If you have built or purchased a young reef tank or saltwater aquarium for a while you will be enjoying the sight of a thriving micro marine ecosystem. Depending on how much care you take about making the conditions of it perfect, you will notice some changes in it. It will grow, age, and naturally develop depending on the exact environmental micro conditions.
Some changes will indicate that it is healthy and thriving, while some may be a reason for concern.
What are the white spots in my saltwater tank?
If you notice pinhead-sized white spots on your tank glass, on the sump, overflow, or a living rock; you can be fairly certain that those are spirorbid worms. These filter feeders prefer a nutrient-rich environment, where they can breed at a high rate. Generally, their presence is harmless in a reef tank, though they can be a bit unsightly clinging on the glass and looking like dirt or infestation.
How to get rid of spirorbid worms?
Besides the fact that they can make your marine aquarium less pretty, there are no real reasons to get rid of them. And as filter feeders, they actually slightly improve the health of your tank. Getting rid of them also can be a long and arduous process of physically removing them from all the surfaces they attached to, and fine-tuning the exact amounts of nutrients.
If you suddenly decrease the amount of food you provide to your corals and fish, it can be very detrimental to their health. But if you are insisting on getting rid of them, there are some species that feed on spirorbid worms that you can introduce in your tank.
What eats spirorbid worms?
One of the natural predators of spirorbid worms is Vayssierea felis. These slugs are native to Indo-West Pacific and will make a quick job of spirorbid and many other similar tube worms that may colonize your tank. They are bright orange and can grow up to around ⅕ of an inch in length.
Another predator that feeds on these worms is the ornate leopard wrasse. These will not feed only spirorbid, but also on many other small bottom dwellers. But besides them, almost all aquarium fish of the Labridae family are known to very gladly eat spirorbid worms.
How do you get rid of Vermetid snails?
Vermetid snails are actually not a single species, but several species that are members of the Vermetidae family. When they are born, the snails will immediately look for a hard surface to attach to them and start building a calcified protective shell. In aquariums, they will very often attach to corals, and thus have a negative impact on corals’ growth and skeletal structure.
If you notice these little guys in your aquarium you should immediately take steps to get rid of them.
The best, though time-consuming, way to removing these snails from your aquarium is to physically remove them from your corals with bone cutters. If you decide on this method, you should be careful to remove their base too, and not just the mucus net they use to catch plankton and other nutrients.
Another method is to carefully use super glue to seal off their tubes. After a while, because they are not able to feed, snails will start dying off. Using this method you should be very careful. As they are starting decaying it will disturb the balance of your tank and will create perfect conditions for algae blooming.
Do snails eat corals?
There are many species of marine snails. Most of them are scavengers or opportunistic hunters, and some do eat corals on which they may find living space. But there are also species such as vermetid snails that do not feed on corals, but just by their very presence has a negative impact on its health and development.
That is why it is important to make your aquarium free of them as soon as you notice their presence.
What are pineapple sponges?
Also known by their Latin name Sycon ciliatum, pineapple sponges are a type of filter feeders that can take hold in the overflow boxes of the aquariums. Though they may be unsightly, they do absolutely no harm to the rest of the reef tank, and there is no real reason to remove them unless they are impacting the function of aquarium equipment.
Do bumble bee snails eat Vermetid snails?
The bumblebee snails or Engina mendicaria are carnivorous species of marine snails that are found in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. They are known as a predatory species of other snails, and it is not uncommon that they eat Vermetid snails.
But despite this, they are not a good solution for dealing with Vermetid, as they will opt to consume other sources of food if available, and very likely will ignore the presence of Vermetids.
Are pyramid snails bad?
In short, pyramid snails are very bad for the health of your aquarium. They are parasitic snails that usually infest clams and starfish. Though they grow only a few millimeters in length, they have a much longer proboscis that can pierce the shell of their host. In case the host is very healthy, pyramid snails can be harmless to it.
But as they very quickly multiply they can easily kill their host so it’s best to get rid of them as soon as you notice.
What do pyramid snails eat?
Pyramid snails have a proboscis they can use to pierce the shell of their host. Their preferred host is the Tridacna clams, on which they feed zooxanthellae cells of the clams. These single-cell symbiotic organisms are very important for the health of their hosts, which makes pyramid snails a pest that can kill Tridacna clams very easily.
How do you get rid of pyramid snails?
The easiest way to get rid of pyramid snails is to move the infected clam in a separate container with the aquarium water and mechanically remove the adult snails. After that, it’s a good idea to brush the clam thoroughly so that you would remove the eggs as well.
Another popular way to keep pyramid snails in check is to keep their natural predators in the aquarium. Among the most popular are the eight-lined wrasse and the green wrasse.