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FAQs about Linckia Sea Star

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Linckia multifora reproduction   3/9/09 Dear WWM Crew, Thanks for the endless amount of great information you have provided me over the years. I don't think I could have been as successful as I am in this hobby without your guidance. <Am very glad we have aided your efforts and enjoyment David> About nine months ago, I noticed that I had a Linckia multifora hitchhiker that must have come on some live rock. It has since been doing amazingly well without any help on my part, growing from about the size of a dime when I first noticed it, to its current size of approximately two inches in diameter. It manages to move into every crevice imaginable in the live rock, remaining hidden most of the time, and I am always amazed when I see how much larger and fatter it looks than before. <Ah, good> Yesterday it detached one of its arms, and I assumed that it was undergoing asexual reproduction, which I have read is fairly common with this species. Today I noticed that it has now detached two of its arms. Is this any reason to be concerned, as in is it normal for any species of starfish to voluntarily detach more than one of its arms at a time? <For such a small specimen in particular, this is a cause for concern... Something is not to this animal's "liking"... it is separating akin to the old (and I guess new) Star Trek "Enterprise" into pieces, "hoping" (pardon mon language) for better times, conditions/places for some part/s> It has not been the victim of any aggression from any of the other tank inhabitants, not that I've seen anyway, and as far as I could tell, it has been doing quite well. <Likely "something/s" else... water quality, food availability my best guess categories> The "mother" specimen continues to move about the live rock, but I haven't noticed much movement from the detached arms yet. So far the detached arms don't seem to be decaying, dissolving, etc, either. Assuming it is undergoing asexual reproduction, and each of these parts survive, do I need to worry about the three of these animals being able to find enough food in the tank? <Mmm, yes> The tank is 100 gal with approx. 100 lbs of live rock, and a deep sand bed about 5" deep. I know that no one is positive as to what these animals eat, but does this stocking capacity of Linckia seem doable? <If they are small, yes> As far as I know, the only other possible food competitor is a Fromia milleporella that I purchased before I knew about the Linckia, and it has been doing fine for a little over a year now. <Ahh, a good indication that there is not summat that is outright way out of whack here water-quality wise... Do you dose Iodine/ide? Are you catholic re water changes? You might want to try switching to a "better" salt mix brand for a few months... Some, with too much Boron, other components, proportionality issues can be hard on such invertebrate life> Thanks for your help. Sincerely, David <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Blue Linckia Starfish and Beer Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob conducts research in Australia to determine if the cans of Foster's Beer are really as large as they look in the commercials> Hi, my name is Lily, I got your email address of the internet because I was searching for information on the blue Linckia starfish for a school project. I only need to know how the Linckia reproduce. If you could give me that information, that would be great, <hmmm... egg-laying not livebearing, but I'm not certain if they brood them internally, lay on substrate or broadcast> if you know anything about the green brittle starfish, or if it really exists, could you give me that information to. <yes... exists! Hardy in aquariums but is uncharacteristically aggressive for a starfish. Will catch and kill small fishes and other invertebrates when they sleep. A Bushwhacker! Ophiararachna incrassata> Thanks so much, Lily Siebert <quite welcome, my dear. With kind regards. Anthony Calfo>

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