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Old 10-16-2010, 09:39 PM   #1
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small thin spikes growing on rock

hi everyone. i've never posted on this forum but it's been a wealth of information for me. i've been searching but i can't find an answer to my latest question. my tank has been up for over a year. over the last month or two i've noticed these small, thin brown 'spikes' growing on my rock. both on the live rock that i put in the tank when i set it up along with some old base rock i had from a few years ago. i even see it growing on the shells of my snails now. any idea what this might be?
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
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with out a pictue it's hard to say. Look here:Live Rock Hitch Hikers
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:27 AM   #3
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I agree we need pics to get an idea. I'm intrigued though.

Welcome to AA! Glad you decided to start posting!
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:19 AM   #4
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Yes, how rude of me....Welcome to AA
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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sorry. here are a couple of pictures. i don't know if it is related, but I also seem to have some white 'stringy' stuff growing that looks almost like cobwebs. unfortunately, i couldn't get a picture of that.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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here is one more. i'm trying to get zoomed in good but my camera doesn't want to cooperate!
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:14 AM   #7
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If they just look like tubes, with nothing sticking out of them, they're most likely Vermetid Snails. Confusing name because they sure don't look like any snail most folks have seen. They'll cast out a spiderweb-like strand when they sense food in the water, and then reel the web back in to get the food. Those *might* be the cobwebs you're seeing in the tank.

If the tubes have little feathery things sticking out of them (but not like a feather duster), they might be colonial hydroids. But they don't really look like it with the picture you posted.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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LOL!! Kurt when I opened this thread back up that is exactly what came to mind. I absolutely agree!
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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The only thing that makes me hesitant about the Vermetid Snails is that there are just soooo dang many of them. I've never seen that many in a small spot. But every tank is different...
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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thanks for the info guys. i did some some googling and found some other pictures and it does seem like your diagnosis is correct. i guess the question now is what to do about them. from what i've read, it doesn't seem like there is a natural predator that will definitely take care of it. i did see that a copperband butterfly might go after them. it also looks like i ought to cut back on the feedings and see if that helps. any other ideas?
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:21 PM   #11
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They will multiply in a nutrient rich system. Cutting back feedings and doing some PWCs may help keep them under control. I would not suggest getting a copperband.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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If they're vermetid snails, I don't really see why you have to do anything - they're a beneficial tank cleaner, in my opinion. They'll come and go as the nutrient levels change. Only time I've heard of issues with them is when they start to foul pump intakes and things like that. But then you just clean them off. Only issue I have with them is that the little tubes are hard and can rip open flesh quite quickly and efficiently if you're mucking around in your tank without gloves.
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