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HUGE amphipods killing my zoas


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#1
phasezero

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First off, I have a 27 gallon bowfront that has been established for over a year now. It currently houses two frogfish and some hermit crabs and snails. I have been noticing for a while now that some of my zoas have not been looking so hot. I have lost a few colonies over the course of 4-5 months but attributed it to other things (i had a huge cyano problem and lost some corals, lighting has changed and I also thought my emerald crab i had went rogue etc). I know for certain it is the amphipods in my tank. I have literally seen them with my own eyes eating a healthy colony of zoas. They have their sights set on a new frag i just purchased from my LFS that was completely healthy two days ago, and now there are pods that look bitten and chewed, and half of them will not open. I am at a standstill as far as what to do. These pods are EVERYWHERE and they are HUGE.

I have decided to try to at least lessen the population in any way that i can. I cant buy a sixline wrasse or goby to try to eat them, because those fish wouldnt last 5 minutes in my tank before they themselves got eaten by my frogfish. I got some Chaeto and i currently have a small ball in a soap dish container hanging in my tank. My hope is that it will attract some pods and then i can simply remove the chaeto and rinse them off. Tonight, i took out the zoa rock that is under attack and fresh water dipped it for 5 minutes. I WAS SHOCKED!!!!!!! Almost 40 huge pods were there, and now dead and removed. I have taken some pictures and will keep you updated.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, im really frustrated right now and any help would be great!

The Zoas in question as of two days ago. you can see some of the ones on the bottom look a bit nibbled and irritated.
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THE FIRST REMOVAL
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#2
melbell86

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this post is from ME, my Fiance forgot to log out of his account on my computer :) Thanks for the help!!!

#3
Trogdor447

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My 2 cents.. not that your going to care - They are eating the dead flesh from the transporting process.. I have not had a problem w/ mine hell some of mine are even bigger then that.


What kind of light did your LFS have them under? They could be acclimating to your new light sequence.. I always get frags that open immediately upon arrival.. and then 2-3 days later are closed until they get used to my light schedule and then they open up.

There is probably more factors at play here - I would consider looking at every option, not that eradicating your pod population wont solve what you believe to be the problem..

Also if you keep chaeto running somewhere in there.. the pods love that stuff and probably will stop scavenging most of your tank for food.
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#4
melbell86

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thanks! I considered this as well but im really just not sure at this point. They were under T5s at the store, near the top. Im hoping the small chaeto ball i have in there will help. There are seriously TONS in my tank. the second the lights go off my tank comes alive. I have lost a few healthy zoa frags and im almost certain they were getting picked at by the pods. I didnt see any pox or other symptoms of anything else, but at this point im really not sure, im just trying anything and everything to help the problem. Thanks for the advice.

#5
MatthewStarr

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The pods have nothing to do with whats happening with your Zoas. Eventually once there is not enough food for the population to survive on they will start to die off. I had tons and tons of pods, but eventually they started dying off as there was no longer enough food to eat. The only thing pods do to corals is either clean them off detritus or make them close cuz of their legs "tickling" them. Nothing to worry about. Just keep an eye on your zoas, water parameters, temp all that good stuff. Now have you ever considered there may be a different animal in there that comes out at night? A worm perhaps or other creature.

#6
metrokat

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I started a thread on this very topic: amphipods stressing my zoas.
The pods can and will gnaw on the zoas.
FW dips are your best bet.

You might want to think about moving either the zoas to a QT tank or the frogfish and letting a wrasse at them.

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#7
melbell86

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i have a few bristle worms i have seen in the tank, but havent seen them on any of my zoas personally. I have seen the larger pods picking and biting at my zoas, to the point where the polyp actually comes off. I just looked in my tank which has only the blue LEDs on, and i watched a huge pod biting at a polyp, and pieces of "glowing" green skirt floating out of its mouth as it is chewing on it.

I dont know where they are getting another food source, because i feed my frogfish a silverside each twice a week and thats it. I dont have much if any excess food floating around in my tank. Im just really not sure at this point what keeps happening, pods or not, I think im just going to remove as many as i can just for peace of mind, and if it keeps happening im going to have to look elsewhere to find the cause of the problem.


I started a thread on this very topic: amphipods stressing my zoas.
The pods can and will gnaw on the zoas.
FW dips are your best bet.

You might want to think about moving either the zoas to a QT tank or the frogfish and letting a wrasse at them.


THANKS!!!! Yeah i have been thinking about the wrasse option. I might end up doing that in the end if i cant get the population under control this way. I would have to do some fish moving, but if i cant get this under control i knew a wrasse was probably going to be my best bet. Thanks for the advice, im going to check out that thread now.

#8
RESONANCE

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Lol sorry metro, just read that he can't keep the fish I suggested so I deleted my post.

Edited by RESONANCE, 24 October 2011 - 08:40 PM.

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#9
melbell86

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Amphipods can and do eat zoa/ paly flesh. People who argue otherwise probably have one or a few fish that keep the amphipod population hiding and under control. So that is my suggestion to you, get yourself a fish that will keep your amphipod population in line. If you have a small tank, a green clown goby will do the job. If you've a larger tank, I suggest a sixline wrasse or if you can find a reliable source, get a pink streak wrasse.

Btw, amphipods can get larger than that. Not trying to scare you but in one of my tanks a while ago, I've caught 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch sized amphipods. Measured it with a ruler and even photographed it. Just don't know where I stored the pic now lol.


thanks! I cant put any other fish in my tank right now, because my frogfish will eat them within 5 minutes lol. 3/4 inch pods?! AHHHHHHH they are like little saltwater cockroaches, i hate the little buggers. If i cant get this under control, im gonna have to move my frogfish to another tank temporarily and get a wrasse or a goby.

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#10
RESONANCE

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Ah nice you caught my post before I deleted it lmfao. :lol:
Nice frogfish btw! How wide can those frog fish stretch their mouth?

Yar... amphipods are the 'roaches of the sea. They do have a useful purpose but when there's nothing to keep the natural balance and keep them in line, they start acting like they own the 'reef!

Semi-random: Just a year or two ago scientist recently discovered a new and very aggressive (also poisonous) type of amphipod living in the depths of one of our ocean. I don't remember too much details except that it was really big, had a neon stripe down it's back. Some of them attacked the face of one of divers and started eating his face flesh. Don't worry though, they're definitely not wide spread nor typically found in reef environments. LOL.

*Just to finish the story - diver did get away but with obvious bleeding lesions on his face - I think it looked like he tried shaving with a dull razor blade.

Edited by RESONANCE, 24 October 2011 - 08:52 PM.

...trolling Atlantis and I still have my hands on the wheel...


#11
Builder Anthony

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Instead of just killing off the pods you should put them in a container and take them somewhere like your petstore.No sense in just killing things.Theres probally a hungry manderian or wrase in one of those tanks.Or just pur them in a jar and eventually you could sell them to someone.You could use a net when your siphioning them out to cacth them once they leave the tube then just throw them in the jar.
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#12
peasofme

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gammarus do kill corals
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#13
duderubble

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I had huge killer pods attack and destroy a trumpet coral (the first coral I put in my tank), I put in a sixline as my first fish and that problem went away. That's been over two years ago now. I think there's plenty of evidence that the stock answer of "pods don't bother healthy coral" is just wrong. Perhaps it's only certain species, but if you get those species with no biological control of them and they'll have a coral feast on lps and softies.

I wonder if a pistol shrimp could make a difference and would be frogfish safe?

#14
beefus

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I had good luck controlling my amphipods after I added a few peppermint shrimp to the tank.

#15
Formula462

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People who say these are just eating already dead\dying zoas are just regurgitating misinformation they have read somewhere else. I know from personal experience that these types of pods most certainly will attack healthy zoanthind colonies. I have viewed them with my own eyes sitting up and gnawing on the skirts of my watermelons and another few colonies. I FW dipped them and got the same results as the picture above. Within 3 days of having a severely diminished pod population, the zoas looked fantastic and fully extended. I have done this on more than one occasion with the same results. Pods are not going to let themselves starve to death when they possess the means to eat zoanthids.

Ah nice you caught my post before I deleted it lmfao. :lol:
Nice frogfish btw! How wide can those frog fish stretch their mouth?

Yar... amphipods are the 'roaches of the sea. They do have a useful purpose but when there's nothing to keep the natural balance and keep them in line, they start acting like they own the 'reef!

Semi-random: Just a year or two ago scientist recently discovered a new and very aggressive (also poisonous) type of amphipod living in the depths of one of our ocean. I don't remember too much details except that it was really big, had a neon stripe down it's back. Some of them attacked the face of one of divers and started eating his face flesh. Don't worry though, they're definitely not wide spread nor typically found in reef environments. LOL.

*Just to finish the story - diver did get away but with obvious bleeding lesions on his face - I think it looked like he tried shaving with a dull razor blade.


Source plz :lol:

#16
melbell86

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People who say these are just eating already dead\dying zoas are just regurgitating misinformation they have read somewhere else. I know from personal experience that these types of pods most certainly will attack healthy zoanthind colonies. I have viewed them with my own eyes sitting up and gnawing on the skirts of my watermelons and another few colonies. I FW dipped them and got the same results as the picture above. Within 3 days of having a severely diminished pod population, the zoas looked fantastic and fully extended. I have done this on more than one occasion with the same results. Pods are not going to let themselves starve to death when they possess the means to eat zoanthids.



Source plz :lol:


this makes me feel a lot better! Its good to hear of someone with a similar experience having positive results! I set the little chaeto ball i got right next to the zoa colony under attack, and this morning there were probably about 50+ inside of it. Half of them swam off when i removed the ball, but i got most them in a FW dip. I also dipped the zoa colony and got about 10 more, which is good because there were about 50 last night when i dipped. Im getting a bit more optimistic about my situation :)

#17
peasofme

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when i got mysids they outcompeted the gammarus for food. mysids don't hurt anything either.
save a mantis

#18
Trav86

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I haven't been able to keep any Zoas becuase of the pods in my tank. They are good at cleaning up the extra food though, they run off with the pellets like ants.

#19
melbell86

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well, after the pods started attacking my perfectly healthy Green Pocillopora Damicornis, i took drastic measures and FW dipped ALL of my rocks. I have been trying to avoid this, because i liked the structure and didnt want to piss off any of my corals, but it needed to be done. I filled the tub up with FW and dipped/swooshed each and every piece of rock i had for about 1 minute. I must have gotten out over 500 LARGE pods. I feel so much better, and i actually got my rocks back to how they were. I had also purchased a frag rack before to put all my zoas on so that the pods couldnt get to them, and hopefully as i watch the tank over the next few days, the pod numbers that are left will be so small that the competition for food wont be there anymore and they will be content eating scraps and leftover detritus. Here is a before and after picture of the zoa colony that i have had for just a little over a week.

BEFORE OCT 24
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AFTER NOV 4
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#20
FlCandy

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OMG!

I hope those few come back for you!

#21
melbell86

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OMG!

I hope those few come back for you!


me too :( they were so nice!

#22
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They were so pretty, i hope they come back!

I had to dip a section of my rock yesterday i saw 1 pod, 1 huge pod scuttling round the base of 1 of only 2 poor polyps in the tank, so i dipped it and got rid of the pod before a population explosion could happen.

Edited by phoenix91, 05 November 2011 - 04:22 AM.


#23
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Sorry for hijacking this thread but.. Just found my emerald crab dead and saw huge amphipods crawling over and around his dead body. Should I take all my liverock out and give them a freshwater dip too?

I've also been noticing these other little bugs crawling around at night.. sphaeromatid isopods maybe?Caught one and threw it in some tap water, started twitching and kinda rolled up into a curl.

Tested my water
10 gallon:
ammonia-0
nitrite-0
pH-8.2
nitrate around 10ppm .. doing a 3 gallon water change right now.

livestock:
yellow watchman
candy cane pistol shrimp
3 cerith snails
one astrea snail

also 10 lbs of liverock.. Should I take ALL the rock out and fw dip them?

#24
melbell86

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Sorry for hijacking this thread but.. Just found my emerald crab dead and saw huge amphipods crawling over and around his dead body. Should I take all my liverock out and give them a freshwater dip too?

I've also been noticing these other little bugs crawling around at night.. sphaeromatid isopods maybe?Caught one and threw it in some tap water, started twitching and kinda rolled up into a curl.

Tested my water
10 gallon:
ammonia-0
nitrite-0
pH-8.2
nitrate around 10ppm .. doing a 3 gallon water change right now.

livestock:
yellow watchman
candy cane pistol shrimp
3 cerith snails
one astrea snail

also 10 lbs of liverock.. Should I take ALL the rock out and fw dip them?



honestly, i wouldnt worry if i were you. If you are only seeing a few pods at night, that is normal. My pod population got SO huge because i have no fish in my tank that might prey on them and over 6 months it just got out of hand. Unless you physically see them eating a healthy coral colony, i would not be alarmed. Your emerald crab probably died of natural causes and the pods were doing what they are supposed to do. Its when your populations of pods get so abundant, that competition for food starts to come into play and they may become predatory and attack healthy coral colonies. this is my personal experience anyways.

I wouldnt worry as of now :)

the other little bugs are probably copepods and they are harmless (they kinda look like clear tadpoles).

#25
scoobahSAM

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honestly, i wouldnt worry if i were you. If you are only seeing a few pods at night, that is normal. My pod population got SO huge because i have no fish in my tank that might prey on them and over 6 months it just got out of hand. Unless you physically see them eating a healthy coral colony, i would not be alarmed. Your emerald crab probably died of natural causes and the pods were doing what they are supposed to do. Its when your populations of pods get so abundant, that competition for food starts to come into play and they may become predatory and attack healthy coral colonies. this is my personal experience anyways.

I wouldnt worry as of now :)

the other little bugs are probably copepods and they are harmless (they kinda look like clear tadpoles).

yeah, you are probably right.. Good news tho! My goby and pistol finally paired today! :D Found them together in the goby's cave while I was doing the water change hehe so happy :happy: kinda still bummed about the crab but that sure makes up for it