aiptasia in sump

fishgate

Active member
I have two pieces of live rock in the center section of my sump. Probably 8 pounds each. Both have Aiptasia on them. I saw one small Aiptasia in my DT about 6 months ago and got rid of it with AiptasiaX and none seen since. If I carefully remove both of these rocks what are the chances I will rid my tank of Aiptasia? I have a total of around 80lbs of rock in the tank (125g) plus the substrate. Removing these 2 rocks should not cause a big issue right?
 

whosurcaddie

New member
One option since its for your sump is to take the rocks out and burn the two aptasia with a torch. They don't have Palytoxin so there is not any danger of the fumes. It is still better to do this outside in an open area. Just burn them off scrub the area where they were located and pop the rocks back in. You want to use a butane torch.

Two 8 pound rocks is a significant area for bacteria so I would be hesitant of just tossing them.
 

HumbleFish

Dr. Fish
Premium Member
What's your (fish) bioload like? Removing 16 lbs of rock in the sump shouldn't be a big deal if you have 80 lbs in the tank. Unless possibly you're overstocked on fish.
 

fishgate

Active member
I only have 5 fish plus CUC. 2 clowns, 1 powder blue tang and 2 cardinals.

There are more than 2 Aiptasia. One rock has at least 5 or 6 big ones.

Instead of burning, can I just put them in a bucket of vinegar or bleach solution? I don't want to leave them out for good and I want to make sure I get them all.
 

HumbleFish

Dr. Fish
Premium Member
I only have 5 fish plus CUC. 2 clowns, 1 powder blue tang and 2 cardinals.

You are fine with taking the 2 rocks out.

Instead of burning, can I just put them in a bucket of vinegar or bleach solution? I don't want to leave them out for good and I want to make sure I get them all.

Both should get the job done. Personally, I would soak in vinegar (less toxic), rinse thoroughly, and then let the rocks air dry. Obviously, it will be like adding new (dry) rock to your aquarium afterwards. So, maybe add back 1 rock at a time - a couple of weeks apart.
 

Crooked Reef

New member
As long as they haven't spread to any other rocks it will rid your tank. Rock is very porous and some of the other rock may have baby aiptasia in their crevices. I would still pull the rock and vinegar soak them. It is your best bet.
 

JoelA7

New member
Another tactic is to note where they are remove the rock and use a good pair of wire cutters -- what I always call nippers -- to crunch through the rock underneath the aiptasia. Live rock being limestone is very soft and this is not hard. Just toss the little chunk of rock and voila, critter gone.
 

AZBigJohn

Usually confused...
use Aptasia X on the aptasia you can see, and keep after it every few days, as more will spring up after you kill the large, dominant ones, and the smaller ones can get out from under them. Any time you move rock with aptasia around, you risk lacerating a stalk, and sending aptasia seedlings/spores/whatever the word is into your DT.

I did just that, and fought a long, wide-spread battle over the far reaches of my DT, when it was initially confined to a small corner of my sump.

Just my two cents, however. Everyone has an opinion, and a story.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Honestly, I almost always end up with a few down there, but they don't come upstairs too often, and my lone pep shrimp just waits for them as treats. Don't sweat aiptasia, unless you have fish that eat shrimp.
 

fishgate

Active member
BTW: These all showed up after I got a ball of cheato from a forum member. I have added nothing else to my tank since and never saw a single one of these before that.

I don't think I can AiptasiaX them they are very large and on the side of the rock. I'll snap some pics tonight before I remove them.

I am going to remove the two rocks and see if I can get ahead of these things. I think I will just carefully lift them out and into a bucket of vinegar solution for a few days. Is 20% vinegar enough?
 

Pife

New member
I would think about putting a shrimp down there to eat them before I killed off my live rock. I have them in my sump and not in my dt. I also have a file fish that I is an apitasia assassin.
 

Crooked Reef

New member
Not a bad idea to put a couple of peppermint shrimp in there. If you make them hungry enough they will eat them. They may however release spores when the shrimp attack them and the spores may get into the display.
 
Top