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FAQs on Aiptasia Anemones in General 4

Related FAQs: Aiptasia 1, Aiptasia 2, Aiptasia 3, 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

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Hawaiian Forcipiger longirostris Collected / Not eating     11/26/18
I recently collected a YLN Butterflyfish.
<Hey Sky! Thought Forcipigers... oh, I see your comment below>
Yes, the Long, Long Nosed. No easy feat with he aquarium ban here in Hawaii, free diving and free-netting, on a single breath, approx 2 min breath holds. It took me a couple hours but I finally got one. I treated him as gently as possible and he has been in my tank for about three weeks now. Originally he was getting picked on by a Yellow Tang in my outdoor sump, so I transferred him to my display, where he’s been for about a week. Still he hasn’t eaten. I’ve afforded all the usual suspects and everything suggested here, like Mysis shrimp and my own food pasted onto a rock. He also hasn’t touched my Aiptasia, one of the reasons I got him.
<A Raccoon BF would be much better for eating Glass Anemones>
I haven’t however offered anything live because I don’t know where I can get any live shrimp her on Hilo side of the Big Island. I did begin hatching some Brine shrimp out of desperation. They are still too small to feed. The only thing I can think is the very small, almost unnoticeable tuft (possibly fungal) on the top end of his snout. Otherwise he seems perfectly healthy. If he doesn't eat soon I feel I should take him back. ;-(
Any hail Mary ideas?
<Mmm, three weeks.... I'd return the fish, look for a Raccoon>
Oh Aquarium parameters are near perfect ;-) MAHALOZ!
In Gratitude,
<A hu'i hou mate. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hawaiian Forcipiger longirostris Collected / Not eating    11/28/18

Okay, I’ll prob take him back.
<I've done this; in Hawaii and elsewhere, a few times... whole wholesale set ups where the livestock wasn't fit to sell; better to return it to the sea>
I guess some YLN Butterflies, if too big when captured just don’t start eating?
<Yes; this is so. BFs in particular get bumped on their mouths easily... and olde ones are set in their ways>
Perhaps I shall try again with a smaller specimen and have better luck. I had a couple Raccoons but worried about them eating my corals and Shrooms a friend gave me frags of.
<Mmm; maybe another smaller Forcipiger of either species; but am a big fan of the two species of raccoons for the job.>
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby
<Cheers Sky, BobF>

WAMAS greetings; Aiptasia control and flower/rock anemones     11/6/18
I wanted to ask you two questions. When we talked I had asked you about Aiptasia control and flower/rock anemones.
<Oh yeah>
My tank has been inundated with the Aiptasia. I currently have a filefish in there now, but I think he has gotten too mature and only likes the frozen food/pellets I feed. I just ordered two smaller ORA filefish that I am hoping will help. You also mentioned raccoon butterflies?
<Yes; these are faves (both species)>
I think you mentioned that peppermint shrimp are hit or miss too.
<This is so>
I was thinking about throwing some money down the drain and buying some Berghias too. Inland
aquatics had a good article on what to do with them to ensure they survive vs. just throwing them into your display tank. Any further thoughts or advice?
<Like foxes and rabbits... you'll end up w/ some of both... The large ones will need being taken care of otherwise. Please have a read here:
and the linked files above.>
Also, I had mentioned to you my interest in propagating flower anemones.
I just got a bunch and have been spot feeding them. From my readings, they propagate infrequently, but you had mentioned some other ways to induce breeding. What do you recommend?
<Either stress (lots of current is a fave) or very good conditions... AND that universal ingredient patience>
Thank you again for your time and for coming to speak at our club.
<A pleasure and honor Scott. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Scott Friedman

Berghias - am I in an infinite Aiptasia loop?      6/19/18
Hi all,
<Hey Marcos>
I have a huge infestation of Aiptasia (by the thousands perhaps?) in my 250L tank, and decided to try the Berghias as all the other solutions didn't work (manually removing or killing the Aiptasia with shots of
anything is absolutely impossible at this point). I added 4 of them around mid-February, and for a while I thought they had just died, but recently I have been spotting lots of them, even with the lights on, also I've seen at least about 4 or 5 of these "egg spirals" as well in the last 2 weeks only, and I see the Berghias in a lot of different sizes (smallest being around 2-3 mm and the biggest being around 3cm,
not sure if they'll get bigger), the population probably is over 30 of these if not more so far, I saw about
15 of them in daylight once and who knows how many are still hidden in the small orifices in the rocks or dead snail shells. It seems that they are probably eating very well, as they are reproducing relatively faster than I was expecting, but there are no actual visible signs of the Aiptasia population to be reducing, mostly the big ones, it probably is reducing but in a very slow rate so far (I think the Aiptasia at the bottom seem to be disappearing faster, maybe 10% are gone but those on the rocks are still there). I have some really huge Aiptasia (4cm or so or more) and even the biggest Berghias are a bit small compared to these. My Berghias aren't getting brown-ish as well (although they do have these darker spikes when they're past 1cm or so), which makes me think that they aren't overfeeding or something. They also seem to work in teams, I rarely see a single Berghia attacking a single Aiptasia but I've seen 4 or 5 Berghias around one once.
My question is... can the Berghias prefer to eat all the smallest Aiptasia first, leaving the big ones for later (if needed)
as they are probably harder to be eaten and can this make me to be stuck in a loop forever as the big Aiptasia aren't being eaten but at the same time these are also releasing new baby Aiptasia which is what the Berghias are actually eating, so the big Aiptasia will probably never disappear but will keep
making babies and just the baby Aiptasia are enough for keeping all my Berghias alive and thriving?
<Time will tell. I suspect the Nudis will get ahead of the curve at some point. I would bolster their efforts w/ Butterflyfish, Filefish addition/s>
Could this be just temporary, and as soon as the Berghias population really explodes in a couple more months (say, when they reach hundreds of them) they will eat most or all of the baby Aiptasia fast enough and will have to attack the big ones?
<I do think so; yes>
I'm not planning to add any other Aiptasia predator to make things go faster, I'll try to just let the Berghias do their job but it seems it will take a long time. Peppermint shrimps never worked fine here, and a
Copperband might be complicated to keep later when the Aiptasia are gone, the Berghias is just easier to keep.
<Thank you for sharing. One possible avenue to consider... selling the excess Berghia (over the Net, to stores, fellow hobbyists in clubs); and using the proceeds to replace all hard substrates, bleach, rinse, air dry the present and use as base. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Quarantine Time     6/14/17
Hi Guys,
I have display tank which contains a handful of coral specimens, mostly Zoanthids, but this tank also suffers from an Aiptasia infestation.
Infestation may be too strong a word, as they are well controlled with a combination of wand removal and peppermint shrimp. At some point I would like to remove and frag some of the coral for other tanks, but I fear
spreading the Aiptasia to another tank. I'm planning on a quarantine of the frags prior to introduction into another system. So my question is - how long would you maintain a frag in quarantine until you felt you could confidently declare if Aiptasia free?
<Likely a few weeks would "do it" for me... giving any transferred pest anemone bits to grow sufficient to be noted>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia madness. WWM laziness     12/27/16
Hi, I have a chronic and severe Aiptasia infestation in my 34 gallon Red Sea Max. I've tried peppermint shrimp,
<Sure these were the right species? MANY sold as such that are not>
Aiptasia-eating filefish(2), Aiptasia-X, and a "majano wand", all to no avail. Any suggestions are most welcome!
<Well; there's always Berghia... or nuking the whole tank... bleaching hard substrates and starting over with a bit of new live. Let's have you read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thx, Al Tribe
Re: Aiptasia madness       12/28/16

Thx for quick response! Not sure how I would know exact species ID for the peppermints
<Easy to discern w/ a little reading>
(my LFS who I trust says they eat Aiptasia in their tank FWIW) and Berghia seem outrageously expensive, but nuking is out of the question so I'll study that link and take it from there.
<Real good. Cheers, BobF>

Majano/Aiptasia Husbandry       2/11/16
Hi, Bob. I know that this will be the craziest question that you've ever been asked, but I'm going to be (At least planning) to do a long term adaptation experiment using Majano/ Aiptasia anemones.
The net is full of advice on how to get rid of them, but what conditions will they thrive in?
Thanks, Jason
<Bright light (big city?), and lots of N, P, K nutrient availability. A largish plastic kiddie pool, some live rock, and using your change out water, with a teaspoon of complete fertilizer added per fifty gallons of water every month or so... Specific gravity about 1.025-6... And I'd be using a sharp knife, water-pic or such to cut up large specimens to hasten their populating the system. DO please share your observations. Bob Fenner>

New live sand      2/1/16
I am building a refugium and just bought several bags of live oolite.
<Mmm; see WWM re... I'd just buy (or stick with if you already have) some live rock... this will inoculate sand soon enough and better>
Years ago I had a HUGE Aiptasia problem that was only eradicated by killing all of my rock. I Bought some reef saver to add to the refugium so not worried about that. Can Aiptasia be introduced with new bags of live sand
<Don't think this is likely at all; no>
or should I hunt down some dead sand. I do not want to battle those things again! Thanks in advance.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia battle + Peppermint shrimp        1 1 16
120 gallon tank
Cannot drill
So running
fx5 ( floss and live rock in baskets.)
Eheim classic (media = cocoa pebbles+ floss )
Eshopps HOB 100 skimmer
100 pounds live rock
Tank is 3 years old.
RODI water
15 gallon water change and filter clean every 2 1/2 weeks
How I got to where I'm at:
at the 2 year mark I had awesome pod population
5 different clusters of
4 turbo snails
purple coralline on everything.
t5 lighting
1 yellow tang
1 blue velvet damsel
2 black clown
1 sleeper goby
30 gallon quarantine tank downstairs with
metal halide
with a few sps
bought a Duncan coral
placed it in main tank.
2 weeks later noticed
single Aiptasia.
purchased 2 peppermint shrimp.
Damsels killed them in 1 hour flat. :-(
purchased 4 peppermint shrimp
put them in quarantine tank.
moved live rock with Aiptasia to quarantine tank.
they ate the Aiptasia.
put live rock back in main tank.
this cycle went on for about 6 months.
Aiptasia would always appear.
I would move effected rock to quarantine tank
peppermints would eat it.
move rock back to main tank.
came home one day to find heater in quarantine tank malfunctioned and tank
was cold.
corrals all closed. 2 dead shrimp.
immediately moved all things into main tank thinking I could save them.
I did 2 hour acclimation.
standard tests
matched quarantine tank with main tank.
except for lighting.
t5's main
Metal halides quarantine.
1 week later.
everything I put in main tank from quarantine tank was lost.
couple weeks later.
had about 10 Aiptasia
in main tank. everything else doing healthy.
quarantine tank was now gone.
tried purchasing 6 peppermint for main.
after 2 weeks damsel killed them all.
LFS would not take damsel.
(their policy is they never take fish :-()
I couldn't kill him so I left alone.
6 months later.
Aiptasia numbered above 200
everything was gone except for purple coralline, Yellow tang, blue velvet
I NEVER used any chemical in main tank.
Damsel ran into rock and damaged himself. healed.
did it again and didn't make it.
Now I had over 300 Aiptasia and One Yellow Tang.
and still had beautiful purple coralline algae.
Water parameters.
0-5 nitrates. salinity 1.024
0 ammonia
0 nitrites.
With Blue Velvet Damsel gone
I added 10 peppermint shrimp.
It has been 2 weeks now and almost all Aiptasia are gone.
only 12 left. :-)
I suddenly have 80 plus Nitrate level.
in a matter of 4 days.
Did the bio load increase so much from 10 peppermint shrimp that I'm
Or because of the amount of Aiptasia being eaten I am seeing major die off
causing my high nitrates?
I have been doing 20 gallon water changes for 2 days straight now.
Nitrate level is at 40-60 ppm today.
will Aiptasia being eaten cause High nitrates???????
or is something else going on?
keep in mind. 75% of the Aiptasia are gone in a weeks time.
Tang is doing great still.
Coralline is still growing great.
All shrimp are doing great with 4 molting already.
One cluster of zoa's that I thought were gone are starting to open up again.
I have used 2 different tests of nitrate testing solution to verify that one wasn't old.
Any help much appreciated.
<Heya Chris, Happy New Year! Thanks for the very specific and detailed email, heads above what we are often given to advise upon :) It seems your husbandry is excellent and your observational skills (what to be looking at
and why) are right on. I am also glad to hear of someone going out of their way to care for an animal they took responsibility for by purchasing even though it was a "mere" damsel even though it was causing problems rather
than kill it. Your email here can serve as instructional to others, as much as a being question.
(un)Fortunately I have been in the same boat you are, having had a pest anemone explosion of epic proportions myself. As for the spike, those little demons we call Aiptasia have multiple ways of reproducing and one of them
is what Bob refers to as the "end of the world, everyone have babies" response. Or I call "Krypton is doomed, send the children off into space" syndrome.
Essentially, you declared war on them via the shrimp, which can only eat them by tearing them up and as you know, this makes them split off into new animals. So they aren't being completely exterminated, just "pruned" down to a tolerable, non-problematic level. And it's suspected that the very small, new ones are being eaten before they get noticeable to our eyes. I have a queen angelfish that does this (preys on the very small ones so they never get a chance to spread or grow noticeably) and a lot of other animals do the same. So the peppermints are great in that regard (and you stuck gold with your particular shrimp...a great many particular peppermints or filefish etc. recommended as Aiptasia eaters...simply don't eat them...hang onto them or pass them around your local club as "mercenaries").
Where it gets to be a real issue is when it gets to the "apocalypse" for a large population of the pests because they can also spawn due to stress (or as far as I can tell because they darn well feel like it). And they do it en masse so you have a massive amount of their reproductive material hitting the water all at once. It can even cloud the water. If left alone this stuff could definitely die off and cause serious pollution. In my case it was a very infested 240g tank and I decided to cover it with a blanket to starve them out via no light and no food. Perfect plan until said stress-induced mass spawning event happened. They exploded like you wouldn't believe and when I tried to remove the layer of the little bastards out, of which there was a milky film on the surface of the water...my forearms looked like I'd been shot with bird shot. I was unable to put this all together for sure but confirmed my suspicion by via looking
at some of the water under a microscope and seeing the little coiled nematocysts.
So to try to summarize this, I expect die-off from these spores/gametes/larvae to be the problem. If you are seeing a reduction simply via water changes, you've already got your answer as to how to proceed and are on top of the game. Don't do anything drastic, keep up with the water changes and I am confident you will be back to normal in short
order. Obviously get the quarantine back up (maybe without the metal halide, possibly overkill on a 30g quarantine tank and somewhat self-defeating of the intent of such a tank).
A last note re: biological controls of Aiptasia. I'm sure you are aware of "Berghia" Nudibranchs. These are the only known *obligate* predator of Aiptasia (meaning they eat Aiptasia and only Aiptasia, all the time, every time). But besides the reliability, the unique thing about them is they are the only perfect Aiptasia killing machines and actually dissolve the animal from the base up via digestive fluids, leaving not a trace of the anemone to spread and in such a way and at a rate that does not allow them to stress. They are Aiptasia-antimatter, so much so that their only problem as a control mechanism is that they will invariably starve themselves...they are too good at their jobs in a captive environment. I got around 10 and they cleaned out that 240g I mentioned a few months after I'd dealt with the spawning disaster. It's been a couple of years now and not a trace of either the anemones nor the nudis remains. If you have the same issue in the future ideally rather than just the shrimp in a quarantine as you did, Nudibranchs would be the solution. They are hard to find but you can always get them where I did from a man named Morgan Lidster of Inland Aquatics (online). Please also see the faq's here on WWM http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm.  Please keep us updated on your situation, follow-ups are a big help to others down the line. -Earl>

Aiptasia on my Scolymia       10/16/15
Hello Bob,
I was hoping you could help me out. I have an Aiptasia in my tank. I know this is a common problem and reading Wet Web Media there do seem to be a lot of ways to get rid of Aiptasia.
<Oh yes; and there was a very nice piece by James Fatherree in the more recent TFH that sums up these methods>
My situation is the Aiptasia is on the base of my Scolymia. I didn't know it was there until I was feeding the scoly and as it was eating its flesh retracted or moved to reveal the Aiptasia.
The Aiptasia is 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch away from the base line of where he flesh meets the hard structure of the scoly. I do not want to damage the scoly to kill the Aiptasia.
<Of course>
my thoughts were superglue however in the process if the tissue of the scoly moves and get stuck it will damage the
soft tissue. I thought about chemical means, lime juice or Kalk, but I can't buy a needle with out a prescription, I will get a prescription if that is the best method, and I don't know if chemicals injected on the base of the scoly could affect the scoly. I do not want to smear or shoot chemical near the flesh of scoly for fear of harming as well. I thought putty just to cover up as well. Thanks in advance and Take care.
<Well; life itself is really a matter of compromises... Let's see: The cost of doing nothing? Not what I'd choose.... I'd lift the Scolymia from the tank, scrape as much of the Glass Anemone off with a sharp blade (Exacto or similar) and thoroughly dab the area w/ the most noxious material I'd allow... H202 on the very low side. Rinse the specimen, return to the tank.
Others might suggest Berghia... Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia     11/27/14
This is not a question but informational.
I purchased a large 18” almost flat piece of live rock covered with blue and purple coralline algae. it of course had some bristle worms not worried about them as I have never had them be a problem. it did have a bunch of Aiptasia anemone on it. I had killed a couple with Kalk but I decided to many to do that with. Bought 3 peppermint shrimp from the same place, put them into my 250 gallon tank at the time they were only thing in the tank except rock. the second night I could not find the shrimp, I figured they were hiding or died. none of the Aiptasia disappeared. then a week later most of the Aiptasia were gone. They had hidden to molt and then they went at the Aiptasia. I had read that they almost never take care of the larger ones. I had one that was almost 2 inches across and it has now been taken care of. if I get out the flashlight at night I can find the shrimp climbing around. if you start out with nothing in the tank and the shrimp have only been getting fed Aiptasia they work even on the bigger ones.
Thanks Bruce Burnett
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Seahorse tankmate? Aiptasia control sel.     1/11/13
Good Morning crew Brian here with really quick question.  In my main display seahorse system housing three pairs of erectus seahorses I have found a few Aiptasia popping up, due to design of the system removing the rock and removing the Aiptasia is not a option (the tank is over four feet deep and all the rock is one big unit weighing over 150lbs in a large column and the Aiptasia are on the bottom of the rock structure).   I have been attempting to research the use of peppermint shrimp to take care of these pests but there seems to be some varying opinions with there use in tanks with horses.  Do you think peppermint shrimp will cause any problems and if you do what would your next choice be for removing  these pests that is seahorse friendly!
<They will not cause trouble, but Berghia Nudibranchs, even a chemical solution might be better (the latter if the Aiptasia are not too numerous. Read here re:
and the linked files at the bottom on WWM>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia/Aiptasia Control 8/22/12
Dear WWM,
   I recently found some pest anemones.
 Aiptasia are only currently on one piece of rock, but I have a Galaxea stuck to the same rock. I do not want to kill all of my sponges and such, but I know that these must be dealt with. I have a friend who has a 120 gal FOWLR. He offered to let me use one of his Auriga Butterflies to get rid of these. My tank is only 55 gallons, and I am concerned that the butterfly may pick at my hundreds of tube worms, and corals.
<Tube worms for sure and some stony corals.>
I have 1 Open Brain, 3 Acan Lord, 12 Duncan, 3 Galaxea, 2 Frogspawn, 1 Hammer, 2 Candy Cane, 1 Orange Sun, 1 Favites Brain, 2 Hawaiian Feather Dusters, hundreds of red feather dusters, 1 Tricolor Wrasse, 2 Firefish Gobies, 4 Banggai Cardinals, 1 Pistol shrimp with a Yellow Watchman goby. Could I just sacrifice the rock?
<I would.  You can cut a piece of the Galaxea coral off the infected rock and cement it on
another rock.  As you know they do grow fast.  James (Salty Dog)>

Aiptasia/Control 8/9/12
Hello again. Hope you all are doing well.
<Hello Gary, I'm doing fine.>
 I have an Aiptasia problem in my FOWLR 75 gallon tank. I have tried several methods of getting rid of them and no luck. Since I have a FOWLR 125gallon tank as well I was thinking of taking the fish that I have in the 75g (Coris Wrasse, Clownfish, Threadfin Butterfly, Flame Hawkfish and a Green Chromis ) and putting them in the 125g temporarily so I can empty the 75g of all salt water and just put in fresh water to try and kill the Aiptasia. Do you think this would work to get rid of the Aiptasia?  The 125g has a Hippo Tang, Foxface lo, Purple Tang, Majestic Angel, Lemonpeel Angel and 3 Blue Damsels. I have a 20gallon Quarantine tank as well to put any fish that might not get along in that one. Both tanks are peaceful on their own. My other option would be to make my 90g freshwater tank into a saltwater tank and put them in that tank. But I would have to add new sand and put my fresh water fish in the 75g after it is cleaned which would be a much bigger undertaking. What do you think I should do and what would work best for getting rid of the Aiptasia?
<Moving would be the last resort, unnecessary stress on the animals.  Have you read here and FAQs found in the header?
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Aiptasia/Control 8/9/12

That link came up as an error on the link.
<Mmm, Bob will have to look into this.>
I read your page on getting rid of Aiptasia. I have tried butterfly fish, peppermint shrimp, taking everything out of the tank and scrubbing it with hot water. I have not tried Nudibranchs
<The Berghia Nudibranch is a very effective control of Aiptasia as this is the only food it will eat. Problem is, you have a couple of fish that would likely dine on them. The other issue is cost, anywhere from 12 to 15 bucks generally. One the Aiptasia have been eliminated they will perish unless you can find some one that has an Aiptasia problem and is willing to take them off your hands.>
and I have not tried chemical means but there is so much Aiptasia in there that I fear I would have to put a whole gallon of the stuff in there to maybe do the job and I figure I would end up killing the fish by doing that anyway.
<I'd give Joe's Juice a try. From feedback I've heard, the product works very well. See here.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Aiptasia/Control 8/13/12

I will try the Joes juice and see what happens.  If I bought one Nudibranch would that be enough to take care of the tank or would I have to have a bunch of them? It does seem like a neat idea to see the Nudibranch ridding the tank of Aiptasia.
<I'd try three or four and hope they do not become meals for other inverts or fish.  James (Salty Dog)>

glass anemones - 5/8/2012
Hello Wetweb Crew,
wwm: Hello Erik
I recently purchased some live rock from my LFS and I noticed I might have a few glass anemones on it. I am not 100% sure that they are glass anemones but they look like the pictures I found online. They are about the size of my thumbnail and they only seem to be out at night. I have heard that these guys quickly become a problem.
wwm: Reproduce quickly and can irritate corals.
I read that they can be killed with lemon juice or by purchasing animals that eat them.
wwm: There are plenty of products available- Aiptasia-X, Joes Juice, simple Kalk paste, lemon juice... Some Butterfly and Filefish will eat them . Peppermint shrimp are my preferred method of control but they tend to ignore the larger ones. Read more here-- http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasi a.htm
Should I even worry about these guys?
wwm: They are much easier to control in smaller numbers. I would address the issue as soon as possible.
If so what should I do to stop them from becoming a problem?
wwm: I would manually kill as many as possible and add a few peppermint shrimp to control there numbers.
Thanks a million,
wwm: Quite welcome
wwm: Jordan
Re: Glass anemones 5/8/12 - 5/9/2012
Hello, Thank you for the quick reply you guys are the best!
wwm: Hi Erik, We aim to please
I am going to purchase some Joe's Juice or lemon juice(whichever I can find first). When I tried the link you pasted it would not let me go to it. The error was HTTP error 404.0 I don't know if that helps.
wwm: Odd, for some reason there was a space in the link. Search WWM for "Aiptasia" and the first selection is the link. Here it is again-- http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasi a.htm
But I was also going to purchase a Peppermint shrimp or two but I already have a Cleaner shrimp in my tank(which is only a 30 gallon). Would there be any problems with these two different species of shrimp?
wwm: The Peppermints should be able to avoid the Cleaners.
Thanks a million, Erik
wwm: Quite welcome, Jordan

Killing Aiptasia without damaging coralline; also extracting worms    2/9/12
Hi wonderful experts.  I have an unusual question.  Six months ago, just for the fun of seeing what came out of ultra-pampered live rock, I cured a batch that I didn't need for anything else. It was in a 30 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump and a skimmer rated for 300 gallons!  I did massive water changes and used full reef lighting from the first day.  I suffered none of the usual startup cycle stuff: no ammonia or nitrite spike at all, negligible nitrate, no diatom bloom, no algae explosion, nothing but fascinating life!  I've spent countless hours just staring at that tank, seeing one weird creature after another appear.  Thank God for Calfo and Fenner's book on reef invertebrates; it's helped me identify almost everything.  Honestly, it's been more fun than my fish tank.
But here's my dilemma now:  This tank has turned into Aiptasia City.  I found peppermint shrimp on sale for just four bucks, so I put ten in the tank.  They were marvelous.  In one day I saw a difference, and in two weeks the tank was almost totally free of Aiptasia.  But along with the rock came numerous crabs, including one beauty I named Dalmatia because it is pure white with black spots.  Needless to say, the crabs dined well for a few weeks.  Soon after the last peppermint shrimp was eaten, the Aiptasia came back.  Berghias are useless to me because they are too darned expensive and also because the Aiptasia is in the sump, in the overflow, in the powerheads, everywhere.  I give up.  It's time for the nuclear option.
But many of the rocks (fist size) are covered in some of the most spectacular scarlet and royal purple coralline I've ever seen.  If I remove them, is there a way I can treat them individually in such a way that I kill the Aiptasia on them (plus any planula) without killing the coralline, so I can safely put them in a display tank?
<Mmm, the short answer: "Not really, likely">
In the same vein, one of the rocks contains a truly magnificent spaghetti worm.  This guy is so big that, seriously, you can see it from ten feet away.  It's dozen or so tentacles span the entire width of the tank!  I'd love to rescue that worm before I nuke the tank.  Someone whose advice I do not fully trust told me to immerse the rock in saltwater with a specific gravity of 1.040, and that will drive the worm out of its hole in the rock.
 Does that make sense?  Any better plan?
<I'd go the biological cleaner route again, but ramp it up... likely a fish... See here:
or a Monacanthid if it'll go. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for any thoughts!
Re: Killing Aiptasia without damaging coralline; also extracting worms    2/9/12

Bob - Thank you once again for fast and intelligent advice!  I am tempted to go the Copperband route, as that would be an interesting new adventure, and I'm always game for adventures.
<Ah, good all the way around>
 One advantage of this tank is that it is a dedicated live rock tank in the cellar, so I can feel free to do risky things in it.  Nobody sees it but me.
However, I have one concern about the Copperband: Other than the gorgeous coralline algae, my prize in that tank is a magnificent spaghetti worm with tentacles that span the width of the tank.  I would go to great lengths to spare the life of that critter.  But I have read several places that Copperbands love to eat worms.
<Smaller ones>
 Will the fact that this worm is hiding deep inside a hole in a rock protect him, or will the fish eat his tentacles and kill him? 
<I think you will see this coming for some time if so. IF concerned, I might fashion a plastic strawberry basket or such over the worm.>
<Welcome! BobF>
Re: Killing Aiptasia without damaging coralline; also extracting worms    2/9/12

>> plastic strawberry basket or such over the worm <<
Bob - Great idea!  As soon as we get a day warm enough to be safe to mail order the Copperband (our LFS has a limited selection of fish) I'll send for one and give it a try.  Thanks again!
<Ah, welcome Tim. B>

Aiptasia Anemone issues    2/5/12
Good morning (here anyway) to my aquatic friends at Wet Web Media.
I am writing in desperation. After many years of keeping a "clean" 125 gallon reef tank I am having major issues with Aiptasia (imported on a lovely piece of birds nest with two Pocillopora attached to the same rock along with infant scallops). All of the original critters on that one piece have thrived (including the Aiptasia). Here we are, two years later and my tank is inundated. Have tried reduced feedings and am now only feeding a floating flake version of Formula Two (mostly for the yellow tang's)once a day and a single cube of Prime Reef or some other blend once a week for the LPS. Basically a starvation diet.
I cannot reduce the lighting due to the large population of corals. I have tried assorted commercial Aiptasia killers such as Joe's Juice (moderate kill rate), Stop Aiptasia (ineffective), and most recently Aiptasia X (looks effective but then they come back). Each treatment is done as per instructed (all circulation off, let sit for up to 1/2 hour) and then I siphon off whatever is left using air tubing and hollowed out pen nib.
Looks good for a couple of days and then they start coming back. After latest treatment, Cyanobacteria out break followed on all treated surfaces ( I guess Aiptasia X kills all stuff, good or bad leaving it open for this outbreak).
<For such a large infestation, I would not go this chemical route. Better by far to introduce one or more predators>
Needless to say, I do not wish to try chemicals anymore. I do have a rather large Elegance Coral that survived almost freezing to death back in October but am not willing to move it about since a) there is no room and b) I will not put it on rock work. I am afraid to get peppermint shrimp as there is a bicolor Pseudochromis in the system and he'll probably eat them. If I try a Copperband butterfly (assuming I can find a good one) will the yellow tang's annoy it to death?
<Hopefully not. Is there room for a Chaetodon lunula instead?>
 If I try the Aiptasia eating Nudibranch what are the chances of survival for them?
<They eventually will die from starvation, or turn to some other Cnidarian/s... I'd not choose them>
I maintain a lagoon style set up so there is a 10 ppm nitrate reading in the tank and I understand they need a 0 nitrate environment. I cannot even get rid of the affected rock as there are corals growing on it.
Am I missing anything? Do you have any other suggestions?
<Mmm, yes. Read here:
and the linked files above>
PS: I am getting another reef cleaner package and going heavy on the red legged hermit crabs in a coupe of weeks. They may help also.
<Mmm, doubtful. Am not a fan of these anomurans in the vast majority of marine aquariums... for reasons gone over and over on WWM>
As always, thank you in advance for your help. I am starting to think a systematic break down and clean up is needed. Perhaps there are too many organics stuck in the plenum or I need to dispose of some of the substrate.
Tank set up:
125 gallon
Deep Sand Bed (3 to 4 inches with lots of worms, copepods, tiny brittle starts, spaghetti worms, tube worms etc. Very much "alive")
Plenum designed as per GARF specs.
1.023 SG
10-20 ppm Nitrate
0 Phosphate (according to Sea Chem test kit)
400-500 calcium
10-11 dKH
LED lighting system
2 Eheim Wet Dry Filters (alternately cleaned every couple of months)
Recently added Chemi Pure in an effort to reduce organics 2 additional powerheads for circulation
Currently increased 30g water changes every other week.
System is 8 years old with no more room. Haven't purchased any additional anything for the last two years since all corals grew in to fill available space.
Assorted Euphyllia species (hammer and frogspawn)
Green polyps
Palythoa (two clumps)
Orange plate coral
Cabbage leather
Orange encrusting Montipora
some Acanthastrea
1 Favia
elegance coral
Assorted mushrooms and Ricordea
Some interesting scallops (I think. came in on Aiptasia infected rock piece)
3 Bubbletip anemone (used to be 1 and I think I am getting rid of them)
1 Pajama Cardinal (wants a new home)
1 bicolor Pseudochromis
2 Yellow Tangs
1 tomato clown
Assorted snails and a few hermit crabs
<Don't despair. Read till you understand your options... act. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Danger? 1/3/12
Hello Crew!
<Hi Kyle>
I have a ten gallon salt water tank that houses a Percula Clown, a Yellow Clown Goby, a serpent starfish, a few quarter sized hermit crabs, and various species of snails. Since I have no intention of keeping corals in this tank, would Aiptasia anemones pose a threat to my livestock? I find them quite interesting and obviously they would not be difficult to care for. I know that they pose a significant threat to sessile invertebrates, but could a couple larger specimens hurt or consume my fish or clean up crew?
<As long as no corals are present, Aiptasia shouldn't pose a threat to your fish.
Because of their potent sting, they may be a threat to other invertebrates if allowed to multiply in large numbers.  May want to read here.
Thanks for your time!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Questions Questions. Tank Move, setup, Aiptasia control   11/9/11
Hey guys,
I have a few questions. I am currently in the process of switching from a 46 gallon bowfront with a sump to a 75 gallon. I have live rock now in my tank and it has quite the population of Aiptasia that I have been trying to get rid of. In the new tank I am plumbing everything into the basement and using two separate tanks for my sump setup. One for the actual sump and one for a refugium. I had a friend give me a ton of rock that used to be live but is now dried out. I would like to use my current LR in the sump in the basement which will be 5-8 ft below my tank in the basement. The new rock that my buddy gave me will be in the main display to become LR again in time. If I use my current LR with Aiptasia only in the sump can the Aiptasia make its way into my tank above?
<It is possible, but probably not too likely. Just keep a close eye out and be ready to tackle any in the main tank before it becomes problematic.>
I do not want this in my main tank again!.
<I bet.>
I thought about getting some Nudibranchs and putting them in the sump with the LR but am not sure what to do.
<Not just any Nudibranch will do, it needs to be a Berghia, which is an obligate Aiptasia eater. They can be bought aquacultured.>
I am using a 55 gallon for the sump and a 30 gallon for the refugium to make my water volume bigger and for future equipment being added on. If I used this same rock and LS in my sump for my new tank would it save my tank from cycling again?
<It would definitely help speed up the cycle, may make it undetectable.>
I thought about purchasing already cured LR from the LFS and putting that in my sump instead of the Aiptasia loaded rock. Help!
<No guarantees there that it would be Aiptasia free either. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm .>
Chris A.
<Chris P.>

Aiptasia, Aiptasia, Here and There! (Soon to be everywhere!) -- 10/07/11
Hello, Bob and the wonderful crew at WWM!
<<Hey Jamie'¦Eric here>>
Well, I was doing some fun reading on WWM and it reminded me to ask you a question regarding Aiptasia.
I have these pesky, stinging, resilient, and not to mention ugly, anemones in my refugium and my overflow, and I'm guessing that they will be in my sump and tubing very soon!
It is interesting to note that there are NONE in my display tank.
<<That you have seen/noticed'¦>>
I'm guessing it is because I have red legged hermits and an Emperor Angel who may be supplementing his diet with these yummy (?) pests.
<<Something is>>
I've read that some have kept the Aiptasia in their refugium as a means of nutrient export.
<<This is true'¦efficient 'absorption' feeders'¦though I can't help but think they take a share of the planktonic organisms as available, as well>>
I wonder if they will spread back to my display tank, but then, I think they started in my display tank and travelled down to the refugium...
How hard should I try to eradicate these in my refugium?
<<In my experience (I have a large number of these pest anemones in my own refugium), as long as you have an 'effective' biological control in the display (Copperband, in my case) it is nit an issue>>
I was thinking of getting a Peppermint Shrimp to place in there but I've had shrimps in my refugium before and I think they starved to death.
<<I wouldn't do this>>
My refugium is 13 gallons with 3" live sand and Chaetomorpha. Red legged hermits probably would not work as they cannot climb up high enough to get to the Aiptasia.
<<Crabs/shrimp are likely to do more harm to the beneficial biota, than to the Aiptasia>>
Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated!
<<You have 'em!>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Aiptasia in curing live rock for invertebrate-only tank    10/2/11
Hi all. Thank you for being there for us beginners!
<Welcome Tim>
I am in the third day of curing a batch of live rock from several areas of the ocean. I plan to make this an invertebrate-only tank.
To preserve as much life as possible, I am using a ridiculously oversized needle-wheel skimmer, doing massive water changes, and pouring in large amounts of nitrification bacteria additive. So far, ammonia and nitrite are still almost unmeasurable, and I can't believe how much life is popping out of this rock. I've got some healthy looking corals, snails crawling all over the place, I caught sight of a bristle worm, and I even have a tiny baby starfish (which probably will not survive due to lack of food).
Amazing! I never realized that curing live rock could be so much fun.
But... little anemones that are almost certainly Aiptasia are also appearing. Aagh! I do not want this to become an Aiptasia species tank.
Individual injection with Kalk or Aiptasia-X would be an impractical task.
I have not yet found a source for Berghia verucornis, although I intend to keep looking. If anyone here knows of a good mail-order source, please let me know. Thanks!
<Try the hobbyist magazines' ads in the back... your close-by marine aquarium/reef club/s...>
Your main Aiptasia page here says this:
"In particular the more common "Red Legged ("Hairy") Hermit Crab, Clibanarius digueti"
Interesting. I have not seen this suggestion anywhere else, which makes me suspicious, although I hate to doubt the wisdom here!
I have tons of clibanarius tricolor in my FOWLR display tank. I could move some of them to the new tank as soon as cycling is complete. Do you have any idea if they would do the trick?
<I do not have complete confidence in Hermits period; but worth trying... I do agree w/ a biological control vs. chemical>
As of now, my tentative plan is to wait for cycling to complete, and then put in some Lysmata wurdemanni. As you know, there are mixed reports on the efficacy of this method, but since it fits in perfectly with my plan of an invertebrate-only tank, it's worth a try.
<Yes; agreed>
Anyhow, here is my main question: My plan of using peppermint shrimp and hermit crabs, and the Nudibranchs if I can get them, requires waiting until the rock is fully cured and cycling is complete. But I fear that by then the Aiptasia may have overrun the tank and the task will be hopeless. So... do you think it's safe to wait for completion, or should I do something else immediately?
<Not to worry re the timing... I'd be patient>
I have no idea how quickly this population may explode. Thanks for any advice!
<Again, welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Aiptasia in curing live rock for invertebrate-only tank, Limpet avail.     10/2/11

Bob - Thank you! I'll wait for cycling to complete and then put in peppermints, hermits, and Nudibranchs if I can get them. I'm glad you said to wait for curing to complete. That's what I wanted to hear!
<Ah good>
By the way, I've been researching limpets here, and I noticed several people asking where to get them. I purchased some from reefcleaners.org and was very happy with their quality and service.
<Thank you for this input>
My new limpets are leaving scorched earth in their path, but I guess that's the point. Just thought I'd pass along that source in case anyone else asks.
<Cheers, BobF>

my Aiptasia is dying! I don't want it to! 9/12/11
So I have been culturing Aiptasia and Berghia for 3~4 years now with no problem. Recently I moved and completely redid my system of six 90 gal. tubs. Doing everything the same way all of my fish and LR and just fine, but all of my Aiptasia are melting. I know that they like nutrient rich water and I have adjusted my skimmer up and down for a few weeks, 0 nitrate,
<... too low>
levels good all around. Only difference now is that I have city water instead of a well.
So there are 2 things that I think might be causing this. 1- there is copper in the city water, and 2- the tap water conditioner I used is having some effect. Do you have any input or ideas?
My Berghia cultures are barely hanging on as I have been going to my Lfs to strip their tanks of Aiptasia to support them.
<... Uh, not following you here mate... but yes, best to put out the 911 on the glass anemone bun... Look for 'nems from elsewhere hon! Bob Fenner>

Unusual Aiptasia Predator (Mithrax sp.)? -- 06/18/11
Hi crew,
I don't really have a question today, more of an observation.
<<Alrighty then>>
I have a 55 gallon reef tank and recently noticed a couple small Aiptasia pop up on a piece of live rock.
<<'¦and then they were many'¦>>
I was keeping an eye on them until I could pick up some Joe's Juice.
<<Prefer Red Sea's Aiptasia-X, myself>>
Well my Mithrax crab decided that he had a taste for Aiptasia and subsequently cleaned up my problem before it became one.
Well I guess I have one question, is this an isolated occurrence or have any of you heard of this type of predation?
<<Haven't heard this before, but that doesn't mean it's an isolated occurrence either. This is just another example of the opportunistic and predatory nature of most all crabs'¦do keep an eye on this guy as it gets bigger, else your fishes/other desirable organisms can become its next 'opportunity'>>
Thank you for all the help you, WWM, have given me.
<<The pleasure is ours>>
I wouldn't be enjoying my tank as much without it. You all are the best!
<<We are happy to share'¦Cheers! EricR>>

Aiptasia    5/29/11
Your site has bin a great help an I've bin able to identify many hitchhikers on my lr, I have one or to Aiptasia on my lr
If I inject the with boiling water will it change the chemistry and mostly will it harm my fish? thank you
<Not a good idea to do this w/o leaving the rock somewhere else for a while... Not a technique I'd employ. Bob Fenner>
Re: Aiptasia   5/29/11

Thank for the quick reply ,Wt would you advise ,is it better to leave the it and get some Aiptasia x from my Lfs
Jus worried they won't harm the fish will it I have bout a dozen or so
<Do READ here:
including all the linked files above. Best to learn from others experiences, successful and equally as valuable, unsuccessful, w/o having your livestock suffer unnecessarily. BobF>

Re: Aiptasia Identification. now eradication... Baby baby light my fire!   4/15/11
I tried all the various recommended remedies the remove the Majanos and I did not have any luck. However, I found something that did work well and wanted to share it. Using a small butane torch cigar lighter, I lift the rock partially out of the water, burn the Majano to a crisp and then put the live rock back into place.
<What's that slogan for the sandwich shoppe? "Crispy!">
This has eliminated my entire Majano problem without causing any ill effects to water chemistry or tank inhabitants. I have occasionally had one pop up, but when I do, I just incinerate it with the torch. Works great, no cell's or tissue left to spread the nuisance Majano with this method.
Les Currey
<"Take me higher!" Thanks, BobF>

UV Helpful Against Aiptasia?/Aiptasia Control 3/10/2011
<Hello Lindsey>
Thanks for the wonderful site; it never ceases to amaze me.
<You're welcome.>
I have a burning question I'm hoping you can help me answer. While trolling the internet I ran across mention of using UV sterilizers to help slow the spread of Aiptasia. I suppose it could in theory kill any free floating buds before they had a chance to attach? How likely is a UV sterilizer to actually make a noticeable difference in Aiptasia control as part of a multi-pronged approach? I would be very interested in any thoughts or experience with this the crew has to offer.
<Would be of little to no value for controlling Aiptasia.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Insights on Defeating Aiptasia   3/6/11
Hi Everyone at WWM!
<Hey... Fuse!>
I would like to share my personal experience in successfully battling a long-term, horrid Aiptasia infestation in my display tank.
<Please do>
The methodology is quite simple, and the results almost magical, that I decided to share it with you so that others may try it out for themselves. The tank in question is a 36" x 18" x 18" tank loaded with live rock that was originally designed as a grow-out tank for wild-collected juveniles (1/4") of Chelmon rostratus.
The tank was intentionally stocked (yes...) with Aiptasia that served as the food supply for the Butterflyfish. It came to a point where the tank was packed with the anemones at a density of around 3-4 adults per square inch (yes, the stuff reefkeeper nightmares are made of hahaha), and served its purpose well. A few months ago I decided to move on and transform the tank into a full-blown reef...but first had to remove the Aiptasia. So I tried, and tried, and tried... to eliminate the Aiptasia...scraping, siphoning, blacking the tank out, brushing, injecting with hot water, vinegar, lemon juice, bleach (!)... to no avail.. I was killing a few, but the overall density was just too high to begin with, that asexual reproduction was more than enough to compensate for the few that I was removing.
By careful observation, I noticed that the Aiptasia would always position themselves (by ballooning or crawling) at the highest points in the tank (rocks and macroalgae), specially when the current was low or when the lights were dimmed... so I got brainwave # 1 - I made a lot of yarn ribbons like the ones used for breeding freshwater fish (5-6 inches long) and placed these in and around the rocks in the tank. I dimmed the lights and slowed the current, and found that I could get at least 10 Aiptasia per yarn bundle every other day. I was using around 20 of these in my tank, so you can imagine how many Aiptasia I was pulling out each time. After 2 weeks there were hardly any large ones left, but I still had the really small almost-microscopic ones to deal with, since these never attempted to attach to the yarn strands...after wracking my brains out, I think I had a nervous breakdown and got Brainwave # 2: I totally
drained my tank to a level 1 inch below the surface of the 4" sand bed (at this point no fish, no corals, and no nylon - just the rocks and the sand bed) and kept it in this condition for 36 hours. I kept the rocks moist by slightly misting them with seawater once an hour, and kept the tank in the dark and covered to
prevent extreme desiccation (I still had all the nice coralline growth and sand infauna that I wanted to keep alive). After 36 hours, I re-filled the tank with the drained seawater, and was AMAZED to find almost all the pin-sized Aiptasia gone! About a dozen tiny ones appeared after a few days, and I repeated the
procedure, this time keeping the tank drained for only 24 hours... after this second treatment, all the Aiptasia are gone, and I have never had an infestation since (knock on wood...fingers crossed ha-ha). I would like to add that during this treatment, I did not lose any other invertebrate attached to the rocks
(tubeworms, Zoanthids, gastropods and some oysters). It may be that the desiccation threshold of Aiptasia is significantly lower than that of other invertebrates, and may be the Achilles Heel that Aiptasia 'keepers' have been looking for a long time.
I know that the problem I had with Aiptasia was on the other end of the spectrum (the insane, nightmarish end), and I'm sure that 99% of Aiptasia infestations are unlike mine, but I would still like to contribute my experience in the hopes that It may be of use to others who have come to their wit's end in their battle
against Aiptasia.
Best regards WWM Crew!
<Thank you for sharing your success! Bob Fenner>

Goldflake Angel and Aiptasia Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus for Aiptasia control? 10/27/2010
Hey guys,
Quick question. I have heard that the Goldflake Angel will eat Aiptasia? Is that true?
<Goldflakes are generally regarded as reef safe, so that isn't likely.
There are far better methods of Aiptasia control.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm >

Re: Sohal tang compatibility, now fish eating Aiptasia  9/28/10
Thanks for the reply! We will not add a Sohal per your advice. I looked at the Chelmonops species you recommended, but I could only those native to cold water.
Do you have any thoughts on adding Chaetodon trichrous, the Tahitian Butterflyfish or Acreichthys tomentosus, a Filefish to help with the Aiptasia issue?
<The latter may help... but don't generally relegate polyp eating to just pest anemones>
We had considered adding one of those two fish at the same time as a Naso lituratus in hopes that
adding two fish together might disperse any aggression from the Yellow tang. Is this a reasonable plan?
<Mmm, define reasonable.>
Any suggestions between the Filefish and the Butterflyfish?
<Read here:
and the linked files above>
Thanks again for all the invaluable help...as always impressed with the commitment and dedication of so many to run your website so well!
<Welcome. BobF>

Annoying Aiptasia, 9/28/10
Dear sir or Madame,
I have been having a problem with Aiptasia anemones. I have tried two different Aiptasia chemical treatments over the past month. Neither has eliminated them all. Even when treating for three days in a row. I am very worried about the occupants of my tank. And I am very frustrated as well.
<These chemical treatments are often toxic to other tank inhabitants.>
I have looked into getting something that will eat the Aiptasia.
<Very little does.>
Butterfly fish are out of the question. They require large tanks. I only have a 12 gal. tank. And the tank is already occupied by 2 snails (1 Cerith and 1 Nerite), 1 hermit crab (scarlet reef species), and 1 tailspot blenny.
There is no room in my tiny tank for a large fish. I have heard there is a sea slug (Berghia verrucornis species) that will eat Aiptasia. But I hear these sea slugs are also hard to come by and expensive. Would one of these sea slugs be able to survive in my 12 gal. aquarium with my current occupants?
<Berghia verrucornis, a Nudibranch. It is an obligate Aiptasia feeder, they are very effective but die once their food source is exhausted. Check with your local reef clubs, often they are passed around once they have finished cleaning out a tank. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm
I have already tried peppermint shrimp. The one I tried before died. (I may not have acclimated it properly, or there may simply have been something not quite right with my water). I have a UV filter and a filter capable of filtering a 40 gal. tank. If I were to try a peppermint shrimp again (after having fixed the water and acclimating it correctly), would the shrimp survive in my 12 gal. tank with my current tank occupants?
<They are very sensitive to water quality, so it may be difficult in such a small tank. Also they are not guaranteed to eat Aiptasia.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/L.wurdemanniF.htm >
Are there any small hermit crabs that eat Aiptasia? I heard there is a large species of hermit crab that might eat Aiptasia (I think it is called the white-spotted hermit crab). It can be destructive, I have heard. I seriously doubt this species of crab would work in my 12 gal. tank. But I have to ask anyway. Would this species of hermit crab work in my 12 gal. tank with my current occupants?
Are there other small creatures, which eat Aiptasia, that will thrive in my 12 gal. tank, with my current occupants?
Thank you.
<See here for more
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm .>

Aiptasia Filter For Sun Coral Tank -- 09/23/10
Hi all.
This one's for Anthony.
<<Sorry mate, Anthony left our association some time ago -- perhaps I will be able to assist>>
My name is Zubair, I'm from South Africa.
<<Eric in South Carolina, here>>
Read through the FAQ's and came across one where you discouraged using an Aiptasia filter, unless the system had a huge bio load.
<<Mmm, actually -- I wouldn't use this methodology 'at all.' While these critters can/do feed by absorption (though not exclusively), I don't think any benefit re would justifies the risk of having them spread throughout your system'¦and they will'¦possibly to plague proportion>>
I would like to set up a small tank for a sun coral colony. About 10g display and 5g sump.
Would feed the colony about 2-3 times per week and do a weekly water change. Or maybe a smaller water change after every feeding.
<<Weekly water changes should suffice>>
I do have a small skimmer should I need one.
<<Even on this small system where you can easily change large volumes of water to dilute pollutants, I would still employ a skimmer if available. It's going to do its thing 24/7 to pull out dissolved organics, as well as help with gas exchange>>
I will run a good quality activated carbon. If I place a few Aiptasia in the sump, will they consume any significant amount of nutrients, leftover food etc?
<<Nothing 'significant,' no'¦and maybe not even when those few become 'many'>>
Plan on keeping 2 or 3 peppermint shrimp in the display should any of them 'escape'.
<<I would not count on the shrimp to control 'escapees' with certainty'¦and you may even find them to prey on 'desirable' organisms. Certainly any emergent life from your live rock will be at risk>>
No fish unless you think otherwise.
<<Considering the size of the system, I am hesitant to recommend any. Even 'small' reef fishes deserve more water volume and real estate than you propose, in my opinion>>
Won't be investing a lot so don't mind experimenting. What are your thoughts?
<<I suggest you forego the 'Aiptasia filter''¦more likelihood for trouble than any realized benefit. Water changes, carbon filtration, and the small skimmer will do fine for this small system'¦especially so if you keep with your plan to go 'fishless'>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Live rock... Aiptasia troubles   8/18/10
Hello to my lifesaving crew,
<Hello Edie
I have a question and I didn't know how to find the answer anywhere else.
Please help!
I have Aiptasia, increasing in number, in my 90 gal. tank and I wanted to get some peppermint shrimp to take care of the problem. The only trouble was that I have an undesirable crab (according to your website) in one of the live rocks. The fish store man suggested putting the rock in fresh water and the crab would run out--then I could do away with it. (He was a hitchhiker on that rock when I got it.) There are some large Aiptasia on top, which may be killed by the fresh water, too, I don't know.
The crab did run out and die,
<Poor crab..>
so I took him out, and now I don't know if I should put the rock back into the tank with possible dead Aiptasia--wouldn't they pollute the tank?
<Possibly, yes, along with anything else that died in there>
There is lots of coralline algae on it, and I'd like to keep the rock, if possible. The rock was in fresh water for about an hour, and is now in a bucket with salt water again. Should I wait to see if the anemones are dead? How can I tell?
<It would probably be ok to put right back, but to be sure you could put an airstone in the bucket with the rock & a little carbon and test for phosphate & nitrate after a day or so. If they are both ok then place the rock back to the system>
When, and if, should I replace the rock? (It was my skunk cleaner shrimp's cleaning station, also, so kind of important to me.)
Should I cure the rock again? How, without other equipment, such as an aerator?
<Do buy one, they are very cheap and are very useful items to have>
Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
<No problem at all>
Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

Keeping Anemonia and Aiptasia Anemones in Place of Corals? -- 06/27/10
Hello crew!
<<Hey there!>>
I've decided to try something I haven't heard anyone talk about before.
People have called me crazy for thinking of doing this!
<<Ah'¦the plight of the adventurer'¦>>
I have 5 gallon hexagonal aquarium, used for keeping two Caribbean Banded Hermit Crabs that my neighbors accidentally brought home from Florida. Other than a couple small bristleworms, amphipods, Asterina stars and the crabs, the tank is devoid of fauna.
The light is a 10watt "daylight" CFL bulb that screws into a socket like an incandescent bulb would, so any corals seem out of question.
<<Most any photosynthetic variety'¦indeed>>
Would I be able to keep Anemonia/Majano anemones or Aiptasia species with little to no maintenance in this tank?
<<Ah yes! And likely the Aiptasia with greater success here. I have seen these do quite well in environments nearly devoid of light (e.g. - unlit sumps) given enough nutrients in the water for the anemone to 'absorb.' Aiptasia are masters of survival (which is why they are so tough to eradicate). I have seen completely bleached specimens living quite well in the absence of their symbiotic algae'¦no 'light required' for these little beauties>>
I would keep a steady supply of amphipods and copepods from my FOWLR tank, and the light would be on for 10 hours a day.
<<The light need on be for your viewing pleasure re the Aiptasia'¦and a few shrimp pellets sprinkled in the tank every couple of days will likely provide sufficient feeding here as well. Though maybe not a 'popular' animal for captive keeping such a tank as you are contemplating will likely be fascinating to observe in its own right, and who knows, perhaps you will learn/share something that may benefit the hobby re these 'pest' anemones'¦not 'crazy' at all. Good luck with your venture'¦ Eric Russell>>

Losing the war against Aiptasia... Aiptasia control. 5/11/2010
Hello WWM crew,
<Hi Adam.>
Once again I am in dire need of your sage advice. When I initially set up my tank in November, I had one large piece of live rock that looked like it was covered in baby anemones.
<Uh oh...>
Having no interest in unknown hitch hikers, I followed the same tooth brush scrub down protocol that I followed with all my other rocks and thought I had gotten them all.
<They have remarkable regeneration capabilities.>
The piece of rock in question however was a large knotted mess of dead tube forming coral skeletons with more nooks and cavities than actual rock. In the weeks that followed, those little anemones started popping up from the mouths of the crevices in the rock and as they grew it became clear they were Aiptasia.
So far, I have tried buying peppermint shrimp,
<Can work, provided you actually have a peppermint shrimp. The very similar looking camel shrimp will not touch them.>
physically removing them,
<Difficult, as they can regenerate from the smallest piece left behind..>
covering them with a concentrated Kalkwasser paste,
<can work.>
administering Joe's juice as per instructions on the bottle (though I think it's just another Kalkwasser solution),
<No experience with this product.>
buying tiny gauge hypodermic syringes and injecting them with lemon juice and all to no avail.
<I've had excellent luck injecting them with Kalkwasser slurry - you want it milk white. My spouse is diabetic, so I have a ready supply of syringes.>
In fact, every time I think I've won, and the Kalkwasser/Joe's juice seems "melt" the little bastards, they are back within days, bigger than when I started! The problem I'm having now is that they are spreading at a
shocking speed, most recently thickly colonizing a bed of stunning green and orange Zoanthids, which have completely stopped opening in the vicinity of each anemone, with visible recession setting in.
<Not surprising unfortunately. Aiptasia will spread as long as conditions favor them. You will want to take a close look at your water quality and try to eliminate any excess nutrients>
At last count there was over 100 of these things in the visible areas of my rock work, with untold hundreds more where I can't see them.
<Yikes... may be too far gone at this point.>
They are also smart enough it seems to pick crevices that they can completely and utterly recede in to the second either a syringe, tweezers or an eye drop of liquid death gets near their tentacles.
<Survival instinct at its finest.>
Is there anything else you can think of?
<I've heard people have good results with Aiptasia-X, but I have not used it. Again, I always have good luck with injecting Kalkwasser slurry. If you can find a source of Berghia Nudibranchs, they are voracious eaters of Aiptasia, If all else fails, you can remove the rock from the tank and let it dry out for a week to 10 days. This will kill the Aiptasia, but it will also kill your rock.>
Every time I disturb them they appear to breed and I'm afraid if I keep on this aggressive path with them I will soon have a large, expensive box of Aiptasia to show off to friends and family, but at this rate it looks like I might have that no matter what I do.
<Best of luck!>
Re: Losing the war against Aiptasia...5/12/10

Thanks for the quick reply Mike,
<Hi Adam, no problem.>
I did some reading and the Berghia seems like it might be my best option.
<They do work well.>
I found a Berghia specific breeder from Texas that will ship them to Canada and have placed an order for a small breeding age colony. It wasn't cheap (shipping was as much as the animals!), but hopefully in time they will breed enough to combat the problem. I might start an Aiptasia breeding tank to keep them fed once the supply in my show tank runs dry - which it hopefully will - and who knows, I might even be able to start selling them!
<That wouldn't be a bad idea.>
Again, thank you for your help,
<My pleasure.>

Majano & glass anemones  4/1/10
Hi there
<Hi Thomas>
I have a couple of questions. I have a 140 gallon salt water tank with a couple of Mushroom corals, Kenya Tree corals and 3 small Bubble Tip Anemones. My tank has been completely over run by Aiptasia & Majano anemones. It is to a point where killing them one by one is rather impractical.
They are basically on all of my 140 pounds of live rock. I was wondering if you would suggest removing the live rock and using a method of over salinifing the water
and if I do this what level of salinity would kill the Anemones.
<You would have to go pretty high I suspect>
and if I do this what would the backlash on my system.
<Death on a mass scale? Certainly, if you raise the salinity high enough to kill the anemones, which will be tougher than most of the other life in your rock. You will convert this to 'dead' rock>
The tank has a very low amount of live stock 3 Chromis 1 Lamarck Angel an Engineer Goby and a Maroon Clown. I also want to ask your opinion of removing my bio balls and poly filter set up to just a filter sock style filtration system.
<I would probably remove the bio balls anyway, stick with the Poly-Filter and not go with filter socks. Your skimmer should be able to do all the mechanical filtration necessary, and all of your biological filtration comes from the live rock. If it were not for your BTA's I would consider a butterfly, but these would be at risk here. You could try some Berghia Nudibranch if you can get your hands on them. And, oh yeah.. these are feeding on something... Try here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm >.
sincerely Thomas von Bargen

Berghia breeding... Or is it Aiptasia breeding! - 1/25/10
Hi Guys,
Greetings from England! I decided a short time ago to undertake a little business project, namely the breeding of Berghia Nudibranchs- something which not too many people here in the UK are doing.
<Can be quite profitable... and a good deal of fun!>
Numerous times in seminars and articles I¹ve heard Anthony Calfo say he¹s always happy to provide help and advice to people starting out in the aquaculturing business, and actually, mentioning Berghia specifically. I thought rather than bother him directly I¹d fire off an email to you guys, and if he was willing to get in touch also that¹d be an added bonus (and an honour!).
<Is no longer actively w/ WWM. You can reach him through ReadingTrees.com>
Now, as you¹d expect I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject, and a plan is slowly forming in my head. Still in the very early stages though.
However, one thing I am finding a distinct lack of information on is the rather peculiar subject of encouraging Aiptasia to breed! I¹ve heard general tips on starving brood stock of light and feeding in order to encourage asexual production, and other such tricks, but no real hard data. My questions are numerous, and I¹m sure much will be discovered once the project is underway, but basically boil down to:
What is the optimum temperature to encourage reproduction?
What is it best to feed them, and how much?
Is filtration required/ to what degree does one need to worry about water quality?
In, say, a 20 gallon aquarium is any circulation other than an airstone required/desirable?
I¹m presuming that water changes will be essential, particularly if no filtration is required. 10% weekly?
How fast do they grow in an optimum environment?
<Mmm, actually, the only input I have other than having visited home aquaculturists facilities is the article posted here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm
and the linked files above>
The picture I¹m getting from my reading is that breeding the Nudibranchs won¹t really be too much of a problem, it¹s ³farming² the Aiptasia to keep up with their feeding regime which will require the most thought.
<Can be>
I¹ve also considered the idea of retarding the growth of the ³food² rather than ³breeding stock² Aiptasia, as it is advantageous to keep them small. Is this possible and sensible?
<Mmm, not practical I think>
I don¹t want to crash my cultures by starving them!
<Easy to grow out if you have sufficient space... can be cultured in shallow "kiddie pools", fragmented with hand or power tool... and fed, illuminated to spur on growth>
Another question- I do have a number of people who have Aiptasia in their tanks that they¹d be willing to ³donate².
<This is also a very common practice, arrangement>
In order to keep predators out of the Nudibranch tanks though, I realise that these anemones need to be removed from liverock, and quarantined for a period of time. What sorts of methods are there for removing the Aiptasia from rocks without damaging them?
<Not to worry... by shaking the rock they're on a bit, they'll close up enough to remove the rock and them safely, transport underwater>
I was planning on covering the bottom of the Aiptasia tanks with snipped up egg crate, so that each ³meal² can easily be removed and added to the Nudibranch tank. Is this a sensible way to do it, or is there a better way?
<I think having a base of large/r rubble of a carbonaceous make up will be better by far. Just remove the large piece along with the anemone>
Would it be wise to dip them in RO to kill off any hitchhikers?
<Not necessary... Are you going to culture the Berghia in (Styrofoam) cups? Easiest way...>
I¹m sorry there are so many questions, but this is complicated stuff I realised rather quickly!
Thanks so much in advance for any help you can provide,
Best wishes,
James Baldwin
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Bio control of pest anemone reading  1/25/2009
Hi guys/girls
I have a 140 gallon salt water fish tank I have a couple of issues I want to ask about. First off I have a huge Aiptasia and majano anemone problem. I have tried endless times using Joes juice and another product by I think Kent marine. But to no avail.
<Mmm, of such chemical remedies, I really like Red Sea's AiptasiaX>
I have spent hours trying to individually inject them.
<If there's a "bunch", best to try a biological control>
I am a college student so I cannot work on the tank to much so I usually go home once a month to work on it so every time I go home it is back to square one. I am wondering if there is any other way to get rid of the Aiptasia once and for all.
<... yes>
I am to the point of using drastic measures here so nothing is out of the question's have as far as tank inhabitants 3 Chromis, Sailfin tang,2 pj cardinals, Lamarck angel, engineer goby ,bullet goby,1 snail,1 spiny urchin,2 bubble anemone and mushrooms and a couple of Kenya tree corals. The second question is I have an algae problem what would u suggest I add as far as a cleaner crew which animals and how many. Thanks any info would be so helpful.
Sincerely Thomas
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm
and the linked files at top and bottom respectively. Bob Fenner> 

Naso Tang And Aiptasia, hlth. and control  1/12/10
<Hello Michele>
We need help with a Naso tang that may not be with us for long.
<Oh? Let's hope not.>
Tank stats: 250 gallon LPS/SPS reef with an additional 400 gallons of supporting tanks (fuge, sump, frag tank, etc.).
<Sounds like a great system.>
Inhabitants are 7 inch Naso tang, 7 inch Rabbitfish, 5 inch Yellow tang, and pair of Ocellaris
clowns. All fish have been together for over 3 years and exhibit no apparent aggression toward each other. Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are zero, pH 8, SP 1.025, and temperature 78 normally.
<Sounds good.>
Currently, we probably only due <do> a water change of about 10 percent every 3 to 4 weeks b/c everything always tests zero and we feel like we have a low bioload for 650 gallons.
<Water quality and test results are two different subjects. You mention no use of a protein  skimmer and is one component very necessary for improving water quality, especially with keeping sensitive tangs.>
Tank has been set up for about 2 1/2 years.
Tank has been unremarkable except for the following issues. We fought a Dinoflagellate problem about 8 or 10 months ago and we currently have an Aiptasia problem. Aiptasia X will keep them in check, but we have not been able to completely eradicate them.
<Ah, the scorn of many a reefkeeper and sometimes difficult to eradicate.>
Aiptasia X has not been used in the tank in the last few weeks. About one month ago we purchased a Copperband Butterflyfish. After an abbreviated QT (2 weeks) we introduced the fish (was bright and eating commercial food as well as picking at rock). Shortly after introduction the Yellow tang showed aggression and left a lesion on the side of the Butterflyfish (bite, tang, not sure). We split the fish, but the butterfly died shortly thereafter. We assumed it was from stress and trauma from the Yellow tang, but now I'm worried it was disease b/c of the shortened QT and the sick Naso. One additional issue is temperature. Due to the current cold climate (single digits with a wind chill below zero...brrr!!!) our temperature dropped to 75 about a week ago. We insulated the pipes (they run below the house to the supporting tanks in a separate room) and got the temperature back up to 78. Would a temperature change of 3 degrees over a few days be enough for a problem?
<Unlikely over a three day span.>
So the problem: Our Naso tang had an acute onset of lethargy and weight loss about 3 days ago. She sits on the bottom of the tank with a rapid respiration rate. She has profound weight loss, but no other apparent external lesions.
<Mmm, not good.>
She will occasionally swim to the other side of the tank and back, but typically just rests on the bottom of the tank. The other fish hover close by, but don't seem to be doing any harm other than psychological. It looks like they are providing comfort to their sick tankmate, but I realize it's nature saying "hmm, weak fish, let's kill it." She shows minimal interest in eating. She did possibly eat a flake or two soaked in Selcon last night. Typical diet is a mixture of seafood treats, Nori sheets, Spectrum pellets, and flake.
So, we are torn on what to do. Should we separate her into a hospital tank for treatment? I see nothing wrong except the weight loss and respiratory rate, so I don't what I would be treating for...bacterial infection, internal parasite???
<Best not to treat until a positive diagnosis can be made.>
I think moving her would provide more stress, but we are open to suggestions. Should we try and separate the Rabbitfish and Yellow tang to the other side of the tank to give her time to possibly heal? We have searched for any possible contaminants to the tank with no ideas.
<I would discontinue the use of Aiptasia X for the time being. I've heard/read articles that some fish, mostly blennies have negative reactions to this product if ingested.
My understanding of Aiptasia X is that the active ingredients are suspended in some kind of 'Micella'
which is like a liquid capsule and only after ingested by the anemone it becomes free.
This leads me to believe it could have adverse reactions to fish but I have no documented proof of that. I'm hoping Bob and/or other crew members might comment here as well.>
The other fish look fine, but I suppose the Naso would be the most susceptible fish to disease of the ones we have.
<Yes. What types of food was your Naso eating. Proper nutrition goes a long way in disease prevention by increasing the fishes immunity level. The New Life Spectrum Pellets are an excellent nutritional source of food and is the only food I feed/use. Do visit, read, and
look at the video at their site. http://nlsfishfood.com/>
I know it's hard to make a diagnosis without seeing the fish or our system, but if anything comes to mind please let us know or refer us where to read.
<Yes, do read here and linked files in the header. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/naso_lituratus.htm>
On a separate note, we are desperately trying to get rid of the Aiptasia. The Aiptasia X has helped, but not eradicated the problem.
We were using so much of it, we were concerned it might affect our water quality! We would like to introduce a fish (removing Yellow tang first) that would eat them, but I'm not sure if that's possible. I'm hesitant to try another Copperband with their sensitive history and our bad story. We had considered a Raccoon Butterflyfish and then moving it to another tank before it developed an affinity for the SPS. I've read the FAQs and articles on Butterflyfish and I know they may eat Aiptasia, but I'm not sure if they have a preference for the Aiptasia and would leave corals alone until the Aiptasia are gone or if they would just mow down all corals and Aiptasia together. Perhaps it's based on the individual fish and you can't give a definitive answer on that one.
<The Berghia Nudibranch is known to consume Aiptasia and you may want to read here regarding this. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm>
Thank you for providing a wonderful website and answering everyone's questions! If I have missed something in the FAQs (I'm sure I have) please refer me where to read. The whole reason we have the 250 is because we bought this Naso on an impulse purchase 3 1/2 years ago.
When we realized she was totally inappropriate for our 90 gallon, we started making plans for the 250 and moved her the next year. We are going to be so sad to lose her!!!
<Do read re above and do increase your water change frequency. Tangs of this genus are very demanding of high water quality and here is where a good efficient skimmer will help, along with the use of a chemical media such as Chemipure. And lets hope you will not lose your Naso. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Multi problem HELP!! Please. Aiptasia control; C. lunula use, Bleach nuking  1/8/10
Hi Bob,
I wrote to you last month re my glass anemone problem (email is below). I have used Aiptasia X myself only to notice they didn't go away for very long but seemed to come back full force and then some. I went ahead and made the additional purchase of 5 new Nudibranchs however through a comedy of errors (which wasn't very funny) they died.
I had thought about getting a Raccoon B/F but now I wonder if its just too bad for this fish to handle.
<Too bad?>
I read your article on Chaetodon lunula which is posted on WWM (thank you for that by the way) on how to make the right choice. I'm supposed to go down to the LFS tomorrow to put a down payment on one as they have agreed to hold the fish for 2 weeks for me to make sure its healthy and eating.
But I'm just not sure.
So I thought I would ask you. My problem here is bad. They are in the refugium on the filters and pumps I can even see them floating around at night. I have increase flow and decreased feedings, changed the water more often, started using different water, purchased peppermint shrimp that did nothing (may be the wrong kind I don't know)
<Quite common>
multiple tries with Aiptasia X (made it worse?)
<I really like/d this product...>
, multiple purchases of Nudibranchs and its still just as bad or even worse.
Can a Raccoon B/F handle this?
<Is worth trying, yes>
I'm going to try to get the bta's out of the tank and rehome them so I might be able to get the Raccoon. I wanted to know how good the Raccoons are at handling this problem.
<Some individuals have proven to be excellent; rarely are there absolute "duds">
Will it enter my tank and go to town like a Tang is with seaweed?
<Heeee! Let's hope>
I promise, I ALWAYS read before I ask a question. And had read the articles you pointed to in the previous email before I emailed you. Your website its kind of like my Fish Bible. I tried looking up bleaching tanks on WWM however many people seem to have bleached corals and anemones so the search became very very tedious. Bless your hearts for all the bleaching going on.
<May change my name to Bobby Clorox>
I was also wondering if the Raccoon will at all bother my skunk cleaner shrimp or sand sifting star?
<Mmm, no... highly unlikely>
Or does the Raccoon only eat the anemones and corals?
<Only rarely corals... and generally leave other, large/r species of Actinarians be>
Other than the Raccoon my only other option at this point would be to bleach the tank. Which wont be fun, but I will do it if that's what needs to be done.
My question is how?
<Remove all desired life... pour enough bleach in (on a sunny day with the windows open)... maybe lower the water level if the system, fuge... are "foaming too much"... after about an hour (when all is very white, nuked), drain and refill a couple times with freshwater... Read here please:
for related input, cautionary statements>
I leave everything in the tank (minus the animals I want to save of course)?
Then what, and how much bleach do I use?
<Mmm, of "stock solution" (about 12-13 % hypochlorite) about a half gallon per hundred gallons or so>
How long do I leave the fish out of the tank?
<Until it's recycled, stable...>
How often do I do water changes and how much water per time? When should I change filter media?
<Which water, media?>
Can you please give me a step by step here on how to handle this situation should that be the course I take.
<See the citation above and elsewhere on WWM re cycling a new system... you'll need some new LR to re-seed all>
Also after everything I have written about my situation which method would you personally use at this point?
<Only as a last resort; though I've done so several times over the years... Including in large facilities with "real troubles">
Thank you for all of your time and help. It is appreciated.
<Welcome! BobF> 

Aiptasia, Control 12/29/09
I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a growing problem of Aiptasia spreading all over the tank, what should I do? Should I get a Copperband butterfly?
<You could, or try peppermint shrimp, or go with manual removal using one of the commercially produced remedies. See here for more,
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm >
Thank you

Multi problem HELP!! Please... Aiptasia, Bubble Algae control possibilities investigating    12/22/09
I have a few big problems and need some guidance. First I have a REALLY bad problem with Aiptasia and have tried a multitude of things to take care of this however nothing has worked so I broke down and bought some (5) Berghia Nudibranchs to take care of this problem... I will be buying more as its been a while (about 2 months) and I have seen no decline what so ever.
<? No decline in the Aiptasia numbers?>
My second problem is that I have 2 cloned BTA's in this mess.
<Mmm, the predatory Nudibranchs may work these woe>
I am worried about the stress the Aiptasia is having on them and had read some where on your site about a kind of paste I could use and put over the little pests I want to say it was Kalkwasser.
<Has been employed here at times... there are better products... My fave currently: Aiptasia X by Red Sea>
My concern is what effect this will have on my BTA's. My plan was to use the Kalkwasser on the Aiptasia that are around the BT's and then let the Berghia take care of the rest. Though I really don't know what is the best plan here. I cant remove the BTA's because they are both DEEPLY wedged in live rock and pushing them out would mean right into the Aiptasia. Is this a good idea?
<Not the route I would take>
Or should I do something else?
<There are other, better predators... listed on WWM... IF the problem is "that" dire, I'd remove all desired livestock, including the Entacmaeas of course, and bleach the current rock... in place... place some new LR over the old to re-seed>
My other problem which I just found today is bubble algae.
<Not a big deal>
3 days ago I was doing a 20% water change and the hang on skimmer fell into the aquarium after I had taken out the water but before I put in the new water.... so I couldn't take out any more water as I only had enough to replace what I had already taken out. I am working on doing another larger water change 50% is my plan but the damage it appears to be done because what was a very small problem (maybe 7 or 8 small bubbles in one location) which I thought looked kind of pretty, has now turned into bubbles bubbles everywhere and not a drop to drink.
<And the mighty ships were tossed>
I had been a heavy handed feeder as I had a large (5") Sailfin Tang in the tank and that was the only way to make sure the other fish got feed. I have however rehomed him so I have been able to do much smaller feedings. Please guide me on this whole mess. What should I do first?
I have ordered some macro algae to help out compete the bubbles but man oh man am I frustrated. Is there anything I'm not thinking of?
Thank you for all of your help. You guys have really help me out a great deal. I am so thankful you do what you do.
<Start here (again?):
and the linked files above... And elsewhere re Bubble Algae:
Take your time, enjoy the process. Happy holidays.
Bob Fenner> 

Aiptasia in a Zoanthid Forest -- 12/14/09
<<Hi there!>>
and an overwhelming thank-you to WWM for providing such a wonderful educational resource here.
<<Quite welcome'¦we are happy you find it useful>>
I have been a saltwater aquarium addict since the early 1970s, but am just beginning with corals.
<<Ah, we share similar time lines'¦ I set up my first marine fish tank in 1976, but decided to 'go reef' in the late 80s>>
Recently, I bought several new items at my LFS-Euphyllia, Galaxea, finger leather, and some zoanthids.
<<Quite the 'stingy' and 'noxious' blend there>>
Since these came from tanks with fishes, I placed them in a 20-gallon QT, which also contains several small red-legged hermit crabs, a few Cerith snails, and a tiny tuxedo urchin. (All of these animals/colonies are extremely small.) I will skip details on setup and water quality, because, in this case, I don't believe they are especially relevant to my question. I am two weeks into quarantine, and all is well-almost.
Apparently I have some hitchhikers in the form of Aiptasia.
<<Ahh'¦the scourge of the reef aquaria'¦well, maybe next to nuisance alga>>
The good news is that I discovered these in the QT tank, rather than in my display tank.
I have at least three small Aiptasia on the piece of rubble to which the zoanthids are attached.
<<Should be easy enough to eradicate then>>
They're hidden right down in between the zoas, all about the same height. Aiptasia are about 3 mm in diameter. I am beginning to see the zoas shrivel where they have been stung.
<<Amazing that such a nasty and noxious organism itself can be malaffected so, eh>>
I have read the WWM articles and many, many FAQs, but still am not sure which method of control best suits this particular situation. The hermit crabs in the tank have not been helpful.
<<And you shouldn't expect them to be>>
Since I am already well into my QT time, I hesitate to add any more animals to the tank, because I would then have to start all over with the QT period. And with such a small tank, already housing a number of animals, I am nervous about overcrowding animals that are already somewhat stressed from being moved.
And would an Aiptasia-eating fish really dare to poke his snout into a colony of zoanthids???
<<This also is not the solution>>
I always prefer biological control for pests whenever possible, but what about chemical warfare?
<<A chemical solution is your best option here>>
Because of the Aiptasia's close proximity to the zoanthids, I worry about collateral damage.
<<Can be controlled/mitigated'¦and the Zoanthids are already being damaged by the Aiptasia>>
The whole colony is quite small. One little slip, or a wayward drip, and I could wipe them all out. I would much appreciate your advice.
<<I do think you can be rid of the Aiptasia with very little (if any) risk to the Zoanthids. I have found the offering from Red Sea called Aiptasia-x to be very effective at eradication these pest anemones. It can be precisely applied to the Aiptasia without killing your Zoanthids>>
Thank you,
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Aiptasia, control  -- 12/09/09
Hey everyone,
<G'day Marc>
Hope all is well and not too cold over there. It is currently 40 degrees in Nth Queensland.
<I take it this is in degrees Celsius... A bit warm! But I wish I was there diving with you>
I am after some information on reproduction in aiptasia. I have pulled down my tank due to an infestation and a desire to redo my aquascape. I have almost eliminated all of the remaining aiptasia off the glass and coral bases but I am still finding some small baby ones every so often.
<And, all it takes is a little tissue, really a few cells, to have the dang things regenerate!>
I was wondering if someone could provide some more information on the reproduction.
<Oh! Like other Actinarians/Anemones can/do reproduce in a few ways, including sexually; though most all are generated asexually (again via a few means/defined ways) in captivity... by fission, pedal laceration etc.>
I assume that at any age they can asexually reproduce if there is any part of the body left over after treatment (please correct me if I am wrong)
<You are unfortunately correct>
but what I would really like to know if at what age they become sexually active and if at a small size they are likely to be able to release larvae and also fertilise said larvae. My understanding it takes two aiptasia to reproduce (one of each sex).
<Mmm, yes... but the gametes, resultant larvae are likely very often completely removed by filtration, predation...>
Any information would be helpful in better understanding my foe the aiptasia. I hope to win this battle.
Thanks for reading and all the best.
<There are a few approaches... worth considering. Please give here:
The linked files at top, a read-through to develop a control plan. There are some worthwhile chemical warfare products (e.g. Aiptasia-X) as well as good predators (if they can go with your other livestock)... Do please make
known which route you go and your impressions. Bob Fenner>

Dying Aiptasia 12/6/09
Hello crew,
I have searched the internet to answer my question and have found nothing.
In my 55 g I have various softies and a Condy anemone, all of which seem to be doing very well. Since I first introduced live rock over a year ago I have battled Aiptasia with success limited to just keeping them at bay while others grow large between rock where unreachable. Until recently they have plagued my system. I have noticed the past month that all of the aiptasia are wilting away. There are no new ones growing anywhere, and the ones that were there for months are dying. Have you ever seen this?
<Mmm, no. Have you recently introduced a fish/invertebrate that may be dining on them? Anyhoo, keep your fingers crossed. James (Salty Dog)>

Aiptasia Woes -- 10/09/2009
Hey all,
<Hey Jonathan! JustinN here!>
I am pretty sure I've spotted an Aiptasia anemone in my tank and was wondering what you recommended to help rid myself of this pest. Easiest way I can think of is to buy 1 or 2 peppermint shrimp and see that they would eat them.
<Yes, likely the easiest -- just be sure they are true peppermints.>
However, I only have a 24 gallon nano tank that houses 2 cleaner shrimp already, will this be an issue?
<Mmm... should not be -- though the volume size leaves me wondering.
Territoriality may become an issue with a 24 gallon setup.>
2nd, I've been hearing that a turkey baster with different fluids will do the trick also.
<Can, dependent on methodology. There's many 'methods', but very few with any real validity.>
Will this effect the tank if done incorrectly?
Any suggestions on what type of product to use?
<A Kalkwasser slurry, if you insist on going this route.>
I do not want this pest to run wild in my tank. I've recently started to add some corals and would hate to loose them.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
<Read up here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm  and the associated links. Plenty of details to be had on the removal of these curious pests! -JustinN

Clarification of a type of hermit crab on the aiptasia article, corr.  8/13/2009
Says :"In particular the more common "Red Legged ("Hairy") Hermit Crab, Dardanus megistos (Image) is an almost-all-the-time reef-safe animal that also eats pest algae. One or two to a tank is all it takes."
Dardanus megistos is called White-spotted Hermit Crab or Scarlet Hermit Crab. It is not reef safe and one per tank is recommended.
<I strongly agree>
Red Legged Hermit Crab is called Clibanarius digueti and Mexican Hermit Crab. Is it reef safe and several per tank is fine.
So which is it that eats the Aiptasia?
<This latter, at times. Thank you for this correction. Bob Fenner>

black and white male clown fish... Aiptasia or counter to it, mal-affected  6/25/09
Hi Guys,
<And gals>
I've gotten a lot of information from your site over the years. This is my first time asking a question though. I have been all over looking for an answer for this question and can't seem to get anywhere.
I have a 2 year old black and white clown pair. I had some huge Aiptasia in my 70 gallon reef tank.
<Mmm, Glass Anemones don't get all that big>
I have a guy that comes every two weeks to take care of everything and I know my water biology is good. He got the Aiptasia
taken care of the other day but, I think my male was stung pretty badly by the little suckers. He won't eat and he spends the entire day trying to swim down. He's badly bloated. You can see his skin prickly and his anus is real swollen. He is pooping white stringy stuff. I have never had a problem with these clowns before. Before he got this bad, he was acting as if he couldn't see to eat. He tried but never got any food. I know what is happening, he's not going to make it. I just wondered if Aiptasia could hurt a fish that badly.
<Can... might have eaten a bit, been poisoned by whatever your svc. tech. used... I'd be asking the service what they did>
Thanks in advance
Patti in Arizona
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: black and white male clown fish, hlth.  6/25/09
Thanks for getting back to me so fast!
The aquarium guy used Aiptasia X.
<A very good product in my estimation... Seems to be safe and very effective...>
It's what I had here at home. The Aiptasia were about the size of quarters, maybe a bit larger.
<Oh, this is about it size-wise... You stated they were "huge"... perhaps you meant your perception was that they were a huge problem?>
Still no dice on the stings though?
<Nothing to do... if this is what you mean... Just wait, hope, provide good care otherwise. Likely some were ingested by the one clown... Only time can/will tell. BobF>
Thanks again,

Losing Fish  6/18/09
Okay have a 75 gal that had established inhabitants of:
Archer Fish
Blue Barred Pseudochromis
Orange Spotted Prawn Goby
Midas Blenny
Scooter Blenny
Pearly Jawfish
Lyretail Molly
Radiant Wrasse
Sump has a pistol shrimp
Have not added any new rock in years however I have been having a very annoying Aiptasia problem and they are spreading and growing very fast, I'll think they're gone using aiptasia X but they'll be back and stronger before you know it.
<Perhaps adding a biological control>
My fish are disappearing one by one over the past month though, today I found my hermits chewing on the corpse of my Orange Spotted Prawn Goby which I've had for over two years and who I saw showing no signs of stress and eating right before the lights went out the night before. Two nights before that the pearly Jawfish was found dead and 2 nights before that it was the molly. About a week before that the archerfish disappeared and I never found the corpse. A month before that an Exquisite Wrasse I had disappeared as well, after the archerfish died I was SURE it was the Pseudochromis harassing and killing as he would constantly dart out at fish from the rocks Damsel style.
<Mmm, doubtful>
So I caught him and took him in to the store where he is right now. So tank has Scooter Blenny and Midas Blenny left, neither show signs of illness or stress. Radiant Wrasse is there also but he's had some craziness going on for several months that have caused him to be blind in one eye and lay on the sand like he's dead when no one is around, and then swim around begging for food when I walk over.
So yeah, any ideas? Phosphates, Nitrite, Ammonia, Nitrate are all zero, other inverts in the tank consist of a Harlequin shrimp squatting on chocolate chip star, hermits, snails, two fighting conchs, spiny oyster, and two porcelain crabs.
<I fully suspect the overly-abundant Aiptasia here... poisoning, stinging your fishes... and the hermits just doing clean-up. I would work on ridding, at least reducing the Glass Anemone population. Please read here:
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Re: Butterflies, Mystery Wrasse, & Aiptasia   4/9/09
Hi Bob,
Everything's going great. The butterflies (I now have a raccoon, saddleback, falcula, and Moorish idol along with a bunch of other tankmates in the 150gal system) are all doing great and clean up my aiptasia rock
from the other tank no problem. The only casualty was that once they got a taste for the aiptasia, that bubble anemone was a goner. No problem.
They're eating just about everything I feed them now as well including flakes, pellets, and a mix of frozen stuff including mysis shrimp, clams, and strips of frozen white fish -- anything like halibut, mahi-mahi, opah,
sole... -- that I attach to a piece of pvc angle pipe with a rubber band (keeps the cleaner crew off it). The Moorish idol in particular really seems to like the fish meat.
I'm cycling pieces of rock back an forth weekly and both tanks are doing great. Hey and by the way, if you're ever in either the Laguna Niguel area near home or Irvine near work hear at Broadcom, drop me a line and I'll show you some cool tanks (our Broadcom tank is an 800gal reef system).
<Thank you for the update. Bob Fenner>

Last ditch Aiptasia eradication attempt 4/6/2009
First of all, thank you for your great advice on everything. I have read your posts/threads/articles on aiptasia. I think that I have just let the infestation get so bad in my tank that I may have to take the most drastic of measures. My tank is basically blanketed with them, including snail shells and powerhead cases.
<Mmm, likely time for bio-warfare>
My tank is a 210 gallon, around 6 years old with 300+ pounds of LR. The infestation started with a coral on a rock I bought from a LFS. I have since seen lots of infestation in that store (I don't shop there anymore).
My tank has just one fish (Blackcap Basslet) and some snails. I have some button polyps, a pagoda and leathers as well. I tried Joe's Juice
<Nah, too tedious>
and about 200 Berghia Nudibranchs
on the Aiptasia, which made small dent for a few weeks, but then the Berghia apparently died out. I am about to try either a Raccoon or Copperband Butterfly with some Peppermint Shrimp and greatly redouble my efforts on water quality.
<Good moves, plan>
But just in case.....
My first questions are on what might be feeding the aiptasia. I am keeping up with my water changes and very light feeding of the Blackcap. I do have some green hair algae, so I am worried about excess nutrients even though my measurements look good. I am also going to change my osmosis filters as well. But can the aiptasia also feed from the lighting?
<Yes... are photosynthetic>
They seem to propagate much faster than your articles suggest.
If I get to the point of having to move the Blackcap/snails to my wife's tank and just let my tank go fallow until the aiptasia die, how can I do that without the tank stinking?
<Mmm, can be kept in the dark, carbon use in the filters...>
Can I just shut off the lights and keep running the filter until the aiptasia die out?
<Yes... but this will be a good long while (months)... I'd go with the above plan first>
Then re-start the tank with some seed LR to start from scratch? Or will shutting off the lights keep the coralline from surviving as well?
Thanks for your help,
Rick Morris,
Dacula, GA
<Welcome, Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA (for now)>
Re: Last ditch Aiptasia eradication attempt 4/6/2009

Thanks for the reply, sounds like I am on the right track then.
<I do think so>
What would be your thoughts on adding just one cleaner clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to the main tank until the Aiptasia's food source is gone? I have about 4-5 inch sandbed.
<Nah... of little use... BobF>

Re: Re: Re: Re: Cyanobacteria/BGA- Nano Troubles...clownfish 3/28/09
Hello again,
Quick question on Aiptasia anemones: I have a client with a 14 gal BioCube. She had 3 1" tank raised clowns I put in there, were fine for about 1 month. She reported 2 missing clownfish and the third I noticed had contracted some velvet. The corals in the tank are doing really well...Did not find the 2 clown bodies anywhere...I did notice a few aiptasia anemones that have grown larger and spread a bit since I last saw them last.. Is it possible these anemones killed the tiny clowns and ate them?
<No.><<Mmm, RMF disagrees. The Glass Anemones could have consumed them, and possibly killed them.>>
Largest anemone is about the size of a quarter. I will throw in some peppermint dudes in there, they have always worked for me. You ever heard of an aiptasia eating small fish?
<They are predatory, they can...but this size vs. this fish...the cause was most likely related to tank size. Be it stability in many respects, O2 saturation or flat out room for the fish.><<Do agree. RMF>>
All water params are golden and stable.
These anemones are the only things that stuck out to me as being suspect. These are hardy tank raised fish....hmmmm.. any thoughts?
<Much more likely the system in some respect.>
<Scott V.>

Aiptasia! -- 03/10/09
Hey Crew!
<<Hello Andy>>
I hope all is well with whoever finds this message.
<<EricR here'¦and doing fine thanks>>
I have a serious Aiptasia problem that I can't figure out.
<<Ah yes'¦not an uncommon issue. But they can be 'managed' with some effort>>
I have a long story but I'll try to make is short. In Feb 2007, I set up my 110 gallon that
I maintained in high school (20 years ago). This was replaced with a new 90 gallon reef ready in June 2008. I have about 90 lbs of live rock, a sump with live rock, an AquaC EV-180 protein skimmer, three Hydor Koralia 3s for internal circulation, a Little Giant 1350 gph return pump, and a 30 gallon Chaetomorpha/live rock/deep sand bed refugium. Lighting is 2x250W 14,000K HQIs and four 65W power compact 03 actinics (HQIs are on from 12 pm to 9 pm and PCs are on from 11 am to 10 pm).
<<A very nice setup>>
My tank was (I'll get to this in a minute) an SPS dominant tank with 4 or 5 small-to-medium fish. I fed my fish once or twice per day using live black worms and New Life Spectrum pellets.
<<Would prefer to see a bit more variety>>
I was very careful not to overfeed.
<<Though it seems to be going against conventional wisdom, I honestly believe hobbyists should be MORE concerned with assuring their fishes receive 'enough' to eat of the right types of foods>>
I also fed my corals about once per week using Brine Shrimp Direct Golden Pearls 5-50 micron, which I like very much. I had a few Aiptasia here and there, but nothing to get concerned about.
<<That's how it begins'¦ These organisms are very opportunistic and incredibly prolific'¦best to 'zap' em' as they are discovered (and as I think you have probably learned)>>
Part of this may be that I had a very healthy and hungry Copperband Butterfly that liked to eat Aiptasia.
<<Indeed'¦though in my experience these fish tend to swing away from this over time to the (more palatable?) prepared/frozen foods>>
My ammonia, nitrate and phosphate levels always tested well--0 ppm ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, no detectable phosphates. Generally, my tank looked awesome and everything was healthy and happy. Then last September, I went away on vacation and my power went out.
<<Mmm'¦I seem to remember something about this. I believe you and I had a couple exchanges re>>
Long story short, when the power came back on something tripped the circuit breaker, I had no one watching the house (lesson learned), and my tank turned into a disgusting pot of mucous soup.
<<As the saying goes'¦hindsight is always 20-20'¦ I and many others have stories of similar disasters. Something to be said for redundant circuitry (e.g. -- running two return pumps on separate circuits) and pet sitters, eh?>>
So, in spite of being devastated at losing lots of great SPS that I had grown from very small frags and awesome fish that I loved,
<<I can truly relate my friend>>
I sucked it up and restarted everything. I added a few new pieces of live rock to reintroduce coralline algae and pods, and left the tank fallow for 5 months so that it could stabilize. My tank went through some crazy times--ridiculous micro and macro algae blooms, Cyano, etc., (I assume from the dissolved organics that my LR absorbed during the crash and was releasing).
<<I have witnessed/experienced similar issues from such losses of power/circulation/oxygen/etc to a system. I think it is likely due to a 'combination' of increased organics/metabolites from decomposition AND the disruption/destruction of the systems bio-filter>>
I continued to do my regular maintenance this entire time. So, by November or December everything started to look nice. Over the months I added a few SPS frags to get that going again, and they are doing really well, growing like crazy, coloring up, etc.
In January, after doing much research and consulting with the Crew, I added 5 small Bartlett's Anthias which are doing really well. I feed them twice per day (all I can do because of my work schedule) using black worms or thawed/rinsed Selcon-soaked Mysis (one feeding) and New Life Spectrum pellets (second feeding).
I'm lucky in that they actually love the New Life Spectrum pellets, which I understand is not always the case.
<<Indeed'¦though this Anthiine species does usually take to this excellent food very well, in my experience>>
I am careful about feeding them, and feed in small increments so I can watch them eat everything before adding more food. Currently, they are the only fishes in my tank.
<<I see>>
Because I have no tangs in the tank as I did previously, some macro algae has started to sprout--mostly Grape Caulerpa but there is some Halimeda. I can deal with the Caulerpa, as I manually remove it every few weeks. What I can't deal with is my serious Aiptasia problem. I must have 100 Aiptasia scattered about my substrate (1/2" deep of Aragonite) and on my live rocks.
<<Mmm'¦again, not an uncommon occurrence'¦these pests can seemingly explode in population overnight>>
I shoot the ones I can reach with Aiptasia-X,
<<And this is the best product available for such use in my opinion>>
which works for the most part but . . . it is not solving/can't solve my global problem.
<<Ah but I disagree'¦ We share remarkably similar experiences'¦ Almost two years ago my own 500g system (375g display, 75g sump, 55g refugium) suffered a slightly less devastating power outage (about 10-hrs but exacerbated by carbon dosing) which didn't destroy 'everything' as yours did, but still cost me thousands in lost fish and corals. Afterwards I too was plagued by nuisance algae and Cyanobacteria, for many months'¦and then came the Aiptasia explosion. I made the mistake of not jumping on them right away, and before I knew it I had hundreds of them throughout the display and the refugium. I purchased the Aiptasia-X product and after nearly two 14oz bottles of the stuff, I have regained control of the problem. The key is perseverance'¦ You must condition yourself to spend a few minutes every day attacking those Aiptasia that you can see/find. You will never get them all in one go (they do move about'¦and are often just darn tough to spot), but after a while you will notice you are making a dent in the population. A couple hints re using the Aiptasia-X are'¦ Don't be stingy with the stuff'¦wherever possible don't just 'feed' it to them, but do also 'cover 'em up' with it. Also, rig an 'extension' for the applicator syringe'¦a couple short pieces of rigid airline tubing linked together between the syringe and applicator tip will give you much more flexibility and reach to get at the Aiptasia>>
I do a 15% water change every one or two weeks depending on my work schedule, using RO/DI water that I make myself (TDS is 0). My salt mix is, and has always been, Reef Crystals (although after reading some things on WWM, I'm thinking of switching to Seachem Reef Salt next time around).
<<Mmm, yes'¦ I was a huge fan of Aquarium Systems' salt mix offerings for several decades'¦not so much anymore'¦am now using Seachem's salt mix offerings (wish I could afford Tropic Marin [grin])>>
The only things I dose are ESV B-Ionic two part Alk/calcium and Brightwell Aquatics Magnesium-P, as needed with regular testing.
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable/experienced aquarist. I've read a lot about Aiptasia on this and other sites/books, and I know that Aiptasia problems are usually due to excess nutrients.
<<Population 'explosions' may be due to such, yes'¦but these organisms are so, how do I say it'¦efficient at life'¦that just simply ignoring them when the first appear will often result in problems/in their spread throughout a system>>
Honestly, though, I don't believe this is my problem.
First, the Aiptasia were showing up/growing in population before I added any fish. Maybe this has to do with the lingering effects of my tank meltdown?
<<I think it is a contributing factor to the increase in population as, I alluded to earlier>>
Second, I don't think I overfeed, although I do think some of the New Life Spectrum pellets may sink to the bottom without being eaten.
<<And as I also stated'¦I think this should be less of a concern than ensuring that your fish are 'well' fed>>
I do "broadcast" feed my SPS, but I only add one to two little scoops (maybe 1/2 a teaspoon max, dissolved in system water and sprayed around my SPS using a baster) of Golden Pearls 5-50 to feed a large Montipora cap, a small Blue-rimmed Montipora, a large Montipora confuse, a small Pavona, a large Birdsnest, and 4 assorted Acropora frags.
<<Also not a concern in my opinion. I too broadcast-feed my corals, and the tank in general, (many organisms other than fish and corals vying for/requiring nutritional supplementation in these closed systems)>>
Second, other than whatever phosphates are bound up in my macroalgae, my testing shows no excess nutrients. My EV-180 does a fine job and I regularly clean it to assure performance. I added two Peppermint Shrimp a week ago (that's all my LFS had--I intend to get a few more)--not only have I not seen these since I added them, but no noticeable signs of them eating the Aiptasia--I know these can be hit or miss.
<<My experience with these shrimp as well'¦not a reliable biological control>>
I also purchased a Copperband Butterfly that's been in my quarantine tank for 10 days (I know these don't do well in QT so I don't plan to keep him there much longer, but I always like to put my new fish in a QT and observe them for a period of time just to make sure nothing shows up). I know that CBBs are likewise hit or miss,
<<Indeed'¦or just eventually find it easier/tastier to go for the prepared offerings>>
But I'm hoping this one's a winner like my last one.
<<Will keep my fingers crossed that this is so>>
Again, I've read your general suggestions on WWM about reducing nutrients, etc., but can you think of anything else I should be doing/testing to help me win this battle?
<<I suggest you not do anything deleterious to your livestock'¦ Feed your fishes/your corals well'¦any issues arising from such can be dealt with>>
Is there some other component of water chemistry that I'm not thinking of/testing for that could be the culprit?
<<It comes down to just more elbow-grease. I can assure you, perseverance with the Aiptasia-X will win out eventually. And let me also add'¦ No matter what route you take, you will never be 'completely' rid of the Aiptasia. You can/will get to the point where they are no longer evident'¦but just as you begin to think they are gone forever, one/two/three will spring forth from your rock. And when they do, don't hesitate'¦ZAP'EM!>>
As always, your help is appreciated.
<<I do hope you find this exchange helpful. Regards, Eric Russell>> 
Re: Aiptasia! -- 04/08/09

Dear Eric R.,
<<Hey Andy'¦ Don't know what happened, but I only just received this>>
I wanted to update you on my Aiptasia problem.
The night after I got your email, I spent some time zapping the buggers with Aiptasia-X. I also introduced my Copper Band Butterfly into the tank. Between the Aiptasia-X, the 2 Peppermint Shrimp (that I've never seen) and the CBB, I cannot find a single living Aiptasia.
I swear to you I had 100+ just 4 or 5 days ago.
<<I believe you>>
Crazy. No complaints here! Thanks again for your help.
<<My pleasure Andy'¦told ya the Aiptasia-X (and some perseverance) really works! Do keep that syringe handy though'¦the only absolute here is that the little buggers 'will' turn up again.
Cheers mate'¦ EricR>>
R2: Aiptasia! -- 04/09/09

No worries, Eric. Thanks for the reply.
<<Quite welcome Andy>>
Everything is still going along "swimmingly", with no re-appearance of any Aiptasia.
<<Cool! I've got a few re-emerging in my system'¦time to start laying on the Aiptasia-X again. Because I feed my tank so well, they seemingly begin to reproduce at an exponential rate if left unchecked'¦as you well know>>
The only problem is that my Copper Band Butterfly is terrified of any humans, so he swims by day but hides whenever I'm around.
<<Hmm'¦ I've found these fish to be quite sociable and unafraid once settled in>>
I worry about him not eating, because unless he's willing to come out to see me, his lunch will be limited to whatever he finds in the substrate/live rock. With my last CBB, though, I noticed that he was a sociable fish and liked to follow my Kole Tang around.
<<Indeed'¦mine follows 'me' around>>
My only other fish in the tank now are 5 Bartlett's Anthias, but I do have a baby Yellow Tang in quarantine (week 3 with no signs of disease/parasites). So, I'm hoping that once the Yellow Tang goes in the tank that the CBB will come out of his shell a bit.
<<Mmm, yes'¦perhaps the presence of the Tang will make the Butterfly feel more secure>>
Thanks again.
<<Always welcome'¦ EricR>>

Aiptasia take over 3-5-09 Hi, my name is Mitzi and I am just starting a saltwater tank. <Hello Mitzi! I am glad to hear that you are starting in the hobby! Merritt here today with some free time.> I purchased some live rock from someone who was moving and had to take his tank down. Currently I just have the live rock and 2 p. clownfish in the tank. In a matter of a few days my tank had become full of these Aiptasia. I asked the local saltwater store about these and was given a chemical called Aiptasia-X to get rid of them before I added my 2 clowns. They appeared to be gone by since added the 2 fish, I am noticing more and more Aiptasia coming up. The chemical didn't seem to work to eliminate these pest. What do you suggest to do to get rid of these before adding more fish? Oh, I also have 30 hermit crabs and 5 snails (of which none seem interested in the Aiptasia) that I bought when I got the clown fish. <Which is normal, hermit crabs and snails don't feed on aiptasia.> I would like to get rid of these pests before they get any larger. I read your info on getting rid of these but was confused of sorts. One part says the peppermint shrimp will rid these but then sounds like they aren't good for a tank with corals in it. The only coral (or what I believe is coral) is what is growing on the rock and covering it. (purple and pinkish orange) <What you are describing sounds like coralline algae not coral.> Please help, I've had several mishaps since starting this down to my original tank where its back blew off after I had water, salt, and sand in it, talk about a mess. By the way, I have a 75 gallon tank. Thanks for the help. I've wanted a saltwater tank for several years now but finding this is going to be something that will take time and patience to get where I want it. <The peppermint shrimp will rid you of these pests in no time. Once they have eaten all of the aiptasia you can either keep them, or sell them to another person with aiptasia problems. They can be fed shrimp and other seafood or just let them scavenge. But do note, some peppermint shrimp will ignore the aiptasia. You can try the peppermint shrimp; they are not very expensive, around 5 to 10 dollars depending whom you buy from. Good luck on your tank and hope you don't have any more mishaps.> Thanks Mitzi <You are welcome! Merritt A.>

Aiptasia troubles in an eel tank -10/26/08 Hey, I have a 75g tank that has two moray eels in it.I have been battling an aptasia problem for a while now and was wondering what the easiest way to get rid of them would be? I heard peppermint shrimp may eat them but I'm sure my eels would eat the shrimp in no time. They are all over the rocks. Do they sting the eels or do I not need to get worried about the eels getting hurt? thanks for any tips or advice. <I wouldn't worry too much about the eels getting stung. If you have no coral in the tank, I would suggest keeping the tank in complete darkness (no ambient light or anything-- put a tarp over it, but leaving room for air circulation) for a week or so. Also reduce feeding and increase filtration, water quality, etc.> Mike <Best, Sara M.>
Re: Aiptasia problems in eel tank -10/28/08
lol, there it is ! thanks for the response. I feed 2 times a week a mixture of seafood and the only thing that does not stay stable is the nitrate. but I keep it as low as possible with water changes and this chemical that you put in and the skimmer takes it out.. <::shrug:: Sometimes there's just not much you can do about Aiptasia... except kill them, either chemically or by depriving them of light.> Also, is 3 morays in a 75g to much or will I be ok for a few years? I will be able to upgrade if needed but the 3 eels are just under a foot and a half each. I have a chainlink, white cheek and what was sold to me as a salt and pepper moray. <They might be ok for now, but you will likely have to upgrade at some point.> Thanks, Mike
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Aiptasia concern for FOWLR tank 10/27/08 Hi. I hope you can help. <Me too.> First, a little background on my tank: I have a 150 gallon FOWLR Salt Water Tank which was set up on Sept 3, 2005 with main equipment consisting of a Wet Dry, Protein Skimmer, UV Sterilizer. I have around 125+ pounds of live rock and the following fish: Juvenile Queen Angel, Dogface Puffer, Porcupine Puffer, Picasso Trigger, Blue Throat Trigger, Powder Blue Tang, Hippo Tang, Sailfin Tang, Greenbird Wrasse, Maroon Clownfish and Cleaner Wrasse (I now know after reading Rob Fenner's book that LFS's should not be selling cleaner wrasses). <Woefully overstocked.> I recently purchased more live rock to aid as a natural biological filtration supplement and also to add beautiful coralline algae. The new Fiji live rock had Aiptasia which I initially thought was beautiful but after doing further internet research, it seems to be a negative addition. <One or two can seem neat'¦for a short bit.> I know that it can kill other corals in a reef system, but is it safe in my fish only system? Will they harm my larger fish or even eat the smaller Cleaner Wrasse? <Possible, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm re territoriality.> I 'think' my Dogface Puffer eats the small Aiptasia without bothering the larger ones so hopefully this will keep them from taking over the tank. <Some puffers have been known to do this.> I do like the way the Aiptasia look so as long as they don't endanger my fish (stinging and stressing them out) and grow to overcrowd the tank, then I would like to keep them. I currently see 6 Aiptasia. If they start to spread, I read that a Copperband or Raccoon Butterfly fish can help eliminate them but I really don't want to add any more fish to the tank plus my more aggressive fish might attack the butterflies. <I agree, no more fish in this tank.> And I know that the puffers and trigger will eat any peppermint shrimp. Hopefully my water changes, protein skimmer and once a day fish feeding will keep the Aiptasia from spreading since I like the way the tank looks now with the few that are currently in the tank. <They will spread regardless, it is possible you have that rare puffer.> Kinda of getting that reef look in a fish only tank. I've searched your WWM for Aiptasia but it mainly has info for it's dangers in reef tanks with very little on fish only tanks. I enclosed some photos. Let me know your advice. Keep them with no worries or remove now? <You could very well wait, removing them if they start to spread. For my money and time, I would remove them now. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aipcheminjfaqs.htm and http://www.asira.org/problems .> THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!Michael
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Aiptasia concern for FOWLR tank 10/28/08 Thank you for your quick reply. <Welcome.> Some of my fish have small cottony spots on their fins which were not present before the aiptasia were introduced. Is this a result of them getting stung? Or is it just a coincidence? <Could have been induced by a sting. Without more information, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm for more info on what could be going on.> Someone else suggested a product called Aiptasia X which I don't see as a recommendation on WWM. Would you recommend it or is it not completely safe for my tank? <To the contrary, great product, will be fine.> Other chemical removal was actually the last resort option on WWM but I did not see this product mentioned. I only saw one brief line from Eric R endorsing the product but nothing else. http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/240610/product.web <Quite a few references, use the search at the bottom of the page, you will find many.> I am hoping to keep 4-5 large Aiptasia to give my fish only tank some semi reef character and I will just kill the additional Aiptasia which grow (if my puffer does not eat them). If you recommend this product, is it safe to remove the live rock from the tank when applying it? <Sure.> I have an uncle who would love to have some of my fish since you suggest that my tank is overcrowded. If I get rid of the Maroon Clownfish, Porcupine Puffer and Sailfin Tang, I might go the route of a natural predator such as either a Copperband or Racoon Butterfly. Do these Butterfly fish eat the large aiptasia which I like or just the small baby ones which I would want to avoid? <Typically the smaller ones.> I also read in one of the articles you attached that the Queen Angel could possibly eat Aiptasia as well. Hopefully mine will do this for me if it gets out of hand. <Hopefully, but not a sure thing.> Thank you again. <Welcome, have fun. Scott V.>

Aiptasia 06/02/2008 Morning guys, <<And Gals i hope...Andrew with you today>> Do bristle worms eat aiptasia? The reason I ask is I use to have a thousand of aiptasia and they have been slowly disappearing and I found a two inch bristle worm in the tank. <<I would not attribute bristle worms for feeding on the aiptasia, i would look else where in the tank. Other item of inhabitant perhaps>> <<Thanks for the question. A Nixon>>

Reef Tank Overheating Issue Resolved'¦Now On To The Pest Anemones! - 05/19/08 Eric, <<Hello Mark>> Thanks for the input, it has been a big help having someone to discuss options with. <<Ah'¦has been a pleasure>> I made some boxes out of 1/2" ply to house the fans and serve as "ducts". I cut two 5" dia. holes in the cabinet right above the lights and put the fan boxes over the holes. I then cut two 8"x12" vents in the top and put vent covers I got at Menards over them. The two fans are pulling air out of the access area and performing wonderfully. <<Super>> The tank is running very consistently at 79 deg with the access door closed and the cabinet above the tank is now staying cool. Problem solved! <<Yay!>> My evap rate should go down now...was losing about 2 gal/day with a fan blowing on the water. Now that I'm venting out the top that should decrease...I hope. I did remove the tank lids and put "egg-crate" material over the access holes, which increased the evap. cooling when I was using the fan blowing across the water. With the new fans I was able to remove the one blowing across the water. I still have one in the sump. I ordered the Tunze Osmolator...should be here this week! <<You won't regret it>> I also found a nice RO/DI unit at www.airwaterice.com. <<Mmm, yes'¦good stuff there.> The Typhoon III has all the "extras" for less than $300 including shipping. It should arrive this week as well. I had seen both of these products recommended in the FAQ's. Noticed a big hatch of copepods this weekend...they are doing a wonderful job of eating up the green algae on the tank walls and the fish are feeding on them as well. The tank has been up for three weeks now and most of the nuisance algae has gone through its cycle and is disappearing with the help of the pods. I do have another issue I need help with. <<Okay>> It's not related to the temperature topic we've been discussing. I have some LR left in my 55 that is infested with Aiptasia. <<Mmm'¦a common issue>> I didn't move this to my new system for obvious reasons. I've read all of the options regarding removal and have tried most of them over the last few years. <<The little buggers can be virtually impossible to eradicate'¦seemingly 'rising from the dead' time after time. But a few 'here and there' are manageable and not 'unnatural'>> I've tried recently to grab them with tweezers but they just slip right through and go deep in the rock. <<A useless exercise anyway'¦the tiniest fragment will regenerate>> The rock is otherwise very healthy and I want to use it in my new system. How would you go about getting rid of the Aiptasia so I can use the rock in my new system? <<The easiest and most 'certain' method of eradication here would be to put the rock out in the sun to dry for a few days and then give it a freshwater soak and cleaning before reuse'¦but I sense you don't wish to do anything this extreme. Another option would be to set up a small tank (for accessibility and close observation), add a few rocks at a time, and attack the pest anemones with a syringe and the 'lethal potion' of your choice>> The tank the rock is in right now is still up and running without lights and there are no fish in the tank. Is there a chemical means that actually works? <<Not without attacking the anemones individually'¦and repeatedly>> Kalkwasser just burns them and they come right back. <<Can be effective'¦as can lemon juice'¦>> The Peppermint Shrimp wouldn't touch them. <<Is my experience for the most part as well>> I've read about the Berghia Nudibranchs but I'm not sure just how affective they are. I'm a little skeptical since I haven't talked with anyone who's used them. Have you ever used them? <<Indeed'¦I and others I know have tried them. I would spend my money/energies elsewhere. I don't doubt that these critters will eat Aiptasia'¦but I think utilizing them successfully is not an easy or inexpensive venture. At any rate, they are certainly no panacea>> If I put these in a tank without lighting will it be a problem. <<Likely not>> Are they tough to keep alive? <<In 'my' estimation, yes. There's no 'plug and play' solution to the pest anemones in my opinion, success re will only come with persistent effort. Eric Borneman has a recipe that should get rid of Aiptasia'¦it utilizes lye! The recipe can be found here at the bottom of the page if you care to give it a try (http://home2.pacific.net.ph/~sweetyummy42/hitchanemone.html), but do be cautious! In fact if you go this route, I would have a look about for Eric's article on Aiptasia as I seem to recall some specific instructions/comments re the application of this extremely caustic solution>> Thanks again! Mark <<Be chatting. EricR>>

Aiptasia Control 3/9/08 Hey all, <Hi Chad> I'm just coming out of a battle with Aiptasia and a bad red Cyano bloom (I hope). They both finally seem to be under control, but after stirring up the substrate, adding additional powerheads and all the dead Aiptasia my nitrate level has gotten pretty high. By the way I had a bad Aiptasia problem and tried boiling water, lemon juice and Kalkwasser and they all worked somewhat, but the final blow was picking up each rock and using the Kalkwasser mixed to kind of a whole milk consistency, then I watched really closely for the next few days and would hit the small ones that returned with lemon juice. I also added the peppermint shrimp as an extra block against them coming back. I'm now Aiptasia free for almost 2 weeks (I hope). <Keep your fingers crossed.> I have a 55 gallon tank with 10-15 gal sump. I have an RO filter and a 25 gallon Rubbermaid that I used to aerate and mix my saltwater in. Due to my confined living spaces It'll be tough for me to do more than this volume, and the time it takes to filter the water, aerate, add salt etc prevents me from doing changes more often that once every 5-6 days. <Is more than enough.> My question is, I'm doing roughly 15 gallon (20-25%) water changes weekly is this enough to get my nitrate level back down, or should I be doing something more aggressive? <Is enough, but I would use a protein skimmer in addition.> I have two Yellow Tail Damsels, 1 small Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and 4 small Red-Legged Hermits (and 3 Turbo Snails) so I don't think I'm overloaded with live stock and I've cut feeding way back in an effort to control the Cyano. <Not overstocked for sure.> Also, once I get nitrates down and get a better hold on my water quality I'd like to add some "easier" inverts (maybe some polyps, a leather and maybe some mushrooms) over time. Will the blenny / hermit crabs / Peppermint Shrimp be a problem? <No.> Is there any books you can recommend out there that outline the changes in going from a FOWLR to a beginner reef type system (I just bought the Conscientious Aquarist). <A very good start. I know I'll need to upgrade my lighting, but would like more information about tank maturity, specific gravity, calcium, ozone, calcium reactors etc. and which are only needed for hard corals which I don't really plan on attempting. <All found on our site, do search/read. Start with our index here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm> Thanks you've been great with all my problems. I'm glad you're here to help new people like me. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Chad

Aiptasia and Cyanobacteria problems 2/21/08 Hello, <Hello, Scott V. with you.> I have a 55 gallon FOWLR saltwater tank with a small sump holding an ASM G-1 skimmer, a pump that's rated for a tank my size and a powerhead. My live rock came with some Aiptasia and I didn't know what it was until it became a big problem. <This happens.> I also had some small spots of red Cyanobacteria which I've been vacuuming up and with the addition of the powerhead have been at least held in check. I've since tried multiple attempts at squirting boiling water and a Kalkwasser paste on the aiptasia and it knocks them back, but they typically come back in full force in a few days. <These can be tough to eradicate.> I finally got frustrated and actually pulled the live rock out and squirted boiling water on the aiptasia over the sink. This was a bad idea because my live rock now smells like it's uncured. <Yikes! You likely killed more than the Aiptasia.> I figured this would add quite a bit of dead organic matter to the tank so I did a large water change the next day with RO water heated and aerated for a couple days with added buffer. <Good move.> Then I had to leave town for a few days so I decided to let the two yellow tail damsels I have go without food for a few days to hopefully knock back the Cyanobacteria. When I got back the Cyanobacteria had gone berserk. It's covering everything in the tank now and as an added bonus the Aiptasia is back too. <Likely nutrient/nitrate accumulation from the die off related to the boiling water.> I haven't had a chance to do a reading for PH, Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites yet, but I imagine there's something wrong due to the huge growth of the Cyanobacteria. <Mmm'¦yes.> All I have in the tank is two yellow tailed damsel fish and some snails. I don't really want the damsels because they're too aggressive for the type of tank I'd eventually like to have (even though I've grown attached to them). My LFS said they'd be willing to take them back. <Good, damsels are good to start with only if you want damsels.> I also recently bought an RO filter and since the switch the bacteria has been getting worse even though I'm doing more frequent water changes with supposedly higher quality water. It seems to be running much faster than it's rated 25 GPD (I can fill up a 25 gallon Rubbermaid in 6-8 hours). If I wanted to get this checked where would I go to see if it's good quality or not? <A TDS meter can be purchased fairly cheap. This can tell you the current quality of the water and help you monitor long term for prefilter/membrane replacement.> I'd like the learning experience of getting rid of the aiptasia and Cyanobacteria, but the tank is in bad condition now and my efforts don't seem to be gaining any ground on a bad situation. What are my odds of saving the tank at this point being new to the hobby? Would it be better to start over with a new clean tank, or keep fighting. <Keep at it, this battle can/will be won and you will learn much doing so.> Are there any more measures I can take other than being diligent about water changes and squirting the aiptasia with boiling water? <In this case I recommend revisiting the Kalk concentrate. Get hold of a syringe and actually inject the solution into the Aiptasia.> How effective are urchins at controlling Cyanobacteria? <They are not.> What about red-legged hermit crabs for aiptasia? <Some (Dardanus megistos in particular) are known to help.> At this point I think adding more invertebrates will just make the situation worse due to the amount of aiptasia and Cyanobacteria. <They are a related problem, excess nutrients in the system fuels the growth of both.> I'm concerned my skimmer isn't doing enough to keep up with all the organic matter from the dead aiptasia should I look into additional skimming/filtering/powerheads? <If you can more skimming would not hurt; otherwise just keep up with the water changes.> Thanks for your help <Welcome, do check out the links below for Aiptasia and BGA control. Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm

Re: Aiptasia and Cyanobacteria problems 2/26/08 Thanks again for your help you all are great. <Welcome, thank you.> I think I've got them against the ropes now. I carefully pulled each rock to the top of the tank and used Kalkwasser concentrate to get everyone of the aiptasia that I could find. I know some will come back, but I've got my eye out for them now and I won't give them the chance to grow. <Great! You will undoubtedly win this battle.> I also did a large water change (maybe 30%) and vacuumed up all the muck that I could, but there's still some chunks the siphon wouldn't pick up. I'm planning on doing another large water change this weekend. The skimmer has been collecting a disgusting amount of material over night so I guess that's good, probably from stirring up the sand and bacteria. <And dead Aiptasia.> Any other thoughts on staying on top of this? Should I cut back feeding? I repositioned my power head so it blows across the sand on the bottom so hopefully that'll keep stuff from collecting. <Just be sure all the food you feed is getting eaten. Otherwise make sure your filtration is not accumulating excess detritus, if it is you will need to clean it frequently.> I feel for my poor little damsels they've been having a stressful time as of late, but they seemed perky this morning after the big water change and everything calmed down. <Good to hear.> I just heard the power went out in my neighborhood for a half hour or so after I left for work too. <Short power outages will not hurt anything. It is good to hear you are gaining ground on the Aiptasia, keep it up, you will win. Scott V.>

Aiptasia Control 2/19/08 Dear WWM Crew, <Dave> First of all, I would like to thank you for this wonderful site you have for our use. I have read through many times and find it quite helpful. <Thank you> Here's my problem. I own 2 saltwater tanks. I have a 72 gallon tank with a 29 gallon refugium as a filter. I also have a 30 gallon aquarium with an EcoSystem 60 as the filter. I have recently decided that I no longer want the 30 gallon tank in operation. I would like to take the live rock from the 30 gallon tank and put it into my 72 gallon tank, but I have one problem. The live rock is infested with Aiptasia Anemones. I obviously do not want to spread this awful infestation to my 72 gallon tank. <Certainly not.> I tried using the Joe's Juice from my LFS, and it only made the Anemones come back with a vengeance. I would like to know if there is a way to 100% remove the anemones from the rock. (let it sit in freshwater for a few days, boiling it?) I already have about 60# of live rock in the 72 gallon tank, and it has been up & running for approximately 3 years. I have a few leathers & mushrooms in the (72g) tank. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. <Since your rock is infested with these critters, it would be impractical to give each one a shot of Kalkwasser, a proven method that works quite well. The freshwater method should work but you will also kill anything beneficial on the rock. There are a few animals that have been known to rid a tank of these pests. The Copperband and Raccoon Butterfly fish are good at this, the later being hardier. Some say the Hairy Red Legged Hermit Crab will eat these also. You may also want to look/read here and related articles/FAQ's above. James (Salty Dog)> Dave from Philadelphia, PA

Re: Aiptasia Control 2/22/08 James, <Dave> Thanks for your response! <You're welcome.> I am currently soaking the liverock in freshwater. How long do you think is long enough? <I'd probably go a couple of weeks to be sure.> I just want to make sure that adding this rock to my up & running tank (after being soaked in freshwater) will not have any negative effects to my system. <Do check the ammonia level in the freshwater before adding the rock to your system. We want to be sure no levels exist from the die off.> I also want to run my system setup by you and see if you can add any design improvements to help a slight nitrate problem... And I am up for any other suggestions you may have. <Shoot> The system is a 72 gallon AGA tank which was factory drilled with overflow. Filtration is a 29 gallon tank turned into a fuge with Plexiglas baffles which I did myself. <Great.> The water passes through a 100 micron sock that I replace every 3 days. <Good.> I have approximately 2" of Miracle Mud and a hefty amount of Feather Caulerpa in the filter chamber. Water is then returned to the tank by a MagDrive 900gph pump. Water parameters are as follows: Ammonia - 0ppm Nitrite - 0ppm Nitrate - 25ppm Salinity - 1.024 pH - 8.0 - 8.2 dKH - 8 Calcium 450ppm Temperature - 78 As I mentioned before, I have had this tank up & running for approximately 3 years. There is a light dusting of live sand for the substrate in the main tank. I have 2 pumps @ appx. 300 gph in the main tank for circulation. Lighting is a 48" Corallife light fixture with 2x 150w MH lights and actinic blue pc's. I have recently added a small specimen of Xenia, I have Candy Cane Coral, a Devil's Hand, various Zoo's and Florida Ricordea Mushrooms. I have a 6" Blonde Naso Tang that I will be trading in sooner rather than later, as I know he will not survive long term in my system, (unless I upgrade tank size). <Good move.> I also have a true Percula Clown, 2 Green Chromis, and a Six Line Wrasse as well as a Cleaner Shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp & 2 dozen Hermit Crabs & 2 dozen Snails. I have briefly been reading about the benefits of adding a DSB to the system. Do you think that in an approximate filtering area of 18" x 12" that removing the Miracle Mud & replacing with Live Sand would be more beneficial? (than the mud method)? <The Miracle Mud medium is more than likely "live" by now. I'd keep.> Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Keep doing what you're doing, we all love it. <Dave, do read hee on nutrient control in an effort to help lower your nitrate level. You do not mention the use of a protein skimmer, a very worthwhile addition for removing dissolved organics. I run an Aqua C Urchin Pro powered by a Mag 3 in my five foot 80 gallon reef, and I can say that this unit does wonders for water quality.> Have a nice day, <You too, Dave. James (Salty Dog) from Michigan> Dave from Philadelphia, PA

Re: AndyB pc. on Dendro and no Aiptasia in the Atlantic claims  2/17/08 Bob, <Andy> I will be happy to help in any way I can, but I must caution that I have no biology background or experience with preparing/writing such works. <Au contraire my friend. You obviously have a good grasp of written English communication... and enough "science" to relate your experiences here. I assure you of this> If you can provide a little more specific guidance on what, exactly, you're interested in (what type of photos, what type of specs, what type of narrative, etc.), I will gladly take this on. <Images of your system, the foods used, the specimen itself from a few angles, perhaps under various lighting... The writing, in your own voice... simply detailing your interest, background... the history of your keeping this specimen... Speculations you have, may have re your success> On another note, I have a question about Aiptasia. I have been debating this issue with a LFS owner, which sells Florida aqua-cultured LR exclusively. He claims that his LR is guaranteed Aiptasia-free, because they do not exist in the Atlantic/Caribbean. <Uhh, not so> His claim is as follows: "OUR FLORIDA AQUA CULTURED "LIVE ROCK" IS HAND PICKED. IT IS LEGALLY HARVESTED AFTER 6 - 16 YEARS. SHIPPED WITH HEAT PACKS OR ICE PACKS AND (WHICH EVER IS NEEDED) WITH ANEMONES, SEA SQUIRTS, MUSSELS, GORG.S., SPONGES, STARFISH, TOOTH CORALS AND BRAIN CORALS ALL OF WHICH LIVES. NO NEED TO CURE BECAUSE NOTHING IS "DYING". APPROX. 6 HOURS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN TO THE BOTTOM OF OUR TANKS. NO APTASIA IN THE ATLANTIC!" My research suggests that Aiptasia do, indeed, come from the Atlantic. <This is also assuredly so... Have seen them there, many times...> Interestingly, I believe the Aiptasia that I did have in my tank (before the Butterfly) were acquired from a few pieces of LR that I bought from him. Andy <Do send this note to the company, rep... Perhaps their mis-spelling of the genus is some ploy at avoiding suit. BobF>

Re: AndyB no Aiptasia in the Atlantic claims   2/23/08 Dear Bob, I forwarded our correspondence about no "Aiptasia in the Atlantic" to my LFS that claims no Aiptasia in the Atlantic. I noticed today that he revised his website (although I still don't think it's accurate) to read: "APTASIA USUALLY GROWS IN THE PACIFIC, NO APTASIA WHERE OUR ROCK IS GROWN IN THE "GULF"[.]" Andy <Hahhhhhaaaa, revisionist history... Like the U.S. is "bringing democracy" to folks... by murdering them... What a hoot. B>

For Bob - Aiptasia Follow-Up 5/1/08 Dear Bob, <Andy> You may remember an exchange we had a few months back about a LFS that guaranteed Aiptasia-free rock from the Atlantic. I just thought I'd share the response I got from the LFS upon forwarding your response. "On another note, I have a question about Aiptasia. I have been debating this issue with a LFS owner, which sells Florida aqua-cultured LR exclusively. He claims that his LR is guaranteed Aiptasia-free, because 'NO APTASIA IN THE ATLANTIC!'" <Uhh, not so . . . Have seen them there, many times...> <Do send this note to the company, rep... BobF> REPLY: Okay maybe it wasn't stated "politically correct". Our LR is from the Gulf and to us the gulf and the Atlantic mixes in the keys anyway. To us, It's all Atlantic waters. L.O.L. We have been buying LR from the same diver for more than 7 years and never had aiptasia on it and that was the point. He also has been growing this rock for more than 20 years. Ever heard of glass anemones or curleque anemones? I would have been more than happy to explain further had you of given an e-mail for me to respond to. Thank-you for your interest, Bambi, Sea Save. Andy <PC? I don't get it... And... Aiptasia are of the Glass Anemone family... What? BobF>

Glass Anemone Eradication - Should I Toss The Whole Rock? -- 02/04/08 Hello! <<Hi!>> This website is just wonderful; thank you for all the information and answers and time. <<Thank you for the kind words'¦is a collective effort'¦and our pleasure to provide>> Anyway, we are fairly new aquarists and have just upgraded to a 90 gallon tank with integrated overflow box, a 20 gallon sump, approx. 50lbs live sand, and approx. 50lbs of live rock for our reef system. <<I see>> We have one separate piece of rock that hosts some rather scraggy-looking green mushroom corals right now. <<Hmm, not a good sign as these organisms are generally quite hardy/easy to keep>> A few weeks ago we noticed these "cute little baby feather dusters" hanging out with the mushroom corals, who are now bleached around the edges, of course. <<Indeed'¦and as you are 'new aquarists' would like to make mention'¦though closely related, the Corallimorphs (mushrooms) are not 'corals' in the true sense of the word. You can read here and among the links in blue to learn more (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm)>> Finally did some research and learned that these little cuties are actually pest Aiptasia and are killing the corals. <<Ah yes'¦and can proliferate quite rapidly if not dealt with>> It does not seem that they spread quickly to other rocks, correct? <<You would be surprised at just how quickly this pest anemone can 'spread throughout' a tank/system. They do sometimes tend to be cryptic in their location'¦careful examination of your 'other' live rock will likely reveal more>> We have not seen them elsewhere throughout the tank (at least not yet). <<If not there already'¦is only a matter of time (and not long at that)>> So my question is: do we just toss the rock (which is sitting by itself on the sand), mushroom coral and all, or do we try to treat/remove these little buggers? <<Eradication in situ is possible; usually through 'injection' with acidic or caustic formulations like Lemon Juice or concentrated Kalkwasser solution, or one of the commercially available products (e.g. -- Joe's Juice) , though not always easy accomplish. It will be easier to 'treat' this rock if you can remove it to a treatment/quarantine tank. Or, if it seems the Corallimorphs are too severely damaged to recover (unlikely'¦are amazingly resilient organisms), you can just give the rock a freshwater soak for a day'¦scrub it down and let it dry in the sun for a week'¦and reuse (though obviously it will no longer be 'live' rock)>> They are right up between the corals so chemical treatment would be impossible without likely killing the mushrooms as well. <<Quite the contrary'¦injecting the pest anemones will have little/no deleterious effect on the Corallimorphs>> And it seems that physical removal is difficult/likely to cause further spread. <<Agreed, I would not attempt this'¦at least not in the display tank, and not without 'rinsing' the rock in clean saltwater before returning to same>> And, of course, there seem to be more of them now! <<Multiply like magic'¦ Ever heard of 'Tribbles?'>> The corals seem happy in our new tank, and I hate to condemn them if there is something else we can do, but we also don't want the whole tank to become infested with "baby feather dusters!" <<Not necessarily a 'Death Knell' (I have several of these pest anemones scattered about my tank), but quick offensive action against these organisms is usually best'¦and certainly easier in the early stages>> Sorry for being naive! <<No need for apologies, everyone 'begins' somewhere. I trust you have read re these organisms on our site? If not, please start here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm), and do follow the for removal/eradication strategies as well>> Thanks for your help. - Rebecca <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

Aiptasia & Sea Hare comp.... & Bio. alg. contr.    2/3/08 Although our 55 gallon FOWLR has been doing fine (fish growing & happy, no death, stable water) I have three nickel sized Aiptasia and some hair algae. Can/will the sting of an Aiptasia injury or kill a Sea Hare? <Won't be the best combination but certainly not the best solution for both problems. For the Aips see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm. And the causes of the Hair Algae must be addressed first. The Sea Hare will just be recycling the nutrients the algae use. Read on Nutrient export etc. Olly>

Aiptasia eating blenny. 12/20/07 Hi, I was told by a very knowledgeable reef keeper that there is a blenny that eats Aiptasia. I was wondering if anyone here has ever heard of them, and if so, could give me a name to further research them. I was told that they are black, if that helps. <Have never heard of such a blenniid, blennioid... but not impossible for sure. Please write back with a scientific name if you find out. Bob Fenner>

Cooking With Aiptasia? (The Crazy Man's Guide To Aiptasia Elimination!) 12/1/2007 Hey all! <Scott F. your guy tonight!> Keeping up the good work as usual, I thank you for all your help, and of course as we progress we come across new issues..... <Always seems that way, huh?> Well, I just got a new rock last night, and unfortunately it had about 4 Aiptasia riding on it. I scraped/pulled/rubbed off with a paper towel, tweezers and razor blade all but one of them. Short of smashing the rock with a hammer and just keeping the piece attached to my new Xenia, I thought of something else worth a shot and wanted to hear one of your expert's take on it. <OK...I'm not an expert, but I am a serious fish geek!> What if I were to lift the part of the rock that has the Aiptasia on it out of the water, and then use a torch lighter or even an actual torch to Burn the heck out of the Aiptasia? <Good heavens, man- you're gonna charbroil your Aiptasia? Why not choose an easier technique like pulling out your fingernails and spearing the Aiptasia with them, or isolating the Aiptasia in a quarantine tank and forcing it to listen to an old Backstreet Boys CD? Seriously, there are some easier ways that are effective.> I am pretty sure that even as resilient as these things are, they wouldn't be able to survive a few seconds under a flame would they?? Do you see any negatives to this idea? Positives? <Well, I'm sure that they wouldn't survive the "flambé" action, but the idea of taking a blowtorch to a rock kinda frightens me! Negatives? Hmm- third degree burns, exploding rock, property damage...Hmm-guess I'm just being paranoid- I just see upsides to this procedure, bro! Heh heh.> I read all about it, and short of the guy who covered in salt and microwave his rock ( which I would never do ) I thought this might be a breakthrough in Aiptasia control/eradication, any thoughts? DJ Payne <Well, I'm thinking that you could also try building a high-powered laser to do the job...or maybe you could get some liquid nitrogen from the local hospital and try freezing it off the rock...Or maybe, just maybe- you could do it the EASY way and mix up a concentrated solution of Kalkwasser and inject it into the mouth of the anemone via syringe. There is also a nice commercial product called "Joe's Juice" that is injectable and does a wonderful job. Look for it online or at your LFS. Not as sexy as making a homemade high-explosive device, or mixing toxic chemicals, true- but it's effective and avoids the risk of burning down your house, upsetting the balance of power in the free world, or injuring yourself! I hope that you take my sarcasm in stride: I just think that you could do this more easily and safely. However, if you DO have a good recipe for "Aiptasia Foster", do pass it on to the Culinary Department at WWM! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Seahorse in refugium, and now Aiptasia contr.  -11/27/2007 Thanks for the quick reply. We have decided, based on your advice, to not use sea horses in the refugium. Instead we will nano tank some dwarf seahorse in a separate tank. <cool> On another note, I have been battling Aiptasia anemone for quite some time to no avail. We got the problem from a friend who tore down his tank and gave me some live rock. Tried Joe's juice, <doesn't work> peppermint shrimp, and even removing bad bits of rock, but just couldn't get ahead of them. <In my experience, you need quite a few peppermint shrimp for this method to work at all...> I was considering a copperband butterflyfish when my LFS recommended a Slender Filefish (Monacanthus tuckeri). We were told he is reef safe, but will be a bit nippy and sample a few things. Sounded similar to the copperband except this guy will eat readily. <Hmmm... I wouldn't put either in a reef thank. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fishfish.htm> We got him and he has cleaned almost every Aiptasia in the tank, doesn't seem to bother corals, nips a bit at various worms, <Doesn't mean he won't eventually... but too late now, let's hope he doesn't.> and will happily eat most frozen foods. I wonder why this fish is not mentioned in the control of Aiptasia? <Hmmm, I don't know, but I imagine that (as with most animals) they're not entirely consistent. Yours seems to be quite helpful for Aiptasia and harmless to corals. This might not always be the case for every fish.> I live in the Netherlands and they seem to be common in tanks here, however I rarely see them on American sites. <Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)> Anyway thanks again for the advice/education. Have a great day! <You too, thank you.> Layton <Best, Sara M.>

Aiptasia... reading   11/11/07 Dear Bob, I have a glass Anemone that lives in a little hole on one of my pieces of live rock. I was wondering how to get rid of him. My husband thought to pluck him out with some tweezers but that did not work, it just receded into the hole. (It is also a very deep and small hole) I heard injecting boiling water will work but how can I do this when it always goes back into the hole? <Would have to remove this rock...> Is there a way to get rid of it without harming the rest of the life growing on the rock? <Possibly> Also how quickly do they reproduce and what do they look like when they are smaller? any insight would help and thank you in advance for your time. Sincerely, Carla Warren <All posted... Start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and on to the linked files at the bottom. BobF>

Re: Creature ID,  Pseudocorynactis sp, Aiptasia -- 10/04/07 >Hi, ><Hello Ben! Sorry for the delay. I had some problem accessing your links> No problem. Just wanted to be sure you got it. <<Yes! Got it!>> Now maybe I can help you. That link is to "flickr"; flickr uses Java, but otherwise should work with any modern browser. It is one of the most widely used sites in the world for images. Firefox will work perfectly, as will Opera, Safari, Explorer, Omniweb and Mozilla. Just make sure Java is on. Firefox is *highly* recommended - best browser on the planet, and it is free. <<I have a Mac so I'm using Safari.>> >just a cornucopia of living goodness. ><Amazing, isn't it?> Indeed it is. <<One of my favorite things was just watching what developed from the LR.>> >We popped it in our 55-gallon tank, which was about two months old at the time, and everything has done just fine. ><Glad to hear! Is this the tank in your bathroom? Is quite a beautiful bathroom I might add!> Thank you. My sweetheart and I built it. This was an empty box, an abandoned church, and we're building an interior into it as time and funds allow. <<How cool! You have done a beautiful job with the bathroom for sure!>> Yes, that's the bathroom tank. We have three others that are freshwater. Odds are good there are more salt tanks in our future. We have room, and motivation is growing. No surprise to you, I'm sure. <<Yes, as one of my crewmate Andrea said... Multiple Tank Syndrome is hard to fight.>> >But do watch out with this Xenia... it can become a "weed".> Not sure I mind, really, I find them quite beautiful. Especially when they pulse. <<Assuredly! Xenia can be quite beautiful, some people can't get xenia to grow, while others can't get rid of them!>> The intent is to make a reef tank, not so much a fish tank, but I'm not sure we're looking for conventional imports - I'm very curious to see what grows. All manner of things are starting up. If they really get crazy, maybe I'll put them in a new tank. :-) They took transport poorly, took many days to recover, and some died. Be easier if they were local. <<Absolutely, shipping is a big problem with this coral.>> >We only have a couple of small, innocuous fish at this point, going slowly. ><Slowly is good!> That's my understanding. I'm patient. Mostly. :-) <<Heehee! Can be hard but is worth your while!>> ><This appears to be Pseudocorynactis sp, a Corallimorph.> Ah. Thank you. With the name, I found a pic and a little info on your site. Very good. <<Glad to hear!>> ><This may be an Aiptasia that has collapsed upon its self... a good thing... more reading for you below on this matter.> Nope, definitely the same as the other patch; opens nightly now. Funky little thing. <<Oh Good! Pseudocorynactis sp. are very desirable corals.>> >The last patch of jelly still looks the same as shown in the image above. Here's how a closed one looks: ><This pic is a duplicate of the Xenia.> Now THAT is just plain weird. I still have the original email in my outbox, and the correct three pictures are linked. Can you tell me what web browser you are using? <<Safari.>> Something is flat busted. You're not using... cough... AOL, are you? <<Heehee! No.>> Because there's just no polite way to put it, AOL is last decade's technology today, busted, crippled, censored and laden with the digital equivalent of Aiptasia. Or copper sulfate. :) <<Heehee!>> ><Ummm, if you like Aiptasia... You will want to try to eliminate this pest. More here: Yes, I've read all about them, and am willing to throw one or more Nudibranchs in there if required, <<Can work, but I would recommend other means first. Especially while you have a reasonable amount to get rid of. I would recommend injecting the Aiptasia with a syringe filled with either Calcium or Lemon juice. The Berghia Nudibranch are good, but are obligate Aiptasia eaters... therefore once the Aiptasia are gone the Berghia will slowly starve to death. The other means can be effect.>> but so far, they just seem interesting and pretty to me. <<So far but you really will want to get rid of them. They can kill and limit the grow of other desirable species.>> No migration. Yet. <<Yet being the key word here...They can really take of and multiply very, very quickly.>> If they start killing things, as seems likely from everything I've read, then it'll be a Nudibranch picnic as soon as I can get some. <<Again I would recommend other means first, and use the Berghia only as a last resort. Cheers and good luck to you Ben! Mich>> Ben

Aiptasia free -- 9/29/07 I'm sure you don't care, but Bob, I have to tell someone... my tanks are 100% Aiptasia free now!! It took 2 years, 30 peppermint shrimp, and probably half a gallon of sodium hydroxide (not all at once> obviously), <Holy oven cleaner!> but they're gone!! I can't find a single one of them! Now I just have to never add anything more to my tanks ever and I'll never have to see one of them again! lol Sara <Mmm, until you've done a few dives, become more observant... B> <<I have this picture in my mind of Bob twirling in a circle with a beer over his head singing a certain hash song... Mich>> It took 2 years, 30 peppermint shrimp,> and probably half a gallon of sodium hydroxide (not all at once> obviously), <Holy oven cleaner!> <<Forget the oven cleaner Batman! Thirty peppermint shrimp?!?!?!? Sara, what did you do with 30 peppermint shrimp? Serve them with cocktail sauce!?!?!? Heehee! Mich>>

Aiptasia on Derasa Clam 9/6/07 Hello, <Hi Chad, Mich here.> I have recently acquired a Derasa Clam (2-3 in). <Little.><<A bad, too-small starting size... RMF>> It has not been fully extending its mantle for about 2 days. <Not good.> I checked with a flashlight for Pyramidellid but couldn't see any. Instead I found an small Aiptasia anemone on his shell. <This may explain.> Do you suggest lemon juice or something different? <I think I would try to manually remove, you may just be able to scrape it off the clams' shell. I would be hesitant to use any acids or bases here.> It is a 30 gallon tank so no Butterflies! <No.> Thanks Chad <Welcome, Mich>

Potential aquarium problem(s), Aiptasia infestation   8/24/07 I recently bought some decorative corals. We had some problems with one of the corals, that died, but what remains is going very strong, including the two sets of "mushrooms" visible in the bottom middle in one of the pictures. <Ok> Also doing very well are the anemone-like things (which I believe are technically worms from my Internet research). They are very pretty, and we like them, but they are spreading like mad! The original 3 are now 2-3 times bigger than when we got them, and there are probably 20 baby ones popping up all over the aquarium. <Don't look like worms (featherdusters I'm assuming, look like Aiptasia Anemones.> Have I destroyed my aquarium with this? Any way to keep them (because they are pretty), but keep them in check? Or do I need to get rid of them all. How so? <Most people try to get rid of them, they are very difficult to keep under control. A few methods can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm .> Other than the mushrooms, we have a fire shrimp, and some snails and crabs. Snails and crabs seem like they need a refresh, because I don't see as many of them any more. I think they got into a war and killed each other off. Or the crabs killed all the snails and then starved is probably more likely. <Definitely the way it would work out.> No fish yet. (I plan on moving soon and want to have as few things to try and keep alive as possible. - see below) <Good> This is in a 29 gallon oceanic bio cube btw. ph/ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are all great, but I am not as vigilant as I should be about water changes. However, I have very low bio load (iMO) and a ton of live rock. <Water changes are still important.> I have the main aquarium about 3/4 full of live rock by volume (It was 30 lbs) as can be seen in the pics, as well as filling 2 out of the 3 back chambers of the cube with live rock pieces. (3rd chamber for pump) I also have a protein skimmer, but this doesn't seem to do much other than be a host for algae. <Need to get it working or invest in a better unit, they are very helpful in maintaining water quality, especially if you are a little lax with the water changes.> Many of the aquariums I see online or at stores do not have nearly the % of live rock by volume as I do. I would like to have more room to see stuff, but do I need this much? Is this type of filtration (Berlin?) sufficient? <This type of filtration is sufficient as long as the tank is not overstocked, which you will have to be very careful of in a 29. How much is too much is hard to say, it needs to be enough to support the bacterial filtration, but leave enough room for fish to swim in. As far as comparing to store tanks and photographs, they are not intended for long term success, but to either look good for the photo or facilitate the remove of fish for sale. Different requirement from what you need.> I was having a green/red slime carpet growing over some of the rock, which I believe is actually a bacteria, not algae. You probably know the thing I am talking about. It makes lots of bubbles where it grows. I scraped it off the rock as much as possible, and then siphoned it all out during my last water change (which has encouraged me to be better about water changes), but anything else I can do about it? Water changes will help, but I think I also may have some issues with flow. The built in pump and head don't seem to churn up the water much in the far corner, and the slime is mostly growing in the lee of the rock away from the pump. Should I add another power head? <I would, and it is probably Cyanobacteria http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm .> I also had one green bubble algae, that I removed without it popping (it was quite hard which I did not expect from the way it looked!) <Bubble algae, a common occurrence.> On the moving - I am probably moving soon from Iowa to Chicago (3+ hours by car, + traffic + pack/unpack. <It takes 3 hours to get anywhere in Chicago.> What's the best way to get my aquarium there? I've read stuff about dumping (gently! :) ) everything into a garbage can, and using a battery powered heater and powerhead. Is this the right thing? Should I just try to sell everything and restock in Chicago? <I would try to move as little as possible, the LR in coolers with wet newspaper, tank and equipment should be relatively easy, but try to get rid of any livestock you can. Believe me when I tell you the last thing you want to do after spending the day loading and unloading a truck is to stay up and set up and aquarium. If you don't think it can last a day or two in it's shipping container, don't try to bring it with you.> Thanks for any input and help.

Arrow crab eating Aiptasia? Shore    8/24/07 Hi all I'm a bit perplexed as to what happened to all of my Aiptasia. (Not that I'm complaining) I have had a saltwater tank for over a year now and have ALWAYS had these little pests! Thankfully they never grew to the plague proportions I've herd <Heeeee!> tell about. When I upgraded to a larger tank I thought that I had finally gotten rid of them but alas they followed me. I tried killing them with Aiptasia Control and it worked but they kept coming back (Probably in the filters) Anyway here's the thing. I added an arrow crab a few weeks ago and they are disappearing think that my arrow crab is eating them. <Oh yes> It's an adult wild caught specimen that came from Florida. I haven't actually seen the crab eating on the little pests but every morning when I turn on the lights I see fewer and fewer of them. The two or three Aiptasia that are still in the tank are missing "arms" Have arrow crabs ever been known to eat Aiptasia? <Certainly have. BobF>

Aiptasia Removal - 7/21/07 WWM Crew, <Hi Dan> So, I got one of these little buggers with some Caulerpa I bought. <Sorry to hear that> I have removed the live rock it was connected to. If I let it dry out for a few weeks and return it to my tank, will the Aiptasia return or will it have expired being out of the water so long? (I know some forms of macro algae just have to be re-hydrated to come back.) <It would kill it, but it would also kill anything on the rock and you'd have to cure it again before returning it to the tank. I'd go with a less aggressive approach since it sounds like a single anemone. One thing about Aiptasia though, is that while you may be seeing only one, there may be others you haven't yet seen. Since you've already removed the rock (and if you can do so), put it in a quarantine tank/container to isolate, and treat it there. That way you can make sure you kill the pest(s) and keep an eye out for any others that might show up. Please see these links regarding methods of eradication: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm .>Thanks Guys or gals, Dan <You're welcome and good luck! --Lynn>

Rock Anemones and Breaking Rocks to Separate Corals   4/21/07 Hi Guys, <Hi Jim, Mich here.>    Here are two pictures that I would like your thoughts on. The first I believe is a small group of rock anemones. <Looks like a pest to me.> They are about 1/2 inches high. The aquarium is about 4 months old. I have two small groups of these, which don't seem to be doing much. Do you think that I should go out and get a couple of peppermint shrimp and try to stem it now or is it possible that they won't expand? <Depends.> I enjoy watching the micro fauna but don't want to risk all. I think of them as a weed-just a thing that is not growing where someone wants it but otherwise interesting. <If it were me/mine I would remove from the system.  If you allow to remain in the system, I would watch carefully, and be prepared to take action.  More here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm  > Anyway the second picture there are two colonies of different creatures. Both colonies are expanding. <A good thing.> I keep reading that they may beat on each other and kill one or both colonies. <Is possible.> I wouldn't want that. <Me neither.> These just came on the live rock and started to grow. <Ooo!  A nice gift from the sea.> I would have to break the rock to keep them apart. Is this a viable solution or is there another? <It looks like the rock could be easily removed from your system.  If this is so, I think I would remove and use a chisel or better yet a Dremel, and remove and relocate one of these corals. <As far as ID's go I think this is Galaxea fascicularis, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/oculinidae.htm though Turbinaria http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm or Goniopora http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm could be possibilities, it is difficult to tell from the photo.> Thanks for your help as always. Lots of great reading!! <Welcome!  Glad you enjoy!  -Mich>    Jim

Aiptasia gone?  4/18/07 Hello everyone at the wet web! <Good afternoon, Olly here> I have a question regarding Aiptasia. <Heehee, Most people do> My tank has had a problem for about a year with them. I have zapped them with Kalkwasser, purchased a copperband <Shouldn't be purchased for short-term problems> 3 Berghia Nudibranchs, and 2 shrimp <Peppermint?> over that time and nothing seemed to work. In the last 2 weeks, amazingly them have simply vanished! There may be 3 or 4 left, but that's it! I haven't done anything different, changed any habits, nor have I added anything new in quite some time. I am happy about it, but I am wondering if something may be wrong with my system since these guys are suppose to be tough. All of the fish, inverts and corals seem fine and all parameters are excellent. Are my worries legit? What can cause such a quick demise of the Aiptasia? <There maybe something underlying, but this doesn't seem strikingly obvious from what you've said, so I'd say you're good to go. I would say that is was quite likely the Berghia Nudibranch, these often 'go missing' for extended periods of time but then re-surface in increased numbers and a lot hungrier. It may be worth checking the remaining Aiptasia at night with a flashlight to inspect for minor aggressors -- the Nudibranchs. Could also be an improvement in husbandry that lead what was feeding the Aiptasia proliferation -- nutrients, overfeeding, lighting etc -- to lessen, leading to a crash in their population. Although I still firmly suspect the Nudibranchs! A last thought -- is the copperband still with you -- may have just developed its taste! Hope this helps, Olly>

Re: Invader   4/16/07 <Hi Bob, Mich with you again.> I do not know where the nutrient could be coming from.  I feed very, very sparingly, <Perhaps a change in food brand would help?>   and have been for quite a long while (started with a fight against BGA which I have won, only to lose against Aiptasia and hair algae). <There are several methods for Aiptasia control.  More here and related links in blue:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm Only been a little over a week since you wrote in about these issues.  This battle will take time, once changes have been made.> Despite all of WWM's positive words, I wonder if the problem is not the DSB, both of them or maybe just the downstream one, which has flow only across the top.  Thoughts?   <I would keep.  Do you occasionally vacuum the sand bed?> Maybe I should clear all sand out of the downstream fuge completely? <If it were me/mine I would try implementing other options and leave the DSB in place.  -Mich> Bob Lee

Another Aiptasia Question - 03/20/07   Just finished setting up my 240g with 300lbs of LR and I have noticed about 10-14 Anemone's. <<Uh-oh...cultured live rock was it?>> Some large, some small, some brown, some clear, some striped. <<Ah yes...>> After searching the web I have decided these are Aiptasia.   <<Is very likely>> This LR is in an Agg FOWLR tank, I understand they breed like crazy with lots of nutrients which I'm sure to have with a Grouper, Lion, and Eels. <<Indeed>> But my question is this, does Aiptasia have any benefits (filter feeding, extracting wastes, etc)? <<They are amazing absorption feeders, pulling dissolved organics from the water (one of the reasons they are so successful/difficult to eradicate)...but...>> And do they pose any threat to large fish? <<Mmm, good question...they do have a fairly potent sting.  I wouldn't think they would pose a big hazard to large fish...but a heavy infestation may prevent these fishes from getting/staying in their favorite hidey or sleeping holes in a closed system...thus creating stress and all the possible ailments/troubles it will bring about.  My opinion is a few here and there wouldn't be a concern...but I wouldn't let the Aiptasia overgrow the entire system>> Other fish planned were a Harlequin Tusk, Yellow Tang, Queen Angel, and possibly a Sohal Tang.  Lastly I read on one of your articles about Aiptasia that the Queen Angel eats it, but can't find that info anywhere else on the web to confirm.  Can you confirm? <<Not personally, no...and though I consider Bob a reliable source, each fish is an individual...>> I do not mind having a constant grazing material for an Angel to eat on it this is true. <<Time will tell>> I missed Anthony's lecture at ThatFishPlace this past weekend, but the tent sales pulled me away :o). <<Bet it was a good time>> Thanks for all the hard work guys, Joe in MD <<Pleasure to assist...EricR in SC>>

Aiptasia Control 2/27/07 Hello, <Hi John> My question is simple! I'd like to use Kalk slurry to fill the hole the little Aiptasia bugger is in. Then plug the hole with epoxy so it can never return! Good idea? Bad idea? <As long as there is no back door, I'd just plug the hole.> I can easily take the rock out so that is not an issue. My only concern is a chemical reaction. Will the slurry and epoxy, being in such close proximity to each other, cause a reaction that could leach awful no good compounds into my tank? Ever been done by anyone you know? <To be on the safe side, I'd plug the hole 15 minutes after the Kalk shot. Do read here and linked files above for more info on control of these little &%$#*s. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm> Thanks WWM Crew, <You're welcome John.  James (Salty Dog)> John

My little Aiptasia...   2/26/07 I got some base rock for my 45g tank and along came a little Aiptasia, barely as wide as a dime, and before I knew it was an Aiptasia (24 hours ago hehehe) it became my little pride and joy. <Wait a while... for the "Day of the (Glass Anemone) Triffids!"> It really is cute, and I thought it was another cute little hitchhiker on the cheap rock. However... Seeing its true nature on the internet has led me to the decision to possibly buy an Elegance Coral to eat it but I don't think my tank will be able to support something so hard to care for. They seem to have an awfully high death rate, and I have a Sun Reef 50/50 bulb as the only source of coral-friendly light. My budget barely allowed for that at the time, and the only upgrade will take two of my measly paychecks at the moment. So I was trying to think of some relatively easy to keep coral that might eat the Aiptasia but be able to survive as long as I do the necessary additives and food. I got the stupid Aiptasia some Zooplankton which he ate with much vigor. Any suggestions other than letting it slowly die out in the air for a week or so? <Could work, yes> Apparently that "little" Aiptasia will be a nuisance in the future, and as much as I think he's cute, I know I have to find a humane way of killing it. I figured getting eaten alive is more like nature's way right?  :) <Mmm, what is it about "nature's way" and living in a transparent box that doesn't seem to quite gel here? I say, either keep the little bugga-boo or rid yourself in whatever way seems facile> BTW, the tanks inhabitants are a pair of False Percula Clowns, a Green Spotted Puffer, a Canary Wrasse, a handful of snails and crabs. There's less than 10lbs of base rock at the moment since its so expensive to get the stuff, and even more if I wanted to get liverock - I'm doing the "one step at a time" approach. There's an Emperor Biowheel filter (Forgot what size.. It has room for two cartridges) and a 90g Red Sea Skimmer, and plans in the way for a homemade sump/refugium later. Thank you very much, I hate being such a newbie but the internet is so full of conflicting information I'd like to double check and see if I'm heading the right direction. <Mmm, yes.... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and the linked files below. Bob Fenner>
Re: My little Aiptasia...
  2/27/07 Okay so I was looking through all the FAQs and really considering an Elegance Coral until I read this one : "Elegance Coral Hi Guys and Girls <Hi Joe, MacL here> I just got a new elegance coral for my established reef tank. It is in a nice  open sandy area so I am hoping it does well. However my needy clownfish has not  unexpectedly taken up residence in it almost immediately. Is my newcomer in  serious danger and is there anything I can do? <It can be a real problem. Often  they host and don't irritate the corals but sometimes they do irritate the  corals and indeed kill them. These fish can be deadly to corals and really there  isn't much you can do about them besides find another host they will go to OR  get rid of the coral. Sorry to be such a downer. It is possible that it won't  irritate the coral at all, in which case you have a interesting situation to  enjoy.>" Is something like this a serious enough problem to reconsider? If I went through the trouble to get a decent Elegance, feed him, and take care of him... Would my two clownfish stress it out trying to make a home on it? <Is a possibility... though these fishes generally choice other, more agreeable host species> I want something that would kill the Aiptasia but be enough of a home for my Clownfish, while simultaneously not beating the hell out of the three bumblebee gobies. They can eat 3x their weight in food, and have no hesitations of where they go for it, and I'm worried something as strong as an Elegance will eat them for dinner. Maybe I'm just crazy. Any suggestions then? <Yes... other means of Aiptasia control...> I don't want something as delicate and hard to keep as an Elegance if it'll probably just die (increasing the demand for more Elegances collected in shoddy conditions and just screwing up the oceans some more sounds like a cruddy plan if it'll just die)... Thanks a lot, sorry to be such a bother! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner> One last question! This is for future reference when I dive into the world of corals... What is your opinion on Pulsing Xenia versus Starburst Polyp (Briareum sp)... Also, Colt Coral would kill those I listed above right? There's so many different types of corals and whatnots, Its easy to get misled and I refuse to trust anything less than 5 sources... Waste of money and corals are animals, I'd hate to kill one just for experimentation/newbie purposes. <Read on my friend, read on. BobF>

Aiptasia anemone removal   2/26/07 Dear BOB, <Hi Jason, Mich here.> One other quick question for you. I seem to have Aiptasia anemones but only in my refugium. Thankfully they have never migrated to my main tank. <Yet!> Almost all of them hang out and reproduce in the bioballs and first baffle of the refugium.  Hence they are inaccessible to inject. <I'm not sure I understand why they would be inaccessible> I can only consider emptying the water and letting them dry out and refill it. Do you have any suggestions as to how to rid my refugium of these pests? <Lots of options please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and related links in blue.> Thanks   Jason <Welcome!  -Mich>

Re: Aiptasia Anemone Removal  -- 2/26/07 Dear Mitch, <Hi Jason, it's Michelle.> Reason the Aiptasia are inaccessible in the bioballs is because the refugium I have, the width of the baffle is that of one bioball. <Yikes!> So maybe the bioball chamber is 24" H x 18" D x 1.5-2" W. SO getting a needle, siphon, etc  is near impossible and removing the bioballs is a mission in itself. <Sounds like it!  Perhaps some DIY tongs are in order.> Plus no shrimp or nudibranchs can get into that area and hence injection with my arm and a needle is hard as well. Any Aiptasia that get into the main refugium chamber I kill without a problem. <This is good.> The only thing I can consider is emptying the refugium and cleaning them  out but I also don't want to kill that many tube worms, pods and other beneficial bacteria. <Vigilance is a reasonable option.> Best regards, <And to you!  -Mich> Jason

Aiptasia in Swim (FOWLR) Tank, Multiple Pygmy Angels in a Tank  - 02/15/07 Hello, <Hi there Kiet!  Mich here.> First of all, I wanted to say your site has provided me with an abundance of knowledge in maintaining a healthy aquarium.   <Glad to hear this!> The first question I wanted to ask was; would it be alright to leave Aiptasia in a swim tank? I know they can be harmful in a reef setup, but I was not sure about fish only tanks.   <Should be fine.> The second question I was wondering was; should pygmy angels be kept one to a tank? <Yes, best to be solitary, unless the tank is very large.> Thank you, <You're welcome!  -Mich> Kiet

Aiptasia Dilemma, Removal Options  - 02/15/07 Dear Crew <Hi Dan!  Mich with you tonight.> I recently purchased some Caulerpa racemosa attached to a small piece of live rock which I placed into my new refugium. <OK.> After a little while I noticed that the live rock is home to quite a few Aiptasia anemones. <OK.> So my question: should I try to combat the Aiptasia by adding some hermit crabs, or would it be better to try and detach the Caulerpa and chuck the rock into the bin? <You can try the hermits, Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) are if they're hungry enough may help.  Chemical options also work i.e. Kalk paste, lemon juice... Please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm  removing the Caulerpa is also an option.>   I'm not sure if this is possible since the Caulerpa racemosa seems to be pretty fragile. <Hmm, usually is quite hardy.> Is it easy to attach the Caulerpa to another piece of live rock or the substrate? <Really no need for it to be attached, but should be easy to do if you so desire> Thanks! <Welcome!> Dan

Aiptasia Control, Caulerpa 2/14/07 Dear Crew <Brenda here> I recently purchased some Caulerpa attached to a small piece of live rock which I placed into my new refugium. After a little while I noticed that the live rock is covered in Aiptasia. So my question: should I try to combat the Aiptasia by adding some hermit crabs, or would it be better to try and detach the Caulerpa and chuck the rock into the bin? I'm not sure if this is possible since the Caulerpa is very fragile (the bubble variety).    <If you decide to remove the rock, it can always be added later as 'dead' rock.  It will take some time before it becomes live rock again, but at least it's not a total waste.  As far as which method is best to remove Aiptasia, it seems the jury is still out on this.  Some hobbyists have luck with one method where others have had no luck.  Here is more information on Aiptasia control: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm    I think you will be fine removing the Caulerpa, it should reattach soon.  There is more information here on Caulerpa:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpafaq2.htm Thanks! Dan <Your welcome.  Brenda>

Kold Steril Filter Reason for Aiptasia and Algae Growth   10/4/06 Thank you for your website and the vast amount of information.  The information has prevented me from making numerous errors. <Thanks and welcome> I have a 125 gallon reef tank and I switched from Reverse Osmosis water from the water store to the Kold Steril Filter using my city water.  I seem to have had an increase in Aiptasia and green algae growth over 6 months time. Do you think this is because of the minerals in the water that did not exist with RO water? <Mmm, interesting speculation... if only we could "go back" and set up a few replicate systems to test this hypothesis... Don't know> Should I add an RO system after the Kold Steril Filter to get rid of the algae and slow the spread of Aiptasia? <Mmmm, I definitely would not. The KS unit is very likely doing about all that can be to provide clean water. I would employ other means of pest anemone control. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and the linked files above> I have one other question.  I have a Niger trigger in a different tank that is fish only.  The tank is 130 gallon high.  What if any other fish would be stable with the trigger?   I have had the trigger for 6 months and he does well.  I do not want to crowd him as he grows. <Please see WWM re Odonus niger and general Trigger Compatibility... Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help. Darrell

Aiptasia   8/24/06 Good morning, <And to you> I'm starting to see a couple of Aiptasia in my main display ( I have 5-10 in refugium).  I have a four line wrasse, a fridmani, flame angel, cinnamon clown, dragon goby, seven blue green Chromis, one fire shrimp, and four skunk shrimp in my 150 gal mainly SPS reef.  I am by no means over run with the Aiptasias, but I would like to nip the problem early. <You are wise here> I've searched your site concerning the wurdemanni shrimp but I'm not sure what "all but the largest Aiptasia" means. <Mmm, ones that are much larger than the shrimp let's say>   I have one that is about 1" in diameter, would that be considered large? <IMO, yes>   How do you think this shrimp would fair with my current stock?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <I would likely try "cutting this back" before hoping, adding the shrimp... with a strong vacuum and a sharp tool... Bob Fenner, who likes large pizzas, but not too large!>

Aiptasia (sorry I know you get a lot of these emails)   8/14/06   Hello once again.  I have a 90 gallon tank that has a lot of Aiptasia which seem to be spreading.  I have read your FAQs on Aiptasia and realize that it is probably a nutrient problem.  I feel as though I am not overfeeding... fish eat food within a minute (spectrum pellets and Mysis).  I currently only have 3 fish, a Kole tang, clown fish, and a Pseudochromis (blue flavivertex) all are 3 inches or less.  I have a lot of corals currently mostly on the sand bed because of the Aiptasia on the rocks, I also feed the corals Mysis, Cyclop-eeze, ZooPlex on a rotating schedule about 2 to 3 times per week.  Corals include Favites, Favia, red trach brain, green trach brain, torch coral, Montipora, green star polyps, mushrooms, and Kenya tree all are doing very well.  My question is how can I limit the amount of nutrients and still feed fish and corals... which I think is important (obviously for fish but also corals)? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algnutrcontrolfaqs.htm same processes...> All water parameters are great ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, phosphate 0.1 calcium 400, alk 10 dKH, and pH 8.3.  I do a 10% water change every week with deionized water and Tropic Marin salt.  My skimmer is a remora pro which I have set to "overskim" which I have to empty every other day (brown water not dark brown skimmate).  I have killed some using Kalk paste but don't want to go crazy and cause a pH spike.  Any suggestions. <Posted on WWM...>   Should I try not feeding corals for a couple weeks? <Aiptasia are not simply a matter of nutrient availability or no...> Increase flow (currently 1 maxi jet 1200, 1 maxi jet 900 and a Rio 2100 for overflow return)?  Oh yeah I do have a small cleanup crew 1 serpent star, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 queen conch, and about 6 Trochus snails.  I am not too fond of crabs because I hear they are not 100% reef safe. <We're in agreement here>   So to sum up this really long, wordy email, I would like any suggestions on how to get rid of the Aiptasia I have and also to keep this problem from reoccurring.  By the way I have tried peppermint shrimp with no success.  I will include a tank picture.  Thank you very much, Ryan Nienhuis. <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and the linked files at bottom. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Hitchhiker - 08/11/06 Hey Crew- <<Hey Rob!>> I just wanted your opinion on something... <<I'm always happy to proffer my opinions>> I have a 75 gallon reef tank.  I recently purchased a frag of orange-eyed zoo's. <<Cool!>> It's a decent sized piece and the polyps look great however, I just noticed that there is an Aiptasia anemone on this frag. <<Mmm, some freebies/hitchhikers are neat...some not so neat...this one falls in to the "not so neat" category>> My tank is currently Aiptasia free. <<Generally a "temporary" condition in this hobby>> Is it really worth having this $10 frag in my tank with the risk of the Aiptasia spreading throughout my display? <<That's a decision you have to make my friend...but, eliminating this pest before it spreads is a real possibility as well>> Is there any way to keep the Aiptasia from spreading? <<Yes...kill it>> What would you do if it were your tank? <<I would try to get rid of the pest anemone were this me/my tank.  My preferred method is to inject the anemone (run the needle through the oral opening down in to the stalk) with full strength lemon juice.  Sometimes takes more than one hit, but I've found this method to be very effective...and as effective (or more so) as any of the commercial products I've tried>> As always, I appreciate your time! Best regards, Rob <<Glad to help.  EricR>>

Aiptasia seeds?   7/27/06 Mr. Fenner and gang, <Hello there!> Hello all, I have a 20G and 2.5G both mixed reefs.  The 2.5G has been somewhat neglected and at the moment, is being overtaken by Aiptasia. <This is a very common problem with a tank this small.  Nutrients, unless you are EXTREMELY diligent run like crazy in a tank of this size.  I would suggest going bigger if you can.> I have three small colonies of Zoa's, one of which the dang Aiptasia is actually sprouting up through.   <Just annoying, isn't it?> My question is, can I salvage/frag what I can of the unaffected Zoa's and put them in my 20G that is Aiptasia free and not worry about it sprouting up in there, or is that just asking for trouble? <Actually you can, but there is always a chance that you'll be moving a few over to the new tank.  Once again, it is better to treat the problem than the symptoms here.  If you want to make the move, manually remove all Aiptasia (be very care around the zoas, no need to break any of them and wear gloves just to be on the safe side.) Then move over to bigger tank.  Work on getting nutrients down in your 2.5 though.> Thanks for your time, Mike Troolines <No problem, have a great one!  Jen S.>

Re: Aiptasia and Frogspawn corals  5/31/06 Hello Bob. The return of the Aiptasia, imagine that! A strange thing noticed on the specimen growing among the frogspawn colony: The tentacles closest to the frogspawn polyps are receded and wilted while the pest tries to avoid these polyps. I found several others growing near the top of the tank where the P. skimmer empties into the water. I know why they grow here though only discovered their presence in the passed couple weeks. This is where I put food for dispersion by the flowing water and it sometimes collects near the top of the rock. I purchased what I thought are Peppermint shrimp but I am not so sure as these are larger than usual and the coloration seems more subdued and the specimens darker. These are neat little guys at any rate even if they do happen to be the wrong shrimp. I am still looking for the Berghia but have never seen one offered at any of the LFS(s). Right now I am using my QT tank for control though the one rock is exceptionally large where these pests reside. I may restart my 55 gallon tank and purchase a Copperband butterfly or similar species for control... not sure though as incurring more expenses and maintaining yet another tank might get real old real fast. Maybe if I can repair the light fixture on the 24 gallon (I think the external ballast went) then the new light I got could get moved.... Decisions, decisions.... Sincerely, James Zimmer <<James:  Frogspawn has a powerful sting.  Sounds like it is stronger than the sting of an Aiptasia.  Peppermints are hit or miss.  When I have bought them, only about 1/2 to 2/3 eat Aiptasia.  Berghia are available online.  If you do a search on www.reefcentral.com and other sites you may find people selling them.  Unfortunately, if they work, they will die once they have eaten all the Aiptasia.  Rather than use critters, if you don't have too many, I like to make a batch of Kalk paste and inject it into the Aiptasia holes with the plastic syringe you get with baby medicines.  After you inject it, don't scrape the paste off.  Eventually coralline algae will grow right over it.  Best of luck, Roy>>
Re: Aiptasia and Frogspawn corals
- 06/01/2006 Roy. Thank you for the advice on Aiptasia control. I have used the Kalk paste or slurry also and depending on location or orientation to preferred animals I am sometimes reluctant. Yes, this latest crop will have my work cut for me. I may just use the paste method again for the large rock as it is too much to move into the smaller QT. As for smaller rocks I can move them and train, hopefully, the shrimp to eat the pest anemones. I will not use concentrated Ca(OH)2 near the frogspawn if I can at all help it. Again, thank you. James <<James:  You're welcome.  Based on my experience, the Peppermint Shrimp will either like Aiptasia or not (that's why if you have a big enough tank, it's good to buy 2 to 3 to see who will eat them).  In my best case, one peppermint ate about 100 Aiptasia within about a day.  It was amazing to see him attack them.  He looked like a boxer working on a speed bag.  Unfortunately, for that Peppermint Shrimp a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp attacked him and ate him.  I guess the Skunk Cleaner liked the taste of Aiptasia fed shrimp. If you are careful with the baby medicine syringe and make a thick enough paste, you can inject the paste with a lot of control (like you are decorating a cake).  If some of the paste starts to float off, just disburse it as fast as you can.  In my experience, if a little bit brushes a coral (such as your frogspawn) as it floats buy, it won't hurt anything. Best of luck, Roy>>

Aiptasia - 5/12/2006 I am pretty sure that I have Aiptasia Anemones in my tank but want to verify. <<OK.>> Are these the only anemones that populate quickly? <<No.>> They seem to be multiplying quickly. I keep finding new ones. The photos I looked at are pretty much the same thing I have in my tank. <<If they look like Aiptasia, they likely are.>> I can't believe I have been feeding this thing. <<Most live rock has a few hitchhiking.>> Is it 100% necessary to get rid of them? <No.  Depends on your system and other inhabitants.  I would opt to remove them.>> How much harm can they really be? <<They do move, and can sting/kill other corals and livestock.  There are many products available to eradicate them, as well as some natural predators. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm.>> Thanks for the help Mike <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Importing Aiptasia from LFS?  4/27/06 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Jen S. here, Bob is at a conference.> There are two prominent LFS's in my community that have nice corals. Store A has noticeable Aiptasia growing in their systems (one or two per tank, but not infested); Store B has essentially none. <Very common to see in a LFS> However, compared to Store B, Store A has a better selection of corals and- overall- friendlier, more helpful staff. <Go with Store A then.> I read your Aiptasia article and came away with the conclusion that eventually I'll have to deal with these pesky beasts.   <Hopefully not with diligent care.> My water parameters are great for a three month old system (good skimmer, Chaeto refugium, Nitrates zero).   <You system is quite young to be adding a lot, be careful!> I am told that one way to control Aiptasia is through prevention, with good nutrient export the key. <Yup, and manual removal.> Question: with regards to potential importation of Aiptasia into my system, does it really make much of a difference which store I shop at? <Shop where you like the selection and staff> Also, will dipping my newly bought corals in Seachem Reef Dip make any difference with regards to Aiptasia...or any other nasty thing for that matter? <I'm not sure, I doubt it.  Manually remove all that you see BEFORE adding to tank, and anymore you see after adding.  Good luck w/ the shopping!  Jen S.> Thanks. Russell in Louisville, KY

Aiptasia, aka Glass or Rock anemone    4/16/06 Hello to one and all, <Hello to you as well, Jodie here tonight> I have a brief question.  In the process of setting up a 90 gallon reef tank I purchased 50 pounds of beautiful rock from Tonga.  It has run through the curing cycle, and realizing it was too little volume for the tank I started looking for suitable base rock.  Through a reef club I acquired an additional 50 pounds of "used" Fiji.  It looked in good shape and I did not find anything dead during my inspection.  Utilizing very poor judgment I placed this rock in the curing/holding tank with the rest of the rock.  Now a few hours later I see Aiptasia popping out of every hole on the new rock. <I feel your pain; it's happened to me as well.  I'd recommend moving it immediately to limit the odds of spreading to your good rock.> There are too many to inject or cover in Kalk paste.  Would pouring boiling water over the rock kill the pest or should I dry the rock in the sun for a few days? <Boiling water isn't guaranteed to kill them all.  They'll likely just pull back into the rock, where the boiling water won't get to them quick enough.  If you're not worried about losing all the life in the rock, then I'd say the sun is a more likely to work.  Just make sure to keep in clean, and re-cure it after it's "sun bath".> Thank you, <Best of luck, and hope they haven't infected your good rock, Jodie> Rob

Aiptasia Removal - 03/17/2006 Bob, <Stuck with Josh today I'm afraid.> There seems to be a lot of options for removing Aiptasia (Nuisance anemone) listed on wetwebmedia.com. <Indeed.> The first seems to be removing the cause of their growth (excess nutrients). <Yes.> I am in the process of purchasing/moving a 90 gallon tank with live rock. There is about 80 lbs of live rock with about 10 to 15 nuisance anemones growing. Since, I do not have any fish to put in the tank, would these die from starvation if I just set the tank up to keep the live rock wet? <Highly unlikely.> My plan is to setup the tank/filtration and let it run for 1 or 2 months before adding fish/food. <Good to Hear.> Should I remove/scrub the rock prior to putting it back in the tank. <Scrubbing them will only create more...a lot more.> Would it help to cover the tank to minimize light? <No.> Do you have any other suggestions? <It sounds to me like you're in a great position to use the Kalkwasser injection method. This is what I would do.> I would prefer not to buy crabs/shrimp as I have a Panther grouper that will eventually make this tank his home. <Understood and glad to see you're planning ahead.> Thanks Jack W.    <Welcome. - Josh>

Aiptasia status report/Aiptasia Control  - 02/27/06 Hi, Crew! <Hello Amy> Just thought I would weigh in on my experiences with Aiptasia control and a variety of methods, after reading all the FAQs.  Bottom line: Nothing yet seems to work.  I have tried 1) Injections with lemon juice.  This worked temporarily; they eventually grew back, and if you get even one or two hiding in crevices that you can't see, it's all over - they'll reproduce out of control from their hidden location.  2) Joe's Juice - this doesn't work very well either.  It does indeed kill the target anemone, but there is a significant problem: it seems to force the dying anemone to clone.  I tested this by feeding Joe's Juice to an anemone that was stuck to the wall of the aquarium, so it was clearly visible on all sides.  Sure enough, the Aiptasia died, but it left behind a ring of ~5 or so tiny clones, which are now growing to full size.  *sigh*  I have used literally a dozen boxes of Joe's Juice, and all it seems to do is induce them to clone.  Watch out! Since I'm very much against bringing any wild-caught animals into captivity now, I'm going to try Berghia nudibranchs.  I have two arriving on Tuesday morning.  I'm setting up a breeding tank, along with a holding tank for Aiptasias (not that this is a huge problem at the moment - my main tank is covered with hundreds now).  Will let you know how it goes!  If they clean up the Aiptasias, I'll pass them along. <Thank you for the email and do let us know your results.  James (Salty Dog)> Amy

Euphyllia cristata and Echidna nebulosa... and Aiptasia control  - 02/20/06 Dear Mr. Fenner or crew member that answers,    <Jessica>   Just a couple of follow up questions.  Regarding the below mentioned E. nebulosa, what would you consider the minimum for housing him indefinitely? <... 150, 200 gallons plus, uncrowded...> It is possible that I could trade in a few of my smaller tanks (and there are plenty) that have housed freshwater fish over the years for a predrilled standard 125 (I have been collecting tanks and freshwater fish since the ripe old age of 8).  I would probably have to use cinder blocks for a stand (it would look like my neighbors car), <Heee!> or wait until I can next get to my dad's shop to build one, which could take a while, but would the tank work no matter what I set it on? <? As long as the stand/support is stable, strong, planar, level...> I have read so many different minimum requirements, 50 gallons on DrsFosterSmith.com, 60 in the article on WWM, and all sorts of variations up to a recommendation of 100 gallons on other places on the web.  I am thinking the 125 will work, but I want to be sure first.   What are the ideal dimensions for housing such a beautiful species?   <The bigger the better...> Could I fill it 3/4 of the way (which would render the pre-drilling useless, unless I lower the overflow boxes somehow), with a cover and still have a happy eel? <Not indefinitely... which was your question/concern> I am thinking that with the lowered volume, maybe I could simulate intertidal pools for him to get into (the overflow boxes), maybe place some treats in there from time to time.        Also, on a side note, I obtained the below mentioned E. cristata/divisa from my friend, and it looks great in the rocks, half way up, right under a 175w 10000k MH lamp and very near an 800 gph powerhead (the powerhead is on the back of the tank, pointed at the front and makes a nice sweeping current through the tank, the coral is in the direct path of the ricochet current).  I still do not notice sweeper tentacles, and I wonder if I should? <Not necessarily... but might at night, after feeding if you looked... and very likely if you placed another cnidarian close... or it chemically influenced the system>   It seems to eat if I place meaty food on its tentacles (formula one, prime reef, or Mysis and human grade shrimp, scallops and squid, all used in Mr. Fenner's marine mash recipe from CMA) Is there any way to tell which coral I have without dissection/microscopic investigation? <Euphyllias are rather distinct... usually just looking at the polyps will give you a species ID> Not that it makes that big a difference to me, but I would like to label my display museum style so when the nieces/nephews/friend's children come over I can encourage them to read/learn for themselves, much as you do here on WWM.  Is it possible that I have the wrong genus in identification, since there are no sweeper tentacles? <Not likely> (I have looked at all the pictures I can find on the net, I am certain it is a Euphylliid, but I am no expert.)      Another side note, I have found a useful strategy for removing Aiptasia from my rocks that doesn't involve chemical or biological controls.  With great patience, I have shaded the Aiptasia from the light.  While they may be less light demanding than their more desirable counterparts, in my experience, they are no less light loving. <Agreed> I have found that the shading makes them migrate to the substrate, where I simply use tongs to pluck them from the aquarium.  I often have had to "redirect" the anemone's path with more shading or by turning or moving the rock, but I have successfully removed 14 Aiptasia anemones this way (over the course of about 1 1/2 months).  I also have not seen a mass reproduction that I was wary of after reading about chemical controls or other methods like scraping.  Once they were plucked, they were gone.  I now have an Aiptasia free display, in case anyone is interested.  I harbor some of them in a 20L under regular fluorescent lighting to play with.  It is interesting to watch them eat bits of shrimp or whatever I drop in there.  In a sense, I have a dedicated display for anemones, as they are the only thing there, except a few rocks.  I will remove rocks and said anemones when I next QT something.  I just wanted to enjoy having an anemone for a while, and Aiptasia has been suggested by some on WWM (not without hesitation).    <Thank you for this>   One last thing.  My fish (green Chromis and a firefish) have been eating the meat that I am feeding the coral.  Can I just feed them the marine mash (every other day or so), or should they have flakes and pellets, too? <No need for the latter> I believe the flake and pellet food for the fish is producing phosphates in the aquarium, and I do have some algae growth that I could live without.      Thank you for your investment in my tank's well-being.  You folks are the greatest.      Best regards,   Jessica Groomer <Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Article - 01/10/2006 I am writing regarding your article on Aiptasia. First off thank you for writing on this topic, as there really isn't that much out there to read. <We're glad you enjoyed it.> I was wondering if it was at all possible to keep the larger anemones with out future outbreaks. <Not really. Any time there are available nutrients, they'll reproduce.> I was also wondering about what exactly they are doing to my fish. <Stinging the devil out of them.> My fish really don't seem to mind, but how do I know. <Hmm...Watch if they ever touch them directly. Notice how quickly your fish move away?> So are shrimp the best way to go? <Depends on what is in your tank really. Some risk to desired corals, but generally a good choice.> Thanks, Joseph <Gladly. - Josh>

Aiptasia Control - 01/04/2006 Greetings crew. <Howdy Dean.> Once again thanks so much for your help in our fascinating world of Marine wildlife. <Our pleasure!> I have a fairly new (8 month old set up) 180 gallon marine tank with a nice variety of corals (soft and hard), Polyps, invertebrates, and fish. Everything has been coming along great but I do have a small problem of glass anemones slowing taking over every vacant spot in the tank (and that's a lot in a 180). <Yep. Of course I'm sure you know this is all about nutrient control.> I have tried inoculating them with a syringe with hot water as was recommended to me. This doesn't seem to work. I know that the addition of peppermint ? <Yes.> shrimp may help as they are known to eat these anemones. I am afraid that they might eat my polyps or soft corals as well. What is your opinion on this? <I agree. FOWLR wouldn't be a problem but in a reef setting this could be a problem. Not guaranteed to be however the desired corals could be sampled/eaten as well.> Are there any other remedies that I could try without potentially hurting the other inhabitants of the tank? I would appreciate any recommendations that you might think worth a try. <A few things to start. First, very strict nutrient control and aggressive skimming (This will mainly only keep it from getting worse at this point). This will be a bit tough. IMO these and the desired corals are similar enough to be affected by the same chemical controls, so if you go that route use caution. Here's a good article from the CA Magazine for you http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm > Thanks again. Your experience and guidance have helped many of us enjoy this hobby with your advise. <You're welcome, being in the position to give it has done the same.> Dean Fowler   <Josh>

Aiptasia In My Sump - 12/28/05 I have a 300 gallon tank with three filters with submersible pump heads in the back, I went to clean it and noticed white pod shaped hairy polyps hanging on the walls of the filter. <<Sounds like Aiptasia>> Upon further inspection they were also hollow.  I have not added anything to the tank in 7 to 8 mos.  The live rock has been in the tank for 2 years this is the first time I am seeing these polyps. The last thing I added was a Sea Hare.  The area where they are does not get any light. <<Unlike most anemones, Aiptasia can prosper without light.  I have witnessed first-hand their ability to survive without light while living on organic material absorbed from the water, as in an unlit sump.>> Are these things good? <<Depends on your perspective.  Do have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm I did vacuum quite few out while cleaning. <<That's one alternative.  Regards, EricR>>

Killing Aiptasia With Clay - 12/18/2005 Hello, great site. <Hello Tony, glad you enjoy it.> I have a brand new marine tank that is still in its cycling stage. A week ago I noticed that I have a few, very small Aiptasia that apparently came free of charge with the live rocks that I purchased. I've read from this site that these guys are carnivores as well as photosynthetic. I haven't put any type of food into the tank, it is still very bare with exception of a few snails and hermit crabs, so I'm not too worried about the overfeeding factor. I've read from this site that these guys are carnivore as well as photosynthetic. <I'd say omnivore as I've seen them eat anything that floats. (Fish do get their revenge;)> So I guess starving them to death won't be an option if they can survive solely from the aquarium light. I've attempted to inject lemon juice into their base, but they are really quick to retreat back into their holes. <I've never felt comfortable with that method, seeing as pH is so sensitive.> I thought of an idea that I haven't seen mentioned on this site. How about plugging up their holes of residence with some type of play-doh type of material, and keeping them that way for, oh I don't know, a month? Or even longer? <Came as a shock to me, but Aiptasia can and does change location if it wants to. I saw one lose a Mushroom battle some time ago, and it actually moved to an entirely different rock. That said, it may be able to move throughout the rock's pores. Take that, add blotchy grey spots all over the place, and you have an undesirable method of control. I like Peppermint Shrimp, and have also used a strong Kalkwasser solution to rid myself of these. I think you should go to the CA Magazine, linked from the main page. I believe it was there, in the CA Archives, that they hold a good article on controlling pest anemones (also the place that I heard of people trying your idea). Much good info. in the CA magazines anyway. > That will deprive them of food and light. Do you guys see any reason this might not work? <I guess I should have written all that here. Oops!> Thank you.    Tony <You're welcome. - Josh>

Aiptasia anemone filtration?  11/22/05 I have been removing Aiptasia from my tank whenever I find them. I recently read about keeping them in a refugium to help with absorb nutrients. Is this a good idea? <Can be... but in general, I don't endorse... too easy for these to get about, into ones main system, cause trouble stinging, chemically> If I move them to separate section of my refugium, do I run the risk of them spreading back to the main tank? <Oh yes. Bob Fenner>

Quick Aiptasia question 11-20-05 I have been removing Aiptasia from my tank whenever I find them. <Good idea. Make use a lime based product to burn the foot also or you will have more Aiptasia sprouting from the leftovers.> I recently read about keeping them in a refugium to help with absorb nutrients. Is this a good idea? <Not in the least and not realistic as aphasia are not filter feeders.> <<You must have missed Anthony Calfo's article on the utility of Aiptasia as a "filter" (direct link shows a 404 error, but here you can find Google's cached reprint of what is, I believe, in his "Book of Coral Propagation - Vol. 1").  Marina>> If I move them to separate section of my refugium, do I run the risk of them spreading back to the main tank? <Yes, not even a risk, a reality.  Travis>

Bubble Versus Aiptasia 10/13/05 WWM Crew, I have a bubble coral in close proximity to an Aiptasia anemone. The war is on. I know the elegance coral can 'out-sting' Aiptasia, but will a bubble coral? If it can, can I use it to kill the other Aiptasia in my tank?  <What did you plan on doing, walking the anemone to visit the Aiptasia?> <<Dude! It's a coral! Not an anemone... RMF>> I wouldn't call it an infestation, but I do have about 10 more Aiptasia in my 135 g reef. They don't seem to be multiplying too quickly, but I would like to take care of them before they become a problem. As soon as my LFS has peppermint shrimp (the real ones... I read all about it!)  I will grab a half dozen of them as well. Broken record time... you guys have no idea how much help you have been over the years. I have a crazy set up that would never have been possible without the knowledge obtained here (and Visa!).  <Read here BJ. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm - James (Salty Dog)> 

-Another shark- 10/9/05 Justin, <Pat, I apologize for the extended wait on the reply, I have been under the weather.> Nice to meet you, and many thanks to you and the rest of the WWM for all your help. On your advice I did some research in your anemones FAQ's. I was not able to positively ID the organisms living in my tank, but my chosen livestock comes first so I will rid my tank of the offending anemones no matter what they are (the feeling I got reading your pages seems to be that all accidentally acquired anemones are parasitic). <<Mmm, not "parasitic"... don't live in or on other species... RMF>> My tank contains three small sharks (an epaulette, a bamboo, and a coral cat, 400 gallon is in the works for January, two 29 gallon sumps/ wet-dry trickles with bio-balls are currently cycling with my current 150 so they are ready for the new tank) as well as one large tesselata moray.  As such I am always wary of medications, sharks seem to react negatively to such things. Your FAQ left me with two alternatives I am interested in trying: One was peppermint shrimp. I understand that a few of these will dispatch the offending organisms, but in your opinion would they have a chance to do such before they themselves fell to the bigger predators in the tank? <<No, they'll be eaten. RMF>> I also saw that I could remove the rock the anemones are growing on and boil them to kill all the organisms on it (recall that it is established volcanic rock and not live rock from the sea), or failing that I could just toss it and replace it with new rock. Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.  <I really think you best bet is to put the rock into your sump and let the peppermint shrimp reside there and see if they will clean it off. Otherwise ask your LFS to see if you can bring the rock to them for their shrimp to clean then pick it up when its done. Otherwise boiling works or does hypersalinity in the 1.60 range in a container and put the LR in that, It will kill everything or most everything as well. Third idea is to use Kalkwasser to inject the anemones full of and that kills them that works very well.> Also: I have a few questions regarding sharks. As I said I already have three, but in a four hundred gallon with ridiculous filtration (the two sumps I mentioned, 1200 GPH protein skimmer, six foot home made suspended gravel filter in addition to heavy mechanical/carbon filtration) I would be comfortable adding one more. < Unfortunately I would not as you are already overcrowding a shark tank. Each requires quite a lot of water and space and may kill another shark if not enough space is available. Also if you really want to keep a shark for its lifespan or the three you have, I would look into making a Saltwater pond of several thousand gallons. MattieJ on Aquaticpreadators.com has the most expertise on such things and keeps an 18,000gallon tank in his basement, and a 35,000 gallon 55ft by 35ft pool for 5 sharks. one or two being Blacktip reef sharks.>  My totally unrealistic dream is a black tip reef shark (LOL, some day), and your FAQ's/information sheets turned me off to leopard sharks. I was wondering about the Freycinet's epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium freycineti) and the hooded carpet shark (Hemiscyllium strahani). I searched you site and got a hit with no information on the latter and nothing at all on the former. I've also searched on-line dealer inventories exhaustively and found nothing.  <<Ever hear of fishbase.org?  A listing of species, with as much information as they have is packed into a huge database.  There are no assessments of availability within the ornamental trade.  Marina>><<<Actually Marina, if you look at the "Use..." per species, you'll find there is a description "Aquarium" for species. RMF>>> You can see pictures of them here: http://www.seapics.com/spsearchLynx/cgi.pan$188140x1x10?spsearchLynx  and here: http://www.seapics.com/spsearchLynx/cgi.pan$qs+&hemiscyllium&strahani?spsearchLynx  respectively. My question is do you know if these species exist in the trade, or are they entirely unattainable? I realize the scope of this question is massive and any help would be appreciated. <Hmm well I do not know about either of those sharks in the trade, however as for the Blacktip shark I DO NOT recommend it for any aquarium less than several thousand gallons as it is a constant swimmer and requires space and a lot of it to survive. The only ones outside of public aquariums that are thriving belong to MattieJ at AP (see above). If anyone knows about those particular sharks you are searching for he would, He also goes on shark collecting expeditions at times and has the licenses etc to do so. I highly recommend you get in touch with him.> <Justin (Jager)>  Thanks!! Pat 

Hyposalinity & Aiptasia 10/8/05 Hello,  <Hello Katja (unique name)> I would very much appreciate your feedback :>. I just had a huge outbreak of tiny, clear Aiptasia (glass Aiptasia??) in my seahorse tank possibly due to excess freshly hatched brine shrimp.  <Yikes, but are you sure that is what they are? Unlikely they would have resulted from a shrimp hatch.>  They cover everything...glass, gravel, rocks, plastic plants. I have set up a baby horse tank so as to  1. protect babies from being stung and  2. stop feeding the main tank so well.  Can I starve the Aiptasia somehow?  <Unlikely as such, they produce much of their own food. Could try completely covering the tank so no light enters...heavy black sheet etc. I'm thinking if we take away the light source they require, they can't produce any food. Can't really tell you how long this would take.> I cannot obtain true peppermint shrimp (only camel back), Nudibranch nor red legged hermits. Do other varieties of hermit shrimp .i.e...... very small & black help?  <Never heard of others helping>  I suppose anemone shrimp would not eat them  <No> (only shrimp safe with baby horses due to small size). Would you know of any other biological methods safe with seahorses? Chemical injection and even Kalkwasser etc methods would be near impossible due to the sheer number and tiny size (needle pin size for most). However if I remove my horses (I assume I would need to do this?)...how long would I need to run the tank at ca. 1.01 salinity to ensure it is effective? And given that I have live rock and associate crew, will most of the micro-live e.g. bristle worms, Brittlestars die thus causing a ammonia spike and recycle of the tank? If yes, how long before it would all stabilize again do you think? Also would my mushrooms (morphs) and one soft coral survive?  <I don't think much will survive at 1.010. You may have to take it down lower to insure an effective kill of your Aiptasia along with any other living organisms on your live rock. If your tank is large enough, Copperband butterfly fish are good eradicators of Aiptasia but the care level is not easy.> Maybe I need to simply start afresh i.e. strip tank...soak in freshwater for a week.. ?  <This might be your best bet. I'm wondering if you added something else in your tank that would cause this kind of outbreak. It sure doesn't sound like Aiptasia. I know they are prolific breeders but not in the amounts you describe. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you in advance. <You're welcome> 
Hyposalinity & Aiptasia Follow-up 10/8/05
Thank you James :>. They certainly are Aiptasia as I tried to kill an adult several weeks ago (silly me) and thus spread its tissue to happily regenerate across the entire tank. But I'll either start afresh OR try to get some Stop Aiptasia from Carol Keen in America. Cheers Katja <OK, good luck with your eradication. James (Salty Dog)> 

Aiptasia and snails  9/19.5/05 Hello, I have a few Aiptasia on a live rock in my 55 gal.  marine tank.  I would like to leave them alone if they are not doing any harm. <Then do so> But will they harm my snails or fish?   <Only if the fish/es are very careless, the anemones far more numerous> The snails crawl all over the rock and I am afraid they will be stung by the Aiptasia.  Also the fish swim very close to the Aiptasia. The only fish I have now in this two month old tank are blue damsels and clownfish but I plan to add more fish.  Am I better off getting rid of the Aiptasia and can I just leave them be? <If they concern you... might be better to eradicate. Bob Fenner> Geraldine Kluska

Aiptasia in the Chaetomorpha - 09/11/2005 Good morning fine folks!  Hope you're having a nice relaxing weekend. <More or less, yes.  Thanks.  Hope you've had a good one, too.> I received some Chaetomorpha from a fellow aquarist a couple of days ago through the mail.  It was very compacted but otherwise looked nice and green and healthy. <Nifty.> I put some of it in my 20 GAL holding tank and the rest in my "in tank refugium" in the main tank.  The refugium is nothing more than a box made of egg crate and wrapped in window screen to contain the algae and keep the Yellow Tang out. <So far, so good....> Tonight as I was feeding the tank, I noticed something sticking out of the Chaeto.   <I'm hearing the "Jaws" theme starting, here....> Upon closer inspection, there seem to be MANY Aiptasia living in it.   <Insert hysterical scream> I thought they would only be introduced via Live Rock.   <Anything they can grow on can introduce them.> Could you please take a minute and look at the pictures and tell me if I have the ID correct?  Is it Aiptasia? <Yes sir.> If so, I'll just throw the Chaeto out so as to make sure it does not get into the main tank. <I would probably store it in your separate/quarantine system and kill the little guys with Kalkwasser injection.  Either way, good to get 'em out of your tank.> Yet another "plug" for quarantining EVERYTHING wet that goes in your tank. <Yes, agreed.> http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/navajo001/aip3.jpg http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/navajo001/aip2.jpg http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/navajo001/aip1.jpg As always, THANK YOU for your time and all that you do!  Still hoping to get enough experience and confidence to be able to volunteer my time to your site someday. <Hey, gain that confidence quick! (grin)> Thank you, Tom (The Tool Man) <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Aiptasia on neon star's rock  8/16/05 Hello crew, <Stephanie> I just realized I have Aiptasia in my tank - on the same rock my new neon star polyps came with! i just bought the coral last week and it looks like the Aiptasia is growing very fast! I'm worried it will harm my neon stars since they're both sharing the same little piece of rock. <Might> I've been reading that peppermint shrimps can get rid of this pest anemone. Will it damage the neon stars as well? <Likely not> The Aiptasia came with the neon stars, so they're all on the same little piece of rock. Let me know when you can, much appreciated!! thank you! Steph <Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia problem 7/30/05 Hi, I have tried many ways to get rid of my Aiptasia.  It seems to work for a bit, but then sooner or later, they show up again and then there's more.  I know that particles of the Aiptasia might cause more to come, but it's really hard to get them out of the crevices of the live rock.  Also, I can't take out the rock they are on anymore, because my featherduster has stuck himself into the crevices and growing in there too.  I have tried lemon juice, a peppermint shrimp (After about 4 days the peppermint disappeared. I am still hoping it's there hiding, but I fear for the worst) and I even rigged up a way where the half the rock with the feather duster on it was submerged in saltwater and the other half is in air getting flushed with fresh water. Please help! Here are some of the ideas I have: -I heard that the peppermint has to be bigger than the Aiptasia to eat it, <Incorrect> so I was thinking of moving the rock to my other tank and have a larger peppermint feast on it. -move the rock to the other tank and use stop Aiptasia, however I don't know how to get the ones inside the crevices. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks! <No, thank you... for helping yourself. Please study... starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and the linked files above... You will find there are more, better routes to go. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Trouble, large tank, lots... 6/29/05 Hello, <Hi there> I need to ask your advice. I have a 300 gal tank with about 200pds of live rock. I have hundreds of Aiptasias , I have tried Joes Juice, and all the other products but they grow quicker than I can remove them. There are baby ones in my overflow. I have tried Peppermint shrimp but they are useless. My LFS said the only thing Left to do would be to get some base rock, remove the current rock, Clean the old rock. Let it stand out for a few days. Then cure it and put it back in. <One approach> What are your feelings on this? I noticed the base rock they have is not live. Would there be cycle problems with doing this. I have 4" of live sand. <Your system will have to recycle, yes> My tank right now sits at: Salinity 1.024, PH 8.3, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40 , Ammonia 0. I do not want to screw the water up. Can you assist? <Mmm, only you can do the actual work here... Have you tried nutrient limitation? There are times, situations where it seems better to best to virtually tear down a system, "nuke" the pest anemones, start again... For what this is all worth, I would re-read over our coverage of this and other pest anemones, their control. Starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and on to the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Scott
Re: Aiptasia Trouble 30 Jun 2005
Thank you Mr. Fenner for your quick response. If I started from scratch, Or the tank went through A new cycle. I could not leave the fish and Inverts In there? Correct? <Correct> I would not want to lose any fish. If I put Prime or Some other chemical to neutralize the Cycle would that be a Idea. <Not worth the risk> I hate putting anything in my tank Except food. I learned a very hard lesson about all these So called wonder ( Miracle) cures. Thanks again Scott <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia, calcium... reef maint. f' Thanks for the help you have already provided (always helpful).  But my new problem arises with a glass anemone that has grown on a couple of my LR's and am pretty sure it is about to spread like "wild flowers".  My tank has only been running for approximately a month but with the addition of LR it sped up the cycle, and in fact finished in only 2 weeks.  Now all the water parameters check out fine.  I have also introduced some purple algae (coralline).  Which is holding on but hasn't spread yet.  I am worried that it is too good to be true because why my tank is flourishing so quickly, it seems like everything I have introduced to the tank and everything I have done has resulted nicely and yet I don't think that I deserve such results. The tank is already pretty full (35G, 20lb of rock (need more), clown, damsel, snails) which I want to keep for a while.  Anyways back to the question which is how do you recommend the removal of this anemone, or if I even need to, and also I am trying to get this purple algae to spread and purchased SeaChem's calcium, but am a little curious on the exact procedure you would recommend when applying (during water changes?). <Cycling can occur quite quickly with live rock present.  I would suggest cycling any additional rock in another container for the safety of your animals.  Calcium and Alkalinity must be maintained in balance.  All the calcium in the world is useless without alkalinity to go with it.  I strongly recommend a good quality test kit for both of these parameters and using a good quality calcium and buffer to maintain both.  Coralline algae growth takes quite a while to get going, so be patient!> For the removal of the anemone I have read that peppermint shrimp are great but I don't know if I want to introduce one this early to my tank. Do you think it would be ok or should I wait and find other means to remove the anemone?  My lighting isn't great if this matters, and filtration is below average, but everything that I do works and have had no problems (knock on wood).  I don't want to change anything but I also don't want my tank taken over by pest anemone's as your website put it.  All the help you could give will be appreciated, thanks Travis <Peppermint shrimp are great for large infestations, but unnecessary for one or two.  If you only have one or two anemones, you can kill them by injecting them with peroxide, very hot water or Kalkwasser paste.  There is also a product called "Joe's Juice" that works very well.  You can also chip away the section of rock that it is attached to and discard it. I would suggest getting rid of it now before it does spread.  Best regards.  AdamC.>

Correcting Some Common Problems... Dear Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> Sorry to annoy you again. <Never annoying us...We're here to help!> My new 230 gallon tank is inundated with hair algae and pest anemones. After reading and reading articles in your web site, I have concluded I could be fighting a losing battle. I had intended to set up a quarantine tank and remove all my fish, I also intended to let my main tank go fallow. To ensure that no ich lurked there, if I completely covered the tank at the same time to remove all forms of light would this rid the algae and anemones?. <It might put a damper on the algae, but the anemones may survive. I think it's more wise to go to the root of both of these problems-Excessive nutrients somewhere in the system, supporting their growth. Thoroughly review everything that you do with this system, from stocking to maintenance to feeding. Husbandry issues can cause these problems. Consider starting with your source water. Do you use RO/DI water that is free of excessive nitrate, phosphate, and other potential algae "fuel"? Do you run an efficient protein skimmer, producing skimmate on a regular basis? Are you conducting frequent small water changes? Are you running chemical filtration media, such as activated carbon, Poly Filter, etc.? While use of these media is not a "crutch" to replace proper husbandry techniques, they can help maintain good quality water between water changes. Think about nutrient export. Lack of proper nutrient export processes is probably 90% of your problem. Nuisance algae and anemones almost always are the result of these deficiencies.> Or should I drain the tank, and start from scratch, with new rock, bioballs and sand? <You could, but it may simply be better to modify the system and correct some of the things that are causing the problems.> Ensuring that I screen any future in habitants prior to entry. Would I need to do anything else if I went down this path? i.e. Treatment to the tank prior reestablishment. <Well, as I suggested, establishing more effective nutrient export processes is the way to go. Also, consider reviewing feeding techniques and stocking as well. These are all easily correctable problems. Start by looking in the WWM article index and reviewing some of our articles on maintenance, husbandry, and nutrient export. The information is all there to help you correct or re-start your system. I briefly touched on some ways to correct the problems that you are experiencing; there are many other ideas on the site, so do take a look!> In the mean time I shall attempt improved lighting filtration. And water changes, I intended to install an abalone, I've been told these are wonderful with algae. However if this is as successful as some of the FAQs I have read I would rather restart now while I have no corals and a low fish population. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. John <Well, John you could re-start the system if you want, but it may be better just to correct the problems that you have. Creatures like abalone, snails, etc. are helpful, but they are no replacement for properly designed systems with efficient nutrient export systems...Get to it- you can do it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Tap water Rinse for Aiptasia?  Another Infestation of Aiptasia after Buying Gracilaria - QT! Dear Crew, <Paul> After receiving in the mail, a half-pound of beautiful Gracilaria parvispora infested with Aiptasia, I am at a loss as to what to do with it. Currently, it is isolated in a bucket of saltwater with lighting and aeration but the vendor does not seem to want it back. Is it possible to completely kill the Aiptasia and its larvae by soaking the Gracilaria for several minutes with chlorinated tap water? <Mmm, no> I don't want to contaminate my aquariums but I hate to simply throw out the Gracilaria. Thanks, Paul <I would go the route of using a purposeful Glass Anemone predator with this red algae, while still keeping it separate from your other systems. These Aiptasia-eaters are listed on WWM. Bob Fenner>  

Aiptasia I need help please, my live rock is becoming over run by Aiptasia. I bought a Peppermint shrimp to help counter that, but it has not touched the Aiptasia. If I cut on of the Aiptasia with a knife would that help stimulate the shrimp to eat or would that just make them grow faster.  < Brent, read here for suggestions. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aipcheminjfaqs.htm > Thanks so much for your help!  <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 

Aiptasia infestation & quarantine question Dear Crew,  <Hi Paul, MacL here with you this fine and lovely day.> Last week, I obtained a half-pound of live Gracilaria parvispora (Ogo) from a dealer in Hawaii. I specifically asked the dealer if I needed to quarantine the Ogo before adding it to my downstream marine refugium. His emailed reply was no. <First and foremost, quarantine everything!> Upon adding the Ogo to my refugium, I noticed a few dead amphipods. A few days later, I discovered three 1-inch Aiptasia specimens attached to the glass and to a clump of Ogo. I've never had Aiptasia in my tanks before. After spending all night throwing out everything in my refugium including live rock, quarantining the Ogo in a bucket after the fact, sanitizing my refugium and hoping that the Aiptasia hasn't made it to the main tank, are there any other precautions I should take?  <You should be aware that lots of people use Aiptasia in refugiums for nutrient export. On the other hand its possible that this dealer was unaware that he had Aiptasia in his Ogo. Most people are going to say that you don't have to quarantine grasses etc before you put them in your tank because usually they come out of a situation where they've been used for nutrient export.> Regarding the dealer, should I simply warn him to check his Ogo tanks for Aiptasia or should I also demand my money back? What is customary?  <I might email him and tell him that you ended up having to put the Ogo in quarantine because you found some Aiptasia in it and you didn't want to chance having that go into your tank. I'm sure he didn't mean you any harm, but if you feel very strongly about it you might see if he's willing to give your money back or perhaps you two can come to a compromise. You'll need to treat the Ogo in quarantine to remove the Aiptasia from what's there.> 

Epoxy to End the Existence of Aiptasia Hi crew, learn so much each day from your site!! Quick question: I have one Aiptasia on my live rock and want to get it before it spreads. I use B-Ionic 2 part for my calcium. Can I use that on it? If so, do I just use part 1? <Hmm...I have yet to hear of people using any B-Ionic on their Aiptasia problem, though it may work. Most use Kalkwasser, fresh water, or boiling water, and possibly even boiling fresh Kalkwasser water. If it is but one Aiptasia, I have a trick that I use that I think would work splendidly in your case. Purchase some epoxy used for mounting frags in reef aquaria. Take a bit, and apply it over the anemone. Make sure it sticks and stays on, applying the epoxy while the rock is held out of the water may help a bit. Then simply let it dry over the anemone. It will soon become covered in coralline and blend completely with your rock. Good luck, Mike G> 

No-Fluoros: No-Go? Part II (The Plot Thickens) Dear Crew, Thank you for the speedy reply to my last message. I have changed my ways, no more html! <Good to hear. :-) > Since the last message, I have purchased the tank we had talked about previously. When I went to pick the tank up, I found that along with several beautiful corals and a fish it was an Aiptasia garden. <Yikes!> This would not be a huge issue, but I was planning on moving the corals into my display tank, to take up residence under my new 48" 250 Watt PC light. <Sounds good. Oh, and Aiptasia is the incarnation of evil itself! It is always a huge issue.> I currently have the corals under the regular Fluorescent I mentioned in my last message (because I do not have anything else), and they are not doing well at all. <That does not sound too good.> I need to take some immediate action. <Agreed.> Here are the two options I was contemplating:  1. Buy a peppermint shrimp, go up to my LFS and beg them to let me borrow a PC light while he does his job. (I doubt they will do this) <Or purchase a PC light yourself. Much more foolproof a plan.> 2. Frag the corals, put them in my display tank, and start over with the 10 gallon.( I am worried about any Aiptasia hitchhikers making it to my display tank.) <Sounds risky, the fragging part at least. The corals are under a lot of stress, and fragging them could possibly lead to their demise. Only healthy and established corals should be fragged. I would suggest moving the corals and their bases to the main tank. But before you do so, let me tell you of a trick for preventing Aiptasia from spreading in this manner. First, remove the coral and rock it is attached to. You have a great advantage over the Aiptasia: now that it is out of water, you have access to every nook and cranny. Next, get yourself some aquarium epoxy (like sticky play-dough). Apply over all Aiptasia. Place rock in main tank. The Aiptasia will not come back after this.> Would it be ok to Frag the coral and try to save some of these beautiful animals? (Kenya Tree, Xenia) <By fragging the already stressed corals, you are only compounding the situation. Move them to a new tank or upgrade your lighting ASAP. Good luck, Mike G>

Hair Algae and Aiptasia Question 3/22/05 I am purchasing an entire Reef setup from someone. It has been up and running for about 4 years. Here are the specs: 75 Gallon - Drilled in two places on back 40 Gallon Sump with a Mag 24 Return Pump Aqua-c EV-180 with a Mag 7 6 x 65 W PC. 2 Actinic, 4 10k 4-5" DSB 125 lbs live rock Livestock -Various Corals - Mostly softies -Too many fish - Vlamingi Tang, Sailfin Tang, Hawkfish, Tomato Clown, Domino Damsel, Three Stripe Damsel, Yellow Tail Damsel -Inverts - Blue Linckia, Tuxedo Urchin, Astrea Snails, Serpent Star, 2 Green Brittle Stars, 2 Coral Banded Shrimp. <Quite a crowd! I don't agree that there are too many fish, but the tangs certainly belong in larger quarters. No less than 300 gallons for a Vlamingi!> I will be moving the tank to my place on Friday. There are a couple of rocks that have some Aiptasia (maybe 10 total in the tank) and some hair algae. When I move the live rock, what do you suggest to eradicate them before putting them back in the tank? I was going to hit the Aiptasia with some Joe's Juice. I was also going to scrub the live rock in tank water prior to putting it back into the tank. Any thoughts?  <Sounds like a good plan. You may also wish to place the rocks that had Aiptasia on them into the sump or otherwise segregate them so that you can keep an eye on them for Aiptasia growing back.> Going forward, I built a new Sump/Refugium out of acrylic and will have some macro algae growing in there. I will also not be putting all of those fish back in there. Way too much livestock. Hopefully this should help eliminate the problem.  <Agreed. Good husbandry and reasonable stocking should solve the problem, but be patient, it could take months!> Also, do you have any suggestions on the best method to transport the fish and coral? I need to dismantle the tank, drive about an hour, put the tank back together (including replumbing for the new sump), put the water back in, and then add the livestock. I am going to transfer as much of the water as possible. Keep in mind that I am in Michigan and it isn't exactly warm up here this time of year. Thanks in advance, Brian  <Ahhh... you got the right guy! I have moved more tanks (mostly my own) than I care to think about. I would suggest getting a few large shipping Styro boxes from a local fish store along with a couple of handfuls of various sized bags (get lots. It is easy to underestimate how many you will need and you can always take the extras back). Each animal should go in it's own bag and into a box. If an animal is too large for a bag, it can go into a bucket. Double bag fish and double or triple bag corals. A trash can lined with a trash bag works well for transporting water and Rubbermaid type toter containers are good for rock. Take lots of towels! Remove the corals first, then rock, then most of the water. This will make it a snap to catch the fish. Just be careful that you don't remove rocks with fish inside or drop rocks onto fish! Plan well starting days in advance. Set up as much of the new equipment as possible and have plenty of spare plumbing parts so you don't have to run to the store. Have a good plan for getting the tank set up to a point where you can get all of the animals in and go to bed and finish the next day if you have to. I have had bad personal experience and have heard other's horror stories associated with moving DSBs. I would discard and replace it. Moving it in the tank might work, but is very dangerous (broken glass) and disrupting it kills much of the life and liberates A LOT of organic matter. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Transfer to new tank 3/22/05 Hello Crew, I would appreciate some advice from the crew here. I am in the process of setting my new custom made 380 Gal. Reef Tank. I am going to transfer the rock and livestock from my 140 tank. I went out and got a new sump , Euro- reef protein skimmer, and all the trimmings.  <Wow! Sounds nice!> My questions are: In the old tank I have about 200 pounds of live rock. I made the big mistake of buying it at Tampa Bay Saltwater. Since I live here it was close. The reason why I say it was a mistake ever since I got the rock I have had nothing but Aiptasia troubles.  <Pests can be a problem with live rock from any source, and eradicating Aiptasia can be a difficult task! Catching the problem early is really key.> My other tank has rock from different area and never had a problem. I want to transfer the rock to my new tank but do not want the troubles. If I scrub it , I could loose all the good bacteria. Another question I have is , how do I transfer the rock. If I take it out of the tank it is in now, it will upset the filtration balance, If I transfer the live stock and then the rock, it will upset the new tanks balance. Of course I am cycling the new tank now, but I do not know how to go about the transfer when it is time.  <Ideally, (assuming no Aiptasia problem), I would recommend simply transferring everything at once. If the new tank is set up, you could move the rock, the animals and as much of the old water to the new tank as possible and you wouldn't have to worry about a cycle. You would have some disruption, but no more than any other method. If you are cycling the new tank with new rock, you could move the livestock to the new tank and then quarantine each piece of rock for a couple of weeks on it's way to the new tank to ensure that it is Aiptasia free. This is tedious, but should be effective. Instead of wholesale scrubbing, you could scrape off the individual Aiptasia and then treat that small area of the rock with boiling water, strong Kalkwasser or even a flame to ensure that any remaining tissue is dead before quarantine. I have 1 other question (SORRY) unrelated to the new tank. I have a seahorse tank. I have had them for over a year. One of them was pregnant and had 100's of babies. Of course I was not able to raise them, they perished, I did not know what to do. I did not expect them to get pregnant. Now the male that Had the babies has a big bubble close to the back of his tail. I have tried to get the air out as stated at seahorse.org But it hasn't helped. He can not stay right side up, Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Scott  <No need to be sorry! That is what we are here for!. Seahorse.org is the best source of info on seahorses. I would try again there. Aside from removing the bubble with a needle and syringe, I don't have any good suggestions. Follow treatment with antibiotics may be warranted. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Aiptasia relocation? Hi Bob / Crew, Thanks again for all the assistance over the past few months, it has all been invaluable to add to my little knowledge to make it just a little more. If any of you, seriously, ever get over to Shanghai I would be more than glad to help show you around the place, especially the aquarium here, it's a stunner. <Thank you for your input and kind offer... you may see us yet!> A quick question I cant find in FAQ. I have 2 rocks in particular covered in what seems to be Aiptasia, still trying to confirm this with a photo ID via internet as the tentacles seem thicker... <There are a few species, diversity in the Glass Anemones... some squat, more/less transparent... and do change re local conditions> ...than most I can see on pictures I have found, but classic case of anything near them seems to be suffering and closing up. I got them months ago at the onset of the system installed by the Chinese and I didn't know at the time, especially as they looked quite nice, but...ah well never mind. So my question is if I confirm that they are Aiptasia, do they actually add in any way to the system, i.e. helping water quality in any way? <Yes... good point... these animals could actually be considered a type of "biological filter"... have seen/heard of folks using in a lighted sump as such> The reason being if they have a function then would I benefit if I moved them into the sump area? There are lots as I say, about 30 pieces in all, some with 1-1/2" stem and 1-1/2" diameter. Best regards Dave <Ahh! Worth a try. Bob Fenner>

Recurring Aiptasia Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 Hi James,  <Hello Helana> Thanks for all of your help.  <You're welcome>  I added the 96 watt Coralife, and am waiting for the delivery of the other light. In the mean time, I noticed a small Aiptasia growing next to my open brain coral on a rock ledge. Several months ago, I had Aiptasia growing on a feather duster, which then hopped on a branch of rock( I thought it was a beautiful creature. Wrong). I didn't realize until months later that this was a terrible thing to have in your tank. I winded up taking the entire piece of rock that had the Aiptasia on it out of the tank and throwing it out. Now, I see another one growing. I also spotted a tiny tiny one growing on another rock in a different location. Is it possible that this came from all the coral I introduced into the tank in the last month? <It's very possible. I refer to it as the saltwater weed. And believe me these can spread like weeds very quickly.>  Or, is it from removing the initial piece of rock months ago?  <Could be, it's hard to say>  I've read tons of articles on this dilemma, and I just want to know the best way to get rid of it. Would it be better to remove both pieces of rock that have it on it? Or, would that cause it to spread as I removed the rock from the tank?  <Wouldn't cause it to spread, but why throw away expensive rock.>  I've read about lemon injections, other fish to eat it, etc. but none sound practical. Also, until I figure out how to solve this problem, can it harm my tank/inhabitants in any way?  <Yes, if they get to a plague proportion. I think one of the better ways to rid them is to mix up some Kalkwasser according to directions on the container and inject them with a syringe. Most people have pretty good luck doing this. Some people have luck using peppermint or camel shrimp to be rid of them, but it doesn't always work. There are certain fish that will eat them, but the fish that can help can also help destroy your coral. Try the Kalkwasser. James (Salty Dog)>

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