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ReefTown provides high quality Berghia Nudibranchs for saltwater aquariums. ReefTown Berghia are the best natural defense against the unwanted aquarium pests known as Aiptasia anemones. Berghia are non-toxic to corals and fish and are completely reef safe. Order Berghia from ReefTown now and rid your aquarium of unwanted Aiptasia naturally.
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The Best Natural Defense
The best natural defense against Aiptasia is Berghia Nudibranchs, as their sole diet is Aiptasia anemones. Berghia Nudibranchs are non-toxic to corals and fish and are considered to be completely reef safe.
Berghia verrucicornis, a nudibranch or Sea Slug is a natural and nontoxic predator to eradicate one of the most bothersome pest organisms in marine aquaria, Aiptasia anemones (also know as glass anemones). They are therefore, the most perfect, highly desirable solution for aquarist. They are normally white-colored but incorporate the beige colored zooxanthellae and nematocysts of the ingested aiptasia in their gill filaments, making them darker in color with every bite.
In well-fed individuals, the gill filaments can take on an almost purple color. They store the eaten, but undigested, nematocysts of their prey in pouches extending up from their backs, presumably as predator deterrence.
Berghia are peaceful members of the aquarium and should not be kept with more aggressive species that may attack and harm it. They are commonly found in tropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Berghia Nudibranchs can grow to about 1.5 inches. The Berghia nudibranch is highly desirable for the marine aquaria because it’s a direct, natural solution to the infestation of the pest Aiptasia anemone (glass anemone). Scraping Aiptasia or the use of different chemicals have not been effective, and actually when irritating the base of the Aiptasia creates more budding to occur and therefore stimulating more Aiptasia production. Then the growth and explosive infestation cycle begins!
Berghia Nudibranchs work together as a colony and are very active nocturnal hunters. Berghia’s ability to expand and contract allows them to crawl into the cracks and crevices of the coral rock where the Aiptasia anemone basal growth and budding occurs and start chomping away! Go Berghia Go!
- Peppermint shrimp.
- Bristletail or Matted Filefish
- Butterflyfish esp. Racoon & Longnosed
- Long nosed hawkfish.
- Wrasses (except Fairy wrasses).
- Camel shrimp.
- Some brittle starfish (to a lesser degree).
- Large crabs (Sally Lightfoot, Green legged hermit, etc.)
- Anything that CAN eat an Aiptasia, whether it does or not, CAN eat a Berghia with no regrets
- Lower rock areas with Bristle worm nests could eat Berghia to protect their eggs.
- Chemicals used for Aiptasia could kill Berghia and Berghia eggs. (not your Ca+ dosing routinely done in your tank)
(PLEASE NOTE: THE PRESENCE OF PREDATORS IN YOUR TANK WILL NOT NECESSARILY PRECLUDE SUCCESS WITH BERGHIA, JUST REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS OR INCREASE TIME NEEDED FOR SUCCESS IN ELIMINATING AIPTASIA)
It is very common NOT to see them again once you put them into your aquarium, at least until they have eliminated the aiptasia and are out looking for food. Berghia are nocturnal, thus if you were to see them it would be at night, and very seldom during daylight hours. They are tucked away in the crevices of your rocks, because that’s where the aiptasia bases are found. The Berghia you have put in are only your Breeder’s. Aiptasia populations typically get worse before they get better, because no one has told the Aiptasia to stop reproducing since we have Berghia present. It will require 2-4 months to eradicate the Aiptasia population. It will be when the Berghia population reaches “Critical Mass” before you will notice any results. Note, the size of the Berghia at this juncture is approximately 1mm or less. Then it will happen similar to the Nitrogen Cycle (NO2). Typical scenario: ”I’ve never seen the Berghia since I put them in and my Aiptasia are getting worse. This was a waste of money they don’t work. Then one day you will come home and say “Hey, what happened to all the Aiptasia?” Once the Aiptasia have been eliminated, it is possible to see Berghia cruising around (even in daylight) in search of food. If Aiptasia are stinging your corals right now, take a scallop shell or something similar and place it in between the two, to prevent the aiptasia from touching the coral. The Aiptasia will have to move or bend the other way to get light, do this as a temporary measure until the Berghia can do their job. You can also kill the aiptasia (however, not with any chemical or solution, as that can harm the Berghia) and even if they send out planulae larvae; no matter because the Berghia will eat them as well when they settle out.
Unwanted Aquarium Pest
Aiptasia anemones Aiptasia anemones or (Glass Anemones) are a prolific, Unwanted Aquarium Pest which can multiply at such exorbitant and exponential rates as to takeover and choke out a coral reef aquaria. These anemones have powerful stings that not only discourage full polyp extension but can kill or cause bacterial infections to local colonies of ornamental corals and zooanthids. Aiptasia are often accidentally imported along with live rock and once present in the aquarium are notoriously difficult to remove.
Aiptasia are small light brown anemones of the species A. pallida and A. pulchella. The anemones are typically less than 1.5" long and frequently much smaller. They are semi-transparent, hence the common name of Glass Anemone. They are photosynthetic, but will eat things that are small enough for them to catch. The stalk is attached to a hard substrate, usually in a crevice. This allows the anemone to quickly withdraw into the hole when danger approaches.
Aiptasia reproduce through the process known as pedal laceration which occurs when baby anemones develop from small bits of tissue left behind as the anemone wanders around but can also reproduce by emitting planulae larvae into the water column. This is usually in response to an eminent threat of eradication, such as when attacked by an angry aquarist or “shot up” with a caustic chemical. Live rock is an important component to your reef aquarium.
Unfortunately, bringing a rich variety of organisms into your reef often brings unwanted sea life that can quickly overgrow and take over your aquarium. Aiptasia species, also known as Glass or Rock anemones, is one such "hitchhiker".
Why should Aiptasia be eliminated?
Aiptasia anemones harm your reef by multiplying rapidly and aggressively competing for space by stinging your precious corals and killing them at their point of contact. This stinging can further cause a secondary bacterial infection which can spread and kill the entire coral. They are also notoriously difficult to eliminate.
Other unwanted organisms may be removed rather easily but Aiptasia is much more difficult because they are so tiny. They can quickly withdraw into tiny holes. When you try to siphon, pull, or cut Aiptasia and you don't remove most of it, it can regenerate itself, sometimes into multiple anemones leaving you with more than you started with. More importantly, if you treat the Aiptasia with the Calcium based "cures" presently on the market, you run the risk of evoking a defensive response by the Aiptasia of releasing hundreds of planulae larvae into the water column. This release is a protective mechanism designed to propagate the species. Thus, within 3-6 weeks after treatment you very well may have hundreds if not thousands of baby Aiptasia popping up everywhere.
It is essential to rid your aquarium of these creatures as soon as possible before their numbers reach nuisance proportions!