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3 questions

Dec 14, 2007
1) I saw this starfish, snapped this picture just thinking it was a mutant, came back an hour later and there wer two 3 legged stars. I thought echinoderms were sexual reproducers. Most of the stars in the tank have either 3 or 6 legs, or three legs with three growing. A few have 5 legs though. I have also found groups of tiny 5 legged stars that appear to be the same species, so whats up?

2) What the heck is this red stuff and what should I do?

3) I'm planning on getting either a juvenile cowfish or a valentini puffer, I've read great stuff about both, but I'm bad at making decisions, which one?


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Feb 24, 2005
one thing to warn you about the puffer and cows... they are toxic. if they get stressed or die(stuck to power heads being the worst case scenario) they will nuke out your tank.
Dec 14, 2007
Id say I prolly have Asterina then, and prolly more than one species, which would explain the fact that some have five legs and produce smaller starfish young, and others seem to reproduce sexually.

Monty, they definetly are stars... tube like feet, rough skin, underneath structure is like a stars...

What about the red stuff in the sand?
Sep 8, 2006
Yup, cyano. You can:

Do what Joe said and add a polyfilter.
Feed less.
Increase flow to the area affected.
Check your pH.

But, it's pretty common in new tanks and should go away in a few weeks, but it might occasionally return in low-flow spots.