Monday, 16 February 2015 18:52

The Starfish

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Presented by Charles & Linda Raabe
Mactan Island, The Philippines
© 2010 All Rights Reserved
  Quite a few hobbyists seem to have trouble with keeping a variety of starfish, but I believe that is simply due to not understanding their needs, hopefully the links I have provided will teach you how to properly care for and acclimate your new multi-armed wonder. 

    Echinoderms in Aquaria  -  "  Despite their success in nature, which is fostered in no small part by their odd organ systems and strange body structures, relatively few echinoderms are appropriate for aquaria. " 

    The Meat of the Matter  -  "   If anything, these animals are weirder on the inside than they are on the outside (Hyman, 1955; Kozloff, 1990, Ruppert et al., 2003). " 

    Echinoderm Biology  -  A very good overall site covering this group of animals. 

    Linkia laevigata - Please note that while Linkia starfish come in a variety of colors, they are most likely of this species, but beware, identification of any starfish that appears to be a linkia is extremely hard for us to do. As such, if you do find a hitch hiking "linkia", it would be wise to keep an eye on it to determine if it is of a species that is reef safe or not. 
  bluelinkia   redlinkia     

    Protoreastor nodosus - Commonly called the chocolate chip starfish. As with the majority of starfish, this family group is predatory and is not to be considered reef safe, consuming a wide variety of prey including corals and inverts. I would only keep this species as part of a fish only aquarium. They also come in a wide variety of colorations. 

  chocchip1   chocchip 

     Archaster typicus   ( Sand Sifting Starfish ) - Usualy purchased to help with keeping the top of the sandbed cleaned, which is a very bad reason to purchase them since they do not eat surface algae and are predators of the life found within a live sandbed. Not a good thing to have happen to the sandbed. 

  sandsifting   sandsifting1   sandsifting2 

     Echinaster luzonicus  ( predator ) 

  echinaster   echinaster1   echinaster2 

     Acanthaster planci   (crown of thorns starfish)  Shown below is a 1cm juvenile  - As juveniles, they will eat surface algae, but as they grow, they become very efficient predators of corals. 

  crownthornstar   crownthornstar1   crownthornstar2 

     Crinoids   ( feather stars ) and please, do not buy one, our enclosed and filtered systems do not provide them with the constant planktonic food supply that they need and will slowly starve to death in a typical reef aquarium. 



   The Brittle Starfish  -  I have found that the majority of these starfish are usualy reef safe, in that they will normaly only act as scavengers of left over food. Some though, if large enough, can capture small fish if the fish is caught unawares while sleeping or if sick and unable to fend for itself. 

  greenserpent   Ophioplocus imbricata   brittlestar 
           Ophiarachna incrassata                          Ophioplocus imbricata                        Ophiarachnella gorgonia 

  brittlestar1   brittlestar4   brittlestar7            Yet to be identified                        A Juvenile Ophiomastix variabilis                Ophiomastix variabilis

  brittlestar5   brittlestar6   brittlestar8             Ophiarthrum elegans                           Ophiomastix annulosa                            Ophiolepis superba

  brittlestar2             Ophiocoma erinaceus


Used by permission.  Many thanks to Charlies and Linda Raabe for their support.

Read 2434 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 03:22
More in this category: « The Sponges Sea Urchins »
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