Asterina starfish getting out of hand: how many bumble bee/harlequin shrimp can I have? Are they okay with other shrimp?

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LesPoissons

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Hey guys,
Im having a population explosion of asterina starfish. I have a 220g tank with 3 cleaner shrimp, a scarlet shrimp, and a coral banded shrimp. How many of the bumble bees or harlequins (pending lfs availibilty) should I add? Are they okay with the other shrimp?
 
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I had the same problem in a 150 gallon tank with a pistol shrimp. I put a single harlequin in about 2 months ago and the starfish have been drastically reduced. No problems at all.
 

catalystNfacade

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I think harlequin shrimp only have problems with their own kind, unless they're a pair. I have two Bumblebee Shrimps in a 24 gallon tank which I believe are the same sex. The larger one will chase the smaller one now and then but it never gets worrisome. I'm guessing because of their size you could house a good number in a tank. Completely unproven opinion though. I'm not sure Bumblebee Shrimps will eat the bodies of asterina starfish. They seem to viciously attack the tube feet of such creatures and that's it. This I can confirm from adding an urchin out of curiosity once. Both species should be okay with other shrimp. Though keep in mind the bumblebee shrimps are tiny and could be picked on or hunted by substantial larger shrimps. They're my favorite shrimps to keep so far though.
 
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I have a mates pair of Harlies, 220gal they took about 3 wks to clear out asterina and there were hundreds, also have a variety of other shrimp all get along fine.
Now I buy asterina to keep the harlies fed
 
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I wonder what causes these explosions? I've had friends pull over 50 out of a 29 gallon in one go. I've had them for 10 years and I'm lucky to find two at a time in a 90 gallon. For some reason they don't proliferate much in my tank. Not sure if it's the nassarius snails or the scarlet reef hermit, or just competition with these snails/gastropods: astrea, nassarius, chitons, stomatella, Mexican turbo, zebra, and/or money cowries.
 

rhdoug

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I had hundereds of asternias in my 58 gal reef, and a pair of harlys cleaned them out in weeks, I had to start buying starfish for them to keep them alive. They are very interesting critters if you can meet their needs.
 

coralreefer123

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Hey guys,
Im having a population explosion of asterina starfish. I have a 220g tank with 3 cleaner shrimp, a scarlet shrimp, and a coral banded shrimp. How many of the bumble bees or harlequins (pending lfs availibilty) should I add? Are they okay with the other shrimp?
If you still have starfish invading, I would be happy to take them off your hands! Have a shrimp that will eat them
 
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