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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animals 3

Related Articles: Marine Invertebrates, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Lighting Marine Invertebrates, Water Flow, How Much is Enough

Related FAQs: Marine Invert.s 1, Marine Invert.s 2, & FAQs about: Non-Vert IDs 1, Non-Vert IDs 2, Non-Vert IDs 3, ... Marine Invertebrate Behavior, Marine Invertebrate Compatibility, Marine Invertebrate Selection, Marine Invertebrate Systems, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Marine Invertebrate Disease, Marine Invertebrate Reproduction& Marine Plankton

Inactive Inverts  - 03/02/07 Hello again, <Hi Joe, Mich here.> I asked a question the other night that has nothing to do with this topic, but was so satisfied with the response I figured I should always come here, but not overflow you with questions. <You are most welcome here.> Ok to the question. <Alrighty!> I have about 9 snails and 7 hermits in my tank. <Would be helpful to know the tank size here for potential food available.> They include 3 Astraea, 1 turbo, 2 margarita, and 3 Nassarius snails. The crabs include 4 blue legs and 3 red legs. I notice that many of the crabs and  snails don't move a whole lot. I noticed about 1 red leg constant active and 2  blue legs active. I know they move, but will remain still for a long period of time. They aren't quite dead, but move to a different spot when I move them.   <Ode to Monty Python....I'm not dead yet!> They are pretty active at night.   <Safer time to be active in it's natural environ.> I notice about all the Nassarius snails, 2 Astraea, and 1 margarita snails are also active. My one turbo hasn't moved much  at all, and the 1 margarita and Astraea are slow moving. Could it be my Flame  angel bugs them? <I doubt it.> Or do they just fall and have trouble getting up. <Most snails have difficult up righting themselves.  You may need to provide assistance, especially with hermit crabs present.  They will go after the snails for their shells.> Maybe my food  source is bad? <Possible that there may not be enough.> There is plenty of brown diatoms for them to eat to.  Any advice? <Many possibilities here.  Could be lack of food, lack of nutrition, or possibility an imbalance in your water chemistry.  I would check your calcium and magnesium levels in particular.  Try a good size water change and see if you notice any increase in activity.>   Thanks again, Joe. <You're welcome!  -Mich>

Re: Inactive Inverts   3/3/07 <Hello Joe!  Mich with you again.> My tank is 36 gallons with 40 lbs of live rock. I am due for a big water change this weekend, will take out at least 6 gallons this week, and 6 next week. <Is it possible for you to do a larger water change?> Nitrates were at 15, this has to get down, Calcium was at 400 with 10 KH.  All other levels were good. <Vague.> I do try to help them get right side up, but they get on the move and fall again. <Something seems anomalous.  I would do a large water change.  I still suspect magnesium could be a possible issue in these situations.> The crabs seem alive, but again not moving at all. Especially the red hermits. What should I provide as a food sources? <Usually hermit crabs are anything but picky.> The blue legs are the only real active hermits. <Good luck!  I hope the water change helps.  -Mich> <p.s. in the future please include prior correspondences.>

WetWebMedia book  1/2/07 Bob, <Rob> Ok I may be a little slow, but is WetWebMedia Book the title of your book in which you talk about starfish. <Mmm, likely the Volume 1 book in the Natural Marine Aquarium series, "Reef Invertebrates"... sold on Amazon.com, elsewhere>   I just found your website a couple of days ago after I purchased a red Fromia starfish.  Now I'm just trying to continue my education. <Ah, good> I've had a 45 gallon tank for the last 8 months, first SW tank. Specs--> 45 lbs of live rock with some live sand, Prizm protein skimmer, two 200 gph powerheads; Alkalinity ? meq/ L; Calcium ? ppm; Salinity 1.025; Temp 76 F. Other livestock: Two clown fish One royal Gramma One yellow tail damsel One diamond goby One cleaner shrimp One emerald crab, (the second died in a fight with the other) Some snails and hermit crabs Thank you, Rob Becker <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

A fungiid and sponges  9/10/06 Hello WWMCrew, 1) Could you help to identify this, I see some picture in the WWMedia looked a like, but still  could not identify it.  If it is sponge, then what is the correct name? <Some type... can't tell more from this pic> Is it good or bad, since they seem to grow and spread out. 2) the Plate coral (Fungia) behavior strange lately, He opens like a balloon!  Have you have any idea. <Natural behavior... see Fungiid Beh. FAQs on WWM> attached are pictures.
Thanks, Vincent
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>


Delayed shipping and inverts Hi, << Hi there. >> On Tuesday, I ordered 20 turbo snails, 30 blue-legged hermits, 12 Nassarius and six Bumblebee snails from Live Aquaria - the company correctly shipped everything Tuesday night but FedEx still hasn't delivered the package (they held the package in a facility for an extra day despite the words RUSH/LIVE ANIMALS that appear on the box.  I'm told tomorrow afternoon, which will have everything in their bags for roughly 48 hours. << Sounds fine. >>  Live Aquaria agreed to replace everything even though it's the shipper's fault.  Still a bummer though...  Anyway, can I expect heavy loss of life because of this? << I think it will all be fine.  By the way, I'm impressed with Live Aquaria's willingness to replace the animals.  Nice to hear, but I don't think you'll have any losses. >> <<  Blundell  >>

What do I do about these little hitch hiker things? Hi Gang! Hope everyone's well in the wet and wild! << Oh it is. >> I've got a question for you. I've searched the site and found a lot of answers but I need to ask one. My 46gal. has been up and running for about 6 months now with all parameters at top levels. Or should I say "low". Zeros and such. LOL This is my first "Salty" after many years of Freshwater aquariums and has been a dream of mine for years. So I want to make sure I do everything right. I love your books! Have all of them and they've been a great help! Now for the question. Suddenly I've had a burst of hitch-hikers that I'd like some help with. First, 3 Elephant slugs, which after searching I've found are harmless and even good. Beautiful as well! :) But the other two I'm worried about. One is a Brown Cucumber, about 1" long. The other is something of a mystery. I found it at night resting on top of my Sun Polyp, looking like a large brown piece of, well, "dirt". The polyp was still "open" so I assumed it was not being harmed and didn't try to remove the stranger. From searching I believe it is either a Sea Slug or Sea Hare. << Both are great to have. >> First, how often does this happen? << All the time. >> LOL I've had snails, Feather Dusters and the like, but these guys!? << Well maybe not all the time, but quite common. >> Also, what is the best way to keep them happy and healthy?<< Lots of live rock with lots of algae. >> I would never purchase them because of their poor reputations, (at least the cuke and slug/hare), but they're  here and I want to do right by them. The other occupants are a False Percula, a pair of Scissortail Gobies, a Caerulean Damselfish, and for now a small Yellow Tang. I also have a pair of Blood Shrimp. Corals consist of Polyps, Mushrooms, Feather Dusters, and two Brain corals. So I'm also worried that one of these "uninvited" will harm something. Any help would be wonderful Gang! << No worries, I'd keep em growing as great additions to your system. >>  Eileen <<  Blundell  >>

Re: Cukes, hares and more Thanx for the answers Blundell! I now realize I had said the tank was up for 6months when in reality it's been up for almost a year! (just started a new fresh water 6mon. ago). I guess this is why I was so surprised at these guys suddenly coming out. Glad top here their all right to have in my tank! << Yep, no worries. >> I will certainly enjoy them! << Sounds good. >> Eileen <<  Blundell >>

Mentioned in a RC Thread I thought you guys might want to take a look at this thread, http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s= < http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=2953750#post2953 750> &postid=2953750#post2953750  You both are mentioned that you believe that for every 1 specimen (specifically inverts) that makes it into a hobbyists tank, 10 have died along the chain of custody.  I don't doubt that is the case for some things, but it is made as a blanket statement and I thought you might want to clear it up.  -Steven Pro <Mmm, interesting... will cc Anthony here... don't know where this "quotation" might have originated, but not from me. Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mentioned in a RC Thread > <Mmm, interesting... will cc Anthony here... don't know where this "quotation" might have originated, > but not from me. Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> <I peeped the thread Bob... the chap is quoted as saying Bob, Anthony, Scott M and Eric B have all said/told [him] this figure... and it is applied to all invertebrates. Heehee... I am sure he is mistaken. Ant-> <<Me too. Bob F>> Re: Mentioned in a RC Thread Bob, I thought you might wish to clarify your position on the subject.  I am sure the mortality rate for some things like Xenia, Linckia, Chromis, etc. is staggering, but things like Turbinaria peltata, hermit crabs, and others are nearly indestructible.  -Steven Pro <Agree with you Steven, that there is differential incidental mortality amongst groups of invertebrates... maybe half of the total of all collected specimens are dead through collection through distribution to the penultimate end-user (retailer, etailers who deal in marine livestock)... much more than this and their trade would be uneconomical. Bob Fenner>

Goby availability, invert. and algae books? Hi!  First let me start with again saying thank you ever so much for all your help & advice.  You have helped me immensely in the past and I'm hoping you can help me again.  My first question is: I have the Scott Michael book and wanted a fish that I saw in there, he calls it a Sharknose Goby, I looked it up on Fishbase.org and they too call it that, however, my LFS has never seen one or heard of it, also I have been looking online and haven't found any place that carries them.  Is there another name for them, the only other thing I can find is Cleaner Goby but I've had the same results using that name.   <There are quite a few species of Gobiosoma, and this one is every now and then imported, and has been aquacultured... but it is rarely offered in our interest, and when so is often simply labeled as "Neon" or "Cleaner" goby...>        My second question is this: Is there a book of references like the Marine Fishes book that just gives a picture and name, feeding advice, stuff like that on inverts & types of algae? <There is a new companion book to the Pocket Guide by Ron Shimek (Microcosm) that is due out any day... am sure it will be excellent. And Anthony Calfo and I have a title from last year (Reef Invertebrates) in the Natural Marine Aquarium series which has considerable practical husbandry information on invert.s and macroalgae of use in aquaria. You can find info. on both these books on the Net.>   I have Bob's CMA book and it is wonderful but I wanted a pocket guide type thing.  Thanks so much in advance for any help you can give me! Amy <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

New Set Up Question 2/10/04 Hi Guys,  First off, let me say that your web site has been a HUGE help in my research process. <Hi Scott.  Adam here.  Glad you are benefiting.> I have had a 35 gallon hexagon tank for some time and recently switched it from fresh to salt.  I know my tank is not ideal for salt, but I do not have room for anything else right now (including a refugium or a sump!).  I plan on starting with a Fish/Invert only tank, but may venture into a reef system over time. <I am guessing you mean non-coral inverts.  The biggest issue with hex tanks is lighting for photosynthetic animals.  Other challenges are minor.> I want to gain a variety of experience/knowledge because my ultimate goal is a 200 gallon predator tank (which I know is a challenge). <A challenge, but armed with knowledge and starting off right, very easily managed.> I did my homework and have connected the following to my 35: A Fluval 404 Canister Filter, Cyclone Bak-Pak2 Skimmer (with bio media), 150 watt heater, a 96 watt Quad bulb PC light (which is the largest I could fit on the hex top), 2.5" crushed coral substrate and 23 lbs of LR.  I have the main lights on a 10 hour day timer and 4 blue LEDs for moonlight.  So far I have had no problems, except for a hotheaded Damsel I had to remove.  I currently have a Sailfin Blenny, a Cleaner Shrimp, a small crew of snails and hermits, a sand sifting star, a pair of True Perculas and a  <All good until.......> Sebae Anemone. <Now here is a problem.  "Sebae Anemones" are usually Heteractis crispa.  All to often, they are bleached, and even if they are purchased healthy are terribly difficult to care for.  This anemone requires much more light than you are providing if it is to have any chance of survival.> I am going to slowly add some more inverts over the next few months and a dwarf angel or two. <Yikes!  Probably not a good choice for lack of swimming room, and only one if you must.  I would suggest limiting yourself to very inactive swimmers (gobies for example).>  My question is.....am I missing anything you think would be beneficial for this setup? <I might remove the sand sifting star.  They prey aggressively on the very living things you want to "culture" in your sand.  I would also consider your tank near it's stocking limit with a pair of clowns, a blenny and some inverts.  One or two more small and inactive fish at most.  Your lighting is adequate for some corals, but please monitor Alkalinity, calcium, and nitrate carefully.> I appreciate any advice you have for me!!  Thanks.  Scott Wilson  Los Angeles, CA <Best Regards.  Adam> -Critters aren't responding to eviction notice!- Crew: If I may follow-up: any critter I attempt to remove runs into a hole.  isn't there a way to "chase" them out of live rock (without killing them)?  <How about putting this rock in a separate tank and waiting for them to leave? You could also try traps, like smooth glass cups in the sand with some food in the bottom for crabs. A good technique for removing problematic motile inverts like mantis shrimp is to dunk the rock in seltzer, but it is extremely stressful to everyone on the rock! I think removing all these guys is just going to take some patience and perseverance, don't give up! Good luck, -Kevin>  Rich

Invert questions Hey guys, what's new? <All kinds of stuff.> I think your site is great! <I'm glad you find it useful.> Anyway, I just received my inverts a couple days ago and I just had some questions about their health and well-being.  Well to start, I'm running a 30 gallon tank with about 40 pounds of live rock.  Before the inverts, the rocks and glass were starting to get a nice fur coat of algae and such, and as I expected that disappeared within a couple days.  One of my questions is that if they ate all that in a matter of days, what're they gonna eat for here on out? <Well... you don't really mention what kind of 'inverts' they are... so... I'm not sure what to tell you.> What would be the best thing to feed them and how much?  My second question is about an umbrella mushroom coral that also came that same day.  Right now it's about mid-level in the tank with a little water flow.  It has opened up and looks nice, but it seems to be pulling away from the rock that it came attached to, which is beginning to worry me and the main reason for this question!  The rock is a small one so there wasn't a whole lot to grab on to in the first place but it's definitely let go quite a bit.  It hasn't grabbed on to anything else yet either.  The water parameters are as follows: ph of 8.2, temp of 75, and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate all near 0. <Near zero? Ammonia and nitrite should be zero or you should not be adding any livestock.> Lighting consists of one standard fluorescent bulb that came with the hood and one 10,000k actinic blue coral-life bulb.  A Ricordea that was placed at about the same height seems to be doing fine, any ideas for the umbrella mushroom? <Put a rubber band around the base to hold it on that rock - it should reattach.> Lastly, on a more humorous note, I've got a coral banded shrimp that I believe is going insane.  Since his arrival to the tank he's gotten more and more "friendly"; now he comes out and walks up and down the rocks unafraid which is a pleasure to watch.  But I think he doesn't like his refection in the glass or something because he tries to jump from the rocks at the glass and keeps trying his hardest to "climb the glass." It's definitely funny to watch but for his mental health should I put something there to try and stop the reflection? <Nah.> Thanks! -James <Cheers, J -- >

- Spooky Stuff - Dear Bob, Hi, its me Jorell and sorry to be bothering you again.  I have a bit of a crisis and need some urgent help. There is some kind or lurking predator in my tank that I have never seen, and lives in the mass of live rock.  About a week ago I had added a harlequin shrimp to the tank and a starfish for food, the Harlequin promptly located the starfish and got to business, it was having a bit of a problem turning it over and was riding the starfish, after a while the starfish want into the live rock at the back and was lost for a while, when it reemerged an hour or so later there was no Harlequin... I waited for about 3 days and still no sign of the shrimp something got it.. <Once harlequin shrimp have their prey, they often 'vanish' for weeks. You may yet see this shrimp again unless there really aren't that many places to hide.> About 3 days ago I added some leather corrals to the tank and this morning one of them is has one end eater with a chunk in the stem taken off (cookie cutter style). I believe this something is some kind of crab, I know I have two crabs in the tank one a very small 1/2 cm totally white Crab that I have not been able to identify and the other one is a purple crab about 1/2 inch across that I do not know.  I have had these crabs for years and they never molested any corals. <And even then... soft corals don't usually make it into crab fare... would look for other causes of this problem.> I am quite certain that these two guys are clean there must be another crab that I have never seen with nocturnal habits, over the last 3 - 4 days I have been visiting the tank 2 -3 nightly turning on the room lights so see if I can find it to no avail. <Consider setting a trap.> About a month ago I added a Purple tang to the tank that I believe was cyanide caught and died in about 2 days, the funny thing was when I found it 1/3 of it was eaten in a matter of minutes. <Now this IS something I would blame on crabs.> I have not added any new live to the tank for over 2 years in fact got rid of some about a year ago when I moved. Is there any way that I can trap this critter, need help urgent. <There are several commercial and DIY traps that are available - you can usually bait them with meaty sea food.> Kind Regards,
<Cheers, J -- >

My Snail Looks Like a Worm - 8/13/03 Thanks in advance for any help. I have some sort of a worm that showed up just recently and I am hoping you can ID it. I have a good pic. It is forming an orange spiraling tube and as far as I know never sticks out passed the end of it of course I may not have witnessed it yet too. Any help is appreciated.  Thank you, Shane <your creature is a sessile Vermetid snail. Looks very much like a spiral Serpulid worm... but not so here. Filter feeds similarly, although you may notice it putting out a mucus net to catch food on occasion. These creatures and so much more <G> are pictured on page 197 of our new Reef Invertebrates book (Calfo and Fenner). Best regards, Anthony>

Predatory Pyramid Snails? - 8/10/03 Hi guys. <howdy!> About two weeks ago I started to see little tiny snails in my reef tank. they are like a long cone shape, they are white and only about 1/8 of an inch long. They are always on my hair algae and now I seem to have hundreds. My LFS told me that they were a problem and might damage my clams. <true if they are pyramidellid (AKA "pyrams") snails. Do use this name to do a search of the Web for pics to compare to> What is your opinion, they seem to be eating the hair algae so I don't know what to do. <if you see them eating the algae, they may simply be another harmless gastropod... do seek a pic ID to confirm> Also my Goniopora has spawned 3 little babies, is this very common? <a few aquarists have enjoyed this success... but no, not common at all. A compliment to you! I wrote about this in my "Book of Coral Propagation" (www.readingtrees.com)> Thanks D <best regards, Anthony>

Toxin killing invertebrates? 8/4/03 Hi guys, <cheers> I just wanted to say thanks for doing such a great job on this site.   <thanks kindly> I have kept myself to asking only one question in my year on the site.  All my other questions have been answered through other people's questions. <outstanding! It really works <G>> Now, however I am in a little bit of an emergency situation.  I woke up this morning and most of my snails were on their backs, my cleaner shrimp looks very unresponsive, and my two brittle stars look almost dead. <ughhh... very sorry to hear it. And from  a good decade of experience with mentoring fellow aquarists and hearing this sort of dilemma many times... let me ask you if you recently did a large water change and/or used a new brand of sea salt. I could even name a few brands of sea salt that I would not take for free specifically for killing gastropods and echinoderms on a regular basis> The fuge used to look very lively w/ lots of small white brittle stars and Mysis (I believe) shrimp, now the little stars look bunched up and moving as if they are sick. All corals except my waving hand (a little wilted) look good as do my fish (one tomato clown and yellow tale damsel. I have a 50 gallon tank w/ 10 gallon fuge, Fluval 104 (for circulating Chemi-pure - w/ was changed about 2 weeks ago), remora pro skimmer, 300 watts VHO. I am in the process of moving some of my inverts to a QT. and doing a water change. I dose Kent Marine Kalkwasser nightly, and a small amount of Reef plus about twice a week (less than recommended dosage). I have been doing 5 gallon water changes a week for the past year, I am in the process of doing another 5 gallon water change , also an additional 12 gallons I have in a Rubbermaid container that has been sitting, covered for about a year. Is there any problem with doing a water change with water that has been stagnant for about a year.   <I would not use it for fear of what it has absorbed from the air in the last year. New seawater please> I was thinking some buffering agents and trace elements may be lost. <bigger concerns for such a small savings> The only thing that I have done in the past week that is different than usual is started adding reef buffer - as described on the container (daily 5 teaspoons).  My PH has gone from about 8 - 8.4 in the past week.   <no worries> And just yesterday I mixed a little more Selco with my home made coral recipe (actually Eric Borneman's).  I put 3 drops of Selco in the food (approx 1/4 teaspoon) and mixed it around.  Is this too much? <nope... and excellent product and recipe> I am in the process of testing the rest of my water and will get back to you as soon as I have all the tests done.   <I'm still wondering if you haven't recently changed sea salt brands and stressed the tank for the change. To pick a brand... Oh... I'll guess off the top of my head: Crystal Sea mix?> Also, I was thinking, the tank is right near the bathroom door and possibly some hair spray escaped?   <indeed fumous aerosols can be quite dangerous albeit unlikely> Still trying to figure it out. Sorry, if this seems a little unorganized - it is a little rushed.  Your input is very much appreciated.  Thank you. -James <a fresh poly-filter pad and or carbon with some fresh water changes will dilute the problem. Do reconsider what if anything has changed in the last weeks. Anthony>

Hitchhiker Hi, quick question.....I have a 65 gal reef with about 95 pounds of rock in it. All the parameters are fine, and everything is doing great!!!<good to hear> I noticed last night on the rear glass, some small( about an 1/8th of an inch long) white little crawly thing!?!?!? <probably a worm of some sort, I would not be concerned about this>I really can't describe them to well. There crawling on the glass and look to be feeding on some film algae growing on it. <yes, again would not be alarmed> Any Ideas what they could be?? I've looked all over this site and in all my books and can't find anything. Thanks in advance and keep up the GREAT work and site!!<thank you, IanB> Jim

Peppermint shrimp MIA (07/26/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I just purchased a peppermint shrimp three days ago. Woke up this morning to find the shell empty no more peppermint shrimp. <Hmmm. Possibly it molted. Or, perhaps it was acclimated too quickly? I usually acclimate inverts over a number of hours...they are rather sensitive to temperature and salinity changes.> The tank has a plate coral, about ten blue legged hermit crabs, emerald crab  and a tomato clown. What could have killed or found this a tasty snack. <If the shrimp is truly MIA, my suspects would be the crabs, if they found it immediately after it molted. Crabs are opportunistic eaters!> I purchased especially for the purpose of getting rid of the unwanted anemones as. something cant really remember. <Aiptasia... I know it well.> Comes on liverock though something else I caught a fireworm in my tank the other day could there be more and if so how can I react or counteract this from causing more damage? <When there is one, there are probably more. They are not usually a bad thing -- they are detritus eaters. If they are multiplying rapidly, that's probably because there is an abundance of food for them. Uneaten fish food is a favorite of these critters, so be careful not to overfeed your fish.> Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks again <You're welcome. --Ananda>

My hermits are becoming reclusive!  07/23/03 <Hi Chris, PF here with you tonight> I picked up 9 "zebra hermits" (although I swear they're blue-legged hermits by visual identification) at the LFS for some hair algae control, as well as 4 Astrea snails. For the first few days, the hermits chewed away happily at the algae, and tended to congregate in small meetings. It's been a week, and all the hermits have seemed to crawl into crevices in the LR. They all have their antennae (?) wiggling about on their faces, but they remain in there at leisure. Are these creatures nocturnal? I'm somehow doubting that. I know any aquarium won't live up to what my ideal 'bustling with life' scene might look like, but I was hoping for a little more action out of these guys. Should I be looking towards water quality issues? Everyone deciding to molt simultaneously?  The Astreas seem to be faring well, happily chewing away at the algae. 3 seem to be doing fine. The last one is quite lethargic, moving at a snail's pace, as it were.. I will be doing ammonia/nitrate tests in a few minutes.  pH is hovering at 8.2; s.g. at 1.024; temp ~82F. P.S. Since I last wrote to WWM a couple of months ago, my so-called "hard cure" has long since become quite rewarding, and I could not imagine ever wanting to buy "fully cured" LR! Tons of creatures lurk in the depths of my tank, including strange translucent tentacles (approx 1mm in diameter) that shoot out of tiny holes in the LR and suck in detritus with their vacuum-cleaner like tips (any ideas on what that might be btw)?  Thank you for providing this wonderful service WWM crew!  Enjoying this hobby, even if I am making all the beginner mistakes one at a time, - Chris <Well Chris, they could be blue legs in zebra snail shells. A rose by any other name... As for their behavior, remember, they don't read the same books we do. I've certainly seen my animals doing things that they're not supposed.  The critters on the rocks, are probably some sort of worm, maybe the spaghetti worm, check here for more: http:// www.wetwebmedia.com/polychaetes.htm   Mistakes, well, I try not to make beginner mistakes myself, but all new ones. ; ) At least it was one at a time, and not all at once.  Have a nice night, PF>

-Snails and hermits reproduce?- Will those readily multiply and breed in aquarium (reef)? Speaking of Hermit crabs, Red Legged crabs, orange and other starfish, snails, tube worms, cleaner and peppermint shrimps.... Will those readily breed and multiply in a tank? <Hitchhiker tube worms, some small snails, sponges, etc will multiply in just about any healthy reef aquarium. I've never heard of hermit crabs being bred in captivity, but have heard of the usual snails (Astrea, turbo, Trochus) multiplying in very large aquariums. Trochus and Strombus snails are now being farmed commercially.> Is it hard to get the little ones to survive? Do you need a pair of each or are they asexual (one is enough) or perhaps work the same way as Clownfish? <It takes two to tango with these guys! -Kevin> Thank you.

-Inverts drop dead after introduction...- Hey guys, <Howdy, Kevin here today> Over the years I have had trouble with adding invertebrates into my larger marine tanks (55 gal and 75 gal).  However, in my 10 gal tank, they thrive!  Basically, I try to add invertebrates, such as blue-leg crabs, Margarita snails, and turbo snails, but they seem to die almost immediately. <If blue-leggers are dying, there is a serious issue with the tank.>  Some seem to just be stunned and can be revived if placed into my 10 gal tank.  I have had extensive discussions with my LFS and they are dumbfounded as to the problem.  I acclimate them all sufficiently using the drip method, and all my levels are negligible. <I'd suspect heavy metal poisoning, but can't explain the success of the 10g.> Whatever the problem is, my marine fish are not affected. I know that invertebrates are more sensitive to changes than fish, but I am at a loss as to what the problem could be.  On my 55 gal, I have an emperor 500 filter, 100W heater, 2 power heads, and no skimmer (I know I should have one), and CC as the substrate, with 25 - 30 lbs. of live rock.  I set my larger tanks up following the procedure I did for my 10 gal, yet they only survive in the 10 gal. <Make sure that your top-off water is being purified by reverse osmosis or deionization means, and have your LFS run a quick copper test. I'd toss in a few poly-filters in the tanks to remove any potential heavy metals, and think really hard about maybe having something metal in the tank.> I just moved to another state and am in the process of setting up my tanks again.  I just don't want the same problem to happen again. <Me either! Try my recommendations about fixing a heavy metal problem and do write back if the problem persists after these changes. -Kevin> Please help! This is my first question submission so I apologize if I have not supplied enough relevant information.  Thanks so much! Tim

- Critter ID - WWM plasma-gurus: <Hello, JasonC here but I know little to nothing about plasma.> No earth-shaking revelations or emergency advice needed, so you can ignore this e-mail if you like! I have live rock from Fiji that has spawned off a few of these very weird creatures in the month or so this tank has been cycling. I cannot find anything remotely similar in the literature that I've perused. They are small but growing steadily (hopefully, in a bounded manner) and are a transparent baby brine shrimp-sized blob with white streaks and 2 'coat-tail' like appendages trailing behind them. They move kind of like inchworms. I thought they might be baby nudibranchs, but again, can't find anything like them out there. <Likely some type of copepod, amphipod, or perhaps a Mysid.> I would photograph them, but my equipment would not render them visible, and a sketch is out of the question, since my woeful artistic skills would lead you to believe I have miniature incarnations of an aquatic Marlon Brando worming around on my Fiji rock.  Maybe they're tasty ... ? Tank Parameters: Water: Wet pH: between 7.0 & 12.0 Salinity: Salty Lights: Expensive Supplements: Too many and overpriced lbs of live rock: Don't know, I was afraid to keep track of the $$ Fish: salmon, until he too looked tasty :) < :-/ > Thanks,  SLC <Cheers, J -- >

Mystery critters... Dear WWM crew, <Hellooo there, Kevin here today.> I need some help to identify what exactly I have inhabiting my 6 month old 80g marine tank. First some background so you can understand how I got to where I am. I set the tank up with crushed coral originally but have recently been thinking about changing for live sand. Then the dreaded Ich <bah, how dare you capitalize such a beast> struck taking out most of my fish stock even though I moved them to the QT and started the temperature and hyposalinity regime. As a consequence, the main tank now only has inverts in it and I figured now might be an ideal time to replace the substrate and do my best to "sterilize" the system rather than let it go fallow for 6 weeks to get the Ich under control. <hmmm... ok> I should also mention that I have a pair of peppermint shrimp one of which had a green mass in the swimmerets which I concluded might be eggs. <Yep, unfertilized as well. They start turning brown once fertilized.> Well these shrimp went missing for a couple of days during the Ich outbreak but I was more interested in trying to save my fish than determining where my shrimp had gone. Well now the tank is loaded with two (as far as I can determine) types of "bugs". I've been trying all morning to get a decent picture of them but to no avail so a description is the best I can do. The first is rice shaped, translucent and there seems to be hundreds of them eating all the algae from the back of the tank. They range from approx 2mm to 5mm in length and appear to have antennae on one end. <Likely amphipods, perfectly harmless (and tasty, to fish at least) algae grazing crustaceans.> They are not nocturnal and move pretty quickly over the glass and substrate. <Well, in that case they may be Mysid shrimp, either way, free natural fish food.> Shrimp larvae possibly? <Potentially> The second is round, white translucent and has fine hair like legs (maybe 8 or 10, difficult to count them) all around it's body. I've not seen these move at all, they just sit on the glass, legs blowing in the current. Size is maybe 2mm body diameter with 3mm leg length. <Hmmm... maybe some type of hydroid or something, I'd need a pic. These critters should pose no problem.> Can you give me any idea what these creatures are and whether they are beneficial or something I should do my best to eradicate. This would help me decide if a tear down etc. <Nope, you've got just normal hitchhiker critters lurking around in there.> is the right approach to best deal with them and the Ich or should I reconsider and keep them in my system? <Leaving the tank without fish for a month or 6 weeks is a great way to do it.> I've been reading round your information on similar items and looked at every picture I can find of copepods etc. but none resemble what I have. <Don't worry about them, you often get excessive amounts of critters in new aquariums. The population should drop once the tank becomes more established and you have more fish.> My water quality readings are good, temp elevated to help with the Ich at around 84F I have a Filstar XP3 and Remora Pro skimmer. Any help would be appreciated. <Good luck! -Kevin> PS great web site!

Hitch Hiker on LR! Hi I got Fiji live rock and a animal came on it about 1 and a 1/2 inches looks like a jellybean/green pepper. It's green and is attaches to it I though it was a sea cucumber I don't know.  <I couldn't tell you without a picture.  You could probably also find it on the WWM site.  Cody> Thanks, JM.

- What is This? - <Good morning, JasonC here...> I've done as many searches (wetweb and web) as possible, but I'm having a tough time tracking down what's been happening. I received a 75lb load of Kanai LR, and since then went through a rather eventful curing process (re: my many questions over the last 2 weeks). Cutting to the chase -- I was turning on the actinics last night, and noticed a 4" cloudy squirt come from a 'cave' near the bottom of the tank. The gooey-whitish-cloudy-mucousy substance quickly dissipated when it hit the powerhead near the top of the tank. I witnessed this occurring on the opposite end of the tank 2 minutes later. I surmised this to be one of many things (in order of increasing likelihood?): 1. A sea cucumber eviscerating itself. Highly doubting this. <Me too.> 2. Some motile hitch hiker getting hit by the lights and stirring up sediment in alarm -- seems unlikely if only because the gooey substance didn't seem like aragonite.. it dissolved into the water quickly. 3. Possibly a clam squirting out something in alarm? I'm not sure if clams squirting water is urban myth, but it seems like the most likely situation to me. <#3 & 4 are the most likely, although it could also be an unidentified animal spawning...> I only ask because I would hate to have some toxic substance being released into my tank that I might be able to prevent in the future. <Run some activated carbon for a while - I doubt this exudation is a real problem but this way you can keep things clean.> Thanks again WWM Crew! Looking forward to reading Anthony's book in the coming months. - Chris <Cheers, J -- >

Some critter identifications... This evening, I got bored, and decided to observe my little in home salt water habitat. Over the course of the 30 or so minutes that I was looking around, I was quite pleased with what I found.  It is always a happy feeling when you look around your tank to see all the little critters that don't come out during the day are actually still in there. So I am looking around, here, there... Behind this rock, behind that rock, then along the top of the rocks.  Something catches my eye, so I turn the flashlight onto that spot.  After a little readjusting, I noticed movement.  Something seems rather odd with that, I don't recall anything living in that rock.  But alas, there is definitely something moving around in between the crevices.  A few seconds went by, and out popped a claw.  Then out popped a second claw.  What the heck!!!  Where did you come from!!!  <Ahhh, live rock critters, my favorite.> Needless to say, I have found myself a hitchhiker.  A Cancer crab let alone.  Now given the fact that I have no idea as to what kind of crab this is (aside from what I believe to be a Cancer crab of some kind due to its shape), I am at a loss of weather this is a good find, or a bad one.  I did happen to notice the loss of at least one of my small fighting conchs in my tank, but I just assumed that the blue legged hermit that moved into its shell had a bigger desire for the shell than the conch did.  (Happily enough, I did manage to find one of the conchs still putting around my tank earlier today, that just leaves the third whose whereabouts are currently unknown).  <I wouldn't put it past this crab, he could be eating your critters like popcorn> But anyways, attached, you will find some pictures of my new acquaintance, and I was wondering if you could help me out with this one.  I obviously need some help identifying him, and I would like to know potentially how destructive this little hitchhiker can become to my tank.  I currently have a few pulsing xenia polyps scattered along the rocks, as well as some type of soft coral (which I might add was also a hitchhiker himself) that is propagating like mad, they recently have been popping up at random locations across my tank (also attached for possible identification).  I could list everything that I can think of in my tank, but I think that at this crabs current size, he would likely be interested in my shrimp, hermits, snails, or the random polyps in my tank.  My fish are far too big for him right now, and I doubt a giant green carpet anemone (and boy do I mean giant - on his good days, over 2ft in diameter) is within his grasps. <hehe> I have a few options of what to do with this little guy, I could drop him back into my tank, drop him into my sump / refugium, or bring him to my LFS and let them deal with him.   Just a few words on my tank to give you a better idea of what I have: 135gal approx 200lb LR (most likely more) 29gal sump / refugium - baffled out to provide approx 15 or so gallons of refugium space that contains only gravel and a few pieces of LR. (potential living space for crab) Oh what to do... What to do..  Unfortunately, all the cute things are totally destructive. Quick description of the attached files: The two crab pictures are obvious, one does compare him to the size of a quarter for reference. As for the polyp pictures, polyp1 is the original polyp that hitched along with the LR.  He began as only about the size of a typical pinky nail, and now has expanded himself out quite nicely.  His base diameter is about that of a typical thumb (the picture adds a bit for being zoomed in).  And of course, it being night and all, he is asleep.  The Polyp2 picture shows one of his offspring (in the middle of the button polyps), and is a bit more open, but still somewhat asleep.  If you require daytime pictures to identify these polyps, please let me know. <The crab is likely some species of Mithrax, but it doesn't really matter. I would remove this crab from your tank as they can be harmful to some inverts, as you may already be experiencing. Polyp 2 is a very common colony of Protopalythoa sp. button polyps. The soft coral in the middle of this polyp colony is of the genus Capnella. If this one looks just like polyp1 when open, they're both the same thing.> Thanks again for all the wonderful help all of you provide!! <No problem! -Kevin> Andy

Small White Creatures- Worms and Sponges 6/5/03 <with red hair? Leprechaun golfers would be my guess> Hello Crew: <howdy, partner!> Thank you for all your help throughout the months.  You guys are great. <thanks kindly> I have a 58 gallon reef tank with assorted snails, cleaner shrimp, corals, crabs, stars, fish and about 65 pounds of live rock.  The tank has been up and running since January of this year.  We started noticing a few things on the live rock that we cannot seem to find any information on and that we would like to know if they are beneficial or not.  One of the "creatures" appearing are about 3 to 4 very thin, white, wormlike animals growing almost horizontally across the live rock and about half inch to ? of an inch long. One of them is developing a set of "feathers" at the end, but the others do not appear to have them.  I would have thought they were tube worms and good for the tank, but they are so thin.  Do you have any ideas? <you are likely correct. There are many types of worms...some very thin, some calcareous, some soft tube, with and without "feather", etc> The other item is on some of the underside of the live rock, we are experiencing round "blobs" of what can best be described as "mold" in appearance.  They are about ? inch in diameter each and appear to be multiplying. <very common (and beneficial) filter feeding Sycon sponges. DO a keyword search of our archives with the google search feature for Sycon or Syconoid sponges. There are a few pics nestled in the FAQ pages> My water quality has been excellent.  I have a protein skimmer and a HOT Magnum filter running, with four additional powerheads in the tank.  Ammonia has been consistently 0, nitrites generally 0 with an occasional 0.2 and nitrates peak at around 10 occasionally.  I have been changing about 10 gallons of water every two to three weeks. Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Scott <no worries... you are enjoying some diversity in filter-feeding microfauna. If they become excessive, examine your feeding techniques... too much or too fast? Perhaps thawing but not draining away pack juice from frozen meaty foods (grows algae and some filter-feeders to nuisance levels), etc. Best regards, Anthony>

Inverts dying rapidly.... 5/23/03 Hello, <Howdy!> Thanks in advance for answering my question! <our pleasure> I currently have a 60 gallon reef tank that's been running for 6 weeks. The tank consists of: 1 Large Achilles Tang 1 small blue tang 1 small sail fin tang 1 small maroon clown (very aggressive) 1 flame angel 8 soft corals 2 shrimp <to be honest... an achilles tang in any 6 week old tank is almost tragic. Please research this fish at length ASAP to be fully prepared to support it. Do browse our archives... and definitely peek into Bob Fenner's Conscientious Marine Aquarist book on this and many other species. Very tricky and an ill-advised recommendation IMO> back to my problem;  My inverts die rapidly (starfish, crabs, nudibranch, snails). <Yikes... nudibranch? Ughh... also very toxic. Do you know what species you had an what it ate? Did it die early/first? Could have been the catalyst.> I am steady when it comes to testing and water changes (test twice a week and change water weekly (5-10 gallons). My water quality is very good and salinity is @26.  Why are they not surviving in my tank, as the fish and corals appear to be thriving!  I do add the normal supplements for a coral tank - can this affect them. Charles Tizano   <keep up with the good maintenance, bud... and add a Polyfilter (Poly Bio-marine brand) to your system. Its great filter media for suspected contaminants. Perhaps a metal here (excess iron or magnesium use perhaps). Best regards, Anthony> New inhabitant in my tank - unwelcome?? 5/20/03 [Cnidarian no-pic] Dear Anthony, <cheers, Connie> I hate to bother you twice in one day, but have discovered a new resident who acts like an anemone - it has a foot, and moved from under the rock where a saw it yesterday to the top of the rock, next to my clownfish.  I have searched WetWebMedia.com and cannot come up with a match. <without a picture, I could not fairly say, my friend> Currently, the stem from the foot is approx 1-1/2", topped by waving red tentacles, almost like hair.  I put some spaghetti worms in my sand bed a couple of months ago, and for a moment I thought it was one of those, grown bigger with maroon hair-like tentacles. <hmmm.... just a guess, but if not a small Aiptasia anemone, do look into the corkscrew anemones (Bartholomaea)> Is this newbie good or bad, or could you direct me to a website? I also found a b/w striped thing that moves like a snail but much faster (has a foot) and is oval, about 1/2" long. I'm sure he has a family. <a small Nerites snail perhaps... again tough to say without a clear close up picture for us> Any help would be really appreciated, Anthony. Thanks in advance. Connie <with kind regards, Anthony>

Hitchhikers Hi folks! <Good evening, PF with you tonight> Long e-mail ensues... <Only 1 page, that's short. ; )  > want to be sure that I give you as much info as I can that might help answer this question. I set up my first saltwater tank two weeks ago. I purchased the system used 75g tank, canister filter (media still wet), <look into replacing that after your system cycles, notorious for becoming nitrate factories. They need to be cleaned every day.> weak skimmer that I am looking into replacing and it came with a wet substrate, crushed coral... which I am also considering replacing. < Check out: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsubfaqs.htm > Current stats of the water are thus:  ammonia 0 nitrites 0 nitrates 0 ph 8.0 temp 80 F SG 1.022 (working on raising that to 1.025 slowly) I'm biding my time and waiting for the cycle to happen. <Looks good so far.> I added 40 pounds of live rock ten days ago. I've found all sorts of hitchhikers on this rock to date.  I've counted fourteen feather dusters, four channeled Cerith snails (does anyone sell these?  I really like these animals and would love to have a dozen or so roaming around my tank, but I haven't seen them for sale online or locally. <I've seen Cerith, but not that kind specifically> a moon sponge, copepods and amphipods.  The rock is simply... coated in coralline, and I had a diatom bloom about five days ago. Three days ago, I noticed that the largest of the Cerith snails had gone missing.  I searched and searched, but I could not find him. <IMO, every aquarist has MIA's. Could have been worse, could have been an $80 fish> Yesterday, I noticed that something in the tank had been kicking the substrate around, because the sand was white in spots, where it had been coated in diatoms the day before.  I didn't think much of it and moved on... until this morning. The sand bed near my Marshall Islands rock has been kicked up and there are peaks and valleys all through it. My rocks are still coated in diatoms, but the sandbed near that rock in particular is just.. clean. I've found five urchin spines (looks like they came from a brown pencil urchin) sort of trickling down one of my rocks. Could this animal be in my tank, <Yes, you'd be amazed at all the things that can sneak in.> and if so.. what is the best method to go about finding him, catching him and getting him out of my system? <Some urchins can burrow into the rock, you might want to try and observe the tank late at night/early in the morning. A flashlight with red paper/lens over the end could help you in your search. Be careful taking it out, some urchins have poisonous spines.> I'm planning on having corals in this tank, and I also understand these critters will not survive a tank cycle... I'd like to get him out of there and give him a shot at living a decent life in someone else's tank. <Well, mine survived my cycle. But I understand your concern. Hopefully the method I've outlined above will help you catch this little bugger.> Is it possible that these spines were just hangers on from the sea, <That's another possibility.> and if so, what could be kicking up my sandbed and shoving those spines out of the rock? <There's numerous kinds of worms, brittle stars, and other possible animals.> I mean... you would think that I would have noticed an urchin before now. <I've had my tank over a year, and my wife still gets to hear me yell "What's that!?! every couple of months.> The spines are approximately an inch long.  Seems like a pretty big animal to be hiding in the live rock, <Try a 6" long arm coming out of the rock and sweeping the sandbed, that gets your attention.> under my careful and curious scrutiny, for ten days... Thanks! <Your welcome, have a good night, PF>

Webs, critters, gone, tank normal Hi Bob, <Hello Steve> Enjoyed your article on algae in the current TFH. <Ah, good> Well, after two 24 hour periods of darkness interrupted only by one hour "vacuuming" and water change sessions each day last week, the parasitic creatures began to diminish dramatically. It became obvious light and heat stimulated their reproduction, darkness slowed it down.  Did two 25% water changes and concentrated on removing the matter around the rocks and on the bottom of the tank. <Okay> Finally as per the "worth a try" concurrence from you and the suggestion from the staff at Aquarium Dynamics, bought a small six line wrasse who, in any event is a great and very active addition to the tank.  Can't say it dived right in and began chomping the webs and critters but it might have been eating the free floaters and perhaps contributed to the recovery, as within a day or two all appeared gone.  With lights back on, no new webs. <Tah dah!> I've waited several days to send this to ensure no relapse, but all is clean. The tank is back to "normal" (a subjective phrase) with the damage focused only on the mushrooms and small bubble tipped anemone.  The fish were never attacked. Very odd deal. Bob, thanks so much for your prompt responses and suggestions. Perhaps someday we'll learn what it really was. Steve <Perhaps. Bob Fenner>

Invertebrates that scratch acrylic tanks 5/11/03 Hi can anyone tell me which invertebrates can scratch my new acrylic tank?   And which ones won't do any damage to the tank? Thanks, Ron <mostly limited to mollusks with a radula (hard rasping tongue-like aspect- Gastropods predominate.)... and some echinoderms. Generally not a big deal. Best regards, Anthony

Found it but what is it? Invert ID 4/29/03 Sorry to bother you all, but I have been searching your web all morning, trying to identify a  freebie that came attached to a new piece of live rock I acquired. I found a pic of on you worm diversity article. It is the blue piece on the rock just left of the spaghetti worm. Mine has several light brown 1/4" tentacles That come out of it. Is this a Zoanthid or some form of coral. & how do I care for & keep alive??   Thanks Randy.  My tank is a 55 FOWLR. <the invert on in the picture at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/worms.htm is an encrusting sponge. It has no tentacles and you do not have a sponge if yours does <G>. Zoanthids look nothing like this colonial/communal Poriferan mass. If you can send a clear pic, we'll likely get you an ID straight away... else let me trouble you to browse the archives/'Net more for a better idea of what group your creature may belong to. With kind regards, Anthony>

Unidentified hitchhikers? 4/20/03 Mr. Fenner, Mr. Calfo.. <cheers, Joe> really enjoyed your presentations at the Tulsa Zoo last weekend.. learned a lot and was thrilled to be able to meet you both in person. <Thanks kindly... we truly had a wonderful time. You have a great club> I'm still nursing my Heliopora into a reasonably good shape, and beginning to start a new 40 gal salt... choosing fish seems to be my biggest dilemma so far.. many thanks for your fish pictures and information.. has helped tremendously.. I do have some questions for you.. three unidentifiable items are present in my aquarium.. one macro algae (not in Littler book), one shell-less gastropod<?>, and one polyp or anemone-like coral that I picked out of a dealer's tank.. pics are included...any help you can give me in identifying these would be greatly appreciated. <may be able to help with better/clearer pics my friend. Indiscernible from those provided> the macro algae forms a rounded, flat blade, reddish in color w/ white speckling. the ?gastropod? is flat and ovate, w/ two small "antennae" on top which is ever so slightly rounded. the polyp has pointed tentacles (i didn't count them sorry) most of same  size with a yellowish mouth.. unlike anything i  could find and not so much like an Aiptasia that i didn't want it to stay.. thanks in advance Joe Anderson, OK City Oklahoma City Aquarium Association www.okcaa.aquariumsociety.com http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OK-AquariumAssociation/ <do send other pics when you can, my friend. These images are truly a blur, alas. Best regards. Anthony>

BIG School Project What environmental conditions do planarians, starfish, hydras and sponge buds need? (more specifically so that they can reproduce asexually) Thank you sooooo much! Court < All of this can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Cody>

Identification? 3/15/03 Guys, <cheers> Any idea what this fella is? I've attached two photos. In No. 13 (sorry it's blurred) you can see a pinkish coloured blob, with a red centre, in among the star polyps. It's about 1 cm across. At the back of the polyp colony is another, about twice as big. <nothing discernable in the photo... it needs to fill the frame better my friend... too difficult to tell anything from the long view> They've been growing very slowly for about two months. The polyp was the first livestock (apart from what came in the living rock) 18 months ago. I was clearing out some Caulerpa today and decided to remove the 'pink algae' in case it gradually grew in among the polyps (which is what's happening with the Caulerpa). But it doesn't feel like algae at all. It has a fleshy, slightly rubbery texture, not unlike a leather coral, maybe a bit more 'squishy' to touch. Any ideas? Thanks Brian <based solely on the "rubbery blob" description... large solitary tunicates come to mind. Do prefer a close up photo if you get the chance. Kind regards, Anthony>

What is it? I recently have had a few of these guys pop up in an orange clear color. I will see if I can catch one and get a pic but I don't think it will turn out too great. <On the glass will be fine.> I have yet to see it damage anything and like I said have no intention of removing it. <Good to not overreact!> Just was hoping to find out what it was to help keep it alive if it is something good. <I wouldn't worry, it has survived import on live rock, captivity, etc. and is eating algae! Likely will survive fine!> Thanks for the help and I will see what I can do. Maybe the 200X scope that hooks up to your comp is in my future. Read about it in one of your FAQ's. Again thanks.  Shane <Have fun!  Craig>

Re: What is it? So you think something that small is a Nudibranch? I mean it is only 1/8th of an inch long. On top of that it is just flat and clear. This thing is bug size and looks like a small bubble that suddenly moves and upon closer look has a dot for a stomach. I don't really know what it eats but I often see it climbing the glass or rocks and usually it's stomach seems to match the color of the surrounding algae. <Barring actual witnessing of some sort of evil, assume it is harmless, as will be most surprise critters. When you see something chowing on a coral or fish, then I would remove it!> I mentioned that it was slug like just for a description of the way it moves and kind of looks but I don't think it is a slug though. Oh well if you think you may know what it is thanks otherwise I am not pulling them out of my tank so no biggie if you can't ID it. Thanks anyway. Shane <If you want a more positive ID, you will need to take a photo and send it to Dr. Ron Shimek at Reef Central. He will likely be able to ID your critter. My money is on nudibranch, Turbo Grazer, or even baby snail without seeing it. I surely wouldn't worry about it if it is on the glass and eating algae!  Craig>

- What is this Stuff? - I have a 45 gal. salt water tank with live rock and live sand in it and just recently I noticed gray patches on the sand. They look like mold spots about the size of a quarter spread out through out the bottom of the tank. What is it, and how do I get rid of it, and is it bad. <To be honest, I don't know what it is. There is probably a short list of what it 'could' be - my first guess would be an algae. I wouldn't be overly concerned.> Thank You. <Cheers, J -- > - What is this Stuff, Redux - Hi WWM, <Hello, JasonC here...> I was hoping that you could tell me what is in my tank.  It's really small, white, calcium based, and has a circular shaped shell.  Then, although hard to see, looks like a miniature tube worm. <Sounds to me like a calcium-based tube worm.> I'm almost positive these came in on a snail that I recently acquired but soon spread all over my live rock and walls of the aquarium.  Could you please tell me what these are and how to get rid of them? <It's exactly what you described it as, they are harmless, and if they bug you, scrape them off the glass.> I've had these in previous aquariums as well.  They don't seem to do much harm but are rather annoying to look at. Thanks, Alicia <Cheers, J -- >

Amphipods and other weird anomalies - 2/22/03 Paul, These are the photos of the tank. <These photos are very helpful indeed. Thank you>  There is one of a "starfish" looking thing <Several people have argued that these starfish are harmless, but I have yet to find one that will not eat coral polyps. It is my recommendation that if you discover this type of starfish in your reef aquarium that you remove it as soon as possible. See here: http://www.garf.org/Star/starfish.html It is a fissiparous starfish (an asexual reproductive method in the form of splitting to make another) named Asterina anomala by noted Marine Biologist Dr. Masahi Yamaguchi. Yeah, don't take any chances, if you see them then get rid of 'em > and also one of the little white things all over the back of the tank. <not so sure by the picture. I definitely do not think they are harmful, though. Either snails of some sort, tunicates, fan worms, and a type of amphipod maybe. Maybe a mixture of all of these. I would leave 'em be.>  I couldn't find the thing that looked like a white/clear rolly polly bug but it could be what was on the link you sent to me. <An amphipod more than likely. Check here to be sure: http://wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm if it is one of these take a look at the FAQs to find a possible solution> In regards to the rusty angel, didn't see any stress. Water chemicals are all normal with exception of nitrates which fluctuate between 10-20ppm. <Chance that this is not the killer but should be looked into. Take a look around our website here for possible solutions to high nitrates. It has been discussed many times and the FAQs are very thorough. Maybe said fish was of poor health even before you got it without your knowing. Sometimes happens. Thorough investigating and time.....will tell> No other problems with other fish. <glad to hear>  I buy ALL my fish and rock from the same shop. <that's cool>  Also, the other night I noticed sand being pushed out of a small hole in one of the rocks but have no idea what was doing it.  Could the amphipods or copepods be living inside the rock as well? <Definitely. Could be various types of worms possibly, or even a whole cornucopia of other possible offenders. Just keep an eye on it for the time being and try to get a positive I.D. The "worm thing" picture you sent is a harmless fan worm Pomatostegus stellatus. Check this out: http://wetwebmedia.com/feather.htm for information on its feeding habits et al. No need to feed additionally or get rid of 'em.  Again thanks for the pics. Now sit back and relax, because if the rest of the tank is as nice as the picture you sent of the live rock, then enjoy the beauty of your tank. Looks fantastic!!!> Thanks again for your help.<More my pleasure. Regards, Paul> Alex 

- Friend or Foe? - Greetings! <And hello to you, JasonC here...> I have a question re what is probably nudibranchs in the wet /dry filter (Hang on the Back) Difficult to get a picture because of location. They are the size of  a piece of rice, white, attached to acrylic wall, seem to move around slowly, approximately  1-2 dozen. <Could be a couple of things...> I have a reef tank with soft corals and I am concerned if they pose any threat to the corals. <Hmmm... I'm thinking they wouldn't be a threat otherwise you'd have already observed them on your corals. Typically with these spontaneous arrivals, they item in question shows up in or around the place of its best advantage. If these were coral-eating nudibranchs, they'd be starving to death in your wet/dry. Likewise, they would have to negotiate the return pump to make it into your tank. I wouldn't worry about them just yet, but do keep an eye on them.> Thank you for your help.   Jim Long Island <Cheers, J -- >

ID of micro-ghosts Sorry to keep bothering you, but I have another question.  Yesterday during a water change I noticed these very tiny white things moving in the water. Shortly after turning the pumps back on, they started to adhere to the inside of the tank walls.  I can see them moving along the surface.  Is this Ich? <absolutely not... you cannot see larval Ich with the naked eye> or something else?   <indeed... simply a nutritious plankter of some sort. Send a picture of a better description and we'll try to ID it for you, my friend> Also, I'm currently using an old Red Sea salt bucket for my QT at the moment and am waiting for it to finish cycling. Thanks again. <cool! Do insulate the exterior of it (foam padding) and be sure that you have a very accurate thermostatic heater and it sounds like a good plan to me. Best regards, Anthony>

Red Antler Things- Foraminiferans? Hi it is me again. Could you please tell me what the red antler things might be. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you for clarifying my yellow growth on the rock as a sponge. I am excited to see my tank is healthy and matured enough to begin it's own self contained growth.   Cecilia <Mmm, hard to make out... are these flexible, as in wafting in the water current? If so, I'd guess they're some sort of red algae, if more solid, perhaps a type of branching sponge. Please see WetWebMedia.com re both these groups. Bob Fenner> <* Anthony Calfo with the follow-up... look up "Forams" or Red "Foraminiferans" abroad on the 'Net for pictures to ID yours. The image here is unclear but reminiscent.>

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