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FAQs on Controlling Aiptasia Anemones With & About Berghia Nudibranchs

Related FAQs: Aiptasia 1, Aiptasia 2, Aiptasia 3, Nudibranchs, Nudibranch Identification, Nudibranch Behavior, Nudibranch Compatibility, Nudibranch Selection, Nudibranch Systems, Nudibranch Feeding, Nudibranch Disease, Nudibranch Reproduction, Aiptasia Identification, Other Pest Anemones, Eradication by: Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfishes, Filefishes, Chemical/Physical Injection, Hypo/Hyper-Salinity,  

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

A Glass Anemone, very specialized food of Berghia.

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Berghia Nudibranch, culture, hlth.        9/21/18
Hello there.
I was hoping you would be able to help me with a problem with Berghia Nudibranch.
<I'll certainly try. Though I have not cultured this Aeolid myself, I have seen and talked w/ folks who have, some with commercial success>
I have started the process of trying to breed them several months ago. I spent 3 months on the Aiptasia to get it right. and. now have high producing Aiptasia cultures. But the Berghia is driving me mad and from. what i have read they are meant to be the easy part.
<Mmm; not that easy>
I set up a under sand filtration system. as described by Dene banger. And the adults have done well in there laying egg strands daily. The egg strands just never materialised into babies. After some 2 months I realised I was never going to see them. and did some. research as to why. From what I read I thought it might be because I was feeding the adults Aiptasia that was too big. And so I set up 3 separate 750ml jars and put one with big Aiptasia. One with big Aiptasia with the heads cut off and one with baby Aiptasia. And after a month there is still nothing. I have also left some babies in one of the modular filtered systems. with baby Aiptasia but it is just one week in so not enough time to tell if it's working.
<Stop here... modular filtered systems? I am wondering if the issue about the issue (ha!) here is centered on water quality. I would take extra care to use water that is well-used for your culture vessels, beakers... Siphon water from the Aiptasia system perhaps for this use>
Do you know where I am going wrong here as it's driving me mad. The adults are surviving in there but the babies not. And even in separate ones in. seeing nothing.
I'm willing to pay or donate for someone to spend some time helping me. out or looking at my system to check for problems or make recommendations.
Please help!
<Please provide basic test results information on the water in use.
Oh! And review Anthony Calfo's pc. on WWM re their culture: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Berghia Nudibranch       9/21/18

<Hello Imogen>
Thank you for your quick reply it is greatly appreciated
<Certainly welcome>
So the modular systems are basically a container with a sand bottom that filters water through the sand into. another container and the water is. then extracted to a sump and sent back. The adults have survived well in it and the water quality is very good. Nitrates are below 5 ppm and no traceable ammonia or nitrites. Ph and salinity is also in the right range. The 3 breakers I set up are separate to this system and are just in a container with water that is heated to 24 degrees. I have done water changes every couple of days on the jars.
<Again; I'd be using the used water... from the system culturing the Aiptasia or another established tank. Young marines are very sensitive to many water issues.>
When setting up the 3 breakers I used water that had been mixed 24 hours previously, maybe it would have been a good idea to have used mature water.
<Yes; this IS the avenue I would take... use as standard operating procedure>
Do you know what sized Aiptasia I should be putting in the containers with the babies?
<I'd try some small specimens cut up, diced if you will, with a single edge razor blade>
I have read that piece by Anthony Calfo probably 20 times along with every forum with a question regarding Berghia and every other piece written by an author that I could find. I really want to figure this out
<Ah, me too. Bob Fenner>
Re: Berghia Nudibranch      9/22/18

Thank you for the advice I will be trying that this weekend. It's nice to
get another take on things.
Out of interest do you know how the commercial set ups you have seen would
raise the eggs into adults?
<Cups; Red Solo to Dixie for Nudis; kiddie pools to friends' tanks for food anemones... works! Bob Fenner>
Re: Berghia Nudibranch      9/22/18

Thank you. It is much appreciated
<Welcome Imo. B>

Berghias - am I in an infinite Aiptasia loop?      6/19/18
Hi all,
<Hey Marcos>
I have a huge infestation of Aiptasia (by the thousands perhaps?) in my 250L tank, and decided to try the Berghias as all the other solutions didn't work (manually removing or killing the Aiptasia with shots of
anything is absolutely impossible at this point). I added 4 of them around mid-February, and for a while I thought they had just died, but recently I have been spotting lots of them, even with the lights on, also I've seen at least about 4 or 5 of these "egg spirals" as well in the last 2 weeks only, and I see the Berghias in a lot of different sizes (smallest being around 2-3 mm and the biggest being around 3cm,
not sure if they'll get bigger), the population probably is over 30 of these if not more so far, I saw about
15 of them in daylight once and who knows how many are still hidden in the small orifices in the rocks or dead snail shells. It seems that they are probably eating very well, as they are reproducing relatively faster than I was expecting, but there are no actual visible signs of the Aiptasia population to be reducing, mostly the big ones, it probably is reducing but in a very slow rate so far (I think the Aiptasia at the bottom seem to be disappearing faster, maybe 10% are gone but those on the rocks are still there). I have some really huge Aiptasia (4cm or so or more) and even the biggest Berghias are a bit small compared to these. My Berghias aren't getting brown-ish as well (although they do have these darker spikes when they're past 1cm or so), which makes me think that they aren't overfeeding or something. They also seem to work in teams, I rarely see a single Berghia attacking a single Aiptasia but I've seen 4 or 5 Berghias around one once.
My question is... can the Berghias prefer to eat all the smallest Aiptasia first, leaving the big ones for later (if needed)
as they are probably harder to be eaten and can this make me to be stuck in a loop forever as the big Aiptasia aren't being eaten but at the same time these are also releasing new baby Aiptasia which is what the Berghias are actually eating, so the big Aiptasia will probably never disappear but will keep
making babies and just the baby Aiptasia are enough for keeping all my Berghias alive and thriving?
<Time will tell. I suspect the Nudis will get ahead of the curve at some point. I would bolster their efforts w/ Butterflyfish, Filefish addition/s>
Could this be just temporary, and as soon as the Berghias population really explodes in a couple more months (say, when they reach hundreds of them) they will eat most or all of the baby Aiptasia fast enough and will have to attack the big ones?
<I do think so; yes>
I'm not planning to add any other Aiptasia predator to make things go faster, I'll try to just let the Berghias do their job but it seems it will take a long time. Peppermint shrimps never worked fine here, and a
Copperband might be complicated to keep later when the Aiptasia are gone, the Berghias is just easier to keep.
<Thank you for sharing. One possible avenue to consider... selling the excess Berghia (over the Net, to stores, fellow hobbyists in clubs); and using the proceeds to replace all hard substrates, bleach, rinse, air dry the present and use as base. Bob Fenner>

Berghia; culture     9/26/17
Dear Anthony Calfo
<Unfortunately, Anthony is no longer associated w/ WWM. I tried to find a good site, email address to refer you (he used to run ReadingTrees.com), but no success>
I recently read your article in reefkeeping on aquarium culture of the Aeolid Nudibranch Berghia. In culturing methods, you mentioned the individual glass beaker/plastic container. I was wondering if you are familiar with Dene Banger's book Breeding Berghia Nudibranchs The best kept secret April 4, 2011?
If so, have you had any success with his recirculating system for breeding Nudibranchs?
Aquarium environments
<I have not read this work, but have seen three operations for raising this Nudibranch; two static (cups) and one recirculating. All were successful.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Berghia; culture    10/1/17

Bob-thanks for the feedback. I was wondering where you saw the recirculating system for the Berghia?
<Oh... was about twenty years back. I believe in N. Carolina... a club tour/visit at a residence>
I ordered the book anyway...Is it possible that the recirculating system that you saw was based on this book?
<Don't know... as haven't read the book; but the observed system predates it. I recall kiddie wading pools and "dirty" water being used to culture food-Glass Anemones; that's about all.>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Berghia Nudibranch question    10/4/16
Hi Crew, you guys have been very helpful in the past, and I'm coming at you with another question.
I have a question about Berghias, I have a bunch of them in my aquarium, and as all the visible Aiptasia in my aquarium has been eradicated I decided to catch a few and sell them.
I caught them a day and a half ago and placed 14 of them inside a container, like a Tupperware, about 5 inches tall, 3 inches wide and 4 inches thick. I left this Tupperware inside my aquarium, as my system is sumpless so I had to just keep the container in the corner of my display. I caught them at 3am, and 24 hours later, I checked at 3 am again and they were still running around. 12 hours later (at 3pm) I looked and they were all seemingly dead.
<Ah, yes>
Any ideas what caused them to die?

<Just changes to the water in the floating Tupperware likely. There is not much dissolved oxygen in seawater... 7-8 parts per million... w/o surface
disruption easy to drop too low over this period of time; along w/ other detrimental changes that happen in small volumes of stagnant water. In future, I'd place these small Nudibranchs in a floating or hang on the side "breeding net" or such>
I don't think they would starve so quickly. Would they run out of oxygen in only 36 hours inside the container?
<Ah yes>
This seems to be the only explanation I can come up with, but the person who breeds them locally said that they will most likely starve before they run out of oxygen in a container.
<I met and saw a fellow's operation one time raising these... in small Styrofoam cups... but they just kept pairs and did change out the few ounces of water daily>
I doubt they starved because some of them were even brown when I caught them, meaning that they had eaten within the past 24 hours, therefore leading me to believe it might be the oxygen (which seems to be the only rational explanation). The local breeder did add, that they can be tricky little beasts, and have known to periodically die unknowingly.
<Agreed; not starvation>
Any thoughts/insight is much appreciated, as I want to try and catch a few more so hoping that this will not happen again. Although I have made a point to guarantee their sale first, and then make sure the buyer shows up asap from now on, so as to not keep them inside a container for longer than 12 hours.
<I concur here as well>
I appreciate your time, enjoy your day,
<Thank you; Bob Fenner>

Quick question about Aiptasia problem. Lions eating Berghia?    7/30/14
Hello, I've been in a huge search for days for the cure of my infestation of Aiptasia. I have had the tank for over 8 years, but these for about a year of that. Been keeping them under control, but would like a constant non chemical approach and I am starting to add corals to my tank so I want to get rid of them so they don't harm anything new. I read that the Berghia Nudibranch eats them, and I am very interested in getting them. Which stems my question. I have a dwarf lionfish. It is on frozen/ freeze dried foods, and I have snails and crabs in my tank that it doesn't bother at all. But I don't want to get these little guys to just have them be food.
<Doubtful... Nudibranchs, most sea slugs are unpalatable... one mechanism for avoiding predation is to taste bad>
The lionfish is the reason I haven't tried peppermint shrimp for the problem, even though I read those aren't a guaranteed solution. Would you happen to know the answer to this question? I appreciate any help :)
Jessie (Dayton Ohio)
<Bob Fenner, St. Thomas, USVI>
Re: Quick question about Aiptasia problem   7/31/14

thank you very much!
<Welcome. BobF>

Berghia Nudibranch Question     1/5/13
Hi Oh Mighty Wet Web Experts,
I purchased 6 Berghia Nudibranchs, and against my better instincts followed the sellers instructions to release them into my main tank to do their work.
I had told them that I had a very large population of copepods, as well as bristle worms. They ate some of the Aiptasia,
<Really? Interesting>
 but lived out their somewhat short lives and disappeared without any of their off spring making it. I have now purchased 10 more from a different source and am raising them in a 10 gallon aquarium with planted Aiptasia as well as the occasional added live rock that has been iodine dipped and rinsed to kill of any copepods or worms. They are doing well and laying eggs everywhere. I understand that their young stay too small to see easily for a couple of months, however my concern is, what are they eating?
<Something/s small and Polypoid likely... Hydrozoans perhaps>
 I have placed some of the egg strands in 8 ounce plastic bowls that float in the aquarium, give it frequent water changes and have added 4 small Aiptasia to each of the bowls. Even though I have checked the health of the eggs with a small sample under a microscope, and using a pipette rasped some of the older egg strands to help them release, I have yet to see any damage done to the Aiptasia food sources.
This has been going on for about three weeks. Are they taking tiny bites and the Aiptasia heals?
 I just want to make sure there will be food of a useable size for the babies to eat.
<Patience. Bob Fenner> 

Berghia Nudibranch question      6/3/12
Hey guys,
<Hi Jeff>
 I have a quick question. I am looking into purchasing a few Berghia Nudibranch to take care of an Aiptasia problem in my 90 gallon tank.
<One of many possible solutions...>
I currently have a 10 gallon tank which is unused that used to be a brackish setup. I was thinking that instead of buying 8-10 Berghias and risk having them sucked into the overflow, destroyed by a powerhead,
<Very likely to happen.>
or eaten by bristleworms (that's another problem for another time)... I considered putting 2 Berghias into the 10 gallon and moving a couple rocks at a time to them, allowing them to reproduce in and live in peace.
<Sounds like a good plan. I recommend having a new home ready and waiting for when the food supply is exhausted.>
 My question is...the 10 gallon simply has a hang-on filter; will this filtration system be suitable for sustaining the Berghia, or do I need something more advanced?
<It should be fine. Stay on top of evaporation to prevent salinity swings and frequent small water changes to maintain water quality.>
Thanks for the help!
<Quite welcome, Jordan>

Berghia breeding... Or is it Aiptasia breeding! - 1/25/10
Hi Guys,
Greetings from England! I decided a short time ago to undertake a little business project, namely the breeding of Berghia Nudibranchs- something which not too many people here in the UK are doing.
<Can be quite profitable... and a good deal of fun!>
Numerous times in seminars and articles I¹ve heard Anthony Calfo say he¹s always happy to provide help and advice to people starting out in the aquaculturing business, and actually, mentioning Berghia specifically. I thought rather than bother him directly I¹d fire off an email to you guys, and if he was willing to get in touch also that¹d be an added bonus (and an honour!).
<Is no longer actively w/ WWM. You can reach him through ReadingTrees.com>
Now, as you¹d expect I¹ve been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject, and a plan is slowly forming in my head. Still in the very early stages though.
However, one thing I am finding a distinct lack of information on is the rather peculiar subject of encouraging Aiptasia to breed! I¹ve heard general tips on starving brood stock of light and feeding in order to encourage asexual production, and other such tricks, but no real hard data. My questions are numerous, and I¹m sure much will be discovered once the project is underway, but basically boil down to:
What is the optimum temperature to encourage reproduction?
What is it best to feed them, and how much?
Is filtration required/ to what degree does one need to worry about water quality?
In, say, a 20 gallon aquarium is any circulation other than an airstone required/desirable?
I¹m presuming that water changes will be essential, particularly if no filtration is required. 10% weekly?
How fast do they grow in an optimum environment?
<Mmm, actually, the only input I have other than having visited home aquaculturists facilities is the article posted here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm
and the linked files above>
The picture I¹m getting from my reading is that breeding the Nudibranchs won¹t really be too much of a problem, it¹s ³farming² the Aiptasia to keep up with their feeding regime which will require the most thought.
<Can be>
I¹ve also considered the idea of retarding the growth of the ³food² rather than ³breeding stock² Aiptasia, as it is advantageous to keep them small. Is this possible and sensible?
<Mmm, not practical I think>
I don¹t want to crash my cultures by starving them!
<Easy to grow out if you have sufficient space... can be cultured in shallow "kiddie pools", fragmented with hand or power tool... and fed, illuminated to spur on growth>
Another question- I do have a number of people who have Aiptasia in their tanks that they¹d be willing to ³donate².
<This is also a very common practice, arrangement>
In order to keep predators out of the Nudibranch tanks though, I realise that these anemones need to be removed from liverock, and quarantined for a period of time. What sorts of methods are there for removing the Aiptasia from rocks without damaging them?
<Not to worry... by shaking the rock they're on a bit, they'll close up enough to remove the rock and them safely, transport underwater>
I was planning on covering the bottom of the Aiptasia tanks with snipped up egg crate, so that each ³meal² can easily be removed and added to the Nudibranch tank. Is this a sensible way to do it, or is there a better way?
<I think having a base of large/r rubble of a carbonaceous make up will be better by far. Just remove the large piece along with the anemone>
Would it be wise to dip them in RO to kill off any hitchhikers?
<Not necessary... Are you going to culture the Berghia in (Styrofoam) cups? Easiest way...>
I¹m sorry there are so many questions, but this is complicated stuff I realised rather quickly!
Thanks so much in advance for any help you can provide,
Best wishes,
James Baldwin
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Berghia Nudibranch/Compatibility 1/8/10
<Hi Rick>
I am thinking about adding some Berghia Nudibranchs to eliminate my Aiptasia problem. Do you now if anything will eat the Berghia? I have a Yellow Coris Wrasse, Peppermint Shrimp, Six Line Wrasse, Bicolor Blenny, Mandarin, Flame Angel, Lamarck Angel and a few tangs in a 125. your input will be greatly appreciated.
<Natural predators of the Nudibranch are Butterflyfish of the Chaetodon genus, and wrasses of the genus Thalassoma and Coris. Two species of Butterflyfish fish in particular that have been noted as being efficient predators are: Chaetodon semilarvatus, the Red Sea Butterfly and Chaetodon auriga, the Thread Fin Butterfly. With that being said, there is a good possibility that your Coris Wrasse may go after it. Some predators may prefer a certain specie of Nudibranch so the possibility of it going unharmed exists.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Berghia Nudibranch Question - 10/08/08 Hello, <Hi Nick.> I have been searching the web for days trying to determine whether or not Berghia Nudibranch will be toxic to my tank if/ when they die off. I have some Aiptasia which came in on some live rock I recently purchased. I'd say there is less then 100 that I can see, although some are large. Some info on my tank to give you a better idea of what I am dealing with: My tank is 90 gallons with a 40 gallon sump. I am currently running Phosban in a Phosban reactor and COULD switch to carbon to help remove any toxins the Berghia would give off. I also have an Octopus recirculating skimmer. I only have 2 Chromis and a couple hermit crabs at the moment. The tank is a month and a half old. There are lot's of pods crawling around the rocks. I want to take care of the Aiptasia without killing any of the other life in the rocks (sponges, worms, pods). I am just concerned that when the Berghia die off they will potentially poison the tank. <Those Nudibranchs referred to in the hobby (and older scientific literature as well) as "Berghia" (actually they are a different genus and species) are non-toxic to your tank, even if they die. They have a life expectancy of at least 6 months. Are you concerned that they might starve to death when all the Aiptasia are eliminated? That should not be a problem, when they are short of Aiptasia they become quite active at night and if you are a little bit nocturnal too you should be able to collect them and give them to other hobbyists. Remember to breed them in separate small canisters before adding them into the display tank. Skimmers, mechanical filters and filter feeders remove most of their planktonic larvae and make it hard for them to multiply in a standard marine tank. I'd buy 3 and breed at least 15 to solve your Aiptasia problem. Also see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm .> Thanks for your help, Nick. <Welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

Berghia Nudibranchs...Where To Find Them? - 10/17/07 Hello Crew. <<Howdy Paul>> I live in the UK and am wondering where on earth I can get these Berghia Nudibranchs? <<Several e-tailers have them available>> I have spoken to my LFS and he just looked at me blankly. <<Mmm...would hope/expect a fish store to be more "up" on things...>> Do you know of any online retailers? <<Here's one: http://coralsandbar.com/index.php?productID=144>> Are they effective against the pest glass Anemones? <<If you mean Aiptasia, yes...but within reason. I would not expect a "miracle" overnight>> I have bought a Copperband Butterfly but he is not showing much interest in them at the moment. <<Indeed...some go right after them, but tend to prefer the very new/small specimens. And most all learn to wait for/like the supplemental feedings we do more>> Have loads of the dam things and (foolishly) tried to squish them and now there's more. <<Ooooh...bad move...>> Or am I better just giving up on the natural method and start nuking them with 'Joe's Juice' as my LFS calls it. <<Actually, you will likely find that a combination of the methods works best>> Many thanks again, sorry for asking a question you have probably been asked a thousand times before. <<Much "is" covered here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm >> Paul <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: My Berghia need a new home, any suggestions?   5/25/07 Thank you Mr. Fenner.  I have posted this on the forum again, hopefully this time I will get results.  I just pulled 2 more Berghia out of the filter sock and will probably have more tomorrow.  Although I am having a difficult time selling these I think I will set up a breeding tank and just try and supply the local LFS (when I say local I mean within 2 hours distance).  It's really quite easy to breed these apparently, and the high demand (just not for mine) is a great way to fund this expensive hobby.  Thank you once again, Ryan. <I am about to suggest you develop this pursuit in earnest... growing food (yes, pest anemones likely) in a lighted "kiddie wading pool"... using "old water" from your tanks... cutting them up to speed up their growth, reproduction... And selling these via the Net... a few items to solve... making a relationship with an overnight delivery company, securing boxing/shipping materials... But, is a viable business possibility. If you don't have much time, interest in selling direct, there are some livestock dealers you could sell all through... Inland Aquatics might be a good choice... Bob Fenner>
My Berghia need a new home, any suggestions?   5/24/07
Hello again.  I purchased 3 Berghia nudibranchs 4-5 months ago and apparently they have bred like crazy.  I keep catching them in my overflow filter sock, about 2-4 per day.  So far I have caught 22 of which I have sold 5, the rest went back in the tank.  I cannot see a single Aiptasia in my tank so I know their end is near and would like to get rid of them, of course I wouldn't mind a little help funding my hobby so selling them would be even better.  I have 2 local saltwater fish stores, neither has a Aiptasia problem or wants to deal with trying to keep them alive.  Obviously they work wonders, I had 100+ Aiptasia in my tank and cannot find any, I'm sure there are still a few but none that I can see.  I also do not have any friends in this hobby that would be interested in using the Berghia, they either have no Aiptasia or have fish that would eat the Berghia.  I have had this posted on the WWF forum for a while and cannot find any takers (I found that surprising). <Me too>   I trust the people on that/this site so that is the only forum I posted this on.  One forum member suggested EBay, which is a great idea but I have very little experience with EBay and would prefer to ship a large quantity rather than one or two at a time.   <Yeah... I'd try Craig's List over this...> So to get to the point, do you have any idea of who I could sell these to?   <And contact the local marine hobby groups in your area... Likely members there would be interested...> I don't really care if it's not top dollar but I would prefer to get something for them.  I also think that people who purchase things for their tank are more likely to care for them than those who are given things (just my opinion). <Ah, yes... the western ethic...> Well that's about it, I need help, if you have any ideas I would really appreciate it.  Thank you, Ryan. <Do try the above. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Berghia need a new home, any suggestions?  - 05/26/07
Thanks again Mr. Fenner.  It sounds like a great idea to me, my wife may not like the kiddie pool thing, <I like these because they're inexpensive, readily available, shallow... service-able for what we have in mind> other than that I'm completely with you.  I also have access to Aiptasia covered rocks that people bring into the store (when tearing down a tank) so I should be able to purchase some of those to get this going.  I must say your ideas have really peaked my interest in this.  Once I get this up and running I'll probably be in contact with you to at least let you know how things are going.  Thank you once again, Ryan. <Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Berghia Nudibranchs:  Do They Work? YES!   5/13/07 Hello, <Hi Ryan!> just an FYI for your readers.  I purchased 4 Berghia nudibranchs a while back, maybe 4-5 months ago, raised in a 10-gallon tank and introduced into my main system (92 gallon reef).  I would guess that I had 100 Aiptasia at minimum, a lot of small ones and constant reproduction (I could see the babies floating daily).  I raised the small nudibranchs in a 10-gallon tank, introducing Aiptasia covered rocks as the others became clean.  I did notice some eggs, and at the time I introduced into the main system could only find 2 nudibranchs, but had eggs at the same time.   <Yes, they do reproduce well in captivity.> One night while feeding my corals, with a flashlight, noticed something odd that I thought was a strange anemone, it took me a few minutes but to my surprise (after weeks of not seeing any) it was a absolutely huge Berghia Nudibranch, my guess 3 inches, way beyond max. growth.  I have not seen any since that night sadly, which was at least a month ago.  I hadn't been paying attention to the Aiptasia population but the other day looked around a bit, I found 4, out of 100 minimum and they are all small.  Well to say the least I was amazed, and a bit sad, I know the Berghia more than likely perished before I could catch them in time.   <Berghia are obligate Aiptasia eaters and will starve in the absence of Aiptasia.> I will be "nuking" the remaining Aiptasia when I do a water change, but I am still in amazement at what happened in a short period of time!  I also have a fish that is on the no Berghia list, a Sunrise Pseudochromis (Pseudochromis flavivertex), which apparently did not cause an issue.  Anyway I just thought I would share something positive, and hopefully this problem is over, if not, I know how to fix it.  Your site is truly a great resource that I try to read daily. <Glad you like it!>   Thanks, Ryan. <Thank you for sharing and contributing to the site!  Mich>

Berghia verrucicornis ID  3/16/2007 Hi Richard, Mich here today, not sure who helped you previously.> Thanks for all your help. <On behalf of the crew, you're welcome. I will order the book about Cnidarian, one more question please: Is this Berghia verrucicornis (Aiptasia eater)? <Sure does look like it!> Thanks.
<Welcome.  Mich>

Echinophyllia care, Berghia Nudibranch in main display  - 09/03/06   Hello once again.  I have a couple of questions for you.  I recently purchased a 3" purple and red Echinophyllia which I had researched before the purchase, and believe needs to be placed in bright light with moderate flow, correct? <Mmm, within defined terms. Please see here: http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.WetWebMedia.com&q=echinophyllia&sitesearch=www.WetWebMedia.com&client=pub-4522959445250520&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3A99C9FF%3BLBGC%3A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1%3B&hl=en> The coral appears to look the same day and night, which doesn't seem right to me ( doesn't seem to "swell up" during the day).  I don't have a picture of the coral but it looks like a plating variety, similar to a plating Montipora with more "bumps".  I have it about 12" under water directly beneath a 250 watt metal halide light.  Is this too much light?   <... Mmm, you state you "recently" acquired this colony/animal... takes a while to adapt (weeks...)... shouldn't be exposed to much more light than it was... See WWM re photo-acclimation of Scleractinians>     My other question is, on the website www.saltyunderground.com it says you can put Berghia nudibranchs directly into your main display which conflicts with other things I've read.  They suggest 8 per 100 gallons.  I have plenty of Aiptasia, what do you think of this idea? <Is done "all the time"> I have a clown fish, blue flavivertex Pseudochromis, Kole tang, cleaner shrimp and a bubble tip anemone. <Not a good idea to mix with stony, soft corals...> My thought was that by adding 8 to my tank a couple would hopefully survive long enough to reproduce and get rid of the Aiptasia. <"So many foxes, so many rabbits"...> I know the Aiptasia are a result of too many nutrients in the water but I do a 10 percent weekly water change and feed corals and fish lightly, and don't know what else to do to keep them from reproducing (remora pro protein skimmer). <... see WWM re>   I have a 90 gallon tank with a 20 gallon overflow, would a bigger protein skimmer help...what would you suggest? <That you read>   Euro-reef models seem to be getting cheaper and I was thinking about getting a RS model rated for 135 gallons.  All my tests read 0 for anything bad, but believe this is a result of my "Aiptasia filter". <You are wise here> Would adding some macro algae help compete for nutrients? <Mmm, yes> I guess that was more than a couple questions.  Thanks for your help and your website, Ryan. <Keep using it. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia & Berghia verrucicornis... Nudibranch reclas. 7/19/06 Hi Bob, <Mark> FWIW I am sending a link to the Australian Museums' Sea Slug Forum <A most excellent site> discussing the fact the wee beastie sold as /Berghia verrucicornis/ (to remove /Aiptasia)/  has been described as a new species /Aeolidiella stephanieae /    http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=aeolstep By whatever name, I just wish I could get hold of some of them here in Sydney... Regards & thanks for the wealth of info and enthusiasm your writings bring, Mark Phillips <Thank you for sending this along. Will post/share. Bob Fenner>

Berghia biz   1/18/06 Hi guys, thank you for all the wonderful insight into marine aquaria. I have an Aiptasia problem and would like to sustain a population of Berghia nudibranchs. Do you have any suggestions as to how to set up a broodstock tank of Aiptasia to provide a food source. <Mmmm, yes. Need to culture the glass anemones separately, the Nudis can be grown out, reproduced in Styrofoam cups (not joking)...> I have about 50 Aiptasia in a 10 gallon tank which do well, but as I understand they could consume that in about a month. Thank you in advance for any help. <Much more to be stated... can be/come a real business... You might want to chat re suppliers/distributors you'd be selling to in advance here. Give Morgan Lidster of Inland Aquatics a ring... Bob Fenner>

Berghia for sale?   1/17/06 Good Day, I hope everyone is well. I was wondering if anyone knew where I could purchase Berghia Nudibranchs in Canada. I live in Toronto and they are a difficult creature to get across the border. My plan is to use them on my Aiptasia problem and then pass them along to another hobbyist who needs them.<i would call themarinecenter.com and Liveaquaria...they should be able to get you one. or find a LFS in your area. Good luck, IanB> Thanks, Pete   

I have a Saltwater Question ... black thing ID, Berghia purchase gripe, Chelmon loss 12/24/05 Hello All, <Howdy Chris> Thanks for all of your valuable info... <Welcome> My question follows: I went to my 29g salt today and as I was feeding I gave it a thorough exam (i.e. looked at the fish, observing behavior, etc.) all appears to be well. Then, I went to check all of the live rock to see if I noticed any new growth. I looked toward the back of the aquarium, scanning thoroughly, low and behold I see this black carpet looking fungus (for lack of a better term) it didn't look anything like dark green algae or red slime, but it looked like the outer skin of say a black sea Cuke...but, I only have one in the tank - and he was grazing in the front. I have absolutely no idea what this animal/algae could be - I must say it looked pretty cool. It almost looked like a jet black carpet anemone...say (Stichodactyla mertensii) but I have no idea how it could have possibly got in the tank. To me, this doesn't at all sound plausible. I have only had my tank running about 1.5 yrs Any thoughts on this??? <Mmm, was this "thing" moving? Could be a sponge of some sort...> Thanks for all of your help and suggestions geared toward the saltwater community! Your information helped give me the confidence to break into this beautiful saltwater hobby. P.S. I have an Aiptasia breakout and really don't want to put chemicals in the tank...any suggestions? <Posted on WWM> I bought 2 Berghia Nudibranchs from Terre Haute Indiana - they were smaller than the size of my pinky fingernail for $50 - I thought they were WAY OVER PRICED but I heard they were AIPTASIA EATING MACHINES so I went with it. Needless to say, I was not at all happy. After I put them in, I NEVER saw them again...and the Aiptasia problem has grown leaps and bounds. I only want to try Joes Juice or Tropic Marin as a last resort...any help here? MANY MANY THANKS! <Please do contact Morgan Lidster at Inland Aquatics re, and give what is posted re this genus of pest anemones a read on WWM. Bob Fenner> 2 false Percs 3 blue damsels 1 diamond goby - solved ALL of my red slime algae via stirring - extremely fascinating fish to watch few crabs 1 black sea cucumber R.I.P. 1 Scarlet cleaner after 1 yr. 1 Copperband - after 3 days - very cool fish - but would not eat...looked like he died of an internal parasite/ruptured intestines??? WAS NOT HAPPY WITH LOCAL FS bought to try and help curtail the Aiptasia problem - WRONG! He didn't eat a lick. <Typical for the species...>

Twitching Copperband; don't think its ick  12/24/05     Hello, I have a Copperband Butterflyfish that I have had for a month and half... I tried reading up on the website so that I <I> didn't ask the same Q's again, but they all concluded to something I don't think it is... Well down to what am <I'm> asking, the fish is twitching, with his head most of the time to only one side.. he doesn't do it all the time, <Sometimes Chelmons, many fishes do "just twitch" a bit> just now and then. I have treated him for ick already, even though I never saw it on him. <Toxic to treat if necessary or not> I have been asking people at my work about it (I work @ a store that sells only Saltwater), and since he isn't rubbing up on the rocks, and that I haven't seen ick on him, maybe its just him. That he came in on a shipment that was delayed and his water got to <too> cold or something, <Yes> and hes <he's> now just a special twitching Copperband (hopeful). I bought him mainly to eat Aiptasia, which he is doing an great job (and also will eat only foods)... he will now and then twitch for a little and go back to scanning the rocks... I'm not sure what its main cause is, I just wanted someone else's opinion... thanks for your help, Steph <Not much to go on here... Bob Fenner>

Handling Berghia Nudibranchs - article ref. 8/9/05 Hi, thank you very much for your reply on Berghia, actually I found out that I have at least two, since I saw two hanging out together. <Hold onto them... they breed easily: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-01/ac/feature/index.php There is a guy interested on doing a frag exchange for one of these Berghias. I wanted to ask you, how hardy it is for shipping purposes, <reasonably so if you can insure temperate shipping temps... tough to do this time of year. I prefer using a Gatorade bottle nestled inside of a wine bottle Styro box (a few dollars online)> and I also heard it can't last many days without eating Aiptasia, how long?. <Correct... less than a week for most.> I just want to know if it can arrive to its location alive. <No problem, again... if you can insure cool shipping temps. Anthony>

A Pleasant Berghia Surprise - 08/07/2005 Hi Bob, <Actually, Sabrina here this fine afternoon.> I found this interesting flat worm like creature in my tank, I didn't know what it was and didn't know if it was dangerous or not. Also I noticed how Aiptasia was mysteriously starting to disappear. <Oho!  Some very good sleuthing you've done!> Today I saw the creature at daylight eating a whole baby Aiptasia that was growing on the wall of the tank. <.... in this situation, I would start jumping up and down in giddy celebration and open up a nice bottle of wine.> Need ID please. Thanks. <Your drawing and the fact that it's chowin' down on Aiptasia lead me to believe you've got a Berghia Nudibranch.  Please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm , and do a google search on "Berghia" for more information.  Do be forewarned: when your Aiptasia have all (or nearly all) been eaten, this poor creature will starve and die.  Pass this delightful animal on to someone else with an Aiptasia problem when necessary.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Berghia source 1/5/05 I was reading the FAQ's for today and saw the plea for info about Berghia breeders.  Recently, I found a website for a breeder in CA that is interested only in helping the hobbyist with Aiptasia, not necessarily a profit.   <you are mistaken here my friend... those are retail and very profitable prices, and worse still... I cannot fathom their extreme recommendation for people to buy one Berghia for every 10 Aiptasia in the tank. An adult Berghia can eat that many Aiptasia in mere days... and will starve to death mere days after that. The recommendation is dubious if not nefarious to me. A disservice to customers and a waste  of life (the Berghia). I do not currently sell Berghia now, but have in the past and can say with and experience opinion that I disagree with this recommendation> I haven't needed the site yet but I like to be prepared with some options.  The website is www.seaslugs.com and the site itself is called Berghia Breeders and Corals.  Hopefully this will help the person in need and, in deed, is a reputable site.  Cheers! Bob Jones <I thank you kindly for this link... we will duly post and archive it like the/all others. And I am sure educated consumers that will finesse the above recommendation can still find this supplier to be useful. Grazie! Anthony>

Buying Berghia Nudibranchs 1/7/05 Thanks for the reply.  Like I stated, I hadn't used the supplier and based on your note I probably will not.   <a judgment call indeed... the product may still be good, even if the marketing isn't. I was even being conservative... frankly, I have seen adult Berghia eat 3-5 Aiptasia per day. Thus recommending 1 adult per 10 Aiptasia is nothing less than slaughter (Expensive Berghia starving very soon). Rather misleading to the consumer> E-tailers are people we think we would like to trust and buy from but, as many of us have learned, appearances are not everything and many people take poetic license with their site info. <it really all falls on us to be educated consumers. Bad merchants will improve or fail if we stand firm> Thanks, as always, for the advice and information! Bob <very welcome, mate... Anthony>

Buying Berghia Nudibranchs 1/4/05 Hi crew my 60 gal reef tank is over run with rock anemones. I'm tried injecting them with boiling water, and have some luck killing them. I've looked all over the web, and have hade no luck finding Berghia Nudibranchs for sale. Do you know were to buy them. I've heard you can not get them in the U. S.     Thanks for time   Skyler Allingham   <cheers, Skyler... no worries, you can indeed buy these useful Nudibranchs here in the US. I have cultured them for years as others have, and seeded more than a few friends with them. Do look at the info we have here on them at wetwebmedia.com with a keyword google search from our home page... also an article of mine in January 2004 reefkeeping.com, as I recall. Be sure to run down the bibliographic references in all such articles for even more information. For a source to buy them from... do try www.inlandaquatics.com and tell Morgan that Bob and Anthony said Hi! :) He's a great chap and compliment to our industry. If Morg does not have any available, please feel welcome to write back and I will call around to friends for you for a source. Kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Berghia Nudibranchs cheers, Keith Bob Fenner forwarded your e-mail to me re: Berghia Nudibranchs. there are several folks selling these fantastic little Nudibranchs online. Do look up Rob Ferguson at coralsandbar.com or Morgan Lidster at Inlandaquatics.com Both are great chaps that can provide these to you likely. If not, do write back to me and I can find/refer other folks to you :) with kind regards, Anthony

Starting aquarium for Nudibranchs or flatworms 9/24/04 I have a fish only tanks for a number of years. I am now interested in starting a species specific tank for Nudibranchs or flatworms. any web sites, books, articles, recommendations would be helpful. thanks mark <hmmm... both are rather challenging. The Opisthobranchs for their oft-obligate diet on inconvenient (to us) prey... and flatworms for much of the same (largely predatory too). There are some great Nudibranchs that can be cultured though... temperate and tropical... carnivorous and herbivorous. Check out some the fine ID books at Behrens seachallengers.com... and be sure to visit the seaslugforum.com on the Web. I have an article on culturing Berghia Nudibranchs in the January issue of reefkeeping.com if it interests you. Best regards, Anthony>

Where to buy Berghia Nudibranchs 11/19/04 Where can I purchase some Berghia Nudibranchs. I would like to breed them in my 35 gal refugium to eat the Aiptasia in my 100 gal reef tank. Georgie <do try: inlandaquatics.com or coralsandbar.com if these do not pan out, write back to me and I will find other sources for you. Kindly, Anthony>

Nudibranch Where can I find a Berghia verrucicornis? I have looked every where from Knoxville, TN to Atlanta, GA. Any ideas?       <I know at times Inland Aquatics http://www.inlandaquatics.com/ has some for sale. Otherwise, when I typed "Berghia" into Yahoo, I got 284 hits. I am sure one of those is for sale. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia pests (Nudi predators) and WWM Search help Hey Gang, how ya doin'?      Here's a link for the Berghia Nudi's that eat them unwanted Aiptasia Anemones. htm://www.seaslugs.com/. As I hear they are hard to come by, (not the Aiptasia !) , I thought I'd throw this link your way. Thanks for all the help the WWM crew has been to me in the past.                                                       Scott in Denver                                                                   PS. If folks flooding y'all with questions would simply type, in the search engine, the key word they are asking about, then hit the "cached" under the FAQs the search pulled up, they could get to the answers they're looking for without asking the question thru a emailed question, (if that made any sense!), maybe lighten the load on the crew!. <Thanks much for both these inputs. Bob Fenner>

-Sources for Berghia Nudibranchs- Does anyone know where these might be available?  I am very much in need of a few and nobody seems to have them (Inland, Customaquatic, seaslugs.com, nobody!). <Oooh, I was just going to suggest Inland Aquatics. You may want to start up a thread on ReefCentral or reefs.org, there are many hobbyists growing these guys.> If anyone has ideas or knows breeders somewhere, I'd be much obliged. Sailfin tang destroyed a CBS in 2 days, peppermint shrimp are doing nothing, and the syringe method will have me going nutso every week or two if it comes to that. <It never hurts to syringe a few here and there!> Thanks, Joel <I wish you luck on your search! -Kevin>

Berghia Nudibranchs Hi Bob, <Rob> Do you know of any good sources that currently have Berghia Nudibranchs in stock?  I was breeding them, but I failed to fill my tank with water prior to vacation (my attention was focused on my new show tanks) my Rio burned out and my Berghia population crashed with my Aiptasia tank. <Mmm, don't "get out and about" (as often as I'd like) in the circles that might familiarize me with who's culturing these... I encourage you to post your request on the various hobbyist BB's like reefs.org, http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/, ReefCentral...> I have a huge demand for them (as you can imagine). <Oh yes. You might try breeding, raising them yourself... can be quite profitable, and takes little space, time.> Thank you for your time. Best regards, Rob Ferguson <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Seeking Berghia Nudibranchs 8/2/03 I've checked all the sources on Berghia on the site and haven't had any luck finding any.  Inland may have some next week. <Inland aquatics is my first choice for seeking/referring folks for Berghia> Aquatic wildlife (formerly captivebredcorals ?) is in the process of moving  and disconnected their phones. I was in contact with Les (guy that runs the Berghia, etc.) trying to wholesale 60 Berghia from him but they were disconnected prior to him getting back to me. Do you have their new contact info? their new web address is here: http://captivebredcorals.shopbt.com/WS4D_Cookie=8.2.03_14,06,00_219654/index.ws4d > Thank you, Rob Ferguson <you might also try networking the big message boards that have club forums. I have been to many aquarium clubs that have small-scale production of these Opistos among club members. Best regards, Anthony>

Singing the Aiptasia Blues.. >To the Wet Web media crew: Lucas here again. Received your email the other day about using Berghia sp. Nudibranchs for Aiptasia control. However, from other articles that I have read, these are not always a sure fire method of removal. >>Folks I know have had great success, but were most distressed once the Nudis had consumed all Aiptasia and were then starved to death.  I strongly recommend Lysmata wurdemanni for all but the largest. >I have searched your site on the subject and have come across all kinds of methods that seem like they might work, but I am hesitant to try them from lack of knowing if they will actually work. I know that you also emphasize powerful skimming and water changes to help with the solution (which I did, buy purchasing a more reliable Remora protein skimmer, which is putting out tons of crud; and I am trying to cut back on the feeding ((I can't resist this notion, though, because I want to maximize the growth of the many cryptic organisms that are seeded in the rock. Water changes are also done on a weekly basis))). >>Hhmm.. we do?  For control of Aiptasia?  It's been my own experience that presence of excess nutrients is NOT a factor when determining the "whys" of Aiptasia infestation. >What is your take on the situation? >>You got 'em, now ya gotta get rid of 'em. >What are my most viable options? >>Some of the above mentioned species of peppermint shrimp.  It is of utmost importance that you get the correct species, there are two or three sold as "peppermint", only the L. wurdemanni will perform this function.  Know that if you feed them heavily, they have no reason to eat the Aiptasia. >Biological seems like the best route, as this would still allow me to feed to some extent, without the need of using "chemicals" to remedy the situation. >>The only chemicals I'm aware of to remove Aiptasia are direct injections of Kalkwasser. >Could you provide a list of solutions that might work? >>The shrimps have worked for everyone I have spoken with on the subject.  Feeding the shrimp will help ensure it doesn't work (make sure you only feed as much as your fish can eat in a couple of minutes!  No excess food for the shrimps). >I know that you will say right off the bat that "searching" your site is the best route, but all of the searching and clicking on topics only confuses me more. To have the information right there on one page for me is read is ideal. Sorry to bug you for so much, but the well being of my tank is paramount to me, and I want to do all that I can to ensure its health.                                                                                                                                          Lucas >>You've gotten my best advice here (and I did it with NO linking! :p ), Lucas.  As I said before, these animals do a real number on all but the largest of Aiptasia.  The added benefit of using these instead of the Nudis is that they are NOT obligate to the Aiptasia, as the Berghia are.  That means that once they get the infestation under control (assuming you have no fishes that will eat the shrimps!), you can include them with feeding and they'll be just fine.   About the skimmers and other filtration methods, AquaC makes a lovely hang-on-tank series of refugiums.  If you get one going very well, you could actually do away with a foam fractionator altogether.  If finances are a real issue, someone posted in our talk forums how to make your own soda bottle skimmer.  You can also sort this out by joining MACO for classes, doing a Google search, or looking for (and buying) books by folks such as Martin Moe, Jr. (he outlines form and function of many types of systems, filtration, etc.).  It's my opinion that the more books you have, the better.  Marina

Attacking Aiptasia! Hi,   <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Sorry to bother you, but I can't seem to find the answer to this dilemma. I have a small piece of LR with mostly Tube coral (Cladacora arbuscula) on it, and also about 3 Aiptasia. I have a Peppermint shrimp in another tank that eats Aiptasia. I was planning on putting the Peppermint into a breeder box with the rock and letting him take care of the problem. Question is, will the shrimp pick the coral to death along with the Aiptasia? <It's a gamble...I couldn't guarantee anything here!> I don't think I can use the Kalk method here because the anemones are pretty small. In addition, they're completely buried down in between the coral, and too hard to get to. I sure would appreciate some advice.  Thanks for your time! -Lynn <Well, Lynn- you could seek out some Berghia Nudibranchs, which feed exclusively on these annoying anemones. However, they will generally starve once their food supply (the Aiptasia) are consumed. Another idea is to try sealing the anemones in their "burrows" with aquatic putty or superglue. I have tried this myself, and it actually works sometimes! Manual extraction is possible, yet risky, as the damaged parts of the anemone floating in the currents can reattach and settle elsewhere. I'd look into the shrimp, but watch 'em carefully, then progress to one of the other two methods, if this doesn't work. Happy hunting! Regards, Scott F> Todd and Lynn Zurik

Aiptasia Do any of you guys know the homemade remedy for getting rid of Aiptasia?  I know it involves a couple of tablespoons of pickling lime, but what else goes in it? <Hello, I have found that often injecting them usually makes things worse. There is a Nudibranch called Berghia.  They are neat little animals. They will eat all of them. Then you can resell or give to them to someone else. If this is a fish only tank add a semilarvatus butterfly and he will take care of them. MikeH> Mike Ward

Berghia culture 12/16/04 Dear Anthony <cheers Ricardo> After working with ornamental shrimp for 4 years (PhD thesis...) I am trying to raise some Berghia and I have actually been able to collect their eggs and see tiny juvenile crawling in the egg cord under a microscope. <fascinating creatures and sometimes so very beautiful!> After reading your article in www.reefkeeping.com about Berghia culture I was "shocked" to notice that it takes around two months before actually seeing them with the naked eye. How can you be sure that they are still in the jar if you can't see them? <after 3-4 weeks you can spot them with the aid of a magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe> Is there any special way to conduct water changes or do they just stay in the walls and bottom of the beaker? <the latter... once they settle out they remain on the walls, floor and underside surface of the water. You simply need to plunge your siphon (airline tubing on small cups) into the middle of the water column to do your water change until they are big enough to see and work around> Any other useful advice besides the ones in your excellent article? <its most all I can think of :)> Thanking you in advance for your help. Sincerely, Ricardo Calado <best regards, Anthony>

Where to buy Berghia Nudibranchs 11/19/04 Where can I purchase some Berghia Nudibranchs. I would like to breed them in my 35 gal refugium to eat the Aiptasia in my 100 gal reef tank. Georgie <do try: inlandaquatics.com  or coralsandbar.com  if these do not pan out, write back to me and I will find other sources for you. Kindly, Anthony>

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