Asterina starfish

Discussion in 'Inverts' started by missionsix, Feb 28, 2008.

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  1. missionsix

    missionsix Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've found an asterina star in my tank. I heard today that there is a good one and a bad one. The color of the mouth black or, white determines good or bad. Does anyone know which is the good asterina? My buddy has them in his tank and wer'e pretty sure it is demolishing any zoas/polyps he adds to his tank. I have both and don't want to risk it. I'll probably put it in fuge til' I hear from someone.
     
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  3. Godbert

    Godbert Montipora Capricornis

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  4. omard

    omard Gnarly Old Codfish

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    Here is asterina info I posted somewhere in past...

    Have since learned to live with mine. They are good glass cleaners....have gazillions living in my overflows...

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    Asterina Wega​





    Has been quite a while since I have had a outbreak of these...(which have been a plague in my tank since onset.)

    This AM (09 Nov 2007) - netted the following off glass. Have only seen one or two for quite a while, which I did not bother to pull out.




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    Apparently they are back with a vengeance. Have seen them come in "waves" before, and will have to go week or so, pulling them out daily to get population down. If this many on glass...God knows, how many are hanging out in and around LR. -- I can see a number of them, but cannot get to them without siphoning - which I do on water change days.



    Nardoa and Asterina spp Sea Stars


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    There is some controversy over the Asterina species sea stars, which can multiply to great numbers in reef aquariums. Most aquarists report no problems with them, but some claim that they eat SPS corals and make every effort to remove them. There are more than one species of Asterina and it's speculated that some species may be harmful. It's also speculated that the Asterina sea stars will consume SPS corals once they reach a certain density. I happened to put a Nardoa species sea star into a small reef aquarium that contains a large population of Asterina sea stars. I discovered that the Nardoa sea star regularly consumed the Asterina sea stars. The Nardoa sea star san be a good biological control for those aquarists that want to reduce their population of Asterina sea stars.
    GREG SCHIEMER


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    Starfish: Considerations for the Common (and Commonly Misunderstood) Varieties




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    Asterina sea stars have been accused, unfairly at times, for preying on coral tissue. While some individuals appear to eat some desirable reef invertebrates, the problem may be a simple matter of an opportunistic predator adapting to a change in the available, preferred foods (worms, algae).

    Returning to our example of the common, small Asterina species found in some reef tanks, these sea stars in recent years have suffered, unfairly I might add, the reputation of being risky or just plain un-safe in the reef. This is interesting because for many years prior to that, they were not only regarded as harmless, but beneficial! What happened? Did they all change their voter registrations overnight? No, the answer really is quite simple. It also explains why some other "controversial" reef invertebrates have contradictory reputations like Mithrax/Mithraculus crabs. Many such creatures are opportunistic feeders. While they favor one type of prey that is convenient or popular to us, like sand bed worms, brown diatoms or bubble algae, they will adapt to eating other food items following the reduction or absence of a preferred food item. Thus, the reef keeper with a persistent growth of microalgae in a garden reef display will likely have less trouble with misbehaving omnivores than another aquarist with an aggressively skimmed and scrubbed tank that supports little growth of the matter. In a phrase, the hungrier that a so-called "reef-safe" creature gets, the less "reef-safe" that creature becomes. In the case of Asterina, many years ago during the bare-bottomed, nutrient poor Berlin style era of reef keeping, reef husbandry with early protein skimmers and limited nutrient export processes was not as efficient as it is today; diatoms and other nutritious growths grew quickly in our tanks. And Asterina were not considered un-safe by hobbyists.

    Anthony Calfo








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    [​IMG]

    Scott
     
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  5. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow Omard. Great post. Thanks for the info! ;D
     
  6. geekdafied

    geekdafied 3reef Sponsor

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    Some are good, most are bad. Even the good ones eat stuff you dont want them to like coraline algae for example. I toss them everytime I see one. I'd rather not take the chance. Same goes with most unknown things in your tank, when in doubt, pull it out! haha
     
  7. nlgordaz

    nlgordaz Plankton

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    You can control the number of starfish in your tank with harlequin shrimp.
     
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  9. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    I've heard that is not a sure thing, plus they eat other good stars as well. I have never seen my Asterinas eating anything I care about. Having said that, I'm not real happy with mine. I had a couple. I thought they were cute. Now I have a ton. I do not relish the thought of spending an hour with some tweezers pulling a couple hundred out. They are every where.
     
  10. SAW39

    SAW39 Ritteri Anemone

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    I think I have a dozen of these in my tank. Like Powerman, I think they are cute. Mine are tiny -- a half dozen could fit on a dime without touching. I'll get some new pics with my digital microscope and post them.
     
  11. zak.essat

    zak.essat Plankton

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    How do I remove it from the tank. Found one, its grey in colour?
     
  12. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Just grab the starfish and remove it.

    Although I would not intervene unless you see an issue such as rapid reproduction, damage to sps and zoanthids.

    I am of the belief that unless you see damage live and let live.

    There are hundreds of different types of asterina starfish, proper identification is difficult.
     
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