Basically, but I know filter feeders (feather stars in particular) need A LOT more food than blowing off your rocks can provide. I cant justify adding marine snow to my tank, paying for bottled detritus to put into my tank seems counter-intuitive.
these are one of the must have critters for my systems. i design my systems around keeping these. they need to be fed quite often in order for them to get enough food in the particular size range they need. when keeping crinoids i would feed 4-5 times a day. some during the day for the fish and some at night when the crinoids are up and open. blender mush or the frozen equivalent is the best food for them. that way there is a wide variety of sizes for then to eat.
they do not eat detritus. they eat plankton that is floating in the water column. unfortunately only plankton that fits into their transport groves on their arms. this is why it is important to make sure you have a large variety of sizes of food stuff in the water column for them to eat.
they are also sensitive to salinity changes. i would not get one unless you know that the salinity was kept stable for them since the time of collection. if your LFS does not keep their tanks at NSW levels (1.025-1.026), then i would find another source, or test the water in the bag the crinoid came in from the distributors. if it is not also at NSW levels, then it is better to find another source completely for these critters.
crinoids are nocturnal. when they are happy, they will crawl up to the top of the LR structure and open up just before lights off, or just after lights off depending on how long they have been in the system and have adjusted to the timing. they get jet lag also.
So they like stable salinity... Do they like pristine water conditions or a little dirty like othe filter feeders?
Btw Geoff I was doing a big water change ( 30%) this weekend, and really went to town on blowing off the rock, siphoning the sandbed and cleaning the glass under the sand. As I stared at the the beautiful white sand, my first thought was "Geoff would be so proud"! You make a huge contribution to this forum, and I thank you.
they like stability in salinity, but it does not need to be crazy stable like if you were to keep a Linkia starfish. just keep it reasonable. the important thing is to make sure that they have not been exposed to rapid changes in salinity during their trip from sea to tank. this pretty much goes with any echinoderm, though starfish and crinoids are more susceptible than urchins and cucumbers.
Nate_Bro is right. they like clean systems. well, they live in a clean environment. this is the strange part about reefs that is different than what you all have been taught. the majority of food on the outer reef comes from the incoming tide not the outgoing tide. this goes against what the DSB experts have been telling us. this is important because the outgoing tide is the tide with all of the nutrients from shore, while the incoming tide is the one with all of the plankton. this is why it is important to have food in the proper size and not detritus in the proper size.
it is amazing how much detritus can accumulate in between water changes now that you know what to look for.
not necessarily, but they could work in those systems as long as the food is food and not detritus. though most people think of NPS systems as "dirty" water systems. crinoids live on the reef crest. during the day the hide in the SPS corals.
May i have some basics for the feather star? I read the salinity info.. how about temp, water flow, and friendlies/ predators, chemical levels, etc. I am willing to center tank environment around this featherstar as I only have an 18 year old clownfish and a little goby. Do u think I need additional fish to account for foods not eaten by the featherstar?
like Nate said. just match the water parameters as close NSW as possible and you will be fine. the hard part is feeding them.
i would be somewhat concerned with the clown nipping at the feather star if it wanders into its territory at night when it moves up the LR structure for feeding.
blender mush is must. you will need to try different mixes until you find one that causes the start to open right up when it is active.
they are not easy. i really like to keep them, but they are tough to get eating. having a good linear flow in the tank helps also during feeding time. they like to orient themselves against the flow in order to get the most food into their "net". i had tides in my tank so that the pumps would all be blowing from one side or the other to help create a good straight current instead of the random current that is also important for keeping the system itself clean. you might want to create a feeding pump program for when the feather star is active, then the random flow for the rest of the time.