Should I be concerned? Harlequin Shrimp

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MtnDewMan

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I had a mated breeding pair of harlequin shrimp. Optimum food is blue linkia starfish. I started with chocolate chip stars but they were not crazy for them. Blue linkia stars kept them very healthy and allowed them to be able to breed just like in the wild. It sounds terrible to feed them the blue linkias but that is nature I guess.
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Erin1971Texas

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Ok, yea that's the plan. I do have my old tank sitting around, could I breed asterinas in it?
You will never breed asterinas fast enough to keep one harlequin shrimp fed, let alone 2. No harm in alternating between asterinas and other starfish, but they go through the tiny ones really fast. Harlequin shrimp do eat the entire starfish but the main nutritive part for them is the tube feet... so they might also attack any urchins if you have them. One last thing, when I got my harlequin, I had a ton of asterinas, and I saw the shrimp all the time, hunting them down over the entire tank. Now, since I feed it chocolate chip starfish, I rarely see it. It takes the starfish behind the rocks and stays with it until it's eaten. So, you may find yourself disappointed if yours is hidden away most of the time.
 
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You will never breed asterinas fast enough to keep one harlequin shrimp fed, let alone 2. No harm in alternating between asterinas and other starfish, but they go through the tiny ones really fast. Harlequin shrimp do eat the entire starfish but the main nutritive part for them is the tube feet... so they might also attack any urchins if you have them. One last thing, when I got my harlequin, I had a ton of asterinas, and I saw the shrimp all the time, hunting them down over the entire tank. Now, since I feed it chocolate chip starfish, I rarely see it. It takes the starfish behind the rocks and stays with it until it's eaten. So, you may find yourself disappointed if yours is hidden away most of the time.
Mmmm ok, my Harlequin is just sitting in its cave and not moving. I only added it yesterday. It is standing upright and moves it’s fans but that’s it. The CC is roaming around the tank enjoying freedom. It’s on the glass mainly. Should I put it in front of the den and is it natural behavior for the Harley? Keep in mind they weren’t feeding it in the pet store (they told it was eating mysis and algae Lol’
 
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Mmmm ok, my Harlequin is just sitting in its cave and not moving. I only added it yesterday. It is standing upright and moves it’s fans but that’s it. The CC is roaming around the tank enjoying freedom. It’s on the glass mainly. Should I put it in front of the den and is it natural behavior for the Harley? Keep in mind they weren’t feeding it in the pet store (they told it was eating mysis and algae Lol’
Leave the star alone and the harley will hunt when it's hungry.
 
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Mmmm ok, my Harlequin is just sitting in its cave and not moving. I only added it yesterday. It is standing upright and moves it’s fans but that’s it. The CC is roaming around the tank enjoying freedom. It’s on the glass mainly. Should I put it in front of the den and is it natural behavior for the Harley? Keep in mind they weren’t feeding it in the pet store (they told it was eating mysis and algae Lol’
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Curious how big of a tank and population of asterinas could support a single Harlequin. I have a 200 gal display with a 50 gal sump and frag tank. I pull out about 20-40 asterinas every weekend and am getting tired of it.

I could add a few dozen to my sump to keep a supply going if I put a Harlequin in my display. Wondering if I could sustain one on that or if I would need to eventually supplement with a bigger starfish.
 

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Curious how big of a tank and population of asterinas could support a single Harlequin. I have a 200 gal display with a 50 gal sump and frag tank. I pull out about 20-40 asterinas every weekend and am getting tired of it.

I could add a few dozen to my sump to keep a supply going if I put a Harlequin in my display. Wondering if I could sustain one on that or if I would need to eventually supplement with a bigger starfish.
My pair wipped out them all in my 220 in about a week. Seeing that your tank is a bit bigger I'd say 1 month at most for a hungry harley lol
 

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Curious how big of a tank and population of asterinas could support a single Harlequin. I have a 200 gal display with a 50 gal sump and frag tank. I pull out about 20-40 asterinas every weekend and am getting tired of it.

I could add a few dozen to my sump to keep a supply going if I put a Harlequin in my display. Wondering if I could sustain one on that or if I would need to eventually supplement with a bigger starfish.
won't sustain it for long. even if you culture a large amount. They also like the tube feet more than anything. You will have to use larger stars. IMO its not too bad if you can find a supply starfish at a reasonable price. Might be able to cut a deal with an LFS since you'll be buying bi-weekly
 
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UPDATE

Harlequin is eating. Proud of it. Now one last question, will it eat the full star? If not, when should I remove the carcass?
It will eat the full star. If you're concerned about the body degrading and throwing off your tank, you can remove it after a few days, but it should all be consumed.
 
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It will eat the full star. If you're concerned about the body degrading and throwing off your tank, you can remove it after a few days, but it should all be consumed.
Thank you so much, it was so cool to see the harlequin flip the starfish and use its terrain to the advantage by pushing of the rock to gain more force to flip the starfish
 
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UPDATE

So today morning, I woke up and the Harlequin was just not eating the starfish. It finished eating an arm but now, it was just on the rockwork. I removed the starfish in case it would pollute the water and I have it in a holding tank. Is it natural for the Harlequin to become disinterested?
 

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UPDATE

So today morning, I woke up and the Harlequin was just not eating the starfish. It finished eating an arm but now, it was just on the rockwork. I removed the starfish in case it would pollute the water and I have it in a holding tank. Is it natural for the Harlequin to become disinterested?
If they’re full, they’ll stop eating for a while. They should resume within the next ~24 hours though is my understanding.
 
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If they’re full, they’ll stop eating for a while. They should resume within the next ~24 hours though is my understanding.
What if the star is dead, wouldn't it pollute the water? I've put it back for now, Harley is interested again.
 

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If the star is dead, I suppose it could cause a nutrient spike as it decomposes, but - as SlugSnorter mentioned above - generally the shrimp will keep the star alive.

If you’re concerned about a nutrient spike, you can test you Nitrate and PO4 levels to see if one occurs - if it does, you shouldn’t need to do too much more than just removing the excess food and doing a water change.
 
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If the star is dead, I suppose it could cause a nutrient spike as it decomposes, but - as SlugSnorter mentioned above - generally the shrimp will keep the star alive.

If you’re concerned about a nutrient spike, you can test you Nitrate and PO4 levels to see if one occurs - if it does, you shouldn’t need to do too much more than just removing the excess food and doing a water change.
will check phosphate, currently my Nitrate test kit expired only have NO2 and NH4(Nitrite and Ammonia)
 
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will check phosphate, currently my Nitrate test kit expired only have NO2 and NH4(Nitrite and Ammonia)
Really, you would only need to check ammonia. If something dies in the tank and there's not enough bacteria to manage the decaying carcass, ammonia will spike which can be harmful.
Are you sure the starfish is dead? My Harley was never interested in dead starfish (or a chopped off arm), only live ones.
 
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Really, you would only need to check ammonia. If something dies in the tank and there's not enough bacteria to manage the decaying carcass, ammonia will spike which can be harmful.
Are you sure the starfish is dead? My Harley was never interested in dead starfish (or a chopped off arm), only live ones.
The starfish isn't moving and when the Harley left it alone, it just stayed there, no movement. The Harley dragged it once I put it back so i guess it's interested. Will update in an hour.
 
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