Aiptasia is a genus of a symbiotic cnidarian belonging to the class Anthozoa (sea anemones, corals). Other well known cnidarian groups include the jellyfish (Class Scyphozoa), the hydroids (fire coral, and the genus Hydra), and the box jellyfish (Class Cubozoa). Aiptasia is widely distributed tropical sea anemone of benthic lifestyle typically found living on mangrove roots and nearby hard substrates. Interestingly, this anemone as well as many other cnidarian species is found to contain symbiotic dinoflagellate unicellular algae of the genus Symbiodinium living inside nutritive cells. The symbionts provide food mainly in the form of lipids and sugars produced from photosynthesis to the host while the hosts provides inorganic nutrients and a constant and protective environment to the algae. Species of Aiptasia are relatively weedy anemones able to withstand a relatively wide range of salinities and other water quality conditions. In the case of A. pallida and A. pulchella, their hardiness coupled with their ability to reproduce very quickly and out-compete other species in culture gives these anemones the status of pest from the perspective of coral reef aquarium hobbyists. Ironically, these characteristics make it easy to grow in the laboratory and thus it is extensively used as model system for scientific study. In this respect, Aiptasia has contributed a significant amount of knowledge regarding cnidarian biology, especially our understanding of cnidarian-algal symbioses, a biological phenomenon crucial to the survival of corals and coral reef ecosystems. The dependence of coral reefs on the health of the symbiosis is dramatically illustrated by the devastating effects experienced by corals due to the loss of algal symbionts in response to environmental stress, a phenomenon known as coral bleaching.
Chemically you can attempt to eliminate aiptasia from your aquarium with [Joe's Juice] or [Red Sea Aiptasia-x] which are lime and calcium chemical mixes. These are some of the packaged products patented to remove these pests. There are other household methods, such as lemon juice, kalkwasser paste and boiling water, and liquid calcium supplement. In most cases the aiptasia will only be damaged, and grow back as it multiplies.
Naturally you can introduce a known aiptasia predator to your system. The most popular are: -Peppermint shrimp -Copperband butterfly -Kliens butterfly
The effects of elevated ultraviolet B radiation and elevated water temperature on the loss of zooxanthellae from Aiptasia pallida.
Mar 22, 2003; What effects will elevated ultraviolet B radiation and/or elevated temperature have on the loss of zooxanthellae from...
Oxidative stress in the symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella (Carlegan, 1943): contribution of the animal to superoxide ion production at elevated temperature.
Jun 01, 1997; Introduction Elevated temperature can adversely affect the stability of symbioses between cnidarians and symbiotic...