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Old 03-30-2012, 01:15 PM   #41
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Ok, so I tried the poke method with no response. I don't see any of the tube feet moving. I briefly put it on the back of my hand underwater and I felt no movement on my hand. Didn't see any movement of the mouth either. Like I said earlier, the star seems fairly stiff, but not totally inflexible. It didn't wrap itself to the contour of my hand over about a three minute period. I briefly lifted it from the water to smell it, and it still smells fine (like the ocean)

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Old 03-30-2012, 07:13 PM   #42
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Put it on it's back. Naturally vulnerable position. It will not want to stay there and will (if alive) try to right itself. Starfish may be slow, but it'll start on it s quick as it can unless dead or dying.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:18 AM   #43
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Good news: I definitely saw it moving a couple times yesterday. I saw muscles rippling from the end of the arm toward the mouth and when I put him up on a snail shell it moved a couple cm off the shell over the course of about an hour
Bad news: when I flipped it up side down it did not right itself. It definitely reacted. It lifted a couple of its arms a few times a cm or so. One arm it began to rotate toward the sand, but it never made it anywhere close to right side up. I felt sorry for it after like 10 minutes and flipped it back over.
My conclusion for the time being is that it's not dead but I think it's dying. I'm not really sure how much movement is normal but this guy has not moved more than 5 cm in 2 nights in the tank.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:42 PM   #44
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I've found conflicting information about this particular star. Most say it is a detritivore, sifting through the sand, but a few sites say it is a molluscivore, needing clams and mussels to eat (note that one person who kept one said it would ignore molluscs even when placed on or near them).
Another finding of note is that it seems to be common on the southeastern coast of the USA. IF that is the case, your tank may be too warm for it. Much like the Catalina Goby is often sold as a reef tank, but needs cooler temperatures.
Sea Stars in general are tricky animals to keep, unfortunately, and it may be on it's way out. But Maybe you'll be able to rescue it. Try target feeding with very small food like mysid shrimp to see if maybe it just needs some easy to eat food. Also, consider dropping the temperature just a couple degrees.
Take everything I just said with a grain of salt. This is from 5 minutes of research, not any personal experience with this animal.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:01 PM   #45
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Go to your LFS and work out a deal for when they place an order. The more they order the cheaper they get them. Work crew has been essential in my 450 gal. Hundreds of snails, 120 hermit crabs, a dozen peppermint shrimp, emerald crabs, sand sifting gobies, bristle tooth tangs. You could try a Copperband Butterfly for the aiptasia.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #46
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You will have a squeaky clean tank with all of them cleaning snails
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #47
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Hard time figuring out this royal starfish. I don't think it is really much of a sand sifted or a detritivore. Still hasn't moved much since Thursday. I gave it some jumbo mysis shrimp yesterday. Just squirted them right under his central disc. He seemed to respond well. All of his arms started rippling inward for like 5 minutes. I did the same today with the same response. maybe he is more of a carnivore?
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #48
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very possible. Like I said, I found some conflicting information about them. If he really likes the mysis, keep em coming. Maybe that will help him pull through.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:43 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor
very possible. Like I said, I found some conflicting information about them. If he really likes the mysis, keep em coming. Maybe that will help him pull through.
Are they like anemones in that they only need food like once a week or are we talking daily feedings?
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:23 AM   #50
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I really couldn't say for sure. Most echinoderms are grazers, but the predatory ones seem to just eat whenever the opportunity arises. See if you can find someone else online who has owned one. It's unlike anything I have. I have a fromia that grazes all day on a bacterial film, a tuxedo urchin who grazes on algae day and night, and a serpent star who just eats whenever he can catch something every couple of days.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:39 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor
I really couldn't say for sure. Most echinoderms are grazers, but the predatory ones seem to just eat whenever the opportunity arises. See if you can find someone else online who has owned one. It's unlike anything I have. I have a fromia that grazes all day on a bacterial film, a tuxedo urchin who grazes on algae day and night, and a serpent star who just eats whenever he can catch something every couple of days.
What kind of fromia? By bacterial film, you mean Cyanobacteria, or red algae that can form on gravel beds? Or is it diatoms?
Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:44 AM   #52
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Oh I wish it would eat cyano! *le sigh*
It's a marbled fromia. Red center, mostly white legs, red tips. Every surface in a tank has an invisible bacterial film that builds up over time. This is what the fromia is believed to eat. I say believed because frankly, no one seems to be 100% sure. General consensus seems to be that they will starve without enough surface area, though.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:01 AM   #53
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I think they refer to that as "film algae." The texts say they eat detritus, zooplankton and other biologicals. The secret seems to be having sufficient surface areas for them to be able to consume enough of this stuff to stay nourished. Doesn't seem artificial feeding makes much difference to many of them.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:38 AM   #54
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Yeah, picky little bugger. But seems that a 55 with about 60 lbs of rock is doing the trick for now. In fact, he seems to stay in about 1/2 of the tank. I still wouldn't risk it with a smaller tank, though. And I have never seen any visible evidence of him eating (like the meandering trails my urchin leaves) which reinforces the notion that he only eats microscopic stuff.
Still, it's a very pretty star. Though my banded serpent is much more lively. Actually got that one to take krill from my hand the other night. Before the nassarius snails mobbed him. My clean up crew may be just a tad TOO efficient. LOL
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:47 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor
very possible. Like I said, I found some conflicting information about them. If he really likes the mysis, keep em coming. Maybe that will help him pull through.
Found some journal articles by searching the scientific name. Looks like the royal star is an opportunistic eater that pretty much eats any shells in the substrate. In nature, they found a lot of mollusks in their stomach contents. Most of it was between 4 and 8 mm so I think most larger tank snails and hermits would be ok.

http://www.biolbull.org/content/120/2/265.abstract

On a broader note, I found that searching the scientific name turned up much more reliable information. Encyclopedia of Life is pretty good about physical and chemical parameters of the water they live in. This would be quite useful for us aquarists. I'm not sure if all this info is provided for other marine species

http://eol.org/pages/598628/details
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:49 AM   #56
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That's a great resource, Bio! Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #57
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RIP Royal starfish. Things were looking up for a bit. 3 days ago, though, I noticed a small chunk missing on one of his legs. It grew rapidly. I thought it was a fish nipping at it, so last night I video taped the star. No nipping but I was able to see the lesion grow and eventually the leg fell off. In the morning, it was pretty torn up near the central disc and it was spreading to another arm. I'm not sure if starfish can feel pain, but if they can it must have been in pain. By this afternoon there were hermit crabs all over the star doing what they do best. I couldn't wait any longer. I euthanized him a couple hours ago, along with a 20% water change.

Not sure what it was, but the star was seriously disintegrating.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #58
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A lot of things can cause limb deterioration in a starfish. Water quality, stress, eating something bad, not eating enough, fish or crab attack... without having seen the starting point, there's no way of knowing. But once limb deterioration starts, it's difficult to stop. There was probably nothing you could have done.
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