Brittle star losing legs?

Sharkbait19

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Hi,

I’ve had a brittle star in my tank for almost two weeks, and it’s been doing pretty good. It is active, fun, and seems to eat at a normal rate. The only issue I see is that hermit crabs and the emerald crab are always trying to grab it’s legs. Recently, especially since I added a new pistol shrimp, it’s been very active during daylight, when usually it’s hiding in its rock then. It also seems a bit more sluggish. And my largest concern is that the tips of some of its legs are missing. What could be going wrong? Is it a dietary issue? How quickly, if it was the crabs who took them, would the legs grow back? Does it look healthy otherwise? He’s really fun and a helpful cleaner and I’d hate to lose him.
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Jib

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The only issue I see is that hermit crabs and the emerald crab are always trying to grab it’s legs.

I feel like you're awsnering you're own question here. If you see crabs grabbing at it's leg, and it starts missing pieces of it's leg, it would seem to me you found your problem. I've never kept starfish for full disclosure though.
 

LionFishReeferMom

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I was wondering why we found our banded brittle star’s arm this am but he was nowhere (could be in rocks, hope he’s good). Now maybe I’m wondering if he’s being harassed by the hermit crabs or our emerald crab after reading this.
 
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Sharkbait19

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Just to update this thread— the starfish lost most of his legs up to the base. I thought he was a goner, and that the water was just not good for him. However, he is now growing his arms back, and though hiding often, seems totally fine. This probably proves it was just aggression by my pistol shrimp or crabs. I hope everything works out with your star too!
 
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Just to update this thread— the starfish lost most of his legs up to the base. I thought he was a goner, and that the water was just not good for him. However, he is now growing his arms back, and though hiding often, seems totally fine. This probably proves it was just aggression by my pistol shrimp or crabs. I hope everything works out with your star too!
Wow, I’m sorry to hear that that happened to your poor star :-( We finally got signs from our star that he’s alive. We finally saw an arm or two poke out and move from behind some rocks. The fish store today suggested perhaps it was our foxface but I couldn’t believe it given the foxface’s big-baby nature. Turns out when we saw the arms tonight the foxface hung out for a while above the area and never bothered the star down in the rocks, just floated there doing his nighttime camo routine. I suspect it’s a crab-hermit or emerald. I am constantly checking to see if my star comes out from the rocks more so I can analyze him for any further damage other than the one arm. Poor guy.
 
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Sharkbait19

Sharkbait19

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Unless you remove the crabs, he’ll die in there..... I’d rather have Starfish and snails then snails and crabs. Crabs you can live without. Starfish are awesome to watch!
I’m afraid so. I don’t think I’m going to replace the hermit crabs as they die out. The emerald crab I’ve also grown attached to. However, I may have no choice....
 
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