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Old 01-18-2005, 04:22 PM   #1
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Sand sifter stars keep losing legs

I had 2 sand sifters for about 7 months. The tank is about 12 months old now. So, 3-4 months ago, the smaller of the two lost a leg. Then another. The shrimp and crabs took care of the rest of'm. Two months later, the second one started down the same path and died too. I did notice that when they came up, the sand seemed to stick to their bodies. That was different. I've got a 2 1/2" sand bed.

Anyway, it was suggested in threads at the time that they may have starved.

So... a week ago, I thought I'd try another. 2 days afterwards, one leg was gone. The hermits finished him off too.

I've had zero nitrates for months now. The only thing out of whack right now is my phosphates, which have come down to .6 since I added a bag of Rowa-phos. And yes, I use only RO/DI water. Too much food, showing off over the holidays most likely .

All coral and fish are doing well, but i recently lost a trumpet and a leather, I suspect because they were new and didn't like the phosphate. All existing/older coral are doing excellent.

What is happening to my stars??
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:40 PM   #2
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They are probably starving. I had the same thing happen to one of mine. Try target feeding him a piece of shrimp (if he is still there).
Sorry to say if he was falling apart, it may be too late.
I for one would not get another.
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:58 PM   #3
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Starving and losing a leg after only two days in the tank??
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:57 PM   #4
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he was probably already starving as soon as he was caught, and then shipped to the warehouse, then sent to your LFS, where he starved until you bought him.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Starving and losing a leg after only two days in the tank??
OK, didn't see this part. How do you acclimate?
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:50 AM   #6
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Used the shot glass per every half hour or so method. Even if you think that approach may have contributed to the demise, I'm still stuck on the fact that it died the exact same way the two previous ones - which were with me for 6-7 months.

Also, the body seemingly becoming like a piece of tape run thru the sand. It stuck to them like their bodies had become soft and sticky all of a sudden.

Weird to me. Very. It's like the sand or somethng in it is the culprit. A customer I talked to about it at the LFS really thinks I need to vacuum the sand. Never really done that except to get the very top layers of detritus in a small dead spot or two.
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by austinsdad
Used the shot glass per every half hour or so method. Even if you think that approach may have contributed to the demise, I'm still stuck on the fact that it died the exact same way the two previous ones - which were with me for 6-7 months.

Also, the body seemingly becoming like a piece of tape run thru the sand. It stuck to them like their bodies had become soft and sticky all of a sudden.
Acclimation problems and malnutrition of certain star species can be quite similar. As to your technique, it is not as good as a proper drip. The change is not near as gradual and does not allow the star the proper time to adjust. pH and salinity changes being the greatest obstacles. How stable has the tank been?

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It's like the sand or somethng in it is the culprit. A customer I talked to about it at the LFS really thinks I need to vacuum the sand. Never really done that except to get the very top layers of detritus in a small dead spot or two.
The "sand" was not the problem. Archaster sp stars are quite the predator and will quickly descimate the smaller fauna within the sandbed. Once it starvation sets in, the star will begin to necros or sometimes waste as it consumes it's own body stores. If any type of necrosis sets in, it doesn't take long for any remaining bugs, worms or crabs to zone in on it and make it much worse speeding up it's demise. Vacuuming the sandbed won't solve the problem, it will only make things worse.

Cheers
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:42 AM   #8
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Tank has been extremely stable, excpet for the phosphates form months now. Zero nitrates and ammonia. PH and all has been constant too.

I think I'll just give up on sand sifters.

Thanks guys!
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
I think I'll just give up on sand sifters.
I'm with you there, maybe check out serpent or brittle stars instead.
Do you have a reef or a re planning one? If not consider CC stars. I just purchased one last week, he is all over the place and has accepted target feeding already.
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:16 PM   #10
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Heavy on the reef. I'll stick with the brittles and serpents. Maybe a linkia oneday.
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