Table of contents:
- Anemones (sea anemones) and corals
- Tubular worms
- Crabs and shrimps
- Starfish and urchins
Video: Invertebrates In A Marine Aquarium
Some invertebrate species such as anemones, corals, shrimps, etc. can be kept in a marine aquarium. However, there are a few things to consider before setting up your aquarium. For example, some species of animals are not compatible with each other: living in the same aquarium, they begin to eat each other.
Anemones (sea anemones) and corals
Anemones and corals are characterized by attaching to and remaining on a hard surface. Both of these invertebrates are popular with hobbyists, but require careful water quality control.
Anemone is much easier to maintain than corals, but they still need special care: no nitrates and a lot of oxygen in the water, good aeration and circulation in the aquarium. Anemones come in a variety of colors: pink, green, purple, orange, yellow, or white, depending on the color of the algae living in their tissues. Anemones are mobile and can move on the surface. When they find a place they like, they stick to it.
Mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus)
Tubular worms have been found on coral reefs. They are known for building pipes around their soft bodies using various materials such as sand or shells; some release calcium carbonate into the water. Tubular worms take on various forms, from straight to spiral, thus decorating reefs in aquariums. Their feather-shaped, colorful tentacles hang from the top of the reef and serve as both a respiratory organ and esophagus. If the tubular worms are frightened by something, they pull the tentacles inward.
Tubular traits are classified into two large families, Sabellidae and Serpulidae.
Sabillidae secrete a soft substance to which shells and other deposits adhere. Serpulidae secrete limestone that forms small spirals. Their tentacles can be blue, red, yellow, or white. The most common tubular worms on coral reefs are Spirobranchus giganteus. Tubular worms are not compatible with most crustaceans. Some fish also feed on tubular worms, such as mandarin duck (Synchiropus splendidus), biblus (canine - Blennidae), blowfish, triggerfish and wrasses.
Crabs and shrimps
Crabs and shrimps are often kept in saltwater aquariums. They are collectively called crustaceans. They are part of the arthropod family. They differ in the type of shell that is shed during growth in exchange for a growing new one (you will need to equip many nooks in the aquarium where they can hide until a new shell grows). Hermit crabs, arrow crabs, boxer crabs, harlequin shrimp are the most accessible crustaceans. Before settling in the aquarium with any crustaceans, make sure that they do not eat each other.
Antopleura yellow (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)
Molluscs are a huge and diverse group of invertebrates, and scientists estimate that there are more than 100,000 species of them in the world. Most hobby aquarists do not keep some species of molluscs in their aquariums as they like to burrow into the ground and disappear from view immediately. Seashells are quite popular in saltwater aquariums because they do not dig soil and come out of their shells to move. Molluscs in the aquarium are beneficial, as they work as an additional living filter and eat the remains of fish food.
Snails are very popular in aquariums as many of them provide natural control over algae growth. They move with the help of a strong, muscular leg, and those commonly found in aquariums have shells.
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Snails can be herbivorous, eating algae, or carnivorous, feeding on fish, anemones, soft corals, or other invertebrates. Some are scavengers and feed on whatever organic matter they find, but the most common and available snails in the aquarium are usually herbivores.
Starfish and urchins
Echinoderms include starfish and urchins. Most echinoderms live at the bottom of the aquarium. Many of them feed on other invertebrates like corals and even each other, so be very careful when choosing echinoderms for your tank.
Starfish are compatible with most fish but will eat bivalve molluscs and sea urchins. Sea urchins are difficult to keep as they require perfect water quality. They also need a significant amount of food (they feed on algae). Before choosing the inhabitants of your marine aquarium, find out more about the features of their maintenance. Make sure you can provide them with everything they need, and that new inhabitants do not harm your fish.
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