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Old 09-14-2011, 01:50 PM   #1
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Foreign organism from live rock

I have recently set up a 30 gallon tank to start my saltwater experience. I did my research and talked to a lot of people before jumping into it and I think I have a fair grasp on what I need to do. Of course, as I've learned, with saltwater, You're always learning. I started my cycle about 2.5 weeks ago with 20 lbs of "live sand" which I'm told, "there's nothing live about it", and about 10 lbs of live rock to start. One piece of LR was already cured, and the other piece is in the process of curing, it's already begun to change color. Upon doing research, I read that curing live rock can make your ammonia levels go through the roof so I decided on a whim to add a couple drops of ammonia detoxifier to the tank, (looking back, since it is a fishless cycle, i probably shouldn't have. I was then informed of adding a shrimp to speed up the cycle process which I did about 4 days ago. After 2 days of having the shrimp in the aquarium, I noticed my first organism in the tank which seemed like a tiny sea star. It was dark brown with small spots, had three legs with tiny "hairs" sticking off of them and was clinging to a piece of rock. My girlfriend was kind of creeped out by it but I looked at it as a positive thing. I did a little searching on the internet to try to identify this thing and i kept coming up with asterinas which i know can be bad. however, the pictures of asterinas look nothing like this thing. it was probably about an inch wide (from tip of leg to tip of leg) and it bent its legs almost like they were waving in the current (snake-like). I'm not sure what this thing is, I assume it hitchhiked its way into my tank from the cured live rock, but i'm not sure if i should be concerned about it. It was there one night and by the morning it was no where to be found. Any response would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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Sounds like it could be either a baby brittle star or baby serpent star. Pictures are always helpful.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:57 PM   #3
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pic

If i can find it again i will definitely take a picture and upload it.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:57 PM   #4
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I shouldn't worry to much at this stage,you will see alot of things during the cycling process.just make sure your testing for amm, if above 4 take out whats left of the shrimp.keep testing until amm starts to drop then start testing nitrites as well,when amm has gone and trites are high start testing for nitrates.once amm and trites are 0 and nitrates are below 20 do a 20-30 pwc and your good to add a fish,i would keep it to 2 fish/3 weeks.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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the picture of the baby brittle star look similar. But it only had three legs, I assume this is totally possible with the way that stars regenerate?
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
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I was able to capture one of its arms. Just thought i'd upload it. Ammonia is going down (.2), nitrite and nitrate still high.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
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Harmless starfish.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #8
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looks liek a serpent star

congrats they are great cleaners
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:51 PM   #9
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Any idea what these are. I thought maybe they could be cyanobacteria. Any thoughts?
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