Large Animal Clinical Sciences Saltwater Tank

Learn more about the inhabitants of the Large Animal Clinical Sciences Saltwater Tank below!


Amphiprion ocellaris


Appearance: Orange with three vertical black lined white stripes- one just caudal to the eyes, one around mid-body, and one at the base of the caudal fin. Can grow up to about 4 inches in length.

Habitat: Tropical marine fish found in saltwater coral reefs

Symbiotic Relationship: These fish do well as a mated pair with an anemone that they take shelter in. The anemone provides them with a home and the fish protect it from larger fish that may pray upon the anemone.

Behavior: These fish don’t do well in the open ocean as they aren’t the best swimmers. They prefer to have a home anemone and stay in that local area. They can be aggressive to other tank mates in an effort to protect the anemone and any eggs they may have laid on it.

Diet: They are generalized omnivores that feed on equal parts algae and small animals

Breeding: Clownfish are monogamous but are protandrous hermaphrodites which means they all start as males and the most dominant fish will become female. Since they are tropical fish they can breed year round but tend to spawn around a full moon and in the morning hours.


Ctenochaetus tominiensis

Bristletooth Tomini Tang

Appearance: As juveniles, these tangs have tan bodies with yellow, blue, and white highlights. As they mature, they develop a darker, solid body color, their tail fin becomes more blue, and their dorsal and anal fins develop a deeper yellow-orange color on the edges.

Habitat: Tropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific region from Indonesia to the Tonga Islands.

Behavior: Tomini’s like to spend most of their time grazing algae off the live rock. They are very agile and quick swimmers. While they can be a very curious fish, if startled, they can be very good at hiding within the corals and rocks.

Diet: Primarily herbivorous by grazing on algae but will eat omnivorous flake food and small animals.

Reproduction: These fish are not sexually dimorphic so males cannot be distinguished from females. They are group breeders that scatter eggs and fertilize them in open water.

Tang in LACS Saltwater


Thor amboinensis

Sexy Shrimp

Appearance: Sexy shrimp will only get up to about 1 inch in length. While they are on the smaller side, it is very fun to watch them swing their abdomen and tail around in a dancing motion which is where they get their name from. Their body is an orange/red color with black outlined white spots over the body.

Habitat: Found throughout the tropics, typically among the tentacles of anemones.

Diet: Omnivorous. They consume fish flakes, anemone mucous, and graze lightly on the anemone itself.

Reproduction: They are protandric hermaphrodites which means they first mature as male, changing to female later in life. Once they reach 15 – 18 mm (0.6 – 0.7 inches), they usually become female. Clutches of eggs will hatch as planktonic larvae.

Sexy Shrimp

Ophiocomina nigra

Black Brittle Star

Appearance: Dark purple to black with 5 long and skinny arms attached to a central pentagon shaped body (disc). The arms have very prominent spines with tube feed on the bottom side.

Habitat: Found in temperate and subtropical oceans: Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea- North Sea and Portugal.

Diet: Brittle stars are generally scavengers and will eat anything that sinks to the ocean floor, but they are also considered predators and filter feeders.

Reproduction: A male and female will meet and release their gametes into the surrounding water column. Once fertilized, the larvae are planktonic until they settle to the sand in a couple months.

Black brittle star

Ophioderma appressum

Banded Serpent Starfish

Appearance: Tan with repeating darker brown bands down the arms. These stars have five long and skinny arms.

Habitat: Eastern Pacific and Western Central Atlantic oceans: Belize, Costa Rica and Panama.

Diet: General scavengers and will eat anything that sinks to the ocean floor, but they are also considered predators and filter feeders.

Reproduction: They will produce lecithrotrophic larvae. Lecithotrophy means feeding on egg yolk or other materials put in the egg by the mother; these larvae do not feed on anything else until after they settle to the bottom and become nonplanktonic juveniles.

banded serpent starfish

Pseudoboletia sp.

Purple Short Spine Pin Cushion Urchin

Appearance: A small purple Urchin that has sharp protruding spines with many tube feet extending between. They grow to only 2-3 inches.

Habitat: Found along the coast of the Eastern Pacific from British Columbia to Baja California.

Diet: Graze on algae growing on corals and life rock as well as seaweed.

Reproduction: External egg and sperm clouds will mix and fertilize then float around until they settle in the sand to mature.


Pavona cactus

Cactus Coral

Appearance: Many thin and upright fronds that are tan and fluoresce green under aquarium lights. Appear to have branches like a cactus which is were it gets its name.

Habitat: Tropical Indo-Pacific, its range extending from the Red Sea and East African coast to Japan, Tahiti and Australia.

Diet: The polyps extend their tentacles at night to catch plankton. They also benefit and obtain nourishment from the intracellular zooxathellae.

Reproduction: Can reproduce with both sexual and asexual reproduction.

Cactus Coral

Muriceopsis flavida

Purple Plume

Appearance: Its colony formation is similar to that of tree branching with a hollow skeletal rod but covered with purple epidermis and polyps.

Habitat: Shallow reefs in the Western Atlantic Ocean: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas, and possibly Bermuda.

Diet: This coral has developed several feeding strategies. They capture planktonic organisms and microscopic food particles from the water column and can absorb dissolved organic matter. Unlike a lot of other Gorgonians, the Purple Plume (M. flavida) has a symbiotic relationship with a marine algae known as zooxanthellae, where they receive some of their nutrients.

Reproduction: Tend to spawn in autumn or early winter.

Purple Plume


Red Mushroom Anemone

More details to come…

Red Mushroom Anenome



More details to come…



Blue Snowflake Polyps

More details to come…

Blue Snowflake Polyps

Euphyllia paradivisa


More details to come…



Flower Pot Coral

More details to come…

Flower Pot Coral

University of Florida


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