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ndml
06/24/2009, 02:47 PM
Hi Kevin,

I just wanted to post a message and find out how to ensure the safety and health of starfish, if I place a second order with you guys.

In the descriptions of the starfish it mentions that they should never be exposed to air; yet twice when I ordered them from you guys in the past, their arms have been out of the water (bags are only half full and they move around during shipping). The most recent order had a bad smell when I opened the package and all 3 of them died within a week or so.

Is the exposure to air in the shipping bag a bad thing? Or am I missing something else here?

I currently have 1 orange linkia in my tank doing great for a couple years now, but I'd love to add a Red & Black Sea Star and a Blue Linkia.

I know to drip aclimate, and all my tank parameters are great, but I can't seem to get it right with the 2 stars.

One final question, do intend to offer any of these through the divers den, to ensure they're healthy when I get them?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

DFS
06/24/2009, 07:50 PM
Ndml,

I am sorry for the delay in responding and apologize for the problems you are experiencing with sea stars.

As you know these animals are more challenging to adapt than most other invertebrates, and can be problematic as they are very sensitive to fluctuations, rapid changes, or adverse water conditions. Upon receipt, floating the bags in the sump or aquarium for 20-30 minutes prior to drip acclimating these guys is important. Slowly dripping them to adjust them to your water parameters in the display is highly recommended and helps increase the chances for success. Even when performing all of these steps, complications can still arise, and can normally be attributed to post-harvest stress which can affect these more sensitive animals weeks or even months later.

Sea stars are not nearly as sensitive to air exposure as sponges, which can actually trap ambient air inside of them, but nonetheless we always recommend limiting air exposure for any more sensitive invertebrates.

The normal protocol for sea stars is ½ sea water and ½ pure oxygen in the shipping bag. Being more sensitive to changes in water chemistry, oxygen rich water is critical for their well being during transit. Normally these animals will venture up the walls and around the shipping bags and can reach the water line, but will quickly submerge themselves again.

You can rest assured that we only select the best looking specimens for shipment, so if you feel that you have a large enough aquarium that is well established with plenty of live rock to support multiple sea stars, then I wouldn’t hesitate to place an order again. Rest assured that if you experience a problem, we stand behind everything we sell.

We normally do not offer sea stars in the Divers Den section of the LiveAquaria site, but will occasionally offer some of the more infrequently harvested species. The faster these animals get into the home aquarium with the least amount of handling the better.

Regards,

ndml
06/24/2009, 09:02 PM
Thank you for the reply Kevin.

I really appreciate it.

I've got tons of LR and space, so I'm gonna give it one last try.

Hopefully, it will work this time, as I really want to have them on display.

Thanks again!