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Old 05-23-2004, 12:32 PM   #1
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Location: California
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Orange fromia star questions

My LiveAquaria order is coming soon. In it should be an orange fromia star, a cleaner shrimp, and six blue-leg hermits. All of them will be in a 10 gallon QT. I've wanted this starfish since I saw it on the back cover of Fenner's book.

From prior experience, I know that once I put food in the tank the shrimp and crabs will race to it. So how do I feed the starfish? The QT doesn't have algae on the rocks, it's been empty for months. I will turn on the lights to start algal growth.

I have read that people place food pellets under their starfish. Can I gently pick him up like a touch-tank star, put the food on the rock, and place the starfish on top? Or would I have to gently pry up a leg and squeeze the pellet underneath?

And how much/how often do I feed him? I have Wardley tube-shaped brine shrimp pellets, and the Bio-Blend bottom feeder-sized tablets. Clearly the "as much as he can eat in 5 minutes rule" doesn't apply here!

Any advice is much appreciated.

Fish are friends, not food.
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:09 PM   #2
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Placing a star in a smaller tank is not always wise but I do hope it is a mature set up at least with plenty of LR. These types of stars do not do well in new set ups as a rule. Some stars like the serpent/brittle, bahama species and sifters can be target fed but with Fromia, Linkia, Tamaria and the like; it's not really possible. They will primarily feed on film algae, detritus and occasionally some small bits of food they stumble upon. You can try target feeding by placing foods near them but they will most likely ignore it. That or the other scavengers will get there first or steal it out from under it. Be sure you do not touch the star with your hands, it has been my experience this can severly damage their delicate skin.

As for the QT, I am not an advocate of it with inverts but that is your choice. I would definately not QT the star though. It is far too sensitive to water quality/changes which in a small water volume like a 10 gal is asking for trouble. Not to mention if the "claws" have a mind to, they will pick at the star which could damage it severly.

Be sure to >>drip acclimate<< for several hours.

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