Sand Sifting Starfish

Astropecten polyacanthus

(39 Reviews)

Sand Sifting Starfish
The Sand Sifting Starfish, known for its classic star shape, captivates aquarists with it's easy care and striking appearance. Its unique ability to burrow in the substrate benefits reef tanks by keeping algae and food detritius off the sandbed.

Sand Sifting Starfish

Astropecten polyacanthus

(39 Reviews)

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Sand Sifting Starfish Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Max Size: 6 inches

Sand Sifting Starfish

The Sand Sifting Starfish (Astropecten polyacanthus), also known as the Comb Starfish, White Starfish, and Sand Starfish, hails from the sandy seabeds of the Indo-Pacific and is celebrated for its remarkable sand-cleaning abilities in home aquariums. With a beige/brown body blending seamlessly into the sand, it ensures a pristine substrate while being reef safe and compatible with a variety of tank mates, excluding puffers. Typically reaching sizes of 4 to 6 inches in diameter and boasting a lifespan of several years under proper care, this delicate species requires a tank with plenty of sand, stable salinity, and should never be exposed to open air. offers ethically sourced specimens, ensuring a premium addition to your marine environment, where the Sand Sifting Starfish becomes an essential component of maintaining ecosystem harmony and showcasing the ocean's marvels.

Habitat and Natural Behavior:

Indigenous to the Indo Pacific region, the Sand Sifting Starfish diligently cleans detritus, sand, and debris from aquarium substrates. Through its intriguing sand sifting process, this species not only promotes cleanliness, but also improves the overall well-being and aesthetic appeal of your aquatic environment.

Reef Safe and Ecosystem Harmony:

The Sand Sifting Starfish is widely recognized for its reef-friendly nature, which makes it a perfect selection for coral admirers. By ensuring a pristine and salubrious substrate, you can enhance the harmony and health of your aquatic environment as a whole.

Size and Lifespan:

The Sand Sifting Starfish has a modest size that ranges from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in diameter. Under proper care, these starfish can thrive for several years, adding a touch of elegance to your marine sanctuary.

Diet and Behavior:

The Sand Sifting Starfish is a dedicated sand sifter, feeding on detritus, uneaten food, and organic matter within the substrate. Its methodical sifting contributes to the cleanliness and health of your aquarium's sand bed.

Compatibility and Temperament:

Sand Sifting Starfish are renowned for their peaceful nature, making them a perfect and unobtrusive addition to any marine environment. With their dedicated cleaning behavior, they can effectively improve the hygiene and cleanliness of your aquarium.

Tank Requirements and Water Conditions:

Providing a well-established sandy substrate is crucial for the natural sifting of the starfish. It is essential to maintain stable water parameters, moderate lighting, and appropriate filtration methods to ensure the starfish's overall health and wellbeing.

Compatible Tank Mates:

He is doing great

Reviewed by: Margaret Fansler on June 3, 2024

Reviewed by: Melissa Landers on June 3, 2024

Reviewed by: Craig Hutton on May 19, 2024

This one I was worried about knowing they can be picky about tanks but it’s been all around mine . Very healthy

Reviewed by: Eric Brugman on May 8, 2024

Didn’t see him for the first day he immediately buried himself in the sand but now I see him once or twice a day as he moves around the tank

Reviewed by: James Mauro on April 14, 2024

Went to work right away in the sand bed!!

Reviewed by: Sheila on April 10, 2024

Reviewed by: Gene Kleinschmit on April 3, 2024


Reviewed by: Nicholas Calabria on April 1, 2024

Reviewed by: Owen Neal on March 18, 2024

Reviewed by: Joseph Valvano on March 12, 2024

Reviewed by: David Schneider on March 12, 2024

Reviewed by: David Schneider on Feb. 19, 2024

Had to get one for each tank. With the massive sale had why not? I though I would hardly see them but they come out day and night. When they burrow in the sand, I usually know where they are at when I'm cleaning the substrate. The sand won't move lol... If you don't have these in your tanks, make sure you get some. They are friendly to all inhabitants to include all types of corals.

Reviewed by: Dale Pichelmayer on Feb. 19, 2024

Went right to work cleaning the sand.

Reviewed by: Andrew Hayes on Feb. 19, 2024

Arrived healthy and active

Reviewed by: Joshua Mcadams on Feb. 7, 2024

It died two days after acclimating it. Could have been due to an error on my part.

Reviewed by: Brian Carr on Feb. 1, 2024

This is the first time buying from this company. Sand Sifting starfish arrived alive and seems to be doing well. Will buy from again. Great price.

Reviewed by: Brian Carr on Jan. 26, 2024

Amazingly healthy starfish started eating immediately.

Reviewed by: Sean Boyer on Jan. 23, 2024

Very hardy Starfish.

Reviewed by: Sean Boyer on Jan. 16, 2024

Reviewed by: Matt Troyer on Jan. 8, 2024

Reviewed by: Tim Bunk on Dec. 25, 2023

Reviewed by: Erin Holmes on Dec. 17, 2023

Very big one ??

Reviewed by: John Stone on Dec. 10, 2023

Arrived healthy

Reviewed by: Steven Bauer on Dec. 6, 2023

Reviewed by: Michael Pangburn on Dec. 2, 2023

Reviewed by: Mike Lee on Nov. 26, 2023

Bigger than expected !

Reviewed by: Gregory Olander on Nov. 9, 2023

Reviewed by: Gary Nelson on Oct. 30, 2023

I really needed this guy, and he got right to work.

Reviewed by: Howard Smith on Oct. 23, 2023

Very interesting and compelling pet. He’s so graceful climbing to the top of the tank and drops and turns so gracefully. I want sure what to feed him so I purchased a fresh clam.

Reviewed by: Denise Kloepping on Oct. 16, 2023

Reviewed by: Kevin Beverly on Oct. 8, 2023

Reviewed by: Matt Reese on Sept. 24, 2023

Reviewed by: Ginger Coates on Sept. 24, 2023

The starfish is constantly buried in the sand. I have yet to see it surface on its own. I'm hoping that its cleaning the sand while buried. It is cool to watch how fast he buries himself in the sand when I manage to locate him to pull him out of the sand.

Reviewed by: Esther Murphy on May 16, 2018

Arrived in good health after acclimation instantly disappeared into sand bed

Reviewed by: Lenny on Dec. 4, 2016

This star had done lots of cleaning over night...I can see the star shape all over the sand, busy guy!

Reviewed by: Rosemarie Santos on April 9, 2016

Sand Sifting Starfish are a great way to help manage the algae and substrate in your tank. While they spend much of the time hidden under the sand, this is okay since they are helping to keep it clean. They do come out during the daytime from time to time, and can often be seen once the lights go out, including on the glass.

Reviewed by: Phillip A Thrasher Jr on April 26, 2015

Reviewed by: Lisa Waldron on Oct. 1, 2014

What a surprise, nice big starfish! great price very healthy

Reviewed by: Rob on July 6, 2014

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