Tiny Star Shaped Creatures and Mysterious Translucent Goo?

Discussion in 'ID This!' started by justonwo, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Hello all,

    I'm a new "reef keeper." I recently inherited a 90 gallon tank from my cousin, complete with healthy fish and coral. I'm a few weeks in and finally starting to feel comfortable with all the chemistry and maintenance. I've noticed a couple of strange things in the tank. I'm wondering if someone can help me determine if they are a problem?

    First is a translucent white coating on some of my rocks. Second, there are hundreds of tiny star shaped creatures attached to many of my rocks. They almost look like micro aiptasia. Are either of these identifiable and, if so, cause for concern?

    Thanks in advance for the help. I have a lot to learn . . .

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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome. :)

    The translucent object looks to be sponge, and harmless.

    The star shaped ones are feather dusters.

    The link below will assist you in figuring out who is who in the hitch-hiker world.

    http://www.lionfishlair.com/hitchhiker/hitchhiker.shtml

    Congrats on your new tank.
     
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  4. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    It's hard to tell on the translucent stuff - it might be sponge? how old is the rock? it looks to have a ton of life in it! the star shaped things are feather dusters I'm pretty sure - harmless and filter feeders.
     
  5. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Thanks very much. The whole aquarium is about 6 years old and has been well-maintained by my cousin. My guess is that the rock is several years. I'm trying to carry on the tradition by preemptively taking care of problem hitchhikers. I carpet bombed those little guys with Aiptasia-X to no effect. The fact that they are feather dusters might explain why. :) The actual aiptasia (quite a bit bigger in most cases) were pretty easy to take out.

    I've been quite enamored with the whole process of taking care of these creatures. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I have been - especially after moving that entire tank 60 miles in one day.

    Here's a picture of the whole kit and caboodle.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well you've done excellent work for someone new to the hobby.

    You have an anemone wow!

    It's a great hobby, an expensive hobby, but wonderful.
     
  7. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Thanks a lot! And thanks for the help. I appreciate it.
     
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  9. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
  10. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Taking a closer look at what we believe it the sponge, I notice that it has several recessed holes. There are probably 20 or 30 of them where the sponge exists on rocks in my tank. Inside just about every one of the holes is a set of 4 or more arms poking out with black and white stripes. Some of them tiny. Some of them a little larger. The tank does have one large, black and white spiny starfish which was a stowaway from some purchase long ago, and the legs look very similar to the legs on my starfish - just much, much smaller. And of course all of them are poking out of these recessed holes in the sponge.

    Is it really possible that these are all new starfish? That would mean a whole lot of starfish down the road. If they are starfish, why is it that they are only found inside the little holes in these sponges?

    You can see the large starfish leg in the last photo on the sand.

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  11. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Yes sponge with a bunch of micro brittle stars hanging out.

    There is a slight chance it's a type of Bryozoan.

    :)