What happened to my brittle starfish?!

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by dragon3725, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. dragon3725

    dragon3725

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    I have had a brittle starfish for several months. He and my Snowflake Moray Eel like to hang out under the same live rock as each other, and were in the same tank in the fish store. This morning he had what looked like a scrape on the top of him and 2 small holes on his side, I was not overly concerned about it, but was keeping an eye on it. I did a water change, approximately 12 gallons, and added the correct amount of water conditioner. Moments later, after beginning the water change the starfish's wound turned into a gaping hole ALL THE WAY THROUGH the center of him, with something that appeared like the texture of pink brains festering out of the sides of the hole. It appeared to be extremely unpleasant, so he was immediately disposed of, so as not to put it through any unnecessary agony. Anemone? Water conditioner? Eel? Impaled himself with live rock? Any ideas on what could have happened here?:frustrat:
     
    dragon3725, Sep 27, 2009
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  2. dragon3725

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    What are your nitrates reading?
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 27, 2009
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  3. dragon3725

    dragon3725

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    HIGH, around 120. That's why I was doing a water change, I have been trying to get them down all day. Do you know any tricks? I am fairly new at this, only doing saltwater 8 or 9 months:bowdown:
     
    dragon3725, Sep 27, 2009
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  4. dragon3725

    Aiptasia_Farm_DotCom I'm not lysdexic!

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    I had a similar problem with my red linkia. the "rule" for starfish from what i have read is that a tank needs to be in cirrculation for at least a year or a year and a half before starfish can really start to thrive. so if i were you, id just wait a little longer before reintroducing another star. Also, Starfish are very sensitive to sudden changes in O2 and salinity, which could be from your wc, or if you used anything copperbased...that would be the problem....hope i helped..if i read anything in the future that sounds like your problem i will post it asap
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
    Aiptasia_Farm_DotCom, Sep 27, 2009
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  5. dragon3725

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Starfish are extremely sensitive to nitrates, which is why that was the first thing I thought of. If nitrates are high, they start falling apart from the inside out, just like yours did. You should take the anemone out ASAP. There is no way it'll be able to survive nitrates at 120. If it dies in your tank, there's a good chance it will kill everything else in it. Really, inverts are not going to do well if nitrates are above 20, and yours are deadly high.

    You need to get a protein skimmer (if you don't have one already), do some serious water changes, not use tap water (only use RODI water), and try to cut back on feedings.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 27, 2009
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  6. dragon3725

    dragon3725

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    What is RODI water?:confused: The anemone sprouted up out of the live rock and I know absolutely NOTHING about that either!!!
     
    dragon3725, Sep 27, 2009
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  7. dragon3725

    dragon3725

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    The salinity was also very high
     
    dragon3725, Sep 27, 2009
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  8. dragon3725

    dragon3725

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    The starfish have been in the tank about 3 or 4 months, there are 2 chocolate chip starfish remaining.
     
    dragon3725, Sep 27, 2009
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  9. dragon3725

    Aiptasia_Farm_DotCom I'm not lysdexic!

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    RODI is reverse osmosis deionized water. you can get a deionizer from your local marine shop. but about the stars, from what the discussions i have been in, chocolate chip starfish are quite hardy and are the "Tank" of the starfish clan. as far as your anemone...what exactly does it look like..it may just be a featherduster worm..and that would be quite normal.
     
    Aiptasia_Farm_DotCom, Sep 27, 2009
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  10. dragon3725

    dragon3725

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    I have a protein skimmer. The remaining starfish keep falling off of the sides of the tank, from the top, haven't seen THIS before, so frequently. I think it may be a featherduster worm, it came out of a really small tube originally, and is HUGE now.
     
    dragon3725, Sep 28, 2009
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  11. dragon3725

    Aiptasia_Farm_DotCom I'm not lysdexic!

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    that sounds like a feather duster worm. i have 5 or 6 in my tank that came on live rock. they are pretty tolerent so i wouldnt be to concerned about them.
     
    Aiptasia_Farm_DotCom, Sep 28, 2009
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  12. dragon3725

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Exactly how high is your salinity?
    And Biffs dead on with the nitrates and inverts.
     
    yote, Sep 28, 2009
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  13. dragon3725

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    If it's a hitch hiker anemone, then you don't need to worry about it dying :) If it came from a tube, it does sound like a feather duster.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 28, 2009
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  14. dragon3725

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    You said you have a skimmer, right? What color is the skimate in the collection cup?

    Also, to help get nitrates down you can get some macro algae planted in your DT, sump, refuge, or skimmer depending on your set-up and plant preference. Macro Algae is a great way to naturally bring down excess nutrients. In your case, 120 is emergency levels, time for some big water changes (40%+/- every other day) and possibly some anti-nitrate filter media. It's should get fixed over night (that can be just as bad), but you should definitely get it started on the right track ASAP.
     
    KidJ57, Sep 28, 2009
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  15. dragon3725

    dcantucson

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    +1 Biff, yote & Kid.
    Your Starfish is dissolving from the poor water conditions.
     
    dcantucson, Sep 28, 2009
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  16. dragon3725

    Melosu58

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    I totally agree with the nitrate assesement. They do not tolerate high nitrates. That would be my guess.
     
    Melosu58, Sep 28, 2009
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