Not again

Discussion in 'Coral' started by A_Lee, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    I suppose part of being a reefer is knowing you'll be spending half of your time fighting off some pest, or solving some puzzling coral behavior :D

    Well, I have about 6-7 zoanthid colonies throughout my tank. Over the last three days, portions of three of those colonies have not been opening up. One of those three colonies polyps don't look so hot -the stalks seem to be thinning, and some of the oral discs are belling ever so slightly. I haven't added anything new to my tank in a while now. I've given the three colonies that are acting odd FW dips, and nothing came off, except for 1-2 asterina stars.

    This morning when I looked at my tank with the lights out, I did see an asterina star on one of the stalks of my zoanthid polyps (the colony with the thinning stalks). I don't like to blame inverts for something they may not have done, but I am not going to lose my colonies to something like this. I would like to get rid of the asteria stars in my tank; I don't have tons, but they are on the glass, and I would assume they're also on the rocks. How can I go about removing them?

    Manual removal seems a little silly because it would be a tremendous amount of work, yielding what I would imagine to be low results.
    The other option I guess would be a Harlequin shrimp. Never had one of these guys, but I have heard of a few reefers utilizing these guys to control their asterina stars. How quickly do they eat these mini-stars? If I add one to my tank, will it decimate the entire asterina population, or just munch on them here and there, and over time keep the population in check? Unless the Harlequin shrimp will do the latter, I am not looking to keep the little fella' in the long term, as I don't have time to be lopping off CC star legs every week.

    Any thought are appreciated (about the Harlequin, and the zoanthids acting odd).
  2. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    They do not eat zoanthids... your chasing a red herring. Look elsewhere as killing them will not solve your problem IMO/IME.
  3. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I have a ton of those stars in my tank. I see them on the stalks of zoas sometimes.
    the zoas in my tank are all growing,multiplying and seem healthy. I don't think the stars are your problem either. BTW do you have a red herring in your tank? Chasing one could cause a disturbance. :D herring eggs are good with sushi! :bigsmile:
  4. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    Hm, I thought I recall a post (or a couple?) a while back regarding naughty Asterinas; I think one thread was started by Norman.
    Well, in any case ... can I get a Harlequin shrimp anyways? :D
  5. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Heck yeah! I might get one too!
  6. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I've had tons of asternias, literally 100s if not thousands. Never saw them hinder a zoanthid colony. They were a pain when I cleaned the glass since I didnt' want to get them stuck between the algae magnet and glass, so I got 2 harlequins. Within 1 month, they ate about 95-99% or more of the population. I can still find an Asternias here or there but I have to look. And yes, it is a drag to cut CC legs and buy replacement CCs. I had 1 harlequin die because of malnourishment already and I won't let it happen again.
  7. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    Hm, maybe I won't get a Harlequin shrimp then, if it is just going to plow straight through the Asterina population.
    In any case, one of the colonies has taken a rapid turn for the worse over the last half day or so ... almost looks like some of the polyps are ... melting?
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    run it under tap water and get any "brown jelly or fuzz" off the colony then :) Wear gloves and eye protection.
  9. sounds like that zoo plague...
    the shrimp you were talking about is beautiful but a pain to keep from what i heard. i may get a couple :D but i think the mystery wrasse will waste em.

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