Ok, so something a little different this year as we are getting ready to start aquariums in the classroom. I have a student who is interested in keeping Asteria seastars specifically as her first saltwater tank, and since she is just starting out she wants to do it as cheaply as possible.
I know that most people do their best to eradicate these stars from their tanks, but I've had them for years with all types of corals and have never had any issues and most students think it is pretty cool to watch them as they go about dividing and growing.
So what I'm thinking is a simple ten gallon with a deep sandbed, live rock, a couple small Korialia pumps, a reliable heater and a cheap coralife light to get her started. Weekly water changes will eliminate the need for a protein skimmer. rock, asteria stars and seed sand will be taken from my established tanks to get things started.
I'm thinking about a few of the hardier LPS
and soft corals of which I have plenty, like candy canes and mushroom corals as well. Open to other suggestions on some hardy, cheap and easy coral - no zoas.
I'm also thinking that a fish or two might also be nice. I've always liked the small yellow coral gobies, which most people avoid because they pick at hard corals. Would they work in this tank?
What other small fish or invertebrates might be suitable for this small aquarium?
Appreciate any input.