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Micro Brittle Stars


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#1
Seiryoku

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First I need to say I love how helpful you are here on NR and how fair your prices are! Not to mention your nice selection of inverts/algae.

My question is concerning micro brittle stars. Any chance you'll ever stock these little guys? I love them and have been trying to get some for all of my tanks. The problem is, everyone I find selling them wants ~$2 each for them, which seems crazy since they seem to reproduce rather easily/quickly.

You were the first person to come to mind when I thought of vendors possibly stocking them ^^)b

#2
johnmaloney

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Thanks! We tried to get them in, but everyone wanted $2(+...) too. We did get some, they don't breed "commercially fast", although for hobbyist purposes they do breed quickly. We also weren't able to get a decent sized broodstock. Had to pick up 15 here, 20 there etc...shipping was a nightmare as you can imagine. Ended up just giving them away to get the tank space back. These and stomatellas and collinistas are right at the top of the list to add to the aquacultured dwarf ceriths, but alas, finding a reliable supplier, or a decent sized broodstock is problematic at best. (oddly enough, stomatellas have proven to be poor shippers, since the hitchhike around so much we found that to be surprising too, I think the problem is they need a hard surface to cling to to protect their fragile undersides)

Edited by johnmaloney, 04 September 2009 - 12:01 PM.


#3
PoopCola

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Interesting tidbit about the stomatellas

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#4
Seiryoku

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Thanks for the quick response! Was afraid you'd say something like that. Maybe I'll have to setup a tank to attempt breeding these guys ;)

#5
johnmaloney

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we have found that out for most gastropods etc...that can't protect themselves with a defined (or existent) opperculum. For the Chitons we sell, we attach them to shells before shipping, induce some stress, (not too much, they arent hurt in the process, just put into defensive mode - no chemicals are used etc..., just trigger a natural response from them), so they stay clinging to the shell. That has greatly increased their survivability in travel.

Edited by johnmaloney, 18 September 2009 - 01:15 PM.


#6
Emilio84

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Funny you should say that about the stomatellas. I actually just got one on a frag I got in the mail the other day... and just like you mentioned it was firmly attached to the frag plug. Nifty little things. I wish someone sold them... i'd love a couple more for my tank.

#7
Smurf

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Funny you should say that about the stomatellas. I actually just got one on a frag I got in the mail the other day... and just like you mentioned it was firmly attached to the frag plug. Nifty little things. I wish someone sold them... i'd love a couple more for my tank.


I got 2 of them under separate frag disks, in different bags. I guess it was shipped right (found the snails at the bottom of the frag disks). They both survived and are in my fuge.

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#8
nanoreefnate

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ive found that stomellas can survive without their tail part. i accidentally made one jettison its tail and was one of the first stomellas i had. it survived.

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#9
johnmaloney

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i have heard that too, that it was a defense mechanism that made them drop their tails. would really like to get my hands on hundred of them and 100 collinistas too. :) Getting a colony in 5 years or so would be sweet! :)

Edited by johnmaloney, 18 September 2009 - 01:58 PM.


#10
nanoreefnate

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i wonder if it hurts when they do that....poor snail. :unsure:

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DSA 35G Reef TankPhotography critique thread | Flickr

 

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#11
FallenMonkey

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First I need to say I love how helpful you are here on NR and how fair your prices are! Not to mention your nice selection of inverts/algae.

My question is concerning micro brittle stars. Any chance you'll ever stock these little guys? I love them and have been trying to get some for all of my tanks. The problem is, everyone I find selling them wants ~$2 each for them, which seems crazy since they seem to reproduce rather easily/quickly.

You were the first person to come to mind when I thought of vendors possibly stocking them ^^)b


Well, I see you're in Sacramento, but if you can find a way to get down to the MAX expo next year, for the last two years there's been a vendor selling like 10 micro brittles for $5. I bought 5 bucks worth at the last one and I probably have around 25 of them now, 5 months later.

#12
johnmaloney

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i wonder if it hurts when they do that....poor snail. :unsure:


snails aren't complex enough to feel pain fortunately. (at least I am told from a conchology book, it is dated though...) Most are blind except dark, light.. Conchs are different, they are a little more advanced and is is hypothesized that they may be able to make out shapes. They certainly have a good handle on moving objects.

Tell the Max guy to call me! :) I think I might have found a source actually, will keep my fingers crossed. I think at that breeding rate though I am going to need at least 5 to 10k for a broodstock...:(

#13
nanoreefnate

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WOW. thats some awesome info right there John. thanks for it! :happy:

anyways. micro brittles breed slowly?! :huh:

ive got TONS. most of my fellow reefers down here have TONS also. if you want some ill send you some for free...LOL, just pay shipping, which should be like 5 bucks.

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#14
coolwaters

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they do breed rapidly but if the conditions are right.
mine population exploded but eventurally the ampipods took over and killed them off.
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#15
nanoreefnate

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:huh: Amphiopods? really. thats interesting because i got plenty of copepods but i still have a pretty big population of em.

-Nate
 

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#16
johnmaloney

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they do that, over time you end up with one species of zooplankton usually. One tends to dominate to the detriment of the other population. There is some scientific law/theory that explains the best in closed systems, but it escapes my mind at the moment.

The thing about "TONS" on a hobbyist level is that it is only "some" on a commercial level. :) I think to cull 300-400 a week from the micros, I would need a couple thousand at all times. That is a pretty small broodtsock actually. The wild snail colonies we manage, (I prefer to call it managing rather than collecting because the majority of the work we do focuses on keeping the numbers up...) are all over 100k, (not that I count them, we do square yard or on some species square feet densities and then times by total sq feet/yards etc...) The dwarf cerith colony is over 2 million, and we were forced to start another colony of them, they just breed too fast and at some point can starve themselves out.

#17
FallenMonkey

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Tell the Max guy to call me! :) I think I might have found a source actually, will keep my fingers crossed. I think at that breeding rate though I am going to need at least 5 to 10k for a broodstock...:(


I didnt write down their company name :( . I think it was just a hobbiest anyway because they didnt even have any frags for sale, just a few RBTAs and a makeshift tide pool like thing with giant brittles. When I bought mine, he just scooped up the micro brittles from the bottom of the tide pool/tank.

#18
Seiryoku

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Hey John, have these available yet? :D

#19
bizzarro

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Feed the tank heavily and they population will explode.

Also check LR at your LFS, usually you can see their little arms sticking out and usually if you see one the rock probably has more.

#20
johnmaloney

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No they were hard to keep in stock at a fair price unfortunately.


that is probably the best way to get one, they are pretty common in and on liverock.