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FAQs about Asterina (tiny, white...) Sea Stars, Reproduction

Related Articles: Asterina Stars, An Introduction to the Echinoderms:  The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.

Related FAQs: Asterinas 1Asterinas 2, & Asterina ID, Asterina Behavior, Asterina Compatibility, Asterina Selection, Asterina Systems, Asterina Feeding, Asterina Disease, & Sea Stars 1, Sea Stars 2, Sea Stars 3, Sea Stars 4, Sea Stars 5, Seastar Selection, Seastar Compatibility, Seastar Systems, Seastar Behavior, Seastar Feeding, Seastar Reproduction, Seastar Disease Chocolate Chip Stars, Crown of Thorns Stars, Fromia Stars, Linckia Stars, Linckia Stars 2, Sand-Sifting Stars,


Asterina Stars As A Food Source: Setting Up A Breeding Tank -- 4/17/10
Hi Guys/Girls.
<Hi Jaco, Lynn here today.>
I was wondering if it is possible to breed Asterina starfish in a separate tank to such an extent that one would have a sustainable food source for Harlequin Shrimp?
<I think it's possible, yes.>
If possible how is it done, what is needed in the "breeding tank"..and what do I feed the stars?
<Please see the following link: http://reefstewardshipfoundation.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1854
In the post is mentioned two different species. Here's more info on both:
#1: http://reefstewardshipfoundation.org/forums/showthread.php?t=91
#2: http://reefstewardshipfoundation.org/forums/showthread.php?t=222 >
I was thinking to have this tank also connected to the return pump from the sump and to the display tank so water will return from sump and "breeding tank to display tank. Is this at all possible?
<I think it would be better and easier to keep the breeding tank separate because most of these mini-stars seem to multiply at a faster rate in higher nutrient systems. Keeping and maintaining those levels would be easier in a single tank with less water volume.>
Thanks for your time.
<You're very welcome and good luck!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>

"Baby Starfish" 7/12/06 Hello WWM Crew, I am a Marine Hobbyist. I have a 75 gallon reef tank. Learning things all the time. Loving it. Tried to search the web on this new issue, but can't find my answer. Did find you, and I'm hoping you have the answer. I'll only mention in this e-mail what I think is relevant to keep this short for you. I have a relatively big (hopefully fully grown) gray (with stripes) serpent starfish, and also an orange starfish (don't know the species off hand--slow moving, smaller). Anyway, this evening I saw a tiny baby starfish in the tank. It moved fast like the serpent. Looked like somebody had tried to take a bite out of a couple legs.   It didn't have any color though--just white. I was trying to figure out how the starfish reproduce. Everything I found on reproduction talked about splitting, which didn't happen here. Is it possible my single starfish laid eggs and fertilized itself? They don't cross breed, right? And are they "born" white and color up as they age? And while I'm writing. <No mystery here!  The tiny brittle stars are a separate species and were probably introduced with live rock or corals.  They often reproduce prolifically in reef tanks.  The reproduce by splitting and by direct development (brooding) of young.  The are a joyful and beneficial addition!> I lost my very large (7 or 8 inches) Mr. Goby. And then I lost my cleaner shrimp. My daughter thinks the serpent star ate them. Although the coral banded shrimp may have taken the latter. Do you think that is possible that the serpent star ate my fishes? <It is possible, but not likely.  Generally, smooth armed (serpent) starfish are considered safe while spiky armed (brittle) starfish, especially the green ones are considered at least risky to small fish and inverts.> I have not been feeding him frozen fish because I was afraid of how much bigger he could get, but maybe I should feed him frozen to keep him from eating everything else. What do you think about that? Thanks in advance for your wisdom. Vickie <As these animals get larger, it gets harder for them to get enough food.  Feeding it small bits of food will not only help prevent it from resorting to predation, but will more simply save it from starving. If it eventually outgrows your system, you can either trade it or use it as an excuse to get a bigger tank! Best Regards, AdamC.>

Propagating Asterinas for Harlequins?   8/21/06 Currently, I have two saltwater tanks. One is a 6.6 gallon nano reef in which I have a small (1.5-2 inch each) mated pair of Harlequin Shrimp along with soft corals and a few other reef critters (Neon Goby, 1.5 inch Emerald Crab, 1 inch Porcelain Crab. <Don't think I'd want the Emerald Crab in the same neighborhood as the Porcelain Crab, may become a meal.> My other tank is a 20L dedicated to my 4.5 inch peacock mantis shrimp. The only other resident of that tank at the moment is a 4 inch reddish Chocolate Chip Star. Currently I have been feeding my Harlequins Chocolate Chips. <Mmm, no Lorna Dunes?> (well, I fed them once so far. I've had them 2-3 weeks. Been told to feed them about every 2 weeks.) <Could go up to four weeks if necessary.> In fact, the star in my Mantis tank was to be a feeder, but I decided he was too big and I didn't want him getting out of hand and munching on my corals. I am still determining how appropriate of a permanent tank-mate he is for my mantis shrimp. All build up aside, he is my question: I found can buy Asterinas on eBay. I assume some one is cashing in on a pest-ridden tank, just like you see "tulip anemones" for sale there. How feasible would it be to grow a herd or Asterinas in my mantis tank to feed daily or so to my Harlequins? Most people want to lose all their Asterina, I can't find any info on how to grow them. <They multiply like weeds.  No special care needed.  Read FAQ's here for more info.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/asterinafaqs.htm> That tank gets pretty high in Nitrates from chunks of meaty food being discarded, hidden, then decomposing. Is that a problem or is a dirty tank the way to grow these guys? <Would do a little more maintenance than you are doing.  Asterinas are rather small and are not going to consume large hunks of food in one sitting until you have hundreds of them.> Can you think of any other reason why or why not to try this? <Absolutely not, they will reproduce faster than the Harlequins can eat them.  Keep in mind, they don't always go after Asterinas. Try it out, see what happens.> If I do, can you imagine any way to keep a bunch of these guys without them reaching "plague" proportions? <Discard them if they get to plague proportions.> I like to see inside my tank. I am in a position to set up a separate (simple) system to grow these guys. If you can clue to me in to ideal parameters for these guys, I may try that. <Nothing critical here, drop in some decent flake food and you are on your way.  Just keep normal parameters up such as salinity, pH, etc.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Andrew

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