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Identification of a hitchhiker


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Well, I know a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don't have my dig camera with me right now and need to try to find out what something is, so I'll do my best to describe.


I have a rock with a bunch of zoos on it on the top. On the bottom, I have an unknown. The best way to describe it is something that can close almost instantly. It is long thin tentacles that extend from the underside of the rock. As far as I can see, I don't actually see them when retracted. The tentacles are approx 3/4" long and are white with black spots. The slowly extend and then retract almost instantly when it becomes spooked.


Along with this, I think it made lunch of one of my peppermint shrimps, as one is MIA and although there are no large pieces visible, there is a bunch of pink detritus in the corner just below the unknown. I've also found the shell from one of my three hermits not far below.


This isn't particularly large, but it does seem to be a rather aggressive and a major danger to the tank.


Any help in identifying would be MUCH appreciated. If you can even toss suggestions as "it might be this" I can check for a photo of them and confirm. I have no real idea where to look to determine it.


Finally, the only thing that comes to mind when I see it is a lionfish, except that it appears fixed and attached to the rock. Also the tentacles come out in a conical pattern very similar to a polyp.


Thanks for any help!!

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OK, two other observations.


First off, it seems not unlike a jellyfish, except it's fixed, but not free floating. Also, I have a strong recent outbreak of hair algae.


My tank stats, FYI


5.5 AGA nano, 80W Visitherm heater, HOB Aquaclear250 filter, 250gph Micropump. 6lbs tonga LR, 5lbs LS, one small zoo polyp colony, green brittle star, 1 or 2 hermits (1 dead, 1 MIA, 1 still happy) 1 visible, but apparently spooked peppermint shrimp (hangs out by star on opposite side of the tank from the unknown), 13W CF 10000K, 13W CF Blue Actinic

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Not 100% sure, but I'll put it about 80% likely to be that. Odd thing is that the peppermint shrimp they recommend looks like it might have been chomped on by the anemone? Any thoughts??

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OK, I've determined that it definitely is aiptasia. The one pic helped mucho. Thanks.


BTW, is there ever a record of an aiptasia eating a shrimp?? Seems odd, and the green brittle is kind of the suspected culprit, but I've never seen him in the area of the remains, which happen to be just below the aiptasia.


Also, should I get another pepp or 2 to help get rid of the aiptasia. And I also need to lose the algae. Don't have a suction available at the moment and I have a hermit, but can't seem to get them to hit either the aip or the algae.


Any other thoughts would help. I promise, this is the last question in this forum. I'll move any others to the general help forum.


Thanks again

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I think the peps will only eat the smaller aiptasia anemones, larger ones are beyond their scope.


Also, are you sure you have peppermint shrimp, as camel shrimp are often incorrectly identified as peps.



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I looked around and it may be one of two things:


Ctenophores (pronounced "teen - o - fores") or "comb jellies" are small to moderately sized pelagic animals. Although they look superficially like jellyfish they are not at all related to them. Most forms have two long tentacles and the tentacles have branches on one side of them. Some ctenophores are sessile and look rather like flatworms. They typically are found on soft corals or gorgonians. They collect their food from the water using long extensible tentacles that use glue cells ("colloblasts") instead of nematocysts to adhere to prey. They are harmless, but may become so abundant that they are somewhat of a pest.

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Finger Hydroid


The finger hydroid, probably some individuals of a Myriothele sp. The tentacles may extend out a long distance from the body, as shown in the aquarium view on the right. These animals were about 3 or 4 mm long (about an 1/8th of an inch) contracted, but may be almost an inch long when fully extended..


These animals are among the more weird animals in a group that has a lot of weird species in it. They are individual hydroid animals, but the polyp is highly modified to be cylindrical in shape with the mouth at the upper end. The base fastens to the substrate with special modified tentacles and the body extends up into the water. In one aquarium, at least, the tentacles extend after dark and are relatively long. These hydroids are definitely aggressive and are quite capable of "burning" or stinging other aquarium animals.

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