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Household vinegar deadly to Crown of Thorns Starfish

By Leonard Ho - Posted Sep 25, 2015 08:00 AM
Good ol' CH3COOH is shown to be 100% lethal to COTS if injected in the right spot. This finding can help battle overpopulation of this voracious coral-eater.
Household vinegar deadly to Crown of Thorns Starfish

Credit: © IRD / E. Folcher

Scientists discovered that an injection of 25ml of vinegar at the base of any arm resulted in "functional" mortality within 24 hours and 100% mortality after 48 hours. The authors of the study suggest that their finding provides an effective alternative to controlling the overpopulation of these starfish.  Other non-toxic chemicals such as sodium bisulphate and Thiosulfate-citrate-bile-sucrose are already known to effectively kill COTS.  The main advantage of vinegar is that it is highly accessible and affordable.  Still, the common problem with chemical controls is that they require labor-intensive manual injections (unless these robots have anything to say about it).

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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