Monday, February 25, 2013

Taking care of Starfish

Spending time at beach offers golden opportunity to enjoy the perfection of nature. Waves crashing against shore, gentle touch of water to your feet, sand covering the floor as far as your eyes can see, soothing sea breeze etc. When water washes the shore, it exposes range of sea creatures like crabs, shells, star fish and many more.

If you find a starfish on the sea shore and wish to preserve it at home as a souvenir then here are few simple steps.

·  See that Starfish that you are going to preserve is deceased one.

·  Starfish has to be soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol for about 2 days.

·  Then it should be dried completely in sunlight. To prevent curling of its arms while drying, paperweight can be placed on each arm.

·  Once starfish is dry, it can be placed in a dry area at home. As these creatures are very delicate, care should be taken not to damage it in the area where you keep.

These little stars are the treasures of sea and are just amazing. Presence of a starfish in you aquarium, will definitely be a good idea. Though Starfish (Sea star) looks simple, its not so simple to take care of it. Starfish requires saltwater to survive. Sea stars that you picked & brought from sea shore may not adapt to human created aquarium. If you want a starfish in your aquarium then you need to buy from a fish store/pet store.  

Setup a salt water aquarium and buy starfish that best suits for your aquarium. Chocolate Chip Star, Blue Linckia Star, Serpent Star are more commonly used in home aquarium. Transferring starfish from transport container should be done with utmost care. First it should be transferred to acclimation container and then to aquarium. The drip acclimation method is recommended for starfish due to their intolerability to changes in water chemistry. It’s very important to note that copper is toxic to starfish. So starfish should not be placed in a tank containing copper. Starfish should never be exposed to air.

 Salt water aquarium requires live sand substrate(around 4 to 5 inch deep).It is necessary to maintain specific pH, salinity and temperature. Check the pH of water and adjust it according to the species necessity, by suitable method. Hydrometer and thermometer should be installed in aquarium that serves to measure salinity and temperature respectively. Filtration system is necessary to clean water but that should not filter all the nutrients required for starfish. Aquarium also requires full spectrum of light over it. Red or green micro algae, live rock with many microorganisms are essential to feed starfish. Care to be taken not to add predatory fish on the same aquarium. Apart from all these things each species may demand additional precautions that can be known by consulting the supplier from whom you buy starfish.

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