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View Full Version : Asterina's are A-Holes, Will Zoa's grow back without a polyp?


3S1K
03/03/2017, 03:50 PM
So I have a Rasta colony that withered away from 13 heads too just 1 head from Zoa Pox I believe. I was able to to get it to grow back to 5 heads and when I thought all was well they all just stared disappearing slowly.

One day noticed some Asterina starfish crawling on what few heads were still opening. The next day the Asterina was wrapped around the polyp and I thought maybe it was just eating some algea off it. I decided to google it and I read a bunch of horror stories of the darker colored Asterina's supposedly killing Zoa colonies. I decided to check to see what colors mine where and apparently every single one was darker colored.

I have had them for years and always wondered why my Zoa colonies would never thrive. With the help of my wife and daughter we spent the next 25min pulling every single one that we found out of the tank. I'm sure there are 100's more but this is we could find at the moment. I found one that was a 1/4" wide.

Anyways my Rasta Colony is basically just a purple mat and I can see a tiny very bright green speck. I was wondering if anyone thinks it will grow into an actual polyp.

Scsmith2002
03/03/2017, 03:57 PM
It might... until the Matt is gone there is hope... I had the same issue bought a harlequin shrimp and he held them at bay..


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3S1K
03/03/2017, 04:05 PM
It might... until the Matt is gone there is hope... I had the same issue bought a harlequin shrimp and he held them at bay..


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I pulled the frag and brought it to my work tank that is Asterina free. I can't risk them finishing what they started when lights are out in my home tank.

I'll continue to pull them out and if i see no end in sight I'll higher a Harlequin mercenary.

It really bumb me out cause I love Zoa's but never had success with my current tank, now I know why.

Scsmith2002
03/03/2017, 04:17 PM
Knowing the problem is half the battle.. good luck!!!


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NanoReefWanabe
03/03/2017, 05:42 PM
Personally I have never seen an asternia star fish eat anything not already dead or dying...but hopefully you get the frag back

organism
03/03/2017, 06:24 PM
Personally I have never seen an asternia star fish eat anything not already dead or dying...but hopefully you get the frag back

This.

The odds that your asterina was eating the zoas instead of cleaning up the dead ones with zoa pox is astronomically low in that scenario.

It really bumb me out cause I love Zoa's but never had success with my current tank, now I know why.

That's still up for debate since you had sick zoas. Please update this thread if/when you don't see a dramatic turnaround in all your zoas within the next month. If there's no huge dramatic turnaround then they were not the problem, and updating this thread can help others not make the same mistake of killing off a bunch of living things.

NanoReefWanabe
03/03/2017, 10:58 PM
This.

The odds that your asterina was eating the zoas instead of cleaning up the dead ones with zoa pox is astronomically low in that scenario.



That's still up for debate since you had sick zoas. Please update this thread if/when you don't see a dramatic turnaround in all your zoas within the next month. If there's no huge dramatic turnaround then they were not the problem, and updating this thread can help others not make the same mistake of killing off a bunch of living things.
I agree...chances of it being the starfish and not something else is very low...POX is deadly for zoas, I have no ideas how long it will remain in the tank either...but I would tend to think it more a parameter issue of some sort over the stars...something too high or too low...testing for NO3 and PO4 is almost useless as the kits cannot read what is being used by the organisms in the tank...could be calcium alk mag sg trace elements and ions pH temp flow lighting or any combination of them that won't work for you...every single tank is different...I have yet to be able to grow xenia or gsp in any of my tanks..some would call that a blessing...personally I love them...sadly can't keep it...but please do up date the situation

AlSimmons
03/04/2017, 10:01 AM
I've had plenty of problems with Asterina starfish and my zoanthids before. While Zoa-Pox can be deadly, I certainly wouldn't rule out those starfish though. (especially that many) There's just way too many horror stories out there not to IMO.

3S1K
03/04/2017, 12:23 PM
The Zoa pox happened in April of last year and was long gone. I noticed the Asterinas sitting on my zoa's in early January of this year.

TBH I'm not 100% he was eating them or eating some dead tissue off it. There is plenty of other stuff for Asterinas to eat in the tank yet there seems to be a few Asterinas that want to eat Zoa's or eat whatever is on the Zoa's.

If I want to have more zoa's I rather just get rid of these hitchhikers that may potentially cause problems later. I rather not take that chance. It's sad cause I really like the Asterinas star fish.

organism
03/04/2017, 05:55 PM
It's sad because they may not have been the problem but you still killed them off. imo we owe our tank inhabitants better.

Scsmith2002
03/05/2017, 07:40 AM
With all scavengers, the are opportunistic eaters... most are considered reef safe as they will eat the detritus and or algae first and leave other tank-mates alone .. that being said ... just like it is not likely for a hermit crab to eat Zoas... they will...
I food this article that is worth a read....


http://www.reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/45-reefkeeping-101-

IMO the best way to keep our ecosystems balanced is with nature order of selection... just like we keep or water balanced by adding reactors and other means.. there are times we need to trim coral and battle non desirable pest such as aptastia, so must be done with an over population of asternia stars..
IMO


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Hoopster81
03/05/2017, 01:04 PM
Caught a white asterina wrapped around one of my zoas last night. I was able to remove him but my zoa is not looking too good today.

http://imgur.com/a/2e8iv

SIR PATRICK
03/07/2017, 01:38 AM
It's sad because they may not have been the problem but you still killed them off. imo we owe our tank inhabitants better.

When I have to clear out my reef tank of pests, I just think of myself as the not reef safe trigger fish of the reef, that I cant already have in there.

If I were a clown trigger who came upon my "piece of reef" in the tank, I would have eradicated them also, for survival.

We owe our tanks a lot, but- survival of the fittest first. Always makes me feel better when killing a bunch of life.

3S1K
03/07/2017, 10:30 AM
With all scavengers, the are opportunistic eaters... most are considered reef safe as they will eat the detritus and or algae first and leave other tank-mates alone .. that being said ... just like it is not likely for a hermit crab to eat Zoas... they will...

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Exactly, I removed a peppermint shrimp from my tank that was eating my Frogspawn. In they end they are wild animals, just ask Siegfried and Roy:lol:

Hoopster81
03/07/2017, 10:58 AM
LFS ordered me a bumblebee shrimp, hopefully it helps

Hoopster81
03/07/2017, 11:06 AM
aka I will have my revenge

3S1K
03/07/2017, 11:13 AM
LFS ordered me a bumblebee shrimp, hopefully it helps

Is that the same as the Harlequin shrimp? I'm only pulling maybe 5 Asterina's a day now but there are a lot hidden in the rocks I can't reach.

Hoopster81
03/07/2017, 12:11 PM
Yeah it's also called a striped harlequin.. supposedly it eats asterinas as well as other meaty foods. I couldn't get a harlequin because it would probably eat all my starfish in one day and then starve.

Hoopster81
03/07/2017, 12:16 PM
Supposedly they do better in pairs, you sound like you have enough stars where you could get a couple.

3S1K
03/07/2017, 12:19 PM
Yeah it's also called a striped harlequin.. supposedly it eats asterinas as well as other meaty foods. I couldn't get a harlequin because it would probably eat all my starfish in one day and then starve.

Let me know how they work out. I didn't want to get a Harlequin because it would eventually starve and end up giving it away. If the Striped one will eat prepared food that would be a good option.

Hoopster81
03/07/2017, 12:29 PM
will do

d0ughb0y
03/07/2017, 01:03 PM
see this thread

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=24777794

BlueRoofTang
03/11/2017, 10:14 AM
I used to have probably 1000 asterinas in my tank. A friend told me that they would eat zoas and I didn't believe it, but kept watching. I noticed that I would occasionally see a star wrapped around the head of a closed polyp. I also thought they were just eating algaes....but upon paying more attention, I noticed that those polyps would usually never open again, and would die. I now take out every one I see. No asterinas survive after being found in my tank. I don't care what color they are.

BlueRoofTang
03/11/2017, 10:20 AM
Look in this video...you will see a star on top of a polyp. At the start, the polyp was standing strong, closed, and the star was eating it. As time goes along, the polyp is unable to hold itself up and the star moves away. This is what happens to them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BxHvlL6zyY

taricha
03/11/2017, 11:40 AM
Look in this video...you will see a star on top of a polyp. At the start, the polyp was standing strong, closed, and the star was eating it. As time goes along, the polyp is unable to hold itself up and the star moves away. This is what happens to them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BxHvlL6zyY



Yep, there are actually half a dozen asterina in that video eating tissue on my zoas.
Follow up to the video, afterwards I pulled off all the stars I saw on the zoas, and as I pulled them off, there was a brown powdery cloud of zooxanthellae at the wound site.
I now have a harlequin shrimp employed, and the zoas stay open instead of half-closed all the time. He's a small guy, and there are many many stars. It might take him 6 months to deplete them.

Hoopster81
03/11/2017, 08:43 PM
the polyp that I pulled an asterina from a week ago is now completely dead

3S1K
03/11/2017, 08:51 PM
Look in this video...you will see a star on top of a polyp. At the start, the polyp was standing strong, closed, and the star was eating it. As time goes along, the polyp is unable to hold itself up and the star moves away. This is what happens to them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BxHvlL6zyY

That's is best proof I seen at what those stars can do. I'm going to get a Harlequin asap before I get some new zoa frags.

BTW I moved my frag to my Asterina free Pico tank at work. It seems recession has stopped but have not seen any growth of the purple mat. Hopefully it comes back.

Hoopster81
03/13/2017, 12:20 AM
picked up my striped harlequin (bumblebee) today

he is tiny, hopefully he is up to the task

taricha
03/14/2017, 11:07 AM
picked up my striped harlequin (bumblebee) today

he is tiny, hopefully he is up to the task
Mine came very small too.
He's nearly doubled in size in 3 weeks, despite losing a front claw (maybe territorial dispute with coral banded shrimp pair?) and regrowing it.
Guessing he's always eating. He's not close to getting a handle on the star population yet. But they stay off the corals now and more on the glass.

3S1K
03/14/2017, 12:08 PM
The frag didn't make it and purple mat is all gone. And when I thought my work tank was Asterina free guess what I find not to far from the frag plug? Off to the trash can you go little dude.

Hoopster81
03/14/2017, 11:17 PM
Mine came very small too.
He's nearly doubled in size in 3 weeks, despite losing a front claw (maybe territorial dispute with coral banded shrimp pair?) and regrowing it.
Guessing he's always eating. He's not close to getting a handle on the star population yet. But they stay off the corals now and more on the glass.

yeah mine came missing a front claw

I hope he's finding some stars in there, I have tried giving him some mysis, but he always hides

jayball
03/15/2017, 11:32 AM
yeah mine came missing a front claw

I hope he's finding some stars in there, I have tried giving him some mysis, but he always hides

Harliquen's are obligate feeders, they only eat the tube feet of starfish. the only way to suppliment their diet is to buy other starfish to feed them, often choclate chip stars are kept to farm arms from them.

(If anyone can prove me wrong please do, I would love to keep a pair)

3S1K
03/15/2017, 11:47 AM
Harliquen's are obligate feeders, they only eat the tube feet of starfish. the only way to suppliment their diet is to buy other starfish to feed them, often choclate chip stars are kept to farm arms from them.

(If anyone can prove me wrong please do, I would love to keep a pair)

That's what I've read as well. They ONLY eat starfish so after the Asterinas are gone they will starve unless supplemented with more starfish.

Hoopster81
03/15/2017, 01:10 PM
I have a bumblebee (striped harlequin), not a proper harlequin.

Per Live Aquaria:

The Bumble Bee Shrimp will feed upon the tube feet of echinoderms, but do not require them for survival. Offer them pieces of frozen meaty foods such as brine or mysis shrimp, cockle, or small pieces of fish. They should be offered these foods daily.

3S1K
03/15/2017, 01:51 PM
My mistake, I was speaking specifically about the Harlequin Shrimp with the spots on it.

Hoopster81
03/15/2017, 10:16 PM
Yeah the bumblebee is not nearly as cool looking unfortunately

vashawn
03/16/2017, 12:24 PM
saw 1 in my over flow last night, but wasnt dark same color as my sand shifting starfish.
going to get a harlequin shrimp

Zoahoarder
03/20/2017, 06:19 AM
Look in this video...you will see a star on top of a polyp. At the start, the polyp was standing strong, closed, and the star was eating it. As time goes along, the polyp is unable to hold itself up and the star moves away. This is what happens to them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BxHvlL6zyY

Man I wish I had this video about 5 years ago when I was telling people to burn these creature with a flame torch. I had some many zoas get eaten.