When Asterina Starfish Attack

Discussion in 'Inverts' started by Matt Rogers, Nov 24, 2014.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Check out this nice picture of asterina starfish eating my SPS coral today. Little buggers. I am rather found of that coral. It has beautiful coloration and great polyp extension. I just don't get it. Although I have had asterina starfish in my aquarium for years, I still am not sure if they are opportunistic or predatory. In this case, I believe they are predatory. That coral has been booming for some time now and rather bullet-proof. Yet last week, I glanced over and smack in the middle was a bone white branch with a starfish on it. The picture below is from tonight and on the lower left branch, there are two of them munching away. Interestingly, the tip of the branch they are on is still green, they appear to be working their way up from the base. It was 9 years ago, when I posted - these pics - when I had some going over montipora. Sigh. Someday I will find some big bongo shrimp to eat them. Do you think they are guilty of decay? What has been your experience with asterina?

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Newreef15

    Newreef15 Horrid Stonefish

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    I hate those little buggers :mad:

    Looks like its time for a pair of harlequin shrimp
     
  3. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    I hate asterina stars as well. I know some say are good but I've seen to many destroy corals in my tank to trust them. If I see one I remove it. That's a beautiful colony matt.
     
  4. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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  5. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    I think they are fine in large systems. In your case with smaller tank I think they find to stay alive they attack coral once a main food supply is scarce.
     
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  7. CBSurfrider

    CBSurfrider Millepora

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    These things are all over my 300. I figured they are harmless? No SPS in my tank either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  8. Ballgame

    Ballgame Millepora

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    Just found one in my tank. Must have come on a coral. And I dip all my corals too.
     
  9. Ballgame

    Ballgame Millepora

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    Oh wow it killed that branch?
    What SPS is that?
     
  10. zesty

    zesty Sailfin Tang

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    I hate 'em! I found some munching on my zoas in the past week. I've pulled about a hundred since then...

    **shakes fist, angrily**
     
  11. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    There so hard to identify in which are safe or bad. I don't risk it and remove any I see. They multiply fast and to me it's only logical to remove and eliminate a possible disaster. Nothing like seeing hundreds of cool little starfish only to find out later there coral munchers :confused:
     
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  13. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

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    I've never had a problem with them, but asterina is just a genus name, with over 30 species. Mine always seemed to feed on the coralline and film algae.

    Good call on the bongo shrimp, harlequins typically leave the smaller stars alone.
     
  14. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    ^^ I just got a harlequin to take care of my asterinas :( it seems to be eating them from what I can tell
     
  15. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Good to know ofk. Keep me posted.

    Thank you, I like it to. It's hard to see it get hit like this.

    Interesting thought - but still leaves me in trouble.

    I think they did, but I can't really prove it. That coral is a Green Pocilliopora I believe.


    Thanks for the links Vinny. I will check those out. I will say it is fair to say I have the bad kind. :)

    Aye, I actually bought a small pair of bongos online last year but they were so small (less than 1/4"!) I think they became fish food. I never saw them after they went in the rocks.

    I need to find really big Bongo Shrimp. That is my mission. :)

    Thanks for all the feedback and sharing of experiences. Please keep it coming. Interesting topic.

    matt
     
  16. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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