Discovered Small Clear Anemone In Tank

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by maplichen, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. maplichen

    maplichen Cuttlefish Registered

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    I don't have a reef tank (just argonite substrate some fake plants and a few cuttlefish - s. officinalis in the tank) and there has never been a live rock placed in the tank in question, although it is possible that there might have been cross contamination from another tank I have that does contain live rock. I have had damsel fish in there on and off over the past couple years but only when there are not active cuttles in there and there have been no other animals. The anemone I pulled out today is small clear and my best guess is that is is aiptasia.

    I have read that aiptasia have been known to hurt small invertebrate species. My question is, does anyone have experience with cuttlefish or other ceph interaction with anemones such as this and should I be worried about this becoming a serious issue. Also, is there anything else that this might be, or be indicative of, in my tank? Thanks for anyone who can help me out here.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you transferred bottom substrate from an existing tank, you may have introduced it in the live sand.

    We have not had any reports of aiptasia stinging or leaving marks on cuttles or octopuses. I have the smaller kind in a tank that contained hatchling octopuses and even at this new age, there did not appear to be a problem.
     
  3. maplichen

    maplichen Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thank you so much DWhatley. That is almost certainly what happened, I was just surprised because I had not seen anything like it appear in any tank I have worked with yet, even the one used to seed this tank. It may be that I just disturb the substrate too often through cleanings for them to take hold anywhere and missed a spot recently. Glad to hear I won't have to go all crazy on these things, I hear they are a nightmare to remove completely.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a rock with the larger kind (I think they are commonly called Mojo). I tried a number of things to kill them but each attempt actually increased the population. Ultimately, I removed the rock and am starving it in an experimental tank. Without lighting and little food they start migrating to the bottom substrate and walls but after close to a year, I can still see one (which means there are likely more).

    If you can keep peppermint shrimp (not usually a successful option with most cephs but I have had several survive a couple of octopuses) in a tank, they will usually take care of the newly propogated small ones but don't seem to touch them if they are dime sized. This does not eradicate them but does keep them under control.

    Are you sure this was aiptasia? There is a harmless animal I have found that has a spongey egg like body with a crown but does not attach itself to anything. Aiptasia will appear like a gooy blob out of the water.
     
  5. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    If you've used live cultured foods its possible it came from there as well. I have seen aptasia sting my M. Pfefferi on more than one occasion. If it is just the one I would try to scoop it out without disturbing it or injecting it with calcium hydroxide. If your system is infested you could either buy animals to eat them or soak your system in either fresh water or bleach (the bleach is an extreme method and should be a last resort).
     
  6. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    D I think you are referring to majano anemones and calcium hydroxide works remarkable well on them. I've actually came across several species of "pest" anemones in the post few years. I've actually recently came across what appears to be a tulip or tridents trumpet snail. They have completely eradicated any and all pests that I have placed in there and appear to be reef safe. You can get them from tom's caribean.
     
  7. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    For a second there I thought you where talking about glass anemone, those things are destructive.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I will get a couple of the trumpets snail when I get an order from the Keys (just got a octo from there so it will be awhile) and give them a try on my experimental tank. The smaller type I have are in with Little Bit and no snail (or shrimp) would be safe with her as evidenced by her attack on my cowrie.

    I have tried pickling lime on the majano a couple of times (a home made mix as well as commercially available ones). It dissolves them, they are gone for maybe two weeks and then there are at least 2 where there was one (this was not a clear result the first few times I tried it, I have had the rock for several years). Grinding them up with a stick and sucking out the parts produces the same results :yuck: Most have come out of the rock from starvation and lack of light and I have removed them whole from the bottom substrate or from the tank walls but, as mentioned, at least one continues to keep a holdfast in the LR.
     
  9. maplichen

    maplichen Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks everyone. I'm not positive of the species of anemone and all I really have to verify this is checking against images and description which seem to match up well. And that's a great point I didn't think of Skywindsurfer. I have used aquacultured ghost shrimp although I avoid getting any of the water they are shipped in into my tanks where possible. It could have been that though.

    This is actually the most predatory batch of Officinalis that I've been lucky enough to care for so I doubt the peppermint shrimp would be a great option here but I'll keep it in mind for if I move my guys around in the future and the tank is empty. I'm going to do a little research on that trumpet snail too. Great advice you guys, thanks so much.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, cuddleycuddlefish, we are referring to glass anemones and they are most infamous for out stinging other corals (he who has he biggest sting wins). However, we don't keep many corals in a ceph tank and try to avoid altogether the kind that would do battle with these. In maplichen's case there are no intentional corals.

    Skywindsurfer, could you give more detail on the observed stinging of the little cuttles? It would be good to note this in general. Did you see skin marks or leisons or did you just observe touch and retract reaction?

    I found an article that you may want to read that has a few more suggestions. The one I found most interesting was the use of red leg hermits. Again, I am quite sure these would not survive with Little Bit but may with your Officinalis and are cheap enough to experiement with. In your case, you won't really know if they are effective since you only found one in the substrate but I think I will hijack one I know I have in another tank an put it the overflow to see if it will eradicate them there. Little Bit can stick her arms up into the area so I may lose the crab but it is worth an experiement.
     
  11. maplichen

    maplichen Cuttlefish Registered

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    Excellent. I will be checking out that link right now and I may give the crabs a shot. I'm going to leave the anemone alone for now and observe how the cuttlefish interact with it, if at all. If I observe anything negative I'll report back but I'll probably only leave the anemone there about a week even if it is harmless.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    A problem with them is asexual propogation (as you will note in my results and in the link) so be sure you remove it cleanly. Without live rock in the tank, this should not be a problem :grin: but if you have to scrape it, get all of it. The rock I mentioned only had two or three for years and I just left them alone. The large ones are actually attactive and the tank was a sparely populated nano. Over time a couple of new ones appeared and I decided I needed to eradicate. THAT is when the real propogation problems started.

    I found a red leg hermit to put in my overflow with the small ones (they seem to get washed into this shallow overflow and I scrape them out periodically) so if Little Bit does not discover it, we will see if the population disappears. I guess I should count the numbers to but that may change from time to time anyway. Eradication would be the sign of true success.
     
  13. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    I haven't noticed any skin marks, but I have wittnessed them jerking back and "coughing" after touching them. The "coughing" action is only observed if their feeding tentacles touch the aptasia. This is off topic, but I've noticed my large female extend one of her tentacles straight out and the other at a 45 degree angle. She never striked anything while doing this, but retracted them and then struck like normal.
     
  14. Cephkid

    Cephkid Sepia elegans Supporter

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    Ah, Aiptasia (if it is Aiptasia), how I loathe thee.

    I actually have done some amateurish academic research on the topic in the past, although I'm fairly certain both the research paper and the Science Fair Project were done in middle school, so what I remember is probably not completely accurate (in addition to the fact that the actual papers are not here right now).

    What I do remember leads me to agree with the suggestions in the link for sticking solely with injection/predation methods of control, as part of why they recover so easily from mechanical removal is that their primary reproductive mode is through pedal laceration, so every bit that is cut off (or left on the rock when the stalk is removed) is programmed to produce an entire new animal. I'm sure that this is not the sole cause, and that the source I read it from was oversimplifying it, but I'm fairly certain that it boils down to "don't cut them into pieces, or you'll just help them reproduce."

    My personal recommendation (as it is what I remember as being the most effective aside from getting a copper banded butterflyfish) in this case would be a kalkwasser injection treatment so as to (hopefully) kill off the entire animal and prevent clones from popping up. The way me and my dad got the most impressive results with kalk injections was by drawing up a little bit of Artemia into the syringe in front of the kalk, as that way the polyps didn't tend to retract away from the nozzle (speaking of which, as this is a ceph tank, you may wish to simply remove the needle and just use the nozzle, it works as well anyway) before they'd sucked a load of kalk into their gut. For whatever reason, simply covering Aiptasia in kalk doesn't seem to necessarily work, as they may shortly be found peeking back out of the little pile of kalk they were covered in; however when they ingest some, there seems to be a greater mortality rate.

    Edit: I forgot to clarify what I mean when I refer to "kalk" in this context, as I'm misappropriating the term here; when mixing CaO (quicklime) into water to produce Ca(OH)[SUB]2[/SUB], the general recommendation (and indeed, probably the smarter thing to do even in this context--but never let it be said I always did the smarter thing) is to add quicklime into a small vessel of water until no more quicklime will dissolve, at which point you are advised to allow the remaining undissolved quicklime to settle off and decant the fluid into a separate vessel to be used presently ( the "kalkwasser", or the aforementioned Ca(OH)[SUB]2[/SUB]), and the remaining quicklime dried to be re-used in a later batch. What I did, and I do not know if I should call this a recommendation exactly, as I didn't perform sufficient tests to see if the additional disruption of pH and [Ca[SUP]2+[/SUP]] concentration was actually justified by any change in effectiveness of the treatment, was to instead agitate the vessel containing the saturated solution in order to create a suspension of CaO in Ca(OH)[SUB]2[/SUB] solution. The thickness of this suspension varied but was generally between a thick, gritty milk-like fluid to a moderately thick paste. My reasoning was thus: (a) if the suspension had a thickness to it, it was a bit easier to prevent mixing between the Artemia "cap" and the "kalk paste", making polyps less likely to detect something amiss before some was ingested through the oral disc, (b) a "paste" made for a more extended effectiveness period of individual dosages, as local hydroxides reacting with the anemone's tissues would reduce the concentration of [OH[SUP]-[/SUP]] in the vicinity, which would then shift the dissolution equilibrium towards the release of more hydroxide, resulting in more damage towards the organism, and (c), if the polyp failed to ingest any of the suspension, then suspended CaO applied directly to the surface of the polyp might manage to inflict sufficient damage to prevent (or at least retard) further growth of the polyp.
    Again, I do not have empirical evidence that "kalk paste" applied in this manner is more effective than a saturated solution of calcium hydroxide, nor did I at any point use solely one method of Aiptasia control, so take the above with a grain of salt. Good luck!
     

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