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what's eating the bobs?

littlemarley

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
21
#1
hi all, i,m very freaked out right now. i have lost 4 of my bobs in the last 3 days. (also 2 brittlestars) when i pull them out they look like they have been snacked on. mostly missing legs. the legs don't seem to be in the sand or anywhere in the tank. all i have in the tank is the bobs, a coulpe of black brittle stars and a few clams (or oysters, i don't know the difference :oops:) i do feed them live shrimp, but then again, that's what i've been feeding them all along. the other crazy thing is that the brittle stars are also missing limbs. first i pulled out a half mangled brittle star and assumed one of the bobs got hungry. the next day 1 of the bobs was dead, and i assumed that this was the one that ate the starfish, and it didn't agree with him. his legs looked thrashed, but i thought that it was from the other brittle star. the next day i pulled out 2 more bobs one of them alive but missing all it's legs, he died abot 2 hours later. i also pulled out the other brittle star, it was just a body and 3 stumps. the next day i pulled out another bob. it looked just as bad as the others. is something in my tank eating all my bobs? is it a virus or something? i only have 2 more bobs left. help!
 

monty

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
4,887
#2
I haven't heard about this in cuttles or squids, but in octos there is a behavior called "autophagy" where they bite off their own arms. This can be caused by stress, old age, or some sort of disease.

The only other thing I can think of is cannibalism, it seems unlikely that the stars or oysters are attacking the bobs...

sorry to hear about it, in any case :sad:
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Registered
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
4,930
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
#3
I would check your water quality. Brittle stars have a tendency to "drop" their arms if they are stressed. Do the bobtail's arms look as if they are bitten off (clean break) or like they disintegrated (slimy, skin sloughing off, dangling pieces)?
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Messages
4,218
Location
Dunedin, New Zealand
#4
we had some of our Sepioloidea turn cannibal so that is a possiblity, but I'd get on to the water quality the seastar/bob combined problem is suspicious.

J
 

Octavarium

Wonderpus
Registered
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
235
Location
East Haven,CT
#5
Yeah I never heard of autophagy in these guys either, especially when it happens to echinoderms and cephs. How big is the tank? Its not big enough to the point where a rather large mantis shrimp can be attacking the inhabitants is it?
 

gholland

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
569
#6
None of my mantis shrimp have ever bothered echinoderms. The only things in my mantis tanks that eat brittle stars are the hermit crabs. Could you have a nasty little crab hitcher on your liverock? Gorilla crab or something?
 

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