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FAQs about Seahares, Suborder Anaspidea, Disease/Health

Related Articles: Sea Slugs, Nudibranchs,

Related FAQs: Seahares 1, Seahare Identification, Seahare Behavior, Seahare Compatibility, Seahare Stocking/Selection, Seahare Systems, Seahare Feeding, Seahare Reproduction, & FAQs on:  Seaslugs 1, Seaslugs 2, Seaslug Identification, Seaslug Behavior, Seaslug Compatibility, Seaslug Selection, Seaslug Systems, Seaslug Feeding, Seaslug Disease, Seaslug Reproduction, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3 Nudibranchs, Nudibranchs 2, Nudibranch Identification, Nudibranch Behavior, Nudibranch Compatibility, Nudibranch Selection, Nudibranch Systems, Nudibranch Feeding, Nudibranch Disease, Nudibranch Reproduction, Berghia Nudibranchs, Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail ID 3

Sea Hare Demise (but which sea hare?) 8/26/11
I have need of your professional help I am currently using an Aquaripure system dosing with vodka on my 90 gallon tank, all my parameters are perfect. have been dosing since December 2010.
<<There are risks and rewards to this, it's one of those 'reef-trendy' hot-topics, the biggest risk is in testing, it's difficult to tell how much Vodka has actually diffused into the system and there in lies the problem of over dosing which can lead to oxygen depletion and bacterial blooms, especially if the carbon levels in your tank are low to begin with.>>
I recently noticed hair algae growing in tank
<<Hair algae as in cyanobacteria? Refer to my previous statement.>>
so I purchased a sea hare. Currently the tank houses a mated pair of tomato clowns (spawning) 5 solon fairy wrasses(female) 1 male solon wrasse, fox face, deep water coral beauty, assorted mushrooms, zoos and Palys hermits 2 sea Cukes, clams, snails and sea stars. I have not lost any of my fish stock since started dosing. placed a sea hare in on 8-25-2011, it started eating hair algae immediately. As of 10:30pm 8-25-2011 was still cruising the tank returned home from work at 8:00am 8-26-2011 and sea stars and hermits were having a feast. Could the vodka have caused it to pass on. Your input and a reply would be deeply appreciated.
<<First off Bill, it's very important to identify the animal you purchased there are several Opisthobranchia (Sea Slugs) sold into the hobby as 'tropicals' that have no business being there to begin with. The first is found off of the southern pacific coast of the United States down into Baja California Mexico, this is temperate, read cold water, species that does not survive long in reef aquariums as 70*'s F is considered to be at the highest extreme of the temperature they can handle. They are more accustomed to temperatures in the high 50's to mid 60's. I help care for three of these in a Tidepool display and the temperature is set at 65* and it's important to note that the husbandry staff considers that temperature to be the 'summer' setting, even at that a chiller is still needed. They also get large, 15', several pounds. The latter sea-hare is the tropical Aplysia dactylomela, they are better adjusted for captivity than their temperate cousins, and typically don't grow larger than 6'. They are however still difficult to care for in home aquaria as the survival rate, due to the way they are captured and shipped is relatively low. Even worse these two species to the untrained eye look very similar when both are but a mere two inches or so, the size at which they are most commonly sold. As far as what is to blame it's difficult to say as none of your inverts, especially your echinoderms (sea star/cucumbers) appear affected by the vodka (though circumstantial evidence certainly says your organic carbon and oxygen levels may be). An animal that perished this soon was either already ill/injured or something environmental in your tank or the acclimation process caused its health to deteriorate fast. I would first start by trying to ID what species you have, as for the hair algae, it sounds like the symptom of another larger problem, rather than being the problem itself. >>
<<Anytime, and please remember to capitalize 'I' and the beginning of each new sentence, and proper nouns (your name). Proper grammar and spelling is really all that we ask for in exchange for this free service, as we share your experiences with others in our FAQ's in order to spread the knowledge. When we get an email with poor grammar we either reject it (and you don't get the help you need) or we the crew are forced to correct it taking up time that could be used to help someone else with their pets. Thanks for your understanding; I made most of the corrections this time for you, as I wanted you to get a timely response. Our 'boss' is a stickler for this and has passed on this 'pet-peeve' of sorts to us minions. In the meantime please also refer to our article and FAQS on sea hares
Bill Stewart
<<Adam Jackson.>>

Is My Sea Hare Under Attack? 11/7/10
Evening all! Tonight I saw my sea hare "Shrek" crawling by and noticed a rather large (approx 2") white "worm" near the side of his head. The worm had a small purple and orange marking on it's tail and it was about 1/8" thick (fatter than spaghetti). I attempted to remove it, but it seemed rather attached and after a second attempt, Shrek became stressed and released his purple ink. He then crawled behind some rocks and I was unable (as of now) to get a photo. Earlier today, the worm was not on him, so I'm wondering if he picked up something from within the live rock. I'm paranoid. I'd be devastated if Shrek was being harmed by this creature and have searched the web for the last few hours trying to find info as to what it may be and what I should do. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Jill
<Mmm, could you send a well-resolved image along? Bob Fenner>

Sea Hare death(s)  04/14/2008 Thank you for a wonderful site. I apologize for asking a question when I'm sure the information I'm looking for is already posted but I seem to be handicapped in search engines as they always seem to return matches where every single word is accurate, yet somehow out of context. <Ah, yes... GIGO... a need/arena for learning the field/terms, use of Boolean logic... as it applies to such searching perhaps> I have a 90 gallon marine tank FOWLR containing a Yellow Tang, Blue Tang, Coral Beauty, Six line Wrasse, 2 percula Clowns and 3 blue/green Chromis. I started seeing string hair algae of the kind no fish eats (naturally) and by the time I recognized I had a "problem" rather than a simple "event" the algae had taken a pretty strong hold. I corrected the problem (phosphates and a bit of overfeeding) but the algae remained. On the advice of a local pet store I purchased two sea hares <Mmm, what species? Too often cold-water species are offered...> and they went to work immediately! Not only were they in the process of cleaning the tank nicely but I've decided that they are at LEAST as interesting as any fish, so I was looking forward to a long an happy relationship. I came home from work one day to find one of them dead .... with a huge split right up the center of his back, all the way from the vent hole to the neck. Without a picture the best way I could describe it would be if you could imagine a pressure split along the seam of a plastic bag as opposed to any sort of gash from an attach or contact damage. I took him back to the store to see if they could explain what went wrong and they said ... stop me if you've heard this before ... they've never seen that before, never heard of that before, can't imagine any animal or event that caused that and would I like to buy a replacement? <Mmmm...> (um ... not at this time, thank you). Two weeks later the remaining Hare was busy at work at 10 am and dead of the same cause at 2pm. The precision of the split (no rough edges at all) and the symmetry of it (right down the center of the back) as if sliced with a scalpel are very troubling. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you, Gil (not a pun!) <A need for a ready identification. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/seaslugid.htm I suspect you have/had non-tropical species... that don't live in warm settings. Bob Fenner>

Dead sea hare problem?  -01/30/08 I have a large sea hare and I think it might have died because I have not seen it in about 3 days. Here is the real kicker the tank at this point no reaction as far as water quality. <It's possible it's not dead, possible it is dead but simply not toxic... maybe consumed by something else... hard to say.> Should I wait a while and give him a chance to show him self or should I go and look for him. <That's really up to you, but I would. Sara M.>

Several reef questions-LTA, Sea Hare, etc... pre-eminent crash, reading, reading and understanding   01/22/2008 Hello WWM Crew, This is the first time I've asked a question and I must apologize up front, but this may be a long email. <No worries. Take your time> I'm sending a link with photos of my tank for you information. Before I ask my questions, I will tell you about the tank. It is a 34 gallon Red Sea Max system. We purchased it from our LFS on their recommendation. <What do you think of this (new) product? Craftsmanship? Value?> We now know it is more difficult to keep a smaller tank and we plan on moving in 6 months, at which time we will be getting a much larger tank. In the meantime, we need some advice on how to best care for our little creatures. In the tank we currently have two Ocellaris Clowns (one male and one female), yellow-tail Damselfish, Pajama Cardinal, 4-5 Nassarius snails, 3 small turbo snails, 1 fire/cleaner shrimp, Sandsifting starfish, Blue Tuxedo Sea Urchin, Sea Hare (that I've been unable to accurately identify), <Mmmm> Long Tentacle Anemone, <Yikes...> 1 mid-size red legged hermit crab, 3 smaller red-legged hermits, 1 very small emerald crab, a green star polyp coral, 2 very small sea mushroom coral (one of which is attached to what I was told to be "leather finger"), 2 other small soft corals that I can't seem to remember the name of at the moment but I believe to be pineapple/brain coral, and another Favites coral that is not in any photos because we just purchased it. According to yesterday's tests, water quality as follows: Temp: 78 Specific Gravity: 1.023-1.024 Calcium: 460 PH: 8.2 Phosphate: .1 Ammonia: 0-.15 <I do hope this is an anomalous reading... test kit artifact. This needs to be zero> Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: .05. <Ditto> We are aware that we need excellent water quality but we were told by our LFS that our levels were fine for us and we've NEVER had Ammonia at 0. Oh, the tank is fairly new, started in late October 2007. OK, so on to my questions. When we first put the LTA in our tank 2 weeks ago, we placed in where it is located in the photos and it remained there for a little over a week. Just the other day it began to move about. <An "unhappy" behavior> I looked up how to help it settle and tried moving it to a location and feeding it 1/2 of a Silverside. <...> It stayed there for 2 days and then began to roam again. I did the same thing again and it stayed for only 1/2 day and not it's roaming around again. I know that an unattached anemone is an unhappy anemone but I can't understand what more I need to do to help it find a home. <The other cnidarians... the Polyps, Corallimorphs...> When I found it yesterday morning it was sucked onto the sea urchin and I moved it because I didn't think that was a particularly good thing. I thought maybe our substrate wasn't appropriate but the LFS assures me it's fine. How long should I expect it to roam around the tank? <Not much longer... as it will be dead... perhaps the rest of your livestock with it> Should I right it if it's upside down? <Tentacle side up... and place a "strawberry basket or such over it> Based on the photos, can you recommend an appropriate placement that I could try? <... in looking at this animal, considering your system... I would remove, return it to your LFS. This specimen is very badly bleached (dying from a lack of zooxanthellae... which give it color... and nutrition) and your system does not have sufficient quality or quantity of light to support such an organism... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/macrodoreensis.htm and the linked files above> I'll be getting a net today to try that technique mentioned on your site. It's tentacles are usually out while it's roaming around, is this a sign of good health? <No my friend> Next question: The sea hare that I can't identify fell onto the anemone the other day. <Very bad...> Should I be worried about the anemone stinging it? <Yes... and I suspect this is not a tropical animal... See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/seaslugid.htm re this Aplysia> I moved the sea hare when I saw it. What exactly happens to a marine animal if/when it gets stung by an anemone? <Too much to relate to you here... but is recorded on our site, elsewhere> Will I be able to identify if has happened? <This animal needs to be removed as well... is also mis-placed here> The sea hare was purchased less than a week ago and it's laid eggs on the side of the aquarium walls twice. <Stress... reproducing before it dies...> Should I clean this up or leave it alone (none of the aquarium inhabitants attempted to eat it). <Should be removed> The mushroom coral in the photo was purchased at the same time as the LTA. <...> It was open and appeared happy for several days. We added phytoplankton to the tank <Nothing you list actually eats this...> the day we got it and then forgot to refrigerate it so we didn't add any more until a week ago. It had shriveled up but the opened back up when we added the phytoplankton (which we were told to add 3 times a week). We also have been instructed to add 1 squirt of Arctipods once a week. Now the mushroom is shriveled again and has been for 2 days. Is this normal or is this a sign of bad health? If it's a sign of bad health is there anything I can do to help it? <... my friend... you need to read... And STOP buying "things", livestock...> Two more quick questions and them I'm done, I promise. We don't have an RO/DI filter yet (we won't be able to have one until we move) so we've been using Distilled water in the meantime. Since we've never had super great water quality, is this a contributing factor? <Not much> Is there anything we can to do help get the ammonia to 0 (Oh, I forgot, we add Amquel 1x/week)? <... this may be giving you a false positive...> Besides adding PH 8.2 to the distilled water, should I be doing something else? <Reading> Last question. I now know that our clowns don't naturally host with a LTA but is there a possibility that this might happen? <... reading> Is there anything I can do to help this process (besides a home for the LTA)? I know that they can survive without each other but it would be nice if they would pair, besides, the clowns have taken up residency in the little cave in our tank that was home to the shrimp. Now we hardly see the shrimp because it appears to have been pushed out of it's home by the clowns. It would be nice to be able to give it back it's home. Thank you for you wonderful site. I've learned a lot (much of which has come after making this purchase and had I known better would have made different choices). I've looked on your site for answers to my questions and I often see that you refer people to "read wetwebmedia.com about your question". If you are going to refer me to an article, can you please give me a link or please be very specific about the location of the article because I sometimes have difficulty navigating your site. Thank you, again. http://www.sendpix.com/albums/08012114/2t2jg47po0/ Link to photos of our tank Lynda Hounshell <Read and heed the above... and then, keep reading... Do NOT buy anything more w/o researching for yourself ahead of time. What you have now will very likely "crash" soon... You need to ACT with knowledge... ASAP. Bob Fenner>

Help! Dead sea hare, wilting LTA, high nitrates 11/08/07 Hello WWM, I hope you guys can help, I have searched your site and can not find anything near what happened to my aquarium today. I have a 75 gallon with the two clowns, LTA, a yellow tail damsel, Chromis, royal Gramma, snowflake eel, choc chip star, and Bahamian star. <What species is this last?> Everybody has been living together peacefully for 3 months. The system has been running for 6 months. I have 3 powerheads, 75-80 lbs live rock, crushed coral as substrate. On Sunday I added a sea hare <...? What species? Many sold are coldwater> to help control some algae. Today I can home from work to find him sucked into one of my powerheads, and my CC star eating him!!! <... not uncommon> I got the CCstar off and took the powerhead and sea hare out. I was unable to completely get the sea hare out of the powerhead so I just threw the powerhead out so I wouldn't contaminate my tank by putting it back in. <?!> I immediately checked all my levels and found my nitrates had risen. 2 days ago my nitrates were 0 and now they are at 10ppm. My ammonia was 0 two days ago, now it seems to be between 0 and 0.25.(which I expected to rise due to a dead critter) Nitrates:0 Phosphorus:0 pH: 8.2 specific gravity: 1.023 <I'd raise this...> I am assuming I need to do a water change, however will be unable to until tomorrow. I just did a water change a week ago so I don't have any RO/DI water on hand. (lesson learned about having reserve water!) When I got home my LTA was spread out and looked perfectly happy. Now, about an hour after I removed the powerhead and dead sea hare I noticed my LTA has begun to wilt and start to deflate. Everybody else seems perfectly happy in the tank, at this time. I have not fed the tank or done anything else to it. Am I just overreacting to my LTA's behavior? Could it possibly miss the powerhead? Or is it due to the sea hare disaster? <Much more likely the two former...> What is the best thing I could do right now? PLEASE HELP!!! Thank you for all your wonderful help and wonderful site. ~Michelle <Welcome. I would do nothing overt here. Likely all will be fine. I'd clean up and return the powerhead. Bob Fenner>

Sea Hare Splitting? 10/23/06 Hi WWM crew, <Hello Ryan> I have a 35 gallon saltwater tank. There is a Coral Beauty, orange star fish, three crabs, and a Sea Hare. I woke up this morning and I saw my Sea Hare's skin splitting down the middle. There was something that looked like a white larva where the skin split. I took out the Sea Hare and moved it to a quarantine tank, because I heard they can kill your other fish when they die. <Indeed.> It hasn't moved around in the quarantine tank so I think it's dead. Do you have any idea of why it did this, or how I can prevent it in the future? <Most Sea Hares, if not all, are very difficult to keep.  Should only be attempted by expert aquarists.  They do not appreciate bright light and are algae grazers.  I'm quite sure none of these conditions exist in your tank.  Try something a little more easier to keep in the future.> Thanks for your reply! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Ryan Forsman

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