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Liverock quandry


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Just saw the post by @MReef20, and it got me thinking about my situation.  I'm 3 months into cycling a new tank with nuked Marco rock.  My old tank (still running) has had Pukani live rock for over 10 years.  Amazing pod diversity and likely microbiome too.  I'd like to introduce this diversity into my new tank but pests are holding me back.  Had a few aptasia that are mostly taken care but a pretty solid infestation of small vermetid snails. 

What would you do?  Any suggestions? 

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I had a 4 year old system that had vermitid snails and aptasia in it and setup my new system about 5 months ago. I was on the fence about seeding the new tank with rock and media from my previous tank as well. I ended up going for it for 2 reasons. First I felt the benefits of adding established rock/media would outweigh the addition of the 2 pests. Second was I know both those pests are so common that it was probably a matter of time before they would be introduced one way or another since I dont have the patience for a vigorous quarantine process. Both are unsightly pests but are very common and cause little harm. I haven’t really noticed any vermited snails but I do see aptasia popping up and just try to stay on top of it. The tank cycled really fast l, pod population is amazing, and in many ways my tank is much more mature and stable at the 5ish month mark then it would have been. 

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I'm learning that I waaayyyy underestimated how long it truly takes dry rock to become well established, and you aren't really able to replicate the bio-diversity that you get from live rock.  There's something to be said about about keeping a tank "clean" from unwanted hitchhikers, but I think I've focused too much on that and lost out on the beneficial stuff.

For what it's worth, I'm sure that there are going to be some less than desirable hitchhikers that make it in the tank from the rock I just got (I did spot a few pest anemones), but I'm just going to do my best to inspect/remove, blast with kalk paste, and then not worry about it. :)  

To my knowledge, vermetid snails are not necessarily a problem, other than causing irritation to corals if they get too close...they can look unsightly though, and I get that.  Peppermint shrimp are hit/miss with aptasia, but I think there are enough options out there that you could keep them at bay, but I know aptasia can spread like crazy.

Have you thought about ordering from https://ipsf.com?  They've got great bio-diversity packages, and I've ordered from them before and was happy.  This way too you wouldn't have to worry about introducing anything unwanted.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the responses. Yeah, the vermetids don't seem to bother my corals, but it's just LPS and softies.  I'd like to have some SPS in the new tank and was more concerned about the effect of the vermetids on SPS.  As for the aptasia, I seem to have contained that issue with peppermint shrimp and kalk paste.

Shoot, maybe I'll just go for it.   The benefits could outweigh the cost, but there's no going back once it's done!

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My opinion - go for it. Real old live rock is hard to replicate. I'd use it. 

I've found that if you hold live rock with a bunch of peppermint shrimp and don't feed them, they do a pretty good job of cleaning up Aiptasia infestations. I'm not sure one can ever be 100% sure about Aiptasia but IMO the risk is worth the reward.

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20 hours ago, EMeyer said:

My opinion - go for it. Real old live rock is hard to replicate. I'd use it. 

I've found that if you hold live rock with a bunch of peppermint shrimp and don't feed them, they do a pretty good job of cleaning up Aiptasia infestations. I'm not sure one can ever be 100% sure about Aiptasia but IMO the risk is worth the reward.

Reeftopia.com has pepermint shrimp for $5/each right now.   If you need “a bunch,” it may be worth an order.  
 

I’ve ordered from reeftopia many times over the years.   A dozen emerald crabs for a prior bubble algae outbreak, huge quantities of clean up crew members, gorgonians, and I think my current royal gramma is from them  

https://reeftopia.com/collections/marine-shrimp/products/shrimp-peppermint-lysmata-sp

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The bristle worms and snails would be easy to deal with before you transfer.  Get a warm tote of saltwater.. eveb a large cooler woyld work.  Take the old rock, cover all the snails with glue and set a trap for the worms.  In a week or so of inspecting and treating you should be good to go.  Obviously add some food or ammonia to feed everything. 

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49 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

The bristle worms and snails would be easy to deal with before you transfer.  Get a warm tote of saltwater.. eveb a large cooler woyld work.  Take the old rock, cover all the snails with glue and set a trap for the worms.  In a week or so of inspecting and treating you should be good to go.  Obviously add some food or ammonia to feed everything. 

That's a great idea on the snails.  Never had much issue with the bristle worms -- they seem like just another part of the clean up crew.

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