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KMHREEFER

Harlequin Shrimp with Zebra Moray Eel

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I have noticed Asterina Starfish in my tank from early on but am to the point now where there are thousands of them and I’m ready to try and manage them.  I should have been a little more proactive when I first started seeing them but they never seemed to bother anything so I left them.  There are way too many to manually remove so I’d like to get a pair of harlequin shrimp to take care of them, plus think they are awesome to watch and look amazing in a reef tank.  Only problem is is that I have a large and a very small zebra eel in the tank.  To date I have never seen either mess with my fire shrimp which is the only shrimp on the tank but my emerald crabs have all disappeared.  What are people opinions, bite the bullet and risk getting them and hope they’ll be safe or remove the eels temporarily...if I can, and try ridding the tank of all Asterinas?  

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1 hour ago, KMHREEFER said:

I have noticed Asterina Starfish in my tank from early on but am to the point now where there are thousands of them and I’m ready to try and manage them.  I should have been a little more proactive when I first started seeing them but they never seemed to bother anything so I left them.  There are way too many to manually remove so I’d like to get a pair of harlequin shrimp to take care of them, plus think they are awesome to watch and look amazing in a reef tank.  Only problem is is that I have a large and a very small zebra eel in the tank.  To date I have never seen either mess with my fire shrimp which is the only shrimp on the tank but my emerald crabs have all disappeared.  What are people opinions, bite the bullet and risk getting them and hope they’ll be safe or remove the eels temporarily...if I can, and try ridding the tank of all Asterinas?  

I have been having a similar problem. I picked up one harlequin shrimp, but I think I need another. I placed it in the frag tank, and I have noticed a reduction of asternia stars in there, but it has been a slow process. 

I don't have eels, but I do have a trigger and a melanuras wrasse that constantly are picking off my CUC, so I have not added any to the DT yet. The asterina star population seems to go in waves, but I might try and add one or two to the DT in a bit. Just an expensive snack for my fish...

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That’s my thought exactly. Lol. If they do get eaten the eels better enjoy them and I’ll take it as lesson learned.  They have wiped out most of my coraline and between them and my 2 urchins my glass and liverock have never been cleaner. I do miss having the purple on my rocks though.  

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i would attempt to feed less and if you have a sump put the harlequins down in the sump and just scrape off some asterinas to feed it. the eels may not eat the harlequins right away but in time they will. notice too that when you run out of starfish the harlequins will die. if you really want the harlequins then the asterina problem will just turn into a management game. if this doesnt sound ideal i would manually remove them and then check water parameters. normally you will have a flux of asterinas when some nutrient parameter is off (nitrate/phosphate)

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