Sand Sifting Star = Bad?


Reef enthusiast
I went to my LFS today. I have a bunch of snails showing up tomorrow but I wanted to add a sand sifting star. I asked if they had any and the guy told me they stopped selling them because they found out they do their job so well that in about 2-3 years you are left with a dead sand bed, devoid of all the beneficial bacteria and stuff that makes it "live" sand. He said nassarius snails are the best.

So needless to say I left empty handed.
Anyone else know this? This was news to me.
Thats sounds like the kind of LFS you WANT to deal with.
Their right.Sand sifting stars eat all the lil critters and bacteria that lives in the sand bed.
I've known this for a long,long time.Read about this over and over again since the mid-nineties.That is the reason why I never recommend sand sifting seastars.The last thing you will want is a sterile sandbed.

Very smart LFS.
That's the primary reason why I don't recommend sand sifting stars, unless someone has a huge tank. The other reason is because the stars just usually starve to death. It takes a very large tank to support them, and in new tanks especially, they run out of food within a month or two and just die.

Go with the nassarius instead. It sounds like you have yourself a decent, knowledgeable LFS.
Yup, just the fact that they let me walk out empty handed (regardless of whether or not they knew what they were talking about) says something. Instead of trying to sell me something I dont need or that can be harmful.

Meanwhile, a box showed up today from with:
40 Dwarf Ceriths
14 Florida Ceriths
3 Large Nerites
10 Limpets
1 Fuzzy Chiton
10 Nassarius Snails
S of a B! I just bought one of those when I got the Duncans! obviously im not going to keep it now SHOOT! my kids love the damned thing.
Gotta love those kind of packages.

Ya, and John at reefcleaners customizes the package specifically for your tank. You fill out the questionnaire on their website and he personally emails you his suggestions. Then you just go back to the site and start dumping stuff in your cart. His stuff is cheap, too! :Cheers:
I have a small sand sifting star that was given to me. I've had him now for about 2 months. Something got him, he had lost one leg. It's growing back now. I've heard that they can strip your tank clean like that. I was only suppose to be sitting him for a few months, but now the owner has sold off his tank and bought another, But he said he wasn't going to set this one up until he moved into a different house! I'll be finding a new home for this one here soon.
I think Ill just grab me a Harlequin Shrimp(locally) and let it take care of it. I may actually buy another one so that I can rotate one and another in and out of the sump just to feed the harlequin. Good idea or bad?