Newbie. Need help with starfish?

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I'm new to saltwater aquariums although I do have some experience with tropical freshwater tanks. I have a 160L, I converted my old freshwater tank so there's no sump I'm just running an external hang on protein skimmer, which seems to be working fine.. And an external canister filter which again is running well.. 20kg of premium LR.. My tank is new established it's been running for about 10 weeks, parameters: PH 8.4, ammonia: 0 nitrite: 0 GH: 8, I had the LFS run a test to give me a second opinion before I purchased anything.. the last 2 I've had a clean up crew, a few Halloween hermits and some turbo snails, 2 small emerald crabs and I've got 3 different starfish...

Now my issue is with one of my stars, but first il say the guy who served me at the store never wrote down the names for these critters so I've been stuck trying to identity them for a while.. il post some pics so if anyone knows what their called that would be a great help.. you see when I bought these all at the same time one this little guy was bright orange and has been really active scooting around the rock and on the glass.. he's currently filter feeding on the surface water and it's given me a good opportunity to point out his underside has started to change colour..? I didn't think stars could do this? So my quiestion is, is he I'll? Or could it be phosphorus issue as I haven't tested for that as no coral..? Or is his stomach translucent and what I can see is his full belly? I really have no idea I'm pretty sure that  He was perfectly white underneath when I bought him.. thanks for any advice

The other sandy colour star is a mystery to me too, anyone know what he's called?

Gav

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Reply #1

Hi , the first two are quite possibly fromia sp. Starfish and the last is a sand sifting starfish , Astropecten polycanthus , if stars are excessively moving about they may possibly be hungry looking for food .

Paradox23

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Reply #2

Thanks for the reply, is there anything you suggest I should get them food wise? Frozen or sinking pellets maybe? There's still plenty of algae for them to munch on but I know variety is diet is a whole new issue

Mike

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Reply #3

You can't feed starfish like that. You'll see a hundred pictures and threads about people burying food for them to discover or trying to put food in their path, but there's nothing to suggest they eat any of it.

I had a sand sifting starfish that lasted years in my 500+L 6ft tank, it just very gradually got thinner, and my tank wasn't a "pristine" style tank at all.

I wouldn't suggest trying too hard to feed the star fish specifically, you'll just pollute the tank.

Brittle stars are different, they're very active scavengers and do grow and do well in captivity.
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Paradox23

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Reply #4

Well I guess I am at fault I should have been more patient and thought to check the specs for these guys before I bought them.. thankfully I haven't got around to buying fish yet and I will take a lot more care when doing so.. I'm lucky in that my local shop will swap out the stars if they get too big for store credit so they can be rehomed appropriately as they grow..

Gav

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Reply #5

I completely agree with what Mike has said , My brittle stars will find a suitable place where food drops and pretty much live there extending it's tenticles to the incoming food , the sandsifter should probably be only added to an established tank of at least 6 months as they sift through the sand eating anything they come across within or on the sand bed . I have buried small amounts of small RS mysis pellets in the sand when I chose to hoover extensively during a white spot outbreak and found the sand sifter would surface and go back down around the area of buried pellets . Both I've had for around 6 months now .
I also have a red starfish (fromia milliporella) , and a Maldives starfish (fromia monilis) both of which I've had for nearly 2 months , from what I've seen from my own they like to feed on the very short mossy looking algae I have growing on my live rock as well as corraline algae from my weir , I know that they are definitely eating these algaes as they spend a lot of time between these two areas , and each time they move the area they have been in is clear of each . I have tried adding nori sheets in and around these areas and they are completely ignored . I also feed my tank quite heavily and have to dose quite a lot to keep the nitrates down , whether this has also had any bearing on the so far lifespan of mine I don't know , the excess nitrate does help keep the algae growing that they appear to feed on . These are only observations from my own tank and not something to try to replicate , I could just as easily be lucky in that they may have been handled well from distributers and fish shop  .

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