Aiptasia is a minor anemone, which is about 2 inch in diameter. Sometimes, they are larger and reproduce faster in a saltwater aquarium with plentiful of nutrients. They are also known as aptasia, tube anemone, glass anemone and rock anemone and there are different species. This is one anemone that sea water hobbyists do not like to buy. It can be hard to see them when they are very small. They can hide within the small crevices and rock pores. They only come out after several weeks or months later if they are provided with the right conditions.
Aiptasia Anemone Identification
Zooxanthellae algae in aiptasia anemones are what provide them their color. For this reason, variety of this anemones that live in near sunlight are generally light greenish-brown to dark brown, and those living in less sunlight environments are usually medium to light brown, while dark location dwellers have a crystal clear appearance due to the lack of contact with sunlight.
Aiptasia Anemone Habitat
A wide range of species are found in tropical and subtropical oceans. Lighting is irrelevant, as these very tough anemones can survive in dark conditions, and particularly grow in poor water-quality environments rich in organic nutrients.
Aiptasia Anemone Diet
Aiptasia get nutrition from the water around them by using their tentacles to detain organic matter that float in the water.
Aiptasia Anemone Reproduction
These anemones can multiply asexually. They can reproduce in two ways, first by detaching tiny bits of tissue from their mouth, which soon will grow and mature into fully functional mini anemones. Secondly, by giving live birth to fully formed juvenile.
Why are they considered as pest?
As they are not considered as the most attractive looking Anemones, they can multiply very fast and more importantly, they can sting other advantageous corals and other reef tank inhabitants. Therefore, they are considered as Pest.
Ways to Control Aiptasia
Controlling these creatures can be a big job. If you try to crush them or cut them they usually release pieces of themselves into the water, thus they multiply even faster.
Listed under are some natural and chemical methods for controlling Aiptasia
- Reduce the quantity of nutrients available to the anemone. This means preventing the amounts, types and frequency of fish and coral feedings
- Peppermint shrimp scientifically known as Lysmata wurdemanni are used by many hobbyists to eat Aiptasia anemone. It can either be a hit or miss
- Copperband Butterfly fish and Raccoon Butterfly Fish will also feed on this pest but they can create other problems in reef tanks. They may eat corals. The copperband butterfly may be the good choice because it may be less prone to eat corals compared to the Raccoon Butterfly but the Copperband is less strong and harder to feed in long-term run.
- Bergia Nudibranch (Berghia verrucicornis) is very good aptasia eaters but the problem with them is they might go hungry once the aiptasia is gone. They can also easily be eaten by other inhabitants.
- Calcium is thought to wipe out aiptasia too. The trick is applying it straight into the anemone or on the oral disk using a syringe before it retreats back into its hole.
- Phylum: Cnidaria
- Class: Anthozoa
- Order: Actiniaria
- Family: Aiptasiidae
- Genus: Aiptasia