How to get rid of Asterina Starfish

pathot984

The Disease Guy and Lover of Angelfish
View Badges
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
2,141
Reaction score
6,291
Location
LOS ANGELES CA
Here are some I've pulled out by hand.

1573134374842.png


I used to be a big supporter of these guys. They do a great job keeping coraline in check. However 100% some eat my zoas and palys and it's impossible to tell by looking at them which are doing it.
Wow! That is crazy and somewhat amazing at the same time.
 
Reef Pro Corals

skimjim

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
3,990
Reaction score
5,545
Location
Cincinnati Ohio
Method #1
I believe they keep laying eggs in the sandbed. I ended up going BB and they disappeared inside 1 week

Method #2
I weekly dose lanthanum chloride for Phophate removal. I've heard any kind of starfish cant handle the lanthanum.

..
 

jda

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
7,817
Reaction score
9,875
Location
Boulder, CO
If you get a harlequin, try and get a mated pair... they seem to do better. It can take them months or even a year to get all of them, so your more prized starfish might need new homes for quite a while.

Once the starfish are gone, the shrimp will die and the starfish will start to regain population. All of this can take years. If you have a massive amount of asternia, then the shrimp might never get them all and might die of old age in a few years.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

mmatt

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
49
Reaction score
24
I had an issue with these little ********. Thought they were a positive for clean up but realized to late when they destroyed my premium zoa population after my corline algae. Manual removal after lights are off for an hour. Saved a few varieties of zoas but the damage was done. Never again. Harlequin shrimp will def make short work of them. I just didn't have one available to me. Don't let them get out of hand. Like the pic on page one. That Just made me and my wife cringe. Lol. Good luck.
 

PhreeByrd

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
448
Reaction score
395
Location
Indiana
I can attest that at least some asterina will not eat or bother zoanthids or other corals. I have had both asterinas and zoanthids in multiple tanks over the years, and never had an issue. In almost 30 years I've never even seen an asterina on or near any coral polyp in my tanks.
I just leave them alone and let them do their thing. The asterina population does wax and wane, and they really seem to prefer to eat algae or biofilm from the glass.

In any case, blanket statements about them being evil (or, probably, benign) are just plain wrong.

If I did want to remove them, using a siphon tube to do so would be very easy, since they don't attach to the glass or other surfaces very tightly.
 

Murica

Stay on target.....
View Badges
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
2,409
Reaction score
9,243
Location
New Hampshire
You can also use a nordoa starfish. Their main diet is the small asternias.........you will run into the same issue with harlequins that once the stars are gone it will die of starvation.

nordoa star eating  040816.JPG
I’ve tried those and they’re rarely on sale and they didn’t do nearly as good as the harlequin
 

Big E

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,344
Reaction score
1,824
Location
South Euclid, OH
I’ve tried those and they’re rarely on sale and they didn’t do nearly as good as the harlequin

I've had both more than once and they are about equal in eradication effectiveness The stars are more efficient in the fact they can maneuver anywhere over the tank including the glass.

I've never had trouble finding the Nordoa stars and they also aren't eaten by fish that predate on shrimp like wrasses, hawkfish, ect.
 

Ben Pedersen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 7, 2018
Messages
311
Reaction score
223
You can definitely tell the difference between bad and good Asterina. The bad Asrerina are dappled with dark patches. They generally have patches of different color grays (light and dark). They are also found on your corals. The good ones are solid white or light gray. They are generally found on the glass and or rocks but never on corals. The bad Asterina grow faster and larger than the good ones.

In my over 30 year of experience keeping reef tanks, the good Asterina have never caused any problems. I may post a photo showing the difference later...
 

DSC reef

Coral wasted
View Badges
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
15,917
Reaction score
49,329
Personally I've had light colored, dark colored and even reddish colored asterina devouring zoas. I believe seeing how many differences members have experienced shows that no one can tell the good from bad asterina. (Asterinidae) typically are herbivores but members of the asterina family are impossible to identify to a species level. Asterina is a family, not a species so there are many among them. Here's a small group of starfish from the asterina family just to give an idea how hard it is to identify good or bad.
Screenshot_20191108-075702_Chrome.jpg
 
Last edited:
Corals.com

Woud you rather start a tank with dry rock or live rock from the ocean?

  • Dry Rock

    Votes: 126 40.0%
  • Live Rock

    Votes: 111 35.2%
  • Combo of both

    Votes: 71 22.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 7 2.2%

Online statistics

Members online
2,299
Guests online
5,897
Total visitors
8,196
Tunze
Top