Vermetid Snails- The undefeatable pest

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GUYS….

I’m very happy to report that in 10 months I have seen not even 1 Vermetid snail! Was gonna start a new thread, but figured I’d just post here.

I THINK I ACTUALLY FREAKING DID IT!!!

It’s cost me Dino’s, several headaches, and a weak biome trying to keep them out, but I think I finally did it. I will be posting video of the tank very soon and I’ll pan the camera everywhere close up so you guys can see.


Was it worth it…ahh…Yes….but no. I’ll never do it again. Live rock from here out. Dino’s are devastated for any reef and have significantly slowed my tank down as it needs constant attention daily, or should I say it did for months, but now we are finally getting somewhere and they are suppressed and almost gone.


Super pumped that I don’t have Vermetid snails coming up through the base of my dang Acro’s! :)

A2AA5175-9B3B-419C-B34E-EAD656AEC93E.jpeg
 

Alexopora

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GUYS….

I’m very happy to report that in 10 months I have seen not even 1 Vermetid snail! Was gonna start a new thread, but figured I’d just post here.

I THINK I ACTUALLY FREAKING DID IT!!!

It’s cost me Dino’s, several headaches, and a weak biome trying to keep them out, but I think I finally did it. I will be posting video of the tank very soon and I’ll pan the camera everywhere close up so you guys can see.


Was it worth it…ahh…Yes….but no. I’ll never do it again. Live rock from here out. Dino’s are devastated for any reef and have significantly slowed my tank down as it needs constant attention daily, or should I say it did for months, but now we are finally getting somewhere and they are suppressed and almost gone.


Super pumped that I don’t have Vermetid snails coming up through the base of my dang Acro’s! :)

A2AA5175-9B3B-419C-B34E-EAD656AEC93E.jpeg
Congratulations!! Beautiful acro you got there.
Just wanted to add from personal experience, if your sps especially acros, monti or porites are stable and happy, they’ll actually outgrow and suffocate vermitids. Its quite interesting when that happens. The little stub protruding from the branch (which is a dead acro branch encrusted over by my porites) is actually an overgrown vermitid snail. It lost in the end.
 

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Congratulations!! Beautiful acro you got there.
Just wanted to add from personal experience, if your sps especially acros, monti or porites are stable and happy, they’ll actually outgrow and suffocate vermitids. Its quite interesting when that happens. The little stub protruding from the branch (which is a dead acro branch encrusted over by my porites) is actually an overgrown vermitid snail. It lost in the end.

They honestly don’t hurt anything in the tank in most cases, but for me they’ve always drove me nuts. In the future if I ever start a new tank I will just live with them. Too much work trying to avoid them. I literally scraped every snail and then brushed them all with a wire brush. I’ve avoided certain LPS just because I knew they would bring them in. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to see them.

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Midrats

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GUYS….

I’m very happy to report that in 10 months I have seen not even 1 Vermetid snail! Was gonna start a new thread, but figured I’d just post here.

I THINK I ACTUALLY FREAKING DID IT!!!

It’s cost me Dino’s, several headaches, and a weak biome trying to keep them out, but I think I finally did it. I will be posting video of the tank very soon and I’ll pan the camera everywhere close up so you guys can see.


Was it worth it…ahh…Yes….but no. I’ll never do it again. Live rock from here out. Dino’s are devastated for any reef and have significantly slowed my tank down as it needs constant attention daily, or should I say it did for months, but now we are finally getting somewhere and they are suppressed and almost gone.


Super pumped that I don’t have Vermetid snails coming up through the base of my dang Acro’s! :)

A2AA5175-9B3B-419C-B34E-EAD656AEC93E.jpeg
What was your solution?
 
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What was your solution?

There’s really no solution. Just being super anal and meticulous about what you add to the tank.

For example, deplugged and debased every acro. scraped every snail shell & brushed with a wire brush. Anal stuff like that. Even then you just got to get lucky, and it appears after 10 months that I did get lucky.
 

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GUYS….

I’m very happy to report that in 10 months I have seen not even 1 Vermetid snail! Was gonna start a new thread, but figured I’d just post here.

I THINK I ACTUALLY FREAKING DID IT!!!

It’s cost me Dino’s, several headaches, and a weak biome trying to keep them out, but I think I finally did it. I will be posting video of the tank very soon and I’ll pan the camera everywhere close up so you guys can see.


Was it worth it…ahh…Yes….but no. I’ll never do it again. Live rock from here out. Dino’s are devastated for any reef and have significantly slowed my tank down as it needs constant attention daily, or should I say it did for months, but now we are finally getting somewhere and they are suppressed and almost gone.


Super pumped that I don’t have Vermetid snails coming up through the base of my dang Acro’s! :)

A2AA5175-9B3B-419C-B34E-EAD656AEC93E.jpeg
GUYS….

I’m very happy to report that in 10 months I have seen not even 1 Vermetid snail! Was gonna start a new thread, but figured I’d just post here.

I THINK I ACTUALLY FREAKING DID IT!!!

It’s cost me Dino’s, several headaches, and a weak biome trying to keep them out, but I think I finally did it. I will be posting video of the tank very soon and I’ll pan the camera everywhere close up so you guys can see.


Was it worth it…ahh…Yes….but no. I’ll never do it again. Live rock from here out. Dino’s are devastated for any reef and have significantly slowed my tank down as it needs constant attention daily, or should I say it did for months, but now we are finally getting somewhere and they are suppressed and almost gone.


Super pumped that I don’t have Vermetid snails coming up through the base of my dang Acro’s! :)

A2AA5175-9B3B-419C-B34E-EAD656AEC93E.jpeg
 
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radiata

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Hi Reefahholic,

Congratulations on your apparent reprieve. I'm just wondering if your approach included your removing each rock in your reef, examining each rock for this snail, and then physically eliminating each snail (multiple times if necessary). (If so, I really, really certainly wish I could do that!) My tank is a 1st floor 180G DT (along with an assorted attachment of 135G, 70G, 80G and 80g units in my basement).

WHAT I REALLY NEED A BIOLOGICAL CONSUMER OF VERMITIDS! (OR, EVEN A CHEMICAL ELIMINATOR OF VERMITIDS!)

Otherwise Radiata's Law of Dynamic Aiptasia Entomology needs to be revised to include a Radita's Law of Dynamic Vermetus Entomology. (In either case the inclusion is for either the dynamically re-occurring Aiptsia or the dynamically re-occurring Vermetus.)

A simplification of the law is that "there is always one more Aiptasia" or "there is always one more Vermetid snail".
 
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Hi Reefahholic,

Congratulations on your apparent reprieve. I'm just wondering if your approach included your removing each rock in your reef, examining each rock for this snail, and then physically eliminating each snail (multiple times if necessary). (If so, I really, really certainly wish I could do that!) My tank is a 1st floor 180G DT (along with an assorted attachment of 135G, 70G, 80G and 80g units in my basement).

WHAT I REALLY NEED A BIOLOGICAL CONSUMER OF VERMITIDS! (OR, EVEN A CHEMICAL ELIMINATOR OF VERMITIDS!)

Otherwise Radiata's Law of Dynamic Aiptasia Entomology needs to be revised to include a Radita's Law of Dynamic Vermetus Entomology. (In either case the inclusion is for either the dynamically re-occurring Aiptsia or the dynamically re-occurring Vermetus.)

A simplification of the law is that "there is always one more Aiptasia" or "there is always one more Vermetid snail".

Once they get in, it’s basically impossible to get them out. I don’t know of one person that has. The best thing you can do is don’t ever let them in. However, like I mentioned above, it’s not really worth the time and effort. Plus you set yourself up for a weak Biome (probably for 2 years) and the very strong potential of getting Dino’s. IMO, just embrace them and go with good quality LR.

If you insist on being anal (like I was) and trying to prevent them, and you want to go through the time, effort, headaches, etc..to keep them out, just look at everything going in under strong magnification or a light Microscope. Only introduce live Acro tissue. No plugs, No LPS, No snails…basically nothing that they’re commonly found on. See how ridiculous that sounds, but that is basically what I did. They burrow into the shell of snails (see that pic above). I actually threw those snails away that were burrowed into. Not worth the risk.

My plan was to never introduce any LR or LPS. I broke my rule of no LR when the Dinos got bad and added 10lbs. Thought for sure I’d see one pop up later, but never saw one anywhere. I also broke my LPS rule and added two Goni’s and a Frogspawn, because after added the 10lbs of LR I figured my dream of No Vermetid’s was over. However, I still carefully looked them over and removed the few they had and then glued/putty any holes. One I actually covered the entire base with glue and then put putty over the entire base.

If you just setup an Acro tank and dead rock, it’s doable. Definitely not impossible. The frags must be searched for any dead spots or tissue. The snails love attaching to any dead spots, other snails, LPS skeleton, etc.

I’ll never buy white dry rock again. It’s just way too sterile. I’d go with LR and then use a weak muriatic acid dip, and soak in freshwater afterwards. That will kill all the pest and worms. Then rinse well and let it cure in saltwater for a month or two with heater and good flow. That rock would perform much better (progress much faster) than your typical white dry Marco type rock because it’s already aged. Even though it will be dead (with no life) it will still outperform the white Marco dry rock that has a lot of clay content in some of the rock.

So yeah, is it really worth it? NO. Would I do it again? NO.

The two major pests I got from the LR were Bryopsis and Bubble algae. The Bryopsis I nuked with Fluconazole and almost nuke my entire tank with it. The bubble algae I removed every bubble initially, but it can be microscopic and tiny little spores pop up later that you’ll never see initially and some are fairly deep inside the rock. Super stealthy for sure. I keep pulling the rocks when I see one and strategically grab them or pop them off with a tooth pick careful not to pop the bubble. You can do it inside the tank but you need a precise tool and good suction. Little by little I’ve worked this tank to get me the least amount of issues in the longterm. What is a tremendous headache now, may pay off later. To be honest it’s already starting to pay off now. Not much in there I need to worry about. No Aiptasia, no nothing really.
 
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I haven’t read the entire thread, but someone posted they used reef snow to eradicate them. When they pulled in their slime, the reef snow sealed their entrance. If this has already been discussed, my apologies TL;DR….

It works and I have a YouTube video on how to make the DIY Marine Snow for cheap. SunnyX recipe.

I think the PowerFilter will work wonders also by pulling their food source out of the water column. If I had some I’d certainly try it. Same concept and Marine Snow or you could even combine the two.
 

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They are preventable IME, but by the time you do this for every coral, it might take the fun out of it (if tank is large enough). Only method I've found to 100% prevent them is to only put live flesh in the tank. Remove all rock and plugs from frags where possible. If any portion of rock or skeleton remains, use a high power microscope to inspect and scrape away all micro vermitds. I also resorted to covering portions of rock or skeleton that weren't removable with epoxy.

And I'm not kidding about the microscope... If you try to do this without you will eventually miss some. Check out a torch skeleton (or the like) under a microscope and you will see a good amount of micro vermitds that are completely invisible to the eye. I've done this on a frag tank only because of I was selling out of it and wanted to try and provide truly pest free coral. It works but isn't fun if you're dealing with a lot of coral. I had millions of them in my 165 ULN Triton system - didn't bother anything really and were mostly under rocks and out of sight. The big ones are a different story, those do mess with coral health IME but never seen more than a few and are easy to take care of.
 
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They are preventable IME, but by the time you do this for every coral, it might take the fun out of it (if tank is large enough). Only method I've found to 100% prevent them is to only put live flesh in the tank. Remove all rock and plugs from frags where possible. If any portion of rock or skeleton remains, use a high power microscope to inspect and scrape away all micro vermitds. I also resorted to covering portions of rock or skeleton that weren't removable with epoxy.

And I'm not kidding about the microscope... If you try to do this without you will eventually miss some. Check out a torch skeleton (or the like) under a microscope and you will see a good amount of micro vermitds that are completely invisible to the eye. I've done this on a frag tank only because of I was selling out of it and wanted to try and provide truly pest free coral. It works but isn't fun if you're dealing with a lot of coral. I had millions of them in my 165 ULN Triton system - didn't bother anything really and were mostly under rocks and out of sight. The big ones are a different story, those do mess with coral health IME but never seen more than a few and are easy to take care of.

I agree with CMO 100%. It’s doable and the easiest is way is a Acro dominated system where only live healthy Acro tissue is introduced and dry rock. It does come with some huge risks.

For anybody that wants to be super anal and try it like I did, watch this video I’ll link below before you do. You will be setting yourself up for a very weak Biome and 1.5 years of headaches. After that it’s all good and you will probably feel it’s worth it. Until then it’s a big nightmare. Ask yourself is it worth it to avoid every single pest or do you want a thriving reef early on.? I added live sand and multiple species of bacteria, cured the rock for a full year (you can see that it’s documented) yet I still ended up with Dino’s. It was super stressful every time I added something to the tank because I had to look at everything under magnification and under the microscope. LPS are loaded with snails. Every plug, almost every base of every coral. So much hassle trying to remove everything.

Right now I only have Bubble algae (2 bubbles) that I’ll strategically remove (careful to not pop the bubbles), and I think that is the last two. They are also more microscopic than Vermetid snails and super stealthy which is why they always get in. Haven’t seen a Vermetid in 10 months (the life of the tank so far), no Aiptasia, I nuked Bryopsis with Fluconazole, but almost nuked all the coral with it. You can read about that on Facebook book or I can post it here if anybody is interested.

My dry rock is cursed, and I’ve had about 7 previous Dry rock systems all with Marco. I’m definitely not new to Marco dry rock. This one could win an award for being the most difficult demanding system of all time! It’s ok though…I’ll be out of the first year shortly and it’s Rainbows and Butterflies from there on out! HaHa!!

My recommendation to anybody thinking about trying to go Vermetid or completely pest free. Watch this video first and understand the risks:




Don’t do it. Get some good quality LR w/o a lot of macros on it. Make sure it’s in the DT and not the sump. The biome hangs around the rock itself. Pick everything off you can and QT it. Try to remove all the bad pests possible, and then put it into the tank and deal with things as they pop up that threaten the corals or health of the system. Otherwise just live with the pests and embrace the diversity.


If you don’t want to do LR or worry about a ton of pests. Do a mild muriatic acid bath with the rock. That will nuke all the Vermetid snails and other undesirables. Then rinse well in RO water and let it dry. The rock will be completely dead and you can start a 1-2 month dark cure to get the dead organics out. After that, the rock will be ready to go and it will be ahead of regular bleach white dry rock. It should not give you much problems, because it’s already aged even though all the bacteria and life is dead. The water is able to penetrate aged rock so much easier than clay textured Marco dry rock that hasn’t been in the ocean and soaked recently.
 

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I was starting what looked like the beginning of an infestation of the v snails in my nano. Added 3 bumblebee snails into my system. I have to disagree with OP about them not working. They’re slow, like slow slow but, letting them do their thing, after a couple of months…even the vermatid that was happily growing on my powerhead is gone. They’re slow moving snails and seem to be a waste but, I no longer see any of the pests.
 

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I was starting what looked like the beginning of an infestation of the v snails in my nano. Added 3 bumblebee snails into my system. I have to disagree with OP about them not working. They’re slow, like slow slow but, letting them do their thing, after a couple of months…even the vermatid that was happily growing on my powerhead is gone. They’re slow moving snails and seem to be a waste but, I no longer see any of the pests.
Depends on the size of the system and level of infestation you're trying to eradicate IMO. Yes, if you catch them when there are only a few it's easier to tackle and the snails can work, but there is a point of no return with vermitids in my experience. There's no reasonable amount of bumble bee snails that could have eradicated the vermitids coverage the undersides of all my rock in a 165 gallon. They would repopulate faster than the snails could take them out.
 
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I took a hands off approach basically just let the outbreak happen. Then again i do notice that as my tanks mature and pass the one year mark, the vermitids gradually disappeared. But they are still there, just under control. I continue to feed my tank as normal since I do have fish and crustaceans (shrimps and crabs). But thats really about it.
 

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I found buble be snails have worked. When I staryed I had no clue about pest. Just tosed everything in. 3 years in I now know better. I scrape snd scratch all the plugs. And dip everything. 2 different kinda dips. So I had one of my lfs order me 100 bubble be snails. He gave me a great deal. 30 cents a snail. Well 1 yesr sfter I dropped those in I don't see any.
 
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