Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
Tropical Fish Forums
Aquarium fishkeeping around the world!
 
ChatChat  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
Thoughts on Asterina sp. Starfish
 Forum Index > Marine Fishes and Corals  Reply to topic   Post new topic
Author Message
carbon-mantis
New Members


Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: 2009.04.17(Fri)10:31    Post subject: Thoughts on Asterina sp. Starfish Reply with quote

Well, as long as I've had marine tanks, I've had Asterina starfish inhabiting them without any problem. Sooo, the other day I received some small (1cm) tree coral frags and placed them in my tank, and within an hour, I notice that where the coral was placed there was one of those starfish. After prying it off, I see that it has eaten the coral down to a stub. Starfish was introduced to the flush, and that was the end of him. I found this incident rather odd, as I have xenia and zoanthids and they've never touched them. I really don't want to get rid of them just yet, as they're nice little scavengers, nibbling on everything from detritus and waste to bits of coralline algae. What are your thoughts/experiences with these creatures?
_________________
ego cogito ergo sum
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
FloridaBoy
Moderators


Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2009.04.17(Fri)14:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of them do eat corals, some don't.
Keep in mind, many starfish have very specific nutritional requirements that are never met in aquaria, even though they may actively feed on algae and prepared foods. Ergo, they are always actively eating, yet still slowly starving over a long period of time.

Since most echinoderms exist in our aquaria in various levels of slow starvation, I think it's possible that only after reaching a certain level of starvation (for specific nutrients) they are triggered to attack the living corals, but that is merely a theory. Let's also factor in the reality that only certain select species of corals may be suitable for their food, which can also lead to confusion.

Shimek has reported that the coral-eating forms MIGHT be a different species, constituting less than five percent of the various populations:
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rs/index.php

That's the funny thing about our experiences, they will differ.
Depending on the author, some claim to have no predation problems at all with them thriving in peace, others have branded them as coral munchers, and now that your experience backs this up, you will need to use discretion when adding new corals. It is my understanding that Harlequin shrimp will eat at least some of these nocturnal echinoderms. More opinions here:
http://www.nano-reef.com/invertebrates/?id=9
http://www.garf.org/Star/starfish.html
_________________
Keepin' marines happy for 25 years
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MarkLehr
Moderators


Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: 2009.04.18(Sat)18:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. I have not had any problems in my reefs, but these have been softies and LPS corals. Personally, I tend to roll the die and take chances with a lot of my livestock. It depends on your risk tolerance, so to speak.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > Marine Fishes and Corals All times are GMT - 6 Hours Reply to topic   Post new topic
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L