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Old 10-26-2003, 12:37 AM   #1
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Serpent star gone bananas

Picked up a serpent star yesterday, approx 5" diameter and placed in 55sw. There's already a bunch of very very tiny baby serpent stars in the substrate from some seeding substrate from LFS.

So, he goes in after drip acclimation for an hour or so, temp and salinity matches LFS exactly, and he seems very happy and is cruising around like a normal serpent starfish.

The next morning I find him laying upside down right next to my big purple tube anemone. I picked him up and moved him a few feet away but ever since he has been contorting and wanting to stay upside down, and just acting generally very weird.

The only thing I can come up with is that the tube anemone stung the crap out of him.

Currently, he's just writhing around occasionally, staying upside down. If you place him right side up, all 5 tentacles jack him way up and he eventually flips back upside down and sprawls out. looks like a spider dying but then he spreads back out and goes into convulsions again.

I have the understanding that good sized tube anemones pack a good punch, can they sting serpent stars?
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:53 PM   #2
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I don't know what a serpent star's susceptibility to anemone stings really is. I kept a Heteractus Aurora anemone for a while, and my serpent went in and stole food from it all the time, but never showed any ill effects. Is your serpent still eating?
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. His little food-conveyor-belt cilia things are constantly moving towards his mouth but it seems like he was having a hard time actually getting it jammed into his mouth, for instance he had a mysis shrip stuck there for a while and it just fell out.

Since yesterday, he's actually done with the writhing around stage and has since flipped back over to "normal orientation" but is just sitting there wedged under a rock not doing much.

I've been target feeding him a little bit of red copepods with a baster once a day just in case he's too messed up to drive around and get food.

Since that morning, he acted like he had drank the starfish equivalent of a large bottle of jim beam with a mickey in it, and then was going through a severe hangover and finally flipping back over after writhing around and actually making himself ito a ball, etc.

Anyway sorry for the long post.
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:32 PM   #4
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Was all this during the day? I ask because maybe he is fine now, serpents are generally nocturnal, especially at first.

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Old 10-27-2003, 05:42 PM   #5
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He was wedged under the rock last night and was there again this morning, so either that is home base or he never moved.

I think I'll watch off & on for a couple hours after lights go off and see if he gets even a little more active.

The crabs aren't at him yet and he still moves a little so I guess that's good.
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Old 10-27-2003, 06:05 PM   #6
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I guess the fact that he's still taking food (or attempting to) could still be a good sign.
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:00 PM   #7
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If I hold a piece of shrimp in the tank, mine will come out and wave its arm around and beg for it... Then I let the arm have it and it curls up under the mouth and it goes back under the rocks for its feast
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:10 PM   #8
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How far away do you hold the piece of shrimp?
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Old 10-30-2003, 03:49 PM   #9
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Update on my serpent star, just because you're all dying to know I'm sure

Anyway - turned on the lights this morning and he was foraging in the middle of the tank. As soon as the lights hit him, he shifted into turbo, and in true serpent starfish style, zooooomed under a rock.

Hooray he's fine again.

I still think he got stung, man I am tellin ya.
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