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??