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Old 07-26-2021, 03:49 PM   #1
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asterina starfish eating coral!

So of course I believe I have the asterina starfish that eat corals. About 2 weeks ago I got some frags an out then in my tank. I thought my gsp were just getting acclimated and and were a little stressed thatís why they werenít opening. Then saw some stars on top of the frag but didnít think anything of it. Until one day I woke up and it was completely decimated. The rest of the frags donít seem bothered. The birds nest actually has opened more since I got it and seems to be doing fairly well. I have a harlequin shrimp that seems to be slowly taking care of the stars. Any advice? It must be the stars right? My calcium is a little high but I didnít think that it would devastate gsp so quickly as they are supposed to be ďimpossible to killĒ but then again that is my luck! My levels are:
Calcium - 580
Ammonia - 0
Phosphate - 0.25
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite- 0
PH - 8.0
KH - 5į or 89.5 ppm KH



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Old 07-26-2021, 03:50 PM   #2
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:12 PM   #3
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I don't believe in these stars consuming coral in our home aquariums personally. I know many believe they do, but when we introduce frags into our systems it brings new algae and bacteria into a system that knows what everything already tastes like... So, it is really exciting when new foods show up, be it algae, bacteria, dead tissue...whatever. Then, if the frag doesn't make it for whatever reason...there is the starfish doing the starfish's job to 'get caught red handed'.
If you had GSP vanish...this is a very hardy coral, but I've never heard of anything outside of a rare nudibranch to eat the stuff. The birds nest doing better tells me that there was a parameter swing towards what it likes, probably alkalinity leveling out. Polyp corals really don't like alk swings and will just 'melt' away when this happens. I'd be a lot more comfortable looking at a young tank still adjusting to its life than carnivorous starfish. The cyano in the pictures leads me to believe this to be the case. The answer is stability. Do your weekly water changes, keep things pristine. Things will work out. The key is taking it slow and not throwing money at problems as they arise, as they are mostly not problems but confused as such.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:43 PM   #4
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+1 to what hank said on the starfish. What test kit are you using? 5dkh is really low and .25 phosphate is pretty high. What salt mix are you using?
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:50 PM   #5
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asterina starfish eating coral!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedsReefs10 View Post
+1 to what hank said on the starfish. What test kit are you using? 5dkh is really low and .25 phosphate is pretty high. What salt mix are you using?


Iím using instant ocean but was thinking about switching to coral pro salt. I use the API reef master kit
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:54 PM   #6
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What are you using to test for phosphate and your elements?
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
I don't believe in these stars consuming coral in our home aquariums personally. I know many believe they do, but when we introduce frags into our systems it brings new algae and bacteria into a system that knows what everything already tastes like... So, it is really exciting when new foods show up, be it algae, bacteria, dead tissue...whatever. Then, if the frag doesn't make it for whatever reason...there is the starfish doing the starfish's job to 'get caught red handed'.
If you had GSP vanish...this is a very hardy coral, but I've never heard of anything outside of a rare nudibranch to eat the stuff. The birds nest doing better tells me that there was a parameter swing towards what it likes, probably alkalinity leveling out. Polyp corals really don't like alk swings and will just 'melt' away when this happens. I'd be a lot more comfortable looking at a young tank still adjusting to its life than carnivorous starfish. The cyano in the pictures leads me to believe this to be the case. The answer is stability. Do your weekly water changes, keep things pristine. Things will work out. The key is taking it slow and not throwing money at problems as they arise, as they are mostly not problems but confused as such.


Thank you. Thatís definitely a lot to take in it youíre probably right. Water changes will be key. I need to be patient! Definitely something I struggle with.
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:05 PM   #8
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What are you using to test for phosphate and your elements?


API Master Reef kit
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:15 PM   #9
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asterina starfish eating coral!

Ok if your going to get into corals you should invest in some quality test kits ( these may be out of date I hope not) like Red Sea, salefirt, or Hannah checkers for calc, alk, nitrate and phosphate, mag too if you plan on sps heavy. The api kits are really only accurate enough to cycle with in sw systems unfortunately.
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:40 PM   #10
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The API test kits outside of the master test kit are pretty garbage. I wouldn't trust the readings you are getting for them.
So, keep it simple. Water changes. There isn't even a need to be testing for those levels when you have a couple frags in all reality. Once the cyano goes away and the basics level out and stay constant, then things will thrive as they are supposed to.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BigRedsReefs10 View Post
Ok if your going to get into corals you should invest in some quality test kits ( these may be out of date I hope not) like Red Sea, salefirt, or Hannah checkers for calc, alk, nitrate and phosphate, mag too if you plan on sps heavy. The api kits are really only accurate enough to cycle with in sw systems unfortunately.


I see the Red Sea is the cheaper and Hanna obviously way more expensive. Do you recommend a specific one? Is hanna really worth it if Ted see is testing for the same thing. Could it be more accurate?
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
The API test kits outside of the master test kit are pretty garbage. I wouldn't trust the readings you are getting for them.
So, keep it simple. Water changes. There isn't even a need to be testing for those levels when you have a couple frags in all reality. Once the cyano goes away and the basics level out and stay constant, then things will thrive as they are supposed to.


So I was using the reef master kid. Iím going to continue with heavy water changes and possibly switch up the salt that I am using. Iím also going to take my water to get tested at my LFS tomorrow and see what they say. I would like to have more than a couple of frags eventually obviously so I would like to be able to test for levels myself but, and I could be wrong but, $300+ for a test kit seems outright ridiculous.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:41 PM   #13
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I see the Red Sea is the cheaper and Hanna obviously way more expensive. Do you recommend a specific one? Is hanna really worth it if Ted see is testing for the same thing. Could it be more accurate?


Well Iím just getting back into the reef game myself for the first time in a while and I plan on purchasing the hannah nitrate and phosphate checkers and the Red Sea foundation kit. I really only test phosphate and nitrate regularly and the Hannahís are easier to use IMO, and I like to have the elements kit to test monthly or every other. So $150 which seems like a lot until you think about coral prices, Iím sure Iíll have 20x that in coral in my 20 cube so to me itís definitely worth it
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:04 AM   #14
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The Hanna uln phosphate kit is really the only viable phosphate kit in the hobby. All the titration kits donít test low enough imo. Salifert and Red Sea work well for alk, calcium, mag, nitrates and ph though. Birdsnest is a fantastic indicator coral. If your alk swings or phosphate spikes itíll be the first thing to die lol. In this case Iím gonna say you possibly have had a phosphate spike being the tanks newer and it would explain your gsp kinda melting.
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedsReefs10 View Post
Well Iím just getting back into the reef game myself for the first time in a while and I plan on purchasing the hannah nitrate and phosphate checkers and the Red Sea foundation kit. I really only test phosphate and nitrate regularly and the Hannahís are easier to use IMO, and I like to have the elements kit to test monthly or every other. So $150 which seems like a lot until you think about coral prices, Iím sure Iíll have 20x that in coral in my 20 cube so to me itís definitely worth it


Youíre right it seems like a lot but in the long run itís probably worth it. Especially with the amount of corals I would like to keep eventually
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:53 AM   #16
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The Hanna uln phosphate kit is really the only viable phosphate kit in the hobby. All the titration kits donít test low enough imo. Salifert and Red Sea work well for alk, calcium, mag, nitrates and ph though. Birdsnest is a fantastic indicator coral. If your alk swings or phosphate spikes itíll be the first thing to die lol. In this case Iím gonna say you possibly have had a phosphate spike being the tanks newer and it would explain your gsp kinda melting.


Okay well thankfully the birds nest is still with me The only thing to do for phosphate spike is water change correct?
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:20 PM   #17
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LFS tested the water and all my levels were good except for alkalinity! Will be raising with a Kent buffer and hopefully that fixes the issue nice and simpleÖ hopefully

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Old 07-28-2021, 06:33 AM   #18
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Alk is definitely low. Raise slowly 1dkh per day. Your phosphate is concerning too. Is that .4? It should ideally be .1 or lower. They may just not have a good enough tester for it though
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:08 AM   #19
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LFS tested the water and all my levels were good except for alkalinity! Will be raising with a Kent buffer and hopefully that fixes the issue nice and simpleÖ hopefully

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Don't do that. Just do it with water changes. There's no reason to be dosing. Better odds it'll cause more problems that it'll solve.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:52 AM   #20
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I agree with the others. Through the years I have had hundreds of asternia stars in my tank with no problems. I also agree with Hank on dosing. Through 18 years of reefing I have never dosed. Frequent PWC's will most times be good.
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