Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Live Rock Hitchhiker/Creature Identification 8

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 9, LR ID 10, LR ID 11, LR ID 12, LR ID 13, LR ID 14, LR ID 15, LR ID 16, LR ID17 LRID 18, LRID 19, LRID 20, 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,

Live Rock hitchhiker coral ID 3/11/06 Hi, I'm trying to identify a coral that is on one of my live rock. There are several other life forms that I need to identify on my live rocks but this one I really need to find out because this coral is not happy right now. My tank is 29gallon FOWLR tank and I added some live rocks about six months ago. This coral used to be well in my tank at first. The polyps were extended and it was feeding on fish food that landed on it, but now it is retracted and hardly ever extends its polyps. I need to find out how to take care of this coral. I've attached some pictures of it so please help me identify this coral. <<Cladacora and Porites are probably the most common live rock hitchhikers, and yours looks like Cladacora.  Despite it's brown color, this coral is not photosynthetic and requires lots of food.  Most aquarists are unwilling or unable to provide enough food for it to thrive.>> It has hard skeleton and when it is totally retracted it looks like bee hive. At first few months, when it was doing well, it grew about 50% of its original size but it stopped growing and I can tell something is wrong with it. <<Wow!  It is surprise that it grew.  Did the slow down in growth coincide wit the introduction of fish?  It may be that the coral was getting live food in the form of 'pods until you introduced other predators.>> I have 4-24w T5HO lighting on my 29gallon so light is not on issue I might think it was too bright. And I have lot of water movement in the tank, over 1000 GPH turn over. <<Indeed, if anything, I might suspect that the coral is not opening because of the bright light. If possible, you might try moving it to a more shady spot.>> Nitrate 0 Phosphate 0 Calcium 420mg/l Strontium 10mg/l Alkalinity 3.5meq/l maximum 1275mg/l PH 8.17 Please help. Thanks, Hans <<Water tests all look good.  Best regards.  AdamC.>>

Hitchhiker i.d. needed #2   2/26/06 Hello again, <Hi there> I emailed a little earlier (3:21 pm) about little critters I saw scampering about my one very porous piece of live rock. <... please always include prev. corr. There are a few dozen of us here...>   I watched again for quite a bit of time.  I initially thought they were more of a solid color, but I was able to get a better look at one of the, which was maybe 3/4 of an inch in length at most.  Its body is not quite translucent, but it appears to have a reddish orange or brown stripe down it.  The smaller ones looked to be a solid color, but they too seem to have that stripe now that I tried to get a better look.  They move so very quickly, esp. the smaller ones or one.  Anyway, thanks again.  Hope you are able to maybe narrow it down and tell me if it is something that I should worry about, like will they gang up on a fish and suck the life out of them when I add them.   Sincerely, Tiffani <... no way to tell what you're referring to here. Please send along a graphic (drawing, photo...). Bob Fenner>

Hitchhiker ID...Likely Amphipods  - 02/27/06 Hello Mr. Fenner, I did copy my first email down below here. <Hi Tiffani. Josh here today.> I am not sure if that will help or not. I am unable to photograph them. I either don't see them or they move too fast in and out of the holes in the live rock. I never thought they would be in the live rock, or that tiny, but my husband is convinced they are shrimp because of the way their body curls under at the end. <Hmm...a clue!> I am just not sure. I was watching one today that I thought was stuck in a hole and desperately trying to free itself. It was wiggling all around and then I thought it came out, however, it was its "skin," I guess, like it shed it off (sorry for the poor terminology). Do shrimp do that? <Yes, called molting.> I don't know. <Now ya' do.> If you have any insight it would be greatly appreciated. If not, I completely understand. I haven't given you much to go on. All I can do is hope they hang out long enough that I can take a picture and send it. Thank you. Sincerely, Tiffani <Well Tiffani, it sounds to me like amphipods. If this proves true, then rest easy. Harmless and beneficial for your system. Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm . See the pic. in the top right? Hope this helps. - Josh> Re: Hitchhiker ID...Likely Amphipods - 02/27/2006 Thank you so much Josh.  I don't have a moment to read through now (I have 2 y.o. twins), but I will be sure to as soon as they nap. <Wow! Quite the hand full.> I did check out the picture, and that appears to be them. Wow, you guys are good. <Good, addicted...same difference;)> Thanks again. Tiffani <Glad to help. - Josh> 

Brown LR  - 02/25/06 Hello Crew!     New Live Rock color question. I have just added (2 weeks ago) 25 lbs lbs. of LR as you can see in the photos it's beginning to turn brown, rock in the top left and right is the new   stuff.  The second photo shows brown forming on piece well over 1 year  in. Thoughts? <Mmm, not much "life" on this LR... and the growth is algae... mainly diatoms and BGA... natural succession> 225 gallons Ammonia reads .25 <Keep an eye on this> other than that everything is good. Been using Red Sea Success Calcium 3 2 72" VHO Aquasun 160w each 2 72" SuperVHO Actinic blue lights 160w each Blues go on first for 30 min.s than they are all on together for about 8  hrs, whites go off and blues stay on for 30 min.s. Thanks for help and input. LM <Mmm... read on WWM re LR, Curing... http://wetwebmedia.com/marinvind1.htm scroll down... Bob Fenner>

Live Rock - 02/23/06 org.s Dear Eric Thanks for the valuable advice. I have some brown algae growing in my tank mostly on the tank walls and on my Coral Skeletons.  I read some articles on the web and got the impression that this is not a huge problem and can be sign of positive aquarium health. <<Indeed Akila.  These are likely diatoms, and part of the natural algae succession.>> But when I look through my side glass I saw some white (mostly transparent) strands like hair (but way thinner than a hair strand) growing on the Coral Skeletons & Rocks.  What are these? <<Mmm...Possibly some type of a Serpulid worm.>> Is this a problem? <<No>> I want to grow some Macro Algae in my tank to control the Micro.  Is there an article you can direct me to? <<Try here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm   -Do learn to use the search tool (Google) my friend.>> And also when you buy Macro algae from the LFS do you have to Quarantine it? <<Some will say "anything wet" requires quarantine.  I'm a bit more lenient when it comes to things like algae.  The choice is yours.>> It's very hard to find Cured/Fresh Live Rock at LFSs in Sri Lanka but Fresh Live Rock is very easily found in our beaches in the shallow coral rich waters around the country. <<Ah yes...I envy you this <grin>.>> I read many articles on Live Rock and found many info.  The Negative aspect of Fresh Live Rock is that when it is shipped most organisms on it die off and this produces ammonia & other toxic compounds. <<Exactly>> So if you introduce this directly into an aquarium it will release toxic compounds that'll have negative effects on the Live Stock. Is this Right? <<It is.  Best to cure "fresh" rock before adding to an established system.>> So if I get Fresh Live Rock and put it in a Barrel with Fresh Sea Water (at normal temperature) behind a Truck and bring it home (maximum time from the beach to my place will be 1-2hours including traffic) can it be directly introduced to the aquarium? <<If we were talking one or two small pieces, maybe...but for a tank full of rock, no.  It's not so much the time in transit (though this is a factor for rock shipped around the world) as the fact you will probably introduce organisms on/in the rock that will have no chance for survival in your system, thus they will end up polluting your tank when they die.  To be safe, it would be best to place this rock in a container of seawater with a powerhead for circulation and cure it before placing in the tank.>> Appreciate your response Thanks Best regards Akila <<Cheers my friend, EricR>>

Critter ID 2/18/06 Hi,  I have just had the live rock in my 170 litre marine tank for a few weeks and am transfixed by the creatures coming out of it. I can identify many of them, at least to genus level, but this one (picture attached) which is only about 3mm long when stretched out was found attached to the front glass. It moves about quite a bit and shrinks to a blob when I turn on the lights. It is translucent white with opaque white axial lines. <It is hard to guess, but it does look Cnidarian.  It could be a hydroid, jellyfish medusa, settled coral planulae or tiny anemone.  In any case, such critters usually appear and disappear harmlessly.  Enjoy it while you can!> I've also included a shot of an egg case laid by one of my Nassarius snails a day after introduction into the tank.  Many thanks, Andy Wakefield <Nice photo!! It is nice to see critters reproducing!  Best Regards. AdamC.> <<Where is that pic? RMF>>  

White Live Rock  - 2/4/2006 Dear Mr. Fenner, <David> I use your book daily in the planning of my new tank.  I have spent many hours perusing your site and would like to ask if you or your associates can confirm my problem. <Okay> I have a 65g tank and ordered 90lbs of cured Fiji live rock to cycle the tank.  It has been in the tank for 6 days and the rock is turning white.  It is not a film that can be blown off.  I believe I am doing everything correctly with the possible exception of lights which I have been running for 6 hours per day.  The lights are a double strip metal halide with Actinic and 10000K bulbs. Water Parameters (65g Tank) --------------------------------- Temp. 76.5 F Ammonia  3.0 ppm Ph. 8.4 Nitrates. 0 ppm Nitrites.  0 ppm Specific Gravity 1.023 Alkalinity -300 KH ppm <These all look good> I have attached 3 pictures.  From what I have learned on your site and from the on-line store that I bought the live rock from: a) the white growth is normal <Likely so> b) it is a white coralline algae <Maybe. There are other possibilities> c) the color should return with time (1 month to 1 year) d) I have to watch the calcium and iodine levels to get the color back <Yes... and alkalinity> e) I might need to leave off the white light and run only the Actinics to get the color back <No... both or just the whites> With the pictures attached, can you confirm (a to e) ? Best regards, David <... this cured rock is way too bare... I would add some "un-cured" here in hope of re-seeding what you have... it's "way passed" cured... Bob Fenner> ps - I will be donating $50 to support WetWebMedia.com

Re: White Live Rock  - 2/4/2006 I forgot to add that each of the 2 lights are 96 watt bulbs. Best regards, David <These are fine... if you don't have/use the actinics for your personal enjoyment, I'd switch these to more "white". Bob Fenner>

LR Growth - 02/03/2006 Hi Crew, <Hello.>     I enjoy the sight and thanks for all  the info. you provide. I do have one question. I have a new 29 gallon tank 4 weeks old w/ 27.5 lbs. of live rocks. Curing process going well and then I noticed a yellow branch break through and coming out of one of the rocks. On the branch are all these tiny clear like jelly fish) round leaves? A lot of them like a top. They tend to blow when the Powerhead hits it. So far it's not affecting the tank. What is this? <Can't say without a pic. Most likely a sponge or tunicate of some sort.> Is it dangerous for my tank? <Not likely.> Right now I have a clean up crew of 10 snails and 10 hermit crabs. I plan to buy a Coral <Beauty?> Angelfish to add to the tank. Will this plant affect the angel fish? <This tank is too small for the fish.> Will the plant affect my tank? If it's a bad thing, how do I get rid of it?  Thanks for your help. <I wouldn't buy that fish for this tank. Hope I've helped. - Josh>

Gravel Collecting Goo?!   2/1/06 Hi There! Just about a month ago I received a 50gal. tank for Christmas.. which I quickly turned into a reef tank, and about 2 weeks ago added  a  Clarks clown fish, a blue hippo tang, a fire  goby and a cleaner shrimp.. plus lots of hermits and snails. Everything is ~great!~ Water is checking out perfect and everyone's happy. My question is about a piece of fugi <Fiji?> live rock I've had since the first week in my tank. At first it looked as though it had cracks all through it that would get larger at night and shrink during the day. Then I noticed a clear goo on it, maybe the size of a pebble. It got a little bigger the following day, and then the next it was covered in gravel... This rock is in the middle of my tank very far away from my gravel/sand mix. Well DAILY this goo covers more of the rock and has gravel all thru it.  Its covered 2 feather duster holes and it keeps on going. Apon closer inspection I noticed that in every crevice and hole of this rock has goo coming out of it. I'm having a hard time describing this, so I've tried to enclose pictures. I hope they are clear enough. Thanks a lot. I'm enjoying your website very much!! Maggie <One person's goo is another's biota. Likely sponge et al. growth here. No worries. Bob Fenner> Strange, Pearl like eggs...   1/31/06 Hi!   <Hey, Mike G with you this afternoon.> We have a salt water aquarium with live rock in it.  We noticed on 2 different rocks these black pearl looking things embedded in the live rock. <As has most every other marine aquarist. Most, however, have a far less optimistic view towards these strange ova of doom - referred to more commonly as Valonia, or Bubble Algae, a unicellular algae.> They were originally about 1 quarter of an inch in diameter, and over the course of several months, they have grown to about 3/4 of an inch.  Also over the past few months, these round objects have become just slightly translucent (still couldn't see inside) and then developed what looked like a very slowly opening crack. <Contained within the cells are millions of spores - when he algae are broken in the manner which you described, these spores are released into their environment, furthering the species.> This "crack" has been monitored over the course of the past 2-3 weeks, and then just last night while we were sleeping something happened to it.  When we woke up we noticed that the top half was gone as if an egg had hatched, and now the bottom is just sitting in the live rock.  However, there is no evidence left of the top half of the egg and there is also no evidence of what could have "hatched" from this "egg". <More 'eggs'!> Any idea what this is or was?  We are quite puzzled!  Thanks in advance! <You're very welcome. Good luck with the new aquarium, and don't sweat the Valonia: the "little black pearls" are often the first things to be complimented in my aquaria! Mike G>

White coverings on rocks   1/27/06 This is on parts of my rocks, could you tell me, if its okay or if its a fungus or something?  I thought it was pretty, but a guy from an aquarium place said he thought it might be something bad.  I could use your help. Karla
<Just sponges, decomposition... Bob Fenner>

Re: White funk on liverock 1/27/06 Thanks for the reply. <<You're welcome.>> When you mentioned adequate lighting did you mean lighting for corals/invertebrates?<<No.>> The bulb we currently have on is for corals and invertebrates, but I can't remember the wattage off the top of my head. It's a lower wattage, I think the guy at the LFS said it would be suitable for growing some mushrooms and 1 or 2 types of anemones. We ended up buying the lower wattage since we aren't going to be growing any corals in this tank. Thanks for the help! <<Given light, water changes, adequate circulation and patience (read this as the passage of time) the white funk will disappear or be replaced by other things. Also, please remember to proof read your correspondence. i's are capitalized and there are spaces between sentences. Ted>>

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: