FAQs on Aiptasia Anemones in
Related FAQs: Aiptasia
1, Aiptasia 2, Aiptasia 3, Aiptasia
Identification, Other Pest
Anemones, Eradication by: Berghia Nudibranchs, Peppermint
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,
New Print and
eBook on Amazon:
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
WAMAS greetings; Aiptasia control and flower/rock anemones
I wanted to ask you two questions. When we talked I had asked you about
Aiptasia control and flower/rock anemones.
My tank has been inundated with the Aiptasia. I currently have a
filefish in there now, but I think he has gotten too mature and only
likes the frozen food/pellets I feed. I just ordered two smaller ORA
filefish that I am hoping will help. You also mentioned raccoon
<Yes; these are faves (both species)>
I think you mentioned that peppermint shrimp are hit or miss too.
<This is so>
I was thinking about throwing some money down the drain and buying some
Berghias too. Inland
aquatics had a good article on what to do with them to ensure they
survive vs. just throwing them into your display tank. Any further
thoughts or advice?
<Like foxes and rabbits... you'll end up w/ some of both... The large
ones will need being taken care of otherwise. Please have a read here:
and the linked files above.>
Also, I had mentioned to you my interest in propagating flower anemones.
I just got a bunch and have been spot feeding them. From my readings,
they propagate infrequently, but you had mentioned some other ways to
induce breeding. What do you recommend?
<Either stress (lots of current is a fave) or very good conditions...
AND that universal ingredient patience>
Thank you again for your time and for coming to speak at our club.
<A pleasure and honor Scott. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Berghias - am I in an infinite Aiptasia loop?
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
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>
Aiptasia Quarantine Time 6/14/17
I have display tank which contains a handful of coral specimens, mostly
Zoanthids, but this tank also suffers from an Aiptasia infestation.
Infestation may be too strong a word, as they are well controlled with a
combination of wand removal and peppermint shrimp. At some point I would
like to remove and frag some of the coral for other tanks, but I fear
spreading the Aiptasia to another tank. I'm planning on a quarantine of
the frags prior to introduction into another system. So my question is -
how long would you maintain a frag in quarantine until you felt you
could confidently declare if Aiptasia free?
<Likely a few weeks would "do it" for me... giving any transferred pest
anemone bits to grow sufficient to be noted>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia madness. WWM laziness
Hi, I have a chronic and severe Aiptasia infestation in my 34 gallon Red
Sea Max. I've tried peppermint shrimp,
<Sure these were the right species? MANY sold as such that are not>
Aiptasia-eating filefish(2), Aiptasia-X, and a "majano wand", all to no
avail. Any suggestions are most welcome!
<Well; there's always Berghia... or nuking the whole tank... bleaching
hard substrates and starting over with a bit of new live. Let's have you
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thx, Al Tribe
Re: Aiptasia madness 12/28/16
Thx for quick response! Not sure how I would know exact species ID for
<Easy to discern w/ a little reading>
(my LFS who I trust says they eat Aiptasia in their tank FWIW) and
Berghia seem outrageously expensive, but nuking is out of the question
so I'll study that link and take it from there.
<Real good. Cheers, BobF>
Hi, Bob. I know that this will be the craziest question that you've ever been
asked, but I'm going to be (At least planning) to do a long term adaptation
experiment using Majano/ Aiptasia anemones.
The net is full of advice on how to get rid of them, but what conditions will
they thrive in?
<Bright light (big city?), and lots of N, P, K nutrient availability. A largish
plastic kiddie pool, some live rock, and using your change out water, with a
teaspoon of complete fertilizer added per fifty gallons of water every month or
so... Specific gravity about 1.025-6... And I'd be using a sharp knife,
water-pic or such to cut up large specimens to hasten their populating the
system. DO please share your observations. Bob Fenner>
New live sand 2/1/16
I am building a refugium and just bought several bags of live oolite.
<Mmm; see WWM re... I'd just buy (or stick with if you already have) some live
rock... this will inoculate sand soon enough and better>
Years ago I had a HUGE Aiptasia problem that was only eradicated by killing all
of my rock. I Bought some reef saver to add to the refugium so not worried about
that. Can Aiptasia be introduced with new bags of live sand
<Don't think this is likely at all; no>
or should I hunt down some dead sand. I do not want to battle those things
again! Thanks in advance.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia battle + Peppermint shrimp
1 1 16
120 gallon tank
fx5 ( floss and live rock in baskets.)
Eheim classic (media = cocoa pebbles+ floss )
Eshopps HOB 100 skimmer
100 pounds live rock
Tank is 3 years old.
15 gallon water change and filter clean every 2 1/2 weeks
How I got to where I'm at:
at the 2 year mark I had awesome pod population
5 different clusters of
4 turbo snails
purple coralline on everything.
1 yellow tang
1 blue velvet damsel
2 black clown
1 sleeper goby
30 gallon quarantine tank downstairs with
with a few sps
bought a Duncan coral
placed it in main tank.
2 weeks later noticed
purchased 2 peppermint shrimp.
Damsels killed them in 1 hour flat. :-(
purchased 4 peppermint shrimp
put them in quarantine tank.
moved live rock with Aiptasia to quarantine tank.
they ate the Aiptasia.
put live rock back in main tank.
this cycle went on for about 6 months.
Aiptasia would always appear.
I would move effected rock to quarantine tank
peppermints would eat it.
move rock back to main tank.
came home one day to find heater in quarantine tank malfunctioned and tank
corrals all closed. 2 dead shrimp.
immediately moved all things into main tank thinking I could save them.
I did 2 hour acclimation.
matched quarantine tank with main tank.
except for lighting.
Metal halides quarantine.
1 week later.
everything I put in main tank from quarantine tank was lost.
couple weeks later.
had about 10 Aiptasia
in main tank. everything else doing healthy.
quarantine tank was now gone.
tried purchasing 6 peppermint for main.
after 2 weeks damsel killed them all.
LFS would not take damsel.
(their policy is they never take fish :-()
I couldn't kill him so I left alone.
6 months later.
Aiptasia numbered above 200
everything was gone except for purple coralline, Yellow tang, blue velvet
I NEVER used any chemical in main tank.
Damsel ran into rock and damaged himself. healed.
did it again and didn't make it.
Now I had over 300 Aiptasia and One Yellow Tang.
and still had beautiful purple coralline algae.
0-5 nitrates. salinity 1.024
With Blue Velvet Damsel gone
I added 10 peppermint shrimp.
It has been 2 weeks now and almost all Aiptasia are gone.
only 12 left. :-)
I suddenly have 80 plus Nitrate level.
in a matter of 4 days.
Did the bio load increase so much from 10 peppermint shrimp that I'm
Or because of the amount of Aiptasia being eaten I am seeing major die off
causing my high nitrates?
I have been doing 20 gallon water changes for 2 days straight now.
Nitrate level is at 40-60 ppm today.
will Aiptasia being eaten cause High nitrates???????
or is something else going on?
keep in mind. 75% of the Aiptasia are gone in a weeks time.
Tang is doing great still.
Coralline is still growing great.
All shrimp are doing great with 4 molting already.
One cluster of zoa's that I thought were gone are starting to open up again.
I have used 2 different tests of nitrate testing solution to verify that one
Any help much appreciated.
<Heya Chris, Happy New Year! Thanks for the very specific and detailed email,
heads above what we are often given to advise upon :) It seems your husbandry is
excellent and your observational skills (what to be looking at
and why) are right on. I am also glad to hear of someone going out of their way
to care for an animal they took responsibility for by purchasing even though it
was a "mere" damsel even though it was causing problems rather
than kill it. Your email here can serve as instructional to others, as much as a
(un)Fortunately I have been in the same boat you are, having had a pest anemone
explosion of epic proportions myself. As for the spike, those little demons we
call Aiptasia have multiple ways of reproducing and one of them
is what Bob refers to as the "end of the world, everyone have babies" response.
Or I call "Krypton is doomed, send the children off into space" syndrome.
Essentially, you declared war on them via the shrimp, which can only eat them by
tearing them up and as you know, this makes them split off into new animals. So
they aren't being completely exterminated, just "pruned" down to a tolerable,
non-problematic level. And it's suspected that the very small, new ones are
being eaten before they get noticeable to our eyes. I have a queen angelfish
that does this (preys on the very small ones so they never get a chance to
spread or grow noticeably) and a lot of other animals do the same. So the
peppermints are great in that regard (and you stuck gold with your particular
shrimp...a great many particular peppermints or filefish etc. recommended as
Aiptasia eaters...simply don't eat them...hang onto them or pass them around
your local club as "mercenaries").
Where it gets to be a real issue is when it gets to the "apocalypse" for a large
population of the pests because they can also spawn due to stress (or as far as
I can tell because they darn well feel like it). And they do it en masse so you
have a massive amount of their reproductive material hitting the water all at
once. It can even cloud the water. If left alone this stuff could definitely die
off and cause serious pollution. In my case it was a very infested 240g tank and
I decided to cover it with a blanket to starve them out via no light and no
food. Perfect plan until said stress-induced mass spawning event happened. They
exploded like you wouldn't believe and when I tried to remove the layer of the
little bastards out, of which there was a milky film on the surface of the
water...my forearms looked like I'd been shot with bird shot. I was unable to
put this all together for sure but confirmed my suspicion by via looking
at some of the water under a microscope and seeing the little coiled
So to try to summarize this, I expect die-off from these spores/gametes/larvae
to be the problem. If you are seeing a reduction simply via water changes,
you've already got your answer as to how to proceed and are on top of the game.
Don't do anything drastic, keep up with the water changes and I am confident you
will be back to normal in short
order. Obviously get the quarantine back up (maybe without the metal halide,
possibly overkill on a 30g quarantine tank and somewhat self-defeating of the
intent of such a tank).
A last note re: biological controls of Aiptasia. I'm sure you are aware of
"Berghia" Nudibranchs. These are the only known *obligate* predator of Aiptasia
(meaning they eat Aiptasia and only Aiptasia, all the time, every time). But
besides the reliability, the unique thing about them is they are the only
perfect Aiptasia killing machines and actually dissolve the animal from the base
up via digestive fluids, leaving not a trace of the anemone to spread and in
such a way and at a rate that does not allow them to stress. They are
Aiptasia-antimatter, so much so that their only problem as a control mechanism
is that they will invariably starve themselves...they are too good at their jobs
in a captive environment. I got around 10 and they cleaned out that 240g I
mentioned a few months after I'd dealt with the spawning disaster. It's been a
couple of years now and not a trace of either the anemones nor the nudis
remains. If you have the same issue in the future ideally rather than just the
shrimp in a quarantine as you did, Nudibranchs would be the solution. They are
hard to find but you can always get them where I did from a man named Morgan
Lidster of Inland Aquatics (online). Please also see the faq's here on WWM
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm. Please keep us updated on
your situation, follow-ups are a big help to others down the line. -Earl>
Aiptasia on my Scolymia 10/16/15
I was hoping you could help me out. I have an Aiptasia in my tank. I know this
is a common problem and reading Wet Web Media there do seem to be a lot of ways
to get rid of Aiptasia.
<Oh yes; and there was a very nice piece by James Fatherree in the more recent
TFH that sums up these methods>
My situation is the Aiptasia is on the base of my Scolymia. I didn't know it was
there until I was feeding the scoly and as it was eating its flesh retracted or
moved to reveal the Aiptasia.
The Aiptasia is 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch away from the base line of where he flesh
meets the hard structure of the scoly. I do not want to damage the scoly to kill
my thoughts were superglue however in the process if the tissue of the scoly
moves and get stuck it will damage the
soft tissue. I thought about chemical means, lime juice or Kalk, but I can't buy
a needle with out a prescription, I will get a prescription if that is the best
method, and I don't know if chemicals injected on the base of the scoly could
affect the scoly. I do not want to smear or shoot chemical near the flesh of
scoly for fear of harming as well. I thought putty just to cover up as well.
Thanks in advance and Take care.
<Well; life itself is really a matter of compromises... Let's see: The
cost of doing nothing? Not what I'd choose.... I'd lift the Scolymia
from the tank, scrape as much of the Glass Anemone off with a sharp blade
(Exacto or similar) and thoroughly dab the area w/ the most noxious material I'd
allow... H202 on the very low side. Rinse the specimen, return to the tank.
Others might suggest Berghia... Bob Fenner>
This is not a question but informational.
I purchased a large 18” almost flat piece of live rock covered with blue and
purple coralline algae. it of course had some bristle worms not worried about
them as I have never had them be a problem. it did have a bunch of Aiptasia
anemone on it. I had killed a couple with Kalk but I decided to many to do that
with. Bought 3 peppermint shrimp from the same place, put them into my 250
gallon tank at the time they were only thing in the tank except rock. the second
night I could not find the shrimp, I figured they were hiding or died. none of
the Aiptasia disappeared. then a week later most of the Aiptasia were gone. They
had hidden to molt and then they went at the Aiptasia. I had read that they
almost never take care of the larger ones. I had one that was almost 2 inches
across and it has now been taken care of. if I get out the flashlight at night I
can find the shrimp climbing around. if you start out with nothing in the tank
and the shrimp have only been getting fed Aiptasia they work even on the bigger
Thanks Bruce Burnett
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Seahorse tankmate? Aiptasia control sel.
Good Morning crew Brian here with really quick question. In my
main display seahorse system housing three pairs of erectus seahorses I
have found a few Aiptasia popping up, due to design of the system
removing the rock and removing the Aiptasia is not a option (the tank is
over four feet deep and all the rock is one big unit weighing over
150lbs in a large column and the Aiptasia are on the bottom of the rock
structure). I have been attempting to research the use of
peppermint shrimp to take care of these pests but there seems to be some
varying opinions with there use in tanks with horses. Do you think
peppermint shrimp will cause any problems and if you do what would your
next choice be for removing these pests that is seahorse friendly!
<They will not cause trouble, but Berghia Nudibranchs, even a chemical
solution might be better (the latter if the Aiptasia are not too
numerous. Read here re:
and the linked files at the bottom on WWM>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia/Aiptasia Control 8/22/12
I recently found some pest anemones.
Aiptasia are only currently on one piece of rock, but I have a Galaxea
stuck to the same rock. I do not want to kill all of my sponges and
such, but I know that these must be dealt with. I have a friend who has
a 120 gal FOWLR. He offered to let me use one of his Auriga Butterflies
to get rid of these. My tank is only 55 gallons, and I am concerned that
the butterfly may pick at my hundreds of tube worms, and corals.
<Tube worms for sure and some stony corals.>
I have 1 Open Brain, 3 Acan Lord, 12 Duncan, 3 Galaxea, 2 Frogspawn, 1
Hammer, 2 Candy Cane, 1 Orange Sun, 1 Favites Brain, 2 Hawaiian Feather
Dusters, hundreds of red feather dusters, 1 Tricolor Wrasse, 2 Firefish
Gobies, 4 Banggai Cardinals, 1 Pistol shrimp with a Yellow Watchman
goby. Could I just sacrifice the rock?
<I would. You can cut a piece of the Galaxea coral off the
infected rock and cement it on
another rock. As you know they do grow fast. James (Salty
Hello again. Hope you all are doing well.
<Hello Gary, I'm doing fine.>
I have an Aiptasia problem in my FOWLR 75 gallon tank. I have tried
several methods of getting rid of them and no luck. Since I have a FOWLR
125gallon tank as well I was thinking of taking the fish that I have in
the 75g (Coris Wrasse, Clownfish, Threadfin Butterfly, Flame Hawkfish
and a Green Chromis ) and putting them in the 125g temporarily so I can
empty the 75g of all salt water and just put in fresh water to try and
kill the Aiptasia. Do you think this would work to get rid of the
Aiptasia? The 125g has a Hippo Tang, Foxface lo, Purple Tang,
Majestic Angel, Lemonpeel Angel and 3 Blue Damsels. I have a 20gallon
Quarantine tank as well to put any fish that might not get along in that
one. Both tanks are peaceful on their own. My other option would be to
make my 90g freshwater tank into a saltwater tank and put them in that
tank. But I would have to add new sand and put my fresh water fish in
the 75g after it is cleaned which would be a much bigger undertaking.
What do you think I should do and what would work best for getting rid
of the Aiptasia?
<Moving would be the last resort, unnecessary stress on the animals.
Have you read here and FAQs found in the header?
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Aiptasia/Control 8/9/12
That link came up as an error on the link.
<Mmm, Bob will have to look into this.>
I read your page on getting rid of Aiptasia. I have tried butterfly
fish, peppermint shrimp, taking everything out of the tank and scrubbing
it with hot water. I have not tried Nudibranchs
<The Berghia Nudibranch is a very effective control of Aiptasia as this
is the only food it will eat. Problem is, you have a couple of fish that
would likely dine on them. The other issue is cost, anywhere from 12 to
15 bucks generally. One the Aiptasia have been eliminated they will
perish unless you can find some one that has an Aiptasia problem and is
willing to take them off your hands.>
and I have not tried chemical means but there is so much Aiptasia in
there that I fear I would have to put a whole gallon of the stuff in
there to maybe do the job and I figure I would end up killing the fish
by doing that anyway.
<I'd give Joe's Juice a try. From feedback I've heard, the product works
very well. See here.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Aiptasia/Control 8/13/12
I will try the Joes juice and see what happens. If I bought one
Nudibranch would that be enough to take care of the tank or would I have
to have a bunch of them? It does seem like a neat idea to see the
Nudibranch ridding the tank of Aiptasia.
<I'd try three or four and hope they do not become meals for other
inverts or fish. James (Salty Dog)>
glass anemones - 5/8/2012
Hello Wetweb Crew,
I recently purchased some live rock from my LFS and I noticed I might have a few glass anemones on it. I am not 100% sure that they are glass anemones but they look like the pictures I found online. They are about the size of my thumbnail and they
only seem to be out at night. I have heard that these guys quickly become a problem.
Reproduce quickly and can irritate corals.
I read that they can be killed with lemon juice or by purchasing animals that eat them.
There are plenty of products available- Aiptasia-X, Joes Juice, simple Kalk paste, lemon juice... Some Butterfly and Filefish will eat them . Peppermint shrimp are my preferred method of control but they tend to ignore the larger ones.
Read more here-- http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasi a.htm
Should I even worry about these guys?
They are much easier to control in smaller numbers. I would address the issue as soon as possible.
If so what should I do to stop them from becoming a problem?
I would manually kill as many as possible and add a few peppermint shrimp to control there numbers.
Thanks a million,
Re: Glass anemones 5/8/12 - 5/9/2012
Hello, Thank you for the quick reply you guys are the best!
Hi Erik, We aim to please
I am going to purchase some Joe's Juice or lemon juice(whichever I can find first). When I tried the link you pasted it would not let me go to it. The error was HTTP error 404.0 I don't know if that helps.
Odd, for some reason there was a space in the link. Search WWM for "Aiptasia" and the first selection is the link. Here it is again-- http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasi a.htm
But I was also going to purchase a Peppermint shrimp or two but I already have a Cleaner shrimp in my tank(which is only a 30 gallon). Would there be any problems with these two different species of shrimp?
The Peppermints should be able to avoid the Cleaners.
Thanks a million, Erik
Quite welcome, Jordan
Killing Aiptasia without damaging
coralline; also extracting worms 2/9/12
Hi wonderful experts. I have an unusual question. Six
months ago, just for the fun of seeing what came out of ultra-pampered
live rock, I cured a batch that I didn't need for anything else. It
was in a 30 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump and a skimmer rated for
300 gallons! I did massive water changes and used full reef
lighting from the first day. I suffered none of the usual startup
cycle stuff: no ammonia or nitrite spike at all, negligible nitrate, no
diatom bloom, no algae explosion, nothing but fascinating life!
I've spent countless hours just staring at that tank, seeing one
weird creature after another appear. Thank God for Calfo and
Fenner's book on reef invertebrates; it's helped me identify
almost everything. Honestly, it's been more fun than my fish
But here's my dilemma now: This tank has turned into Aiptasia
City. I found peppermint shrimp on sale for just four bucks, so I
put ten in the tank. They were marvelous. In one day I saw
a difference, and in two weeks the tank was almost totally free of
Aiptasia. But along with the rock came numerous crabs, including
one beauty I named Dalmatia because it is pure white with black
spots. Needless to say, the crabs dined well for a few
weeks. Soon after the last peppermint shrimp was eaten, the
Aiptasia came back. Berghias are useless to me because they are
too darned expensive and also because the Aiptasia is in the sump, in
the overflow, in the powerheads, everywhere. I give up.
It's time for the nuclear option.
But many of the rocks (fist size) are covered in some of the most
spectacular scarlet and royal purple coralline I've ever
seen. If I remove them, is there a way I can treat them
individually in such a way that I kill the Aiptasia on them (plus any
planula) without killing the coralline, so I can safely put them in a
<Mmm, the short answer: "Not really, likely">
In the same vein, one of the rocks contains a truly magnificent
spaghetti worm. This guy is so big that, seriously, you can see
it from ten feet away. It's dozen or so tentacles span the
entire width of the tank! I'd love to rescue that worm before
I nuke the tank. Someone whose advice I do not fully trust told
me to immerse the rock in saltwater with a specific gravity of 1.040,
and that will drive the worm out of its hole in the rock.
Does that make sense? Any better plan?
<I'd go the biological cleaner route again, but ramp it up...
likely a fish... See here:
or a Monacanthid if it'll go. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for any thoughts!
Re: Killing Aiptasia without damaging coralline; also extracting
Bob - Thank you once again for fast and intelligent advice! I am
tempted to go the Copperband route, as that would be an interesting new
adventure, and I'm always game for adventures.
<Ah, good all the way around>
One advantage of this tank is that it is a dedicated live rock
tank in the cellar, so I can feel free to do risky things in it.
Nobody sees it but me.
However, I have one concern about the Copperband: Other than the
gorgeous coralline algae, my prize in that tank is a magnificent
spaghetti worm with tentacles that span the width of the tank. I
would go to great lengths to spare the life of that critter. But
I have read several places that Copperbands love to eat worms.
Will the fact that this worm is hiding deep inside a hole in a
rock protect him, or will the fish eat his tentacles and kill
<I think you will see this coming for some time if so. IF concerned,
I might fashion a plastic strawberry basket or such over the
Re: Killing Aiptasia without damaging coralline; also extracting
>> plastic strawberry basket or such over the worm <<
Bob - Great idea! As soon as we get a day warm enough to be safe
to mail order the Copperband (our LFS has a limited selection of fish)
I'll send for one and give it a try. Thanks again!
<Ah, welcome Tim. B>
Good morning (here anyway) to my aquatic friends at Wet Web Media.
I am writing in desperation. After many years of keeping a
"clean" 125 gallon reef tank I am having major issues with
Aiptasia (imported on a lovely piece of birds nest with two Pocillopora
attached to the same rock along with infant scallops). All of the
original critters on that one piece have thrived (including the
Aiptasia). Here we are, two years later and my tank is inundated. Have
tried reduced feedings and am now only feeding a floating flake version
of Formula Two (mostly for the yellow tang's)once a day and a
single cube of Prime Reef or some other blend once a week for the LPS.
Basically a starvation diet.
I cannot reduce the lighting due to the large population of corals. I
have tried assorted commercial Aiptasia killers such as Joe's Juice
(moderate kill rate), Stop Aiptasia (ineffective), and most recently
Aiptasia X (looks effective but then they come back). Each treatment is
done as per instructed (all circulation off, let sit for up to 1/2
hour) and then I siphon off whatever is left using air tubing and
hollowed out pen nib.
Looks good for a couple of days and then they start coming back. After
latest treatment, Cyanobacteria out break followed on all treated
surfaces ( I guess Aiptasia X kills all stuff, good or bad leaving it
open for this outbreak).
<For such a large infestation, I would not go this chemical route.
Better by far to introduce one or more predators>
Needless to say, I do not wish to try chemicals anymore. I do have a
rather large Elegance Coral that survived almost freezing to death back
in October but am not willing to move it about since a) there is no
room and b) I will not put it on rock work. I am afraid to get
peppermint shrimp as there is a bicolor Pseudochromis in the system and
he'll probably eat them. If I try a Copperband butterfly (assuming
I can find a good one) will the yellow tang's annoy it to
<Hopefully not. Is there room for a Chaetodon lunula
If I try the Aiptasia eating Nudibranch what are the chances of
survival for them?
<They eventually will die from starvation, or turn to some other
Cnidarian/s... I'd not choose them>
I maintain a lagoon style set up so there is a 10 ppm nitrate reading
in the tank and I understand they need a 0 nitrate environment. I
cannot even get rid of the affected rock as there are corals growing on
Am I missing anything? Do you have any other suggestions?
<Mmm, yes. Read here:
and the linked files above>
PS: I am getting another reef cleaner package and going heavy on the
red legged hermit crabs in a coupe of weeks. They may help also.
<Mmm, doubtful. Am not a fan of these anomurans in the vast majority
of marine aquariums... for reasons gone over and over on WWM>
As always, thank you in advance for your help. I am starting to think a
systematic break down and clean up is needed. Perhaps there are too
many organics stuck in the plenum or I need to dispose of some of the
Tank set up:
Deep Sand Bed (3 to 4 inches with lots of worms, copepods, tiny brittle
starts, spaghetti worms, tube worms etc. Very much
Plenum designed as per GARF specs.
10-20 ppm Nitrate
0 Phosphate (according to Sea Chem test kit)
LED lighting system
2 Eheim Wet Dry Filters (alternately cleaned every couple of
Recently added Chemi Pure in an effort to reduce organics 2 additional
powerheads for circulation
Currently increased 30g water changes every other week.
System is 8 years old with no more room. Haven't purchased any
additional anything for the last two years since all corals grew in to
fill available space.
Assorted Euphyllia species (hammer and frogspawn)
Palythoa (two clumps)
Orange plate coral
Orange encrusting Montipora
Assorted mushrooms and Ricordea
Some interesting scallops (I think. came in on Aiptasia infected rock
3 Bubbletip anemone (used to be 1 and I think I am getting rid of
1 Pajama Cardinal (wants a new home)
1 bicolor Pseudochromis
2 Yellow Tangs
1 tomato clown
Assorted snails and a few hermit crabs
<Don't despair. Read till you understand your options... act.
Aiptasia Danger? 1/3/12
I have a ten gallon salt water tank that houses a Percula Clown, a
Yellow Clown Goby, a serpent starfish, a few quarter sized hermit
crabs, and various species of snails. Since I have no intention of
keeping corals in this tank, would Aiptasia anemones pose a threat to
my livestock? I find them quite interesting and obviously they would
not be difficult to care for. I know that they pose a significant
threat to sessile invertebrates, but could a couple larger specimens
hurt or consume my fish or clean up crew?
<As long as no corals are present, Aiptasia shouldn't pose a
threat to your fish.
Because of their potent sting, they may be a threat to other
invertebrates if allowed to multiply in large numbers. May want
to read here.
Thanks for your time!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Questions Questions. Tank Move, setup,
Aiptasia control 11/9/11
I have a few questions. I am currently in the process of switching from
a 46 gallon bowfront with a sump to a 75 gallon. I have live rock now
in my tank and it has quite the population of Aiptasia that I have been
trying to get rid of. In the new tank I am plumbing everything into the
basement and using two separate tanks for my sump setup. One for the
actual sump and one for a refugium. I had a friend give me a ton of
rock that used to be live but is now dried out. I would like to use my
current LR in the sump in the basement which will be 5-8 ft below my
tank in the basement. The new rock that my buddy gave me will be in the
main display to become LR again in time. If I use my current LR with
Aiptasia only in the sump can the Aiptasia make its way into my tank
<It is possible, but probably not too likely. Just keep a close eye
out and be ready to tackle any in the main tank before it becomes
I do not want this in my main tank again!.
I thought about getting some Nudibranchs and putting them in the sump
with the LR but am not sure what to do.
<Not just any Nudibranch will do, it needs to be a Berghia, which is
an obligate Aiptasia eater. They can be bought aquacultured.>
I am using a 55 gallon for the sump and a 30 gallon for the refugium to
make my water volume bigger and for future equipment being added on. If
I used this same rock and LS in my sump for my new tank would it save
my tank from cycling again?
<It would definitely help speed up the cycle, may make it
I thought about purchasing already cured LR from the LFS and putting
that in my sump instead of the Aiptasia loaded rock. Help!
<No guarantees there that it would be Aiptasia free either. See here
for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm
Aiptasia, Aiptasia, Here and There! (Soon
to be everywhere!) -- 10/07/11
Hello, Bob and the wonderful crew at WWM!
<<Hey Jamie'¦Eric here>>
Well, I was doing some fun reading on WWM and it reminded me to ask you
a question regarding Aiptasia.
I have these pesky, stinging, resilient, and not to mention ugly,
anemones in my refugium and my overflow, and I'm guessing that they
will be in my sump and tubing very soon!
It is interesting to note that there are NONE in my display tank.
<<That you have seen/noticed'¦>>
I'm guessing it is because I have red legged hermits and an Emperor
Angel who may be supplementing his diet with these yummy (?) pests.
I've read that some have kept the Aiptasia in their refugium as a
means of nutrient export.
<<This is true'¦efficient 'absorption'
feeders'¦though I can't help but think they take a share
of the planktonic organisms as available, as well>>
I wonder if they will spread back to my display tank, but then, I think
they started in my display tank and travelled down to the
How hard should I try to eradicate these in my refugium?
<<In my experience (I have a large number of these pest anemones
in my own refugium), as long as you have an 'effective'
biological control in the display (Copperband, in my case) it is nit an
I was thinking of getting a Peppermint Shrimp to place in there but
I've had shrimps in my refugium before and I think they starved to
<<I wouldn't do this>>
My refugium is 13 gallons with 3" live sand and Chaetomorpha. Red
legged hermits probably would not work as they cannot climb up high
enough to get to the Aiptasia.
<<Crabs/shrimp are likely to do more harm to the beneficial
biota, than to the Aiptasia>>
Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated!
<<You have 'em!>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Aiptasia in curing live rock for
invertebrate-only tank 10/2/11
Hi all. Thank you for being there for us beginners!
I am in the third day of curing a batch of live rock from several areas
of the ocean. I plan to make this an invertebrate-only tank.
To preserve as much life as possible, I am using a ridiculously
oversized needle-wheel skimmer, doing massive water changes, and
pouring in large amounts of nitrification bacteria additive. So far,
ammonia and nitrite are still almost unmeasurable, and I can't
believe how much life is popping out of this rock. I've got some
healthy looking corals, snails crawling all over the place, I caught
sight of a bristle worm, and I even have a tiny baby starfish (which
probably will not survive due to lack of food).
Amazing! I never realized that curing live rock could be so much
But... little anemones that are almost certainly Aiptasia are also
appearing. Aagh! I do not want this to become an Aiptasia species
Individual injection with Kalk or Aiptasia-X would be an impractical
I have not yet found a source for Berghia verucornis, although I intend
to keep looking. If anyone here knows of a good mail-order source,
please let me know. Thanks!
<Try the hobbyist magazines' ads in the back... your close-by
marine aquarium/reef club/s...>
Your main Aiptasia page here says this:
"In particular the more common "Red Legged
("Hairy") Hermit Crab, Clibanarius digueti"
Interesting. I have not seen this suggestion anywhere else, which makes
me suspicious, although I hate to doubt the wisdom here!
I have tons of clibanarius tricolor in my FOWLR display tank. I could
move some of them to the new tank as soon as cycling is complete. Do
you have any idea if they would do the trick?
<I do not have complete confidence in Hermits period; but worth
trying... I do agree w/ a biological control vs. chemical>
As of now, my tentative plan is to wait for cycling to complete, and
then put in some Lysmata wurdemanni. As you know, there are mixed
reports on the efficacy of this method, but since it fits in perfectly
with my plan of an invertebrate-only tank, it's worth a try.
Anyhow, here is my main question: My plan of using peppermint shrimp
and hermit crabs, and the Nudibranchs if I can get them, requires
waiting until the rock is fully cured and cycling is complete. But I
fear that by then the Aiptasia may have overrun the tank and the task
will be hopeless. So... do you think it's safe to wait for
completion, or should I do something else immediately?
<Not to worry re the timing... I'd be patient>
I have no idea how quickly this population may explode. Thanks for any
<Again, welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Aiptasia in curing live rock for invertebrate-only tank, Limpet
Bob - Thank you! I'll wait for cycling to complete and then put in
peppermints, hermits, and Nudibranchs if I can get them. I'm glad
you said to wait for curing to complete. That's what I wanted to
By the way, I've been researching limpets here, and I noticed
several people asking where to get them. I purchased some from
reefcleaners.org and was very happy with their quality and
<Thank you for this input>
My new limpets are leaving scorched earth in their path, but I guess
that's the point. Just thought I'd pass along that source in
case anyone else asks.
my Aiptasia is dying! I don't want it
So I have been culturing Aiptasia and Berghia for 3~4 years now with no
problem. Recently I moved and completely redid my system of six 90 gal.
tubs. Doing everything the same way all of my fish and LR and just
fine, but all of my Aiptasia are melting. I know that they like
nutrient rich water and I have adjusted my skimmer up and down for a
few weeks, 0 nitrate,
<... too low>
levels good all around. Only difference now is that I have city water
instead of a well.
So there are 2 things that I think might be causing this. 1- there is
copper in the city water, and 2- the tap water conditioner I used is
having some effect. Do you have any input or ideas?
My Berghia cultures are barely hanging on as I have been going to my
Lfs to strip their tanks of Aiptasia to support them.
<... Uh, not following you here mate... but yes, best to put out the
911 on the glass anemone bun... Look for 'nems from elsewhere hon!
Unusual Aiptasia Predator (Mithrax sp.)? --
I don't really have a question today, more of an observation.
I have a 55 gallon reef tank and recently noticed a couple small
Aiptasia pop up on a piece of live rock.
<<'¦and then they were many'¦>>
I was keeping an eye on them until I could pick up some Joe's
<<Prefer Red Sea's Aiptasia-X, myself>>
Well my Mithrax crab decided that he had a taste for Aiptasia and
subsequently cleaned up my problem before it became one.
Well I guess I have one question, is this an isolated occurrence or
have any of you heard of this type of predation?
<<Haven't heard this before, but that doesn't mean
it's an isolated occurrence either. This is just another example of
the opportunistic and predatory nature of most all crabs'¦do
keep an eye on this guy as it gets bigger, else your fishes/other
desirable organisms can become its next
Thank you for all the help you, WWM, have given me.
<<The pleasure is ours>>
I wouldn't be enjoying my tank as much without it. You all are the
<<We are happy to share'¦Cheers!
Your site has bin a great help an I've bin able to identify many
hitchhikers on my lr, I have one or to Aiptasia on my lr
If I inject the with boiling water will it change the
chemistry and mostly will it harm my fish? thank you
<Not a good idea to do this w/o leaving the rock somewhere else for
a while... Not a technique I'd employ. Bob Fenner>
Re: Aiptasia 5/29/11
Thank for the quick reply ,Wt would you advise ,is it better to leave
the it and get some Aiptasia x from my Lfs
Jus worried they won't harm the fish will it I have bout a dozen or
<Do READ here:
including all the linked files above. Best to learn from others
experiences, successful and equally as valuable, unsuccessful, w/o
having your livestock suffer unnecessarily. BobF>
Re: Aiptasia Identification. now
eradication... Baby baby light my fire!
I tried all the various recommended remedies the remove the Majanos and
I did not have any luck. However, I found something that did work well
and wanted to share it. Using a small butane torch cigar lighter, I
lift the rock partially out of the water, burn the Majano to a crisp
and then put the live rock back into place.
<What's that slogan for the sandwich shoppe?
This has eliminated my entire Majano problem without causing any ill
effects to water chemistry or tank inhabitants. I have occasionally had
one pop up, but when I do, I just incinerate it with the torch. Works
great, no cell's or tissue left to spread the nuisance Majano with
<"Take me higher!" Thanks, BobF>
UV Helpful Against Aiptasia?/Aiptasia
Thanks for the wonderful site; it never ceases to amaze me.
I have a burning question I'm hoping you can help me answer. While
trolling the internet I ran across mention of using UV sterilizers to
help slow the spread of Aiptasia. I suppose it could in theory kill any
free floating buds before they had a chance to attach? How likely is a
UV sterilizer to actually make a noticeable difference in Aiptasia
control as part of a multi-pronged approach? I would be very interested
in any thoughts or experience with this the crew has to offer.
<Would be of little to no value for controlling Aiptasia.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Insights on Defeating Aiptasia
Hi Everyone at WWM!
I would like to share my personal experience in successfully battling a
long-term, horrid Aiptasia infestation in my display tank.
The methodology is quite simple, and the results almost magical, that I
decided to share it with you so that others may try it out for
themselves. The tank in question is a 36" x 18" x 18"
tank loaded with live rock that was originally designed as a grow-out
tank for wild-collected juveniles (1/4") of Chelmon rostratus.
The tank was intentionally stocked (yes...) with Aiptasia that served
as the food supply for the Butterflyfish. It came to a point where the
tank was packed with the anemones at a density of around 3-4 adults per
square inch (yes, the stuff reefkeeper nightmares are made of hahaha),
and served its purpose well. A few months ago I decided to move on and
transform the tank into a full-blown reef...but first had to remove the
Aiptasia. So I tried, and tried, and tried... to eliminate the
Aiptasia...scraping, siphoning, blacking the tank out, brushing,
injecting with hot water, vinegar, lemon juice, bleach (!)... to no
avail.. I was killing a few, but the overall density was just too high
to begin with, that asexual reproduction was more than enough to
compensate for the few that I was removing.
By careful observation, I noticed that the Aiptasia would always
position themselves (by ballooning or crawling) at the highest points
in the tank (rocks and macroalgae), specially when the current was low
or when the lights were dimmed... so I got brainwave # 1 - I made a lot
of yarn ribbons like the ones used for breeding freshwater fish (5-6
inches long) and placed these in and around the rocks in the tank. I
dimmed the lights and slowed the current, and found that I could get at
least 10 Aiptasia per yarn bundle every other day. I was using around
20 of these in my tank, so you can imagine how many Aiptasia I
was pulling out each time. After 2 weeks there were hardly any large
ones left, but I still had the really small almost-microscopic ones to
deal with, since these never attempted to attach to the yarn
strands...after wracking my brains out, I think I had a nervous
breakdown and got Brainwave # 2: I totally
drained my tank to a level 1 inch below the surface of the 4" sand
bed (at this point no fish, no corals, and no nylon - just the rocks
and the sand bed) and kept it in this condition for 36 hours. I kept
the rocks moist by slightly misting them with seawater once an hour,
and kept the tank in the dark and covered to
prevent extreme desiccation (I still had all the nice coralline growth
and sand infauna that I wanted to keep alive). After 36 hours, I
re-filled the tank with the drained seawater, and was AMAZED to find
almost all the pin-sized Aiptasia gone! About a dozen tiny ones
appeared after a few days, and I repeated the
procedure, this time keeping the tank drained for only 24 hours...
after this second treatment, all the Aiptasia are gone, and I have
never had an infestation since (knock on wood...fingers crossed ha-ha).
I would like to add that during this treatment, I did not lose any
other invertebrate attached to the rocks
(tubeworms, Zoanthids, gastropods and some oysters). It may be that the
desiccation threshold of Aiptasia is significantly lower than that of
other invertebrates, and may be the Achilles Heel that Aiptasia
'keepers' have been looking for a long time.
I know that the problem I had with Aiptasia was on the other end of the
spectrum (the insane, nightmarish end), and I'm sure that 99% of
Aiptasia infestations are unlike mine, but I would still like to
contribute my experience in the hopes that It may be of use to others
who have come to their wit's end in their battle
Best regards WWM Crew!
<Thank you for sharing your success! Bob Fenner>
Goldflake Angel and Aiptasia Apolemichthys
xanthopunctatus for Aiptasia control? 10/27/2010
Quick question. I have heard that the Goldflake Angel will eat
Aiptasia? Is that true?
<Goldflakes are generally regarded as reef safe, so that isn't
There are far better methods of Aiptasia control.
Re: Sohal tang compatibility, now fish
eating Aiptasia 9/28/10
Thanks for the reply! We will not add a Sohal per your advice. I looked
at the Chelmonops species you recommended, but I could only those
native to cold water.
Do you have any thoughts on adding Chaetodon trichrous, the Tahitian
Butterflyfish or Acreichthys tomentosus, a Filefish to help with the
<The latter may help... but don't generally relegate polyp
eating to just pest anemones>
We had considered adding one of those two fish at the same time as a
Naso lituratus in hopes that
adding two fish together might disperse any aggression from the Yellow
tang. Is this a reasonable plan?
<Mmm, define reasonable.>
Any suggestions between the Filefish and the Butterflyfish?
and the linked files above>
Thanks again for all the invaluable help...as always impressed with the
commitment and dedication of so many to run your website so well!
Annoying Aiptasia, 9/28/10
Dear sir or Madame,
I have been having a problem with Aiptasia anemones. I have tried two
different Aiptasia chemical treatments over the past month. Neither has
eliminated them all. Even when treating for three days in a row. I am
very worried about the occupants of my tank. And I am very frustrated
<These chemical treatments are often toxic to other tank
I have looked into getting something that will eat the Aiptasia.
<Very little does.>
Butterfly fish are out of the question. They require large tanks. I
only have a 12 gal. tank. And the tank is already occupied by 2 snails
(1 Cerith and 1 Nerite), 1 hermit crab (scarlet reef species), and 1
There is no room in my tiny tank for a large fish. I have heard there
is a sea slug (Berghia verrucornis species) that will eat Aiptasia. But
I hear these sea slugs are also hard to come by and expensive. Would
one of these sea slugs be able to survive in my 12 gal. aquarium with
my current occupants?
<Berghia verrucornis, a Nudibranch. It is an obligate Aiptasia
feeder, they are very effective but die once their food source is
exhausted. Check with your local reef clubs, often they are passed
around once they have finished cleaning out a tank. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudiaipfaqs.htm
I have already tried peppermint shrimp. The one I tried before died. (I
may not have acclimated it properly, or there may simply have been
something not quite right with my water). I have a UV filter and a
filter capable of filtering a 40 gal. tank. If I were to try a
peppermint shrimp again (after having fixed the water and acclimating
it correctly), would the shrimp survive in my 12 gal. tank with my
current tank occupants?
<They are very sensitive to water quality, so it may be difficult in
such a small tank. Also they are not guaranteed to eat Aiptasia.
Are there any small hermit crabs that eat Aiptasia? I heard there is a
large species of hermit crab that might eat Aiptasia (I think it is
called the white-spotted hermit crab). It can be destructive, I have
heard. I seriously doubt this species of crab would work in my 12 gal.
tank. But I have to ask anyway. Would this species of hermit crab work
in my 12 gal. tank with my current occupants?
Are there other small creatures, which eat Aiptasia, that will thrive
in my 12 gal. tank, with my current occupants?
<See here for more
Aiptasia Filter For Sun Coral Tank --
This one's for Anthony.
<<Sorry mate, Anthony left our association some time ago --
perhaps I will be able to assist>>
My name is Zubair, I'm from South Africa.
<<Eric in South Carolina, here>>
Read through the FAQ's and came across one where you discouraged
using an Aiptasia filter, unless the system had a huge bio load.
<<Mmm, actually -- I wouldn't use this methodology 'at
all.' While these critters can/do feed by absorption (though not
exclusively), I don't think any benefit re would justifies the risk
of having them spread throughout your system'¦and they
will'¦possibly to plague proportion>>
I would like to set up a small tank for a sun coral colony. About 10g
display and 5g sump.
Would feed the colony about 2-3 times per week and do a weekly water
change. Or maybe a smaller water change after every feeding.
<<Weekly water changes should suffice>>
I do have a small skimmer should I need one.
<<Even on this small system where you can easily change large
volumes of water to dilute pollutants, I would still employ a skimmer
if available. It's going to do its thing 24/7 to pull out dissolved
organics, as well as help with gas exchange>>
I will run a good quality activated carbon. If I place a few Aiptasia
in the sump, will they consume any significant amount of nutrients,
leftover food etc?
<<Nothing 'significant,' no'¦and maybe not even
when those few become 'many'>>
Plan on keeping 2 or 3 peppermint shrimp in the display should any of
<<I would not count on the shrimp to control 'escapees'
with certainty'¦and you may even find them to prey on
'desirable' organisms. Certainly any emergent life from your
live rock will be at risk>>
No fish unless you think otherwise.
<<Considering the size of the system, I am hesitant to recommend
any. Even 'small' reef fishes deserve more water volume and
real estate than you propose, in my opinion>>
Won't be investing a lot so don't mind experimenting. What are
<<I suggest you forego the 'Aiptasia
filter''¦more likelihood for trouble than any realized
benefit. Water changes, carbon filtration, and the small skimmer will
do fine for this small system'¦especially so if you keep with
your plan to go 'fishless'>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Live rock... Aiptasia troubles
Hello to my lifesaving crew,
I have a question and I didn't know how to find the answer anywhere
I have Aiptasia, increasing in number, in my 90 gal. tank and I wanted
to get some peppermint shrimp to take care of the problem. The only
trouble was that I have an undesirable crab (according to your website)
in one of the live rocks. The fish store man suggested putting the rock
in fresh water and the crab would run out--then I could do away with
it. (He was a hitchhiker on that rock when I got it.) There are some
large Aiptasia on top, which may be killed by the fresh water, too, I
The crab did run out and die,
so I took him out, and now I don't know if I should put the rock
back into the tank with possible dead Aiptasia--wouldn't they
pollute the tank?
<Possibly, yes, along with anything else that died in there>
There is lots of coralline algae on it, and I'd like to keep the
rock, if possible. The rock was in fresh water for about an hour, and
is now in a bucket with salt water again. Should I wait to see if the
anemones are dead? How can I tell?
<It would probably be ok to put right back, but to be sure you could
put an airstone in the bucket with the rock & a little carbon and
test for phosphate & nitrate after a day or so. If they are both ok
then place the rock back to the system>
When, and if, should I replace the rock? (It was my skunk cleaner
shrimp's cleaning station, also, so kind of important to me.)
Should I cure the rock again? How, without other equipment, such as an
<Do buy one, they are very cheap and are very useful items to
Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
<No problem at all>
Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
Keeping Anemonia and Aiptasia Anemones in
Place of Corals? -- 06/27/10
I've decided to try something I haven't heard anyone talk about
People have called me crazy for thinking of doing this!
<<Ah'¦the plight of the
I have 5 gallon hexagonal aquarium, used for keeping two Caribbean
Banded Hermit Crabs that my neighbors accidentally brought home from
Florida. Other than a couple small bristleworms, amphipods, Asterina
stars and the crabs, the tank is devoid of fauna.
The light is a 10watt "daylight" CFL bulb that screws into a
socket like an incandescent bulb would, so any corals seem out of
<<Most any photosynthetic variety'¦indeed>>
Would I be able to keep Anemonia/Majano anemones or Aiptasia species
with little to no maintenance in this tank?
<<Ah yes! And likely the Aiptasia with greater success here. I
have seen these do quite well in environments nearly devoid of light
(e.g. - unlit sumps) given enough nutrients in the water for the
anemone to 'absorb.' Aiptasia are masters of survival (which is
why they are so tough to eradicate). I have seen completely bleached
specimens living quite well in the absence of their symbiotic
algae'¦no 'light required' for these little
I would keep a steady supply of amphipods and copepods from my FOWLR
tank, and the light would be on for 10 hours a day.
<<The light need on be for your viewing pleasure re the
Aiptasia'¦and a few shrimp pellets sprinkled in the tank every
couple of days will likely provide sufficient feeding here as well.
Though maybe not a 'popular' animal for captive keeping such a
tank as you are contemplating will likely be fascinating to observe in
its own right, and who knows, perhaps you will learn/share something
that may benefit the hobby re these 'pest'
anemones'¦not 'crazy' at all. Good luck with your
venture'¦ Eric Russell>>
Losing the war against Aiptasia... Aiptasia
Hello WWM crew,
Once again I am in dire need of your sage advice. When I initially set
up my tank in November, I had one large piece of live rock that looked
like it was covered in baby anemones.
Having no interest in unknown hitch hikers, I followed the same tooth
brush scrub down protocol that I followed with all my other rocks and
thought I had gotten them all.
<They have remarkable regeneration capabilities.>
The piece of rock in question however was a large knotted mess of dead
tube forming coral skeletons with more nooks and cavities than actual
rock. In the weeks that followed, those little anemones started popping
up from the mouths of the crevices in the rock and as they grew it
became clear they were Aiptasia.
So far, I have tried buying peppermint shrimp,
<Can work, provided you actually have a peppermint shrimp. The very
similar looking camel shrimp will not touch them.>
physically removing them,
<Difficult, as they can regenerate from the smallest piece left
covering them with a concentrated Kalkwasser paste,
administering Joe's juice as per instructions on the bottle (though
I think it's just another Kalkwasser solution),
<No experience with this product.>
buying tiny gauge hypodermic syringes and injecting them with lemon
juice and all to no avail.
<I've had excellent luck injecting them with Kalkwasser slurry -
you want it milk white. My spouse is diabetic, so I have a ready supply
In fact, every time I think I've won, and the Kalkwasser/Joe's
juice seems "melt" the little bastards, they are back within
days, bigger than when I started! The problem I'm having now is
that they are spreading at a
shocking speed, most recently thickly colonizing a bed of stunning
green and orange Zoanthids, which have completely stopped opening in
the vicinity of each anemone, with visible recession setting in.
<Not surprising unfortunately. Aiptasia will spread as long as
conditions favor them. You will want to take a close look at your water
quality and try to eliminate any excess nutrients>
At last count there was over 100 of these things in the visible areas
of my rock work, with untold hundreds more where I can't see
<Yikes... may be too far gone at this point.>
They are also smart enough it seems to pick crevices that they can
completely and utterly recede in to the second either a syringe,
tweezers or an eye drop of liquid death gets near their tentacles.
<Survival instinct at its finest.>
Is there anything else you can think of?
<I've heard people have good results with Aiptasia-X, but I have
not used it. Again, I always have good luck with injecting Kalkwasser
slurry. If you can find a source of Berghia Nudibranchs, they are
voracious eaters of Aiptasia, If all else fails, you can remove the
rock from the tank and let it dry out for a week to 10 days. This will
kill the Aiptasia, but it will also kill your rock.>
Every time I disturb them they appear to breed and I'm afraid if I
keep on this aggressive path with them I will soon have a large,
expensive box of Aiptasia to show off to friends and family, but at
this rate it looks like I might have that no matter what I do.
<Best of luck!>
Re: Losing the war against
Thanks for the quick reply Mike,
<Hi Adam, no problem.>
I did some reading and the Berghia seems like it might be my best
<They do work well.>
I found a Berghia specific breeder from Texas that will ship them to
Canada and have placed an order for a small breeding age colony. It
wasn't cheap (shipping was as much as the animals!), but hopefully
in time they will breed enough to combat the problem. I might start an
Aiptasia breeding tank to keep them fed once the supply in my show tank
runs dry - which it hopefully will - and who knows, I might even be
able to start selling them!
<That wouldn't be a bad idea.>
Again, thank you for your help,
Majano & glass anemones
I have a couple of questions. I have a 140 gallon salt water tank with
a couple of Mushroom corals, Kenya Tree corals and 3 small Bubble Tip
Anemones. My tank has been completely over run by Aiptasia & Majano
anemones. It is to a point where killing them one by one is rather
They are basically on all of my 140 pounds of live rock. I was
wondering if you would suggest removing the live rock and using a
method of over salinifing the water
and if I do this what level of salinity would kill the Anemones.
<You would have to go pretty high I suspect>
and if I do this what would the backlash on my system.
<Death on a mass scale? Certainly, if you raise the salinity high
enough to kill the anemones, which will be tougher than most of the
other life in your rock. You will convert this to 'dead'
The tank has a very low amount of live stock 3 Chromis 1 Lamarck Angel
an Engineer Goby and a Maroon Clown. I also want to ask your opinion of
removing my bio balls and poly filter set up to just a filter sock
style filtration system.
<I would probably remove the bio balls anyway, stick with the
Poly-Filter and not go with filter socks. Your skimmer should be able
to do all the mechanical filtration necessary, and all of your
biological filtration comes from the live rock. If it were not for your
BTA's I would consider a butterfly, but these would be at risk
here. You could try some Berghia Nudibranch if you can get your hands
on them. And, oh yeah.. these are feeding on something... Try here:
sincerely Thomas von Bargen
Berghia breeding... Or is it Aiptasia
breeding! - 1/25/10
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 IÂ¹ve heard Anthony
Calfo say heÂ¹s 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 IÂ¹d fire off an email to you guys, and if he was
willing to get in touch also thatÂ¹d be an added bonus (and
<Is no longer actively w/ WWM. You can reach him through
Now, as youÂ¹d expect I've 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!
IÂ¹ve 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
IÂ¹m 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
In, say, a 20 gallon aquarium is any circulation other than an airstone
IÂ¹m 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:
and the linked files above>
The picture IÂ¹m getting from my reading is that breeding the
Nudibranchs wonÂ¹t really be too much of a problem,
itÂ¹s Â³farmingÂ² the Aiptasia to keep up
with their feeding regime which will require the most thought.
IÂ¹ve also considered the idea of retarding the growth of the
Â³foodÂ² rather than Â³breeding
stockÂ² Aiptasia, as it is advantageous to keep them small.
Is this possible and sensible?
<Mmm, not practical I think>
I donÂ¹t 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 theyÂ¹d be willing to
<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,
I was planning on covering the bottom of the Aiptasia tanks with
snipped up egg crate, so that each Â³mealÂ² 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
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...>
IÂ¹m 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,
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Bio control of pest anemone reading
I have a 140 gallon salt water fish tank I have a couple of issues I
want to ask about. First off I have a huge Aiptasia and majano anemone
problem. I have tried endless times using Joes juice and another
product by I think Kent marine. But to no avail.
<Mmm, of such chemical remedies, I really like Red Sea's
I have spent hours trying to individually inject them.
<If there's a "bunch", best to try a biological
I am a college student so I cannot work on the tank to much so I
usually go home once a month to work on it so every time I go home it
is back to square one. I am wondering if there is any other way to get
rid of the Aiptasia once and for all.
I am to the point of using drastic measures here so nothing is out of
the question's have as far as tank inhabitants 3 Chromis, Sailfin
tang,2 pj cardinals, Lamarck angel, engineer goby ,bullet goby,1
snail,1 spiny urchin,2 bubble anemone and mushrooms and a couple of
Kenya tree corals. The second question is I have an algae problem what
would u suggest I add as far as a cleaner crew which animals and how
many. Thanks any info would be so helpful.
<... read here:
and the linked files at top and bottom respectively. Bob
Naso Tang And Aiptasia, hlth. and
We need help with a Naso tang that may not be with us for long.
<Oh? Let's hope not.>
Tank stats: 250 gallon LPS/SPS reef with an additional 400 gallons of
supporting tanks (fuge, sump, frag tank, etc.).
<Sounds like a great system.>
Inhabitants are 7 inch Naso tang, 7 inch Rabbitfish, 5 inch Yellow
tang, and pair of Ocellaris
clowns. All fish have been together for over 3 years and exhibit no
apparent aggression toward each other. Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are
zero, pH 8, SP 1.025, and temperature 78 normally.
Currently, we probably only due <do> a water change of about 10
percent every 3 to 4 weeks b/c everything always tests zero and we feel
like we have a low bioload for 650 gallons.
<Water quality and test results are two different subjects. You
mention no use of a protein skimmer and is one component very
necessary for improving water quality, especially with keeping
Tank has been set up for about 2 1/2 years.
Tank has been unremarkable except for the following issues. We fought a
Dinoflagellate problem about 8 or 10 months ago and we currently have
an Aiptasia problem. Aiptasia X will keep them in check, but we have
not been able to completely eradicate them.
<Ah, the scorn of many a reefkeeper and sometimes difficult to
Aiptasia X has not been used in the tank in the last few weeks. About
one month ago we purchased a Copperband Butterflyfish. After an
abbreviated QT (2 weeks) we introduced the fish (was bright and eating
commercial food as well as picking at rock). Shortly after introduction
the Yellow tang showed aggression and left a lesion on the side of the
Butterflyfish (bite, tang, not sure). We split the fish, but the
butterfly died shortly thereafter. We assumed it was from stress and
trauma from the Yellow tang, but now I'm worried it was disease b/c
of the shortened QT and the sick Naso. One additional issue is
temperature. Due to the current cold climate (single digits with a wind
chill below zero...brrr!!!) our temperature dropped to 75 about a week
ago. We insulated the pipes (they run below the house to the supporting
tanks in a separate room) and got the temperature back up to 78. Would
a temperature change of 3 degrees over a few days be enough for a
<Unlikely over a three day span.>
So the problem: Our Naso tang had an acute onset of lethargy and weight
loss about 3 days ago. She sits on the bottom of the tank with a rapid
respiration rate. She has profound weight loss, but no other apparent
<Mmm, not good.>
She will occasionally swim to the other side of the tank and back, but
typically just rests on the bottom of the tank. The other fish hover
close by, but don't seem to be doing any harm other than
psychological. It looks like they are providing comfort to their sick
tankmate, but I realize it's nature saying "hmm, weak fish,
let's kill it." She shows minimal interest in eating. She did
possibly eat a flake or two soaked in Selcon last night. Typical diet
is a mixture of seafood treats, Nori sheets, Spectrum pellets, and
So, we are torn on what to do. Should we separate her into a hospital
tank for treatment? I see nothing wrong except the weight loss and
respiratory rate, so I don't what I would be treating
for...bacterial infection, internal parasite???
<Best not to treat until a positive diagnosis can be made.>
I think moving her would provide more stress, but we are open to
suggestions. Should we try and separate the Rabbitfish and Yellow tang
to the other side of the tank to give her time to possibly heal? We
have searched for any possible contaminants to the tank with no
<I would discontinue the use of Aiptasia X for the time being.
I've heard/read articles that some fish, mostly blennies have
negative reactions to this product if ingested.
My understanding of Aiptasia X is that the active ingredients are
suspended in some kind of 'Micella'
which is like a liquid capsule and only after ingested by the anemone
it becomes free.
This leads me to believe it could have adverse reactions to fish but I
have no documented proof of that. I'm hoping Bob and/or other crew
members might comment here as well.>
The other fish look fine, but I suppose the Naso would be the most
susceptible fish to disease of the ones we have.
<Yes. What types of food was your Naso eating. Proper nutrition goes
a long way in disease prevention by increasing the fishes immunity
level. The New Life Spectrum Pellets are an excellent nutritional
source of food and is the only food I feed/use. Do visit, read, and
look at the video at their site. http://nlsfishfood.com/>
I know it's hard to make a diagnosis without seeing the fish or our
system, but if anything comes to mind please let us know or refer us
where to read.
<Yes, do read here and linked files in the header.
On a separate note, we are desperately trying to get rid of the
Aiptasia. The Aiptasia X has helped, but not eradicated the
We were using so much of it, we were concerned it might affect our
water quality! We would like to introduce a fish (removing Yellow tang
first) that would eat them, but I'm not sure if that's
possible. I'm hesitant to try another Copperband with their
sensitive history and our bad story. We had considered a Raccoon
Butterflyfish and then moving it to another tank before it developed an
affinity for the SPS. I've read the FAQs and articles on
Butterflyfish and I know they may eat Aiptasia, but I'm not sure if
they have a preference for the Aiptasia and would leave corals alone
until the Aiptasia are gone or if they would just mow down all corals
and Aiptasia together. Perhaps it's based on the individual fish
and you can't give a definitive answer on that one.
<The Berghia Nudibranch is known to consume Aiptasia and you may
want to read here regarding this.
Thank you for providing a wonderful website and answering
everyone's questions! If I have missed something in the FAQs
(I'm sure I have) please refer me where to read. The whole reason
we have the 250 is because we bought this Naso on an impulse purchase 3
1/2 years ago.
When we realized she was totally inappropriate for our 90 gallon, we
started making plans for the 250 and moved her the next year. We are
going to be so sad to lose her!!!
<Do read re above and do increase your water change frequency. Tangs
of this genus are very demanding of high water quality and here is
where a good efficient skimmer will help, along with the use of a
chemical media such as Chemipure. And lets hope you will not lose your
Naso. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Multi problem HELP!! Please. Aiptasia
control; C. lunula use, Bleach nuking 1/8/10
I wrote to you last month re my glass anemone problem (email is below).
I have used Aiptasia X myself only to notice they didn't go away
for very long but seemed to come back full force and then some. I went
ahead and made the additional purchase of 5 new Nudibranchs however
through a comedy of errors (which wasn't very funny) they died.
I had thought about getting a Raccoon B/F but now I wonder if its just
too bad for this fish to handle.
I read your article on Chaetodon lunula which is posted on WWM (thank
you for that by the way) on how to make the right choice. I'm
supposed to go down to the LFS tomorrow to put a down payment on one as
they have agreed to hold the fish for 2 weeks for me to make sure its
healthy and eating.
But I'm just not sure.
So I thought I would ask you. My problem here is bad. They are in the
refugium on the filters and pumps I can even see them floating around
at night. I have increase flow and decreased feedings, changed the
water more often, started using different water, purchased peppermint
shrimp that did nothing (may be the wrong kind I don't know)
multiple tries with Aiptasia X (made it worse?)
<I really like/d this product...>
, multiple purchases of Nudibranchs and its still just as bad or even
Can a Raccoon B/F handle this?
<Is worth trying, yes>
I'm going to try to get the bta's out of the tank and rehome
them so I might be able to get the Raccoon. I wanted to know how good
the Raccoons are at handling this problem.
<Some individuals have proven to be excellent; rarely are there
Will it enter my tank and go to town like a Tang is with seaweed?
<Heeee! Let's hope>
I promise, I ALWAYS read before I ask a question. And had read the
articles you pointed to in the previous email before I emailed you.
Your website its kind of like my Fish Bible. I tried looking up
bleaching tanks on WWM however many people seem to have bleached corals
and anemones so the search became very very tedious. Bless your hearts
for all the bleaching going on.
<May change my name to Bobby Clorox>
I was also wondering if the Raccoon will at all bother my skunk cleaner
shrimp or sand sifting star?
<Mmm, no... highly unlikely>
Or does the Raccoon only eat the anemones and corals?
<Only rarely corals... and generally leave other, large/r species of
Other than the Raccoon my only other option at this point would be to
bleach the tank. Which wont be fun, but I will do it if that's what
needs to be done.
My question is how?
<Remove all desired life... pour enough bleach in (on a sunny day
with the windows open)... maybe lower the water level if the system,
fuge... are "foaming too much"... after about an hour (when
all is very white, nuked), drain and refill a couple times with
freshwater... Read here please:
for related input, cautionary statements>
I leave everything in the tank (minus the animals I want to save of
Then what, and how much bleach do I use?
<Mmm, of "stock solution" (about 12-13 % hypochlorite)
about a half gallon per hundred gallons or so>
How long do I leave the fish out of the tank?
<Until it's recycled, stable...>
How often do I do water changes and how much water per time? When
should I change filter media?
<Which water, media?>
Can you please give me a step by step here on how to handle this
situation should that be the course I take.
<See the citation above and elsewhere on WWM re cycling a new
system... you'll need some new LR to re-seed all>
Also after everything I have written about my situation which method
would you personally use at this point?
<Only as a last resort; though I've done so several times over
the years... Including in large facilities with "real
Thank you for all of your time and help. It is appreciated.
Aiptasia, Control 12/29/09
I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a growing problem of Aiptasia
spreading all over the tank, what should I do? Should I get a
<You could, or try peppermint shrimp, or go with manual removal
using one of the commercially produced remedies. See here for more,
Multi problem HELP!! Please... Aiptasia,
Bubble Algae control possibilities investigating
I have a few big problems and need some guidance. First I have a REALLY
bad problem with Aiptasia and have tried a multitude of things to take
care of this however nothing has worked so I broke down and bought some
(5) Berghia Nudibranchs to take care of this problem... I will be
buying more as its been a while (about 2 months) and I have seen no
decline what so ever.
<? No decline in the Aiptasia numbers?>
My second problem is that I have 2 cloned BTA's in this mess.
<Mmm, the predatory Nudibranchs may work these woe>
I am worried about the stress the Aiptasia is having on them and had
read some where on your site about a kind of paste I could use and put
over the little pests I want to say it was Kalkwasser.
<Has been employed here at times... there are better products... My
fave currently: Aiptasia X by Red Sea>
My concern is what effect this will have on my BTA's. My plan was
to use the Kalkwasser on the Aiptasia that are around the BT's and
then let the Berghia take care of the rest. Though I really don't
know what is the best plan here. I cant remove the BTA's because
they are both DEEPLY wedged in live rock and pushing them out would
mean right into the Aiptasia. Is this a good idea?
<Not the route I would take>
Or should I do something else?
<There are other, better predators... listed on WWM... IF the
problem is "that" dire, I'd remove all desired livestock,
including the Entacmaeas of course, and bleach the current rock... in
place... place some new LR over the old to re-seed>
My other problem which I just found today is bubble algae.
<Not a big deal>
3 days ago I was doing a 20% water change and the hang on skimmer fell
into the aquarium after I had taken out the water but before I put in
the new water.... so I couldn't take out any more water as I only
had enough to replace what I had already taken out. I am working on
doing another larger water change 50% is my plan but the damage it
appears to be done because what was a very small problem (maybe 7 or 8
small bubbles in one location) which I thought looked kind of pretty,
has now turned into bubbles bubbles everywhere and not a drop to
<And the mighty ships were tossed>
I had been a heavy handed feeder as I had a large (5") Sailfin
Tang in the tank and that was the only way to make sure the other fish
got feed. I have however rehomed him so I have been able to do much
smaller feedings. Please guide me on this whole mess. What should I do
I have ordered some macro algae to help out compete the bubbles but man
oh man am I frustrated. Is there anything I'm not thinking of?
Thank you for all of your help. You guys have really help me out a
great deal. I am so thankful you do what you do.
<Start here (again?):
and the linked files above... And elsewhere re Bubble Algae:
Take your time, enjoy the process. Happy holidays.
Aiptasia in a Zoanthid Forest --
and an overwhelming thank-you to WWM for providing such a wonderful
educational resource here.
<<Quite welcome'¦we are happy you find it
I have been a saltwater aquarium addict since the early 1970s, but am
just beginning with corals.
<<Ah, we share similar time lines'¦ I set up my first
marine fish tank in 1976, but decided to 'go reef' in the late
Recently, I bought several new items at my LFS-Euphyllia, Galaxea,
finger leather, and some zoanthids.
<<Quite the 'stingy' and 'noxious' blend
Since these came from tanks with fishes, I placed them in a 20-gallon
QT, which also contains several small red-legged hermit crabs, a few
Cerith snails, and a tiny tuxedo urchin. (All of these animals/colonies
are extremely small.) I will skip details on setup and water quality,
because, in this case, I don't believe they are especially relevant
to my question. I am two weeks into quarantine, and all is
Apparently I have some hitchhikers in the form of Aiptasia.
<<Ahh'¦the scourge of the reef aquaria'¦well,
maybe next to nuisance alga>>
The good news is that I discovered these in the QT tank, rather than in
my display tank.
I have at least three small Aiptasia on the piece of rubble to which
the zoanthids are attached.
<<Should be easy enough to eradicate then>>
They're hidden right down in between the zoas, all about the same
height. Aiptasia are about 3 mm in diameter. I am beginning to see the
zoas shrivel where they have been stung.
<<Amazing that such a nasty and noxious organism itself can be
malaffected so, eh>>
I have read the WWM articles and many, many FAQs, but still am not sure
which method of control best suits this particular situation. The
hermit crabs in the tank have not been helpful.
<<And you shouldn't expect them to be>>
Since I am already well into my QT time, I hesitate to add any more
animals to the tank, because I would then have to start all over with
the QT period. And with such a small tank, already housing a number of
animals, I am nervous about overcrowding animals that are already
somewhat stressed from being moved.
And would an Aiptasia-eating fish really dare to poke his snout into a
colony of zoanthids???
<<This also is not the solution>>
I always prefer biological control for pests whenever possible, but
what about chemical warfare?
<<A chemical solution is your best option here>>
Because of the Aiptasia's close proximity to the zoanthids, I worry
about collateral damage.
<<Can be controlled/mitigated'¦and the Zoanthids are
already being damaged by the Aiptasia>>
The whole colony is quite small. One little slip, or a wayward drip,
and I could wipe them all out. I would much appreciate your advice.
<<I do think you can be rid of the Aiptasia with very little (if
any) risk to the Zoanthids. I have found the offering from Red Sea
called Aiptasia-x to be very effective at eradication these pest
anemones. It can be precisely applied to the Aiptasia without killing
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Aiptasia, control --
Hope all is well and not too cold over there. It is currently 40
degrees in Nth Queensland.
<I take it this is in degrees Celsius... A bit warm! But I wish I
was there diving with you>
I am after some information on reproduction in aiptasia. I have pulled
down my tank due to an infestation and a desire to redo my aquascape. I
have almost eliminated all of the remaining aiptasia off the glass and
coral bases but I am still finding some small baby ones every so
<And, all it takes is a little tissue, really a few cells, to have
the dang things regenerate!>
I was wondering if someone could provide some more information on the
<Oh! Like other Actinarians/Anemones can/do reproduce in a few ways,
including sexually; though most all are generated asexually (again via
a few means/defined ways) in captivity... by fission, pedal laceration
I assume that at any age they can asexually reproduce if there is any
part of the body left over after treatment (please correct me if I am
<You are unfortunately correct>
but what I would really like to know if at what age they become
sexually active and if at a small size they are likely to be able to
release larvae and also fertilise said larvae. My understanding it
takes two aiptasia to reproduce (one of each sex).
<Mmm, yes... but the gametes, resultant larvae are likely very often
completely removed by filtration, predation...>
Any information would be helpful in better understanding my foe the
aiptasia. I hope to win this battle.
Thanks for reading and all the best.
<There are a few approaches... worth considering. Please give
The linked files at top, a read-through to develop a control plan.
There are some worthwhile chemical warfare products (e.g. Aiptasia-X)
as well as good predators (if they can go with your other livestock)...
Do please make
known which route you go and your impressions. Bob
Dying Aiptasia 12/6/09
I have searched the internet to answer my question and have found
In my 55 g I have various softies and a Condy anemone, all of which
seem to be doing very well. Since I first introduced live rock over a
year ago I have battled Aiptasia with success limited to just keeping
them at bay while others grow large between rock where unreachable.
Until recently they have plagued my system. I have noticed the past
month that all of the aiptasia are wilting away. There are no new ones
growing anywhere, and the ones that were there for months are dying.
Have you ever seen this?
<Mmm, no. Have you recently introduced a fish/invertebrate that may
be dining on them? Anyhoo, keep your fingers crossed. James (Salty
Aiptasia Woes -- 10/09/2009
<Hey Jonathan! JustinN here!>
I am pretty sure I've spotted an Aiptasia anemone in my tank and
was wondering what you recommended to help rid myself of this pest.
Easiest way I can think of is to buy 1 or 2 peppermint shrimp and see
that they would eat them.
<Yes, likely the easiest -- just be sure they are true
However, I only have a 24 gallon nano tank that houses 2 cleaner shrimp
already, will this be an issue?
<Mmm... should not be -- though the volume size leaves me
Territoriality may become an issue with a 24 gallon setup.>
2nd, I've been hearing that a turkey baster with different fluids
will do the trick also.
<Can, dependent on methodology. There's many 'methods',
but very few with any real validity.>
Will this effect the tank if done incorrectly?
Any suggestions on what type of product to use?
<A Kalkwasser slurry, if you insist on going this route.>
I do not want this pest to run wild in my tank. I've recently
started to add some corals and would hate to loose them.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
<Read up here:
and the associated links. Plenty of details to be had on the removal of
these curious pests! -JustinN
Clarification of a type of hermit crab on
the aiptasia article, corr. 8/13/2009
Says :"In particular the more common "Red Legged
("Hairy") Hermit Crab, Dardanus megistos (Image) is an
almost-all-the-time reef-safe animal that also eats pest algae. One or
two to a tank is all it takes."
Dardanus megistos is called White-spotted Hermit Crab or Scarlet Hermit
Crab. It is not reef safe and one per tank is recommended.
<I strongly agree>
Red Legged Hermit Crab is called Clibanarius digueti and Mexican Hermit
Crab. Is it reef safe and several per tank is fine.
So which is it that eats the Aiptasia?
<This latter, at times. Thank you for this correction. Bob
black and white male clown fish... Aiptasia
or counter to it, mal-affected 6/25/09
I've gotten a lot of information from your site over the years.
This is my first time asking a question though. I have been all over
looking for an answer for this question and can't seem to get
I have a 2 year old black and white clown pair. I had some huge
Aiptasia in my 70 gallon reef tank.
<Mmm, Glass Anemones don't get all that big>
I have a guy that comes every two weeks to take care of everything and
I know my water biology is good. He got the Aiptasia
taken care of the other day but, I think my male was stung pretty badly
by the little suckers. He won't eat and he spends the entire day
trying to swim down. He's badly bloated. You can see his skin
prickly and his anus is real swollen. He is pooping white stringy
stuff. I have never had a problem with these clowns before. Before he
got this bad, he was acting as if he couldn't see to eat. He tried
but never got any food. I know what is happening, he's not going to
make it. I just wondered if Aiptasia could hurt a fish that badly.
<Can... might have eaten a bit, been poisoned by whatever your svc.
tech. used... I'd be asking the service what they did>
Thanks in advance
Patti in Arizona
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: black and white male clown fish,
Thanks for getting back to me so fast!
The aquarium guy used Aiptasia X.
<A very good product in my estimation... Seems to be safe and very
It's what I had here at home. The Aiptasia were about the size of
quarters, maybe a bit larger.
<Oh, this is about it size-wise... You stated they were
"huge"... perhaps you meant your perception was that they
were a huge problem?>
Still no dice on the stings though?
<Nothing to do... if this is what you mean... Just wait, hope,
provide good care otherwise. Likely some were ingested by the one
clown... Only time can/will tell. BobF>
Losing Fish 6/18/09
Okay have a 75 gal that had established inhabitants of:
Blue Barred Pseudochromis
Orange Spotted Prawn Goby
Sump has a pistol shrimp
Have not added any new rock in years however I have been having a very
annoying Aiptasia problem and they are spreading and growing very fast,
I'll think they're gone using aiptasia X but they'll be
back and stronger before you know it.
<Perhaps adding a biological control>
My fish are disappearing one by one over the past month though, today I
found my hermits chewing on the corpse of my Orange Spotted Prawn Goby
which I've had for over two years and who I saw showing no signs of
stress and eating right before the lights went out the night before.
Two nights before that the pearly Jawfish was found dead and 2 nights
before that it was the molly. About a week before that the archerfish
disappeared and I never found the corpse. A month before that an
Exquisite Wrasse I had disappeared as well, after the archerfish died I
was SURE it was the Pseudochromis harassing and killing as he would
constantly dart out at fish from the rocks Damsel style.
So I caught him and took him in to the store where he is right now. So
tank has Scooter Blenny and Midas Blenny left, neither show signs of
illness or stress. Radiant Wrasse is there also but he's had some
craziness going on for several months that have caused him to be blind
in one eye and lay on the sand like he's dead when no one is
around, and then swim around begging for food when I walk over.
So yeah, any ideas? Phosphates, Nitrite, Ammonia, Nitrate are all zero,
other inverts in the tank consist of a Harlequin shrimp squatting on
chocolate chip star, hermits, snails, two fighting conchs, spiny
oyster, and two porcelain crabs.
<I fully suspect the overly-abundant Aiptasia here... poisoning,
stinging your fishes... and the hermits just doing clean-up. I would
work on ridding, at least reducing the Glass Anemone population. Please
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>
Re: Butterflies, Mystery Wrasse, &
Everything's going great. The butterflies (I now have a raccoon,
saddleback, falcula, and Moorish idol along with a bunch of other
tankmates in the 150gal system) are all doing great and clean up my
from the other tank no problem. The only casualty was that once they
got a taste for the aiptasia, that bubble anemone was a goner. No
They're eating just about everything I feed them now as well
including flakes, pellets, and a mix of frozen stuff including mysis
shrimp, clams, and strips of frozen white fish -- anything like
halibut, mahi-mahi, opah,
sole... -- that I attach to a piece of pvc angle pipe with a rubber
band (keeps the cleaner crew off it). The Moorish idol in particular
really seems to like the fish meat.
I'm cycling pieces of rock back an forth weekly and both tanks are
doing great. Hey and by the way, if you're ever in either the
Laguna Niguel area near home or Irvine near work hear at Broadcom, drop
me a line and I'll show you some cool tanks (our Broadcom tank is
an 800gal reef system).
<Thank you for the update. Bob Fenner>
Last ditch Aiptasia eradication attempt
First of all, thank you for your great advice on everything. I have
read your posts/threads/articles on aiptasia. I think that I have just
let the infestation get so bad in my tank that I may have to take the
most drastic of measures. My tank is basically blanketed with them,
including snail shells and powerhead cases.
<Mmm, likely time for bio-warfare>
My tank is a 210 gallon, around 6 years old with 300+ pounds of LR. The
infestation started with a coral on a rock I bought from a LFS. I have
since seen lots of infestation in that store (I don't shop there
My tank has just one fish (Blackcap Basslet) and some snails. I have
some button polyps, a pagoda and leathers as well. I tried Joe's
<Nah, too tedious>
and about 200 Berghia Nudibranchs
on the Aiptasia, which made small dent for a few weeks, but then the
Berghia apparently died out. I am about to try either a Raccoon or
Copperband Butterfly with some Peppermint Shrimp and greatly redouble
my efforts on water quality.
<Good moves, plan>
But just in case.....
My first questions are on what might be feeding the aiptasia. I am
keeping up with my water changes and very light feeding of the
Blackcap. I do have some green hair algae, so I am worried about excess
nutrients even though my measurements look good. I am also going to
change my osmosis filters as well. But can the aiptasia also feed from
<Yes... are photosynthetic>
They seem to propagate much faster than your articles suggest.
If I get to the point of having to move the Blackcap/snails to my
wife's tank and just let my tank go fallow until the aiptasia die,
how can I do that without the tank stinking?
<Mmm, can be kept in the dark, carbon use in the filters...>
Can I just shut off the lights and keep running the filter until the
aiptasia die out?
<Yes... but this will be a good long while (months)... I'd go
with the above plan first>
Then re-start the tank with some seed LR to start from scratch? Or will
shutting off the lights keep the coralline from surviving as well?
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome, Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA (for now)>
Re: Last ditch Aiptasia eradication attempt
Thanks for the reply, sounds like I am on the right track then.
<I do think so>
What would be your thoughts on adding just one cleaner clam (Mercenaria
mercenaria) to the main tank until the Aiptasia's food source is
gone? I have about 4-5 inch sandbed.
<Nah... of little use... BobF>
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cyanobacteria/BGA- Nano
Quick question on Aiptasia anemones: I have a client with a 14 gal
BioCube. She had 3 1" tank raised clowns I put in there, were fine
for about 1 month. She reported 2 missing clownfish and the third I
noticed had contracted some velvet. The corals in the tank are doing
really well...Did not find the 2 clown bodies anywhere...I did notice a
few aiptasia anemones that have grown larger and spread a bit since I
last saw them last.. Is it possible these anemones killed the tiny
clowns and ate them?
<No.><<Mmm, RMF disagrees. The Glass Anemones could have
consumed them, and possibly killed them.>>
Largest anemone is about the size of a quarter. I will throw in some
peppermint dudes in there, they have always worked for me. You ever
heard of an aiptasia eating small fish?
<They are predatory, they can...but this size vs. this fish...the
cause was most likely related to tank size. Be it stability in many
respects, O2 saturation or flat out room for the fish.><<Do
All water params are golden and stable.
These anemones are the only things that stuck out to me as being
suspect. These are hardy tank raised fish....hmmmm.. any thoughts?
<Much more likely the system in some respect.>
Aiptasia! -- 03/10/09
I hope all is well with whoever finds this message.
<<EricR here'¦and doing fine thanks>>
I have a serious Aiptasia problem that I can't figure out.
<<Ah yes'¦not an uncommon issue. But they can be
'managed' with some effort>>
I have a long story but I'll try to make is short. In Feb 2007, I
set up my 110 gallon that
I maintained in high school (20 years ago). This was replaced with a
new 90 gallon reef ready in June 2008. I have about 90 lbs of live
rock, a sump with live rock, an AquaC EV-180 protein skimmer, three
Hydor Koralia 3s for internal circulation, a Little Giant 1350 gph
return pump, and a 30 gallon Chaetomorpha/live rock/deep sand bed
refugium. Lighting is 2x250W 14,000K HQIs and four 65W power compact 03
actinics (HQIs are on from 12 pm to 9 pm and PCs are on from 11 am to
<<A very nice setup>>
My tank was (I'll get to this in a minute) an SPS dominant tank
with 4 or 5 small-to-medium fish. I fed my fish once or twice per day
using live black worms and New Life Spectrum pellets.
<<Would prefer to see a bit more variety>>
I was very careful not to overfeed.
<<Though it seems to be going against conventional wisdom, I
honestly believe hobbyists should be MORE concerned with assuring their
fishes receive 'enough' to eat of the right types of
I also fed my corals about once per week using Brine Shrimp Direct
Golden Pearls 5-50 micron, which I like very much. I had a few Aiptasia
here and there, but nothing to get concerned about.
<<That's how it begins'¦ These organisms are very
opportunistic and incredibly prolific'¦best to 'zap'
em' as they are discovered (and as I think you have probably
Part of this may be that I had a very healthy and hungry Copperband
Butterfly that liked to eat Aiptasia.
<<Indeed'¦though in my experience these fish tend to
swing away from this over time to the (more palatable?) prepared/frozen
My ammonia, nitrate and phosphate levels always tested well--0 ppm
ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, no detectable phosphates. Generally, my
tank looked awesome and everything was healthy and happy. Then last
September, I went away on vacation and my power went out.
<<Mmm'¦I seem to remember something about this. I
believe you and I had a couple exchanges re>>
Long story short, when the power came back on something tripped the
circuit breaker, I had no one watching the house (lesson learned), and
my tank turned into a disgusting pot of mucous soup.
<<As the saying goes'¦hindsight is always
20-20'¦ I and many others have stories of similar disasters.
Something to be said for redundant circuitry (e.g. -- running two
return pumps on separate circuits) and pet sitters, eh?>>
So, in spite of being devastated at losing lots of great SPS that I had
grown from very small frags and awesome fish that I loved,
<<I can truly relate my friend>>
I sucked it up and restarted everything. I added a few new pieces of
live rock to reintroduce coralline algae and pods, and left the tank
fallow for 5 months so that it could stabilize. My tank went through
some crazy times--ridiculous micro and macro algae blooms, Cyano, etc.,
(I assume from the dissolved organics that my LR absorbed during the
crash and was releasing).
<<I have witnessed/experienced similar issues from such losses of
power/circulation/oxygen/etc to a system. I think it is likely due to a
'combination' of increased organics/metabolites from
decomposition AND the disruption/destruction of the systems
I continued to do my regular maintenance this entire time. So, by
November or December everything started to look nice. Over the months I
added a few SPS frags to get that going again, and they are doing
really well, growing like crazy, coloring up, etc.
In January, after doing much research and consulting with the Crew, I
added 5 small Bartlett's Anthias which are doing really well. I
feed them twice per day (all I can do because of my work schedule)
using black worms or thawed/rinsed Selcon-soaked Mysis (one feeding)
and New Life Spectrum pellets (second feeding).
I'm lucky in that they actually love the New Life Spectrum pellets,
which I understand is not always the case.
<<Indeed'¦though this Anthiine species does usually take
to this excellent food very well, in my experience>>
I am careful about feeding them, and feed in small increments so I can
watch them eat everything before adding more food. Currently, they are
the only fishes in my tank.
Because I have no tangs in the tank as I did previously, some macro
algae has started to sprout--mostly Grape Caulerpa but there is some
Halimeda. I can deal with the Caulerpa, as I manually remove it every
few weeks. What I can't deal with is my serious Aiptasia problem. I
must have 100 Aiptasia scattered about my substrate (1/2" deep of
Aragonite) and on my live rocks.
<<Mmm'¦again, not an uncommon occurrence'¦these
pests can seemingly explode in population overnight>>
I shoot the ones I can reach with Aiptasia-X,
<<And this is the best product available for such use in my
which works for the most part but . . . it is not solving/can't
solve my global problem.
<<Ah but I disagree'¦ We share remarkably similar
experiences'¦ Almost two years ago my own 500g system (375g
display, 75g sump, 55g refugium) suffered a slightly less devastating
power outage (about 10-hrs but exacerbated by carbon dosing) which
didn't destroy 'everything' as yours did, but still cost me
thousands in lost fish and corals. Afterwards I too was plagued by
nuisance algae and Cyanobacteria, for many months'¦and then
came the Aiptasia explosion. I made the mistake of not jumping on them
right away, and before I knew it I had hundreds of them throughout the
display and the refugium. I purchased the Aiptasia-X product and after
nearly two 14oz bottles of the stuff, I have regained control of the
problem. The key is perseverance'¦ You must condition yourself
to spend a few minutes every day attacking those Aiptasia that you can
see/find. You will never get them all in one go (they do move
about'¦and are often just darn tough to spot), but after a
while you will notice you are making a dent in the population. A couple
hints re using the Aiptasia-X are'¦ Don't be stingy with
the stuff'¦wherever possible don't just 'feed' it
to them, but do also 'cover 'em up' with it. Also, rig an
'extension' for the applicator syringe'¦a couple short
pieces of rigid airline tubing linked together between the syringe and
applicator tip will give you much more flexibility and reach to get at
I do a 15% water change every one or two weeks depending on my work
schedule, using RO/DI water that I make myself (TDS is 0). My salt mix
is, and has always been, Reef Crystals (although after reading some
things on WWM, I'm thinking of switching to Seachem Reef Salt next
<<Mmm, yes'¦ I was a huge fan of Aquarium Systems'
salt mix offerings for several decades'¦not so much
anymore'¦am now using Seachem's salt mix offerings (wish I
could afford Tropic Marin [grin])>>
The only things I dose are ESV B-Ionic two part Alk/calcium and
Brightwell Aquatics Magnesium-P, as needed with regular testing.
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable/experienced aquarist.
I've read a lot about Aiptasia on this and other sites/books, and I
know that Aiptasia problems are usually due to excess nutrients.
<<Population 'explosions' may be due to such,
yes'¦but these organisms are so, how do I say
it'¦efficient at life'¦that just simply ignoring them
when the first appear will often result in problems/in their spread
throughout a system>>
Honestly, though, I don't believe this is my problem.
First, the Aiptasia were showing up/growing in population before I
added any fish. Maybe this has to do with the lingering effects of my
<<I think it is a contributing factor to the increase in
population as, I alluded to earlier>>
Second, I don't think I overfeed, although I do think some of the
New Life Spectrum pellets may sink to the bottom without being
<<And as I also stated'¦I think this should be less of a
concern than ensuring that your fish are 'well' fed>>
I do "broadcast" feed my SPS, but I only add one to two
little scoops (maybe 1/2 a teaspoon max, dissolved in system water and
sprayed around my SPS using a baster) of Golden Pearls 5-50 to feed a
large Montipora cap, a small Blue-rimmed Montipora, a large Montipora
confuse, a small Pavona, a large Birdsnest, and 4 assorted Acropora
<<Also not a concern in my opinion. I too broadcast-feed my
corals, and the tank in general, (many organisms other than fish and
corals vying for/requiring nutritional supplementation in these closed
Second, other than whatever phosphates are bound up in my macroalgae,
my testing shows no excess nutrients. My EV-180 does a fine job and I
regularly clean it to assure performance. I added two Peppermint Shrimp
a week ago (that's all my LFS had--I intend to get a few more)--not
only have I not seen these since I added them, but no noticeable signs
of them eating the Aiptasia--I know these can be hit or miss.
<<My experience with these shrimp as well'¦not a
reliable biological control>>
I also purchased a Copperband Butterfly that's been in my
quarantine tank for 10 days (I know these don't do well in QT so I
don't plan to keep him there much longer, but I always like to put
my new fish in a QT and observe them for a period of time just to make
sure nothing shows up). I know that CBBs are likewise hit or miss,
<<Indeed'¦or just eventually find it easier/tastier to
go for the prepared offerings>>
But I'm hoping this one's a winner like my last one.
<<Will keep my fingers crossed that this is so>>
Again, I've read your general suggestions on WWM about reducing
nutrients, etc., but can you think of anything else I should be
doing/testing to help me win this battle?
<<I suggest you not do anything deleterious to your
livestock'¦ Feed your fishes/your corals well'¦any
issues arising from such can be dealt with>>
Is there some other component of water chemistry that I'm not
thinking of/testing for that could be the culprit?
<<It comes down to just more elbow-grease. I can assure you,
perseverance with the Aiptasia-X will win out eventually. And let me
also add'¦ No matter what route you take, you will never be
'completely' rid of the Aiptasia. You can/will get to the point
where they are no longer evident'¦but just as you begin to
think they are gone forever, one/two/three will spring forth from your
rock. And when they do, don't
As always, your help is appreciated.
<<I do hope you find this exchange helpful. Regards, Eric
Re: Aiptasia! -- 04/08/09
Dear Eric R.,
<<Hey Andy'¦ Don't know what happened, but I only
just received this>>
I wanted to update you on my Aiptasia problem.
The night after I got your email, I spent some time zapping the buggers
with Aiptasia-X. I also introduced my Copper Band Butterfly into the
tank. Between the Aiptasia-X, the 2 Peppermint Shrimp (that I've
never seen) and the CBB, I cannot find a single living Aiptasia.
I swear to you I had 100+ just 4 or 5 days ago.
<<I believe you>>
Crazy. No complaints here! Thanks again for your help.
<<My pleasure Andy'¦told ya the Aiptasia-X (and some
perseverance) really works! Do keep that syringe handy
though'¦the only absolute here is that the little buggers
'will' turn up again.
Cheers mate'¦ EricR>>
R2: Aiptasia! -- 04/09/09
No worries, Eric. Thanks for the reply.
<<Quite welcome Andy>>
Everything is still going along "swimmingly", with no
re-appearance of any Aiptasia.
<<Cool! I've got a few re-emerging in my
system'¦time to start laying on the Aiptasia-X again. Because
I feed my tank so well, they seemingly begin to reproduce at an
exponential rate if left unchecked'¦as you well
The only problem is that my Copper Band Butterfly is terrified of any
humans, so he swims by day but hides whenever I'm around.
<<Hmm'¦ I've found these fish to be quite sociable
and unafraid once settled in>>
I worry about him not eating, because unless he's willing to come
out to see me, his lunch will be limited to whatever he finds in the
substrate/live rock. With my last CBB, though, I noticed that he was a
sociable fish and liked to follow my Kole Tang around.
<<Indeed'¦mine follows 'me' around>>
My only other fish in the tank now are 5 Bartlett's Anthias, but I
do have a baby Yellow Tang in quarantine (week 3 with no signs of
disease/parasites). So, I'm hoping that once the Yellow Tang goes
in the tank that the CBB will come out of his shell a bit.
<<Mmm, yes'¦perhaps the presence of the Tang will make
the Butterfly feel more secure>>
<<Always welcome'¦ EricR>>
Aiptasia take over 3-5-09 Hi, my
name is Mitzi and I am just starting a saltwater tank. <Hello Mitzi!
I am glad to hear that you are starting in the hobby! Merritt here
today with some free time.> I purchased some live rock from someone
who was moving and had to take his tank down. Currently I just have the
live rock and 2 p. clownfish in the tank. In a matter of a few days my
tank had become full of these Aiptasia. I asked the local saltwater
store about these and was given a chemical called Aiptasia-X to get rid
of them before I added my 2 clowns. They appeared to be gone by since
added the 2 fish, I am noticing more and more Aiptasia coming up. The
chemical didn't seem to work to eliminate these pest. What do you
suggest to do to get rid of these before adding more fish? Oh, I also
have 30 hermit crabs and 5 snails (of which none seem interested in the
Aiptasia) that I bought when I got the clown fish. <Which is normal,
hermit crabs and snails don't feed on aiptasia.> I would like to
get rid of these pests before they get any larger. I read your info on
getting rid of these but was confused of sorts. One part says the
peppermint shrimp will rid these but then sounds like they aren't
good for a tank with corals in it. The only coral (or what I believe is
coral) is what is growing on the rock and covering it. (purple and
pinkish orange) <What you are describing sounds like coralline algae
not coral.> Please help, I've had several mishaps since starting
this down to my original tank where its back blew off after I had
water, salt, and sand in it, talk about a mess. By the way, I have a 75
gallon tank. Thanks for the help. I've wanted a saltwater tank for
several years now but finding this is going to be something that will
take time and patience to get where I want it. <The peppermint
shrimp will rid you of these pests in no time. Once they have eaten all
of the aiptasia you can either keep them, or sell them to another
person with aiptasia problems. They can be fed shrimp and other seafood
or just let them scavenge. But do note, some peppermint shrimp will
ignore the aiptasia. You can try the peppermint shrimp; they are not
very expensive, around 5 to 10 dollars depending whom you buy from.
Good luck on your tank and hope you don't have any more
mishaps.> Thanks Mitzi <You are welcome! Merritt
Aiptasia troubles in an eel
tank -10/26/08 Hey, I have a 75g tank that has two moray eels
in it.I have been battling an aptasia problem for a while now and was
wondering what the easiest way to get rid of them would be? I heard
peppermint shrimp may eat them but I'm sure my eels would eat the
shrimp in no time. They are all over the rocks. Do they sting the eels
or do I not need to get worried about the eels getting hurt? thanks for
any tips or advice. <I wouldn't worry too much about the eels
getting stung. If you have no coral in the tank, I would suggest
keeping the tank in complete darkness (no ambient light or anything--
put a tarp over it, but leaving room for air circulation) for a week or
so. Also reduce feeding and increase filtration, water quality,
etc.> Mike <Best, Sara M.>
Re: Aiptasia problems in
eel tank -10/28/08 lol, there it is ! thanks for the response.
I feed 2 times a week a mixture of seafood and the only thing that does
not stay stable is the nitrate. but I keep it as low as possible with
water changes and this chemical that you put in and the skimmer takes
it out.. <::shrug:: Sometimes there's just not much you can do
about Aiptasia... except kill them, either chemically or by depriving
them of light.> Also, is 3 morays in a 75g to much or will I be ok
for a few years? I will be able to upgrade if needed but the 3 eels are
just under a foot and a half each. I have a chainlink, white cheek and
what was sold to me as a salt and pepper moray. <They might be ok
for now, but you will likely have to upgrade at some point.> Thanks,
|Aiptasia concern for FOWLR tank 10/27/08 Hi. I
hope you can help. <Me too.> First, a little background on my
tank: I have a 150 gallon FOWLR Salt Water Tank which was set up on
Sept 3, 2005 with main equipment consisting of a Wet Dry, Protein
Skimmer, UV Sterilizer. I have around 125+ pounds of live rock and
the following fish: Juvenile Queen Angel, Dogface Puffer, Porcupine
Puffer, Picasso Trigger, Blue Throat Trigger, Powder Blue Tang,
Hippo Tang, Sailfin Tang, Greenbird Wrasse, Maroon Clownfish and
Cleaner Wrasse (I now know after reading Rob Fenner's book that
LFS's should not be selling cleaner wrasses). <Woefully
overstocked.> I recently purchased more live rock to aid as a
natural biological filtration supplement and also to add beautiful
coralline algae. The new Fiji live rock had Aiptasia which I
initially thought was beautiful but after doing further internet
research, it seems to be a negative addition. <One or two can
seem neat'¦for a short bit.> I know that it can kill
other corals in a reef system, but is it safe in my fish only
system? Will they harm my larger fish or even eat the smaller
Cleaner Wrasse? <Possible, see
re territoriality.> I 'think' my Dogface Puffer eats the
small Aiptasia without bothering the larger ones so hopefully this
will keep them from taking over the tank. <Some puffers have
been known to do this.> I do like the way the Aiptasia look so
as long as they don't endanger my fish (stinging and stressing
them out) and grow to overcrowd the tank, then I would like to keep
them. I currently see 6 Aiptasia. If they start to spread, I read
that a Copperband or Raccoon Butterfly fish can help eliminate them
but I really don't want to add any more fish to the tank plus
my more aggressive fish might attack the butterflies. <I agree,
no more fish in this tank.> And I know that the puffers and
trigger will eat any peppermint shrimp. Hopefully my water changes,
protein skimmer and once a day fish feeding will keep the Aiptasia
from spreading since I like the way the tank looks now with the few
that are currently in the tank. <They will spread regardless, it
is possible you have that rare puffer.> Kinda of getting that
reef look in a fish only tank. I've searched your WWM for
Aiptasia but it mainly has info for it's dangers in reef tanks
with very little on fish only tanks. I enclosed some photos. Let me
know your advice. Keep them with no worries or remove now? <You
could very well wait, removing them if they start to spread. For my
money and time, I would remove them now. See
and http://www.asira.org/problems .> THANK YOU IN
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Re: Aiptasia concern for FOWLR tank 10/28/08
Thank you for your quick reply. <Welcome.> Some of my fish
have small cottony spots on their fins which were not present
before the aiptasia were introduced. Is this a result of them
getting stung? Or is it just a coincidence? <Could have been
induced by a sting. Without more information, see
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm for more info on what
could be going on.> Someone else suggested a product called
Aiptasia X which I don't see as a recommendation on WWM.
Would you recommend it or is it not completely safe for my tank?
<To the contrary, great product, will be fine.> Other
chemical removal was actually the last resort option on WWM but I
did not see this product mentioned. I only saw one brief line
from Eric R endorsing the product but nothing else.
a few references, use the search at the bottom of the page, you
will find many.> I am hoping to keep 4-5 large Aiptasia to
give my fish only tank some semi reef character and I will just
kill the additional Aiptasia which grow (if my puffer does not
eat them). If you recommend this product, is it safe to remove
the live rock from the tank when applying it? <Sure.> I
have an uncle who would love to have some of my fish since you
suggest that my tank is overcrowded. If I get rid of the Maroon
Clownfish, Porcupine Puffer and Sailfin Tang, I might go the
route of a natural predator such as either a Copperband or Racoon
Butterfly. Do these Butterfly fish eat the large aiptasia which I
like or just the small baby ones which I would want to avoid?
<Typically the smaller ones.> I also read in one of the
articles you attached that the Queen Angel could possibly eat
Aiptasia as well. Hopefully mine will do this for me if it gets
out of hand. <Hopefully, but not a sure thing.> Thank you
again. <Welcome, have fun. Scott V.>
Aiptasia 06/02/2008 Morning guys,
<<And Gals i hope...Andrew with you today>> Do bristle
worms eat aiptasia? The reason I ask is I use to have a thousand of
aiptasia and they have been slowly disappearing and I found a two inch
bristle worm in the tank. <<I would not attribute bristle worms
for feeding on the aiptasia, i would look else where in the tank. Other
item of inhabitant perhaps>> <<Thanks for the question. A
Reef Tank Overheating Issue
Resolved'¦Now On To The Pest Anemones! - 05/19/08
Eric, <<Hello Mark>> Thanks for the input, it has been a
big help having someone to discuss options with.
<<Ah'¦has been a pleasure>> I made some boxes out
of 1/2" ply to house the fans and serve as "ducts". I
cut two 5" dia. holes in the cabinet right above the lights and
put the fan boxes over the holes. I then cut two 8"x12" vents
in the top and put vent covers I got at Menards over them. The two fans
are pulling air out of the access area and performing wonderfully.
<<Super>> The tank is running very consistently at 79 deg
with the access door closed and the cabinet above the tank is now
staying cool. Problem solved! <<Yay!>> My evap rate should
go down now...was losing about 2 gal/day with a fan blowing on the
water. Now that I'm venting out the top that should decrease...I
hope. I did remove the tank lids and put "egg-crate" material
over the access holes, which increased the evap. cooling when I was
using the fan blowing across the water. With the new fans I was able to
remove the one blowing across the water. I still have one in the sump.
I ordered the Tunze Osmolator...should be here this week! <<You
won't regret it>> I also found a nice RO/DI unit at
www.airwaterice.com. <<Mmm, yes'¦good stuff there.>
The Typhoon III has all the "extras" for less than $300
including shipping. It should arrive this week as well. I had seen both
of these products recommended in the FAQ's. Noticed a big hatch of
copepods this weekend...they are doing a wonderful job of eating up the
green algae on the tank walls and the fish are feeding on them as well.
The tank has been up for three weeks now and most of the nuisance algae
has gone through its cycle and is disappearing with the help of the
pods. I do have another issue I need help with. <<Okay>>
It's not related to the temperature topic we've been
discussing. I have some LR left in my 55 that is infested with
Aiptasia. <<Mmm'¦a common issue>> I didn't
move this to my new system for obvious reasons. I've read all of
the options regarding removal and have tried most of them over the last
few years. <<The little buggers can be virtually impossible to
eradicate'¦seemingly 'rising from the dead' time after
time. But a few 'here and there' are manageable and not
'unnatural'>> I've tried recently to grab them with
tweezers but they just slip right through and go deep in the rock.
<<A useless exercise anyway'¦the tiniest fragment will
regenerate>> The rock is otherwise very healthy and I want to use
it in my new system. How would you go about getting rid of the Aiptasia
so I can use the rock in my new system? <<The easiest and most
'certain' method of eradication here would be to put the rock
out in the sun to dry for a few days and then give it a freshwater soak
and cleaning before reuse'¦but I sense you don't wish to
do anything this extreme. Another option would be to set up a small
tank (for accessibility and close observation), add a few rocks at a
time, and attack the pest anemones with a syringe and the 'lethal
potion' of your choice>> The tank the rock is in right now is
still up and running without lights and there are no fish in the tank.
Is there a chemical means that actually works? <<Not without
attacking the anemones individually'¦and repeatedly>>
Kalkwasser just burns them and they come right back. <<Can be
effective'¦as can lemon juice'¦>> The
Peppermint Shrimp wouldn't touch them. <<Is my experience for
the most part as well>> I've read about the Berghia
Nudibranchs but I'm not sure just how affective they are. I'm a
little skeptical since I haven't talked with anyone who's used
them. Have you ever used them? <<Indeed'¦I and others I
know have tried them. I would spend my money/energies elsewhere. I
don't doubt that these critters will eat Aiptasia'¦but I
think utilizing them successfully is not an easy or inexpensive
venture. At any rate, they are certainly no panacea>> If I put
these in a tank without lighting will it be a problem. <<Likely
not>> Are they tough to keep alive? <<In 'my'
estimation, yes. There's no 'plug and play' solution to the
pest anemones in my opinion, success re will only come with persistent
effort. Eric Borneman has a recipe that should get rid of
Aiptasia'¦it utilizes lye! The recipe can be found here at the
bottom of the page if you care to give it a try
(http://home2.pacific.net.ph/~sweetyummy42/hitchanemone.html), but do
be cautious! In fact if you go this route, I would have a look about
for Eric's article on Aiptasia as I seem to recall some specific
instructions/comments re the application of this extremely caustic
solution>> Thanks again! Mark <<Be chatting.
Aiptasia Control 3/9/08 Hey all,
<Hi Chad> I'm just coming out of a battle with Aiptasia and a
bad red Cyano bloom (I hope). They both finally seem to be under
control, but after stirring up the substrate, adding additional
powerheads and all the dead Aiptasia my nitrate level has gotten pretty
high. By the way I had a bad Aiptasia problem and tried boiling water,
lemon juice and Kalkwasser and they all worked somewhat, but the final
blow was picking up each rock and using the Kalkwasser mixed to kind of
a whole milk consistency, then I watched really closely for the next
few days and would hit the small ones that returned with lemon juice. I
also added the peppermint shrimp as an extra block against them coming
back. I'm now Aiptasia free for almost 2 weeks (I hope). <Keep
your fingers crossed.> I have a 55 gallon tank with 10-15 gal sump.
I have an RO filter and a 25 gallon Rubbermaid that I used to aerate
and mix my saltwater in. Due to my confined living spaces It'll be
tough for me to do more than this volume, and the time it takes to
filter the water, aerate, add salt etc prevents me from doing changes
more often that once every 5-6 days. <Is more than enough.> My
question is, I'm doing roughly 15 gallon (20-25%) water changes
weekly is this enough to get my nitrate level back down, or should I be
doing something more aggressive? <Is enough, but I would use a
protein skimmer in addition.> I have two Yellow Tail Damsels, 1
small Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and
4 small Red-Legged Hermits (and 3 Turbo Snails) so I don't think
I'm overloaded with live stock and I've cut feeding way back in
an effort to control the Cyano. <Not overstocked for sure.> Also,
once I get nitrates down and get a better hold on my water quality
I'd like to add some "easier" inverts (maybe some polyps,
a leather and maybe some mushrooms) over time. Will the blenny / hermit
crabs / Peppermint Shrimp be a problem? <No.> Is there any books
you can recommend out there that outline the changes in going from a
FOWLR to a beginner reef type system (I just bought the Conscientious
Aquarist). <A very good start. I know I'll need to upgrade my
lighting, but would like more information about tank maturity, specific
gravity, calcium, ozone, calcium reactors etc. and which are only
needed for hard corals which I don't really plan on attempting.
<All found on our site, do search/read. Start with our index here.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm> Thanks you've been
great with all my problems. I'm glad you're here to help new
people like me. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Aiptasia and Cyanobacteria problems 2/21/08
Hello, <Hello, Scott V. with you.> I have a 55 gallon FOWLR
saltwater tank with a small sump holding an ASM G-1 skimmer, a
pump that's rated for a tank my size and a powerhead. My live
rock came with some Aiptasia and I didn't know what it was
until it became a big problem. <This happens.> I also had
some small spots of red Cyanobacteria which I've been
vacuuming up and with the addition of the powerhead have been at
least held in check. I've since tried multiple attempts at
squirting boiling water and a Kalkwasser paste on the aiptasia
and it knocks them back, but they typically come back in full
force in a few days. <These can be tough to eradicate.> I
finally got frustrated and actually pulled the live rock out and
squirted boiling water on the aiptasia over the sink. This was a
bad idea because my live rock now smells like it's uncured.
<Yikes! You likely killed more than the Aiptasia.> I
figured this would add quite a bit of dead organic matter to the
tank so I did a large water change the next day with RO water
heated and aerated for a couple days with added buffer. <Good
move.> Then I had to leave town for a few days so I decided to
let the two yellow tail damsels I have go without food for a few
days to hopefully knock back the Cyanobacteria. When I got back
the Cyanobacteria had gone berserk. It's covering everything
in the tank now and as an added bonus the Aiptasia is back too.
<Likely nutrient/nitrate accumulation from the die off related
to the boiling water.> I haven't had a chance to do a
reading for PH, Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites yet, but I imagine
there's something wrong due to the huge growth of the
Cyanobacteria. <Mmm'¦yes.> All I have in the tank
is two yellow tailed damsel fish and some snails. I don't
really want the damsels because they're too aggressive for
the type of tank I'd eventually like to have (even though
I've grown attached to them). My LFS said they'd be
willing to take them back. <Good, damsels are good to start
with only if you want damsels.> I also recently bought an RO
filter and since the switch the bacteria has been getting worse
even though I'm doing more frequent water changes with
supposedly higher quality water. It seems to be running much
faster than it's rated 25 GPD (I can fill up a 25 gallon
Rubbermaid in 6-8 hours). If I wanted to get this checked where
would I go to see if it's good quality or not? <A TDS
meter can be purchased fairly cheap. This can tell you the
current quality of the water and help you monitor long term for
prefilter/membrane replacement.> I'd like the learning
experience of getting rid of the aiptasia and Cyanobacteria, but
the tank is in bad condition now and my efforts don't seem to
be gaining any ground on a bad situation. What are my odds of
saving the tank at this point being new to the hobby? Would it be
better to start over with a new clean tank, or keep fighting.
<Keep at it, this battle can/will be won and you will learn
much doing so.> Are there any more measures I can take other
than being diligent about water changes and squirting the
aiptasia with boiling water? <In this case I recommend
revisiting the Kalk concentrate. Get hold of a syringe and
actually inject the solution into the Aiptasia.> How effective
are urchins at controlling Cyanobacteria? <They are not.>
What about red-legged hermit crabs for aiptasia? <Some
(Dardanus megistos in particular) are known to help.> At this
point I think adding more invertebrates will just make the
situation worse due to the amount of aiptasia and Cyanobacteria.
<They are a related problem, excess nutrients in the system
fuels the growth of both.> I'm concerned my skimmer
isn't doing enough to keep up with all the organic matter
from the dead aiptasia should I look into additional
skimming/filtering/powerheads? <If you can more skimming would
not hurt; otherwise just keep up with the water changes.>
Thanks for your help <Welcome, do check out the links below
for Aiptasia and BGA control. Good luck, Scott V.>
Re: Aiptasia and Cyanobacteria problems
2/26/08 Thanks again for your help you all are great.
<Welcome, thank you.> I think I've got them against the
ropes now. I carefully pulled each rock to the top of the tank
and used Kalkwasser concentrate to get everyone of the aiptasia
that I could find. I know some will come back, but I've got
my eye out for them now and I won't give them the chance to
grow. <Great! You will undoubtedly win this battle.> I also
did a large water change (maybe 30%) and vacuumed up all the muck
that I could, but there's still some chunks the siphon
wouldn't pick up. I'm planning on doing another large
water change this weekend. The skimmer has been collecting a
disgusting amount of material over night so I guess that's
good, probably from stirring up the sand and bacteria. <And
dead Aiptasia.> Any other thoughts on staying on top of this?
Should I cut back feeding? I repositioned my power head so it
blows across the sand on the bottom so hopefully that'll keep
stuff from collecting. <Just be sure all the food you feed is
getting eaten. Otherwise make sure your filtration is not
accumulating excess detritus, if it is you will need to clean it
frequently.> I feel for my poor little damsels they've
been having a stressful time as of late, but they seemed perky
this morning after the big water change and everything calmed
down. <Good to hear.> I just heard the power went out in my
neighborhood for a half hour or so after I left for work too.
<Short power outages will not hurt anything. It is good to
hear you are gaining ground on the Aiptasia, keep it up, you will
win. Scott V.>
Aiptasia Control 2/19/08
Dear WWM Crew, <Dave> First of all, I would like to thank
you for this wonderful site you have for our use. I have read
through many times and find it quite helpful. <Thank you>
Here's my problem. I own 2 saltwater tanks. I have a 72
gallon tank with a 29 gallon refugium as a filter. I also have a
30 gallon aquarium with an EcoSystem 60 as the filter. I have
recently decided that I no longer want the 30 gallon tank in
operation. I would like to take the live rock from the 30 gallon
tank and put it into my 72 gallon tank, but I have one problem.
The live rock is infested with Aiptasia Anemones. I obviously do
not want to spread this awful infestation to my 72 gallon tank.
<Certainly not.> I tried using the Joe's Juice from my
LFS, and it only made the Anemones come back with a vengeance. I
would like to know if there is a way to 100% remove the anemones
from the rock. (let it sit in freshwater for a few days, boiling
it?) I already have about 60# of live rock in the 72 gallon tank,
and it has been up & running for approximately 3 years. I
have a few leathers & mushrooms in the (72g) tank. If you
have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. <Since
your rock is infested with these critters, it would be
impractical to give each one a shot of Kalkwasser, a proven
method that works quite well. The freshwater method should work
but you will also kill anything beneficial on the rock. There are
a few animals that have been known to rid a tank of these pests.
The Copperband and Raccoon Butterfly fish are good at this, the
later being hardier. Some say the Hairy Red Legged Hermit Crab
will eat these also. You may also want to look/read here and
related articles/FAQ's above. James (Salty Dog)> Dave from
Re: Aiptasia Control 2/22/08 James,
<Dave> Thanks for your response! <You're
welcome.> I am currently soaking the liverock in freshwater.
How long do you think is long enough? <I'd probably go a
couple of weeks to be sure.> I just want to make sure that
adding this rock to my up & running tank (after being soaked
in freshwater) will not have any negative effects to my system.
<Do check the ammonia level in the freshwater before adding
the rock to your system. We want to be sure no levels exist from
the die off.> I also want to run my system setup by you and
see if you can add any design improvements to help a slight
nitrate problem... And I am up for any other suggestions you may
have. <Shoot> The system is a 72 gallon AGA tank which was
factory drilled with overflow. Filtration is a 29 gallon tank
turned into a fuge with Plexiglas baffles which I did myself.
<Great.> The water passes through a 100 micron sock that I
replace every 3 days. <Good.> I have approximately 2"
of Miracle Mud and a hefty amount of Feather Caulerpa in the
filter chamber. Water is then returned to the tank by a MagDrive
900gph pump. Water parameters are as follows: Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm Nitrate - 25ppm Salinity - 1.024 pH - 8.0 - 8.2
dKH - 8 Calcium 450ppm Temperature - 78 As I mentioned before, I
have had this tank up & running for approximately 3 years.
There is a light dusting of live sand for the substrate in the
main tank. I have 2 pumps @ appx. 300 gph in the main tank for
circulation. Lighting is a 48" Corallife light fixture with
2x 150w MH lights and actinic blue pc's. I have recently
added a small specimen of Xenia, I have Candy Cane Coral, a
Devil's Hand, various Zoo's and Florida Ricordea
Mushrooms. I have a 6" Blonde Naso Tang that I will be
trading in sooner rather than later, as I know he will not
survive long term in my system, (unless I upgrade tank size).
<Good move.> I also have a true Percula Clown, 2 Green
Chromis, and a Six Line Wrasse as well as a Cleaner Shrimp, Coral
Banded Shrimp & 2 dozen Hermit Crabs & 2 dozen Snails. I
have briefly been reading about the benefits of adding a DSB to
the system. Do you think that in an approximate filtering area of
18" x 12" that removing the Miracle Mud & replacing
with Live Sand would be more beneficial? (than the mud method)?
<The Miracle Mud medium is more than likely "live"
by now. I'd keep.> Any thoughts or suggestions would be
greatly appreciated. Keep doing what you're doing, we all
love it. <Dave, do read hee on nutrient control in an effort
to help lower your nitrate level. You do not mention the use of a
protein skimmer, a very worthwhile addition for removing
dissolved organics. I run an Aqua C Urchin Pro powered by a Mag 3
in my five foot 80 gallon reef, and I can say that this unit does
wonders for water quality.> Have a nice day, <You too,
Dave. James (Salty Dog) from Michigan> Dave from Philadelphia,
Re: AndyB pc. on Dendro and no
Aiptasia in the Atlantic claims 2/17/08 Bob,
<Andy> I will be happy to help in any way I can, but I must
caution that I have no biology background or experience with
preparing/writing such works. <Au contraire my friend. You
obviously have a good grasp of written English communication...
and enough "science" to relate your experiences here. I
assure you of this> If you can provide a little more specific
guidance on what, exactly, you're interested in (what type of
photos, what type of specs, what type of narrative, etc.), I will
gladly take this on. <Images of your system, the foods used,
the specimen itself from a few angles, perhaps under various
lighting... The writing, in your own voice... simply detailing
your interest, background... the history of your keeping this
specimen... Speculations you have, may have re your success>
On another note, I have a question about Aiptasia. I have been
debating this issue with a LFS owner, which sells Florida
aqua-cultured LR exclusively. He claims that his LR is guaranteed
Aiptasia-free, because they do not exist in the
Atlantic/Caribbean. <Uhh, not so> His claim is as follows:
"OUR FLORIDA AQUA CULTURED "LIVE ROCK" IS HAND
PICKED. IT IS LEGALLY HARVESTED AFTER 6 - 16 YEARS. SHIPPED WITH
HEAT PACKS OR ICE PACKS AND (WHICH EVER IS NEEDED) WITH ANEMONES,
SEA SQUIRTS, MUSSELS, GORG.S., SPONGES, STARFISH, TOOTH CORALS
AND BRAIN CORALS ALL OF WHICH LIVES. NO NEED TO CURE BECAUSE
NOTHING IS "DYING". APPROX. 6 HOURS FROM THE BOTTOM OF
THE OCEAN TO THE BOTTOM OF OUR TANKS. NO APTASIA IN THE
ATLANTIC!" My research suggests that Aiptasia do, indeed,
come from the Atlantic. <This is also assuredly so... Have
seen them there, many times...> Interestingly, I believe the
Aiptasia that I did have in my tank (before the Butterfly) were
acquired from a few pieces of LR that I bought from him. Andy
<Do send this note to the company, rep... Perhaps their
mis-spelling of the genus is some ploy at avoiding suit.
Re: AndyB no Aiptasia in the
Atlantic claims 2/23/08 Dear Bob, I forwarded our
correspondence about no "Aiptasia in the Atlantic" to
my LFS that claims no Aiptasia in the Atlantic. I noticed today
that he revised his website (although I still don't think
it's accurate) to read: "APTASIA USUALLY GROWS IN THE
PACIFIC, NO APTASIA WHERE OUR ROCK IS GROWN IN THE
"GULF"[.]" Andy <Hahhhhhaaaa, revisionist
history... Like the U.S. is "bringing democracy" to
folks... by murdering them... What a hoot. B>
For Bob - Aiptasia Follow-Up 5/1/08
Dear Bob, <Andy> You may remember an exchange we had a few
months back about a LFS that guaranteed Aiptasia-free rock from
the Atlantic. I just thought I'd share the response I got
from the LFS upon forwarding your response. "On another
note, I have a question about Aiptasia. I have been debating this
issue with a LFS owner, which sells Florida aqua-cultured LR
exclusively. He claims that his LR is guaranteed Aiptasia-free,
because 'NO APTASIA IN THE ATLANTIC!'" <Uhh, not
so . . . Have seen them there, many times...> <Do send this
note to the company, rep... BobF> REPLY: Okay maybe it
wasn't stated "politically correct". Our LR is from
the Gulf and to us the gulf and the Atlantic mixes in the keys
anyway. To us, It's all Atlantic waters. L.O.L. We have been
buying LR from the same diver for more than 7 years and never had
aiptasia on it and that was the point. He also has been growing
this rock for more than 20 years. Ever heard of glass anemones or
curleque anemones? I would have been more than happy to explain
further had you of given an e-mail for me to respond to.
Thank-you for your interest, Bambi, Sea Save. Andy <PC? I
don't get it... And... Aiptasia are of the Glass Anemone
family... What? BobF>
Glass Anemone Eradication - Should I
Toss The Whole Rock? -- 02/04/08 Hello! <<Hi!>> This
website is just wonderful; thank you for all the information and
answers and time. <<Thank you for the kind words'¦is a
collective effort'¦and our pleasure to provide>> Anyway,
we are fairly new aquarists and have just upgraded to a 90 gallon tank
with integrated overflow box, a 20 gallon sump, approx. 50lbs live
sand, and approx. 50lbs of live rock for our reef system. <<I
see>> We have one separate piece of rock that hosts some rather
scraggy-looking green mushroom corals right now. <<Hmm, not a
good sign as these organisms are generally quite hardy/easy to
keep>> A few weeks ago we noticed these "cute little baby
feather dusters" hanging out with the mushroom corals, who are now
bleached around the edges, of course. <<Indeed'¦and as
you are 'new aquarists' would like to make
mention'¦though closely related, the Corallimorphs (mushrooms)
are not 'corals' in the true sense of the word. You can read
here and among the links in blue to learn more
(http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm)>> Finally did some
research and learned that these little cuties are actually pest
Aiptasia and are killing the corals. <<Ah yes'¦and can
proliferate quite rapidly if not dealt with>> It does not seem
that they spread quickly to other rocks, correct? <<You would be
surprised at just how quickly this pest anemone can 'spread
throughout' a tank/system. They do sometimes tend to be cryptic in
their location'¦careful examination of your 'other'
live rock will likely reveal more>> We have not seen them
elsewhere throughout the tank (at least not yet). <<If not there
already'¦is only a matter of time (and not long at
that)>> So my question is: do we just toss the rock (which is
sitting by itself on the sand), mushroom coral and all, or do we try to
treat/remove these little buggers? <<Eradication in situ is
possible; usually through 'injection' with acidic or caustic
formulations like Lemon Juice or concentrated Kalkwasser solution, or
one of the commercially available products (e.g. -- Joe's Juice) ,
though not always easy accomplish. It will be easier to 'treat'
this rock if you can remove it to a treatment/quarantine tank. Or, if
it seems the Corallimorphs are too severely damaged to recover
(unlikely'¦are amazingly resilient organisms), you can just
give the rock a freshwater soak for a day'¦scrub it down and
let it dry in the sun for a week'¦and reuse (though obviously
it will no longer be 'live' rock)>> They are right up
between the corals so chemical treatment would be impossible without
likely killing the mushrooms as well. <<Quite the
contrary'¦injecting the pest anemones will have little/no
deleterious effect on the Corallimorphs>> And it seems that
physical removal is difficult/likely to cause further spread.
<<Agreed, I would not attempt this'¦at least not in the
display tank, and not without 'rinsing' the rock in clean
saltwater before returning to same>> And, of course, there seem
to be more of them now! <<Multiply like magic'¦ Ever
heard of 'Tribbles?'>> The corals seem happy in our new
tank, and I hate to condemn them if there is something else we can do,
but we also don't want the whole tank to become infested with
"baby feather dusters!" <<Not necessarily a 'Death
Knell' (I have several of these pest anemones scattered about my
tank), but quick offensive action against these organisms is usually
best'¦and certainly easier in the early stages>> Sorry
for being naive! <<No need for apologies, everyone
'begins' somewhere. I trust you have read re these organisms on
our site? If not, please start here
and do follow the for removal/eradication strategies as well>>
Thanks for your help. - Rebecca <<Happy to assist. Eric
Aiptasia & Sea Hare comp....
& Bio. alg. contr. 2/3/08 Although our 55
gallon FOWLR has been doing fine (fish growing & happy, no death,
stable water) I have three nickel sized Aiptasia and some hair algae.
Can/will the sting of an Aiptasia injury or kill a Sea Hare?
<Won't be the best combination but certainly not the best
solution for both problems. For the Aips see here:
And the causes of the Hair Algae must be addressed first. The Sea Hare
will just be recycling the nutrients the algae use. Read on Nutrient
export etc. Olly>
Aiptasia eating blenny. 12/20/07
Hi, I was told by a very knowledgeable reef keeper that there is a
blenny that eats Aiptasia. I was wondering if anyone here has ever
heard of them, and if so, could give me a name to further research
them. I was told that they are black, if that helps. <Have never
heard of such a blenniid, blennioid... but not impossible for sure.
Please write back with a scientific name if you find out. Bob
Cooking With Aiptasia? (The Crazy
Man's Guide To Aiptasia Elimination!) 12/1/2007 Hey all!
<Scott F. your guy tonight!> Keeping up the good work as usual, I
thank you for all your help, and of course as we progress we come
across new issues..... <Always seems that way, huh?> Well, I just
got a new rock last night, and unfortunately it had about 4 Aiptasia
riding on it. I scraped/pulled/rubbed off with a paper towel, tweezers
and razor blade all but one of them. Short of smashing the rock with a
hammer and just keeping the piece attached to my new Xenia, I thought
of something else worth a shot and wanted to hear one of your
expert's take on it. <OK...I'm not an expert, but I am a
serious fish geek!> What if I were to lift the part of the rock that
has the Aiptasia on it out of the water, and then use a torch lighter
or even an actual torch to Burn the heck out of the Aiptasia? <Good
heavens, man- you're gonna charbroil your Aiptasia? Why not choose
an easier technique like pulling out your fingernails and spearing the
Aiptasia with them, or isolating the Aiptasia in a quarantine tank and
forcing it to listen to an old Backstreet Boys CD? Seriously, there are
some easier ways that are effective.> I am pretty sure that even as
resilient as these things are, they wouldn't be able to survive a
few seconds under a flame would they?? Do you see any negatives to this
idea? Positives? <Well, I'm sure that they wouldn't survive
the "flambÃ©" action, but the idea of taking a
blowtorch to a rock kinda frightens me! Negatives? Hmm- third degree
burns, exploding rock, property damage...Hmm-guess I'm just being
paranoid- I just see upsides to this procedure, bro! Heh heh.> I
read all about it, and short of the guy who covered in salt and
microwave his rock ( which I would never do ) I thought this might be a
breakthrough in Aiptasia control/eradication, any thoughts? DJ Payne
<Well, I'm thinking that you could also try building a
high-powered laser to do the job...or maybe you could get some liquid
nitrogen from the local hospital and try freezing it off the rock...Or
maybe, just maybe- you could do it the EASY way and mix up a
concentrated solution of Kalkwasser and inject it into the mouth of the
anemone via syringe. There is also a nice commercial product called
"Joe's Juice" that is injectable and does a wonderful
job. Look for it online or at your LFS. Not as sexy as making a
homemade high-explosive device, or mixing toxic chemicals, true- but
it's effective and avoids the risk of burning down your house,
upsetting the balance of power in the free world, or injuring yourself!
I hope that you take my sarcasm in stride: I just think that you could
do this more easily and safely. However, if you DO have a good recipe
for "Aiptasia Foster", do pass it on to the Culinary
Department at WWM! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Re: Seahorse in refugium, and now
Aiptasia contr. -11/27/2007 Thanks for the quick reply. We
have decided, based on your advice, to not use sea horses in the
refugium. Instead we will nano tank some dwarf seahorse in a separate
tank. <cool> On another note, I have been battling Aiptasia
anemone for quite some time to no avail. We got the problem from a
friend who tore down his tank and gave me some live rock. Tried
Joe's juice, <doesn't work> peppermint shrimp, and even
removing bad bits of rock, but just couldn't get ahead of them.
<In my experience, you need quite a few peppermint shrimp for this
method to work at all...> I was considering a copperband
butterflyfish when my LFS recommended a Slender Filefish (Monacanthus
tuckeri). We were told he is reef safe, but will be a bit nippy and
sample a few things. Sounded similar to the copperband except this guy
will eat readily. <Hmmm... I wouldn't put either in a reef
thank. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm and
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fishfish.htm> We got him and he has
cleaned almost every Aiptasia in the tank, doesn't seem to bother
corals, nips a bit at various worms, <Doesn't mean he won't
eventually... but too late now, let's hope he doesn't.> and
will happily eat most frozen foods. I wonder why this fish is not
mentioned in the control of Aiptasia? <Hmmm, I don't know, but I
imagine that (as with most animals) they're not entirely
consistent. Yours seems to be quite helpful for Aiptasia and harmless
to corals. This might not always be the case for every fish.> I live
in the Netherlands and they seem to be common in tanks here, however I
rarely see them on American sites. <Thanks for sharing your
experience. :-)> Anyway thanks again for the advice/education. Have
a great day! <You too, thank you.> Layton <Best, Sara
Aiptasia... reading 11/11/07
Dear Bob, I have a glass Anemone that lives in a little hole on one of
my pieces of live rock. I was wondering how to get rid of him. My
husband thought to pluck him out with some tweezers but that did not
work, it just receded into the hole. (It is also a very deep and small
hole) I heard injecting boiling water will work but how can I do this
when it always goes back into the hole? <Would have to remove this
rock...> Is there a way to get rid of it without harming the rest of
the life growing on the rock? <Possibly> Also how quickly do they
reproduce and what do they look like when they are smaller? any insight
would help and thank you in advance for your time. Sincerely, Carla
Warren <All posted... Start reading here:
and on to the linked files at the bottom. BobF>
ID, Pseudocorynactis sp, Aiptasia -- 10/04/07 >Hi,
><Hello Ben! Sorry for the delay. I had some problem accessing
your links> No problem. Just wanted to be sure you got it.
<<Yes! Got it!>> Now maybe I can help you. That link is to
"flickr"; flickr uses Java, but otherwise should work with
any modern browser. It is one of the most widely used sites in the
world for images. Firefox will work perfectly, as will Opera, Safari,
Explorer, Omniweb and Mozilla. Just make sure Java is on. Firefox is
*highly* recommended - best browser on the planet, and it is free.
<<I have a Mac so I'm using Safari.>> >just a
cornucopia of living goodness. ><Amazing, isn't it?>
Indeed it is. <<One of my favorite things was just watching what
developed from the LR.>> >We popped it in our 55-gallon tank,
which was about two months old at the time, and everything has done
just fine. ><Glad to hear! Is this the tank in your bathroom? Is
quite a beautiful bathroom I might add!> Thank you. My sweetheart
and I built it. This was an empty box, an abandoned church, and
we're building an interior into it as time and funds allow.
<<How cool! You have done a beautiful job with the bathroom for
sure!>> Yes, that's the bathroom tank. We have three others
that are freshwater. Odds are good there are more salt tanks in our
future. We have room, and motivation is growing. No surprise to you,
I'm sure. <<Yes, as one of my crewmate Andrea said...
Multiple Tank Syndrome is hard to fight.>> >But do watch out
with this Xenia... it can become a "weed".> Not sure I
mind, really, I find them quite beautiful. Especially when they pulse.
<<Assuredly! Xenia can be quite beautiful, some people can't
get xenia to grow, while others can't get rid of them!>> The
intent is to make a reef tank, not so much a fish tank, but I'm not
sure we're looking for conventional imports - I'm very curious
to see what grows. All manner of things are starting up. If they really
get crazy, maybe I'll put them in a new tank. :-) They took
transport poorly, took many days to recover, and some died. Be easier
if they were local. <<Absolutely, shipping is a big problem with
this coral.>> >We only have a couple of small, innocuous fish
at this point, going slowly. ><Slowly is good!> That's my
understanding. I'm patient. Mostly. :-) <<Heehee! Can be hard
but is worth your while!>> ><This appears to be
Pseudocorynactis sp, a Corallimorph.> Ah. Thank you. With the name,
I found a pic and a little info on your site. Very good. <<Glad
to hear!>> ><This may be an Aiptasia that has collapsed
upon its self... a good thing... more reading for you below on this
matter.> Nope, definitely the same as the other patch; opens nightly
now. Funky little thing. <<Oh Good! Pseudocorynactis sp. are very
desirable corals.>> >The last patch of jelly still looks the
same as shown in the image above. Here's how a closed one looks:
><This pic is a duplicate of the Xenia.> Now THAT is just
plain weird. I still have the original email in my outbox, and the
correct three pictures are linked. Can you tell me what web browser you
are using? <<Safari.>> Something is flat busted. You're
not using... cough... AOL, are you? <<Heehee! No.>> Because
there's just no polite way to put it, AOL is last decade's
technology today, busted, crippled, censored and laden with the digital
equivalent of Aiptasia. Or copper sulfate. :) <<Heehee!>>
><Ummm, if you like Aiptasia... You will want to try to eliminate
this pest. More here: Yes, I've read all about them, and am willing
to throw one or more Nudibranchs in there if required, <<Can
work, but I would recommend other means first. Especially while you
have a reasonable amount to get rid of. I would recommend injecting the
Aiptasia with a syringe filled with either Calcium or Lemon juice. The
Berghia Nudibranch are good, but are obligate Aiptasia eaters...
therefore once the Aiptasia are gone the Berghia will slowly starve to
death. The other means can be effect.>> but so far, they just
seem interesting and pretty to me. <<So far but you really will
want to get rid of them. They can kill and limit the grow of other
desirable species.>> No migration. Yet. <<Yet being the key
word here...They can really take of and multiply very, very
quickly.>> If they start killing things, as seems likely from
everything I've read, then it'll be a Nudibranch picnic as soon
as I can get some. <<Again I would recommend other means first,
and use the Berghia only as a last resort. Cheers and good luck to you
Ben! Mich>> Ben
Aiptasia free -- 9/29/07 I'm sure you
don't care, but Bob, I have to tell someone... my tanks are 100%
Aiptasia free now!! It took 2 years, 30 peppermint shrimp, and probably
half a gallon of sodium hydroxide (not all at once> obviously),
<Holy oven cleaner!> but they're gone!! I can't find a
single one of them! Now I just have to never add anything more to my
tanks ever and I'll never have to see one of them again! lol Sara
<Mmm, until you've done a few dives, become more observant...
B> <<I have this picture in my mind of Bob twirling in a
circle with a beer over his head singing a certain hash song...
Mich>> It took 2 years, 30 peppermint shrimp,> and probably
half a gallon of sodium hydroxide (not all at once> obviously),
<Holy oven cleaner!> <<Forget the oven cleaner Batman!
Thirty peppermint shrimp?!?!?!? Sara, what did you do with 30
peppermint shrimp? Serve them with cocktail sauce!?!?!? Heehee!
Aiptasia on Derasa Clam 9/6/07 Hello, <Hi
Chad, Mich here.> I have recently acquired a Derasa Clam (2-3 in).
<Little.><<A bad, too-small starting size... RMF>> It
has not been fully extending its mantle for about 2 days. <Not
good.> I checked with a flashlight for Pyramidellid but couldn't
see any. Instead I found an small Aiptasia anemone on his shell.
<This may explain.> Do you suggest lemon juice or something
different? <I think I would try to manually remove, you may just be
able to scrape it off the clams' shell. I would be hesitant to use
any acids or bases here.> It is a 30 gallon tank so no Butterflies!
<No.> Thanks Chad <Welcome, Mich>
|Potential aquarium problem(s), Aiptasia
infestation 8/24/07 I recently bought some
decorative corals. We had some problems with one of the corals,
that died, but what remains is going very strong, including the two
sets of "mushrooms" visible in the bottom middle in one
of the pictures. <Ok> Also doing very well are the
anemone-like things (which I believe are technically worms from my
Internet research). They are very pretty, and we like them, but
they are spreading like mad! The original 3 are now 2-3 times
bigger than when we got them, and there are probably 20 baby ones
popping up all over the aquarium. <Don't look like worms
(featherdusters I'm assuming, look like Aiptasia Anemones.>
Have I destroyed my aquarium with this? Any way to keep them
(because they are pretty), but keep them in check? Or do I need to
get rid of them all. How so? <Most people try to get rid of
them, they are very difficult to keep under control. A few methods
can be found here
.> Other than the mushrooms, we have a fire shrimp, and some
snails and crabs. Snails and crabs seem like they need a refresh,
because I don't see as many of them any more. I think they got
into a war and killed each other off. Or the crabs killed all the
snails and then starved is probably more likely. <Definitely the
way it would work out.> No fish yet. (I plan on moving soon and
want to have as few things to try and keep alive as possible. - see
below) <Good> This is in a 29 gallon oceanic bio cube btw.
ph/ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are all great, but I am not as
vigilant as I should be about water changes. However, I have very
low bio load (iMO) and a ton of live rock. <Water changes are
still important.> I have the main aquarium about 3/4 full of
live rock by volume (It was 30 lbs) as can be seen in the pics, as
well as filling 2 out of the 3 back chambers of the cube with live
rock pieces. (3rd chamber for pump) I also have a protein skimmer,
but this doesn't seem to do much other than be a host for
algae. <Need to get it working or invest in a better unit, they
are very helpful in maintaining water quality, especially if you
are a little lax with the water changes.> Many of the aquariums
I see online or at stores do not have nearly the % of live rock by
volume as I do. I would like to have more room to see stuff, but do
I need this much? Is this type of filtration (Berlin?) sufficient?
<This type of filtration is sufficient as long as the tank is
not overstocked, which you will have to be very careful of in a 29.
How much is too much is hard to say, it needs to be enough to
support the bacterial filtration, but leave enough room for fish to
swim in. As far as comparing to store tanks and photographs, they
are not intended for long term success, but to either look good for
the photo or facilitate the remove of fish for sale. Different
requirement from what you need.> I was having a green/red slime
carpet growing over some of the rock, which I believe is actually a
bacteria, not algae. You probably know the thing I am talking
about. It makes lots of bubbles where it grows. I scraped it off
the rock as much as possible, and then siphoned it all out during
my last water change (which has encouraged me to be better about
water changes), but anything else I can do about it? Water changes
will help, but I think I also may have some issues with flow. The
built in pump and head don't seem to churn up the water much in
the far corner, and the slime is mostly growing in the lee of the
rock away from the pump. Should I add another power head? <I
would, and it is probably Cyanobacteria
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm .> I also had one
green bubble algae, that I removed without it popping (it was quite
hard which I did not expect from the way it looked!) <Bubble
algae, a common occurrence.> On the moving - I am probably
moving soon from Iowa to Chicago (3+ hours by car, + traffic +
pack/unpack. <It takes 3 hours to get anywhere in Chicago.>
What's the best way to get my aquarium there? I've read
stuff about dumping (gently! :) ) everything into a garbage can,
and using a battery powered heater and powerhead. Is this the right
thing? Should I just try to sell everything and restock in Chicago?
<I would try to move as little as possible, the LR in coolers
with wet newspaper, tank and equipment should be relatively easy,
but try to get rid of any livestock you can. Believe me when I tell
you the last thing you want to do after spending the day loading
and unloading a truck is to stay up and set up and aquarium. If you
don't think it can last a day or two in it's shipping
container, don't try to bring it with you.> Thanks for any
input and help.
Arrow crab eating Aiptasia?
Shore 8/24/07 Hi all I'm a bit perplexed as
to what happened to all of my Aiptasia. (Not that I'm complaining)
I have had a saltwater tank for over a year now and have ALWAYS had
these little pests! Thankfully they never grew to the plague
proportions I've herd <Heeeee!> tell about. When I upgraded
to a larger tank I thought that I had finally gotten rid of them but
alas they followed me. I tried killing them with Aiptasia Control and
it worked but they kept coming back (Probably in the filters) Anyway
here's the thing. I added an arrow crab a few weeks ago and they
are disappearing think that my arrow crab is eating them. <Oh
yes> It's an adult wild caught specimen that came from Florida.
I haven't actually seen the crab eating on the little pests but
every morning when I turn on the lights I see fewer and fewer of them.
The two or three Aiptasia that are still in the tank are missing
"arms" Have arrow crabs ever been known to eat Aiptasia?
<Certainly have. BobF>
Aiptasia Removal - 7/21/07 WWM
Crew, <Hi Dan> So, I got one of these little buggers with some
Caulerpa I bought. <Sorry to hear that> I have removed the live
rock it was connected to. If I let it dry out for a few weeks and
return it to my tank, will the Aiptasia return or will it have expired
being out of the water so long? (I know some forms of macro algae just
have to be re-hydrated to come back.) <It would kill it, but it
would also kill anything on the rock and you'd have to cure it
again before returning it to the tank. I'd go with a less
aggressive approach since it sounds like a single anemone. One thing
about Aiptasia though, is that while you may be seeing only one, there
may be others you haven't yet seen. Since you've already
removed the rock (and if you can do so), put it in a quarantine
tank/container to isolate, and treat it there. That way you can make
sure you kill the pest(s) and keep an eye out for any others that might
show up. Please see these links regarding methods of eradication:
.>Thanks Guys or gals, Dan <You're welcome and good luck!
|Rock Anemones and Breaking Rocks to Separate
Corals 4/21/07 Hi Guys, <Hi Jim, Mich
here.> Here are two pictures that I would like
your thoughts on. The first I believe is a small group of rock
anemones. <Looks like a pest to me.> They are about 1/2
inches high. The aquarium is about 4 months old. I have two small
groups of these, which don't seem to be doing much. Do you
think that I should go out and get a couple of peppermint shrimp
and try to stem it now or is it possible that they won't
expand? <Depends.> I enjoy watching the micro fauna but
don't want to risk all. I think of them as a weed-just a thing
that is not growing where someone wants it but otherwise
interesting. <If it were me/mine I would remove from the
system. If you allow to remain in the system, I would
watch carefully, and be prepared to take action. More
Anyway the second picture there are two colonies of different
creatures. Both colonies are expanding. <A good thing.> I
keep reading that they may beat on each other and kill one or both
colonies. <Is possible.> I wouldn't want that. <Me
neither.> These just came on the live rock and started to grow.
<Ooo! A nice gift from the sea.> I would have to
break the rock to keep them apart. Is this a viable solution or is
there another? <It looks like the rock could be easily removed
from your system. If this is so, I think I would remove
and use a chisel or better yet a Dremel, and remove and relocate
one of these corals. <As far as ID's go I think this is
Galaxea fascicularis, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/oculinidae.htm though
Turbinaria http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm or
Goniopora http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm could be
possibilities, it is difficult to tell from the photo.> Thanks
for your help as always. Lots of great reading!!
<Welcome! Glad you
enjoy! -Mich> Jim
Aiptasia gone? 4/18/07 Hello
everyone at the wet web! <Good afternoon, Olly here> I have a
question regarding Aiptasia. <Heehee, Most people do> My tank has
had a problem for about a year with them. I have zapped them with
Kalkwasser, purchased a copperband <Shouldn't be purchased for
short-term problems> 3 Berghia Nudibranchs, and 2 shrimp
<Peppermint?> over that time and nothing seemed to work. In the
last 2 weeks, amazingly them have simply vanished! There may be 3 or 4
left, but that's it! I haven't done anything different, changed
any habits, nor have I added anything new in quite some time. I am
happy about it, but I am wondering if something may be wrong with my
system since these guys are suppose to be tough. All of the fish,
inverts and corals seem fine and all parameters are excellent. Are my
worries legit? What can cause such a quick demise of the Aiptasia?
<There maybe something underlying, but this doesn't seem
strikingly obvious from what you've said, so I'd say you're
good to go. I would say that is was quite likely the Berghia
Nudibranch, these often 'go missing' for extended periods of
time but then re-surface in increased numbers and a lot hungrier. It
may be worth checking the remaining Aiptasia at night with a flashlight
to inspect for minor aggressors -- the Nudibranchs. Could also be an
improvement in husbandry that lead what was feeding the Aiptasia
proliferation -- nutrients, overfeeding, lighting etc -- to lessen,
leading to a crash in their population. Although I still firmly suspect
the Nudibranchs! A last thought -- is the copperband still with you --
may have just developed its taste! Hope this helps, Olly>
Re: Invader 4/16/07 <Hi
Bob, Mich with you again.> I do not know where the nutrient could be
coming from. I feed very, very sparingly, <Perhaps a
change in food brand would help?> and have been for
quite a long while (started with a fight against BGA which I have won,
only to lose against Aiptasia and hair algae). <There are several
methods for Aiptasia control. More here and related links in
Only been a little over a week since you wrote in about these
issues. This battle will take time, once changes have been
made.> Despite all of WWM's positive words, I wonder if the
problem is not the DSB, both of them or maybe just the downstream one,
which has flow only across the top. Thoughts?
<I would keep. Do you occasionally vacuum the sand
bed?> Maybe I should clear all sand out of the downstream fuge
completely? <If it were me/mine I would try implementing other
options and leave the DSB in place. -Mich> Bob Lee
Another Aiptasia Question - 03/20/07 Just finished
setting up my 240g with 300lbs of LR and I have noticed about 10-14
Anemone's. <<Uh-oh...cultured live rock was it?>> Some
large, some small, some brown, some clear, some striped. <<Ah
yes...>> After searching the web I have decided these are
Aiptasia. <<Is very likely>> This LR is in an
Agg FOWLR tank, I understand they breed like crazy with lots of
nutrients which I'm sure to have with a Grouper, Lion, and Eels.
<<Indeed>> But my question is this, does Aiptasia have any
benefits (filter feeding, extracting wastes, etc)? <<They are
amazing absorption feeders, pulling dissolved organics from the water
(one of the reasons they are so successful/difficult to
eradicate)...but...>> And do they pose any threat to large fish?
<<Mmm, good question...they do have a fairly potent
sting. I wouldn't think they would pose a big hazard to
large fish...but a heavy infestation may prevent these fishes from
getting/staying in their favorite hidey or sleeping holes in a closed
system...thus creating stress and all the possible ailments/troubles it
will bring about. My opinion is a few here and there
wouldn't be a concern...but I wouldn't let the Aiptasia
overgrow the entire system>> Other fish planned were a Harlequin
Tusk, Yellow Tang, Queen Angel, and possibly a Sohal
Tang. Lastly I read on one of your articles about Aiptasia
that the Queen Angel eats it, but can't find that info anywhere
else on the web to confirm. Can you confirm? <<Not
personally, no...and though I consider Bob a reliable source, each fish
is an individual...>> I do not mind having a constant grazing
material for an Angel to eat on it this is true. <<Time will
tell>> I missed Anthony's lecture at ThatFishPlace this past
weekend, but the tent sales pulled me away :o). <<Bet it was a
good time>> Thanks for all the hard work guys, Joe in MD
<<Pleasure to assist...EricR in SC>>
Aiptasia Control 2/27/07 Hello, <Hi
John> My question is simple! I'd like to use Kalk slurry to fill
the hole the little Aiptasia bugger is in. Then plug the hole with
epoxy so it can never return! Good idea? Bad idea? <As long as there
is no back door, I'd just plug the hole.> I can easily take the
rock out so that is not an issue. My only concern is a chemical
reaction. Will the slurry and epoxy, being in such close proximity to
each other, cause a reaction that could leach awful no good compounds
into my tank? Ever been done by anyone you know? <To be on the safe
side, I'd plug the hole 15 minutes after the Kalk shot. Do read
here and linked files above for more info on control of these little
Thanks WWM Crew, <You're welcome John. James (Salty
My little Aiptasia... 2/26/07 I
got some base rock for my 45g tank and along came a little Aiptasia,
barely as wide as a dime, and before I knew it was an Aiptasia (24
hours ago hehehe) it became my little pride and joy. <Wait a
while... for the "Day of the (Glass Anemone) Triffids!">
It really is cute, and I thought it was another cute little hitchhiker
on the cheap rock. However... Seeing its true nature on the internet
has led me to the decision to possibly buy an Elegance Coral to eat it
but I don't think my tank will be able to support something so hard
to care for. They seem to have an awfully high death rate, and I have a
Sun Reef 50/50 bulb as the only source of coral-friendly light. My
budget barely allowed for that at the time, and the only upgrade will
take two of my measly paychecks at the moment. So I was trying to think
of some relatively easy to keep coral that might eat the Aiptasia but
be able to survive as long as I do the necessary additives and food. I
got the stupid Aiptasia some Zooplankton which he ate with much vigor.
Any suggestions other than letting it slowly die out in the air for a
week or so? <Could work, yes> Apparently that "little"
Aiptasia will be a nuisance in the future, and as much as I think
he's cute, I know I have to find a humane way of killing it. I
figured getting eaten alive is more like nature's way
right? :) <Mmm, what is it about "nature's
way" and living in a transparent box that doesn't seem to
quite gel here? I say, either keep the little bugga-boo or rid yourself
in whatever way seems facile> BTW, the tanks inhabitants are a pair
of False Percula Clowns, a Green Spotted Puffer, a Canary Wrasse, a
handful of snails and crabs. There's less than 10lbs of base rock
at the moment since its so expensive to get the stuff, and even more if
I wanted to get liverock - I'm doing the "one step at a
time" approach. There's an Emperor Biowheel filter (Forgot
what size.. It has room for two cartridges) and a 90g Red Sea Skimmer,
and plans in the way for a homemade sump/refugium later. Thank you very
much, I hate being such a newbie but the internet is so full of
conflicting information I'd like to double check and see if I'm
heading the right direction. <Mmm, yes.... Please read here:
and the linked files below. Bob Fenner>
Re: My little Aiptasia...
2/27/07 Okay so I was looking through all the FAQs and really
considering an Elegance Coral until I read this one : "Elegance
Coral Hi Guys and Girls <Hi Joe, MacL here> I just got a new
elegance coral for my established reef tank. It is in a
nice open sandy area so I am hoping it does well. However my
needy clownfish has not unexpectedly taken up residence in
it almost immediately. Is my newcomer in serious danger and
is there anything I can do? <It can be a real problem.
Often they host and don't irritate the corals but
sometimes they do irritate the corals and indeed kill them.
These fish can be deadly to corals and really
there isn't much you can do about them besides find
another host they will go to OR get rid of the coral. Sorry
to be such a downer. It is possible that it
won't irritate the coral at all, in which case you have
a interesting situation to enjoy.>" Is something
like this a serious enough problem to reconsider? If I went through the
trouble to get a decent Elegance, feed him, and take care of him...
Would my two clownfish stress it out trying to make a home on it?
<Is a possibility... though these fishes generally choice other,
more agreeable host species> I want something that would kill the
Aiptasia but be enough of a home for my Clownfish, while simultaneously
not beating the hell out of the three bumblebee gobies. They can eat 3x
their weight in food, and have no hesitations of where they go for it,
and I'm worried something as strong as an Elegance will eat them
for dinner. Maybe I'm just crazy. Any suggestions then? <Yes...
other means of Aiptasia control...> I don't want something as
delicate and hard to keep as an Elegance if it'll probably just die
(increasing the demand for more Elegances collected in shoddy
conditions and just screwing up the oceans some more sounds like a
cruddy plan if it'll just die)... Thanks a lot, sorry to be such a
bother! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner> One last question!
This is for future reference when I dive into the world of corals...
What is your opinion on Pulsing Xenia versus Starburst Polyp (Briareum
sp)... Also, Colt Coral would kill those I listed above right?
There's so many different types of corals and whatnots, Its easy to
get misled and I refuse to trust anything less than 5 sources... Waste
of money and corals are animals, I'd hate to kill one just for
experimentation/newbie purposes. <Read on my friend, read on.
Aiptasia anemone removal 2/26/07 Dear BOB,
<Hi Jason, Mich here.> One other quick question for you. I seem
to have Aiptasia anemones but only in my refugium. Thankfully they have
never migrated to my main tank. <Yet!> Almost all of them hang
out and reproduce in the bioballs and first baffle of the
refugium. Hence they are inaccessible to inject. <I'm
not sure I understand why they would be inaccessible> I can only
consider emptying the water and letting them dry out and refill it. Do
you have any suggestions as to how to rid my refugium of these pests?
<Lots of options please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and related links in blue.> Thanks Jason
Re: Aiptasia Anemone Removal --
2/26/07 Dear Mitch, <Hi Jason, it's Michelle.> Reason the
Aiptasia are inaccessible in the bioballs is because the refugium I
have, the width of the baffle is that of one bioball. <Yikes!> So
maybe the bioball chamber is 24" H x 18" D x 1.5-2" W.
SO getting a needle, siphon, etc is near impossible and
removing the bioballs is a mission in itself. <Sounds like
it! Perhaps some DIY tongs are in order.> Plus no shrimp
or nudibranchs can get into that area and hence injection with my arm
and a needle is hard as well. Any Aiptasia that get into the main
refugium chamber I kill without a problem. <This is good.> The
only thing I can consider is emptying the refugium and cleaning
them out but I also don't want to kill that many tube
worms, pods and other beneficial bacteria. <Vigilance is a
reasonable option.> Best regards, <And to
you! -Mich> Jason
Aiptasia in Swim (FOWLR) Tank, Multiple Pygmy
Angels in a Tank - 02/15/07 Hello, <Hi there
Kiet! Mich here.> First of all, I wanted to say your site
has provided me with an abundance of knowledge in maintaining a healthy
aquarium. <Glad to hear this!> The first question I
wanted to ask was; would it be alright to leave Aiptasia in a swim
tank? I know they can be harmful in a reef setup, but I was not sure
about fish only tanks. <Should be fine.> The second
question I was wondering was; should pygmy angels be kept one to a
tank? <Yes, best to be solitary, unless the tank is very large.>
Thank you, <You're welcome! -Mich> Kiet
Aiptasia Dilemma, Removal
Options - 02/15/07 Dear Crew <Hi Dan! Mich with
you tonight.> I recently purchased some Caulerpa racemosa attached
to a small piece of live rock which I placed into my new refugium.
<OK.> After a little while I noticed that the live rock is home
to quite a few Aiptasia anemones. <OK.> So my question: should I
try to combat the Aiptasia by adding some hermit crabs, or would it be
better to try and detach the Caulerpa and chuck the rock into the bin?
<You can try the hermits, Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) are
if they're hungry enough may help. Chemical options also
work i.e. Kalk paste, lemon juice... Please read
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm removing
the Caulerpa is also an option.> I'm not sure if
this is possible since the Caulerpa racemosa seems to be pretty
fragile. <Hmm, usually is quite hardy.> Is it easy to attach the
Caulerpa to another piece of live rock or the substrate? <Really no
need for it to be attached, but should be easy to do if you so
desire> Thanks! <Welcome!> Dan
Aiptasia Control, Caulerpa
2/14/07 Dear Crew <Brenda here> I recently purchased some
Caulerpa attached to a small piece of live rock which I placed into my
new refugium. After a little while I noticed that the live rock is
covered in Aiptasia. So my question: should I try to combat the
Aiptasia by adding some hermit crabs, or would it be better to try and
detach the Caulerpa and chuck the rock into the bin? I'm not sure
if this is possible since the Caulerpa is very fragile (the bubble
variety). <If you decide to remove the rock, it
can always be added later as 'dead' rock. It will
take some time before it becomes live rock again, but at least it's
not a total waste. As far as which method is best to remove
Aiptasia, it seems the jury is still out on this. Some
hobbyists have luck with one method where others have had no
luck. Here is more information on Aiptasia control: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/Aiptasia/aiptasia.htm I
think you will be fine removing the Caulerpa, it should reattach
soon. There is more information here on
Thanks! Dan <Your welcome. Brenda>
Kold Steril Filter Reason for
Aiptasia and Algae Growth 10/4/06 Thank you for your
website and the vast amount of information. The information
has prevented me from making numerous errors. <Thanks and
welcome> I have a 125 gallon reef tank and I switched from Reverse
Osmosis water from the water store to the Kold Steril Filter using my
city water. I seem to have had an increase in Aiptasia and
green algae growth over 6 months time. Do you think this is because of
the minerals in the water that did not exist with RO water? <Mmm,
interesting speculation... if only we could "go back" and set
up a few replicate systems to test this hypothesis... Don't
know> Should I add an RO system after the Kold Steril Filter to get
rid of the algae and slow the spread of Aiptasia? <Mmmm, I
definitely would not. The KS unit is very likely doing about all that
can be to provide clean water. I would employ other means of pest
anemone control. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and the linked files above> I have one other question. I
have a Niger trigger in a different tank that is fish
only. The tank is 130 gallon high. What if any
other fish would be stable with the trigger? I have
had the trigger for 6 months and he does well. I do not want
to crowd him as he grows. <Please see WWM re Odonus niger and
general Trigger Compatibility... Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help.
Aiptasia 8/24/06 Good morning, <And to
you> I'm starting to see a couple of Aiptasia in my main display
( I have 5-10 in refugium). I have a four line wrasse, a
fridmani, flame angel, cinnamon clown, dragon goby, seven blue green
Chromis, one fire shrimp, and four skunk shrimp in my 150 gal mainly
SPS reef. I am by no means over run with the Aiptasias, but
I would like to nip the problem early. <You are wise here>
I've searched your site concerning the wurdemanni shrimp but
I'm not sure what "all but the largest Aiptasia" means.
<Mmm, ones that are much larger than the shrimp let's say>
I have one that is about 1" in diameter, would that be
considered large? <IMO, yes> How do you think this
shrimp would fair with my current stock? Any suggestions
would be greatly appreciated. <I would likely try "cutting this
back" before hoping, adding the shrimp... with a strong vacuum and
a sharp tool... Bob Fenner, who likes large pizzas, but not too
Aiptasia (sorry I know you get a lot of these
emails) 8/14/06 Hello once
again. I have a 90 gallon tank that has a lot of
Aiptasia which seem to be spreading. I have read your
FAQs on Aiptasia and realize that it is probably a nutrient
problem. I feel as though I am not overfeeding... fish
eat food within a minute (spectrum pellets and
Mysis). I currently only have 3 fish, a Kole tang,
clown fish, and a Pseudochromis (blue flavivertex) all are 3
inches or less. I have a lot of corals currently
mostly on the sand bed because of the Aiptasia on the rocks, I
also feed the corals Mysis, Cyclop-eeze, ZooPlex on a rotating
schedule about 2 to 3 times per week. Corals include
Favites, Favia, red trach brain, green trach brain, torch coral,
Montipora, green star polyps, mushrooms, and Kenya tree all are
doing very well. My question is how can I limit the
amount of nutrients and still feed fish and corals... which I
think is important (obviously for fish but also corals)?
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algnutrcontrolfaqs.htm same
processes...> All water parameters are great ammonia 0,
nitrite 0, nitrate 0, phosphate 0.1 calcium 400, alk 10 dKH, and
pH 8.3. I do a 10% water change every week with
deionized water and Tropic Marin salt. My skimmer is a
remora pro which I have set to "overskim" which I have
to empty every other day (brown water not dark brown
skimmate). I have killed some using Kalk paste but
don't want to go crazy and cause a pH spike. Any
suggestions. <Posted on WWM...> Should I try
not feeding corals for a couple weeks? <Aiptasia are not
simply a matter of nutrient availability or no...> Increase
flow (currently 1 maxi jet 1200, 1 maxi jet 900 and a Rio 2100
for overflow return)? Oh yeah I do have a small
cleanup crew 1 serpent star, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 queen conch, and
about 6 Trochus snails. I am not too fond of crabs
because I hear they are not 100% reef safe. <We're in
agreement here> So to sum up this really long,
wordy email, I would like any suggestions on how to get rid of
the Aiptasia I have and also to keep this problem from
reoccurring. By the way I have tried peppermint shrimp
with no success. I will include a tank
picture. Thank you very much, Ryan Nienhuis. <...
Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm
and the linked files at bottom. Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia Hitchhiker - 08/11/06
Hey Crew- <<Hey Rob!>> I just wanted your opinion on
something... <<I'm always happy to proffer my
opinions>> I have a 75 gallon reef tank. I recently
purchased a frag of orange-eyed zoo's. <<Cool!>>
It's a decent sized piece and the polyps look great however, I just
noticed that there is an Aiptasia anemone on this frag. <<Mmm,
some freebies/hitchhikers are neat...some not so neat...this one falls
in to the "not so neat" category>> My tank is currently
Aiptasia free. <<Generally a "temporary" condition in
this hobby>> Is it really worth having this $10 frag in my tank
with the risk of the Aiptasia spreading throughout my display?
<<That's a decision you have to make my friend...but,
eliminating this pest before it spreads is a real possibility as
well>> Is there any way to keep the Aiptasia from spreading?
<<Yes...kill it>> What would you do if it were your tank?
<<I would try to get rid of the pest anemone were this me/my
tank. My preferred method is to inject the anemone (run the
needle through the oral opening down in to the stalk) with full
strength lemon juice. Sometimes takes more than one hit, but
I've found this method to be very effective...and as effective (or
more so) as any of the commercial products I've tried>> As
always, I appreciate your time! Best regards, Rob <<Glad to
7/27/06 Mr. Fenner and gang, <Hello there!>
Hello all, I have a 20G and 2.5G both mixed reefs. The 2.5G
has been somewhat neglected and at the moment, is being overtaken by
Aiptasia. <This is a very common problem with a tank this
small. Nutrients, unless you are EXTREMELY diligent run like
crazy in a tank of this size. I would suggest going bigger
if you can.> I have three small colonies of Zoa's, one of which
the dang Aiptasia is actually sprouting up through.
<Just annoying, isn't it?> My question is, can I salvage/frag
what I can of the unaffected Zoa's and put them in my 20G that is
Aiptasia free and not worry about it sprouting up in there, or is that
just asking for trouble? <Actually you can, but there is always a
chance that you'll be moving a few over to the new
tank. Once again, it is better to treat the problem than the
symptoms here. If you want to make the move, manually remove
all Aiptasia (be very care around the zoas, no need to break any of
them and wear gloves just to be on the safe side.) Then move over to
bigger tank. Work on getting nutrients down in your 2.5
though.> Thanks for your time, Mike Troolines <No problem, have a
great one! Jen S.>
Re: Aiptasia and Frogspawn corals
5/31/06 Hello Bob. The return of the Aiptasia, imagine
that! A strange thing noticed on the specimen growing among the
frogspawn colony: The tentacles closest to the frogspawn polyps are
receded and wilted while the pest tries to avoid these polyps. I found
several others growing near the top of the tank where the P. skimmer
empties into the water. I know why they grow here though only
discovered their presence in the passed couple weeks. This is where I
put food for dispersion by the flowing water and it sometimes collects
near the top of the rock. I purchased what I thought are Peppermint
shrimp but I am not so sure as these are larger than usual and the
coloration seems more subdued and the specimens darker. These are neat
little guys at any rate even if they do happen to be the wrong shrimp.
I am still looking for the Berghia but have never seen one offered at
any of the LFS(s). Right now I am using my QT tank for control though
the one rock is exceptionally large where these pests reside. I may
restart my 55 gallon tank and purchase a Copperband butterfly or
similar species for control... not sure though as incurring more
expenses and maintaining yet another tank might get real old real fast.
Maybe if I can repair the light fixture on the 24 gallon (I think the
external ballast went) then the new light I got could get moved....
Decisions, decisions.... Sincerely, James Zimmer
<<James: Frogspawn has a powerful
sting. Sounds like it is stronger than the sting of an
Aiptasia. Peppermints are hit or miss. When I
have bought them, only about 1/2 to 2/3 eat
Aiptasia. Berghia are available online. If you do
a search on www.reefcentral.com and other sites you may find people
selling them. Unfortunately, if they work, they will die
once they have eaten all the Aiptasia. Rather than use
critters, if you don't have too many, I like to make a batch of
Kalk paste and inject it into the Aiptasia holes with the plastic
syringe you get with baby medicines. After you inject it,
don't scrape the paste off. Eventually coralline algae
will grow right over it. Best of luck,
Re: Aiptasia and Frogspawn
corals - 06/01/2006 Roy. Thank you for the advice on
Aiptasia control. I have used the Kalk paste or slurry also and
depending on location or orientation to preferred animals I am
sometimes reluctant. Yes, this latest crop will have my work cut for
me. I may just use the paste method again for the large rock as it is
too much to move into the smaller QT. As for smaller rocks I can move
them and train, hopefully, the shrimp to eat the pest anemones. I will
not use concentrated Ca(OH)2 near the frogspawn if I can at all help
it. Again, thank you. James <<James: You're
welcome. Based on my experience, the Peppermint Shrimp will
either like Aiptasia or not (that's why if you have a big enough
tank, it's good to buy 2 to 3 to see who will eat
them). In my best case, one peppermint ate about 100
Aiptasia within about a day. It was amazing to see him
attack them. He looked like a boxer working on a speed
bag. Unfortunately, for that Peppermint Shrimp a Skunk
Cleaner Shrimp attacked him and ate him. I guess the Skunk
Cleaner liked the taste of Aiptasia fed shrimp. If you are careful with
the baby medicine syringe and make a thick enough paste, you can inject
the paste with a lot of control (like you are decorating a
cake). If some of the paste starts to float off, just
disburse it as fast as you can. In my experience, if a
little bit brushes a coral (such as your frogspawn) as it floats buy,
it won't hurt anything. Best of luck, Roy>>
Aiptasia - 5/12/2006 I am pretty sure that I
have Aiptasia Anemones in my tank but want to verify.
<<OK.>> Are these the only anemones that populate quickly?
<<No.>> They seem to be multiplying quickly. I keep finding
new ones. The photos I looked at are pretty much the same thing I have
in my tank. <<If they look like Aiptasia, they likely
are.>> I can't believe I have been feeding this thing.
<<Most live rock has a few hitchhiking.>> Is it 100%
necessary to get rid of them? <No. Depends on your system
and other inhabitants. I would opt to remove them.>>
How much harm can they really be? <<They do move, and can
sting/kill other corals and livestock. There are many
products available to eradicate them, as well as some natural
predators. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm.>>
Thanks for the help Mike <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>
Importing Aiptasia from LFS? 4/27/06 Dear Mr.
Fenner, <Jen S. here, Bob is at a conference.> There are two
prominent LFS's in my community that have nice corals. Store A has
noticeable Aiptasia growing in their systems (one or two per tank, but
not infested); Store B has essentially none. <Very common to see in
a LFS> However, compared to Store B, Store A has a better selection
of corals and- overall- friendlier, more helpful staff. <Go with
Store A then.> I read your Aiptasia article and came away with the
conclusion that eventually I'll have to deal with these pesky
beasts. <Hopefully not with diligent care.> My water
parameters are great for a three month old system (good skimmer, Chaeto
refugium, Nitrates zero). <You system is quite young to
be adding a lot, be careful!> I am told that one way to control
Aiptasia is through prevention, with good nutrient export the key.
<Yup, and manual removal.> Question: with regards to potential
importation of Aiptasia into my system, does it really make much of a
difference which store I shop at? <Shop where you like the selection
and staff> Also, will dipping my newly bought corals in Seachem Reef
Dip make any difference with regards to Aiptasia...or any other nasty
thing for that matter? <I'm not sure, I doubt
it. Manually remove all that you see BEFORE adding to tank,
and anymore you see after adding. Good luck w/ the
shopping! Jen S.> Thanks. Russell in Louisville, KY
Aiptasia, aka Glass or Rock anemone 4/16/06
Hello to one and all, <Hello to you as well, Jodie here tonight>
I have a brief question. In the process of setting up a 90
gallon reef tank I purchased 50 pounds of beautiful rock from
Tonga. It has run through the curing cycle, and realizing it
was too little volume for the tank I started looking for suitable base
rock. Through a reef club I acquired an additional 50 pounds
of "used" Fiji. It looked in good shape and I did
not find anything dead during my inspection. Utilizing very
poor judgment I placed this rock in the curing/holding tank with the
rest of the rock. Now a few hours later I see Aiptasia
popping out of every hole on the new rock. <I feel your pain;
it's happened to me as well. I'd recommend moving it
immediately to limit the odds of spreading to your good rock.> There
are too many to inject or cover in Kalk paste. Would pouring
boiling water over the rock kill the pest or should I dry the rock in
the sun for a few days? <Boiling water isn't guaranteed to kill
them all. They'll likely just pull back into the rock,
where the boiling water won't get to them quick
enough. If you're not worried about losing all the life
in the rock, then I'd say the sun is a more likely to
work. Just make sure to keep in clean, and re-cure it after
it's "sun bath".> Thank you, <Best of luck, and
hope they haven't infected your good rock, Jodie> Rob
Aiptasia Removal - 03/17/2006 Bob, <Stuck with Josh today
I'm afraid.> There seems to be a lot of options for removing
Aiptasia (Nuisance anemone) listed on wetwebmedia.com. <Indeed.>
The first seems to be removing the cause of their growth (excess
nutrients). <Yes.> I am in the process of purchasing/moving a 90
gallon tank with live rock. There is about 80 lbs of live rock with
about 10 to 15 nuisance anemones growing. Since, I do not have any fish
to put in the tank, would these die from starvation if I just set the
tank up to keep the live rock wet? <Highly unlikely.> My plan is
to setup the tank/filtration and let it run for 1 or 2 months before
adding fish/food. <Good to Hear.> Should I remove/scrub the rock
prior to putting it back in the tank. <Scrubbing them will only
create more...a lot more.> Would it help to cover the tank to
minimize light? <No.> Do you have any other suggestions? <It
sounds to me like you're in a great position to use the Kalkwasser
injection method. This is what I would do.> I would prefer not to
buy crabs/shrimp as I have a Panther grouper that will eventually make
this tank his home. <Understood and glad to see you're planning
ahead.> Thanks Jack W. <Welcome. -
Aiptasia status report/Aiptasia Control -
02/27/06 Hi, Crew! <Hello Amy> Just thought I would weigh in
on my experiences with Aiptasia control and a variety of methods, after
reading all the FAQs. Bottom line: Nothing yet seems to
work. I have tried 1) Injections with lemon
juice. This worked temporarily; they eventually grew back,
and if you get even one or two hiding in crevices that you can't
see, it's all over - they'll reproduce out of control from
their hidden location. 2) Joe's Juice - this doesn't
work very well either. It does indeed kill the target
anemone, but there is a significant problem: it seems to force the
dying anemone to clone. I tested this by feeding Joe's
Juice to an anemone that was stuck to the wall of the aquarium, so it
was clearly visible on all sides. Sure enough, the Aiptasia
died, but it left behind a ring of ~5 or so tiny clones, which are now
growing to full size. *sigh* I have used
literally a dozen boxes of Joe's Juice, and all it seems to do is
induce them to clone. Watch out! Since I'm very much
against bringing any wild-caught animals into captivity now, I'm
going to try Berghia nudibranchs. I have two arriving on
Tuesday morning. I'm setting up a breeding tank, along
with a holding tank for Aiptasias (not that this is a huge problem at
the moment - my main tank is covered with hundreds
now). Will let you know how it goes! If they
clean up the Aiptasias, I'll pass them along. <Thank you for the
email and do let us know your results. James (Salty Dog)>
Euphyllia cristata and Echidna nebulosa... and
Aiptasia control - 02/20/06 Dear Mr. Fenner or crew member
that answers, <Jessica> Just a
couple of follow up questions. Regarding the below mentioned
E. nebulosa, what would you consider the minimum for housing him
indefinitely? <... 150, 200 gallons plus, uncrowded...> It is
possible that I could trade in a few of my smaller tanks (and there are
plenty) that have housed freshwater fish over the years for a
predrilled standard 125 (I have been collecting tanks and freshwater
fish since the ripe old age of 8). I would probably have to
use cinder blocks for a stand (it would look like my neighbors car),
<Heee!> or wait until I can next get to my dad's shop to
build one, which could take a while, but would the tank work no matter
what I set it on? <? As long as the stand/support is stable, strong,
planar, level...> I have read so many different minimum
requirements, 50 gallons on DrsFosterSmith.com, 60 in the article on
WWM, and all sorts of variations up to a recommendation of 100 gallons
on other places on the web. I am thinking the 125 will work,
but I want to be sure first. What are the ideal
dimensions for housing such a beautiful species? <The
bigger the better...> Could I fill it 3/4 of the way (which would
render the pre-drilling useless, unless I lower the overflow boxes
somehow), with a cover and still have a happy eel? <Not
indefinitely... which was your question/concern> I am thinking that
with the lowered volume, maybe I could simulate intertidal pools for
him to get into (the overflow boxes), maybe place some treats in there
from time to time. Also, on a
side note, I obtained the below mentioned E. cristata/divisa from my
friend, and it looks great in the rocks, half way up, right under a
175w 10000k MH lamp and very near an 800 gph powerhead (the powerhead
is on the back of the tank, pointed at the front and makes a nice
sweeping current through the tank, the coral is in the direct path of
the ricochet current). I still do not notice sweeper
tentacles, and I wonder if I should? <Not necessarily... but might
at night, after feeding if you looked... and very likely if you placed
another cnidarian close... or it chemically influenced the system>
It seems to eat if I place meaty food on its tentacles
(formula one, prime reef, or Mysis and human grade shrimp, scallops and
squid, all used in Mr. Fenner's marine mash recipe from CMA) Is
there any way to tell which coral I have without dissection/microscopic
investigation? <Euphyllias are rather distinct... usually just
looking at the polyps will give you a species ID> Not that it makes
that big a difference to me, but I would like to label my display
museum style so when the nieces/nephews/friend's children come over
I can encourage them to read/learn for themselves, much as you do here
on WWM. Is it possible that I have the wrong genus in
identification, since there are no sweeper tentacles? <Not
likely> (I have looked at all the pictures I can find on the net, I
am certain it is a Euphylliid, but I am no expert.)
Another side note, I have found a useful strategy for
removing Aiptasia from my rocks that doesn't involve chemical or
biological controls. With great patience, I have shaded the
Aiptasia from the light. While they may be less light
demanding than their more desirable counterparts, in my experience,
they are no less light loving. <Agreed> I have found that the
shading makes them migrate to the substrate, where I simply use tongs
to pluck them from the aquarium. I often have had to
"redirect" the anemone's path with more shading or by
turning or moving the rock, but I have successfully removed 14 Aiptasia
anemones this way (over the course of about 1 1/2 months). I
also have not seen a mass reproduction that I was wary of after reading
about chemical controls or other methods like scraping. Once
they were plucked, they were gone. I now have an Aiptasia
free display, in case anyone is interested. I harbor some of
them in a 20L under regular fluorescent lighting to play
with. It is interesting to watch them eat bits of shrimp or
whatever I drop in there. In a sense, I have a dedicated
display for anemones, as they are the only thing there, except a few
rocks. I will remove rocks and said anemones when I next QT
something. I just wanted to enjoy having an anemone for a
while, and Aiptasia has been suggested by some on WWM (not without
hesitation). <Thank you for this>
One last thing. My fish (green Chromis and a
firefish) have been eating the meat that I am feeding the
coral. Can I just feed them the marine mash (every other day
or so), or should they have flakes and pellets, too? <No need for
the latter> I believe the flake and pellet food for the fish is
producing phosphates in the aquarium, and I do have some algae growth
that I could live without. Thank you for
your investment in my tank's well-being. You folks are
the greatest. Best regards,
Jessica Groomer <Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia Article -
01/10/2006 I am writing regarding your article on Aiptasia. First
off thank you for writing on this topic, as there really isn't that
much out there to read. <We're glad you enjoyed it.> I was
wondering if it was at all possible to keep the larger anemones with
out future outbreaks. <Not really. Any time there are available
nutrients, they'll reproduce.> I was also wondering about what
exactly they are doing to my fish. <Stinging the devil out of
them.> My fish really don't seem to mind, but how do I know.
<Hmm...Watch if they ever touch them directly. Notice how quickly
your fish move away?> So are shrimp the best way to go? <Depends
on what is in your tank really. Some risk to desired corals, but
generally a good choice.> Thanks, Joseph <Gladly. -
Aiptasia Control - 01/04/2006 Greetings
crew. <Howdy Dean.> Once again thanks so much for your help in
our fascinating world of Marine wildlife. <Our pleasure!> I have
a fairly new (8 month old set up) 180 gallon marine tank with a nice
variety of corals (soft and hard), Polyps, invertebrates, and fish.
Everything has been coming along great but I do have a small problem of
glass anemones slowing taking over every vacant spot in the tank (and
that's a lot in a 180). <Yep. Of course I'm sure you know
this is all about nutrient control.> I have tried inoculating them
with a syringe with hot water as was recommended to me. This
doesn't seem to work. I know that the addition of peppermint ?
<Yes.> shrimp may help as they are known to eat these anemones. I
am afraid that they might eat my polyps or soft corals as well. What is
your opinion on this? <I agree. FOWLR wouldn't be a problem but
in a reef setting this could be a problem. Not guaranteed to be however
the desired corals could be sampled/eaten as well.> Are there any
other remedies that I could try without potentially hurting the other
inhabitants of the tank? I would appreciate any recommendations that
you might think worth a try. <A few things to start. First, very
strict nutrient control and aggressive skimming (This will mainly only
keep it from getting worse at this point). This will be a bit tough.
IMO these and the desired corals are similar enough to be affected by
the same chemical controls, so if you go that route use caution.
Here's a good article from the CA Magazine for you http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm
> Thanks again. Your experience and guidance have helped many of us
enjoy this hobby with your advise. <You're welcome, being in the
position to give it has done the same.> Dean Fowler
Aiptasia In My Sump - 12/28/05 I have a 300 gallon
tank with three filters with submersible pump heads in the back, I went
to clean it and noticed white pod shaped hairy polyps hanging on the
walls of the filter. <<Sounds like Aiptasia>> Upon further
inspection they were also hollow. I have not added anything
to the tank in 7 to 8 mos. The live rock has been in the
tank for 2 years this is the first time I am seeing these polyps. The
last thing I added was a Sea Hare. The area where they are
does not get any light. <<Unlike most anemones, Aiptasia can
prosper without light. I have witnessed first-hand their
ability to survive without light while living on organic material
absorbed from the water, as in an unlit sump.>> Are these things
good? <<Depends on your perspective. Do have a read
I did vacuum quite few out while cleaning. <<That's one
alternative. Regards, EricR>>
Killing Aiptasia With Clay - 12/18/2005
Hello, great site. <Hello Tony, glad you enjoy it.> I have a
brand new marine tank that is still in its cycling stage. A week ago I
noticed that I have a few, very small Aiptasia that apparently came
free of charge with the live rocks that I purchased. I've read from
this site that these guys are carnivores as well as photosynthetic. I
haven't put any type of food into the tank, it is still very bare
with exception of a few snails and hermit crabs, so I'm not too
worried about the overfeeding factor. I've read from this site that
these guys are carnivore as well as photosynthetic. <I'd say
omnivore as I've seen them eat anything that floats. (Fish do get
their revenge;)> So I guess starving them to death won't be an
option if they can survive solely from the aquarium light. I've
attempted to inject lemon juice into their base, but they are really
quick to retreat back into their holes. <I've never felt
comfortable with that method, seeing as pH is so sensitive.> I
thought of an idea that I haven't seen mentioned on this site. How
about plugging up their holes of residence with some type of play-doh
type of material, and keeping them that way for, oh I don't know, a
month? Or even longer? <Came as a shock to me, but Aiptasia can and
does change location if it wants to. I saw one lose a Mushroom battle
some time ago, and it actually moved to an entirely different rock.
That said, it may be able to move throughout the rock's pores. Take
that, add blotchy grey spots all over the place, and you have an
undesirable method of control. I like Peppermint Shrimp, and have also
used a strong Kalkwasser solution to rid myself of these. I think you
should go to the CA Magazine, linked from the main page. I believe it
was there, in the CA Archives, that they hold a good article on
controlling pest anemones (also the place that I heard of people trying
your idea). Much good info. in the CA magazines anyway. > That will
deprive them of food and light. Do you guys see any reason this might
not work? <I guess I should have written all that here. Oops!>
Thank you. Tony <You're welcome. -
Aiptasia anemone filtration? 11/22/05
I have been removing Aiptasia from my tank whenever I find them. I
recently read about keeping them in a refugium to help with absorb
nutrients. Is this a good idea? <Can be... but in general, I
don't endorse... too easy for these to get about, into ones main
system, cause trouble stinging, chemically> If I move them to
separate section of my refugium, do I run the risk of them spreading
back to the main tank? <Oh yes. Bob Fenner>
Quick Aiptasia question 11-20-05 I have been
removing Aiptasia from my tank whenever I find them. <Good idea.
Make use a lime based product to burn the foot also or you will have
more Aiptasia sprouting from the leftovers.> I recently read about
keeping them in a refugium to help with absorb nutrients. Is this a
good idea? <Not in the least and not realistic as aphasia are not
filter feeders.> <<You must have missed Anthony Calfo's
article on the utility of Aiptasia as a "filter" (direct link
shows a 404 error, but here you can find
Google's cached reprint of what is, I believe, in his
"Book of Coral Propagation - Vol. 1").
Marina>> If I move them to separate section of my refugium,
do I run the risk of them spreading back to the main tank? <Yes, not
even a risk, a reality. Travis>
Bubble Versus Aiptasia 10/13/05 WWM Crew, I
have a bubble coral in close proximity to an Aiptasia anemone. The war
is on. I know the elegance coral can 'out-sting' Aiptasia, but
will a bubble coral? If it can, can I use it to kill the other Aiptasia
in my tank? <What did you plan on doing, walking the anemone
to visit the Aiptasia?> <<Dude! It's a coral! Not an
anemone... RMF>> I wouldn't call it an infestation, but I do
have about 10 more Aiptasia in my 135 g reef. They don't seem to be
multiplying too quickly, but I would like to take care of them before
they become a problem. As soon as my LFS has peppermint shrimp (the
real ones... I read all about it!) I will grab a half dozen of
them as well. Broken record time... you guys have no idea how much help
you have been over the years. I have a crazy set up that would never
have been possible without the knowledge obtained here (and
Visa!). <Read here BJ.
- James (Salty Dog)>
-Another shark- 10/9/05 Justin, <Pat, I
apologize for the extended wait on the reply, I have been under the
weather.> Nice to meet you, and many thanks to you and the rest of
the WWM for all your help. On your advice I did some research in your
anemones FAQ's. I was not able to positively ID the organisms
living in my tank, but my chosen livestock comes first so I will rid my
tank of the offending anemones no matter what they are (the feeling I
got reading your pages seems to be that all accidentally acquired
anemones are parasitic). <<Mmm, not "parasitic"...
don't live in or on other species... RMF>> My tank contains
three small sharks (an epaulette, a bamboo, and a coral cat, 400 gallon
is in the works for January, two 29 gallon sumps/ wet-dry trickles with
bio-balls are currently cycling with my current 150 so they are ready
for the new tank) as well as one large tesselata moray. As such I
am always wary of medications, sharks seem to react negatively to such
things. Your FAQ left me with two alternatives I am interested in
trying: One was peppermint shrimp. I understand that a few of these
will dispatch the offending organisms, but in your opinion would they
have a chance to do such before they themselves fell to the bigger
predators in the tank? <<No, they'll be eaten.
RMF>> I also saw that I could remove the rock the anemones are
growing on and boil them to kill all the organisms on it (recall that
it is established volcanic rock and not live rock from the sea), or
failing that I could just toss it and replace it with new rock. Your
wisdom is greatly appreciated. <I really think you best bet is
to put the rock into your sump and let the peppermint shrimp reside
there and see if they will clean it off. Otherwise ask your LFS to see
if you can bring the rock to them for their shrimp to clean then pick
it up when its done. Otherwise boiling works or does hypersalinity in
the 1.60 range in a container and put the LR in that, It will kill
everything or most everything as well. Third idea is to use Kalkwasser
to inject the anemones full of and that kills them that works very
well.> Also: I have a few questions regarding sharks. As I said I
already have three, but in a four hundred gallon with ridiculous
filtration (the two sumps I mentioned, 1200 GPH protein skimmer, six
foot home made suspended gravel filter in addition to heavy
mechanical/carbon filtration) I would be comfortable adding one more.
< Unfortunately I would not as you are already overcrowding a shark
tank. Each requires quite a lot of water and space and may kill another
shark if not enough space is available. Also if you really want to keep
a shark for its lifespan or the three you have, I would look into
making a Saltwater pond of several thousand gallons. MattieJ on
Aquaticpreadators.com has the most expertise on such things and keeps
an 18,000gallon tank in his basement, and a 35,000 gallon 55ft by 35ft
pool for 5 sharks. one or two being Blacktip reef sharks.> My
totally unrealistic dream is a black tip reef shark (LOL, some day),
and your FAQ's/information sheets turned me off to leopard sharks.
I was wondering about the Freycinet's epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium
freycineti) and the hooded carpet shark (Hemiscyllium strahani). I
searched you site and got a hit with no information on the latter and
nothing at all on the former. I've also searched on-line dealer
inventories exhaustively and found nothing. <<Ever hear
of fishbase.org? A listing of species, with as much information
as they have is packed into a huge database. There are no
assessments of availability within the ornamental trade.
Marina>><<<Actually Marina, if you look at the
"Use..." per species, you'll find there is a description
"Aquarium" for species. RMF>>> You can see
pictures of them here: http://www.seapics.com/spsearchLynx/cgi.pan$188140x1x10?spsearchLynx
respectively. My question is do you know if these species exist in the
trade, or are they entirely unattainable? I realize the scope of this
question is massive and any help would be appreciated. <Hmm well I
do not know about either of those sharks in the trade, however as for
the Blacktip shark I DO NOT recommend it for any aquarium less than
several thousand gallons as it is a constant swimmer and requires space
and a lot of it to survive. The only ones outside of public aquariums
that are thriving belong to MattieJ at AP (see above). If anyone knows
about those particular sharks you are searching for he would, He also
goes on shark collecting expeditions at times and has the licenses etc
to do so. I highly recommend you get in touch with him.> <Justin
(Jager)> Thanks!! Pat
Hyposalinity & Aiptasia 10/8/05
Hello, <Hello Katja (unique name)> I would very much
appreciate your feedback :>. I just had a huge outbreak of tiny,
clear Aiptasia (glass Aiptasia??) in my seahorse tank possibly due to
excess freshly hatched brine shrimp. <Yikes, but are you sure
that is what they are? Unlikely they would have resulted from a shrimp
hatch.> They cover everything...glass, gravel, rocks, plastic
plants. I have set up a baby horse tank so as to 1. protect
babies from being stung and 2. stop feeding the main tank so
well. Can I starve the Aiptasia somehow? <Unlikely as
such, they produce much of their own food. Could try completely
covering the tank so no light enters...heavy black sheet etc. I'm
thinking if we take away the light source they require, they can't
produce any food. Can't really tell you how long this would
take.> I cannot obtain true peppermint shrimp (only camel back),
Nudibranch nor red legged hermits. Do other varieties of hermit shrimp
.i.e...... very small & black help? <Never heard of others
helping> I suppose anemone shrimp would not eat them
<No> (only shrimp safe with baby horses due to small size). Would
you know of any other biological methods safe with seahorses? Chemical
injection and even Kalkwasser etc methods would be near impossible due
to the sheer number and tiny size (needle pin size for most). However
if I remove my horses (I assume I would need to do this?)...how long
would I need to run the tank at ca. 1.01 salinity to ensure it is
effective? And given that I have live rock and associate crew, will
most of the micro-live e.g. bristle worms, Brittlestars die thus
causing a ammonia spike and recycle of the tank? If yes, how long
before it would all stabilize again do you think? Also would my
mushrooms (morphs) and one soft coral survive? <I don't
think much will survive at 1.010. You may have to take it down lower to
insure an effective kill of your Aiptasia along with any other living
organisms on your live rock. If your tank is large enough, Copperband
butterfly fish are good eradicators of Aiptasia but the care level is
not easy.> Maybe I need to simply start afresh i.e. strip
tank...soak in freshwater for a week.. ? <This might be your
best bet. I'm wondering if you added something else in your tank
that would cause this kind of outbreak. It sure doesn't sound like
Aiptasia. I know they are prolific breeders but not in the amounts you
describe. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you in advance. <You're
Hyposalinity & Aiptasia Follow-up
10/8/05 Thank you James :>. They certainly are Aiptasia as I
tried to kill an adult several weeks ago (silly me) and thus spread its
tissue to happily regenerate across the entire tank. But I'll
either start afresh OR try to get some Stop Aiptasia from Carol Keen in
America. Cheers Katja <OK, good luck with your eradication. James
Aiptasia and snails 9/19.5/05 Hello, I
have a few Aiptasia on a live rock in my 55 gal. marine
tank. I would like to leave them alone if they are not doing
any harm. <Then do so> But will they harm my snails or
fish? <Only if the fish/es are very careless, the
anemones far more numerous> The snails crawl all over the rock and I
am afraid they will be stung by the Aiptasia. Also the fish
swim very close to the Aiptasia. The only fish I have now in this two
month old tank are blue damsels and clownfish but I plan to add more
fish. Am I better off getting rid of the Aiptasia and can I
just leave them be? <If they concern you... might be better to
eradicate. Bob Fenner> Geraldine Kluska
Aiptasia in the
Chaetomorpha - 09/11/2005 Good morning fine folks! Hope
you're having a nice relaxing weekend. <More or less,
yes. Thanks. Hope you've had a good one,
too.> I received some Chaetomorpha from a fellow aquarist a couple
of days ago through the mail. It was very compacted but
otherwise looked nice and green and healthy. <Nifty.> I put some
of it in my 20 GAL holding tank and the rest in my "in tank
refugium" in the main tank. The refugium is nothing
more than a box made of egg crate and wrapped in window screen to
contain the algae and keep the Yellow Tang out. <So far, so
good....> Tonight as I was feeding the tank, I noticed something
sticking out of the Chaeto. <I'm hearing the
"Jaws" theme starting, here....> Upon closer inspection,
there seem to be MANY Aiptasia living in it. <Insert
hysterical scream> I thought they would only be introduced via Live
Rock. <Anything they can grow on can introduce them.>
Could you please take a minute and look at the pictures and tell me if
I have the ID correct? Is it Aiptasia? <Yes sir.> If
so, I'll just throw the Chaeto out so as to make sure it does not
get into the main tank. <I would probably store it in your
separate/quarantine system and kill the little guys with Kalkwasser
injection. Either way, good to get 'em out of your
tank.> Yet another "plug" for quarantining EVERYTHING wet
that goes in your tank. <Yes, agreed.> http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/navajo001/aip3.jpg
As always, THANK YOU for your time and all that you
do! Still hoping to get enough experience and confidence to
be able to volunteer my time to your site someday. <Hey, gain that
confidence quick! (grin)> Thank you, Tom (The Tool Man) <Wishing
you well, -Sabrina>
Aiptasia on neon star's rock
8/16/05 Hello crew, <Stephanie> I just realized I have
Aiptasia in my tank - on the same rock my new neon star polyps came
with! i just bought the coral last week and it looks like the Aiptasia
is growing very fast! I'm worried it will harm my neon stars since
they're both sharing the same little piece of rock. <Might>
I've been reading that peppermint shrimps can get rid of this pest
anemone. Will it damage the neon stars as well? <Likely not> The
Aiptasia came with the neon stars, so they're all on the same
little piece of rock. Let me know when you can, much appreciated!!
thank you! Steph <Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia problem 7/30/05 Hi, I have tried
many ways to get rid of my Aiptasia. It seems to work for a
bit, but then sooner or later, they show up again and then there's
more. I know that particles of the Aiptasia might cause more
to come, but it's really hard to get them out of the crevices of
the live rock. Also, I can't take out the rock they are
on anymore, because my featherduster has stuck himself into the
crevices and growing in there too. I have tried lemon juice,
a peppermint shrimp (After about 4 days the peppermint disappeared. I
am still hoping it's there hiding, but I fear for the worst) and I
even rigged up a way where the half the rock with the feather duster on
it was submerged in saltwater and the other half is in air getting
flushed with fresh water. Please help! Here are some of the ideas I
have: -I heard that the peppermint has to be bigger than the Aiptasia
to eat it, <Incorrect> so I was thinking of moving the rock to my
other tank and have a larger peppermint feast on it. -move the rock to
the other tank and use stop Aiptasia, however I don't know how to
get the ones inside the crevices. any help would be greatly
appreciated. thanks! <No, thank you... for helping yourself. Please
study... starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and the linked files above... You will find there are more, better
routes to go. Bob Fenner>
Aiptasia Trouble, large tank, lots...
6/29/05 Hello, <Hi there> I need to ask your advice. I have a
300 gal tank with about 200pds of live rock. I have hundreds of
Aiptasias , I have tried Joes Juice, and all the other products but
they grow quicker than I can remove them. There are baby ones in my
overflow. I have tried Peppermint shrimp but they are useless. My LFS
said the only thing Left to do would be to get some base rock, remove
the current rock, Clean the old rock. Let it stand out for a few days.
Then cure it and put it back in. <One approach> What are your
feelings on this? I noticed the base rock they have is not live. Would
there be cycle problems with doing this. I have 4" of live sand.
<Your system will have to recycle, yes> My tank right now sits
at: Salinity 1.024, PH 8.3, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40 , Ammonia 0. I do not
want to screw the water up. Can you assist? <Mmm, only you can do
the actual work here... Have you tried nutrient limitation? There are
times, situations where it seems better to best to virtually tear down
a system, "nuke" the pest anemones, start again... For what
this is all worth, I would re-read over our coverage of this and other
pest anemones, their control. Starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm
and on to the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thanks,
Re: Aiptasia Trouble 30 Jun 2005 Thank you
Mr. Fenner for your quick response. If I started from scratch, Or the
tank went through A new cycle. I could not leave the fish and Inverts
In there? Correct? <Correct> I would not want to lose any fish.
If I put Prime or Some other chemical to neutralize the Cycle would
that be a Idea. <Not worth the risk> I hate putting anything in
my tank Except food. I learned a very hard lesson about all these So
called wonder ( Miracle) cures. Thanks again Scott <Welcome. Bob
Aiptasia, calcium... reef maint. f'
Thanks for the help you have already provided (always
helpful). But my new problem arises with a glass anemone
that has grown on a couple of my LR's and am pretty sure it is
about to spread like "wild flowers". My tank has
only been running for approximately a month but with the addition of LR
it sped up the cycle, and in fact finished in only 2
weeks. Now all the water parameters check out
fine. I have also introduced some purple algae
(coralline). Which is holding on but hasn't spread
yet. I am worried that it is too good to be true because why
my tank is flourishing so quickly, it seems like everything I have
introduced to the tank and everything I have done has resulted nicely
and yet I don't think that I deserve such results. The tank is
already pretty full (35G, 20lb of rock (need more), clown, damsel,
snails) which I want to keep for a while. Anyways back to
the question which is how do you recommend the removal of this anemone,
or if I even need to, and also I am trying to get this purple algae to
spread and purchased SeaChem's calcium, but am a little curious on
the exact procedure you would recommend when applying (during water
changes?). <Cycling can occur quite quickly with live rock
present. I would suggest cycling any additional rock in
another container for the safety of your animals. Calcium
and Alkalinity must be maintained in balance. All the
calcium in the world is useless without alkalinity to go with
it. I strongly recommend a good quality test kit for both of
these parameters and using a good quality calcium and buffer to
maintain both. Coralline algae growth takes quite a while to
get going, so be patient!> For the removal of the anemone I have
read that peppermint shrimp are great but I don't know if I want to
introduce one this early to my tank. Do you think it would be ok or
should I wait and find other means to remove the anemone? My
lighting isn't great if this matters, and filtration is below
average, but everything that I do works and have had no problems (knock
on wood). I don't want to change anything but I also
don't want my tank taken over by pest anemone's as your website
put it. All the help you could give will be appreciated,
thanks Travis <Peppermint shrimp are great for large infestations,
but unnecessary for one or two. If you only have one or two
anemones, you can kill them by injecting them with peroxide, very hot
water or Kalkwasser paste. There is also a product called
"Joe's Juice" that works very well. You can
also chip away the section of rock that it is attached to and discard
it. I would suggest getting rid of it now before it does
spread. Best regards. AdamC.>
Correcting Some Common Problems... Dear
Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> Sorry to annoy you again.
<Never annoying us...We're here to help!> My new 230 gallon
tank is inundated with hair algae and pest anemones. After reading and
reading articles in your web site, I have concluded I could be fighting
a losing battle. I had intended to set up a quarantine tank and remove
all my fish, I also intended to let my main tank go fallow. To ensure
that no ich lurked there, if I completely covered the tank at the same
time to remove all forms of light would this rid the algae and
anemones?. <It might put a damper on the algae, but the anemones may
survive. I think it's more wise to go to the root of both of these
problems-Excessive nutrients somewhere in the system, supporting their
growth. Thoroughly review everything that you do with this system, from
stocking to maintenance to feeding. Husbandry issues can cause these
problems. Consider starting with your source water. Do you use RO/DI
water that is free of excessive nitrate, phosphate, and other potential
algae "fuel"? Do you run an efficient protein skimmer,
producing skimmate on a regular basis? Are you conducting frequent
small water changes? Are you running chemical filtration media, such as
activated carbon, Poly Filter, etc.? While use of these media is not a
"crutch" to replace proper husbandry techniques, they can
help maintain good quality water between water changes. Think about
nutrient export. Lack of proper nutrient export processes is probably
90% of your problem. Nuisance algae and anemones almost always are the
result of these deficiencies.> Or should I drain the tank, and start
from scratch, with new rock, bioballs and sand? <You could, but it
may simply be better to modify the system and correct some of the
things that are causing the problems.> Ensuring that I screen any
future in habitants prior to entry. Would I need to do anything else if
I went down this path? i.e. Treatment to the tank prior
reestablishment. <Well, as I suggested, establishing more effective
nutrient export processes is the way to go. Also, consider reviewing
feeding techniques and stocking as well. These are all easily
correctable problems. Start by looking in the WWM article index and
reviewing some of our articles on maintenance, husbandry, and nutrient
export. The information is all there to help you correct or re-start
your system. I briefly touched on some ways to correct the problems
that you are experiencing; there are many other ideas on the site, so
do take a look!> In the mean time I shall attempt improved lighting
filtration. And water changes, I intended to install an abalone,
I've been told these are wonderful with algae. However if this is
as successful as some of the FAQs I have read I would rather restart
now while I have no corals and a low fish population. Any advice would
be greatly appreciated. John <Well, John you could re-start the
system if you want, but it may be better just to correct the problems
that you have. Creatures like abalone, snails, etc. are helpful, but
they are no replacement for properly designed systems with efficient
nutrient export systems...Get to it- you can do it! Good luck! Regards,
Tap water Rinse for Aiptasia? Another
Infestation of Aiptasia after Buying Gracilaria - QT! Dear Crew,
<Paul> After receiving in the mail, a half-pound of beautiful
Gracilaria parvispora infested with Aiptasia, I am at a loss as to what
to do with it. Currently, it is isolated in a bucket of saltwater with
lighting and aeration but the vendor does not seem to want it back. Is
it possible to completely kill the Aiptasia and its larvae by soaking
the Gracilaria for several minutes with chlorinated tap water? <Mmm,
no> I don't want to contaminate my aquariums but I hate to
simply throw out the Gracilaria. Thanks, Paul <I would go the route
of using a purposeful Glass Anemone predator with this red algae, while
still keeping it separate from your other systems. These
Aiptasia-eaters are listed on WWM. Bob
Aiptasia I need help please, my live rock is
becoming over run by Aiptasia. I bought a Peppermint shrimp to help
counter that, but it has not touched the Aiptasia. If I cut on of the
Aiptasia with a knife would that help stimulate the shrimp to eat or
would that just make them grow faster. < Brent, read here for
> Thanks so much for your help! <You're welcome. James
Aiptasia infestation & quarantine
question Dear Crew, <Hi Paul, MacL here with you this fine
and lovely day.> Last week, I obtained a half-pound of live
Gracilaria parvispora (Ogo) from a dealer in Hawaii. I specifically
asked the dealer if I needed to quarantine the Ogo before adding it to
my downstream marine refugium. His emailed reply was no. <First and
foremost, quarantine everything!> Upon adding the Ogo to my
refugium, I noticed a few dead amphipods. A few days later, I
discovered three 1-inch Aiptasia specimens attached to the glass and to
a clump of Ogo. I've never had Aiptasia in my tanks before. After
spending all night throwing out everything in my refugium including
live rock, quarantining the Ogo in a bucket after the fact, sanitizing
my refugium and hoping that the Aiptasia hasn't made it to the main
tank, are there any other precautions I should take? <You
should be aware that lots of people use Aiptasia in refugiums for
nutrient export. On the other hand its possible that this dealer was
unaware that he had Aiptasia in his Ogo. Most people are going to say
that you don't have to quarantine grasses etc before you put them
in your tank because usually they come out of a situation where
they've been used for nutrient export.> Regarding the dealer,
should I simply warn him to check his Ogo tanks for Aiptasia or should
I also demand my money back? What is customary? <I might email
him and tell him that you ended up having to put the Ogo in quarantine
because you found some Aiptasia in it and you didn't want to chance
having that go into your tank. I'm sure he didn't mean you any
harm, but if you feel very strongly about it you might see if he's
willing to give your money back or perhaps you two can come to a
compromise. You'll need to treat the Ogo in quarantine to remove
the Aiptasia from what's there.>
Epoxy to End the Existence of Aiptasia Hi
crew, learn so much each day from your site!! Quick question: I have
one Aiptasia on my live rock and want to get it before it spreads. I
use B-Ionic 2 part for my calcium. Can I use that on it? If so, do I
just use part 1? <Hmm...I have yet to hear of people using any
B-Ionic on their Aiptasia problem, though it may work. Most use
Kalkwasser, fresh water, or boiling water, and possibly even boiling
fresh Kalkwasser water. If it is but one Aiptasia, I have a trick that
I use that I think would work splendidly in your case. Purchase some
epoxy used for mounting frags in reef aquaria. Take a bit, and apply it
over the anemone. Make sure it sticks and stays on, applying the epoxy
while the rock is held out of the water may help a bit. Then simply let
it dry over the anemone. It will soon become covered in coralline and
blend completely with your rock. Good luck, Mike G>
No-Fluoros: No-Go? Part II (The Plot
Thickens) Dear Crew, Thank you for the speedy reply to my last
message. I have changed my ways, no more html! <Good to hear. :-)
> Since the last message, I have purchased the tank we had talked
about previously. When I went to pick the tank up, I found that along
with several beautiful corals and a fish it was an Aiptasia garden.
<Yikes!> This would not be a huge issue, but I was planning on
moving the corals into my display tank, to take up residence under my
new 48" 250 Watt PC light. <Sounds good. Oh, and Aiptasia is
the incarnation of evil itself! It is always a huge issue.> I
currently have the corals under the regular Fluorescent I mentioned in
my last message (because I do not have anything else), and they are not
doing well at all. <That does not sound too good.> I need to take
some immediate action. <Agreed.> Here are the two options I was
contemplating: 1. Buy a peppermint shrimp, go up to my LFS and
beg them to let me borrow a PC light while he does his job. (I doubt
they will do this) <Or purchase a PC light yourself. Much more
foolproof a plan.> 2. Frag the corals, put them in my display tank,
and start over with the 10 gallon.( I am worried about any Aiptasia
hitchhikers making it to my display tank.) <Sounds risky, the
fragging part at least. The corals are under a lot of stress, and
fragging them could possibly lead to their demise. Only healthy and
established corals should be fragged. I would suggest moving the corals
and their bases to the main tank. But before you do so, let me tell you
of a trick for preventing Aiptasia from spreading in this manner.
First, remove the coral and rock it is attached to. You have a great
advantage over the Aiptasia: now that it is out of water, you have
access to every nook and cranny. Next, get yourself some aquarium epoxy
(like sticky play-dough). Apply over all Aiptasia. Place rock in main
tank. The Aiptasia will not come back after this.> Would it be ok to
Frag the coral and try to save some of these beautiful animals? (Kenya
Tree, Xenia) <By fragging the already stressed corals, you are only
compounding the situation. Move them to a new tank or upgrade your
lighting ASAP. Good luck, Mike G>
Hair Algae and Aiptasia Question 3/22/05 I
am purchasing an entire Reef setup from someone. It has been up and
running for about 4 years. Here are the specs: 75 Gallon - Drilled in
two places on back 40 Gallon Sump with a Mag 24 Return Pump Aqua-c
EV-180 with a Mag 7 6 x 65 W PC. 2 Actinic, 4 10k 4-5" DSB 125 lbs
live rock Livestock -Various Corals - Mostly softies -Too many fish -
Vlamingi Tang, Sailfin Tang, Hawkfish, Tomato Clown, Domino Damsel,
Three Stripe Damsel, Yellow Tail Damsel -Inverts - Blue Linckia, Tuxedo
Urchin, Astrea Snails, Serpent Star, 2 Green Brittle Stars, 2 Coral
Banded Shrimp. <Quite a crowd! I don't agree that there are too
many fish, but the tangs certainly belong in larger quarters. No less
than 300 gallons for a Vlamingi!> I will be moving the tank to my
place on Friday. There are a couple of rocks that have some Aiptasia
(maybe 10 total in the tank) and some hair algae. When I move the live
rock, what do you suggest to eradicate them before putting them back in
the tank? I was going to hit the Aiptasia with some Joe's Juice. I
was also going to scrub the live rock in tank water prior to putting it
back into the tank. Any thoughts? <Sounds like a good plan.
You may also wish to place the rocks that had Aiptasia on them into the
sump or otherwise segregate them so that you can keep an eye on them
for Aiptasia growing back.> Going forward, I built a new
Sump/Refugium out of acrylic and will have some macro algae growing in
there. I will also not be putting all of those fish back in there. Way
too much livestock. Hopefully this should help eliminate the
problem. <Agreed. Good husbandry and reasonable stocking
should solve the problem, but be patient, it could take months!>
Also, do you have any suggestions on the best method to transport the
fish and coral? I need to dismantle the tank, drive about an hour, put
the tank back together (including replumbing for the new sump), put the
water back in, and then add the livestock. I am going to transfer as
much of the water as possible. Keep in mind that I am in Michigan and
it isn't exactly warm up here this time of year. Thanks in advance,
Brian <Ahhh... you got the right guy! I have moved more tanks
(mostly my own) than I care to think about. I would suggest getting a
few large shipping Styro boxes from a local fish store along with a
couple of handfuls of various sized bags (get lots. It is easy to
underestimate how many you will need and you can always take the extras
back). Each animal should go in it's own bag and into a box. If an
animal is too large for a bag, it can go into a bucket. Double bag fish
and double or triple bag corals. A trash can lined with a trash bag
works well for transporting water and Rubbermaid type toter containers
are good for rock. Take lots of towels! Remove the corals first, then
rock, then most of the water. This will make it a snap to catch the
fish. Just be careful that you don't remove rocks with fish inside
or drop rocks onto fish! Plan well starting days in advance. Set up as
much of the new equipment as possible and have plenty of spare plumbing
parts so you don't have to run to the store. Have a good plan for
getting the tank set up to a point where you can get all of the animals
in and go to bed and finish the next day if you have to. I have had bad
personal experience and have heard other's horror stories
associated with moving DSBs. I would discard and replace it. Moving it
in the tank might work, but is very dangerous (broken glass) and
disrupting it kills much of the life and liberates A LOT of organic
matter. Best Regards. AdamC.>
Transfer to new tank 3/22/05 Hello Crew, I
would appreciate some advice from the crew here. I am in the process of
setting my new custom made 380 Gal. Reef Tank. I am going to transfer
the rock and livestock from my 140 tank. I went out and got a new sump
, Euro- reef protein skimmer, and all the trimmings. <Wow!
Sounds nice!> My questions are: In the old tank I have about 200
pounds of live rock. I made the big mistake of buying it at Tampa Bay
Saltwater. Since I live here it was close. The reason why I say it was
a mistake ever since I got the rock I have had nothing but Aiptasia
troubles. <Pests can be a problem with live rock from any
source, and eradicating Aiptasia can be a difficult task! Catching the
problem early is really key.> My other tank has rock from different
area and never had a problem. I want to transfer the rock to my new
tank but do not want the troubles. If I scrub it , I could loose all
the good bacteria. Another question I have is , how do I transfer the
rock. If I take it out of the tank it is in now, it will upset the
filtration balance, If I transfer the live stock and then the rock, it
will upset the new tanks balance. Of course I am cycling the new tank
now, but I do not know how to go about the transfer when it is
time. <Ideally, (assuming no Aiptasia problem), I would
recommend simply transferring everything at once. If the new tank is
set up, you could move the rock, the animals and as much of the old
water to the new tank as possible and you wouldn't have to worry
about a cycle. You would have some disruption, but no more than any
other method. If you are cycling the new tank with new rock, you could
move the livestock to the new tank and then quarantine each piece of
rock for a couple of weeks on it's way to the new tank to ensure
that it is Aiptasia free. This is tedious, but should be effective.
Instead of wholesale scrubbing, you could scrape off the individual
Aiptasia and then treat that small area of the rock with boiling water,
strong Kalkwasser or even a flame to ensure that any remaining tissue
is dead before quarantine. I have 1 other question (SORRY) unrelated to
the new tank. I have a seahorse tank. I have had them for over a year.
One of them was pregnant and had 100's of babies. Of course I was
not able to raise them, they perished, I did not know what to do. I did
not expect them to get pregnant. Now the male that Had the babies has a
big bubble close to the back of his tail. I have tried to get the air
out as stated at seahorse.org But it hasn't helped. He can not stay
right side up, Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Scott <No need to be sorry! That is what we are here for!.
Seahorse.org is the best source of info on seahorses. I would try again
there. Aside from removing the bubble with a needle and syringe, I
don't have any good suggestions. Follow treatment with antibiotics
may be warranted. Best Regards. AdamC.>
Aiptasia relocation? Hi Bob / Crew, Thanks
again for all the assistance over the past few months, it has all been
invaluable to add to my little knowledge to make it just a little more.
If any of you, seriously, ever get over to Shanghai I would be more
than glad to help show you around the place, especially the aquarium
here, it's a stunner. <Thank you for your input and kind
offer... you may see us yet!> A quick question I cant find in FAQ. I
have 2 rocks in particular covered in what seems to be Aiptasia, still
trying to confirm this with a photo ID via internet as the tentacles
seem thicker... <There are a few species, diversity in the Glass
Anemones... some squat, more/less transparent... and do change re local
conditions> ...than most I can see on pictures I have found, but
classic case of anything near them seems to be suffering and closing
up. I got them months ago at the onset of the system installed by the
Chinese and I didn't know at the time, especially as they looked
quite nice, but...ah well never mind. So my question is if I confirm
that they are Aiptasia, do they actually add in any way to the system,
i.e. helping water quality in any way? <Yes... good point... these
animals could actually be considered a type of "biological
filter"... have seen/heard of folks using in a lighted sump as
such> The reason being if they have a function then would I benefit
if I moved them into the sump area? There are lots as I say, about 30
pieces in all, some with 1-1/2" stem and 1-1/2" diameter.
Best regards Dave <Ahh! Worth a try. Bob Fenner>
Recurring Aiptasia Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 Hi
James, <Hello Helana> Thanks for all of your help.
<You're welcome> I added the 96 watt Coralife, and am
waiting for the delivery of the other light. In the mean time, I
noticed a small Aiptasia growing next to my open brain coral on a rock
ledge. Several months ago, I had Aiptasia growing on a feather duster,
which then hopped on a branch of rock( I thought it was a beautiful
creature. Wrong). I didn't realize until months later that this was
a terrible thing to have in your tank. I winded up taking the entire
piece of rock that had the Aiptasia on it out of the tank and throwing
it out. Now, I see another one growing. I also spotted a tiny tiny one
growing on another rock in a different location. Is it possible that
this came from all the coral I introduced into the tank in the last
month? <It's very possible. I refer to it as the saltwater weed.
And believe me these can spread like weeds very quickly.> Or,
is it from removing the initial piece of rock months ago?
<Could be, it's hard to say> I've read tons of
articles on this dilemma, and I just want to know the best way to get
rid of it. Would it be better to remove both pieces of rock that have
it on it? Or, would that cause it to spread as I removed the rock from
the tank? <Wouldn't cause it to spread, but why throw away
expensive rock.> I've read about lemon injections, other
fish to eat it, etc. but none sound practical. Also, until I figure out
how to solve this problem, can it harm my tank/inhabitants in any
way? <Yes, if they get to a plague proportion. I think one of
the better ways to rid them is to mix up some Kalkwasser according to
directions on the container and inject them with a syringe. Most people
have pretty good luck doing this. Some people have luck using
peppermint or camel shrimp to be rid of them, but it doesn't always
work. There are certain fish that will eat them, but the fish that can
help can also help destroy your coral. Try the Kalkwasser. James (Salty