The Brittle Star, Ophiocoma sp., is a species of starfish with long, flexible limbs that have small pointed projections across their bodies. They come in colors of black, brown, and a combination of the two, sometimes having grey bands around some of their limbs. They can grow to a max size of ten inches in limb diameter, and require a tank of no less than 15 gallons, with plenty of live rock to scavenge from, and take refuge in during the day. A sandy substrate is also suggested, as they will burrow and help aerate the sand.
The Ophiuroidea Class is made up of Starfish that have a flat and smooth central disc with five spiny limbs. These limbs vary from species to species and can be short, long, thick, or thin, and come in different colors. Some limbs or "arms" will lack spines altogether. Each arm is composed of top-side plates that allow for excellent flexibility and quickness, but have a downside of easily breaking. Brittle Stars, like other starfish, can regenerate their limbs over time if they are injured.
During the night they will come out of the rockwork to search for food. They are tremendous scavengers and will feed on waste in an aquarium, and will also accept the same foods you are feeding your fish. They are a great invertebrate to have in any home aquarium as they are incredible waste cleaners and awesome to watch roam the tank. Starfish are 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 being intolerant to changes in water chemistry. It should never be exposed to air while handling. They will thrive in a temperature range of 72-78°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4.