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Old 02-09-2004, 02:30 AM   #1
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I arrived at my house tonight to find the last 2 legs of my eaten starfish lying in the sand. The only tank mates are 1 small peppermint, a territorial pair of clowns, 7 snails, and 6 or so tiny blue legs. There isnt much to eat in the 20 gallon and the blue legs or fed by clean up only. Is it possible that a gang of tiny starving hermit crabs jumped my starfish? It is also possible that i might be responsible for the starfish's demise and was eaten after death however the last 2 legs were still clinging to life (walking). Can i take that as a sign that it was healthy or at least alive when he was attacked? I hope it wasnt my fault- what do you think?


P.S. The crabs are pretty much my only working theory... maybe my female clown? She killed a damsel before but the damsel wouldn't give the pair his spot in the bleached coral- the best spot in the tank.
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:40 AM   #2
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How new is the star to the tank and how was it acclimated? Most times the loss of limbs are from adding it to the tank too quickly and not allowing it to properly adjust to the new tanks parameters. Sensitive inverts of this type should be drip acclimated for several hours.

It is more than possible that the crabs and/or shrimp took advantage of an already ailing predicament and made it worse but should not have been the cause.

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Old 02-09-2004, 02:45 AM   #3
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BTW, moved to the Sick fish/coral forum...

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Old 02-10-2004, 01:16 AM   #4
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The three legs were no where to be found in the tank and one of the remaining 2 looked (for lack of a better description) like something tried to pick the stuffing out of it. The starfish was drip acclimated but it was only about 45 min because something came up and i had to leave. I know thats bad. He'd been in the tank for at least 2 weeks, probably more like 3 and had shown obvious signs of distress. This was my first starfish . Also he was fine and had all of his limbs about 8 hours before i found him.
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20 gal salt- Mated clowns, coral banded shrimp, hermit crabs, emerald crab, live rock with tube worms, brittle stars, polyps
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:49 AM   #5
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Your new tag line also states a CBS and mithrax crab. Either of these could be the culprit but moreso the crab. In any event, they may only be guilty of making matters worse. As far as the star being in the tank for this long, acclimation shock is not always emmidiately appearant and can sometimes take weeks to show up. Given the 45 min acclimation time, I am more inclined to think that is the cause at this point.

If all the water parametrs for NH3 and NO2 are zero and the nitrates are low and the ph/salinity is good, the only other cause may be a yet unseen hitchiker crab or mantis.

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Old 02-10-2004, 04:30 PM   #6
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Thats an old tag that i usually exclude from posts. Niether of those are still in that tank. Thanks for letting me know. I loved that starfish and i'd like to make sure that doesn't happen again. All the levels were good. Longer acclimation next time. Thanks a lot.
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20 gal salt- Mated clowns, coral banded shrimp, hermit crabs, emerald crab, live rock with tube worms, brittle stars, polyps
20 gal- pirahna
46 gal- Oscar, black ghost knife, bumble bee cat
3 tanks in planning- 1 tank cycling
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