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PROOF - Asterina Starfish Eating Zoas

Discussion in 'Zoa Discussion (CLUB ZOA)' started by kron, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. kron

    kron Well-Known Member

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    Not much more to say, but while I was eating dinner this little guy was feasting on my Darth Maul frag. Seconds later he was in the dry cup with the other 20+ i've pulled from the tank this week.

    The frag on the right is the scene of the crime.
    [​IMG]

    After his tasty meal..
    [​IMG]

    You've been warned.
     
  2. butts182

    butts182 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    dang...that sucks...i've been pulling these things out of my tank for over a week now...i only find a couple now a day...i will be looking extra hard
     
  3. KLR

    KLR Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Im not saying this is a lie. But i have had these stars for 3 years in my tanks and never have had them eat a coral of any kind..
     
  4. PR_Reefers

    PR_Reefers Reefer 4 Life!

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    I had a couple of these in my tank, after a pair of harlequin shrimps and a couple weeks they were all gone!


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  5. butts182

    butts182 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    i wonder if it was not an asterina starfish, but another worse kind that looks similar to asterinas
     
  6. PR_Reefers

    PR_Reefers Reefer 4 Life!

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    There are several types of asterina if i'm not mistaken.


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  7. KLR

    KLR Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    This is what i was thinking,but they do look exactly like asterinas
     
  8. kron

    kron Well-Known Member

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    Whatever they are they will be gone when the harlequin shrimp arrive next week for sure.. Will the harlequin shrimp hurt my cleaner shrimp?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  9. Wy Renegade

    Wy Renegade Zs and Ps/PE collector R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    LOL; proof of what? That asteria seastars will finish off a dying algae covered polyp? Based on the size of the star and the size of what he is obviously covering, there couldn't have been much of a polyp under there to begin with.

    Look, here's a picture of an asteria star on my Joker polyps;
    [​IMG]

    And here's a picture of the polyps 7 days later, showing that it clearly did not consume the polyp it was on;
    [​IMG]

    Is that proof that they don't eat polyps?

    There is no doubt in my mind that asteria finish off dying polyps. I'm even willing to agree that based on what I've read, it is likely that some species do indeed eat corals. However, not every species of asteria is a coral eater, nor do I agree with that everyone should run out and eradicate every asteria out of their tank. Individuals need to spend some time watching these stars, and determine for themselves how the particular species they have interacts with their corals. Personally mine have never consumed anything but some already dying polyps, algae, and debris. No more than any hermit crab will do. Murfman wrote of a nice short summary of these guys referencing several articles (maybe he'll post it up). Hobbiests, especially those with a tank full of very expensive polyps, are wise to error on the side of caution and should probably never introduce them. Others need to make their decisions based on their own observations. Just my $.02 worth
     
  10. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Vegas baby!!!!
    Prove to me you had a healthy polyp before he digested it... They will eat dying corals with out a doubt but I have never saw a star on a nice healthy coral ever!!!! I have plenty of both lol... The stars only go to a coral if it's dying ime...;)
     
  11. nvfishman

    nvfishman Well-Known Member

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    These dang stars are the worst. any slightly receding coral they get. Not that long ago I moved 10 different frags of zoas into my softy tank from my sps tank they were doing well and multiplying so I epoxyed them in all over the rocks. There were a bunch of stars in the tank but I never gave it much thought as they are in my other display. Out of the 10 I still have a bright reds, lunar eclipse, mean green, They ate in a few days aog, tubbs, some bright red, bright orange, I have a ton of epmty frag plugs all over.

    They sat right ontop of the zoas and sucked them up. I thought they were trying to get the algae inbetween the polyops but they ate that and the zoas. I aint buying any more zoas after this raw deal.

    Troy dieing or weakend corals. I heard about hydrogen proxide and dipped before they went in big mistake must have weaked the zoas
     
  12. kron

    kron Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I'll be keeping an eye on whats left of the polyp. But, the real question here is if you can't difereniate between good and bad starfish why are you not pulling every last one out of the tank? For me, if I see them walking around they are getting pulled..

    The frag to the left in the first picture is the same size as what was there in the right frag. That starfish could have been there for hours sucking away on that zoa.
     
  13. Troylee

    Troylee all about the diy!!!!! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    They only attack dying or decaying corals from my exp. I saw them get on a acro I had one time that was dying with stn same with my polyps only if there closed and dying... Never never on a healthy coral!!!! Fwiw!!!
     
  14. Wy Renegade

    Wy Renegade Zs and Ps/PE collector R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    You can, its called observing and being aware of your tank. When was the polyp on the right the same size as the polyp on the left. Certainly not when you took that picture. My picture clearly shows what a star on a healthy polyp looks like - no way that star in your picture is engulfing a full sized healthy polyp and reaching all the way down and flattening out on a frag plug like it is.
     
  15. PR_Reefers

    PR_Reefers Reefer 4 Life!

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    No it will NOT! they are very docile... and don't bother any other tank-mates! Here they are comming out to eat:smile:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Captain Nemo

    Captain Nemo Look Ma, it's Nemo!!

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    Good grief just get a harlequin shrimp and be done wiu these pesky annoying stars.
     
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  17. PR_Reefers

    PR_Reefers Reefer 4 Life!

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    +1Thats what I'm saying!!lol they are probably not gonna consume healthy corals ...but Without any predators the population can get out of hand pretty quickly ! I've seen tanks covered!!And when food is scarce other things become yummy! Just dont let them get out of hand!


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  18. divewsharks

    divewsharks Well-Known Member

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    I've witnessed them eating zoos in my tank as well. My rastas to be exact. There are more than one type of astern; and in my tank it is the ones with the blue tint/pattern on them that have eaten some zoas. The tan ones that are in my tanks, have not done anything negative.
     
  19. DustinB

    DustinB New Member

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    Correct, there are several types of Asterina starfish. It is common knowledge that there are a couple types that will consume zoa polyps. It is fairly rare for most people to end up with these types though. There are definitely mistaken cases where another predator has damaged a polyp and the asterina was just "cleaning" up, but if no other predator can be found it is likely you have one of the bad types. In my case, the offending type happens to have a mostly solid black back with a white outer ring on the outer 1/3 of it's body.

    As for harlequins, I have read it can be hit or miss. In some cases they go right for them, other cases they will never touch them. In some cases the asterinas can be introduced/shown to the harlequin to get it started.
     
  20. iReefer

    iReefer Well-Known Member

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    regarless if it is or not or if they do eat corals or not eat.. I rather have a tank with out them. If you need some to help keep the sand clean get the sand shifting star just to be on the safe side
    end comment.
     

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