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Old 11-04-2004, 01:49 PM   #1
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Question re: starfish

In my 55 gal FOWLR tank there appears to be an abundance of tiny starfish. They are greyish white in color, are no more than an inch from the tip of one leg to another, and look like brittle stars. They really start coming out when I feed my fish.

What are these things? Are they good or bad?

I'll try and get a picture this evening.
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:00 PM   #2
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Most likely small Brittle Stars that came on your live rock. They can multiply pretty rapidly and are very good for a system. They clean up waste and sift the substrate. Consider them a blessing.
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:02 PM   #3
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Yes, I have several and I never have to clean the substrate since they do the job for me. I would thank them for the great job they do if they reproduce too much, I would add some irchins or bigger stars that would eat them.
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Old 11-04-2004, 03:57 PM   #4
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Starfish and Urchins

Thanks for the info.

I am glad to hear that these are a good thing, they are eveywhere!

I have never seen a starfish at the LFS here, I am pretty sure that they cannot be imported to Hawaii. I'd love to have one though, and will ask about it the next time I go.

I was told that urchins can foul a tank, is this true? I have had one before, and released it into the ocean b/c it got really big, really fast. It started out as small as my pinkie nail, and grew to bigger than a golf ball in a couple of months.
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Old 11-04-2004, 04:04 PM   #5
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Depends on the tank size and species. I have had 4 in my system for over a year now with no problem.
In your system I think you could get away with a small species like a pincushion or a Blue tux with no problem. They stay small and are pretty self sufficient.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:41 PM   #6
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I have several too and they are doing splendid.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:49 PM   #7
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I have about a half dozen that I know of. They recently started appearing at feeding time. They are really cool to look at and are beneficial, as other have said.
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