to do any regenerating. Then you would
need to remove any uneaten parts and add
a new starfish to the tank. Actually, you
should remove any uneaten parts of arms
too, should the shrimps leave any scraps
when they’re feeding on them.
The only other thing to tell you is that
I’ve never seen these living alone in the
wild. They’re always found in pairs, so
you might want to try getting a pair if you
should decide to try some of these despite
their gruesome feeding habits.
Every once in a while I come across
a nautilus for sale. They’re certainly
unique and look cool, but they have
special care requirements. They aren’t
picky eaters, however. In fact, they’ll eat
many meaty things, including shrimp,
crabs, and fish.
The main problem is that they need to
be kept in a coldwater tank, and definitely
will not survive long in a reef aquarium.
When I say cold water, I don’t mean the
low end of what we keep our reef tanks
at, either. Rather, these should be kept at
temperatures in the mid to low 60s and
never over 75°. In fact, they have been
known to live over 20 years when kept in
the low 60s, but at temperatures over 75°
they may not survive a month. It has even
been reported that if kept at 80°, they die
within 48 hours. A powerful chiller would
be required to keep these healthy for the
They also tend to move up and down in
the water column and don’t care for bright
lights, so it’s recommended that they be
kept in relatively deep tanks at least 3 to 4
feet deep, with low lighting. They won’t like
being subjected to strong water motion, as
they aren’t very strong swimmers, which
you might be able to guess from looking
at one, and strong pumps can blow them
around more than they like.
In addition, there’s also a concern
that nautiluses are being overcollected.
However, their collection rate is rather
low for the aquarium hobby due to their
care requirements, and is more for the
shell-collecting hobby. Apparently, many
thousands of them are trapped alive every
year, and then their shells are sold at shell
and souvenir shops.
I’ll tell you that even if kept under the
right conditions, they don’t do very much
anyway. I know they look really neat, but
pretty much every time I’ve seen them in an
Harlequin shrimps are among the fanciest-looking shrimps around, but they will accept
nothing but live starfish as food.
Nautiluses are certainly unique, but they need a refrigerated setup.
aquarium (public or home), they usually
just stick to the glass using their tentacles
and sit there. Or, they get in a corner
and just stay put until feeding time—not
exactly exciting, to say the least.
Nautiluses are not good choices for most
of us and should really be left in the sea or
kept in large, cold tanks in public aquaria.
The feather stars, which are also called
crinoids, are fancy-looking cousins of the
sea stars and brittle stars. They also show
up at shops from time to time, but their
survival record is downright pathetic. I
have only known one hobbyist who was
able to keep one of these alive for more
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