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Looking for as much aiptasia as I can get


LadAShark
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I've been culturing berghia lately and have managed to release my first big batch, however I sorely underestimated the amount of aiptasia they can eat.

So I'm looking out for anybody who can get me the most ridiculously aiptasia ridden rocks or whatever they're willing to give me. I'm planning to dedicate a part of my garage to culturing aiptasia and berghia so I can start to locally supply cheap berghia, but at the current rate it's going I won't be able to keep my berghia cultures from crashing as I'm basically all out of aiptasia.

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I've cultured Berghia twice or three times over my reef tank lifetime.  First batch I picked up from an "online" friend on the east coast in the EARLY 90's.  (usenet, alt.aquaria, if anyone knows what that is)   A few observations/conclusions;

  1. propagating Berghia is Easy!  They lay eggs often, do it in 1pint or 1qt plastic food containers with the simplest of bubbler, kept in a water bath tank for temp control.
  2. Caveated with, as long you feed them
  3. They're Veracious eaters, really do like Aptasia
  4. Bigger they are, the more Aptasia they eat
  5. Therefore, you must have a large and Accessible supply of aptasia 
  6. And then what do you do with all those bergia?  In my case, gave as many away as I could, and then released every last one into my display tank.  Aptasia gone (for a couple of years), and then Berghia just vanish. 

I've thought about setting a Berghia system up again, just for fun.  Tried the mental exercise to design the Aptasia grow out farm needed first.  Maybe a shallow frag like tank, with floor covered in cheap 1" tiles with little gravel/rock shards glued to them.   (aptasia like structure)   Then you could count your food supply.   one tile per tub, maybe 2x per week.   How much food would you need to feed the aptasia tank to get them to REALLY grow out fast.  How much light would you need. ...    Such interesting things to plan out.

Does your experience match, any other observations?    What was your Aptasia supply like when you started, how fast did you run out?

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2 hours ago, obrien.david.j said:

I've cultured Berghia twice or three times over my reef tank lifetime.  First batch I picked up from an "online" friend on the east coast in the EARLY 90's.  (usenet, alt.aquaria, if anyone knows what that is)   A few observations/conclusions;

  1. propagating Berghia is Easy!  They lay eggs often, do it in 1pint or 1qt plastic food containers with the simplest of bubbler, kept in a water bath tank for temp control.
  2. Caveated with, as long you feed them
  3. They're Veracious eaters, really do like Aptasia
  4. Bigger they are, the more Aptasia they eat
  5. Therefore, you must have a large and Accessible supply of aptasia 
  6. And then what do you do with all those bergia?  In my case, gave as many away as I could, and then released every last one into my display tank.  Aptasia gone (for a couple of years), and then Berghia just vanish. 

I've thought about setting a Berghia system up again, just for fun.  Tried the mental exercise to design the Aptasia grow out farm needed first.  Maybe a shallow frag like tank, with floor covered in cheap 1" tiles with little gravel/rock shards glued to them.   (aptasia like structure)   Then you could count your food supply.   one tile per tub, maybe 2x per week.   How much food would you need to feed the aptasia tank to get them to REALLY grow out fast.  How much light would you need. ...    Such interesting things to plan out.

Does your experience match, any other observations?    What was your Aptasia supply like when you started, how fast did you run out?

I started with 9 tiny berghia and easily 10 square feet of full sized aiptasia, and ended up with no aiptasia and innumerable berghia in a matter of about 40 days. Some of my largest berghia are probably about 0.75 inches. Pretty surprising how fast they proliferate and how big they get.

Edited by LadAShark
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1 hour ago, LadAShark said:

I started with 9 tiny berghia and easily 10 square feet of full sized aiptasia, and ended up with no aiptasia and innumerable berghia in a matter of about 40 days. Some of my largest berghia are probably about 0.75 inches. Pretty surprising how fast they proliferate and how big they get.

58 minutes ago, albertareef said:

Yeah, maybe set up a "service" with local Petcos where you pick up their infested rock and return it aptasia free - might work!

    10sqft of Aiptasia is bigger than a 4'x2' classic aquarium footprint.  Full Sized Aiptasia.  Amazing.   While raising the Berghia, did you have any feeding schedule on the aiptasia/food source tank?

    For comment #2, that's not a bad idea.   Rock cleaning service;

    • Local Petco
    • any local fish shop   
    • Any PNWMAS club members

    Heck, they may get a free berghia hitch hiker when the rock is returned to them.   Question is how to get paid.   

    Next time you want to raise Berghia, maybe it's a call out to club members who'd be willing to setup and grow out an Aiptasia food source aquarium on the side.  And in return, you'll give them grown out Berghia when the time comes.   I was thinking I could route the output from my auto-water-changer setup into a drilled tank to grow out aptasia.  Then they'd get a source of fresher water, and it wouldn't cost me anything.  (except floor space)

    Have you experimented with what food makes aiptasia grow the fastest?

     

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    19 minutes ago, obrien.david.j said:

    10sqft of Aiptasia is bigger than a 4'x2' classic aquarium footprint.  Full Sized Aiptasia.  Amazing.   While raising the Berghia, did you have any feeding schedule on the aiptasia/food source tank?

    For comment #2, that's not a bad idea.   Rock cleaning service;

    • Local Petco
    • any local fish shop   
    • Any PNWMAS club members

    Heck, they may get a free berghia hitch hiker when the rock is returned to them.   Question is how to get paid.   

    Next time you want to raise Berghia, maybe it's a call out to club members who'd be willing to setup and grow out an Aiptasia food source aquarium on the side.  And in return, you'll give them grown out Berghia when the time comes.   I was thinking I could route the output from my auto-water-changer setup into a drilled tank to grow out aptasia.  Then they'd get a source of fresher water, and it wouldn't cost me anything.  (except floor space)

    Have you experimented with what food makes aiptasia grow the fastest?

     

    Fine meaty powdery foods definitely make them explode in population, especially clams.

    The biggest downside to rocks is the potential for hitchhiker pods which can decimate berghia larvae.

    But a kind of crowdsourced aiptasia food source is not a bad idea at all. As for using water change water, they don't seem to suffer from poor water quality much, the only thing that really bothers aiptasia seems to be significant amounts of algae growth.

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    Thought someone may be interested in one of the earliest reference to Berghia, and growing them out.   I had to hit the Way Back internet machine to find it - but here it is.

    BERGHIA VERRUCICORNIS, A NUDIBRANCH PREDATOR OF THE AQUARIUM "WEED" ANEMONE AIPTASIA

    • Stephen C. Kempf, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology and Wildlife Science, 331 Funchess Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849, kempfsc@mail.auburn.edu
    • Michael Brittsan, Curator of the Shores Department, Columbus Zoo, 9990 Riverside Dr., Powell, OH 43065

    Original Breadersregistry.org site is gone, so here's the way-back-machine copy;

    Alternatively, this site copied the article.

     

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    3 hours ago, obrien.david.j said:

    Okay, I'm confused.  How is a clam "Fine meaty powdery".   Even if you chop the heck out if.  Or are you putting them in a blender on super-high?

    Hmm. There's this clam I can get from H mart (sold in their seafood mix which contains calamari, octopus, clam, shrimp) that seems to release a huge cloud of dust when I rub it between my fingers underwater. I suppose blending it would work too. I see a lot of movement out of the aiptasia when I feed that. 
     

    And wow, that website sheds light on so many questions I had, including why I once didn't have success on trying to breed them in a large jar that I fed. Aiptasia too large for the juveniles to eat I suppose.

    Edited by LadAShark
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