Ammonium Issues – But Stars Still OK

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

Over the weekend Ian and Elliot monitored the sea stars, performed water changes, and monitored nutrient levels in the tanks. One of the most difficult part of sea star husbandry is keeping ammonium – which is toxic to marine life – low. In an ideal situation, nitrifying bacteria and archaea form biofilms on our filters and do the work for us. However, this does take a bit of time, especially when you have a lot of animals in a small space.

Friday evening Ian noticed a few of the Evasterias were looking not great, including one that had dropped an arm, so we moved it and another lifeless animal to our quarantine tank to see if it would recover. By Saturday evening unfortunately 2 more had croaked, probably just in rough shape after transit. However, the remainder looked OK, moving around the tanks fast. None of the stars were up…

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