The blue velvet nudibranch is a type of sea slug that is popular among marine aquarium enthusiasts. They are black in color with a few bright, electric blue lines that run along the length of its body. They have a head wider than the body and have a blue stripe run down the middle of their head too. They are experts at biomimicking, like most species of nudibranchs. They use this ability to find flatworms – which are the majority of this sea slug’s diet. Their mouth resembles a chameleon’s tongue. They have a tube-like appendage that shoots out to suck flatworms in. Watching them hunt in aquariums is fascinating to watch as their movement is hypnotic. Blue Velvet Nudibranchs require a steady diet of flatworms to be healthy and active.
Though they do not have a great life expectancy in closed-off tanks, they can thrive when taken care of. They need to be acclimated slowly to an aquarium using the drip method. They should not be thrown into an aquarium with a large flatworm infestation as they tend to feed heavily and remain dormant for days which makes them die sooner. They are also known to be sensitive creatures who respond negatively to spikes in alkalinity or nitrate levels in the water.
They should be handled by experts and are not a good choice for beginner aquarium enthusiasts. This fragility means that care should be taken in fencing off pipe outlets, pumps or drains. Heavy turbulence or flow could easily dispel these creatures causing harm. They come in the 1 to 2 inch size range and do not grow very big. They also stick to rocky outcrops in the tank and move around searching for worms. This makes them a beautiful addition as they provide a different viewing experience to traditional marine life. They offer functionality and beauty to the tank, a rare feature in aquariums. Usually, tank cleaning marine creatures are not the brightest or most attractive.
But, the nudibranch will be the cynosure of even the most intricate and beautiful tanks. They still are some of the most efficient and beautiful methods of flatworm control for any aquarium and if you are thinking about getting a blue velvet Nudibranch, we suggest you shore up your tank care and ensure a steady and reliable environment for them. Learn to use the drip method to introduce them to new environments as they do not do well to sudden changes. Temperature and alkalinity settings along with current speeds should be monitored and maintained before considering nudibranchs.