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Controlling Pests In Your Aquarium

Oct 25, 2007
Your aquarium is a place where live creatures coexist with each other. As such, it is very possible that it will often suffer from infiltration by pests. The problem with pests is that they will compete with the fish for the resources within the aquarium, and that will directly affect the health of the fish. The common pests that are found in aquariums are aiptasia, flatworms, nudibranches and redbugs. Let us see how we can rid the aquarium from these uninvited creatures.


Why is Aiptasia a Pest?

Aiptasia are a kind of sea anemones that can enter into your reef aquarium hitchhiking on live rock or other such material that you introduce into the tank. Aiptasia are not harmful when they are present in the reef tank in a small number, but then they can grow very fast. Being anemones, they are animals and can take up the resources of the tank quite fast. That will deprive the fish of the safe and healthy aquatic environment that you have built for them. Within no time, Aiptasia will begin looking very ungainly in your beautiful reef tank. That is the reason they are pests that must be removed as soon as possible.

How do we Control Aiptasia?

Aiptasia must be nipped in the bud for effective control. It becomes very difficult to remove them when they proliferate. The most effective method in such times is to inject the anemones with chemical solutions. A very cheap treatment method is to inject them with joes juice. Some other chemicals that can be used are kalk paste and Elimi Aiptasia by Tropic Marin.


Why are Flatworms Pests?

Flatworms like Planaria are pests in the aquarium habitat. These flatworms are especially undesirable in a reef aquarium, because they have a nasty habit of carpeting onto the corals in the reef and stopping their supply of sunlight and nutrients.

How do we Control Flatworms?

Most people use biological control for the elimination of flatworms in the reef aquarium. Organisms like Chelidonuria are known to feed on flatworms. Hence, introducing Chelidonuria in the reef tank could be a solution. There are also flatworm control solutions available in the market, such as Salifert Flatworm exit.


Why are Nudibranches Pests?

The nudibranches are a type of sea snails that are parasitic on the corals belonging to the genus Montipora, sometimes known as the montis. Sometimes the proliferation can be so vast that the nudibranches could even kill the montis.

How do we Control Nudibranches?

One biological method of controlling nudibranches is to introduce some wrasses in the reef aquarium, especially the six lined wrasses. Some chemicals are effective in repelling nudibranches too, the prominent ones among them being potassium permanganate and even garlic.


Why are Redbugs Pests?

Redbugs are common pests on the Acropora corals. Redbugs can actually serve as cleaners for the corals, because they can feed on the waste materials and other metabolic products that the corals produce. But in large numbers they will upset the biological balance maintained within the aquarium habitats.

How do we Control Redbugs?

Dragonface pipefish can act as a natural deterrent to the redbugs present in the tank, and hence are used for biological control. Another method is to clean the coral itself with an iodine solution and the aquarium cleaning medium. This is a touchy topic on ways to eradicate them. The most proven method is a flea medicine called Interceptor.
About the Author
SaltySupply.com offersaquarium filters. We offer protein skimmers such as the Aqua C Remora and Tunze.
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