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Willapa

Nudibranch eating birdsnest?

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I've had something wiping out my bird nests over the last month or two. The latest casualty is a birds of paradise. Over a week period the green tissue is all gone but still has polyp extension. It's now moved to a sour apple. I've been dipping here and there but haven't been able to ID them since they are so small. This is the best pic I can get through a magnifying glass. They are the size of a salt granule. Nowhere near the size of a monti eating nudi. Other LPS, montis, and acros seem unaffected for now. Any idea what they are? I got rid of monti eating nudis about 6 months ago by regular dips every 5 days for a month. I can do that on the remaining birds nest but wonder if I should dip other things too.

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Can you get a wrasse? I put six line in my tank after I found zoa eating nudis. He cleared them out in no time. It saved me a lot of work pulling and dipping rocks. 

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Unfortunately due to the convoluted structure of a seriatapora birdsnest coral I don't think a fish for control will be enough. I have seen coral eating nudibranchs of this size on soft corals but not Nests, that doesn't mean they are not out there obviously seeing what you have pictured above. In this instance you may have to remove all the infected corals and dip them. It may also be necessary to repeat the process a few times twice a week in case the eggs are not effected by the dips or the organisms/eggs are not present on the coral at the time of dip. Examine your other SPS closely and make sure there are no symptoms arising on the other corals. In an extreme situation you may have to frag the last of the living tissue, dip it, and dispose of the infected body. Even then you will have to dip again in a few days to be safe. QT would also be another possibility if you have the means. And as you know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Can you get a wrasse? I put six line in my tank after I found zoa eating nudis. He cleared them out in no time. It saved me a lot of work pulling and dipping rocks. 

That's in the plan as an ongoing option but it's a bare bottom frag tank. I'm in the process of making a screen top. Does a six line need a sand bed?


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Unfortunately due to the convoluted structure of a seriatapora birdsnest coral I don't think a fish for control will be enough. I have seen coral eating nudibranchs of this size on soft corals but not Nests, that doesn't mean they are not out there obviously seeing what you have pictured above. In this instance you may have to remove all the infected corals and dip them. It may also be necessary to repeat the process a few times twice a week in case the eggs are not effected by the dips or the organisms/eggs are not present on the coral at the time of dip. Examine your other SPS closely and make sure there are no symptoms arising on the other corals. In an extreme situation you may have to frag the last of the living tissue, dip it, and dispose of the infected body. Even then you will have to dip again in a few days to be safe. QT would also be another possibility if you have the means. And as you know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I thought this might be the answer! Ugh. I guess I'll get on the routine dip train again. Do you think they are nudis? They are very small and hard to see even under magnification. On QT, as of about 6 months ago, every fish, snail, rock, or coral gets quarantined. I just need to get my system clean, but proving to be pretty hard. Thanks for the advice.


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Hard to tell for sure by pics but may be  the dreaded AEFW

They're so friggin small it's hard to tell. I thought this at first, but they are kinda frilly like a nudi.


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Six lines don't need bury themselves so you should be okay there.  Of course any fish can jump, especially wrasses, but I think six lines are less likely than most.

I agree with Brian that it is hard to see them, but it looks to me that the little buggers don't have a smooth outline like AEFW.  Look more like nudis to me.

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From what I can see in the picture, without a macro lense it can be hard, they do appear to have the gills on the back as Nudibranchs would. The ocean if full of wondrous, and treacherous, things.

If you can find a macro lense get another shot yeah.

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Hoping nudis as I think they are less devastating in general.   Good luck let us know what you come up with

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Well I did a big round of dipping and did a variety of corals to see what else these nudis have a taste for. Luckily only saw anything come off the birdsnests and surprised at how many are still coming off. I'll dip anything that is suspect a couple of times a week til I don't see anything come off in the dip, then keep going til I kill any that hatch. I'll take Bert's advice and frag or even toss the ones that are bad so I can get most of it out of the tank. Adding a wrasse is in the plan to keep things in check. Any other good pest eating wrasses that don't need a sand bed other than a 6 line? Sean says his green coris is good at grazing.


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I stumbled upon a good thread started by Jeremevans about wrasses in bare bottoms and sound like there are some options.


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10 hours ago, Willapa said:

I stumbled upon a good thread started by Jeremevans about wrasses in bare bottoms and sound like there are some options.


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Glad you found that - was trying to remember where it was as I recall it having some good suggestions. 

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Update here. So I think the mysterious critters were actually polyps shed from the birdsnest. Every time I dip them they get a little more thin. Kinda makes sense since other acros, montis, and LPS are un affected. So may not be a pest at all. Maybe bacterial? Anyway all of my nice big birdsnest colonies are tiny frags now with the rest sitting in the backyard as yard art:(
So I'll probably never know that happened to them but so far nothing else shows any symptoms so that is good.
Picked up a nice melanarus from Woody's in qt now, so will have some utility fish pest control moving forward. It's a bare bottom tank and I put a Tupperware of sand in there for him and he found it within a day and sleeps there every night! I was pretty amazed. Coarser sand so it doesn't get kicked all over the place


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2 minutes ago, Willapa said:

Update here. So I think the mysterious critters were actually polyps shed from the birdsnest. Every time I dip them they get a little more thin. Kinda makes sense since other acros, montis, and LPS are un affected. So may not be a pest at all. Maybe bacterial? Anyway all of my nice big birdsnest colonies are tiny frags now with the rest sitting in the backyard as yard art:(
So I'll probably never know that happened to them but so far nothing else shows any symptoms so that is good.
Picked up a nice melanarus from Woody's in qt now, so will have some utility fish pest control moving forward. It's a bare bottom tank and I put a Tupperware of sand in there for him and he found it within a day and sleeps there every night! I was pretty amazed. Coarser sand so it doesn't get kicked all over the place


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Bummer about the birds nests but at least whatever it is/was hasn't spread.  I have some pieces I could pass on if you want to try and repopulate at some point.

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Bummer about the birds nests but at least whatever it is/was hasn't spread.  I have some pieces I could pass on if you want to try and repopulate at some point.

Thanks Sean, nice of you. I'll let birdsnest lay fallow for a bit to let things pass but will take you up on that. Maybe pick up some at Holly's too during the next meeting since birdsnests over runeth in her system!


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