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snail ID help needed, orange spot filefish

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Electrokate

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
Hi,
I work at an LFS, sometimes we get stuff we didn't order. I think the wholesalers take our order sheets more as "suggestions" or "a place to start".
Today we got a bag of "Clown nudibranchs". Not knowing a thing about them the owner didn't want to put them in a store tank... so they went in my R&R tank (I have a 10 with macro, rock, sand and tons of pods just in case I get a wild caught fish that will not eat or baby seahorses or some other odd situation).
These have shells... definitely not nudi's. They have mint green flesh and translucent milky fine thin walled shells with pink spots when the snail is alive or beige spots on the empty shells. Length 1 cm. Trying to find out what they eat, if they are reef safe etc. I took a picture which shows an empty shell as well as a few survivors (2 doa's eaten in transit?) The orange color to the spots is camera setting error-they should be pink. They laid motionless in the tank til I switched off the light... nocturnal?

Also, a couple weeks ago a wholesaler decided we should have an orange spotted filefish. We would not order such a doomed creature and have notified them. I really would like to save it but it has lost weight and I fear the worst. Anyone have any luck getting this fish to survive and if so what did you feed? I can get it to take frozen brine but this is a very low nutrient food... Will take large clumps of frozen cyclop eeze but not the fines, nor the other cyclop eeze products. Sometimes takes fines from my homemade freezer blend. Cannot eat anything as large as a whole mysis shrimp, won't take live baby brine shrimp or worms live or frozen. Could try gut loaded killifish fry as I have an overly fecund species taking over here.
This species is an obligate coralivore, should never be captured for the pet trade. Very very stupid, hopefully this will not happen again since the shippers were notified. He is in with fat anthias-I feed 5 or more times a day. Wish I had taken him home sooner. Perhaps anyone with a success story should PM me so that we don't start any bad ideas... I have read that a minority of orange spot filefish do adjust to captive life and survive, I don't want to encourage people to try buying them based on very bad odds of success. There are as they say other fish in the sea.
Thanks,
Kate B
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Kate - I believe the pic is Haminoea cymbalum.

"Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific" page 151, says
Identification: There are 65 species of Haminoea known from the Indo-Pacific, including many undescribed species. Most are cryptically colored on algae, but a few like H. cymbalum, are brightly colored. Seceral species have yellow and purple spotting, but differ from H. cymbalum in the pattern of spots.
Natural History: Species of Haminoea are herbivores, feeding almost exclusively on filamentous algae. Many species are found in intertidal rock pools or in shallow sandy habitats.
Distribution: Mozambique; Madagascar to Hawai'i (Madang, Papua New Guinea).
Here are a couple of links for info and pics:

Haminoea cymbalum
Haminoea cymbalum
 

Boomer

RF Staff
Joined
Dec 15, 2004
Messages
2,774
Location
Duluth, Minnesota
You are really close Nikki. It is actually a Haminoea simillina, Similar Bubble. Don't bother looking on the net you won't find it. The only big difference is the size and number of the orange spots. The Similar has only a few and they are much large, like the pic Kate posted.
 

Electrokate

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
Wow, thanks! Sounds like these are good snails, long as they don't eat the gorgonians... Wonder if they will eat the evil hair algae.

I should add the filefish was eating for a while and was sold to a guy who really seems to take good care of his fish but the guy read up and brought him back as his odds were poor, he was still eating then and only began to decline recently. I think he loses interest in new foods.
Kate
 

BlennyBabe

Rachel
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
260
Location
Gig Harbor Wa
Kate since those eat alage, I think they would go great in a reef. I kinda want one. They are defiately very neat. Let me know if they eat hair algae and I would be happy to take one off your hands. maybe keep some of them together and they could breed. You could make yourself a fortune of those guys reproduce. Im sure lots of people would pay for pretty snails that eat hair algae... Very cool find and Im glad that youll be able to keep them alive. Good luck with the filefish. Get some pictures of it too.
 

Electrokate

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
technically these are still store property so I am going to test them on the algae we have found most difficult: bryopsis and an olive green fuzzy type that nothing seems to eat... if they will eat those and don't eat any sps/zoanthids/other coral will have the store order more. If they DO eat bryopsis and are not toxic/bad in other ways we will indeed be selling quite alot of them! :)
Kate
 

Electrokate

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
I work at an Olympia LFS... not going to plug employer as not sure of the ethics of that. :) Plus probably any local store should be able to order stuff for you.

That said I don't really think these snails are all that suitable for the trade. They seem completely unable to turn over if they fall on their backs, and they do often. If you have a lot of current in the tank they likely would get blown to safety... hopefully. They also seem completely stumped by the substrate, are only moving if placed against glass or rock. The substrate is coarse aragonite, shouldn't be a problem, but they won't crawl on it. The thing that seems most forboding is that the ones that died were eaten by amphipods, which dropped dead immediately on or around the snails. Obviously quite toxic, not good at all.
They haven't eaten significant hair algae though one did graze it for a while and then moved on. They seem to prefer the stuff on the glass. Cute buggers but seems they might be best off in the wild, being so small I think they wouldn't get noticed if they fell and couldn't get up or died and were nibbled by crabs or other doomed scavengers. Think I will stick to recommending the easier safer snails.
Kate
 

Electrokate

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
Hi,
I found that I had accidently unplugged the heater to the tank with the little snails and the temp dropped to 72. The fact that half are still alive is testament to their hardiness. But I think that might have contributed to their inability to really get around, they probably lacked the energy.
Apparently the snails were collected by a visitor who went diving with the regular crew who collect for our transshipper. The curious visitor checked out a big wad of algae to see what was in it and found hundreds and hundreds of interesting looking snails, so they collected them. When you think about it that makes an interesting point. Often we need snails for algae control so it would be smart for those who collect from the wild to search in the algae for such beings, but often the algae is ignored. Wonder if there are shrimp and crabs in the algae too? Some day I think it would be fun to go diving with these guys and give them tips and help ID what is needed in the trade (so they don't ever send any more parrot fish or orange spot filefish!) and see if there are any other interesting creatures we could try. I think since they found so many you will see these snails at a few stores. Hopefully normal people who keep better track of things won't disconnect their heaters and lose them. Still think they could be toxic and wouldn't put them with fish that might nibble them.
So if they have a shell why are they called sea slugs? I thought the presence or absense of shell was the division between snails and slugs.
We did order 50-100 and am guessing the other small stores in Seattle metro area will also have them. Going to test them in a better setup.
Did think of one good use. If they are poison could put them in with a hard to catch mantis shrimp :)
Kate
 
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