My Review - Aiptasia Control: Joe's Juice vs Red Sea Aiptasia-X

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by tygunn, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Hey all, I started to get some Aiptasia in my tank. I wanted to share my experiences for using two popular aiptasia treatments.

    Okay, so I've tried out both Joe's Juice and Aiptasia-X:

    Here are my observations:
    Joe's Juice:
    - The syringe it comes with doesn't have a rubber plunger; it's just plastic in a plastic tube. I found this stuck a lot and meant you'd shoot out huge globs of the treatment, causing some collateral damage. I ended up using my own 3mL BD syringe.
    - I made a video showing the consistency of this product. See it here

    - It comes with a standard luer-lock syringe with a rubber plunger. This slides much better and you can apply a much smaller amount of product.
    - The other nice thing is Aiptasia X comes with two applicators; one curved to get into tighter spots. A nice touch.
    - I made a video showing the consistency of this product. See it here.

    Verdict: In the end I personally prefer Aiptasia-X. It is much easier to control and its thicker formulation stays in the syringe without dribbling out on its own. It also seems to form a much nicer little "glob" over top of the aiptasia, sealing it in.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
    humu, denzil and Enderturtle like this.
  2. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Tygunn the video links do not work.

    "This post could not be found.

    This URL may be incorrect, the post may have been deleted, or the post may not have been shared with this account." Maybe its the privacy settings? Needs to be available for the public.

    In case anyone else has aiptasia problems see below for my experience:

    I haven't used either of those products but I have had great success with true Peppermint shrimps (Lysmata wurdemanni). There are two other red striped shrimps often sold as peppermint shrimp but only one species will eat Aiptasia. I don't like having any shrimps in my tank except Sexy Shrimps so if I get aiptasia, I'll unload some peppermint shrimps and then easily net them out of my tank with some food bait once the aiptasia's gone.

    Some pictures from a thread on thereeftank showing the different "peppermint shrimp" species. Although if your peppermint shrimps are full from fish food....they won't be very excited about eating aiptasia.

    differenze finito.jpg peppermints id.jpg

    Anyone else have other methods for getting rid of aiptasia?
  3. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Links should work now. My peppermints always seem to just disappear without explanation. :) Something in my tank must catch them and eat them (oddly enough).
    Interesting; I'll have to pay more attention next time I'm at the LFS and see if I can get one of the kind that eats aiptasia then. They've never seen to do the job for me, so I must have gotten the wrong type.
  4. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    I went a slightly more DIY route to to deal with the little bastards. I don't recall where I read about it initially, but I found a few references to using a fairly concentrated sodium hydroxide solution applied with a syringe (or dropper) as being effective. I work in a lab, so I have access to fairly pure NaOH, although I'm sure Red Devil brand from the hardware store would work just as well. I settled on using a 2 molar concentration (4 grams dissolved in 50 ml water) applied with a disposable plastic syringe. When I find an aiptasia in my tank, I shut off the pumps and carefully squirt a couple of drops right over it's mouth. The solution precipitates (carbonate I assume) immediately, but it's strong enough to basically melt the critter in a second or so and I've never had one come back. I haven't seen one in my tank for over a month, but I'm sure there's one or two lurking somewhere. Next time I find one, I'll take a quick video of what I do. I did try a peppermint shrimp first, I know this sounds strange, but I think my bubble-tip anemone may have eaten it.

    It's worth noting, dry NaOH can be handled with DRY fingers (not recommended), but a solution of this concentration should be treated with care - it can easily make a hole in your skin and be very damaging if you get any in your eye.
  5. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Some people mix really thick concentrated kalkwasser and feed it to the aiptasia.
  6. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    This seems a bit over the top for the non-lab savvy. It's dangerous stuff!

    I've used Aiptasia-X and peppermints. Not sure if they were the L. wurdemanni. The X did a good job on what I could get to. I had a couple of aiptasia right in the middle of some zoas and there were a few polyps damaged. The aiptasia that I couldn't reach have disappeared so the pepps probably got them.

    I had two small acan colonies that died quickly after I added the pepps. I don't know if the pepps ate them. I never saw them eating the acans.

    A friend had a mat of aiptasia covering his rocks. If you didn't know, you'd think it was pretty! :) Way past anything you could treat with less than a gallon of Aiptasia-X. He used Berghia. Took a couple of tries but they finally got critical mass and the aiptasia got mowed down.

    I think all three methods work, just choose what works for you. If you only have a few to get rid of and can reach them then Aiptasia-X is great. If you need more help, either of the biological controls work with a 'use caution' warning if you have acans..
  7. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I would never have though of using lye to dissolve aiptasia, but I imagine it would work. I'd be afraid of changing pH in my 37g tank with such a strong base.
  8. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I've done this before as well. Really hot water seemed to help dissolve the kalk as well.
  9. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I got really aggressive with aiptasia in this tank. I got lazy in my old solana and ended up with the big swaying mats of it that were next to impossible to get rid of. Hehe.
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Come on... how many times have you read a post about people using muriatic acid to treat rock they get? :) This hobby has all sorts of danger involved, a little lye wouldn't hurt... much. Besides if you can get the appropriate safety gear at Home Depot, it's got to be ok to use :D

    Ty, nice comparison though, however you seem to have forgotten the most important metric when comparing two products, does one actually work better than the other? I use Aiptasia-X because I got a bottle or two of it when Ocean Treasures was closing down (super fire sale prices too! I think maybe a buck or two), I do like it because it is applied easily, not sure if it actually works though, I do have peppermint shrimp in the tank though, maybe it's a 1-2 punch with them? :)
    Enderturtle likes this.
  11. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Haha yes I admit I had both lye and muriatic acid for my old tank. I using a pH controller to dose muriatic acid into my cement rock curing bin. Hehe. And the lye was part of my attempt to recharge di resin.

    Yes good point. I had used Joes Juice on a few aiptasia. It works about as well as the Aiptasia X provided you get it to stick. That's where the Aiptasia X had the edge. In the case of both I've found you really need to get them quick before they suck into the crevice they're wedged in or they'll just hide until the treatment washes away.

  12. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Ime you really want to get the aiptasia x into their mouth. Works very well when this is accomplished. Some are too finicky and retract as they sense you approaching. Sometimes you can slowly approach, and gently touch the syringe to the oral disc or tentacles and it will start to contract an sort if guide the syringe right to its mouth, at which point I unload and hope to force some into its mouth and then cover it with a small amount and leave it for as long as I dare with the pumps off.
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  13. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Good pointers on how to target these guys! I'll be more aware of that next time I do some nuking.

    In the past I've built an electronic aiptasia zapper. That did NOT work very well at all. Just tore 'em apart and made them spread like mad.


    I have had peppermint shrimp not touch them. Yes they were the correct one.
    I recently borrowed a friend majano wand. It got rid of them in one tank. And made the other tank have about 5 times more.i was so disappointed. I put some more peppermint shrimp in. My arc eye hawk fish think he liked the shrimp more. I recently added a file fish to May tank about a month and half ago. I think I am done to three aptasia. I love that fish. I am going to move him to my quartine tank for future problems. It took him two or three weeks to start eating the aptasia. I know this was off subject. Sorry
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    For me, Joes Juice tended to clog quite a bit.
    You get a small clump in the end of the syringe, and it blocks it.
    And then you push hard to expel it ... then blam, tons comes out at once. GRR.
  16. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    The wand definitely did good at tearing them apart but it seems the flesh drifted away and regrew. Crazy creatures.

    I havent tried a fish or other creature for control. Only peppermints but they've always ended up eaten themselves. Haha nah never a worry about off topicness.
  17. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Yup exactly. I had that happen often.
  18. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I used Aiptasia-X. It should be renamed "Aiptasia Growth Hormone". Use it, and they all disappear, then 3 weeks later you have 10 new ones for every one you nuked.

    My tank is once again filled with them.

    I have a Klein Butterfly that ate most of them out of my old tank, but if the fish are being fed, he's not eating aiptasia.

    My next attack is removal of the rocks. Maybe all the rocks.

  19. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Good luck w that. They are almost definitely in the overflow, sump, and plumbing as well. If they come back with a vengeance I'm willing to bet you aren't doing it right. The ones you aren't getting it in their mouth are likely expelling their gunk (gametes?) and making new ones. It's not the aiptasia x, but the failed attempt on their life IMO. Definitely important to keep a steady routine of killing them, and get something predatory to keep them under control.
    I've had good success with copperband butterfly on occasion.
  20. mattcoug

    mattcoug Guest

    Berghia nudibranch FTW. I tried everything, chemical, electrical, mechanical, and the aiptasia always came back stronger than before. I bought some berghia nudibranch from a guy out in Pleasanton, dropped them in the tank and haven't seen any aiptasia in 2 years.

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