Berghia nudibranchs are the best solution for removing aiptasia from your marine aquarium. They are "nature's cure" and are designed to eat and destroy aiptasia.
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.
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 1/2 inch allowing them much more time in your tank to do what they are designed to do.
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
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 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.
Please note that Berghia can be a little sluggish when they arrive. This does not mean the Berghia are dead. (When Berghia die there is no movement even after drip acclimation or they turn into a little pile of shapeless goo.) Also, Berghia can also loose volume or size in shipping. Berghia will regain their size once the Berghia acclimate and eat some Aiptasia.
BERGHIA TANK ACCLIMATION
While your Berghia are acclimating themselves turn off your pumps and power heads so there is no flow in your tank. If you choose you to float your Berghia bottle in your tank; make sure to do so with your lights off otherwise float the bottle in your sump (Berghia are nocturnal and can be susceptible to UV poisoning). After floating for 5 MINS empty out half of Berghia's bottle water into a cup. Make sure you don't dump out the Berghia. Fill the bottle back up with water from the reef tank you will be introducing them to. Then allow the bottle to float for another 5 mins. At this point aiptasia are starting to sweat. Don't worry if they all retract into hiding; Berghias are experts at getting them out of porous parts of rocks.
PLACING BERGHIA IN YOUR TANK
Do not just drop the Berghia into tank, and do not try to handle the Berghia with you hands; Berghias are very fragile. Use a pipette to suck up 1 Berghia at a time then place them at least 2 inches away from aiptasia. DO NOT place your Berghia on top of the aiptasia. Aiptasia have been known to eat Berghia when dropped into the mouth. Also, try holding the pipette close enough to your rock work to avoid the water column. If in the case your Berghia sticks to the side of the pipette you may have to pump the pipette harder to force them out
HOW WILL THE BERGHIA ACT AFTER BEING INTRODUCED INTO MY TANK?
Your new Berghia will go into hiding and will be extremely hard to spot. Use a blue led flash light at night. To know Berghia are working keep an eye on all the aiptasia you can remember, you will notice them starting to disappear. Don't forget; Berghia are not an instant cure. Depending on the infestation, it can take months for them to work their magic.