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FAQs about Nudibranch Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Nudibranchs, Sea Slugs

Related FAQs: Nudibranchs 1, Nudibranchs 2, Berghia Nudibranchs, Nudibranch Identification, Nudibranch Behavior, Nudibranch Compatibility, Nudibranch Selection, Nudibranch Systems, Nudibranch Disease, Nudibranch Reproduction, Sea Slugs, Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3

Risbecia apolegma Diet  6/26/12
Hi WWM
<Tim>
Please can you guys give me a bit of information on the diet of Risbecia apolegma, I purchased one from an lfs and have been getting mixed replies.
Some say herbivorous , others carnivorous. if either could you give me an idea as to precise diet.
Many thanks
Tim Erasmus
<I'd take a look at www.seaslugforum.net for the species... in particular, the substrate/foods the animal is photographed on...
Nudibranchs are not easily kept...
Bob Fenner>
Re: Risbecia apolegma Diet  6/26/12

Thanks for the link Rob, hopefully this' help
<I as well. BobF>

Sea Slug Feeding: Sponge-Eating Nudibranch Gift -- Say It Isn't So! 4/4/10
Hello all --
<Hello Brian, Lynn here tonight.>
Great site, and thanks for all the helpful information.
<You're welcome!>
I just recently received as a gift a really pretty sea slug --
<Oh no. People mean well, but it really isn't a good idea to surprise someone with one of these.>
It is purplish pink with yellow horns and a yellow spike off its back. I have identified it as Hypselodoris apolegma - see link for picture http://www.seaslugforum.net/hypsapol.htm
<Thanks, yep these are real beauties but next to impossible to keep long-term.>
I talked to the LFS where it was purchased and they said it could feed on algae,
<They're not even close. These Nudi's feed on sponges alone (including Euryspongia and Dysidea species)>
..but they didn't seem too sure --
<Don't even get me started on sellers not knowing their products. That's why it's so important for the hobbyist to do his/her own research before buying. Unfortunately, in the case of a gift, the best thing you can do is thank the person but advise them that a better option is a gift certificate. This allows you to research and get something that's appropriate to your system.>
The web site listed above doesn't have any info on feeding these animals.
<There's a bit more information within the Hypselodoris apolegma factsheet page that includes all related messages. Please see the post about half-way down the page titled 'Hypselodoris bullocki - feeding and care', dated March 18th and 19th of 2004: http://www.seaslugforum.net/showall/hypsapol
More here: http://www.seaslugforum.net/message/12467
By the way, you'll notice some overlapping information regarding H. bullocki and H. apolegma. Apparently H. apolegma used to be thought of as a color form of H. bullocki, but it has since been listed as a separate specie. Evidently, their traits and requirements are very similar.>
I read on another forum that they eat sponges.
<Yep>
I have a 76 gallon tank with ~ 80 pounds of live rock and 55 lbs of live sand. Do small sponges typically grow in the live rock for it to feed on?
<Sponges do typically occur on live rock, but they may not be the variety that H. apolegma needs in order to survive long-term.>
Or does it eat anything else?
<Not according to what I've read.>
I supplement the tank with Cyclop-eeze - I'm not sure if it eats that at all -- I also add phytoplankton to feed to the copepods, so I was wondering if could be eating them at all?
<Not likely, no.>
If it does only eat sponges, what can I buy to feed it?
<Unfortunately, nothing really, other than the sponges that it eats.>
Or was the LFS correct with it only feeding on algae?
<Nope, these Nudibranchs absolutely do not eat algae. I wish I had better news for you but I would return this little fellow ASAP and exchange it for something more suitable.>
Thanks - any help is appreciated.
<You're very welcome.>
Brian
<Take care, LynnZ>

Re: Sea Slug Feeding: Sponge-Eating Nudibranch Gift -- Say It Isn't So! 4/6/10
<Hi Brian>
Thanks for the most valuable information Lynn.
<You're very welcome. I just wish I'd had better news for you.>
I will definitely make sure I don't end up getting another "gift" from a good intentioned family member.
<Yep, they do mean well but it's just not a good idea.>
Right now I think I really can't take the Nudibranch back (plus it would probably just die at the store or someone else's tank, since they think it eats algae). I went to another LFS and did end up getting 2 varieties of sponges.
<What varieties? For the record, I would not have done this, but I can understand your intentions. Unfortunately, you now have multiple organisms that can be a challenge to keep long-term. The reason why Nudibranchs in the genus Hypselodoris are such a challenge to keep is that the majority of the species only eat sponges in the Family Dysideidae. Hypselodoris apolegma mostly preys on species of Euryspongia. Further compounding the situation is that we don't know which species it eats and whether it's even available to hobbyists. If I were in your position, I'd return the sponges and do what I could to return the Nudi as well. I'd also mention that these animals eat sponges, not algae. If you would like to keep the sponges and give them a try however, do be sure to read through Bob's information re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongesii.htm
Hopefully this one will end up feeding on one or the other. If I have any success I'll write back.
<Please do>
By the way - I was a little worried that if it does die, it would release toxic chemicals into my tank, but from what I read, it wouldn't have a negative effect.
<Good news, indeed.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome and good luck!>
Brian
<Take care, LynnZ>

Phyllidia ocellata... if you liked the book, you're gonna love WWM 7/5/05 Hi Robert,                    Thanks for publishing ' The Conscientious Marine Aquarist '; My wife gave it to me as a Christmas present 18 months ago and has not been too far out of reach since. I started our 350 gal tank about 6 months ago and have just popped 2 Phyllidia ocellata in my tank after a snorkel last Sunday. I have read all the bad news since but have you or any one else had any experience with this particular one; at the moment their happily working their way (ever so slowly) over the live rock. Any help or contacts would be greatly appreciated;                                            Regards, Ross Filmer <Mmm, well... hope you have something to their liking in that big tank to eat... or you can get back to the ocean, find whatever some others of the species are on... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudibran.htm Bob Fenner>

Flatworm- eating nudibranch Hi everyone. < Hi there. > I noticed my supplier currently has C. varians in stock and thought it would be striking addition to my reef. However, in trying to get some information on them before buying - which there isn't much of - I noticed that this species is widely sought after because of they're flatworm eating abilities. Fortunately, I don't have a flatworm issue - knock wood - and am curious if you know anything about the eating habits of this nudibranch. < My understanding is that it is an obligate flatworm eater. In other words it will starve without them. > I'm beginning to suspect that flatworms are all they eat, and I have no intention of adding anything to my tank that could potentially starve. Can you shed any light on their eating habits? < I would probably not chance it. Even if it does eat something else, it may still slowly starve. I think nudibranchs in general should be avoided, and kept for very experienced reefers with mature tanks. > Thanks, Neil < Blundell > 

HOORAY FOR (flatworm eating) BLACK VELVET NUDIBRANCHS!!!! Hi Gang: <Chuck> I took possession this afternoon of a pair of black velvet nudibranchs. . . and watched with rapt fascination as they began devouring the rust red planarians which have plagued my low-flow refugium for the past year. My question is, are these nudibranchs differentiated sexually. . . how do they reproduce. . . and what are the chances of a randomly selected pair reproducing successfully in a well-stocked (with Chaetomorpha) mature refugium? Chuck <They're monoecious, cross-fertilizers... not sexually differentiated... might reproduce... Bob Fenner>

New Nudi hi <Hello there> I recently made a nudibranch the latest addition to my tank..... the guy at   my LFS said it was very sturdy and that it ate algae <Uh, no> ...well... by checking your  website I fear that its a H. bullocki or some thing very similar...I don't have  pics but ill describe the best I can....its a deep purple...a white band going  around it (more solid than in most pics of bullockis I've seen) orange "feelers"  and orange "gills " surrounding the anal gland.....ok...my problem...obviously  not knowing what type the little guy is I don't know how to care for it...I've had  it for 24 hrs and now it wont stick to anything...its secreting from its anal  gland but if it is touched then it retracts all that is orange....so I have some  faith that it is alive .....I just don't know how to keep it alive...and now I'm  afraid of  the secretions being toxic.....what should I do? <Take it back> thanks Danielle <Please, DON'T buy livestock w/o knowing what it is, its care requirements. Bob Fenner>

Chromodoris magnifica feeding Hi, <Hello>  I've been wondering if I could possibly do a Chromodoris magnifica nudibranch in my nano reef tank. I've already read on the seaslugforum.com website about their unique sponge eating diet, and after looking at some pics of the sponges that they feed on, I realized that the sponges in the pics closely resembled some of the sponges that came with my Fiji live rock (almost positive) . I know that the sponges on my rock are alive because they're growing. Do you think I could possibly try one of these nudibranchs? Also, I read on the seaslugforum.com of one person being successful with these nudi.s because he got them to feed on the sponges that came with his live rock. Any help would be appreciated.  <What will you do when the sponge is gone? Most nudes are difficult to keep for any length of time because of their diet. I would rather see the sponge in my tank. James (Salty Dog)> 

Tridachia diomedea - feeding Bob, FFExpress sells this Nudibranch - it is partially photosynthetic and apparently eats algae. I'm interested in obtaining one/some, if its likely to survive in a reef tank and had some questions for you: 1) Would you recommend this as a hardy Nudibranch (75 gal reef tank, 100 lbs of Fiji LR, lots of macro algae (in tank and sump-refugium). <For trying out as an algae eater? Not really... there are fishes that are superior. Please read: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/algeatrcontfaqs.htm As a species, specimen to try? Sure> 2) What specific types of algae does it eat <Mostly "soft" greens (chlorophytes), some reds (rhodophytes)> 3) Would Lysmata shrimp (fire and peppermint) eat it? <Unlikely> 4) would it harm corals (leathers, SPS, LPS, mushrooms, anemones). <Very unlikely> I searched the web, but couldn't find much info on this Nudi - in terms of suitability in a reef tank - although FFExpress had some FAQs that made it sound like a relatively hardy animal. <Have heard mixed results of using these naked gill slugs in captivity. Either positive or "just dissolved" (though not toxic), as with many Nudibranchs. Do consider using an algae-eating blenny, Ctenochaetus tang, investigating the root causes of algal problems... Bob Fenner> Thanks!

Lynx Nudibranch Hello all, I went snorkeling yesterday and collected a lynx Nudibranch about .5" long.  Cute little fella in a gross slimy kind of way.  My question is:  Will this little predator eat my reef dwellers or fit right in to the family.  Right now I have a couple of anemones, file clam, feather dusters, green polyps, misc. small corals, two xenias, and a pair of CBS. Thanks again for the info, Aquah0lic <Umm, seaslugforum.com, Google, Debelius... no one has a listing for this common name. Do you have a species identification? Bob Fenner>

Re: lynx Nudibranch ok, so now that we are on the same page (sort of) lol, back to the original question: My question is:  Will this little predator eat my reef dwellers or fit right in to the family.  Right now I have a couple of anemones, file clam, feather dusters, green polyps, misc. small corals, two xenias, and a pair of CBS. Thanks again for the info, Aquah0lic <No idea. The info. I can find on this species is principally identification in orientation, e.g.: http://www.seaslugforum.net/phidlync.htm I suspect it is a hydroid feeder however, so I doubt it will prove deleterious or survive in your system. Bob Fenner>

Hypselodoris Hi! I recently purchased a Hypselodoris bullockii -(pink/purple slug thingy) the salesman had assured me it ate algae and is low maintenance. after I got home I looked it up on the internet (which I should of done before I bought it)... and found little information... but apparently they are impossible to keep alive... since Mr. pink is already in my aquarium... I don't want to give up on him so soon... do you have any information on these guys? I read they have a picky diet of Dysidea and Aplyilla sponges... I am also concerned about if he tragically does die, would he infect my take with toxins and what-nots. any information would be appreciated. Thanks! Angie <You learned a valuable lesson today, let the buyer beware. You are correct, they eat sponges. Nothing you can really do at this point. You are also correct, there is a potential for release of toxins into your tank water upon its death. I would try to return him and get your money back. -Steven Pro>

Re: Hypselodoris bullocki Thanks for responding so quickly! we tried to return the Hypselodoris bullocki... although they did not give us our money back, they did take him back. <Did they at least give you a credit or are they going to sell it again and double their money?> now unfortunately I have other questions... I have a 30 GAL tank 1-Protein skimmer (left on 24-7) 50 LBS live rock 40 LBS live sand 1-rotating power head <How is this working for you? I have heard mixed reviews and was just curious.> 2 snails 3 peppermint shrimp 2 clowns (percula) temp of tank is: 80F (too high??) <Do not let it get much higher than that, but 80 is ok in particular if you wish to maximize growth rates.> my tank is 2 months old and the life stock has only been put in during the last 10 days. 2 days ago I had purchased the "tank raised" clowns and did as the salesman said (adding a cup of our tank water to the bag he was in every 15 minutes for an hour before we let him into our tank... our tank salinity is at 1.021 of the 2 clowns purchased... one was kept at 1.017 (they explained they keep their "fish only tanks at this level so the fish can breathe easier and the other was at 1.023 (he was in a reef tank) so as you can see. both fish would have a little adjusting to do for our tank. the clowns however have been spending a lot of time near the top. I haven't even seen them go halfway down into the tank yet. and it seems as if they are somehow too light for my tank. as they need to kind of struggle to keep in the water. I thought that maybe my salinity was too high. so I bought a new instrument and it showed that my water is at 1.021 this morning when I got up I saw that 1 of the clowns was near death. almost floating sideways on the top of the water. after I turned on the tank light and a few hours later. he seemed fine. though they both still hanging in the upper tank. is there something wrong? all my levels tested fine. I can only think that they are either still adjusting or I'm missing something. <IME, tank raised clownfish always hang out near the top. They do not know to hide from predators and always wait at the top for you to feed them. They do not even hide when you put your arms in there to clean the tank or move something, completely oblivious. The floating on his side thing and struggling concerns me. Possible swim bladder problem. Do they seem like they have to fight hard to go down and float up without any swimming motion?> also... in the past 2 days some little green hairs have been growing on the inside of my tank walls... is this a good or bad sign? <Normal, part of algal succession.> should I scrape and vacuum off? <As part of routine maintenance when it gets too bad.> the snails seems to like them... and some green coloration algae???)to some parts of the sand - is this a good or bad thing? <Better to not be on the sand.> and today while I was watching my clowns... I noticed little tiny... almost microscopic type creatures swimming to the top of my tank.... before they reached their deaths -as the clowns ate them!  are these things good guys? <Yes, probably Amphipods. Tiny shrimp like creatures, arched backs, and two antenna.> and at last... final question today... I was wondering if a 10% water change every week is too much for my 30 gallon tank... <Nope, sounds great.> any and all input is appreciated. thank you thank you thank you, Angie <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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