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Acro Bugs


Nano_Steve

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Hey all,

This is simply for everyone's information, this IS NOT a post to insult or accuse ANYONE.

I recently came back from two trips to Greenmako's house with quite a few really nice frags of SPS (Thanks a ton Brian!), and I needed to post this for everyone who bought SPS from him. After 24 hr acclimation I was just now inspecting the frags very carefully and noticed that they have quite a few acro bugs on them. I know these guys are a pest and are extremely easy to miss (especially in larger setups) so I just wanted to give everyone a warning who may not inspect their corals so closely.

I've attached a picture of what I have seen although the picture was taken from another website.

Anyone know of any good remedies for already introduced corals?

-Steve

PS Again, this is simply for the benefit of other members, it is NOT intended to insult anyone's reefkeeping abilities. Please don't flame me for this post.

post-716-1240186511_thumb.jpg

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From Wikipedia:

There are several possible signs of an infestation of red acro bugs:

reduced extension of polyps and/or the coral tissue

change in coloration, typically involving a loss of colored pigments from tips and branches, and a change to a more uniform brown color

reduced or stalled growth rates

loss of tissue pigmentation including the loss of zooxanthellae pigmentation resulting in a bleached appearance

local or colony-wide tissue loss, possibly as a result of colonization stress rather than from direct consumption of tissue by predation

death of the colony

The dragonface pipefish, Corythoichthys haematopterus, is a natural predator of the red acro bug[citation needed].

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The only way to get rid of Red Bugs is to treat with Intercepter. Inercepter is a prescription heartworm pill for dogs. If it is in your main tank, 3 treatments about 5 - 7 days apart will do the trick. The treatment kills the Red Bug but not the eggs. The goal is to break the lifecycle and this is why 3 treatments are recommended.

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We had some come in on frags we had ordered from an individual on a well known internet vendor.

during inspection - we noticed one of them pretty infested.

so here's what we did: (Warning: this *might* kill your infested frags too)..it didn't ours.

Lugols *will* kill them..but not at normal prescribed concentrations...(they are after all, exoskeletal crustaceans, and enough raw iodine will

strip them of their protective exoskeleton). But I have to warn you - the acros do *not* like this treatment at all. - You may lose them too.

So here goes:

ONE "very hot" treatment of Lugols dip (5 times the normal concentration)(200 drops/gal instead of 40) for twice as long as the normal time period (30 minutes instead of 15)

in a white 5- gallon bucket. - Just before removal, we "blew" the stunned creatures off with a turkey baster.

(they were at least debilitated by the high iodine concentration, so they fell off with very little effort from the baster.)

I am convinced this killed most all of them immediately.

We then put the frags back into isolation. - watched them for a week. (Corals took 4 times as long to recover from this, but they eventually did

(four days before polyps would peek out again).

I figured better to kill the patient, than allow *any* of these things in to my tank.

I followed up with at least one "normal" concentration dip as soon as the polyps started to come out (indicating recovery) - which of course

if there were any left finished off the rest (if there were any - by this time I couldn't see any more - this final treatment was more out of paranoia than anything).

After this second treatment,and close inspection with good magnifiers.- they went straight into the main reef.

Today, they have tripled in size.

(This was about 6 months ago)

Another thing: I wouldn't do *any* treatment in your main tank. - You will kill all sorts of similar life forms - not just the redbugs.

Whether you use interceptor, or some other method - do it in isolation. -Steal some of your tank water to do it with, just do it in a separate tank.

(Bucket, whatever).

The Hot mix of iodine is fast. - but risky too.

Depends on how hardy the corals are .. this is like "chemotherapy" for corals. (Method of last resort).

But: anything's better than redbugs in your acro tank - they *will* wipe it completely out.

And whatever you do - do NOT blow water on these guys while the frag is in the main tank - they *will* ride the current right over to your other acropora.

Good Luck.

--Robert

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Do these guys only infest/damage acros?

According to what Ric posted previously and what I have read.......they more of a nuisance (pests) but eventually affects the health of the SPS.

Health of the SPS will gradually go down hill....death.

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