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FAQs on Shrimp & Other Crustacean -Eating Aiptasia Anemones

Skip over to FAQs on: Aiptasia/Glass Anemones in General, Aiptasia Identification, Eradication by: Berghia Nudibranchs, Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfishes, Filefishes, Chemical Injection, Hypo/Hyper-Salinity. Shrimp

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Aiptasia battle + Peppermint shrimp        1 1 16
120 gallon tank
Cannot drill
So running
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.
RODI water
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.
t5 lighting
1 yellow tang
1 blue velvet damsel
2 black clown
1 sleeper goby
30 gallon quarantine tank downstairs with
metal halide
with a few sps
bought a Duncan coral
placed it in main tank.
2 weeks later noticed
single Aiptasia.
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
was cold.
corrals all closed. 2 dead shrimp.
immediately moved all things into main tank thinking I could save them.
I did 2 hour acclimation.
standard tests
matched quarantine tank with main tank.
except for lighting.
t5's main
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.
Water parameters.
0-5 nitrates. salinity 1.024
0 ammonia
0 nitrites.
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 wasn't old.
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 being question.
(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 nematocysts.
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     11/27/14
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 ones.
Thanks Bruce Burnett
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint Shrimps and Hydrozoans    10/13/12
Hey guys,
<Hello Chris>
A few weeks ago I bought 3 Peppermint shrimp, as I was killing off more Aiptasia than I used to (I know there's mixed reviews on their usefulness, but I thought I'd give them a go, as an added bonus, my 4 year old loves shrimp, though, of course, he rarely sees them as they spend most of their time in the rock-work).  About 6 days after introducing them to my display tank the little Aiptasia "saplings" I'd left for them had disappeared.  
"Ah ha", thought I, "handy little guys".
<Handy and efficient as well although they tend to ignore the larger Aiptasia.>
 In the process of checking around for any Aiptasia they might have missed, I noticed the 3 hydrozoans I had been procrastinating removing (as it would involve removing rock-work) were missing in action, too.  Have you ever heard of Peppermint shrimp consuming them as well?
<Quite common but an often overlooked fact.>
 No idea if this is common, but I thought I would share with the crew and community at large.
Thanks, as always,
<Thanks for sharing>

Aiptasia and the Peppermint Shrimp -- 12/30/11
I read a lot of your articles and question and answers, enjoy them all.
<<Good to know>>
I recently purchased two peppermint shrimp to take care of one Aiptasia anemone, but to no avail, they didn't even look at it.
<<Not uncommon, in my experience
'¦especially when/if the offending anemones are of any 'size'>>
The only thing that happened when I put them in the tank is my skunk cleaner shrimp went after both of them.
<<Again not uncommon>>
They escaped and went under the rocks. The cleaner shrimp now pretty much ignores them. On your recommendation I picked up the Red Sea Aiptasia X,
read the instructions, did exactly what it said to do, BINGO, it killed it immediately.
Thank you for your guidance.
<<I do like this product'¦  But do keep an eye out for more Aiptasia (is an insidious invader) and get them early should they appear>>
I am thinking of adding an orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani), and I was wondering if it will get along with the shrimp or have them for lunch.
<<Depends on the size of the shrimp versus the size of the Dottyback'¦if not overly small by comparison, the shrimp should be fine, in my experience>>
I also have heard that they are good at eating bristleworms/fireworms as I have a few of those.
<<Happy to share'¦  EricR>>

Unusual Aiptasia Predator (Mithrax sp.)? -- 06/18/11
Hi crew,
I don't really have a question today, more of an observation.
<<Alrighty then>>
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 Juice.
<<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 'opportunity'>>
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 best!
<<We are happy to share'¦Cheers! EricR>>

Who Is Eating My Peppermint Shrimp? -- 09/16/10
Good evening to all,
<<Afternoon Jeanne>>
I have a mystery that I hope you can solve.
<<I'll try!>>
This aquarium is a 65 gallon Red Sea with lots of corals (nothing difficult: mushrooms, torch and frogspawn, brain corals, lots of zoos)
<<Mmm, okay'¦>>
and I have been dealing with an outbreak of Aiptasia
<<I see>>
(It is particularly attacking the zoos.).
<<Just likely more 'susceptible' to the attack/stinging of the Aiptasia versus being specifically 'targeted' re>>
On several occasions, I have purchased peppermint shrimp,
<<More likely 'not' to help than otherwise, in my opinion>>
carefully acclimated them,
<<What does this entail I wonder -- very susceptible to rapid changes in salinity/specific gravity -- 'drip' acclimation is best here>>
watched them ensconced in their cave, eating, etc.
<<Not necessarily an indicator that 'all is well'>>
only to find that after a few days, they have completely vanished.
<<A common tale I think (have seen/heard of such more than a few times)'¦ The possibility of predation aside, any mishandling during collection/shipping/acclimation seems to result in the quick 'disappearance' of these shrimp in the hobbyist's system>>
I do not think it is the purple firefish, pearly jawfish or the dispar and tuka Anthias,
<<Agreed -- unless the shrimp were 'very tiny'>>
so here is the list of suspects:
small flame-tipped tomini tang
swissguard Basslet
solar fairy wrasse
exquisite fairy wrasse
ornate leopard wrasse
<<I wouldn't 'expect' these to be a problem either, again, as long as the shrimp were not really small>>
All are between 2 and 3 inches long and I have had them all at least a year. I feed very well and a very varied diet (mostly frozen, some gel).
<<Good to know'¦so many hobbyists 'starve' their fishes in my estimation>>
However, there is no refugium on this tank. There is also a small emerald (Mithrax) crab.
<<A possible culprit here'¦large/larger specimens have been known to attack/eat small fishes>>
The most aggressive fish is the tang, but I am leaning toward the (typically piggy) fairy wrasses.
<<Not out of the question>>
The leopard wrasse is also a dominant fish but has a very small mouth,
<<But can bash about and break up the shrimp for eating if so desired -- though I think it unlikely here (but still dependant on the size of the shrimp)
and is buried at night when the shrimp would be more active.
<<Wouldn't stop it if it decided it wanted the shrimp (you have likely notices the wrasse' 'search and destroy' method of browsing for food during the day>>
I use Joe's Juice but would prefer a more natural solution,
<<Red Sea's Aiptasia-X works very well in my experience>>
especially in the smaller tank.
<<Shouldn't be an issue>>
I don't think the tang would tolerate a copper-banded butterfly.
<<And not a good solution considering your tank size/stocking density>>
(Maybe you can tell me if Professor Plum used a candlestick in the conservatory?)
<<Maybe the Mithrax'¦and not pointing fingers at you (could have occurred anywhere along the 'chain'), but more likely a handling/acclimation issue>>
Thanks for all your help as always,
Jeanne Brown
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Re: Who Is Eating My Peppermint Shrimp? -- 09/16/10
Thank you for the response.
<<Quite welcome>>
I do drip acclimate and I have other tanks with peppermint, anemone and cleaner shrimp so I am familiar with their care.
They were all about 1" long.
<<Mmm, small indeed'¦ This 'is' desirable considering the short lifespan of these animals (one likes to get'em young), but can be a double-edged sword when trying to introduce them to systems with 'crustacean' predators, even those that normally go for the really small stuff (Mysids, amphipods, the larger copepods) like your fishes. Considering this, along with how well/often you feed your fish and the fact the shrimp weren't attacked/immediately perceived as food upon introduction, I still think it likely the shrimp simply did simply did not survive the whole shipping/handling/acclimation process. Of course, there's the Mithrax to consider too>>
I was interested to learn you do not find them particularly effective for Aiptasia,
<<Not at all, no. There are 'instances' where folks have reported success re, but I find far more often than not they simply do not live up to expectation -- and I find their own opportunistic predatory nature to be of counter-benefit in a reef system>>
and I am encouraged that you don't discourage the use of products rather than a biological solution.
<<Biological solutions are great -- where they work and/or are 'practical' to apply. But in some instances, commercially prepared controls are indeed necessary -- as when attempting to control an outbreak of Aiptasia. The Aiptasia-X works very well (better than any other such product I've seen in more than three decades in the hobby); though as I always state, is still not a panacea. It will need to be applied 'as necessary' to control the nuisance anemones, but it 'is' effective. It will take a little time to rid a large infestation, and do also be aware that short of nuking (bleaching) the tank and rockwork you will have Aiptasia pop up now and again'¦forever -- but give them a shot of the Aiptasia-X when you see them and you will find they 'can be' easily controlled>>
Thanks again for your help.
<<Good Luck! EricR>>

Peppermint Shrimp Attacking Small Fish?/Attack Of The Steroid Killer Shrimp 3/25/10
<Hello Mark>
I recently purchased 4 peppermint shrimp for my new 150 gallon reef to rid an beginning Aiptasia problem. They seem to have eaten all the Aiptasia but now when I try to add small fish, green chromis's and reef safe wrasse.
They disappear over night and I think the shrimp are attacking and killing the small fish. Is this possible?
<Highly unlikely. Peppermint Shrimp are actually considered part of the "cleaner" grouping of shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni (Florida Bay/Atlantic area) is more of a scavenger and is likely the specie you have. I have never heard/witnessed these shrimp attacking/killing fish.>
The fish have all seemed healthy and eating with no apparent health issues.
<Is possible you may have an unknown predator in the tank.>
Thanks for a great site!
<You're welcome, and glad you enjoy. James (Salty Dog)>

Response to Aiptasia predator question.  9/18/09 Good morning to all, I do not have a question today but a response to the Aiptasia predator question from Mike Winson posted 09-18-08. I have had very good luck using Peppermint Shrimp to eliminate Aiptasia in my tank. I had 10-15 Aiptasia in my tank but since adding the Peppermint Shrimp I have not seen any. They seem to have done a great job, IMO. Hope this helps, Shawn <Thank you for sharing Shawn. Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia... shrimp stkg. in small SW  08/12/2008 Hello, <<Good afternoon, Andrew today>> I have a 14 gallon marine tank with a skunk cleaner shrimp and a few small peaceful fish already occupying and I hope to be getting some corals soon. However, I have a few nuisance aiptasia I'd like to rid myself of and I've been looking into peppermint shrimp (a hit or miss, I know). <<Agreed>> Here're the questions now. Will the peppermint get along with the cleaner shrimp? Is the system too small to house two different shrimp species? <<From personal experience, they will get along fine>> I also am a bit worried about the corals. Is there a chance the peppermint will pick at them, or will it be fine as long as I keep it well-fed? <<Should all be fine, never had a problem with peppermints and corals>> Many thanks- Aubrey <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Aiptasia removal/shrimp comp. 08/14/2008 Hey Crew, <<Good afternoon, Andrew today>> I was just reading over your articles on ridding aiptasia. I have a few of these buggers in my tank, and I want to get rid of them ASAP. <<I agree, a true pain>> I would really like to avoid chemical treatment of any kind ( I like my corals better alive ). My first idea was to add a peppermint shrimp, but I already have a large skunk cleaner shrimp in the tank. <<Skunks and peppermints can live happily together>> It's only 55g and I have heard that sometimes these shrimp do not get along with one another. Do you think in a 55g they would have enough room to get along? <<They will be fine, by all means, add a pair of true peppermints to the tank>> I have also read that sometimes you can use elegance coral to sting to aiptasia into death. Will this work with frogspawn coral as well? <<Not an approach I would suggest or recomend>> Physical removal would be a tricky option in my case because I have a large Monti cap that is "gluing" several pieces of rock together. Also, I have about 3 red-legged hermits in the tank that have no interest in eating the aiptasia. Thanks for your time, <<Another method, if no coral is close by, is to get a syringe of boiling water, and squirt directly onto the aiptasia. Worked well for me and others in the past.>> Chris <<Good luck with the eradication, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

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 large!>

 Aiptasia-eating Shrimp, especially the Peppermint Shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni (Image), can be a great Aiptasia muncher. Be aware that there is some confusion in the trade re this species (from the Atlantic) and a few others including the native California coast Lysmata californica... with darker, bolder dark striping... this latter Lysmata is no good as a designated Aiptasia muncher.

I.D. info on Lysmata: http://www.reefs.org/library/article

Lysmata californica

      Lysmata wurdemanni

Peppermint shrimp to rid Aiptasia ? Or feed a wrasse?  - 2/4/2006 Hello to the crew !                           I have a relatively simple 50 gallon reef, which has slowly been over run with Aiptasia. I went to my LFS and was told peppermint shrimp should do the trick, so I purchased three of them. The following day I looked for them and they are no where to be found ? <Maybe> I'm wondering what could have happened to them. I only have two fish, one being a yellow tang and the other a six-line wrasse. <The last could have consumed them> Do either of these fish have shrimp on the menu ? <Yep> I also lost a cleaner shrimp about two months ago, which I had for approximately one year. One day he was there, the next gone. Any clues ? What about the possibility of a bristle worm ? If one of these guys is the culprit, what is the best way to deal with my quickly spreading Aiptasia problem ? <See WWM re... Bob Fenner>                                                                                                                     Thanks for the input.                                                                                                                                                    Trever from Santa Barbara, Ca.
Re: Peppermint shrimp to rid Aiptasia? Or feed a wrasse? - 02/20/2006
Thanks for getting back to me Josh. <Gladly Trever.> I read the information you provided for me and although it seems injecting Aiptasia does the job and seems to be the recommended approach, I've always liked the idea of going about any problem that may exist in my tank "naturally". <I understand and agree.> The use of a living predator seems to replicate the ebb and flow of life, and in this case hopefully, death, in a much more natural way. <Fun to watch too!> I'm also a bit concerned about multiple applications as I have no experience in this form of eradication. <IMO, best to launch a massive assault followed immediately by your scheduled water change. This allows for removal of the product used.> So I'm thinking Berghia is the way to go. I called my LFS and found they have two in stock. At $20.00 each I hope they live long enough in my tank as I don't have a separate tank to do the job one rock at a time helping ensure the survival of the Berghia. <A gamble for sure. I would not do this. A cheap ($10 - $15) 10 gal. would work fine. A good investment as this would leave you an emergency hospital/QT tank also.> I have spent the last few weeks doing a quick middle of the night flashlight observation in my tank and to my horror saw approximately 15 bristle worms of various size. It just so happens that the one rock covered with Aiptasia is also home to most of my bristle worms. <Not the only place.> Will bristle worms kill Berghia? <Most likely not. In general, are harmless/beneficial.> I never really had any problems with my tank up until a few months ago. Although I've only had my tank up and running for 2 years, it was smooth sailing. Now, I've got what appears to be one problem on top of another. <Sounds to me that you've got one problem with multiple symptoms. Excess nutrients. How long since you've cleaned your skimmer.> Aiptasia, bristle worms, mantis shrimp, etc. .. All of which in combination make it extremely difficult to rid my tank of any of them. <Again, the bristle worms are usually harmless. A large population would confirm the excess nutrients. Reduce the nutrients and this will drop (as will the rate of Aiptasia reproduction). I now see why some people prefer fish only tanks. Reef tanks take on a life of their own, and often seem to make tending to them impossible. <Only seems impossible. Be the tortoise friend (slow and steady).> Still, I wouldn't have it any other way! Just a couple of quick questions if I may. Should I place the Berghia directly on the rock, and perhaps on the Aiptasia itself when introducing them to my tank? <Again, I would not put in the main. On the rock, near the Aiptasia would be fine.> Secondly, where is a mantis shrimp most likely to hide? In the live rock or at the base of live rock at sand level, such as a burrower? <Yep, beneath the rocks. look for any small sections of cleared away sand around your rock work.> Thanks again for all your help. You guys run the most complete and informative site of it's kind online! Trever from Santa Barbara, Ca. <Thanks for the kind words Trever. You're welcome. - Josh>

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. - Josh>

Aiptasia and Peppermint Shrimp 8/12/05 After reading your FAQ's on Aiptasia and how to get rid of it, I decided to add three Peppermint shrimp to my new 72 gallon tank.  I had about 15 Aiptasia that I could see.  Well after one night, the Aiptasia is gone except for one small critter that will probably get consumed tonight.  My question is if I need to provide extra food for the new shrimp once the Aiptasia is gone.  I have about 65 pounds of Live Rock and a few inverts (Green Open Brain, Xenia, Flower pot coral, some kind of Carpet type coral). The LFS said the shrimp will not harm my fish or other good stuff.  Any recommendations would be appreciated.  Thanks Bill Tracy <Congrats on your success with the Peppermint shrimp!  They don't always do such a good job.  When the Aiptasia are gone, the shrimp will do fine foraging on whatever they find and are very rarely a threat to sessile invertebrates.  Occasionally, they will steal food from corals but it is almost unheard of for them to actually do any damage.  Best Regards.  AdamC>

Aiptasia, Peppermint Shrimp, and aggressive Damsels I have live rock with Aiptasia on it have found sites that say these are weeds and that peppermint shrimp and copper band butterflies get rid of them. << So far I agree. >> Problems are tank is too new (1 month) for a copperband and I have two damsels which I have been told are very aggressive (they do chase everything in the beginning) and will attack shrimp. << They are aggressive, but I don't believe they will attach shrimp.  I have many damsels in my tank now, and I've never seen them pick on a peppermint. >> I have had ghost shrimp but they die very quickly (have had water problems i.e.. pH too low 7.5 and spec grav too high 1.029 which are both now resolved) and the damsels did go them a bit but the shrimp seemed to go them back. Should I be testing my water for anything other than nitrite and pH and spec grav? I use natural sea water from where my inhabitants are collected. << Peppermint shrimp are quite hardy.  I wouldn't worry much about adding them, unless your specific gravity is still that high.  Otherwise go ahead and add them.  Be forewarned that after the peppermints eat all your Aiptasia they may eat everything else.  So you may get stuck with them down the road, looking for a way to catch them. >> <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Aiptasia infestation 4/18/04 Dear Anthony, <cheers, Connie> I just discovered that I am getting a huge infestation of Aiptasia; there are little tiny ones growing all over my live rock.  I had used Joes Juice on a couple that I had and now I wonder if somehow that spread the spores or whatever you call 'em.   <hmmm... do be mindful to treat the problem (nutrients... particulate foods from overfeeding in this case likely) and not just the symptom. Aiptasia are merely a symptom of a problem/flaw> Question, if I put a couple of rocks at a time in my ten gallon tank and bought a couple of peppermint shrimp, would the shrimp leave the arthropods that I am breeding there alone????   <the peppermint shrimp are not even assured of eating the Aiptasia to exclusion if even at all... do read about these shrimps and many other treatments for Aiptasia in the archives. We really do have so much info on Aiptasia in the WWM archives> The last time I had peppermint shrimp they stopped eating the Aiptasia as soon as they saw flake food.   <yes... true for most> I gave them all to Cheri as they were such pigs and she wants to breed them for something or other.  Any suggestions would really help.  This infestation which I just noticed tonight looks like fuzz it is so small now, but will ruin the tank.  There must be at least 100of them.  Woe is me. Main tank is fine except for this impending disaster.  Do you have any ideas for me (that might work).  If I do something stupid like boiling water I will kill all the live rock.   <yikes... this will cause far greater damage. Because some of what is presently on/in the rock is competing against the Aiptasia. Boiling the rock would be a disaster> There will be so much there that I'm afraid for my fish - isn't it supposed to sting?  How many shrimp do I need?  I got six before and they pretty much dominated my tank.   <I simply would not use the shrimp or an natural predator. The real problem here is particulate foods that are causing the anemones to bloom... the anemones are not growing from thin air ;)> Sorry if I sound freaked, but I just found them.  It's nighttime and there's a light on behind the tank, which outlines every last one of them. <no worries, dear... they really are not that big of a deal. Easy to control. Starve them into submission!> As ever your fan, Connie <your friend, Anthony>

Peppermint Shrimp by any other names 4/4/04 Hey there staff!!!  You're the best, I appreciate all of your advice in the past and the advice that's to come in the future. <were looking forward to in in kind> We all know that there is always some confusion with the true peppermint shrimp......whether it be from the suppliers not ID'ing the specimens properly.....or the LFS's purchasing what they THINK are peppermint shrimp... and so on and so forth. I know there are mainly two species of shrimp which get tied up in a knot with each other, one being the true peppermint.....and the other being the false. <OK... I believe this to be true for your part of the world (varies elsewhere by region/merchant)> My question is this... I have both species, Lysmata wurdemanni and L. rathbunae> may I ask which is the "true" peppermint....as they are way too comfortably interchanged!!!!! <L. wurdemanni is the true Peppermint shrimp, essentially> and would it be the true of the false peppermints...........that bother worms and the likes???  Or am I wrong, as in both may do harm depending on the individual specimen??? <the entire genus Lysmata is categorically risky in reef aquaria and all have been known to nip corals and other desirable reef inverts at times> I appreciate your time.........thank you again. <best regards, Anthony>

Peppermint shrimp, Aiptasia & fairy wrasses 11/17/03 Dear Anthony: <cheers, Connie> Maybe I missed something here, but my understanding is that the shrimp eat the Aiptasia.   <you are correct. L. wurdemanni does eat anemones... but it is not exclusive and often nips corals and clams just the same. Not exactly reef-safe in the long run> We are getting a substantial amount of Aiptasia, really too much to inject it all (and it seems to spread like crazy).   <its better to control the nutrients/problem (overfeeding, messy feeding/weak water flow, etc) than treat the symptom (the Aiptasia)> So we got several shrimp.  I can only find one now and he is larger than the others. <hard to say... they are somewhat secretive... perhaps others are still alive?> Question:  Are my wrasses shrimp-eaters???   <if large enough... most are> They are all small but hungry fish.  I'm afraid I'll ruin my live rock with continuous injections of white vinegar (out of the tank, then rock scrubbed, have been using tap water for this) Another question:  My husband ordered two Laboutei Fairy Wrasses for me as a gift. On the first shipment, female survived acclimation fine, male died.  Second shipment, another male died.  Before I order another male, is there something over and above the ordinary acclimation for these fish.   <they are simply just very sensitive fishes to ship. I rarely recommend mail ordering fishes... and I would almost never do so for wrasses>> Now that I have the female I would really like the male.  I had two gorgeous rosy finned fairy wrasse and the handsome male jumped out of the tank about a month ago.  They are almost impossible to get. Marine Center tells me that the  Laboutei doesn't travel too well.   <correct indeed> Please help me Anthony. Ciao Connie <my advice is to pay the extra for a local retailer to order and acclimate one for a week... well worth it rather than killing cheaper mail order ones <G>.> PS:  Can't seem to get in touch with person doing arrangements for your visit to Palo Alto in February.  Do you have a phone number for her? <I do... but I should check with her before sharing it. In the meantime... I recently learned that the tentative schedule is for a trip to Monterey Friday, Meeting Saturday, and then social pot-luck meal/gathering at Cheri's house on Sunday. I'm hoping she'll have something posted on the Seabay website soon too. Do holler back at me if you don't hear something first :) kindly, Anthony>

Lysmata shrimp reef safe... ahhh, no 10/17/03 Hello, <howdy> I have a 55 gallon aquarium with these things: blue regal tang (small-medium) yellow tang (small-medium) Naso tang (medium) cinnamon clown (small) neon goby (small, of course) 2 x scarlet cleaner shrimp peppermint shrimp (to eat the glass anemones) pom-pom xenia bubble-tip anemone red and blue legged hermits and one zebra hermit crab Everything was fine until I added the peppermint shrimp and the pom-pom.  After I added them, I noticed that the flowery part of the pom-poms were getting eaten, and now they are deflated and flowerless in a breeder tank to isolate them.  At the same time, the antennae of the cleaner shrimp are slowly getting eaten.  Every day they get shorter.  There is also a little disharmony in the tank now, whereas before I got the peppermint shrimp and the pom-pom, everybody was pretty happy and getting along. I've talked to several people about this and no answer seems to make any sense. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, Chris <reef shrimps of the genus Lysmata have a long-standing and well-documented history of nipping, eating or harassing desirable reef invertebrates (corals and clams are favorite foods at times <G>). The peppermint shrimp has become popular recently as you have discovered for eating Aiptasia. The addition and practice is ill-advised in my opinion. We cannot expect these shrimp to eat one cnidarian (the Aiptasia) while leaving other cnidarians (corals like your Xeniid) alone. It just doesn't work that way. More importantly, we are not addressing the problem (inadequate water flow and/or excess nutrients) which are fueling the Aiptasia bloom. Instead... we are treating the symptom by sending in the borderline reef-safe Lysmata. There is much writ on this genus in popular hobby lit, including many wonderful breeding reports, a bok on how to breed them (by April Kirkendall) and we too (Fenner and Calfo) cover them well in our latest book, Reef Invertebrates. The shrimp is a hardy and wonderful organism to keep... just not in a traditional reef aquarium. My advice is to trap and remove the shrimp. Best regards, Anthony>

Evil Peppermint Shrimp! >Just an FYI to all of you getting lured into buying 'reef safe' peppermint shrimp.  Be cautious.  So far $3 peppermint shrimp wiped out 2 of my plate corals.  Now that they are gone, I can't wait to see what they move onto next.  Any ideas on getting them out of the tank without having to rip a fully stocked tank apart would be greatly helpful.  I doubt the jar trick would work since I have fish and hermits in there and they would probably go nuts trying to get at the bait. >>Wow, gotcha.  This is the biggest problem we have with common names.  I bet you *didn't* get Lysmata wurdemanni, which is the animal that we all love and often use to control Aiptasia.  However, there is at least one other animal that goes by the "Peppermint" moniker, Rhynchocinetes spp., with large eyes and a beaklike "nose" (you'll also note that their color saturation is strikingly different and much stronger).  Now, honestly, I would do the jar bit after dark.  Persistence means that you'll eventually trap these things, unless you're very good with a net (this does take practice).  I haven't got many other answers for you, other than to possibly isolate their hiding spots as one would a mantis, then yank that rock, dip in freshwater and they should exit quickly.  I do hope this helps, and let this be a warning to others!  Marina >Thanks, Andy

The Good Ol' Boy - Aiptasia >Crewperson O' the Day: >>O!  Be still my beating heart, he knows, he knows!  Marina is the crewperson of the day for *you*. >Well, I finally noticed my first Aiptasia in my 9-month old, 55 gallon FOWLR w/inverts.   >>You're funny. if it's w/inverts, then it's not exactly fish only, is it?  Please accept my apology for being a smart-alec.  Eck, Aiptasia. >I want to start with a Lysmata wurdemanni or two (or three?). The problem is the whole Quarantine procedure, to which I swear by, thanks to you guys.  Now that I have caught this problem early, I don't want to wait 4 weeks in QT for the Aiptasia to get a stronger foothold in my system. >>Understood.  Alright, I'll tell you, I am one of the diehards on the whole q/t thing, however, if you're *really*, *really* worried about it, then, with an invert such as the L. wurdemanni, I think little harm may come if you go ahead and acclimate and toss 'em in.  This is not what I would recommend, mind you, but usually you can be fairly confident that the shrimps won't cause a problem.  However, I don't see the Aiptasia gaining such a strong foothold in that four week time span as to be especially problematic, either.  The "other" Aiptasia-eater, the Copperband butterfly, would definitely best be quarantined, though. >If the Peppermints don't work, I would have to wait another 4 weeks in QT for another Aiptasia predator.  Do I really have to wait the agreed upon 4 weeks in QT for these possible "pest-munchers"?  Regardless, can you suggest how many Peppermints I need for my size system at this early stage?   >>I think two or three would be fair. >I would like to get a/some different species of shrimp(s) in the future.   >>To the best of my knowledge, the Peppermints won't cause a problem with other peaceful crustaceans, such as cleaner shrimps, should you wish to get those.  They're generally *very* peaceful animals (unless you're an Aiptasia anemone!).  Best of luck, Rich!  Marina

Re: AIPTASIA Thanks Bob, You where right ,check my water quality and I think I was putting some silicate in the tank. I forgot to change the DI cartridge. But everything is under control I have been doing big water changes and adding phosphate/silicate removes to get rid of silicates. <Okay>    Hopefully with the peppermint shrimp they will eat the Aiptasia, If not I will try a butterfly but will be ready to catch him with my trap. <Do make sure you're getting the real thing, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm as there are other similar-appearing Lysmata shrimp sold as Peppermints. Bob Fenner>            Thanks for all your help AL <Welcome>

- Shrimp with an Appetite! - Update:  In less than 48 hours after adding the peppermint shrimp, there were only 6 visible Aiptasia left (6 out of original 100 or so), and by day 3 - NO visible Aiptasia :-))))) <Yes, big smiles indeed - thanks for letting us know.> Thanks again! Kristin <Cheers, J -- >

Success Controlling Aiptasia - 2/17/03 Hello All! <cheers> I have had saltwater tanks off and on for 8 years, some FO, some reefs. I just wanted to thank you for the information on peppermint shrimp for Aiptasia removal. <Glad to hear it worked for you :) > Nudi berg. are not available in my area, injection methods have not worked, and my Copperband b.fly is not interested in Aiptasia. <The catch with Copperband's is getting an Indonesia specimen and/or training them in a proper QT first for one month to eat them> So, after reading all your website stuff, yesterday, I purchased 4 peppermint shrimp for my 30gal.  I used the fish store's invert book to ensure I was buying the L. Wund. type peppermint shrimp.  Today, half of the Aiptasia are gone!  :-))) I am sure the other half will be gone soon!  :-))) <Awesome> These shrimp are the first and ONLY success I have ever had getting rid of Aiptasia. Thank you so much for the information on your site.  My tank is saved, and I am thrilled! Sincerely, Kristin <best regards... and thanks for sharing :) Anthony>

Aiptasia in refugium I have a 65 gallon reef tank with a 20 gallon refugium that gravity feeds the main display tank.  The refugium has become an Aiptasia breeding ground.  Is it possible to add a few peppermint shrimp to the refugium to combat these pests?  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thank you. <I have used peppermint shrimp to wipe out Aiptasia. Things I learned in the process: make sure to get Lysmata wurdemanni, the true peppermint shrimp, and not one of the Rhynchocinetes genus, or camel shrimp -- some retailers confuse the two! If you have any particularly large Aiptasia, you should remove them manually, as they may be too large for the peppermint shrimp. You might have more success using a third tank for Aiptasia removal. If the Aiptasia is on live rock or removable clumps of macro algae, I would suggest removing a piece or clump at a time to a dedicated peppermint shrimp tank -- a bare tank with minimal lighting and circulation would be fine. If you add the peppermint shrimp directly to the refugium, they may decide that some of the other refugium inhabitants are tastier than the Aiptasia! --Ananda>

Re: Aiptasia, Shrimp, CBS meals Hello Bob, My 40g reef tank is about 6months old and just recently there has been an outbreak of Aiptasia anemones. I've tried adding a peppermint shrimp to the tank but after a few days I can't seem to find it anymore. In my tank, I have a Banggai cardinal, purple Firefish, and a coral banded shrimp. <whoa! Hello killer! Banded coral shrimps pull many/most/all other shrimps limb from limb!> Could the Coral Banded shrimp have eaten the peppermint shrimp?  <does a bear bring a reader's digest into the woods?> I also have a bunch of emerald crabs that came with the LR. <sturdy and safe from the BC shrimp> thanks in advance. <best regards, Anthony> Jason

AIPTASIA Hi Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro this morning.> We have alit of the Aiptasia in our marine tank, we have tried a product called "Exit Aiptasia" but they still come back. I have your "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" book, and note the Peppermint shrimp eats these pests, but our problem is we are in New Zealand, I have sent an e-mail to the local marine importers Oceanic images, and asked if they can get these shrimps. I asked at our local retailers and they said Butterfly fish also clear these pests up, is this correct? <Yes, some Butterflyfish will eat Aiptasia.> In January our filter out let pipe emptied our tank during the night, and we lost all but 4 of our Fish. We now only have a cleaner wrasse, <Not a great aquarium choice. Most tend to slowly starve to death and should be left in the ocean.> black Damsel with 2 white spots, <Sounds like a Domino damsel (Dascyllus trimaculatus). These grow large and usually become quite a terror.> 2 torpedo gobies, and 2 Percula clowns. After such an expensive loss we are now been very careful with getting new fish etc. We should like to get some really nice looking small fish, but do not know which would be suitable for our tank. The tank is 30ins long, 24ins high and 18ins wide. We have rocks and dead coral, as we are not allowed live coral in this country. We have a nice anemone which the clowns adore. We lost our Long Horn Cow Fish when the tank emptied. Can we mix blennies Grammas etc with the fish we have? <I would remove the Domino and then yes.> Would we be able to have another cow fish with a butterfly fish? <I would not suggest adding a cowfish or butterflyfish to this size aquarium.> Do the shrimps you say about in your book (Peppermint ones) get on with cleaner shrimps, and fire shrimps? <Yes, usually peaceful.> Anything to do with Marine Tanks, Fish, etc. are very expensive here, so we don't want to have problems with fish that don't get on. The importers here told us to get your book, as they said it is the best one for people starting a Marine tank. Any assistance you could offer us would be most gratefully received. Thanking you, regards Peggy. <The Peppermint shrimp will be your best option for your Aiptasia problem. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia predator concerns I'm in the process of setting up my first attempt at a reef tank. I'm taking everything very slowly and am still building up the stock of live rock in my 120 gallon tank. I presently have about 15 red legged hermit crabs, a couple dozen snails and two cleaner shrimp, just to keep what little I have looking decent. Over the last month or so there has been an explosion of Aiptasia. I would like to rid the tank of these pests before I continue, preferably by introduction of a predator. I've read a number of FAQ's regarding Aiptasia and their removal (including yours, of course), and as much as I could find regarding the Peppermint Shrimp ( Lysmata wurdemanni ) and the Red Legged "Hairy", aka White Spotted, Hermit Crab ( Dardanus megistos ). I'm concerned that the Peppermint shrimp will harass the cleaner shrimp, or vice versa. Since my girlfriend has become very attached to them, this simply won't do! <I have seen several instances where Peppermint Shrimp and Cleaner Shrimp coexist peacefully. I would not worry with your large tank. They have plenty of room to get away from one another.> I'm also concerned that the Hermit's predacious tendencies could prove detrimental to the other tank inhabitants, especially as I begin to stock fish. I've considered removing the Dardanus Hermit when the tank is finally ready for fish, but it seems this might allow the Aiptasia to return. <I do not trust many hermit crabs for reef tank use.> I'd appreciate any advice you'd care to offer. Thanks ! -jl <Get the Peppermints. -Steven Pro>

Protein Skimmer Bob, <Steven Pro here answering a few queries this morning.> I read a couple of article concerning the unwanted Aiptasia and purchased to Mexican peppermint shrimp. I never seen them eat the Aiptasia, but in a matter of eight days I only have (2) when before I had aprox. 20. Do the peppermint shrimp only eat at night? I hardly seem them during the day. <They do tend to hide a lot. Glad to see they are working for you.> I also have a question about green algae and protein skimming. I have a Red Sea Fish Pharm protein skimmer, it hangs inside of the tank using the wood block. If you know what I mean. <I know the type you are speaking of, but not the exact model (size).> I did as you said about leaving the lights on longer(12 hrs.) and a lot of my algae problem went away. I still get some algae on the substrate and I am thinking maybe my protein skimmer is inefficient. I could probably get a lawnmower blenny. Would a better protein skimmer take the rest of the algae? My LFS has a similar setup as I do however, they have a Godzilla looking protein skimmer and I don't. <Does you skimmer fill its collection cup several times weekly with skimmate the color of tea to coffee? If not, you may need to try a couple of things. Clean or replace your airstones more frequently, get a larger air pump, or replace the skimmer. I like counter-current, air-driven models. They can be run efficiently, but require more attention (daily). Getting your skimmer to perform better or getting a better performing skimmer will definitely help with nutrient export and should help reduce unwanted algae. -Steven Pro>

Peppermint shrimp implicated The Pep Boys, my three peppermint shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni, have recently been implicated in the near destruction of 2 inverts--one a small sand sifting star, Archaster typicus, who was losing his leg-points mysteriously (until I caught PepBoy Manny, braced against the work and the current, pulling a chunk of starfish meat off the poor creature. I rescued the star and put him in the sump to recover. The adventure goes on from there if anyone cares... I witnessed the second incident as I caught Moe (or was it Jack?! Hard to tell in the light...) red-handed performing midnight surgery on my Trachyphyllia geoffroyi, brain coral, laboring, snipping and pulling to get the bit of clam or bluefish or whatever the coral was trying to digest...The result is a brain with flesh pulled up revealing a raw-appearing skeleton. Otherwise still healthy but an obvious and defenseless target now. <Yikes... and to think I used to own their stock... are you feeding these Pep Boys?> The only thing these three peppermints fear is Coco, the sebae clown who pals with my long tentacle anemone. So I moved the coral below this couple--the Pep Boys will have to expose themselves to avenging Coco the clown to nip my brain. <Good move> I have to tell you about the star in the sump, as evidence for the defense of Manny Moe and Jack. 24 hours after its removal to the sump I checked white star and I found his legs a mess, rotten flesh, black rot and white nastiness. I excised 4 legs, a crunchy business, and put him in quarantine tank, where after 3 days he seemed well on the road to recovery with his one good leg--but that's beside the point. The salient fact is that the legs were rotten, and the "cleaner" shrimp were only doing what cleaners do and taking care of business.  <Likely so> And maybe they were only "cleaning" some badness off the brain! You can't condemn them for that! Bob, be the jury and pronounce these 3 characters guilty or innocent-- <The pressure!> their lives and the welfare of their 10,000 monthly offspring are in your hands. Geoffroyi and Typicus are calling for shrimp on the barbie!! As you may discern, the shrimp trio are quite the favorites in my tank. No decoy seems to keep them from coming out to "sup" with (or on) the brain, no massive feeding prior kills their appetites--I just wonder if they are really bad, or just misunderstood. Mark <I opt for a stay of sentence (whew!)... There may be something else, more "afoot" (afeet?) here... I don't think the Peppermints really are/were the a priori (the ultimate) cause of the other invert.s troubles... I'd leave them as is. (Drops gavel), exeunt all. Bob Fenner>

Camel shrimp, Angel Selection Howdy, <Hi there> First off really love the site, very informative. Three questions for you. First I tried ordering some inverts online as the selection in my area is horrible. I received camel shrimp instead of peppermint shrimp, will they eat/control the Aiptasia? <Not an uncommon mistake, and no. Please read here: http://WetWebMedia.com/aippepshrpfaqs.htm> Second question: Like stated above, the fish stores in town have pretty scary conditions, so I was wondering if you have any recommendations for a good online retailer (kind of leery ordering fish by mail though?) <A few of the prominent ones can be found on our links page: http://WetWebMedia.com/links.htm I would read through the various chatforums, ask there (Ours: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/) for actual users input> Last question: I read on this site that the blue face angel is not very hardy but the queen is better. <Yes, "statistically"... historically this is so> I have been told by several people the opposite? Which would be better for my 100 gallon tank.(has appr. 80 lbs. live rock, 1 blue spot puffer, bicolor blenny, hermits, snails, serpent star)  <Of the two, in 100 trials, ninety some times a Queen> Only want to add a large angel and maybe a Christmas or Coris wrasse to complete the tank. Thank you for your time, Sincerely, Gary Peterson <Keep gathering those data points, opinions till you feel confident you know your own. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint shrimp quest. Dear Bob, I come again to your inexhaustible seeming <An apt gerundive participial...> fountain of knowledge for some answers. I used a peppermint shrimp to great success to remove some Aiptasia, but now I think he might be harassing some of my other corals.  <This does happen.> I saw him picking at my Blastomussa today, not just picking off detritus and other material but really jerking at the coral. It (the Blastomussa) has shriveled up into it's skeleton and has not come out for a bit... should I try to remove the peppermint?  <Yes> The Blastomussa was one of the corals that I picked up at Tropicorium and I would not want to have to venture back there to obtain another one just for it to become a peppermints shrimp meal. Thank you in advance, Ben <Good hunting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Addendum to peppermint quest. just another question that I forgot... is there some way that I could possibly feed the peppermint something so that it can stay in my tank but not eat corals? <You can/could try meaty foods... ultimately as baits. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint shrimp My question is about the amount of peppermint shrimp you can have in an 80 gal. reef. I have an Aiptasia problem that is growing by leaps and anemones. <Yikes, best to nip these in the proverbial buddage> I would really like to take care of this the natural way before they take over my little piece of serenity. How many of these little guys can one add to this size tank and what will happen when and if they get the job complete? <Very well put... in the wild and in the biz, Lysmata wurdemanni are often "really crowded"... but as you hint, this isn't a good situation to have permanently... I would try a "handful" (4,5) in an eighty... to guard against "other predation" that may well become a concern if/when the Peppermints are through with the Aiptasia... and not easily removed> I read where they usually will only eat the smaller ones, but at least it's a start! I'll go after the larger ones myself if I have to. I have a yellow tang, 6 line wrasse, Banggai cardinal, and a watchman goby plus two cleaner shrimp as inhabitants, plus a growing assortment of hard and soft corals. Is there anything incompatible here? <Some six-lines will eat the Peppermints... mainly on size differences. Bob Fenner, who asks, have you read through the Aiptasia materials on our site? http://WetWebMedia.com/aiptasia.htm for the start... Chatted with the Chatforum re this situation? http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/> Thanks always for your help and input, Charlie. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint Shrimp Bob--I finally decided to add a peppermint shrimp this weekend to hopefully knock out the one little undesirable anemone that I have in the tank. The problem is, it seems he didn't survive the first night. I posted this to the newsgroup, and one of the replies was that sally lightfoot crabs will eat peppermint shrimp. <Yes> That person claimed that her two peppermint shrimp disappeared when she added a lightfoot to her tank. I must admit, the first night the peppermint shrimp was in the tank, I was looking in after lights-out, and I thought I saw one of the Lightfoots chasing the peppermint shrimp around the side of a rock. If the Lightfoots are the culprits here, then I'll know better than to add another peppermint shrimp. Otherwise, I'd like to try to get one going to keep out the Aiptasia. My other thought was that perhaps the peppermint shrimp is still in there somewhere, but is hiding. However, I don't think that's the case, because I have seen hide nor hair of him all day yesterday, and he didn't come out with the cleaner shrimp when I fed the tank, either. <Maybe. Doubtful> Thanks for your thoughts. --James D, who reads a lot, and didn't think he would ever stock incompatible livestock. . . <Everyone can, does at one time. Bob Fenner>

File Fish & Peppermint shrimp I recently wrote about rock anemone problem I had & bought a filefish  & a peppermint shrimp neither seem to eating these little critters they have been in the aquarium for two weeks any suggestions ? Thanks, Kemper <All sorts... have you read the article on this group and others' experience posted at the www.wetwebmedia.com site? I would wait a good month... to see if the peppermint Shrimp will do you any good... and then we'll talk. Bob Fenner>

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

Well, I'm not sure that my little things are Aiptasia, but I think they probably are. I was planning on getting a cleaner shrimp anyway, which would be good for eating Aiptasia and for cleaning my fish? Also, I have a left-claw hermit crab, and a few small ones. Will they eat the little buggers? >> < If it were me, I'd try a couple of Peppermint Shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni... you're Hermits' won't touch Glass Anemones. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint shrimp I wanted to get some peppermint shrimps to get rid of my Aiptasia problem, but I also have several other type of polyps in my coral reef tank, would it be safe then to get peppermint shrimp?  Thank you,  >> Most Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) leave most polypoid life alone in the presence of Aiptasia... but once the Glass Anemones are gone... they have been known to go after other stinging celled animals... so, I would keep the Shrimp population to a minimum... and remove them if/when they start to munch on your desired livestock. Bob Fenner

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