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Old 01-11-2007, 01:47 PM   #1
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Starfish and worms and shrimp oh my

I just added my major addition to my sw tank a few weeks ago. I purchased 2 (thought it was 1) star polyp on a piece of branching tonga rock. They seem to have taken hold in their new locations finally and are looking pretty good (check my gallery for a photo).

What I didn't expect was the population explosion that that 1 5inch piece of liverock would cause. Much to my elation, during the drip acclimation a fancy brittle starfish reached out and very nearly tried to climb up my arm. When I pulled the star polyp back a bit I found a nest of them. My hope is that all of my acclimation time spent will be enough to sustain them, though their tiny size (quarter at best) has made them virtually impossible to keep track of. My hope is that in a few months I will see one or two re-surface at night foraging.

In addition to these little guys, looking at the tank now, I am seeing all kinds of other activity that I didn't previously have. Most intriguingly is an explosion of small white, 180 degree spirals all over my live rock. At about the size of the head of a pin they are really hard to get a good look at, but I swear I have seen crowns on some of them, which makes me think they are some type of feather duster worm? I will get a picture when I can play with the macro lens and get a good shot. There must be 40 of them in total (that I can see). Has anyone else seen this happen? I am excited to have the life in the tank, but I am very new to this so everything that happens seems like a curious natural miracle, and I have a surprising amount of trouble finding out more. Its hard to do a library/google search based on hunches and descriptions.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:03 PM   #2
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You are most likely correct about the dusters/worms. Happens all the time with decent live rock. Put anything near them in the water and see if they all retract rather qwikly. If so, you got worms! OK, feather dusters - sounds better doesn't it.

Keep watching that rock. You may find more surprises. Some folks love to watch new live rock as they seem to continously search for and find new things. Some enjoy it more than the fish watching, believe me. How much more rock you gonna add?
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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Maybe you can find them on here. I was going to move this to the ID forum but you really dont have much to ID but when you get your pics and want them ID`ed then post on the Identification forum. Thanks. I`ll leave this here because I think your just making a statement.

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Old 01-11-2007, 02:06 PM   #4
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I hadn't actually planned on adding any more rock. I currently have ~34lbs in a 24gal tank. The only reason I added this piece was to allow the polyps to spread off onto another rock without peeling it completely off. 1 of the two I did remove and migrate, but the other I left on the original rock. The 30lbs of liverock I added initially did bring with it some creatures, however nothing close to the *visible* diversity that came from the coral host rock. I am very encouraged to see this though, as like you said, my plan for the tank has been very light on fish and very heavy on other forms of life. This makes me very happy that is the route I am taking.

The hard part was figuring out where to put a 5 inch piece of tonga branch that wouldn't look odd.


Of that list the description most closely matches the "SPIRORBID WORMS". I will see if I can get a photo tonight. I can't really tell what the actual 'crown' looks like on them, i can just see what looks like something fuzzy on a few. Even with good eyesight it has been hard to focus through the acrylic on something so tiny.
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