Urgent Starfish disintegrating

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by e30slidewayz, Jul 2, 2011.

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  1. e30slidewayz

    e30slidewayz Plankton

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    Hey all, new to the forum. I've had my 29.5gal reef setup for a year and a half. I've had this starfish for atleast 6 months. I forgot what kind the LFS said it was, but it was $40 and apparently kinda rare. I recently went on a week long vacation and neglected to perform a water change, however the starfish has been subjected to that before. One of his legs started to disintegrate and the tip fell off. I did the water change, all the perameters are good. I thought that was going to be the worst of it as it didn't get any worse for a day or two. But now, all but one of his legs are disintegrating. I've made sure he's getting fed, been using a turkey baster to deliver food to him so he gets it. Brine shrimp usually, sometimes mixing in other frozen foods. Is there anything I can do to make sure he survives? I've added micronutrients. I've had a recent problem with red slime algae, but im getting that under control, still a lot there though. And the grabs don't seem to be bothering him or anything. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I would hate to loose starman. Thanks!
     
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  3. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    It might help to know the species; can you post a photo so we can try to identify? The sad part about this hobby is that there are still way too many fish and inverts being collected and sold that have no place in an aquarium. Either we don't really know enough about them or we simply cannot supply their dietary and/or other needs to help them survive.
     
  4. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to 3reef,

    As Mr.Bill posted, sometimes providing for the nutritional requirements of starfish can be difficult.

    What color is the starfish?

    Did you use any products to treat the red slime (cyanobacteria)?

    Unfortunately once they start to melt or decay there is little you can do. I would test parameters and make sure they are in line, also test for ammonia to make sure the level is not rising or detectable.
     
  5. e30slidewayz

    e30slidewayz Plankton

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    Ammonia levels are undetectable, been using red slime remover (its a yellow powder) for the slime algae. Here's a cellphone pic of the starfish. And I really trust the LFS I got him from. For 6-7 months he's been fine. Thanks again for the help!

    Edit: and I've only done like 2-3 doses of that red slime remover and it's been over 2 wks since the last dose
     

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  6. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect the slime remover probably contributed to the issue. Looks to be a Formia sp.

    Starfish are very sensitive to chemicals and additives to aquariums. Unfortunately the size of your tank would make it difficult to keep such a starfish long term in my opinion.

    I do not think brine shrimp will meet it's nutritional needs. Brine shrimp are empty calories.
     
  7. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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  9. e30slidewayz

    e30slidewayz Plankton

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    My sandbed is pretty deep and definately mature, I'll have to feed him better pronto. I hope he makes it. Thanks for the links
     
  10. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    Sorry my friend, but what I see in your tank is way too coarse. They need fine sand that they can burrow into in search for food, and a 29g tank will never be large enough to support a sand-sifting star. If you want to save him (or just don't want to see him die in your tank), your best option is to take him back to the LFS.
     
  11. e30slidewayz

    e30slidewayz Plankton

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    Well jeez, this sucks. I'll have to take him first thing in the morning. Anyway to mix substrate in with what I have to support him better, or is that just asking for more trouble?
     
  12. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    IMHO, a 29g is not large enough to support a sand-sifting star. If you want a sand sifter, you'll need to change your substrate to sand; and in a 29g, a couple Nassarius snails would be your best bet.