Jaco Schoeman

Chemical Control of Aiptasia

  • Guys, I thought I would write this thread to assist guys that is not sure about which of the three most known chemical treatments for aiptasia to use.

    **Please just remember that this is from my personal experience, so many may differ, and if you have any further advice to add please post here. I am not going to discuss any fish, nudi or shrimp treatment here, this is purely chemical controll.

    Okey, so over the last few weeks I drastically had to do something about my aiptasia "farm" that was rapidly growing all over. I had them growin on my corals, glass, pumps and of course rock. I used three different products from three different manufacturers to try and bring them under control chemically.

    This is the results I found on each of them:

    1) Product Name: Tropic Marin - Elemi Aiptais.
    Price: +/- R140 - R160
    Package Contents: 50ml bottle with liquid content. Syringe and sharp needle.
    Ease of use: The product is a thin liquid that is easily pulled up using the syringe supplied. Injecting the liquid is a real mission, as you must inject into the coral disc, trying to miss the gastrovascular tube, otherwise the anemone just discharges the liquid into the water through it's mouth. The needle is very sharp and one needs to use care not to hurt other livestock.
    Problems: The real drawback to this product is the fact that you have to insert the needle into the anemone in order to treat it. This is very difficult as the aiptasia immediately retracts the moment the needle touches it. Also treating small specimens is almost impossible.
    Effectiveness: If (and let us exclamate the word IF) you do inject the aiptasia 100% right, it dies a very fast death. If however you get it wrong, which you do 49 out of 50 times, you puncture the aiptasia which triggers it to spawn hundreds of spores, regrowing all over the tank. I have also noticed that injecting one large aiptasia will cause it "die" and there will be 10 small ones in that area a few days later.
    Pro's: The price only really, and it is easy to draw from the bottle.
    Con's: Not really effective, as you need precision to inject right.
    My Rating: 2/10


    2) Product Name: Joe's Juice
    Price: +/- R130 - R150
    Package Contents: 20ml bottle with white thickish liquid. Syringe and sharp point plastic needle.
    Ease of use: After shaking the bottle well, you insert the syringe and try to draw the liquid out. The problem is this product has kalk in it, which, no matter how hard you try and keep the lid tight, forms kalk creep and it bolcks the syringe. Then you have a mission to get the stuff into the syringe. Then getting the stuff out once it blocks up the needle is also a mission. I ended up pressing to hard, and then the inevitable burst of liquid and you really waste it. It does however allow you to carpet bomb the aiptasia by dripping droplets of the product over aiptasia, causing it to burn the aiptasia to death.
    Problems: The most problem I had here was the blockage of the needle, and the fact that I treated only half my tank and then the product was depleted. The second issue was that it has alot of kalk in it. I accidentally dropped some on a LPS in the tank, and it damaged the coral immediately. I dont think that the product would cause paramater issues, however I am not sure that if you use too much, whether it would cause parameter issues.
    Effectiveness: Kalk is a very well known product to kill aiptasia. Therefore I found that the aiptasia did initially die, but unfortunately it grew back after a short time, in the exact same spot. Also, if you do not cover the whole disc, it burns just a part of the anemone, which again causes it to release spores, causing it to reproduce elsewhere.
    Pro's: The kalk does a bit of damage once you get it right, but only when you get it right.
    Cons: Price per ml. And also the kalk that blocks up every time you want to withdraw or inject the liquid.
    My Rating: 4/10


    3) Product Name: Red Sea - Aiptasia X
    Price: +/- R160 - R190
    Package Contents: 60ml bottle with pinkish thick liquid. Syringe and two blunt steel needles. One straight and the other bent 45degrees at tip.
    Ease of use: The liquid is drawn up with the utmost of ease. The bent needle allows you access difficult to reach aiptasia, that sits on angles. You do have to have a very soft squeeze as the syringe responds very quickly to squirt the liquid. Again no physical touch is required so one can carpet bomb the aiptasia. I have even noticed aiptasia catching droplets with their tentacles and eating them.
    Problems: I really did not experience much issues with it. The main issue with this product is the syringe that reacts at the sligtest touch, sometimes letting you squirt more than you wanted to.
    Effectiveness: Once you have given an aiptasia a good dose of this, it is gone - for good. Unfortunately there will always be ones that sits in deep dark places, that will just respawn and grow again, but the product itself proves to be very very effective. The manufacturer also claims that a 60ml bottle will treat up to 100 large aiptasia.
    Pro's: The sniper of the chemical products... One shot in the head and the aiptasia is down. It works so easy, and the bent needle helps to get to the more difficult canidates.
    Cons: The price might be a tad high, but the volume of the bottle is quite good, so you get your money's worth.
    My Rating: 9/10