What's so bad about asterinas?

AcroNem

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Now known as Aquilonastra there are 28 species. Almost all are entirely harmless but do reproduce quickly, there are a couple species that will harm corals or other invertebrates but we rarely see them in the hobby. They have a bad reputation because this hobby has a tendency to spread misinformation without further evidence very quickly. So, a few people finding the kinds that are harmful quickly turns into "every one of these eats corals and must be eradicated".
 
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andrewkw

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Now known as Aquilonastra there are 28 species. Almost all are entirely harmless but do reproduce quickly, there are a couple species that will harm corals or other invertebrates but we rarely see them in the hobby. They have a bad reputation because this hobby has a tendency to spread misinformation without further evidence very quickly. So, a few people finding the kinds that are harmful quickly turns into "every one of these eats corals and must be eradicated".

IMO it's individual based not species based (although I'm sure some are worse than others). Similar to how some tangs become coral eaters, and many angels can be completely hit or miss.

My own experiments with asterinas were done here :


Some were 100% eating zoanthinds. Obviously not all of them as I was not loosing 100s of polyps just select ones. I do love that they eat coraline though.
 

medtoad

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Get a blue linkia starfish. You’ll slowly have fewer and fewer asterinas , then you’ll be looking for a source of them to put IN as your linkia slowly wastes away without them (in my 320g tank previously overrun with them)

I have always wondered why people want to get rid of these little starfish I have a bunch in my tank.
 

Jeff Jarry reef

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I have always wondered why people want to get rid of these little starfish I have a bunch in my tank.
I just bought a harlequin shrimp to get rid of them them little star fish devoured a zoa colony I had. So I don't won't them in my tank.
 

mmatt

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They wiped out most of my zoas after my Coraline alage. Like previously said most are great for clean up crew but it's usually to late if you have the few that do eat coral.

I let the population go because I was under the impression they were good; until a lot of my premium zoas were what looked like melting. That's when I saw those little ******** munching on my zoas colonies. Spent days manually removing them. Well over 200 in my old 75 gal. They were out of control and really only noticed once night lights were on

Now as soon as soon I see one in my new build they are gone. Throw them in the sink and let the f-ers dry out.
 
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mmatt

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They wiped out most of my zoas after my Coraline alage. Like previously said most are great for clean up crew but it's usually to late if you have the few that do eat coral.

I let the population go because I was under the impression they were good; until a lot of my premium zoas were what looked like melting. That's when I saw those little ******** munching on my zoas colonies. Spent days manually removing them. Well over 200 in my old 75 gal. They were out of control and really only noticed once night lights were on

Now as soon as soon I see one in my new build they are gone. Throw them in the sink and let the f-ers dry out.
 

Jon_W79

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I've had a lot of them for a long time now. One thing I like about them is that I believe the ones I have will eat cyano, (Especially if they are hungry enough.) and have helped me get it under control. Things I don't like about them are that they are eating algae that my algae eating fish and snails could use. And that they eat coraline algae.
 

MightyMO

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I have them in my tank, never knew them to be a pest. None have ate my zoas... But I have noticed I'm not getting any coraline algae growth... Guess I will remove them...
 

MartinWaite

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There is hundreds of different ones and only about two will eat corals and the rest of them eat ditritus and algae and are good CUC. You can see which is which quite quickly. Yes they can bred rapidly if there's is enough food available for them to eat. I had them in my last tank and you could see them eating algae and other ditritus. To me I want a slice of the ocean complete with everything you need to to keep it looking good.
 

Udest

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yeah they can be pest I haven't had any problems with any that Ive found in my tank , though mine mostly larger white ones , though seriously i thought about supplying them to hobbyist with harlequin shrimps.
 

Jet915

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They ate nice looking zoas so I got a harlequin shrimp. Now I ask local reefers for asterinas to feed my shrimp lol....
 

HB AL

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A couple years ago I had a mass reproduction of them and all they did was eat most of the coraline algae. Fast forward to the present and I only have some here and there.
 
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Stigigemla

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Talking about the species, I have 3.
1. Just grey = innocent
2. Grey with a red dot in center of the upper side. Eating coral.
3. Dark grey. Eating coral.

I take out every 2 or 3 directly as i see them and then inspect the tank for more. I dont mind the 1. It takes a bit of looking because I only see the colors on the upper side.
 

Doctorgori

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just adding to your data: I’ve seen them in almost every tank I’ve had .... While I’ve seen others tanks overrun, I never had that happen, and at most i’ll see a single One every month or so on the glass
 

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