Franks Tanks 6080 S. Hulen Street #770 Fort Worth, Texas 76132 817.423.3474(FISH)
Store Hours Monday-Saturday 12pm - 7pm Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Get Frank’s Tanks News!

Pests

Aptasia Anemones
Aptasia anemones are one of the most common  nuisances of the saltwater aquarium.  These pests may start off as a single organism and quickly reproduce out of control in your aquarium.  Larger anemones have been known to sting and even eat smaller fish as they try to rest.  Aptasia also compete for some of the smaller and beneficial microfauna that corals and small fish utilize for food sources. There are a number of ways to get rid of aptasia anemones. The sooner you start the process of elimination, the more likely you are to defeat them. Many manufacturers make a product that you can either cover or inject the anemone with.  Bilogical eradication includes the use of the proper peppermint shrimp, some filefish and also the Berghia nudibranch
Whether these are dangerous to your tank or not will depend on who you  are asking.  I can tell you from my experience that bristle worms have not been proven to be a threat to a reef aquarium.  They eat food that has escaped the grasp of the aquarium's intended inhabitants and keep that food from breaking down and creating a water quality issue. They often get a bad rap because they will start eating dying animals before they are completely dead.  This gives the impression that they are also the killer when in most, if not all cases, they were simply doing the cleanup!  Bristle worms give me the creeps, so I am not a fan.  However, I am fully aware that they exist in my systems like all others. They have bristle-like tufts that when touched, can leave itchy uncomfortable bristles embedded in the part of you that came in contact with it. Fortunately, there are many kinds of fish and invertebrates to help you control these. Gobies, Hawkfish, wrasses, coral banded shrimp and arrow crabs delight themselves on these.
Cyanobacteria is another common nuisance of the saltwater  aquarium. Over the many years that I have been doing saltwater, just over the last 10 years or so, I have noticed that this problem tends to occur a time or so a year.  I have also noticed that when I am dealing with it, we are also selling a lot of the chemical treatments for it to customers.  At one time, I wrongfully figured that the problem was being caused by a particular brand of salt.  I have since acknowledged that red slime algae still occurs a couple times a year and regardless as to which brand of salt that is being used. The hobby is not sure whether this is a seasonal issue created by something that we don't quite understand or if this is from chemicals added to our water supply that manages to make it through our RODI units.  Stay tuned! A great product for this is Cyano RX by BlueLife. Another way to try and eliminate Cyanobacteria is to try and raise and maintain the higher acceptable pH levels.  Ideally between 8.2 and 8.4.
People usually go crazy when they see diatoms in their new  aquarium.  Actually they are quite common in new setups and, in fact, they are nicknamed 'new tank syndrome.'  In a tank with sand and rock, I usually use a pot and pan brush with nylon bristles to rub the rock daily.  I smooth over the sand on a regular basis when diatoms are noticeable. Eventually, you will notice that it will no longer be necessary to do these things as the diatoms will suddenly disappear provided that you are not overfeeding the aquarium.  It's a great time to add a little help such as snails, hermit crabs and conchs!
Diatoms
Admittedly, I sometimes feel sorry for these crabs for the stuff that they are blamed for.  Crabs ARE opportunistic animals.  They are  capable of eating small fish in the aquarium.  But sometimes they get blamed for things that they probably didn't do. On the other hand, I was once traumatized while pointing out my huge mandarin goby in a 300 gallon display when a big gorilla crab suddenly snagged it as we watched helplessly. At a later date, my son and I became mechanical eradication.  We hunted this thing down and we finally caught it! We put it in a tank with a peacock mantis shrimp.  When we came in the next day, the big bad crab was in about 25 smaller pieces.  The shrimp had a crab buffet! But seriously, I remove any crab from my tank that I can't recognize whether they are guilty of something or not!
Gorilla Crab
These nudibranchs will wreck any form of montipora!  If you  notice any part of your montipora turning white, look closely at the white part and you may see these nudibranchs lunching on your fine corals. Dipping these corals take care of the nudibranchs but more work is needed to get rid of the eggs! Time to find a wrasse to help clean things up!
Montipora eating nudibranch
A coral's main source of energy is derived through photosynthesis. When Red planaria or practically any other kind of flatworm covers a coral, it takes  away the coral's ability to utilize light. Therefore, the health of the coral might rapidly deteriorate.  Many hobbyists actually believe that these pests are eating the coral. I have not seen anything that has proven this theory. Again we have both chemical and biological remedies.  Salifert makes a product called Flatworm Exit that is very effective in killing these nuisances.  Remember to follow the directions on the package when killing lots of these flatworms at once. Toxins are released that can be more dangerous than the problem itself if you are not prepared to deal with them by having plenty carbon on hand.  Many types of fish are also effective at removing flatworms.  Many different kinds of wrasses and even some of the more docile damsels have been known for their work at keeping flatworms and other pests under control. Both Australian pipefish and  dragon pipefish love to eat them too!!!
Planaria
Clam not opened quite as wide as it was when you purchased it? Take a look underneath it. Look real closely for some rice-like snails that will literally eat the life  right out of a clam!  If you see one, there are probably many!  You can use a soft bristle toothbrush to brush the underside of the clam.  I would do this and check regularly over the next week.  These pests are quite simple to get rid of.  In addition to the brushing method, its a good idea to introduce a wrasse or two to help remove them from the tank!
Pyramid snails
Red bugs are small mite-like pests that tend to predate mostly upon smooth  skinned acropora although they will eat even those without the smooth appearance. In recent years, the hobby has learned that some animal heart worm products have been highly effective killers of these tiny yellow pests with a distinctive red dot on them. Biologically, dragon pipefish and some docile damselfish  have also been known to love them!
Red bugs
Sundial snails are easy to spot and easy to remove  when using forceps or even needle nose pliers. They are almost always found embedded in zoanthids!  I am not aware of any natural predators of this pest
Sundial snails
Bubble Algae is a round bubble-like green algae that can quickly  get out of hand in a saltwater aquarium.  It can be controlled by breaking pieces off and discarding or by using emerald crabs to get into places that the hand can not reach into.  I will 'catch it' from some hobbyists who will read this and suggest that I have given bad information by suggesting that this algae can be removed by hand.  Some think that bursting these pods will cause a bigger outbreak of this algae pest.  I have NEVER seen any proof of this.  In fact, emerald crabs do not swallow whole.  They break and eat pieces until the algae is gone.  It has been widely recognized that some Red Sea tangs such as the Desjardini Tang and the Sohal Tang will also eat bubble algae.
Bubble Algae
Are your zoanthids closed?  Take a real close look at them!  These zoanthid eaters are a real pain.  They blend in so perfectly that they often look like part of the coral. When able, you can pull zoanthids and dip them in one of many products available in the hobby.  But a single dip won't always eliminate all of them or their eggs.  Regular dipping and scraping will become part of your work until these are gone.  Coris wrasses are great predators!
Like the aptasia anemone, this anemone can be difficult to eradicate.  These anemones are often prettier than aptasia and may actually resemble  desirable corals. Make no mistake.  The majano is a nuisance in the aquarium and are  considered far more difficult to get rid of than their nuisance cousin!  I have still seen some success with the aptasia treatments such as chemicals, peppermint shrimp and some filefish!
Majano Anemones
Bristle Worms 
Cyanobacteria
Zoanthid eating nudibranch

There are many pests and other nuisances that can make a reef-keeping

nightmare!

Some of these are quite simple to eradicate while others are far more difficult! In most cases, we introduce these pests with our live rock, new corals or fish from many sources including stores of other hobbyists! We cure our rock in a very saline solution of 1.060. We figure that the loss of any visible coralline algae or desired hitch hikers far outweighs the potential of introducing pests that are undesirable and more difficult to control. Besides, coralline returns quickly when proper calcium, alkalinity and magnesium levels are maintained! And although poor water maintenance usually has little or nothing to do with how we acquired these nuisances, it may have everything to do with how some thrive and reproduce!  
High nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates are often the cause of green hair algae.   Using tap water instead of RODI ( Reverse Osmosis/ Deionized ) water can feed nitrates and phosphates into your system as can overfeeding or allowing dead animals to decompose in the system. Excessive or poor lighting can also be a contributor to this huge problem!  If you are using metal halides, compact fluorescent bulbs, VHO lighting or T-5's and you are not changing your bulbs at the proper intervals, the breakdown of the spectrum in your old bulbs can cause issues with hair algae that can quickly get out of hand and make you pull your own hair out.  You see, once you do whatever you do to neglect your tank to the point of growing this algae, it's not as simple as correcting the things that you did wrong to turn this problem around like some publications might suggest. Natural predators include hermit crabs and many kinds of snails, sea urchins, sea rabbits and some fish such as tangs and blennies. The hobby suggests that starting a refugium with one of several types of macro algae growing in it is a good way to reduce the phosphates in your display. I have not seen any actual proof of this although I am not discrediting it. The logic of this is that since the macro algae uses nitrates and phosphates as a food source, then that algae would out compete for the nutrients that would be necessary to grow nuisance algae like hair algae and other types.
Roadrunner  Media   Website Design by
Franks Tanks 6080 S. Hulen Street #770 Fort Worth, Texas 76132
Store Hours Monday-Saturday        12pm - 7pm Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Get Frank’s Tanks News!

Pests

There are many pests and other

nuisances that can make a reef-

keeping nightmare!

Some of these are quite simple to eradicate while others are far more difficult! In most cases, we introduce these pests with our live rock, new corals or fish from many sources including stores of other hobbyists! We cure our rock in a very saline solution of 1.060. We figure that the loss of any visible coralline algae or desired hitch hikers far outweighs the potential of introducing pests that are undesirable and more difficult to control. Besides, coralline returns quickly when proper calcium, alkalinity and magnesium levels are maintained! And although poor water maintenance usually has little or nothing to do with how we acquired these nuisances, it may have everything to do with how some thrive and reproduce!  
Aptasia Anemones
Aptasia anemones are one of the most  common nuisances of the saltwater aquarium.  These pests may start off as a single organism and quickly reproduce out of control in your aquarium.  Larger anemones have been known to sting and even eat smaller fish as they try to rest.  Aptasia also compete for some of the smaller and beneficial microfauna that corals and small fish utilize for food sources. There are a number of ways to get rid of aptasia anemones. The sooner you start the process of elimination, the more likely you are to defeat them. Many manufacturers make a product that you can either cover or inject the anemone with.  Bilogical eradication includes the use of the proper peppermint shrimp, some filefish and also the Berghia nudibranch
Whether these are dangerous to your tank or not will depend on who you are  asking.  I can tell you from my experience  that bristle worms have not been proven to be a threat to a reef aquarium.  They eat food that has escaped the grasp of the aquarium's intended inhabitants and keep that food from breaking down and creating a water quality issue. They often get a bad rap because they will start eating dying animals before they are completely dead.  This gives the impression that they are also the killer when in most, if not all cases, they were simply doing the cleanup!  Bristle worms give me the creeps, so I am not a fan.  However, I am fully aware that they exist in my systems like all others. They have bristle-like tufts that when touched, can leave itchy uncomfortable bristles embedded in the part of you that came in contact with it. Fortunately, there are many kinds of fish and invertebrates to help you control these. Gobies, Hawkfish, wrasses, coral banded shrimp and arrow crabs delight themselves on these.
Cyanobacteria is another common  nuisance of the saltwater aquarium. Over the many years that I have been doing saltwater, just over the last 10 years or so, I have noticed that this problem tends to occur a time or so a year.  I have also noticed that when I am dealing with it, we are also selling a lot of the chemical treatments for it to customers.  At one time, I wrongfully figured that the problem was being caused by a particular brand of salt.  I have since acknowledged that red slime algae still occurs a couple times a year and regardless as to which brand of salt that is being used. The hobby is not sure whether this is a seasonal issue created by something that we don't quite understand or if this is from chemicals added to our water supply that manages to make it through our RODI units.  Stay tuned! A great product for this is Cyano RX by BlueLife. Another way to try and eliminate Cyanobacteria is to try and raise and maintain the higher acceptable pH levels.  Ideally between 8.2 and 8.4.
People usually go crazy when they see  diatoms in their new aquarium.  Actually they are quite common in new setups and, in fact, they are nicknamed 'new tank syndrome.'  In a tank with sand and rock, I usually use a pot and pan brush with nylon bristles to rub the rock daily.  I smooth over the sand on a regular basis when diatoms are noticeable. Eventually, you will notice that it will no longer be necessary to do these things as the diatoms will suddenly disappear provided that you are not overfeeding the aquarium.  It's a great time to add a little help such as snails, hermit crabs and conchs!
Diatoms
Admittedly, I sometimes feel sorry for these crabs for the stuff that they are blamed  for.  Crabs ARE opportunistic animals.  They  are capable of eating small fish in the aquarium.  But sometimes they get blamed for things that they probably didn't do. On the other hand, I was once traumatized while pointing out my huge mandarin goby in a 300 gallon display when a big gorilla crab suddenly snagged it as we watched helplessly. At a later date, my son and I became mechanical eradication.  We hunted this thing down and we finally caught it! We put it in a tank with a peacock mantis shrimp.  When we came in the next day, the big bad crab was in about 25 smaller pieces.  The shrimp had a crab buffet! But seriously, I remove any crab from my tank that I can't recognize whether they are guilty of something or not!
Gorilla Crab
These nudibranchs will wreck any form of  montipora!  If you notice any part of your montipora turning white, look closely at the white part and you may see these nudibranchs lunching on your fine corals. Dipping these corals take care of the nudibranchs but more work is needed to get rid of the eggs! Time to find a wrasse to help clean things up!
Montipora eating nudibranch
A coral's main source of energy is derived through photosynthesis. When Red planaria or  practically any other kind of flatworm covers a  coral, it takes away the coral's ability to utilize light. Therefore, the health of the coral might rapidly deteriorate.  Many hobbyists actually believe that these pests are eating the coral. I have not seen anything that has proven this theory. Again we have both chemical and biological remedies.  Salifert makes a product called Flatworm Exit that is very effective in killing these nuisances.  Remember to follow the directions on the package when killing lots of these flatworms at once. Toxins are released that can be more dangerous than the problem itself if you are not prepared to deal with them by having plenty carbon on hand.  Many types of fish are also effective at removing flatworms.  Many different kinds of wrasses and even some of the more docile damsels have been known for their work at keeping flatworms and other pests under control. Both Australian pipefish and  dragon pipefish love to eat them too!!!
Planaria
Clam not opened quite as wide as it was when you purchased it? Take a look underneath it. Look real closely for some rice- like snails that will literally eat the life right out of a clam!  If you see one, there are probably many!  You can use a soft bristle toothbrush to brush the underside of the clam.  I would do this and check regularly over the next week.  These pests are quite simple to get rid of.  In addition to the brushing method, its a good idea to introduce a wrasse or two to help remove them from the tank!
Pyramid snails
Red bugs are small mite-like pests that  tend to predate mostly upon smooth skinned acropora although they will eat even those without the smooth appearance. In recent years, the hobby has learned that some animal heart worm products have been highly effective killers of these tiny yellow pests with a distinctive red dot on them. Biologically, dragon pipefish and some docile damselfish  have also been known to love them!
Red bugs
Sundial snails are easy to spot and easy to  remove when using forceps or even needle nose pliers. They are almost always found embedded in zoanthids!  I am not aware of any natural predators of this pest
Sundial snails
Bubble Algae is a round bubble-like green  algae that can quickly get out of hand in a saltwater aquarium.  It can be controlled by breaking pieces off and discarding or by using emerald crabs to get into places that the hand can not reach into.  I will 'catch it' from some hobbyists who will read this and suggest that I have given bad information by suggesting that this algae can be removed by hand.  Some think that bursting these pods will cause a bigger outbreak of this algae pest.  I have NEVER seen any proof of this.  In fact, emerald crabs do not swallow whole.  They break and eat pieces until the algae is gone.  It has been widely recognized that some Red Sea tangs such as the Desjardini Tang and the Sohal Tang will also eat bubble algae.
Bubble Algae
Are your zoanthids closed?  Take a real  close look at them!  These zoanthid eaters are a real pain.  They blend in so perfectly that they often look like part of the coral. When able, you can pull zoanthids and dip them in one of many products available in the hobby.  But a single dip won't always eliminate all of them or their eggs.  Regular dipping and scraping will become part of your work until these are gone.  Coris wrasses are great predators!
Like the aptasia anemone, this anemone can be difficult to eradicate.  These anemones are often prettier than aptasia and may actually resemble  desirable corals. Make no mistake.  The majano is a  nuisance in the aquarium and are considered far more difficult to get rid of than their nuisance cousin!  I have still seen some success with the aptasia treatments such as chemicals, peppermint shrimp and some filefish!
Majano Anemones
Bristle Worms 
Cyanobacteria
Zoanthid eating nudibranch
High nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates are often the cause of green hair algae.   Using tap water instead of RODI ( Reverse Osmosis/ Deionized ) water can feed nitrates and phosphates into your system as can overfeeding or allowing dead animals to decompose in the system. Excessive or poor lighting can also be a contributor to this huge problem!  If you are using metal halides, compact fluorescent bulbs, VHO lighting or T- 5's and you are not changing your bulbs at the proper intervals, the breakdown of the spectrum in your old bulbs can cause issues with hair algae that can quickly get out of hand and make you pull your own hair out.  You see, once you do whatever you do to neglect your tank to the point of growing this algae, it's not as simple as correcting the things that you did wrong to turn this problem around like some publications might suggest. Natural predators include hermit crabs and many kinds of snails, sea urchins, sea rabbits and some fish such as tangs and blennies. The hobby suggests that starting a refugium with one of several types of macro algae growing in it is a good way to reduce the phosphates in your display. I have not seen any actual proof of this although I am not discrediting it. The logic of this is that since the macro algae uses nitrates and phosphates as a food source, then that algae would out compete for the nutrients that would be necessary to grow nuisance algae like hair algae and other types.
817-423-3474 (FISH)
817-423-3474 (FISH)
Roadrunner  Media   Website Design by
817- 423 (FISH) 3474