Our adult Berghia are at least 1/2" up to about 3/4" in length at the time they are shipped. They are all laying good quality eggs at this size. Berghia can reach a total length of about 1" to 1 1/2".
We ship the largest adult Berghia we have available. Berghia are relatively small creatures compared to most things we put in our tanks. It's common for them to lose some size in shipping as well. So they may look small when they arrive at your door, especially if they are balled up rather than stretched out. The Berghia will regain their normal size after they begin to eat in your care.
Please keep in mind there are times when creatures considered "reef safe" do not act as expected. But, generally speaking, the creatures below are those you should be most concerned about when adding Berghia.
Any fish that aggressively hunts the live rock at night for food other than algae, including some Wrasses, Butterflyfish and some Dottybacks. It's hard to predict fish behavior. As a general rule if your fish spends a lot of time "hunting" your reef on a regular basis, especially at night, it is suspect for hunting Berghia.
Shrimp that scavenge at night: Peppermint shrimp are the worst, also Coral Banded shrimp and possibly Camel shrimp (does not include Cleaner or Fire shrimp).
Aggressive crabs that scavenge for food: Sally Lightfoot crabs, Arrow crabs, Pom Pom crabs, live rock crab hitchhikers and Emerald crabs that have no algae to eat (does not include Emerald crabs with algae available to eat or any Hermit crabs).
Also, Aiptasia may eat a Berghia nudibranch if it is accidentally dropped directly into the Aiptasias mouth area. So be careful when adding them to your tank.
Berghia are sea slugs. This means they require good aquarium conditions to thrive, including good water quality (under 20ppm of nitrates, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites), a lack of predators and slower or medium water current that allows them to cling to the live rock while moving from one Aiptasia to another.
If you have 40 or more Aiptasia in your tank it is a good idea to have enough Berghia so they can find each other to mate. Two Berghia must fertilize each other to get fertile eggs. The eggs may hatch and new Berghia continue to populate the tank making the Aiptasia disappear at a much faster rate. Successful Berghia reproduction sometimes happens in display tanks but not all of the time.
There is a chance that the Berghia will not find all of the Aiptasia before they die off. They usually eat the smallest Aiptasia first and move on from there.
Berghia are nocturnal eaters. If you find a Berghia in the tank during the day, chances are it is having a hard time finding an Aiptasia to eat. If possible, turn off your pump and powerheads, then use a pipet or other small suction device to move the Berghia close to an Aiptasia.
If you only have 6 or 8 Aiptasia, we do not recommend using Berghia to eradicate them. The Berghia may starve before they can find all of the aiptasia in your tank. We recommend using Berghia for a moderate to heavy Aiptasia problem.
We recommend at least 8 Berghia per 100 gallons of water for a moderate to heavy Aiptasia problem (50-100 aiptasia per 100 gallons). Getting the right number of Berghia is important. You want to have enough Berghia in your tank so they can find each other to mate and lay eggs. The nudibranch eggs may hatch and continue to populate the tank until the Aiptasia are gone. Use the adult Berghia calculator below to help estimate the number of Berghia you need for your tank. Very heavy Aiptasia outbreaks may require even more Berghia.
What happens to the Berghia when the Aiptasia are gone?
Berghia nudibranchs will starve to death if they have not eaten in around 5-7 days.
Berghia are nocturnal animals. If you see one during the day, chances are it is having a hard time finding an Aiptasia to eat.
Their coloring will also indicate if they have not eaten in the previous 48 hours. They will look completely white or off-white in color if they have not eaten. (If they have eaten they will have a darker brownish color.) If possible, use a pipet or other small suction device to move the Berghia close to any remaining Aiptasia. If all of the aiptasia is gone, carefully suction them up and pass them on to a friend. Otherwise, the nudibranchs will starve.
Will I see the Berghia in my aquarium after they have been introduced?
Berghia are nocturnal animals. The best time to spot them is at night using a flashlight. They are hard to find, so don't be surprised if you don't see them.
Note that Berghia are not aquarium pets that you buy for the enjoyment of their company like you do with fish or some other invertebrates. Chances are you will not see much of your Berghia once introduced into the tank.
Berghia nudibranchs are small and fragile sea slugs. We do not recommend handling them with anything other than the Berghia pipet or other small suction device, like a turkey baster that has been used only in your tank.
Berghia typically grow to about 1" to 1 ½” in size.
The adult Berghia are usually about ½”-3/4” in size when we ship them and are laying eggs. They may appear a smaller when they arrive after shipping. They will regain size after acclimation and eating.
How long will it take for the Berghia to clean my tank of Aiptasia?
It depends on the number of Berghia in the tank, the size of your tank and degree of the Aiptasia problem. We recommend at least 8 Berghia per 100 gallons of water for a moderate to heavy Aiptasia problem (50-100 aiptasia per 100 gallons). It takes about 2-3 months for the Berghia to clean the reef tank if you use this formula. It may take a few weeks before you begin to see a difference in the Aiptasia population.
Yes, assuming water conditions are right in your tank and the eggs are not eaten by scavengers. It takes about 4-6 weeks from the time the eggs are laid to the time you will be able to see the new Berghia well with the naked eye. Your first tip off may be that you notice the Aiptasia disappearing more quickly, or you can count more Berghia in your aquarium than you bought.