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Old 12-26-2003, 11:51 PM   #1
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HELP!!...Live starfish skin and limbs tearing up... HELP!!!

5 months ago I bought a seasoned reef aquarium with a bristle starfish, a green chromis, a hermit crab, a feather duster and bunch of live rock. I went through a couple of ups and downs, everything but the original set of fish and critters died. I now have a larger collection with everything running smoothly. However my bristle starfish has been shying and hiding away, yesterday I saw him I almost died in shock.
It's body had been torn up and arms tearing away and he is constantly hiding under rocks.
Any one has any ideas of what might have happened and if this condition is reversible?
Could it be any live invertebrates in the rocks eating it when it is asleep at night?
Please help
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:12 AM   #2
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Brittle stars are usually quite hardy stars unless something is amiss with the water quality/specs. By the sounds of your post this is not a new addition If so, please post the water parameters including salinity, temp, ph, NH3, NO2 and NO3.

If this was a recent addition it could be from improper acclimation. If acclimated too quickly, it can shock them and they can deteriorate quite quickly. Stars and other sensitive inverts should be acclimated for 4-6 hrs.

Cheers
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Old 12-27-2003, 11:13 PM   #3
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Water temperature varies between 73 and 76 through out the day (I have a fan that turns on for 1 hour and is off for 2 hours in the same pattern for 24 hours, that helps the aquarium stay between the mentioned temperature based on room temperature)
Salinity is 1.020 and 1.021 SG
pH is between 7.8 & 8.4 (looking at the 5-in-1 test strips, I would say it is at 8.0)
Alkalinity, I have no idea.. it is blue (lighter side), not in the chart
Nitrite is at 0ppm
Nitrate is between 40 and 80, I would say it is at 45 or 50ppm
ammonia shows to be at 0

Thanks for your help
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Old 12-28-2003, 12:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Water temperature varies between 73 and 76 through out the day
Should be between 80-84 without a variance more than 2degrees either way I would raise your temp slowly up to around 80f.. 80 being the low side and 84 being the high side.. Min is personally set at 82f and never goes higher than 84 in a single day and never lower than 81..
Quote:
Salinity is 1.020 and 1.021 SG
Salinity is too low for inverts should be 1.024-1.025 I would raise up slowlynot more than .001 per week... I personally have mine at 1.026 (refractometer) extremely accurate 35ppt... if using a deepsix or other hydrometer 1.024 would be the safest
Quote:
Nitrate is between 40 and 80, I would say it is at 45 or 50ppm
Nitrate is also extremly high for Inverts... Most inverts cannot survive with more than 20ppm of nitrates.. I would do a good size water change and that should help the nitrates..

HTH,
James
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Old 12-28-2003, 03:10 AM   #5
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I'd say James hit every nail dead on. Fixing these issues may not save this particular star but will have a much more possitive effect on the long term health of your tank. The salinity can actually be safely raised 0.001 each day but no faster. Doing water changes every few days will also help bring down the high NO3. Keep in mind that you do not want to raise the salinity significantly with each water change so be sure the new water is only slightly above the current levels.

I would also suggest you investigate further what is causing the high nitrates in your tank. If you wish to continue with these types of inverts, the NO3 must be kept much lower.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 01-01-2004, 11:44 PM   #6
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Thank you all very very much
I do appreciate this and Happy New Year
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