Dolabella Sea Hare (Dolabella auricularia)
- Care Level: Moderate
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Diet: Herbivore
- Reef Safe: Yes
- Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
- Max Size: Up to 12 inches
- Water Parameters: pH 8.1-8.4, Salinity 1.023-1.025, Temperature 72-78°F
Dolabella Sea Hare (Dolabella auricularia) – Comprehensive Guide
The Dolabella Sea Hare is found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. It is commonly found in shallow coastal areas with rocky or sandy substrates.
The Dolabella Sea Hare is considered reef safe as it primarily feeds on algae and detritus. It can be a valuable addition to a reef tank as it helps to control algae growth and keeps the tank clean.
Yes, the Dolabella Sea Hare is considered a reef cleaner. It has a voracious appetite for various types of algae, including nuisance algae that can overgrow corals and other reef inhabitants. By consuming these algae, it helps to maintain a healthy and balanced reef ecosystem.
The Dolabella Sea Hare can grow up to 12 inches in length, making it a relatively large species for a home aquarium. It is important to provide enough space for it to move and graze comfortably.
There is no noticeable sexual dimorphism in the Dolabella Sea Hare, making it difficult to distinguish between males and females based on external characteristics.
The average lifespan of the Dolabella Sea Hare is around 1-2 years in captivity, although with proper care, some individuals may live longer.
Diet in Aquariums:
The Dolabella Sea Hare is a herbivorous species that primarily feeds on various types of algae, including filamentous and macroalgae. It will also consume detritus and uneaten food particles. Providing a diverse diet with a mix of algae and seaweed sheets is essential for its nutritional needs.
The Dolabella Sea Hare is not commonly aquacultured and may be more readily available as wild-caught specimens. However, availability can vary depending on the region and the supplier.
Compatibility with Tankmates:
The Dolabella Sea Hare is generally peaceful and can be kept with a variety of fish, invertebrates, and corals. However, caution should be exercised when keeping it with aggressive or territorial species, as they may harass or injure the sea hare. Here are five tankmates that are good choices:
- Clownfish: Clownfish are peaceful and can coexist with the Dolabella Sea Hare without any issues.
- Snails: Snails are compatible tankmates that can help with algae control and provide additional cleaning benefits.
- Hermit Crabs: Hermit crabs are scavengers and can coexist peacefully with the sea hare.
- Soft Corals: Soft corals are generally safe to keep with the Dolabella Sea Hare as they are not aggressive and won’t harm the sea hare.
- Gobies: Gobies are peaceful and can make good tankmates for the Dolabella Sea Hare.
The Dolabella Sea Hare has a peaceful temperament and is not known to be aggressive towards other tank inhabitants. However, it can release a purple ink when threatened, which can be toxic to some fish and invertebrates. Care should be taken to avoid stressing or harassing the sea hare to prevent ink release.
Other Common Names:
The Dolabella Sea Hare is also commonly known as the Giant Sea Hare or the Elephant Slug.
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Popular Questions about Dolabella Sea Hare (Dolabella auricularia) in Saltwater Aquariums:
1. Can the Dolabella Sea Hare be kept in a small tank?
No, the Dolabella Sea Hare requires a minimum tank size of 50 gallons to accommodate its size and provide enough space for grazing and movement.
2. Does the Dolabella Sea Hare require a specific type of substrate?
The Dolabella Sea Hare does not require a specific type of substrate. It can adapt to various substrates, including sand and live rock.
3. How often should the Dolabella Sea Hare be fed?
The Dolabella Sea Hare should be fed daily with a varied diet of algae and seaweed sheets. It is important to monitor its feeding and ensure it receives enough food to meet its nutritional needs.
4. Can the Dolabella Sea Hare be kept with aggressive fish?
It is generally not recommended to keep the Dolabella Sea Hare with aggressive fish, as they may harass or injure the sea hare. It is best to choose tankmates that are peaceful and compatible with the sea hare’s temperament.
5. How can I prevent ink release from the Dolabella Sea Hare?
To prevent ink release from the Dolabella Sea Hare, it is important to avoid stressing or harassing the sea hare. Provide a suitable environment with ample hiding places and avoid sudden movements or disturbances that may startle the sea hare.