Starfish are such interesting marine creatures and adding one to your marine aquarium may give you endless hours of relaxing viewing. Here’s your guide to adding the beautiful chocolate chip starfish to your tank, from. Jeff Williams..
Adding a Chocolate Chip Starfish to Your Tank: What You Need to Know
Having a pet is an amazing way to animate your household. However, not everybody has the time to look after a dog or a cat. This is why a fish or a small marine animal can be the best option. Most are easy to care for and feed. Some of them are also great for pest control and they are fun to watch too.
The chocolate chip starfish is a great species, a good tank companion and it comes in different colors which will light up your aquarium. Here are tips on caring for a chocolate chip starfish.
Chocolate Chip Starfish: General Info
The chocolate chip starfish, also known as Protoreastor nodosus, is a species of invertebrate ornamental freshwater starfish. They gained the name of chocolate chip starfish because they have dark tubercles which make them resemble the cookies.
This type of fish is a good addition to a fish only aquarium because of their colorful appearance. However, it is not recommended to add them in a tank with puffers or hermit crabs. Also, they are not reef safe because they could eat smaller corals, clams, and sponges.
Introducing the Chocolate Chip Starfish to Your Tank
First of all, you should know that this type of starfish doesn’t get well with many species. Despite this fact, they are actually easy to care for once you found the right tank mates. As we mentioned earlier, avoid putting a starfish in a tank with large hermit crabs, puffers and other big crabs. Also, remember that these marine animals are not reef-safe.
If you are wondering how to feed a chocolate chip starfish, you should know that it can be a bit complicated. Unlike regular fish which will search for the food once you put it in the tank, the starfish needs to be fed separately.
First of all, you will have to make sure that the chocolate chip starfish ends up on the food because they are scavengers which means they eat food from the bottom of the tank. You can wait for the sea star to crawl over the food or pick the starfish on top of the food. Also, you can wait for the fish to come with the surface of the tank and bend backwards. After that, place the food on top of it.
It’s important to make sure that this sea star eats. However, when it comes to the types of foods it eats, it’s not very pretentious. It can eat mussels, squid, and shrimps. Also, they are predators which means they will kill and eat small animals or corals.
You should own a large tank because this sea star can reach 15 inches in diameter. Also, the tankmates should be mild-mannered fish, not aggressive species like the jaguar cichlid. These starfish should have access to a sand bed which has several inches in depth. This is their favorite habitat.
Make sure that the nitrate levels are low and the water quality is high because, like many invertebrates, the starfish needs particular attention. Don’t house this species with other predatory fish because the starfish is a slow mover and it can be hurt by aggressive fish.
Other Important Details
These sea stars come in different colors, from red-brown to white or yellow. However, it’s almost impossible to distinguish a female from a male based on their color or pattern. Unfortunately, these fish can’t breed in an aquarium because it is extremely difficult for them to adapt. They also can’t tolerate rapid changes in water chemistry so it’s better to use the drip acclimation method when putting them in the tank.
Also, they can’t be exposed to air so make sure that, when you pick them up, they are covered with water at all times. Never use copper-based medication in a tank with chocolate chip starfish. It’s better to avoid any anti-parasitic medications. The chocolate chip starfish is a great species for beginners because they are easy to care for.
These are some of the most important things you should know because you purchase a starfish. Make sure to be observant in the first few days after you accommodated the starfish into the tank. Also, don’t pair this sea star with aggressive animals or with corals. Apart from these minor problems, the chocolate chip sea star is an easy marine animal to care for.
About the author:
Jeff Williams is a writer, editor and animal advocate. He’s currently involved in various animal rescue and pet adoption organizations. His love for animals is what makes him continue his fight for defending animal rights.
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