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Old 03-14-2006, 02:41 PM   #1
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Fancy Brittle Star? Six Legs!

I believe this is a "Fancy Brittle Star", it crawled out of a new live rock after a few days. Its a little different because it has six legs, 3 of those are obviously growing back after some sort of injury.

It's BARELY moving. I see it move about once an hour.



Its tiny - about 3/4" at best all stretched out.

We also found some bristle worms poking their ugly heads out of the live rock after about 2 days. We picked up an arrow crab to go after them (yuck). The wife and kids was so grossed out by them she skipped dinner after I pointed them out.[/img]
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
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Cool star! Can't see the brittles on the legs from here. Sure its not a serpent?
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:45 PM   #3
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Yep, it's a small brittle star. Very nice fine. Congrats.
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:49 PM   #4
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Yeah, there are little spines on the legs, its so small, I couldn't see them with the naked eye, but the full-sized photo (link below) is clearer.

http://usera.imagecave.com/Scott/Fish/DSC00082.JPG

I'm concerned that he's not moving much. Is that a sign he might be weak/stressed/dying?

I've watched him with the lights really dim. He moved about 2 inches from midnight last night to 8AM this morning.

Is the arrow crab going to turn him into a snack? I'm thinking about putting a barrier around the star to keep him safe until he's a little bigger...
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:19 PM   #5
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These little stars usually stay within the rockwork. It may be stressed, it's hard to say.
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:50 AM   #6
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My brittle star hardly moves at all during the day, except during feeding.
Go to the supermarket and buy one scallop. Cut a piece of it for him and see how fast he moves. If he doesn't take it, then I'd be worried.

I never saw my brittle star move so fast when I did that. He actually swiped it out of the claws of my scarlet hermits. He was dragging them with it! It was hysterical. I got a little clip of it, but it's too big to post here. If you want me to email it to you, pm me.
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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Do I need to worry about the arrow crab? He's settled in and started to work his way around the tank, I'm worried he's going to notice the star and make a quick meal of him. Its a 75 gallon tank, so I've been able to keep them separate, mostly, so far.
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:55 PM   #8
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I would think the star would have moved into the rock by now. If not, then I would think the star isn't healthy. In that case, yes. The arrow crab will probably take care of him.
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:32 PM   #9
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Actually I think the current in the place he is, is too strong for him... I've noticed him getting blown over a few times when trying to move. I think if I isolate him with some sort of L-shaped divider (he's in a corner) that might cut down the current, and keep the crab out, well, at least a little.
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Old 03-15-2006, 03:56 PM   #10
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These little stars spend their time mostly living in the rock. You'll notice it doesn't' have much of a disc at all, that's typical for the rock dwellers. He should be in the rock. The fact that he isn't shows there is a problem with him. Could be from lack of acclimation. I'm assuming since this is a hitchhiker, it wasn't drip acclimated. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they don't. Blocking it in a small area really isn't gonna help with it's survival in my opinion. I would place it on the rock or behind the rock and hope for the best. Being exposed is only stressing it more.
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