How Long Does Aiptasia Live Out of Water?

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Written By Fun Fish Tanks

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As an aquarium enthusiast, you’re bound to come in contact with Aiptasia. This hardy anemone attaches itself to living rocks and rapidly multiplies to take over any tank. Since the over-abundance of this organism can be a threat to other marine life in the aquarium, it is quite important to get rid of them.

You might decide to leave out the rock stuck with the Aiptasia in sunlight so that this common aquarium pest dries out and dies. However, do remember that even after removal from water, Aiptasia doesn’t die immediately.

If you’re wondering how long the anemone ‘Aiptasia’ can live out of the water, we have you covered. Usually, Aiptasia can’t last more than a week outside of water.

However, it could take a little less or a little more time for it to die depending on other environmental conditions. If weather conditions are conducive to drying out the organism quickly, Aiptasia can die in a few days

Importance of Removal of Aiptasia from Water

Aiptasia is a clever sea anemone that can quickly take over any territory. It is also known by the name Glass Rose Anemone or Rock Anemone. Since it can reproduce both sexually and asexually, it is challenging to reduce its rate of reproduction.

In other words, it can spawn children from itself and grow in number at an astonishing rate. It can quickly become a problem by overpopulating itself in a tank and stinging other useful marine life in a tank.

Many starting aquarium hobbyists end up falling for the beauty of Aiptasia which is parasitic in nature. Only a single cell of Aipastasia is enough to trigger the growth and propagation of the anemone.

Once fully grown, the Aiptasia can be identified by its brown translucent stalk and tentacles. If it successfully takes over an aquarium removing it can become quite tricky. While chemical measures can be taken to eradicate Aiptasia, these measures can damage other marine life in the aquarium. Therefore, it may be a wiser decision to use natural means like drying out the anemone instead.

Why Does Removal from Water Eliminate Aiptasia?

The easiest time to get rid of Aiptasia is when you notice the first polyp appear. Since other anemone elimination measures can be so dangerous for other marine life, the best way to remove the anemone is by leaving it out to dry and scraping it off the rocks it has attached itself to. There is no chance for the sea anemone to survive once the water inside it has evaporated.

Aiptasia tissues contain a thin film of algae which is crucial to its survival. The algae need water to be able to create food for themselves and the sea anemone. Once the water content on and inside the anemone dries out, no photosynthesis can occur and the anemone’s health will fizzle out. It can take from a few days to a week or two for this sea anemone to be eliminated.

Ensuring an Aiptasia-Free Tank

When removing Aiptasia from the tank, do a thorough search for any traces of the anemone. Remove any polyps if you notice them because even if you dry out all the anemone you obtain from the tank, any traces left will multiply and cause the pest to colonize the tank once again. The smallest remnant left-back can be utilized for regeneration of the anemone which makes it tricky to get rid of Aiptasia for good.

What to Do After Aiptasia has Dried Out?

After a few days, the Aiptasia will dry up making it incredibly easy to scrape it off from the rock. Use a brush and gently rub off the Aiptasia remains. Once the living rocks are cleaned, they might be in a good state to be reintroduced to the aquarium.

So How Long Does Aiptasia Live Out of Water?

Aiptasia is a sea anemone that can’t live out of water for more than two weeks. Typically, it will die in about a week without water.

However, the actual time that it takes for Aiptasia to die depends on the weather conditions. If weather conditions are hot and less humid, more evaporation will occur and the Aiptasia will die quickly.

However, if the weather conditions are cold and highly humid, it will take longer for the Aiptasia to dry down


Aiptasia is a problematic sea anemone that can aggressively multiply in an aquarium. Since it is harmful and can sting other marine life in the tank, eliminating it is crucial. If you plan to eliminate it, you need to take out the anemone and leave it out to dry for about a week. After this period, removing the sea anemone will be simple as you simply have to brush it off.

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