Sand Sifting Star


Reefing Is An Obsession
I have heard that a sand sifting star can starve in an aquarium. Has anyone had one die on them form lack of food? Is it possible for them to run out of food at some point? Should food be added to your tank to help supplement their food source so they won't die? What can be added that they will eat being as they are a sand sifter? Should one feed heavier to add additional food to the substrate?
It is true that they can and often do starve to death. If you keep them in a large, established tank (with lots of critters in the sandbed for them to eat), then the chance of this happening is lowered.

You can't really add food to the substrate for them, as they mainly feed on living fauna in the sand. Which is a downside to them, they consume beneficial things in your sandbed that are very good parts of your cleaner crew.

I wouldn't keep one, but lots of people do.
I have had one for about 6 weeks to help clean up the sand after a diatom outbreak ... now that the sand is clean and looking good i am worried about starving it. It moves around a lot and seems like it hasn't had any trouble so far but i was trying to figure out what to do before i get to that point. Should i just take it back to the LFS? It is neat to watch how it glides over the sand looking for somewhere to set down. I would hate to get rid of it but i don't want to kill it either. Any ideas?
It's never a bad thing to have to take animals back to the LFS when they've served their purpose. I've had to do this with turbo snails and sea hares.
i had a sand star died but i dont have sand and my substance isnt to deep also when i got it my tank wasn't well establised
<cracking knuckles> let me chime in.


I keep two in my 90 and four in my 125. I have had the same four in the 125 for over 3 years. they are big, fat and happy (until I don't feed enough and the angelfish take off a leg to tide them over til I do feed, but the grow back).

You will hear all kids of people say they are bad. I can't say, but they are COOL and love my tanks. I don't do anything special but feed two cubes a day to my 90 gallon tank (one in the morning and one at night). I melt the cubes in tank water for 5 minutes prior to feeding and the frozen food just flies all over the place. things seem to work. I like 1 sand star per 40 gallons or so, just to make sure they get enough food. the only real problem I get is when they get caught in the powerheads and lose a limb.

Let me chime in too.....

I'm one of those people who absolutely hate sand sifting sea stars.They will consume all life in the sandbed like copepods,worms and other fauna which feed on detritus and are beneficial food for corals/fish.In essence,you will have a sterile bed void of life but it will look clean.
Kinda looks like people are split both ways. I do how ever like to watch them, what i do not want is to kill them. There isn't much of a chance of them getting caught in any power heads, mine do not have any exposed parts that can cut anything off. I am going to buy a couple of different Mandarin's in the up coming months and definitely want copepods to feed them. However, i do have a 120G tank (with a deep 4" sand bed) and only one Sand Star, maybe there will be enough to go around for everyone.
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Do Sand Sifter's and Chocolate Chip Stars get along? I had a guy offer me a free Chocolate Chip Star ... maybe if the Sand Sifter doesn't work out i can take both of them back to the LFS for a credit.