Understanding Pet Supplies
About Me
Understanding Pet Supplies

After I became a pet owner, I could tell that I needed to work a little harder to create a comfortable environment for my little one. I started going through and looking for a great business that could help out, and I realized that the place down the street had most of the products I needed. They were easy to work with, simple to reach and incredible fun to work with. They also had an amazing product inventory that helped me to create the kind of home my pet deserved. This website is all about understanding pet supplies and getting the right items for your home.


Understanding Pet Supplies

Hitchhikers on Live Rock

Rhonda Owens

When you get live rock for sale, you may end up with hitchhikers. Many of these hitchhikers could be thought of as a bonus for your and your reef tank. Others may be a detriment and cause problems. The key is to identify the organisms you want and get rid of the ones you don't. Here are some of the most common good and bad hitchhikers and how to prevent or get rid of the undesirable ones.

Good Hitchhikers

What you consider "good" hitchhikers might be considered a pest by someone else. Here are some of the more popular and highly favored hitchhikers that are good for most tanks.

  • Bristle Worms: Some bristle worms are high beneficial bottom feeders and keep the tank clean. Stay away from fire worms because they have a nasty sting.
  • Stomatella Snail: They are reat night-time algae eaters.
  • Amphipods: Small ones are good food for fish and corals. Some of them will even clean up unwanted algae.
  • Spaghetti Worms: These worms live in or on the rock and catch floating debris.
  • Corals: Corals on live rock are a bonus to add to your collection.

Bad Hitchhikers

Bad hitchhikers are usually those that hurt or kill other organisms in your tank. Some hitchhikers aren't dangerous, but multiply prolifically and can overrun your reef. Here are some examples of the less desirable hitchhikers.

  • Mantis Shrimp: Mantis shrimp are vicious predators that will hunt down and kill your fish. However, they can be interesting pets if kept in a separate tank.
  • Some Flatworms: Some fast-breeding flatworms are predators that snag fish as they pass by.
  • Anemones: Some anemones sting coral and any fish that gets near them.
  • Starfish: Most starfish are fairly neutral. In some cases, they can be beneficial and eat algae. However, they can breed quickly.

Hitchhiker Removal

The best way to get rid of unwanted hitchhikers without killing anything is by thoroughly inspecting your live rock. Some reef keepers also suggest using saltwater with a high specific gravity to drive out creatures from your rock. Chemical dips, such as coral dips, are generally not recommended. If you use too many chemicals, you could kill everything on the rock, including beneficial bacteria. You can also reduce your chance of hitchhikers by purchasing dry rock.

Hitchhikers are one of the fun things about live rock. Some live rocks have a lot of hitchhikers, while others may not. When you are ready to get a new live rock, supplier about hitchhikers. They will give you an idea of how many and what kind of creatures might be in your live rock when it ships.