Pest Starfish

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by sen5241b, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    Okay so I ignored these things at first and now there are about a dozen of them and I am beginning to see dead, white spots on my pink coralline algae. They are very small and look like below except they have a bluish spot in them. I did read they will eat coralline. One particular turbo was completely covered with pink coralline and now he's half covered with dead white spots and I noticed two of these pest starfish on his shell. I've heard some people say these things are nothing to worry about. Has anyone else had trouble with these? If so, did you just pick them out one at a time?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
    sen5241b, Nov 30, 2008
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  2. sen5241b

    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    Those are asterina starfish, basically harmless for the most part. They "MAY" eat some types of SPS coral. They are really scavengers and part of the clean up crew that will eat dead or dying corals.

    The only real way to control them are harlequin shrimp and they will need to have other starfish fed to them once the population is annihilated.

    read up here;

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/asterinafaqs.htm
     
    RyanG, Dec 1, 2008
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  3. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    That dont look like an Asterina to me.At least not any that I've seen.
    But since your noticing them causing problems,just snatch em out when you see one.
     
    yote, Dec 1, 2008
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  4. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    The previous photo was from some other website. I got a decent photo from my own tank:

    This turbo was completely covered with coralline and now look at the dead, white spots. You can see the little bluish Asterina on the left side of the shell. Other pieces of LR have the white spots too.

    [​IMG]


    You can the little starfish against the sponge below. Yeah, I'm going to get rid of them. I'm just wondering if anyone else had these things eat more than a little coralline?

    [​IMG]
     
    sen5241b, Dec 1, 2008
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  5. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I've not had any problems at all with Asterinas.Every one in a while,I'll find one in the display.But I generally just pitch em in the fuge.Usually find them on patches of film algae.
     
    yote, Dec 1, 2008
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  6. sen5241b

    Oscarsdad608

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    I have never noticed the orangish center on any of mine.
     
    Oscarsdad608, Dec 1, 2008
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  7. sen5241b

    Stupidsreef

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    I myself have not had any issue's with them. However my best friend had them wipe out all of his Zoa's twice. Which is why I currently have his last batch of Zoa's. We have done a lot of research on these's Asterina starfish. We found it's a highly debatable topic. The end result's were that they are not eating his Zoa's and Birdnest or other corals that died. But causing polyp's to close, and then not feed. Although he did have over a few hundred of them too. Another friend had that many as well and noticed his Zoa's and Birdnest and other LPS slowly dieing off, so he bought a mated pair of harlequin shrimp. They took care of them & then he gave them to the other guy and the harlequin shrimp took care of his as well. Although I still have all the Zoa's as he want's to wait a be sure that there gone before placing the Zoa's back into his tank.

    So when I find an asterina starfish, I pick it out and toss it into the trash. From there issue's I find it to be better safe than sorry.
     
    Stupidsreef, Dec 1, 2008
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  8. sen5241b

    reeffreak

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    I have probably hundreds,if not thousands of asterinas.I have not seen any on any corals or loss coralline or corals.There maybe a few species harmful but most are just harmless film algae grazers.
     
    reeffreak, Dec 1, 2008
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  9. sen5241b

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    I don't like to risk it. Any time I see one, I throw them out. I usually give them to my kids to play with. They seem to like it

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Dec 1, 2008
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  10. sen5241b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I have found a few in my tank, and I always pick them out and move them to the fuge. I've only found them on the glass, not corals, but I've heard enough stories from people that had tons of them, never had problems with them eating corals, and then all of a sudden they go carnivorous and wipe out entire colonies. I don't risk it.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 2, 2008
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  11. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I've been reading up on this and its been said that they do not actually eat the corals, rather they cover them, irritate them and the polyps stay closed and starve.
     
    sen5241b, Dec 2, 2008
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  12. sen5241b

    bullitt21

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    send them to me if you dont want them ill pay shipping.i think they look cool.
     
    bullitt21, Dec 2, 2008
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  13. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    UPDATE: They have really begun to take a visible toll on my coralline algae and I am aggressively picking them out and throwing them in a garbage can. You can see a trail of bleached white coralline just behind the starfish's trail. I read somewhere else the ones with a bluish spot in the center will eat coralline.
     
    sen5241b, Dec 12, 2008
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  14. sen5241b

    d2mini VIP Member

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    I just threw a big one in the trash today.
     
    d2mini, Dec 13, 2008
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  15. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I've not seen the ones with the blue spots.
     
    yote, Dec 14, 2008
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