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Old 10-04-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
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Asterina Starfish

Looking for thoughts on Asterina Starfish. I have a 75 gallon tank that is about 1 1/2 years old and I have noticed a substantial population boom over the last two months. Now I really only see them on the glass at night but my biggest concern is for my Zoa garden that has a fairly good start. I haven't noticed any losses yet but the internet seems to be divided on this one. Any thoughts? And if I should get a Harlequin shrimp maybe care for those.

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Old 10-04-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
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All tanks eventually have a bloom of these guys. There are reports of them being coral eaters, but if memory serves they were orange. My personal belief is that they are in the same family, but not the ones weblike to see in our tank. The common white stars are harmless. Getting a harlequin will only give you a shrimp that'll starve to death and isn't worth the money spent unless you want to keep one long term with a large stash of big starfish in your sump.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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They can turn into coral eaters overnight, no matter what color they are. Some folks have tanks full of them for years will no ill effects, but I have seen a massive population of them that lived in a system for years and bothered nothing, until one day they made a mass decision to munch on soft corals. Easy enough to eradicate if necessary.

A harlequin will have to be fed starfish for the rest of it's life. IMO/IME It sucks to have to go out and buy innocent stars just to have them eaten alive.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:13 PM   #4
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Good info. Thanks.

I heard harlequins are picky eaters. Do they solely eat starfish or are their diets a bit more varied?
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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I have heard of a case where the harlequin was eating other things, but never saw it with any that I kept, nor heard of any others that did this, so if the report was true, that's one case in many.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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So is the consensus then to do nothing unless needed? I understand there is always a chance of something going wrong. My hesitation really comes down to the fact that I am very proud of my zoa garden and really all my growth I've had in the last year. It would suck to have it all ruined because I did nothing
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:09 PM   #7
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:29 AM   #8
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Good info, again, thank you. I guess I'll just wait and see. Had a friend give me a 50 gallon tank so maybe I'll try some shrimp in that one. Have this display tank double as a starfish breeder lol
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