UNWANTED ANIMALS PESTS

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UNWANTED ANIMALS PESTS


AIPTASIA (Glass Anemone)
Also known as "rock anemone", it is part of the aiptasiidae family which currently contains 12 species; the most common are:
Aiptasia pallida = is translucent and can be white or deep yellow / brown
Aiptasia pulchella = brownish color, even pale, with paler tentacular tips
Aiptasia diaphana = brown or pink / reddish with lighter tips and generally smaller than the others (it does not exceed 3 cm.)
Aiptasia mutabilis = unique aiptasia of cold water and with sizes above average (it can reach 12 cm.) Brown or yellow / brown with green or blue lines starting from the mouth.
Aiptasia can reach a height of 5 cm. But in most cases it stays about 2.5 cm. Its structure is formed by a foot, a long and thin column and an oral disc with a central mouth.
Positioned on the edge of the oral disc, there are 100 stinging tentacles that alternate with each other and which they use to defend themselves by releasing a poisonous substance contained in the nematocysts.
They also defend themselves with dangerous white filaments called aconta.
The glass anemone anchors itself to the predominantly rocky substrate with its foot and, if over time it does not feel more comfortable, it uses it to move (about 4 cm. Per hour), but it can also detach and float in the water until it finds a point to anchor.
Since at birth it is very small, it hides very easily in the crevices of the rocks becoming a ball, and can remain latent even for a few months.
It could be inserted inadvertently in the aquarium through rocks or coral bases and, since it reproduces very quickly (it produces a dozen of specimens in a single day) it should be intervened as soon as possible by providing for its removal with natural antagonists and / or with chemical or physical removal.
Obviously it does not enjoy an excellent reputation among marine aquarium enthusiasts; it is a real parasite that makes its way very quickly killing invertebrates and small fish with its poisonous tentacles.
It is a carnivorous animal, in fact it feeds on zooplankton and particles suspended in water, but it also feeds on its zooxanthellae, which are also the ones that determine its color.

NATURAL ANTAGONISTS

Shrimp = Rynchocinetes Uritai
Rynchocinetes Durbanensis
Lysmata Wurdemanni
Lysmata Boggessi
Nudibranch Berghia Verrucicornis
Fishes = Acreichthys Tomentosus
Chaetodon Burgessi
Chaetodon Aurigo
Chaetodon Lunula
Chaetodon Kleinii
Chelmon Rostratus
There is one aspect to point out regarding these predatory animals of aiptasia and that is that most of them are very difficult to feed (once the glass anemones are finished) and acclimatize or may not be too reef safe or again, you may not have the right size tank to grow them in the best conditions.
So, think carefully about any choice, especially when it comes to butterfly fish.

PHYSICAL / CHEMICAL REMOVAL

It is absolutely impossible to think of removing an aiptasia by scraping it from the rock, cutting it or crushing it, because even a very small fragment not removed will give birth to a new specimen.
On the other hand, there are other methods that can keep it under control, such as liquid chemicals (such as aiptasia x) or in paste, which placed on or in the mouth of a single animal can eliminate it; we are talking about compounds made of calcium and / or lime that are well tolerated by the aquarium but to be handled with care using gloves, because they can be caustic.
One of these, the most used, is kalkwasser paste: mixed with osmotic water and brought to a toothpaste-like consistency and placed over the mouth of the aiptasia, it will melt it.
You can also use epoxy resin in order to trap the animal in the rock.
Another method within everyone's reach because it is always present in the home, is to use boiling white vinegar to syringe the animal, taking care to pierce it deeply with the needle.

MAJANO (Anemonia Manjano)

Sea anemones of the family of the actiniidae rather small (about 1,5 cm.), Are much cuter than their aiptasie cousins.
Up to now 22 species have been recognized. Also for them, the insertion in the aquarium can occur inadvertently, through rocks or coral bases and can be very invasive and dangerous for fish and invertebrates because it is stinging and poisonous in the same way as the aiptasias.
They are brown / greenish in color and the tentacles have green, white or otherwise clear, rounded or pointed tips depending on the conditions.
They move and anchor with a sticky foot adhering to anything (in the case of our aquariums on technique, glass, rocks, etc.).
They feed on zooxanthellae but being carnivorous they also eat zooplankton.

NATURAL PREDATORS

Shrimp Lysmata Wurdemanni
Pisces = I Centropyge (P. angelo nani)
The genus Apolemighthys (angelfish)
The genus Pomacanthus
Acreichthys Tomentosus
Even for these fish we must keep in mind their eating habits and if we have an aquarium large enough to host them in the future.

PHYSICAL / CHEMICAL REMOVAL

The majano can also be removed manually and in this case the same techniques and products listed above will be used for the aiptasias.

Article written by:
Loredana Prologo
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