How to propagate aiptasia by sixty_reefer

BRS
A uncommon subject from an uncommon reefer, you may wonder why do we want to culture aiptasia wend this is one of the primary pests in our hobby since the very beginning . The answer is fairly easy. By understanding aiptasia propagation we can a) create a thriving culture of aiptasia eating nudibranch and b) understand how we can slow down the growth of aiptasia in our reef tanks.


  1. How to set up a tank for aiptasia
  2. how to propagate aiptasia
  3. How to feed aiptasia
  4. How to keep a sustainable source of aiptasia
  5. Tools


1. How to set up a tank for aiptasia


My preferred method is to set up a shallow container, no more than 4” tall set up in a small sump with a 6 mm air line as a return from the display, with a small layer of activated carbon as a substrate. Ideally you will want the temperature in this container to range from 27c/80.6f to 29c/84.2.


2. How to propagate aiptasia


Once you have collected some aiptasia from your display, I recommend you to cut the aiptasia in half or in quarters once a week. This can easily be done with a pair of tweezers and long scissors. Gloves and goggles are recommended when you are fragging any coral, and aiptasia is no exception so please use adequate ppe.


3. How to feed aiptasia


From experience I have noticed that aiptasia will prefer smaller foods as they are easily digestible. I feed mine a mixture of daily hatched artemia and frozen lobster eggs. Other foods might work also as long as they are small. You would be surprised on how effective hunters aiptasia can be.


4. How to keep a sustainable source of aiptasia


As for keeping a sustainable source of aiptasia I recommend that once your tray is full to just give half of the aiptasia to your nudibranch. I tend to wait until they are expanded and just cut the top half were the tentacles are, and keep the foot in my tank to regrow, in average it takes 7 days to grow back to the original size. This way my number of aiptasia keeps on growing and the nudis getting enough food.


5. Tools


My favorite tools are long stainless steel tweezers and a long curved scissor

Pic updated weekly
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Billldg

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Looking to breed berghia, I find this article fascinating and very helpful for a food source for the berghia.
 
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sixty_reefer

sixty_reefer

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It’s odd seeing intentional propagation of Aiptasia, but it makes complete sense. Have you seen a growth in your Nudibranch polpulation as well?
My main goal has been in to improve the current propagation method for aiptasia in a sustainable way to raise Aiptasia eating nudibranch without the limiting factor of food supply. If what I’ve done so far was to be escalated to 50 container you would have a endless food supply to nudibranch.
 
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sixty_reefer

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Looking to breed berghia, I find this article fascinating and very helpful for a food source for the berghia.

thank you, hopefully soon I can share also the findings on how to propagate aiptasia by spawning, this will be a first to the hobby, I have successfully documented this in my tank, just need to get it in words for the community, once the method is proven to work, all the food supply will be limitless meaning you can raise just as many as you wish.
 

IKD

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This is really great! To your initial comments about identifying ways to slow their growth, have you made any particular observations in this area of the work?

Do you have any issues with introducing Berghia back into the Aiptasia grow out? They are very small and lay eggs, so just curious how you prevent that.
 
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sixty_reefer

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This is really great! To your initial comments about identifying ways to slow their growth, have you made any particular observations in this area of the work?

Do you have any issues with introducing Berghia back into the Aiptasia grow out? They are very small and lay eggs, so just curious how you prevent that.

yes besides the common known method of not irritate the anemone, there is another way that makes them spread like wild fire that isn’t commonly known.

is the way we feed our tank, if a tank is fed just normal large foods, normal brine shrimp and above foods you can see that the population tend to stay the same there isn’t a great number of anemones growing. As soon as smaller foods are introduced (baby brine shrimp, lobster eggs, small flake etc..) they will explode in numbers and can grow to invasive numbers pretty fast in a display.
I went from 2 in the display to a few hundred under a month just because I’ve change the way I feed my tank, I’ve introduced smaller foods for nps and this made the aiptasia outbreak, they’re digestive system works better with smaller size food, they do struggle with digesting normal size brine shrimp and most times just regurgitate it out, wend they’re body’s are full with smaller particle food they digest it under 24h and grow in size rapidly. In addition aptasia thrives in high temperatures the hotter the reef tank is run the more comfortable they will feel.

I try and filter the water going into the grow out container to avoid losing the culture, if they were to get in there it could be complicated to remove them completely.

in resume if I had a few aiptasias in my tank and wanted to avoid for them to spread I would run a reef at 25c and avoid smaller particle foods. Until they were dealt with.
 
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Some details on how I’ve set up my breeding trays in the tank.

94A10749-0AE1-4E21-8944-0697E2BC2551.jpeg
86051B28-1FB1-4850-BA18-780CD0138CAF.jpeg

from my DT I’ve attached a 6mm air line into the first container, water falls into it by gravity, this fills the first container and it overflows to the second container by a 16mm silicone tubing and again from the second containers to the sump by another 16mm silicone tubing. In addition both trays are covered in a dark blue acrylic cover to filter some light. This keeps both the anemones and the nudis in a fairy dark environment
 

William Norman

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A uncommon subject from an uncommon reefer, you may wonder why do we want to culture aiptasia wend this is one of the primary pests in our hobby since the very beginning . The answer is fairly easy. By understanding aiptasia propagation we can a) create a thriving culture of aiptasia eating nudibranch and b) understand how we can slow down the growth of aiptasia in our reef tanks.


  1. How to set up a tank for aiptasia
  2. how to propagate aiptasia
  3. How to feed aiptasia
  4. How to keep a sustainable source of aiptasia
  5. Tools


1. How to set up a tank for aiptasia


My preferred method is to set up a shallow container, no more than 4” tall set up in a small sump with a 6 mm air line as a return from the display, with a small layer of activated carbon as a substrate. Ideally you will want the temperature in this container to range from 27c/80.6f to 29c/84.2.


2. How to propagate aiptasia


Once you have collected some aiptasia from your display, I recommend you to cut the aiptasia in half or in quarters once a week. This can easily be done with a pair of tweezers and long scissors. Gloves and goggles are recommended when you are fragging any coral, and aiptasia is no exception so please use adequate ppe.


3. How to feed aiptasia


From experience I have noticed that aiptasia will prefer smaller foods as they are easily digestible. I feed mine a mixture of daily hatched artemia and frozen lobster eggs. Other foods might work also as long as they are small. You would be surprised on how effective hunters aiptasia can be.


4. How to keep a sustainable source of aiptasia


As for keeping a sustainable source of aiptasia I recommend that once your tray is full to just give half of the aiptasia to your nudibranch. I tend to wait until they are expanded and just cut the top half were the tentacles are, and keep the foot in my tank to regrow, in average it takes 7 days to grow back to the original size. This way my number of aiptasia keeps on growing and the nudis getting enough food.


5. Tools


My favorite tools are long stainless steel tweezers and a long curved scissor

Pic updated weekly
030126B4-F31A-49CD-A4A3-0FA4D1F9B75C.jpeg
50401CCB-F77B-4EDA-9D9E-C1753E6FB8BE.jpeg
20E280A8-5AB0-4E0C-AB25-0E1ACF266D08.jpeg
7DB69D38-21A0-4EBD-BDFF-75A6D68CFDCE.jpeg
6EAF904D-2725-4812-9F62-51BDDD2093BB.jpeg

32D3FD8E-0604-4B2C-A878-DCF66717CBF2.jpeg
Wow!!!!
 

JVU

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I am also growing Aiptasia and breeding Berghia. I‘m surprised you are getting good multiple-generation results plumbing both into your display system. I have separate tanks to keep out contaminating microfauna like amphipods, which I understand will decimate the Berghia eggs and very small Berghia.

Also, if I understand correctly you have the Aiptasia tank and the Berghia tank plumbed in-line so that you have a gravity feed into the Aiptasia tank and gravity fed overflow into the Berghia tank, and gravity fed overflow into some third tank labeled collection container, then into your sump? Are you collecting Berghia from the 3rd container, and if so what is the advantage vs taking them from the 2nd?

If Berghia make it back into the sump (doesn’t look like anything is stopping them) aren’t you worried that they will be damaged or at least irretrievable in the sump?
 

JVU

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Along those lines, are you letting the gravity feed from the Aiptasia tank passively feed the snipped tops of the Aiptasia into the Berghia tank? Or are you snipping the tops then manually transferring them over?
 

twiatr2001

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When I first read this thread I thought to myself what everyone else is thinking, is this guy out of his mind?, propagating aiptasia?!, put its very clear that the data and findings from this has definitely intrigued me, the fact is he has found certain things that make them weak and make them not eat, they prefer smaller food and warmer temperatures, so I think in the long run these small adjustments can ultimately help us in getting rid of or making a smaller population of aiptasia that we can control, lets face it if you have an infestation of aiptasia, lets say 30 or more whos gonna go into their tank with aiptasia x and try to syringe feed each one of the aiptasia to try to rid of them its just not gonna happen, with these small but helpful facts I think its definitely a step forward in the right direction on how to stop the spread and maybe rid the tank of these pests, very good information and I think its very helpful to the hobby, I'm fairly new to the forum, but if there's an award to be given then it definitely should be here, thank you for taking the time to do this and most importantly, to share the information.
 

markfmvl

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I use 10 gallon tanks. we feed the aptaisa fish food nothing special. we were going well but then apparently some nudis got into the prop tank and our aptasia population crashed. then we apparently lost our nudis. having to start over. nudis eat a lot of aptasia. some good new tips. thanks
 
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