Can you recommend good aquarium species?

July 29, 1999
From: Eirik Eilertsen

Dear Bill,
Following on my question on Elysiella pusilla can you give any advice on keeping slugs in aquaria?

Since I have a special tank just for tiny creatures, where no fish will ever swim about eating them, I'm now thinking of maybe deliberately adding some sea slugs. Are there any species that are easier to keep than others? Clearly, the herbivorous (and possibly detritivorous) species should be
easier than the more specialized carnivorous/parasitic ones, but can you
recommend any species?

I have a list of possible species to be imported from Singapore, but unfortunately, the accuracy of the list leaves a great deal to be desired.
The species listed are:
Purple slug Glossodoris festiva
White slug - black spots Nudibranch species
Black slug - orange spots
Nudibranch species
Flying slug - Spanich dancer
Lima scabra

I know the Spanish dancer is concidered very difficult, but does any of the other species mentioned make any sense?


Eirik Mack Eilertsen

Eilertsen, E. , 1999 (Jul 29) Can you recommend good aquarium species?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Eirik,
The biggest problem, as you suggest, is that all nudibranchs are carnivores, and each has a very specialised diet. Most feed on colonial animals like sponges, ascidians, corals, hydroids etc and so even if you can identify the correct colonial prey and keep it alive in your aquarium, the nature of nudibranch feeding - gradually 'nibbling' at the colony - means that the colony becomes very stressed and so dies before it is completely eaten.

You have shown you can successfully keep green algae alive so sacoglossans would be a possibility. But again you would need to get some animals and then find the right food.

My feeling is perhaps you should think about keeping some Norwegian nudibranchs. There are some quite beautiful species. Perhaps you could contact Jussi Evertsen, who could give you some advice on finding them in Norway.

Jussi Evertsen
Trondhjem Biological Station
Department of Natural History
7034 Trondheim

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 1999 (Jul 29). Comment on Can you recommend good aquarium species? by Eirik Eilertsen . [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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