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Old 02-19-2013, 10:53 PM   #1 
homegrown terror
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are starfish exoskeletons aquarium safe?

just wondering, we've got a few dried starfish exoskeletons we were thinking of including in the decor of our new goldfish tank, but i wanted to check on their safety before we included them. does anyone know if they're okay?
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #2 
Syriiven
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................................good question. Depends what the exoskeleton is made of. If it's cartilage or bone, I'd say no...

And you may have to bleach it because, well, it did come from the ocean - who knows what icky stuff lingers. >>

But Imma haunt this thread till we have an answer, cuz that sounds like a fun idea =D
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:19 AM   #3 
pittipuppylove
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I just looked this up in one of my old bio textbooks (Biology: Concepts and Connections 6th edition, if anyone's interested), and it looks like the exoskeleton of an echinoderm is made up of plates that are high in calcium... I'd be concerned that they'd increase the pH in the aquarium.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #4 
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^ I second that. Id imagine it would act similar to coral skeletons which leaches calcium into the water.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:51 PM   #5 
Bluelily54
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Hmmm... What about small, smooth sea shells? Would they cause the same problem (changes in pH level)?
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:58 PM   #6 
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Probably as a lot of people add aragonite sand to their salt water tanks which is basically crushed up sea shell. A whole shell might leach calcium a little slower, the upside is if you have invertebrates or african cichlids they will love you :P.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:50 PM   #7 
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Cool, I had been considering that for a while. I absolutely love sea shells of all kinds, and I have some pretty small ones I got in a variety pack for my hermit crabs (they didn't get used). I can't wait to add them! :D
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