Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Aiptasia Anemones in General 1

Related FAQs: Aiptasia 2, Aiptasia 3, Aiptasia 4, Aiptasia Identification, Other Pest Anemones, Eradication by: Berghia Nudibranchs, Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfishes, Filefishes, Chemical/Physical Injection, Hypo/Hyper-SalinityAnemone SystemsAnemone Identification

Related Articles: Impressions of Methods to Eliminate Pest Anemones by Steven Pro,  Aquarium Culture of the Aeolid Nudibranch Berghia, Predator on the nuisance anemone Aiptasia By Anthony Calfo, Anemones, Cnidarians

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Pest Anemones and a Mixed Reef  12/26/05 I have been reef keeping about 4 years now, I recently learned that my   fathers tank is infested with anemone majano, which we thought was a  bright green button polyps, as it came with a  rock with brown button  polyps  from LFS, well the one bright green " polyps " multiple into 100 in  6 months, I even put one in my tank to start breeding, is Joe's juice the only  real cure?     anyways my main question is I have a 50 gallon  tank with 370 watts of pc lights 4 10000 and 2 actinic, I would like to grow  some Acropora or similar sps , I no a mixed reef is not recommended but I  would like to try, I have open brain , finger leather, many mushrooms, candy  cane, starburst which are all growing well and multiplying, 20% monthly changes,  70# live rock , prism skimmer, all water parameters WNL <Per the pest anemones read here; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm. As far as mixing the shallow water stonies and the mushrooms and softies you have, it really is not the best idea, the leather and the mushrooms will definitely have negative effects on the SPS. The tank size is not in your favor either. You will need to look into some sort of chemical filtration and/or run LOTS of carbon....at any rate the mixing would be a short term arrangement at best. Furthermore the lighting is marginal for some SPS, I would not go with Acropora, maybe Montipora.> in the last 4 years I think I have almost read your entire site, my fingers   hurt  :) <Glad you enjoy it.> thanks again Layne <Welcome, Adam J.>

Aiptasia (Read/Research) - 08/25/2005 How can I control my Aiptasia. I have a niger trigger, scarlet legged hermit crab, and a snail the size of a baseball. I need to know how to take  care of the Aiptasia. <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm and all the links on those pages.  Your question has been answered, literally, hundreds of times over.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Aiptasia Explosion - 07/25/05 Dear crew, <<Evening>> Thanks for all the great advice, I'm almost 1 year into salt and I'm loving it. <<Tis addictive...>> I'm having a Aiptasia explosion at this time and I don't want to harm a Nudibranch by giving it a limited supply of food then it starving to death! <<Admirable...but have you considered passing it to someone else once it clears your tank?>> I read that injecting lemon juice into the pest that you can get rid of it what do you think? <<Mixed opinions on this.  I've used this method with pretty good result, though it works best when they're small.  I've had others tell me it didn't work well for them at all...maybe it's in the delivery.>> I currently have a 55 gallon tank with 3 damsels, 1 green brittle star, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 yellow tang, 2 small colonies of zoos, and plenty of coralline algae.  Any advice on the lemon juice would be great, or should I fork out the $$ for the Nudibranch? <<Give the juice a try first, or maybe one of the commercial remedies.  Regards, Eric R.>>

Aiptasia What do you recommend for removing Aiptasia Anemones from ones tank. I have a reef tank with a lot of Coral. I would like to have something that will not starve once the Aiptasia is gone. <if you have a serious infection of Aiptasia... complete eradication is not likely without treating the symptom that caused them to grow: messy or overfeeding. In nutrient scrubbed tanks Aiptasia do not reproduce at all...literally. Many aquarists will have a rock say with 3 Aiptasia on it and then 2 years later... maybe have four. Most aquarists (myself included) can be too generous at times or have fish that feed messily that allow the Aiptasia to flourish. Still... solution: a Copperband (Indo caught) or a Raccoon butterfly (Hawaii preferably) that is first kept and trained in a proper QT tank for 4 weeks first being fed Aiptasia covered rocks. Does the trick most every time. The copperband is safer with corals. There is no guarantee. If you need a guarantee... eradicate by hand and then resume aggressive nutrient control (dual skimming, reduced feeding, etc)> Thanks, Nick <best regards, Anthony>

"Rock Anemones" Hey crew, <cheers> While on a critter catching outing to Galveston, TX, we brought home what a friend pointed out to us as "rock anemones". They were gathered in good numbers at the shore, firmly attached to the boulders, and frequently emerged/ submersed from the tide.  <Epicystis crucifer: somewhat hardy in aquariums but easily damaged in collection (tears quickly become infected in aquariums).> They are roughly 2 inches in diameter when fully extruded from their orange/mottled foot. The tentacles range from bluish to very light greenish, mostly falling into a pink coloration.  <many color variations in this species.> My questions are, what is their scientific and common name and what care is recommended in captivity.  <I rarely recommend anemones for aquariums... this is however a more durable species relatively speaking. Needs moderate to bright light and feeding 3-5 times weekly if not daily. Without enough light or food they will hang in for a year or two before dying of slow attrition> We've kept them for over six months now, and they seem to be doing just fine with little feeding and low light.  <they are starving... it just isn't apparent (like most cnidarians)... but I assure you that it IS starving to death> Also, we observed them excreting what looked like gas into the water. It would slowly rise up from their "mouth" and then seemingly disappear. Was this just waste removal?  <quite possibly> We have only witnessed it a few times, mostly all in one week.  <with so little light and feeding I wouldn't expect much weekly excretion> We really enjoy them and would like to continue to keep them healthy, so any info is much appreciated. Thank you very much for your time, Daniel <best regards, Anthony>

Pest Anemone Dear Bob, <Steven Pro now. Bob is off to Cozumel.> I hope everything is going OK with you. I looked at the site where you directed me and found that they were indeed not Aiptasia. I think they are the anemone Majano. I have quite an outbreak of them. What do you think would be the best way to control them? <We have an extensive archive of information on their eradication. Go to this link, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm, and you can read the related blue linked files on the various ways to eliminate Aiptasia.> I already have a yellow tang, blue hippo tang, Kole tang, percula clown, 6line wrasse, Banggai cardinal, royal Gramma, 3 cleaner shrimp, and 6 green Chromis in a 180 gallon tank. I tried injecting them today and scraping off the ones I could but not with much luck. <The scraping just spreads them.> The elegance coral and bubble coral did not do so well afterwards. I put the ocean clear filter with charcoal and also put a poly filter to help with the water. I think the anemone put off something that they did not like. I will do a change in the morning. I am going to try to get the water in better condition with less feeding and more water changes. <This will definitely help.> Would a raccoon butterfly be the best fish for this and do I need to get rid of some of the other fish in order to avoid overcrowding. <No, you should have enough room if that is what you decide to use.> Thanks a lot. Robert McNinch <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Pest Anemone Dear Steven, I was reading up on the Aiptasia problem and was wondering what you thought of the injecting with vinegar solution? <Similar to the injecting with Kalkwasser solution, both can work but are tedious.> Do you think this would be okay a little at a time? <Sure> Thanks, Robert McNinch <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Aww Mom...Can't I KEEP him? (Aiptasia, reef stocking) <<Greetings, Wesley...>> I've got my 48 gallon bow tank up and cycled with 60 pounds of live rock. I added a couple of PJ Cardinals. Now I'm having so much fun watching all the life on the live rock I'm wondering if I should even add anymore fish. Would I be weird? :-D. <<Only if you covered the inside of your windows with tin foil and wore a colander on your head.>> I have one little glass anemone, well, he WAS little. I was going to get a few peppermint shrimp and go into the shrimpin' bidness to control the pest anemones but heck, they are cool. <<Well... cool for a little while, these have a nasty habit of spreading to the exclusion of just about everything else.>> I've got a whole bunch of things that I believe some might consider pests, like a very nice clump of turtle weed, but personally life is life to me and some of these so called pests are really beautiful. Anyway, I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure, right? <<That's what they say...>> What I'm aiming for is to have FOWLR and a decent clean up crew that wont harm all the little feather dusters and worms and macro algae that came with my rock. I've got a small micro algae bloom that is manageable so far with scraping but it would be nice to have it done "for" me. I think I have decided to go with snails and leave out the crabs. <<It'll never happen to that extent... you will always need to boost the natural process.>> I had some nice Mithrax in the past but they do end up eating whatever they feel like eating. <<That's a crab for you.>> Are there specific snails that will help me control the microalgae but leave the rest alone? <<The usual suspects will work fine.>> How about somebody to sift the sand? <<Perhaps some Nassarius snails... these work really well.>> I shy away from cucumbers because they just haven't survived for me. <<good plan>> Anyhow, thanks for listening and thanks as always for your help. Wesley <<Cheers, J -- >>

Aiptasia spreading out into the living room Hi Bob, <Actually Steven this morning. Anthony and I are out in CA spending our last few hours inside answering queries.> Cavan here. I met you at the PMAS meeting. The Aiptasia in my tank are spreading and growing quickly. The peppermint shrimp isn't working. Neither is hitting them with Kalk paste (they survive). <No quick fixes available. All methods require time and persistence.> I still have some Stop Aiptasia left. You said I can dose the whole tank at once. I can't possibly get them all individually. It won't hurt other inverts? <There is a good chance your Sinularia and Mushrooms would not like it.> How much to add? <As always, follow the manufacturer's directions.> I noticed on the bottle last night that it said that it should be refrigerated after opening. Mine never had. Is that ok? <Best to contact their customer support regarding, but my inclination is it has gone bad.> Despite numerous large water changes, nitrates are still about 12. <You are merely diluting the nitrates. Do the math. A 50% water change in a tank with 40 ppm nitrate will yield 20 ppm nitrate assuming zero nitrate in the source water. And, all the time more nitrates are being produced.> Nothing else seems to be working. I have plenty of patience for my freshwater tank but this is driving me nuts. That and the hair algae. Thanks, Cavan <All things in time. You acquired a tank with a lot of problems. It will take sometime to correct, but remember it was free. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia & other mysteries Anthony, (or, of course, anyone who feels like responding) <cheers Pat> Been a while since I've written, but no news has been very good news. Been plodding along in my quest to convert to reef. Thus far, (in a 150gal) I am up to about 100lbs of live rock (how much is enough in Berlin?).  <no hard or fast rule... really depends on your bio-load and dependency or desire for it to be sole filtration (good). 1 to 2 lbs per gallon is a ballpark> I still have my wet-dry inline before a 50gal sump with a t-1000 skimmer in it because I am not fully convinced it is useless yet, or more like I am too chicken to remove it. Now, to the educational portion of our program. I have a few questions.....I have about 130 (& counting) Aiptasia anemones that have been slowly taking over.  < a sign hat you have been good about not overfeeding the tank... it can continue to be so> Some are up to about 3-4 inches in length. Last night I added 4 peppermint shrimp to combat these, though if I had to guess, this is not going to be quick!  <the large anemones will be untouched by the shrimp if they are so inclined to feed on them. Take one anemone and slash it terribly with a razor blade to see if shrimp are attracted to it.> There are some anemones in there that look like they'd make a quick lunch of these shrimpy shrimps.  <in fact they could... the anemones will have to be sliced small but try only one first.. else you will propagate the Aiptasia!> Any thoughts on my course of action so far?  <little or nothing if you don't mind the status quo. The only people that complain about plagues of these anemones are folks that have too much particulate food in suspension (messy fish, overfeeding, poor skimming, etc)> Also, while I know you guys call them the "scourge of the captive sea", I kind of like them. They look natural and cool.  <some people have used them as efficient living filters for their efficiency at scrubbing water clean> Other than their tendency to take over the world, if there numbers are kept in check, are there any other reasons not to keep a few around? <kept in check, no problem... but they are very aggressive and can sting and kill most coral> Next. I have not taken the lighting plunge yet, as I am building slowly into reefdom, and I am looking for direction as to what's next. Thus far, I am having great luck with inverts. With a kick$ss looking seascape (can you tell I am a little proud of my rock pile?) to play on,  <don't be modest... tell us how you really feel> I currently have...2 sally lightfoot crabs, 4 emerald crabs, 100 blue hermits  <the above crabs are cute and fun and generally reef safe... but not guaranteed. Especially the sally light foots. Fair warning> (small) 40 assorted snails, 3 serpent stars, 2 misc. stars, 1 brittle, 1 cowry, 1 sm purple lobster (who I have only seen twice in 5 weeks), 1 sm cowfish, 1 goby, 1 sm puffer,  <for that matter... the miscellaneous stars and cowry may very well nibble on other soft inverts... the lobster is likely and the cowfish and puffer are guaranteed to. And please don't get me started on the cowfish...heehee. Seriously not an appropriate fish for captivity. 2-3 foot long as an adult... unless we plan for it to die prematurely> 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 fire shrimp, 4 peppermint shrimp and a partridge in a pear tree. Wow, this seems like a lot but doesn't really look it. Frankly, I only get to view about 30% of this at any one viewing with so many places to hide. How is my bioload? Am I near capacity? <the load is already pretty heavy without the (assumedly) baby cowfish. The cow skews all the numbers... to plan room for its growth in even the 2-3 year picture... the tank is arguably overstocked> Also, feeding. Using as a standard of measure, one of those cubes that come pre-portioned in those products like Prime Reef or Formula One, How many cubes per day is safe-unsafe? Typically, I will use 2-3 cubes per day (or the equivalent amount in Mysis shrimp) Is this too much or not enough? <very hard to say sight unseen... but sounds very light to me. Feed well, but skim aggressively and do regular partial water changes (small weekly being better than large monthly> Finally, what now. I really like my environment and enjoy the inverts. Corals never really moved me.  <indeed... to many of your tank inhabitants are not coral safe> With the low lighting I have now (2 4' tubes of 50/50) my coralline algae is growing in abundance and the water has never been clearer. <excellent> Perhaps you could suggest a direction to move in, some equipment or environmental advice maybe?  <remove the cowfish and enjoy a tank of small to medium sized active fishes like wrasses and Heniochus. Likely either can be kept by you in pleasant shoaling harem. For starters> Or even if my weak lighting situation is adequate, perhaps a suggestion of some other species that would thrive under these conditions? <do avoid polyps/corals... focus on fishes that will be more compatible and enliven the tank. Take a spin through the website or an atlas and make a short list of fishes that suit you. I would be delighted to help you pick from there :) > Thanks a bunch my briny friends. Your friend from CT,-Pat <Salty and sincerely... briny Antoine>

Aiptasia Greetings Bob. <Steven Pro in right now.> I have a couple of Aiptasia near some xenia in my reef tank. I am pretty sure that the Aiptasia is burning my xenia as it is not opening as it should. <Agreed> Actually, it is cowering away from the Aiptasia. Do you have a reef-safe recommendation that would help exhaust this Aiptasia while being gentle to the xenia? Would the Kalkwasser trick hurt the xenia? I am eagerly waiting your reply. Thank you in advance. <There are a whole lot of recommendations here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Please experiment with the different methods. All will work to an extent. All have there pluses and minuses. -Steven Pro>

Glass Anemones hi hope I'm not being too cheeky by asking your advice on which is the best way to get rid of glass anemones I know I can use the copperband but I don't want it eating my corals is there any other fish I can use to get rid of them ?yours hopefully, Mr. Henry <hmmm... indeed a tough question to answer definitively. A general keyword search on any search engine, or like search on any message board, will reveal numerous strategies for controlling these pest animals from mechanical means (injecting with various solutions, lacerating (bad idea!!!)), shading, etc), to chemical additives (also not recommended for fear of harm to other cnidarians in the display like coral) to natural predators (Copperband Butterflies, peppermint shrimp, Berghia nudibranchs). All such remedies are treating the symptom and not the problem. Aiptasia do not grow from thin air any more than a coral or fish does. They are heavily dependant organismal feeders. They thrive when there is enough food (overfed tank, messy feeding fish, poorly functioning skimmer/filters, etc) and they remain at a standstill in strictly controlled tanks. Do review the FAQs in the archives on this site... a lot of information to be had here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Aiptasia anemones: Hey Folks: <whassssup? Anthony Calfo in your service> I went to the forum and to the FAQs and I am still a little confused about what to do here. I have a few Glass anemones showing up in my tank. OOOOPS It was my fault as I acquired the hitchhiker on a rock I purchased at the LFS.  <no big deal...every tank has them...its overfeeding or a little neglect that grows them...relax> Couldn't resist the rock even though I could see the critter thought I could just scrub it off under cold water with a toothbrush. This has been quite a while ago. Now it seems I simply spread colonies of this critter around like peanut butter on toast.  <exactly> I keep a couple of the colonies at bay with the elegance but I do have a few others popping up here and there. <examine your feeding routine... excess food will grow them quickly as will a skimmer that doesn't produce daily. Its all about nutrients> Here is the restrictions to solving my problems: 1. If I try the peppermint shrimp I am afraid I will be just handing a buffet to the flame hawk and purple tang. <definitely hawk food> 2. If I try the red legged hermit I figure my starfish will be in more danger than the glass anemones. <little help or harm> 3. If I try the copperband or other fish predators for this I will simply be feeding them all my xenias or other polyps. <nope, but you will starve a copperband to death> 4. If I try the nudibranch I will have no way to move it to another tank to keep it fed and those are not available in my location. <you don't have enough Aiptasia> 5. I'm not into the injections, from past history I would screw that up BIG. <I'll take your word> 6. I have tried tweezers and siphon either I am not good at it or them sucker are on the rocks to good. Any help or ideas would greatly be appreciated. I have been watching this site come together and grow since Bob was answering my question thru FFE. LOVE IT!!!! It really looks great. Ya have done a great job with it. And thanks for all ya have done. Kevin Johnson, Clownfish2002 <thank you for saying so! Agreed. As far as the Aiptasia, they can usually be kept at bay with a tank that has low nutrients. Just skim well, feed small frequent feedings that do not allow scrapes to blow around and give it some time. Six months from now, your tank is not likely to have many more than now if your nutrient export processes are in line. Relax and Enjoy. Kindly, Anthony>

Red legged hermits to control Aiptasia Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> On the WetWeb site, you discuss Aiptasia control. One method was "red legged hermits" (Dardanus megistos sp???).  <More often called the "White Spot Hermit, but the scientific name is correct and all that matters> You were kind enough to answer my previous question. One more if I may. Can't seem to find anybody that has used them.  <they are not guaranteed to even eat Aiptasia, although it may be true. The information is purely anecdotal at this time> LFS can't give me any information on that type of hermit. Do you know of any place to get these guys? Is there a common name I could use?  <yes, above... the "White Spot Hermit" from the Indo-Pacific... and don't expect to find them anytime soon... not often collected because the landed price wholesale is ten times what a similar hermit from the Atlantic costs here in the States> I have a 125 FOWLR and a DSB with lots of in-fauna up for about 9 months. Just got my first Aiptasia on a new piece of rock. (Came out after a couple of weeks). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Jeff <Jeff... relax, my friend. Aiptasia are only a problem in tanks with nutrient export problems (although many aquarists struggle with this). In well run tanks, they do NOT spread or populate. They do NOT grow from thin air (or water, as it were). They need nutrients. So... skim aggressively, do regular water changes, do not overstock or overfeed, be careful about what you import into the tank (nutrients through poor quality tap water, not thawing frozen food and discarding pack juice (DO strain frozen meats), etc). It really is an overblown issue. Like many aquarists I have had aquariums that had an Aiptasia that took more than a year before executing a single act of transverse fission! But I am also a maniac about skimmers and nutrient control. If you find the need for control later, since this is not a ref tank, it will be easy for you to find a compatible fish that eats them. Do apprise us of you inventory of tankmates if and when that time comes. Best regards, Anthony>
Red legged hermits to control Aiptasia (Steve's turn)
Dear Bob, <Steven Pro at your service this fine night.> On the WetWeb site, you discuss Aiptasia control. One method was "red legged hermits" (Dardanus Megistos sp???). You were kind enough to answer my previous question. One more if I may. Can't seem to find anybody that has used them. LFS can't give me any information on that type of hermit. Do you know of any place to get these guys? Is there a common name I could use? I have a 125 FOWLR and a DSB with lots of in-fauna up for about 9 months. Just got my first Aiptasia on a new piece of rock. (Came out after a couple of weeks). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Jeff <I would not worry about obtaining biological predators for just one Aiptasia. I have used a simple method of mixing up some Kalkwasser water and slowly squirting it onto the Aiptasia. It does not work all of the time, but with only one anemone I would give it a try first. It is easy to repeat/redose a few times before it is eradicated. There are also suggestions for use of vinegar and hypo/hyper salinity injections. -Steven Pro>

Hey (hey yourself, Aiptasia) thanks for the info!! now my big question is for a 90g reef what do I do with about 100 little glass anenomes?? I tried 3 big peppermint shrimp and I'm gonna try a Copperband butterfly !! I know this won't work so what are my other choices??  <Please read about Aiptasia, their control on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> please help Miguel

Re: Aiptasia control Thanks for your prompt response. I'll try removing the mystery crab and see what happens. As far as putting him in the sump, that's not possible, as there is no sump. I did not purchase a reef ready tank but rather your basic aquarium. As I mentioned, I have been using the hang on power filter for additives. I thought that I could make up for the lack of the overflows by using the overflow/prefilter that is sold as an accessory on the Remora skimmer. However, when I put this fixture on, all skimming seems to cease, so I took it off. What happens though is that I get a translucent coating that gathers at the top of the tank, and which I manually skim off on an infrequent basis. Would it be worth getting an exterior siphon overflow? With the room in the stand I might be able to fit a 5 gallon tank. Your thoughts are appreciated. <I am not a big fan of these siphon overflows and if all you can fit is a five gallon tanks, it is definitely not worth the hassle. Put the crab in your quarantine tank or if you do not have one (shame on you), you could put him in one of those plastic boxes for baby fish. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia control I have read your articles in Wet Web Media regarding the control of Aiptasia, but still request your consideration of my particular situation. The Aiptasia in my tank are beginning to increase markedly. I have an 80 gallon tank, with approximately 100 lbs of assorted Fiji and Marshall island live rock. I started the tank approximately 8 months ago, with some of the stock of animals and live rock coming from a 30 gallon reef tank which I had prior. Circulation is from three MaxiJet 600 powerheads. Filtration is a Remora protein skimmer. A Penguin 330 power filter is hung on the back which I use mainly to introduce additives, though I keep one of two standard filtration units in place. Currently I have four 65 watt 'SmartLamp' power compacts for lighting, however, on the way as I write, is a Hamilton 175 watt dual lamp Metal Halide fixture that will have 10,000K German bulbs. I intend to keep two of the power compacts in addition to the metal halides. Ph is steady at approximately 8.3. Calcium levels are maintained at 350-400 mg with Seachem Reef Complete and Reef Calcium. Alkalinity has been low, and I must admit that until now I have not done a good job of monitoring it. This will change immediately. It is my intent to use SeaChem Reef Builder to help maintain Carbonate Alkalinity. Temperature is 79 degrees. Evaporation is replaced daily with RO water and a 10% water change is done monthly. Additionally I add Reef Plus twice weekly and Reef Iodide on a weekly basis. The following fish are in the tank: 1 Purple Tang 2 Percula Clowns 1 Firefish It would be my preference not to add any more fish stock Invertebrates 1 Emerald Crab About 15-18 various hermit crabs 1 unidentified black crab slightly bigger then the emerald Numerous snails Corals Pineapple coral - doing great Cup coral - doing great brain coral - not doing great Bubble Coral - not doing great Finger leather - not doing great and unable to attach to anything in the tank!! <You should stitch or tie this leather coral one to a piece of rock.> When I had my original 30 gallon reef tank, and Aiptasia became a problem, I added a couple of peppermint shrimp, and the problem went away. Unfortunately, when I converted over to the 80 gallon tank, the shrimp disappeared. I bought two more, and they disappeared also. I blamed this on a green brittle star that I had added, which was oversize for the tank anyway, so I returned the star to my LFS. Bought two more peppermints, and these disappeared within a few days! At this point, the only culprit I can see is the Purple Tang. Your thoughts. <I highly doubt it is the Tang. Very out of character for these herbivores.> I have considered adding a copperband butterfly, however I love my microfauna and am loathe to sacrifice my tube worms and various 'pods'. I have only found one source for Berghia, and at $25 a pop, they are pricier than I would like. <I agree with not adding the Copperband or the Berghia. The Butterflyfish will probably be hassled relentlessly by the Tang and the Berghia seem to disappear for many people.> I have been thus relegated to applying 'Stop Aiptasia' which kills some, will never kill all, and forces me to introduce chemicals into my tank which I would prefer remained outside! <I, too, would prefer you leave out the chemicals.> Is it possible that my Purple Tang is the shrimp eater? Any other suggestions? <My best guess is one or several of your inverts. Highest on my list would be the mystery black crab, various hermit crabs (hairy legged guys are suspect, in general), or the emerald crab. Remove some of all of these guys to your sump and/or quarantine tank and try the Peppermint shrimp again. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia, Halimeda Hi Bob, How are you? I was doing just fine myself until I found my first Aiptasia Anemone. Them there was three....eight....you get the picture. I've read your posted information through but still need a little help with a predator for my new specimen. The animal I would like is the Peppermint shrimp. You say, as do some of the queries I read that may eat other corals or stinging creatures when the Aiptasia is gone, or even along the way. John H. Tullock says numerous times in his book "Reef Aquariums" that the Peppermint shrimp is a great choice for reef aquariums due to their propensity to spawn. I don't expect to rear any of them, but the plankton would be nice. This seems very appealing to me, but not at the expense of my corals. Do they have any preference in corals once the Aiptasia is gone? I have a Torch, Slipper, Candy cane (2), and Branched Hammer? <Often the Euphylliids are preferred... you can generally see this developing before much damage occurs> From your site I gather you would choose the Berghia Nudibranch. You also suggest removing it once the Aiptasia is gone. How long will it survive after feeding? <For a few weeks after apparently all Aiptasia are no longer apparent... if left in will just "disappear"... die from starvation> The reason I ask this is I wouldn't want to get rid of it too soon only to have the pest return or be rediscovered. On an unrelated topic, how do you feel about calcareous alga such as members from the genus Halimeda. They seem to be readily available and from most accounts are hardy. What would be the potential problems associated with them?  <Competition for biominerals, alkaline reserve mainly> I do successfully keep a few specimens of Caulerpa with no problems in a refugium. I prune them regularly and relocate it to display tank for Tang food. Will my Tang consume the Halimeda? <Not much if it is very calcified... but some likely. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Bob, I wrote to you a while back regarding the clown in my 10g mini-reef. He's fine, as you said he was, and I've now set up the 55g as promised. Problem: I got some LR and it's got a lot of Aiptasia on it. I looked at the site and went ahead and bought 5 red leg hermits and 2 peppermint shrimp- I know this is insufficient for the volume, but I plan to buy more when the tank cycles. So far, they don't seem to be eating the Aiptasia.  <This often takes time... much "reorientation" goes on in moving the LR, the invertebrates mentioned> I also have a horseshoe crab that came with the rock, and some fans, sponges, and a carpet anemone. I don't want to add chemicals that might kill things (and prolong the cycling), but I don't want to add any livestock until the critters are gone- any recommendations? <Let time go by for now... a few months. Bob Fenner> Gerry

Re: Lighting I do have inverts and fish with live rock. I have a lot of anemones that have popped up out of nowhere. What is the best way to get rid of them? <Please read about Aiptasia, pest anemones on WetWebMedia.com> I will change the length of time for the lights. I figured that the Caulerpa Algae in my Eco Sys. would take care of the green algae problem. I do have 2 turbo snails that eat a lot of the green algae. I would get more but I am afraid of them eating all of my Coralline algae off of my live rock. <Bob Fenner>

Quick question... Mr. Fenner, Because of the volume of e-mail you must receive, you most likely will not remember me. However, I sent you an e-mail last week regarding the Aiptasia problem that I was experiencing. They were reproducing like nothing I had ever seen and my frustration was peaking. <I do recall> My 55g saltwater tank is mainly reef oriented, but I have a snowflake eel, coral beauty, lawnmower blenny, shrimp, etc. You said that I may want to take the live rock out for a few days, and to check out your site for ideas. So, for purposes of expediency, I combined your recommendation with that of others on your site. I took the live rock out and covered each piece in sea salt for an hour. Then, I shook the salt off and poured diluted white vinegar on the rocks. Then, I did the most asinine thing: I boiled the rocks for two minutes or so.  <Yeeikes!!! WWIII!> Obviously this transformed my "live" rock into "dead" rock, but I knew that would happen (I was willing to do this because I was so desperate to rid my tank of Aiptasia, I wanted to be "sure" to eliminate them). I figured that since I left several pieces of live rock in the tank (which are beautifully covered in purple coralline algae), the algae would eventually spread to the now "dead" rocks.  <Mmm, in months> After rinsing (and cooling) the rocks that I treated, I replaced them the next day. The water became very cloudy, so I added an external Whisper filter in addition to my protein skimmer. After one day, the water cleared up considerably, but was still somewhat hazy. It has now been four days, and the water has had the same haze for two days now (with no improvement). Ammonia is zero, Ph is perfect. Your knowledge far surpasses mine, so I wanted to know if there are any particular reasons why the water would still be cloudy, and if there is anything I can do about it. Thanks a ton. <Massive die off, changes in nutritive cycles between all else that is live in your system... many organisms living in the water, on/twixt substrate were involved in predator/prey, other relations with what was your live rock... Chemical, physical changes from the new "faces" of the dead rock... Hopefully all will settle in/down in a few weeks. Bob Fenner> -Samuel Sundberg

Glass anemones We have 2 salt tanks. One is already infested with glass anemones we "purchased" along with some live rock. <Free!> The other tank does not have them yet, but I don't have any live rock in that tank yet. Is there any way of adding live rock to the tank and at least lowering the risk of adding glass anemones as well?  <Mmm, yes... in a curing process... taking your time (months)... using known predators of these pesky actinarians... "zapping" them there instead of trying to do this later, in your main systems> It is not a very large tank (25 gal) and I don't have room for many fish. It already has a Scooter Blenny, Percula Clown fish, Camel and Coral Banded shrimp, several red-leg hermits, and an Electric Flame Scallop. Everything gets along fine, and I would like to add some live rock, but I don't want to get glass anemones and have to add something to get rid of them that may injure the scallop. <Your shrimp might "do it"> We live in Indiana, and can't find anyone even somewhat familiar with this subject, and the pet stores are no help. Any tips you could give me on finding "safe" live rock, or removing the anemones before adding the rock to the tank would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time-Heather Goodson <Please do read through the Aiptasia sections and LR on our WWM site... Mmm, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasia.htm and following the links along where you take them. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Thanks Robert for your very informative article about Aiptasia. I have several of these in my tank. I have a mandarin and wonder if mandarin will eat them?  <No... unfortunately there is a chance of exactly the opposite. The Aiptasia can/might eat the Mandarin> If not, then I will get peppermint shrimp. I cannot get nudibranch because I will not have other food available for it. Thanks!!! Christine, the mother of two cowfishes, mandarin, and two mollies <How nice. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Hey Bob, Thanks for the help on my algae problems. I recently did a 20% water change on both tanks. Right now it appears that the hair algae problem I had in my 54 gallon is gone and the red slime problem I had in my 20 gallon sea horse tank should be over soon. I have a new protein skimmer coming to replace the SeaClone on it now so hopefully this will help too. Anyways, a couple of days ago I noticed what I thought was a tube worm in my 20 gallon sea horse tank. Well I now see 2 of them. After searching the internet and observing them I am pretty sure they are Aiptasia. Luckily they are both on a very small (about the size of an orange) piece of live rock. I plan to take the piece out and let it sit in some very watery bleach for a couple of days.  <You might just try scrubbing the spot with an old toothbrush, rinsing in some freshwater (just tap in the sink) and seeing if this does the trick> And then sit it in a bucket of freshwater and treat it with a dechlorinator. Then I will replace the water and let it sit for about 12 hours. If my test for chlorine comes up clear I will put the rock back in my tank. Do you think this is a good way to go about getting rid of this before it becomes a large problem? Since it is such a small piece of rock it should affect my filtration too much right? Thanks for all your help, Jonathan Pac <Do try the simple scrub and rinse routine at this point. Bob Fenner>

Free anemones! <sarcasm, sarcasm> Hello again Bob, Well, when looking for info on how to care for my "cool freebie anemones" I learned all about the interesting... though quite frustrating world of Aiptasia. I learned that I needed to get rid of these guys while trying to research how to take care of them... how ironic :) I picked up a peppermint shrimp from my LFS and he looks exactly like the Lysmata wurdemanni shown on the WWM site... though I have heard that there are others that look very similar but aren't Aiptasia munchers.  <Yes, difficult to discern> He has been hiding in and amongst the rocks... in the FAQ it said that Lysmata wurdemanni act visible and active... but this guy is usually in hiding... I did notice him doing that little side to side bobbing dance thing that you said are typical of wurdemanni? <Yes> slightly confused and wondering if he will end up eating my free loading anemones. BTW one of them is quite large... oral disk about 3/4" across plus another 3/4" tentacles and such... it might not be large in larger tanks... but in my little 12 gallon eclipse he looks huge... will the peppermint shrimp... if that's what it turns out to be... attack this large specimen? <Not as readily as smaller ones...> If you could supply some more info on the little nudibranch that eats Aiptasia it would be appreciated too... there is a little on the site and I thought maybe I would look into that for kicks... or if the peppermint doesn't work out... <Berghia verrucornis? Can be ordered through etailers, folks who advertise in the hobby magazines. Do work> sorry this is so long but I also kind of have a suggestion... while reading through the WWM site I have noticed that a lot of newbies (like me) don't realize that the Aiptasia they have are bad until they read up on trying to take care of them... since these guys are common freeloaders on liverock... which is pretty essential to setting up a reef tank perhaps a little neon warning section on Aiptasia and other reef pests that can be introduced through live rock. maybe a link of some sort to the Aiptasia page. not a bad idea adding one to the coral pages too... since I picked up three of these buggers on my green star polyp rock. <Great ideas... will keep in mind... to make a "Pest Page" with many links on/off site. Bob Fenner> Thanks for everything, Ben (the psycho newbie who started with a twelve gallon eclipse and now has a pretty decent little reef system thanks to Bob and the WWM site ;) <Ah, good. Be chatting>

Aiptasia Hi Bob, As a reward for surviving the cycling process of my 135g FOWLR, I treated myself to neon star polyps and lavender star polyps after dutifully researching first. <I'll have ice-cream on my end> ( I brought live rock up from 50 lbs to 80 lbs just for you! ) The polyps really added a nice touch of color and both pieces were thriving until a week ago when I noticed some cute little frilly things (4 of them) throughout the lavender polyps. So proud of my new addition, I immediately went to WWM to identify my bonus....glass anemone was not what I was hoping for!! Attempt to remove them with tweezers was not successful to say the least but in the course of the past few days, either the peppermint shrimp I have or scarlet hermits have been busy and only one Aiptasia is readily seen ...for now!!! My question is with regard to the fact that the polyps in the immediate area of where the Aiptasia were, no longer open....will they ever come back or is this going to be a constant battle of Aiptasia popping up from same area, hopefully eaten by shrimp and crabs but the polyps themselves never fully flourishing again and larger areas thus affected?  <Probably more of an ongoing predator-prey relationship... with some of both> Also, I decided to hope the natural way of ridding them would work as I was hesitant the brine/vinegar syringe method, regardless of how carefully placed, would damage polyps. Having some fun here...(figures it was the only piece of purple polyps in the state and I found them...Aiptasia and all!!! Thanks for any advice and sympathy!!! Barbara <And thanks to you for your upbeat email. Bob Fenner>

Help? Possible problem (Aiptasia!) I'm just a rookie at saltwater but here goes.  I've noticed that I have a rather sizable number of Aiptasia in my 90 gal  tank.  <You're not alone, believe me> My problem comes with what to do to get rid of them. I have a  Picasso Trigger. I also have 90lbs of live rock. Pulling all that rock out  and isn't really an option, I don't want to kill all the rock so copper  isn't an option, Shrimp or crabs would just make a tasty meal for 'Pablo'  (my trigger). Making up the Kalkwasser stuff, well I'd have to dang near  coat all the rock!?! <Are there that many? Otherwise you can try just directing the material toward the centers of the animals...> Is their any option for me to take to get rid of this  stuff without loosing my trigger or am I dreaming.....  <A few. Take a read through the "Aiptasia" sections on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com and consider the tiny nudibranch predator route... this is the route I would take at this juncture. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help? Possible problem (Aiptasia City)
You asked "Are there that many?". And yes there are at least 1 for every 2 square inches of water. I didn't know they were bad, so I let them spread thinking it was a good thing. OPPS!!!!! <Yeeikes, that's a lot of Aiptasia!> By the way Thanks for the advice <You're welcome my friend. Do set about a plan to reduce the numbers of these pests... too many can present a very stingy proposition to your livestock. Bob Fenner>

Bicolor Angel eats Aiptasia! I will swear on a stack of bibles, I am not lying! My bi-color angelfish is munching on a rock full of glass anemones (Aiptasia), even as we speak. I've never heard or read anything to support this, that's why I'm e-mailing this to you. Have you ever heard or seen this? We kind of thought something was strange because this is the only salt tank in the house that does not have Aiptasia in it, now I think I know why. Let us know what you think! <Lorenzo Gonzalez here responding for Bob, who is around the world in 14 days, and asked me to keep his many internet friends appeased... To your Aiptasia eating angel, I say: LUCKY YOU! TREAT THAT FISH LIKE A KING! (or queen, as the case may be) You could rent that fish out at the local reefkeepers meeting! ;-) -Lorenzo>

Aiptasia Bob--I found this link on the NG tonight. It seems that people are always writing you and complaining that the Aiptasia photos aren't good enough for them to make an ID. You might see about using this one! Hope you have a good weekend. (The LFS called today--my tank is in--will be set up next weekend!) --James D <Thank you for this... will add to all the Aiptasia pages on WWM. Bob Fenner> http://www.reefsource.com/aptasia.htm

Aiptasia I loved your book. Thanks for all your work. My name is Jake Pehrson. I run a web site called www.coralplanet.com. We are stilling getting it finished, but I do a lot of phone sales and local sales. Whenever I setup an aquarium for anyone I give them a copy of your book. Even if I am going to do the aquarium maintenance. Okay here is my question: <Outstanding. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words.> I have a 55 gallon aquarium with 100 pounds of Fiji live rock. The rock is covered with Aiptasia. I have 10 peppermints in the tank and at first they cleaned one rock completely off, but soon after it seemed that they stopped eating the Aiptasia.  <Yes, this happens... as you know.> I have tried butterflies (raccoon and copperband) but have never been able to get one that would eat them. I also killed some by using Kalkwasser and injecting it into them. The Kalkwasser worked good, but there have to be at least 1,500 Aiptasia in this tank. And it would take me a year to get them all without risking a large pH shift. I have removed all the corals from the aquarium and would like to know if there is anything I can do to get rid of them that I have not done. I am sure that you get a lot of these e-mails and I appreciate the help. <Have you tried the nudibranch Berghia verrucornis? This is a real winner with these pests... you can mail-order them through contacts in hobby magazines and the internet generally... or maybe check to see if someone is producing them in your area...> Jake Pehrson www.coralplanet.com <Bob Fenner, who is putting Dendrophylliids on www.WetWebMedia.com today... I knew these thousands of unidentified stony corals pix would be my nemesis someday... yikes!>

Aiptasia=X+1 OK--as I was looking into the tank tonight, I found another one of those on another rock--that looked like the first two photos. The question now is, do I treat both pieces of live rock or go the natural predation method?  <I would do the latter...> There is no way I'll know if they're not already colonizing other rocks, of course. Would they only be in high-light places, since they're probably photosynthetic?  <Likely yes> Perhaps treat both pieces of rock with the freshwater treatment AND add a predator?  <I'd just go the predator route> The third photo I sent showed something on a rock populated with mushroom polyps--so that one can't be done via freshwater treatment. I've noted on the site that there are a few shrimp that might help--provided they're compatible with the other inverts in there--namely 2 cleaner shrimp, two horseshoe crabs, three sally Lightfoots, various corals and two sand stars. I'd rather not add a butterflyfish, except as a last resort. The other question I had was after the treatment (freshwater for a week, air dry for a week, and then freshwater for another week), can I put the live rock back in without doing anything further? <Yes> Perhaps I should put one piece back in at time, one week in between, since it will have to "cycle" again once it's been through this treatment process? <Not necessary> At this point, the problem appears minor, although it can only get worse the longer I wait. . . Thanks once again. Your friend in fish. James Deets <Press on my friend. Bob Fenner>

Questions please reply if possible (ongoing Aiptasia dilemma) hello Mr. Fenner thank you for answering my previous e mail on getting rid of aphasia in my 125 gallon Berlin system reef tank. as far as using a copperband butterfly for one thing I really don't want any more fish, and also my tank is packed with hard and soft corals. some of witch are polyps and such. the copperband among others love to munch these corals down. will more peppermint shrimp work?  <Hmm, most specimens of Chelmon rostrata leave other stinging-celled life be... part of the reason for their popular use in public aquariums where they're regularly circulated about their marine tanks... including ones with plenty of hard and soft corals. But, yes to the Peppermint Shrimp working... and their possibility of nipping, nibbling corals as well... and the difficulty of their removal...> I know they are expensive but for myself not really wanting to add any more fish do you see any other alternative? <A few... have you read over the Aiptasia piece and FAQs stored on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com? You could look for an Acreichthys Filefish...> like I stated in my previous e mail I have tried everything to get rid of these critters and I am starting to get a little discouraged. I really love this hobby and try to learn everything I can. but my once beautiful reef tank is getting the better of me. I don't ever purchase anything that I wont be able to provide proper environment parameters for. I here there are a few nudibranchs that will eat these things ,but as far as nudibranchs go there survival rate in captivity is not good. I am open to any other suggestions to get rid of the Aiptasia in my tank. thank you and take care. ps your website is excellent, and I have read almost everything to date. <Or a couple of the fab Nudibranch predator... read on. And maybe mail-order them... look at the back of the national hobby magazines like FAMA. Bob Fenner>

Glass anemones problem I have a question regarding glass anemones... I have a refugium (10gal) for  my 55gal tank. I got 5lbs of live sand and used that to seed about 10-15  lbs of fine, fine sand (used for sand blasting). anyways with the live sand  I got a load of feather duster babies as well as tons of what seem to be  anemone type creatures sticking to the glass and live rock. I have a m.  doreensis and I was hoping that perhaps it had produced spawn (NOT!), so I'm  assuming that its a lot of glass anemones (barf). here's the problem, I have  a volitans lion that is quite happy but when I closely examined it for any  parasites or sickness (I've had it for under a week) I noticed about three  or four baby anemones stuck to its body and a few on his fins. <Wow... and yow.> I'm sure that  right now this isn't a big deal and when they get bigger it would make sense  that they would abandon the fish for calmer waters but I know that this is  going to drive me crazy knowing that the fish has 'parasites'. the lion and  the anemone are all that's in the tank for now and I really cant seem to  find a 'cleaner' fish/shrimp that will do the job and not get eaten by the  lion. any advice would be helpful. for your info: 55gal main 10gal sump red sea Berlin skimmer non canister filter 20lbs live rock 5lbs live sand thanks, I appreciate your efforts on the web site and your prompt email returns Jon Trowbridge <Would suggest just waiting at this point re the apparent Aiptasia on the Lion... they should fall off in a few days maximum... going forward though... you need to develop an eradication program. Pls see my article type coverage of this group on our site: Home Page , and leave off with crustacean predators... the Lion will eat them for sure. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia eating hermit crab Hi Bob, In a recent article about those lovely Aiptasia anemones you referred to a particular species of hermit crab as eating them. I had read about that in a article about 6 months ago but had taken it as a casual observation. Do you have first hand knowledge of them eating Aiptasia? You listed the species in your article, do you know where they are from? I have a plague of Majuro species ? anemone and would like to try those hermits on them. I would more than greatly appreciate any help. Greg Smith, Aquatic Technology <The White Spot Hermit, Dardanus megistos? Found, collected sporadically throughout the Indo-Pacific... my account is anecdotal...but if there are only tough fishes, other large crustaceans present, I'd give them a go. Do take a look through the treatment of Aiptasia on my site (www.wetwebmedia.com) as well... have a pic of the promising filefish, Acreichthys tomentosus that Julian Sprung has been chatting up for Glass Anemone Control. Good luck. Bob Fenner>

Glass Anenomes Are there any large angelfish (Holocanthus/Pomacanthus) that will eat glass anenomes? I know there are some butterflyfish, but I don't care much for them. <None with any assuredness... have heard reports of some Pomacanthus, Apolemichthys eating them but... Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia I've read that the peppermint shrimp (or Berghia) will eat Aiptasia. I don't suppose that they would distinguish between the bubble tip & the glass anemone? <What? Too many indefinite pronouns... The Shrimp and Nudibranch are able to distinguish between Aiptasia/Glass Anemones and Entacmaea... and won't eat the latter...> Do I assume that if they get bigger than 2 inches, that is how I will know for sure that they are not Aiptasia? Should I be feeding them anything? <Who is "they"? Should you be feeding the Aiptasia? Sure, if you want them to grow, reproduce... maybe take a look at the images, article on this family stored at the site: www.wetwebmedia.com> Thanks again, John <You're welcome, Bob Fenner>

A few questions Bob What a great service you provide to us all. I have a couple questions. We recently had a TOTAL die off in our saltwater tank. It was an 18 gallon tank that had an eclipse hood doing the filtering. The tank had a mated pair of seahorses (they like to mate all the time), mandarin goby, blue cheeked goby and a fire fish, as well as a cleaner shrimp, peppermint shrimp, and clean up crew. This set up was running great for almost 2 years. We bought some new live rock to alleviate a HORRIBLE Aiptasia problem and found out too late, that the store had sold us uncured rock. It was our fault as well as we had no skimmer or sump set up to help combat this sort of tragedy. We woke up one morning and everything was dead (all crustaceans being the exception). We took this as a sign and have since upgraded to a new set up. We have a 30 gallon hex set up with a great skimmer/Biowheel set up and top notch lighting. The crustaceans have all made the move and are currently cycling the new tank for us. We transferred the old water and added new to help with the cycling of the tank. <So sorry to hear of your losses, but bolstered by your resolve to do "better"> Now you know our marine lives here are the questions: 1. Do we need to add a fish to cycle the tank or will the shrimp, crabs, etc do the trick? <No need to add other life, or risk pegging the ammonia, nitrite by even feeding the system till it cycles> 2. We have one beautiful piece of live rock that we transferred from the old tank that is covered in hundreds of tiny feather dusters. This rock is also covered with a large amount of hair algae. What would be the best way to rid this problem and make sure it doesn't spread to the other rocks. <No way possible really... maybe invest in one small Mithrax (Emerald Green) Crab once the system is going... a great filamentous algae eater... it will soon be eaten> 3. Finally, though we got rid of the aphasia ridden live rock, of course, we have just discovered 1 large and about 5 small of these creatures in the new set up. We have a peppermint shrimp and have even blasted them with a product called Aiptasia rid that we bought online, but no avail. They simply move to a different spot. HELP!!! <Take a look at the Aiptasia, Glass Anemone article and FAQs stored at www.wetwebmedia.com for nostrums and possible approaches to eradication> We learned our lesson with the last set up and want to do this one right. Am anxious to start breeding horses again and would like to keep our tank looking beautiful. Thank you so much, Shannon Nelson  <You're very welcome, glad to be here. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia Thanks for your reply. Well, the good anemone is not a Heteractis crispa, but I'll keep looking. Also, what do you think about using ice to cause the good anemone to withdraw from the rock so that I can transplant it to another rock in order to cure the rock it is currently attached to (whew, did you get all that)? You suggested using the butterfly technique to rid my rock of the pesky Aiptasia, however, the unknown good anemone is currently co-occupying the same live rock as a crop of Glass anemone and the butterfly will surely destroy both. Or would it be better to carefully scalpel or razor blade the good anemone free from the substrate. Then I can either cure the remainder of the rock or use the butterfly technique. Thanks for your time again. >> Hmmm, well, my next best advice (and this should really work!) is to "break off" the piece of rock with the "good" anemone on it... And another approach to munching the Aiptasia... to use Lysmata wurdemanni Shrimps...  called Peppermint Shrimp... unless they will get munched themselves in too short an order... leave the good anemone out till whoever, Mr. Lunula or Chelmon Butterfly, or "The Hungry Shrimps that Ate Detroit" are done... a good month after no more Aiptasia are evident. Don't use an ice cube, credit card, scalpel, thumbnail....  Bob Fenner

Unknown Polyps... now known After seeing a recent reply to a question about unknown polyps madly multiplying in one's tank, I did some research and found that I do indeed have Aiptasia (glass anemone) proliferating my tank. I recently moved and knew that my 25 gal. tank would not be re-set up immediately. I moved my live rock to my brother-in-law's tank until later. We returned the rock to my tank with a beautiful new anemone with retracting tentacles and a very prominent mouth structure with opposing jaws and teeth. The tentacles are long and tapered when stretched out and appear nearly clear with opaque white markings and a white tip. When food sticks to the tentacles they retract individually to the mouth structure. I have been unable to find this species anywhere on Ffexpress or elsewhere. I have also found another small similar anemone elsewhere on the same rock. Any ideas?? Back to the Aiptasia (Glass anemone). After reading your response and subsequent research I now fear the danger posed to this beautiful anemone. Injection of hot, salt saturated water has appeared to be successful in the elimination of a very few test subjects, but my concern grows for the resulting nitrate spike that may occur or salinity difficulties. The salinity before injection was running excellent. The Aiptasia have gotten out of hand and are now into the "uncountable" category. Naively I was excited about the exponential growth. Needed to have found your site sooner. Any suggestions or helpful hints? I am open to the injection of hot liquid calcium also. I have also heard of butterflies eating the Aiptasia, but I'm concerned about the other anemone and my snail community. Thanks in advance. <Hmmm, (gritting of teeth, chewing of lip...) well, the one "desirable" anemone you have sounds like a variety of Heteractis crispa... with the tapering tentacles... but it could be one of many other species. The books by Baensch called the Marine Atlases vol.s 2,3... would be where I'd next send you to look for similar pix... but many anemones do look quite different when young to adult size... And, yes there are a few approaches to Glass Anemone control... Would like to (actually know better, and have to) state that the hot this and that, and other toxic chemical treatments are dangerous. To your system and you... I would really like to have you take out the favored anemone... on whatever it's attached to, and try the Auriga butterfly trick... Will hopefully soon (before next trip) get my version of what's to do with these pesky Aiptasia in print and on my site for all to purview... so a more complete "answer" will be available. Bob Fenner>

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: