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Sea Hare
(Aplysia sp.)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Expert
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 12"
Diet: Herbivore
Aquarium Level: Substrate
Minimum Tank Size: 75 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, Brown
Origin: Caribbean
Family: Aplysiidae
Species: Cucumbers
Species Information
The Sea Hare is actually a marine slug that gets its name from its oral tentacles, which give it the look of a rabbit, hence its common name. The Sea Hare's body is a combination of patterns and speckles that give it a very unique appearance. One potentially very hazardous defense mechanism of the Sea Hare is its ability to release deadly toxins in the water if threatened or killed.
Thus, it is very important to not keep this species with others that would attempt to do it harm and it is important to make sure that the Sea Hare cannot get sucked into any filter apparatus that could also kill it. If the Sea Hare is to release its toxic dye into the water, chemical filtration along with a partial water change should be able to remove it, or at least to non-toxic levels.
If left alone the Sea Hare is simply an interesting herbivore that will gladly snack on Caulerpa and other similar vegetable items.
Aquarium Care
The Sea Hare prefers to forage for food in shallow areas of water with shaded areas of sea grass or coral rubble. In the aquarium environment, covered areas without direct lighting should be provided. The Sea Hare can reach a large size (12 inches) and also requires a wide area in which to roam, and therefore is only suitable for larger aquariums kept by expert marine aquarium hobbyists.
The aquarium setup should contain live rock and large shaded areas of sandy or fine rubble where the Sea Hare can graze on algae and Caulerpa. It is also important to make sure that all filtration or anything that could suck in or cause harm to the Sea Hare are covered to prevent the Sea Hare from injuring itself.
Feeding & Nutrition
If regular feedings of Caulerpa are not possible, the Sea Hare will need a supplemented diet of parboiled lettuce and dried kelp.
More Information
Caution: The Sea Hare may secrete or releases toxins that may kill fish in the aquarium. The species may release toxic compounds when stressed, or release toxic compounds when it dies. It is important to handle this species with care at all times and to never keep it with species that may attempt to harm it. It is possible for the toxic secretions to poison an entire aquarium.
Additional Photos