Green Starfish are commonly known as Green Serpent Starfish or Green Brittle Starfish. They used to be from the same species, but have recently been split into two different species.
Green Serpent Stars usually have five long, thin arms, and they are also thinner than their cousins, the Green Brittle Stars. This makes them better suited for living in narrow crevices and cracks in the rockwork.
The Green Brittle Stars are much more rounded, with shorter legs that are thicker than the Green Serpents. They also tend to live below the substrate level, rather than on top of it like their relatives.
The Green Starfish or Green Brittle Starfish are often seen as one and the same. They do have many similarities, but both have some distinct differences that set them apart from each other. Both are commonly available in the aquarium trade. The care of these two species is nearly identical, so this guide can be used to care for either species.
The green brittle starfish and the green serpent starfish are closely related, with only a few key differences between them. Both are very hardy and make excellent additions to reef tanks, but they should not be kept with aggressive fish or other starfish.
The Green Brittle Starfish is a very interesting creature. It has no brain, no heart, and can only see light and dark. Its main form of defense is to run away from its predators. The Green Starfish is also called the Blue Linckia Starfish, Blue Linckia, Blue Star, Green Brittle Star, Green Sea Star, and Green Comet Star.
Green Starfish Appearance
Green Serpent Stars are typically bright green with a brown-purple color around the tips of their arms. They have five arms radiating from a center disk and are covered in tiny spines. Green Serpent Stars, like all members of the Ophiarachna family, can regenerate lost limbs which is why you may find that they have uneven arm lengths.
The body can be either green or white. The tips of its arms are often tipped with a darker color, often black. They have a sharp point at the end of each arm which they use to draw food into their mouths. This gives them the appearance of a serpent or snake when they move around on their arms. Their body is made up of two separate sections, but they have no spine running through their middle like more common starfish species do.
The green brittle starfish can reach lengths between 7 and 10 inches. Its color is greenish-brown with darker mottling on its arms. The starfish has five arms that are connected to a central disc, but they can regenerate if lost or damaged. Like sand sifting starfish, it usually buries itself in sand or mud, but it emerges to feed at night on oysters and clams.
They are nocturnal and will spend much of their time hiding in caves or crevices during the day, coming out at night to feed on algae and other types of detritus.
These animals are not very mobile, so you won’t see them crawling around the tank much during the day. They use the tube feet on their legs to move around but generally move very slowly.
Green Brittle Starfish Diet
The diet of the Green Brittle Starfish consists of algae, marine snow, and leftover food. The Green Brittle Starfish will feed on detritus, algae, and some prepared aquarium foods such as tablets, flakes, and pellets.
Green Starfish are typically scavengers and feed on algae that grow on rocks or coral in the ocean. They will also eat any organic matter they come across, such as detritus or leftover food from other marine life. In captivity, they will eat the most prepared foods such as flakes or pellets but should be given a supplement of algae from time to time to help them stay healthy and active.
An elegant creature, it’s a great scavenger that eats leftover food and helps keep the tank clean. It will even eat bristle worms! It’s easy to keep in your tank, but you need to make sure you have enough space for it to move around properly.
Green Starfish Reproduction and Life Cycle
Green starfish have a unique mating habit that greatly differs from other crustaceans. Rather than simply procreating through the use of internal fertilization, green starfish release their gametes into the water for fertilization. Fertilized eggs are then carried away and released by currents to develop in the water column. Larvae develop over the course of several months before settling on a hard substrate, where they attach and begin life as polyps.
While green brittle starfish can reproduce sexually and asexually, it is important to note that most of them are hermaphrodites. This means that they have both male and female sex organs.
Reproduction usually takes place when a starfish releases eggs or sperm into the water. The eggs or sperm are then taken in by another starfish where they combine and develop into larvae. The larvae will then be released back into the ocean where they will develop further. Green brittle starfish are known to reproduce throughout the year, but this highly varies from one location to another. Some of them reproduce during summer while some of them do it during winter.
If a part of their body is damaged, they can grow it back. As a result of this, they can live for quite some time. The average lifespan of the green starfish is around 20–30 years. In the wild, they have been recorded as living up to 40 years!
Green Starfish Predators and Threats
Despite being a strong and powerful predator, the Green Brittle Starfish has its own set of predators—animals that hunt and kill it for food. The most common predators include sea birds, fish, sea otters, and snails.
The main predators of green brittle starfish are seagulls, which eat green creatures that have been washed ashore by the ocean waves or high tide.
The surface of the Green Starfish’s body is covered with hundreds of tiny spines which contain numerous venom sacks that protect it from predators and can cause irritation to humans.
These creatures are not aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened by another animal or person. The Green Brittle Starfish is found primarily in tropical waters, though some species inhabit temperate areas such as Florida Bay and off the coast of California (where it was introduced intentionally).
There are three primary threats to their existence in the wild:
Predators include birds and other fish. These creatures go after both adult and juvenile starfish. Human activities such as pollution, overfishing, and coastal runoff. Disease, Starfish are notorious for having diseases that decimate populations.
Green Starfish Taxonomy
The green starfish have a lot of unique features that they possess, hence they make interesting marine pets. It is a fascinating species of starfish found in the waters of Australia. They are an ideal candidate for reef aquariums due to their ease of care, non-aggressive temperament, and hardy nature.
The Green Starfish belongs to the Phylum Echinodermata, Class Asteroidea, order Spinulosida, and family Asterinidae.
The common name for this animal varies slightly depending on where you are in the world. Some call it the green starfish or green brittle sea star(as we do), while others call it the short-spined sea star or spiny sea star.
Where to find a Green Sea Star?
Green Starfish is found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. These sea stars are also referred to as green brittle stars or common brittle stars and are generally found in abundance in the Pacific Ocean near Indonesia, Japan, Australia, and Palau.
It’s not unusual for a green sea star to be found by scuba divers but it is not commonly seen among aquarium owners. This is because it is usually difficult to find one that can be sold for a reasonable price. The fact that this particular type of sea star is rare makes some people wary about keeping them as pets.
These creatures like shallow water on rocky ocean floors. They are typically nocturnal animals, but they will come out during the daytime if they feel safe enough. Most sea stars are found in tide pools, although some are found in the deep ocean. They can be as tiny as a fraction of an inch or as large as three feet in diameter.
How to Breed a Green Brittle Starfish in a Home Aquarium Requirements
Since green brittle starfish do not have a brain, they do not think about mating or laying eggs like other sea creatures. Instead, their mating process involves releasing their sperm and eggs into the water, where they are fertilized and eventually develop into larvae. The larvae stage lasts for about two weeks before they undergo a metamorphosis from larvae to baby green brittle starfish. After going through this metamorphosis, the young green starfish will start eating phytoplankton.
Even though it is relatively easy to care for, this species is not recommended for beginners without experience maintaining other marine invertebrates. A fully cycled 55 gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding is recommended. Green Starfish are nocturnal so they will spend most of their time hiding under rocks or in caves during daylight hours.
Due to its popularity, many people have started breeding these fish at home with success. These fish are not difficult to breed, but they do need more than just an aquarium and some good food.
Tank size is of course dependent on the species you choose and how many you plan to keep. As a general rule, for every one Asterina starfish, you should have at least 10 gallons of water. However, if you can get away with it, that ratio should be bumped up to 20 gallons per starfish. The reason for the larger tank is that it will help prevent algae from being eaten too quickly. The more room they have to explore, the more likely they are to leave some algae behind.
The green brittle starfish can generally be kept in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. But because they prefer cooler temperatures, they are better suited to cold water tanks (unless your saltwater is kept at lower temperatures).
The green starfish does best in established tanks with stable water parameters. The tank should be at least 50 gallons (200 L) in size and offer plenty of caves, hiding spots, or crevices among live rock for the green starfish to hide when it wants to rest or sleep.
Adult green starfish are generally known to be hardy and easy to maintain, but they can be a bit challenging to keep alive during their juvenile stage. If you want to keep one of these animals in your home aquarium, you should be sure that you have the necessary setup before purchasing it.
Most species of starfish must have a low nitrate level (less than 20 ppm) and good water circulation. You will also need a decent amount of live rock in your tank so that they can find plenty of food. Water chemistry is also important to the health of green starfish. Your aquarium should have a salinity of 1.021-1.025, a pH of 8.1-8.3, and a temperature of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit (22-26 Celsius). It’s also important to keep nitrates and phosphates low to prevent algae from growing on your starfish’s skin, as this can kill it. It’s best to place your green starfish in an established aquarium with a live rock because many animals will use its presence for food or shelter.
The Green Starfish is a filter-feeder, and in the home aquarium setting, it is recommended that you feed it with some sort of liquid food. If you do not have an established tank, you can try feeding it with thawed brine shrimp, finely chopped fresh seafood (clam, shrimp, etc), or any liquid food.
The Green Starfish may also be kept in a reef tank setting as long as it is provided with sufficient space and cover. The Green Starfish is nocturnal and will spend the day hiding under rocks, sand, or other decors.
Because the green starfish is a filter feeder, it needs to be kept in an aquarium that has good water quality. Your water should be changed regularly and you should use a good filter system to ensure that debris is filtered out of the water before it can do any damage.
The green starfish spends most of its time at the bottom of your aquarium, where it will bury itself in the sand or gravel and wait for food to come its way. When food approaches, the green starfish will extend its arms and catch the food before pulling it back into its body.
Gravel And Heater
Green Starfish need a tank of at least 10 gallons with plenty of live rock for hiding and scavenging for food. They will do their best when provided with ample amounts of live rock where they can hide. This is commonly one of the first animals to disappear when feeding all the other animals in the tank. The starfish will come out from under the rocks when all the lights are out and feed on whatever food is lying around.
They will do well in tanks with or without an aquarium heater, but a heater is necessary if you wish to keep them in a tropical tank. The temperature should be kept between 72°F and 78°F if possible. The tank needs to be deep enough for them to change into their preferred position and move about. There should be plenty of live rock for hiding, as well as a tightly-fitting lid, as these animals are known to escape artists.
They also do well with the soft or smooth substrates, though they don’t need them to survive.
The best thing you can do is keep up with water quality. They are sensitive to nitrates and phosphates so be sure to keep those levels in check with water changes and cleaning the substrate.
Aquarium Plants, Plastic or Real
The right aquarium plants can really make the difference between a life-sustaining home aquarium and a watery coffin. Thankfully, there are plenty of plants that will thrive in your aquarium, whether it’s a 20-gallon tank or something even smaller.
Aquarium plants are an integral part of maintaining an aquarium. They help with filtration, add decor, and contribute to the overall health of your sea stars.
Green Starfish – Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What do green brittle starfish eat?
Green starfish eat algae and other plant life. They graze along the ocean floor to find food, using their tube feet to move around. They will also eat sand dollars, clams, snails, and dead fish. When they eat, they bend their arms down to their mouths to push food into them. They will also feed off of cyanobacteria which are known as red slime algae or black beard algae.
The Green Brittle Starfish also likes to be fed frozen or live brine shrimp, krill, glass worms, bloodworms, Mysis shrimp, mussels, clam meat, oysters, clams, and other similar foods.
Q2. Are green brittle starfish reefs safe?
Green brittle starfish are a great addition to any reef tank. They are wonderful scavengers and will help keep your live rock clean of uneaten fish food and other detritus. They should be added to a reef tank after cycling is complete.
Green brittle starfish do not require any special care, but they must be acclimated correctly if they are coming from a different environment (such as another aquarium or an exporter’s tank). They can be sensitive to large swings in salinity, pH, and temperature.
Q3. What is the difference between green serpents and green brittle starfish?
The green Serpent Starfish and the green Brittle Starfish are two of the most popular marine species for saltwater aquariums. While they share many similarities, it is important to understand that there are some significant differences between them.
Both species require the same tank conditions, similar water quality, and diet. The primary difference is that a green Serpent Starfish has a solid body whereas a green Brittle Starfish has a segmented body.
Also, the green Serpent Starfish is rarer than its cousin, making it more expensive to purchase. But some would argue that this particular type of starfish makes up for it with its beauty and charm.
Green starfish are very hardy creatures, as long as you provide them with the basics that they need to survive. There are many different kinds of starfish, but green brittle starfish is probably one of the most common types of starfish that you will find in a home aquarium. Green brittle starfish are considered to be reef safe, and the only thing that needs to be worried about with a green brittle starfish is where your own fish tank levels are at.
The green brittle starfish is good for tanks that are well established and have strong water flow. It can tolerate lower water movement from a filter but prefers moderately strong water flow from an air pump because this will help to circulate the substrate and clean the tank.