View Full Version : African Red Knob Sea Star dying

04/24/2008, 11:37 PM
Three days ago I got a call from a friend whose red knob sea star which he had recently purchased (a few days prior) wasn't looking good. He was out of town at the time and was relaying his wife's concerns to me. I stopped by to check it out and noted that it seemed to be flaking slightly around the tips of his arms, but otherwise looked OK.

Unfortunately my friend's tank maintenance may best be described as "inadequate" and the water quality as "sewer-like". The one time I tested his water for him nitrates and phosphates were both off the top end of the chart (ideal environment for sea stars I'm sure), and I imagine everything else was equally bad. I assumed water quality to be the issue and offered to place him in my refugium and hope for recovery. I drip acclimated him for 2 hours prior to placement, and he did look a little better at first. Unfortunately, today I came home and two of his arms are disintegrating.

I have always avoided sea stars due to reports of poor life expectancy in the home aquarium, and know little of their care. Is there anything I can do that would give this guy a chance at survival? Is there any risk of him poisoning my reef tank? I know it's probably hopeless, but I hate to see a critter die due it's "owner's" negligence.