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Old 04-02-2012, 01:39 AM   #51
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I really couldn't say for sure. Most echinoderms are grazers, but the predatory ones seem to just eat whenever the opportunity arises. See if you can find someone else online who has owned one. It's unlike anything I have. I have a fromia that grazes all day on a bacterial film, a tuxedo urchin who grazes on algae day and night, and a serpent star who just eats whenever he can catch something every couple of days.
What kind of fromia? By bacterial film, you mean Cyanobacteria, or red algae that can form on gravel beds? Or is it diatoms?
Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:44 AM   #52
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Oh I wish it would eat cyano! *le sigh*
It's a marbled fromia. Red center, mostly white legs, red tips. Every surface in a tank has an invisible bacterial film that builds up over time. This is what the fromia is believed to eat. I say believed because frankly, no one seems to be 100% sure. General consensus seems to be that they will starve without enough surface area, though.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:01 AM   #53
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I think they refer to that as "film algae." The texts say they eat detritus, zooplankton and other biologicals. The secret seems to be having sufficient surface areas for them to be able to consume enough of this stuff to stay nourished. Doesn't seem artificial feeding makes much difference to many of them.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:38 AM   #54
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Yeah, picky little bugger. But seems that a 55 with about 60 lbs of rock is doing the trick for now. In fact, he seems to stay in about 1/2 of the tank. I still wouldn't risk it with a smaller tank, though. And I have never seen any visible evidence of him eating (like the meandering trails my urchin leaves) which reinforces the notion that he only eats microscopic stuff.
Still, it's a very pretty star. Though my banded serpent is much more lively. Actually got that one to take krill from my hand the other night. Before the nassarius snails mobbed him. My clean up crew may be just a tad TOO efficient. LOL
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:47 PM   #55
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very possible. Like I said, I found some conflicting information about them. If he really likes the mysis, keep em coming. Maybe that will help him pull through.
Found some journal articles by searching the scientific name. Looks like the royal star is an opportunistic eater that pretty much eats any shells in the substrate. In nature, they found a lot of mollusks in their stomach contents. Most of it was between 4 and 8 mm so I think most larger tank snails and hermits would be ok.

http://www.biolbull.org/content/120/2/265.abstract

On a broader note, I found that searching the scientific name turned up much more reliable information. Encyclopedia of Life is pretty good about physical and chemical parameters of the water they live in. This would be quite useful for us aquarists. I'm not sure if all this info is provided for other marine species

http://eol.org/pages/598628/details
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:49 AM   #56
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That's a great resource, Bio! Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #57
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RIP Royal starfish. Things were looking up for a bit. 3 days ago, though, I noticed a small chunk missing on one of his legs. It grew rapidly. I thought it was a fish nipping at it, so last night I video taped the star. No nipping but I was able to see the lesion grow and eventually the leg fell off. In the morning, it was pretty torn up near the central disc and it was spreading to another arm. I'm not sure if starfish can feel pain, but if they can it must have been in pain. By this afternoon there were hermit crabs all over the star doing what they do best. I couldn't wait any longer. I euthanized him a couple hours ago, along with a 20% water change.

Not sure what it was, but the star was seriously disintegrating.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #58
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A lot of things can cause limb deterioration in a starfish. Water quality, stress, eating something bad, not eating enough, fish or crab attack... without having seen the starting point, there's no way of knowing. But once limb deterioration starts, it's difficult to stop. There was probably nothing you could have done.
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