Vermetid Snails in "no risk" Coralline Algae Bottles - BBW

OP
CMO

CMO

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
1,684
Location
Orange County CA
So I fished out as many of the rock pellets as I could from what came in the bottles. After putting them under the scope I found they're loaded with worms and bugs (which I would have preferred to put through a dip...). Mostly these black worms though - anyone know if these are nice worms?

 

Jeeperz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
472
Reaction score
350
I bought a couple bumblebee snails a year or two ago. Only one is still alive. The only time I see it on the sand is when it's going to a different rock. I also had vermatid snails. Crushed as many as I could find every time I saw them but there were some I couldn't get to. Now there are none. I assume the bumblebee snail ate them. I don't even see the remains of any tubes. Maybe my cleaner shrimp eats them. When I crushed the tubes he would come over and eat/pick at them.
 

neilp2006

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
3,275
Reaction score
5,092
Well, honestly, this is extremely frustrating.

I can only hope that their cons are from a fish-free system, because there is NO WAY IM QTing CORALINE ALGAE!! That just seems like a bit too far.

I was planning on dumping 4 bottles into my 180 once I get the turf algae scrubbed out. Tank is a year old and I don’t have a single fleck of coralline. Mainly because I have purposefully not added anything without QT first, and I haven’t added anything that had any coralline on it.

This is kinda disappointing.
 

Reefahholic

Reef Junkie T.V.
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
3,376
Reaction score
2,552
Location
Houston, TX
I know CMO. This is one meticulous guy. Great reefer. I believe what he says.

FWIW....my tank is infested with Vermetid's CMO. You can live with them, but I can tell you that I'll never start a tank with live rock ever again.
 
OP
CMO

CMO

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
1,684
Location
Orange County CA
I know CMO. This is one meticulous guy. Great reefer. I believe what he says.

FWIW....my tank is infested with Vermetid's CMO. You can live with them, but I can tell you that I'll never start a tank with live rock ever again.
Yeah I might have OCD for real haha.

I no longer believe it is possible to keep vermetids out completely unless you use 100% dry rock and only introduce fresh cut SPS or other coral with any exposed skeleton or rock having been completely sterilized (peroxide etc).

This is based on some pretty thorough analysis with the scope. Even after an extreme level of dremel brushing and scrapping of rock / skeletal tissue there still existed tons of microscope vermetids that were so small you barely see them even with a scope (the piece looks white and spotless to the eye and even under scope at first glance).

I have had vermetids in my tanks pretty much my entire reefing experience and agree they don't really cause issue (at least the small ones). I have seen larger ones cause issues with neighboring corals but those are rare and easy to spot treat.

The only reason I tried so hard to keep them out this time is because I was embarking on a new aquaculture business venture and trying to progress the level or coral quality available out there by providing truly a pest free product in every definition of the word. I would never try this for a personal hobby tank.

I was in fact doing as I said above. Only putting in fresh cut sps and fully sterilizing any and all exposed live rock or coral skeleton (including scrubbing with peroxide and dremel brushing every snail that went into the tank) . While I'm confident this approach would have worked, I have since given up on this for many reasons, one of which is obvious herein that I relied on the claims of a 3rd party which turned out to be false. Funny story though this was not my only experience with false claims, I also bought other "clean" macro algae product from another retailer after this incident and too was shipped live rock covered in vermetids (this time the big nasty kind too) .

Ultimately I basically came to the conclusion that the time and efforts involved to truly keep a tank free of things like vermetids would make it not worth doing (it would ruin the fun). But maybe there's someone out that that enjoys torture and will pick up where I left off. Haha

Having said this, I think the honest thing for sellers of "pest free" reef products to do would be to just disclose what their definition of a "pest" actually is as meant by the marketing claim. To me the way this product was described in its marketing lead me to believe there was zero possibility of any life beyond algae being introduced.

Sincerely,

Crazy guy with microscope
 

Reefahholic

Reef Junkie T.V.
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
3,376
Reaction score
2,552
Location
Houston, TX
Yeah I might have OCD for real haha.

I no longer believe it is possible to keep vermetids out completely unless you use 100% dry rock and only introduce fresh cut SPS or other coral with any exposed skeleton or rock having been completely sterilized (peroxide etc).

This is based on some pretty thorough analysis with the scope. Even after an extreme level of dremel brushing and scrapping of rock / skeletal tissue there still existed tons of microscope vermetids that were so small you barely see them even with a scope (the piece looks white and spotless to the eye and even under scope at first glance).

I have had vermetids in my tanks pretty much my entire reefing experience and agree they don't really cause issue (at least the small ones). I have seen larger ones cause issues with neighboring corals but those are rare and easy to spot treat.

The only reason I tried so hard to keep them out this time is because I was embarking on a new aquaculture business venture and trying to progress the level or coral quality available out there by providing truly a pest free product in every definition of the word. I would never try this for a personal hobby tank.

I was in fact doing as I said above. Only putting in fresh cut sps and fully sterilizing any and all exposed live rock or coral skeleton (including scrubbing with peroxide and dremel brushing every snail that went into the tank) . While I'm confident this approach would have worked, I have since given up on this for many reasons, one of which is obvious herein that I relied on the claims of a 3rd party which turned out to be false. Funny story though this was not my only experience with false claims, I also bought other "clean" macro algae product from another retailer after this incident and too was shipped live rock covered in vermetids (this time the big nasty kind too) .

Ultimately I basically came to the conclusion that the time and efforts involved to truly keep a tank free of things like vermetids would make it not worth doing (it would ruin the fun). But maybe there's someone out that that enjoys torture and will pick up where I left off. Haha

Having said this, I think the honest thing for sellers of "pest free" reef products to do would be to just disclose what their definition of a "pest" actually is as meant by the marketing claim. To me the way this product was described in its marketing lead me to believe there was zero possibility of any life beyond algae being introduced.

Sincerely,

Crazy guy with microscope
No doubt they are microscopic and will float around the water column and love to land on the base of hammers, candy canes, frag plugs, any dead tissue, etc. I think it is possible to keep them out, but like you said...only fresh cut SPS and you better QT EVERYTHING coming in for 6 months or get extremely lucky!

I have found that Emerald crabs will definitely help scrape them off the rocks, but the problem is that they eat acros and other corals as well. If you can find some that don't eat corals they will definitely clean your rocks very well.

I go through my tank and smash their tubes where they're visible in plain view. They don't like high light and seem to like dark areas under the rocks, but will pop up anywhere. They thrive in higher nutrients like Aiptasia. I've learned to live with them, but I will do my best to avoid them next time with all dry rock and only live coral tissue going into the tank that's been QT'ed.

We are keeping reef tanks and this is just part of it. Those that don't have any are lucky and will likely not avoid them forever. I can keep ICH out of a tank easier than Vermetids if that tells you anything. Probably at the top of my list for a annoying pest.
 

Reefahholic

Reef Junkie T.V.
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
3,376
Reaction score
2,552
Location
Houston, TX
BTW, Fish of Hex has them too and everybody I know around my area. LOL.

I really don't know how I avoided them in one of my tanks. I must have been super lucky.

If you avoid them for over 2-3 years, consider yourself a lottery winner.
 

Jeeperz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
472
Reaction score
350
Do you have any pics of the ones you can't see with your eyes? I'm wondering if I have some super tiny ones I can't see in my candy cane. I think my bumblebee snail ate all the ones I could see, as I don't see them anymore.
 

BloopFish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
436
Reaction score
314
All they said is that they'll try to make sure this is an isolated incident... but after the aiptasia in the chaeto Im not too sure about it.
 

BloopFish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
436
Reaction score
314
Not that it makes your scenario any better, but the rock that was in my bottle of Purple Helix was so white, it stood out against my rock and sand.
Supposedly the rock in the bottle is supposed to be an indicator of the viability of the bottle... that's quite unfortunate a dead on arrival bottle of coralline.
 

bacc2bacc

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
414
Reaction score
277
so no response from @AlgaeBarn on this matter? wouldn't one think this is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed as soon as possible? are we the customer of any importance to algae barn?
 

AlgaeBarn

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
853
Reaction score
1,287
Location
Denver, Colorado
so no response from @AlgaeBarn on this matter? wouldn't one think this is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed as soon as possible? are we the customer of any importance to algae barn?
@bacc2bacc I apologize about the delay, I thought I closed the loop on this with CMO, maybe I was mistaken. I have a response from ARC Reef (back in November). Essentially, they said the vermetid snail here is dead.

We looked through all our tanks and not one single snail anywhere or any undesirables so I'm still super puzzled on that one. The only thing I can think of is that we use rubble from our offshore reef its dried out for many months, then its thrown into a huge walk-in autoclave which increases the pour size of rocks for the coralline to populate. Then we add them to our isolated species grow out tanks here because coralline grows much faster on them then on fresh rock added. The autoclave usually turns shells into a powder but its shell could've been hardened over time if filled in by sediment or another organism so when it baked it was solid and didn't turn to ash. but no snail in the world could survive the process and a rare set of occurrences let his shell remain. That is the only viable conclusion we can draw. We have changed our inspection policy so the rock pieces get inspected when picked from the reef and again after the autoclave. We definitely appreciate you letting us know always as we are always looking to improve and perfect our products
 

BloopFish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
436
Reaction score
314
I'm not sure if I'm completely convinced because the original poster's vermetid snail shell looked pretty fresh and lively, I have a hard time believing it has been dried for many months... typically when you do that with multiple people makes me wary. Also, because of how hard it is for nearly anyone to keep vermetid snails out of their system due to their nearly invisible larval stage... and with how so many pests out there that are like that, I highly doubt any coralline product out their can be consistently guaranteed to be completely pest free.
 

Reefahholic

Reef Junkie T.V.
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
3,376
Reaction score
2,552
Location
Houston, TX
@bacc2bacc I apologize about the delay, I thought I closed the loop on this with CMO, maybe I was mistaken. I have a response from ARC Reef (back in November). Essentially, they said the vermetid snail here is dead.
I have one question. If there was a Vermetid snail "that was dead" how would this have entered the system with very strict quarantine practices? Doesn't "strict quarantine practices" mean you start with everything dead? Dry rock (like marco or man made rock), dry sand, artificial seawater, etc. Anything going in the system should be carefully inspected for months under microscopic examination and quarantined for months. Nothing with a dead Vermetid shell should have ever made it into this system. You only need one spore of coralline algae for it to repopulate and grow. That little spore of coralline algae is not hard to inspect under a microscope every week to make sure you didn't let anything slip through your fingers. This really makes me question your practices.

Can you elaborate more about how you started the "clean" Macro Algae and "no risk" Coralline Algae? Do you have qualified people developing these products?

***Our Macroalgae is Cleaned, Treated & Quarantined to ensure no unwanted parasites make it into your system. Balane Nitrates & Phosphates, Establish a Habitat for your Pods, and feed herbivorious livestock with excess.

***Coralline Algae in a Bottle is a truly unique product in that it is developed in a laboratory and contains live coralline algae spores (some products are nothing more than a mixture of calcium and magnesium, purporting to merely support coralline algae growth). Though heavily inoculated with beneficial microbes, Coralline Algae in a Bottle (unlike seed material scraped from someone else's rock) poses no risk of introducing pests or parasites. There is no easier and safer way to turn your fresh base rock into a palette of bright pinks and purples--just the way healthy, natural live reef rock looks like! See below for more information.
 

BloopFish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
436
Reaction score
314
I have one question. If there was a Vermetid snail "that was dead" how would this have entered the system with very strict quarantine practices? Doesn't "strict quarantine practices" mean you start with everything dead? Dry rock (like marco or man made rock), dry sand, artificial seawater, etc. Anything going in the system should be carefully inspected for months under microscopic examination and quarantined for months. Nothing with a dead Vermetid shell should have ever made it into this system. You only need one spore of coralline algae for it to repopulate and grow. That little spore of coralline algae is not hard to inspect under a microscope every week to make sure you didn't let anything slip through your fingers. This really makes me question your practices.

Can you elaborate more about how you started the "clean" Macro Algae and "no risk" Coralline Algae? Do you have qualified people developing these products?

***Our Macroalgae is Cleaned, Treated & Quarantined to ensure no unwanted parasites make it into your system. Balane Nitrates & Phosphates, Establish a Habitat for your Pods, and feed herbivorious livestock with excess.

***Coralline Algae in a Bottle is a truly unique product in that it is developed in a laboratory and contains live coralline algae spores (some products are nothing more than a mixture of calcium and magnesium, purporting to merely support coralline algae growth). Though heavily inoculated with beneficial microbes, Coralline Algae in a Bottle (unlike seed material scraped from someone else's rock) poses no risk of introducing pests or parasites. There is no easier and safer way to turn your fresh base rock into a palette of bright pinks and purples--just the way healthy, natural live reef rock looks like! See below for more information.
Like you, I feel as though this "laboratory" is not in the same standard as a typical chemical or biological industry laboratory or a university research laboratory. It's simply word marketing that makes the word "laboratory" lose colloquial meaning. The laboratory I would envision that would meet 99% of people's expectations are as you described. Get coralline sample that visually looks clean, then dip in MULTIPLE types of known dewormers and other coral dips. Then grow it out, then repeat this procedure multiple times, then ensure that the spores are clean under microscope. This fiasco could've been avoided if they simply dipped their coralline starter enough - vermetids are snails and would die in a dip with strong enough concentration.
 

What do you LOVE most about the hobby?

  • The Coral

    Votes: 212 28.3%
  • The Fish

    Votes: 129 17.2%
  • The Relationships

    Votes: 28 3.7%
  • The Equipment

    Votes: 19 2.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 26 3.5%
  • ALL OF THE ABOVE

    Votes: 336 44.8%

Online statistics

Members online
791
Guests online
5,807
Total visitors
6,598
Best reef aquarium LED lighting
Top