What is the WORST pest in the hobby?



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Apr 18, 2020
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There are a lot of terrible pests out there in this hobby we all know and love... but I want to hear from YOU!

What is the worst pest you have dealt with so far in this hobby?

If I had to choose I would say Aiptasia... I have never had a full blown pest break out in a tank of mine, but I have dealt with some here and there and by far have found them to be the worst thing to deal with, and they come back very easily if not eradicated completely...

Lazys Coral House


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Mar 11, 2018
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Mexico, Mo
I guess I've been lucky enough not to experience problems with many of the worst pests.

For me, I had more problems with mojano's than aptaisia. I've always kept peppermint shrimp in my 125, and they've done some good with the aptaisia, but wouldn't touch the mojano's. When I put a couple of matted file fish in the tank, they made quick work of the mojano's but it took a couple of months before they got interested in the aptaisia. Now there's no sign of either in the tank. Been like this for about a year.

I also keep a foxface and emerald crabs in the tank. When the tank was young, I had a real problem with bubble algae. Even with the BA predators, it seemed like the BA would take over. Over time, it seems to have dissipated. I can still see it in the nooks and crannies, and it tends to build up a little bit on the weirs and return nozzles, but it's not a problem for me, and hasn't been for years. My wife actually thinks it's pretty.


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Sep 20, 2020
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Waycross, Georgia
Aiptasia. Bristle worms would be a close second. I don't mind a few, but the amount I have is horrible. I trap them and put them in other places where they would be of more use at least once a week.


REEF Techno-Geek
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Jan 24, 2017
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Well I had Asterina Starfish. Hundreds.

Got a Harlequin Shrimp few weeks ago.

The Asterina's are almost all gone (few dozen left). Now I'm worried about the Harlequin Shrimp starving when he get the last one. Do Asterina Starfish do damage? No idea. I just had to many. Will the tank now stuffer some symptom without them? (like algae grown on rock). We'll see.

I do have Aptasia and I need them (wish I had more growin). They grow in my Sump and make their way to my DT where a eager copperband butterfly hunts down the Aptasia sprouts all day and night. It's a double edge sword in some ways. A year ago the prevous copperband died (probably starved). Soon and he was gone, the Aptasia outbreak took off. Till the next copperband went in.

Bristle worms are in all my Tanks. Never out of control.

But you missed a couple of pests I hate. VERMITID Snails. I've had them a few time and I'll hunt their webs to their location till I get every one. I've see their web do damage to SPS expectially when their are small frags and don't have the height, thus get stung but the Vermitid web.

The 2nd Pest I have in one of my tanks I can't eliminate. COLONIAL HYDRIODS. Nasty small pests that spout up all over the rocks. Looks awful when the take over a rockscape. I tried treatments like Fenbendazole, but it really doesn't kill them completly. I got them under control by no longer SPRAY FEEDING the Corals. Never saw them for over a year+ and forget they were there. Few weeks ago I started Aminos/Coral food. They showed up instantly.
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Oct 25, 2018
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Georgia OTP
In order of my personal experience?

  1. Aiptasia
  2. Peppermint Shrimp

Once the Peppermint shrimp ate all the aiptasia, they started killing my snails and occasionally some coral polyps. Both aiptasia and peppermint shrimp caused me bad anxiety about the tank. So yeah... those are my two worst pests. I do have bristleworms but they never cause problems or get too big.
Top Shelf Aquatics


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Jan 15, 2020
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Aiptasia are barely a problem nowadays, you only ever hear about people putting in work or predators to get rid of them, never really about people restarting their tank or giving up entirely because of them anymore.

All the things you listed just vary in how annoying it is to deal with them, but you can deal with them, so they hardly qualify as the worst.

I'd say a good contender are fish attacking blood sucking isopods, nothing you can really do besides going fallow for a year or more, trying to catch them every night basically forever, or restarting the tank

Maybe coral diseases leading to stunted growth forever

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