Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will Berghia nudibranchs eat my corals or other inhabitants in my aquarium?
A: NO. Berghia have a highly specialized diet consisting solely on Aiptasia. If Berghia cannot find aiptasia to eat within 5-7 days they will die. They are therefore, the most perfect, highly desirable solution for aquarist.

Q: How long does it take for the Berghia to rid my aquarium of aiptasia?
A: Patience “Is A Must” for best results! Nature must be able to take it’s course on it’s own time frame. Like Aiptasia, Berghia reproduce exponentially. It is necessary to have sufficient quantities of Berghia to keep up with the reproduction of aiptasia. If you want to pay, you can purchase hundreds of Berghia for immediate results; or you can wait for them to create a “voracious aiptasia eliminating nudi colony,” If you introduce the recommended quantity of Berghia it should take about 3 months to achieve a 2nd egg laying population of Berghia. This is when the aiptasia don’t stand a chance. At this point, the time frame is relative to the extent of the aiptasia problem and the number of predators present that eat Berghia.

Q: Why not just “Inject” or “Feed” the aiptasia chemicals or Calcium solutions to kill them?
A: Many times when you use these methods, the treatment does kill the aiptasia treated. One problem, is finding, reaching and treating every aiptasia present. Secondly, there is a very good chance the treatment will cause the aiptasia to release thousands of planulae larvae in the water to repopulate itself. Therefore, within 3-6 weeks you risk having hundreds of little aiptasia, for each aiptasia treated, beginning to develop all over your aquarium, and I mean everywhere…….aaaahhhhhh !!!!!!

Q: How many Berghia should I put into my tank?
A: Here are a few rules of thumb

  • At least one Berghia per 10 gallons for a moderate to heavy infestation.
  • Or, 2 Berghia per 10 Aiptasia plus one or more per each additional 10 Aiptasia present.
  • If you have several groups of more than 10 Aiptasia, you’ll want to put in several groups of 6 or more Berghia. Berghia Nudibranchs multiply quickly; it can take several generations to build a large enough colony to completely eradicate an Aiptasia infestation. The more Berghia you start with the faster they find each other to lay eggs and the larger the colony becomes. Thus, the faster the Aiptasia infestation declines leaving your aquarium “Aiptasia Free!”
“It is not recommended to put less than 6 nudibranchs in any size aquarium as it may be too difficult for them to find a mate in order to breed.”

For more information about the number of Berghia to buy, visit our Estimating Needs page.

Q: What eats Berghia?
A: There are several common inhabitants found in aquariums that can feed on your Berghia population. It is best not to have any, but having a predator doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have Berghia, but they will impact them. The more predators you have, the greater the risk of not achieving a viable Berghia population. Aggressive shrimp, such as, Peppermint shrimp, and Camel shrimp pose some of the largest threats. Many wrasses, as well will seek out Berghia. Most fish, however, don’t care for the taste of the Berghia because they incorporate the aiptasia’s nematocysts within their tissues. Some crabs (the Sally Lightfoot) and Bristle Worms can do damage as well.

Q: After putting the Berghia in my aquarium I haven’t seen them since. Did they die?
A: As long as the Berghia were acclimated correctly, it is quite normal not to ever see the Berghia again, as they are nocturnal and seek their food at night. If you do see them during the daylight hours, chances are they are having a hard time finding aiptasia to eat and are starving, usually seen when most aiptasia are gone.

Q: How long does it take?
A: Patience A Must for Results! Nudibranchs are very small organisms reaching only up to 1 -1 ½ inches when fully mature. When reaching ¼ to ½ inch the young adults are very active and begin laying eggs. Each egg coil can have 100 to 300 eggs. Depending on the infestation of Aiptasia it can take 3-9 weeks for Berghia to start showing any decrease in anemones. Around 3 months the baby Berghia of the original colony will become visible, and in 4-5 months the young Berghia should be as large as the original colony.

If after 4-6 months there is no decline of aiptasia then reinforcements are needed to increase. LARGER COLONIES are a NECESSITY to gain control over massive growth or explosion!

The lifespan of the Berghia is 9 months to one year as long as there is enough food supply. Eventually the colony of Berghia will disappear naturally over time once the Aiptasia is eradicated! Great job!

Ready to eliminate nuisance Aiptasia? Click here to purchase Berghia.

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