July 16, 1999
Dear Dr Rudman,
I've really enjoyed your web site, very interesting, informative and packed full of information - Thanks!
The reason for my interest is that I'm looking into the use of the Nudibranch Berghia verrucicornis (B.V.) as a biological control agent for Aptasia in Aquariums. Do you know of any research work that has been done on the release of B.V. into established (and stocked) large aquariums? Has there been any detriment to the fish stocks? Also what is the relative success of the introduction on eradicating the Aptasia. And finally, do you know any stockist where the B.V. maybe purchased from (in New South Wales?).
Any information would be gratefully received!
With Thanks and Kind Regards,
If you have a look at my answer to Michael Phan's message about a year ago, you will find I have posted a couple of links to Steve Kempf's research publications on the very topic you are interested in. I know of no Australian stockist of Berghia.
More generally, Aiptasia is a northern hemisphere species. If you have you got it in your aquarium it is quite worrying, as marine animals from other parts of the world are not good news if they get loose in Australian waters. At present in Tasmania there are major problems with a north Pacific sea star and introduced sea weeds, and in Port Philip Bay in Victoria the ecosystems in large parts of the bay have been destroyed by a European fan worm which has gone wild. If you have Aiptasia could you make sure you don't let any loose in the environment and could you let me know where you got them so we can make sure they don't become a problem here.
If on the other hand, you have some local species of sea anemone going wild in your aquarium, perhaps you should consider getting some local nudibranchs to eat them. There are a number of candidates which might be useful. If you are interested, let me know and I will put up some pictures of local sea anemone-feeding aeolids.
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