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Old 12-15-2006, 01:08 AM   #1
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New Live Rock Freebie

Last week I purchased 40 lbs of LR. All has been quiet until a few minutes ago. I am getting the tank going again after a long hiatus, so in essence its a new tank. I just happened to be messing around the tank and I noticed a tentacle sticking out of one of the new rocks I had bought. It was alive and moving. I was fortunate enough to get a fairly good look at what was sticking out before it retracted back into the rock. I looked it up and from what I can tell it is a Bubble Tip Brittle 'Fancy' Sea Star. I investigated the rock and there is not very many good sized holes in it, all though it is full of holes but the largest probably being 1/2 of an inch in area.

My question is this, is this guy trapped? I am half tempted to pull the rock out and take the hammer to it. Its just one of those things that if you saw the rock, you would think how in the world could it get out. But I know animals of all kinds can be contortionists when they want to be. Granted, I may not want it in my tank, but if it is trapped and I can bust the rock up and take it to the lfs, I will. What should I do? Will it eventually come out? How is it eating, this rock has been in a tank that is cycling for atleast 12 days, its gotta be wanting food by now, yet its inside a rock with no visible way out, but I am not a contortionist.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:14 AM   #2
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Brittle Sea Stars can get into amazingly tight spaces IME. Mine usually likes to create a hole under the lr in the sand but I've seen it roaming the tank within the lr and always wonder how the heck it got in there. I wouldn't worry too much about it, if it got in there it probably can get out. If it is a brittle then it's reef safe and doesn't need to be removed. How long was the tentacle you saw? Did you see the main body as well?

I'm amazed it's survived your cycle, are you using the lr solely for cycling or have you added a raw shrimp as well. It's possible the lr had enough bacteria to handle the die-off without too much of an nh3 spike.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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If it wants out, it'll get out. Unfortanetly, brittle stars hardly move from their spot in the rock. If you ispect your tank at night you'll likely see it's tentacles sticking way out into the water grabbing food. I don't know what to suggest if you do not want it, sorry. Never had to remove a star. I'd say just leave it for now. Chances are, unless you move the rock at all, it probably won't come out. I have hitchhikers red brittles in my tank and the two have moved once each since I got them 4 years ago.

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Old 12-15-2006, 02:46 PM   #4
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I will leave it then, I dont mind it being there as long as it does not cause problems. I wish I was able to see more than a 2 inch portion of the tentacle so I could be certain what it is.

I am suprised it survived the cycle as well. Actually it is still in the process. I skipped the ammonia and went to the nitrites, and the nitrates are coming up as we speak. The only thing I thought I had in there was a scarlet hermit, and a chromis something or other that I got from the lfs.
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