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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following picture is of a few critters that have been living in our refugium, and tank.


We have, 2 diffrent types of starfish growing, and tons of baby turbo snails. I know the one is a brittle star, but I am not sure what the other is. We have a large brittle star, in the top reef tank that has grown from a baby. A little over a year ago we found numerous baby brittles in the reef, which I assume became food. We have noticed lately when the refug. light comes on there are tons of these brittles sitting on top of the caulerpa, which dive below under the lighting. It is beyond me how so many got there or where they came from. Are brittles A sexual, and do they lay eggs or have live birth?
I was hoping someone might identify the other star. Again I don't know where they came from, but are seen all over the reef glass.
Turbo's I know don't normaly breed in captivity, but we have one that hasn't read the rules. We have been getting baby turbos for about 2 years now. Currently we have about 5 generations growing in the tank. Most go to the top frame and dry out under the MH and die. But hundreds are living.:)


Harpo
 

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I recently saw one of those baby brittle stars in my tank, and i dont have any other brittle stars. my guess is it is a lr hitchhiker. i saw it trying to drag a stray mysis shrimp into a hole in the live rock.
 

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Harpo,
check out this link about the "off balance starfish" I had a few in my ten gal and had NO coraline growing...I eliminated them and a couple of chitons and coraline grew like crazy...looks just like the ones I found in mine...

http://www.garf.org/

Look under the heading of "aquarium pests"...there are two headings...I think youwill find your star there...
HTH

bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the link Bob. I was reading this info. which says they are normaly about an inch large. I have seen nothing that large, only these which are aroud between an 1/8" to a 1/4". They look hard instead of soft and flexible. But still sounds like them.

Harpo
 

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Banggai Mommy
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We've got a ton of the mini brittle stars. IPSF sells them... I don't know if they're the same ones, as ours came from a friend's tank (and we're big on sand swaps.) In any case, they're good to have, and foster diversity. (Yay!) I haven't looked it up, but going on how many we have, I'm guessing they reproduce asexually, at least in part. (Seems that lots of reef critters do it both ways...) And yes, they like to hang out in our caulerpa (and hair algae, but we're getting better about that.)

As for your little many-legged one, I read somewhere that they have also been implicated in SPS-munching. We have a few, and I pull them out when I see them. (We don't keep SPS at the moment, so it hasn't been an issue.) Oh, and all the ones I've seen have been that small size - certainly none that were an inch long!

Just my 2c,
Danielle
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input.
We are happy with the brittle stars, and being in the refugium, they should do well, with no preditors to speak of.

OK, after Theresa and I read the GARF link a couple times, we decided to remove our large brittle star from the reef, and put him in the FOWLR's refugium. Then we would use 1 or 2 HARLEQUIN shrimps to go after these @#$% stars. I don't know how fast harlequins eat, but we have hundreds of the stars all over.
Would this be a good route to take, or does anyone have a diffrent view? I understand harlequins do better in pairs, but do they survive as a single? If I had 2, would I have to worry about starving them, as I don't plan on buying stars as food?

Your input is valued, thanks.


Harpo:)
 

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Banggai Mommy
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Honestly, I'd just keep a long pair of tweezers by the tank, and pull them out when you see them. Unless they're actively destroying things, I hate to try to balance one life form with another. (That and I don't know anything about harlequin shrimp, either.)

That's my approach with these bleeping dog whelks. We took in some corals from a friend on an emergency basis, and he'd accidentally gotten them in a tainted shipment. Anyway, these boogers multiply fast, but I just pull them out when I see them.

Good luck,
Danielle
 

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If you did get the harliquins, there are a couple of things to think about first. After you rid your tank of the pest stars, could the harli's survive in the FO tank? Or would they become fish food? If your fish would leave them alone you could suppliment their starfish diet with chocolate chip stars, but at $3-6 bucks a pop that could get old pretty quick. (plus a little inhumane, but that's nature anyways);) I guess you could always trade them back in to the LFS too. I highly doubt the harli's would find all of the little pests but they could probably cut the number way down.

Or the persistant 'pluck and flush' method is the sure-fire method too! :D

-Big Dave
 
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