what is wrong with my starfish?
I put a red sea star in my tank about 3 weeks ago, and it has seemed fine, except it moves very little (maybe thats normal). Last night I noticed a small lump in the top of its body (I wasn't even sure if it was excrement), which has gotten bigger since then. I have a 55-gallon tank with a skimmer, refugium and canister. The parameters I can test for are pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 5-10, calcium 500. The first pic is from yesterday morning with no signs of a lump at all, and the second pic is from this morning just after the lights came on. Maybe someone knows what this nasty lizard is all about!?!
your rock still looks white? meaning it doesnt have much life growing on it, meaning the star doesnt have much to graze on. stars need established tanks and even then can prove to be difficult to keep however the brittle stars are easier to feed. ive always wanted a blue linkia and for this reason still have yet to get one.
how did you acclimate it and what fish/livestock do you have in the tank?
I was told that they would basically scavenge for food... sort of like snails or crabs. and yes the tank is only a few months old.
I drip acclimated it over the course of a few hours and put it right into the tank, other livestock is 2 snails, 2 hermits, a fan worm, 3 pj cardinals, 1 green clown gobie, and 1 blue dot jawfish.
what should i be getting to target feed it?
and is that what's causing that nasty lizard to show up on poor Mr. Starfish's back? whatever it is?
i dont know what is wrong with your starfish exactly, thats the problem. if i had to guess, something is bothering it. none of your fish are suspect. this may be silly but you dont have harlequin shrimp, do you?
maybe a copper problem? its prob. slowly starving too, you never know how long the supplier had it for.
i don't have any shrimp yet, although I am looking for a fire shrimp. And I don't see any reason why I would have a problem with copper. There looks like there is plenty to eat around the tank, and almost half of my rock is from a local aquarist who has a very well established reef, and that rock has plenty of coraline algae on it.
This morning Starfishie seems to be looking normal again, and he has climbed a little further up the rock. I was thinking this morning though, that a day or two before this happened I agitated the water to get all of the loose food and detritus off of the rocks and then did a small water change and added a mechanical pad to the filter to clean most of it out. Maybe this stressed him out or something, I don't know, I'm just not very familiar with sea stars at all.
I can't help with the diagnosis, but I want to reinforce the fact that the large majority of starfish die in captivity, suffering a slow death from starvation. They should only be attempted in large established aquariums.
Good luck with yours! I hope it is the exception and not the rule.
This isn't a diagnosis but whenever I saw stars looking like that (espiecially blue linkia), it's usually on it's way out because of starvation/bad water conditions. They'll just slowly "disolve" away like an anemone will and then all you'll see is gross mess. Keep an eye on it because if it dies, it will really mess up your levels.
well, thanks for the replies and concern. It looks back to normal again, and I have moved it to a rock with lots to graze on, so I hope that will help, I'll certainly keep a closer eye on my water levels and keep watching him closely for more signs of trouble. I'll update with any further issues so that other newbies know what to look out for and don't take anything home from the LFS based solely on their advice.
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