View Full Version : Sea Horses and Brittle or Serpent Starfish

12/17/2016, 05:07 AM
Is it safe to keep Sea Horses in the same tank as Serpent and Brittle Starfish?

12/17/2016, 06:54 AM
In my personal experience, no.

12/17/2016, 10:54 AM
I agree with rayjay, no

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12/17/2016, 12:38 PM
Could you give me some examples why?

12/17/2016, 06:29 PM
Some of the large brittle stars are very capable in catching fish in order to eat them. They literally build traps with their arms to catch them.
Seahorses are like sitting ducks to them.

12/18/2016, 05:52 AM
Mine are small. But I will keep an eye on them. Thanks

12/18/2016, 08:07 AM
It's pretty hard to keep an eye on them at night. Nighttime is when I had most problems with them, and I had serpents because I thought them to be far less aggressive than brittles. IMO, it is NOT worth the chance as it's not YOUR life at stake, but that of the seahorses.
People told me just keep lot's of food in the tank for them and I would be OK.
However, that seriously degrades water quality leading to bacterial infections.

12/18/2016, 12:07 PM
Same here, I found a brittle star eating one of my barbouri seahorses in high school. I wasn't sure if it had died already and the brittle star was eating it's body, but I wouldn't risk it.

12/18/2016, 02:09 PM
If you want brittle stars to eat the leftover food you might want to look for the tiny ones that often come with live rock. I've never seen them getting larger than a penny and they reproduce well in a reef tank. These guys are incapable of doing damage just due to their limited size. I have hundreds of those in my tanks. Though I'm not sure how effective they are in eating up considerable amounts of leftovers.

Other cleanup crew options would include cucumbers (Tigertail), snails and hermits (Caribbean scarlet hermits should be fine even with Seahorses).

You could also consider a dragonet or even some pipefish to pick up the leftovers. My Mandarins and Bluestripe Pipefish pick frozen mysis from the ground. Though Bluestripes are quite aggressive eaters and pick food quickly from the water column, so I'm not sure if they would work out well with Seahorses. But other pipefish like the Dunckerocampus species for example may work.

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02/07/2017, 09:41 AM
I agree, I would keep them out to be safe. If you want, you can add a small brittle star; but, take it out once it grows too big.