Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/)
-   Coral and Reef Creatures (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/coral-reef-creatures/)
-   -   Found a hitchhiker (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/coral-reef-creatures/found-hitchhiker-329273/)

FishinFool 01-08-2014 09:57 AM

Found a hitchhiker
 
1 Attachment(s)
I have been watching this "walk" around my tank for a week or two and wondering what I was looking at? Is this a baby starfish? This is the best picture I could manage. im talking about the small grey creature in the center of the photo.

badxgillen 01-08-2014 10:51 AM

I am not entirely sure about if I am looking at the same thing you are but look up asternia starfish.

FrightyDog 01-09-2014 04:10 PM

I have something similar to you but white!
http://www.austinreefclub.com/upload...6615_thumb.jpg
This is a bad asterina star. Looks like the one in yours. The white ones tend not to be too bad, just overpopulation. That color eats corals.
Harlequin shrimp are good to solve the problem along with six lined wrasses. However harlequin shrimp only eat starfish and sometimes sea urchins. Not very good if you want to keep them long term and dont plan on feeding that.

cwmorrow 01-10-2014 10:13 AM

Looks like asternia to me. I have white and gray, I thought they changed color.
There is some discussion as to whether or not they eat zoas. Since my zoanthids have been dissapearing, I've been tossing them into a refugium as I find them.

badxgillen 01-10-2014 10:39 AM

There are many types of asternia starfish and the majority of them are reef safe.Only once have I seen one that was eating on a polyp,it was speculative,and it was certainly one of the more colorful ones.I personally enjoy having the asternias in many of my tanks as they are a free & hardy addition to the clean up crew.

cwmorrow 01-10-2014 12:14 PM

I pulled one of the little white fellows off a zoa polyp. Either he was chewing on it, or someone had before he. They do seem to like the zoa frag. So, better safe than sorry.

badxgillen 01-10-2014 06:17 PM

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squishylittlefishies 01-10-2014 08:47 PM

yeah, I have some that look just like yours. while they have never touched my corals, they ate all the coralline off of the back wall and started on my rocks>:(
my reef is only 2.5g so I can easily cathch them when I see them. I dont have the heart to kill anything, so Ive been collecting them in a spice jar with reef water and some little rock rubble. Its unheated and everything obviously but all 8 i have pulled out thus far are still alive in there! it makes a really cute and interesting tiny display! haha:D

badxgillen 01-10-2014 09:40 PM

OOPS! I can imagine a little spice jar reef,with tiny copapods crawling around,any macro?It may be the tiniest salt water "tank" ever,maybe get a majano and a tiny duster to add to the mix.

FishinFool 01-12-2014 11:12 PM

Thanks for all the info guys, Ill keep an eye on them and see if they take a liking to any of the corals


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