All You Need to Know about the Chocolate Chip Starfish
Are you wondering whether you’ve read that correctly?
You have: there really is such a thing, it’s a living creature, and it looks as cute as it sounds.
A beige starfish, the color of yummy cookie dough, dotted with brown spots all over, of precisely the size and color of chocolate chips.
While it looks like a sprinkle of chocolate chips, they are actually dark brown tubercles.
The tubercles, or horns, are used to scare away possible predators by looking frightening or dangerous.
Quick Chocolate Chip Starfish Facts
This species of starfish is a highly popular choice for fish tanks, for obvious reasons.
It creates an exotic presence in any aquarium and gets noticed right away.
With the geographical location usually determines a range of colors such as blue, white, yellow, or reddish-brown, the sea star’s color it came from.
Regardless of its color, the trademark dark brown spots will always be present.
The body will be short and stocky with short and thick arms.
The adults of the species can reach 15 inches, so this makes them stand out even more.
Of course, you should make sure you have a water tank large enough for fish this size, before entertaining the idea of adopting a chocolate chip starfish.
The sea star will also need a sand bed that is several inches deep.
This type of sea-star is ideal for a fish-only tank (with living rock additions, as well), and will get along with most mild-mannered fish.
It moves pretty slowly, slower than the other fish in the tank.
This means that you have to take care of your chocolate chip starfish, making sure it is eating, as in stick around and see it eat.
Otherwise, if you just put enough food in the tank for all its inhabitants, you risk the other fish to get ahead of your chocolate chip friend and finish it all off before the starfish gets a chance to feed.
What a Chocolate Chip Starfish Eats and How to Feed It
Chocolate chip starfish can eat generic packaged food for tank fish, if it’s all you have on hand, with the precaution that you do stick around to watch it actually eat.
But, ideally, its diet should consist of meaty meals, such as chopped squid, shrimp, and mussels.
To feed this starfish species, just scatter the chopped-up bits in the aquarium and wait for the starfish to move over the food.
Then, as it moves along, you will notice that it consumes it.
If other fish get to it first, you can also try lifting the starfish up (as long as you do it gently) and directly place it over the food.
Also, keep in mind that these creatures sometimes rise to the surface of the tank of their own accord, and that is an ideal time to feed them.
They are likely to float with their mouths up, and then just let a little food slide towards them.
You will notice that they catch it and move towards their mouths using their legs.
Why Should You Want One in Your Aquarium?
As if you need another reason besides how cute they look, Starfish, in general, are very interesting and mysterious creatures, and the chocolate chip starfish perhaps most of all.
Science reports that it has pretty unusual relatives like these at National Geographic, as well.
All in all, it’s definitely a beautiful sight in any aquarium, and since it moves so slow compared to the other animals in the tank, it will create a relaxing effect when you admire it.
A chocolate chip starfish is easy enough to procure from most tank stockers, and also affordable.
Just make sure you buy yours from a reputable source.
After all, you want a healthy specimen in your tank, right?
The Best Tank Mates for a Chocolate Chip Starfish and Extra Advice
As mentioned above, chocolate chip starfish will get along well with any mild-tempered fish (no predator types and you’re fine).
This is because the starfish moves so slowly it will be hard for it to keep up with fish, which are more aggressive.
Of course, all animals can be different, just as humans are, so the best course of action is to watch the acclimatization of each new tank member closely and make sure it adapts well to the little ecosystem you’ve set up.
Good tank mates for the chocolate chip starfish are most fishes and shrimp species.
Bad tank mates
Bad tank mates are predatory fish (especially puffers and triggerfish), as well as large hermit crabs.
Due to its slow movement, predatory fish are not a wise choice.
Also, no coral reef!
The adult chocolate chip starfish will eat corals, sponges, as well as tubeworms, clams, and smaller species of starfish.
You should also remember to stop using any copper-based medication in the water tank, as the starfish can be negatively affected by it.
As for reproduction, it is too difficult to achieve in non-professional conditions, so even if you buy male and female chocolate chip starfish, they will most probably not reproduce in your tank.
Are Chocolate Chip Starfish Poisonous?
Chocolate Chip Sea Star is non-poisonous in nature
That being said, I really think I will be getting one of my own real soon and invite you to do the same!
They look amazing and will be a great change in my water tank.
Don’t know what to say about my diet, if I keep staring at them too long, though, right?
Jokes aside, the chocolate chip starfish is unique and a bit majestic, so I would really like to try accommodating one into my tanks.