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Old 05-19-2003, 12:03 AM   #1
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serpent star deaths

Last week we did the usual water change in the tank. Exact same way as we have done many times before. This time, we got cloudy water for a few hours. (I do a water change 2 times a month). The next day, I noticed two serpent stars were out in the open when they never are. The next day, one was dead with the top of the center disk eaten away and white. Today, the second one had "bites" taken out of the edges of the center disk and has disappeared from view. The big green serpent is so far ok, cannot locate any of the brittle stars, but this is not uncommon.
Does anyone have any ideas of what could be happening. I have also lost 2 peppermint shrimp in this tank and now 2 in the seahorse tank. (I changed water in there as well). I am using Instant Ocean out of a huge bucket of salt that we had gotten a month ago. It is half gone.
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:14 AM   #2
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That is horrible .

I don't have anything I can add, as I don't keep stars and I can't seem to keep a shrimp alive more than a few days...

I hope someone can help though
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:20 AM   #3
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I have had these over 6 months and they were doing great. I cannot imagine what it was unless possibly the salt went funky. I had the shrimp since the very first order of fish I got last September.
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Old 05-19-2003, 09:09 AM   #4
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Make up a gallon of water the same way you made this one....and test it, to see what the levels are. If the salt stays dry, I know of know way that it can go "funky" (but it is certainly a possibility). My guess would be a change in salinity. I would assume Seahorses are sensitive to just about anything, and mobile inverts are highly sensitive to changes in salinity. Another possibility for the stars is bacterial infection, if the water was cloudy for a while, it may have been a small bacterial bloom and the stars were effected in some way.
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Old 05-22-2003, 02:32 PM   #5
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a little update on the above situation. One of the sedrpent stars with the eaten out center disk, was in a place we could not reach. I assumed it was dead. This sounds horrible, but I honestly am not sure if euthanizing is the right thing. The legs, each with a piece of the disk, has seperated and they are alive and moving.

I need some advice here people. Is it suffering? Is it going to be able to regenerate into different stars? This has got me weirded out.
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Old 05-22-2003, 04:01 PM   #6
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pictures?

if it's seperating could it just be reproducing? I've never seen one reproduce so I don't know if this is how it would do it?

my first thought from the top of this discussion is that you may have some sort of assassin in your tank some where. I had a similar problem where things just suddenly started showing up missing or dead (until I caught the bugger one night snatching one my of clowns! darn crab!) Thing they're might be something in your tank you don't know about?
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Old 05-22-2003, 04:28 PM   #7
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It is more like it "rotted away" from the center disk....dont have pics as of now, but just imagine a leg with a small chunk of white center disk at the end and there ya have it....this is not a "nice" seperation as I would imagine a reproducing would be.

We originally thought of an assassin...but for this to happen on the same night, right after the water change...and nothing had happened before this, we kind of ruled it out. If it were a crab, it would have to be an emerald crab that we have. I dont think the eel would do this, if so, he would just eat it and be done with it.
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:07 PM   #8
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It sounds bacterial to me. If you do not feel that there is enough tissue to save then you should probably euthanize it. If you think there is (on the body), you can take a sharp razor and cut the infected tissue away. I would then put what is left of the star in a q-tank dosed with E-mycin.
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:10 PM   #9
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Any tankmates that could possibly be picking on it?

If not, I have to agree with the others that it could very well be bacterial, as they are very susceptible to such. I went through a similar situation and was unable to figure out what happened. I was equally freaked out and even wondered if the one (i also had two) had attacked the other one and caused the damage as it did not occur until the day after they "found" each other after days in the tank. Rationally thinking about this, I discredited it as then there would be tons of this occurring at LFS holding tanks! Possibly, whatever happened with the water change cause some stress in the tank...and this weakens them just enough to being exploited by the bacteria.

I would caution against moving them unless the tank water is exactly the same. I attempted to move mine and even in a drip acclimation it made things three time worse, three times as fast. I don't think there is much that can be done but keeping very stable water until it heals (i encountered someone else this happened to and theirs almost fully recovered before "crashing" totally.

Here is a picture, I bet we are speaking of the exact same thing:
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Old 05-23-2003, 11:51 PM   #10
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except there is no brown on the disk and the disk was entirely white...but that does look similar
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