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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, with a recent release of a new season of Top Gear, my desire to build a new tank always seems to increase (the office tank was built while watching season 10), but I did not really need to start a new tank. However, my wife was thinking about a betta fish (freshwater) for her office so we looked at getting her set up... but she ended up with a indoor plant instead.

So with that "tank build" scrapped, I turned to a pest that turned up on a zoanthid colony I bought about two weeks ago. I small aiptasia pop up from one half of a small bivalve shell connected to the zoa colony. I picked the shell off (including the one aiptasia) and held it in a tupperware bowl for a day. I then decided to turn the would be betta tank into an aiptasia tank... and have an experiment with it. I want to see how fast the bugger spreads from one anemone to dozens. Here is the deal:

I will not keep the condition of the tank always in "good" conditions... like an absent minded reefer... but enought to generally support life.

I will feed the aiptasia(s) any time I feel like it.

The tank has a led "light" (a candle would put out more par) but it will be near my other tanks so there will be some spill over light.

I will nuke the tank (heat, bleach, iodine, salinity, kalk, pH, anything) from time to time just to see how resilient the anemone are and how fast they respond.

If you have an idea of what to do, let me know. Majanos might be next. I just want to experiment of how exactly tough these little aquarium pests are.

So here is the "build" project.

The tank


Finding space for the tank (tough to do without upsetting the wife)


Adding recycled sand (16oz to be exact)


The anemone... I have named it "alpha"


The tank with water


Anemone added (far left on the top of the rock... looks like a dot)


Please, if you have any ideas of what to test on these buggers let me know.
 

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Kid Reefer
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Stole my idea! Haha except I am looking for majanos that look nice. Maybe with my 3 gallon plastic tank I will try it out.
 

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I think you should test the various methods of killing the little buggers... from least likely success (joe's juice, lemon juice, ets. ) to more likely ( red sea aiptasia x, kalk paste, etc. ) to most likely (natural predators ie. berghia and peppermint shrimp) see what level worked. I bleached my rock once and still had some pop up from the same rocks months later!
I have a few open products I'd be willing to donate to "science"
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,750 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will definitely agree to test the aiptaisa cures... once I get a tankful of them. But first I have to see how fast one measly pest can cause so much heartache! But those fighting the good fight against these guys, it isnt not only an experiment... it is revenge.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dang Alpha can eat. I fed it three mysis shrips and it handled all three without an issue (along with some cyclopeeze) wow
 

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I've had joe's juice work at killing them about 3 years ago (100% success on first dose) and I've never seen peppermint shrimp touch them. Right now the only pest I have is one curlie q anemone but no majanoes or aiptasia.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have only had success with peppermint shrimp in the past. The search and destroy method with other treatments worked well when you could get to all of them... diffcult for the under the back ledge area.
 

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I've had joe's juice work at killing them about 3 years ago (100% success on first dose) and I've never seen peppermint shrimp touch them. Right now the only pest I have is one curlie q anemone but no majanoes or aiptasia.
You made sure they were true Peps and not Camel Shrimp right? They are often confused and Camels wont touch aiptasia. Peps have always worked for me.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I have fed Alpha again tonight... just to keep proper records. Although I am thinking that some tubastrea would be more rewarding to feed... oh well.... hummmm. The aiptasia moved slightly getting its foot deep into a crevice so this is where the pest gets dug into for a fight.

One good result of this experiment is that I made a aiptasia feeding device (turkey baster with some air line to extend the nozzle) and it works well. It also feeds other corals as well.
 

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You made sure they were true Peps and not Camel Shrimp right? They are often confused and Camels wont touch aiptasia. Peps have always worked for me.
Yea. They were true peppermints. I've kept both peppermints and camel shrimp in the past. I run open top on all of my nanos and my camel shrimp jumped out one night a couple years ago and my japanese red pistol took care of the peppermints after a couple months. I haven't kept any since.

Last time I was at Tideline in Charleston they had peppermints coexisting with aiptasia and after talking to the guys there, peppermints will eat the aiptasia at first (after they come in on a shipment) then I guess after the shrimp start eating pellets and flakes they stop eating the aiptasia. So the easiest way is to starve the shrimp then introduce them into a aiptasia infested tank.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well, if the peps are well fed, why would it "work" for food?
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In the interest of science... I am reporting that I fed Alpha this evening. It has doubled in size in the last week, the growth has been amazing.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
oops I have forgot to post that I fed alpha last night... ahhh the tedium of science

While alpha's mass has increased, there has yet to be a beta yet (has not multiplied). So this is very interesting, despite a period of heavy feeding, it has not split. I am assuming that the manual aiptasia cures might be effective in the early stages since there is only one (in this case) to deal with. So if there is only one pest, nuke it early.
 
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