Have an Aiptasia problem and the good old peppermint shrimp are falling down on the job? Not comfortable with sending the little anemones to their watery graves with a zap of electricity? Try using a Klein’s Butterfly (Chaetodon kleini) instead. Although most butterfly fish are hard to care for in captivity, the Klein’s butterfly is actually well adapted to aquarium life. They also have the added benefit of being Aiptasia eaters. Hobbyists have reported using these fish as a means to control the glass anemones, but later come to find that the fish doesn’t just control the population, but wipes it out in a matter of hours. Shortly after introduction to a new pest anemone filled aquarium, a healthy Klein’s butterfly will basically gorge itself on the anemones until there are very few left. Unfortunately though, the butterfly may not stop at the anemones, especially if all the anemones have been eaten. Some aquarium keepers have reported that this fish will occasionally go after soft polyps as well. At that point, the fish could always be taken out and sold/traded to another hobbyist who has a bad Aiptasia problem.
Tip of the Day – 8/31/20110