August 1, 2022
What Do Starfish Eat? | 2022 Guide

What Do Starfish Eat? | 2022 Guide

If you’re interested in introducing starfish to your aquarium, you need to think carefully about their dietary requirements if you want them to thrive. Some starfish species will live happily alongside your other aquarium pets without causing them too much bother. Other species can cause more issues, with certain varieties likely to damage any coral you have installed in your tank. Ultimately, you will need to carry out in-depth research on each and every starfish species you are looking to introduce to your aquarium.

Starfish Feeding Habits

The majority of domestic starfish differ significantly from wild species. Generally speaking, pet starfish will need to be fed once every few days. They also require delicate care routines that the novice aquarist may struggle with. Therefore, if you have minimal experience with aquariums and more delicate marine species, you should avoid keeping starfish for the time being.

Identifying when your starfish are hungry is important. However, this is fairly easy to determine. Unlike conventional fish species that will tend to always demonstrate a ravenous appetite, starfish will only feed when they are hungry. To ascertain whether or not they have an appetite, place a small amount of food in their vicinity. They’ll very quickly make their way towards it and consume it if they are indeed feeling hungry. If you are keeping starfish alongside other marine animals, you’ll of course want to avoid other pets consuming the food reserved for your starfish species.

To prevent an overzealous fish from gobbling up food meant for your starfish, manually move your starfish into place over the food reserved for them. You will also need to think about feeding cycles when keeping starfish. Most starfish specie are nocturnal, but you won’t necessarily need to set your routine to accommodate nightly feeds. Starfish adapt quite well to daytime routines, so you can feed them alongside your other aquarium pets.

Picking the Right Diet for Starfish Species

Different species of starfish have different dietary requirements, although there is some overlap. However, it is wise to research the species-specific needs of your starfish pets prior to introducing them to an aquarium. Some popular species, such as the chocolate chip starfish, will enjoy a diet rich in shrimp and small squid. They will also devour protein-rich live bait such as worms. Other species like the marble sea star will prefer to forage for their food.

They tend to canvas coral environments and substrate for suitable micro-organisms, although ensuring there is sufficient food of this type in an aquarium can be difficult. Therefore, you’ll need to substitute the diets of these starfish species with flaked foods and live bait.

The feeding habits of certain starfish species can actually help you keep on top of aquarium maintenance. Take the Egyptian sea star, for example, This variety of starfish consumes algae, among other things, which can help you keep on top of green water issues. They will also consume smaller varieties of snails, which themselves can be used to tackle algae issues. When used alongside each other, they are ideal species for establishing a thriving closed ecosystem.

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