Sand Starfish (Astropecten polycanthus)

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Sand Starfish (Astropecten polycanthus) are a slow moving, rarely seen, but hard working part of a good CUC (Clean-Up Crew) who are native to Pacific and Indonesian waters. They will thrive in a well established saltwater system with a deep sand bed where they can clean up uneaten food, detritus, as well as small invertebrates while moving the sand around and keeping the substrate oxygenated. Since they have large appetites their food source may need to be supplemented with meaty foods so they don’t starve. Because they are slow moving, there is a risk of them being eaten or snacked on by other tankmates, so try to avoid placing them in tanks with Pufferfish or Triggerfish. If a starfish loses an arm, they do have the ability to regenerate lost limbs. Lost limbs aside, they can grow to up to a foot in size. They are sensitive to variations in their water parameters like salinity, pH, and nitrates so be sure to slowly drip acclimate them when adding to a new system. Like all invertebrates they are incredibly sensitive to copper based products.