Aquariums are one of the most eye-catching and mesmerizing decorations in a house. They are very appealing to the eye and transform the ambiance of your home. However, all of that is influenced by the fact that they must be kept clean and regulated.
Unaware of aquarium pests, many people mistake the coral growth of palm-tree-like organisms as an appealing (and free) addition to their aquariums. However, soon after their appearance, fishes and other pets start to die out, and eventually, only they are left in the water.
So what are these organisms, and how can you get rid of them? Are there any household tools you can use to combat these nasty pests immediately, and how? We will be answering all those questions and much more in the subsequent sections. So without further ado, let’s begin!
What is an Aiptasia?
Before we can get into how hydrogen peroxide is effective against this class of organisms, we first have to look into what exactly they are and what kind of threat they possess to our aquariums.
Aiptasia is a phylum of animal, Cnidarian, naturally found in temperate and tropical seas. The best defining feature of these palm-tree-looking organisms is their ability to withstand a wide range of water saline and other harsh conditions.
Combining their sturdy nature with the ability to reproduce very quickly gives them the status of pests. Aquarium lobbyists put Aiptasia as one of the worst pests in your saltwater aquarium, as they quickly outcompete other biotas of the aquarium.
Therefore, in household settings, Aiptasia can be thought of as an uninvited guest in your saltwater aquarium who not only occupies space but irritates the people around them.
The Bane of Saltwater Tanks
Aiptasia can be imagined as a very high-maintenance, clingy partner who does not get along with your friends.
Sure, for a couple of days or even weeks, you enjoy the company. You can’t seem to get enough of the glimmering beauty, the long flowing tentacles, and how they can give you so much attention and time.
But then you start to get alienated. Imagine this person as being super gluttonous and eating the food of our other friends, stealing your attention from them, and in the end, stinging them with their sharp tentacles.
With time this beauty starts to look like a hindrance in what could have been a great relationship. It’s toxic now, and you have to find a way. But by now, this person has grown too attached and just would not leave. Any attempts to physically push them out of your house results in more of them around the fridge, eating away your food.
Well, that pretty much summarizes all that Aiptasia does. Now, this begs the question, where is your salvation?
Why is Hydrogen Peroxide Great For Aiptasia?
Now that we have a basic concept about what Aiptasia is and what kind of threat it possesses to our saltwater habitat, it’s time we begin tackling the problem.
By now, you might have a generalized idea of what methods might be effective against these stubborn guests. Moving them out of the aquarium is not only inefficient but also ineffective.
You would have to physically remove all of that water from your tank, and the animals and then manually scrape off all of the Aiptasia from rocks. Then fill all of the water back in, hoping that you have got all of the nasty species to cause; if not so, they will repopulate in little or no time.
Therefore, using an external agent which can kill these species without costing you a lot of time and money. And what other chemical than hydrogen peroxide does that job!
It can be accessed easily from a nearby shelve, but it is also proven to be highly effective. More of that is given below!
Mechanism of Action
We have already established that the use of chemicals is needed to remove Aiptasia adequately from aquariums. And a household chemical like hydrogen peroxide is effective in this procedure and is like a cherry on top. However, what makes hydrogen so effective?
The key to hydrogen peroxide-induced cleaning lies in its loose molecular structure. When looking at the chemical composition of this molecule, we see that one of the two oxygen atoms; this chemical has, is loosely bound with its structure. And even in controlled situations such as heat and sunlight, it quickly dissociates into its constituent products.
Apart from being a central element required for breathing, Oxygen has many other chemical implications. For once, this element is somewhat reactive in its atomic state and can combine with other molecules to change their composition. This reaction is called oxidation.
Oxidation induced by hydrogen peroxide is a highly indiscriminate procedure. What it means is, that all you have to do is give hydrogen peroxide to certain conditions where it can break down to release oxygen. And oxygen can virtually react with almost all kinds of substances.
Therefore, this Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) from hydrogen peroxide is responsible for disinfecting a wide variety of surfaces and killing cnidarians in saltwater habitats!
Killing Aiptasia Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Now comes the real heart of this article. After discussing what Aiptasia is and why hydrogen peroxide is effective against it, we can begin answering this enigma’s “how” component.
The great thing about hydrogen peroxide is that it requires minimal tools and shallow efforts by its user to have a profound effect. Using hydrogen peroxide in your procedure means letting go of the nuisance of collecting various equipment and the nitty-gritty of the process.
A complete account of how you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean Aiptasia from your aquarium is given below:
What You Need
- A syringe
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Safety gear (e.g., gloves)
- Before you formally begin the procedure, make sure to cover your hands with gloves (this will ensure safety not only from the chemical but also the stinging tentacles of the cnidarian)
- For this procedure, you do not have to cut off the power supply of the aquarium.
- Start the procedure by pouring a cup of hydrogen peroxide directly into a clean bowl.
- Make sure that the hydrogen peroxide is fresh and avoid spilling the chemical.
- Now, take a large syringe and extract some transparent liquid from the bowl until the bulb.
- Take the syringe and move it closer to the cnidarian habitat in the pond
- Slowly empty this syringe directly into the disk of the Aiptasia
- Be careful not to release any extra hydrogen peroxide into the tank
- Repeat this process 2-3 times or until you are satisfied with getting all of the pest growth
- Perform this procedure twice or thrice daily for best results.
And that’s about it! By following these simple steps, you too can get rid of these nasty Aiptasia cultures and fast.
What’s The Ideal Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration?
Now that we have familiarised ourselves with all there is to know about hydrogen peroxide-oriented cleaning of Aiptasia. We can talk about some contraindications (if any) and other safety tips to yield the best possible results.
The foremost of which is inducting the ideal concentration of hydrogen peroxide for the procedure. This dilemma is a viable one as there are a ton of different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide available in the market, all of them with their pros and cons.
We want to aim for a concentration that is strong enough to give results yet not so much to cause side-effects like corrosion and burning of the aquarium biota, or worse, the user.
Generally, the best way to go is a 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration. This concentration is suitable for all kinds of household procedures and is the one that comes with the first-aid toolbox.
Safety Precaution You Should Follow!
Until now, we have discussed all Aiptasia, hydrogen peroxide, and the procedure on how you can use hydrogen peroxide to remove Aiptasia in your homes, which brings us to the final aspect of our article, discussing some of the safety precautions that you should follow.
The foremost of which has already been mentioned above; is selecting the ideal concentration of hydrogen peroxide for your aquarium.
Moreover, using hydrogen peroxide is the best way to go when compared with other disinfecting agents. The reason for that is, that hydrogen peroxide breaks off into nontoxic oxygen and water, which positively influence the aquatic habitat.
The next major tip we give to our users is to protect themselves and their aquatic habitat while performing the procedure. Self-safety can be accomplished easily by keeping hydrogen peroxide away from your mouth, nose, and eyes.
At the same time, you have to use a syringe and avoid direct contact of chemicals with other aquatic biotas for aquatic safety. Hydrogen peroxide at 3% concentration is relatively mild and usually does not have severe consequences.
The Final Verdict
Aiptasia is one of the most stubborn and fast-growing saltwater pests people commonly experience domestically. Not only can it survive in a wide range of saltwater concentrations, but it is also resistant to the pH of the water. Moreover, this organism can multiply rapidly, making most of our interventions useless.
In such a case, the global effect of hydrogen peroxide is appreciated. This chemical quickly reacts with the rapidly growing organism and starts to eliminate it. Combine that with ease of use and availability, and we have got ourselves a potent anti-Aiptasia agent.
So if you are someone who suffers from Aiptasia growth of their aquariums or is generally concerned about the well-being of your aquatic pets, order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!