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Hi, all!

After months of having my resistances worn down by my buddy Otter, I've succumbed to reef-keeping.

While I like fish fine--particularly the weird, scuffly little ones--I generally find that what I'm staring at when I stand in front of a tank is the coral. So for Christmas Otter handed me her old 6 gallon nanocube--why not just give me a meth lab, woman!?--and now I find myself scrolling through listings of zoo coral and mushroom leathers with lust in my heart.

Yesterday I finally bit the bullet, got the live rock and the live sand and plopped everything into the tank.

And it's awesome. I got some very nice live rock, covered in purple coralline, with a whole mess of itty bitty tube worms, there are orange-and-black bristle worms squiggling slowly through the sand, and if lucky, they'll survive the cycling process. (Also, the sheer joy of staring at rocks and trying to identify all the little creepy-crawlies on them is something I've never, ever had with freshwater tanks. It's like being a naturalist in my own studio!)

What's not so lovely is that the live rock also is host to at least two (and possibly more) Aiptasia. I've read about the control methods, which seem to mostly involve shooting poison into a wily retractable creature, and this alarms me somewhat, not because I object to using poison per se, but because I know my own competence, and I have the glum feeling that I will be easily outsmarted by an invertebrate with no brain.

So I have the following questions:

How close do I have to get with the poison? Is it enough to squirt it into the hole in the rock where they've retreated, or do I have to use my speed and cunning to hit the fully extended anemone? (They are, of course, located in the least accessible part of the tank, tucked under a rock.) Realistically, what are the odds that the surviving Aiptasia, sworn to vengeance, will learn to use tiny weapons, climb out of the tank, and come for me very slowly in my sleep?

Since they'll probably survive the tank cycling, being unwanted, the other option that I've read about is getting a peppermint shrimp. Now, this would be awesome, but there's some questions there, too.

My initial plan for tank denizens were:

1 firefish
1 emerald crab
1 sexy shrimp (I am being offered one free to good home)
possibly a snail or two
zoo coral
mushroom coral
possibly clove polyp

(I have a couple of friends offering me coral frags, so I have some luxury to be able to test a few things out without spending a fortune.)

So my questions on the peppermint shrimp are--can I keep one in a 6 gallon nanocube? Will it be unhappy? How often do I have to feed it once it's eaten all my anemones? Will it get along with everything else on my list? If I go to my local fish stores with pictures of the right kind of peppermint shrimp (I'm reading that mislabeling with camelback shrimp is often a problem) and spend twenty minutes lurking among the tanks trying to get the shrimp into a line-up so I can be sure to get the right kind, will the staff call security?

Sorry to drown y'all with so many questions right off the bat--I'm very excited, I'm enjoying this immensely so far, just trying to avoid any fatal mistakes right off the bat...

Thanks!
 

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A pep should be just fine in your nano, once they clean up your apps they will eat what ever food makes it to the bottom, they actually make a good addition to your clean up crew. I dont see any problems with what you would be putting it in with and once you see a true pep and a camel back it should be easy to tell them apart.
 

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I have had success with shooting boiling water at them and even better success with Joes Juice. Most LFS's sell it. One bottle goes a long way. Once you get it under conrol the peppermint shrimps should keep them from returning. If you have a syringe just get some boiling water and get as close as you can without touching them and inject it at them. If you touch them they will retract.
Be carefull with the firefish. It may be jump when it gets a chance. With such a small tanks I would look into a clown goby. They stay small and like to perch in the corals.
 
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