Thanks for the link. That is exactly what is happening. I dug through the web site and I think I may have came up with a name for the starfish. The site said it was a Asterina Starfish. There are several species so actually getting better than that probably won't happen. The more I dig though the more paranoid I get about what may happen now. I saw the egg ring on some of the Zoa
's for the nudi's. I had started to clean them off but I will attack with more gusto tonight. I think the sucking them up idea may just work. I have one of those baby nose cleaners to get the small stuff and I may just be able to get them this way. Tweezers don't work. I have a pair of needle nose tweezers that may just be better but still not going to do the job I think.
This is what I found on the search for the stars. No author it was just a post to some site. I take it with a grain of salt except he may be onto something with this. I don't think I will add them back to the tank after all. I have too many things that they could possibly go after and it just isn't worth the worry. Here's what he said:
A. cepheus tend to stay less than 2" but is still a relatively large sea star that preys on sessile marine invertebrates (corals among them) and there is a smaller morph (perhaps a separate species, but that is still a topic of debate) that typically has six arms rather than 5 when fully mature, and tends to remain less than 1 cm or so (about 1/4") in diameter. This smaller morph/species is my best guess at the ID of the mystery stars in our tanks so far, and seems to be relatively harmless in the majority of tanks, but that doesn't mean they don't have the potential to cause problems given the right conditions. The irregularly shaped animals result from asexual reproduction by fission (the stars arms crawl off in different directions and pull the body in half - the body then regenerates the missing portion of the body resulting in the star being asymmetrical), and these stars can rapidly reproduce given suitable conditions and enough food.
I know plenty of people that have had these stars in their tanks without problem for many years. The reports on the GARF website regarding the taste of their sea stars for certain SPS
are pretty dire, however, so it's worthwhile keeping an eye on them to make sure that you don't have a problem with them. Again, although these stars are opportunistic carnivores, my guess is that problems with them in the tank are a result of size, population density, and feeding regime of the tank in question. I would say that in general, people who have relatively few of these stars, or have only the stars of the small variety (never get more than 1/2"), almost always report "they don't seem to cause any visible problems in my tank..."
If you find that they grow larger than 1/4 to 1/2" or you are convinced that these stars are the source the problem with your Tubipora (as opposed to cleaning up a slowly failing colony), though, there have been successful reports of using the Harlequin Shrimp to remove these cryptic stars (e.g., also on the GARF site http://www.garf.org/news28p1.html#star)
. If you're really set on removing these sea stars from your tank, that is probably the best way to go, because these stars are primarily nocturnal and so cryptic that you're almost guaranteed to miss some in any manual removal attempt. The Harlequin Shrimp will do a much better job than you will in finding all the sea stars in your tank if you're determined to remove them, but when sea stars become scarce in your tank, you'll need to start buying small sea stars to feed the shrimp, because I have never heard of one being kept alive for any length of time without sea stars on which to feed....
Just food for thought. I'm still on the search. Thanks for your help guys. Angie