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FAQs on Aiptasia Anemones in General 2

Related FAQs: Aiptasia 1, Aiptasia 3, Aiptasia 4, Aiptasia Identification, Other Pest Anemones, Eradication by: Berghia Nudibranchs, Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfishes, Filefishes, Chemical/Physical Injection, Hypo/Hyper-Salinity,  

Related Articles: Impressions of Methods to Eliminate Pest Anemones by Steven Pro, Aquarium Culture of the Aeolid Nudibranch Berghia, Predator on the nuisance anemone Aiptasia By Anthony Calfo, Anemones, Cnidarians

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Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Starving an Aiptasia 2/12/04 Thank you so much for your response! <Glad to.  Hope you found it beneficial.> Had we known these buggers were such a pest - we'd have never bought the rock :(.   <Aiptasia only come in from the wild on Atlantic rock.  The only way to prevent having them is to quarantine all new additions for several weeks.> I agree, starving them doesn't seem to be an option.  I don't know much about the differences between Aiptasia vs. anemone Majano - but I did take time to look at images of the two of them and I am 99% sure that what we have are Aiptasia. <Aiptasia are less "meaty", usually translucent brown and have longer tapered tentacles.  Anemonia Majano are often green or other colors, have short blunt tentacles (some times with "bubble tips") and are much more "meaty".> We bought several more peppermint shrimp - but so far no luck.  The shrimp have approached the Aiptasia, but the Aiptasia are quick to withdraw into the rock and the shrimp have no interest in pursuing.  Perhaps they need some time. <In my experience, the shrimp will feed on other foods if available before eating Aiptasia.  Limiting food input into the tank may get them hungry enough to pursue.> Occasionally, a few of the larger Aiptasia will venture to the surface of our rock - they appear to be precariously balanced on their stems.  Do you think that these may be easily 'plucked' or siphoned off - or is the balancing act more of an illusion (do they grip the rock?).  I'd have tried plucking them already, but I've read that this may cause them to reappear in greater numbers if they're not completely removed. <It is true that any shreds of tissue have the potential to grow back, but IME, if you can get them out with out totally grinding them to bits, go for it.> Also - I just noticed a critter on one of our other rocks.  There is an ash gray tube jutting out the side of the rock, with a bright red flower on the  outside.  It seems to be very timid, the flower pulls into the tube whenever a  shadow passes (very quickly too!) - and will then slowly reopen one finger at a  time.  We're trying to figure out if it's going to be a problem, or if it's harmless.  Right now, it's total size - including the tube - is that of a grain  of rice.  I've been trying to locate some photos of what it may be, but have  not been successful (mostly because I haven't a clue what I should be searching  for). <99% Chance it is a harmless tube worm of some kind.  No worries.> Thank you again for your help - you guys are Great!  Chrissy <Glad to!  Thanks for the kind words.  Adam>

Die Aiptasia, die!!! Hello again! <howdy> Well I haven't found a good way to get rid of my red turf algae, still waiting for the skimmer cup to come in.   <I'm still betting on Urchin species. Diadema specifically> I guess I'll just continue to cover it up with coral until then. hehe <yikes!> I did come up with a novel way to get rid of this large Aiptasia on my rock. I made it shrivel into its hole and then I jammed the hole with super glue. <hmmm... I would not call it novel. Traps decaying matter that could lead to a contagious infection that kills other corals or anemones in the tank in time. Affects water quality if nothing else. If you have the patience to do that, then simply inject them with Kalkwasser instead> hehehe  Mind you this is only a good solution if you have one or two Aiptasia not a whole colony like my husband.   <do resist please> His coral banded shrimp ate the last 5 peppermint shrimp he put in his tank. lol    I'll let you know whether or not the hole plugging works on my Aiptasia. Cheers, Morgan Mok <Anthony>
Die Aiptasia, die!!! II 2/10/04
Hi Anthony, <howdy> I wanted to reassure you, the Aiptasia I glued wasn't that big.  Maybe a cm across or so.   <its still a very bad/dangerous habit. I'm guessing you also do not QT your corals. One mistake with the tiniest bit of necrotic flesh (trapped Aiptasia or new stressed coral sans QT) and you stand to lose some, many or even all corals to a contagious infection. Do reconsider> To me its big because I don't have any Aiptasia or other pests present.  ;]  I have a 58g so I'm not too worried about the decay. Kalkwasser doesn't get rid of the Aiptasia completely does it?   <not exactly... all of these procedures are similarly effective or not. Any can leave residual tissue that grows anew> I thought that little pieces of anemone could be left behind. luv, M&M <no worries :) Anthony>

Starving an Aiptasia  Hello,  We have one large chunk of live rock that is horribly infested with Aiptasia. Due to a recent box fish incident - we now have a fish free tank and are feeling a bit more free to experiment.   We did a very drastic water change (75%) - and have been running our filtration system and protein skimmer for the last two weeks. I sent the boyfriend out to pick up a peppermint shrimp, but I'm not fully convinced we were sold the real thing because it seems to have no interest in any of the Aiptasia (although it still looks healthy, so I'm assuming it's eating 'something'). No food has been placed in the tank - and we keep the lights off in the aquarium.  <Even "the real thing" will sometimes refuse to eat Aiptasia. Getting a few peppermints and keeping them hungry will increase the chance that they will eat the anemones. Also, please be sure that these are Aiptasia and not anemone Majano.>  So what do you think... Is trying to starve our Aiptasia hopeless?  <100% Completely hopeless. These things can survive on the tiniest bits of detritus and without light for amazing amounts of time. Post nuclear war, there will be Aiptasia along with the cockroaches!>  I've become obsessed with staring them down on a daily basis, but I can't tell if they're just as healthy, or are getting sickly. I've read some alternative options - but would like to avoid anything that'll damage the rock or requires us to have contact with the Aiptasia since many of them are beyond our reach (they've been making good use of the tunnels). Suggestions? Comments? Thanks! Chrissy  <Berghia sp. Nudibranchs are effective Aiptasia predators. Generally, adding them to an established tank doesn't work very well, but since you are fish-free, it may work. See Anthony Calfo's article on them here: www.reefkeeping.com Also, without other belligerent tank mates, you could attempt to introduce a Copperband butterfly. They are also effective predators, but are often insufferably shy in the presence of other fish. If the anemones are living in holes/tunnels, they can be epoxied into the hole with underwater epoxy. Injections with peroxide, boiling water, Kalkwasser paste and vinegar have all be reported to at least somewhat effective. HTH! Adam.>

Attacking Aiptasia! Hi,   <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Sorry to bother you, but I can't seem to find the answer to this dilemma. I have a small piece of LR with mostly Tube coral (Cladacora arbuscula) on it, and also about 3 Aiptasia. I have a Peppermint shrimp in another tank that eats Aiptasia. I was planning on putting the Peppermint into a breeder box with the rock and letting him take care of the problem. Question is, will the shrimp pick the coral to death along with the Aiptasia? <It's a gamble...I couldn't guarantee anything here!> I don't think I can use the Kalk method here because the anemones are pretty small. In addition, they're completely buried down in between the coral, and too hard to get to. I sure would appreciate some advice.  Thanks for your time! -Lynn <Well, Lynn- you could seek out some Berghia Nudibranchs, which feed exclusively on these annoying anemones. However, they will generally starve once their food supply (the Aiptasia) are consumed. Another idea is to try sealing the anemones in their "burrows" with aquatic putty or superglue. I have tried this myself, and it actually works sometimes! Manual extraction is possible, yet risky, as the damaged parts of the anemone floating in the currents can reattach and settle elsewhere. I'd look into the shrimp, but watch 'em carefully, then progress to one of the other two methods, if this doesn't work. Happy hunting! Regards, Scott F> Todd and Lynn Zurik

Aiptasia Do any of you guys know the homemade remedy for getting rid of Aiptasia?  I know it involves a couple of tablespoons of pickling lime, but what else goes in it? <Hello, I have found that often injecting them usually makes things worse. There is a Nudibranch called Berghia.  They are neat little animals. They will eat all of them. Then you can resell or give to them to someone else. If this is a fish only tank add a semilarvatus butterfly and he will take care of them. MikeH> Mike Ward

Aiptasia <1-2-03) What is the best way to get rid of Aiptasia and prevent it from reoccurring? Does Aiptasia have stingers to sting my mush rooms? <Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm. Cody>

Joe's Juice? And Other "Magic" Elixirs - 12/25/03 hello and happy holidays, <Merry Christmas my friend> I was wondering if you had any information regarding a product that I just saw on the Premium Aquatics web site that claims to kill Aiptasia and Majano anemones.  Does it work?   <many such products have come and gone on the market. None to the best of my knowledge have scientifically demonstrated how it is that they functionally (or magically) kill that one or two pest cnidarians that we hate so much (Aiptasia or Anemonia in this case) without also killing or stressing the other (desirable - corals/polyps/anemones)  cnidarians in the display. To further underscore this position... read the list of ingredients on such products... or try to at least. You'll find very few that list their active or total ingredients. Add to that snappy name and you get a fascinating expression of unchecked capitalism at work. Does this mean the product doesn't do exactly what it claims? Not at all... it may very well indeed live up to its claims. But I personally will not put any product in my aquarium that is not defined (ingredients) or proven. We have too great of an investment in our aquariums (lives and thousands of dollars) to trust to whim. Furthermore... even if a product exists that k8ills the Aiptasia/Anemonia... it is only treating the symptom (the pest anemones) and not your problem (lack of quarantine to screen these pests from coming in...and then inadequate water flow and/or overfeeding/misfeeding which allows them to thrive). Point blank: pest anemones do not grow from thin air or water, as it were. If they spread in the tank... its because they are getting excess nutrients from somewhere. Do address the source and that will stop their spread and allow for a more leisurely extraction of the pest.> and do you know what is the composition of this?   <nope... and I would not take products with unlisted ingredients for free> I have soft corals in my tank (xenia, leather, mushrooms) and lots of polyps and zoos.  Also a tang, clownfish and pajama cardinals.  Thanks for your help, Ben <do read through our archives here at wetwebmedia.com  There is much writ on pest anemone control (FAQs. articles, etc). Do a keyword search form the home page (tool at page bottom) to make the search easier if you like. Best of luck>

Singing the Aiptasia Blues.. >To the Wet Web media crew: Lucas here again. Received your email the other day about using Berghia sp. Nudibranchs for Aiptasia control. However, from other articles that I have read, these are not always a sure fire method of removal. >>Folks I know have had great success, but were most distressed once the Nudi.s had consumed all Aiptasia and were then starved to death.  I strongly recommend Lysmata wurdemanni for all but the largest. >I have searched your site on the subject and have come across all kinds of methods that seem like they might work, but I am hesitant to try them from lack of knowing if they will actually work. I know that you also emphasize powerful skimming and water changes to help with the solution (which I did, buy purchasing a more reliable Remora protein skimmer, which is putting out tons of crud; and I am trying to cut back on the feeding ((I can't resist this notion, though, because I want to maximize the growth of the many cryptic organisms that are seeded in the rock. Water changes are also done on a weekly basis))). >>Hhmm.. we do?  For control of Aiptasia?  It's been my own experience that presence of excess nutrients is NOT a factor when determining the "whys" of Aiptasia infestation. >What is your take on the situation? >>You got 'em, now ya got to get rid of 'em. >What are my most viable options? >>Some of the above mentioned species of peppermint shrimp.  It is of utmost importance that you get the correct species, there are two or three sold as "peppermint", only the L. wurdemanni will perform this function.  Know that if you feed them heavily, they have no reason to eat the Aiptasia. >Biological seems like the best route, as this would still allow me to feed to some extent, without the need of using "chemicals" to remedy the situation. >>The only chemicals I'm aware of to remove Aiptasia are direct injections of Kalkwasser. >Could you provide a list of solutions that might work? >>The shrimps have worked for everyone I have spoken with on the subject.  Feeding the shrimp will help ensure it doesn't work (make sure you only feed as much as your fish can eat in a couple of minutes!  No excess food for the shrimps). >I know that you will say right off the bat that "searching" your site is the best route, but all of the searching and clicking on topics only confuses me more. To have the information right there on one page for me is read is ideal. Sorry to bug you for so much, but the well being of my tank is paramount to me, and I want to do all that I can to ensure its health.                                                                                                                                          Lucas >>You've gotten my best advice here (and I did it with NO linking! :p ), Lucas.  As I said before, these animals do a real number on all but the largest of Aiptasia.  The added benefit of using these instead of the Nudi.s is that they are NOT obligate to the Aiptasia, as the Berghia are.  That means that once they get the infestation under control (assuming you have no fishes that will eat the shrimps!), you can include them with feeding and they'll be just fine.   About the skimmers and other filtration methods, AquaC makes a lovely hang-on-tank series of refugiums.  If you get one going very well, you could actually do away with a foam fractionator altogether.  If finances are a real issue, someone posted in our talk forums how to make your own soda bottle skimmer.  You can also sort this out by joining MACO for classes, doing a Google search, or looking for (and buying) books by folks such as Martin Moe, Jr. (he outlines form and function of many types of systems, filtration, etc.).  It's my opinion that the more books you have, the better.  Marina

- Peppermint Shrimp Down Under - Hi there, I am in Australia and am trying to purchase peppermint shrimp for our home reef aquarium (to try and get rid of Aiptasia). There does not seem to be anyone in Australia selling them but loads of US places. My problem is finding one that will ship to Australia. Quite a few have said no. If you can help in recommending somewhere that ships internationally, that would be wonderful. <I can't think of any US retail shop that would ship any livestock over such a great distance. You might want to look into one of several butterfly fish. While the Copperbanded butterfly is the most popular fish for this, many other butterflies will eat Aiptasia as it's their nature to pick at such stuff.> Cheers Naomi <Cheers, J -- >

Need to Rid Tank of Aiptasia Anemones - but at What Price? To the Wet Web Media crew: My name is Lucas <hello Lucas> and I have emailed you before about algal succession (informative advice, which I heeded immensely). The tank is now what I would think to be cycled (although I am no expert on the subject), with just a few patches of hair (Bryopsis) algae here and there.     In my tank I am shooting for a type of Caribbean biotype, and thus the main inverts are chosen to reflect this niche (such as Caribbean gorgonians, sponges, sea mats, etc.). The tank is a fifty five gallon equipped with a JBJ formosa fixture (4x65, 3 10k's and 1 blue); a Remora skimmer by Aqua C (which should be in place by the time you read this; my current skimmer isn't living up to expectations); two Marineland 660 powerheads, and one AquaClear 300 power filter. All electrical equipment is plugged into a "Power Center" timer/wavemaker device by Coralife. As far as filtration and additives, I use "balance blocks" by HBH Enterprises to  dose need elements, along with weekly water changes of about five gallons using R/O water and Instant Ocean sea salt. Filter medium consists of "filter pads" made by again by HBH (I use the carbon and phosphate material). These are place in the sump portion of my skimmer, along water to flow through rather than over.     Now to my area of concern: to maximize growth of the "cryptic" organisms and inverts within my tank (which I find to be very fascinating), I use DT's phytoplankton, dosing about 1 TBS every night. >From what I have seen, the organisms are responding quite well, as many feather dusters and sponging mass are beginning to populate my aquarium. Caulerpa growth within my tank is also going crazy, as I find myself having to prune it quite frequently (I believe the species is racemosa; I did not place it within a refugium, as I felt an extra piece of equipment would be too much to handle, and I like the look the algae gives to the aquarium). However, in addition to all of the favorable growth, some unwanted growth is also occurring, in the form of Aiptasia. Their numbers are so many that I lose count. What am I doing wrong? <a lot of food will cause them to grow and multiply rapidly> Too much food perhaps? <could be DTs> (the fish are fed sparingly, about once every couple weeks seems to suffice). Perhaps too many organics within the system (hence my purchase of the Remora to replace my Bak Pak skimmer). Any suggestions? I thought perhaps some peppermint shrimp, but this was a foolish thought, although they seem not to hurt anything. <peppermint shrimp are not a good idea the not only eat Aiptasia but feed on coral and critters> I still want to maximize as much growth as I can with the cryptic organisms that are populating my tank, but without aiding in the growth of the Aiptasia. <if you are using frozen food rinse it in warm tap first then feed it. You can add a Nudibranch they are called Berghias. They are very effective and only feed on Aiptasia. Once Aiptasia are gone they must be removed and placed into a tank with Aiptasia so the do not starve to death. Hope this helps MikeH> Any help would be helpful. Thank you for your time. 

On The Cutting Edge (Or The Edge Of Madness?) As you may have guessed this is an evolving system. Lots of logistics to be worked out yet. Your opinions have been invaluable Thanks. <Glad to hear that. Keep in mind, of course, that these are exactly that- my opinions- and there are as many ways to "do it right" as there are hobbyists!> So leave the lithified plenum in place. Aiptasia is OK for the sumps. How do you keep them contained?? <I'd chip away the rock that they are attached to, and secure it (epoxy or glue) to the "raceway" that you are constructing. Make sure that nutrient-laden water passes through this area, and you're a state-of the art, cutting-edge, lean, mean Aiptasia-filtering machine!> What is Chaetomorpha linum? I don't recall this one. <Chaetomorpha is a green macro algae that looks just like one of those green pot scrubbing pads. It almost seems like it's made from plastic! But it is a fantastically prolific, hardy, and effective consumer of nutrients, if harvested regularly.> Not bubble algae I have enough of that already. <Nope- not even close! You WANT this stuff!> I'm interested in getting some. Where??? <I'd start with a post on the WWM Forum. I am sure that a lot of your fellow WWM readers could hook you up. Or check another one of the message boards, like Reef Central, etc....You're bound to find someone who has this stuff!> I perused quite a few of your articles and you frequently mention skimming like its inherent with reef setups. I was hoping to keep this simple. <Well, in my opinion, protein skimming is simply a basic component of any reef system. Sure, there are hobbyists who have yanked their skimmers in some sort of bizarre fit of exploratory madness, but for the most of us- protein skimming is a rational necessity> With the corner overflows in the tanks which have been modified to 1 inch plus opening size to allow the necessary volume to pass which is about an inch deep at the nap (breakpoint where acceleration picks up). Yes, I do occasionally get snails and fish going down the overflow. But this has dropped off substantially. When things are good in the tanks they are not so apt to leave. These overflows have 1in stand pipes which go into the sump with the Kalk reactor. There are a lot of bubbles generated by the overflow, many fine very fine and not so fine. Or should I say bubble cloud. And the outlets are at different depths and orientated different directions. In this sump I have the large variety simple leafed Caulerpa (smooth cigar shaped leaves with short stalks connecting to a long smooth runner). <This will change when you get a hold of some "Chaeto", my friend!> This sump also contains about 500+ Aiptasia. OK I used to feed with the Liquid zoo plankton. Aiptasia just love that stuff. (More Marine Zoo, Marine Snow please!) <Yep- you've discovered the magic ingredients to develop a plague population of Aiptasia! Seriously, though- this is the "heart" of one of your new cutting edge "filter components". Do this right and you'll make us proud! I know that Anthony is weeping right now! Seriously, you could really test this concept. I'm stoked for you!> I have a screen in this sump from top to bottom mounted on plastic egg crate which the water needs to get through before exiting the first sump. This goes a pretty decent job at screening the bubbles. <Good idea> The outflow from the first sump is about 4" below the surface 3in PVC with a bell on it so the water sees a bigger 5" exit. This flows into the second sump where it leaves the pipe not going straight into the sump but up and at an angle this breaks the surface with about a 3/4 in hydraulic jump. This tank doesn't have much algae growth at present. I recently reduced the height in both sumps from 24" to 19" to gain more clearance.  I estimate capacity dropped about 15 Gal/sump. This sump has a lot of man-made structures and some live rock.  There is another top to bottom screen mounted on egg crate in this sump before it can enter the inlets for the return pumps. <Sounds quite good> As you may have guessed there is a lot of crud that accumulates at or just above the waterline in the first sump. In short I may already be skimming without a skimmer. Comments?? <Get a skimmer. Really!> I am considering using a two phase inline filter to deal with suspended solids and remaining nutrients before it cycles back to the actual reef. This may cause more head loss and reduce the flow rate to the tanks so this upgrade would include going to a different higher output pump. <Quite possibly, but not a bad concept. Or, perhaps you could rig a micron filter "sock" somewhere to contain fine particulate? Clean/change it often> With the Mag drives I get about 1800 GPH at 5.5' ft of head 900 GPH /tank turn over rate 10time/hr. and I have powerheads rate at 300 GPH 3times/hr. Total turn over for tanks 13/hr.  The sumps are much higher 4 times as high. <Cool...> Yes I do get quite a bit of evaporation 4-6 gal/day depending on humidity. Salinity 1.022-025 doesn't move much even if I wait three days between top-offs.  Total Gal. 92 minus overflow and solids say 85 galx4= 340 plus 80 gal/sumpx2 = 500 Gal. Evaporation rate 1% I appreciate your insight about water changes 5% twice a week = 25 Gal 2 times a week. <You'll love the results, your animals will love you, and the salt mix manufacturers will throw a parade in your honor. One time, I'll remember to post a picture of the pyramid I made with empty Tropic Marine 200gal buckets in my back yard...Well- maybe not!> Currently I get salt from the store. I would have most favored customer status by the end of the year. <Yeah, baby!> Know a good source for Instant Ocean?? This amounts to a 40% water change every month. The seven gal pails would last 1 month. <I'd start with our sponsor, Drs. Foster & Smith- they have a good price on buckets. Or, perhaps you could cut a deal with your local store, now that you plan on becoming a full-on water change geek like me..> About the water, that was what I thought, at best a quarter of the expected life from the filters. <I figured... You have enough solids in that water to make a sidewalk!> Currently my make up water sits in a old 40 Gal long which I used to aerate until the pump froze from the carbonate buildup. But I feel this is necessary. So I'll  be buying a pump for that. <Buy a few! LOL> It significantly reduces iron and overall hardness to normal levels and the water appears clear blue when you pull it out of there not stained, not to mention that its supposed to reduce significantly chloramine and chlorine. By the way I have not been using a conditioner for that purpose.  So I've been getting lucky.   <Yep...in a word!> But for my 60 Gal water changes I didn't have enough stored water to do that so 30 gal would be straight from the tap but well aerated due to the pressure the water exits the faucet at. Things do seem to diminish a little when I do this but not with the expected lethal results. <That's reassuring!> Regardless I do feel it is necessary to store more aerated water. I would buy 2 of those 100 Gal tubs and mount them on dollies, aerate the water for 4 days. That water would fill the second tank which would be used for water changes and makeup water. This may also serve as a pre-treat if DI/RO is used. I could expect longer life from the filters that way. <Smart> Optimally a third 100 gal tub would store aerated salt water which would last 2 weeks with 5% water changes twice a week. <There you go>   Next Purchase: The tubs are $65 ea. at fleet farm. Components for the dollies $30 ea.?? <Sounds about right...> Powerheads $65 ea. All x3. <Mo' money....> Did I mention this set appears to be very stable. I say appears because I do not have the actual probes to tell me otherwise. I am going off of tank and life appearance. <Dude! You are a madman, and I'm sure that our fellow WWM readers will be inspired by your creative ideas! Good luck, and have fun! Regards, Scott F>
On The Cutting Edge (Pt.2)
Have you ever taken a bite of something and found it more than you can chew.?? <Yep...every time I look at my systems!> I'm not there yet but close. I could use another set of teeth. You know where Seymour Wisconsin is?? <LOL> I hear you on the skimmer issue. You have a rate recommendation. <I'd go for an "oversized" unit...Try an Aqua C EV series, or a Euroreef CS6-8, or an ETSS 750...> The Aiptasia are not attached to rock but Caulerpa. There will be 2-3 on just one leaf. Some are on the walls.  I consider the whole first sump a raceway 24" wide 4'long 20" deep. Minus the screened off portion. <Cool> However, being anemones,  they do detach and free float awhile. Would the screen be enough. <Probably would work out okay, although these animals can get pulverized if they detach and get pulled into pumps...> How do I stop them during the planktonic life stage. UV??  I'm not looking at UV just yet. <I would not be overly concerned about that, really...> Chaetomorpha linum: if this looks like a birds nest of green fishing line then I've had some in the sump before when I was breaking everything in. <That "be the stuff"!> I think I can get that locally.   <Cool- it's worth the effort!> The metal halides came today. Do you recommend a burning the bulbs in before putting them over the tank. Some of the test results I've seen show quite a flocculation in output for some MH bulbs not sure if this occurs with HQI. <I believe that this does occur with HQI. Frankly, I'd just stick 'em on and be done with it. Keep in mind that animals may need to adjust and acclimate to this bright light source...Use caution> I saw even the sumps should be getting 4-5 watts a gallon. That's a lot of heat. What about decreasing the water depth by raising the plants. Doesn't wattage really depend on the depth of the recipients. <I am not really a subscriber to the "watts per gallon" rule. I think that light should be tailored to the needs of the animals. If that means 500 watts on a 50 gallon tank, or 750 watts on a 150 gallon tank, so be it...I would not get overly caught up in watts-per-gallon formulas...> With the HQI lights in I will have 3 Spare 96 Compacts if the 2 55 Watt Compacts are not enough.  Which sump would you recommend loading up. <The one without the Aiptasia> It sounds like I'll need more fans. I should keep evaporation around 1% if possible. <A commendable goal!> Definitely would need to cycle the sump lights opposite the tanks'. <A proven concept. Sounds like you're still on the right track. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

-Aiptasia and other stuff- Thanks for all the great advice so far. <Kevin here today> I've got a new 165gal that has been running for 2 months. According to what I have read on this site, it has gone through the typical progression and is now at the stage where micro algae is waning and coralline growth is starting to gather momentum. <Good!> Not many critters yet, just a few small Chromis, one 4" Sailfin, 2 LPS, one leather coral and 50+ each snails and hermit crabs. Before I start adding more  livestock, I have some housekeeping to do. I now have about 8 Aiptasia from very small to medium and a good-sized Bristleworm. I've read the FAQ's and I thought I would take out the infested rock, put it in a water-filled tub and kill Aiptasia with boiling water from a turkey baster. If I shoot them several times, is that likely to do the job or should I also cover the spots with epoxy? <Some can find their away out even with the blob of epoxy there. I'd suggest injecting with boiling water and then covering with a Kalkwasser paste.> It looks to me that the Aiptasia are confined to just a couple of rocks so I may not need to remove and inspect everything. Does that sound reasonable or should I remove and closely inspect everything? <I'd nail the infested rocks, then you can inject others that pop-up right in the tank. Have you tried some peppermint shrimp as a biological control?> I thought I would try and trap out the Bristleworm since it is in an apparently Free-free rock that is at the bottom of the pile. I could break everything down and remove it if I had to but would prefer to be more selective. What would you do? <The overwhelming majority of bristleworms are harmless to coral (although they pack a punch if you touch them!). I do understand that they're not the most pleasant things to look at. If you don't like the looks of it, trap it.> Finally, a word on feeding. I understand the importance of low nutrients and good circulation and have not been supplementing the water with anything except effluent from a calcium reactor. Water chemistry is good but as you would expect, things like iodine and strontium are low. <You've been testing?> Total food added to the system is just one cube of Mysid shrimp or algae per day, 1/2 at mid day and the other in the evening. Does that sound like a little or a lot? <Sounds appropriate for the critter-load. I'd be concerned that the 50+ hermits aren't getting enough to eat though.> Doesn't seem like enough to me but I am reluctant to feed more. I also stir up what has settled in the tank with a powerhead once every week or two to re-suspend particulates. <I'd toss in some seaweed on a clip several times per week for the tang in addition to what's being fed now. Good luck! -Kevin> Cheers, George.

-Sources for Berghia Nudibranchs- Does anyone know where these might be available?  I am very much in need of a few and nobody seems to have them (Inland, Customaquatic, seaslugs.com, nobody!). <Oooh, I was just going to suggest Inland Aquatics. You may want to start up a thread on ReefCentral or reefs.org, there are many hobbyists growing these guys.> If anyone has ideas or knows breeders somewhere, I'd be much obliged. Sailfin tang destroyed a CBS in 2 days, peppermint shrimp are doing nothing, and the syringe method will have me going nutso every week or two if it comes to that. <It never hurts to syringe a few here and there!> Thanks, Joel <I wish you luck on your search! -Kevin>

Berghia Nudibranchs Hi Bob, <Rob> Do you know of any good sources that currently have Berghia Nudibranchs in stock?  I was breeding them, but I failed to fill my tank with water prior to vacation (my attention was focused on my new show tanks) my Rio burned out and my Berghia population crashed with my Aiptasia tank. <Mmm, don't "get out and about" (as often as I'd like) in the circles that might familiarize me with who's culturing these... I encourage you to post your request on the various hobbyist BB's like reefs.org, http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/, ReefCentral...> I have a huge demand for them (as you can imagine). <Oh yes. You might try breeding, raising them yourself... can be quite profitable, and takes little space, time.> Thank you for your time. Best regards, Rob Ferguson <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Seeking Berghia Nudibranchs 8/2/03 I've checked all the sources on Berghia on the site and haven't had any luck finding any.  Inland may have some next week. <Inland aquatics is my first choice for seeking/referring folks for Berghia> Aquatic wildlife (formerly captivebredcorals ?) is in the process of moving  and disconnected their phones. I was in contact with Les (guy that runs the Berghia, etc.) trying to wholesale 60 Berghia from him but they were disconnected prior to him getting back to me. Do you have their new contact info? their new web address is here: http://captivebredcorals.shopbt.com/WS4D_Cookie=8.2.03_14,06,00_219654/index.ws4d > Thank you, Rob Ferguson <you might also try networking the big message boards that have club forums. I have been to many aquarium clubs that have small-scale production of these Opistos among club members. Best regards, Anthony>

Anemones on Rocks and Seahorses 07/13/03 Hi all! <Hi Jennifer, PF with you tonight>   I am writing today because I am having a problem with the "free" anemones that came with my live rock.  You see, I have dwarf seahorses in the tank, and last night when I got home (only gone for about 3 HR). I noticed that one of my seahorses was missing...so I looked in all the usual hiding spots only to find that the top part of her head was showing from one of the anemones and the rest of her body was down its tube.... What can I do to get rid of these things?  One of my males had 2 babies and I do have them in a breeding net safely out of the way from harm, but now am worried about the other seahorses in my tank. Also, one more question....While searching for the missing seahorse I saw what looks like a small slug (or snail without a shell) climbing around on some artificial plants in the tank.  It is very small, almost see through and has antenna...should I be concerned about this new inhabitant? Thanks for your time, Jennifer <Well Jennifer, I would advise that you take your rocks to a store and exchange them, or setup a refugium and put the rock in that. Are the free anemones Aiptasia? If so, look up Aiptasia on the website http://www.wetwebmedia.com and there's tips on removing Aiptasia there. As for the slug, the chances of it be harmful are somewhere between slim and none. It might be a type of worm, but most are harmless also. Assume it's harmless till proven otherwise, besides, most Nudibranchs (sea slugs) have short life spans and very strict food requirements, which explains there lack of success in reef keeping. Have a good night, PF>

Deep Sand Bed and Aiptasia Control Hi Don, Thanks for your help. I did increase the deep of my Sand Bed. Right now is like 3 1/2". I did wrong the calculations to have 4+". Later I will increase a little bit more to have what you suggested. <3.5" is OK. I would not worry about it and add more later as you can> When I did the 50% water change, I vacuumed the existing Sand as much as I could and I discover that there are a lot of worms. These guys are like 1 or 2" long. Some of them are very thin but other are a little bit wide with a lot of very small arms, live the serpent star arm. The color of the worms is like pink. Is this a pest that I have to get rid of? Or these guys are part of the desirable fauna? <I don't get too excited about worms like this as they will help keep the sand stirred> I read the article regarding Aiptasia and the Q&A. I got king of confused. When it is mentioned to use a hypodermic syringe to directly applied Ca(OH)2, this means inject the liquid or just put the syringe the closest to the Aiptasia and run the liquid trying to spray all the Aiptasia? can this be done inside the main tank? How much of this Ca(OH)2 is needed for each Aiptasia? I read that some one use white vinegar. Is this secure to use this in the main tank? <Try to get the Kalk into the Aiptasia, which will likely be difficult. If that is not possible, get the solution as near as possible. Turn off all the pumps to allow the tank to settle before application. I have not spoken from anyone who has successfully used vinegar but I have read of decent success. It should take a very small amount of solution to have an affect.> Also I am going to try with the peppermint shrimps and the Hairy Red Legged. I returned the bicolor to the dealer so the shrimps are save now. <Excellent to hear> I hope this is not bothering you too much. <No worries, it is why we are here! Good luck with your search and destroy mission<G>, Don> Thanks a lot, Rodrigo.

Anemone ID 7/3/03 I have some small anemones that seem to have come in on some live rock from Harbor Aquatics.  I don't think it is Aiptasia or Majano, but I can't identify it. It doesn't seem to have the long foot of an Aiptasia, <Good/good enough images... but the Cnidarian is still so small/young as to be not reliably identified. Agreed that it does not look like Anemonia Majano...> .. in fact it doesn't seem to have any trunk at all.   <perhaps only because of its size/youth so to speak> It is almost transparent with white rings around the tentacles. <indeed... almost reminds me of a young corkscrew anemone (bartholomae)> I am concerned because it seems to be able to swim, or at least to drift like a baby spider until it finds somewhere it likes.   <yes... the latter> I found this one in my refugium, which means that it can survive a trip through a powerhead. <Most amazingly can. I honestly suspect it is/could be a pest species... but only a problem if the tank is overstocked or overfed... no worries with good nutrient export. Can be enjoyed like any other. Best regards, Anthony>

Deep Sand Bed and Aiptasia control Hello, <Hi Rodrigo, Don here today> I have no words to appreciate all the benefits everyone can get here in your web site. Thanks a lot. <Thank you, it is an honor for me to be a small part of this> I have very high nitrates (huge)  in my reef tank. Everything looks fine with the fish and corals but reading here I just notice that my sand bed is in the range where you say is not good (1" to 2"). My tank is 29gal (the base 30" x 12"). I am planning to increase the deep to 3" or 4" using the Southdown Sand. Is this sounds good? <I would go 4+ while you are at it.> I am planning to do a 50% water change this weekend that I haven't done since 6 months ago. <Yes, likely a major part of the problem. If you can, changing 3-4 gallons weekly will do wonders with the water quality> May I ask you how to mix the new sand with the existing one? I thinks some of the actual sand is fine but also some it is not that fine (not coarse either). Or should I put the new sand over the old sand? Maybe I should do the opposite? Right now I have a couple of Maroon Clown fishes and a bicolor Pseudochromis so I think these guys are hardy enough to resist some chemistry changes. I also have skimmer, AquaClear with Polyfilter and Chemipure. <If the existing sand is < 2mm then I think I would go right over the top, a little at a time.> I have a second question: I have some Aiptasia, like 10 of them. One month ago I tried to introduce a peppermint shrimp but the Pseudochromis bicolor bothered him until he died. Should I remove the bicolor from the tank? The Aiptasia looks very ugly. <Check here for more info on controlling Aiptasia: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Hope this helps, Don> Thank you very much, Rodrigo.

Re: "Flo" the Aiptasia >Hi Marina, >>Good morning Mike! >Since you got such a kick out of it the first time, thought I'd give you an update on "Flo", the Aiptasia my wife decided was cute... >>Oh my, yes I did. >It seems Flo has decided my tank is just lovely, and as a result, I just counted 14 mini-Fluo's!   >>That is just too rich.. LOL! >I wonder how many I can't even see.  Needless to say, my wife received an ultimatum: Either Flo goes, or I'll be forced to add another aquarium.  As much as she likes Flo, she was adamant that three aquariums were quite enough, so it's off with Fluo's head! >>EEK!  Po' Flo. >Luckily I hadn't added any shrimp yet, as I thought this would happen and I'd wind up adding some Aiptasia-nibbling shrimp eventually.  So now my question becomes "Which is a better Aiptasia-fighter: the Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) or the Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni)?"  I've heard that when adding these guys for the purpose of Aiptasia control it's best to add a pair (is that true?). >>Hmmm.. I've not heard that before, but in any event my suggestion is to go with the less aggressive of the two species and try the L. wurdemanni.  I see no problem trying two or even three in that tank, as they're not as "fail-safe" as we'd like, and the one creature that is purported to be so simply won't do well in a 30 gallon system (the Copperband butterfly). >Tank rundown: 30 gallon 45lbs. live Fiji 45lbs. live sand 1 "daylight" fluorescent 1 actinic blue fluorescent--30 watts each S.G. 1.022 pH 8.3 Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates around 7 Calcium 440 (just started testing this in anticipation of adding a shrimp or two) 12 assorted hermits, 9 turbo snails, 1 tank-raised Percula Clown I anticipate adding a Royal Gramma real soon now... Thanks in advance!  Mourn not for Flo, for she led a good life! >>No, I think that, seeing as how my birthplace was New Orleans, and seeing as how Flo has entertained so many, we should have a good old-fashioned N'Ohleans-style funeral for her.  Get the brass band, wear fancy hats, and sing old songs.  Yes, 'would be fitting fo' Flo.  Then, have at her and her devil-spawn. ;)  I do hope the L. wurdemanni live up to their reputation for you!  Marina

Cleaner shrimp with a (desired!) Aiptasia >Hello, >>Good morning, Mike.  Marina here. >I have a new (about 1 month old) 30-gallon marine setup that currently houses 45lbs. live sand, 45lbs. Fiji LR, 6 scarlet-legged hermits, 3 turbo snails, and one False Percula (Amphiprion ocellaris).  As a "bonus", my live rock came with an Aiptasia Anemone that my wife adores (she has decided to name it "Flo" because it's tentacles flow in the current).   >>LOL!!!  Oh Lordy...(chuckling and shaking head here) >I'm willing to put up with this so long as it doesn't replicate wildly, and am hoping aggressive skimming (with my AquaC Remora H.O.T.) will help. >>Doubtful that the skimming will have any effect on Aiptasia reproduction.  They do tend to get settled and begin...well, "like rabbits". >Tank parameters are: S.G. 1.023, pH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates <5 (hard to read this one any more accurately).  I also have a full-spectrum fluorescent tube and an actinic blue fluorescent tube on a 12-hour timer.  One of the things I definitely want to add is a shrimp, but as it turns out, I need to find one that won't hurt "Flo" or I'll be in the doghouse. >>LOL!!!  Please forgive me, this is definitely one of the more entertaining emails I've received in a while.  Whatever you do, don't hurt Flo!  You could consider giving Flo her own dedicated system, 5-10gals, a simple power filter, and let her have at it.  ;) >Originally I had wanted a Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus), but I think this may present a problem.  Same for the Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni).   >>DEFINITELY avoid those Flo-eaters! [giggle] >Do you think a Blood Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) or White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata grabhami) would be non-threatening to the Aiptasia (and the rest of the tankmates, for that matter)?   >>Yes, you're spot on in your assessments.  Both, either, whichever, neither will eat your precious Flo.  LOL!!   >Thanks for any advice you can give. >>Please forgive me for having such a chuckle is all I ask of you.  Do expect the anemone to reproduce, I can't give you a time frame, but whatever you do, DON'T FEED IT.  You've assessed the crustaceans correctly, so Flo should be safe.  Best of luck to you, your wife, and Flo!  Marina [giggling furiously now]
Cleaner shrimp with a (desired!) Aiptasia
>Hi Marina: >>Hello again, Mike! >>>"Please forgive me for having such a chuckle is all I ask of you."<<< >I understand completely.  I'm sure you'll understand that my first reaction when my wife named the thing was not to chuckle!   >>OH!  I just bet! >I hadn't considered setting up a small tank for Flo, perhaps that's something I can look into.  Thanks for the advice! >>It could be done for so cheaply, too.  She can feed Flo, and watch her make many, many "Mini-Flos".  LOL!!!  OH!  Before I forget, this is a *very* interesting article written by one Mr. Anthony Calfo on actual USE of Aiptasia! http://www.efishtank.com/articles/Good%20Use%20for%20Aiptasia.htm >>Have as much fun with it as you can, my friend.  Marina

Seahorse and Aiptasia Bob (or whoever else may reply),<IanB here> Hi, I've been 'involved' in the saltwater aquarium scene for about a year now, and after much research, I have successfully set up my 20g seahorse only tank. Included with the seahorses (two hip. erectus) is somewhere around 25 lbs. of live rock, a turbo snail, three margaritas, two sand snails, an emerald crab (he was a surprise in the rock!) and a feather duster. Unfortunately, I bought the tank with about half my live rock through the recycler (I know, I know...stupid!) when I first started out and planned on just keeping it with the three damsels it came with. The more I researched the more I realized what exactly was wrong and what I wanted. My problem is this - I was uneducated on the problematic pests that come with live rock. I soon learned that I had all three pests. Aiptasia, bristle worms, and a newly discovered baby mantis shrimp! After purchasing a raccoon butterfly (before I had the seahorses in there) and a Pseudochromis, I believed that they had successfully eradicated the bristle worms and Aiptasia. I then moved these two into my boyfriends' 40g. and began plans for my seahorse only. Shortly after introducing my new additions I realized our Aiptasia problem has reoccurred and during their daily mantis shrimp feedings the bristle worms began to appear. I have tried drenching the Aiptasia with 'Aiptasia stop' dozens of times (then tried suctioning them out) however very few died and the problem has gotten worse. Every time I see a bristle worm (the trap failed to catch anything besides a baby bristle star) I grab my tweezers and patiently wait as long as it takes until I pluck it out. My question is - my larger male erectus has a white blotch on the side of his neck, with what looks like a scratch or something in the center. Could this be a sting from the Aiptasia? Or could it possibly be a protozoan infection? They were quarantined and I've had them for several months before this has appeared. Water quality is fine with weekly 20% water changes. I change the cartridge in my filter on time, and my power head is also cleaned out whenever is gets too dirty. I use your website as my primary resource and have put off writing you since I know how stupid I must sound. I have tried to educate myself thoroughly on the subject, and this tank purchase has been my only true mistake. Your advice on what this white blotch is and what I can do would be deeply appreciated. Thank you! <I white blotch. what does it look like...like cauliflower? could be Lymphocystis (which is an environmental disease. Do check water quality regularly. Have a pic of the seahorse? I wouldn't be too concerned with the bristleworms (they won't harm the seahorse) Aiptasia I would be concerned with, Maybe the peppermint shrimp will work out. good luck, IanB> -Tara- (P.S. - I purchased one peppermint shrimp, but he didn't touch the Aiptasia and then died. I am purchasing two peppermint shrimp on Wednesday from a man who works at a local saltwater store who kept them in his sump and claims they greedily ate all his Aiptasia.)

The Good Ol' Boy - Aiptasia - Follow-up 6/5/2003 >Marina: >>Good morning, Rich. >I guess I caught you in a moment of high endorphins ;).  Either that or low blood sugar, if it is pre-lunch time for you!  Okay, from now on should I write FIWLR or FILR or what?!? >>Uumm.. no, just first thing in the morning.  I would guess that this is my "normal" mode.  I was just having a little fun with you on the invert thing, eh? >So, if I did decide to skip QT (I have to look under my LR to see if there are more than I thought), should I guide/drop the shrimp right on/near the Aiptasia, or will he find it soon enough in my 4 square feet of life?   >>They'll find the Aiptasia soon enough.  Remember, you can lead a horse to water...! >My Nitrates need to be zero, or what? >>As close as possible, in any event.  If your readings are above 20ppm, I'd expect a bit of stress.  These shrimps are *relatively* hardy.  In any event, I think there will be no problems adding the shrimp, but do remember that invertebrates (especially those with exoskeletons) don't care for swings in salinity.  Best of luck!  Marina
The Good Ol' Boy - Aiptasia - Follow-up 2 6/6/2003
>Marina: >>Rich! >Ok, so right now I *only* have 39lb of LR in my 55gallon, so I have a lot of space.  In the meantime, should I isolate the rock?  Not in QT, but keep it away from the other rocks in display.  Does the Aiptasia multiply through the water channel or does it have to touch another rock?  Thanks, Rich. >>Oh my, that's a good question.  I can tell you this much, they can reproduce asexually via division.  For instance, Joe Schmoe tries to pull an Aiptasia from said live rock, thinking that, just like a desirable anemone this will kill it.  Unfortunately, Joe is wrong, because the Aiptasia is actually more like that one monster in that one Godzilla movie (you know, the one who became hundreds of little monsters when they tried to blow him up, so Godzilla had to fight ALL of them, instead of just the original one) and can reproduce via fission.  All it takes is a little bit of the foot tissue, and you'll have a new one.  What do folks in your position do, then?  Well, they can invest in Aiptasia-eaters (the L. wurdemanni or a CB butterfly, for instance), or!  In our creativity as humans we have found a myriad of elimination techniques, best used when you only have ONE (or a few).  They inject Kalkwasser into the body of the anemone...and those who have a somewhat mean streak (or have NO love for this creature) will use very hot Kalkwasser, double-super-kill, so to speak.  When it dies, they just vacuum out the remains.   >>So, you could indeed isolate the l/r with the Aiptasia, which means that you could very well avoid the additional expense of the shrimps and kill these boogers yourself.  Howzat?  Oh yeah, I believe (but I could be wrong) that the Aiptasia does NOT have to be touching a particular piece of rock to have reproduced.  They may be able to send out little buds that then roll/float away.  But I'm not certain about that.  Best of luck!  Marina

The Bad Anemones Hi Crew,  <This is Phil, ready to help!> This week I received my first shipment of Florida live rock.  Looks pretty good to my untrained eye.  Well I thought I had a good thing with all sorts of life popping out from every hole.  Now someone tells me its Aiptasia and its not good and I need to get rid of it. <Some people don't mind having them in a tank, I don't like them at all.  Getting rid of them ASAP probably is a good thing.>   I have attached two picks of some of it.  One seemed to have attached itself out of the rock and onto a corner of the glass.  I also have these clear tentacles similar creatures with white tips on their tentacles.  Are they the same thing? <You have Aiptasia...>   They are not as meaty and seem more delicate, but they are popping up as well. So is the best thing to get rid of these suckers the red leg hairy hermit crabs? <Ummm no>  I read that in one of your articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Then I read somewhere that its not the way to go.  Do I even worry about them?  Do I nip it in the bud before they have a chance to proliferate? <Grab a few Peppermint Shrimp and let them go to town.  Within a few weeks you won't have any Aiptasia left.> Thanks as always!  I am sure now that I am in the game with my new rock that I will be writing frequently.  Hope I don't appear as a nuisance. <Not at all... if it wasn't for people asking questions I wouldn't be here.> Louis Rizzo<Phil>

Rock Growth / Coral Max >Help Please! >>Certainly do my best, Steve.  Marina here. >Question 1 - I have Aiptasia (spelling?) >>Spelling is Aiptasia. >growing from my live rock.  One LFS told me to buy peppermint shrimp to eat it and another told me to shoot with Calcium and it will die.  What should I do? >>Either will work.  What you DON'T want to do is end up dividing the "foot" of the beast, as it will end up growing into MORE!  (EEK!) >Question 2 - I have a 125 gallon reef with ecosystem filter.  About how many corals can I keep in the tank? >>This is entirely dependent upon the coral species themselves, their sizes upon introduction, and subsequent growth rates.  I suggest, if you haven't already, getting (either, or better yet BOTH) Eric Borneman's book of corals, and Anthony Calfo's book on coral propagation.  There is also MUCH information about different corals (what you can keep is partially dependent upon lighting) on site here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm >Thanks, Steve >>You're welcome, and good luck!  Marina

Aiptasia as animal filters 3/10/03 Greetings Anthony, <Cheers, my friend>c I am glad you are able to take the time for this email. Amy suggested sharing this question with the WetWebMedia Q&A readers so I hope it is worthy of it. <I'm sure it will be :) > First let me say that my husband and I love the website ((thank you Bob Fenner too!)) and both BOCP & TCMA books. Two of the best gifts we received ((thank you Amy if you read this)) <thanks all around <G>> Now to my question. We will be moving in a few months. Our 125g. reef tank will be broken down in about three weeks. We will keep the equipment but will sell the coral and fish. The sand will be given away to anyone who needs it and sell some of the live rock. We have a very bad infestation in the last month of Aiptasia. We understand why and will make the necessary changes when the tank is setup again. <good to hear... and no worries, they really are easily controlled in time> We had the idea from your book (page 40) to make an Aiptasia scrubber/refugium for the next tank. <hmmm... it really only works well/best with heavy bio-loads. Few home reef aquariums would benefit from an animal filter with Aiptasia unless you have well fed night-feeding corals or huge/messy fishes that produce a lot of particulate waste. The anemones are indeed excellent organismal feeders. For coral farmers that have heavy bio-loads (power feeding corals) or for folks with big fishes in the display, the Aiptasia filter is better suited. For most everyone else, however, a vegetable filter (Chaetomorpha, Gracilaria, etc) is more useful... or even a Xenia pulse-coral tray> How could we use the Aiptasia infested rock to make this idea come to life? We are just drawing a blank. <I wonder/worry if it is useful at all if your fishes are small to medium and not overfed. > Should we keep some rock with the Aiptasia in our scrubber chambers and over time they will populate the system. ((basing a scrubber from page)) <it would probably be better in your case to kill or control the Aiptasia with a predator. Before stocking with coral, keep a copperband or raccoon butterfly in with the infested rock and force it to predate the anemones. Test the fish in a store before buying it to see if the candidate eats the Aiptasia at all. If you find a copperband, you may be able to even keep it in your future reef. A raccoon will need to be traded away though. Hmmm... it really comes down to bio-load... and if you don't have a huge one in the 125, we should avoid culturing these anemones in an animal filter. Good question though! Kind regards, Anthony>

Heavy Bio-load and Aiptasia scrubbing 3/10/03 Anthony, Thank you for the response. <always welcome my friend> I can see your point about using the Aiptasia for only heavily stocked tanks, <indeed... they are a boon or scourge <G> At this time I think our tank is packed, and we do feed a lot. One of the reason why I am sure we have such of an out of control infestation. <agreed... I've done the same thing of course. In fact, it was a corrupt interpretation of the old Adey (Smithsonian) style algal scrubber in a heavily stocked public aquarium that spawned the realization that these anemones could work as animal filters> We want to change that when the tank is setup again this coming spring. <agreed... better to not have lemons than have to make lemonade that you don't even like :p > We had thought about a copperband butterfly but in our area they are never found. I hope that will be a different story in Las Vegas. <you will find them in time... no worries. All in the US come through LA> We do have a xenia farm in our tank so it might worth the effort ((if Amy will help out)) to ship it and use that instead. <yes... awesome!> Thank you so much for clearing things up. We will look into a better refugium scrubber idea in the next two or three months. <heehee... when Amy gets her copy of out new book after it is released, borrow it <G>... refugiums, plants and algae take up 20% of the book!> Clair Jones <with kind regards, Anthony>

Don't Sweat The Aiptasia- He's "Trigger Happy"! Hello -- WWM Crew <Hey there- Scott F. with you today...Had server problems last night- I don't think that my reply got to you intact...Got me on the laptop in bed this AM (scary imagery, I know-but a great way to do WWM work!) trying again!> I have a 125 gallon tank with a Undulated Trigger and a Huma Huma both about 4.5 inches. I am aware of the potential of both Triggers particularly the Undulated.  My intentions are to get a larger tank soon. <Very good intentions, indeed! These guys will get quite large, and quite boisterous down the line. The 120 should be okay for a while, though> However the two get along fine now an occasional snap by the Undulated during feeding but they typically swim right next to each other without confrontation.  The tank is loaded with coralline encrusted live rock which provides plenty of hiding places.  I have two questions the first is how do you tell a Red Sea Undulated from the more nasty/aggressive I guess Indo Pacific?? variety/subspecies? <As far as I know-this species does not have any instinct geographic color variations. I did check a number of non-aquarium resources for you, and was unable to find any information in regard to this.> I understand Undulated Triggers are sexually dimorphic --- I have a female with orange lines down to her mouth. <Yep- the sexual dimorphic variation is a fact. And I concur- you seem to have a female, as males do lose the orange lines around the snout as they mature> Reason I am asking is that I read the Red Sea can possibly become a long time tank mate with other predatory types --- but the other subspecies? Makes survival of a tankmate highly unlikely --- is this accurate? <To be quite honest with you, in my experience with this fish, as well as the experience of a few friends who currently maintain them- they are just tough customers, regardless of where they hail from. They tend to become more feisty as they mature. However, triggers are notorious for being "non-conformists" to our behavioral expectations of them in captivity! I have seen 10 inch Clown Triggers that seemed very "tame", and small Crosshatch Triggers (reputed to be more "gentle") just beat the @#$% over anything that they were placed with!> The second question is I have live rock with what appears to be anemones growing on them.  The anemones?? are small and not very colorful ---kind of a caramel brown color. Does this description sound familiar enough for you to guess if they are anemones? <Yep- all too familiar, actually! Sounds a lot to me like the famous (or infamous, depending upon how you look at them) Aiptasia anemones! They tend to come in on live rock, and proliferate with remarkable speed in tanks with higher nutrient levels or bioloads (such as...a trigger tank!). Reefers freak out when they see Aiptasia because they tend to overrun other (desirable) sessile inverts and corals. However, in a FOWLR tank like yours, I would not be too concerned, other than to see if they are indicative of sub-par water conditions (probably not, though). The anemones(?) are multiplying and the Triggers don't seem to bother them at all --- My question is can Anemones and Triggers co-exist for long or will the triggers likely damage the Anemones?? <Well, I wouldn't go out an by that tank-raised Bubble Tip Anemone just yet! My personal theorem on anemones and triggers is that the possibility of the anemone becoming a chew toy for the trigger is directly proportionate to the value and attractiveness of the anemone! Just not a great idea, IMO. I wouldn' worry about the Aiptasia, at this point, however...Sounds like your pals aren't too interested in them- yet...Aiptasia are interesting animals in their own right- very efficient at what they do best...eating. In fact, Anthony (Calfo) has even gone so far as to suggest that they could be harnessed in a special raceway as a natural biological filtration supplement! They are that good at eating!> Thanks in advance for your response <My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>

Aiptasia pests (Nudi predators) and WWM Search help Hey Gang, how ya doin'?      Here's a link for the Berghia Nudi's that eat them unwanted Aiptasia Anemones. htm://www.seaslugs.com/. As I hear they are hard to come by, (not the Aiptasia !) , I thought I'd throw this link your way. Thanks for all the help the WWM crew has been to me in the past.                                                       Scott in Denver                                                                   PS. If folks flooding y'all with questions would simply type, in the search engine, the key word they are asking about, then hit the "cached" under the FAQs the search pulled up, they could get to the answers they're looking for without asking the question thru a emailed question, (if that made any sense!), maybe lighten the load on the crew!. <Thanks much for both these inputs. Bob Fenner>

Re: Aiptasia
I've been trying to find out how to rid my tank of these things. I've read a lot of your articles or comments that people have written you about. It seems that most people agree there a problem, however I'm not sure how to rid my tank of them. I have a 30 gallon tank and probably about ten of these in there. I've seen mentioned that peppermint shrimp may help with this problem. Are there any other solutions? If so what can I do. Is there anything I should know about peppermint shrimp as far as will they bother fish or corals? Thank you so much for your help. Steve <Umm, we've archived quite a bit on these pests. Please start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and see the links (in blue, at top?) Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Zoanthid ID Hey guys, I have a quick question regarding glass anenomes.  I was reading your site to try to classify what was in my tank and I came to glass anenomes and their resemblance to mine.  There are four of these little guys, I've attached a picture.  Their light purple/brown and on the original live rock that I bought.  Thanks in advance, Jon <you have a delightful little Zoanthid colony ("coral" polyps). Enjoy them my friend. Anthony>

- Getting rid of Aiptasia - Hello and thanks for your time <And hello to you, JasonC here...> Lately I have noticed a few Aiptasia sprouting up around the place not a lot but I can see around 9, they are really really small like 1 mm or 2mm being the biggest, I read on the page that Catalaphyllia will outsting and kill Aiptasia how big is the success rate here as I am goin to get some Catalaphyllia in the next couple of weeks!! <I wouldn't risk it, mostly because Aiptasia will spread much quicker that your elegance. If this is a reef tank, perhaps consider some peppermint shrimp - these make quick work of Aiptasia. Please read our article on Aiptasia and then the FAQs beyond - you'd be amazed to see what a common question this is: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm > thanks for your help Shaye <Cheers, J -- >

Pest anemone- to the archives 2/5/03 Thanks, always good to hear a confirming opinion. I was leaning in the direction of "everything's normal" and the coral is just adjusting or disturbed by my recent cleaning of the front glass.  I've blasted it with water and it's not dissolving. <good to hear... likely just typical finicky (but hardy) Sarcophyton behavior> As for the polyp attached to the side of the leather, I've re-sent the picture. Thanks again. Alex    <alas... your hitchhiker is a pest anemone: Anemonia Majano please browse the archives on wetwebmedia.com and abroad on the Internet for more info (abundant) about this creatures and in like kind, Aiptasia species (glass anemones). They only become plagues or a nuisance if the tank has nutrient problems though (overfed, under skimmed, lack of water changes, etc). All within your control. Best regards, Anthony>

Snowflake eel not eating I have a snowflake eel in a 75 gal. tank, with two damsels.  The ph is 8.6, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia.  I have had the eel for just shy of a year.  He has been eating regularly until recently he is not eating as frequently.  He used to eat daily to every other day.  Now he eats maybe once a week, and only one shrimp.   More recently he has started to look like a balloon is forming on his head. <?> There is no other sign of illness other that the head looking like he is a bottle nose.  He isn't actually less active as he was never a big party guy in the first place.  I am afraid I am going to lose him.  I am sure you are very busy, but Nessie really needs your advice.  Please email me with any help  you can.  Thank you sooo much.   Brightest Blessings Julie <Your pH is a little high, but this should not be the root cause. I encourage you to try other species of shrimp (perhaps frozen, defrosted krill) and to add a vitamin and HUFA supplement to this (perhaps Selcon) ahead of offering. Snowflakes do occasionally go on feeding strikes, even lose weight, but almost always return to feeding. Bob Fenner>
Snowflake moray
Thank you very much for writing me back.  Yesterday morning Nessie passed on.   I can not for the life of me figure out what I did wrong.  I had tried different foods for him, but he would only eat dried shrimp. <Sorry to hear of your loss> I have a lot of "rock" anemones (don't know how to spell it).  At least that is what I am told they are.  They are a brownish color and look like the trees in a Dr. Seuss book.  I have lots of them and some of them have a base the size of a quarter.  Is it possible that the anemones stung Nessie, causing his head to swell, and possibly causing his death? <Unfortunately yes. Please see here re these Glass Anemones/Aiptasia: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm>   This was my husbands suggestion.  I guess at this point it is not important.  I do not think I will subject another eel to my ignorance.    Again thank you for getting back to me. Brightest Blessings Julie <Peace to you. Bob Fenner>

Nudibranch Where can I find a Berghia verrucicornis? I have looked every where from Knoxville, TN to Atlanta, GA. Any ideas?       <I know at times Inland Aquatics http://www.inlandaquatics.com/ has some for sale. Otherwise, when I typed "Berghia" into Yahoo, I got 284 hits. I am sure one of those is for sale. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia Invasion Hey WWM Crew, <Scott F. this afternoon> I've got a few questions on how to control Aiptasia. I've got a severe outbreak 20-30 large ones, and countless small to medium ones. I've tried the chemical route with little success, it seems like if you don't get them the first time they become immune to whatever I'm using, and there is just so many now it has become impractical. I really want to go the biological route, I've read a lot of promising things about Copperband's and I would like to add a small one to my tank, but I'm not sure how it will work with my system. <Copperband's can do a good job, but they have also been known to turn on desirable animals, too, on occasion. Sometimes they don't eat anything, and can even starve! All depends on the individual specimen, and how it was captured, handled, acclimated, quarantined, etc.> I have a 90 gal Berlin system, 9 watt U.V sterilizer, carbon canister filter, large skimmer, 3 power heads, approx 2 lbs. of LR per gallon, 3-4 in. of LS, 5 watts per gallon of light. I have an asst. of snails and crabs for clean-up duty. I have 6 fish at the time ( sm. yellow tang, sm/med coral beauty, sm/med percula, sm. tom. clown, sm. arc eyed hawkfish, and a sm/med yellow watchman goby.) As for corals I have ( med. branching frogspawn, x-large colt coral, med. finger leather, dozen asst. mushrooms, sm colony of button polyps, 2 med colonies of green star polyps, and a sm open brain coral.) One of my main concerns is I have a tennis ball sized green bulb anemone which my tom clown is bonded with. Is there any chance a copperband would kill it? Would it attack any of my other corals? <As above-not 100% guaranteed either way. I've heard good and bad from lots of hobbyists. I'd probably talk to some fellow local reefers and see what they've experienced with this fish.> Is there anything else that you could recommend in this situation? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mike <Some people are cultivating and using Berghia species nudibranchs, which are avid Aiptasia eaters. Problem is, once they tear through the population of Aiptasia, they can starve! I've even had friends who physically dismantled their reefs to take out the rocks where the offending anemones resided, then removed them before replacing the rocks back into their tanks. A pain, for sure, but effective! Probably the best thing that you can do is to find out what conditions led to the proliferation of these anemones and correct them. Usually, they arise in situations where nutrients abound. Re examine feeding techniques, maintenance, etc. and look for a cause. Finally, a truly exotic solution would be to remove as many as you can and actually encourage them to grow in special chambers, as they are fantastic natural filters! Anthony describes this concept in more detail in his "Book of Coral Propagation". He suggests that they "earn their keep". Hey- it's worth a shot! I hope that I provided you with a few ideas on how to attack this problem. Good luck!>

Aiptasia (unwanted...) I have a glass anemone on one of my live rocks. ( the kind that is a pest weed) I have been told to put it in fresh water for two days. Will that kill the live rock? I also thought I could put the tip of the rock in boiling water( the place the anemone is) and then after 3 min. put it back in the tank. would that kill the rest of the live rock? thanks, Cheryl <<No... just the place that hits the boiling water.>> thanks, Cheryl <<Cheers, J -- >> <<Hi Cheryl, JasonC again... I clicked the reply button too quickly. I just wanted to amend my reply to say that you might also put that portion of live rock that you dip in the boiling water into a subsequent bath of cooler water so that you don't put a piece of hot, live rock back into the tank. Better to be safe than sorry. Cheers, J -- >>

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