Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:30 PM
Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:44 AM
Crabs in general, both hermits and true crabs, are the hardiest on the list. Grazing snails next so as long as their diets are accommodated. Shrimp are actually pretty fragile, but easy to keep once a tank is known to be stable (provided they are treated as fragile during acclimation). For specific species, you will probably find it most efficient to look at what is available locally (or online if you don't have any close places) and then research species according to what you're interested in. There are too many options to just start enumerate them all and their relevant info.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:17 AM
Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:00 PM
So I should remove any anemones that just grow on their own on the LR??? An your saying it would be better to add starfish and snemones later after a couple weeks??? And what makes caring for these things so difficult??? Feed anemone shrimp, and bloodworms, and feed the starfish clams and mussels or does it hhave to do w/ the salinity and chemicals in the water???
Haha, not weeks, 56, months. After at least 6 months to a year.
These animals are very sensitive to changes in salinity and nitrate levels. Many new tanks just don't have stable enough levels to keep this organisms alive longterm and they don't do well.
56, if you have the patience for this and are willing to see it through, you can have a beautiful reef. But you cannot have a beautiful reef quickly, especially if it's your first.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:43 PM
- Lack of documentation in areas such as diet (a serious problem with many starfish) and behavior.
- The need for super stable conditions.
- Susceptibility to infection in the event of injury or stress.
- They are largely plucked from the wild, not raised and adapted to captive conditions. There are exceptions to this with anemones that have split in captivity. Obviously these are always preferable to those that have been wild caught but they are still quite fragile animals even if the are less susceptible to things like infection/disease.
Basically with many Echinoderms and anemones, if you screw up even a little bit, the most likely outcome is that the animal will die. There is little chance to save those animals once it's obvious that a problem exists.
Feed anemone shrimp, and bloodworms
Get some books on the animals you're interested in. There is a great beginner-level book on anemones even if some of the filtration info it has is a little out of date (I forget the title, but as far as I know it's the only one out there, so if you find a big fat book on anemones in aquariums you've found the right one). Most of the common desirable species in the hobby are photosynthetic (rather demandingly so) and you can actually kill an anemone by feeding it too large a food item - it will not digest fully before it starts to decay and the anemone is essentially taken out by food poisoning if it doesn't eject the uneaten food fast enough. More on less desirable anemones in a minute.
An your saying it would be better to add starfish and snemones later after a couple weeks???
The guideline already given of ~6 months is standard for desirable anemones. For starfish (true stars that is) and cucumbers, the correct answer for most tanks is never to add them in the first place. Most marine systems are totally unable to support the diets of those animals. The exceptions fall into the category of eat-everything-in-your-tank starfish, in which case it's obvious why the animals are still problematic even if they are conveniently easy to feed.
So I should remove any anemones that just grow on their own on the LR???
In all but the rarest cases, you will have one of two types of anemones show up on rock: Aiptasiids or Majano anemones. Unfortunately these are the two types of anemones that are absurdly well-suited to captive environments and can thrive just about anywhere. You can mutilate them and melt them with caustic chemicals, but if you leave a little bit of the animal hanging around, it will bounce right back and continue to multiply. Both types of these anemones have the potential to stress and even melt some corals from their stings, so they are generally considered pests and hobbyists make an active effort to eliminate them before they become well-established. Every now and then you get a hitchhiker anemone in the Aiptasiidae family that doesn't reproduce out of control. These instead grow quite large and are great tank additions IMO, although it can be hard to tell early on whether you have one of those or one that will spawn millions of other anemones at the first opportunity (which is the majority of cases).
Other anemones such as carpet anemones, long tentacle anemones, etc. sold in stores are nowhere near as hardy as "pest" anemone species. Despite all being anemones taxonomically, it's really an apples and oranges situation.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:24 PM
Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:06 PM
And what about the lettuce sea cucumber, doesn't that feed on algae???
I've never heard of a lettuce sea cucumber. Do you mean lettuce sea SLUG? If so, then yes, they feed on SOME types of algae, but they are also hard to care for because of their diets and are incredibly fragile animals easily injured by a lot of commonly used equipment in marine tanks, so they require a special setup to be safe. Sea slugs in general are not beginner animals, and the majority are impossible to keep alive in captivity anyway due to having diets that are too specific and expensive. Basically if its colorful, you can write it off. The sea hares like Dolabella auricularia are the easiest to care for of the bunch but are not without hazards (specifically toxicity, which is somewhat unpredictable).
I would love a starfish so what kinds of starfish are the eat-everything-in-your-tank kind??
By eat-everything-in-your-tank I really do mean that as far as other inverts go, so are you thinking about a starfish species tank or just fish and a starfish (as fish are too fast to be food for the average true star)? If so, look into chocolate chip stars - but they still require a mature, stable system. However, if you want a tank with a lot of invertebrate diversity, it is not safe for other animals to add such a starfish. Again, if you aren't dead set on a true star, look into brittle/serpent stars.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:40 PM
Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:20 AM
I can't really recommend any sea slugs as beginner inverts at this point. The one both fairly hardy and easy to feed species that is common in the trade is the Dolabella auricularia sea hare, but if you want an example of why I can't recommend those anymore: I had an individual that released toxins into two tanks and decimated an awful lot of animals in the process. While events like those are incredibly rare with Dolabella auricularia (most individuals don't seem capable of that degree of toxicity; the reports of tank nukes were so sparse I frankly didn't believe it was possible until I saw it myself), inking is less rare. Keeping an animal that can ink requires a tank that is adequately prepared with chemical filtration and a skimmer for quick removal. Dolabella sea hares also eat an incredible amount of food, which means they either need a tank that is absolutely full of soft algae species or they need to be fed twice a day with dried seaweed. It's a ton of fun to feed them the seaweed by hand and stuff, but going that rout puts your bio load through the roof and is not a good idea in the average tank. They also don't live very long even when cared fore really well, because they are collected as adults, so they have 6-12 months max in them unless you are incredibly lucky and get a youngster. So...basically I would strongly suggest you don't go with a sea hare for a first tank.
Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:24 AM
Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:55 PM
I had a brittle star long term and it grew to be quite large and ate 200$ worth of fish. 3 pink athias's and 2 Brazilian seahorses.
Oh my gosh, I've never heard of that happening---that's quite upsetting. My brittle star was average in size I guess (its body about the size of a quarter) and left everything alone. They just are nocturnal so you don't see them until the lights are off.
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