The Sand Sifting Starfish, at first glance, seems to be drably coloured like most substrate dwellers. But on closer inspection reveals a striking beauty and serenity to the alternating bands of brown and beige that dress this invertebrate's thick, spine-covered arms. Like other starfish, the Sand Sifting Starfish efficiently consumes mass amounts of detritus and uneaten foods. This nocturnally active member of the Astropectinidae family can move large amounts of sand as it burrows into the substrate in its search for food.
This peaceful omnivore will effectively clean even the largest home aquarium of detritus and left over food. Like other starfish, the Sand Sifting Starfish will also consume small invertebrates, including shrimp, urchins, mollusks, bivalves, or other small starfish. As such, the Sand Sifting Starfish should be actively fed a varied diet consisting of natural food sources, especially in well-established marine aquariums. Otherwise, this voracious feeder will quickly clean your aquarium of detritus and then burrow into your substrate, starve, and eventually begin to decay. To foster its feeding habits, the Sand Sifting Starfish should be kept in aquariums with large, deep sand bottoms of several inches in depth.
Since it is slower moving than most fish, the Sand Sifting Starfish should not be housed with natural predators, including Puffers. Like other invertebrates, the Sand Sifting Starfish is very intolerant of sudden changes in oxygen levels, salinity, and pH and cannot tolerate copper-based medications. To successfully acclimate new specimens to your aquarium, use the drip acclimation method and never expose starfish to air while handling.