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View Full Version : Hitchhikers on Star Polyps - good or bad?



mcastfalk
07-15-2009, 09:56 PM
I had posted a question about little feather dusters I have in my tank and someone posted a link to a site about hitchhikers. Something I saw on this site has me concerned.

I purchased star polyps on Monday night. When I put the star polyps in the tank, I noticed that there was a little grayish purple slug crawling on the polyps. He had several bushy projections on either side of him. I figured it was a nudibranch of somesort and left him there for the night. The next morning he was still there. Now, I don't see him.

How do I know if he is harmful to the coral? He was very tiny, no more than 1/4 inch at most. I figured the fish ate him. What should I do. Should I be concerned that he may eat the corals.

I really have no idea what I am doing. I'm new to adding corals to the tank.

Michael

Phurst
07-15-2009, 10:46 PM
Almost all nudibranchs have very specific diets, so even if it does turn out to be a coral eater, it's not going to wipe out your tank. Some of the most common nidis are zoa eating nudi's and monti eating nudis. Do you have either in your tank? There IS a less common one that eats onlt star polyps, so that could be it as well. There are several fish that would make quick work of a nudi. What fish are in your tank? Either way, I don't think I'd worry too much about it. If it's eating something in your tank, it'll be pretty obvious soon.

lance
07-16-2009, 01:50 AM
got a picture of it?

lance

mcastfalk
07-16-2009, 08:19 AM
Some of the most common nidis are zoa eating nudi's and monti eating nudis. Do you have either in your tank?

No. I'm new to corals and only started with the star polyps.


There are several fish that would make quick work of a nudi. What fish are in your tank? Either way, I don't think I'd worry too much about it. If it's eating something in your tank, it'll be pretty obvious soon.

The only fish is a pajama cardinal for now.

The slug was so small, that I only saw him when he started to move. One I knew what he looked like, I could spot him. But, I haven't seen him since tuesday. I put the polyps in on monday night.

Can these things multiply?

Michael

mcastfalk
07-16-2009, 08:23 AM
got a picture of it?

lance

I tried. I couldn't get the camera to focus on it. Tried it with lights on, lights off, shine a flashlight on him. Either way, I couldn't get a good focus. Believe me, this guy was small. I don't know how big they usually are, but this one was tiny.

Michael

lance
07-16-2009, 09:21 PM
If they are on the coral itself I would quarantine it asap so you can better assess them and what they are actually eating to make sure there not coral eating nudibranch's which is what they sound like.

lance

mcastfalk
07-16-2009, 10:01 PM
I have been looking for it and can't find it - on the coral or anywhere. I'm suspecting it was eaten, but I'll keep my eye out for it.

Michael

lance
07-17-2009, 01:44 AM
not to get annoying with this but I still might QT it for a week or two to play it safe for your coral's and your tank livestock.

lance

spanko
07-17-2009, 12:51 PM
Nudibranches can also take on the color of the coral they are feeding on. A purple slug might suggest it had been feeding on the purple mat of the green star polyps. Got a magnifying glass? Take a look at night when the polyps are closed looking for some white egg clusters also.

mcastfalk
07-17-2009, 07:31 PM
Nudibranches can also take on the color of the coral they are feeding on. A purple slug might suggest it had been feeding on the purple mat of the green star polyps. Got a magnifying glass? Take a look at night when the polyps are closed looking for some white egg clusters also.

What do the egg clusters look like? I've noticed some white stuff on the rock and the purple mat, but I thought that was the polyps growing. When they spread, it turns white.

A photo of the nudibranch egg cluster would help.

Michael

rayme07
07-17-2009, 08:02 PM
Here's a picture of what a nudibranch's egg cluster would look like. There are many different looking egg cluster in different colors and shapes but they all twirl in a circle like this one. HTH :)

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z213/rayme07/nudieggs.jpg

mcastfalk
07-18-2009, 12:28 AM
Thanks.

No. I don't see these on the coral. Just what appears to be new growth.

I also see a bright orange putty looking stuff in the rock and a little in the polyps. Any idea what that is?

Also, am I going to harm the polyps by moving the rock around to look at things? In grasping the rock, I sometimes touch the polyps that are on the edges. Is this harmful?

Michael

rayme07
07-18-2009, 12:32 AM
I don't think its going to harm them if you accidentally touch them with a rock.

mcastfalk
07-18-2009, 07:53 AM
I don't think its going to harm them if you accidentally touch them with a rock.

No, i touched them with my fingers in order to grasp their rock. They pretty much cover the whole rock and have started growing down the sides.

How big are the egg clusters? Some else said to use a magnifying glass. I can't really do that in the water. I just looked for white shapes like you had in the photo.

Also, do you have any idea what the orange putty stuff would be?

Michael

spanko
07-18-2009, 09:47 AM
You may squash a few polyps grabbing the rock but it is more important to look for other nudis and eggs so don't worry about that. More will grow quickly to replace any you may harm.
Orange putty is probably some sponge. Not to worry here but a picture would help.

CarmieJo
07-18-2009, 01:06 PM
I agree, pulling the rock out to inspect it is fine. I wouldn't worry about touching the polyps.

mcastfalk
07-20-2009, 08:35 PM
Some of you asked for a photo of the nudibranch. Here is the best shot I was able to get. Took this photo last Monday night, right after I got the corals home.

Michael

rayme07
07-20-2009, 08:54 PM
Its kind of hard to see but it looks like a sponge. Does it move?

mcastfalk
07-21-2009, 07:35 AM
Yes. It moved from that position to another on the polyps. I believe it is a nudibranch, but if it is a sponge then maybe I am safe. I can't even find it now, and I continually am looking at the polyps. I'll try at night again with a flash light. I'm thinking someone in the tank ate the thing. Then again, it could be anywhere.

Michael

rayme07
07-22-2009, 01:14 AM
Ok If it moved then its not a sponge it may be a nudibranch. If you can it would be great if you could get another pic if you could find it. :)

CarmieJo
07-22-2009, 11:29 PM
Definitely not a sponge if it moved. Plus your original description sounds like a nudi.

mcastfalk
07-23-2009, 07:41 AM
I discovered something else moving that hitchhiked on the polyps. It appears to be a small, baby seastar. It is greenish blue in color on top, whitish towards the edges. Definitely not a brittlestar. I tried to get photos, but it was hard to focus. Are any of the seastars harmful to the corals or venomous?

MIchael

CarmieJo
07-23-2009, 11:23 AM
It sounds like it could be an asterina star. I have them in my tanks and have never had a problem with them although some people claim they will eat coral tissue. Starfish: Considerations for the Common (and Commonly Misunderstood) Varieties by Anthony Calfo - Reefkeeping.com (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-06/ac/feature/index.php)

almondsaz
08-02-2009, 09:54 AM
Michael: here is a picture of a zoa eating nudi that I had in my 75 gallon system a long time ago. To get rid of them I pulled out the colony and did fresh water dips (with a little loogles solution) and with the mag glass manually removed them. Once it started to eat the zoas....the little sacs on its back changed to that color.