Aptasia Experiments

jnowell

New member
Here's the deal, I have a 100g reef in my living room, I got a 125 and am finishing up the woodwork and will transfer everything soon.

Problem, the 100 and sump (55g) are COVERED in aptasia, upwards of 75, many of them full grown. I am raising berghia's so I needed an aptasia farm, and as long as I keep them away from everything else, they really don't do any harm.

Problem is, I now have an old 30g set up as my aptasia farm, and I want to COMPLETELY rid the reef of them at the time of transfer....without killing the biofilter bacteria of course :D I've had some luck with the combination of hypersalinity coupled with a heavy formalin dose...the bacteria survives, but I got a sizeable diatom bloom, so a good portion of it got nuked with the aptasia.

Anyone have any ideas? Methyline blue also worked, but it took weeks to kill the aptasia, and stained the rocks blue. I have a perfect lab for trying any ideas, a 55g with nothing in it, cycled and ready...not to mention plenty of "test subjects" muhahaha.

Even if I kill some of the bacteria, I can live with that, I just don't want to kill off all the anaerobes and destroy the natural denitrification within the rocks. I have places to hold the fish and corals, but i seriously don't want ANY aptasia making it into the 125. I have (and have used) all of the "standard" aptasia killing products and animals, but none of them will for sure give me a tank free of the little pests. I'm thinking something along the lines of a bath that I can run all the rock through that will send the aptasia to it's death without destroying the bacteria in the rock.

Any Ideas? Was that long winded enough? :D

Jason
 

Travis L. Stevens

New member
I'm afraid that without the help of Berghia nudibranchs, you are out of luck. And even then, it couldn't garuntee you a 100% success rate. As far as getting rid of Aiptasia without hurting the bacteria on your rocks, I think there would be no possible way. Technically, even when you inject an aiptasia with something, there is spill over that will harm the effected area of the excess. Injection would be safest, but there is no way you could get them all.
 

Carp1959

New member
I have some Blennies that i collected in galveston, tx and they completly take care of aptasia. Both my buddy and i put the blennies at the same time he had more aptasia than I did and we both had no aptasia until his died when he went out of town.

The other people in houston on MARSH say that they are moller miller blennies. but i have my doubts that mine are.

Justin
 

Carp1959

New member
All I know is that i had aptasia. I added these blennies. I have no more aptasia. I did nothing else to try to get rid of it.


In my buddies tank within 2-3 weeks of his blennies dieing he had aptasia again.

picture3gd.jpg
 

bchristie

New member
The blenny is indeed Scartella cristata, the molly miller, they are quite abundant on the jetties and groins along the beachfront in Galveston, where they feed on a small local anenome, Aiptasiomorpha texaensis, and have been known to feed on Aiptaisa spp. in reef tanks.

The same habitat in Galveston that is home to Aiptasiomorpha texaensis and thus Scartella cristata, is also home to Lysmata wurdemanni, the peppermint shrimp, which is also a useful Aiptasia-vore.

One thing I would caution you on is to make sure you have a fishing liscence when collecting L. wurdemanni or S. cristata in Galveston...the local game wardens show no mercy and will take your car and everything else in your possesion if you get caught without one!
 

jnowell

New member
Interesting, especially since I have a fishing license, and will be in Houston in a few weeks :D Need to get that diving gear wet again anyhow (+ a saltwater stamp) :D

I still think there has to be a way to kill the aptasia chemically or otherwise without completely destroying all of the biofiltration of the rocks. I guess I can stick to hypersalinity and Formalin. It's neat to have a blenny eat it, but I don't want it PERIOD in the new tank. I think there could be a market for breeding those blennies too...hmmmm.

Jason
 

Carp1959

New member
unless somehow i got all males when i collected like 20 of them the don't like each other for the most part. Had them in a smaller tank to see which ones would survive before throwing them in to the 55 and they constantly chased each other around . If there is a way to sex them i would like to know. I have a spare Hex tank that i could use to try to breed them



Justin
 

fppf

New member
I bought over 100 pounds of rock from a guy that was tearing down. It was really cheap but totally covered with the pest.

I rotated the rock through a 20 gallon QT tank with 6 ture pepperment shrimp in it. I did about 20-25 pounds at a time, about 4 to 5 pieces. Left it in there for a week or 2 until I saw no more aptasia and then waited until I started seeing the shrimp come out during the day. When they started to come out during the day that was a sign there was no more food for them to scavenge and they where really hungery. Then I would put in the next batch and the would feast again. When I was all done with the rock I put them in my main display for cleaning crew and I have never seen any aptasia yet.
 

jnowell

New member
Fppf - You'll be VERY lucky if it doesn't come back. Pepps are nice, but they almost never get it all. How long has it been since you cleaned the rock? BTW - I have 4 pepps in this tank, they hardly make a dent...but they are getting to scavenge other foods too.

Justin, No clue on how to sex Blennies, but i'm planning a trip to Galveston soon. I've heard there are several pipefish species there as well, have you ever found any?

Jason
 

Carp1959

New member
yeah i've found the pipe fish in the sargasum. Which there was ALOT of it down there fathers day weekend. can get lots of small shrimp in the weed also for food for the rest of the tanks Let me know when you are going down i need to get some Peps and some feeder shrimp

Justin
 

jnowell

New member
I KNOW I'll be there the weekend of MACNA, but I'll probably hit Galveston either over July 4th weekend, or sometime later in July. I'll let you know, I'm bringing my dive gear this time, so I'll do a little shore collecting, and then try my hand underwater too. If you're a diver, I'll be looking for a dive buddy!

Jason
 

fppf

New member
I did this about 8 months ago and still clear and free.

The key is to have nothing else in the tank to eat. It is a little cruel in away but would you eat that stuff given a choice? Yes I agree just throwing in something that eats it wont solve the problem. Just like a few cleaner shrimp wont cure ich.

The KEY to my method and success is rotating small amounts of rock through a small tank with a lot of cleaners.
 

jnowell

New member
Ahh, that makes more sense...but I'm still not sure I'd strust them completely to ENSURE that it never came back. I may let them have a crach at the rocks with corals on them.

I think i'm just going to revert to killing everything, including the bacteria. I will be severly upset if I went to all this trouble to transfer tanks, and ended up with aptasia again. I might give the pepps a chance at a few rocks and then move them to a fry tank to watch for a few weeks. Wasn;t planning on this taking a YEAR, but if it does, so be it i guess.

Thanks, any other ideas?

Jason
 

saltyunderground

In Memoriam
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7590481#post7590481 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by bchristie
The blenny is indeed Scartella cristata, the molly miller, they are quite abundant on the jetties and groins along the beachfront in Galveston, where they feed on a small local anenome, Aiptasiomorpha texaensis, and have been known to feed on Aiptaisa spp. in reef tanks.

The same habitat in Galveston that is home to Aiptasiomorpha texaensis and thus Scartella cristata, is also home to Lysmata wurdemanni, the peppermint shrimp, which is also a useful Aiptasia-vore.

One thing I would caution you on is to make sure you have a fishing liscence when collecting L. wurdemanni or S. cristata in Galveston...the local game wardens show no mercy and will take your car and everything else in your possesion if you get caught without one!
Do you know if this blennie is otherwise reef safe? I have heard of some blennies that eat clams, etc.
 

Travis L. Stevens

New member
I've watched one in a store that we were going to get when we had a tank up for many months (~4 months). It was a model citizen. It did not pick at any of the many corals in the tank. It did occassionally perch itself on top of various corals which slightly aggitated them. I didn't see it eat Aiptasia though since there weren't any in the tank.
 
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