Sunday Invertebrates - Chromodorid Sea Slug

Sea Slug 1Chromodorid Sea Slugs (Chromodoris spp.) also known as Nudibranchs, are one of the most diverse species of sea slugs with over 2,000 known variations of different colors and shapes. Feeding mostly on live sponges, the Nudibranch is not recommended for reef aquariums due to the lack of proper diet available in captivity.

Sea Slug 2Many nudibranchs are also toxic if eaten by fish or other inverts, and when the Chromodorid sea slug dies, it releases toxins in the aquarium which can cause everything to die. Their lifespan in captivity is short due to lack of live sponges to feed on. These are not suitable species to be kept in a reef aquarium.

Sea Slug 3If you do intend to keep Chromodorid nudibranchs, it is recommended that you keep them in a tank solely dedicated to nudibranchs. 10 gallons is the minimum aquarium size required, and there are no specific lighting needs to be met.

sea slug 4These nudibranchs are fairly hardy, however most die in captivity due to poor diet. A lifespan of several months is long in captivity. A steady supply of live sponges is required for feeding, so before trying to keep nudibranchs, make sure your LFS is able to provide a steady supply of live sponges for feeding.

Sea Slug 5Chromodorid sea slugs can grown to a maximum size of 6" inches, however most that are found in the aquarium trade are between 1" inch to 3" Inches. Typically not available for sale, most nudibranchs are introduced to aquariums accidentally as hitchhikers on live rock or coral colonies.

sea slug 6While the Chromodorid nudibranch has amazing and varied coloration, keeping them in a hobby aquarium is not recommended for most aquarists, and should really be left to only the most experienced hobbyists, or professional marine biologists at public aquariums, universities and research facilities.

sea slug 7It is perhaps best to enjoy their diverse beauty in their natural setting, by either SCUBA diving or snorkeling to see them in the wild, or by enjoying underwater photos and videos of these stunning and beautiful sea slugs.