Really worried about serpent star


New member
My serpent star seems to have developed a hole.
Did it eat too much and burst???
Did something attack it???
Is this something anyone has seen before???
Is it a gonner???
Should I take it out of the tank or what???
Thanks for the advise.

taken June 30 he seems fine except over stuffed.

taken a few minutes ago, has a hole with yellowy stuff inside.


New member
He has been in the tank for more than a year and has been well behaved (none of the fish have gone missing).

I don't know of any changes in the last couple days that would cause him to split open.


New member
The hole is usually caused by 2 different things, the first is acclimation, if it is acclamated too quickly and you have very different conditions between the water it is used to and the new water. Since you have had it for a year or more that isn't the reason, the second reason they do this is swings in salinity. from your tag you are using fans to cool the tank and the evaproation is an issue, that is probably the reason. Just stableize the salinity and feed it well and it should live I've seen them recover from this with no scaring or marks left within a few weeks.

Good luck


New member
Salinity seems to be the consensus.
Will feeing him with a hole like that (you can see all the way through)make it bigger?
He has ducked down behind the rocks so I can't see how it looks today.
Thanks for the input, I will keep ya'll posted.


New member
Today he was back out. The hole doesn't look any better and he is not eating.
I decided since he was accessible, I would remove him from the main tank. He is in a five gal bucket with half tank water and half new water.
Since everything points to water conditions as the cause, I figured I could keep a better eye on him and keep him in fresh made water.


New member
i had this happen a few times in the past and they both lived and are still living right now. just check all your parameters and keep them in check. the starfish will heal over time and be fine once you get everything in check. i would think putting it in a bucket would just make things worse...


New member
I'd be concerned with bucket parameters... those must be harder to keep than the parms in your main tank.

Look into auto top-off systems... jbj ato is pretty affordable and well worth it!



Staff member
RC Mod is another good one, dead simple.
tops off by the teaspoon, eliminates surges, falls in salinity.


New member
I have an ATO dyi project going right now. It's dependent on a fellow club member to do the soldering and it'll be in action.

I know the bucket is not the best idea, but I can keep an eye on him and I am changing out water with fresh made, so I think (could be very wrong here) that the salinity isn't changing as much as the tank, since the tank is cooled with fans.