Biscuit Starfish

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ZombieEngineer

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Those are detrivoires and sponge eaters. It is unlikely to do well in your size of tank without overfeeding to the point of causing harm to your other inhabitants.

Appears similar to fromia stars that generally need a 100+ gallon tank to have enough detritus to survive long term.
 
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ISpeakForTheSeas

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Well, normally I’d say the common name of Biscuit Sea Star is used for a number of different species, and knowing which one you’re asking about specifically would be helpful, but there’s actually some pretty good info available for most of the different species it could be in this case, and they seem to all have similar needs - so I’ll skip that common name bit this time.

It looks like they prefer areas with lots of rock and rubble (intertidal zones, rocky reefs, rocky shores, etc.), and they seem* to feed on algae, sponges and other filter feeders (like tunicates), bryozoans, and “encrusting animals” - whatever that actually means.
*with starfish, seeming to eat something does not necessarily mean they’re actually eating it or getting nutrients from it, just to clarify.

Having done some extensive study on different starfish (and a limited number of sponges), this starfish actually seems to be a relatively good aquarium candidate at the moment when compared to other starfish. However, that doesn’t make it an actually good candidate overall when looking at keeping it long term (i.e. for ~2+ years) - at least not yet. You’d need to figure out a solid diet for it first. This is a problem for a number of reasons.

For one thing, figuring out which sponges it’ll actually eat may be tricky, as a number of different sponges produce chemicals specifically to try and drive predators (like this starfish) away, and you’d want to grow the sponges it will eat yourself so you can be sure you’re able to keep it fed. Beyond that, it might need more variety than just a sponge species or two to keep it healthy, so you’d probably want to figure out what tunicates and other things it’ll eat too - and you likely need to grow those out yourself as well. Plus, as mentioned above, keeping nutrients in hand while keeping all of these things alive could prove quite challenging (though this is easier with larger tanks).

Assuming you’re up for trying though, I’d recommend starting with a handful of different sponges - photosynthetic plating sponges, ball sponges, tree sponges, Haliclona sponges, crumb of bread sponges, chicken liver sponges, etc. are a few you could try - and seeing how you do with them first, then add the starfish. If it eats any of those, make a note of it and see what else it eats. If not, find something else to offer it and try that until you get it eating. Once you’ve got something you feel confident it is eating growing, you can keep offering it new things to try and expand its diet (and I’d recommend doing so), but, most importantly, you’d want to see how it does long term. Track how long it lives on the diet you’re feeding it, and if it makes it to two years or more, let us all know.
 

livinlifeinBKK

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There are just so many species that fall under the name biscuit starfish it's pretty impossible to know which your actually getting unless you've done some really in depth research into them and again, most of them carry the same issues as other stars.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Since you like starfish so much I thought you might like to see just a few of the varieties they sell here...they're some amazingly diverse creatures! Screenshot_2022-06-18-12-02-31-213_com.facebook.katana.jpg Screenshot_2022-06-15-10-33-20-622_com.facebook.katana.jpg
 
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Well, normally I’d say the common name of Biscuit Sea Star is used for a number of different species, and knowing which one you’re asking about specifically would be helpful, but there’s actually some pretty good info available for most of the different species it could be in this case, and they seem to all have similar needs - so I’ll skip that common name bit this time.

It looks like they prefer areas with lots of rock and rubble (intertidal zones, rocky reefs, rocky shores, etc.), and they seem* to feed on algae, sponges and other filter feeders (like tunicates), bryozoans, and “encrusting animals” - whatever that actually means.
*with starfish, seeming to eat something does not necessarily mean they’re actually eating it or getting nutrients from it, just to clarify.

Having done some extensive study on different starfish (and a limited number of sponges), this starfish actually seems to be a relatively good aquarium candidate at the moment when compared to other starfish. However, that doesn’t make it an actually good candidate overall when looking at keeping it long term (i.e. for ~2+ years) - at least not yet. You’d need to figure out a solid diet for it first. This is a problem for a number of reasons.

For one thing, figuring out which sponges it’ll actually eat may be tricky, as a number of different sponges produce chemicals specifically to try and drive predators (like this starfish) away, and you’d want to grow the sponges it will eat yourself so you can be sure you’re able to keep it fed. Beyond that, it might need more variety than just a sponge species or two to keep it healthy, so you’d probably want to figure out what tunicates and other things it’ll eat too - and you likely need to grow those out yourself as well. Plus, as mentioned above, keeping nutrients in hand while keeping all of these things alive could prove quite challenging (though this is easier with larger tanks).

Assuming you’re up for trying though, I’d recommend starting with a handful of different sponges - photosynthetic plating sponges, ball sponges, tree sponges, Haliclona sponges, crumb of bread sponges, chicken liver sponges, etc. are a few you could try - and seeing how you do with them first, then add the starfish. If it eats any of those, make a note of it and see what else it eats. If not, find something else to offer it and try that until you get it eating. Once you’ve got something you feel confident it is eating growing, you can keep offering it new things to try and expand its diet (and I’d recommend doing so), but, most importantly, you’d want to see how it does long term. Track how long it lives on the diet you’re feeding it, and if it makes it to two years or more, let us all know.
Thank you!!
 
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AydenLincoln

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If I remember correctly, the serpent star I used to have was pretty resilient...here's a picture of one below. They aren't too hard to find either...What do you think about him? Screenshot_2022-06-18-19-51-19-723_com.miui.gallery.jpg
I don’t like the way they look but I found what I think is a good choice for a biscuit starfish.
 
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AydenLincoln

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Here is one of my future starfish a West African Biscuit! I found out they are in a 20 gallon aquarium at the fish store in around a 77 degree tank and are reef safe with caution! And they eat algae. All good things!! But mainly the fact that they are in the same sized tank. They got them in last month from Africa. Aaa I’m so excited to get one soon and I do have lots of algae and I know you can buy certain types too.
707D7BC9-BB6C-4D3B-AEE5-7CDEC1DBC612.jpeg
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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Anchitosia queenslandensis - the “Red Biscuit/West African Biscuit Starfish” - definitely an attractive species. Formerly known as Tosia queenslandensis, and still better known by that name. This is one of the few “biscuit starfish” species that the info I listed above may not apply to, as not much seems to be known about them.

MadCity Corals kept one for about two years by letting it eat algae in the tank and supplementing with algae wafers before it apparently started eating their encrusting corals (I’m not sure if this applies with this species/situation or not, but many carnivorous starfish species actually start off herbivorous and only turn carnivorous as adults - the Crown Of Thorns Seastar is an excellent example of this). They discussed their experience keeping it here on Reef2Reef, and they put it up for sale on their Facebook page when it started eating corals last year (you can still find the post). They may have gotten the star young enough that it hadn’t transitioned fully to “adult” foods when they first got it (I’m not sure when this species matures, but this strikes me as possible yet unlikely), or it - like many fish in the hobby - may have just developed a taste for them randomly. Either way, algae is a much easier thing to feed than sponges, but it might still be a good idea to offer a sponge, tunicate, or bryozoan or two just to see if it takes it.

I’m curious to see how this goes for you - good luck, and keep us updated!
 
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AydenLincoln

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Anchitosia queenslandensis - the “Red Biscuit/West African Biscuit Starfish” - definitely an attractive species. Formerly known as Tosia queenslandensis, and still better known by that name. This is one of the few “biscuit starfish” species that the info I listed above may not apply to, as not much seems to be known about them.

MadCity Corals kept one for about two years by letting it eat algae in the tank and supplementing with algae wafers before it apparently started eating their encrusting corals (I’m not sure if this applies with this species/situation or not, but many carnivorous starfish species actually start off herbivorous and only turn carnivorous as adults - the Crown Of Thorns Seastar is an excellent example of this). They discussed their experience keeping it here on Reef2Reef, and they put it up for sale on their Facebook page when it started eating corals last year (you can still find the post). They may have gotten the star young enough that it hadn’t transitioned fully to “adult” foods when they first got it (I’m not sure when this species matures, but this strikes me as possible yet unlikely), or it - like many fish in the hobby - may have just developed a taste for them randomly. Either way, algae is a much easier thing to feed than sponges, but it might still be a good idea to offer a sponge, tunicate, or bryozoan or two just to see if it takes it.

I’m curious to see how this goes for you - good luck, and keep us updated!
ABSOLUTELY!
 

cliff076

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I've seen those before! They're really cool!
Cliff here aka MadCity Corals. I did keep one for probably close to 5 years or longer. Attractive species easy to keep in my opinion. I try to keep my tank around 75-76 not for ther starfish health but corals health. Lower temp less bacterial infections. However my tank would hover around 80-81 during the summer months and I didn't have any problems with the African Biscuit star in warmer temps. Years later it got a taste for incrusting cyphastrea corals, nothing else.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Cliff here aka MadCity Corals. I did keep one for probably close to 5 years or longer. Attractive species easy to keep in my opinion. I try to keep my tank around 75-76 not for ther starfish health but corals health. Lower temp less bacterial infections. However my tank would hover around 80-81 during the summer months and I didn't have any problems with the African Biscuit star in warmer temps. Years later it got a taste for incrusting cyphastrea corals, nothing else.
Cool! Ever keep any other species just out of curiosity?
 
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