Giant Pacific Tunicate (Polycarpa aurata)
Phylum: Chordata, Class: Urochordata
Range: Tropical Seas
Size: 8 in. Space:: 100+ gal. Diet: microplankton, suspended organic matter
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Difficult Temperament: Peaceful
Natural History: The Giant Pacific Tunicate is a primitive chordate that is actually closely related to the fishes, more so than any other invertebrate. They live attached to rock and filter feed the water for microplankton. An individual tunicate may filter thousands of liters of water per day to feed.
Husbandry: The Giant Pacific Tunicate feeds on dissolved organics and microplankton. These must be supplemented in captivity since most aquariums do not provide sufficient amounts of these. Phytoplankton feedings may help but they are not its natural food. Bacterial aggregate supplementation is reported to be helpful to their livelihood in captivity.
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