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Every Reef Needs Cucumber Poop

Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 10:23 am by

It was recently reported in SciTechDaily that sea cucumber waist is beneficial to reef growth for multiple reasons. I’ve always maintained 2 cucumbers in my reef aquarium. My reasons were more for aesthetics than actual benefits. I’ve found they turn over the surface of my sand bed in a non destructive way. They only disturb the top quarter inch of the sand bed by eating dirty sand and “discharging” clean pristine sand. The best part is they do it in a way that doesn’t create a sand storm in the aquariums flow keeping my rocks clean of sand.

It has recently been reported that the sea cucumber’s digestive process increases the pH levels of the water around the reef. Another benefit is a by-product of their digestive system is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Calcium carbonate is a key ingredient to coral growth. Professor Byrne, the director of One Tree Island Research where the study took place, suggest “the ammonia waste produced when sea cucumbers digest sand also serves to fertilize the surrounding area, providing nutrients for coral growth.”

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