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Aptasia Death, by peppermint shrimp


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My Aptasia have gotten out of hand.    I've applied added Filefish (2), a copper banded butterfly, and Berghia.    Even added couple of peppermint shrimp... never to be seen again.  (I suspect wrasses got them.)    Filefish and CB butterfly aren't seeming to make a dent.    In this case, I suspect my efforts to fight dinos (feeding the tank heavily to keep NO3/PO4 up) is countering efforts to reduce Aptasia.   (keeping the fish fed, so they dont need to eat aptasia.  AND keeping aptasia fed, and they reproduce faster).   So I'm trying a different approach...   

Aptasia Death, by peppermint shrimp -- In an isolated tank

  • Take couple dozen peppermint shrimp
  • Put them in one of my frag tanks, connected to the main system, but empty
  • Don't feed this tank, except...
  • Move an Aptasia infested rock into this tank
  • Death by hungry Peppermint Shrimp!

I'll bring you along for the ride with regular pictures.

 

Shrimp Arrival (and some misc)

IMG_3566.jpg

 

Freshly Added Rock (Tues PM) - Looks pretty ugly

IMG_3630.jpg

 

First Morning (Weds AM)

IMG_3632.jpg

 

Second Morning (Thurs AM)

IMG_3639.jpg

 

 

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Following along. This could be interesting. You could market and charge for your apitasia destroying services if it works. I'll be your first customer. My only concern is they won't work fast enough and the aiptasia will continue to spread through plumbing, but maybe with that many it won't matter. 

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I added 8 peppermints to my grow out tank.  They devoured all the aptasia..then starved. Aptasia came back. 

If you can train a file fish to eat them they get after it!  I have a file that ate every single aptasia in my 550 display in two weeks.  I am currently starving a new file fish in the grow out. 

If you can take rocks out...  take them out and put in water with copper in it for a day or two.  All aptasia dead.  Rinse, put back in tank. Shouldn't harm the bacteria at all. 

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17 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

If you can take rocks out...  take them out and put in water with copper in it for a day or two.  All aptasia dead.  Rinse, put back in tank. Shouldn't harm the bacteria at all. 

This is the first I've heard of the idea.   Rocks in a copper bath, rinse (or soak) for a day?, and then back into the display tank.   shouldn't I be afraid of copper attaching to the rock and releasing later, into main tank water?

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59 minutes ago, OregonGrownReef said:

Following along. This could be interesting. You could market and charge for your apitasia destroying services if it works. I'll be your first customer. My only concern is they won't work fast enough and the aiptasia will continue to spread through plumbing, but maybe with that many it won't matter. 

Aptasia can go into my overflow plumbing, that is easy to deal with.   I have filter socks before they enter the sump, and when plumbing needs to get sterilized, Its removable and can go into acid->bleach outside.  Take the plumbing down for 4hrs, and Bingo - no Aptasia there any more.   This includes each frag tank.   Quick disconnect, tank into the driveway, sterilize/rinse/return.  Done in a few times already.

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16 minutes ago, obrien.david.j said:

Aptasia can go into my overflow plumbing, that is easy to deal with.   I have filter socks before they enter the sump, and when plumbing needs to get sterilized, Its removable and can go into acid->bleach outside.  Take the plumbing down for 4hrs, and Bingo - no Aptasia there any more.   This includes each frag tank.   Quick disconnect, tank into the driveway, sterilize/rinse/return.  Done in a few times already.

Smart! Excited to see the results! 

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I have my doubts about copper binding to rocks and then magically unbinding.  This seems to be along the same lines as the "once you use copper in a tank you can never put corals in it again.  I can't imagine that any appreciable amount of copper would bind to your live rock over night.  Plus Jay herndal says " Copper doesn't seek out plastic to absorb onto, not like it does with calcium based sand and rocks."  

Simply running carbon on your tank would get rid of any free carbon in your water. 

I am not certain on the copper kill aptasia but I was raising aptasia in a 20 gallon and topped off the tank with maybe 2 gallon of water at proper copper level... poof.  every single aptasia gone.  They are just anenomes after all. 

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Third Morning (Fri AM)

  • Looks like Aptasia are reducing
  • It's funny.  I think the shrimp can see the Red LED's.   I use them to try and not disturb AM photos, get them in action.  But they move off the rock as soon as I turn them on.  And get skittish.    BTW, they don't seem to pick Aptasia during daylight - So this frag tank lighting is OFF all day.  (except photo times)

IMG_3643.jpg

 

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13 hours ago, obrien.david.j said:

Sixth Morning (Mon AM)

  • I'm claiming Success!
  • Yes, I'm sure there are aptasia spores still on the rock - but I've got a lot more rocks that need their big aptasia removed first.
  • So today this rock gets cycled out for a new one from the tank

And this is what the rock looked like as I took it out tonight.  

before-n-after.jpg

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Setup a camera last night to watch the activity.   Here is 6 hours of shrimp, in 15 seconds.   

Watching this video, look at the left side of the screen, top corner of the rock.  I see a large aptasia pop up, shrink down, pop up, shrink down.   I don't think it's gone yet.   This video ends, just before I took this mornings photo. (previous post)   In the photo it must be down.    Only soon to pop back up... and be eaten!

 

In case you want to see the setup.

IMG_3810.jpg

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