The Sand Sifting Sea Star, at first glance, seems to be drably colored like most bottom dwellers. But closer inspection reveals a striking beauty and serenity to the alternating bands of brown and beige that dress this invertebrate's thick, spine-covered arms. Like other starfish, Astropecten polycanthus efficiently consumes mass amounts of detritus and uneaten foods. This nocturnally active member of the Astropectinidae family can move large amounts of sand as it burrows into the substrate in its search for food.
This peaceful omnivore will effectively clean even the largest home aquarium of detritus and left over food. Like other starfish, the Sand Sifting Sea Star will also consume small invertebrates, including shrimp, urchins, mollusks, bivalves, or other small sea stars. As such, the Sand Sifting Sea Star should be actively fed a varied diet consisting of natural food sources, especially in well-established marine aquariums. Otherwise, this voracious feeder will quickly clean your aquarium of detritus and then burrow into your substrate, starve, and eventually begin to decay.
To foster its feeding habits, the Sand Sifting Sea Star should be kept in aquariums with large, deep sand bottoms of several inches in depth. Since it is slower moving than most fish, the Sand Sifting Sea Star should not be housed with natural predators, including Puffers.
Like other invertebrates, the Sand Sifting Sea Star is very intolerant of sudden changes in oxygen levels, salinity, and pH and cannot tolerate copper-based medications. To successfully acclimate new specimens to your aquarium, use the drip acclimation method and never expose the Sand Sifting Sea Star to air while handling.
Breeding in the home aquarium is extremely difficult with no distinguishing characteristics to help differentiate between males and females.
Approximate Purchase Size: Medium: 2-1/2" to 4"
Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Approximate size range may also vary between individual specimen.
Arrive Alive Guarantee Policy:
We have close to a 99% success rate on our livestock shipping due to our picking and packing techniques.
However, the unfortunate event that an item is dead on arrival you must follow the below procedure to prevent your claim from being declined.
- You must make contact with us via email within 2 hours of receiving your order. You do not need to call us as we are not always able to answer the phone immediately due to the nature of our work with our hands in water majority of the day.
- The email must contain a clear photo of the livestock in the original bag still sealed. The photo must be clear and show the entire bag.
This allows us to review your claim and refund accordingly. Due to the nature of your purchase, should you not make contact within 2 hours, refund claims will not be considered.
Once your claim has been processed a refund will be honoured for the cost of the item EXCLUDING the cost of postage within 72 hours.
Please note that the acclimatisation process and how the livestock settle into your aquarium is your responsibility as this is out of our hands. There are a number of factors out of our control such as
- Existing fish becoming aggressive towards your new additions
- Incorrect water parameters - PH / Ammonia / Nitrite Levels.
- Incorrect acclimatisation process carried out, introduced livestock too soon which will cause too much stress to the livestock.
Therefore we are unable to cover the livestock once they have been delivered and introduced into your aquarium.
Claims will NOT be considered if you miss delivery and your order is taken to the sorting office. Returns are not accepted on livestock.
DX offer a 'Change Your Delivery Date' HOWEVER, YOU MUST NOT CHANGE THE DELIVERY DATE OF YOUR LIVESTOCK ORDER. IF YOU DO YOU WILL VOID YOUR ARRIVE ALIVE GUARANTEE COMPLETELY AND NO CLAIM WILL BE CONSIDERED.
We strongly recommend that you quarantine any new additions before introducing to your main tank. As with any livestock, we cannot be 100% sure of their condition once they leave us, therefore you should always carry out your own quarantine process and monitor the livestock closely before you make the decision to introduce the livestock to your main aquarium.
As of the 1st May 2021, we will be issuing a credit code rather than a monetary refund, should a livestock item not arrive alive. You must still follow the procedure as normal which is stated in our policy, for your claim to be considered.
The credit code will be issued via email to the email address given on your order.
The credit code will be for the value of the livestock only (excluding postage costs)
This only applies if your item is covered by our Arrive Alive Guarantee policy.
The reason we have made this change is because our livestock prices are one of the cheapest across the industry and we want it to stay this way. We do not have any cover or insurance if an animal does not survive the journey to you, so in order for us to maintain our low prices we will now be offering credit notes instead of cash refunds.
If an item is out of stock at the item of packaging your order, we will issue a refund as we were unable to fulfil the item prior to dispatching.
Tank mate compatibility is crucial to a successful and healthy home aquarium. Incompatible species will increase stress in the tank which could result in disease and considerable loss. Use our compatibility charts as a guideline when selecting fish.
Remember, no guarantees can be made about the compatibility or incompatibility of any particular species of fish. Also, particular species within a group of fish vary in temperament and may not correspond with the guidelines below.
Proper acclimation is the key to successful introduction of new aquarium arrivals. The Floating Method is undoubtedly the most widely practiced method among hobbyists. However, a more exact method of acclimation provided by the Drip Method is required for fish, corals or invertebrates sensitive to sudden changes in water chemistry.
The reason why acclimation is necessary is simple: the chemical makeup of the water in which the aquatic life is packaged is different from your aquarium water chemistry (i.e. water temperature, pH, and salinity). Aquatic life such as fish, and especially invertebrates (including corals), are very sensitive to even minor changes in water chemistry. The goal of acclimation is to gradually introduce your new aquatic life to the water chemistry found in your aquarium at a controlled rate to avoid distress.
The acclimation process is complete when equilibrium is reached, where the temporary container housing new arrivals shares the same water chemistry as your aquarium, and your new arrival appears adjusted to these conditions. Since different species have varying levels of tolerance, different methodologies are required to control the rate of change experienced during the acclimation process.
We recommends employing the Floating Method or the Drift Method of acclimation. The Floating Method of acclimation, where aquarium water is added to the floating bag in 1/2 cup increments, is a great choice when acclimating most types of aquarium fish. However, for more sensitive fish, invertebrates, and corals, it is recommended to employ the Drip Method of acclimation. Keep in mind, no matter which acclimation method you choose, be sure to take your time and never rush the process.
The Drip Method is considered more advanced. It is geared toward sensitive aquatic life such as snails, corals, shrimp, sea stars and wrasses. You'll need a drip acclimation kit (sold separately) and must be willing to monitor the entire process. Gather a clean, 3- or 5-gallon bucket designated for aquarium use only. If acclimating both fish and invertebrates, use a separate bucket for each.
- Be patient – never rush the acclimation procedure. The total acclimation time for your new arrival should take no longer than two hours.
- Always follow the acclimation procedure even if your new arrival appears to be dead. Some fish and invertebrates can appear dead when they arrive and will usually revive when the acclimation procedure is followed correctly.
- Never place an airstone into the shipping bag or bucket when acclimating your new arrival. This will increase the pH of the shipping water too quickly and expose your new arrival to lethal ammonia.
- Keep aquarium lights off for at least four hours after the new arrival is introduced into the aquarium.
- Most invertebrates and marine plants are more sensitive than fish to changes in specific gravity. Please acclimate invertebrates to a specific gravity of 1.023-1.025 or severe stress or trauma may result.
- Some live corals produce excess slime when shipped. After the acclimation procedure is followed, hold the coral by the rock or skeletal base and gently shake the coral in the shipping bag before placing into the aquarium. To avoid damage, please remember never to touch the "fleshy" part of a live coral. Many species of coral will not open for several days after introduction into their new home.
In some instances, a new tank mate will be chased and harassed by one or all of your existing tank mates.
Solution 1: A clean plastic spaghetti strainer (found at a local store) can be used to contain a tank bully within the aquarium for several hours until the new arrival adjusts to its surroundings. Just float the perforated plastic basket in the aquarium. Net the tank bully and place in the floating basket for approximately four hours while the new arrival adjusts to your aquarium. Never place the new arrival in this basket; the new specimen must get familiar with your aquarium. By placing the tank bully in a perforated basket, you’ll reduce the stress on the new arrival.
Solution 2: A perforated plastic lighting grid can be purchased at the local hardware store to cut down the width of your aquarium. This grid may be used to section off a small portion of the aquarium to separate territorial or aggressive fish from the newest tank mate.
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