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Brittle Star

 
Wikipedia - Brittle stars, or ophiuroids, are echinoderms, closely related to sea stars. They crawl across the seafloor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 centimetres (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. They are also known as serpent stars. - - Ophiuroidea contains two large clades, Ophiurida (brittle stars) and Euryalida (basket stars). Many of the ophiuroids are rarely encountered in the relatively shallow depths normally visited by humans, but they are a diverse group. - There are some 1,500 species of brittle stars living today, and they are largely found in deep waters more than 500 metres (1,650 feet) down.


Price: $3 to $59 at 2 stores
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Creepy but beneficial

Comments This is probably the easiest starfish to care for. Anyone from novice to expert would have no trouble. They eat any meaty food provided, and are especially good members of the CUC. Mine managed to "clean up" a 4" hawkfish in under 6 hours, and mine is about 1' in diameter. The are very attractive looking. While their color is usually a drab reddish/brown, there are definitely some uniquely colored ones out there. A big plus is that they are very cheap. I bought mine at around 9" for only $2.50.

If not fed well, there is a chance they may go after smaller fish. While this is very unlikely, it is still a possibility, so make sure to feed it regularly. I feed mine some meaty food twice a week. They grow fairly fast if you feed them regularly.


Liked about it -Cheap
-Easy to care for
-Very unique


Didn't like -Chance of eating fish or invertebrates
-Can get too big fast in nano aquariums


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.5

By wii64brawl
Feb 16, 2014
 
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Awsome, but elusive

Comments I got mine a couple months back and he's doing an awesome job cleaning. Unfortunately he stays hidden majority of the time so I can only tell where he is, or show him off by finding a leg that is waving around somewhere. I do like that he is reef safe and don't have to worry about him eating any coral, unlike other stars out there. Additionally I like that fact that they are reasonably fast movers, and stay well hidden since I do have a Harlequin Shrimp, which either has not tried going after it, or has not been able to catch it yet.


Liked about it - Awesome cleaner
- Quick mover
- Won't go after my coral


Didn't like - Hides almost all the time


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Maverick986
Sep 13, 2010
 
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A must have for your clean up crew.

Comments The creatures are one of those guys that are not seen but do great work in keeping the bottom of the tank and other areas in the tank clean. we call ours the gimp every time we feed the tank it looks like a gimp limping out from what ever rock its under. they are great at cleaning up food floating along the bottom of the tank. i have not seen one be hostile toward any tank mates or corals in my tank. they are easy to acclimate just like any other fish or invert. and extremely hardy, great eaters.


Liked about it They are reef safe, easy to acclimate, great part of the clean up crew, and eat anything almost.


Didn't like some times they can be a bulldozer and knock down formations and or corals.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By fchidsey
May 29, 2010
 
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Want to keep a sea star? Start with this one.

Comments While a brittle star isn't as colorful and attractive as a fromia milleporella it is infinitaly easier to keep! It seems a reef tank just isn't complete without a sea star in it but many species are only viable for larger tanks or aren't reef-safe. The brittle star is easy to keep for a sea star, is a great addition to your clean up crew, is affordable, and is totally reef-safe. Like all sea stars be sure to be slow and careful in acclimation, be sure to use the drip method. It will eat by scavenging and you could keep more than one in your tank. While they will squeeze into just about any space between your rocks, they don't seem to really topple things over.


Liked about it 1. Affordable
2. Hardy
3. Easy to maintain
4. Can be kept in a smaller tank


Didn't like 1. Lacks the color of some species of sea star
2. Often hides


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By tcamos
May 29, 2010
 
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A great addition and tank cleaner

Comments I love my brittle star. It is huge now after a few years!
It is at least 20" tip to tip and it is very fun to watch. It might have a leg out in one area of the tank and another a foot or more away. Very large but still very docile. I have never seen any aggression from this Star.

They will make quick work of just about anything dead on your tank. Whe I had anemoens the star was very bold and would actually steal food right from the anemones mouth!

Always Drip acclimate these guys can be very fragile. Once acclimated properly they are very hard but do need a well established aquarium.


Liked about it The color mine id a very unique pinkish purple.
The price they are very affordable.
They are great tank cleaners and will quickly consume anything that dies!


Didn't like I wish it would spend more time out and about, It spend most the day deep in the rocks.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By ckusnierek
May 28, 2010
 
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Brittle Star - the no see 'ums

Comments after drip acclimation for at least 30 minutes, place the brittle starfish carefully in your tank. Brittle Star is appropriate since their arms break from excessive handling. This animal is not aggressive at all, easts dead organic matter and fish poops (great) and is a solitary creature as well as nocturnal. If you want a starfish for your tank too watch, this is not the one to get. You will never see this starfish unless you can see in the dark. It is shy from any light source and prefers to hide in your Live rock during the day.


Liked about it Eats all the dead and decaying things in your tank. Provides nighttime entertainment since everything else is sleeping by that time. I would prefer this starfish over the sand sifters since you would never see those at all. Extremely reef safe.


Didn't like You'll never remember you have this starfish unless your up late at night. Very solitary and not communal.


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By aiaman
Apr 29, 2010
 
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