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fromia sp. feeding question?
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2006.04.22(Sat)16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshine84 wrote:
It turns out I incorrectly identified my star. It's actually a Pentagonaster duebeni. Nonetheless, I decided to give it to someone that would be better able to care for it. Was I right in doing this?


Is this what you are talking about:
http://www.thepetstop.com/showprofile.cgi?index=6467&cat=livestock.invertebrates.starfish&loc=&listpage=1

sunshine84 wrote:
I found the issue of feeding to be quite a problem. So, I'm guessing their feeding habits would be quite similar to the Fromia sp. Am I correct in assuming this?


Yes, I feel like these belong in the ocean really... the only option would be a massive reef system of several hundred gallons and a constant supply of fresh live rock... like a dealers wholesale vat. But how did you confuse this with a Green Brittle Star shown here?
http://www.petsolutions.com/Green+Brittle+Star-I-175200L-I-C-16119-C-.aspx
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sunshine84
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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.04.22(Sat)16:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I confused Pentagonaster duebeni with Fromia sp. The patterns/ colouration are very similar. This is the photo I was looking at:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=2133

The Green Brittle Star is going well though... it eats everything, as you said (marine green, brine, mysis, white bait)! And so far, it's been getting along with the 3 hermits that it lives with Smile
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.04.22(Sat)20:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummm, I take it the GSS has been isolated so that's good, be advised; I wasn't kidding on the Ophiruoidea; the Green Serpent Star will eat ANYTHING, including trapping your small fish and attacking other inverts like anemones, corals, shrimps, etc.
see the reference to them here, scroll down to Ophiuroids:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rs/index.php
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sunshine84
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PostPosted: 2006.04.22(Sat)21:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah it's in a tank with 3 hermit crabs and some live rock/ macro algae. I'm not 100% sure its a Green Serpent Star, as I haven't seen it in full. It usually sticks 2 arms out at all times, and only seems to come out at night. It's dark green. The hermits have come right up to it before, although it just ignores them. It will however, try and steal their food :/
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Jon_Lacey
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Joined: 08 Jun 2006

PostPosted: 2006.06.11(Sun)12:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not try using inexpensive snails as feeders? Also, I've heard if you stick any type of sea food on a skewer and hang it just below the water's surface, the starfish will eat it.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.11(Sun)12:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_Lacey wrote:
Why not try using inexpensive snails as feeders? Also, I've heard if you stick any type of sea food on a skewer and hang it just below the water's surface, the starfish will eat it.

Not sure about snails... as for stick feeding, you're right some starfish will take foods this way and I have done this myself many times, but as the Shimek article (see link I provided before) states and my own experience bears out, the foods generally offered by hobbyists (even when target feeding) will not sustain them for more than a few months to a year... there is simply not enough reliable data out there about what types of fauna they eat... remember, there is a difference between "accepting" substitute foods and thriving. For example, a Copperband Butterflyfish may eagerly accept brine shrimp, but will not thrive on it for very long.

The last Fromia I saw in the wild was in... December of 2005, as I recall we encountered them in relatively deep dives on a Japanese shipwreck (Iro Maru) and on the bottom of Siaes Tunnel... I have a great macro pic of this which I need to post... anyway, the Fromia were surrounded by heavy microfauna; sponges, tunicates, this living buffet is apparently what these stars are consuming... there is a forest of this material on wild live rock... by the time it gets to the LFS this material has died or been cleaned off.
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sunshine84
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PostPosted: 2006.06.11(Sun)19:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have the Pentagaster Duboni (Biscuit Star) anymore. I gave him to someone with a bigger tank and a large fuge. I didn't want the poor little guy starving in my tank. So, I figured that by giving him to someone with a bit more experience - he will hopefully have a 'better' chance. This is a pic of him before he went to his new home:



I have to say though, that after that experience, I won't be buying anymore stars. I think some species just aren't suited to home aquaria. As you said FloridaBoy:

Quote:
the Fromia were surrounded by heavy microfauna; sponges, tunicates, this living buffet is apparently what these stars are consuming... there is a forest of this material on wild live rock


Personally, I couldn't justify taking a star out of its natural environment, unless I could replicate its natural food source. And my tank is simply nowhere near big enough or vast enough to allow the majority of stars to thrive.

On the other hand, my green brittle star is a different story! Brittle stars seem by far, the better option for home aquaria. My not-so-little guy lives under a rock in my other tank. And when it's feed time, all I have to do is wave a piece of chopped white bait near his rock, and within moments you see all of these green arms extending upwards towards the fish!

He's funny to watch. He usually wraps two arms around the food and tugs, if I don't release the food, another arm appears Razz But yeah, he's great. He also gets periodical feedings of marine green and mysis - he'll eat basically anything though - although his fave is white bait!

Since then, I've noticed about 3 or 4 small white brittle stars with green stripes on their legs. They look to be a completely different type of brittle star - but they too will eat basically anything - marine green, white bait. Have no idea what they are - although they seem to be multiplying :/

But yeah, as FloridaBoy said in a previous post - I probably wouldn't recommend adding a Green Brittle star to a tank with fish - because there's a possibility the fish may start to 'disappear'!

My brittle star lives in a tank with 3 hermits, a baby hermit (I discovered him the other week - he's white!), another unknown crab 'Bob' that lives in a nearby rock, a Chestnut cowrie (I think it's a chestnut cowrie anyway), the tiny white brittle stars and a snail. So, he can't really get up to too much mischief anyway Razz
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dale
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Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2006.06.12(Mon)1:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellant discussion everyone.

I can't add anything about starfish as I've been "lucky" enough not to have impulsively bought one Embarassed
But to add my own bad purchase story:
I saw a beautiful banded coral pipefish and impulsively bought it. The pipe was quite small (4" L x 1/4" Dia.) and my 33G. tank was teaming with pods and small shrimp, I mean teaming! I thought, "surely there's enough food for one little pipefish." The pipe was quite happy and I soon saw that it was a consumate hunter, spending all its time hovering 1 - 1 1/2" off the live rock looking for food. After 2 - 3 wk's my tank was sterile and I began a running battle trying to suppliment his diet. In the end it starved to death.
I didn't do that fish any favors.
I've been having a battle with my male erectus (G.B.D. in his pouch) lately and I was just telling my wife this morning that there is something to be said for stocking hardy, easy to care for fish. I sometimes get tired of worrying about my livestock everyday Sad

I've been tinkering with the idea of an ethical aquarium outlet, One that sells only C.B. or aquacultured stock. It fits with me "spiritually" but I'm not sure it would be viable in competition with outlets that can offer colour and novelty - even if it doesn't last. I think there may come a day when it is the way to go. I have to say that I don't think I could operate a conventional LFS. It does bother me when I see things like Groupers, Mandarins and Pacus for sale.

Oh well, enough moralizing. I'm off to buy a Moorish Idol now....................... Shocked
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sunshine84
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Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.06.12(Mon)4:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

A point well made Dale. It seems that many lfs are all too happy to sell people livestock, regardless of whether they are likely to survive in captivity.

I personally believe that fish should be cared for, not simply kept. They too are living creatures that deserve to be treated with respect, not simply confined to death in a glass box.

I think your idea of an ethical lfs is an excellent one. Isn't it better to be equipped with the truth, rather than simply an attractive fish that will likely die? I think this point is really evident with Mandarins. I'm in awe of their beauty and their amazing personalities. But it really saddens me to see a group of mandarins sitting in a lfs, waiting to be sold to someone with no idea how to care for them.

I bought a tiny green mandarin maybe a few months after my tank had finished cycling. I had no idea how difficult they could be to feed. The guy at the lfs told me not to worry because she'd be 'fine'. Well, she wasn't. She wouldn't accept any foods, and I was left wondering what was wrong.

This actually led to my first post on this site. After reading the advice I received, I decided to return her. So, in the morning I woke up, got the bag ready, and found her on the bottom of my tank dead. I think it was in that instant, that I realised how important ethics are in industry. However, it seems that many lfs are more intent on the quick dollar, rather than the welfare of the livestock they sell.

Under no circumstances should it be ethically justifiable to knowingly sell someone a living creature that will most likely die. Yet we see it everyday. How many nudibranches, idols, stars, mandarins and other specialised feeders are knowingly sold to unwitting customers everyday?

I guess this point reaffirms the importance of research. Theres a lot people won't tell you, especially when it could result in the loss of a sale. I'm not saying that all lfs are like that, but I would hesitate a guess that there would be many that would operate under a questionable set of ethics.

I think to have a lfs based on the premise that life holds more value than money; is an admirable one. For that reason alone, I think it would get the support of any conscientious reefers.

Colour and novelty are merely fleeting objectives for the superficial reefer; happiness and quality of life are the goals of the ethical one.

I also wanted to make clear, that I don't disagree with the sale of certain species altogether, its more that I disagree with the sale of certain species to people that are inequipped to care for them. If someone is well aware of the difficulty in keeping a certain species and have adapted their tank to suit the needs of that species, then maybe then the sale of such a species would be justifiable.

Anyway, that's just my opinion (or my little rant Razz).
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.15(Thu)16:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunshine, I can see why you purchased that red starfish, WOW, absolutely gorgeous... and kudos for giving it up too, I'm sure that was not an easy decision. Hopefully someone will find a way to increase our success with these animals. Thank you Dale for your excellent comments, my "bad purchase stories" are too pathetic to tell... enjoying fish these days mostly with my camera.
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