks for any help!
<The other little curlicues are likely Serpulid worms... even more innocuous. Bob Fenner>

re: Weird Sea Creature 4/26/10
Hi Guys
Thanks for the quick response it helped a lot. I did have a question about
one comment, after our coral and livestock(> CORALS:BROWN MUSHROOMS,GREEN
FISH: 2 CLOWNS, 1 SPOT FOX FACED RABBIT, RED MANDARIN GOBY, 1 CLEANER SHRIMP, 1 BLOOD RED FIRE SHRIMP, ASSORTED HERMITS AND SNAILS.) Mr. Fenner said <Man! That's bold!>. Is there a possible issue or something amiss that we need to be on the lookout for?
Thanks again for your quick help. Jim Humble
<... read where you were referred to... and DO NOT write to us in all cap.s. Your email will summarily be deleted. B>

White Cottony Specks 4/24/10
Hello, and HELP !!!,
I have seen an outbreak of something I am not sure if I can identify. I see little white specks (about 1/16 inch at most) all over my live rock. I have been getting a few Aiptasia, and have been using a liquid control
substance. I am concerned that this is a massive outbreak, but these are different. Magnified, they look like Aiptasia, but are different. They have a tiny thread-like stalk, and the tendrils are like strands of cotton. I am having trouble magnifying to take a pic, so here are my best pics. I have ordered Berghia Nudibranchs
<Mmm, not helpful>
in the hopes that I will be a step ahead. I have also seen pics that are upside down jellyfish polyps that look like this. Any idea what these are? How to deal with them?
Thanks, SCOTT
<Likely Hydrozoans. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hyzoancompfaq.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: White Cottony Specks 4/24/10
Thanks Bob,
Any recommendations?
<? Read where you were referred to. B>
It is completely covering my live rock, and I have seen no effects on my corals. I am mostly concerned with looking out for my seahorses and pipefish. The pipefish are fry, so I am having to feed them daily hatched brine. I think this is the cause of this massive outbreak, too much nutrient in the water. It seems to have broken out following the birth.

Funky Tube-ish... Thing - 4/19/10
Hey Crew!
I have been using your site to answer many many questions I've had on my salt water aquarium. My main question at the moment I have been trying to research for a couple weeks and have come up with no answers, so I'm hoping you might be able to help me. On my first purchase of live rock, which I've had for about a month now, I have
been noticing all sorts of fun and sometimes freaky things springing up here and there (some literally!) The one I am most curious about is a tube that is attached sideways towards the bottom of the rock. It is a dark brownish color that has an almost marbleized coloring to it with black and a lighter beige coloring. At each end of the tube there is an opening that is rimmed white. Both ends open and close
if there is a shadow cast, a funny noise, or a snail climbing over the top of it. What are the possibilities of what this weird looking creature could be?
<Maybe two tube-dwelling/tubiculous Sedentariate Polychaete worms:
and the linked files above, or Vermetid snails:
I actually have two of them within an inch of each other on this rock. Thank you very much for your help!
<Photos are useful. Bob Fenner>

Re: Funky Tube-ish... Thing 4/19/10
Thank you for the very quick reply. I could not find anything coming even close to resembling what this is in the links you provided. I have inserted the best picture I could with as few kilobytes as I could, so I apologize for the quality of the photo. If you look at the bottom left of the picture, there is a white ring with some dark behind it. That is the specimen in question facing in one direction.
(You can't see the other end from this view) If you look at the upper right of the picture, there are two white circles with a darker section attaching them in the middle. That is the specimen from the side view. Both have the "mouths" open hence the white. If they were closed, you would see no white. There are no legs, and they don't move from the spot they are in, but they are growing. (the one on the bottom was about the size of the one up top when first noticed, and the one on the top didn't exist.)
Thank you again for your help!
<... This looks like a tunicate: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ascidians.htm

Sea Grape 4/17/10
Hi Bob, Lynn,
I wonder if you know what this object is. A friend found several of them on a beach in Florida. As you can see, they're about the size of a penny. They are grainy like rough paper, slightly glossy, and with a hole at one end.
They look a bit like the cells of burrowing wasps to me, but I don't think that's the case of they were found on a beach. Any ideas?
Cheers, Neale
<Mmm, my best guess w/ these pix, descriptions is that these are Foraminiferan skeletons. Lynn? BobF>
Re: Sea Grape 4/17/10
Thank you Bob. I'd considered that idea too, e.g., Gromia spp., but thought these specimens were perhaps rather too large for inshore Forams.
Cheers, Neale
<Might/could have been transported from deeper water... air filled w/ decomposition of other life that had come to reside w/in. BobF>

Sea Grape, Lynn's go 4/17/2010
<Hi Bob, Neale>
I wonder if you know what this object is. A friend found several of them on a beach in Florida. As you can see, they're about the size of a penny. They are grainy like rough paper, slightly glossy, and with a hole at one end. They look a bit like the cells of burrowing wasps to me, but I don't think that's the case of they were found on a beach. Any ideas?
<The first thing it reminded me of was a praying mantis egg case: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lDfVXMCBuu0/STthPwvtTkI/AAAAAAAACBA/NPcU2zgD-fg/s1600-h/praying+mantis+egg+sacs.jpg
or a wasp gall, but it could be something like a bleached Prickly Palm nut (Acrocomia spp.). They vary in size, can range in color from black to bleached white and have a rough texture (before polishing). There's a whole group of people that collect all sorts of "sea beans" on beaches. I have a few myself, but have never seen anything like this. Here are a few examples (some have been polished):
Prickly Palm nuts spread across upper left area (note the white one):
Here's a before/after (polishing) of a Prickly Palm nut: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_uuHPvedMUw4/SRdJ9iTRl9I/AAAAAAAABhY/0n49DBITJ70/s1600-h/IMG_0239.jpg
If I had to guess, I'd say it's a Prickly Palm nut. If not, my next guess would be some sort of deserted, combination mucus/sand burrow, or subsurface egg chamber made by what I don't know, that was exposed at some point. I don't remember the sand in Florida being that white but it's been a while since I was there. Hope that helps! Take care, Lynn>
Cheers, Neale
Hello Lynn,
The sea grape doesn't have the three-fold radial symmetry of the palm nut, and is far too thin and light anyway, so I don't think that's right. But your idea of some sort of hardened burrow makes sense. Dried mucous would give the glossiness I'm seeing, and it could easily be stuck together from sand. What sorts of animals lay eggs in subsurface burrows?
Cheers, Neale

Creepy worm...help! 4/10/10
Hello crew,
Thanks again for the help with the wrasse last week. He has now gotten used to his new home and comes out on occasion to eat, mostly in the morning. I now need your help again.
I recently bought 2 pieces of live rock from my LFS. One they were selling as "aqua cultured" and it was in a tank with just live rock and had coral lighting on it with tons of coralline algae of dark maroon and purple, and even orange (if it is even possible to have orange algae). Well anyway, I bought them home and put them in my tank. I was not too worried about culturing the other piece since it was a fairly new set up and I only had the wrasse and a percula clown in there. I kept noticing what looked like a small sea cucumber that was black with spikes in one of the holes in the rock, but it never moved so I didn't think that's what it was. But just a few minutes ago, I noticed about 6 arms that each looked like a tree with small white branches and red arms sticking out of the hole. The animal would routinely pull a branch into the hole, which apparently is its mouth, to eat what the arm caught from the water. I know this is probably just another harmless live rock hitch hiker, but it looks really kind of scary when you look at it close, and I am really curious as to what it is and what I should feed it. I have attached a few pictures I snapped of it with my phone...they are the best I could get since it is sort of a small hole. You can see in the pictures the arm structures and the hole they are coming from. They kind of blend in with the algae on the rock, but the little white crack looking thing is the arms. Also, if you have the time, can you tell me if the coral that is in the third & fourth picture is hard or soft coral and maybe a species? It looks as though the body structure is a hard coral but it also sort of looks like the head of a star polyp with small white dots on the tips. Thanks for all your help!
<The first is a sea cucumber of some sort, for the Scleractinian, peruse the families on WWM. Bob Fenner>

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