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is this a brittle star?? and if not or if it is.. is it good or bad?
its super small.. about the size of a nickel even with its arms



 

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Maybe a serpent??? and I have heard that they can become preditory on small fish. I am not an expert though.

Chri
 

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Looks to be most likely a mini-brittle star. These will reproduce in your tank to match the food supply available to them. They eat detritus and biofilms in the tank and also catch suspended materials from the water column when the lights are off. Many times you may see them after dark with a flashlight if you are careful to use a red bulb, often with their rays extended from the edge of the rock into the water column to catch particulates.

Harmless to reef tank corals, and will usually find niches in stony coral colonies to hide as the colonies grow. They are a sign that you received good rock. These echinoderms are, however, relished by many species of fishes, especially carnivores/omnivores like long-nosed butterflyfishes, many spp of pigmy angles, etc.

Some are all green, banded green, all tan, banded tan or brownish-tan and white banded, black, black and white banded, red, and occasionally shades of yellow. They are fissiparous, meaning they reproduce asexually by fission, and seem to do well in systems where the water is relatively clean and free of dissolved nutrients (although this to me seems to be counterintuitive, as I would THINK that they would like tanks with lots of organic materials and algae).


HTH
 

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See there someone who know actually chimed in before I could get done typing.

Chris
 

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lucky you i been looking for mini stars for a while by any chance does any body know any where to get them
 

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Maybe a serpent??? and I have heard that they can become preditory on small fish. I am not an expert though.
not a serpent at this size, and although they are potential scavengers as well as film consumers, this will not be a problem , as they will then only eat dead clams, shrimp, fish, etc. The mini-brittle stars generally are film and detritus feeders, and they will clean up protein films and particulates from the death of the clam, fish, etc, as will most oppertunistic omnivores including hermit and other crabs, polycheates, many species of omnivorous snails (Nerites and Ceriths, for example) and many Class Ophiuroidea brittle stars over the entire range of sizes including the mini-stars.

Their specialized feeding apparati prevent anything much larger than particulates from being ingeseted. Unlike sea stars, all the brittle star don't have a groove on the underside of its rays (arms). Their tube feet emerge from holes between the ossicles (bony plates of the dermis) in the arms. These wipe off food particles stuck on the hooked or mucous-coated spines, or collect particles off the substrate (occasionally suspended particulates from the water column in some spp.), and pass these on to the central mouth. There are some spp.of brittle stars that are omnivorous carnivores that use their arms to sweep amphipods and other microbenthic creatures to their central os. There are still others that feed by using their "lantern of Aristotle" to grind food off hard or semi-hard substrates to use the tube feet near their mouth to gather lose detrital materials. Some brittle stars use their tube feet as sensory organs to sense chemicals released by their food items or decomposing dead animals in the water, and will locate these items for their feeding method de jour. Unlike sea stars, the digestive system of brittle stars doesn't extend into their arms. Like the feeding apparatus of the urchins, the Lantern of Aristotle is a single opening for both intake and export of food items, consisting of a circle of five large toothed plates that meet in the middle driven by the surrounding oral musculature. Unlike sea urchins, the jaws cannot be extended outwards, so they basically cannot do much more than pull some materiai off hard substrates.

Home this clears up any misunderstanding on the mini brittle stars.
 

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lucky you i been looking for mini stars for a while by any chance does any body know any where to get them
IPSF, get 5 or so, they will multiply in your system.
 

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So take a pic of the tank in the middle of the night, you might be surprised, set your camera up on a tripod with a flash at an angle to the live rock presented to your current. Set your timer for about an hour after the light all go out in the house.
 
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