Aiptasia: is it something we have to live with?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Dilan Patel, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Dilan Patel

    Dilan Patel Well-Known Member

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    Aiptasia is seen as a very intrusive pest. We are able to get this pest into are tanks in a number of ways such as: Live rock,coral/coral plugs,used tools and equipment.etc. As Aiptasia has slowly started to take over tanks, sitting right next to corals stinging them to death, or populating by the hundreds on rock work and glass. Companies have come up with "remedies" to help combat these pests. Also hobbyist started to turn to other methods as well such as Kalk paste and lemon water, etc.

    I personally use Aiptasia X, but have heard of Joes Juice and others work as well. All these treatments bank on injecting the aiptasia with the paste into the mouth of the aiptasia. This can prove diffcult but we do it anyways in hopes of killing them. We try and try again to kill these pests.

    So the question is...is it worth us sweating about killing the aiptasia or just try and manage it. do you run an aiptasia "management tank" or a "Aiptasia prevention tank"

    In my eyes a "management tank" is one that accepts the fact that they will eventually get aiptasia. but instead of letting it over run the tank they controll it as much as possible. I.E. using predators such as peppermint shrimp,nudibranchs, copperband butterfly's, etc. they try not to let it get out of control by using these methods as well as chemical methods careful to not allow the pests to over run the tank and corals.

    "Aiptasia Prevention Tank" is a tank that quarantines everything, used dead rock, dead sand or BB and cut corals off bases and use clean plugs or no plugs to place corals in the rock work. very careful of what goes into the tank and take precautions to make sure contamination from tAnk to tank does not happen as well as rinsing equipment off before and after use. These reefers try their hardest to not have to deal with the aiptasia and if they spot some they will try to exterminate it quickly and efficiently.

    So is it worth sweating over these pests or can we create some type of boundary where everything is happy?

    Hope you enjoyed this brief write-up.
     
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  2. Cory

    Cory Valuable Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    Im lucky i dont have any. I would sweat them because they can take over the tank.

    I had a copperband that would devour all aiptasia. He loved them.
     
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  3. GoVols

    GoVols VFL R2R Supporter MTRCMember R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  4. NS Mike D

    NS Mike D Active Member

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    I use AptasiaX as well. I have about 3 in my fuge and about 6 in the DT right now. I can never rid myself of them, but don't over-concern myself either. I know where they are right now and when I am done with my latest tinkering with the tank, I'll hit them with the AptasiaX and wait a few more months before the next round. I screw around too much with my tank as it is so I kind of view them like my algae: they are just part of the ecosystem, but if they start taking advantage of me by expanding their settlements, I'll send a resounding message :)
     
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  5. GoVols

    GoVols VFL R2R Supporter MTRCMember R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    For low maintenance I'd use Aiptasia-X as well, but there are some times that it makes the matter worse.
     
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  6. NS Mike D

    NS Mike D Active Member

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    That makes sense. Different approaches are sometimes needed for different levels of problems. I am happier now that I don't try to run a pristine system and embrace the diversity within a level I can accept. I haven't experienced a spore problem with AptasiaX, but I was initially a little disappointed with the frequency of regrowth.

    If it turns into a infestation, I would get a berghia nudi, especially after reading your article. thanks for sharing that.
     
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  7. NikoO

    NikoO Member

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    I've never had aptasia, but it definitely has the potential to be a major PITA
     
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  8. Leaellynasaura

    Leaellynasaura Active Member

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    I thought they were something I had to live with until I bought 3 peppermint shrimp. Kalkwasser paste kills them and they come back, but when the shrimp eat them they don't come back. My QT tank was infested, but the shrimp cleared it out 100%.
     
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  9. JTreef

    JTreef Active Member

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    Same here with the peppermint shrimp. Once they finished them off none have ever come back. That was 5-6 years ago. They also harassed and killed my red rock anemone and rare mini red carpet anemone. Wiped out my good hitchhiker snails as well. So I’m not getting any more unless I have too:)
     
  10. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member CTARS Member

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    Possible to have an aptasia-free tank, of course, though to me the 'cure' is worse than the 'disease'. It's easy enough to manage with various biological controls. They won't completely eradicate in most cases though; remove the control and they're likely to be back. BTW, majanos worse than aiptasia IME.
     
  11. DarkSky

    DarkSky Active Member

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    I had several in my last tank, made sure to QT everything this time as I wouldn't deal with them again. None in the new tank. No bubble algae either.
     
  12. Baiggann

    Baiggann Member

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    My filefish keeps my tank aptasia free!! He eats frozen food also. Has never ever touched any of my corals.
     
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  13. Toomanyfish

    Toomanyfish Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I ended up getting a infestation of them from a frag. Tried kalk paste , glue and then caved into peppermint shrimp. They have done the job but I want to find a Molly Miller blennie. Aptasia is one of their favorite foods in the wild and they’re omnivores so they’ll eat everything else including algae.
     
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  14. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    Had it! Delt with it in a tank transfer from my 20g to 40B. Boiled the rock out side on a grill pot and cooked it using all the safety precautions you can imagine before anyone freaks out. No more aiptasia. That's how you deal with it and be done with it. ;)
     
  15. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree, I also use kalk paste as a maintenance. When we moved the aptaisia in the overflow sat dry for 8+hours and still lived. I think people underestimate (including me) there survivability. We have peppermint shrimp that eat the small ones. Most things I've injected caused an outbreak. File fish (tomentous) did great but after a year it got a taste for acans and aptasia. Now we have aptasia that's still in the over flow that look like palm trees, it's our aptasia scrubber;Hilarious
     
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  16. rich nyc

    rich nyc Active Member

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    Honestly I had a problem with it on one of my live rock. Did everything but would always creep back a few months later so I just took out my rock. Problem solved
     
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  17. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    I’d say avoiding them is almost impossible. Even a single cell of an Aiptasia will grow into a new Aiptasia. And they can survive RODI, vinegar, dips, and even being in the air for a while. But managing and elimination is absolutely feasible. Aiptasia X and other such methods for small scale, nudis, peppermints, and CBB/filefish for larger scale elimination.
     
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  18. jda

    jda Well-Known Member

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    I also agree that avoiding them is almost impossible and the things that you have to do can harm tanks even more (using dry/dead rock). I just assume that I will always have some if I do not have consumers. I order Peppermint Shrimp directly from the Florida Keys from the collectors and these will consume all but the largest aips - I have to kill the large ones back with kalk and then they will finish the rest of them off. I have hundreds of pound of rock in just one of my displays and there are probably a thousand places for them to hide.

    I have only found them to live about three years, so I order new ones about every two years. I do raise them in my frag tank until they get nice and red and big and will eat out of my hand when I put it in there.

    I have never found peppermint to be coral eaters, but they will not starve either. They cannot live on poo, so make sure that they get some flakes, pellets, etc. and they will grow large and be very good reef citizens. They will much on some coral if they are not well fed, but so would you and I.

    IMO, Peppermint Shrimp are all not the same. The ones from the Keys are the best, IMO... but when you order them from a retailer, you have no idea where they are from. Find a diver in the keys and order them direct.
     
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  19. 75pxatr

    75pxatr Member

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    I'm struggling with an infestation in my 210 gallon main display. Aiptasia x does not seem to work - they come back in several weeks in larger numbers. I have just added a file fish and awaiting results.

    Do all copperbands eat aiptasia? This may be my last weapon as I'm afraid the melanurus wrasse might eat them?
     
  20. brandon429

    brandon429 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Aips are 100% preventable and to house even one is risking a total tank loss. seen it hundreds of times.

    These are universally prevented with substrate and animal quarantining

    aips do not lay dormant mos and years then pop up, and by that physicality they're easily stopped, ive had my share with new imports, and I don't quarantine.

    Our nano reefs are easily accessible, and when an aip pops up, you lift out the rock and use a steak knife tip to dig it out, and the ground it came in on, rinse off section, put back anemone free.
    recessed back into a little hole, aw?

    Dig the entire hole out, then another eighth inch of rock to get any pedal tissue. lr is not hard to dig.
    That is a universal control method such that no pico reef in the world has an aiptasia challenge, but large tankers and non QT sure might have a challenge if they don't act fast.

    The injections methods are clearly more common, but they cannot be rasping of the pedal tissue and the rock section its anchored to. I do not fear aiptasias at all, Id plant a few in my reef on purpose if ever needed just to re demonstrate the removal technique.

    I would not do that with dinos, heh.

    Aips are listed among tank wreckers treat them as such. Don't make excuses to use anything less than the universal control method, if you do, tank is at risk. don't have a tank so large with an aquascape so set in place that you cant access the underside of your deepest live rock in a moment's notice. Merely that arrangement, along with the willingness to take action, can set you up to prevent any invasion ever known to reefing save for maybe really bad dinos. if its too late for accessibility, the other methods w give you 60-80% chance of success and that's decent odds but not w my money
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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