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Old 01-25-2006, 10:27 AM   #1
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sick chocolate chip starfish, i think

ok i need some help...i have a 75 gal. with chocolat chip (6 mos), royal grahma (2 mos) puffer (1 mos) a few snail things (same time as star fish) and plants. the tank has been set up for 10 mos now. starfish is the only thing that has survived this long. ph 7.8-8.0, nitrate 10 nitrate 0, and ammonia is at 0.25..the last few days i have come home and the starfish is bent over backwards..the guy i bought him from told me he would eat the algae and would not need supplement but i read where he needs meat? if and how do i do that and is this normal for the starfish to do this backbend? the tentacle things on the glass are still moving around but the others look folded up. where do i go from here?
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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One thing is for sure...the puffer is a natural predator of both starfish and snails...and any other invert they can sink those teeth into. You may want to do something about this before he gets bigger.

Your levels are enough to make the system weak. You need to tend to the ammonia before tending to the pH. Get the ammonia down as well as the nitrites and the nitrates. Then buffer the pH to 8.2/8.3 if needed. Try not to let the pH go under 8.0. If it does, always test ammonia. It is a natural reaction for pH to go down when ammonia levels start to rise. This transforms the ammonia into the less toxic form of ammonium. If you raise the pH before lowering the ammonia, you can poison the livestock.

How often do you feed and how much do you feed? What foods are you feeding?

How often do you do water changes and how much water is taken out per change?

I'd advise doing small, but frequent water changes and cut back on feeding for a while. 10% every other day for at least a week or 5% once a day for however long it takes to get those levels under control. What is your water source? Tap? Well? RO?

As of food for the star, yes they do eat algae, but they eat other things. Offer a piece of frozen (but thawed out) pieces of squid or shrimp once or twice a week. You can place it right under their mouth.

Speaking of Chocolate chip starish and mouths...check this photo out...

It's a super macro shot of a chocolate chip star's mouth. Look at those teeth!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:41 AM   #3
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ok i think i found out what i did...imagine not checking my salinity when the water evaporated (he started to perk right up when i put fresh water in)...on another note..the puffer will kill him ? what do i do with the puffer then? can he go in a reef tank or do i need to take him back? and put the food under his mouth? forgive me for sounding really stupid but if he sticks to the side of the tank then how do i do that? will he move to where the food is if i put it below him on the ground? i am confused....
by the way that's an awesome shot....it does make more sense to give them food since he have teeth
thanks for the help to unconfuse me
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
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Both the puffer and the chocolate chip star fish are not reef safe. The puffer will eat shrimps, crabs, maybe even feather dusters, starfish...the only invert they don't seem to eat are coral, which the chocolate chip star could end up doing.

You can easily pick the starfish up and place it right on top of it's piece of food. That should only be done a couple times a week. The rest of the time let him cruise the tank for food.

You still should test the water to make sure there isn't an issue with water quality. If you want shrimps and crabs and starfish, even snails, the puffer would have to go. If you want corals, the chocolate chip star would have to go. That's what would be best advised. The choice though is all yours.

Those teeth are made to scrape algae and scrape meat off of coral.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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thank you for the help..i do have community well water which i tested this morning (sometimes it has too much ammonia after getting rid of the chlorine) but all the levels were nothing so i put some fresh water in to get the salinity down. i will do a water change in the morning ( i am always afraid to do too much on the same day..i get to happy with and kill everything)
i am really upset over the puffer because no one bothered to tell me this when they knew i had a starfish. i do have a reef tank with coral and a flame scalloped can he go in there?
i will feed the starfish some meat to night and let you know
thank you
on the food thing i feed them about once or twice a week some saltwater fish
food and i put about 10 little pellets in (size of a pen top)
when the gramma looks like he is starving is when i usually remember to feed them
i was relly not educated on this when i starte and have spent alot of money on something that keeps dying. how do i get the nitrates and nitrites down again?
thank you
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:30 PM   #6
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I don't know what the puffer could do to the flame scallop, though those scallops can produce an electrical current which may ward the puffer off. What species of puffer?

Nitrates are best kept down by doing small but frequent water changes. Once levels are low...in a reef about 10ppm and lower...you should be able to maintain nitrates with a 15% water change every two weeks or 10% once a week. Make sure the protein skimmer or refugium is working properly. If you are using a protein skimmer, it should get cleaned out about once a month. If you are not using a protein skimmer, you should get one. Any filters should also be regularly maintained. Rinse any bio media of build up gunk in used tank water.

Nitrites will maintain zero so long as nitrates are well maintained and there aren't any ammonia spikes. Nitrite is the by product of ammonia which is later transformed into nitrate.

Because well water is not very healthy, it may be a good idea to think about installing an RO unit. It doesn't have to be a huge thing. There are affordable manageable sized units available and would do both you and your tank wonders.

Here is a link to some....

http://tricitytropicals.com/index.as...S&Category=805

What are the nitrates measuring in the well water?
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:09 PM   #7
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the color on the nitrate test looked between 0 and 5
thank you for the advice. i will let you know how it does.
i am sure you will hear from me soon
i will definitely look into the RO
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic33148
i will definitely look into the RO
correction RO/DI ;P
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75g w/ 30g sump, 160# LR, 60# sand: Inverts =18 turbos, 30 nassirus's, 40 blue leg's, 5 emeralds, 1 CBS, 1 skunk cleaner, 1 brown gulf shrimp? and various other LR hitch hikers yet un discovered or un-ID'ed
Fish=1 yellow tang, 1 yellow headed jawfish, 1 pink/blue shrimpgoby, 2 perc clowns.
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Old 02-08-2006, 12:57 PM   #9
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ch.chip star

My chocolate chip star seems to come to the top and bend over backward when he needs a shrimp. I feed him one frozen krill thawed out with warm water from the tap. I just sit it on his suction cups and he takes care of the rest.
I got him second hand and he is doing great. I have had him for about a year.
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1 yellow clown goby
1-chocolate chip star
3-hermit crabs
3-bumble bee snails
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