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Interesting things about Berghia Nudibranches


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  1. #1
    CR Member
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    Default Interesting things about Berghia Nudibranches

    Well we have an aiptasia explosion in our 180 reef tank. We tried joe's juice and it would kill the targeted aiptasia. What we didn't know was when you kill the aiptasia it sends out microscopic clones much like if you popped a bubble algae. Yikes! We have one peppermint shrimp - he just showed up one day! He hasn't bothered with the plethora of aiptasia around him. So... I did some research on what gets rid of aiptasia. The overwhelming majority of information listed the Berghia Nudibranch. I went to more than a few sites and found lots of information about the lil things. I noticed that the most recent information contradicted much of the older information. So, I called one of the sellers of nudibranches and talked to their biologist for 2 hours! (Hubby is gonna mention THAT phone bill LOL.)

    I learned that the berghia does indeed eat only aiptasia but that once your tank is infested with aiptasia it takes up to a year to get rid of what you can see....key words here. Aiptasia hides everywhere in your tank. When you scrape it off or kill it with joes juice or the like it only emits microscopic little clones which can sort of "hibernate" (for lack of a better term) until conditions are right and then spring to life. Yes, copperbands and peppermints will eat aiptasia but they can't get into the crevices where the hibernating aiptasia wait.

    The berghia's life span is 6 months to a year and it's the young adults who are the voracious aiptasia eaters. The older berghia do eat aiptasia of course but not to the extent that the young adults do. They lay eggs which a few of those survive to maturity and to reproduce themselves.

    It will take about 9 months to over a year for the berghia to cleanse the tank of aiptasia so getting rid of all of the aiptasia is not a quick process. When the food supply diminishes in the tank for the berghia, the berghia population decreases but ususlly doesn't die off completely. When the aiptasia re-emerges so does the berghia population if there is even one berghia around.

    I also learned that there IS a natural enemy of the berghia it's called the peppermint shrimp and it's buddy the camelback shrimp. None of the other reef shrimps will bother the berghia.

    I got the majority of my info that I just related to you from www.berghia.net and from Larry the biologist berghia.net.

    I hope that this helps someone else who is having an aiptasia problem. We are getting a copperband to help the berghia along. Time will tell, huh??
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that stupidity has no limits!

  2. #2
    carpenterwrasse - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    thanks for the info i was tring to decide on wether or not to get a couple all my other natural remideies do not seem to be working...peppermint shrimp and copperbanded butterfly all this and i still have aptasia I think i might have to give the little buggers a try....
    check this girl out she is a great singer

    http://myspace.com/nicolejamesmusic

  3. #3

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    Great info... may come in handy soon w/ one of my tanks!


  4. #4
    The Rugger - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    I was just given a bunch of free live rock from an acquaintance that we tearing down his tank. It is very nice rock and of course even better when free. I have never had to deal with aiptasia before so I had no idea what it even was. This morning I started doing some research and guess what… As it turns out several piece of the rock are covered with aiptasia. Should I remove the rocks? They have been in there a few days now. Is it too late? I plan on getting some peppermint shrimp and copper Band ASAP. I should look into a couple of these guys as well. Should I try and remove any visible aiptasia manually prior?

    I was supper excited about the additional LR but if this turn my tank into a mess it will a major buzz kill.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
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    Put the rocks in the HT and when you Quarantine the peppermint shrimps they might go for the aiptasia. If you underfeed the shrimps they will eat them I bet. Remove the rocks NOT the aiptasia because they spread little clones when you do anything to get rid of em. Or you can pull out the rock and let it dry out and re-cure them that might get rid of the aiptasia. Sorry you are having problems with aiptasia if you catch it early and don't make it spread you should be ok by just removing the new rock.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that stupidity has no limits!

  6. #6
    The Rugger - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Problem is there are corals on some of the same rocks so drying out isn't an option if I want to keep the corals. I can remove some of rock and will. I will get a quarantine tub set up. If I do the manual removal in quarantine and rinse well before put them back might I escape the clone spreading issue? I will have the shrimp present and on standby of course.

    Did you have any luck finding a Berghia for purchase? I haven't found any in my brief search of the sites I regular.

  7. #7
    CR Member
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    You might, could have luck with removing the rock and manually removing if you rinse really really well in a separate tank of saltwater before you put it in qt. That's an interesting method, btw.

    I called berghia.net that's where I got the good updated info. I know I said .com but it's .net, sorry. Let me know how it goes! We are just waiting for Aug 1 and those dang aiptasia are REALLY liking it in our tank.

    Remember, it will take months for the berghia to begin to work. Their babies have to grow and multiply and from what I've been told and read you will be hard pressed to actually see any of them as they are night critters.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that stupidity has no limits!

  8. #8

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    Has anyone tried the new product Aptasia X by Red Sea? I will be placing an online order within the next couple of weeks (time to restock on supplies) and figured I would give this a try. I would love to hear anyone's experience with this product before I buy!


  9. #9
    The Rugger - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    I did try Aiptasia-X on a suggestion from my lfs. I put my troubled pieces of rock in a QT tub and treated. So far so good. Supposedly it seals up the mouth and they starve. It seems to be working. A few just fallen off dead. Others are still alive but not doing so well. When I poke them they retreat, but it seems to be only a matter of time. The big question is whether or not they were able to release the there microscopic little guys. I have seen them release what I believe to be the little guys before when attempting manual removal and I did not witness that release during this treatment. They take it like food at first and it seals them up.

    I was weary of treatment in my tank and had the ability to pull the rock that had a visible population and address in QT so I can not really speak to chemistry impacts. Perhaps I should have monitored, but I didn't. I apologize.

    If you have additional questions please feel free to ask

  10. #10
    CR Member
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    I went out and researched the aiptasia-x with a search and found a couple of sites that describe what happened in their tanks. My only problem with it is that you have to target each aiptasia?? What about the ones hiding under ledges in dark corners that you can't even see, let alone reach to treat?

    Otherwise it looks pretty promising. I plan to go to berghia.net and see if it will effect the berghia (aside from starving them with a lack of aiptasia).

    Here's a couple of the sites I researched:

    http://blog.marinedepot.com/2008/04/...-actly-as.html
    http://www.aquacave.com/aiptasia-x-6...dsea-2146.html

    Boy, I'm glad I started this post! It's some good discussion.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that stupidity has no limits!

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