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Aiptasia Anemones or Glass Anemones are common hitchhikers found on live rock. To the novice hobbyists, these anemones might be an exciting surprise, but can quickly become a headache. Aiptasia can grow out of control spreading to surrounding live rock and glass. Aiptasia Anemones are considered pests because they can sting corals, passing fish and even you. Clownfish are also unlikely to host in Aiptasia Anemones. You want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Treat Aiptasia Anemones
Fortunately, there are natural predators and commercial products used to treat Aiptasia. The most common predator of Aiptasia is the Peppermint Shrimp. These shrimp are reef safe and a majority of them will eat small Aiptasia Anemones. Peppermint Shrimp are available at most Fish Stores, and should not be confused with the similar looking, but not reef safe Camel Shrimp. Approximately one to two Peppermint Shrimp per 25 gallons can be used to treat and prevent small Aiptasia Anemones.
For larger Aiptasia, commercial treatments may be necessary. Commonly available products include Joe’s Juice, Red Sea Aiptasia-X and Tropic Marin Elimi-Aiptas. All of these products have mixed reviews on how effectively they eliminate Aiptasia. One nice feature of these products is they do not affect water parameters like pH and alkalinity, as result they can be used on a daily basis to treat Aiptasia.
Kill Aiptasia Anemones
Kalkwasser is another product commonly used to add calcium and alkalinity into the aquarium, but can also be used to treat Aiptasia Anemones. By mixing Kalkwasser with water to form a paste, it can be shot near the Aiptasia with a plastic syringe or turkey baster. Although Kalkwasser is extremely effective, it cannot be used in large volume because it will boost calcium, alkalinity and pH. Be sure to monitor these levels before and after treating with Kalkwasser to prevent an overdose. Kalkwasser should never land directly on any coral as it will burn it.
Continued diligence with a combination of Peppermint Shrimp, Commercial Products and Kalkwasser is an effective way to treat and prevent Aiptasia in your saltwater aquarium. When using Kalkwasser remember to test Calcium. Alkalinity and pH levels before and after killing aiptasia anemones.