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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 13

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Refugium Worm? Nope...Sponge ID - 02/03/2006 Dear Crew, <Hello Marty.> I haven't been able to ID these guys in my refugium. Started my tank 6 months ago. I have hundreds of these in my refugium, appeared over the last few weeks. I hope the photo quality is good enough for you to ID, <Pic. is fine.> it was difficult to get close since they average about 5mm each. Thanks in advance, Marty <You've got Syconoid sponges there Marty. Nothing to worry about. - Josh>

Creatures during cycling   1/31/06 Hi everyone! Excellent site! Extremely helpful to this newbie. Finding & using your site has assisted me in planning out my reef before buying any creatures (light req etc.) Thks. <Good, and welcome> Anyway my question is this. I am currently cycling my 55 gal set-up. Last week I had my LFS test my water everything good! <Better... to have/use your own test kits> Ready to go. I'm still waiting to purchase my lighting and will be doing so next week. In the meantime there are creatures "swimming" in my tank already and I was wondering if you could help with an ID. Checked all the faq's couldn't find any like it. <There are literally hundreds of thousands of possibilities...> I can only describe the as follows. They look like a racquetball "birdie" and swim in a motion similar to an octopus or jellyfish. The bottom pulses and they move around. <Medusae of some sort... cnidarians likely> They are VERY small perhaps slightly larger than the period . on this page. Any Ideas? Another critter is in there that is a tiny bit bigger and swims just like a fish? And finally one last thing in there. I can only describe it like a dandelion pedals (like the ones you blow off the flower as a child) they are on the sides of the glass. Sorry to bother you with what I'm sure are total novice questions. Thanks for any assistance and for your wonderful website! Spud <Nice general descriptions, but as stated... many possibilities. All very likely transient and of no dire consequences. Enjoy the cavalcade as your lives pass. Bob Fenner>  

Is this a coral?   1/21/06 I am having real difficulty identifying this. HYPERLINK " http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v349/gavnnik/a8a3ef1e.jpg" http://img.phot obucket.com/albums/v349/gavnnik/a8a3ef1e.jpg I've asked on several Forums but to no avail.  Initially it looks like some sort of elongated mushroom but it doesn't have the right 'texture' and this part was cut from a parent that is perhaps 8-9' long.  The closest picture I can find in any book is a Myrionema (Hydroid)? Do you have any suggestions? Gavin <Is it soft to the touch? Could be a cnidarian... or a sponge... Do you have access to a low-power microscope? Bob Fenner>

ID + compatibility   1/18/06 Hi WWM Crew, <Hello Jeff> After reading and researching your site for almost a year, I have finally setup my first reef aquarium. If it wasn't for "Nemo's" my wife would never have said yes. <I believe "Nemo" has sparked many new tanks.> If it wasn't for your entire crew's diligence, passion and "Godlike" knowledge ;-), it never would have come to fruition. Thanks a couple thousand! I will be taking part in the Honor System shortly to help you maintain the site. Keep up the amazing effort. <Glad to hear.> I am sad to say that I just did a disappointing thing about 1 hour ago. I noticed my false percula swim after some debris and "wince" then spit it out again. I thought this was strange and for some reason thought it looked like it was stung. Well a short while later I saw the piece again. My shock...a jellyfish. I quickly got my turkey  baster and sucked it up, then poured it into a clear cup and took pictures. I never would have guessed that I should keep it, I actually watched it for a while in wonder.......and then poured it down the drain. Only after that did I research the little critter and found the exact same guy on the faq. It was a bonus not a problem. Oh well, I definitely won't do that again before researching WWM. It is amazing that in such a short amount of time, 8 weeks since the LR arrived, 4 weeks since placing it into my system, that the substrate is already coming alive with flatworms and other small critters. My wife always shakes her head when she sees me kneeling on the floor with magnifying glass (or two) to look at the bio diversity (& unfortunately Aiptasia) that are coming back. <I understand this quite well.  My wife thinks I look like the detective from the Pink Panther movie.> 30 gallon 1 65 w PC 10000K + 1 65w PC True Actinic Remora Skimmer (good amt of dark skimmate) 2 Aquaball powerheads 2 75 watt heaters 3-6" aragonite (varies) Tropic Marin Pro Reef Salt spg 1.025 ph 8.2 Alkalinity good (according to instructions, I just forget what it read) 10% water changes every 5-7 days with some gravel cleaning, more vacuuming the LR actually. <Vacuuming is a good practice, definitely helps keep nitrate levels down.> 2 juvenile ocellaris clowns 2 cerith snails, 2 Nerite snails and 2 ?Margarita? snails 3 red leg hermits + 3 blue legged (neat critters, though I now think I should have left them out of the equation) <Why?> First question, I am adding more live rock in a few weeks, it is curing as I write this, do bring my amount to just over a lb per gal. Other than curing/qt is there any other precaution I need to take before finally putting into my display tank? <Do keep an eye out for mantis shrimp that may have been hitchhiking.> Next... I am using FasTest tests to test my ammonia, nitrites etc. In the entire time I have had the system and during the curing process I only once detected ammonia and never nitrites, or phosphates. Is this real? <Nitrite isn't present near as long as ammonia.> The LR definitely stunk before it cured and I assumed I should get a reading on at least ammonia. <Yes> All I had setup was a 10 gallon tub with a powerhead, heater and a AquaClear filter (sponge and charcoal only). Never a detectable reading in the main system either, even though I know I started out feeding the 2 clowns too much. I intend to purchase a citron goby in a while. I am also considering a jawfish (yellow head preferably) much later but I am getting the impression that in such a small bottomed tank that the two may not work well together. Your opinion? <Jawfish like 5 to 7" of sand (mixed sizes) to feel at home as they do burrow.  I'd nix this for now.> I also really like the blue/yellow damsel my LFS had. Would it work to have these five in my system? I eventually want some soft corals and button polyps. <These guys are semi aggressive and with your clowns I wouldn't mix them especially in a 30 gallon.  Consider a Dottyback or another goby.> I have two photos attached of a couple of neat finds I can't find to ID on the web. The hitchhiker on my snail looked like another spike, but the wrong placement, then it stuck out its black mouth and began to eat, how cool is that, lazy but cool. I am just wondering if you can ID it for me. Also, my LFS told me the host was a margarita snail, right or not I can't positively ID so far. <Without seeing the topside of the snail it looks like an Astrea caelata or Astrea phoebia (star snail).> The other picture is a very tiny and almost imperceptible "worm" that I saw. It moved like it was only a piece of debris, but it was definitely hunting. It looked like a microscopic string of pearls about 1/2" long with a head that appeared to have several appendages. Never swam only moved along the rock. I have not seen it again. I am guessing that it is a larvae of some sort. <I can't ID it but I'm sure it's harmless.  Maybe Bob can ID it.> Well that is a lot, I hope I didn't go overboard. Thanks again for all that you do for the masses. <You're welcome and DO keep reading WWM, much to be learned.  James (Salty Dog)> Jeff Morgan
Edmonton, AB Canada

Tiny thing ID   1/18/06 Sorry, it won't let me send this movie (the file's 15 mb).  I'll try to either shorten it or take another one next time I see the critter. Here's a still picture, in case you can do it this way. DPM PS it's tiny -- when fully extended maybe 1.5 cm. Daniel <Mmm, looks like some sort of crustacean... does it move as such? Could be a mollusk... Bob Fenner>

No, it moves more like it's a worm attached at the base.  It reaches out and seems to grab stuff with its free end (as if it's picking something tiny off of the LR). <Ahh! A worm of some sort... a "head shot" with a macro rig will come in handy for more close-up pix. Bob Fenner>
Something is taking over!   1/17/06 Greetings from the frozen North, <A bit warmer here, little doubt, in S. Cal.... though I wish we were diving in the tropics...> Please have a look at the attached photo. These little white or semi-translucent "tree armatures" are taking over my 35G FOWLR tank. They started appearing over one year ago, and slowly spreading. They seem to like to darker areas of the tank (underside of the live rock, less traveled areas). They only attach to the live rock and not to sand or glass. My questions are: 1: What are they? <Do look like some type of branching hydroid, hydropolyp... trouble> 2. How can I get rid of them. <I would remove all else and treat the system with copper...> There are too many to manually remove, and they seem to like the hard to reach crevices.  I have heard them compared to "Holothurian Tentacles", but do not see the resemblance. <And they're attached... not moving... not holothuroids> Thank you very much for all the help you provide. Jeremy Jordan in West Michigan <I do hope you have another suitable system... Bob Fenner>

Polyp, crustacean ID? Hello! I have these orange disked bodies that have a mouth directly in the center of them (they only are visible at night when I have a flash light) anyway... they seem to have legs (the diameter of a human hair) and a tiny ball (yellowish in color) on the end of each hair...I keep searching to see what they are and after weeks of reading I thought I would ask to see if you knew what they are....I only saw one at first....now months later...they are multiplying...I believe I have about 8-9 of them now.....  Any idea what they are? Thanks...Kelly <Mmm, nope. Please send along a photo. Bob Fenner> Unknown suction mouth type critter ... and? James... pic, file not saved Hi all, <Hello Jim, nice name> This is my first post because after much searching I could not find my mystery critter on your site.  It all started when I purchased my flame scallop. (I know, I wasn't entirely informed on the mortality rates in captivity)  The first day we got him home, I noticed a cluster of these 'algae looking' little shoots sticking out of his shell near the hinge.  They soon detached and were attached to the glass with a suction-type mouth.  I never see them move other than swaying in the current, but each morning I can see a new one where the scallop had previously been the day before.  At first I thought they might be some kind of macro or symbiotic algae living within the scallop. They are almost a reflective green color with no segments of any kind and tapering off at the tail to a gentle point.  Hard to photograph, took about 25 tries.  Each one seems to be about 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" long.  They are only attached to the glass and my undergravel filter tube at the moment, but I would rather find out what they are before they perhaps multiply?? <I'm pretty sure what you are looking at is the means by which the scallops "anchor" themselves, normal observation.> Sorry for the length of this email, but like I said, this is my first post and I had a few other questions as well.  First, can you tell from the picture what it may be? <As above> Second, I have a growing population of bristle worms in my crushed coral substrate, as well as lots of micro stars, pods, etc. Wondering if I should try to remove some of the bristle worms as they are seeming to multiply pretty readily. <If they are the smaller species they are quite beneficial, the larger ones are taboo.  If the later is the case, I'd get a worm trap and start removing these guys.>  My livestock include a Coral Beauty, a Gold Stripe Maroon Clown, a Chocolate Chip Starfish,<Not a good reef candidate> an Arrow Crab, a Flame Scallop, a Bubble Tip Anemone (the clown LOVES it!), a Curlicue Anemone, about 50 snails and 30 hermits.  I have even noticed 6 baby turbo snails lately, each smaller than a pea.  (very cute!)  My water test have been pretty good in my opinion.  Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, Calcium 420, PH 8.2   I have a 45 gallon tank in which I do a 5 gallon water change weekly. <Good practice> I have a very well growing basketball sized piece of Caulerpa serrulata in the tank due to not having a  sump or refugium, a Remora Pro protein skimmer,<Good choice> Aquaclear 300 hang-on filter, and 2 powerheads for the undergravel filter <Do vacuum the gravel during water changes, especially using a UGF.  If you have live rock I'd consider getting rid of the UGF altogether and use the live rock for the biological filter.>  My lighting is a single lamp, 96W Compact Fluorescent 50/50 bulb.<Not enough light for your anemones.> Feel free to shorten this post if necessary to get to the point if need be.  By the way,  send my thanks to Bob for writing such a great book as his Conscientious Marine Aquarist!  I am about halfway through it now. <Bob does thank you for the purchase. <<Another 28 cents, Ooh yeah! RMF>>  Consider using DT's Live Phytoplankton.  The lifespan of the scallop will be greatly increased.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance for the help! <You're welcome> Jim

Aiptasia, Hydroid, or Other? - 01/12/2006 Hello, <Hi Craig.> Thank you for providing an excellent resource. <We love being a part of it!> For the last few months I have observed about 5 of these in my reef tank. They have not grown past 1/8-1/4 inch high and about 1/4 inch wide at the top of the crown. Tonight I have counted around 10-15 and am concerned that it may be Aiptasia, though it does look different than the photos on your site. Please let me know if you can provide a positive id as to what it is (circled in red). <Well, I can't be positive, but they actually look more like a type of featherduster. Do they have a distinct oral disc? If so then they are likely Aiptasia, if not they are likely just common Polychaete worm.> Thanks,
Craig <Gladly. - Josh>

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