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Old 06/24/2009, 07:08 AM   #1
E.intheC
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Let's talk about Harlequin shrimp

I'm really interested in these guys. Please post pics, stories, first hand experiences, and general knowledge. Thanks!!!





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Old 06/24/2009, 07:54 AM   #2
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Unless you have a feeder population of Asterina stars in a sump or feedstock tank don't get one. This practice of chopping arms off large stars to feed Harlies is cruel.


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Old 06/24/2009, 09:20 AM   #3
E.intheC
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Yep, knew about that already. I agree with you. However, let's try to be positive and suggest ways to go about buying/growing asterinas :-)

Anyone have experience/pics?


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Old 06/24/2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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nobody sells asterinas in the amounts you'd need. chocolate chip starfish are there main diet.


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Old 06/24/2009, 03:57 PM   #5
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So, let's do this: post if you have ways to grow/propogate asterina star fish.

Alternatively, how many stars do you have to feed the shrimp?


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Old 06/24/2009, 05:11 PM   #6
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Starfish regrow legs that are chopped off. Chocolate chip starfish, by the way, are not reef safe.


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Old 06/24/2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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I have 3 choc chips and alterrnate them they are not reef safe but if there is only one in my reef tank the harlequin sits on it even brings it food so they are reef safe if they cant move


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Old 06/24/2009, 06:23 PM   #8
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so you alternate the chocolate chips? Do you mean you have one in the display tank, then you take him out, then put another one in there? meanwhile, the stars will regrow their arms?

Thanks for the replies


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Old 06/25/2009, 07:48 AM   #9
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sounds cruel to me...


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Old 06/25/2009, 04:26 PM   #10
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No offense, but what do you all feed your fish? Most fish are carnivores or omnivores, so something died somewhere to feed them.


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Old 06/25/2009, 05:36 PM   #11
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I'm sure there's a way to grow out the asterina stars.. (Besides overfeeding your tank that is)...

And no one has pictures of these guys in their tanks?


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Old 06/27/2009, 10:27 AM   #12
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I have 2 spare tanks going besides the tank my Harlequins are in. My 135g tank & 5gal nano and I have put astrea stars in both tanks. I can take apx 10-15 stars out of both tanks a week to 10 days without depleating the astrea population.
There is no way I'm ever able to harvest enough astreas too keep my 2 harlequins well fed. I suplement their feeding mostly with chocostars. They love linkia stars but they get to be costly so they mabby get 3 linkias a year compared to 1-2 choco stars a month.







Cheers!


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Old 06/27/2009, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by "Umm, fish?"
No offense, but what do you all feed your fish? Most fish are carnivores or omnivores, so something died somewhere to feed them.
Killing something isn't the issue. Keeping something just alive enough to harvest a part of it over and over again is the part I have a problem with. This is not a humane practice.


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Old 06/27/2009, 02:02 PM   #14
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pulp, those are beauties! Do they come out a lot, or do they hide?


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Old 06/27/2009, 09:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Killing something isn't the issue. Keeping something just alive enough to harvest a part of it over and over again is the part I have a problem with. This is not a humane practice.
And yet, when people do it with corals and anemones, it's called fragging. Besides, many starfish reproduce asexually in just that way. Just saying that it's not exactly a black and white situation. I'm not exactly completely comfortable with the idea myself, though I suppose that it's possible to maintain 50 starfish in a separate system so that you'd only have to harvest one arm from one starfish once per year. Would that be better since you're avoiding the "just alive enough" part? Or, is it better to just give the shrimp the whole starfish at once so that it just dies and then you haven't cut off an arm?

I'm not saying that it's not a moral quandary. I just don't think it's a simple one.


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Old 06/28/2009, 06:49 AM   #16
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lots of good points have been made about this debate. The one thing I agree on is that it's not a black/white issue for sure


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Old 06/28/2009, 07:49 AM   #17
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i got a harlequin too eat my overpopulation of stars, took him about 3 weeks too eat thousands of stars, i have a few CC in my fuge i rotate breaking arms too feed my harlequin every other week in between the CC starfish legs he munchs on Asterina stars that still multiply in my tank. I have had my shrimp for 3 or 4 months seen him molt twice he hides under my bubble in the day and at night comes out to eat. As for it being cruel breaking legs off a starfish well i cant agree the shrimp needs to eat, I see it no more cruel then feedings my snakes rats, or watching a cat stalk and kill a rabbit or mouse, or catching a fish in a lake and eating that lol you get my point.


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Old 06/28/2009, 12:12 PM   #18
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wow.. if your numbers are correct, 1000's of stars is a TON. Probably less than that, eh?


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Old 06/28/2009, 02:04 PM   #19
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when i first put my harlequin in the water it started eating, within 2 hours all the Asterina stars climed to the top of the tank me and my wife counted a little over a thousend of them. it was almost 3 inches of stars at the top of the tank and my camras were dead. couple of my friends saw it and couldnt belive it, and like i said in about 3 weeks they were gone i just have some straglers that are still multipling enough to give my shrimp a snack.


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Old 06/28/2009, 03:31 PM   #20
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wow. It's incredible how much those shrimp will eat.

How big is your tank?


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Old 06/28/2009, 05:16 PM   #21
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55g those stars multiply fast


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Old 06/29/2009, 10:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by E.intheC
pulp, those are beauties! Do they come out a lot, or do they hide?
Thanks these are my reef Romeo & Juliet! When I first got them they were very shy and only came out when they were hungry.
Now they seem more outgoing and willing to come out in the open a few times a day.

As for the comments on how much they eat, in my experience they are ravenous! Its incredible they will eat a star that is way heavier they they are in a matter of days.


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Old 07/10/2009, 01:43 PM   #23
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I keep ample numbers of Choclate Chips in my clownfish system and just grab one when its feeding time. The Astrias crawl up the top of the glass in the tanks I have Harlequins in so if I see them I just run my algae magnet by them and hope that the shrimp find them before they crawl up again.


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Old 07/11/2009, 05:37 PM   #24
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Mine eventually died when I couldn't get any choco-stars for too long.

Having a second tank to keep stars in and just feed an arm would be a good idea.


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Old 07/12/2009, 09:15 PM   #25
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I originally bout a breding pair at a LFS about 4 months ago, I also had asterina star outbreak in my tank, in a bout a month they had my 120 cleaned up, only ones still around were in my overflows and sump, id pull them out and the harleys would take them off my finger to eat, I buy a choco star at the LFS about twice a month for them to eat, this is in a reef tank also, and dont worry if you just drop the star in front of them it wont do any damage to your coral, they wont let him get far, the star would climb around some, but they rode him the whole time and would flip him over and make short work of him, mine molt about once a month now, and she lays eggs often to.These are awesome creatures to have and watch, unfortunately their diet is paticular and if you cant stomach feeding them what they require I would pass.


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