Let's talk about Asterinas, Shrimp & Coralline

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by HiFidelity, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    For a while now I blamed my massive Coralline loss on my rocks on my tank switch but finally now that I decided to give it some serious thought I'm leaning more towards Asterina Stars, these guys have multiplied en masse (as they naturally should) and I believe they've eaten all the Coralline algae.

    I know Harlequin Shrimp eat them but I'm not a huge fan of adding livestock which I can't sustain and I really don't want to chop up chocolate stars to feed shrimp either. I've read also that Bumblebee Shrimp AKA Striped Harlequin Shrimp will also eat them but they are not obligate feeders like Harlequins therefore they will survive in the tank without stars.

    Okey, but I have concerns;

    • Will Harlequins eat my Serpent star & the many Brittle Stars throughout the rocks
    • Will my existing Peppermint Shrimp or Flameback Angel try to kill the little Bumblebee Shrimp? 1" max
    • Will any future addition devour Bumblebee Shrimp
    • Asterinas are also clean up crew, do I want to lose them to gain Coralline?

    So I'm not sure what to do, is there a member who's a harlequin owner who's willing to lend me a shrimp haha! or just stop thinking about it and be happy my Asterinas don't eat corals & let them be?

    I value the input I usually get from you guys so I'm open to suggestions. I guess it's my indecisiveness that led me to maybe have you help me decide.
  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    My Asterinas and small brittle stars all vanished after I bought a Cuban Hogfish.
    And the big nearly 10" brittle stars went into hiding.

    Very cool fish.
    BUT: Your shrimp will become dinner as well.

    I hear some wrasse may eat them as well.

    But I really think the Harlequin Shrimp is the only "reef-invertebrate safe" solution.
    And it is safe for the same reason it is a pain --- it is super picky on what it eats.
  3. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    if I start moving them to the sump/fuge, will they breed in there enough to sustain a harlequin or two in the DT? I don't mind collecting Asterinas from the sump & dumping them in DT a couple times a week...
  4. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Bumble bee shrimp feed on the tube feet of echinoderms
  5. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    by the way my serpent is about 6-7" across
  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Why not just siphon them out as much as possible? Won't get rid of them but will keep numbers way down. Can siphon thru a filter sock into a bucket and dump back into tank if you don't wanna do a bunch if water changes
  7. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Well manual removal would have been worthwhile specially if I found members who have Harlequins so I can help feed their shrimp but I have a recent problem that prohibits me from doing any extra work, I wake up at 6:00 AM to leave for work, I get home at 6:00 PM mon-friday. By the time weekend comes I barely have time to take care of house chores and errands so I've been working on getting the tank to take care of itself short of water changes.

    The Asterinas really aren't bothering me except for keeping my rocks white, which isn't bad but I miss this;


    wow haha I do not miss that tank, been a while since I looked at that photo but the Coralline was OUT OF CONTROL it was awesome :)

    Anyone actually keeping Harlequins in your tank?
    neuro likes this.
  8. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

  9. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Got a couple of bumble bee shrimp a week ago and after I saw how tiny they were I though "no way they can go after that huge star" everything has been fine and dandy but today I noticed my star is out on the sand bed in plain view under full lights, this isn't something that he's ever done before. I tried to take a close look at him, flipped him over and everything looks just fine.
    Another observation was a tuxedo urchin that was added same day as the shrimp and that thing didn't make it, I blamed it on transport stress and/or acclimation but it just hit me after seeing the star out, are urchin echinoderms? looked online and sure enough YES they are. Now I'm concerned, did these tiny things kill the tuxedo urchin & now they're after the serpent star?
  10. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    :( you got rock solid advice from Erin.

  11. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I know I know, Erin always gives solid advice but a long article I read gave me hope. I guess I just made my first livestock choice F-UP :mad:
    I feel bad about the Urchin and the serpent star is going into the sump today, I have no idea how I'm going to find these little pricks to remove them.
  12. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    bait em. They'll get hungry soon.
  13. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    FWIW my first livestock mistake happened when I was working at a LFS.... I put two anglers together... larger one of course ate the other, then died due to too large of meal. I was on a roll. 2 for one. ugh :(
    denzil likes this.
  14. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I left the star in the tank, he's in a corner trying to escape from them and I'm waiting till I catch one near him so I can net them both & take the shrimp out. I have nothing to bate them with since they're apparently only eating echinoderms. Fortunately I work from home today so I can periodically look for them, hopefully this will work.
  15. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    Put the brittle in a container (with holes) and then put that in another container that has holes large enough for the shrimp to enter.
  16. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Just noticed he lost the tip of his leg, going to put him in the sump & use the amputated portion as bait, I don't want to subject the poor guy to more torture specially since the container that would actually fit in the tank would be super small for his size.
  17. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    good idea
  18. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I am confused again, haha gotta love this!

    It appears that the star is getting rid of his legs on his own, since I put him in the sump he's tossed another portion of a leg, so I am doubting now that the legs were hacked off. I never saw either of the shrimp come back to the amputated leg I left in the DT. I know some star fish can lose limbs as a defense mechanism so is this what's happening? I'm not sure what to think of it anymore.

Share This Page