Who is the killer?

Davinci

Cuttlefish
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Aug 18, 2010
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18
#1
Tonight when I got home after a long day at the beach I found my brittle star fish dead missing all five tentacles and all ripped apart. So my question is who is the brutal murderer of this inocent brittle starfish?

The suspects are the following:

A) The sea urchin.
B) The hummelincki octopus.
C) The red serpent starfish (which was found right next to the body).
D) Myself for not taking good care of the brittle starfish.

Please post you expert advise.
 

kpage

Wonderpus
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Jun 24, 2009
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214
#2
I say B!!

Has to be the octo seeing as it's the only thing in there that could "rip" stuff apart. Unless you sleepwalked lat night and ripped it up..:confused:
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
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#3
Do you have hermit crabs in tank. I keep brittles and or serpents and some with common stars in all my ceph tanks and have never had an octopus damage any kind of star fish. I HAVE had hermits bite off the arms of brittles, not eat them and go after another arm. I keep pencils in most tanks, and again, never an issue with the stars.

Alternately, when starfish don't acclimate, they will discintegrate and this is my bet.
 

Davinci

Cuttlefish
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Aug 18, 2010
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#4
Uhm.... So I did a major water change (30%) that day and increased the salinity from 1.022 to 1.025. Do you think that this is what caused the brittle starfish to split in pieces or is the octopus still to blame? I do have hermit crabs, and I notice that prior to the death of the starfish it had white spots on its tentacles like something has been eating pieces of it. I do think that the hermits are too small to cause any damage though except to snails.

Appreciate all advice.
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
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Sep 16, 2005
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Pittsburgh, PA
#5
I think since you saw white spots on the brittle star, it just disintegrated. This happens sometimes. An animal in your tank might have ripped off one or two arms, but to have all the arms fall off meant the animal was in distress.
 

DWhatley

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#6
We have no reports of any octopus harming any stars. Whitish flesh on a star is often a sign of stress, usually not reversable. When an arm is severed, it should be a clean truncation without dead tissue. Stars from other than the Caribbean often disintegrate like this but most of the Caribbean stars don't come to this kind of end. They are known to be sensitive to salinity changes so a ill animal may have responded to the rapid water change.
 

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