How to get rid of Asterina Starfish

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pathot984

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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.
 
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skimjim

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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

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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.
 
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mmatt

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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

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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.
 
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Murica

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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

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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

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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...
 

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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
 
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