Archaster typicus
Source: Oceanreef.dk - Kasper Hareskov Tygesen
Archaster typicus
Source: Oceanreef.dk - Kasper Hareskov Tygesen

Facts

Latin name Archaster typicus
Common name Sand Sifting Sea Star
Family Asteroidea - Archaster
Origin East Indian Ocean, Indonesia
Max length 30 cm (11.8")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 400 l (106 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Peaceful

Food

Recommended
  • Microalgea (Eg. spirulina)
  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Detritus

Description

This is a popular sea star for marine aquariums as it keeps the sand bed clean.

This sea star might consumed all the detritus and micro organisms in the sand, as a result it might starve to death.
Therefore the sand shifting sea star should only be kept in large reef tanks.

One might be able to feed it by placing food in the sand, but this is not recommended.

Often sold under the name Astropecten polyacanthus.

Family description (Asteroidea)

Sea stars can be an essential part of a clean up crew, as many species live of algae and detritus.
Some species are even quite colorful.

Sea stars should not be kept in tanks with high levels of nitrate or phosphate, as they are more sensitive than most fish.
They might begin to "erode" if the water quality is low or if not provided with enough food.

Many species might be able to find enough food on their own in the aquarium, but if they show signs of starvation, one should feed them fish pellets or similar.

Some species are sensitive to air and changes in salinity, so be careful when moving and acclimating sea stars.

Most sea stars in the trade are harmless and beneficial, but one should be careful when purchasing species with spines, as these are often predatory.

References and further reading

About references

Ronald L. Shimek. 2004. Marine Invertebrates (PocketExpert Guide) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Philip A. Purser. Aquarium Sea Stars - Fish Channel - (English)
Richard Aspinall. 2015. Sea Stars for the Marine Aquarium - Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine - (English)

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