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Sea Cucumber

(Holothuria sp.)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 12"
• Diet: Omnivore   • Aquarium Level: Substrate   • Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
 • Reef Compatible: Yes   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Supplements: None   • Coloration: Black, Green, Purple
• Origin: Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean • Family: Holothuriidae   • Species: Cucumbers

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Sea Cucumber native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Sea cucumbers, are a very unique group of echinoderms in that they are the only class that is soft bodied rather than hard with well-developed circular and longitudinal muscles. Their mouth and anus are located at separate ends of the sea cucumber's elongated body. The mouth is surrounded by modified tube feet that form a ring of tentacles.

Sea cucumbers are sessile and very sluggish; they ingest large amounts of sand extracting any food items while filtering out the cleansed sand, thus making them excellent sand sifters and a great part of a cleaning crew for a larger aquarium.

While it does not have the toxic tubules of Culvier that many cucumbers have, if frightened, it can eviscerate parts of, or its entire internal mass (intestines) to ward off prey. In the wild, these organs often regenerate, but rarely in an aquarium setting.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Sea Cucumber in the home aquarium.

Sea cucumbers do well in large aquariums (generally 75 gallons and up) that provide plenty of open sandy space for the Sea cucumber to roam. For every 3 inches of sea cucumber there should be about 20 gallons of water. The Sea Cucumber will spend most of its time in the open, and needs to be kept with peaceful tank mates. It is sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications and will not tolerate high nitrate levels.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Sea Cucumber.

Sea Cucumbers get their food by crawling along the bottom of the aquarium (substrate needs to be sand) where they sift the sand ingesting both plant and animal material that is in the substrate. If they are not overstocked in the aquarium, then not supplemental feeding is necessary.

It is important that the substrate in your aquarium be a sand or fine grain substrate as the Sea Cucumber must sift through the substrate to extract its food.

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