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This water tastes salty
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, based on replies from another thread, a clam is out on my 24g aquapod DSB with 70w MH, so.... Looking to the stars :D . Just want to know if there are any stars that are reef friendly? As always, all of your help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Other than the small hitchhiking Asterina there are no true starfish that would do well in a tank as small as yours. Your best option would be a brittle or serpent star, but they do need to be fed occasionally.
 

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I have him in a softies and LPS tank and he never comes out of the sand until I feed the fish then he may come out and sift the top of the sand for some goodies then he goes back under the sand. I never had any problem with him.. I was thinking about adding another.
 

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This water tastes salty
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have him in a softies and LPS tank and he never comes out of the sand until I feed the fish then he may come out and sift the top of the sand for some goodies then he goes back under the sand. I never had any problem with him.. I was thinking about adding another.
Ok, how large is your tank, mine is only 24g as stated, the first post says that's too small, i thought about a brittle or sand sifting, but... checking here first.
 

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They don't feed on top of the sand. They are feeding when they're under the sand. They feed on things like microcrustaceans and worms in the sandbed. They need huge areas of open sand to find enough food, and all but the biggest tanks are too small to sustain even one. These animals are theoretically immortal, but in the hobby they rarely survive beyond 2 years. The fact that they can live about 12-18 months without eating is probably the only reason any even make it that long.
 

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This water tastes salty
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They don't feed on top of the sand. They are feeding when they're under the sand. They feed on things like microcrustaceans and worms in the sandbed. They need huge areas of open sand to find enough food, and all but the biggest tanks are too small to sustain even one. These animals are theoretically immortal, but in the hobby they rarely survive beyond 2 years. The fact that they can live about 12-18 months without eating is probably the only reason any even make it that long.
Alright, guess that means stars are out too, unless i decide to just spend the money and set up my 75 gallon.
 

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Even a 75 is too small for almost all true starfish. At that size, Linckia multiflora is just about your only new option. A few people have gotten away with other species of Linckia at that size, but it's not the norm.

In general, true starfish don't do well in captivity. They're fairly delicate and most are picky eaters with large appetites.
 

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there are several starfish you can keep. i do not suggest Linkia's unless you are 100% reliable in the source. these are extremely sensitive to acclimation shock. this can occur even before your LFS. this can also take several weeks to show. :(

some brittle stars have small central discs. these are what you are looking for. the smaller the central disc the smaller the food item they are capable of eating. most of these small central disced stars will eat detritus and small pieces of left over food. i had a black brittle star that was about 15" in diameter with a central disc that was only 1" across. it used it longs arms to sweep the substrate for left overs.

i can not remember the Genus, i will see if i can hunt it down.

G~
 

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Just want to know if there are any stars that are reef friendly? As always, all of your help is greatly appreciated.
Linckia would be one of your worst choices.

Either brittle stars, serpent stars, common Caribbean/Florida stars, sand sifting stars - yes they do eat fish food - will all do fine for you. They come in different colors, so you could have all the same stars and they would all look different too.
 

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So if they can survive on fish food, why is it that it's extremely rare that they live beyond 2 years in captivity? Most people do have fish in their tanks that they feed after all. When it comes to their diets, why doesn't the literature mention scavenging?
 

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What literature?


greenbean said:
They don't feed on top of the sand. They are feeding when they're under the sand.
abigtroutt said:
I have him in a softies and LPS tank and he never comes out of the sand until I feed the fish then he may come out and sift the top of the sand for some goodies then he goes back under the sand. I never had any problem with him.. I was thinking about adding another.
You mean the literature written by people that have no practical experience with any of these animals and just go around reciting it?
I had much rather listen to people that have actually kept the animal. Like Geoff and abigtroutt.
 

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You mean the literature written by people that have no practical experience with any of these animals and just go around reciting it?
Nah, actually I'm talking about journal articles.
"The two starfish Astropecten riensis and A. cf. articulatus , like other species in the genus, feed selectively; their primary prey are mollusks, of which gastropods are more frequently eaten than pelycypods."
Trophic ecology of two co-existing sea stars of the genus Astropecten in the Triste Gulf, Venezuela.
Bitter, R; Penchaszadeh, PE
Studies on Neotropical Fauna & Environment. Vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 163-180. 1983.

"Analysis of the stomach contents of these asteroids demonstrated that [Luidia]. quinaria preferred to ingest echinoderm, particularly an ophiuroid, Ophiura kinbergi, that occupied approximately 60% of the percentage total food items; while the stomach contents of [Astropecten]. scoparius were dominated by molluscs, a minute gastropod Voorwindia paludinoides and a bivalve Alvenius ojianus, which occupied approximately 59% and 33% of the percentage of total food items, respectively."
Feeding habits of asteroids, Luidia quinaria and Astropecten scoparius, in Ise Bay, Central Japan.
Gonmanee, M. et al.
Fisheries Science.
Vol. 69, no. 6, pp. 1121. 2003.

"A number of sea stars, such as Luidia,... dig into mud, sand or cobble substrata to obtain infaunal prey."
Feeding Behavior of Asteroids and Escape Responses of their Prey in the Puget Sound Region
Mauzey, Karl P., Charles Birkeland, Paul K. Dayton
Ecology, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 603-619. 1968.

I found a single mention of a sand sifting star species in Tampa Bay that will switch to feeding on detritus when it's prefered food isn't available in the lab. The question still remains though, if fish food was an appropriate food, why do the stars still starve to death?

And just FYI, I was a newbie reefer long before I got into marine bio. I've got personal experience with these guys in captivity (for a little over a year, up until the point it starved to death) as well as collecting literally hundreds in the wild.
 

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Caitlin Renee 6/29/07
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how about a nano size harlequin star??? i believe sealife florida carries the nano sized starfish...
 

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Notice it was only a small number of prey species for each species of star. If you make some pretty specific blender mush and get it to the right size for them then yeah that would work. Size is as important as the chemical cues.
 

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This water tastes salty
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
there are several starfish you can keep. i do not suggest Linkia's unless you are 100% reliable in the source. these are extremely sensitive to acclimation shock. this can occur even before your LFS. this can also take several weeks to show. :(

some brittle stars have small central discs. these are what you are looking for. the smaller the central disc the smaller the food item they are capable of eating. most of these small central disced stars will eat detritus and small pieces of left over food. i had a black brittle star that was about 15" in diameter with a central disc that was only 1" across. it used it longs arms to sweep the substrate for left overs.

i can not remember the Genus, i will see if i can hunt it down.

G~
Ok, so a star might not be out after all, based on newer information, I just liked the look of the blue linkia, that's why i used it as an example. Thanks for the information, please let me know if you do find out the genus of that black star. Also, has anyone kept a star for longer than a year??? Sorry greenbean hasn't had much luck with that, but has anyone had one longer????
 

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Saltwater Mom
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I have the green brittle star and love him. Before getting the 90 up and running I had him in the 24 aquapod. He would eat the blender mush that didn't get eaten by everyone else. I moved him to the 90 because my pod was really overstocked. He was in the pod for a month and never bothered my fish or corals.
 
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