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Old 11-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #1
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Worried about new red starfish

Hello,

I bought a little red starfish last week from my LFS. They just had it labelled "Red starfish"- upon further research, I think it may be a fromia milleporella? But I'm really not sure, so I'm attaching a photo of my little star if that helps with identification.

Okay, please don't judge me... I always do a lot of research before taking on any pet. Except this time, when apparently, I really needed to do the research. I just fell in love with this little guy at the store, I had just gotten some money in the mail from my parents as a Halloween present, and thought that he would be the perfect little addition to my 6 month old aquarium, which only had some live rock and a couple of ocellaris clowns. I asked a lot of questions at the store, and was told that these starfish are very hardy, only reach about 2" long, have no lighting requirements, and will eat algae pellets. Easy! I figured that, equipped with that most basic of knowledge, I could do more research when I got home. Yes, I know. Stop judging.

So when I got home and started researching, I found, of course, that this little guy was more complicated than I thought it would be. I acclimated it over the course of about an hour- too quickly, I now know. I also didn't think to check the water parameters of the original tank to know how far off my tank was. For a couple days, it hardly moved. Now, it's finally moving around on the live rock that I set it on. It's not showing any outward signs of illness- everything seems fine. I'm just worried, though. I realize that my little star is not in the best situation. I've considered returning it to the LFS, but I'm afraid that going through the acclimation again would just kill it faster.

I have a 14 gallon aquarium with full-spectrum daylight. I was told to keep the lights on from the time I wake up until I go to bed to build up the algae in my immature tank. I use natural seawater purchased from Petco.

If you have any advice for how to care for this little critter, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:25 AM   #2
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Hi! I am also a fairly new aquarist....I also had made thw mistake of buying a red sea star....it was a fromia star fish...it sounds like the one you bought....I too was uninformed....I bought it from the lfs near me....we have a 29 gallon biocube....it did well for abought a week...we had 6 hermit crabs as part of our clean up crew and they attacked and killed the stsr fish.....I felt really bad....needless to say now I have no crabs as part of my clean up crew...only snails....now I have a chocolate chip sea star...had him for several weeks..and he is doing very well....don't beat yourself up....owning a saltwater aquarium takes learning and unfortunately some trial and error...and info from the lfs may not always be legit info.....hang in there!!!
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cancun View Post
Hi! I am also a fairly new aquarist....I also had made thw mistake of buying a red sea star....it was a fromia star fish...it sounds like the one you bought....I too was uninformed....I bought it from the lfs near me....we have a 29 gallon biocube....it did well for abought a week...we had 6 hermit crabs as part of our clean up crew and they attacked and killed the stsr fish.....I felt really bad....needless to say now I have no crabs as part of my clean up crew...only snails....now I have a chocolate chip sea star...had him for several weeks..and he is doing very well....don't beat yourself up....owning a saltwater aquarium takes learning and unfortunately some trial and error...and info from the lfs may not always be legit info.....hang in there!!!
I doubt the clean up crew attacked it. Fromias and linckias are thought to keep to say the least. They may look completely healthy when purchased but truth be told they could already be on their way out. Fromias have a little better mortality rate than linckias but it is still not good. Your star was probably on it's way out and the cuc just ate a dying starfish. To the op I would try to get it to eat something. Not much is known about their actual diet, and I doubt it is based solely on algae. With the short period of drip acclimation for him idk how well he will do. Getting it to eat something will be a step in the right direction but don't be surprised if you lose it slowly. They are unfortunately not a good candidate for home aquaria. Best of luck though, I hope it makes it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your responses. What should I try to feed it? I've heard so many different things. I do have shrimp pellets for my cories in my freshwater tank, and I heard some people say to put a shrimp pellet under the star. Should I try that? I've heard people say that they eat algae, detritus on live rock, etc. etc. I don't even know what to try.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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I've had two red fromia stars. The first one I kept for two years before he got injured and couldn't recover. I believe you will be fine. They seem to be pretty hardy IMO for starfish. I just picked up another one about a week ago. I drip acclimated him and he zooms around the tank now. I don't feed him anything special, but I tend to feed my tank a bunch anyway. What's your specific gravity at? They're often labeled as black tip reef stars. I keep my tank at 1.026.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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My specific gravity is also at 1.026. I love having the natural seawater- as long as I top off the tank with freshwater when it starts to evaporate, my specific gravity stays pretty stable without having to do too much work. I sure hope he makes it, too! So far, he looks good. Just that I've heard so many bad things...
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