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Old 08-21-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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Starfish Takeover

Okay, so I've had my tank for about a eight months now and I bought it from a guy who had it up and running for about a year and a half. At first I found a few of these "hitchhikers" on the live rock and thought nothing of it because they were so tiny. However, now they're covering the bank of my tank and they're getting bigger. They're also on my live rock. I'm assuming this is why I haven't had much coraline algae growth on the back glass. What can I do to get rid of these things!?
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:04 PM   #2
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pic

here's a pic of it. sorry forgot to put it on the first one.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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They aren't very symmetrical. And the biggest one if maybe a little less than a half inch.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:31 AM   #4
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They are Asternia star fish. they are small starfish but they can be a pain in the numbers you have. They multiply fast and will have your system overrun in no time. I believe that there are different kinds of asternia, some live mainly on glass and some on the rock - they will suck the life out of some corals and will often live on zoa's and eat coraline algae. A harlequin shrimp should be effective in greatly reducing the number you have. Some people even by Asternia as a food source for them.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:39 AM   #5
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I never thought of that! Thank so much for the tip!
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #6
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Too bad they're troublesome, they are definitely cute little buggers.....
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TheTrav13
I never thought of that! Thank so much for the tip!
What is your calcium level at?
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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I have many in my tank and they are no trouble at all. They have never messed with my corals. Keep your left over food in check.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:48 PM   #9
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I have many in my tank and they are no trouble at all. They have never messed with my corals. Keep your left over food in check.
I agree,never had problems with them.I did notice that if My calcium level got higher than normal my population seemed to increase.
Maybe my imagination.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:03 AM   #10
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I understood that only a few members of this family actually hurt corals, most of them are actually good cleaners. But they reproduce very quickly, so I fish out whatever I see and give them to a friend who has couple of starfish eating shrimps
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:05 AM   #11
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Yeah that's what I was getting at earlier, maybe my typing english let me down. Basically what I do is any I see on rock or corals I take out. Some of these little guys are harmless and in small numbers good for the system, in the numbers shown in the pic at the opening of this thread I would say there was a problem. If you manage to keep these guys without a problem then good, not everyone is so lucky.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:56 PM   #12
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some would love to have those ones you are fishing out. where are you located?
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:37 AM   #13
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I don't know if you are asking me or Kilkenny, I'm in the UK. anything I take out either is given to a colleague or placed in tank with predators. If anyone did want them I would be happy to give them away but as I said just when I see them on or near corals do I take them out.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:49 AM   #14
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I'm in Tallahassee. They are ALL over. I read they arent able to turn themselves over so hopefully I'll lose some after I scrape them off the grass. I've been trying to get a harlequin shrimp but my none of my LFS in tally carry them.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:20 PM   #15
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they can turn themselves over fine. what size tank do you have? if you purchase a harlequin shrimp, you are going to have to feed it starfish after it eats all the asterinas. that's all harlequin shrimp eat.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #16
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29 gallon. I can't find a single lfs in tallahassee who has harlequin shrimp, but i'm selling the tank anyway so it's no big deal.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:10 AM   #17
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Thanks for the info. I did not know they were harmful to tank. I will start to pluck them out. Just can't let the daughter see. She names them all Patrick from sponge bob. I do have a larger star fish in the tank that is suppose to be reef safe. It has not messed with my corals at all. I have attached a photo of it. I hope it is reef safe.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:48 AM   #18
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To be fair most stars are perfectly fine, this goes for these too - in small numbers. My advice would be keep an eye around corals and remove those on or close to them.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:01 AM   #19
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I did not know they were harmful to tank. I will start to pluck them out.
They are not harmful to the tank. I have had these in my tank from day one and 13.5 yrs later have not lost a single coral from these. Most of the corals in my tank are 10 to 13.5 yrs old. They are OK and can be kept in check by cutting back food sources.
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