Berghia nudibranchs are a great addition for getting rid of pesky aiptasia anemones. Though small in size, these specialist predators’ diet consists strictly of aiptasia, in the wild. These otherwise harmless nudibranchs can quickly and effectively take care of even the worst infestations without damaging the corals in your reef. Berghia tend to do best in tanks with lower to moderate flow with plenty of rock structure to avoid potential predators. These berghia nudibranchs will thrive in small colonies and we recommend introducing them in groups to increase their efficiency and effectiveness at eliminating aiptasia.
BERGHIA IN THE TANK
Being nocturnal, you may not observe Berghia in your tank once they are introduced. However, it is important to remain patient—Berghia cannot cure aiptasia overnight; the process can take several months depending on the size of your tank and how many aiptasia there are. Let Mother Nature do her job!
If you purchase Berghia at their full-grown 1 inch length, you won’t know how long they have left in their life cycle. After all, these creatures typically live 6 to 8 months – that too only if there is enough aiptasia for them to feed on. However, the most ideal size of Berghia should be 10mm or just slightly under ½ inch as it grants them with more time in your tank and thus allowing them ample opportunity to fulfill their purpose!
When shopping for Berghia nudibranchs, remember that they are natural pack hunters. We suggest purchasing a minimum of two to introduce into your tank due to their hunting habits. As the size of your aquarium increases, so should the number of berghia nudibranchs you add in order for them to find one another and reproduce–which is precisely what we want! To help make it easier, our team has developed an estimation system based on tank size when deciding how many berghias will be needed; this way, there’ll be no doubt that your aiptasia problem won’t dissipate quickly with an adequate amount of Berghia present!
-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 the larvae hatch, it will take approximately ten to fifteen days for them to start eating aiptasia. Your microscopic baby Berghia can get into the smallest pores in your rocks to weed out even the smallest aiptasia. Aiptasia will run from the threat, but now have nowhere to hide.
Have no fear of a Berghia takeover! These predators only feed on aiptasia, after which they will perish if their food source is not replenished. And since even full-sized Berghia are so small, the impact on your tank’s water parameters when they die off should be minimal – it’s just one more reason to keep them in your aquarium!
At our facility, we refuse to contain Berghia in sealed jars and other limited spaces that do not permit aeration. We believe this common practice results in low-quality berghias, as maintaining them in jars is highly unlikely for most customers’ aiptasia setups. Our alternative? Raising the Berghia with flowing rock structures which create hunting opportunities and additional challenges allowing us to deliver superior quality specimens every time!
Please be aware that Berghia may seem lethargic upon arrival, but this does not indicate death. (Dead Berghia will exhibit no movement even after drip acclimation and become a shapeless pile of goo.) Additionally, the size or volume of these creatures can decrease during transportation; however, they should return to their standard forms once they have adjusted in the tank and fed on Aiptasia.
BERGHIA TANK ACCLIMATION
To ensure the successful acclimation of your Berghia, make sure to turn off all pumps and power heads in order to reduce water flow. For those who opt for floating the bottle within the tank, remember that they are nocturnal creatures so it’s important to do this with the lights turned off; alternatively you may use a sump instead for greater safety. After allowing them to float for 5 minutes, pour out half of their original bottled water into a cup – be careful not to lose any Berghia during transfer! Take the bottle and fill it up with water from your reef tank, which will be their new home. Allow the container to drift for an additional 5 minutes; during this period of time, you’ll see aiptasia beginning to sweat- don’t fret if some attempt to hide away! Berghias possess extraordinary skills when it comes to luring them out of all types of rock surfaces.
PLACING BERGHIA IN YOUR TANK
Take caution when handling Berghia, as they are highly fragile. A pipette should be used to extract one at a time and place them two inches away from any existing aiptasia. Never set the Berghia directly on top of an aiptasia, as they have been known to consume it upon contact. Additionally, keep your pipette close enough to your rock work so that the water column can be avoided; if the creature sticks to its side you may need pump harder in order for it come out.
HOW WILL THE BERGHIA ACT AFTER BEING INTRODUCED INTO MY TANK?
Once your Berghia arrive, they will be difficult to spot as they’ll settling into their new home. At night, use a blue LED flashlight to best search for them. To monitor the progress of these hitchhikers working their magic on pesky Aiptasia infestations, keep an eye out for all those you can recall; over time you should witness them vanish! But don’t expect instant results – depending on the severity of the outbreak it could take months before everything’s back in balance again.
***Please note that some wrasses, carnivorous shrimp, and filefish may pick at berghia nudibranchs or their eggs
Tank Size Recommendations:
Under 30 gallons: 3 berghia nudibranchs
Between 30-50 gallons: 4-6 berghia nudibranchs
Between 50-100 gallons: 7-9 berghia nudibranchs