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FAQs about Linckia Sea Star Behavior

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Linckia multifora

Lost Blue Linckia Starfish 10/29/11
First, I wish I had come across this site sooner and I would have never purchased the Blue Linckia to begin with. It was listed as moderate care on SWF.com, which seems to be an understatement.
<Ah yes... most die "easily">
Anyway, I received the starfish on Thursday and acclimated it by drip for 3 hours. I never exposed it to air, as I heard that was a no-no. It went in the tank and moved around well that evening. However, I haven't seen it since. There is plenty of rockwork for it to hide in, but it is normal for me to not see it for two days straight, even after searching for 4+ hours?
<Not really, no>
I had an ammonia spike from a dead red moon snail.
<A cold water animal/species>
It didn't appear to harm the fish, but I'm concerned that it could have harmed the more sensitive starfish.
<Possibly>
At what point should I move the rocks to find him and verify that he is still alive?
<I'd hold off... for a few days>
I know moving the rockwork will stress the fish and that they are probably already stressed from the spike in ammonia. Is it best to move the rocks to be sure that the starfish is still alive (even though it will stress the other members of the tank), or to leave them alone and hope for the best?
Thank you for your time and advice.
V/r,
Archie
<No fun anticipating... but better to be patient at this point. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Blue Linckia 12-06-05 I recently added a blue linckia to my system. I read a great deal before doing so and know that they eventually parish from starvation. Besides offering a meaty food is there an algae supplement that can be added to the tank since this is their main diet? Also since being added four days ago he has stayed in the same area. <That doesn't sound good.> I acclimated him for about four hours and was wondering if he hasn't moved because there is an abundance of what he likes or perhaps I didn't acclimate long enough. <Your acclimation period sounds plenty long. Time is secondary to proper acclimation procedure. I will assume you did everything right. Odds are he is dead at this point. If he starts to deteriorate or you see the stomach protruding, but will not retract if the linckia is flipped over then I would toss him. Linckia are extremely hard to find healthy and should truly be avoided.> Thanks for the help...again. <Glad to help, Travis> 

-The incredible shrinking Linckia- I have a blue Linckia that is orange in color. <Isn't that an oxymoron? :) > I have had it for over six months. She  moves around actively has no sores of any sort.  The problem is that she keeps getting smaller and smaller, I feel that she may be starving what can I do, I don't want to lose her? <Unfortunately, this is all too common with Linckia stars, especially larger ones. Since their diet consists of mainly microfauna, it takes a pretty large and well established tank to keep them truckin'. You can hand feed them by placing bits of seafood (got any sponge based marine angel food?) on the substrate in front of it's path or literally drop it right on top. Try this a few times per week or more. Good luck! -Kevin>

Blue starfish Bob, First, many thanks on your informative faq's. It has been a great help.  <Ah, just as planned!> Secondly, a question about my blue starfish (Linckia laevigata). I got it two days ago, after acclimating it into the tank, it was quite active the first day, moving around the sand and rocks, pretty much all over the place.. but the second day, it was on this rock all the time, not moving at all. Visibly it appears to be alright, not much different from day 1. is this normal? <Not a-normal... have seen this species in the wild and in captivity not seem to more for days, weeks, only to resume activity... as long as it has no apparent discolorations, vacuolations, I wouldn't worry, and I definitely wouldn't handle/move the specimen unnecessarily. Bob Fenner> The tank is a 55 gal, finished cycling live rock, with some snails and crabs in it, but no fish. I didn't clean the live rock too meticulously so there were some die-offs during cycling... that should provide ample food for the starfish and critters, no?  <Perhaps> thanks for your help! -Alex

Blue Linckia Starfish >Hello! >>Greetings, Marina here. >Like others, we should have read more information before purchasing a blue Linckia starfish!   Now that we have, however, we are not sure if it is doing well or not.  We acclimated it very slowly adding about 1/2 cup of our tank water every 30 minutes to it in a bucket over about 4 or 5 hours before putting it in our 92 gallon aquarium.  It sat on the rock (attached picture) for about 10 minutes and then decided to travel.  It bumped our elegance coral crossing the sand and went behind some of the live rock (behind finger coral in photo) and has not come out since.  Is this something to be concerned about?   >>Not at all. >How long should we wait for it to move out from behind the live rock before we try to get it out (we don't want to stress it but don't want to find out too late if it is not doing well)?  We can see parts of a couple of its legs and it still appears healthy. >>I really wouldn't worry about it too much, folks.  Do NOT try to remove it, it's too easy to tear off its legs, leaving a good entry point for infection.  Even if a couple of weeks went by, I wouldn't worry too much, it may simply be finding much of what it prefers behind the scenes, so to speak.  You can *try* leaving it some tidbits in a more open area, but don't be surprised if someone else takes you up on the offer.  Try a mirror on a stick to look at undersides and areas not otherwise easily visible, I think it will turn up sooner or later.  Best of luck, and nice tank!  Marina      

Re: Blue Linckia Starfish >Thanks Marina! >>My pleasure. >Since we emailed you, it has stayed behind the rocks but is definitely moving around.  I think you are right that it is finding plenty to feast on back there!  I will try to use a mirror per your suggestion, that is a great idea!  This is my husband's second reef aquarium (he had one over ten years ago) and my first, and I have to say that it is one of the best most rewarding things I have ever done!  I am so obsessed :-)  so I really appreciated your "nice tank" comment. >>Good, because they don't come easily.  ;) >One other question I have, I have been hand feeding the open brain, doughnut, hammer and elegance corals with cut up fresh shrimp a couple times a week and they seem to be doing very well,  is this the right amount or should I be doing it more or less often.  I am most concerned about the elegance coral since we have heard that they can be very difficult to maintain. >>You may want to add phytoplankton to their diets, but they sure looked pretty good to me.  I would only suggest finding a good supplement specifically for corals (I like Selcon for fishes), and adding some variety to their diets as well (squid, octopus, and the like).  Glad all is well, Amy!  Marina

-The incredible shrinking Linckia- I have a blue Linckia that is orange in color. <Isn't that an oxymoron? :) > I have had it for over six months. She  moves around actively has no sores of any sort.  The problem is that she keeps getting smaller and smaller, I feel that she may be starving what can I do, I don't want to lose her? <Unfortunately, this is all too common with Linckia stars, especially larger ones. Since their diet consists of mainly microfauna, it takes a pretty large and well established tank to keep them truckin'. You can hand feed them by placing bits of seafood (got any sponge based marine angel food?) on the substrate in front of it's path or literally drop it right on top. Try this a few times per week or more. Good luck! -Kevin>



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