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FAQs about Sea Star Disease Treatment  

FAQs on Starfish Disease: Seastar Disease 1, Seastar Disease 2, Seastar Disease 3, Star Disease 4, Star Disease 5, & Asterina Disease, CC Star Disease/Health, Fromia Disease, Linckia Disease, Sandsifting Star Disease,
FAQs on Starfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutrition, Genetic (poor species selection for captive use), Pathogenic Disease (Infectious, Parasitic), Predator/Pest, Trauma,

Related Articles: Sea Stars, Brittle StarsAsterina Stars, An Introduction to the Echinoderms:  The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.

Best: None at all. By the time there is observation of a problem... behaviorally, marks... it is too late.

Hence, proper species and specimen selection, quarantine... and provision of proper environment and nutrition are best.

Starfish with enlarged leg         8/17/15
Hi Bob,
Have you any idea why this starfish leg is enlarged like this?
<Like? Nothing attached. Have you read on WWM re Asteroid health? BobF>
Re: Starfish with enlarged leg         8/17/15

Linckia with very large leg. I've sent attachment. I have looked, yes. I can't find anything that resembles...no explanation for this.
<Perhaps bacterial, parasitic... maybe just something awry w/ osmotic/osmoregulation in the water-vascular network. All bad news... Be prepared to remove this animal on its passing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Starfish with enlarged leg         8/17/15
Have spent hours searching. Also thought it was an infection of some sort causing blockage. It isn't mine. Belongs to a member of my group. Will pass this on. Thank you so much.
<Wish I had summat more encouraging to state, add.... There are some folks (not WWM) who might suggest excising the bad leg.... and/or using an antibiotic as a concentrated bath in slightly reduced spg (a few thousandths) to get the analog inside the Star.... or H2O2 for both (not IN the tank). Myself; I'd just wait, hope. BobF>
Re: Starfish with enlarged leg         8/17/15

Will pass this along. Thanks again..
<Welcome. B>

Seastar. Not dipping      7/10/14
I know generally you cannot freshwater (pH adjusted) inverts but can you dip Seastars say for 2 or 3 minutes?
Thank you in advance.
<I would not do this... IF you're concerned re transferring (vectoring) pathogenic disease, I would isolate/quarantine the Asteroid/s enroute to the main/display for a few weeks. This almost always "breaks the cycle", lowering virulence.
Bob Fenner

Red Starfish Health 1/19/09 Hi there. <Hello Wendy> I have purchased a small red Seastar. I knew when I bought it that I may have a challenge on my hands but thought it so bright and cheery it was worth the risk. I have not owned a Seastar before. <Since you didn't provide a name or pic, I will assume it is a Red Linckia starfish.> <<Mmmm... I wouldn't assume this... refer this person to the site for ID. RMF>> I have been running my tank for 8 months. All the water parameters are fine and I have been pleased with my general coral wellbeing (they are all getting bigger and show beautifully!). I have about 50kg live rock, 3 tank reared clowns, 3 tank reared Blue Damsels, a sweet scooter dragonet (he is so funny and likes to be hand fed), snails, red and blue hermit crabs and 4 Peppermint Shrimp. I feed Cyclop-eeze, live brine shrimp and Salifert coral food. My tank is 3.5'l x2'w x2.5'h, with 2 Fluval 305 canister filters with carbon, ceramic and phosphate remover, a skimmer and 4 x 39wT5 (1 x blue, 3 x white), 9w uv filter, 2 power heads, a top up <off> unit and a small fan. I do a 10l water change (using RO filtered water) every over other day as I believe that this will be less stressful on the animals within the tank than a larger weekly or fortnightly change. I drip acclimatised the Seastar for around 4.5 hours by putting a pinprick below the waterline in his bag and allowing his water to equalize with my tank very slowly (I have done this for all the animals I have purchased). He was not exposed to the air. Unfortunately I forgot to ask the LFS how long they had been in possession of him. The upshot is that one leg is slowly rotting away. I have read this can happen due to stress. <I'm guessing this starfish was badly shipped, exposed to air and/or harsh changes in water parameters which can cause necrosis of the legs and/or the entire body of which you are observing. Linckia starfish are generally a hardy species providing they are shipped well, and once acclimated and feeding, should live a few years.> <<Linckia stars are NOT typically hardy... actually Asteroids period don't last in hobby set-ups... RMF>> However what I would like to know please is whether this rotting may stop and I should just watch him and hope he will recover on his own or whether I should try and cut off the leg and hope that all will be OK and, if so, how I should go about this? <Mmm, leave the scissors in the drawer, better to maintain good water quality and hand feed the star with pieces of clam meat and hope for a recovery. Removing the leg would be a last resort if the necrosis continues to spread. This can be done with a razor blade or Exacto knife. If it comes to doing this, remove the starfish in a shallow container, remove the leg, and place the starfish back into the tank.> <<This won't work... RMF>> I have read other threads where this is advocated but they seem to be about animals in a much worse state than mine (he is happily moving around my tank and feeding at the moment) and I am worried about causing him more stress than he has already been subjected to. <Yes, and do read here and related articles/FAQ's above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/linckiastars.htm> I would be grateful for your advice. Kind regards <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Wendy
Re: James... not good input, Seastar hlth.  01/19/09
Yep, I thought about it after I sent. Although I have had good luck with them, they are not the easiest to keep, requiring hand feeding to insure their food requirements are met. Originally I thought of omitting the cutting completely as once necrosis sets in, chances of recovery are poor. Bad judgment on my part. I need to put myself more in the mindset of the people writing. J <Yes my friend. B>

Starfish with hole in leg   12/5/07 Hello Crew, I have a very small Fromia starfish that had a hole in it's leg a while ago. That was my fault because when I moved house I let the temperature jump from 25 degrees C to 28 and the spg rose from 1.023 - 1.025, but the hole healed nicely. A week after that it got another hole (pictured) where a lump use to be. After a while all the skin was stripped away and it's been healing for a while but as you can see in the second photo it still hasn't regenerated completely and now three of the legs have extra bits of skin sticking out and today I found a hole where the leg joins the body. The water parameters have been fixed and stable for a while and it started moving again about 3 weeks ago when the first pictured hole was starting to heal. It's a very small starfish. The body is about 1cm in diameter and the only companion is a juvenile blue stripe clownfish around 1.5cm long in a small 15 gallon aquarium. Spg 1.023 <Should be higher... 1.025-1.026... and steady> , pH 8.3, ammonia and nitrite 0. I will soon be upgrading to a much larger tank and currently have a quarantine tank set up. If you have any idea what's wrong with it and if I should treat it with something I would really appreciate any help. Unfortunately my time on the internet is running out so I can't research it as much as I'd like to. Thank you Katie <This window/opening may be from an internal parasite erupting to the outside, or perhaps consequent to a mechanical injury. There is nothing specific to "do" in terms of treatment, other than provide consistent, optimized environmental conditions and nutrition... and hope. Bob Fenner>

Re: starfish dying/ disintegrating? 12/5/07 Hello. Sorry to bother you again <Not a bother> but my starfish has gotten much worse since yesterday morning as you'll see in the photo. <I do see this> Just a couple of questions. Should I remove the damaged legs, which is two and a half, and treat it with an anti-parasitic medication or is it too far gone? <Likely this latter> I've been told when they're dying they pollute the tank so it's best to put them in a bag and into the freezer. It's more of a humane way to kill it, instead of letting it disintegrate. Is what happening to it now disintegration because the body isn't damaged only the legs? <Cannot say> If it's not painful to remove the damaged legs I'd like to give it a shot since they can rejuvenate. <Will not effect this change, unfortunately> I'm having trouble just watching it instead of doing something. Thank you for your help. Attached is a photo of what it looked like yesterday and today. Katie <There is naught else to do my friend. You can/could euthanize this specimen in the manner you state... If your system is large/enough, filtration adequate, actual little pollution will be generated by its demise here. Bob Fenner> Katie Paulsen

Fromia milleporella First Aid 8/22/05 Good Sunday WWM Crew... <What happened? Lost another day, again!> I hope that that this finds you well. Yesterday, I took receipt of a Fromia milleporella.  I live in KY and it came from California via Drs. Foster and Smith.  It was a mess.  Its shipping time was not unusually long, but evidently long enough.  His body, overall was still turgid but each of his 5 legs had developed necrosis (up to 1/4 inch in a couple of places) and he evidently had shed in the shipping bag.  Upon initial investigation, I modified my acclimation to floating him in the tank while using a 5 ml eye dropper to drip tank water every fifteen minutes (at a rate of one drop per second) and then emptying 1/2 the water and commencing my "drip".  This process took about 5 hours, but I checked his bag temp several times and it matched that of the tank.  I then lowered his bag into the water, slid him out and laid him on top of a piece of Cyclop-eeze wafer in an accessible, but protected spot on the substrate.  I kept an eye on him for the rest of the evening to see if anything was going to change drastically.  He moved about 1/2 inch and seemed to be pressing his disk down into the substrate where the Cyclop-eeze wafer was.  My goal was for him to be comfortable, and to have nourishment that he wouldn't have to work very hard to get. I reread all of the sea star articles and FAQ's currently posted, paying particular attention to the postings regarding Fromia milleporella.  One posting in the FAQ's mentioned that you could swab the necrosis spots with reef strength iodine a/o remove the necrosis (plus some) on the legs with a scalpel or razor blade.  This morning I performed the iodine swab with a disposable wooden grilling skewer (never used) and polyester filter floss attached to the end of it soaked in Kent Marine Iodine supplement.  I also did my best to remove the necrosis areas on his legs and vacuuming out the "pieces".  For today's nourishment I placed some starfish sushi (a.k.a. a piece of mussel soaked in Selcon wrapped in dried seaweed) under him and squirted some DT's Live Phytoplankton into the substrate underneath him.  He seems to be accepting the sushi, but it took him a couple of hours. My question is, if he can be swabbed with the iodine as Mr. Calfo suggested, can I fashion dressing for his legs with the iodine soaked filter floss, and then change it each day until it is able to regenerate? <I would leave off handling, treating this animal more than the one time> It seems to be working on it on its own as long as I can keep it as de-stressed as possible and nourished. <Yes> By the way, I called Drs. Foster and Smith once the starfish was settled, explained his condition and they gladly gave me a full and immediate credit (my choice, store or to my credit card).  I thought that was good customer service considering that I am not convinced that this guy started his trip from California in good and healthy condition. <Very likely so> Your advice is most welcome, and any other suggestions for me would be most appreciated.  I know that I have an uphill battle ahead, but the starfish seems to want to recover and I want to help it as much as possible. Thank you very kindly, Pam Cradic <I do hope this animal recovers in your good care. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fromia milleporella First Aid...one more quick question 8/23/05
Thank you, Mr. Fenner for your reply to my inquiry.  I have just one more question regarding my sick friend.  Yesterday afternoon it appeared as though the necrosis on four out of his five legs had stopped. <Very good news> The ends of these legs had skin (for lack of a better word) over the ends, and no white could be detected.  The fifth leg, unfortunately developed a new spot on it (after he "broke off" the necrosis portion of it) and it appeared to be traveling to his center rather quickly.   Now, his disk seems to be "shedding" or changing colors.  He's still interested in food, as he ate the "sushi", and reacted to the food stimuli this morning (DT's again in the substrate).  His disk is changing from dark red/black (his original coloring) to a much brighter solid red.  He appears to be "shedding" the previous skin.     Does this signal the beginning of the end for him? <Can't tell>   I had hopes as long as his disk looked healthy, and I am encouraged that he appears to be interested in food, but now I'm not so sure.    I appreciate your advice. Sincerely, Pam Cradic <Thus far, you have done everything I know of "right"... Bob Fenner>

Lethargic Chocolate Chip Star (1/23/04)    I've read through just about everything I could find on your website about chocolate chip starfishes (and there was a lot) and I am still not certain what is wrong with mine. My starfish has been rather lethargic for about two weeks now. I have a 55gal aquarium with the starfish, a Clarkii clown, 5 small damsels, and a peppermint shrimp. The salinity is 1.023 and the temperature is 78.    I have had the starfish for about 6 months now. He is not missing any limbs or any pieces, he's his normal color, but he won't move. I have tried placing food beside him but he will not go to it to eat, so I have had to put him on top of it. <Does he eat it then?> I know starfish move slow, but this one has only been moving about an inch per day. I have noticed very tiny spots of a red colored algae in the tank recently, is this a sign of a bad water condition that could be affecting my starfish? <Could be that your nitrate level is high enough to be toxic to it. I'd check ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH for sure. A water changes would be a good idea, maybe 20-30%. Just make sure you keep the SG the same. Also, if the pH if out of whack, fix it slowly. Sea stars are very sensitive to changes in SG & pH. That said, it can be very difficult to figure out what's wrong with a sea star. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Sand Sifting Starfish Hi Crew...I hope this finds you doing well.  Bob, if you are around, it was quite an honor to meet you and hear you talk at the MARS meeting in November.  Thank you! <A pleasure to share> My question is in regard to my sand sifting starfish.  I have had this animal for about 3 1/2 years, and until just recently it has been great.  Last night, however, I noticed that is not looking good.  It is still active, but it is definitely skinnier and several legs look damaged. <Not good signs... typically nutritionally related, but could have summat to do with water quality as well... or?>   Two legs are shorter than the others, and one is crooked...almost like it has been broken.  I recently added a green carpet anemone to this tank (100g with 2x250 MH and 4x55w PC) and suspect that it could be involved (like it may also be involved in the disappearance of one of my skunk cleaners).   <Yes> Water param.s are all great with the exception of a moderate level of NO3...I'm working on that...but I don't think that is the issue as this tank has habitually had detectible NO3.  Could it be that my starfish is getting old? <Mmm, not likely. Turns out some investigators consider the group of spiny-skinned animals (echinoderms... urchins, sea cucumbers, crinoids...) immortal... that's right, beyond senescence. They don't "get old"> What is the suspected lifespan of this animal?  My first thought was that it was starving, but it has never been interested in any food that I offered so that avenue is a brick wall.  Any suggestions? Once again...thanks!  Jason <I would move this Archaster to another system if you have one... most likely solution to whatever might be "ailing it". Barring this I would switch out or add more/new live rock (a good general cure-all...). Bob Fenner>

Echinoderm Quarantine (9/8/04) Greetings crew. <Steve Allen today.> Can't find what I need in the FAQ archive. I am planning to get a starfish for my minireef.  After extensively researching my choices, I am leaning towards a Fromia sp. of starfish (waiting for a pretty red or orange one to come in). <Best choice. Most Linckias die.> I am wondering if I should set up my QT differently than I do for my fish and corals? <Bare bottom is fine. Echinoderms are happiest at normal seawater salinity (SG around 1.024).> Is there anything special that I should do for keeping a starfish for 4-6 weeks? <4 is fine. You will need to feed it things like frozen Mysis.> I currently have a 10-gal with heater, 20w of PC, powerhead <Consider leaving this out. Definitely use a screen to keep the starfish room getting stuck in the intake.> and a whisper 30 filter. Plenty of PVC <not really needed for the star, but no harm.> and a fake Caulerpa plant as well. <Again, not needed.> Anything else I should have on hand just in case of problems? <Not that I can think of. The key factor is slooooow acclimation (use drip--read article on WWM). This will also be the case when moving to the display. Stars tolerate only very gradual changes in SG and pH especially. Temp and other factors are important as well.> Just wondering before I get my new reef family member. <Smart to learn first and buy after. Good luck.> Thanks again for all your help. AA pleasure.> -Ray

Crumbling Cookie (4/5/04) <For future reference, please capitalize the proper noun "I" and the first word of each sentence and spell-check your e-mail. We post all queries and replies on our site for permanent reference. They need to be readable. Our volunteer staff will have a lot more time to answer queries if we don't have to proofread too.>   About a month ago me and my mom bought a chocolate chip star fish, there is a picture of him like two days after we put him in the tank. The 1st two pictures are him before we saw him getting funny looking, and the last pictures are when we notices something wrong. <Only one picture came through.> His one arm is kinda turning white and crumbling, and you can see in the 2 pictures that I marked off. And also 2 of the chip tips are falling off like you can also see.   I couldn't get picture of these but these got a gray spot on him and that has 2 little black dots inside of it, and he's got little brown polka dots on his bottom side, he still moves around the tank, he doesn't like to  be stuck up against the side though. What is wrong and how can I save him? please Help! Meghan <Well Meghan, I'm sorry to say that it is not very likely that you will be able to save this star. Once they start to "melt," there is little that can be successfully done. The best bet would be to put it into a small, separate hospital tank (see WWM for details) and treat with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Still, I'd be surprised if you can save it. Starfish seldom recover from degeneration/infection. Read more about them on WWM and elsewhere or in "Reef Invertebrates" by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner. Steve Allen.>

Chocolate Chip Star Problems (4/5/04) Hi, <Howdy, Steve Allen covering echinoderms today.> I have had my chocolate chip starfish for 2 years, and he has always been healthy.  Yesterday I noticed white ragged spots on his legs.  The areas are near the dark "chips" that are furthest from his central body, there are three affected legs - one that looks pretty bad, the other two legs have smaller spots.   Nothing has been altered in the tank, and all other inverts and fish are fine (none are showing spots). <Do you have any nippy fish that might be taking a taste.> He is also still very active and interested in food. I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me I'm quite attached to the little guy! :) Thanks, Beth <This may be a bacterial or fungal infection. I'd be a little concerned about it possibly being contagious. Even if not infected now, these wounds easily become so. Unfortunately, such conditions are usually ultimately fatal. Do consider putting it into a hospital tank with pristine water for observation/treatment. Consider a broad spectrum antibiotic if this seems to be worsening at all. Hope this helps.>

Sick Starfish (3/30/04)  Dear Crew: <Steve Allen tonight.>  You guys are the best. I have only been in the hobby for about one year, however, I have discovered a passion beyond description. <I hear ya!> Your site is the most informative and educational I have found. The loss of one of my fishes/critters breaks my heart. <Yes indeed. I have felt that too many times.>  Anyway to my questions, my red serpent star that I have had for over a year has suddenly turned very white on the top of his disk. <Uh, oh> I have a 55g tank with 80lb live rock with live sand. All parameters are good and I am faithful with weekly water changes. Other inhabitants include spotted Hawkfish (very  small), true Percula clownfish, lawnmower blenny, scooter blenny, royal Gramma, and diamond goby. I have several hermits, snails and my beautiful starfish. The lawnmower blenny has suddenly started picking at the starfish like he is eating something off of him. <May well be doing just that.> Of course the starfish hates this and runs like crazy. Could this be a fungus infection of some kind? <Is it fuzzy/fluffy stuff or just pale skin?> If so, should I remove him to the quarantine tank and treat him. <Putting him in QT is a good idea. Treating with an antifungal and an antibiotic may help, but I regret to have to say that echinoderms rarely survive infections.> He is otherwise acting normally, moving around and eating well. <Reassuring> I always make sure he gets a chunk of the Formula Frozen algae (he eats like a pig). He has always been healthy and active. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Best Wishes, Lona Pearson <Pristine water, QT if available, meds maybe. Can you get a good picture with a digicam and send it?>
Sick Star 2 (3/31/04)
  Dear Crew:   Thanks very much for your very prompt reply as it is very much appreciated. <You're welcome. Steve Allen with you again.> The white on my starfish disk looks to be fuzzy/fluffy, however, the lawnmower keeps it mowed down.  We recently dismantled our tank (almost completely) to capture a damsel who had become so territorial that one side of the tank belonged only to him.  He was one of the original fishes I started with and had gotten very large and aggressive.  Although I loved yellow belly, he went back to the LFS where I bought him.  They were very surprised how large he had gotten as I fed conservatively, but a great variety. <The benefit of extreme territoriality is not having to share food. Although he was attractive, your tank will be better off without him.> Could this fungus be stress-related from taking apart the tank? <Echinoderms are particularly susceptible to harm/stress from the abrupt changes in water chemistry that can be associated with such an intervention.> What do you think of adding Melafix to my tank? <I would perform any treatment in a separate hospital tank to avoid possible harm to other creatures in your display. Even Melafix could be detrimental.> Would this help the starfish? <Maybe, maybe not. An antifungal might be a good idea. Unfortunately, little is known about safe/effective treatment of infected echinoderms. Most do not survive.> The menthol smell is annoying but I have used it in the past for damaged fins or for stress relief. Thanks for your help and the great service you provide.  My morning starts with coffee and your daily Q & A section. <Mine too, sans the coffee--don't like the taste. There is definitely a lot of great info here & it is a privilege for me to help out.> Best Wishes. <To you as well, I hope you are able to save this serpent star.> Lona Pearson

Saving A Starfish Please Help!!  I bought a sand shifter star one week ago.  I have one other in my tank that is doing and has been doing fine for about 6 months, but this new one has now lost three legs in the last three days.   <Yikes!> I try to keep checking on him, but he seems fine.  I flip him over and he can get himself back over he is just losing arms at an alarming rate.  He is much bigger than my other sand star and I'm beginning to wonder if he is too big for my sand depth or my aquarium is too full for him to maneuver around easily.  I have a lot of live rock.  I'm not sure what to do.  He's lost two arms today.  He's down to two arms left.  The arms he's lost look kind of mushy at the ends where they were connected to his body.  Should I take these out of the tank?  My local fish store said to leave them in just in case they are another star fish forming, but I don't think they are.  Please any advice would help. <Well, I'd absolutely get him out of the tank, or at least put him in a "breeding trap" or other confinement system within the main tank. If he wanders off under a rock somewhere and dies, it will be a major tax on water quality. Starfishes lose digits due to a variety of things- environmental, bacterial, or predatory situations. The "mushy" appearance that you are describing sounds to me like some form of infection. If it really looks like an infection, I'd get him into a separate tank and treat with an antibiotic, with the heroic intentions of saving this guy...Starfish do have amazing regenerative powers, but you may need to address the infection before this can begin. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Marble Star Losing Legs I have a Marble Star that has lost some of the tips of its arms. The tips began to waste away and then just fell off. The process has been very slow, and it took about two weeks before the first tip just fell off. It appears that it may have a bacterial infection, but the animal is still alive and moving (a little) around the tank after about of month of being like this. What do you think I should do? Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate = 0. Alk = 3.0. Calcium = 385 ppm. Temp = 75. S.G. 1.024. Thanks.  <<Hmm, the above looks fine... I might move the animal to another system if you had one... with a slightly reduced specific gravity (a few thousandths) and a dose of Nitrofurazone (25 mg per gallon), ten minute dip on the way there... It may be there is something that doesn't agree with the animal in your present system... that it could find or lose in another... especially one that has been set up a good while (more than six months). Bob Fenner>>

Sick stars hello I need help we have two starfish in our aquarium and they both look injured I don't know what I did or what to do I don't want them to die or to lose the fish we also have do have any suggestions? please help Becky <Becky... first remove the starfish to an isolation tank. Something simple and inexpensive if you don't already have a QT (very important to QT all fish and inverts before adding to your tank <4 weeks> for just such reasons... spread of disease, sudden death from stress of acclimation, etc). A 10 gallon tank with some aged tank water, a few large pieces of live rock, a heater and some circulation would do the trick... no lights, no other filters of sand on the bottom. Then lets figure out what you have and how we can help. Do browse the articles and FAQs by navigating through the marine topics from out index page at www.wetwebmedia.com If you can send a picture that will help too. Kind regards, Anthony>

Starfish Care I have had particularly difficult time keeping Starfish alive. This includes brittles, Choco, sand sifters, etc. All of my measurements are OK and the tank is well seasoned with plenty of detritus/algae for feeding. I am going to order some more but want to know if there are any tricks to acclimation that I can use to increase chances for success. <Yes, please read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm > Also, I am prepared to quarantine specimens and medicate. Do you know of any safe medication that I can use to "Cleanse" the newly acquired specimens so that I am not introducing problems on top of what I already have? <I would quarantine, but not medicate. The key is finding and selecting healthy specimens. See here for tips http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm > Thanks for any info. Don <Good luck. -Steven Pro>

Dissolving starfish? I have a rather curious situation going on, and was wondering if you guys have any ideas as to what to do about it. I have an Orange Marble Starfish that appears to be "dissolving" in the tank. It started with a single leg slowly getting shorted a few weeks ago, and now it's down to the point of where there is only a single leg left fully intact with some degree of dissolve in all of the other four legs. I had thought that the situation would stop, and the affected legs would just re-grow, but the problem doesn't seem to be stopping. Any suggestions? <Mmm, yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm particularly the linked FAQs files beyond... Do monitor your water quality closely. If possible and you want to optimize your chances of saving this animal, do consider dipping it in a dilute antibiotic bath (input here can be found by using the search tool at the bottom of the homepage or indices) AND moving it to another established reef system. Bob Fenner>
Re: dissolving starfish?
Thanks for your rapid reply. I've gone and read the articles and related FAQ's, and am left with a question of two. You mention in one FAQ that moving to a hospital/quarantine system may not be a good idea since the specimen may starve. I unfortunately don't have another established reef system available to move him to, but am willing/able to dip him and see if he recovers. So the question is, if I dip him and return to the current system am I wasting my time in trying to save him, and putting the rest of my tank in danger in the process, or should I euthanize?) him now? <Hmmm...if you feel as though you can supervise it very closely in the display, I'm all for a medicated dip/bath and return to the tank. Considerably less chance of pathogenic infection with this invertebrate compared to a sick fish. Watch closely. Kindly, Anthony>

Fromia Starfish I bought a Fromia star 3 days ago. It seems fine until yesterday that part of one arm start to degenerate. I had a same problem with one before and it died.  <this necrosis is serious at times> Could I use iodine treatment?  <sure... swab a reef strength dose directly onto the affected portion with the intent to stain it> If all else fails, could I cut off the portion of the arm that is infected, since their can regenerate?  <please do...sooner rather than later and take off more of the arm than you need to. Use a sharp razor or scalpel.> Thanks, Jackie <with kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

- Seastar Troubles - Hello, <Hello, JasonC here...> I had a red star general.  Suddenly it got a spot on it.  the tank was medicated with Mela-fix. <Perhaps a reaction to the tea-tree oil/Melafix.> The starfish got worse and it looked like something ate it, however nothing was ever seen on it. <Well... when a Seastar checks out, they tend to dissolve.> Recently some of my fish got Ich.  The tank was medicated with Greenex. <Oh goodness, no... this is what caused you the problems with your inverts. Greenex is incredibly toxic and pretty much fatal for invertebrates.> Now my Brittlestars are starting to lose sections of their arms.  They are not losing a whole piece but small pieces at a time. <I'm sorry to tell you that they are probably goners.> Could you please help. Thanks Joe Stein <Joe, in the future, when you need to treat a problem like Ich, you need to do it in a separate tank, away from the main display. Greenex is a combination of Malachite Green and Formalin, both of which are really bad news and in fact, inappropriate for Ich - you'd be better off treating with copper in a quarantine tank. Likewise, I wouldn't bother with Melafix at this point - there is no scientific evidence that this stuff works for treating a problem like Cryptocaryon/Ich. Please read the following articles on WWM - they should provide you some background and also a plan for action: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm Cheers, J -- >
- Re: Seastar Troubles -
Thank you for your quick reply.   <My pleasure...> Just a clarification, the Melafix was put into the tank after the spot was on the starfish was seen, it looked like something had started eating him. <Ah, ok - well just keep in mind for future reference that Melafix isn't going to help your starfish.> Question: On the bottle of Greenex it says that it is invertebrate safe on the owner of the fish store I got it at said it was safe for inverts.  Is this false advertisement? <It most certainly is. Both ingredients are toxic to just about all life...> Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

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