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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 30

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Searched everywhere, cannot ID   12/5/07 Hello, I have a new tank about 4 months old and I see a lot of these critters moving around very fast like. I started noticing these creatures about two weeks letting my tank go fallow due to a Coral Beauty I brought home having what I diagnosed as velvet. To make a long story short, the two clowns that where in perfect health before I introduced the Coral Beauty did not make it after I was able to eradicate them and put them in quarantine. The good news is, the lawnmower blenny survived and seems to be at good health now two weeks into quarantine. <That's a brittle star of some sort (likely one of the "mini-brittle" stars). I don't see how the brittle stars and fish disease would be related.> Your help would be greatly appreciated, Michael

Re: Searched everywhere, cannot ID -12/4/2007 Sara, Thank you for the response. I know the pictures had the brittle star in it. What I am trying to id is the creature to the right of the star. My photography is not that great and I probably added to much information instead of getting right to the point. I have underlined the creature in the photos with a red line. It appears to be some kind of micro-crustacean but I was not able to identify it here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/podidfaqs.htm Is it some kind of Amphipod? Or shrimp? <Looks like it, yes. It's really hard to tell just from the photo, but it looks like a "mysis shrimp" (not a true shrimp) of some kind. Whatever it is, it doesn't look like any of the bad guys.> Michael

Parasites on my Pico (I have pictures)... perhaps semi-predaceous Platyhelminths    11/30/07 Dear WetWebMedia Crew, <Chris> I am a huge fan of your website, it has been invaluable to my introduction into the world of salt water aquaria. Following the recommendations on your site has not led me astray thus far. Onto my problem: Roughly six months back I set up a custom designed and constructed saltwater pico (less than 5 gallon) tank that is stocked with various types of mushrooms and a 'reef lobster' (not sure of the species). <Yikes... predaceous> Some of the mushrooms had these small spots on them (barely noticeable at the time as they are almost the same color as the mushroom). Since then these 'spots' reproduced en mass, have migrated onto the glass of my tank and spread to the other mushrooms as well. The largest of the spots is roughly the size of a pencil eraser (the tip) and the smallest one I can see is the size of a grain of table salt. I couple this tank to my main reef tank by way of manual water exchange <Well-stated> so I am a little concerned about contamination. I have not noticed these spots on my lobster but he is somewhat shy so I don't have many opportunities to look closely. I have attached a link to a picture of these 'spots' an I was hoping you could help me identify them, determine whether or not they are harmful and how to deal with them. http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/6338/picoparasitesyg0.jpg <Oh! Nice pic... these are flatworms...> Thank you, -Chris <Might well be deleterious to some of your other cnidarians in the main system. I would take care to not contaminate, introduce them... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestflatwrmanthony.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Worms and Nocturnal Critters... Cirratulids, Eurythoes, and Gammaridean Shrimp Oh My!   11/30/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Sammy, Mich here.> Your site has been a tremendous help for me. I like to add to the many praises your guys are getting. <Thank you for your kind words.> I have a 175 gal reef tank that has been running for 6 months. I am now finding a lot of worms and nocturnal critters that seems to be quickly growing in numbers. I just like to know if this is something I need to get concerned about. <Generally, no. Usually this is all good.> First, the number of string worms has increased greatly. There is a bunch every inch or so on the sand. Some have moved onto the rocks as well. Here is a photo of it. These guys send out long tentacles to pull larger sand pebbled towards the group to form a little mount on the sand. The fish don't bother it at all. <This is a hairworm, a Cirratulid species. They are beneficial scavengers and a wonderful addition to your tank.> Next to it is a worm that comes out only after the lights are off. These are also increasing in number. Both of these are really creeping my wife out. <Well they are creepy-crawlies, so I do understand your wife's reaction, but beneficial and commonly found in systems with live rock.> Here is a closer shot of the nocturnal worm. Some are 4 inches long. I find them at the base of every rock in my tank. <This is a fireworm (Eurythoe sp.) and named so with good reason. You're not going to want to touch these guys. The chaetae/bristles contain venom and can pack a rather painful sting. That being said, these touch-me-nots are beneficial scavengers and another fine additions to your system.> It is hard to get a good photo of these guys. As soon as I shine a flashlight on them to focus my camera, they scurry away into hiding. <Yes, but your photos are decent.> A third critter that only shows up at night is something that looks like a shrimp, but it crawls all over the rocks like wobbly bugs. Here is a photo. <This is a Gammaridean amphipod, commonly called a Scud, or your fish might call them yummy! Again their presences in your setup is an asset.> I really appreciate your help in identifying them. Should I get rid of them? <Nope! Keep'em!> And if so, how? I have one more question. I have this black pearl that is growing on one of my coral. What is it? <It is Valonia, a nuisance alga. Try to gently remove it, wiggle it carefully with your fingers and hopefully it will come lose. Try not to break the bubble which contains reproductive material that you do not want to spread around your tank!> Is it normal to have it on this kind of coral? <Is not uncommon but you don't really want it there!> That feather duster seems to be an invader of this coral also, right? <Yes.> Should I leave it alone? Regards,
<Cheers, Mich>

Weird thing in my tank -11/19/07 Here's an interesting thing I found in my tank. Well, not with a picture since my digital camera is garbage. So I'll try and describe it. I found it crawling on my Zoanthid colony. It looked like a whitish/very faint green snail. But without a shell! I'm guessing some type of hitchhiker sea slug or something. But it was pumping white liquid into my tank for a few minutes before I could remove it and I'm hoping it wasn't any poison or whatnot! <More than likely, it was spawning.> It almost looked like it was releasing fertilized eggs or something into the water but I made sure to take it out. Unfortunately, I couldn't isolate it so I just got rid of it. <Hmm... ok.> While I'm sure that's not nearly enough for an ID, I'm at least hoping I could be in the right ballpark and that I was right in removing it since I had no idea what it was releasing! Haha. <I'm sorry, there are just too many gastropods/slugs/etc. that might fit this description. There are Zoanthid eating Nudibranchs, but they're usually bright orange and yellow. You could browse here to see if you find it: http://www.seaslugforum.net/> - Jon <Best, Sara M.>

Re: Weird thing in my tank, invert. ID f'  -11/19/07 I kind of figured that it would be impossible to give me even close to an ID, haha. Just a late night email to you guys with something I'd never seen in my tank before. And yeah, it definitely was NOT a bright color. It was a very drab white/greenish color. And hopefully it wasn't detrimental if it was spawning! Though if I see another one, I will no doubt take a photograph. - Jon <No worries, did you see anything on the slug forum (http://www.seaslugforum.net/) that looked similar at all? It's a fun site to look through anyway. -SM>

Re: Weird thing in my tank -11/19/07 It slightly resembled some various Aglajid species, actually. I mean, not 100% resembled but slightly looked like them, anyway! <Hmm, well, all I can suggest is that you, next time, maybe don't be in such a hurry to bump these things off. I know we all hear the horror tales of some slug or bug destroying whole reef tanks-- but they're mostly camp fire stories. There are very few (if any) critters which, if you see one, you need to kill it on-spot right away. There's almost always time for a quick ID first. ;-) Best, Sara M.>

Eggs or not eggs ? lol -11/18/07 Hi I have what looks like wads of angle hair pasta that has been deposited between crevices of the live rock in about one inch section. Its not squiggledy its trait thin strands woven back and fourth . I assume it is eggs of some kind it is not clear but almost yellow. I have a sea hair <hare... What species? Many sold are not tropical animals...> in the tank and some turbo snails. I'm betting on the sea hair. Their are no definite egg forms you can see. It just looks like angle hair spaghetti in loops like a shoe lace . Thanks mike <... no pic? Likely a Sponge growth of some sort... though could be... eggs, algae... Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marinvind1.htm The ID files. Bob Fenner>

Yet Another ID... Yet Another Sponge... 11/17/2007 Good morning crew. <Good morning Chris.> Chris here with another ID question. <Mich here with another ID answer.> I've spent the past two days looking for this critter on your site with no luck. <It's there.> I'm not a computer wiz but I was thinking. What if you had pages with nothing but submitted pictures that you could click on to be taken to the appropriate page. I don't know if that is in the realm of possibilities but it's just an idea. <And a good idea at that! Will discuss with RMF.><<A good idea... but... the real problem... It's just me who places all... seven days a week... and I am currently just able to keep up with what I do... RMF. IF we were more commercial, we COULD hire folks (we do this for free) to greatly improve the sites>> Now on to my question. This guy is some kind of hitchhiker. <Yup.> It lives in my LR. <Yup.> Is not mobile but does have what seems to be a feeding tube that stick out a little farther than it's tentacles <???> and pulls it in when hit with light. <The tentacles that pull in are unrelated... Perhaps something else nearby, like the tiny feather dusters off to the left in the pic.> I've attached a picture to help. <Is a sponge... a Poriferan, identification to the species level usually requires microscopic examination. Is nothing to worry about. This is a harmless filter feeder, though an excessive amount could indicate a nutrient problem. Some similar pictures here: Enjoy!

White Bugs... Likely Copepods 11/15/2007 Hello again, <Hi Worried Julie, Anxious Mich here> I have a 28-gallon tank that is about 3 months old. <OK.> I have a maroon clownfish, Firefish, neon goby, cleaner shrimp (who molted this morning) and some snails & crabs.. I added about 10 pounds of live rock last week. Everything seems to be fine until now. <Quarantining new purchases will save you time, money and emotional tolls in the long run. Please consider doing this in the future. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i4/quarantine/Quarantine.htm > I'm seeing a ton of what look like white bugs all over the back and side glass. They are too small to gather a description. I can see them moving about the glass. They are about the size of a pinhead, maybe smaller. What do you think they are? <My guess would be Harpacticoid copepods. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm > How could I have gotten them? <Likely came in on your newly acquired live rock.> Are they going to cause any problems? <Actually these are quite desirable. They are an excellent food source for your fish. The population will likely wax and wane.> What should I do. <Watch and enjoy.> Worried Julie <No worries here Julie, Mich.>

Hairy turbo snail... Hydrozoans Hi, <Hello there> I love your website--it has been a lifesaver for a newbie like myself. <It is for you we generate it> I have searched and searched but cannot find out what this is attached to my turbo snail. They look like tentacles, are in pairs and about 4 sets hanging out on him/her. Thanks in advance! Amber <I see these... small, "fuzzy" hair-like projections... They're likely hydropolyps... Hydrozoans... stinging, yes, but not likely a real problem here. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/hyzoanidfaq.htm Bob Fenner>

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