When it comes to starfish for the reef aquarium, not all of them are a good fit. While there are many options out there that are good members of the cleanup crew, there is a whole slew of them that either don’t survive long in captivity or will lay waste to your existing livestock with their voracious appetites. Here are a few examples of some not so great aquarium candidates.
- Sand Sifting Sea Stars: Great at disturbing the top layer of sand and eating detritus, but will eat many beneficial organisms and it will oftentimes starve to death. They are suitable for really large aquariums with vast amounts of sand.
- Linckia Starfish: These are so pretty, but they rarely do well. In fact, they almost never survive. Their diet is so specific that an aquarium simply cannot provide all that they need.
- Chocolate Chip Starfish: Two words: voracious appetite. These starfish are cheap and readily available, but they eat anything and everything in sight. They are great for fish only systems, but not ideal for reef tanks.
- Brittlestars: Depending on which type of brittle star you have, you could either be dealing with a peaceful and effective member of your cleanup crew, or you could have a fish killer on your hands. The green brittle stars get quite large and are known for eating fish. The black ones seem to be well enough behaved, however.