Banded brittle star - injury or amputee?

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Banded brittle star - injury or amputee?

Postby moujon on Mon May 16, 2005 10:25 am

What would cause a banded brittle star to lose legs? Is it possible that something in the tank is eating them? I don’t see it much since it stays in the back or under the rocks, so I don’t know when it happened. It came out to snag a piece of food- that’s the only reason I saw it. Two of its legs are about ½” long. The other legs are fine.
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Postby spbreeder on Mon May 16, 2005 11:01 am

Mine do that too. I was thinking that maybe a crab got a little testy. Not sure though. They do grow back and really don't seem to bother the starfish. Denise
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Postby meisen on Tue May 17, 2005 7:29 am

Lots of stuff can cause that. Stars are really sensitive to osmotic shock and the effects can last for months or more. Basically, any rapid change in salinity of their water (ie adding topoff too quickly, inproper acclimation etc) will irreversibly damage their delicate internal system of canals and tubes. Often times a star will continue to live on even though it has been shocked badly and limb loss (and eventual death unfortunately) is IME, very often symptonmatic of osmotic trauma. I have seen brittles recover from this as their regenerative powers are somewhat amazing.

Brittles will also drop limbs to evade predation so if you have a hungry crab, fish or mantis, that could be the problem. Limbs dropped this way typically regrow in a few months.

For the record, I recommend acclimating sea stars and all other echinoderms 1 hour for each .001 in SG (or 1 ppt) between their current water and the tank water ie bagwater is at 1.022 and your tank is at 1.026 so 4, yes FOUR hours of very slow drip acclimation are ideal. An IV drip is perfect for this or use airline with a knot in it, adjusted to drip super slowly (a drip every few seconds usually works).
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