MarineDepot.com Education Center - Species Database
Sand Sifting Sea Stars are great for fish only systems or reefs that do not operate using the deep sandbed method. It is reportedly a detrivore but does not eat detritus. It does, however, keep the sand mixed which is why it is a great addition for shallow sandbeds. Like sand sifting fish, the Sand Sifting Sea Star will sift through the substrate looking to eat the benthic invertebrates that live there. One Sand Sifting Sea Star can void a 5 inch sandbed in an 80 gallon system of living sandbed matter in just a few weeks. It will then proceed to stay hidden in the sand, starve to death and decay. Be sure to add this species to a well established tank with a lot of benthic invertebrates in the sand.
Most Invertebrates, ESPECIALLY Seastars require very long and slow drip acclimation process of at least 2 hours or more as they cannot adjust quickly to even small changes in pH, temperature, and alkalinity. Like all invertebrates, this species is intolerant of extreme nitrate levels (over 20) and cannot live in tanks that have had copper-based medications dispensed. Due to the sensitive nature of this animals stringent acclimation requirements and sensitivity to being properly acclimated, it is on the Restricted Species List.
Behavior: The Astropecten polycanthus is generally peaceful toward other tankmates.
Water parameters: Keep water quality high (SG 1.023 - 1.025, pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temp. 72 - 78 F).
Care: Many consider the Astropecten polycanthus a high-maintenance specimen. Not venomous.
Size: The Sand Sifting Sea Star may grow to 12 inches.
Origin: The Sand Sifting Sea Star is commonly collected from the Eastern Pacific.
Color: The Sand Sifting Sea Star has a cream, tan, brown, white color.
Feeding: It likes to eat Eats benthic sand crustaceans like spaghetti worms, tube worms, copepods, amphipods and other sandbed infauna..
Species Compatibility Checker
It is important to make sure species can peacefully cohabitate before adding livestock to an aquarium. Use our handy species compatibility checker to determine if the animals on your wish list will play nice together.