Lucknow: A galaxy of starfish along with sea anemones in the aquarium in the Lucknow Zoo, are the latest attractions for visitors.
A glass partition has been created to separate spaces for both the creatures.
The zoo authorities have procured six starfish. Of these, two were put in the aquarium last week, while four more will be introduced later and placed together in a separate aquarium that is being prepared for these creatures.
There are about 2,000 varieties of starfishes of which 600 are found in the Indian coastline.
“We have brought commonly available six starfish from Chennai. Each one is about 200-300 gms with a diameter of 8 inches. A starfish grows to about 12 inches. They are being fed small dead fishes,” said zoo aquarist Indramani Raja.
The salinity of the water in the aquarium for starfish is maintained by mixing salt and is under constant monitoring with a hydrometer.
Besides, a special set of bacteria is released in the water to eliminate impurities and make it fit for sea creatures.
“The bacteria and salt have been imported from Israel. A starfish can live up to six years in captivity and 14 years in nature. The starfishes are shy, yet aggressive and can even re-grow their arms once it gets chopped,” Raja added.
In 2019, two species of starfish were brought to the zoo aquarium, but they could not survive.
The two sea anemones brought last month are doing well, but the clown fish procured along with them died under unforeseen circumstances.