Acquired: Fish / pet store
By Adeline Gale
Posted May 03, 2013
This starfish can be a bit scary looking with its long, skinny legs, and spikes all over, but they are beautiful in their own right. They are tank scavengers, eating left overs on the tank floor and rock surfaces, so they don’t require specific feeding. They also help keep the aquarium’s environment stable by eating the excess food.
Unfortunately, because of their nocturnal routine, you won’t see it much during light hours. Our starfish grew to a nice size so that it could not fit in most of the caves without a leg or two sticking out, and with moonlight LEDs illuminating the tank, we could see it after the day lights turned off. It tired on several occasions to eat the seaweed we clipped to the wall for our tang, and we were warned of it escaping, getting those long arms up and out of the tank, but it didn’t stick well to the walls enough to really manage an escape. Still, he constantly tried to climb everything.
I found this starfish to be much heartier than the chocolate chip starfish (we had two, the first one died and the second one we exchanged for a brittle starfish to better suit our tank needs. The chocolate chip starfish mostly just remained on the glass.) Our brittle starfish was much more active than the chocolate chip starfish. I believe this might be partly because its long arms seemed to allow it better movement and navigating over the rocks of the reef.
Their care is listed as moderate, but I found it to be rather easy, as long as you take care of water and keep it constant as far as pH, nitrates and nitrites, hardness, temperature and specific gravity. Be careful of certain brittle starfish, because they can be fish eaters.