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Old 08-15-2005, 04:52 PM   #1
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What would go after a brittle star

I turned my lights on this morning and one of my brittle stars was out in the sand. He was missing 3/4 of one leg 1/2 of another and the tip off a third. He is about 8" across. I have a few small crabs in my tank. largest is approx size of a quarter. Only other thing I can think of is I hear a mantis or pistol every so often. Would they go after a star? Any idea what it could be?
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:57 PM   #2
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It is possible, crabs would also do it, especially bigger ones.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:01 PM   #3
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The largest crab I have that I know of is a emerald crab and he is only about the size of a nickle or quarter but he has tons of food to eat.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:02 PM   #4
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It is also possible that nothing went after him and the legs came off from a necrosis due to an infection of some kind.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:13 PM   #5
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Is it possible that some of your rock shifted and trapped him? If everything in the tank is ok and the star is healthy, they will grow back.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:35 PM   #6
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I have not moved any rock around to trap him. The injures/breaks looked like "clean" breaks. He seemed healthy when the lights came on he hauled butt into the rocks. I regularly see some of my serpent stars and they look fine. I will keep a eye out for him. Would a mantis bother a star? Do not know if I have one or not but I have heard popping. Hopefully it is a pistol.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:08 PM   #7
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Ammonia and nitrite will cause tissue necrosis. Have you been monitoring the water parameters since adding that last batch of LR?
It very well could be just a crab-I don't think a mantis would do that.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:11 PM   #8
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Hopefully it is a pistol.
Actually better off being a mantis if you had a choice. Pistols are very undescriminating about what they eat. Anything that enters/happens by their burrows is fair game. Corals, fish, you name it. Mantis are moreso crustacean predators.

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Old 08-15-2005, 08:14 PM   #9
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Hopefully it is a pistol
I forgot to mention-if my serpent star sticks his arm in my pistol shrimps burrow looking for food it will do that to it. The star usually heals fairly quickly. FWIW the pistol does not bother my Linckia star though.
Edit: Steve-S beat me to it lol.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:17 PM   #10
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Interesting question. I must have between 200-300 britle stars in my tank of vairying sizes. A lot of them are not complete, missing a leg or two. Never really wondered why until now...
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