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Old 07-20-2009, 01:18 PM   #1
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Feeding Harlequin Shrimp - Do They EVER Get Full

I have a small pair of Harleys I got to remove all the asterinas from my reef. Took them a couple weeks to devour 1000+ asterinas....amazing. Anyways, once they were out and about looking for food, I gave them a 4-5" sand sifting star. They pounced on, drug it around the tank for about a week and a half, and it was no more. My research (mainly WetWebMedia) led me to believe they would want a star that size every 3-4 weeks (especially for a small pair) and once they were hungry again they would start roaming the tank. However, the day they finished the star they are at the tank glass like puppy dogs begging for food. Literally, they follow me around the glass like my cleaner shrimp.

Are they actually hungry again already, or just being friendly. I thought they would be very reclusive unless they were hungry. There's no way these guys need a big star weekly...LOL Dang piggys.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, you have critters that were used to get rid of a temp problem and have a relatively strict diet. I think they are going to end up costing you a poocketful of cash to keep alive. It's lucky they ate the sand sifter, as I was under the impression they ate only Asterias rubens for adults, and Linckia for juveniles....
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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I completely understood their diet before I bought them....I just didn't expect them to be hungry again immediately. Everyone around Atlanta feeds sand sifting stars or chocolate chip stars...they certainly enjoyed the sand sifter. The last time I saw them on the star it was only a single leg and the mouth remaining.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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At least you knew what you were getting into. I really don't know too much more about them and would be interested in learning more through other folks' experiences....
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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This was their first feeding and my big observation at this point is they MUST have a rediculous metabolism. I thought (from reading) that they only ate the tube feet but my pair devoured the entire star (or my crabs did a good cleanup in the harlequin's aftermath). Next time I feed I am going to do so in a perforated contained....like a strawberry basket, so I can keep track of exactly what the harleys eat. I can't believe they could devour such a large star completely. They are in a small tank (28 gallon) and I've been watching nutrients very closely since they fed expecting a nitrate spike but my nitrates are as low and stable as ever.

While the cost of feeding (I was expecting a star per month @$15) is pretty high, these are by far the coolest addition in my tank. I also thought they would be reclusive, but my pair is very friendly and personable. I can reach in a pick them up if I wanted to and they are front and center unless feeding (then you have to search crevices for them). Completely fearless....and I've only had them about a month now.

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Old 07-20-2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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Wow, nice shot and beautiful creatures!
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