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Marine Aquarium Disasters and How to Prevent Them (Part 2) - Scott L. Moore

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Do you have the acro "red bugs" or flat worms  

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  1. 1. Do you have the acro "red bugs" or flat worms

    • I have the acro "red bugs"
    • I have the red or brown flatworms
    • I have both the acro bugs and flatworms!
    • I have none

THE ARTICLE: Major Pest Infestationsgallery_2632346_867_4972.jpggallery_2632346_867_10368.jpggallery_2632346_867_2988.jpgAsterina Starfish, Aiptasia, and FlatwormsMarine pests are numerous and some can cause a tank disaster. Coral eating nudibranches can wipe out corals very quickly.Mantis shrimp may eat small fish. Live rock often contains many interesting and beneficial hitchhikers but it can also import dangerous pests into a tank. The Asterina species with a bluish spot in the center will eat coralline algae. Acropora Red Bugs will kill expensive acropora corals. Flatworms and aptasia can also slowly kill many livestock. Some pest treatments, such as flatworm killers, will kill many flatworms thus causing a die off and ammonia spike. If the directions call for water changes after treatment then do them.Prevention: Quarantine of all livestock is the best way to prevent pests from entering a tank. For new tanks that have just been filled with live rock and have finished cycling, introduce livestock slowly into the tank, one fish at a time to see if they are susceptible to pests that arrived on your new live rock. Consider dipping corals to kill pests on them. Study potential pests ahead of time and be ready to react quickly if they appear. Pests, like blue spotted Asterina, can be eliminated by picking them out with tweezers before they become numerous. Predators of pests are usually not one hundred percent effective in a tank environment.Heaters Gone WildAquarium heaters generally do not have very sophisticated thermostats. On some heaters, the thermostat may malfunction causing the heater to cook the tank. Many tanks have had die-offs for this reason. There have also been cases where heaters with too low wattage were used and during the colder winter months the tanks got too cold causing a die off.Prevention: Choose quality heaters by getting good recommendations from experienced aquarists. Titanium heaters tend to be superior. Replace heaters at least every two years. Consider using 2 heaters in case one stops working. Heaters can be attached to more precise temperature controllers for greater safety. Chillers can also prevent malfunctioning heaters from cooking your tank. Choose heaters with adequate wattage. Five watts per gallon is plenty. Audible temperature alarms are relatively inexpensive.Glass Heater BreaksGlass heaters should never be removed from water when plugged in. Removing them for only a couple seconds can cause them to break and possibly electrocute you and everything in you tank. You may try this and notice that you can remove them without them breaking

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