Need Help Identifying (again!)

Can someone help identify this “growth” for me? The thing in question is coming out of the left side of the below pictured, otherwise normal, PPE. There’s also one growing out of the back, but it’s blurry in the picture. I’m especially curious because I’ve just found 6 or so very small versions of them growing elsewhere around the tank. They all started, I believe, with the one pictured front left here.



That, my friend, looks like the lovely aipstasia anemone!

You say lovely, but from what I’ve been reading for the last 20 minutes or so, I have a potentially big problem on my hand. Right?

You have MULTIPLE aiptasia. KILL ASAP!


You might want to pick up a couple peppermint shrimp, but don’t count on them to do the job alone. They might help pick off some small ones and help keep them from coming back, but you need to kill the big ones. Don’t count on them killing any though chemically burn them yourself.

Shawn was being sarcastic. Don’t worry it isn’t a disaster, most hobbyist have fought these guys at some point or another, most of us on this board have them beat.

Very nicely shot photograph btw.

Do you have a favorite chemical treatment?

I’ve been reading about peppermint shrimp… the seem fairly safe for the reef (except to aiptasia). Is that true?

Oh, and thanks for the comment on the photo. I’m new to both hobbies and it’s fun when the two intersect!

And does anyone know where I can get reasonably sized peppermint shrimp tomorrow? I have a 340 gallon tank. I normally trek out to That Fish Place, but they only have 2 small shrimp in stock.

I’ve never had a massive problem with them at home because I beat them when I first started and then began using quarantine tanks. Personally if that were my zoas I would take some hard coral cutters or bone cutters and snap off the rock surrounding the aptasia. As far as chemical I have used a Kalk slurry with decent success and have tried several other things like Joes Juice which seems to work well and Aptasia X which I just started to use and haven’t been back to the tanks to see if there was good results.
The hardest thing is getting the small ones you can’t even see yet. Just beat back the large ones with any of the three chemicals mentioned above(Kalk, Joes Juice, or Aptasia X) then allow the pep shrimp to eat smaller ones you haven’t seen. The shrimp in my opinion are pretty much reef safe.(Reef safe being a VERY complicated term) If they start to bother anything you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding someone else to take the pep shrimp. Heck I would give you a couple dollars for them as I would like to get some more to attempt to bread them.
BTW 30 minute drive to That Fish Place to get something 2 dollars cheaper and pay 20 cents in taxes and use $10 in gas. Even when you might save a couple more dollars on a larger item it is worth it to support a real local fish store that will be there for you in an emergency when you need something fast. Keep it local when it isn’t a massive difference. Just my two cents.

I’m all for local… and live about 2 minutes from Frazer Zoo. Just wasn’t sure if anyone else had peppermint shrimp in stock…

I would also add, if you have a 340g system and one rock that has two apatasia, remove that rock even if it has zoa’s and just put it in a QT tank and kill them in there. Better to keep it local than spread it in a 340g system :slight_smile: That’s just my :TWOCENTS

Oh. TFZ is on the outer stretch of what most of us Delawarains would consider local. Mike rocks though and I love that place. To be honest I haven’t been in any LFS in your area in weeks, so I’m no help. I think Delaware’s Premium Aquatics had a couple last week, but you might want to call first before you make the drive as they are popular sellers and my memory isn’t the strongest.

Have to second what Jcling has said. Remove infected rocks to a small QT and treat them there would be a great call. Plenty of places in a larger tank for things to hide. May be more than most people would be willing to do, but then again sadly most people eventually give up on the hobby for stupid little things like aiptasia which are not that difficult to beat in my opinion.

Just curious how did you find our site?

Yeah… I’m PA, not DE. I just like what I read on your site and everyone has been most helpful!

Unfortunately, these two in the picture are the biggest in the tank. But the 6 or so additional I’ve seen are spread fairly wide. And I’d imagine if I’ve seen 6, there’s probably more like 60 waiting to sprout.

I came to your site through another of your members – his name is Craig, but not sure what the handle is on here.

Glad you found us. CDAngelo more than likely. He spends way too much time on this site, but then again he can do it while he’s on the clock at work like me so why not? lol

Biggest thing about Aptasia is to be aggressive and be prepared to go to battle again and again or just stop buying corals or QT. I went for the latter option. :slight_smile: Never be mad at anyone forgiving you aptasia as you are the one putting it in your tank. You can find aptasia in most LFS especially on delivery days. (Though most reputable stores will attach it the second they see it, they will continuously get it from their coral sources)

Best of luck with it.

Ditto on the QTing rock with them on it. I battled these hitch hikers awhile back also, used a syringe filled with hot water and stuck it right in the middle.

And great pic of your zoas. :BEER

Learned something tonight… Aiptasia REALLY don’t like Aiptasia-X.

I like the syringe and attachments that come with Aiptasia-X. Hope they knock those anemones out permanently for you and the shrimp keep the small ones away.

Just an FYI, pep shrimp are sensitive little buggers. All cleaner shrimp are delicate to swings in chemistry. Many people buy a bunch of pep shrimp only to see them slowly disappear and one day realize they haven’t seen any in a while. I wouldn’t get upset too much if you lose them.

I’m not sure I’d even know if the shrimp disappeared! They are awful good at hiding. Takes me a long time to spot even one!

Try adding a couple high protein pellets like Forumla One or frozen mysis shrimp. They’ll make their way out.

It may be a good time to familiarize yourself with other pests to keep an eye out for. This is a pretty good site with lots of colorful images to flip through: There are more links to ID pages in the link section at the top of this site(DRC). Some things you might want to keep an eye out for and know how what they are include bubble algae, Zoanthid eating spiders, nudibranchs, sundial snails, coral eating flat worms, and an animal very similar to your aptasia called Majanos.

Also consider setting up a small (~20gallon) QT tank for incoming corals. It is a lot easier to deal with a pest in a 20gallon tank then it is in a large tank. While “nano” tanks may be difficult to take care of keep in mind that corals do not have to be fed in a qt tank and nutrient problems are usually not an issue.

Best of luck.

Though I’d post a picture of the same zoa after the aiptasia has been eliminated (at least for now). I also have new much better lighting in the tank – I can’t get over the difference. The PPE now actually looks purple! The new lights are from Phoenix and I can’t give them a higher review.

I still have aiptasia here in there, but I treat it as it pops up and a handful of peppermint shrimp are on the task too.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Looking good.