What's YOUR Experience with Sea Cucumbers for CUC?

A Young Reefer

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I had a Black Sea cucumber that died a while back (not sure on the exact species). Nothing really happened to the tank, I just took it out and siphoned the remains.
 

happyhourhero

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I have a yellow that is like 8” long now. Got it from reeftopia and it was like 2”. It sucks in sand with a bunch of tentacles and then craps out pellets of clean sand. I think it’s super cool.
 

happyhourhero

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That’s my dude.
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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@ISpeakForTheSeas thanks for the cuke info!

Two questions:
  1. Do you have a preferred type of sand sifting cuke? Looking for a recommendation
  2. For a 6-foot, 180 gallon tank with a pseudo-NSA aquascape (so a good bit of sand bed), is one cuke enough?
1 - No personal preference yet, but I know a lot of people like the Tiger Tails (Holothuria hilla is the one sold in the hobby, not H. thomasi, which is massive and the common name is more commonly associated with) and Florida (H. floridana), and some people like the black and pink (H. edulis) ones too.

2 - Given the tank size, I'd probably go with H. hilla (or H. hilla and H. edulis). You could probably do two full size specimens relatively comfortably - knowing that they'll come in smaller than that at most shops, though, I wouldn't get more than four. (LiveAquaria recommends no more than 3" of cuke per 20 gallons, and that seems pretty reasonable to me for a general rule).
 

strich

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I can't remember what video it was, but I have directly seen a Sea Apple have a pooping event that was apparently toxic because it completely destroyed 80% of the lps coral it dumped its load on. The video caught this event on camera.

I don't know what relation sea apples have with other cucumbers, but it might be possible that is not unique to them.

My guess is that their exports can occasionally contain highly concentrated levels of things that would be considered toxic. Maybe in small immature tanks that could rarely result in a crash if it was already on the edge.
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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I can't remember what video it was, but I have directly seen a Sea Apple have a pooping event that was apparently toxic because it completely destroyed 80% of the lps coral it dumped its load on. The video caught this event on camera.

I don't know what relation sea apples have with other cucumbers, but it might be possible that is not unique to them.

My guess is that their exports can occasionally contain highly concentrated levels of things that would be considered toxic. Maybe in small immature tanks that could rarely result in a crash if it was already on the edge.
Was it feces, or was it eviscerating itself and spewing out its organs? I ask because the organs are toxic. Sea Apples are actually somewhat famous (infamous) in the hobby for their toxicity.

As a general rule, the filter feeding cukes (like sea apples) are more likely to release toxins than the sand sifters.
 

strich

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Was it feces, or was it eviscerating itself and spewing out its organs? I ask because the organs are toxic. Sea Apples are actually somewhat famous (infamous) in the hobby for their toxicity.

As a general rule, the filter feeding cukes (like sea apples) are more likely to release toxins than the sand sifters.
I don't think the video author made a distinction. However it didn't die, if that helps identify what happened.
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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I don't think the video author made a distinction. However it didn't die, if that helps identify what happened.
Unfortunately it doesn't - a lot of sea cucumbers have some very impressive regenerative abilities, and sea apples are no exception.
 

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