This week I would like to take a look at another annoying pest in the reef tank, the zoanthid eating nudibranch. The zoanthid eating nudibranch is much like the soft coral eating nudibranch in both body shape and difficulty to find and eliminate. The zoanthid eaters usually belongs to the famliy Aeolidia. They are built much the same as the soft coral eating nudibranch, with cerata or finger-like growths that grow on their dorsal side. These growths allow them to blend with the zoanthids, making them difficult to see as they feed on your polyps. These nudis are usually small, ranging in size from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter in length, which also makes them very difficult to detect and remove from polyp colonies. They tend to hang on to the underside of the polyp and remain hidden. Read More »
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Some of the most interesting animals in aquariums can be the ones we never knew we had. Aquarists often turn to the internet in trying to figure out what some unidentified thing in their aquarium is and where it came from. One of my favorite unexpected hitchhikers is the Stomatella Snail.
Stomatella Snails look like and are often mistaken for several other organisms like Limpets, Nudibranchs (sea slugs), or Abalone Snails but they are actually more closely related to Turbo and Margarita Snails. Stomatella’s only grow to just over an inch in length and have a small, flat shell on the top of their body. They actually don’t fully withdraw into their shell like other more traditional snails. This external shell and small operculum (the “trapdoor”) on the back of their foot separate them from the Nudibranchs and sea slugs, and the lack of “holes” and openings in the shell separate them from the Limpets and Abalones. Read More »
Some of the things that the scientific community is “discovering” are things that have been known for years by reef hobbyists. I’ve been reading through some articles about recently published studies. A couple of them really got my attention as things that many hobbyist already know, just from keeping aquariums in their homes.
Ask a long time reef aquarist about keeping damselfish in a reef aquarium…they will probably tell you that damsels are aggressive, and sometimes destructive to a reef aquarium community. A study recently published on PLoSONE.org found that Threespot Damselfish are damaging coral reefs in their efforts to find new habitat. Read More »
Owning a reef tank is a really rewarding hobby, but it can be challenging at times. Besides keeping the water chemistry in good condition, there are other problems that can harm the coral and cause damage to your reef. There are many different corals and therefore many different pests that may prey on each species. A lot of invertebrates in the ocean evolve to only eat a specific food item. This is the case for many of the nudibranchs, and many have adapted to be coral eating nudibranchs. As a reef keeper there is a possibility that you will encounter Zooanthid eating nudibranchs, aptasia eating nudibranchs, soft coral eating nudibranchs, and hard coral eating nudibranchs to name a few. Today, I want to discuss is the soft coral eating type. Read More »
When in doubt, dip it. Whether you are a beginner, or veteran, reef aquarium keeper, your prized corals are susceptible to a wide range of pests, parasites and infections. Acropora Eating Flatworms (AEFW), Montipora Eating Nudibranchs (MENS), Zooanthid Eating Nudibranchs, snails and spiders, and pathogenic bacteria causing Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN) are far too common problems we face in the hobby. Wild harvested, farm raised, or even the coral you traded with a friend for, can potentially introduce some nasty little critters into your aquarium. Read More »