Acropora Red Bugs are a common pest in the aquarium hobby that can cause significant harm to Acropora corals. These tiny pests are thought to be copepods and can easily take over and kill your Acropora in a few weeks if left untreated.
These pests are almost invisible until closer inspection and can rapidly infest most all Acropora species, inhibiting growth, affecting coloration, and reducing polyp extension. It’s important to act quickly if you suspect an infestation of Acropora Red Bugs in your aquarium.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Acropora Red Bugs, including how to identify them, the damage they can cause, and the best treatment options available. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to prevent and treat Acropora Red Bug infestations in your aquarium, and you’ll be better equipped to keep your corals healthy and thriving.
What are Acropora Red Bugs?
Acropora Red Bugs, also known as Acro Red Bugs, are tiny pests that can infest and harm Acropora colonies in your aquarium. These pests are almost invisible to the naked eye until closer inspection. Once introduced into the aquarium, they can rapidly infest most all Acropora species, inhibiting growth, affecting coloration, and reducing polyp extension.
Acro Red Bugs are like a flea or mite infection and can easily take over and kill your Acropora in a few weeks if left untreated. They are thought to be copepods and only infest small polyped stony corals (SPS) of the genus Acropora. They are the bane of Acropora keepers, and it is a popular belief among hobbyists that they are the only parasites of stony corals.
These tiny little red bugs are a significant problem for reef aquarists, and they are difficult to get rid of once they have established themselves in your aquarium. They are incredibly resilient and can survive in even the harshest conditions, making them a challenging pest to eliminate.
Symptoms of Acropora Red Bugs
Acropora Red Bugs can wreak havoc on our beloved SPS corals. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- Polyp retraction: Red Bugs can cause polyps to stay retracted, which can inhibit growth and affect the coloration of the coral.
- Brittle tissue: The tissue of the coral may become more fragile and prone to breaking due to the damage caused by the Red Bugs.
- Reduced polyp extension: Red Bugs can limit the display of polyps, which can be detrimental to the overall health and appearance of the coral.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your Acropora colonies, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Red Bugs can quickly infest and spread to other corals in the tank, so early detection and treatment is key.
It is also important to note that Red Bugs are very small and can be difficult to spot with the naked eye. Regular monitoring and observation of your corals can help catch any issues early on.
How To Get Rid Of Red Bug
The best way to get rid of your acropora red bugs is by using interceptor. Interceptor is a prescription doc medicine that you will need to get from a vet. Typically vets are a little hesitant to sell you interceptor but in our experience if you explain your situation they will give it to you.
When dosing it is best to either only dose the effected corals and those that might be infected in a separate quarantine tank if possible. Interceptor can kill the invertebrates in your tank and possibly stress out the other corals in your tank. Ultimately the potential losses from dosing interceptor is still better than losing all your sps due to red bugs.
Causes of Acropora Red Bugs
Acropora Red Bugs are small arthropods that can be found in reef aquariums. These pests can cause significant damage to Acropora colonies if left untreated. The most common way to get red bugs is by introducing coral, rock, or contaminated water to your tank.
Buying aquacultured corals can greatly reduce the risk of getting red bugs. Many retailers are known as “chop shops” they get corals directly from the ocean and chop them up and sell them as fast as they can. This leads to a huge risk of introducing red bug and other pests into your tank. At Sunnyside Corals we are careful to only sell aquacultured corals that have either been in our tank for years or that we know has been in someone else’s tank for years. All of our corals go through a strict dipping and quarantine process to assure there are no stragglers like red bug.
By understanding the causes of Acropora Red Bugs infestations, we can take steps to prevent them from occurring in our reef aquariums. Maintaining good water quality, quarantining new additions, feeding in moderation, and providing a stress-free environment for our corals can all help to prevent Acropora Red Bugs infestations.
Prevention of Acropora Red Bugs
Prevention is always better than cure, and this is especially true when it comes to Acropora Red Bugs. These tiny pests can be difficult to get rid of once they have infested your coral, so taking steps to prevent them from appearing in the first place is crucial.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent Acropora Red Bugs is to quarantine any new corals that you add to your tank. This will help to ensure that any pests or parasites that may be present on the coral do not have a chance to spread to your other corals. Check out our quarantine process with any questions.
Another key preventative measure is to maintain good water quality in your tank. This means keeping your water parameters stable and within the appropriate range for your corals, as well as performing regular water changes and using high-quality filtration equipment.
We aim to keep very standard levels in our systems.
We also use automation tools to help keep these levels stable. Our two main acro systems utilize large, commercial grade calcium reactors. We run a KALK reactor to keep ph up on both systems and we run a zero mag in the calcium reactors to keep the magnesium stable.
In addition to these general maintenance tasks, there are also some specific steps you can take to prevent Acropora Red Bugs. For example, you can dip your corals before adding them to your system to help eliminate pests. We’ve developed our own dipping process that has worked great for our systems.
Finally, it’s important to be vigilant and keep a close eye on your corals for any signs of pest infestations. If you notice any unusual behavior or discoloration in your corals, it’s important to take action right away to prevent the problem from getting worse.
By following these preventative measures, we can help to ensure that our corals stay healthy and free from Acropora Red Bugs.
These tiny pests can cause significant damage to your Acropora colonies if left unchecked. It is essential to take action as soon as you notice any signs of infestation. If you can remove the infected coral and treat it separately this is the best-case scenario. Interceptor is hard on corals and it is best to limit how many corals are effected by your treatment if possible.
What are Acropora Red Bugs?
Acropora Red Bugs are tiny pests that can infest Acropora colonies. They are almost invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen upon closer inspection. Once introduced into the aquarium, they can rapidly infest most all Acropora species- inhibiting growth, affecting coloration, and reducing polyp extension.
How do I know if my Acropora has Red Bugs?
You can identify Acropora Red Bugs by looking for signs such as polyp retraction, poor color, and brittle tissue. If you suspect that your Acropora has Red Bugs, you can also use a magnifying glass to look for tiny red specks on the coral’s surface.
How do I get rid of Acropora Red Bugs?
There are several methods for getting rid of Acropora Red Bugs, is to use interceptor. It is important to follow the instructions carefully and to treat all affected corals. Additionally, it is recommended to quarantine and dip any new corals before adding them to your aquarium to prevent introducing new pests.
Can Acropora Red Bugs harm other corals in my aquarium?
While Acropora Red Bugs primarily infest Acropora colonies, they can also spread to other corals in the aquarium. It is important to treat all affected corals and to monitor your aquarium closely to prevent the spread of pests.
How can I prevent Acropora Red Bugs from infesting my aquarium?
One way to prevent Acropora Red Bugs from infesting your aquarium is to quarantine any new corals before adding them to your aquarium. Additionally, maintaining good water quality and avoiding overfeeding can help prevent the spread of pests. It is also important to regularly