Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size: 1'
Color Form: Blue
The Blue Linckia is one of the harder to keep starfish, as they are very sensitive to changes in pH, temperature, and salinity changes. Because of this they are susceptible to bacterial infections that can quickly cause the decomposition of the leg portions of the Linckia. Care should be taken to inspect Linckia frequently for parasitic snails, which usually take on the color of it’s host. Remove them immediately upon detection as they suck out fluid and tissue. Linckia need a very long and slow acclimation period prior to introduction into the display aquarium.
These starfish grow to 10 – 14 inches in size and should be kept in very large aquariums. Linckia starfish consume bacterial films, and sponges. Because of this, they should be introduced into well established aquaria of no less than 1 year.
If introduced to a large well established aquarium, very little needs to be done to supplement Linckias. Occasional offerings of clam, mussel or scallop may be appreciated but rarely accepted. The bacterial film that comprises the mainstay of the Linckias diet usually appears in abundance in well established and seasoned aquariums. Supplemental feedings of meaty foods is usually not enough to sustain them.
In the wild, the Blue Linckia Sea Star is found in the sunny areas of the reef and reef fringe, constantly foraging for food. In the home aquarium setting, the Blue Linckia Sea Star prefers a well-lit sandy or coral rubble substrate, with many rocky hiding places. As a juvenile (when it has a blue-green coloration), the Blue Linckia Sea Star spends most of the day hiding in small caves or overhangs. As a larger adult, it can be seen anchored to the rocks or glass, waving one or two arms in the water, searching for small, free-floating microbes. The Blue Linckia Sea Star is generally solitary, but it will tolerate other starfish and amiable fish in the aquarium.
The Blue Linckia Sea Star is very intolerant of sudden changes in oxygen levels, salinity and pH of the water, and cannot tolerate copper-based medications. The drip-acclimation method is highly recommended for all Sea Stars due to their intolerance to changes in water chemistry. The Blue Linckia Sea Star should never be exposed to air while handling, and should be carefully monitored for the presence of a small parasitic snail, Thyca crystallina. In the wild, the Blue Linckia Sea Star is capable of regenerating a new starfish from almost any portion of its body that might break off. In the home aquarium, this is far less likely.