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FAQs about Chocolate Chip Sea Star Selection

Related Articles: Chocolate Chip Stars, Asterina Stars, An Introduction to the Echinoderms:  The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.

Related FAQs: Seastar Selection, Chocolate Chip Stars 1, Chocolate Chip Stars 2, CC Star Identification, CC Star Behavior, CC Star Compatibility, CC Star Systems, CC Star Feeding, CC Star Disease/Health, CC Star Reproduction, Sea Stars 1, Sea Stars 2, Sea Stars 3, Sea Stars 4, Sea Stars 5, Seastar Compatibility, Seastar Systems, Seastar Behavior, Seastar Feeding, Seastar Reproduction, Seastar Disease Asterina Stars, Crown of Thorns Stars, Fromia Stars, Linckia Stars, Linckia Stars 2, Sand-Sifting Stars,

CCSs will eat other invertebrates... but generally not fishes unless they're dead. Obgilbyina queenslandiae (Saville-Kent 1893), the Queensland Dottyback.

Re: chocolate chip starfish for use as Aiptasia control part 2   12/15/06 Hi there, <Vicki> I wrote y'all a couple months ago asking if a Chocolate chip starfish would be a good idea for Aiptasia control.  Y'all told me to give it a try and let ya know how it went.  Well it was a great idea and seems to be working.  Out of the dozen or so Aiptasia I had in the tank, all but three or so are gone.  I have gotten a great deal of joy out of "Cookie" that I may not even mess with corals this spring.  I would feel bad about taking him back to the LFS and someone else buying him and not taking as good care of him as I do. Thank you for your advice, Vicki <Thank you for this follow-up. Bob Fenner>  

Chocolate chip star fish in my reef tank... comp.    2/3/06 Hello,          I was looking through some postings on you site about the Protoreastor nodosus sea star, and noticed that no one thinks the can be reef safe. I have my CCS in my reef tank for 2 years now with a leather coral, torch, hammer, xenia, many corallimorphs, snails hermit crabs and a burgundy star with no problems. My secret is to keep it well fed. <Ah, yes> My CCS is about 4 inches across now. I feed some white fish flesh such as frozen smelts or Julian Sprung's sea weed at least 3 times a week. So far it has not bothered any of my corals or other inverts in my 125 gallon reef tank. I know to watch it more carefully as it gets larger but for now I will enjoy it and its behaviors. Attached are some pics for others to view. Let me know what you thinks of the photos...thanks <Thank you for this data point/input, and very nice pix. Bob Fenner>

I just started a S/W/ tank (about two weeks ago), today I bought a CCS,  - 01/12/2006 <Chocolate Ship Star? Not easily kept...> I read a lot of the Q & A that were posted about CCS.  Now I wish I would not have bought him, <What would your granny say? "Look before you leap?"> sounds hard to keep them healthy.  The pet store where I buy all my stuff has been very helpful, but they did not tell me that I have to feed him anything special.  Do I?   <... posted> I have a 46 gallon tank with two clownfish, 3 damsels, a tang and a sea urchin.   Is just the algae enough for him!!  I feed the tank flakes and shrimp brine? <How would I/we know what you feed?> Thanks, Melissa <Will likely perish... go, read "small sweet one"... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Chocolate Chip Starfish Hello, <<Hi Ken, Lorenzo Gonzalez standing in for the crew, off to MACNA in Dallas>> My name is Ken Kimura. I have a 12 gallon reef tank and been wanting to buy a starfish for my tank. I was thinking about getting a Chocolate Chip Starfish (Protoreastor nodosus) but I cannot find any specs on the animal.<< see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm >> I wanted to know if it is reef safe or not. <<Decidedly NOT>> Is there any other starfish you recommend for my reef tank? <<Members of the Fromia, Linckia, Archaster genera will be more appropriate>>Any help would be helpful. Thank You! << Cheers! Lorenzo >> Hidehiko Kenneth Kimura

Caring for a Chocolate Chip (8/30/04) Hello, <Hi. Steve Allen here.> I just bought my first Starfish (Chocolate Chip).  My tank is newly cycled and the Nitrates were tested at 8. I just wanted to know if there is anything that I would need to know about this little guy so that I do not do anything wrong. <Glad you asked, but better to ask first and buy later. Some important points: 1. They are not reef-safe. 2. They need excellent, stable water conditions. 3. They like a sandy bottom. 4. They grow to about 6" in diameter. 5. They are carnivorous and voracious--direct feeding with chunks of marine meats (fish, shrimp, squid, shellfish, etc.) will be needed, though they do scavenge. 6. Certain nippy fish, such as Triggers, will often bite off the "chips," which can lead to fatal bacterial infections. Check out the seastar articles/FAQs on WWM for more details. Hope this helps.> DEBBRA POLSTON

Sea Star Question We have just started our first salt water tank and are getting different answers from everyone. We have a 12 gallon nano cube tank with one 3" chocolate chip sea star, one small purple suto.. fish(?), 6 snails, 1 emerald crab and some small blue and red legged crabs. Someone has purchased us a 5" red sea star (I think African something?) We have not added it to tank.  Question?  How many sea stars can the tank hold and how many fish? <Sarah, it's sad to see these animals distributed so freely- they suffer some of the highest mortalities in the trade.  I hate to say it, but it takes a large, established tank to feed just one of these animals.  I would decline the new addition, and hope that it can find a better home, and then start arranging for a similar arrangement with your present starfish.  As for fish, it becomes much more complex.  A 12 gallon nano is a pretty small space, so you certainly want to research your selections before purchase.  Try this forum: http://nano-reef.com/ for some people that share your passion!  Good luck, Ryan> Thank you so much!  Sarah 

A Bright New Star...? Bob, <Scott F. here today!> We just started a saltwater aquarium about 2 months ago.  We waited about two weeks and added two clownfish.  They were doing well and then we left on vacation for a week and turned down our skimmer and when we came back from vacation we believe they had ich and other various diseases.  Probably from bad water quality since we turned down the skimmer. <Well, poor water quality is definitely a contributing factor to stress, which can lead to disease...> We then did a 50% water change and bought an UV sterilizer. Our fish died on Dec. 11th and we were looking at getting a chocolate chip starfish.  We have a quarantine tank already set up and we were curious if we kept him in the quarantine tank for a week of so and then introduce him to the main tank do you think the tank has had enough time to get rid of the ich? <I recommend at least a 3 week quarantine for all new animals. It gives time for potential problems to show themselves. As far as the tank "ridding itself of ich"- you really need to let it sit "fallow", without fishes, for about a month or so. This will cause the majority of the parasite population to crash for lack of hosts (i.e.; fishes!). Perform routine maintenance (i.e.; filter media replacement, water changes, etc.) during this time> Will our starfish be susceptible to ich? <Nope> Also, our local pet store tells us that we don't really need to feed our starfish that he will eat things out of our tank.  Is this true? <Well, the Chocolate Chip Starfish (Protoreastor nodosus) is a pretty heavy-duty feeder. Being omnivorous, it can derive nutrition from a variety of sources, and will need to at least have some supplemental feeding to avoid having it munch on your corals and other sessile inverts. I would not call it a "reef safe" animal, but it is an interesting hardy creature if well cared for.> We have hermit crabs and snails in our tank which we have had since the beginning of our tank setup.  The hermit crabs are doing well but within the last two weeks our snails have been dying about one every day. We have checked our salinity and our nitrate, nitrite and ammonia. Everything has been good.  We are not sure why they keep dropping like flies.  Any suggestions? <Could be anything from some sort of chemical contamination in the water (Were you using any medications or copper? That could be the cause right there..) to a parasitic illness of some sort. There is a definite possibility, by the way, that your starfish might further contribute to your declining snail population...> Thank You, Bret Weddle <My pleasure, Bret. Just keep a close eye on things, check and recheck water conditions, and adjust as needed. Go slowly, and I'm sure that your tank can make a happy recovery. Regards, Scott F>



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