How often does a harlequin shrimp need to be fed?

glb

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I got a harlequin shrimp several months ago to take care of asterina starfish. It did a great job of eradicating them, so now I feed him a sand-sifting starfish when I see him looking for food. The problem is that Quin eats a whole sand sifter in just a few days. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s a chow hound. How often do I need to add a new sand sifter to keep him happy? Quin may turn into the most expensive thing in my tank with his appetite!
 
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Dragonsreef

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If you want to have a perpetual food source for him its best to keep a few chocolate stars in your refugium or a second tank. Make sure to keep them well fed and just snip like 1/4 of one leg off once a week and give it to the harlequin. If you continue this and rotate between 2-3 stars they shouldve grown the first leg back by the time you get there. You can also breed astrinas that same way.
 
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If you want to have a perpetual food source for him its best to keep a few chocolate stars in your refugium or a second tank. Make sure to keep them well fed and just snip like 1/4 of one leg off once a week and give it to the harlequin. If you continue this and rotate between 2-3 stars they shouldve grown the first leg back by the time you get there. You can also breed astrinas that same way.
Can I keep a chocolate chip in the sump?
 
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vetteguy53081

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The answer is that Harlequin shrimp feed exclusively on starfish. We all know that in general, shrimp feed on a variety of food and do not display selective feeding regimes, because they are scavengers. However, Hymenocera picta species has a special feeding behavior, which, feeds only on starfishes.
Chocolate chips and asterina stars are the best sources cost effectively
 
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The answer is that Harlequin shrimp feed exclusively on starfish. We all know that in general, shrimp feed on a variety of food and do not display selective feeding regimes, because they are scavengers. However, Hymenocera picta species has a special feeding behavior, which, feeds only on starfishes.
Chocolate chips and asterina stars are the best sources cost effectively
No I meant what do I feed the chocolate chip starfish? Thanks for the info though!
 

vetteguy53081

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No I meant what do I feed the chocolate chip starfish? Thanks for the info though!
LOL. Chocolate stars eat what you dont want them to eat such as corals, sponges, and even other starfish and a reason why you dont want them as pets in the reef tank. Their preferred food source are soft corals such as corallimorphs (tubeworms), clams, some snails and zoas.
 

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Do harlequin shrimp eat micro brittle stars? I've always had a bzillion of these little guys in my 125. I also got a harlequin shrimp a couple of years ago to bring down a pretty heavy asterina starfish population. He took down the asterinas pretty quickly, and managed to survive and grow for the better part of a year. Just kind of assumed he was eating the brittle stars. I have a melanaurus wrasse that doesn't seem to bother my peppermint shrimp, but I suspect he may have finally taken out the harlequin. Thoughts?
 
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LOL. Chocolate stars eat what you dont want them to eat such as corals, sponges, and even other starfish and a reason why you dont want them as pets in the reef tank. Their preferred food source are soft corals such as corallimorphs (tubeworms), clams, some snails and zoas.
LOL. That’s why I want to keep it in the sump if I get one. What would I feed it down there?
 
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Do harlequin shrimp eat micro brittle stars? I've always had a bzillion of these little guys in my 125. I also got a harlequin shrimp a couple of years ago to bring down a pretty heavy asterina starfish population. He took down the asterinas pretty quickly, and managed to survive and grow for the better part of a year. Just kind of assumed he was eating the brittle stars. I have a melanaurus wrasse that doesn't seem to bother my peppermint shrimp, but I suspect he may have finally taken out the harlequin. Thoughts?
I have those too. I think my harlequin eats them but I’ve never seen him in action.
 

vetteguy53081

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I have those too. I think my harlequin eats them but I’ve never seen him in action.
he eats them. They just multiply faster than it can eat them.
 

vetteguy53081

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LOL. That’s why I want to keep it in the sump if I get one. What would I feed it down there?
try algae sheets or a small piece of sponge if your LFS has any
 

vetteguy53081

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Will they give him enough food between feeding him a sand-sifting star every 3-4 weeks?
depends on size of the star. Get the smallest you can and when feeding to the shrimp , place the star in the tank upside down
 
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Charles Raabe

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I got a harlequin shrimp several months ago to take care of asterina starfish. It did a great job of eradicating them, so now I feed him a sand-sifting starfish when I see him looking for food. The problem is that Quin eats a whole sand sifter in just a few days. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s a chow hound. How often do I need to add a new sand sifter to keep him happy? Quin may turn into the most expensive thing in my tank with his appetite!
I put this together some years ago when I kept and attempted to breed these shrimp, I hope it will answer any questions that you may have. http://chucksaddiction.thefishestate.net/harlequinshrimp.html
 

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Does the starfish have to be alive? I cut off a leg and threw him in the freezer. When I saw him again I cut off another leg and gave it to him. He’s taking them, but now I’m wondering if he’s actually eating them or just dragging them away. On my tank I have the place for the socks, a skimmer section, and a section for the pumps. I don’t have an area where I can just throw the starfish alive. I have a ESHOPPS setup under the tank. Thank you for the help.
 

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