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Old 02-24-2011, 10:25 PM   #21
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I'd like to know too, although that seems to be defeating the purpose doesn't it?
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:42 AM   #22
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you won't know a SS starfish starving until it starts dissolving. i would simply increase the flow in your tank so that detritus is suspended in the water column longer. this will allow more time for your filtration to remove it. much better than killing a starfish.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:13 AM   #23
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Actually, if you do your research on these, you will see that it is not at all uncommon for them to die. In fact, they frequently die in a matter of months as a result of starving to death from having consumed all the available microfauan out of the sandbed. It is extremely rare for them to survive for more than two years. For $12 you can go wrong, these need to be left in the ocean where they can survive long term, not imported into the hobby where they cannot and end up dying of starvation.
I have had mine for over a year now, and they have only gotten bigger. I know people who have theirs for 5 years and counting. They will die if they starve, but if you have fish and feed regularly there is no reason for them to starve.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:14 AM   #24
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you won't know a SS starfish starving until it starts dissolving. i would simply increase the flow in your tank so that detritus is suspended in the water column longer. this will allow more time for your filtration to remove it. much better than killing a starfish.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #25
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I'm no longer sure whether or not to get one.......are there any better options for sand sifting that are less likely to die?
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #26
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Oh, ok..........then what would you suggest for good sand sifting?
What you want is sand - shifting organisms, not sand sifting. Sand sifting organisms are all consumers, they feed on the microfauna of the sandbed, reducing populations and rendering it "dead" in the process. Once the microfauna has been consumed, they invariably starve. The sandbed gets dirtier and dirtier and there are no microorganisms to help keep it clean. For the size of your aquarium, I would recommend a single yellow shrimp gobie and an appropriate number of nacasius ("sp") snails, as well as a reseeding of your existing sandbed with brittle stars, worms, etc (i.e. get some sand from someone elses long term established aquarium).

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Now if you were to feed them pellets they wouldnt starve would they or are they in need of more than that?
While these animals are typically sold as scavengers, they are in fact strict carnivores, and will seldom adopt to feeding on supplemental food.

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I have had mine for over a year now, and they have only gotten bigger. I know people who have theirs for 5 years and counting. They will die if they starve, but if you have fish and feed regularly there is no reason for them to starve.
Please see above in regards to their feeding habits - while I'm sure there will always be exceptions to any rule, it should be kept in mind that they are the exceptions, not the rule. By far and away many more of these seastars starve in captivity than ever survive. To say they seldom die in aquariums is a clear misreprisentation of fact, aptly illustrated with just a few minutes of google searching. Dr. Simek in his handbook on Marine Invertebrates describes these seastars as "not suitable for most tanks, as they remove all edible life from the sandbed and then starve."

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I'm no longer sure whether or not to get one.......are there any better options for sand sifting that are less likely to die?
Please see above.

HTH
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:13 AM   #27
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Great thanks! That would be the same as a yellow watchman goby right?
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:14 AM   #28
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Great thanks! That would be the same as a yellow watchman goby right?
Correct
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:15 AM   #29
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Awesome! Will he keep it sifted in the lower area too?
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:26 AM   #30
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Awesome! Will he keep it sifted in the lower area too?
Nope, the yellow watchman goby will consume waste and microfauna from the upper layer of the surface only.

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