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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
thinking about getting one of these interesting critters, but first want to get your opinions on them...do they just eat detrius and not the microfauna??? What about this stuff i hear about them nuking a tank?? which one?? tiger tail?? anyone have one of these?

Thanks!
 

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I have a little pink cuc. Mine is a filter feeder. It has like crown of thorns kinda like a feather duster but the arms actively reach out grab food and put the food in its mouth. I love it!! I placed it in my tank over a yr ago and it has only moved once and that was because the rocks were rearranged.
 

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Thanks, Patrick... I am thinking of getting one of the tiger-tails or black... one that moves around the tank eating algae and detrius...and stirring up the sand... just want some feedback before i decide.
 

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I have a tiger tail AND one like Pat has. I Love the pink one. Behaves just as Pat said.

The Tiger tail I have never seen since a week after I added it. It dug in and never showed itself again.
 

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Thanks, Patrick... I am thinking of getting one of the tiger-tails or black... one that moves around the tank eating algae and detrius...and stirring up the sand... just want some feedback before i decide.
If you have sand, the Holothuian spp are just about a must. It is not because they stir the sand, but because they ingest the sand and digest the algae and misc. other microorganisms off the surface of each sand granule, pooping out nice clean sand for your benthos. They preferentially graze for green autotrophs, but if you've ever watched them eat, they just pretty much eat everything their oral tentacles will grasp from the surface in front of the oral opening and go. This type of grazing is benificial, not detrimental to your sand bed.

See some of the issues folks often have regarding some spp of cukes in a thread started by Phil guy in the hitchhikers forum
 

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Thanx for the info Tom, I just may look into one of these myself! :agree:
 

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My 02

With the caveat that your tank is mature and large enough a mopping cukes is a good addition to a tank. I prefer the inexpensive "turd" cukes .. I suspect they are more hardy than the good looking ones and they are very shy and chances are good you won't see it unless you come out at night with a flashlight
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone...so Tom, what are some examples of the holothuian spp??? Tiger tail, black?? You have had no problems with yours either?
 

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Thanks everyone...so Tom, what are some examples of the holothuian spp??? Tiger tail, black?? You have had no problems with yours either?
Tiger tails are Holothurians, so are most of the cat turd looking ones, a few on the spiky red ones, usually smaller spp. of cukes (less than 10" in length, though they can get big in the ocean). I have at least 10 in the 180 display at last count, 2 of which have become quite large (~35 cm when they decide to come out at night...) I have never had issues with mine.

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cach...an+cucumber+pictures&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us

http://www.starfish.ch/collection/seewalzen.html

http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/H/Holothuria_impatiens.asp

http://www.tolweb.org/Holothuroidea

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/echinodermata/holothuroidea.html

http://www.coralreefnetwork.com/stender/marine/echinoderms/cucumbers/cucu.htm

http://www.deepseaimages.com/dsilibrary/showgallery.php?cat=1325
 

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I have a Tigertail cucumber and had read quite a bit before making that decision for myself. The following article heavily influenced my decision to buy one and addresses the "cuke nuke" concerns quite well.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/invert.htm

I found this article extremely informative (and even somewhat humorous).

I've been very happy with my "sand sifting turd cuke" and wouldn't hesitate to repeat my decision. I see mine pretty regularly, but there have been some stretches where it's hard to find. Mine will pick a rock and pretty much sweep a radius all the way around the rock (crapping out quite a mound of sand) before moving on to the next rock, so if you do decide to get one, make sure your rockwork is awfully stable as it will definately eat tons of sand out from under the rocks. A pic of my cuke is below (sorry for the poor quality).

Mine has also grown quite fast - from about the size of a large caterpillar (maybe 3-4") to now about a foot long, maybe a little less. I kind of wonder just how big he'll get as I've read quite differing reports on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Kelli and Tom ! Kelli... he is actually kindof "cute".... Tom... you have 10 in your 180... is that the recommended amount... I am assuming that your 180 is more heavily stocked than mine since mine has only been up since August...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sun... I do not see a picture of yours...
 

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in most cases it is the really pretty ones that can nuke a tank. one of those, they are really pretty for reason things. ;)

they also do ok in a BB tank. i think i still have one, have not seen it for quite a while, but it likes to muck around in the LR instead of on the BB.

G~
 

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Got 2 in my 90g. One tiger and another yellow one. Heard they do expel their guts if they feel threatened but for the most part will not "nuke' unless its those really colorful ones.
 

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Thanks Kelli and Tom ! Kelli... he is actually kindof "cute".... Tom... you have 10 in your 180... is that the recommended amount... I am assuming that your 180 is more heavily stocked than mine since mine has only been up since August...
This particular tank is set up with an older (>5yrs old) 10-15cm deep sugar sized aragonite bed. Although I have not had the issues associated with old sand beds yet, the cukes keep the sand very clean (so the algal growth clue does not present itself), so I do not know if I have phosphate saturation in the sand yet or not (no algal growth to speak of in most of the tank due to herbivory, and the glass gets green at about 10 days now, but I do get an occasional cyano growth once every few months in a corner on occasion, so I am not really sure where I am with phosphate in the sand bed yet, though this has always been a low nutrient tank, and I have changed out about 1/2 of the sand within the last year).

For most tanks, especially new systerms younger than 2 years of DSB age, I would recommend one 4" to 6" sea cucumber of the sand eating Holothurian type for every 90 sq cm of open sand substrate in the tank no younger than 12 months of age and seeded with sand from a mature tank (around 2 or 3 sq ft). This is quite important for the cukes to survive, as you will want the algal succession of new tanks to have already occurred (a mature system) to provide the sand grain biocoenosis including autotrophs in the first 3 cm of sand, and you'll want enough food their to feed a growing cucumber's energy needs. Think of the cukes as cows being released into a field to graze: There must be adequate grass that is well-established of good nutritional value growing well enough to replace itself as the cows consume the grass.


HTH
 
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