Harlequin shrimp help

homer1475

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So as the title states I bought a harlequin sometime ago to eradicate the plague of asternias I had going(no really the glass was covered at night, and I do mean covered).

Fast forward a few months and it seems he has taken care of the problem, but now I think he needs some food. I know they will readily accept chocolate chip stars, and that I will have to cut an arm off to feed him. I do not have a problem with this(after all it's nature and this sort of predatory behavior goes on all the time). What I'm having an issue with is what sort of QT procedure do people deal with when feeding these guys?

Should I QT the star before feeding it, or am I thinking too much into this? Just cut off the leg and feed away with no QT and keeping the star in my sump, or?

Any help would be great here as I'm on my way to the LFS this morning to get one, and the only LFS in the area that has any is very questionable, but their inverts are kept separate from the fish and coral tanks.
 

ScottR

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Good question. I’m following along. My only piece of advice is: I wouldn’t buy a star if it came from anything but a fallow system. Even if separate tanks but same sump, there may be parasites. And even still you don’t know.
 

ScottR

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I’ve an idea. We were just talking on the other thread. I made my own fish food and I read that most parasites can’t survive a three day freeze. Perhaps you could freeze the star and feed it later ?(after thawing out) See if anyone has a take on this.
 
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homer1475

homer1475

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Yea see this is what I'm worried about. They are totally seperate systems, but what sort of disease can a star bring into the system? Can ich/brook/velvet/etc attach to a starfish and bring it into the system?

This sort of thing is what I have no idea on.
 
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homer1475

homer1475

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I’ve an idea. We were just talking on the other thread. I made my own fish food and I read that most parasites can’t survive a three day freeze. Perhaps you could freeze the star and feed it later ?(after thawing out) See if anyone has a take on this.
I've read where some do freeze them, but as I've also read, and was told by my not so trusted LFS that most harlequins will not take it frozen/thawed. It has to be fresh and alive.
 
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homer1475

homer1475

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I know it's early, but maybe this will help get a few more eyes on this topic that would know....

Now is it @reefsquad, or #reefsquad ? I know one works, just never used it and forget the actual syntax.
 

Mjrenz

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You should definitely qt even if they do have a separate system for inverts, the only qt you should ever trust is the one you do yourself. Any parasite can come in on the star and can end up in your tank without qt. I'm not sure if he would take a frozen leg, you could always try it and see if he eats it
 

ScottR

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Yea see this is what I'm worried about. They are totally seperate systems, but what sort of disease can a star bring into the system? Can ich/brook/velvet/etc attach to a starfish and bring it into the system?

This sort of thing is what I have no idea on.
Parasites can come in on anything wet. You can stick a spoon in an infected tank and put it in yours and crash it.
 
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homer1475

homer1475

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Parasites can come in on anything wet. You can stick a spoon in an infected tank and put it in yours and crash it.
And I get that.....

But i cannot really see people QT'ing these things for weeks(70 some odd days, forget the actual number off the top of my head), to only be added as food.

Are they known to have parasites, do they typically come with parasites, or should I just assume it does, and QT it before adding it as food?

I guess my real concern is whether Qt'ing is the proper procedure before adding something thats food. I'm really hoping for some real world experiences and what others have done. Not just the canned response of "everything wet should be QT'ed", as I already know that. But we all take chances here and there, and if this is something thats low risk(IE similar to a how most roll the dice on a mandy because typically will never have ich because of it's thick slime coat), then so be it.
 

Mjrenz

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This thread reminded me of something, a month or so ago my lfs gave me a powdered food meant for harlequins that I hadn't tried until just a few minutes ago. All you do is add a couple drops of water and roll it into a ball, I just tried it and my harlequin snatched it right out of my fingers and is devouring it right now. The only problem is that they gave it to me in a plain little plastic bag and I don't know the name of it. I'll try to find out later today and let you guys know
 
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Mjrenz

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And I get that.....

But i cannot really see people QT'ing these things for weeks(70 some odd days, forget the actual number off the top of my head), to only be added as food.

Are they known to have parasites, do they typically come with parasites, or should I just assume it does, and QT it before adding it as food?

I guess my real concern is whether Qt'ing is the proper procedure before adding something thats food. I'm really hoping for some real world experiences and what others have done. Not just the canned response of "everything wet should be QT'ed", as I already know that. But we all take chances here and there, and if this is something thats low risk(IE similar to a how most roll the dice on a mandy because typically will never have ich because of it's thick slime coat), then so be it.
It's a hotly debated topic as to whether qt is necessary but the reality of it is that you are taking a huge risk of introducing velvet, ich, prazi resistant flukes, etc if you don't qt. The parasites can't host inverts but can exist in the water they have in and on them
 

ScottR

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And I get that.....

But i cannot really see people QT'ing these things for weeks(70 some odd days, forget the actual number off the top of my head), to only be added as food.

Are they known to have parasites, do they typically come with parasites, or should I just assume it does, and QT it before adding it as food?

I guess my real concern is whether Qt'ing is the proper procedure before adding something thats food. I'm really hoping for some real world experiences and what others have done. Not just the canned response of "everything wet should be QT'ed", as I already know that. But we all take chances here and there, and if this is something thats low risk(IE similar to a how most roll the dice on a mandy because typically will never have ich because of it's thick slime coat), then so be it.
IME, I have never had an invert bring a disease into my tank. I know corals can bring in things like red bugs, flat worms, etc. But shrimps, snails, nudis, and others have been fine. Some things like to hitchhike on snails like aiptasia and stuff. But I don’t think a chocolate star is going to nuke your tank. If it were me, I’d just throw it in. But the chocolate stars at my lfs are huge and I’m sure the shrimps will take forever to devour all of one.
 

DarthSimon

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I would QT anything that comes from water of a LFS.
 
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Falreef

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A live chocolate star is a never ending source of food for a harlequin.
Except if your wrasses get the Harlequin first.
 

najer

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I was about to say take it back to the lfs as I have in the past, I can't get my head around feeding them ornamental stars.
I have had a few, very interested in the target feeding of one that is not asterinas! ;)
 

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