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lanman

Limpets... any harm?

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I have limpets... lots of limpets... These all came out of my skimmer when I cleaned it. Any harm?

 

limpets.jpg

 

bob

Edited by lanman

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I found this information which may help:

 

Limpets

 

 

 

Several different genus and many species make up the snail-like invertebrate family, commonly known as limpets. Limpets have an oval, laterally compressed shell that tapers to an off-centered blunt point. Limpets have a tiny hole at the crest of their shell where it becomes a point, which they use for waste and water exchange. Many of these species have a very large mantle that extends around and covers the shell. In fact, some limpets can be very beautiful with amazing colors, and make a welcome guest in an aquarium that does not contain SPS corals.

 

The most common variety encountered in a reef aquarium is the Keyhole Limpet. They are a common import with live rock, and are typically colored in a mottled brown, black and tan pattern, and do not have a mantle that cover their shell. The Keyhole Limpets are typically half an inch long, or smaller, and feed on unwanted filamentous algae, cyanobacteria, diatoms and even hydroids. Unfortunately, in the SPS aquarium, they will also feed on the tissue of SPS corals. As with many of the snail species, it is best to physically remove the limpet if you are unsure of its species and diet. Some limpet species are herbivores and are beneficial to even a reef aquarium. But even the herbivores can become harmful if there is not enough food for them in the aquarium. Limpets will typically not reproduce to any significant number in the aquarium, and physical removal is usually a sufficient control for the SPS coral aquarist.

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How often do you clean your skimmer? :)

 

FWIW, I have those guys in my tank and they don't bother any of my corals.

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How often do you clean your skimmer? :)

 

FWIW, I have those guys in my tank and they don't bother any of my corals.

Once a week... I'm afraid to look in the BOTTOM part - there might be thousands!

 

bob

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I had a few a few years ago and am down to 1. I consider them beneficial. I noticed that their suction to glass is MUCH stronger than snails. I may have harmed/killed one a year ago (by accident) while tring to remove ir due to a tank move.

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I have also seen that information but have never had any that did any harm to sps. I find that they are much more prolific in areas without fish predators, such as in the skimmer that you mention.

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I found this information which may help:

 

Limpets

Several different genus and many species make up the snail-like invertebrate family, commonly known as limpets. Limpets have an oval, laterally compressed shell that tapers to an off-centered blunt point. Limpets have a tiny hole at the crest of their shell where it becomes a point, which they use for waste and water exchange. Many of these species have a very large mantle that extends around and covers the shell. In fact, some limpets can be very beautiful with amazing colors, and make a welcome guest in an aquarium that does not contain SPS corals.

 

The most common variety encountered in a reef aquarium is the Keyhole Limpet. They are a common import with live rock, and are typically colored in a mottled brown, black and tan pattern, and do not have a mantle that cover their shell. The Keyhole Limpets are typically half an inch long, or smaller, and feed on unwanted filamentous algae, cyanobacteria, diatoms and even hydroids. Unfortunately, in the SPS aquarium, they will also feed on the tissue of SPS corals. As with many of the snail species, it is best to physically remove the limpet if you are unsure of its species and diet. Some limpet species are herbivores and are beneficial to even a reef aquarium. But even the herbivores can become harmful if there is not enough food for them in the aquarium. Limpets will typically not reproduce to any significant number in the aquarium, and physical removal is usually a sufficient control for the SPS coral aquarist.

IMHO that's b*ll*@...I've never found a limpet that was detrimental...is that your personal experience, Highland?

 

-R

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I have not had any experience with limpets. From readings on the net, it seems that they are not normally a problem, as long as there are sources of food (algae) available other than your corals. Human's have been known to eat some pretty interesting things when they are forced to. :biggrin: I think it is similar to the Copperband butterfly fish, if you cut back the food for them, then they will become a problem. My Copperband, does not bother my corals, but I have read on our board that some others are having a problem with them. :why: I think a lot of Reefers tend to cut way back on the amount of food they provide to their fish in order to keep the pristine water parameters to grow the corals. In these situations, I would think the limpets and copperbands would become a problem. With Bob's readings of 30 for nitrates, I don't think he would have problems. In his case the limpets would be helpful. I have nitrate readings of 10, so that's probably why I don't have problems with my Copperband. :biggrin:

I think the limpets are really beautiful when allowed to get larger. Here are some other Keyhole limpets:

 

 

lg-89379-snail.jpg

 

limpet.jpg

 

tan-limpet-zoom.jpg

 

aspera.jpg

Edited by Highland Reefer

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Here is one bad guy I found:

 

White Cap Limpet: Acmaea mitra This limpet has a very high profile compared to other limpets giving it its other common name of 'dunce cap limpet'. The shell is white, but it is usually encrusted with organisms, especially pink Encrusting Coral, which ironically is a favourite food of the limpet.

 

whitecaplimpet2.jpg

 

So, there are some bad limpets out there. Most of ones I have read about eat algae & bacteria. If we can get Bob to grow them to a larger size, we might be able to ID them. :wink:

Edited by Highland Reefer

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Highland,

I apologize for my antagonistic tone...it's just that I have had keyhole limpets (the white-shelled type) in tanks in the past, and they never caused any problems. In fact, they were model citizens, sucking up hair algae!

 

-R

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Highland,

I apologize for my antagonistic tone...it's just that I have had keyhole limpets (the white-shelled type) in tanks in the past, and they never caused any problems. In fact, they were model citizens, sucking up hair algae!

 

-R

 

No apology needed. I actually have enjoyed this thread. I have learned quite a bit about the limpets by reading other sources on the net & your alls input from personal experiences. Up until this thread, I really didn't know much about limpets. The one thing I can count on with regards to our club, is that there are a lot of knowledgeable reefers here. :biggrin:

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Thanks for the thread. I think It just got them from another WAMAS member. These survived being out of water for several hours! Mine are lack and have 1 white dot on their shell. I've seen 1 in my 20 and 1 in my 55. They seem to like the algae prone rocks. They can move fast and come out at night. I like them! They move like a nudibranch but are not one. Cool!

Edited by hbh

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Those look like Diodora, or a related genus. I have had tons of them over the years, and they are largely beneficial. They are a lot less selective than most snails, and will eat tunicates, some sponges and I have seen them take the occasional nip from a leather coral.

 

I did a writeup, based mostly on personal experience here a few years ago.

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Here is one bad guy I found:

 

White Cap Limpet: Acmaea mitra This limpet has a very high profile compared to other limpets giving it its other common name of 'dunce cap limpet'. The shell is white, but it is usually encrusted with organisms, especially pink Encrusting Coral, which ironically is a favourite food of the limpet.

 

whitecaplimpet2.jpg

 

So, there are some bad limpets out there. Most of ones I have read about eat algae & bacteria. If we can get Bob to grow them to a larger size, we might be able to ID them. :wink:

 

Couldn't help myself - just HAD to look at the main body of the skimmer. There are 20-30 of them in there; none large. I'll watch and see if any grow up to 'identifiable' size. If they like the sandbed, they wouldn't have a chance in my display - that gold-headed sleeper goby sifts sand like crazy. Johnny didn't mention that it would get BIGGER when I bought it. It's already about 5" long. And nobody mentioned that it would build a 'burrow' under the rocks.

 

bob

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