PDA

View Full Version : Limpet vs chiton vs stomatella vs snail


karimwassef
10/02/2017, 10:37 AM
My tank has gone through many changes over the years... I had a BT trigger that helped cull the population of inverts.

I've gone through the stomatella phase. They're still abundant, but not the most common any more.

Now I see limpets and chitons taking over. Is this a common aging progression? Anyone else see this? They're very small, but in every nook and cranny.

Misled
10/02/2017, 11:39 AM
Yes, it's common. Things go through progressions in a closed system. If there's enough food for one, it will prosper till food sources begin to subside. Then another may begin to prosper till what it needs does the same. Things can go back and forth over time. It's all about available food and whether or not one has a predator.

pinnatus
10/02/2017, 11:52 AM
I have kept salt tanks for many years. Never had these plagues. Then someone decided that "Live rock" straight from the ocean was a good idea. I tried it, then had plague after plague after plague. Bristle worms, flatworms, aptaisia, stomatella, byropsis and others. They get all out of proportion, and then you try to kill them or control them with chemicals, natural predators, etc - sometimes successfully and other times not, and other times I have wiped out my whole tank trying to eliminate a pest.

I have come to the conclusion that I will never use "live rock" again in any tank of mine. Just dead rock that becomes alive with bacteria as you cycle the tank. Does that mean that some pest won't come in with livestock? No, but odds are reduced.

Misled
10/02/2017, 12:07 PM
My thing right now is bristle worms. I had a lantern basslet for years that loved them. He went carpet surfing a couple years ago. Up till then you didn't see any. Now, at lights out and feeding, they show up in all sizes. Some a foot long and a quarter inch around.

pinnatus
10/02/2017, 12:19 PM
I had them so bad that when I fed the tank they would all crawl out from under the rocks like night of the living dead. My fingers would swell up from the bristles anytime I handled the rocks. I am finally rid of them.

karimwassef
10/02/2017, 01:54 PM
Oh... these are all good guys. Not plagues at all!

I'm very happy to see them thrive - just curious about the progression.

pinnatus
10/02/2017, 02:10 PM
Yes, I would expect the populations to rise, then fall and stay at some reasonable level.

Sk8r
10/02/2017, 02:12 PM
Bristleworms are why you wear gloves, nice thin nitrile exam gloves. They're great, but gloves keep you AND the worms happier.

karimwassef
10/02/2017, 03:03 PM
No worms... just limpets and chitons

pinnatus
10/02/2017, 03:20 PM
I like limpets and chitons.

FoxFace Fish
10/03/2017, 11:31 AM
what is wrong with Bristle worms?

pinnatus
10/03/2017, 12:18 PM
what is wrong with Bristle worms?

They sting. They are ugly. I don't like them. Not one bit. Nope.

karimwassef
10/03/2017, 02:04 PM
Not talking worms. Anyone see a lot of limpets and chitons?

Web images so we're talking about the same animals:

https://ferrebeekeeper.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/limpets-490_39686_1.jpg

https://lh6.ggpht.com/bLx-K80ZFsc-xNltU1pSEvSdYAMbijtvg9tE5TSKKpPHJuxGESHFgWKOaoWEdGmZMcELaK5HDGwEWcPDDVcO_Q=s1200

pinnatus
10/03/2017, 02:23 PM
Yes, those are good!

Frogmanx82
10/03/2017, 04:55 PM
Got all those. The worst was collonista snails. Hundreds of them and the would plug the impellers on all my pumps.

jlmawp
10/03/2017, 11:36 PM
I counted 34 chiton after dark the other day in my 9-gallon. They multiple in good conditions for sure. Same with collonistas. It's like this whole second shift comes out and does the janitor work while we're all sleeping. They keep things super clean, so no complaints. I'm sure the populations will drop or even out eventually.

Ron Reefman
10/04/2017, 06:15 AM
Man I have so many different things living in my tanks, but limpets and chitons aren't on that list. karimwassef, you can collect some and I'll pay you to send them my way! Seriously. I've collected a few limpets in the Gulf of Mexico near where I live and they survive for months but don't reproduce. The chitons I've collected in the Florida Keys are tidal and will climb out of the tank! Yet I have feather dusters and sponges on the under side of rocks that are elevated off the sand. I've even got 6 baby rock flower anemones and some RBTA's that reproduce like rabbits!

karimwassef
10/04/2017, 07:33 AM
Might be easier to send a small rock with them on it. They're super hard to remove. I need a screwdriver or a knife. :)

I've kept tanks for a couple of decades and I've seen a variety of cleaners come and go. This population of chitons and limpets seems solid. They're very small (~1/4") but everywhere.

My guess is that it's a big tank and the blue leg hermits can't get everywhere. These little guys exploit that and fill in the niche since they can reproduce successfully.

Frogmanx82
10/04/2017, 07:42 AM
So I had hundreds of collinistas and then the just started disappearing and now I have none. Don't know how that happens. Same in my freshwater tank with Malaysian snails.

karimwassef
10/04/2017, 08:21 AM
Collinista I don't have. I think they all compete for the same food web slot so whoever establishes a foothold (pun) first can dominate.

I added a lot of snail and hermit crabs when I first set up the tank but haven't replenished in a couple of years. The crabs ate the snails and then slowly died off without reproducing. There are still some old snails and crabs but they're the minority now.

The stomatella, chitons and limpets I never added. They probably came on the frags and live rock and spread from there. I actually prefer these guys - they're small, non-intrusive, their shells are low so they can't damage anything. I think their biggest competitors now are asterinas stars.

I'm tearing the tank down (we're moving), so I'm worried that the diversity will be lost. I'm giving the rocks and corals to friends so I can seed the future tank with the same. Would love to understand what made these guys succeed so I can replicate in the future.

MurphyLong
10/04/2017, 09:36 AM
I'm dealing with an outbreak of feather dusters. Man those things reproduce quickly! I figure they too will eventually taper off... but then again, I am guilty of being an over-feeder, so maybe not.

ReeferNoob4ever
10/04/2017, 10:00 AM
Maybe I'm just too laid back but I don't worry about these critters unless they are harming my tank (like getting stuck in impellars, etc.). We have little oceans in our tanks, these things come and go...

karimwassef
10/04/2017, 11:49 AM
Given that most are not confirming chitons or limpets (heard other snails, worms, feather dusters, etc,...), so far it looks like these specific inverts are not very commonly seen in large quantity.

So something is helping them thrive in my tank and I may not be able to reproduce it in the next.

For those who do have large populations of LIMPETS & CHITONS, do you do anything different or special?

In my case- I don't run a skimmer + no mechanical filtration of any kind + no UV + kalk dosing only + large turf scrubber + heavy feeding

jlmawp
10/04/2017, 12:35 PM
Given that most are not confirming chitons or limpets (heard other snails, worms, feather dusters, etc,...), so far it looks like these specific inverts are not very commonly seen in large quantity.

So something is helping them thrive in my tank and I may not be able to reproduce it in the next.

For those who do have large populations of LIMPETS & CHITONS, do you do anything different or special?

In my case- I don't run a skimmer + no mechanical filtration of any kind + no UV + kalk dosing only + large turf scrubber + heavy feeding

I have a sponge filter and a powerhead. Stock crappy LED light with my nano, but i keep my levels pretty consistent. At first, I noticed 3 or 4 of the chitons on one rocks months and months back, but after taking a night-time tour of the tank last week, discovered a crapload more. Not sure why they exploded now and not a year ago, but I guarantee it's not because of anything special or expensive. Neither of those adjectives apply to my tank. Just good conditions and plenty of food on the rocks, I guess.

My guess is that after my crazy cyano plague, they are taking the place of other things that may have died. Just a theory though.

karimwassef
10/04/2017, 12:41 PM
Ok. So healthy, but "dirty" and "cheap" applies to both our tanks :)

jlmawp
10/04/2017, 08:33 PM
The way I see it, nature is usually kinda dirty.

MurphyLong
10/05/2017, 08:58 AM
The way I see it, nature is usually kinda dirty.

That's how I like it! ...and my wife