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Old 12-07-2009, 2:46 AM   #1
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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BEST Aiptasia Treatment I have Ever Used.

I have been battling Aiptasia in my 30" x 30" x 24" starfire cube tank for over a year. I have tried Joe's Juice, Aiptaisia X, Kalk paste, Peppermint Shrimp, and a Copperband Butterfly. The CBB didn't live, and the Peppermints didn't eat the aiptasia, or did not live after placement in the tank.

My experience until recently with chemical treatments was that when I used Joe's Juice, Aiptasia X or Kalk paste, it would cause the Aiptasia to shrink back for a couple days, but then there it would be again. I followed the product directions to the letter, but they just were not effective for me.

I was on the internet and came across this webpage, posted back in 2002, and it outlined the use of sodium hydroxide as an aiptasia eliminator.

Now, for those not familiar with this chemical, sodium hydroxide is also known as lye, which is a very caustic chemical with a pH of 13. It can burn skin, remove the anodization off metal, and pit aluminum. So please follow the directions outlined in the webpage carefully.

http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/b...a_control.html

My experience with this method:

I mixed a two times normal solution (2N) of NaOH.

The webpage advises against using commercial drain opener, but I used ROOTO Brand crystal lye formula drain opener. It is all lye, but if anyone prefers, lab grade NaOH can be ordered online, but it costs a good bit more. The ROOTO lye is about $5 a jar, and is more than you will need in your lifetime. Available at any ACE Hardware Store. A 2N solution of NaOH uses 80 grams of NaOH in one liter of RODI. I used a digital scale, but 80 grams comes out to 1/3 cup. Mix the solution up in a plastic container you can seal up. It will get warm when you mix the lye and water together (exothermic reaction). And be VERY CAREFUL about fumes coming off the solution while it is warm right after mixing. It does not feel good to breath it in (personal experience).

What I found so nice about this method was that you don't have to get the NaOH slurry exactly on the aiptasia, but just next to it or near it for it to work. The webpage explains it quite well. Kind of like this stuff is a hand grenade, where close kills, vs Joe's Juice or Aiptasia X, in which a bulls-eye is required for a kill.

How I did it:

I have treated my tank every other day for three days so far. Follow the instructions about turning off all flow in the tank. I used a flashlight for dark areas of the rock to look for aiptasia, and be careful about what the NaOH slurry can fall onto. I basically treated every aiptasia I found with the NaOH on day 1, then repeated on Day 3, then repeated on Day 5. You must be willing to check and treat every other day several times in a row, until you don't see any more aiptasia. Observation is key, as some of the anemones will be too small to see initially, but become visible as they grow. I treated about 40 day 1, about 10 day 2, about 3 day three, and have not seen one since. I will continue to observe and treat if needed every other day until I don't see any new ones for several times.

The webpage is totally correct about the NaOH not being harmful to the tank or inhabitants after it is diluted with tank water. NaOH (and KOH) is actually the main ingredient in a Seachem Aquavitro product called balance.

I have not seen a single aiptasia come back since I started treating my tank six days ago. I believe the key for success using this is sticking to the every other day inspection/treatment schedule until no more aiptasia are observed for at least 4-5 inspections, and repeated follow ups once a week until you are sure you have totally eliminated aiptasia from your tank.

Dave

Last edited by Acroholic; 12-07-2009 at 3:58 AM.

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Old 12-07-2009, 3:32 AM   #2
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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I hope this is just as effective against majanoes. Thanks for sharing Arco.

If this works I owe you a rare chalice!

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Old 12-07-2009, 6:35 AM   #3
phil47952 phil47952 is offline
 
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Aiptasia

Dave,
thanks a bunch for this great info. I don't have any now but with this I'll be ready...

Phil

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Old 12-07-2009, 6:37 AM   #4
DrNecropolis DrNecropolis is offline
 
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This is the stuff I have always told people to give a try, lye being the main reason.. If Lye wont kill it.. It cant be killed.. LOL


100ml distilled water, 1 teaspoon Red Devil lye (sodium hydroxide), and 2 teaspoons calcium hydroxide (kalkwasser). Mix well and use a PD-Tip or dispensing syringe. Turn off water flow and let sit for one hour before turning flow back on.

Note: This mixture is also effective in killing just about anything you put it on, including out of control xenia, polyps and even some hair algae types.

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Old 12-07-2009, 8:25 AM   #5
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Wow, I might have toi try that on my yellow polyps!

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Old 12-07-2009, 8:46 AM   #6
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so how does this stuff know what to attack? are you target feeding? pulling out the other corals before you treat? i might have missed that part if you said.

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Old 12-07-2009, 9:08 AM   #7
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i have always used, with great effectiveness, lemon juice and an insulin syringe. Inject into the body of the anemone and it dies immediately. Doesn't effect much around it either.

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Old 12-07-2009, 9:16 AM   #8
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Yeah I've been using pickling lime mixed with water and it works decently. But this will be nice to know just in case my current way doesn't keep them in check.

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Old 12-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #9
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I used a gallon of bleach last night to kill those little bas$%#&*.

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Old 12-07-2009, 10:44 AM   #10
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNecropolis View Post
This is the stuff I have always told people to give a try, lye being the main reason.. If Lye wont kill it.. It cant be killed.. LOL


100ml distilled water, 1 teaspoon Red Devil lye (sodium hydroxide), and 2 teaspoons calcium hydroxide (kalkwasser). Mix well and use a PD-Tip or dispensing syringe. Turn off water flow and let sit for one hour before turning flow back on.


Note: This mixture is also effective in killing just about anything you put it on, including out of control xenia, polyps and even some hair algae types.
I have never come across the recommendation to use lye before I saw that webpage. Thanks fo the smaller recipe Ansley. One algae this won't kill is bubble algae, (Valonia). Tried that already.

Everyone, feel free to try this and report back, good or bad results. I tried it initially on a couple aiptasia in my tank, and it worked so well I went ahead and treated the entire tank.

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Old 12-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #11
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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so how does this stuff know what to attack? are you target feeding? pulling out the other corals before you treat? i might have missed that part if you said.
Best advice is to read the webpage. It is not like you are treating the entire water column. You use a syringe like from a test kit and all you do is apply a small amount of the NaOH on top of the aiptasia, or on top of it's little hidey hole. The lye forms a light milky slurry when it hits water. Only a few drops are needed for a small aiptasia.

Regarding other corals, just use common sense. Think about where the slurry could fall to. No flow in the tank, so probably straight down is where to think of. I treated in my chalice tank. I have a lot of LE chalices in there, so I temporarily moved a couple pieces that were under the aiptasia I treated. Most of my aiptasia were in areas of the tank I don't normally look at, like on the back right/left sides of the tank, under overhangs, etc. That is why for this or any method to work, you have to commit to spending 20-30 minutes every other day to inspecting/treating for them if needed.

My main question regarding this method was if it was going to end up being the same results I had for Joe's Juice and Aiptasia X, with the aiptasia just shrinking back then reemerging, but this has not happened so far. They are gone. Even with treatment you may not get 10%, as the article suggests, but repeated observations/treatment should take care of that.
Dave

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Old 12-07-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
Dakota9 Dakota9 is offline
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For smaller systems, would you suggest removing the infected rock to a holding tank for treatment? What do you think the chances that this could create a "mini-cycle" in a small system are?
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:04 AM   #13
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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For smaller systems, would you suggest removing the infected rock to a holding tank for treatment? What do you think the chances that this could create a "mini-cycle" in a small system are?
I wouldn't think that was necessary, but you could do that. From the article:

"It is harmless to your reef tank once it is fully diluted -- the only caution is that using a lot of it, as when killing lots of Aiptasia, can raise the specific gravity of the tank water just like adding any other concentrated source of Sodium."

Another possibility from using a lot in a small system is you could raise the pH with the NaOH, as this is what Aquavitro balance does because it is a NaOH/KOH blend, but much more diltute. *balance* raises pH without affecting calcium/KH (product claim).

The only other reason I would not recommend using it is if your reef is so jam packed with corals that you could not safely treat the aiptasia because there is no way to keep the lye from falling on valuable corals.

If I had a small volume reef, Dak, I would not treat every aiptasia in the tank at once. Do a few a day, and monitor tank pH afterwards. Might take a few days longer, but as long as you kill more than are reproduced each day, you'll get the same results.
Dave

Last edited by Acroholic; 12-07-2009 at 5:01 PM.

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Old 12-07-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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Dave wrote- but as long as you kill more than are reproduced each day, you'll get the same results.


LOL, that has been the goal I have failed at miserably.

The only thing in my tank that I'm truly concerned with is the health of my clam. In a 30 cube, there's not much distance that can be achieved from the rock being treated and my clam, so I might go the holding tank route and treat one rock at a time a few consecutive nights.....
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #15
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Dave wrote- but as long as you kill more than are reproduced each day, you'll get the same results.


LOL, that has been the goal I have failed at miserably.

The only thing in my tank that I'm truly concerned with is the health of my clam. In a 30 cube, there's not much distance that can be achieved from the rock being treated and my clam, so I might go the holding tank route and treat one rock at a time a few consecutive nights.....
I would tell you to go the route with it that suits your sitution best. I don't own any clams.

Not knowing where your clam is, if you could cover it with a small upside down tupperwate container maybe? The clam would close up as well. The Naoh slurry stays pretty well where you put it, but gravity and currents will send it around.

I think it works like this. Once it makes contact with the saltwater, it sets up that localized exothermic reaction the article talks about, then dissipates as it gets diluted with the surrounding tank water. In other words, I get the idea it works in the first 20 seconds or so, then not after that.

Kind of like Napalm for aiptasia!

Last edited by Acroholic; 12-07-2009 at 5:02 PM.

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Old 12-07-2009, 12:06 PM   #16
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Here are pics of the Lye I used, and a pic of the syringe/applicators. I cut the tip off a bulb type syringe and use it for easy application, and I made a curved applictor by heating and bending a piece of 1/8" rigid airline tubing. Works well for under rocks. You can also use Joe's Juice applicators, or Aiptasia X applicators.
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Old 12-07-2009, 6:00 PM   #17
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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I just tried this on some Majanos in my 210 gallon, and it dissolved them on contact!!!!!!

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Old 12-07-2009, 6:38 PM   #18
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Just got back from ACE and got the Rooto!! I think it was $4 and is a lifetime supply. If anyone wants some let me know.

Going to have a little fun killing these guys. Problem is I have about 40 that I can see.

Thanks again for the info Acroholic

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Old 12-07-2009, 7:05 PM   #19
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Just got back from ACE and got the Rooto!! I think it was $4 and is a lifetime supply. If anyone wants some let me know.

Going to have a little fun killing these guys. Problem is I have about 40 that I can see.

Thanks again for the info Acroholic
Report back on how it goes and take your time. You don't have to dump a lot on them.
Dave

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Old 12-07-2009, 7:40 PM   #20
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thanks dave, printed a copy of the webpage.

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