starfish identification

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by hlywkar, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys.. been awhile since I was on here.

    Haven't really had the chance to post anything, because nothing was new.

    I was getting bored with my damsels so I shifted them to a smaller tank.

    Picked up a clown and a tang. they look better. and wont give me as much hassle as the damsels.

    as well as a starfish...
    which after looking on the net, am questioning if it is reef safe. I may need to put it in the other tank as well.

    can you guys tell me what you think this is.

    it's is brown and grey, with orange tips, and a white bottom, and 5 legs.

    I just hope it's not a chocolate chip star, cause I read those suckers eat corals and other reef.
    When I bought it, I asked the guy, in korean what he ate... he just said that he cleaned the bottom of the tank.


    also, my soft coral... not sure what it is either. I think it's a leather... it has gone into remission. I think my crabs were bothering it. but I got rid of them. they kept walking on it and it wouldn't come out for a week or so when they did.

    it looks like it is almost eating itself away. anything I can do?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    here's another pic
     

    Attached Files:

  3. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    I dont really know what it is and i dont think a lot of us on here would know what kind it is. I would just watch it and observe if it is bothering any of you corals. The one guess i have is an armorer sea star. They dig in the sand and climb all over. I dont think they eat coral. I not sure though thats what it lookes like to me.
     
  5. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    well right now it's just hanging out at the top of the water line. with one arm foating upside down on the surface. i tossed in a piece of fish beside it, so I'll know if it eats fish at least
     
  6. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    If it digs in the sand that i dont think you have to worry about the coral.
     
  7. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried looking around for a 'starfish' forum but haven't been able to find anything
     
  8. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    here's some more. I think he is eat the fish. it looks like some membrane of sorts came out of the middle part. if he is eat eating it, it's not happening very fast. I'll keep checking up on it though.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    I am not well versed in starfish and would not know how similar your star is to the knobby in with Maya (an accident, I actually meant to get a thorny but was not listening well when it was added to my goody bag :oops:) but it has not bothered the polyps, mushrooms or gorgonians and has done well in the tank. It seems to be an omnivore (veggies and meat) and I have become comfortable with it in this environment. The fact that it is climbing the glass would suggest that it eats vegatable matter but that does not exclude meat. I have found that our common omnivores will leave living things alone as long as there is enough other food. When the food supply is too low, then you may see a problem and once they start eating corals, a new supply of food will not likely change the behavior (true of pencil urchins as well but I have not seen this with pin cushions). Bear in mind that I keep very simple animals and no hard corals so my observations may break down in a different environment.

    Fortunately, stars are slow eaters and daily observation should be enough to tell you if you are going to have a problem with something else in the tank. There are stars that are aggressive and can attack fish (usually by dropping down on them or trapping them). There is atleast one poisononus star (Crown of Thorns) that is dangereous for humans as well a marine creatures. With most, however, the concern is for them to survive rather than if they will kill something.
     
  10. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    The way star fish eat is very interesting. They take there stomach out of themselves and put it on the food. That was the weird membrane thing you saw.
     
  11. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    7
    Looks sort of like a Bahama Star, the kind I had, that munched one of my octopuses (whether or not the octopus was dead before or not is a mystery).
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Relooking at the pictures, I would suggest looking up Bahama star to see if it is a better match. The knobby is much thinner in the arms than the Bahama and has little "webbing" (not the proper term I am sure) between the arms. Interestingly, it has been put on the, do not collect, list in FL. I have not kept one of these so my comments about the knobby do not apply. With AM's experience with Tuvalu you may want to keep it in with the fish rather than the octo when you get it. I found this interesting blog on starfish feeding techniques that you might enjoy reading.
     
  13. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.thereeftank.com/blog/seeing-chocolate-chip-stars/

    if it is a chocolate ship star, it does look like the Protoreaster genus, this article suggests that they typically only eat algae and possibly micro organisms. which is why they tend to die in an aqaurium when fed oysters /clams etc.

    the article is from a zoologist, same guy that did that article posted earlier on feeding

    My starfish doesn't look exactly like a Protoreaster nodosus, but it looks very similar to the ones in the genus.
    D - can't find Bahama star. I found a pic of a cushion star, but that's definitely not mine. do you know the scientific name?
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Try bahama starfish on google, you should get lost of references. They are pretty distinct because their bodies are very thick.
     
  15. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Got an email back from Chris. The guy that does a bunch of research on starfish and other such ocean dwellers. He thinks it's a Pentaceraster alveolatus. He's not sure on the species though.

    He says that most starfish starve to death. Even though they eat meat/clam, it is not their natural diet. And it usually will only work for a month or so.
    He mentioned other people trying a sort of algae goo or milkshake of sorts... not sure how I would get my hands on that?

    any 1 have any ideas?
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    You can get dried seaweed though. Ask Chris if this would work.

    Thorny stars (Echinaster echinophorus - not to be confused with knobby stars) are my favorite. There is a cute video in Serendipity's thread showing how brightly colored they are but many of the photos of my octos include a thorny. They are carion eaters naturally (in spite of what some of the literature says) and do very well in with an octopus. The bonus is they are very day active and can be bright, bright orange. I have several and have only lost one. That one was a mystery an I have voiced musings as to the content of octopus saliva possibly being the cause. The star that disintegrated was in Beldar's tank. The tank has little lighting (designed for nocturnals) so there was not much algae available but I have kept one in that tank for over a year in the past. I move the resident thorny before Bel arrived because there would not be sufficient food in an empty tank and put one back (not sure if it was the same or a different one) when the tank was reoccupied. I have not tried another in that tank but the serpent and peppermint shrimp continue to do fine even after Bel died.

    I took a picture of the knobby in Maya's tank for you to make a comparison but I don't think yours is a knobby based on the underside in the photo. I am thinking sand sifting star (Archaster angulatus) as I look back at the photos and they are known to die pretty quickly from starvation. I had one I thought was doing pretty well once until the pencil urchin started eating it. It may have been dying but pencils can get aggressive if there is not enough plant matter and the tank lacked that food. It is another animal I will not try again.

    After 4 years in my reef tank, my common stars are definitely starving. I have moved them to Maya's tank where there is far more natural food but have yet to try the dried algae. The knobby may eventually suffer the same fate (As I mentioned, I did not mean to get a knobby) but has plenty to eat now. You have me thinking about about growing a small algae tank to create food. The thorny's on the other hand do not seem to have a problem living on the octo leftovers, Cyclop-eze and mysis fed to the tank and are the first critters (beating out the brissles) to find large scaps if one of the octos does not eat a piece of shrimp. Do not put them with decorative clams though or they will eventually eat them.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read some starfish do okay with algae wafers. ever try that? I have some but have never had anything I bought them for eat them. On the other hand, I have not tried them with starfish. I will put one in the tank tomorrow when I see my knobby on the glass to see what it thinks (I have the kind you can stick to the glass - they are messy but it is worth the experiment - I do need to check to see if these are fresh or marine though :oops:).

    No go on the experiment tomorrow as I knew it was spirulina but did not remember if it was purchased for a fresh or saltwater tank (I only have one fresh left and only because Ike - Silver Dollar - is likely to out survive me). Unfortunately spirulina is freshwater.
     
  18. hlywkar

    hlywkar O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I picked up some wafers for 7,000 won. little less than 7$. The star fish is eating it now.

    I found this site. It's give the area distribution and feeding of the star fish
    It suggests that that type, the Pentaceraster alveolatus, feeds off of detritus largely, and dead animals. so I did a search on detritus.
    and came up with organic material suspended in water. called marine snow.

    So I did a search for that. and found that you can buy it for feeding fish.

    It says it's largely for "soft and stone corals, anemones, tube worms, sponges, tunicates, clams, and other filter feeders."
    Does not say anything about starfish.
    What do you guys think?
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,078
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Another word for detritus is poop :yuck: (but it included rotting fish/creatures). In other words, don't eat yellow snow :wink:

    Do some reading on reviews of the brand you are thinking about getting (likely, the wafers are all you need to add to the tank, there should be enough leftovers and preprocessed from your critters not to add to the nitrate factory). Three Little Fishes is the most common brand labled as Marine Snow and most reviews I have seen (and I used it for awhile) suggest it is less than worthless. I like Cyclop-eze (engineered shrimp) to feed rather a an unknown mixture or look at some of the phyto (plant) and zoo (animal) plankton that lists what is it made from.
     

Share This Page