Jaws on 5 (4) legs…

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

Today Elliot and Jacob worked on checking nutrient levels in the tanks, which involves using an aquarium test kit of gauge ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, pH and salinity levels; everything is normal except for ammonium, which continues to be high. Ian and Jacob then performed a 40% water change with fresh seawater, and added in ammonium reducer. It worked! Ammonium levels went back to ‘safe’ concentrations; hopefully they stay low as biofilms begin to colonize filters.

This afternoon, Elliot decided to try feeding the stars again. Our first attempt with shrimp wasn’t successful – animals generally discarded the crustacean tissues. So, this afternoon Elliot tried a new food source, mussels from Wegmans (our local awesome supermarket).

WOW! Ru and Alaska, our two biggest Evasterias immediately picked up a mussel and attempted to open it. JAWS!

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Since the stars are in rather poor condition, it’s likely they won’t be able to force…

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