Aquarists are always asking us how to get rid of the glassrose anemone, Aiptasia. A number of products have been marketed to help eradicate these pest anemones, but lately advanced aquarists have been investigating the use of nudibranchs that feed on Aiptasia.
Recently there has been some excited discussion among advanced aquarists regarding a nuciibranch, Berghia vernicicornis, that eats Aiptasia anemones. While other Aiptasia-e'dt'mg nudibranchs have been reported (see The Reef Aquarium Vol. One), this species is now being cultured so that in time it should be widely available as a biological control for this prolific reef-wrecking anemone. That is quite a breakthrough for the reef aquarium hobby! (For additional information about culturing this nuciibranch, see Carroll and Kempf, 1990)
Other nudibranchs which may be useful for control of Aiptasia include Baeo lidia nodosa and Spit rill a neapolitana.
We mentioned using certain fishes to control Aiptasia in Volume One. The Copperband butterfly fish, Chelmon rostratas is a popular choice. More recently hobbyists have reported that brackish water Scats (Scatophagidae), which can be acclimated to full strength seawater, can also be employed for Aiptasia control, as can the related batfishes Platax teira and P. orbicularis. We must remind aquarists that any fish that eats Aiptasia may also eat corals.
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