wgostic2

Montipora Eating Nudibranch Experiment

I have not been able to find any threads that definitely show how long montipora eating nudibranchs (MEN) can survive without food, although there are many people who say they are able to persist for 3-6 months in a tank without any montiporas. (I may have missed a thread somewhere)

 

To answer this question I capture 2 MEN from a new monti cap I got from the local fish shop and placed this in a small container with only saltwater. I top off the water in the container once a day to make sure they are not killed by salinity changes.

 

So far it has been 13 days (2/13 - 2/25) and they seem to be doing fine. Mostly they just sit motionless on the side or bottom of the container, but I also frequently find them floating on the surface of the water (my guess is that this is a behavior they use to get swept away by the current in an effort to find a new food source). If I touch them with something they will crawl way from me so I know they are still alive. I will try to keep updating to help give a definitive answer to how long these pests can survive without montiporas to eat. Let me know if anyone has any suggestions.

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I think it is going to be hard to determine whether they die of starvation, or some other factor like ammonia, circulation, temp swing etc...

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I agree to some extent. However, you can safely assume that however long they do survive is a minimum survival time without food. I have also been adding a little bit of fresh saltwater (and at the same time removing some of the old water) from the tank every few days to try and keep the ammonia etc. at a reasonable level. However, their metabolic activity is probably very low, and they are very small, so that should not be too much of a problem. Temperature swings could be an issue but for the past 2wks has not killed them. I don't have any circulation in the container I am keeping them in, but it is small enough for adequate oxygen exchange as far as I can tell.

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see if they eat flake or algae

 

Maybe that's the next experiment. It would be interesting to also treat some of the MEN with different chemicals and medications to see what can kill these critters. I'll have to find some more nudis to do that. Or have someone with an infestation send me some, haha

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