Thursday, November 1, 2018

What is that? Its a Stomatella Snail

The Stomatella Snail 

What is That? The first thing that you say when you see one of these strange looking snails. 

The Stomatella snails are extremely Beneficial to a Reef Tank, and make a great part of the clean up crew. These snails are often hard to find any information about unless you know their name, and to many reefer, this is the first they are even hearing of them, or they happen to come across this post because they are desperately searching for what these guys are. They are sometimes searched using the phrase "snail that looks like lost his shell", "Slug with a small shell", or even Snail with a half or missing shell".

The Stomatella Snail are herbivores that love to eat algae and micro algae. They are very fast moving snails and are often found at night along the rock work in your reef aquarium. 

They do reproduce, buy not at an alarming rate, and will not harm your tank or its inhabitants. The three and six line wrasse will eat stomatella snails, so be sure to keep them safe if you see them. They will drop a part of their body to help get away and hide from predators.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Nero 5 Powerhead by Aqua Illuminations

Aqua Illuminations has created their very first powerhead, with a very veritile sleek design and whisper quiet technology that is sure to Please any reefer!!



The Bluetooth technology allows you to set the pump into different modes and even create a daily schedule, using the same app as you use with your AI lights.


There is no doubt about it, Aqua Illuminations Nero 5 powerhead is unlike any powerhead on the market to date. Unlike the traditional propeller designs that can irritate corals with a hard stream, the Nero 5 creates an adjustable wide pattern with its innovated propeller that pushes water with a broad flow, moving food, detritus, and other free floating particles around without blasting your corals directly. The Nero 5 has many uses around the reef tank,  But AI's main goal is to  "produce enough flow to keep low flow spots from forming in your tank and help elevate detritus to be sucked into the filtration"


Connecting the New Nero 5 is a breeze and literally only takes about 2 minutes with the Bluetooth LE. The Nero 5 uses the same interface with the MyAi app that their infamous LED lights use. The App immediately recognizes the powerhead, making it incredibly simple to choose which mode is right for your reef tank. If your rally not tech savvy and do not wish to use a phone to control your AI Nero 5 powerhead, its ok, don't worry, the included controller has one very powerful button, and by just pressing or holding the button for different lengths of time can change the speed, mode or even turn the pump off and on without having to access to any additional control interfaces.

 Using the app however, unlocks a ton of fantastic features with the MyAI app there are many different flow modes available to choose what is right for your fish and corals.

You can even create a schedule, which is simple and can be done in just a few minutes, creating a full blown daily schedule that will cycle though out different modes you choose and different settings though out the day. 

You can even put the Nero 5 powerhead on its random mode which will keep your tank guessing, creating a natural flow rate though out the day creating natural water movement though out your reef tank.
The Nero 5 pulse mode can be changed to harmonize with yuour aquarium, along with the max flow rate, which is a great method for lifting settles detritus from hard to reach areas. 

The Nero 5 even has a 'set it and forget it' mode, or the Constant mode, which will keep the speed you set until you change the mode or flow. 
Having a Feed Mode is a must when Target feeding,  Just hold the driver button down for 2-5 seconds to put the Nero 5 into a feed mode for 10 minutes.

You can turn your AI Nero 5 pump off at anytime you want with full control over when they turn back on, just hold the driver button for 6 or more seconds to turn the pump off. Touching the button again will restart the pump.

Mounting the Nero 5 only takes a minute, and with the included magnetic mounting system, moving the pump around only takes a second. Giving around 15 degrees of movement, you can angle the Nero 5 to direct flow where you need it. The Mounting system incorporates a inner magnet and an outer magnet that can couple together though 1/2 inch of glass or less, and the pump sits into the beveled inner magnet for an isolated and quiet mounting system.

Specifications:
Max Flow:     3,000GPH
Max Glass Thickness:    1/2 inch
Dimensions (wetside):   2.1"x2.8"
Power Consumption:   (variable) 30W @ 120VAC Max

In The Box
1-  Nero 5 Powerhead
1-  Nero 5 controller
1-  Magnet mounting system
1-  Power supply
1-  Instruction set

We can see many possibilities for the Nero 5 Powerhead in a reef system, Mounting the powerhead at either end of your tank, the back glass, or even the sump. We choose to place our Nero 5 on the back glass helping eliminate the dead spots we had from only using the ice cap 1k Gyra. 
  
So far setting up the Nero was very simple, it connected to the MyAI app with no hesitation, We are already seeing major results from the Nero 5 Powerhead, And its only been installed for 2 days!! One huge notable mention is our very shy Australian Drendro, He has completely began showing off his beautiful yellow and orange polyps!! Many of the other Corals are already showing huge signs of happiness by the growth we are already seeing from them as well!!

Please stay tuned for another post about the AI Nero 5 pwerhead, as we will be watching its already amazing performance and letting our readers and veiwers know just how much it has really improved our YouTube Reef Tank Build Aquarium!!

Don't Forget to Check out the featured video on this post and be sure To Like, Share and Subscribe if you enjoy our videos from Eric's Marine Life YouTube Channel!! 
Thanks For Reading!!


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Our Top 10 Reef Tank Pest Identification List

Our Top 10 Reef Tank ID list... Causes, Prevention and Treatment!



As a Reef Aquarium Hobbyist, We do all the research we can to find out "what the heck that is??" That we just saw chewing on our beautiful corals we work so hard to grow. Well We dicided to  come up with Our top 10 Reef tank Pest Id list. 




Coming in at #10     The Bristle Worm

The Bristle worm, although many reefers are ok in small quantities, if not kept undercontrol, population can explode at a rapid rate. If you allow bristle worms to get a good size to them they can eat your fish and have been know to munch on corals. As long as they are small they are great scavengers and will help get rid of unwanted detritus and uneaten food that cause your parameters to get out of whack. 
Never grab a bristle worm without gloves on, the tiny bristles will sting you, causing irritation and a possible allergic reaction. 

The best way we have found to keep your bristle worm population under control is to use our trap method, you can watch the video below to see how to make and use this simple DIY Trap.





Coming In At #9      The Fire Worm

Much like the Bristle worm, the Fire worm has many bristles, but the fire worms bristles are poisonous and the fire worm can eject their bristles. Unlike Bristle worms that can only crawl, fire worms make excellent swimmers and are a known predator of coral.

The Best way we have found to keep your fire worm population under control is to use the same trap method as the bristle worm, please see the video below. 





Coming In At #8           The Sundial Snail


These are Zoa Eating monsters, they look more like a flat spiral with black and white colors, a little smaller than your everyday reef snails, and should be removed as quickly as you see them!! Its best to inspect Zoas at night, that is when you will see these guys inbetween the closed polyps. 



The Best way to remove Sundial Snails is to manually remove them as you see them, and be sure to remove their eggs as well, if you see any, they don't reproduce very quickly so once you have removed them from your system you should be ok. 




Coming In At #7           The Zoa Spider

These are actually Marine Arthropods not real spiders or arachnids. There are more than 1300 specie of these guys, and not a one is good for your reef tank. They will devoir your corals, anenomes and sponges, Especially Zoanthids!! The Spider will crawl inside of a zoa polyps mouth making them extremely hard to spot, then they lay their eggs and the polyp turns to a grey melted mess. Get rid of these guys the second you spot them!!

They can stay hidden in the polyp mat so be sure to always dip your corals before placing them in to your display tank. Its really best to quarantine all your corals for a few weeks before adding them to your system so that you don't become plagued with marine pests!! 

There are other treatments you can buy that will help get rid of Zoa spiders, such as Coral RX, Removing by hand of course and quarantining your corals for a few weeks to several months.




Coming In At #6       Asteria Star Fish

Sure these guys are pretty on the glass and floating around in your tank, but don't be fooled. These little coral munchers are a pain in the butt to get rid of. They repopulate and reproduce extremely fast. Just by scraping the glass and acceditanly cutting off a leg or two will cause one or two more. Get rid of these guys as quickly as you can.

Its best to manually remove Asteria Star Fish very carefully so that you don't break off a leg causing them to reproduce. Or buy a Harlequin shrimp, but be sure to keep buying the shrimp chocolate chip star fish or any star fish to keep them feed, because that is all these guys like to eat. 






Coming In At #5         Pyramid Snails

Pyramid Snails are very small, about the size of a grain of rice, and white in color, with a slender swirly body that comes to a point,  much like a very tiny, white cerith snail.  Pyramid Snails use their probaoscis, a tubed mouth used to suck out the fluids and zooxanthalle of their prey, such as snails, clams and starfish.

Remove infected clam, snails or starfish and pick off any that you see. Scrub the shells to remove any eggs, Sixline, eightline,  and green wrasse will eat pyramid snails!





Coming In At #4                 Parasitic Isopods

With Well over 5,000 different species of isopods, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if you have a parasitic isopod or the good isopod. But there are a few ways to determine if your isopods are parasitic blood sucking demons or sweet little rollie pollie scavengers.  
If its a good isopod, Sphaeromatids,  it will have the ability to roll up in a ball just like a rollie pollie, they are less than a cm in length.
The Bad parasitic isopods, cirolanids and aegids, can not roll into a ball, they also have very large eyes that cover most of its head.

You can try to manually remove these from your tank, but they are usually way to quick to catch, Usually you will have to remove all your fish for about 3 months or until your absolutely sure the parasitic isopods have starved out. Or you can remove all of your live rock and sand from your system, sense isopods are much like copepods and burrow and hide in the sand and rock. 





Coming In At #3              Acropora Red Bug

Tiny Red bugs, about 1/2 a mm in length, or more like a yellow color with a rid dot. They are so tiny they are often missed unless a magnifying glass is used, or sometimes even mistaken for polyps on your acropora.  there are theries that acropora red bugs are a type of copepod, but they act like a flea or a mite, infecting your acroporas, feeding off of the slime and waste, causing discoloration, affecting its growth and even causing the acropora to die, if the bug infestation is not treated and cleared up.

If your Acros are showing very poor or no polyp extention and loss of color you may want to check for acropora red bugs

There are a few methods to rid your acropora red bug infestation. 
   1.  You can get a sixline wrasse, yellow clown goby or a dragonface pipefish, but as many reefers come to find , you could go and buy these fish and add them to your system and they, being that they all have their own personalities, may not even touch them. For instance, we have a emerald crab we bought to help with bubble algae, he wont touch the stuff, and that what they are supposed to be good for! So its usually a "hit or miss" when depending on fish or inverts to eat a critter infestation. 

   2.  Remove the acropora from your system and dip them in a iodine based solution for about 10-15 minutes, repeating if bugs are still on the acro. We recommend always dipping your corals before adding them to your tanks as a rule of thumb.

   3.  Interceptor
Interceptor is actually a dog de-worming medication that is highly effective, it contains an ingredient called Milbemycin oxime, which will kill any crustation. That being said, remove all your infested acros and place them in quarantine tank so you don't loose your copepods, crabs, shrimps and amphipods. 
We recommend crushing the pill and adding it to the quarantine water. Use about 1/4 of the pill per gallon of water, let sit in medicated water for about 2 hours. Inspect and if you still see bugs then dump the old water and repeat in a new medicated batch for another hour. They should be gone with the first session. 
You can also treat your entire tank, but remember interseptor will kill all crustations.




Coming In At #2       Coral Eating Nudibranch
Are you seeing spots or discoloration on your corals, especially your montiporas? Or are you Zoas or leathers looking a little rough? You might have a coral eating nudibranch hanging around. What makes these guys hard to spot is the fact that they will take on the color of whatever coral they have claimed as their menu for the evening. Many times they stay on the underside of the coral, making it even more difficult to spot. 
A nudibranch can be anywhere from 1/2 cm to 2 cm in length and can range in color, with many branch like appendages. They reproduce very quickly and can wipe out an entire colony in a matter of days.
You can manually remove nudibranchs with tweezers or you can get a butterfly fish such as a thread twin or red sea butterfly fish.




Coming In At #1         The Flat Worm
If your noticing rapid tissue loss on your acros with golden brown eggs on the skeletons then chances are you have acropora flatworms. If your seeing little rust brown bugs on the tops of your corals then you might want to check and see if they are rust brown flatworms.

There are two types of flatworms, The rust brown flatworm, the most common of the two. Rust brown flatworms are tan, with a red dot and get up to 1/4 inches in size. They are oval with two tail like appendages.
They populate at a very rapid rate, and will sit around on your corals keeping them from getting the light they need to survive.  The flatworm feeds on the zooxanthellae from the coral cousing major damage to your corals. 
The Second flatworm, which is much more aggressive than the rust brown flatworm. The Acropora flatworm. The acropora flatworm will devoir the acros tissue extremely fast. The acro flatworm is extremely invasive, oval shaped and opaque, almost see through which makes them very hard to spot.

Keeping a good protein skimmer along with the use of carbon and good flow in your system is a great way to prevent from getting flatworms. Always dip new frags before adding them to your main display.

There are many different fish that will eat flatworms. Sixline wrasse, yellow wrasse, leopard wrasse, spotted manderan dragonette and the blue velvet nudibranch.

you can also remove flatworms by siphoning your tank sense flatworms don't keep a good grip on corals they will suck right up the tube. Flatworms are ectrememly sensitive to salinity changes, so you can also dip the corals in fresh RODI water for about 15 seconds and repeat in fresh batches.


Well, That is Our Top 10 Reef aquarium pest. We really hope you found the post informative. Please comment below, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have and we are always happy to hear from you!!


That's for reading, be sure to check out our other post, and subscribe to our blog and youtube channel!!



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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Saltwater Reef: Live Rock Hitchhikers, the Good and Bad

As a Reefer, when we start a reef tank we start with live rock or base rock. So say that your going to start with live rock or just add some live rock to your tank. You are looking at your new purple rocks and see some critters. What the Heck is that? you ask yourself. Well here are a list of common hitchhikers that you may expect to find.

          Common Live Rock Hitchhikers- The Good and The Bad





#1    PODS!!
Copepods and anthropods!! Tiny little white bugs everywhere on your glass, on the rocks and in the substrate. Some are very tiny, and these are your copepods and some are small shrimp like crustrations, these are your anthropods. These guys are GOOD!! Fantastic little critters that love to eat diatoms and other algae and are really great for those finicky eaters such as mandarin dragonets, goby's and blennies. 








#2 Stomatella Snails
Sure these little snails aren't the cutest snails but they are extremely hard working reef safe herbivores that will help control micro algae growth. They are fast moving snails that look more like slugs with a small flat shell. They really mean business when it comes to mowing down unwanted algae, keep these guys around, they will spontaneously spawn if your reef tank is well established, and wont multiply enough to become a nuisance. 




#3 Feather Dusters
Beneficial worms, you can often buy these just about anywhere, this is a bonus if you have one of these as a hitchhiker. They feed by filtering water particles with their feather like tentacles. They are very pretty worms and if startled they will shot back into their tube.



#4 Spaghetti Worms
These guys are really great, they will eat all that left over food your fish missed, keeping it from breaking down and turning into those unwanted nitrates and phosphates. Just make sure thy aren't bothering your corals, some corals may find a spaghetti worms tentacles  irritating, you'll usually see these critters in small burrows on the rocks surface.



#5  Limpets or Keyhole Limpets
Some of these are harmless and benificail to a reef aquarium and others will feed on the flesh of your SPS corals, so be sure to look up the species, if your unsure just go ahead and remove them from your system. They are usually black and tan pattern, and do not have a mantle that covers their shell. 



#6 Tube Worm
Somewhat similar to feather dusters and are harmless in a reef tank, you will usually find them in your substrate or on the live rock. 




#7 Sponges
 These are fantastic little spongebob dudes that will gather up under a rock in little clusters. No, they don't look anything like spongebob, but they filter feed just the same. Seeing sponges in your reef tank is a great sign that your tank is on the right track. 



#8 Brittle Starfish
These guys are awesome, usually you would have to buy one of these just to get one in your tank. They are a great part of a clean up crew. You will usually see these crazy looking critters around your live rock or in your substrate.



#9 Zoa's
Beautiful Colorful polyps or SPS, but lack a calcium based skeleton. If you got some of these as a hitchhiker then you definitely want to keep it. There are many varieties of a Zoanthid Coral, and most have some pretty wild names, such as red headed kid or cherry bombs just to name a couple.



#10 Bristle Worms 
Now there is an on going contriversy about weather bristle worms are good or bad in the Reefing community. Some reefers love them and most hate them. In very small population they can be benifical, as long as they are small, once they become big they have been known to snatch up small fish. Don't attempt to grab these guys with your hands, their bristles will easily penetrate your skin, causing different reactions to different people. We usually remove them as soon as we see them, but of course that is up to you.



#11 Fire worms
Fire worms look similar to Bristle worms, but they will eat your coral, there is only one species of fire worm that are beneficial to your reef system, the Eurythoe Complanta, but again if you are unsure if it is a good one or a bad one its just best to rid yourself of the problem all together. You don't want to just grab these guys with your hands either, they have a poison in their bristles that is much more harmful than a bristle worms.



#12 Flat Worms
Every species of the flat worms is a predator and is not reef safe at all. They reproduce very quickly and can wipe out a colony quick. Remove these guys as fast as you see them.



#13 Aiptasia
This is a big pest. These guys are relentless, if threatened they will throw spores all over your tank. We usually burn them up with a laser, but make sure its a good strong one, you don't want to just harm it and cause it to reproduce more, make sure you burn him to a crisp!! Its very cool to watch them sizzle in the water, you can actually here them crackle. These guys have a nasty sting, and can harm fish and coral in your tank.





#14 Coral Eating Nudibranch
These guys are hard to spot, they will take on the color of the coral that its feasting on. They usually feed upon Soft corals such as zoas or leather corals. They can devoir a Zoa Garden in a few days.



#15 Astera Starfish
Sure these guys are pretty on the glass and floating around in your tank, but don't be fooled. These little coral munchers are a pain in the butt to get rid of. They repopulate and reproduce extremely fast. Just by scraping the glass and acceditanly cutting off a leg or two will cause one or two more. Get rid of these guys as quickly as you can.




#16 Sea Spiders
These are actually Marine Arthropods not real spiders or arachnids. There are more than 1300 specie of these guys, and not a one is good for your reef tank. They will devoir your corals, anenomes and sponges, Especially Zoanthids!! The Spider will crawl inside of a zoa polyps mouth making them extremely hard to spot, then they lay their eggs and the polyp turns to a grey melted mess. Get rid of these guys the second you spot them!!




#17 Sundial Snails 
These are Zoa Eating monsters, they look more like a flat spiral with black and white colors, a little smaller than your everyday reef snails, and should be removed as quickly as you see them!!





#18 Vermetid Snails
Vermetid Snails will slowly kill your corals by smothering them with the mucus webs they cast from the ends of their open tube shells, which are used to catch food and nutrients they need for survival, the webs often irritate surrounding corals, causing polyps to remain closed eventually ending in tissue loss. Vermetids also hurt or slowly kill corals by stealing their much needed calcium, impeding their skeletal growth! Often the Vermetids will attach their selves to a coral causing lesions that will result in tissue loss and tissue damage, eventually killing the coral if not removed.



That's for reading, be sure to check out our other post, and subscribe to our blog and youtube channel!!


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Friday, September 14, 2018

Buy Rich and Healthy Phytoplankton

Rich Phytoplankton  16.9oz bottle  only $15 Free Shipping


Phytoplankton  is a microscopic marine algae and is the base of many food webs!! Phytoplankton is widely accepted as the standard of reef keeping aquariest , and is used to promote growth and vibrancy of corals, invertebrates and other livestock such as copepods and anthropods! 

Our live Phytoplankton is cultured using saltwater made from RODI WATER and Instant Ocean Reef Crystals with a salinity of 1.021sg.

Our Phytoplankton is extremely rich and weather you are buying it as a food source or to harvest yourself, you are getting the very best phytoplankton you can find anywhere online or in any stores.

You will receive 1 16.9 oz bottle of phytoplankton shipped in a USPS flat rate 2-3 day priority envelope, for only $15 Free Shipping!! 
We only Ship to the lower 48 states.

We also offer Clean, hearty, thick, PEST FREE and healthy Chaeto for $15 free shipping as well Click here for more info On Chaeto


You can order by calling or texting Eric @ 828-748-4382 or Karen @ 828-748-6932 or by emailing us at ericsmarinelife@gmail.com 

We will send you a personalized invoice so you can make your payment!!