Most popular is the little, almost invisible Berghia verrucicornis
, are great obligate (this is all they eat) Aiptasia destroyers... do remember to "pass your specimen(s) on" a few weeks after your Glass Anemones are apparently gone. Otherwise the Berghia will perish from lack of food.
Adding Nudibranchs smaller than half an inch to your tank is not recommended! In fact, I recommend that you keep your Berghia, regardless of their size, in a Mason jar for at least a couple of days. There are several reasons for this:
Aiptasia Eating Nudibranchs (Berghia verrucicornis)
1) Even breeder size B. verrucicornis are small. They are also nocturnal and well camouflaged, making them very difficult to keep track of in even the smallest aquarium.
2) Jars are great for the Nudibranchs; a good place to recover from shipping. Don't worry that they will be uncomfortable in such a small volume of non-filtered/aerated water. Inland's brood stock Nudibranchs live their entire lives in 250 and 500 ml beakers with no water movement!
3) Nudibranchs begin laying eggs at a size of about a half inch in length. If you keep them long enough to harvest some egg strands, you'll have a chance to raise some more AIPTASIA EATING MACHINES.
4) These little buggers ain't cheap! Don't you think you'd like to see them in action a time or two before you release them into the great unknown?!
5) If you succeed in reproducing your nudis, you can convert your AIPTASIA into CASH! The demand for Berghia far exceeds the current supply. Inland is always looking for cultured Berghia and your reef keeping buddies and local fish stores (LFS
) likely are too!
If that's not enough to convince you to hold onto your nudis for awhile, follow these...
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PLACING BERGHIA IN THE AQUARIUM
- Nudis should not be added to a reef tank until they are over half an inch in length. Even at that size, Butterflies and Peppermint Shrimp may be able to eat them.
- Berghia are nocturnal and prefer subdued flow. It is best to add them with the lights off and place them in minimal flow. POWER HEADS EAT Nudibranchs!
- Refugia are ideal for nudi placement! Move a continuous supply of AIPTASIA to the refugium to keep your "breeders" fat and prolific. Larvae will migrate and go to work on AIPTASIA in other parts of the system. If traumatic pumps interfere, move some of the juveniles manually.
- Be careful not to drop your nudis on Aiptasia when adding them to your tank. When given the chance, AIPTASIA EAT BERGHIA. The nudis make their living by sneaking up on their prey. A small pipette is great for moving the animals. Break off the tip for larger adults. Be gentle.
- The best thing to do when the nudis arrive from Inland is to remove the cap on the shipping
- vial and place it on/against rock or the side of the aquarium. Leave the vial in the tank until they crawl out on their own. (They will do so more quickly in the dark.)
HOLDING BERGHIA IN JARS
A little preparation will greatly increase your chances of successfully rearing some nudi hatchlings. Aiptasia reproduce most prolifically when left in the dark, especially in regard to the tiny anemones required for young post larvae.
- A WEEK OR TWO BEFORE YOU INTEND TO RECEIVE YOUR ORDER, Collect a dozen or more large Aiptasia and place them in two Mason jars with water from your system. Be careful not to add much anemone slime as this may cause water quality problems. Plastic pipettes are great for collecting Aiptasia!
- Mark the water line on the side of each jar with a Sharpie.
- Cover the jars with a very loose lid.
- Place the jars in a cabinet or some other very dark place with a relatively stable temperature.
- Top the cultures off with fresh water each week to keep the level at the fill line.
- Upon arrival, place the new Berghia in one of the jars. The other is to be used as a reservoir for feeder Aiptasia.