Name Aiptasia pallida & Aiptasia
Common Name: Aiptasia, Glass Anemone
Aiptasia are small light brown anemones of the species A. pallida and A.
pulchella. The anemones are typically less
than 1.5" long and frequently much smaller. They are
semi-transparent, hence the common name of Glass Anemone. They are photosynthetic,
but will eat things that are small enough for them to catch. The stalk is
attached to a hard substrate, usually in a crevice. This allows the
anemone to quickly withdraw into the hole when danger approaches. Aiptasia
reproduce through the process known as pedal laceration which occurs when baby
anemones develop from small bits of tissue left behind as the anemone wanders
Aiptasia anemones are BAD. A couple of
anemones are not a big deal except that they quickly spread.
They pack a powerful sting that can irritate or kill desirable corals
and clams in the tank. Aiptasia are common pests that most
hobbyists have to deal with eventually. Consider it a rite of
passage in the hobby. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous or
unwitting LFS will sell 'anemone rocks' which are rocks overrun with
What Do You Do?
Aiptasia is most easily controlled when first
observed in the tank. New live rock and corals should be
inspected before placing in the tank. Over time, they will spread and make eradication
harder. Control takes 2 main forms:
Chemical Control - The anemones are assaulted with an injection
or slathering of a caustic substance.
product on the market called Aiptasia Stop is a concoction of
pepper juice which when injected rapidly kills the anemone.
I have used this product and it works well when it can be
injected. It is stated to be safe to other tank inhabitants
and I have used it around clams, corals, etc. without any harm
being done so their claims seem to have merit..
with a caustic solution made from a concentrated Kalk solution or
(near boiling) water.
problem with the injection approach is that it is difficult to get to
some anemones to inject them, and they don't just sit around waiting
for you to complete the task. They are very adept at retreating
into the rock. It does give you a certain amount of satisfaction
when you do nail them however. This approach also does not help
much with the small ones.