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  1. #1
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    brittle starfish

    I am pretty excited!! We were snooping around the tank last night, you know, with the flashlight. Trying to find our renegade Mantis. Much to our surprise we found 2, or possibly 3 Brittle stars. They must have come in on our live rock and survived the curing process (like our little mantis friend). From what I read, they (brittle stars) are "reef safe". Does anyone have any input on these?

    Cheers,
    Meagan (and Mike)
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

  2. #2
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    britte stars are very good cleaners too...i have one...you wont see them much..
    Derik...

  3. #3
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    I like finding good things in my tank. not like the mantis.
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

  4. #4
    Senior Member jklink's Avatar
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    I'll only warn you of one thing, Brittle stars can get rather large. I bought mine ~6 months ago and although he was about 8 inches in diameter, he has grown to approx 16 in that time and now can take up a large proportion on the wall if you ever see him out walking/eating. Very cool to see but he requires a bit of space to move.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I think it is important to note that a brittle star that large 8 - 16 incches in diameter can also make a meal out of medium sized fish.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Ok, there are brittle stars and then there are mini brittle stars. I had a large one in my 120g reef tank that did eat a few fish before I was able to get him out. My 300g has dozens and dozens of mini brittle stars. They look the same as the larger ones but they don't grow very big. They live in the rocks and mostly all I ever see is their legs sticking out of holes in the rock at mealtimes trying to catch food.

    In a tank with large fish either would be fine. In a tank with smaller fish the large kind can be a risk. That said I do know several people who keep the large ones without any problems. I was target feeding the one I had in the reef tank and he grew very big very fast. I have a friend who just lets hers scavenge for food and it hasn't gotten as big and has never caused a problem.
    Susan

  7. #7
    Senior Member jklink's Avatar
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    When I bought him I really didn't know the difference and s/he has never caused any major problems. I asked the LFS if he could have eaten my anemone but they said 'no way'. It was on the rock one day and then next half of it was sticking out from underneath the live rock where the starfish was so I still wonder.

    Either way, he's never had a problem with my crabs, sand star, or other fish. Although I do know that he ate my bicolour angel after it died but that doesn't count as aggressive to me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jklink's Avatar
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    Sorry to introduce this question in here, but it seemed like it was in the same area. Do brittle worms bite or have any damaging effects to humans? I only say this because I had no problems moving the brittle star when it was small and it's mouth was tiny, but now it's mouth is almost large enough to put the tip of my thumb in so I don't want those teeth chomping in!

  9. #9
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    hey Flame angel is there anyway to tell if they are mini or regular? I know that mine live in the rock. I seen there little legs before but I thought that they were bristle worms but last night I seen the center. They don't look very big now. I'll probably be biting myself in a few months when his legs are hanging out the side of the aquarium grabbing at my chihuahua LOL
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

  10. #10
    Senior Member jklink's Avatar
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    Mike, is there any way to see the centre of your brittle star? Oddly enough my brittle star sits underneat the live rock and can poke all his tentacles through it and have them hang out. It's very rare to actually see all of him so I don't know if you'll be able to tell by only seeing the legs.

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