Chocolate Chip Starfish [standby meal]

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Kizmar, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Twice now I have tried to keep an extra small Chocolate Chip Starfish in my sump area as a stand-by for my Harlequin Shrimp.

    Both times, the starfish has disappeared / died. This last time it was in my LR bin with cheato and a light. I even fed it some Mysis. It still died... I think. It looks like it just crumbled in to a bunch of little pieces. :dunno:

    A) Not sure why this last one died (suggestions welcome)
    B) What happens to a starfish body when it dies?
     
    Kizmar, Sep 6, 2012
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    Smitty

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    I think the stress of constantly cutting its limb off may be stressing it to death. And they just seem to melt away and cause a spike in nitrates.
     
    Smitty, Sep 6, 2012
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  3. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    The sump starfish were left intact. The idea behind this was to have a whole starfish in my sump so that when the Harlequin was finished with the one in the display tank, I'd have another one ready.

    It's really hard to find small Chocolate Chip Starfish around me, so this is what I'm trying to resort to.
     
    Kizmar, Sep 6, 2012
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  4. Kizmar

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Bifferwine, Sep 6, 2012
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  5. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Kizmar, Sep 6, 2012
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  6. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Checked for stray voltage with my multimeter. Unless its not constant, there doesn't appear to be any.
     
    Kizmar, Sep 6, 2012
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    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    How did you acclimate it?
     
    wontonflip, Sep 6, 2012
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  8. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Fast drip for 20-30 minutes. Probably more like 20 minutes on the second one.
     
    Kizmar, Sep 6, 2012
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    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Try a 1-2 hour slow drip next time. Starfish are extremely sensitive to changes.
     
    wontonflip, Sep 7, 2012
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    cvcdrk

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    The longer the better when acclimating. Especially extremely weak and non-hardy things like starfish. If you have the time, you could potentially do it over 3-4 hours to be as safe as possible. The slower the better. Of course, it really depends where it comes from too.

    Starfish that aren't properly acclimated at an LFS (very common I'm sure) are next to no-good. I'm not sure how well they ship.
     
    cvcdrk, Sep 8, 2012
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  11. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Makes sense. The second one had poor color, so I know it wasn't in great condition to begin with. I got it anyway thinking it was going to be food.

    The LFS also mentioned it may have been stressed by bristle worms in a sump. It is likely that there are more worms in the new sump LR then the food in there will support since its new. I image some will starve and die off.
     
    Kizmar, Sep 8, 2012
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  12. Kizmar

    cvcdrk

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    Have you seen any worms in the sump area? It's possible that this could do -something-....although I'm not sure what.

    I would still lean towards acclimation and the technique the LFS is using to acclimate as likely culprits for the problem. As your LFS how they acclimate the starfish (I know Petco has no clue what they're doing and often even expose starfish to air which is a big no-no). I'm sure every LFS is different and yours may use sound techniques.

    If they do not drip-acclimate the starfish, you can always ask if you can order a new one and specifically ask them to float the bag for you and let you know when it comes in. Ask them not to open the bag...that way you will be the one to acclimate it and it doesn't suffer through acclimation twice. I feel like this would likely improve your chances of keeping it alive until your Harlequin can get around to eating it up. :)
     
    cvcdrk, Sep 8, 2012
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