Is A Serpent Starfish Reef Safe?

serpent starfish

Yes! Typically, serpent starfish are basically reef safe and can co-exist freely with other fish in reef tanks. They mainly feed on material and algae like scavengers and don’t pose a threat to thriving corals or fish.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. Certain types of serpent starfish have the potential to reach a size. If they don’t get enough food they might be inclined to nibble on sluggish invertebrates or fish. It’s crucial to distinguish the species of serpent starfish you’re looking at since some are more predatory than others.

serpent starfish

Species of Serpent Starfish

  1. Common serpent star (Ophioderma cinereum):  This species is quite petite and resilient making it a great fit for reef aquariums. They usually reach a size of around 1 inch in diameter with tentacles extending up to 6 inches in length. Their hues range from shades of gray and purple to maroon.
  2. Green brittle star (Ophioderma brevispina): This small marine creature, known for its reef nature, inhabits the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil. With five arms in shades of greenish brown that can reach lengths of up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) the green brittle star serves as both a scavenger and detritivore. It thrives in reef tanks with rock formations, for shelter and sustenance.
  3. Red serpent star (Ophioderma squamosissimus): This species of serpent starfish is larger. It can reach sizes up to 12 inches (30 cm) across. It is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region. Has a predatory nature compared to the green brittle star. While it feeds on detritus and algae it may also consume fish and invertebrates. It’s advisable to avoid keeping the serpent star in a reef tank, with fish or invertebrates.

If you’re thinking about introducing a serpent starfish into your reef aquarium here are more factors to consider;

Serpent starfish are active at night, so you might not spot them frequently in daylight. They thrive in an aquarium with hiding spots often burrowing in the sand or camouflaging among rocks. These creatures are quite particular about water quality, so it’s crucial to keep the conditions stable in your reef tank.

Leave a Reply