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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok what's the deal on these guy's? I was told they eat coral's and are bad so I have been picking them out,what's your opinion? What's there name? Any natural predator's to eat them? thanks.
 

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Asterina spp. most are detrital consumers and not problematic, HOWEVER, there are two spp. that are VERY similar and also form the comets (several long and one or two short rays) that will consume coral tissue. I got some from a friend in Atlanta by accident (I know, don't lecture me on isolation and quarantine, this is a trusted friend :rolleyes: , just goes to show ya, NEVER bring in specimens without a mandatory 14 day quarantine). The natural predator is the beautiful Harlequin shrimp Hymenocera picta or H. elegans, which will feed on the rays and tube feet of many different Asteroides, so you'll need to move any related Asteroides specimens from the tank being biologically controlled. Keep in mind that although they are hardy in captivity, that they are VERY SENSITIVE to changes in salinity and pH, and will be the first to succumb to issues with low O2 tension. They will need very long slow drip acclimitizations when introducing the shrimp to your tank.

They are great little shrimp though, I gave my pair to someone in Atlanta and have not seen any since. I imagine I could have kept them in a specie tank and raised the Asterina sea stars in a 10G to feed them, somehow it was not on the top of my "to do" list. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank's Tom I will order them tonight.:banana: I think these came in on some Fuji rock I just got.
 

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Tom, I have had these guys for some time (1.5+ years) and they have never gotten out of control (although I always see a few). I have seen tanks (one in particular at a crappy LFS) that have been infested with them. Are there factors that can control their population or is a person just waiting for the inevitable infestation if direct action is not taken?

AEB
 

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There are plenty of tanks that have these and NEVER experience any issues with coral specimens, then again, it may be an issue with having something (a particular type of specie of coral) that these sea stars like to eat ("broccoli" coral as opposed to "Chocolate cake" corals). There are several spp. of Asterina and although they may appear to be exactly the same to the untrained eye, there differences will extend from small morphological differences down to the staples they consume for nutrition. In some species of animals, the only difference may be the feeding apparatus, which must be specialized for the specie in question to consume a particular type of food item/prey. I do not know if this is true for the Asterina, but I can tell you that USUALLY these sea stars are not a problem. With that said, the guys at GARF (heh, not my favorite source of info) have many dire predictions about having these seastars in the system, you might try searching their site for more info on these sea stars, but for the most part, they are NOT problematic.


I must add that for my peace of mind, I have removed all I have found in my systems over the years. I think the Harlequins finally took them all out, but I still watch for them, nonetheless.

There are reports that the Nardoa sp. sea star will also consume the small Asterina spp. sea stars by eviserating it's stomach and literally digesting the small sea star off the glass or rock, so these may be an alternative to the Harlequin shrimp, see: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2003/gallery.htm


image courtesy of Wetwebmedia

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im taking no chances guy's,them babies are outta here.Shrimp is on the way!:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got most of them out today Vince will wait for more to pop out tonight then hit them with the tweezers.
VWD said:
Casey with Your corals , Not worth taking the chance. I would also get rid of them.
 

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Wow. Just saw one of those the other day for the first time. I thought to myself...'hey neat! I have a little starfish!' I guess I should have been thinking 'oh ****, where is my step ladder?' (to get him out) I will have to keep an eye out for it to reappear now.

-K
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dont worry from what I have seen you will have hundreds's in no time.:lol:
superwizbang said:
Wow. Just saw one of those the other day for the first time. I thought to myself...'hey neat! I have a little starfish!' I guess I should have been thinking 'oh ****, where is my step ladder?' (to get him out) I will have to keep an eye out for it to reappear now.

-K
 

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I think I may have gotten some at one time, I found a few in the sump, but have never seen any in the display. Maybe something eats them besides Harlequin shrimp?
As many as you had in that bowl, that must have been a fun job, tweezering them out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yep Rog,I felt like a doctor just wasnt getting paid like one:D Only took about 4 hour's total.:rolleyes:
 
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