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Lettuce Sea Slug
(Tridachia crispata)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 3"
Diet: Herbivore
Aquarium Level: Substrate
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Reef Compatible: Yes
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Supplements: None
Coloration: Green, Blue, Pink
Origin: Atlantic Ocean
Family: Elysiidae
Species: Sea Slugs
Species Information
The Lettuce Sea Slug is from the family of Sea Slugs call Nudibranchs, which have both vivid coloration and unusual (slug like) body type. Lettuce Sea Slugs are also commonly referred to as Lettuce Nudibranch, or Green Lettuce Nudibranch. Lettuce Sea Slugs have densely folded parapodia or side appendages, which give it it's lettuce like appearance and hence its common name.
This common name is further enhanced by the coloration of the Lettuce Sea Slug, which is usually green or brown in color. Lettuce Sea Slugs are found in tropical reefs in the southern Atlantic and Caribbean waters. One of their more notable characteristics is a pair of stalked rhinophores or horns located at the head of the slug.
Aquarium Care
Lettuce Sea Slugs will do well in aquariums where they have plenty of live rock and room to forage for algae. This species should not be kept with boisterous fish species that will pick at it or otherwise cause harm to it. However, the Lettuce Sea Slug should be right at home in most reef aquariums. Lettuce Sea Slugs can be harmed by pump intakes, drains or certain types of powerheads.
It is important to cover the intakes of these devices with a screen, to keep the Lettuce Sea Slug from being sucked in and damaged or killed. Like many Invertebrates Lettuce Sea Slugs have little tolerance to high levels of nitrate in the water and no tolerance to copper being present.
Feeding & Nutrition
Lettuce Sea Slugs are herbivores and will spend their time grazing the aquarium and live rock for various types of algae. In fact, they even incorporate the chloroplasts (the portions of the cell responsible for photosynthesis) from the algae into its tissues, and thus rely on photosynthesis for part of their food intake. If adequate space, live rock and quality intense lighting is provided, this species should not need any supplemental feeding.
Additional Photos