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Innovative Marine Aquariums

New Hitchhiker... help ID please!


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Just started my first 12g nano a few days ago... today i put in some new LR and a few hours later i found this thing on my tank:


top view (blurry because i had to shoot from far side of tank to get it)



bottom view (two shots)




edit: forgot to say, he's very small. probably between 1/4 to 1/2 inch long at most.


no clue what it is... not sure if i should remove it or let it hang out? it was moving very slowly through the night. in the 2 hours i was watching tv it went maybe 2 inches max.


thanks for your help!

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Looks like a star fish came off your liverock, but missing a couple legs.



hey thanks... that was my first thought when i saw it, only i figured it wasn't because it "only" had the 3 legs. is this normal for starfish to lose legs? and is it normal for them to survive it?


... should i leave it in the tank? will it harm future fish/corals/crabs/snails/shrimp?



thanks again for the advice!

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Looks like Asterina sp. to me.


There are mixed reviews whether they are beneficial, indifferent or downright harmful. The ones in my tank only seem to eat microalgae and dont reproduce much at all, there are constantly around 10 visible of them.


They reproduce asexually by splitting, so the one you found is most likely doing just fine. If i remember correctly they grow 6-7 legs and than split.

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thanks for the help... doing as much research as i can right now on the asterina. but man, reviews are so mixed on these guys! some people love them, some people hate them and resort to removing them with tweezers. some people think they're beneficial, some people think they eat zoos/corals/coralline.


i'm debating whether i should just remove this little guy now before he becomes a headache. :huh:

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