Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 16

Related Articles: Live RockReef Systems, Refugiums

Related FAQs: Live Rock, Answering Some LR FAQs by James Fatherree, LR Hitchhiker ID 1, LR Hitchhiker ID 2, LR Hitchhiker ID 3, LR Hitchhiker ID 4, LR Hitchhiker ID 5, LR ID 6, LR ID 7, LR ID 8, LR ID 9, LR ID 10, LR ID 11, LR ID 12 LR ID 13, LR ID 14, LR ID 15, LR ID17 LRID 21, LRID 22, LRID 23, LRID 24, LRID 25, LRID 27, LRID 28, LRID 29,  LRID 30, LRID 31, LRID 32, LRID 33, LRID 34, LRID 35, LRID 36, LRID 37, LRID 38, & Non-Vert IDs 1, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Live Rock 1, LR 2LR 3, LR 4, LR 5, Curing Live Rock, Live Rock Selection, Shipping/Moving, Placement, Lighting, Water Quality, Live Rock Studies in Fiji Collaboration & ChartsCopper UseMarine Landscaping, Marine BiotopeSumps, RefugiumsFaux Rock,

Unknown critter ID, Porifera   8/9/08 Hi, <Hello, Mich with you tonight.> I've been reading this site for months.. it's great. <Thanks! Glad you like it!> Now I need some help. <Alrighty!> My tank is two weeks old. <VERY new!> Ammonia has been trending downward for 6 days and is now at less than .25ppm. The tank has 192W of PC lighting (96W 10k, and 96W dual actinic) running 7 hours per day. The tank is doing great, I've got new growth in macroalgae, feather worms, breeding snails, etc. The live rock is from Tampa Bay Saltwater, so call it Caribbean rock. <Ok.> I've got these things growing on it. (see pic) They are thin, translucent, white stalks. They have gone from nonexistent to 1 to 2 inches tall in about a week. It appears to have small polyps on them, but that's not really verified. Is this a juvenile gorgonian colony? <Nope. Is a sponge, likely growing rapidly due to high nutrient content in the water. Is a harmless filter feeder. Just enjoy it. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm and related links in blue.> Thanks

Strange thing in my tank   8/6/08 Okay to start off, I have a 70 g, two 50g, a 30g, and a 110g saltwater tank. The 70g tank has been up over a year. The two 50s and the 30g(refugium) have been up awhile. Long enough to be doing well. Anyway, I know you are not supposed to but we bought some live rock from friends of ours that they had in a tank for over two years. It was beautiful. Lots of colors and very pretty. Anyway, they noticed, after they purchased several corals, that this thing was at the bottom of the tank. It sat on the bottom of their tank in a mass of hair algae. We bought the rock, brought it home and scrubbed it down, and then put it in the tank for curing. The hair algae is gone, but the little critter has made a reappearance. It is the red Aiptasia looking thing beneath the Montipora, and in some of the other pics you can see its 'legs' stretching across the rock. It looks like hairs stretching across the rock. The 'legs' appear to be segmented. And although the body is red, the 'legs' are white with black 'joints'. The body is about .5" and the total red mass is 1" to 1.5" , and the 'legs' are about 10" stretching across the rock and down the side of it. We are worried and don't know if we should try to extract it, or if we should try to kill it, or if it would try to get us!!! I don't want to get stung. Please help!! Thank you, BJ hardy <This is very likely a type of sedentariate polychaete worm... do take a look on the Net, WWM re "spaghetti worms"... Completely harmless... even beneficial, or aesthetic beauty. I would leave it as is, enjoy. Bob Fenner>

plant id... actually a Poriferan -- 03/20/08 hello, I have an unusual plant in my reef tank. It looks like coralline algae in color. It grows slowly and has broad leafs/tissue. Its pretty robust-- not brittle, quite slippery. I have been searching for any similar plant/macroalgae morphology, but have not found anything close. I would appreciate any input to help figure this out. Thanks, rob <Very nice pic and organism... This is actually a Sponge. See the Net, or here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm and the linked ID files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: plant id, Poriferan  3/20/08 Thanks a lot for the input. I did actually frag it and find it to be one of the cooler parts of my reef system. <Is a beauty! And testament to your good maintenance. Cheers! BobF>

Isn't that pretty?

Good pic of something -- 03/20/08 Here is a pic of something. keep it and use it if you want. If you know what it is, let me know. I have it in higher resolution, I think. lol. <The greenish thing in the middle? Perhaps a Sponge/Poriferan. Bob Fenner>

I'm clueless - ID needed: Egg Ribbon -- 3/18/08 Hello! <Hi there, Sonny!> Hope you can help me to identify this creature. <Sure hope so!> I set up a nano reef tank about 7 month ago. I am into the hobby about 9 years now. All my water parameters (including Mg, Ca, Sr..etc..) are close to perfect. I keep my temperature at 78-80 degrees. 15-17 lbs of live rock, 20 lbs of aragonite, Marineland C-160 canister, Hydor Koralia Nano powerhead, AquaC Remora Nano skimmer with MJ 900. Current Satellite light system, 1 dual actinic and 1 dual daylight, 40 W each, 80 Watts all together, set up with a timer. Only 8 hours daylight. 1 small colt coral, 1 green eyed and 1 yellow polyps, trumpet coral. 1 six line wrasse, about a dozen hermits, about the same amounts of assorted snails. 1 sand shifter <Sifter?> star, 1 red thorny star, <Uh-oh, these two stars need much, much, more room in order to survive. They will not make it in a small tank.> ..and 1 cleaner shrimp. Very happy and healthy environment. Yesterday I noticed something on one of my live rock, something I never seen before. If you look at the picture the creature is right above my fish, and it looks like a target. <Nice photo!> Round shaped, and has circles inside.. The color is kinda clear whitish...Please help me identify this new critter for me! <Hmmm, it looks like an egg ribbon, possibly left by a Nudibranch or snail. No worries, these things pop up from time to time and usually disappear within a few days - as food for the system's inhabitants! Please see these links for examples of Nudibranch egg ribbons: http://www.seaslugforum.net/display.cfm?id=1128 http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudireprofaqs.htm> Your help is truly appreciated, Sonny <You're very welcome! Take care, -Lynn>

Re: I'm clueless - ID needed: Egg Ribbon -- 3/18/08 Thank you very much Lynn! <You're very welcome, Sonny!> I forgot to mention this is a 10G tank. <Yep, I had a feeling it was when you mentioned the light fixture, but didn't want to assume.> I also forgot that I just introduced a lettuce Nudibranch (beautiful creature, I never had one before) about a week ago, so I suppose he's the source of those eggs. <You got it!> The sand sifter looks very happy, I don't see him too much though. <Unfortunately, these need a large area of mature DSB to survive.> The red thorny star is not the African red knob sea star, but I'm sure you knew that. <Well, I wasn't sure if it was Protoreaster lincki or Echinaster echinophorus, but unfortunately, neither is suitable for this size tank.> When I purchased him (I bought him and the Nudibranch at the same time) they told me they won't grow bigger than 3-4 inches. <Yes, although I've read differing reports on their size (ranging from 4-8'). Most say it's around 4', so I'd be more inclined to go with that number.> Should I take him back? <Yes, actually I'd take both of those stars back. They'll starve to death in such a small system.> He seems healthy. My only concern is that ever since I introduced him to my tank, he's not moving a lot. Looks like he settled down on one of my live rock, and he's been there ever since. I see him moving his tentacles and arms, but he just "sits" there. I don't know.. He's beautiful bright red and orange color.. Any thoughts? <Yep, if he's been in the same place for a week, that's not good. Even if he was doing well though, I would still recommend taking him back.> My heavenly Nudibranch is all over the place, grazing for algaes all day. Actually I don't have too much of nuisance algaes of any kind anymore, is there any supplement I can use if unfortunately ( I can believe I said that:-) I run out of algaes? <Hmmm, you could try Nori, but I'm not too confident that it will be eaten. These sea slugs are nothing if not picky little eaters! They tend to like one particular algae and that's it. Some like Bryopsis, others eat Caulerpa, etc. Sadly, they're usually short-lived in aquariums.> Again, thank you very much for the infos and those great articles, I think you made my night much better. <You're very welcome. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news about the stars, but they really do need to be in a much larger system.> If you have chance Lynn, please let Anthony know that He rule the saltwater world.. By any means, He is the greatest. <Hey, what about Bob! I say he's the greatest! :-) Sorry, but I can't help being partial. LOL I just couldn't let that go without saying something! I've never met Anthony Calfo but he does seem like a terrific guy -- knowledgeable, funny and kind. I'm hoping to meet him at IMAC in May. At that time, I would be most happy to relay your message!> Thank you Lynn, good night <You're most welcome, Sonny. Goodnight to you too, -Lynn>

ID Please... Hair Worm (Cirratulid species)  3/14/08 Hey there all, <Hi Tim, Mich here!> I was wondering if you might be able to ID this for me. I spotted it on some of my Live Rock. <Looks like a hair worm (Cirratulid species) to me, a harmless filter feeder. Often crabs, including hermit, cleaner shrimp and nipping fish prey upon these beneficial worms.> Thanks Much, Tim
<Welcome much, Mich>

Live Rock Hitchhikers In A Very Small System -- 3/10/08 Hi crew, <Hi there!> A couple simple questions for you, I first off have multiple white egg sacs on my LR as the first image attached shows you. I'd like if you could tell me what they are, <They're likely harmless little sponges. Please see this link, as well as related links at the top: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm > ..as well as the second image I attached to this message, this hitchhiker seems permanently imbedded into a part of my LR, I want to call it an oyster but my knowledge is limited when it comes to saltwater invertebrates. <It's definitely a bivalve of some sort, also harmless. See this link, as well as related links above: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivalvia.htm > I just got my 1 gallon tank from a friend of mine <Yikes, that's small! Keeping water quality up and stable, can be extremely challenging in these systems. Please read through the following links (as well as those listed at the top) for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/small.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nanoreefsysart.htm > ..who had set it up with sand and LR and let it cycle for over a month, I had my water tested at the LFS and they said it was O.K. for me to get a fish in there so I did, <I hope it's a very tiny Goby! Also, you're going to need to acquire your own test kits in order to closely monitor water quality. Sorry to sound like such a bummer about your new tank, but small tanks such as this can be very difficult to keep, even for experienced aquarists! Here's a link regarding test kits: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mtestsel.htm> ..and I noticed these two hitchhikers developing, if you could help me figure out what these are I would appreciate your help :) <My pleasure! They're part of the beneficial biodiversity that arrives in our systems via live rock, and a real treat to see. As long as you can keep water quality in good shape, you should be seeing more and more signs of life (worms, 'pods', etc). In the meantime, I'm going to introduce you to a very valuable tool, WWM's search engine! There's a wealth of information to be had there regarding various hitchhikers, water chemistry issues, etc.! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm Good luck! Take care, -Lynn>

What is this?  2/29/08 Hi Bob, <Peg> My apologies if this catches you at a bad time, but would you care to opine on what you see in the attached pic please? My old eyes aren't what they used to be, and even with the mag glass I can't quite determine what this is. It appears it may be an egg mass, but I'm not positive. Many thanks for your expert eyes! Peggywww.all-reef.com <Interesting... can almost make out the siphons of the individual... tunicates? Perhaps a bit larger, better-resolved pic... Cheers, BobF>

Algae Question (Attn: Sara)-02/27/08 Hi Sara (or whoever takes this e-mail), I've got a question about something growing in my saltwater tank. I'm not sure if you remember (if this is even Sara), but I've got a 29g BioCube. All the parameters are where the should be, but I've had this THING / STUFF growing on one of my pieces of rock, and I can't identify it. At first, I thought it was a mushroom coral, but it wasn't. On closer inspection, I realized that it wasn't black, but a deep indigo, and when I touched it, it left what appeared to be ink on me (yeah, same color as before). I've also noticed that it has these little "vents" on it. They look like translucent lil' tubes, and I'm not sure if it's something for feeding, breeding, or eating. <That sounds like a sponge or tunicate more than an algae. But I'm sorry, it's really impossible to say without a photo.> My only guess, is that it's some kind of algae, but what kind? and is there any way to get rid of it without destroying the surrounding coralline algae? <Please send in a photo if you can.> Again, thanks for your help! DJ
Sara M.>

ID and removal of yellow cave-dwelling balls 02/19/2008 Hello, <<G'morning. Andrew today>> We bought an existing marine reef aquarium, 45 gallon long, without knowing what we were getting into. Fortunately, with great help from the wet web media forum [and Bob's seminal book], it has been a thrilling roller-coaster ride of discovery and success. Maybe too much so. <<Sounds like a wonderful journey your embarking on>> Starting out with pretty much all the wrong equipment [and a nitrate reading of 100 ppm], it is nice to say that at the end of two months everything and everybody seems extremely healthy [purple mushroom corals are at 5" diameter, one Domino damsel is possibly over 4" in length, chemistry great, lots of exciting stories, etc]. <<Great news>> Everything is healthy . and growing. So much so that we now may have a problem with an unidentified yellow ball something [sponge?] that likes to grow in caves or reduced light areas [and propagate]. Original there were3 attached under one rock in a cave like setting. That cave now has six and there are at least 4 other locations with these yellow fellows. <<Yes, these are sponges, harmless filter feeders and will come and go, depending on nutrient levels. More info can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm >> The problem is one of the original yellow balls has gotten so big that it is threatening to dislodge some rock from a crack it 'grew into'. The question is safe removal. If you know what these are, can you provide advice on the proper way to harvest them. If the one can be saved, great. If not, can it be removed without harm to the other occupants of the habitat? <<Removing it is not a problem and it will not effect the others near by. Safely remove with a scalpel blade or other sharp bladed instrument and attach to a rock with some fishing line>> Knowing the great level of support all of you provide it is easy to imagine how busy you must be. I apologize for adding to the work load with this question. Hope it is not an 'easy' simple thing that could have [should have] been figured out. Please be assured that what you do does make a difference. Dana C. Andrews, B.S. <<Your questions are most welcome, so, no apology is needed. Thanks. A Nixon>>

Zee spongee!

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: