Starfish crisis!

Amber Jordan

Reefing newb
Hi, I've encountered an issue with my sand shifting starfish.

I'm basically clueless when it comes to marine tanks as my dad and I have only purchased one recently and were wondering if anyone would be able to help us.

I noticed yesterday that my sand shifting starfish was upside down on the bed of the tank. She disappears now and again but didn't think anything of it. All of her legs were chewed, but not down fully. I put her on my hand to see if she was moving, to which I've discovered she's was still alive. She moved herself into a dark part of the live rock and hasn't moved since.

I removed her from the live rock today after I noticed more of her body floating around the current of the tank. I discovered that even more of her legs had been chewed right down, except one which had dramatically grown over night.

I brought her out onto my hand to see if she had died, and to the light of the tank she began to move around my hand again but very slowly compared to normal.

I've put her back into the cove and covered her with sand to protect her but I've no idea what could be the cause of this, or what is harming her?

I've read that cow fish can eat starfish, but I've had both of them for a good few months now and nothing has happened since. Plus, my cow fish only remains at one part of the tank and probably would have found it difficult to get at her through the holes in the live rock.

Should I feed her manually with shrimp? I'm concerned incase she starves. Also note that my hermit crab and two slugs have also been found dead. All fish in the tank are fine and none have died since last year.

Can someone please help us out?


Tank content:
Manderin Bellenni
Cow fish
Sand shifting starfish
Reg starfish (type unknown - unharmed)
2 Nemo's
Welcome to the forum Amber!

Sorry to hear about your starfish, hopefully someone here will be able to offer advice. Might be useful to list your water parameters too.