What's so bad about asterinas?

ScottB

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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.
I think this is a fair assessment of the risks asterinas do/don't pose. I will add to it:
If they have a blue tint: they are eating your Tubbs zoas
If they have a green tint: they are eating your Rasta zoas
 
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McPuff

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They have never been a problem in my experience. BUT, I never have had them get very high in number either. I believe that either the wrasses or hawkfish or both consume them (I always have one or more of those). The same appears to be true for bristleworms... I rarely see even tiny ones in my system.
 

Crustaceon

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The problem is mainly their numbers once they get established. They’ll cover and get into everything, which includes circulation and return pumps. They also sometimes decide to go after corals. Worst of all they’re a pain to get rid of once they get to that point and you’ll be kicking yourself because you’ll want them gone immediately. I had asterinas in my 100g and it took me over a month to remove them. Each night I peeked around with a flashlight and a pair of tongs. For the first week I was averaging 50-80 starfish per night. By week three I was finding around ten per night. It’s absolutely brutal and the only other viable option aside from draining the tank is adding a harlequin shrimp and eventually trying to either keep that thing alive or finding another local reefer with asterinas or the drive to constantly source starfish to take it off your hands.
 

MERKEY

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It definitely comes down to the reefer and what you want in your system.

We ended up with a pair of harlequins in our small tank that are breeding and liked them so much we decided to seed our big tank with asterina stars so we would have a steady supply. The stars are great cleaners but will move to other food once the rocks and glass are not providing enough.

It all depends on what you want to look at ;)
 

RtomKinMad

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We have tons of them and they do eat my zoas and coraline. Find them on the coral all the time. We just got a harlequin. Have many of the star fish in the sump as back food when the harlequin eats the ones in the tank. We also have them in a smaller tank. One night for the harlequin in the tank and found many of the star fish way up high on the glass. I’m imagining how these little creatures communicate that they are all on the glass running from the shrimp! I like them but in small amounts but they take over quickly! The picture only shows one side of the glass!

42D01862-138A-4FF6-A258-71E1A32DD0A7.jpeg
 
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woejillis

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I see many folks saying they eat 'coral' and certain zoas. Can anyone provide what kind of coral they've found the stars to be munching on?

I've had asterinas for years and have had no issues but I only do softies and Euphyllia. I've had times where the population has bloomed and other times where the population has waned. I've never seen coralline in my tank and have enough routine film algae on the glass that they won't run out of food.

I've wanted to branch out to zoas and other types of LPS. I appreciate the knowledge this forum brings so that when I do decide to try some new types of coral I'll be on the lookout.
 

ScottB

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I see many folks saying they eat 'coral' and certain zoas. Can anyone provide what kind of coral they've found the stars to be munching on?

I've had asterinas for years and have had no issues but I only do softies and Euphyllia. I've had times where the population has bloomed and other times where the population has waned. I've never seen coralline in my tank and have enough routine film algae on the glass that they won't run out of food.

I've wanted to branch out to zoas and other types of LPS. I appreciate the knowledge this forum brings so that when I do decide to try some new types of coral I'll be on the lookout.
For me it was zoanthids -- expensive ones to be precise: Rastas and Tubbs. Common radioactives they seemed to ignore.
 

Naso180

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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.
Personally I like them. My wife thinks they're cute and they eat all that nuisance Coraline Algae. No seriously! While it's a sign of a healthy tank, I think Coraline Algae competes with my corals for resources. They've never gone after my Zoas or anything other than the Coraline Algae.
 

Chickenzown

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Ive had them in my tank for more than 10 years, never an issue. I have zoas and many other corals. I prefer a ‘living, balanced reef’ as much as possible and that includes many of the critters some see as pests.
 

MartinWaite

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There is a couple of hundred different types of Asteria starfish and only 2 of them eat corals the rest of them eat ditritus and algae and are good CUC and they will only breed if there is enough food available for them to eat if you have any look at were they are and what they are eating usually it's all the ditritus that's between the zoas that they are eating. In over 35 years of reef keeping I've never seen them eat a zoa and the only time they breed very quickly was when I started getting a load of algae but as soon as I was on top of the algae the Asteria stopped breeding and I removed any that I could reach with my tweezers.
 

Anchor

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I had a single Harlequin in a 40 that was nearly blocking out the front glass every night. Gone in a month. went to move it to another tank and accidentally crushed it with a rock.. Heartbroken I am.. Heartbroken.

Now I shut off all the flow and scrape the starfish off the front glass with a net. Thinking I may try to set up a 10 gallon and try to breed them. Then get a pair of Harlequin and try to breed those. My 75 is loaded with coraline algae on 3 sides and the stars reproduce heavily and quickly.. I can and am plucking an easy 50 per night. There are no zoas in that tank.

My zoa tank has a few stars. Not many and very little coraline. Have not seen a problem as of yet with them eating zoas.
 

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