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FAQs about  Green Brittlestars, Ophiarachna incrassata Identification

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

Related FAQs: Green Brittlestars 1, Green Brittlestars 2, & FAQs on:  Green Brittlestars Behavior, Green Brittlestars Compatibility, Green Brittlestars Selection, Green Brittlestars Systems, Green Brittlestars Feeding, Green Brittlestars Disease, Green Brittlestars Reproduction, & Brittlestars 1, Brittlestars 2, Brittlestars 3, & Brittlestar ID, Brittlestar Behavior, Brittlestar Compatibility, Brittlestar Selection, Brittlestar Systems, Brittlestar Feeding, Brittlestar Disease, Brittlestar Reproduction, & Seastar Selection, Seastar Compatibility, Seastar Systems, Seastar Feeding, Seastar Reproduction, Seastar Disease

Oh yeah. Oh heck yeah.

- What kind of Brittle Star is this? - Hello to the WWM Crew and Happy New Year! <And happy new year to you. JasonC here...> I just returned from my LFS with a brand new bristle star? <?> I went in for a sand sifting star for my new DSB, they couldn't locate it in the tank and proceeded to tell me and my wife that I didn't want one of those anyway as they eat all the good stuff in the sand base. <That is true.> The next choice and ONLY $5 more was a great lil' "bristle star", We were told they much more animated and entertaining and will not harm anything in your tank. <Uhh... is that a money back guarantee?> I came home and of course started to look him up on the FAQ's, care and feeding and such. But I did not find a "Bristle star" but I did find a "brittle star" faq and now I'm wondering if I brought a green brittle star. <That is indeed what you have, and these seastars can be quite predacious on smaller fish.> I've attached a photo, would you be so kind as to help us identify this little creature. <Yes, a green brittle star for certain.> Judging from what I've read in the FAQ's here, if it is indeed a green brittle star, it will be returned tomorrow along with a few comments toward the LFS manager. <That's exactly what I would do.> Thanks again for the WONDERFUL SERVICE (Yes I'm shouting it at the roof tops) you guys provide for us. Dave
<Cheers, J -- >

- More on the Green Brittle Star - JasonC; <Hi...> Thank you for the help with identification. <My pleasure.> I promptly returned the creature to the LFS, they proceeded to call it a Green Serpent and said it would be fine (leave other fish alone) for at least 2 or 3 years, but did admit that it would eventually attack smaller fish. <I doubt it would take that long.> They did however refund my money. <Ahh, good.> What would your recommendation be for my next tank inhabitant? I do not have any immediate (with-in the next 1-2 years) plans for buying any expensive fish or corals. I'd like to start on the low end of the money scale, prove I can do this and then move up. I'd like something for maintenance of the DSB, debris clean-up and such, but I'm pretty much open at this point. <I'm a big fan of Nassarius snails.> I have a 55g with liverock & 4" DSB. It's been running for 45 days. Currently only 1 Domino Damsel living in the tank. Thanks again for all the help, Dave <Cheers, J -- >
Serpent Star Question 11/08/07 Reading tons of FAQ's and reading the RC forums I found myself confused. I understood brittle stars and serpent stars to be very different creatures. <Um, not necessarily. And this is the problem with common names. "Serpent" and "brittle" could be used to describe different animals or they could be used to describe the same animal. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brittlestars.htm> I also understood green brittle stars to be very dangerous inhabitants to have in a reef tank, but I had never heard anything negative about green serpent stars. In my tank I have assorted SPS, 2 hammer corals (separate near an overflow), assorted Zoanthids, 2 blue/green Chromis, 2 pajama cardinal, 2 black Ocellaris (1.5"), 2 peppermint shrimp, and 2 skunk shrimp, and also a 5"red and 5"green serpent star) The tank is a 120G containing about 150lbs of LR, with a 25G sump, and 35G rock, Chaeto and DSB Fuge. About 1 week ago 1 blue/green Chromis, and 1 peppermint shrimp disappeared. I had previously wondered if there was any aggression in between fish, and in order to watch I set up a mirror and watched from the next room for several hours while surfing the web. <cool idea> There was no aggression I could see. Now after reading some posts from people about "dangerous green serpent stars" I wonder whether my green serpent star is the offender (there was no body found), or if someone was just mistaken and meant to right green brittle star. <Maybe they weren't "mistaken" per se but simply had a different idea of how to use the name(s).> To sum this all up, is the green serpent star dangerous, or does "green death" only apply to green brittle stars? <I think that the names "green serpent" and "green brittle" are often used interchangeably. I've seen Ophioarachna incrassata called by either name. Again, this is the tragedy of common names. So, my friend, I'm sorry to say it sounds like you may likely have the dreaded "Green Death" star (yet another common name--though one a bit more specific in this case).> Thank you so much in advance, you folks were a wonderful resources helping me get started. Joshua <Thank you and de nada, Sara M.> Re: Serpent Star Question, and Blenny question -11/11/07 Ah thank you so much for the help and information, hopefully getting the serpent/brittle/green death star out will have fixed the disappearing Chromis and shrimp problem. <Hope so! :-)> I dimmed the lights and coaxed him out over the course of an hour, then grabbed him and moved him to the overflow on my refugium. I do have more questions for you though. My stocking list goes In my tank I have assorted SPS, 2 hammer corals (separate near an overflow), assorted Zoanthids, 2 blue/green Chromis, 2 pajama cardinal, 2 black Ocellaris (1.5"), 1 Orange Striped watchman goby (3"), 2 peppermint shrimp, and 2 skunk shrimp, and also a 5"red and 5"green serpent star) The tank is a 120G (48x24x24) containing about 150lbs of LR, with a 25G sump, and 35G rock, Chaeto and DSB Fuge. In my long term goals I hope to keep a mandarin dragonette, but I am prepared to wait as long as needed to grow and maintain a pod population capable of supporting him. <Cool... and please note that there are ways to culture these pods too.> I am also interested in a Foxface, but I am unsure if he would be appropriate for two reasons, the four foot length of the tank, <Hmm, why would this bother the Foxface? They actually *need* a lot of space.> and the bunches of potentially tasty corals. <Huh, I think you may be getting some weird misinformation on these fish. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rabbitfi.htm> In the more near future I am considering a Lawnmower Blenny to the tank. Do you see any problems with him in this mix, I've heard they are interesting creatures generally. Will the watchman goby be to similarly shaped to get along with him. <Haha, um, what? I'm sorry, but are you sure you're thinking of the right fish here? Shrimp/watchman gobies and Foxface/rabbit fish look nothing alike. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm> Thank you so much again, Cheekymonkey <My pleasure, Sara M.>

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