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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a Choc chip star fish when I first setup my reef (being told they are reef safe by LFS). Later reading that they will eat every thing that cannot get away, I put them in jail (also doubles as a sump). The month that they were in jail, the sand bed in the main tank formed a slimey dark gray soild texture on the top layer.

In the 8 months that these star fish were in the main tank I never saw them preying on any corals. Most of the time I just noticed them scavenging on the DSB.....

I stirred/broke up the top layer of the DSB and set the star fish free in the main tank over the weekend

The 1st question is... does anyone have experence with CC starfish in a reef?

and the second is that most other DSB that I see are very white and clean looking wereas mine is mostly light gray on top and looking at the side as if taken a cross section it has dark gray to black, green and red colors thoughout. Is this good or bad?

Please forgive me for the bad spelling and grammar, not my stong points.
 

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Hi there!

Protoreaster nodosus or "chcocolate chip" stars are hungry predators, and in the confines of a reeftank, can lay waste to molluscs, other stars, worms, and even coral.

If your sandbed is full of life, this may explain why it just sits there.

Stars can and do extrude their 'stomach' and eat their food outside of their body. It is possible your star is having such an easy time with your DSB (Deep Sand Buffet, hehe), that it hasn't gotten around to messing with larger targets.

DSB's, from my experience, tend more towards the colorful state you seem to have, though the topmost layer is lighter. Sand stirrers (check out IPSF or PA for any species they offer that may perform this function for your sandbed) may help in abrading the top grains to restore some whiteness.

I know many large tanks can afford a sand sifting goby: It can decimate the life in a sandbed, but a large enough bed can take the damage, and the goby helps clean the top inch or so of sand. If your DSB is in less than 100 US gals, I wouldn't really recommend the fish so wholeheartedly.

If your sandbed has 'clotted' or clumped together, then breaking up the clumps is the best you can do. The gray areas can indicate local and normal fomation of hydrogen sulfide, or may simply be biofilms feeding on any rot or food. The grens and red you see are algae and cyanobacteria --the light from the side of the tank is keeping them alive --and again --no biggie :)

You can check out Ron's sandbed articles online to check on grain size, etc. --but then you likely already have :)

Measure the beauty of your DSB by the stability and growth rate of the inverts and fish of the tank!

:)

horge
 

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when I procured my no longer existing 30, there was a CC starfish that had been added a month before the divorce of the prior owners. When the tank got to my house I was wary of the starfishes existence but they insisted that he was not bothering anything. Once they both stopped their frequent visits to see how the tank was acclimating to my house I took the little bugger to the LFS after I saw him eat yellow polyps, some zoanthids, and a spiny urchin. Mind you, he minded his own business and mainly stayed at the top part of the tank going around and around cleaning the water line up and keeping the sides clean. It took about 2 months for him to start misbehaving. So away he went. Poor chip. The kids were bummed.

They dont like the banded stars that hide in the holes they never see them. :-(
 

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Fishinchick, get the kids a green brittle star, that will perk their interest :)
 

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I do not recommend a CC starfish for a reef tank. A good friend of mine bought an aquarium setup a couple of years ago. It included a CC star. I told him he should get rid of it because of it's bad habits. He was going to trade it in, but his girlfriend wanted to keep it. He watched it graze on his polyps and coralive for a couple of months. One day I stopped by his place after class to check out the tank. His CC Star had chowed down on his girlfriends clam. She took it out of the tank and threw it in the microwave:eek:. The moral of this story is that it will most likely do some damage in the future. If you can trade it in at the LFS I would do so.

Andrew:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Off to jail again.....................

What about brittle stars? I have an notice many small ones scurring for cover when the lights come on in the morning


My kids were upset when the CCstar were exiled to the sump, again.


"Gee dad if you get rid of all that other stuff then we could keep the starfish."
 
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