Common names for Fromia Indica include; Black Tip Fromia Starfish, Red Fromia Starfish, Red Starfish and Indian Sea Star.

As juveniles the Black Tip Fromia Starfish are bright red in colour with a black marble effect running through their bodies & legs, accompanied by black tips on the ends of their legs. As they mature, their brilliant red colour turns into a more orange colour with less prominent black tips.

Special care should be taken if you decide to add one of these Starfish to your aquarium, they are very sensitive to salinity changes & require an established aquarium.

Tank Requirements

Red Starfish with Black Tips
Red Starfish with Black Tips
  • These Starfish are reef safe
  • Clean and stable water
  • Stable salinity levels & water parameters
  • They will not tolerate a high nitrate level
  • Absolutely no copper treatments within the tank
  • Recommended stocking level is one Starfish per tank, they will tolerate the same species, but only in large aquariums.
  • Salinity of 1.023 – 1.025 specific gravity
  • pH of 8.0 – 8.4
  • Minimum tank size 30 gallons (140 Litres)
  • Specialist feeding requirements
  • Care should be taken when acclimating and adding to the tank. Starfish should not be exposed to air.

Feeding

Very little is known about the feeding of Fromia Indica, but it is thought they feed on microalgae, detritus and bacterial films within an established aquarium. Some people have seen success with substitute feeding small meaty chunks, but the majority of these Starfish will starve to death in an aquarium, even established ones. They have a very high mortality rate in captivity.

Just because you have algae in your tank, it doesn’t mean these Starfish will survive. Infact, they are considered poor algae eaters & will likely starve quicker if you have too much in your tank. They certainly shouldn’t be considered as part of your clean up crew.

It is recommended that you don’t try to add one of these Starfish to your aquarium for at least a year after you have finished cycling your aquarium.

Acclimatisation

Indian Sea Star
Indian Sea Star

Starfish take quite a long time to acclimate. They should be drip acclimatised slowly, for at least 2 hours, if you can do more, then do!

As you are acclimating take out some of the water the Starfish is sitting in every 15 minutes. This will slowly increase the amount of tank water in the acclimation bucket and reduce the amount of original water.

When placing it in the tank, try to avoid netting it and exposing it to air. If you have been removing the water as you have been acclimating then the amount of original water left in your bucket should be minimal. Scoop the Starfish out in a container and place the container into the tank.

Starfish do not acclimate particularly well, please take your time with this process. Like most inverts, Starfish are sensitive to changes in water parameters, temperature and salinity.