Clean Up Crew Info

Can You Keep A Starfish In A Nano Reef Aquarium

Can You Keep A Starfish In A Nano Reef Aquarium


The answer is yes, but you will want to choose the correct size and species of starfish for success.

The two best species for long term success in a nano reef tank are the beautiful double star starfish (Iconaster longimanus) &  the sand sifting starfish (Astropecten polycanthus)

Both stay relatively small and are relatively hardy compared to other starfish species. If a starfish were to die in a small reef aquarium it could quickly pollute the water leading to a whole array of other issues. You want to avoid to killing any living animal but also want to avoid nuking your entire tank with decaying matter !

A beautiful small double starfish make a great candidate for nano reef tanks – ensure to leave some algae on one pane of glass for them to graze

Both the double star and sand sifting are quiet easy to find at most LFS. In Canada you can find both along with lots of other clean up crew members at our livestock partner 

Avoid fromia and linkia starfish as they will get too large and are typically more sensitive to water conditions. Even in larger reef aquariums they can be quiet tricky to keep.

They need algae and don’t make good candidates for smaller nano reef tanks.

Smaller sand sifting starfish are great in smaller reef tanks – they have the added benefit of cleaning your sand bed of detritus !