Ascidians in the aquarium: how to keep them, characteristics and which are the sea squirts that can be adapted to our marine aquarium.
Amarine aquariumit has great charm, especially when populated by invertebrates. Among the invertebrates to be included in the aquarium, in addition to echinoderms (starfish, sea urchins ...) there are alsotunicateslike the ascidians.
Ascidians, what are they
The ascidiansI'm orfilter organisms belonging to the Tunicates. This class of filter organismspopulate the rocks of the seabed, in low light conditions. They have a cylindrical body and colors that vary from species to species.
Generally speaking, we can say that the ascidiansthey have a siphon on the body, this siphon is formed by two holes, one for inlet and one for outlet. The water enters, is filtered, and exits from the opposite hole. To feed, theascidiansthey retain any particles they find in the water.
In aaquarium, an enclosed environment, sea squirts have no way of filtering large volumes of water and for this reason they are difficult to manage.
Ascidians in the aquarium, the suitable species
The ascidiansthey are difficult to keep in aquariumbut, with the right precautions it won't be a mission impossible.
When we talk aboutascidianswe refer to a wholeclassof filtering organisms, in nature they live adhering to the substrate (they are sessile) and not all are suitable for life in the aquarium.
Those who want to set up a Mediterranean aquarium might find the introduction of thered sea squirtHalocynthia papillosa.
This sea squirt is very showy. On many sites or forums you will read that this is theascidianeasier to keep in the aquarium ... actually this is incorrect, it is more correct to say that it is the most adaptable species to the home marine aquarium!
In nature, thered sea squirtsthey live at different depths: between 2 and 80 meters deep. The color of Halocynthia papillosa can vary according to the depth of collection. It can range from orange to ruby red. The red sea squirt does not tolerate high temperatures, above 18-22 °. In the aquarium thisascidianit is also very adaptable because it can be combined with all marine organisms.
Another ascidian that can adapt to the aquarium is theMicrocosums sulcatus,this is also a very common Mediterranean sea squirt, although sometimes difficult to notice. His body, in fact, is often covered by other microorganisms that go to generate a"Small world unto itself", that's why this species is called Microcosmus sulcatus!
Even if she is less beautiful than her cousinHalocynthia papillosa,this sea squirt is certainly more useful for cleaning the aquarium: it manages to eliminate any food particles or residues left suspended in water. Another resistant species of sea squirt in the aquarium is the "P.hallusia mamillata“, commonly known as "sea pine cone".
Among the most difficult species to maintain we point out theClavelina lapidiformis.In fact, all organisms of the Claveline genus do not adapt well to the closed environment of the aquarium but a lot also depends on the environment of origin.
Is it possible to take sea squirts from the seabed and introduce them to the marine aquarium?
In general, it is always not recommended to introduce organisms (but also rocks) collected in nature into the aquarium. You are never sure what you are introducing! In nature, formidable balances are established that a few liters of water cannot guarantee. We also risk introducing pathogenic microorganisms that can damage the life already present in the aquarium.
Those who want to take a risk can take sea squirts from the bottom and introduce them into the aquarium. Like? It will have to detach the sea squirt with the entire substrate so as to facilitate its insertion into the aquarium.
If for the species of sea squirts indicated above it is possible to take them from the seabed and introduce them into the tank of your aquarium, for the genus Claveline it is not so easy. Claveline sea squirts, taken in nature, hardly survive in the aquarium.
When picking up the sea squirt, act with caution. Try to collect it with a piece of substrate without damaging anything and above all, during transport, keep the temperature constant.
How to keep sea squirts in the aquarium?
It should be clarified that it is not aboutautonomous bodies. At sea they would be but in the aquarium, having only a few liters of water to filter, it will be necessary to ensure a good sustenance. In the aquarium you will have to introduce single-celled organisms or finely chopped dry food.