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Old 09-07-2003, 05:43 PM   #1
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What is this little starfish?

I purchased some snails the other day and I found this little guy in the bag. He's about as big around as a pencil eraser and has 6 legs. He is light tan with reddish spots.
Thanks for any help!!
Kellie

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Old 09-07-2003, 06:38 PM   #2
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It is a species of Asterina starfish. There are several species that are almost identical, some eat algae, some eat detritus, and some eat SPS coral polyps. From what I have seen the predatory mini star looks like yours, more reddish color, than the whiter color of the harmless ones. I would remove it, they will reproduce by dropping legs, and quickly be all over the tank.
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Old 09-08-2003, 12:16 AM   #3
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Thanks reefrunner! I appreciate the help I'm going to take that little guy out right away!!
Kellie
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Old 09-10-2003, 05:57 PM   #4
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Star

We have the white ones like that, some of them have 3 longer and 3 shorter legs. They didn't seem to bother anything at all but we had a bunch of polyps growing and now are down to like 3. The only new thing we added is peppermint shrimp, so I'm not sure what is going on. I hate getting rid of anything though, so personally I wait to see what they will do. =) The guy at our LFS calls those star fish evil because they multiply like rabbits and eat coral.

Reef, do you think its our shrimp eating our polyps?

Off the subject: =)
The bigger of the 2 peppermint shrimp is a sweetie, he loves attention, loves being hand fed and he will do anything to get in your hand and "clean" you when you put your hand in the tank. I always get the weird animals, LOL. From what I know of these guys they are normally shy. The little one is even beginning to be social, he will take food from your hand too. =)
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Old 09-10-2003, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Reef, do you think its our shrimp eating our polyps?
What kind of polyps?? It's possible, it's just as possible you have a hitchiker crab that is foraging a little, also could be polyps that simply don't do well in your system. Each system is different and some corals simply don't do well in individual systems.
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:57 PM   #6
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Are you absolutely certain that these are true Peppermint shrimp and not Camel shrimp? I've never seen Pepp's that weren't almost totally nocturnal, and very shy. Camels, OTOH, can be very bold, and have a nasty reputation for picking at coral polyps.

I think those starfish, for the most part, have gotten a bad rep. for being coral predators. Like Kevin said, the predatory ones tend to be more colorful, and larger - than the algae-eating sort. Even the predatory ones tend to stick to sps though, IME.

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Old 09-11-2003, 03:36 AM   #7
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Peppermint =)

Nope, I'm pretty sure they are peppermint shrimp, this fish store doesn't carry camel shrimp(they have over 40k gallons of saltwater tanks/vats)...they were hiding when we got them and hide here too until I'm around. I just have a habit of getting all the odd animals, I won't even go into my cats....LOL! They were really shy at first but I started by hand feeding the larger one and he took to me and decided everytime I put my hands in the tank now that he wants climb in my hands(unless he just molted). The baby one is starting to be social, he will at least take food out of my hands now and then. They won't do that for my boyfriend though, they hide. The larger one only comes out really when he sees me looking into the tank and will go from one side to the other if I move just to get to me, its so utterly cute. I dont know how I ever had freshwater tanks, all these personalities are the best. =)

We do have a crab, he's about 1/4th inch big tops. It's really hard to tell what he is, but he's ivory with at least one bright white spot on him. He came in as a hitchiker with the same rock that has the polyps on it. I don't know what kind of polyps they are but they are rust color with pink and green centers. Our lighting isnt great at all so that may be why they are spreading but not surviving, I don't know.
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