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We ordered a flora kit and a fauna kit from Inland. I'm very impressed. There were lots of goodies in each kit. The flora kit contained about 5 different algae. Horge..need your help with the ID :) sorry the pics aren't the best..too much sunlight/indirect light.

Dictoya?


Gracillaria ?


You can see some halimeda and I think the leafy lettuce stuff is called ogo. This is everthing in the 10g refugium. I'm not sure of the ID on the green one in the middle.


In the fauna kit there were gammarus shrimp, mysis shrimp, mini brittle stars, peppermint snails, mini starfish, stomatella snails and a few bristleworms scattered here and there. Here's some pics:

mini starfish and peppermint snail:


Look at the snout on this peppermint snail. These look like cool critters...anyone know anything about them? They are very tiny.


Well...that's about it I guess. Hopefully everything will reproduce well :)
 

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Brooke, I don't know anything about the pep snail, but I do know now that I have 1 in my nano, about 3/8" long, maybe half that in diameter. Only seen it 3-4 times, last time the other night, when of course I didn't have the camera.....

Lee:beer:
 

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Brooke
Becarefull on your mini star fish. I read on the web and they said that there is on type of mini start fish. It usually has 5 or 6 legs. The color is exact like yours. They are consider a pest. They need to get rid of as soon as you spot them. They will eat SPS coral and multiply really fast. Get grid of it fast....
Do a search of eating starfish. You will know what I'm talking about
 

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The 3 macros in the pic of the refugiumare (l -> R) Halimeda, green gracilaria and red gracilaria. can you get a better pic of the "green leafy/lettuce" looking algae?
 

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Hey Brook-
Biny is right, that starfish is predatory. It will much your SPS and encrusting corals. They multiply fairly fast as well.

Cool stuff though!! My halimeda is going crazy in my tank and sucks up the calcium big time. Don't get me wrong, I love the way it looks and it is easy to trim.

-Big Dave
 

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No no no NO! Most of those mini-stars are algae eaters and are extremely desired. Very few of those eat SPS. If you see him on the glass at all then you know he eats algae. Just watch him a little bit. Again these are extremely desired.
 

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OK read this article. The starfish that brooke has (from picture) fit this profile:

You will often notice this small starfish on the glass just above the sand. This predatory starfish can be distinguished because it often has two or four shorter legs. During the last year we have been noticing a new starfish in our reef aquariums and it seemed to be dividing. Several people noticed this type of starfish in their aquariums and they have wondered if they were harmful. Well the small, flat, large body starfish are definitely harmful to SPS corals.
When the starfish is ready to divide all the legs will be about the same length. The starfish then starts to split across the disk leaving each new starfish with from three to five legs. The starfish seem to be able to grow very fast and they rapidly populate an entire aquarium.


The starfish then find SPS corals to feed on. It is hard to find these starfish because they are able to camouflage themselves among the coral branches. It is very common to find two of the same size starfish feeding on the same coral.
When the starfish attack a Stylophora fragment they can eat all the polyps in one day. The other coral that they seem to attack is the Pocillopora. If you have been noticing large white patches on your SPS corals you may have an infestation of these predatory starfish.

These types of starfish often arrive on Fiji live rock. This is another good reason to quarantine live rock before you add it to your reef aquarium. If you have seen this type of starfish in your aquarium already, you'll need to find them, and finding them can be quite a problem. Of course it is easiest to remove them when they're crawling on the glass. If you see the starfish do not put off collecting them because once they are on the rocks they are very hard to see.



During last few weeks we received several questions about predatory starfish so I thought I would update our article about these predators. We have discovered there are several different types of Polyp eating starfish that can reproduce in reef aquariums. These starfish have reproduction sizes that range from a small blue starfish that gets no larger than one-quarter inch across to a large Brown starfish that is almost an inch wide.
The first picture on this page shows starfish that reproduces at about the size of a dime. This starfish is capable of destroying large colonies of Acropora. If you notice that your Acropora colonies start to turn bright white at the base in a sharp edged pattern you may have an infestation of the starfish. It is important that you remove the coral and search under the base for these starfish. This damage looks different from bleaching because the damage is very localized and it increases each day. This damage can cause bacteria to infect the damaged areas and this can cause the lose of the entire head. Many of the starfish varieties prefer Stylophora and Pocillopora. It is important to watch for white patches at the base of these corals.

Several people have argued that these starfish are harmless, but we have yet to find any that will not eat coral polyps. It is our recommendation that if you discover this type of starfish in your reef aquarium that you remove it as soon as possible. We have documented these type of starfish eating small polyp stony corals, Xenia , green stars, and several types of soft leather corals.


You make the judgement
 

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Sumpless and Proud
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I have these exact same starfish in my tank. Came in on some Figi rock that I picked up at the LFS.

I've been trying to get rid of them for 3+ years. They were in my tank for a while before I found out they were bad. I've never seen them munching on SPS, but have pulled them off of leathers to see a hole in the leather right under where each one was hanging out.

Just thought I'd add my $0.02.

Jodi
 

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To my opinion, I rather play it safe. Anything that I have doult, I will take into the account and take care of it right away. I rather get rid of the bugger and pay $1 for a critter that will do a good thing for sure. For instant, a snail...
 

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I bought the same star fish from Inland Aquatics over a year ago and I have had no problems with them touching my SPS corals. They also are not "overtaking" the tank. I get to see one about every 3 months or so..
 

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I have had these guys for years and I have never seen them on my SPS or other corals....they are either on the rock or glass. I tried to pick these guys out one by one but I realized that was a losing battle. Now I just let them hang out and they really don't seem to do any harm.
 

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About the mini starfish ...I've seen all the warnings and some of the photos posted, and had a TON of those starfish and pulled over 100 out last fall, over the course of a week. They are back in droves, and I've not seen them on any corals, nor have I lost anything I can relate to these starfish...I don't know how I got them in the first place, it started about 18 mos ago and they are quite the replicators....

anyhow...I've given up on pulling them out. They congregate on the glass in the dark and disappear during the day.

~ Shirley:)
 

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hmmmm...

Although I don't agree with GARG's blanket statement that all Asterina spp are bad, it may be in your best interest to avoid the problem altogether by not introducing them to the tank (err on the side of conservative caution). I cannot imagine that Morgan would send out anything detrimental for a tank though. As these seastars are difficult to differentiate with the aid of a microscope, it would be quite difficult to make a good ID from a photograph. Even if these did prove to be the coralivores, the circumstances and micro-environment may play a role in determining which spp. will consume corals (as well as the nutritional and/or general health status of the coral in question). If they are already in the tank, just hope for the best and watch in particular your "SPS" corals at the base for signs of predatiion. If they turn out to be bay boys, then a few Harlequin shrimp will dispatch them in short order if the population isn't too large. Shirley may want to get some if there are no shrimp predators in her tank.

For those of you that desire to keep the Harlequins, keeping a broodstock of this fissiparous cryptic specie(s) would be a means of feeding the Harlequins, as these Seastars feed primarily on film and detritis, and (in my opinion) feed on corals only when the coral in question is either dying or dead.

HTH, my 2 cents US.
 
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