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Old 01/19/2006, 05:40 PM   #1
reefdog24
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sand sifting sea star

are sand sifting sea stars good or bad for a 90 gal reef tank......aprox 70 lbs of live sand......


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Old 01/19/2006, 06:54 PM   #2
capncapo
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They'll eat all of the critters living in the sand bed and then die.


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Old 01/20/2006, 12:29 PM   #3
reefdog24
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thanks for the reply capncapo,,,what do u recomend for my sand bed.......


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Old 01/20/2006, 04:07 PM   #4
capncapo
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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=755569


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Old 01/22/2006, 03:25 AM   #5
Fred_J
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They are part of the cleanup crew and eat mostly detritus. This can be supplemented. See Here

Fred


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Old 01/22/2006, 10:25 AM   #6
reefdog24
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if sand sifting sea star eat the critters in the dsb then are there any animals you can recommend.....what about goby.....my sand used to be very white....now its not...


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Old 01/22/2006, 09:22 PM   #7
Fred_J
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According to the above link to liveaquaria they do not eat the critters in the sand they eat leftover food and fish poop otherwise known as detritus. That is if we are talking about the same starfish.
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Old 01/22/2006, 10:49 PM   #8
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They'll die....A slow death.


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Old 01/23/2006, 02:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by reefdog24
if sand sifting sea star eat the critters in the dsb then are there any animals you can recommend.....what about goby.....my sand used to be very white....now its not...
I would have to disagree with liveaquaria on their statement saying you can supplement them. I would avoid any sand sifting starfish, they slowly starve in our tanks and should be left in the wild. The Astropecten polycanthus from liveaquaria is a voracious predator that a FEW people have reported keeping longer than one year(about the time it takes for them to starve) in tanks typically very large (200gal+ with lots of sandbed).

I commend you for asking questions FIRST, then purchasing. I'll admit that when I first started the hobby, a LFS told me they were great at keeping the sandbed clean. So I got one of the above starfish and it slowly starved to death over a six month period in my 55. I tried feeding shrimp, fish, clams, etc, it took nothing.

You can read here for further info:
I would suggest this article for more reading:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rs/index.php

As for what to recommend, for your size tank I would recommend one fighting conch, around 10 small cerith snails and 2-4 nassarius vibex snails. The first two will actively feed in the sandbed and help keep it clean. The nassarius snails will eat any leftover meaty foods that land on the sandbed. If you find your sand is still "dirty" (and it isn't just a cycle, how old is your tank?) then you can add a few more ceriths.

Brian

EDIT: relying solely on a description from a LFS or a online website for advice on what is good for your tank should be avoided. They have a vested interest in selling things and then having you come back to buy more when it "mysteriously" dies.


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Old 01/26/2006, 04:11 AM   #10
MG21
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Brown barred or dragon gobies (same thing) are great at cleaning and sifting the sand. Cerith and nassarius snails are good also.


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Old 01/26/2006, 07:40 PM   #11
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Nearly 3 years ago I was also told by an LFS to get a SS star. He ran most of his tanks with shallow sandbeds and used SS stars in most all of them to stir the sand.
I've now had one in my 75g for exactly two years and seven months. It seems to be doing fine.
I've read Dr. Rons article and numerous posts he made asserting that these stars can only last a few months in an aquarium. I have observed that when someone posts a thread asking about SS stars, the same assertion is usually made. I've also noticed that occasionally someone will chime in to report that they've kept one for a year or two or more with no problems. Oddly, I've noticed that several who've had success with these stars have SHALLOW sandbeds, not DSB's.
From my experience, I can say that a SS star won't really keep a sandbed clean. It will disturb the surface, but you'll still have to siphon or blow off detritus, get other critters to eat diatoms, etc.
However, I also believe that many reefers who have actually had experience trying to keep these stars have been able to do so successfully for extended periods (self included).
I'd be interested to hear if Anthony has had any direct experience with these stars or has talked to those who have, and if he has an opinion on them.
FWIW,
Mariner


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Old 01/26/2006, 07:45 PM   #12
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I had one in my 55 and I noticed it was slowly starving to death. One day I came home and 2 of its legs were damn near shriveled so I was humane and stuck him in the freezer. Better that then to let him continue suffering. I vote no on the sand sifter. Get Nassarius snails. When you feed your fish they will come out of the sand and keep your sand white


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Old 01/27/2006, 07:54 AM   #13
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Mariner,

Glad to hear you can keep one, but I would say that is the exception to the rule for these stars.

Nassarius snails are good for eating leftover meaty food, but to keep the sandbed white I would go with ceriths and fighting conchs (but only one per 4 sq ft of sand bed). They will ingest the sand and clean it of diatoms, algae and bacteria. I used to get a little bit of diatoms on my sandbed and since I added the ceriths and conchs my bed has been a glistening white. I have 3 nassarius as well to catch any leftover meat.

Brian


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Old 01/27/2006, 01:42 PM   #14
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I am in total agreemant with Mariner. I have a ss star in my 75g for over 2 years. It is doing excellent and so is my tank, I also have shallow sand bed.


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Old 01/27/2006, 01:56 PM   #15
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Hum Tony and Mariner,

You bring up an interesting idea for a research study:

5 75 gallon tanks with SSB
5 75 gallon tanks with DSB

One star in each one, identical lighting, feeding, skimming, etc.

My star that died in 6 months was in a DSB.

Brian


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Old 01/28/2006, 01:54 PM   #16
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I have had my sand shifting sea star for well over 1 1/2 years and it was just about full size when I bought it. You definitely need a decent amount of sand for it to roam and limit the number of others it has to compete with for food. Mine has alwasy seemed happy.

I have tried other stars with little luck. I think it has more about the star's ability to adapt to a different environment and feeding menu. If someone is ever successful at breeding them I bet they would be a lot more adaptable for aquarium life.


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Old 01/28/2006, 05:59 PM   #17
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I have not had luck with any other star as well.


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Old 01/31/2006, 01:17 PM   #18
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i have had this sand shifting star for two years, it hasn't got smaller, i also have a speckled pink linki star for 2 and a half years, it keeps losing it's arms and a new one grows off it, i think i have a bunch of those around the tank. i have a deep reef bed


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Old 02/18/2006, 06:58 PM   #19
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I have one that I have had just about a year.When I first got the star it was missing one of its rays.I asked Dr Ron how long it would take to grow back and he said that the star would be dead of starvation before the ray grew back.Well it has taken nearly a full year but the ray is now just a bit shorter than the 4 he started with and he seems to be healthy.Well as far as I can tell.I have a very active live sand bed.Many worm,pods,and other critters that I have watched over the past year.Their numbers never even come close to being wiped out.My sand bed is about 3 inches deep.As far as supplementing the satr I did notice one strange thing about it.Whenever I scrape the coraline off my glass( I have tons growing ) the star seems to spring into action and always settles on a pile of the scrapings and sinks into the sand bringing the scraps down with him.Im not sure if hes eating it but it sure seems like it.


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Old 02/18/2006, 07:50 PM   #20
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how many snails and ss stars should be used. my 65gal. tank has 80lbs of live sand making it 2 - 3" deep. how many is just right is there a formula to good looking clean white sand. i also have 10 nassarius snails and 2 ss stars


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Old 02/18/2006, 08:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by tonym10
I am in total agreemant with Mariner. I have a ss star in my 75g for over 2 years. It is doing excellent and so is my tank, I also have shallow sand bed.
Ditto here. I've had a SS star and a 6" serpent star in a 46g for a little over 2 years. They're both extremely healthy


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Old 02/18/2006, 08:38 PM   #22
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I would listen to the Reefers that have direct experience with the sand sifting stars; and not take too much advice from individuals that only read and give info.

JMO


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Old 02/20/2006, 04:56 AM   #23
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I had a sand sifting starfish for about 18 months. I could'nt positivly say why it died but what I will say is I did seem to see alot more life in the sandbed after it had gone.
Maybe you should get a goby and pistol shrimp, they are totally fascinating to watch, But make sure your rack is secure and your sandbed is round the rock not the rock ontop of your sandbed other wise you could be heading for a rock slide lol.


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Old 02/20/2006, 06:46 AM   #24
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This thread has been moved to the current forum.


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Old 02/20/2006, 10:14 PM   #25
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I have DSB 50/50 Sand and Crushed Coral. I have two SS Stars, both doing very well. I have had one for almost a year now and got the other one about 2 months ago. They both hooked up and now they travel around together. Both look very healthy.
I do have a connection to live copepods that I add to the tank and sump every now and then. BTW my tank is a 125 AGA RR with a 30 gal refugium.


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