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Saltwater Aquarium/Invasive anemone not aptasias


Invasive anemone
Invasive anemone  
Junk anemone
Junk anemone  
QUESTION: Our 150gal tank is a combination reef and fish. We 'get away' with this because we have excessive filtration. The system cycles 500 gals per hour.  Recently we solved an aptasias problem using nude ranches and a file fish- all gone now but we have a new invader that the locals are calling Navajo anemones but I can't find anything on these and no one around here has figured out what eats them.  We live in the Chicago area. I have attached pictures.

ANSWER: From your images, it appears to be (Glass Anemones).

A good fish that will eventually eradicate them all when given enough time is the (Copperband Butterfly).

Btw you have a beautiful reef aquarium.

I wish you the best of luck with all your saltwater aquarium endeavors!

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OCReef Director

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Copperband butterfly
Copperband butterfly  

More fish
More fish  
QUESTION: Thank you David. Here is a picture of our copper and butterfly. We have had him for 5 years now. I think it likes the other food too much. Is there anything else that might eat them?  How much will the biology of the tank change if I remove several live rocks?

Hi Marge:

In a well established aquarium removing some of the live rock won't change the biology significantly, if any.

You could always replace these pieces of live rock with some new cured pieces of live rock.

You could also try cutting back on the amount of food that you're feeding the copper band, so he'll start eradicating these hitch-hiker anemones. Copper bands will eat almost all species of these hitch-hiker anemones, including: aiptasia, glass, and navajo. These hitch-hiker anemones come in varying sizes and colors. The difference in appearance of these hitch-hiker anemones is determined by what ocean they are indigenous too. Indo-Pacific ocean species will look slightly different than Atlantic ocean species.

Take care.  

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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

Publications,, and many others.

After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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