Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Pest Anemones other than Aiptasia, Anemonia

Related FAQs: Aiptasia Identification, Anemone Identification, Anemonia, Eradication by: Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfishes, Filefishes, Chemical/Physical Injection, Hypo/Hyper-Salinity.

Related Articles: Aiptasia/Glass Anemones, Anemones, Cnidarians

New Print and eBook on Amazon:  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

ID Please, Pest Anemones, not Aiptasiids 7/5/11
Hello Crew,
How are we all today?
<Fine, thanks>
Could you help me ID the animals in the attached photo please?
<Mmm, yes... Aiptasiids, Glass Anemones>
This is just the tops of them, most of the animal is buried in the sand and they act like traps, anything touches them, food etc, they snap shut and disappear into the sand.
I have hundreds of them carpeting the sand at one end of one of my small tanks.
<Mmm, well... may be/come problematical in time.
Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: ID Please 7/5/11
Thanks Bob,
I did think of Aiptasia at first but in all the info I have found, including your infopage, there is no mention of them burrowing into the sand.
<Mmm, some species do... the reason I used the family name, not the genus; but I could be wrong... might be another Actinarian>
I have checked thoroughly and they are none on any rocks. Also, the behaviour seems different from Aiptasia where Aiptasia, in typical Anemone fashion, captures food in one or more tentacles and then moves it to the mouth these guys close up and disappear in to the sand to feed.
Is there anything else I should be looking at?
<Not that I know...>
<And you, BobF>
Re: ID Please 7/5/11
Thanks again Bob,
<Thank you>
Have been doing some more digging and what do you reckon about them being a species of Halcampidae (Class Anthozoa) ?
<Just looked up and yes; quite likely so>
Have you encountered these before at all? Are they a pest?
<Mmm, have no first hand experience with, but I don't think most folks would want to have too many about... Stinging other livestock, eating foods>
Powerful stings?
<Again, I don't know>
Can't seem to get much in depth info on them. As I said none the rocks so I'd say not a threat the corals but I was planning on adding a Bi-Color Blenny to that tank, he's in QT at the moment, but not if these guys are going to sting him to death.
<I share your concern here>
<And you, B>

Yikes! The sacred human presence 6/16/10
Greetings, oh wise ones of the salt water world,
Please see attached photo and this brown anemone thing. I started cycling my 14 gallon tank with five pieces of live rock last Saturday.
After reading all sorts of stuff on your site, I presume it is a bad one. It is the only piece of rock that had one of these things on it. I took the particular piece of rock out of the tank last night and tossed it in the garbage. Please tell me it was the right decision.
Thanks, Celia.
<Mmm, I wouldn't have done this... the universe is likely not as 'discrete' as you currently hold it to be... Time/experience, and your pet fishing, will very likely aid you in this 'discovery'. Bob Fenner>

mini carpet anemones, ID, pests? 2/23/2010
Hello WWM,
<Hi Erika>
After Googling many pictures, I think I got what appears to be a mini carpet anemone as a hitchhiker on a rock about 1 year ago, but now they have multiplied like crazy.
<Really? Unusual. Can you provide pictures of these? I doubt if these are Carpet Anemones, which are quite large animals:
I have about 10 or 12 on all different pieces of rocks, they are very small, maybe the largest one measures
about 1 inch in diameter. Are they pests?
<Depends on what they actually are, and your point of view. Are you sure they are not Aiptasia?
Should I get rid of them or are they OK to have?
<If they are a pest Anemone, then no. They will sting your other sessile invertebrates>
I have a 75 gallon tank with live rock, different soft corals and some fish. I did a search on your page but it did not say anything about them multiplying.
Thank you for your help,
<No Problem!>

Re: mini carpet anemones 2/24/10
Hi Simon,
<Hi Erika!>
When I looked it up, it said it was a "Stichodactyla tapetum",
<Really? And these are multiplying? That's great, really interesting!
Please send us a photo/s so we can post it in our FAQ's><<We have such. RMF>>
I don't have a camera but I found a picture of one in google
<Yes, can't use this I'm afraid>
and I also read another person asking about them, but I don't know if I should just let them be in my tank or if I should get rid of them.
<It's up to you Erika. With such a great little hitchhiker I would be temped to let be and remove other cnidarians if necessary. Are they causing a problem? If not, then just leave them>
Here is a link with info about them, do you know them and why do they multiply so fast?
<Thank you for this reference, Erika. As far as 'why', you are obviously providing them with what they need. I believe they are easier to care for than most Carpet Anemones, which are quite demanding, and this is good (or
bad!) news.>
Thank you for your help.
<No problem Erika, thank you for writing, and do try to get us a couple of shots of these!>

Re: mini carpet anemones 3/1/10
Hi Simon,
<Hello Erika!>
I am attaching several pictures of the mini Carpets, I'm afraid the pics are not that great, but the Anemones are quite beautiful.
<Yes, I can see and thank you for these!>
So you don't think they will be harmful?
<Yes, they can be.. they have powerful nematocysts like all Anemones.. but like many things it is a trade-off as to what you prefer to have. I do think that they are far more beautiful and interesting than the brown Zoanthids you have in the same picture, so if I had to choose between these for example, then I'd pick the Anemones>
I don't feed them anything specifically for them, so I guess they get their food from the system. <Yes> I have other "soft" corals so that is why I thought they could harm them, but so far they don't seem to be causing problems, I just got a little nervous b/c they started to pop up all over my live rock.
<Mmm, they might do in the future>
I did notice they started to multiply after my Fluval canister died. I had read about systems w/out the canisters and was afraid to risk running my 75 gallon without one, I do have live rock and live sand, a large hob refugium with macro algae and a Remora Pro protein skimmer. So when my canister died I decided to try it out, its been about 3 months since then and the water parameters are very good and the water is very crystal clear so I guess all that "read" is right. Do you think I should worry about this?
<No, I only use canister filters on quarantine systems myself, not on my main system>
My only concern is that I am not running any carbon to get rid of some of the "chemicals" from the corals, what do you think?
<I would, but if it ain't broke...>
Thank you so much for all your help and for the wonderful books.
<No problem, but I've not written any books myself! Mr. Fenner is the one for that, and I believe he is writing a new one as we speak... about small systems and being serialised in Ultramarine Magazine at the moment>
Many blessings to you,
<And to you and your Anemones, Erika, and thank you for your photographs!>

Stichodactyla tapetum. RMF

mystery item in my reef! -- 02/08/10
Hello... might I start by saying I love your website?...Ok, I LOVE YOUR WEB...oh ok I'll stop sucking up now. Anyhow, to get right to the point.
I have this lovely little thingy (actually there are two of them) growing next to my group of pulsing Xenia at the bottom of my tank. I think it kind of looks like a bubble anemone. But I'm not sure what it is.. it doesn't really look like an Aiptasia to me either though. There is the large one in the pictures you can see visibly, and another about a third of the size next to it behind one of the Xenia stalks. I would say the size is about as big as the diameter of a small marble. It is greenish in color and has bubble tips at the end of it's tentacles. It's structure seems to be jelly
like and will contract when irritated. It also seems to have a mouth at the center and today I tried target feeding it and it seems to have liked it, as it closed in around the food. Of course it could have just been reacting to a foreign object, but it seemed to hold onto the food and act like and anemone working its tentacles holding the food in place (at least it seemed so), it was hard to tell it is so small. I am attaching a couple pics for you to look at. Hope you can help me identify this thing whether it is something I should keep.. or worry about... thanks in advance..
<I do think this/these may be Stichodactyla tapetum, but might be Anemonia. Please see here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/otherpstanemfaqs.htm
and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemoniafaqs.htm
Not uncommon w/ imported Xeniids; should be removed. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia ?? 10/29/09
I am in process of moving a 55 gallon salt water tank. A friend just purchased a house and the previous owner left the tank behind. I would like to know if the these are the dreaded aiptasia.
<Heee! Not to be dreaded>
Also in the tank are a nice blue hippo tang, 2 clown fish, blue damsel, 2 crabs, and starfish. The fish appear to be healthy and active and feed well. The tank has also had recent increase in algae I believe from over feeding. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Bob Noury
<A bit of reading, plan for long-term improvement is in order... A review of filtration, algal avoidance strategies... Happily, are archived on WWM.
These anemones may be Glass/Aiptasiidae... but look more like what folks broadly label as Anemonia... Which are less prone to reproduce/displace other life... and can be removed by the same techniques... again, posted on our site. Enjoy the tank, process, yourself. Bob Fenner>

Query Regarding Strange Specimen - 10/01/2009
Dear WetWebMedia,
<Dear Writer! Crewmember Sabrina with you today.>
I have been browsing Wet Web Media for some time, and find it to be wonderful and informative.
<Thank you very much for these kind words.>
Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any information regarding a creature I found in my 10-gallon nano tank. This tank has about twelve pounds of live rock, and a red crab who hitchhiked in on a rock. Among other inhabitants, it has had a bizarre netted flatworm, a bright green mantis shrimp, and several other strange, but interesting, animals. I have managed to locate information on these other creatures, but not this anemone. The specimen has just divided, leaving me two half-inch anemones.
Considering that I first saw it at one half inch in diameter, I thought it might perhaps grow larger before dividing as it did. It has short tentacles that do not appear to sting, but adhere to fingers when presented.
<The main knee-jerk reaction that I took this question is the preceding statement. I feel compelled to mention that not all critters in reef tanks are safe to touch! PLEASE be cautious about poking about or intentionally touching cnidarians and other reef life. For one, it's not very good for the Cnidarian. For two.... Well, do a search on palytoxin and understand that there are good reasons to be cautious about unknown - and even well-known - animals in reef tanks. Blanket statement: wear gloves when working in fish tanks. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always do so myself in my own tanks, but I should.>
It is fluorescent under actinic lighting.
I had fed the anemone mysis shrimp and other meaty goods before, but the other day it got a hold of one of my young Bettas that had escaped into the marine tank.
The Betta was retrieved, but did not survive.
<I'm so sorry to hear this. It may have been the saltwater more than the brush with the Cnidarian in question. Please consider lids for any of those Betta tanks that don't have one, eh?>
While I do not believe it is a Majano or Aiptasia,
<It is neither an Aiptasia, nor an Anemonia majano. Of that I am certain.>
I could not say for certain. Finally, I note that I do not intend on populating the tank with fish. I find it interesting to discover new and interesting creatures almost weekly.
<Neat! I have to say, that can be more fun than a tank full of fish.>
Attached Images:
Anemone 1: Creature shortly after I had found it.
Anemone 2: Creature about three months after discovery.
Anemone 3: Immediately after it divided.
Anemone 4: One day after it divided and relocated.
<I think.... and that is to say, I'm not sure.... this might be a Stichodactyla tapetum, "mini carpet anemone". My first thought was that it's a Ricordea of some sort, and that may be the case, but the smooth center with radiating lines seems more consistent with Stichodactyla tapetum. Take a look at images of this and also of Ricordea. Hopefully Bob will provide further input if I am completely in error.>
Thank you for your time, Sunstar
<Glad to be of service. Thanks for the very nicely taken photos! Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

colorful Aiptasia 9/23/09
I have what looks to be 3 Aiptasia in my tank, except they are a dark green color and the tentacles have red tips. I know what Aiptasia and majano anemones look like, and this isn't them. Attached are very poor pictures of
them. Please identify and let me know if I need to get rid of them.
Ken Garrett
<... your pix are exceeding poor, but these do appear to be Glass Anemones.
Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: colorful Aiptasia 9/23/09
Bob, thank you for your response. Yes, my pictures are exceedingly poor, sorry about that. They are very pretty for being glass anemones, with the dark green coloring and red tips.
<Red tips? These may be Anemonia then... or... there are actually several, well, at least a handful of "pest anemones" in circulation... And as you say, they're not necessarily bad to evil...>
Do you think they will become pests and I should get rid of them, or let 'em go for a while and see. (Or sell them as a new rare Tyree LE anemone at $100/polyp?)
Ken Garrett
<Heeee! Good idea! BobF>

Anemone identification, pests, reading -- 4/17/09
Hi, I have 5 (that I can count) anemones in a established tank I recently bought. The old owner said they were sold to him as rock anemones, weren't pests,
<Define "pest">
and hadn't hurt anything so he left them in there. I've been trying to id them but haven't been able to yet,
<Are posted over and over on WWM...>
they look to me a little like some pictures of majano, but the coloring and tapered shape of the tendrils seem to be different.
<There is variety in the genus, the species that hobbyists lump as such... hence the use of the term "cf" in their oft-naming>
I've attached a picture of two of them next to some star polyps, could you tell me what they are, and if I should remove them?
Thank you,
<Up to you. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/otherpstanemfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Can you help me id this? Pest anemone chemical treatment report 1/5/09 Marco, Wanted you to know that the Red Sea Aiptasia-X does indeed kill Thalassianthus species. Regards, Gene McLoud. <Ah, very good. Thanks for the update Gene!>

Anemone ID, Friend Or Foe 12/18/08 Hello Crew, <Hi Sandra.> Thanks for taking the time to give your input. <You're welcome.> Can you please tell me if the attached picture is a Majano or a Tulip Anemone? I have no real knowledge of anemones and need to know if this hitchhiker should stay or go. If it is neither, a heads up as to what it is would be appreciated. <Sure looks like a Tulip Anemone to me, nice looking also.> Thanks again, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Sandra

Another questions :) ID...No pic - 6/4/08 Hi <Hi Patrick, Mich here.> I was wondering if I could pick your brain again. <Heehee! As long as it's my brain and not my nose!> You have helped me out before :) <Glad to hear you have found us helpful> I found 2 of these little guys in my tank, they look like some kind of anemone to me. <You seem to have forgotten to attach the picture.> they are about the size of a pencil eraser. <Again a photo would be most helpful.> If you touch them they pull their sock/foot around their tentacles just like my RBTA when it wants to hide. I have posted these pics on nano-reef and reef central with no answers... <How about a link?> have you seen these before? <Maybe...> They don't look like the common aiptasia or the green Majanos from what I have been able to see on WWM. <Ok.> They are very white and one hasn't moved since I noticed it and the other seems to move almost daily. <A picture would be most helpful!> Thanks <Cheers, Mich> Patrick

Re: Another questions :) ATTN Mich - 6/5/08 Here are the pics!, sorry! <Ahh, very good Is a pest anemone for sure. Is in the family Aiptasiidae, perhaps a small Bartholomea annulata. A similar images here: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=16&cat=1897&articleid=3125 I would remove from your system. Cheers, Mich>

Re: Another questions :) ATTN Mich Another questions :) ID...No pic... Pest anem. f' 6/5/08 Thanks, <Welcome Patrick.> removal will begin tonight. <Good.> I have had pretty good success with removing the normal aiptasia using dental picks. I chip off a thin piece of rock under the aiptasia and use a siphon to suck it up, no damage to the anemone and you get the whole thing! <Excellent technique!> You do end up with white spots on your rock, but it covers over quickly enough. <Very good.> You guys are an awesome resource! <Glad you have found us helpful! Mich>

Help Condy Killing Spree - 2/15/2006 Hello, thanks for the wonderful site! I have a Condylactis anemone, recently the Condy attached itself to one of my clams. I can't seem to get the anemone to release to separate them at opposite ends of the tank. Is there any tricks out there to get Condys to release? <I would just get a butter knife and try to pry it away from the clam! IanB> Best, Bryan Re: Help Condy Killing Spree - 2/15/2006 Someone suggested a thin credit card, I found an old hotel room key, cleaned it up and it worked great. Thank you Bryan <Ah! "VISA, everywhere you want to be". Bob Fenner> Beadlet Anemone control My tank is being taken over by actinia and I was wondering if there is a way to kill them off? Thanks, Gord <See WWM re Aiptasia, other pest anemone controls. Bob Fenner>

Pest Anemone I had this come in on some live rock. Any ideas? Is it Aiptasia or a small curlicue?<Its a pest anemone, do take a look at this link for more info regarding these pest anemones (glass anemones, Aiptasia, etc) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm > <IanB>

Unknown Anemone (?) 6/7/03 Hi, I am a relatively new marine hobbyist, and I have been trying to identify some of the free critters that have been showing up in my tank. I recently learned that all of these new guys aren't necessarily desirable. I have what I think is an anemone that popped out of a rock I purchased...its about 1 inch high, grows rather fast too. The base is like a stem, and its a clear purplish color with some white spots. At the top is a bunch of tentacles that are a brownish purplish color, semi-transparent, with brighter purple tips. Is this thing good or bad, and if its bad should i try to fish it out (pardon the pun)? Any advice would be appreciated - sorry, i don't have a pic <we really cannot ID the creature easily without a pic, my friend. Instead... do a web search for "Anemonia majano" or "Aiptasia" to see if pics of either pest genus are similar to yours. Also review the FAQs and pics in our archives on anemones at wetwebmedia.com Best regards, Anthony>

Mystery Anemone? Hey Gang, How ya doin'? Anthony, (or anyone that may answer!), do you know what this is? <tough to say without a clearer pic... sight/color of base would help a little (red/orange, yes?)... could be a small Heteractis anemone (like H. aurora... have seen color morphs akin to this photo> Reef safe? <I do not believe any motile anemone should be kept with other sessile stinging cnidarians (coral). Most will kill or be killed in the long run> Problematic? Just curious! <it does not look like a pest species at this point to me, bud. Still... isolation in a refugium would be strongly recommended if not a separate tank altogether. If its a pest, it needs to be removed... and if its a baby Heteractis... it still does> Have a great day! Stormbringer (woo hoo, going camping today!) <kind regards, Anthony... PS- roast some marshmallows for me <G>>

Nuisance anemone Is there a safe way to eliminate nuisance anemone in my aquarium. Thanks so much! <What type of anemone? I use peppermint shrimp for Aiptasia. Check out the following link. http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm > Wishing you tons of smiles and laughter today! Karen!!!
<Thanks!!!, Gage>

Aiptasia ID Hello there, Can you give me a positive ID on this stranger? About 1cm across. Many thanks. <Not exactly... nice picture of what appears to be an anemone... please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and on to the links on "Pest Anemones", "Aiptasia"... you may be facing the question of whether this is a pest species that wants reacting to... I would leave it be for now... see if it reproduces quickly for now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Aiptasia ID Bob, Thanks for the comment. There's already two (this one and another) on the one piece of rock. <Oh...> Should it be removed to quarantine for observation or is it's reproduction already underway (if it is a pest species)? <Good question... I would pull the rock out that they're on and thoroughly (THOROUGHLY) scrub the areas they're attached to, rinsing under the sink... if any bits are left, they will regenerate... and spread. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone ID (and war) My little anemone has grown greatly since we last spoke. He is now almost 2 inches when he fans himself out, and has bright pink tips on the ends of his tentacles. He feeds voraciously if I let him, and I'm wonder how much, if it all, should I feed him? <Not much... this appears to be an Anemonia sp... and may reproduce quite quickly if supplied sufficient food> I started to feed him about once a week a month ago while I was trying to nurse my sebae back to health yet again. Just some brine shrimp mixed with Kent's MicroVert and tank water gentle blown on the anemone with a large syringe. The sebae has degraded itself to the extent that I have moved him to the quarantine tank in case he doesn't make it. <You may be experiencing a "chemical and physical war between these species"... they don't have to be in close proximity... just in the same bit of water... It would be best if they were completely separated> Attached are better pics of the ever growing little anemone. Why would one be doing so well, while the other struggles to survive? <Competitive strategies...> As for the rest of the tank, I still don't have a fish load. Only 1 damsel and 1 yellow tang. The tank is 75 gallons. I have added another 40 lbs of sand and another 20lbs of live rock giving me a good 3 inch bed of fine aragonite and over 70lbs of rock. I have a few colonies of spaghetti worms, various fan worms, some with bright red fans, some green, some white. I am constantly finding something I have never seen before. I have 2 cucumbers and 2 brittle stars. <Sounds nice> I may have 2 emerald crabs in there too, I just haven't seen them in quite a while. I intend to add some shrimp shortly, but still haven't decided what else. Any livestock suggestions? <The genus Lysmata... covered on WetWebMedia.com> I want to let the tank age probably another year before I try corals and such. As always, your advice is greatly appreciated. <Good ideas... though many corals are best placed as first organisms...> Oh yeah, the pics. <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Majano? Hey there, I've got a problem identifying what looks to be a pest anemone that has infiltrated my 54 gal. reef. I haven't got pics, so I'll try to describe it as best as I can. It has a longer tube like Aiptasia and a bright green center. The tentacles are green with red tips. Every time I've done a search here or on other boards I can't find anything that looks like this. I even looked thru all my books (lots) and came up empty. Can you give me a hand without a pic? Hope so. Have at it!!! thanks, Charlie <Yes, we can. Take a look at our pix: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/otherpstanemfaqs.htm and on the links beyond. Bob Fenner>

Controlling Pest Anemones Anthony, Thanks for the input, and quick response. <my pleasure, bud> Just wanted to let you know that your original advice (clean up my nutrient rich environment) was taken seriously. I have substantially reduced my feeding habits, and have noticed my fish load actually more active as they hunt for food in and around their live rock aquascape. <exactly... as it should be. A more balanced cycle of nutrients (fish eating algae, passing waste, which grows algae, that fish eat etc) rather than a dramatic weight of influence on nutrient import> They're all still real fat, and I believe they even look more healthy. <I do as well> In addition, 2 weeks ago I dumped my AE Tech Reef Devil 3 (running for over 2 years and never quite worked up to it's advertised performance), and bolted up a brand new Aqua C EV180 - WOW!!- an amazing difference. This thing is pulling out more gunk on a daily basis than the AE did in a week! <heehee... it is amazing once you see a skimmer that really works. Its too easy to have a skimmer that collects a cup or two per week and think that's all your tank produces...sheesh! I'm glad your got a great skimmer now> My main objective is to still eradicate the pests, but with your input I now realize that without solving the problem, they would just keep coming back. Hopefully these new steps will make certain I realize my goal. Thanks again, Dave G. <best regards, Anthony>

Anemone or Polyp? A real nuisance either way Greetings WWMCrew, I hope this finds you well. <and you as well my friend> A few months ago, I acquired a piece of established live rock from another tank. The rock contained several mushrooms and a Dampia (Sinularia Dura), <a very nice coral in my opinion!> which has tripled in size and started a new bud recently. Also, on this rock, were several (50-60) small (1/8 - 1/4") polyps. Over the past 3 months these polyps have taken up residence on every rock in the tank, the sand, and the glass. They now number in the hundreds. They are easily removed from the glass and sandbed, but I have not found a way to remove them from the rock as they shrink up to the size of a pinhead or vanish into a small hole in the rock. They are starting to disturb the corals in the tank, <they can indeed kill corals> and I am getting quite concerned they are going to get the better of the tank (not to mention, the better of me). <agreed... but know that they feed organismally and do not usually become a plague or nuisance in many/most tanks. This creature thrives plain and simply from overfeeding. You tank either has messy feeding fish, it is overfed, under skimmed and/or lacks current (some combination of the previous)> I have attached a picture of these polyps. First, have you ever seen these "wonderful" forms of life, and second, is there a way to remove them from the tank without disrupting everything else? I can move the rocks one at a time to my quarantine tank, if necessary, to facilitate easier removal. <and if so... there are several natural predators to control such pest anemones... Raccoon butterflies trained in a quarantine tank have often worked nicely> As always, thanks again for your words of wisdom. -Jim
<best regards>

Anemonia Outbreak Dear WWM Crew, I am desperately seeking help, I'm a long time WWM visitor, first time writer. <welcome my friend> Several months ago my 2 year old 100 gallon Reef sprouted a couple of bright green, bulb tipped anemones. From past experience, I knew they were not Aiptasia, so I was curious, not concerned. BIG MISTAKE!! These guys are now everywhere, and have killed several corals, including a small brain, Galaxea and various others. I was able to identify them in Julian Sprung's Reef Aquarium, Volume 2, as Anemonia cf. Majano, and their recommendation for eradication is the Nudibranch spurilla neapolitana. Every one I have spoken to regarding this Nudibranch has no idea what they are or where to get some. <agreed> My LFS suggested I try several peppermint shrimp. <dubious... better with small Aiptasia> I did. They have not been seen in the tank since shortly after I placed them in their new home (not sure, but I think the anemones ate them!). <heehee...> I have tried the various Aiptasia tricks, injection of high concentration of Kalkwasser, etc. but they just keep coming back to life and multiplying. On the rocks that are accessible and removable, I have been able to blast them off with a water pik, but this is not possible with the majority of my live rock. <agreed> All required parameters are excellent, fish and corals not close to anemones are fine, but these guys are on the move and I fear my beautiful little eco system is doomed if I can't find a solution. <I have solutions... but read on first. Know that killing these creatures is treating the symptom and not the problem. Such pest anemones only grow when there are available nutrients. Specifically... food particles. They feed organismally and will only thrive in high nutrient environments. In underfed, understocked, aggressively skimmed (etc) tanks.. a few will stay in place and not spread divide for years! So, you either have a messy fish (sloppy feeder), weak water movement, a skimmer that does not produce every day, a heavy hand at feeding or some combination of the aforementioned. Do consider> Any suggestions on eliminating these pests would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help, both presently and in the past. Dave G. <it is our pleasure to share and advise. For your immediate solution, there aren't many common and reef safe solutions. Mechanical removal is tedious and just not effective. I have seen Raccoon butterflies (C. lunula) trained in QT tanks to eat them (bring Anemonia covered rocks in for the first month of Qt and then the fish is often "reef safe" long enough in the reef display to eradicate the pest anemones). know that there are certainly risks to corals with this fish. Other aquarists with deep pockets have enjoyed juvenile Emperor angels with mostly to very reef safe results (under 4" specimens usually). Alas... there is no magic wand short of nutrient control to limit their growth. My advice is that if the bio-load allows it... perhaps experiment with a raccoon butterfly, but it must be quarantined for one month (disease screening and food training) and you must be willing/prepared to trap out of the display later if necessary. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>
Re: Anemonia Outbreak
Anthony and WWM Crew, Thank you so much for your fast response - you guys are exactly what this most rewarding hobby needs! <well we can't sit around and drink beer ALL day long :) > In response to your suggestions, I have fired up the QT and will be placing several infested rocks in it in preparation of the arrival of my new Raccoon Butterfly, which will be ready for pick up on Sunday. <excellent... and a fine, beautiful and hardy butterflyfish. Should me easy to find another home for it if the need should ever arise. A great fish> My question this time is regarding the quarantine/food training procedure. As is pointed out in the butterflyfish chapter in Mr. Fenner's Conscientious Book, butterflies may be quite picky and should be offered a variety of foods while in quarantine. <true of most butterflies indeed. But Raccoons in general are VERY hardy and adaptable. If the one you buy at your LFS is eating at the shop (as it should be) then don't be afraid to fast it after the first few days to a week to encourage the feeding on anemones. Keep in QT for about one month> Because my new addition will purpose specific (hitman/hired gun), should I follow the guidelines outlined in the book or let nature take its course and wait for Sammy "THE BULL" Butterflyfish to figure out that these pest anemones are breakfast, lunch and dinner? <thoughtful... but may not be necessary. Still... lets assume that the butterfly will be shy or stressed at first and do pamper/follow protocol. After 5-7 days of good behavior and feeding, let the games begin :)!> Thanks and best regards, Dave G. <do let us know how it works out. Anthony>

Anemone ID Attached is a pic of the little Anemone that popped up outta nowhere a few weeks ago. <yes... thank you for the pic... clearly and Anemonia cf. Majano. Not at all a baby... nearly adult at this small size> Must have been a hitchhiker on my live rock from a few months back. <yes... commonly from Indonesian imports (live rock, coral, etc. This little bugger is quite mobile and reproduces easily. Regarded as a pest by some as it spreads... can burn some coral and other cnidarians. If it doesn't reproduce to plague proportions...enjoy it. It fluoresces very nicely under actinics> It is only about the size of my thumbnail, and I have no idea what kind of Anemone he is. I haven't been able to find many pics on the net of very young ones, so I ask for your assistance. Thanks. <now you have a name to go with the tentacled face <smile>. Keep reading, searching and learning my friend. Anthony Calfo>

Re: Query on query > Bob... I did reply to that gent promptly (the little buggers are Anemonia "majano"... a mild nuisance). > My fault... I have a habit of moving the mail with pics to the draft folder for whoever does the pasting and > forgot to follow up (to see if the pics went with it or if the "paster" forgot to clear it so that I would). > <Mmm, nice pix too... don't see under the "marine pests" areas... or Anemone FAQs... rats!> Actually yes... they are becoming and ever more common problem... in some cases reaching "Aiptasia" like plague problems and requiring/resisting similar treatments. As a rule though they are not so bad. <Agreed. My experiences have been the same, second hand> There is not much to say about these little buggers that hasn't been covered with Aiptasia control. They are Pacific (through Indonesian imports of coral)... can be controlled inexpensively with larger angels (Ha!) like Emperor's... heehee. Perhaps writing a little blurb on them will be faster/easier than finding the reply to this post <G> <Will ask that Barb move your input here to new "Other Pest Anemone" FAQs section I'll create tomorrow> > I hope your spinning stops soon... heehee. You should be able to recuperate in just enough time for your > next flight out to an aquarium society meeting or next dive trip! > <Just my plan! Where would you like to go next? Steve, Deb sound like Cozumel... Bob F> > Antoine Awwww...shucks! Beggers can't be choosers. I will happily go with the flow if the sun shines and and I am guided so. The Caribbean sounds nice although hurricane season doesn't. If you believe the forecasters 40% accurate predictions, this summer is supposed to be a real pisser. Given to vote on an alternate... Fiji is the cost is reasonable enough us. <Actually, Fiji is about the same price... Let's keep chatting, saving. Bob F> Antoine

Anemonia cf. Majano ("little green polyps/anemones") Hello everyone, <whasssup, Rob? Anthony> Hope all is going well! I have a polyp problem, what started as a couple pretty polyps on a rock are now everywhere and stinging my expensive corals. I'm not sure what type polyps they are, although I have included a picture of them. I don't think they are Aiptasia, as these are very colorful green to dark green with pink tips. <thank you for the pics... they are Anemonia cf. Majano. A minor pest anemone from Indonesia> My question is how do I stop/remove them? A couple of them attached to the base of a hard coral and were stinging so much that the coral stopped opening. <yes, they are very irritating> I tried to remove them with forceps, but as soon as you touch them the shrink up. <and by lacerating them you may cause fission. Yikes!> I had to pull the coral out and brush the polyps off using a toothbrush and it literally took five or so minutes before the base of the polyp finally came off. Is there an easier way to rid these polyps, like injecting them with something/an predator? <aquarists are just now exploring the possibilities of natural predators for this pest. Until know all of the laborious applications used on Aiptasia (read WWM archives on these anemones) have been tried...no less laborious...Ha! One interesting predator that I have heard is a juvenile Emperor angel! Hardly an inexpensive solution. Generally not very reef safe unless under 5" too. If you ever wanted one, perhaps consider it... but that is hardly practical. The best bet with this pest is controlled feeding (sloppy foods for other fishes and corals in the tank help Anemonia thrive) and nutrient control (aggressive skimming). Such will temper the spread of this little beast. In time, I'm sure someone will discover a less expensive/more reliable natural predator. Best regards, Anthony> Thank you, Rob

Re: What is this anemone? Bob: I put the pictures out on the internet if you are curious as to what these things look like... you can click on the following link: http://www.softresc.com/anemone.asp Thanks again for your help....

Hmm, do look like... Actinia equina... and not really an undesirable sort of animal really... I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to get rid of them. Here's my fave pic of this species. Bob Fenner

Re: What is this anemone? Bob: Appreciate the identification. Looks very much like the picture you provided. Not a bad looking anemone - but to go from 1 to 20 in five years makes one concerned about the next five years. <You'd be shocked (maybe) to experience those pesky Aiptasia... have seen them go from undetected to literally hundreds in a few months!> They are a nuisance in that they grow on the underside of hard corals and interfere with other organisms by their close proximity. Tried getting one out by grabbing the stem with needle nose pliers - but boy they retract fast. Also tried the hot water trick - thought I killed it, but was back in a few days. Could try a butterfly but don't know why it wouldn't eat the good stuff as well. Could remove the rocks and scrub them - but most have polyps and macro-algae that I want to keep. <Try the Peppermint Shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni trick first... two individuals, and keep your eyes on them> Anyway, have read your articles - if you come up with any ideas please pass them along... Thanks, Jim >>
<Be chatting, 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: