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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 3

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

Related FAQs: Non-Vert IDs 1, Non-Vert IDs 2, Non-Vert IDs 4, Non-Vert IDs 5, Non-Vert IDs 6, Non-Vert IDs 7, Non-Vert IDs 8, Non-Vert IDs 9, Non-Vert IDs 10, Non-Vert IDs11, Non-Vert IDs 12, Non-Vert IDs 13, Non-Vert IDs 14, Non-Vert IDs 15, Non-Vert IDs 16, Non-Vert IDs 17, Non-Vert IDs 18, Non-Vert. ID 19, Non-Vert. ID 20, Non-Vert. ID 21, Non-Vert. ID 22, Non-Vert. ID 23, Non-Vert. ID 24, Non-Vert. ID 25, Non-Vert ID 26, Non-Vert ID 27, Non-Vert ID 28, Non-Vert ID 29, Non-Vert ID 30 Non-Vert ID 31, Non-Vert ID 32, Non-Vert 33, Non-Vert ID 34, Non-Vert ID 35, Non-Vert ID 36, Non-Vert ID 37, Non-Vert ID 38Non-Vert ID 39, Non-Vert ID 40, Non-Vert ID 41, Non-Vert ID 42, Non-Vert ID 43, Non-Vert ID 44, Non-Vert ID 45, Non-Vert ID 46, Non-Vert ID 47, Non-Vert ID 48, Non-Vert ID 49, Non-Vert ID 50, Non-Vert ID 51, Non-Vert ID 52, Non-Vert ID 53, Non-Vert ID 54, Non-Vert ID 55, Non-Vert ID 56, Non-Vert ID 57, Non-Vert ID 58, Non-Vert ID 59, Non-Vert ID 60, Non-Vert ID 61, & Marine Invertebrates, Marine Invert.s 2, Marine Invert.s 3, & FAQs about: Marine Invertebrate Behavior, Marine Invertebrate Compatibility, Marine Invertebrate Selection, Marine Invertebrate Systems, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Marine Invertebrate Disease, Marine Invertebrate Reproduction& LR Life IdentificationLR Hitchhiker ID 1, Anemone Identification, Aiptasia Identification, Aiptasia ID 2, Worm Identification, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Snail Identification, Marine Crab Identification, Marine Invert.s 1, Marine Invert.s 2, Marine Plankton

- Algae and Other Stuff - Hey Guys, great website.  I had a question concerning new life in my tank.  I have a 12 gallon SW tank that I've had for one year now, and its been a happy year (knock on wood).  I have good purple algae coloration on much of my live rock, but lately a few new things have pooped up.  There are small red bubbles, many with yellow tips forming on the purple algae, and some small red spot forming on other parts of the rocks.  A darker, almost oily looking, purple spot has grown over some of the rock. <That all sounds like BGA to me - Cyanobacteria. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > There are also some very skinny, brittle white tubes with strings coming out of them, that can reel in the strings at times. <That is probably a Serpulid worm. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polychaetes.htm > Lastly, there is a see thru tube shaped item, that looks like a long tube filled balloon, that is emersed in the rock, could this be an air bubble? <Not sure.> Its almost metallic, very strange. <Could be Valonia, bubble algae. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm> Anyways, I was wondering if any of these new "friends" were bad for my tank. <I think mostly good. I wouldn't worry about anything but the algae. The Valonia, if that's what it is can get out of hand if it's removed carelessly, the BGA can also get out of hand, can usually be addressed with improved circulation.> I do 1/4 water changes weekly.  Thanks a lot, Sincerely Jon <Cheers, J -- >

-Live Rock Hitchhiker's!- Hello Saltwater Gurus, I have a 4 month old 120gallon Reef tank, I have been very slow adding inhabitants, and have been amazed by the flora and fauna appearing on the live rock.<And it will only get better!> I have two ID questions, and 1 general question.  I will start with the general question. I have a 20 gallon refugium which, after the addition of Chaetomorpha, has controlled the phosphate issues in my setup. <Excellent, Chaetomorpha is my favorite macro.> The Chaetomorpha has grown exponentially, and I have already harvested a bunch to remove the nutrients from circulation, and the algae has almost grown completely back filling a third of the refugium.  The algae is a completely amazing source of copepods (I am pretty sure they are) which are to numerous to count in the refugium, and they have made it into the main tank and are reaching large populations. <Mmm... fish food...> I only have two Ocellaris clownfish and one Bubbletip anemone, and the clownfish show no interest in eating the copepods.  Is there a danger in an unchecked copepod population? <Should it get too large to sustain itself, it will crash out. No worries for the tank though.> What type of fish would like to eat these copepods? <The first fish that comes to mind is a mandarin dragonet, which you should be able to sustain very well (you may have to start feeding the 'fuge to really crank out the bugs though). Six and eight line wrasses are pretty good pod chompers as well.> Now, the two ID questions. There is a "hitchhiker" anemone that resides directly next to the spot my BTA has chosen for itself.  It is about 1 inch in length with spindly arms and a translucent body.  I have attached two pictures which are the best I could get.  I believe this may be an Aiptasia.  If this is the case, it is the lone Aiptasia that I can find in the tank.  Do I need to destroy this small anemone now? <YES> Or is it possible that it will not become a nuisance with adequate nutrient export? <In theory yes, in practice, no.> If it stays single, then I would like to keep it. <I would play the odds and exterminate it, it's not worth having the other inhabitants suffer in the future.> Next, there is an animal that has grown on the live rock that appears to be either a corallimorph or some form of anemone.  It is a "carpet" of tiny polyps that are less than 1/8" each, but the entire colony is about 5 inches across.  It has grown in an awkward place to get pictures, but here is the best one I could get, with the colony pointed to...any idea what this is? The polyps have not increased in size, but the area covered by the colony is growing, so I do not believe it is a carpet anemone. <Well, it's not an anemone, and does not appear to be a soft coral. Although its impossible to tell exactly what it is from the picture, I think it's safe to say that it's some type of stony coral. It appears that most of the colony died in transit and the growing part was the only part left alive. Could you get a clearer picture?> Thank you in advance for your time. <I hope this helps! -Kevin>

Mediterranean Sea invertebrates references Hi Bob, <Hello George> I am looking for some information on invertebrates from the Mediterranean sea. We have taken some photos and we would like to learn a bit more about them. I checked your book about the "Reef Invertebrates" but naturally there was not much in it. Do you know of any other reputable source ?? Book or website ? <Do you have the IKAN/Debelius "Mediterranean and Atlantic Fish Guide"? Has Helmut redone it as a "Reef Guide" with invertebrates? There is a bibliog.. in the back of the old edition (mostly fish related)... I would go to a large/college library and use the computer bibliographic tools to do a modern search for literature. Bob Fenner> Thanks a lot in advance,
George J. Reclos Ph.D.

Odd mushroom, reference to new book 12/3/03 Bob, Anthony, et al <whassup buttercup?> again, excellent work on the "Reef Inverts" book... loving every page of it so far.. and finally completed it front to back. <much thanks... we're very glad to contribute> found something very interesting on page 157 .. in the pic in lower right hand corner of 'Clathria' species sponge, there is a lime green (mushroom?) just to the left... I have something that looks very much like this but have never been able to find a good id on it.. <actually... the pictured organism looks like a small Cynarina stony coral to me. But the corallimorph is unmistakable if true> mine have the fleshy nodes but each end in a point (sort of talon like) and a bright orange mouth in the center... seem to like light and do not take food directly like some shrooms I've had before... <hmmm... do see yours retract and try to discover if there is not some stony corallum (look for the ridges of septa). If yours truly is a soft animal, then perhaps a better pic of yours is needed here> (though I suppose most do not anyway) <not correct... shrooms are generally very heavy organismal feeders... its the method of delivery that can be a challenge> I have enclosed a pic to help in the identification .. (its not the best pic but should give some shape characteristics) flesh looks very similar to one in your pic referenced above.. <sorry Joe... the pic link is not working/clear to me. Can you resend as a attachment?> any pointers or ideas u may have would be appreciated... <be chatting soon :) Anthony>
Odd mushroom? 12/4/03 Anthony, thanks for the reply... here is pic again, hopefully this will go thru .. if not I'll send from an alternate account. Thanks Joe <came through this time my friend... your creature is not a corallimorph, but appears to be a small anemone species instead. Keep an eye on it so that does not become a nuisance (if overfed by nutrients/particles in the system). Very nice looking creature though :) Anthony>

Critter ID I was wondering if anyone can ID the following critter for me: http://www.geocities.com/jtgilkeson/thing.html I've nicknamed it "thing" (Adams family) as it looks like hand that walks around.  It walks around quite a bit, it moved from one side of the tank to the other in less than a day... The guesses so far from the WetWebFotos forum are:   Aiptasia or majano anemone <I go with guess number two. Bob Fenner>

- Little White Flower-looking Things on My Live Rock - These just appeared yesterday on the rock.  There are also some purple mushrooms also.  I sent a picture of them in the email.  I will explain what they look like also incase you are having trouble seeing them. <My friend, I can't tell much of anything from that picture.> They are white, and very small, short and skinny white stalks.   They do not seem to have any other coloration on them. They can disappear totally into the rock. My flame angel proved that.   I looked at the nuisance anemone FAQ's but I could not find anything in there to help me make a final determination.  I also looked at the Starr polyp FAQ's, and there to I could not determine if they are that.  So I went to dogpile.com and typed in Aiptasia and found some pictures of brownish anemones, I think I can rule them out. <Have seen something else like this recently... have no idea what it "really" is but it is certainly interesting. My guess is these might be hydroids - man I'd just love to have a band by that name: They Might be Hydroids.> Then typed in Star polyp and got some pictures of yellowish little stars mostly overgrowing what looks to be sticks.  Not totally dissimilar but wrong colors and size. <That may change in time - will pay to keep a sharp eye on things.> Then I thought hydroid, no such luck there either so I thought I would send it along to you and maybe you would know. <Not for certain, and my apologies for that.> Thanks again Craig B.  
<Cheers, J -- >

- ID This - Gents - After going through the FAQ's and postings with no success..... I have these things that are still quite small, but appear to have multiplied quite rapidly. My LFS wants to call them tunicates, but my wife is sure that they're Aiptasia. They don't have the thick stalks like typical Aip.., nor do they have the articulated & brownish coloring. <I agree... certainly is polypoid... perhaps hydroids.> Like anything else that multiples rapidly and for free, I imagine that it's a nuisance, but I would like to keep it in the tank, if its growth can be stemmed a bit. <Be cautious then about overfeeding the other things in your tank. Typically populations reach a carrying capacity which is limited by available foods, competition between like organisms.> Thanks,
<Cheers, J -- >

Pests Hello, I was looking closely at my tank when my eyes came across these tiny little creatures that look like brown shrimp or something. They are only about the size of a grain of rice and there are at least a couple hundred of them and they are all crawling on my live rock and I can sometimes see them in the sand. What should I do? Are these guys harmful to my fish?<No these are most likely copepods/amphipods and clean up a lot of detritus that is in the sand/gravel.>Is there a need to exterminate?<Not at all!! Thank god for pods!!! Good luck, IanB> Thanks

Critter IDs Please, with photos attached The first photo is of a worm that looks like a bristleworm, but has some differences.   <agreed... is Polychaetous, but not specifically a "bristleworm".> Have seen this 3" worm on the glass of my 42 gal reef a few times during the day. Doesn't look like a bristleworm because of the "mop" head, and BWs don't usually come out in broad daylight. Photo taken at 4:30 pm, just around feeding time.  There appears to be no damage to corals or fish in the reef this worm is in. <I frankly have no idea what this worm is but am comfortable that most are overwhelmingly safe if not useful as scavengers. You might send that pic to Dr Ron Shimek over on ReefCentral.com (he has his own forum)> The last three photos are of three bugs we sucked out of a well established 72g reef in which had recently lost all our new fish, mostly dwarf and larger angels.   <my friend... please (!) do be careful. Watch your own hands in this tank. They are parasitic isopods and actually can nip/bite you. We have some data on our wetwebmedia site about them as well as in our Reef Invertebrates book. Much abroad on the net too about them. Treatment is possible but an effort> Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the tank at the time of the last fish death were 0 ppm.  Had the flashlights out the other night and these bugs were swimming about near the front glass, though some were walking on the sandbed at times. Looks like some kind of isopod, but I cannot say for sure from all the research I've done if they are parasitic or not.   <they appear to be to me> The bugs were about 1/8th of an inch in length when first caught. Have since set up a 5g tank with LR, sandbed and macroalgae from reefs that do not contain these bugs and have added a green Chromis to determine if the bugs will infest the fish.  Over the week the fish has been in the 5g, the bugs have grown twice their original size, have been seen on the glass and sandbed, and the Chromis remains healthy.   <the Chromis for now may be too small and/or fast> Currently in the 72 gal, at night, there are pinhead sized bugs on the glass that look like the young of the three bugs now in the 5g. Can you please ID the worm?   <I'll call him Joey> Also, can you tell from the photos of the bugs if they are parasitic? <seems so yes> If they are, I imagine a long period of time, say 2-4 months, without fish would eliminate these bugs if they are parasitic and have no hosts. <actually... they are on record going over 6 months and still surviving> It has been 3 weeks since the last fish died.  During the fallow period I am continuing to feed the tank daily to maintain high levels of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria until the time we will stock the 72g with fish again. TIA for your time and consideration. Beverly <wishing you the best of luck my friend. Anthony>

Thanks, Dr. Ron! (A Happy Ending) Scott, <Hi there again!> I wanted to let you know that the bugs pics I sent you were IDed by Dr. Shimek as sphaeromatids and are harmless.  The Chromis in the 5g test tank did not become infested with them in the three weeks they were together.  All is good :)  Thanks for your time :) Beverly Edmonton AB Canada <Well, no one likes a happy ending more than me! Glad that Dr. Ron was able to ID these little creatures for you! Onwards! Regards, Scott F.>

Critter IDs Please 12/12/03 Anthony, I wanted to let you know that the bugs pics I sent you were IDed by Dr. Shimek as sphaeromatids and are harmless.  The Chromis in the 5g test tank did not become infested with them in the three weeks they were together.  All is good :)  Thanks for your time :) <much thanks fo0r sharing this, Beverly. I will be sure to reference it and consider. Thanks kindly, Anthony>

Big White Pasty Milky Jelly looking Growth I have a large white, pasty, milky, jelly looking growth under one of my live rocks.  I have just noticed it.  I have been looking on your pages and hope it is a sponge.  I am not sure though.  Please HELP!!<It is probably just a sponge that resided in/within your liverock and has just began to show itself. Lots of interesting creatures come on LR...good luck my friend, IanB> Thanks
James Ray

Critter ID Hello crew~ <howdy> I have this stuff growing in my Live Sand bed the last couple of weeks, and trying to figure it out.  What you might not be able to see in the PIC I am sending is very fine, inch or so long hairs growing out of it above the sand line.  Any ideas? Steve <it is a harmless and desirable medusa worm (AKA Spaghetti worm)... they are detritivores. Pictured on pages 170 and 171 of our nifty "Reef Invertebrates" book (Calfo and Fenner 2003). Anthony>

Red growth on rock 11/23/03 Had a question about leather corals.  I bought a piece of Fiji live rock that appears to have some sort of coral on it.  It looks just like the Fiji yellow leather coral but it is red in color.  It seems to only be about 1 inch long or so, and feels hard.  It has been in my aquarium for 3 months or so and still seems about the same color, although some Cyanobacteria grew on it.  When you touch it with your finger it is prickly feeling, and then about a half hour later it feels like you have been stung or like you have really fine needles in your finger.  It also seems like there is some of the same thing on the other side of the rock that is not exposed to any light.  If it is a skeleton of a dead coral wouldn't it have lost the color.  I appreciate your help very much! Thank you!! <it sounds like the growth is a sponge, as best I can tell... although I picture would clarify this promptly if you can proffer one. I doubt from the brief description you give that this is a leather coral. Be careful handling any marine organisms with bare hands, there are a few uncommon but serious ailments you can contract that way. Anthony>

Weird Jelly like substance Hello again Crew, and thanks once again in advance for the serious info you provide!  For the last couple weeks or so there has been a weird jelly like substance in the tank, on the live rock.  It's been tough to tell if it has been growing or not.  Any ideas? <Yes. The greenish material in the middle of your pic is a sponge. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm Bob Fenner>

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