Aiptasia-eating Berghia Nudibranch

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Aiptasia-eating Berghia Nudibranch

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Natural Ecology:
The zooxanthellae ingested with Aiptasia tissues reside within Berghia briefly before it is expelled, giving its gills a brown color. It is not known whether Berghia utilizes photosynthates from the zooxanthellae, or that the algal endosymbionts are simply passing through. The tendency for Berghia to hide in dark recesses and their survival in dimly lit tanks suggests that they are not dependent on the zooxanthellae.

Indigenous To:
Caribbean.

Behavior:
A sea slug that preys exclusively on pest Glassrose anemones (Aiptasia spp.). Berghia will hide in crevices away from light, only coming out to feed on Aiptasia in the dark. When the Berghia population is substantial and Aiptasia are becoming scarce, Berghia may be forced to forage even during lit hours.

Compatability:
Berghia will ignore other reef invertebrates and corals, and is ideal for coral reef aquaria. There are no reported cases of predation on Berghia.

Food:
Nudibranch specimens have been raised on a strict diet of Aiptasia tissue, and will continue to prey exclusively on Aiptasia anemones.

 

BERGHIA IN THE TANK
Because berghia are nocturnal, you most most likely will not see them once they are introduced into your tank. Remember patience is key. Berghia are not an overnight cure and depending tank size and amount of aiptasia, can take months for nature to run its course and complete the job.

 LIFESPAN

Berghia only live for 6 to 8 months (that is if they have enough aiptasia). Because of this, when you purchase a berghia at the full grown 1 inch length, you do not know close they are to the end of its life cycle. Berghia are most productive from 10mm or just under ½ inch allowing them much more time in your tank to do what they are designed to do.

 QUANTITY

When purchasing, keep in mind that berghia nudibranchs are pack hunters. We recommend purchasing at the very least two for your tank. The bigger your tank, the more berghia you will need to introduce into your system. The more berghia you add into your tank; the more likely they are to find each other and breed. This is the goal.  (obviously the more berghia you have the more aiptasia they will eat and the faster your aiptasia problem will diminish.
We have an easy way of estimating quantity.
Full infestation .22 x Gallon
Moderate infestation .11 x  Gallon,
Light infestation .059 x Gallon.

BERGHIA BABIES

It can take up to five days after shipping until they are able to lay eggs. Once larvae hatch it will take approximately ten to fifteen days for the larvae to start eating aiptasia. Your microscopic baby berghia are able to get into the smallest pores in your rocks to weed out the smallest aiptasia. Aiptasia will run from the threat, but now has nowhere to hide.
Don’t be concerned that you will run into a berghia take over. Berghia only eat aiptasia and will die off when you run out of its food source (After 5-7 days without aiptasia berghia will die off) And because even the full size berghia are so small, when they die, you will not run into problems as they will not affect your tanks water parameters.

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BERGHIA ONCE YOUR AIPTASIA IS GONE
If you feel guilty about letting them die off, remember that there are always people willing to give them a happy home.

OUR BERGHIA
Our berghia are NOT grown in jars, beakers, cups, or any other small vessel that does not offer air movement or flow. (This has become common practice leaving the customer with poor quality berghia, unless your aiptasia is also kept in a glass jar which we highly doubt.) Instead, our berghia are raised in tanks with rock and flow; forcing them to hunt for their food and overcome obstacles. For more shipping and acclimation information please view the Shipping FAQs page

Quick Overview

Aiptasia-eating Nudibranch


Berghia verrucicornis


A sea slug that preys exclusively on pest Glassrose anemones (Aiptasia spp.). A white-colored sea slug (family Aeolidiidae) with beige color at the base of its gill filaments. In well-fed individuals, the gill filaments may contain more brown color from ingested zooxanthellae.

Additional Information

SKU PA-AEN
Manufacturer Proaquatix