Starfish supplement feeding

ScottyD36

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I recently got a sand sifting starfish. The lady at the LFS told me that they feed on detritus and other things in the tank. I kinda knew from reading before I got one for my tank that they don’t eat to much detritus and more the stuff inside the sand. Here is where my question is. I have a 13.5 gallon tank with about 4-6 inches of sand depth. I have copepods and other stuff running around my tank. Has anyone had any success target feeding a sand sifting starfish anything to make sure it gets enough food. I know a lot of these stars don’t last long in tanks in general but wanted to see if their is anything I can try to make sure it is still eating. Pictures below are of my starfish.

58952370-29BF-4B02-8406-298600469CE8.jpeg 036A3D70-24D4-41FD-AB36-BE59A06DA842.jpeg DE45B706-6EC7-49B2-8A9E-084A886D3FF4.jpeg
 

Dburr1014

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Our reef meeting last week, we had melev's reef do a presentation. He mentioned the sand shifting stars need a 24" x 24" sand area. And not covered by rocks, just open sand, to do well. You will definatly have to feed him. Not sure what they actually eat in the sand. I'm sure you will get some more insight here. Good luck!
 

JohnTheReefer

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Generally speaking, starfish are scavengers/clean up. I recommend trying to feed it a few different foods to see what it will eat. Nori, pellets, small chunks of different raw shrimp/fish/inverts that are normally used to feed our tanks is a good place to start.

Check out this video:
 
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ScottyD36

ScottyD36

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Generally speaking, starfish are scavengers/clean up. I recommend trying to feed it a few different foods to see what it will eat. Nori, pellets, small chunks of different raw shrimp/fish/inverts that are normally used to feed our tanks is a good place to start.

Check out this video:
Very cool video. What did they feed it in it?
 

Shadowbox

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I've had starfish successfully in a 13.5 gallon, and I probably have the exact tank you are talking about so I had to target feed. I leave very small pieces of white shrimp or fragments of freeze dried krill that are dosed with amino acids meant for corals slightly buried in the sand directly in theirs paths so that they can intercept it. Target feeding them by pushing it into them or placing them on top of it can often scare them away. I have found that starfish have a big appetite for a piece of food that has a drop of something with an amino acid base in it, practically running towards it. It kind of makes sense, because corals like amino acids to develop their calcareous skeletal structure, and starfish also have a calcareous skeleton. If your tank has any amount of film algae on the sand they will eat this as well. Most of these kinds of starfish in my experience are omnivores, and cannot survive with only algae or only meaty foods alone. If your tank has no source of algaes, you can break up small pieces of algae pellets or hikari herbivore and leave them in the sand bed for it to find. Keep in mind, small and few pieces because you don't want any big nutrients spikes.

Also, my tank originally had two starfish, and one died to sensitivity of a product called reef buffer. Just sharing because I believe starfish don't like this product in small tanks!

This is my starfish in a 13.5 gal reef tank and he has successfully been living here for quite a while. As you can see, he loves to eat my beautiful plants. I have had great success in target feeding him and he has never shown any interest in my anemones or corals as a source of food. I should however probably start feeding him algae pellets again, as my caulerpa isn't meant for chomping!

69E5AF06-7E01-4C45-8E0D-0DB80A13C891.jpeg


After detaching the leaf that has already been damaged by his digestive enzymes so he doesn't try to ball up more of my plant, I can place it in the path of his movement after returning him to the sand. He will take hold of the leaf and ball it back up again so he can eat it.

4633E728-C322-4B6C-A277-2C6C6DCF437E.jpeg 5BE530CC-BA6B-4CF6-90BC-9C0F400FC72A.jpeg
 
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Mikedawg

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I've had starfish successfully in a 13.5 gallon, and I probably have the exact tank you are talking about so I had to target feed. I leave very small pieces of white shrimp or fragments of freeze dried krill that are dosed with amino acids meant for corals slightly buried in the sand directly in theirs paths so that they can intercept it. Target feeding them by pushing it into them or placing them on top of it can often scare them away. I have found that starfish have a big appetite for a piece of food that has a drop of something with an amino acid base in it, practically running towards it. It kind of makes sense, because corals like amino acids to develop their calcareous skeletal structure, and starfish also have a calcareous skeleton. If your tank has any amount of film algae on the sand they will eat this as well. Most of these kinds of starfish in my experience are omnivores, and cannot survive with only algae or only meaty foods alone. If your tank has no source of algaes, you can break up small pieces of algae pellets or hikari herbivore and leave them in the sand bed for it to find. Keep in mind, small and few pieces because you don't want any big nutrients spikes.

Also, my tank originally had two starfish, and one died to sensitivity of a product called reef buffer. Just sharing because I believe starfish don't like this product in small tanks!

This is my starfish in a 13.5 gal reef tank and he has successfully been living here for quite a while. As you can see, he loves to eat my beautiful plants. I have had great success in target feeding him and he has never shown any interest in my anemones or corals as a source of food. I should however probably start feeding him algae pellets again, as my caulerpa isn't meant for chomping!

69E5AF06-7E01-4C45-8E0D-0DB80A13C891.jpeg


After detaching the leaf that has already been damaged by his digestive enzymes so he doesn't try to ball up more of my plant, I can place it in the path of his movement after returning him to the sand. He will take hold of the leaf and ball it back up again so he can eat it.

4633E728-C322-4B6C-A277-2C6C6DCF437E.jpeg 5BE530CC-BA6B-4CF6-90BC-9C0F400FC72A.jpeg
Great advice
 

LgTas

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I've been spot feeding my sand sifter with reef roids. I use a Coral feeder to inject the reef roids under it. It will immediately stop and dig down into that area. I've tried pellets etc. but it's either not interested or the shrimp grab them first. I may try the amino acid trick too.
 

alabella1

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I've had starfish successfully in a 13.5 gallon, and I probably have the exact tank you are talking about so I had to target feed. I leave very small pieces of white shrimp or fragments of freeze dried krill that are dosed with amino acids meant for corals slightly buried in the sand directly in theirs paths so that they can intercept it. Target feeding them by pushing it into them or placing them on top of it can often scare them away. I have found that starfish have a big appetite for a piece of food that has a drop of something with an amino acid base in it, practically running towards it. It kind of makes sense, because corals like amino acids to develop their calcareous skeletal structure, and starfish also have a calcareous skeleton. If your tank has any amount of film algae on the sand they will eat this as well. Most of these kinds of starfish in my experience are omnivores, and cannot survive with only algae or only meaty foods alone. If your tank has no source of algaes, you can break up small pieces of algae pellets or hikari herbivore and leave them in the sand bed for it to find. Keep in mind, small and few pieces because you don't want any big nutrients spikes.

Also, my tank originally had two starfish, and one died to sensitivity of a product called reef buffer. Just sharing because I believe starfish don't like this product in small tanks!

This is my starfish in a 13.5 gal reef tank and he has successfully been living here for quite a while. As you can see, he loves to eat my beautiful plants. I have had great success in target feeding him and he has never shown any interest in my anemones or corals as a source of food. I should however probably start feeding him algae pellets again, as my caulerpa isn't meant for chomping!

69E5AF06-7E01-4C45-8E0D-0DB80A13C891.jpeg


After detaching the leaf that has already been damaged by his digestive enzymes so he doesn't try to ball up more of my plant, I can place it in the path of his movement after returning him to the sand. He will take hold of the leaf and ball it back up again so he can eat it.

4633E728-C322-4B6C-A277-2C6C6DCF437E.jpeg 5BE530CC-BA6B-4CF6-90BC-9C0F400FC72A.jpeg
I have one and def. caught him munching on my zoa frags. I've had him in QT since. Not sure what I'm gonna do with him because the wife and kids love him.
 
MotorCityCorals

JohnTheReefer

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I've had starfish successfully in a 13.5 gallon, and I probably have the exact tank you are talking about so I had to target feed. I leave very small pieces of white shrimp or fragments of freeze dried krill that are dosed with amino acids meant for corals slightly buried in the sand directly in theirs paths so that they can intercept it. Target feeding them by pushing it into them or placing them on top of it can often scare them away. I have found that starfish have a big appetite for a piece of food that has a drop of something with an amino acid base in it, practically running towards it. It kind of makes sense, because corals like amino acids to develop their calcareous skeletal structure, and starfish also have a calcareous skeleton. If your tank has any amount of film algae on the sand they will eat this as well. Most of these kinds of starfish in my experience are omnivores, and cannot survive with only algae or only meaty foods alone. If your tank has no source of algaes, you can break up small pieces of algae pellets or hikari herbivore and leave them in the sand bed for it to find. Keep in mind, small and few pieces because you don't want any big nutrients spikes.

Also, my tank originally had two starfish, and one died to sensitivity of a product called reef buffer. Just sharing because I believe starfish don't like this product in small tanks!

This is my starfish in a 13.5 gal reef tank and he has successfully been living here for quite a while. As you can see, he loves to eat my beautiful plants. I have had great success in target feeding him and he has never shown any interest in my anemones or corals as a source of food. I should however probably start feeding him algae pellets again, as my caulerpa isn't meant for chomping!



After detaching the leaf that has already been damaged by his digestive enzymes so he doesn't try to ball up more of my plant, I can place it in the path of his movement after returning him to the sand. He will take hold of the leaf and ball it back up again so he can eat it.

Please keep in mind that a starfish such as the Chocolate Chip is quite different from keeping a Sand Sifting star. The CC will practically eat anything it can digest and will not normally burrow in the sand in search of food. The SS has a much more selective diet and normally does not feed on corals and macro algae like the CC. Again, I recommend trying several different foods to see which one it will take so it does not starve over time. Reef Roids is also a good suggestion as mentioned in a previous post.
 
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ScottyD36

ScottyD36

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Please keep in mind that a starfish such as the Chocolate Chip is quite different from keeping a Sand Sifting star. The CC will practically eat anything it can digest and will not normally burrow in the sand in search of food. The SS has a much more selective diet and normally does not feed on corals and macro algae like the CC. Again, I recommend trying several different foods to see which one it will take so it does not starve over time. Reef Roids is also a good suggestion as mentioned in a previous post.
Yea I have my checklist of food I am trying. I got some clam in a half shell that I will chop up to see if he will eat it. So far Krill, Mysis Shrimp, Seaweed Extreme and Algae Waffers are no goes. I am trying Blue Zoo Aquatic Fish Food mix today.
 

Shadowbox

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Please keep in mind that a starfish such as the Chocolate Chip is quite different from keeping a Sand Sifting star. The CC will practically eat anything it can digest and will not normally burrow in the sand in search of food. The SS has a much more selective diet and normally does not feed on corals and macro algae like the CC. Again, I recommend trying several different foods to see which one it will take so it does not starve over time. Reef Roids is also a good suggestion as mentioned in a previous post.
Very true, the SS will likely not eat macroalgae, and will typically only eat what it can find in the sand.
 
Zoanthids

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I've had starfish successfully in a 13.5 gallon, and I probably have the exact tank you are talking about so I had to target feed. I leave very small pieces of white shrimp or fragments of freeze dried krill that are dosed with amino acids meant for corals slightly buried in the sand directly in theirs paths so that they can intercept it. Target feeding them by pushing it into them or placing them on top of it can often scare them away. I have found that starfish have a big appetite for a piece of food that has a drop of something with an amino acid base in it, practically running towards it. It kind of makes sense, because corals like amino acids to develop their calcareous skeletal structure, and starfish also have a calcareous skeleton. If your tank has any amount of film algae on the sand they will eat this as well. Most of these kinds of starfish in my experience are omnivores, and cannot survive with only algae or only meaty foods alone. If your tank has no source of algaes, you can break up small pieces of algae pellets or hikari herbivore and leave them in the sand bed for it to find. Keep in mind, small and few pieces because you don't want any big nutrients spikes.

Also, my tank originally had two starfish, and one died to sensitivity of a product called reef buffer. Just sharing because I believe starfish don't like this product in small tanks!

This is my starfish in a 13.5 gal reef tank and he has successfully been living here for quite a while. As you can see, he loves to eat my beautiful plants. I have had great success in target feeding him and he has never shown any interest in my anemones or corals as a source of food. I should however probably start feeding him algae pellets again, as my caulerpa isn't meant for chomping!

69E5AF06-7E01-4C45-8E0D-0DB80A13C891.jpeg


After detaching the leaf that has already been damaged by his digestive enzymes so he doesn't try to ball up more of my plant, I can place it in the path of his movement after returning him to the sand. He will take hold of the leaf and ball it back up again so he can eat it.

4633E728-C322-4B6C-A277-2C6C6DCF437E.jpeg 5BE530CC-BA6B-4CF6-90BC-9C0F400FC72A.jpeg
I have the same kind. I hope it didn't get air trapped.. it was exposed to air when it was placed in the bag after purchase.. acclimated.. but is refusing shrimp and has a wide open mouth.. filter feeding?
 

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