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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P-Dub

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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
Photos of my worst nightmare:eek:
 

Reefnsail123

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Can my copper banded butterfly make a dinner reservation?
I wish I could have one but without a reliable food source I have deferred. I wonder if I could combine your method and training fish to very accurately spot feed.
 
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sixty_reefer

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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?

Hi yes that’s correct the third tank is mainly to catch some of the babies that do escape.
 
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sixty_reefer

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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?

Currently doing it manually, once I’ve cut the aip I just push it near the overflow and she will land in the next tank.
 

JVU

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How do you prevent Berghia from going upstream into the Aiptasia tank? This can decimate the Aiptasia tank quickly if not noticed right away, and when they are newborn the Berghia are very hard to see.

Even with separate tanks and trying to be careful I will sometimes find a juvenile Berghia in the Aiptasia tank; they are not connected at all, just near each other and with some shared tools that I wash off between. With connected tanks I would imagine this would be a never ending issue.
 
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sixty_reefer

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How do you prevent Berghia from going upstream into the Aiptasia tank? This can decimate the Aiptasia tank quickly if not noticed right away, and when they are newborn the Berghia are very hard to see.

Even with separate tanks and trying to be careful I will sometimes find a juvenile Berghia in the Aiptasia tank; they are not connected at all, just near each other and with some shared tools that I wash off between. With connected tanks I would imagine this would be a never ending issue.

I try to avoid leaving a way for them to be able to climb upstream.

88AA833A-F847-4578-9A72-9C50EFC2C8F0.jpeg


My line starts from the weir, there I got a dosing clip to keep my airline in place. Special attention so that the line is near the surface and not touching the glass.

Then from tank A to B I made sure that there is at list a small space with no tubing touching anything for the nudibranch not be able to slide up.

The larvae nudibranch are the more risky ones they are really fast and move around well, I would avoid moving rocks from tank to tank even tools, I used a syringe to catch a few babies the other day and was surprised how many babies were in that one syringe only.


If you look closely you can see a few tiny lines moving almost like white worms

C7657A3F-2764-45C1-917D-502E914F5A28.jpeg


They are the biggest risk for cross contamination IMO, hope it helps
 
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sixty_reefer

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@Poseidon03 Not much really, this set up gives me more aips than I need. I’ve transferred around 50 a couple weeks ago from my aip vessel to the berguia vessel, and still plenty left.

Quick phone pic
F147D4DA-37F3-4990-9607-1FD07FA3BBAE.jpeg


Ive got currently 10 adults in this set up making babies all the other one gone in the display and LFS for credit.
 

SHNICI

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@Poseidon03 Not much really, this set up gives me more aips than I need. I’ve transferred around 50 a couple weeks ago from my aip vessel to the berguia vessel, and still plenty left.

Quick phone pic
F147D4DA-37F3-4990-9607-1FD07FA3BBAE.jpeg


Ive got currently 10 adults in this set up making babies all the other one gone in the display and LFS for credit.
Sorry, but can I ask you, to make photo of your Berghia vessel Please?
I want to see what and how you manage it there, not only some berghia taken out (on the video), Please that may be very helpful to me, as my one which is near 3 weeks old setup, I see the berghia daily deposit spirals with eggs (from 5 for the last 3 days I got probably 9-11 spirals with eggs), but from the oldest spiral (over 2 weeks) left the egg shells/capsules only, and still can't notice any berghia baby in the tank. Now I'm not sure do I do something wrong, or is it there any parasite which can and kill them ?!
I'm changing the water manually with tank water, which I filter with probably 0.1 micron, not to get deposits from the DT and to prevent amphipods etc...
 

Hubsbubs

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Thanks. I'll try. My Berghias will be happy :)
 

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