By Bob Goemans
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Eco Tech Marine 

Family Holothuriidae

Holothuria floridana

Pourtales, 1851

Florida Sea Cucumber

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Not Suitable for Fish-Only Tank

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Florida, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Natural Environment: Inhabits seagrass beds and mangroves and usually seen at depths between 3 - 25 feet (1 - 8 m).

General Husbandry: Occasionally available in the trade.

Suitable only for well-established, large aquariums having wide open, unencumbered fine sand beds, as this cucumber ingests sand and feeds on the microorganisms and organic matter in the bed and on the sand particles.

Sinking shrimp pellets are a good food source should there not be enough detritus coated material in the aquarium.

Some angelfishes and triggerfishes are not good tankmates.

Also, keep in mind; cukes (cucumbers) are very vulnerable to sudden salinity/specific gravity changes. (Salinity is the correct term for measuring a natural salt level in the wild, and specific gravity is the correct term for artificially prepared seawater.) Therefore, acclimate carefully by slipping the specimen out of the shipping bag into a separate acclimating container before transferring it to your aquarium. Do not allow the water in the shipping bag to enter the aquarium as it may contain toxins.

A good sand mover and recommended for reef tanks.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Echinodermata

    Class: Holothuroidea

    Order: Aspidochirotida

    Family: Holothuriidae

    Genus: Holothuria

FYI: Will not survive in newly established aquariums, as there is simply not enough detritus in the sand bed for it to meet its nutritional needs.

Small specimens are more maintainable/longer lifespan in aquaria than large specimens.

Must be removed if aquarium will be treated with copper-based medications.

One per aquarium so as not to limit its food supply.

When selecting a new specimen, be sure the body is free of tears, cuts, sores, or odd colored areas, as damaged specimens rarely regain their heath in closed systems.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Diet: Omnivore

Temperament: Peaceful

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: No

Invertebrate Safe: No

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Hardiness: Moderate

Temperature Range: 72 - 83°F (22 - 28°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Lighting: Unaffected by intensity

Water Movement: WM 1 - 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

 Holothuria floridana (Florida Sea Cucumber)
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