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brittle star?

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Davidwillis View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 08 2010 at 12:09am
Hey, I just found this little thing in with a coral.  I think it is just a little brittle star, but wanted to make sure it was safe to put in my tank first.

Thanks




Edited by Davidwillis - November 08 2010 at 12:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SGH360 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 12:21am
yup thats a brittle star i have probably about the same size, its living inside a hole on a sponge, i thought it was some kind of parasite.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davidwillis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 12:34am
Thanks... I will dump him in then..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 12:38am
Those guys are a great addition to your tank!
What?! You pooped in the refrigerator, and ate the entire wheel of cheese?! I'm not even mad.... That's actually amazing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 7:29am
I have probably 100 in my tank. They don't bother anything and are a great addition to the clean up crew. They stay hidden most of the time and my grandkids like to see how many of them they can find. I have one very large brittle star. It must be 8" across. As soon as I feed the tank it starts waving its arms around trying to catch food as it passes by.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davidwillis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 10:49am
Thats great.  I thought it would be good, but wanted to make sure.

Thanks
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I have thousands in my tank...literally.....
Life is good....right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 5:22pm
Time for a Harlequin Shrimp, Jeff!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davidwillis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 5:22pm
wow, that is a lot of brittle stars...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffs_little_ocean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 5:34pm
Originally posted by Ryan Thompson Ryan Thompson wrote:

Time for a Harlequin Shrimp, Jeff!
 
I totally agree Ryan. Ive bought a harleguin shrimp twice. Both times it lived about a month and then disapeared. I never saw it, but I think my cleaner shrimp kills them. He is pretty agressive. Its hard to pay $30-35 for something that you doubt will survive. Ive just been sucking out the asterina's when I do water changes, but I still have way too many of them in there. If I can find a good deal on two harlequin's, I might try two and see if that helps with survival.
Life is good....right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 9:44pm
I love my harlequin shrimp
What?! You pooped in the refrigerator, and ate the entire wheel of cheese?! I'm not even mad.... That's actually amazing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffs_little_ocean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2010 at 11:37pm
Chad whats the best price you can get on harlequin shrimp, and is there a discount if we get a group order, say 10 or more? They are super cool looking creatures!
Life is good....right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2010 at 7:45am
Are the Stars harming anything?
Do they stay hidden during the day?
I have serviced tanks that had millions of small Stars like that. Those Stars were great filter feeders and the tanks did very well, even had clownfish breeding from which we raised the baby clownfish.
I wonder if that many Sea Stars is an indication of a tank that has plenty of food for them? I wonder if changing what is fed and how it's fed would reduce the population?
Could you acclimate the Harlequin in a submerged container for 2-5 days, feeding it the stars so that it not only gets a good taste for them but allows the other shrimp to see that it is no threat? Or is the Cleaner Shrimp also feeding on Stars and sees the Harlequin as competition?


Edited by Mark Peterson - November 09 2010 at 9:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffs_little_ocean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2010 at 11:25am
No Mark the stars arent harming anything. I actually like having that many brittle stars in there and yes I do feed my tank on the heavy side just to make sure nothing is ever hungry. Its the asterina star population that at times seems to be at an epic overinfestation, thus the attempt for a harlequin invervention. Plus I just like the watching harlequin's because they are so cool looking. Anyway, no Ive never seen my cleaner shrimp eating the brittle stars but that is a good idea on using a container for acclimation with the threat issue. Next time I will try that. Thanks

Edited by Jeffs_little_ocean - November 09 2010 at 11:26am
Life is good....right?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2010 at 12:13pm
Jeff, are they hard to catch?  Ever concider giving any away?
40 gal w/ 20 sump
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffs_little_ocean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2010 at 12:30pm
Lewy, Ive never tried? I throw away tons of asterina stars with each waterchange, but the brittle stars are usually in the rocks with just their legs sticking out, so I would imagine catching them would be a challenge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2010 at 1:22pm
No biggie, I just thought they looked pretty cool.
40 gal w/ 20 sump
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kay181 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2010 at 5:58pm
lewy if you want some and are ever down my way  stop in all give you some i like them i have a bunch
day light scares me im going back under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2010 at 7:33am
Originally posted by Jeffs_little_ocean Jeffs_little_ocean wrote:

I do feed my tank on the heavy side just to make sure nothing is ever hungry. Its the asterina star population that at times seems to be at an epic overinfestation, 
Asterina Stars are a good thing to have. They help keep the tank clean, They consume the beneficial bacterial film growing on all surfaces and rarely bother anything else, unless there is little bacterial film.

I would bet that the overfeeding is not only creating a large population of Stars, but you can probably identify several other populations that are increasing because of the abundant food. Is there a large cleanup crew of Snails, Hermits and even a Cucumber or two in the tank?

For what its worth, my rule of thumb is to underfeed. I've noticed that fish will keep eating until they almost burst. They are programmed to eat all they can when it is avaiable. In the wild, there are times of feast and times of famine. I have found that hungry fish are healthier fish, because they are picking at live food growing in the tank. About once a week I feed a "Thanksgiving Dinner". This is probably a different concept than most hobbyists, but it works for me. It helps the tank stay on the low side of dissolved nutrients (N & P compounds) with a temporary increase after the heavy feeding. I have found that fish excretions are enough to feed a lot of life in the tank. Of course, what works for me may not work for anyone else. Remember, I'm the weird hobbyist that keeps my non-skimmed tanks in the bright sun for much of the day. Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Pehrson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2010 at 9:10pm

I used to think the same thing about the Asterina stars until I had a major outbreak.  They were everywhere and started to cover corals.  I would get rid of them if possible...

I agree with Mark on underfeeding.  It is always best to underfeed.
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