FAQs about Chocolate Chip Sea Stars 2
Chocolate Chip Stars by
An Introduction to the Echinoderms: The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and
More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.
Chocolate Chip Stars 1,
CC Star Identification,
CC Star Behavior,
CC Star Compatibility, CC Star Selection, 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 Selection,
Seastar Compatibility, Seastar Systems, Seastar Behavior, Seastar Feeding, Seastar Reproduction, Seastar Disease,
Crown of Thorns Stars,
Linckia Stars, Linckia Stars 2,
Bad water quality? No stars.
Chocolate chip starfish
I have a chocolate chip starfish which I purchased July 10. He ate some raw
shrimp the next couple of days.
I tried feeding him today and yesterday, but he would not take the food. I has a
fifty five gallon tank been set up cycling for six to seven weeks with no fish
in tank. When tank finished cycling, I purchased him and a Dottie back and a
lawnmower blenny. All water parameters was tested and checked out good. I have
current in tank.
I wonder is the current in tank bothering him. Other animals doing fine.
What am I doing wrong?
First time having a starfish. Thanks for your help.
<Do read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Choc. Star fish question? Rdg.
Got a little chocolate starfish not to<o> long ago
it looked as if it had been bit a little but I brought it home any way
to try and recover it but it seems it's just falling apart. Even the
little spiky (Hershey kiss) looking like spike are falling off. I also
heard if they do die they take the tank to which worries me . Any
suggestion thank you
<Doomed. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Chocolate chip starfish... not using WWM
Hi I'm concerned about my starfish could you tell me what this could be
as I have not seen any pics similar to what mine looks like, I've only
got a clown fish w him and been together since day 1He's got 2 legs that
look like a piece was just taken off and skin hanging but its just the
<Dying; dead. See WWM re. Bob Fenner>
chocolate chip starfish.... jokester?
Hi, I've had my chocolate chip starfish for about 6 months now in a
<You are fortunate... incredible this animal has lived this long>
My tank has always been healthy and only has a clown fish and a
turbo snail until 1 week ago when i got 4 dwarf seahorses.
Anyway, my starfish has always been all over my tank up until about 1
month ago when he stopped moving, I know he's still alive because i can
see him moving his little things under him and sometimes even curl up
one of his arms. I do feed him under the sand now so I can try and make
sure he is eating as I was not doing that before since he was always
everywhere. i am very concerned why wont he move anymore? he is still
stiff when i pick him up but he does seem to be losing weight :( what
can I do for him? My LFS has not been any help the last times I've
attempted to get suggestions, they just say there is not anything i can
do. Please help! thanks
<.... are you joking? See WWM re Protoreastor... or... BobF>
CC Starfish; dead; rdg.
I just recently purchased a chocolate chip starfish; he is tan colored
with black spikes/cones.
<Ah yes... Protoreastor... I'll refer you to WWM's coverage soon. Most
all die easily and soon>
After two days of being in the tank, I came home from work and
found him to be entirely white, chips and all. It looks as though he was
It's scaring me as I am a new saltwater tank owner. My other fish is
thriving well. The salinity, ammonia levels, nitrate & nitrite levels
and PH range are all great. I even had them re-checked at the store
where I purchased everything. Is this normal? What causes it? I thought
that maybe is was from being transferred from one tank to another. Can
anyone help me?
Is the starfish dead? Thank you very much!
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: CC Starfish 2/18/14
So, he died and began decomposing to that extent so quickly?? This was
in a matter of a couple of days, two at the most. Why would that happen?
My tank has perfect levels and there is only one fish in there, a clown
<... keep reading. B>
Re: CC Starfish 2/18/14
Thank you for all of your time and help. I am completely new to all of
this and I have read everything from the link you sent me and all of the
links posted on that link. I understand some of it, but I would
appreciate it if you could simplify it for me. Basically, Are you
telling me that my CC starfish is definitely dead and should be removed
immediately? Do you know
why this would happen? If I purchase another, will it die as well? Thank
you so much! :)
<As you've read... this species is a poor choice for aquarium use.
Yours, as I stated initially is decomposing. Do a bit more searching,
reading re better livestock choices. B>
Re: CC Starfish 2/19/14
Thank you very much for your help! I wanted to send you some pics. Not
because I doubt your professional opinion; only to show you what it looks
like. The first is an image depicting how he looked when purchased and the
others I just photographed of how is looks right now. I don't know, maybe
you could use the images for future references or as information
photos....thanks again for everything!
Chocolate chip starfish and white growth around chips...
"You know it's serious..." 10/12/13
We have a 65 gallon FOWLR tank,
<... Protoreastor... space... Need much larger, long-established reef
parameters have been stable and positive for last couple of months (see
bottom for specific). We have one chocolate chip starfish in our zoo,
purchased about 1.5 months ago. He moves actively around the tank,
spending much of his time at the surface with one leg skimming
<A bad sign>
I feed him every 4-5 days, a small piece of krill set
on his outstretched arm. His behavior indicates health (so far as
I can tell, based on CCS readings, including this site), but today I
noticed some chalky white growth around one of his chips.
From what I can tell, the growth is on top of the "skin" and it doesn't
appear to be rot or deterioration. Any thoughts on the cause?
<Same ole... not a good candidate/species for such use; this setting,
Thanks so much in advance, your site really is tremendously helpful.
Water is checked weekly, water changes occur every 3-5 days, 10 gallons
at a time (salinity of new water matched to current parameters).
Most recent parameters:
Calcium: 420 ppm
Alkalinity: 9 dKH
Phosphates, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia: all at 0 ppm for last
<... HPO4 and NO3 should not be zero... search, read on WWM re>
Again, thanks so much,
<... I'd have you read/re-read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Chocolate chip sea star... hlth., reading on WWM
So it was fine when I got it now it isn't moving at all one leg looks as though
something has bit a chunk off it and around that it's white what is it can u
help me please
<.... read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Chocolate chip starfish 12/30/12
Hi, I just purchased a Chocolate Chip starfish and the guy at the store told me
to feed him frozen krill.
<... have you searched, read on WWM re Protoreastor? Most are lost easily, soon
I did that today while he was on the side of the tank. I noticed that there is
this gooey looking stuff on the underside of him (still attached to the side of
the tank.) It has been out for about an hour. Is he still digesting it or is
there something wrong? He also has string-like things on the front of him that
looks like a spider web. Is this bad?
<Trouble... Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Hey! Questions! Choc. chip... star... incomp., gen.
My friend just bought me a Chocolate Chip Starfish for my 90 gallon tank
and after looking at your site I am terrified to have it in the tank due
to the large amount of soft corals I have!
<Soon to be had!>
She bought me 3 snails on top of it, although I am not sure what kind of
snails they specifically are.
<Always a good idea to know what is in your tank.>
Anyway, I keep lettuce in my tank for my adorable slug<???> and the
Chocolate Chip Starfish has a huge piece and due to its suction and I
cannot get the lettuce away from it.
<Pull gently, it will release its grip>
Is it okay for him to eat lettuce and if I continue to keep large amounts
of that in the tank is it possible my corals will be safe?
<It is going to find the coral eventually. What are you feeding
Also, I see a lot about hermit crabs eating the starfish and I have red
claw and blue claw hermit crabs, with the blue species being a lot
bigger than the red, do you think they may try and eat the starfish?
<Only if it is dead/dying.>
In the 4 days we have had the starfish he has not left the glass of the
upper tank; he moves about the upper tank very often and so far hasn't
gone elsewhere but if I catch him near my beautiful corals he is gone!
<Sooner or later it is going to find the coral. It's what they do.>
Re: re: Hey! Questions! 4/18/12
Thanks so much for the reply!
<Not a problem.>
I will be donating my Chocolate Chip Starfish to my local pet store
soon. To answer your question, I feed my slug lettuce. He LOVES it.
Yesterday, I watched him eat a piece of lettuce for over an hour, it was
<I'm not a fan of using terrestrial plants as a food source. They have
little nutritional value and contain large amounts of phosphate and
nitrate because of the fertilizers they are grown with- both of which
are going to end up in your water. Dried seaweed is a safe option
and can be found in Asian marts or LFS at an inflated price. Growing
macro-algae in your sump
or refugium is another option. It will provide a constant supply of food
while removing nutrients from the water. I'd recommend Gracilaria
parvispora aka Ogo or Ulva aka Sea Lettuce. >
I don't know what species my slug is or my snails,
<This is somewhat important as not all snails are beneficial algae
grazers and I'm not sure what you are referring to as a "slug".>
I know, I'm the worst. P.S., your comments make me laugh hysterically. I
know, I need more to do with my life! :)
<Don't we all.>
Re: re: Hey! Questions! 4/18/12
Oh! I forgot to mention, most of my soft coral are mushrooms, but I'm
guessing that won't make a difference and the Chocolate Chip Starfish
will probably still find them and eat them? Boo.
<You got it. More on Chocolate stars--
CC starfish and invertebrate
loss? Needing to look ahead of leaping stock
A month and a half ago (Christmas) my family
set up a 36 gallon salt water tank FOWLR. I cycled 38lbs
of live rock and a store bought bag of "live sand" (about
1/2" thick) and then introduced two acclimated mollies to help
establish some bacterial growth.
All was well so over the next few weeks I introduced a juvenile tomato
clown fish, a Dottie back, and another damsel, the exact name of which
escapes me now. For cleanup crew I (over a few weeks) introduced
8 small snails, 8 small hermit crabs,
<Mmm... I wouldn't have done this>
a male and female emerald crab,
<Nor these... too predaceous>
a blue fiddler crab,
<What species? Most fiddlers aren't totally
and two Turbo snails. We were really interested in purchasing
some chocolate chip starfish,
<A poor choice for aquarium use period... and in such a small, new
volume... not likely to be successful (living long)>
so about a week ago, I purchased one, and slowly acclimated. He
seemed very happy and would move very fast all over the tank. We
went back to the store a few days later and purchased a stunning
reddish color CC star (I read from your forums now that my tank is to
<too> small...) This second star did not have quite the
gripping power as the first one, but none the less was very active for
many days. The last few days I have noticed chunks have
been taken out of the reddish CC star, exposing his white flesh
Today I awoke to find my female emerald crab dead, and fearing
the worst, moved a bunch of live rock around to find that the blue
fiddler had also passed on. I have yet to find a dead hermit crab
or snail, but my turbo snails have appeared to be a lot less
"turbo" so far today.
<Touché©. Well put>
I have a few questions... has anyone known a Dottie
back to eat parts of a starfish?
<Nah; not at all likely. These organisms likely died from one of
many environmental reasons/insults>
My Dottie back has a history of attacking brightly colored things
(namely red or orange, however the tomato clown will not take his
crap). I have personally observed the Dottie back knock
the red starfish off of the glass,
he pestered and nipped the fins off of my bright orange molly
until it eventually died, and has knocked red hermit crabs off of the
live rocks they were trying to climb up. He is kind of like a
bull, attacks anything red he sees... Also the last spot that the
red starfish was seen in was near the Dottie back's
"lair." My original, brown starfish shows no signs of
deteriorating, and goes through phases of extreme activity to not much
activity at all.
My starfish and fish diet has been Formula 2 frozen
food (a meat and algae) and tropical flake. I read on your forum
that my stars require more of a meat diet, however in the short period
of time I have owned them, could that be contributing to its
Is it possible that I am starving my clean-up crabs?
<Can't tell from here; but crabs are not cleaner uppers...
they're decidedly eater uppers>
I occasionally drop a few larger chunks of formula 2 to the
bottom. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly
<Store bier in cool, dark places>
I also have been changing two gallons of water every other day
for a week and a half to try and drop some nitrate levels (from 15ppm,
my tap water tests at 5ppm) and have been using water
conditioner. I have added a SeaChem Purigen Filter to my
filtration system a week ago to try to remove more nitrates, but to no
A few hours after removing the dead critters I tested the water
parameters at 12 noon (day cycle is from 7:30am-8:30 pm, on a
Just over 1.022
<... see WWM re... Needs to be nearer natural water conc.>
15 ppm (Still a daily frustration)
Thank you for your time and expertise....
<You appear to have a pretty good grasp of what is needed as a
beginning aquarist, but I'd have you read one or more survey books
on the topic.
Borrow these from the library or friends... Bob Fenner>
PS: CC stars 2/10/12
Hello again... few more questions i just thought of.
Do I need to remove my deteriorating CC star from my
Will he adversely affect my other tank mates if his condition
worsens? I currently have his separated from the other tank
mates in hope he will get better.
Thanks in advance
<Yes and yes. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm
Chocolate chip star fish sunken in
Hello. My chocolate chip star fish is looking lifeless we have had him
for 4 years now, he has always been extremely busy. Today he was
lifeless and his body is all sunken in. Is he ok?
<Not. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Chocolate Chip Star
I have had a 30 gal tank running for about a year and a half with no
problems. I added two chocolate chip stars together about a year ago,
and they have been fine in my aquarium together.
<You're to be congratulated. This is no minor feat>
Now, I have noticed one, when on the glass, it seems one arm
right above the mouth has become white, except at the tip, and it looks
like I am seeing right through him.
I have not changed anything drastically, I usually do 10 gallon
water changes but none recently, I have decreased my salinity because
it was too high, but that was about two weeks ago... Is this something
to worry about?
I don't want him to die!!
<Much to ask re other aspects of water quality, foods/feeding. But
your animals may well be dead in the meanwhile. Let's have you read
and the linked files above, "quick like a bunny". Bob
Another CCstar on the way out 12/9/11
Hey Bob, just a quick off-topic question. My Chocolate Chip
Starfish, Chip, has something wrong with him. He still eats squid
like a pig.
<A very poor strict diet. See WWM re Thiaminase>
I have had him going on about 4 years. He currently lives
in a Eclipse 12
<Too small a world...>
with a Falco Hawkfish. He did have a bite mark on him from
when I had a 6-Line Wrasse, and a couple of months ago the tips
of his legs started to turn brown and rot away so to say.
I did a little water change, and it got better (the rotting
places actually got better and were just about completely filled
in. Well, I noticed last week that his legs were doing it again
with one looking worse than the others. Just so you know, the
tips of his legs are a grayish/white color. I'm going to do a
water change and see if that helps again. Do you have any advice
on what could be going on with Chip? He is my second oldest
inhabitant. I am attaching a picture so you can see. If Chip was
a clock, look at the #2 and you can see some healing from the
last episode of this.
If you believe the Falco Hawkfish is the reason than I can move
him to my 10 gallon and put my blue damsel in the Eclipse 12 with
Thanks for the great advice,
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. B>
Chocolate Chip Starfish
My daughter embarked on the journey of a salt water aquarium. We
didn't know much about much about aquariums as our only encounter
with fish have only been at the local public Aquarium or at the dinner
table so we relied heavily on the information given to us at the local
Tropical Fish Store.
<At times, good; others...>
They gave us general knowledge that we thought was enough to get us
started as they advised us to get a 10 gallon tank
<It's very hard, exceedingly, for even "advanced
aquarists" to successively keep such small marine systems... Too
unstable, prone to issues...>
for the type of fish that she desired.
They informed us the type of fish she desired were hearty fish and
would be nice starter fish for a 15 year old to maintain with
only 15% water change 1 per month.
She would be an expert in no time.
<Not likely at all... Too much so that she would become
disappointed, give up... A VERY common fate in our interest>
She named them before we actually purchased them. "Chocolate Chip
Starfish" named "Cecil" and a bright orange Clown Fish
The salesmen at the store were extremely nice as they lead us through
each step. Step-up of the aquarium, making sure the water levels were
perfect before bring the fish home, we set up the tank as instructed
with daily checks of the water level until they said it was safe to add
We bought the fish and took them home. We added the fish to their new
home with 45 minutes of getting them home as instructed by the
The fish were fine from April until June. Sebastian swam all about the
aquarium around and around. Swimming faster when the light was turned
on, playful like and Cecil moved about the tank climbing the walls,
putting his little limbs to the top of the water. We even thought
it would climb out of the tank,
although it has a lid. Peace and harmony. We took water samples to the
local tropical fish star about every 2 weeks. They assured us the water
levels were fine, PH was fine; ammonia was low,
<Has to be 0.0... any present is debilitating>
nitrates under control.
Then during Memorial Day weekend my daughter decided that Sebastian was
lonely and needed a friend. So off to the local fish store we
"Bartholomew" another orange came home with us. He was not as
bright as Sebastian and a little smaller.
<This system is too small...>
I hadn't noticed how much Sebastian had grown in the small time
that we had him.
Within 2 days my daughter noticed that the 2 clown fish were never near
each other. Sebastian resorted to remaining in the lower 1/8 of corner
of the tank mostly under a little bridged decor; while
Bartholomew swam most of the rest of the aquarium.
She found Bartholomew on the bottom of the aquarium on the 3 day. His
eyes were all filmed over. We removed him from the tank and took him
back to the fish store for an explanation of what happened. The
salesman informed us that the fish was stressed, possible because he
was smaller than the other clown fish or possibly because he was not
the exact species as the other clownfish thus; they may have been
territorial causing too much stress. He now has informed us that clown
fish as extremely aggressive and sometimes become confused when there
is only 2 of them, stating that maybe we should have stuck with either
1 of them or 3 but for the size of our tank 2 was the most we should
put in there.
This was confusing... So we turned to the internet
that night. Reading all about clownfish, NOTE: we should have done this
prior to going to the fish store... Lesson learned. Sebastian died that
night. 1 day after Bartholomew.
Cecil was still doing fine; moving all about the 10 gallon tank. Now
the salesman has informed us that the clownfish possible died because
the sudden changes in water temperatures as the weather is hot one day
and cooler the next so he sold us a water-heater, "Please get
water between 84 and 86 degrees." Use this sand cleaner at the
next time you do the 15% water change.
Cecil was fine; still moving about the tank.
4 days after Sebastian died; we noticed some darkening of the sand in
the area where we found Bartholomew. The spot grew bigger, wider; along
the edge bottom right edge of the aquarium.
So she cleaned the sand.
Now Cecil is not moving about the tank. He is lethargic. We bought him
some brine shrimp and put him on it as instructed by the local fish
store salesman. Now we realize how not knowledgeable the salesmen
really are so we resort again to the internet.
<Some times useful, others...>
Last night we noticed, Cecil has a small clear bubble on one of
his limbs, it almost looks like a clear blister. My daughter
pressed it and it seemly went away; this morning it's back. Cecil
has barely moved in 3 days. Today my daughter wants to do a deep
cleaning of the aquarium; hoping to remove any bacterium that was left
by the ill clownfish. Please let us know what you would suggest.
<That you talk with your daughter, have her read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm
after you do... The ten gallon won't work for this
"touchy" species; nor for most any saltwater selections
commonly offered in the trade...>
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/marsetupindex1.htm
scroll down to "Small Systems"... peruse the articles linked
there, and the many Small System Stocking FAQs files... You will find
your situation is not uncommon. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chocolate Chip Starfish 7/8/11
Thank you so much or your fast response. I talked with daughter. We
read the articles that you suggested. Thank you so much for the great
We cried together as yesterday my daughter made the hard decision of
returning Cecil to the LFS as much as she wanted him, she wanted him to
be healthy and happy.
The salesman there understood, he did not refund our money but we are
okay with that. It was a hard lesson to learn but, we are confident
that we made the best decision for Cecil.
Again thanks for all your help, wisdom and advice. We will definitely
keep up on your website and all the happening with that as we will
venture down this path again after much research.
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Chocolate Chip Starfish Problem,
hlth., sys./env. 2/21/11
I've had a Chocolate Chip Starfish for almost a year now.
It's been kept in a 10 gallon tank with 2
small snails, 1 large snail, a clownfish, a live rock, and there
WAS a Firefish Goby.
<I fear this is tank is much too small to offer enough
Everything has been fine until the past week or so. Our Firefish
goby disappeared. (It was normal to not see her. She usually hid
inside the live rock and jumped into a filter compartment once.
From which we rescued her unscathed.) A few days after she
disappeared our starfish started behaving differently. He
doesn't move as much and his legs are slightly curled up at
the tips. The tips are also turning white and his
"chips" have gotten longer and pointier. Is this
<Turning white is no good sign. Likely an infection.>
I was wondering what you might think it could be. I had a dream
that the starfish ate the Goby.
<Possible, but the goby was likely already dead/dying.>
Could that make him sick?
Is he dying or is he doing a weird shedding thing? I've never
heard of a starfish shedding.
<I fear it's going to die sooner or later unless offered
an adequate environment. Please see here for more details:
Thank you for your time.
<Good luck. Marco.>
Re: Chocolate Chip Starfish Problem,
We also add in liquid invertebrate food 3-4 times a week.
<Most probably useless for this species (see the linked text
in the last mail for their food). Also, in a 10 gallon tank it is
highly unlikely that there will be enough small benthic
invertebrates to feed a Protoreastor no matter if you try to
support the benthic fauna or not.>
This is a picture of the starfish. This morning, I found him on
his back and thought he was done for, because it didn't look
like he was trying to get back up. After a while I checked on it
again and he was moving a tiny bit, so I pushed him back to the
wall and he stuck to it.
<Nonetheless, I do wish you good luck. Marco.>
starfish skin problems, no
My chocolate chip starfish has several open sores.
Two weeks ago, we had an ice storm, and lost power. It was very cold. I
tried to keep the (29 gallon)
tank warm by siphoning out water, reheating it and returning it to the
tank. I also used a straw periodically to blow in oxygen (pet store
suggested). It appeared that the power would be out for many days, so
after a day, I moved the tank to a friend's house, where it stayed
for 3 days before I returned it home. In spite of my efforts, I'm
sure the temperature was not very stable during the day, though I did
manage to keep it in the 70s. The tank also has a clownfish and a
damselfish. I have had this starfish (and the other fish) for several
years. I feed the fish dried flakes some days and freezer food others
(Prime Reef 1 and 2).
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: starfish skin problems- 2/16/11
Thanks for your response. Is there anything I can do for it, or should
I do the freezer mercy killing you mentioned in another post?
<... read where you were referred to... B>
Re: starfish skin problems 2/17/11
Sorry to be dense--I have tried--read most of what you have on the site
CCS. Not sure which thing you're getting at--that the tank is too
But you say it is dying...would moving it to a larger tank help it at
<Yes, yes; and no, not likely.>
(I actually bought it at the suggestion of a specialty pet store
when I was looking for interesting, easier to keep alive, non-expensive
creatures for the 29 gallon saltwater tank I inherited from friends.)
Or are you getting at the stress aspect, or the target feeding aspect?
Not sure. I would ask at the pet store for help, but it sounds like
maybe I got bad advice from them in the first place, and there is no
longer a saltwater store within 30 minutes of where I live.
Re: starfish skin problems 2/17/11
> (I actually bought it at the suggestion of a specialty pet
They knew I had a 29 gallon--didn't say it was too small.
(that's my excuse! :-)
<<... am not interested in excuses; only what I can do to help.
Chocolate chip star fish
We just bought a chocolate chip star fish today.
<Hmmm, not easily kept...>
29 gallon reef tank. Chip immediately buried himself into the
<A bad sign>
We removed him
<Don't do this>
and placed him onto a rock,
<Don't live on...>
where he made his way off of and back onto the sand, burying himself
once again. He is still there, hours later. Is there a concern I should
<Ah my friend. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chocchipstars.htm
and the linked files, particularly Behavior, Health FAQs, above>
From what I have read they are pretty active, and mine is not.. so far.
Do I give him time?
<I encourage you to return this animal whence you purchased it. Bob
Starfish Help 3/13/10
Hi there -
My boyfriend and I just set up a 10 gal salt water aquarium.
<Near impossible to keep optimized sufficiently to keep a
We went to our local tropical fish store today to pick up some
cured live rock to add.
After getting home and setting everything up we realized that we
had an uninvited guest! He is an (approx 2 inch) starfish.
After much Googling I cannot decipher what kind he is. He is sort
of a greenish-yellow color.
I'm sorry the picture is of his underside - I could not get a
My biggest concern is that he has some spotting on him (like on
his lower left leg in the photo) that I am worried about. I am
not sure if it is ich or something else or is this normal?
<Not "ich"... likely normal>
Also - Do you know where I can find out what kind of sea star he
is? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
- Lauren & Chris
<Sure... Read here:
and the linked files in the series above. Bob
|Re: Starfish Help
Here is a better pic of our starfish. Thanks.
<Ooooh, see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/seastars2.htm
This Protoreastor isn't likely to live in this setting... If
you're concerned, I'd be returning it to the LFS, giving it
to someone with an older, larger, established system.
Chocolate chip starfish eaten by worms
Our chocolate chip star fish is being eaten by tiny little worms!
We've had him for about 6 months. We went on vacation during
December for about a month - we had someone caring for the saltwater
aquarium while gone. They only fed the marine life & did nothing
else - we had left very specific instructions on how to feed. (We trust
our friend when she says she did nothing more, nothing less) We have
one fish, one hermit crab, 2 live rock (about 3-4 lbs each) & one
shrimp. We have had the tank for close to 10 years with no significant
problems. When we came back from vacation we noticed that the starfish
was not very active - very unusual since he usually crawled all over
the tank walls. We cleaned & changed the tank water out and then
noticed that he had a chunk of his leg missing.
We initially thought that the crab might have chewed on him, but
doubted it since we have never seen any of our creatures be aggressive
with each other.
<Is a possibility... even the shrimp>
Later we noticed that there were little worms on his leg and this
morning when I checked on him I saw many more tiny little white worms
on him & since he is up against one of the walls, they are also on
the wall. More of his legs is gone - really sad & gross. He sits
there with his legs curled up. What do we do??
Where did the worms come from & why are they eating our
<Likely in the tank, opportunistic...>
Please help us! We are really sad & disgusted by these
"new" unwanted inhabitants & the damage they are
<They're cleaning up... after the fact>
Lisa & Jayps. our other creatures do not seem at all affected by
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chocchipstars.htm
and the linked files above; particularly Health. Bob
Chocolate Chip Starfish -- 12/16/09
Hi, I have a chocolate chip starfish. I have a few questions. Currently
I have a maroon clownfish, a blue damsel, and a three striped damsel in
the same tank as the chocolate chip starfish. I got it a few days ago,
it was very active. I noticed today that it had two of its limbs curled
up, and doesn't move much. So should I be worried?
<Depends on what you offer him in terms of tank size, food and water
parameters. Please see
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chocchipstars.htm for the proper conditions
to keep this animal.>
also how can I tell if its a boy or girl?
<Only by dissecting it and knowing a lot about sea star anatomy.
Melting chocolate star... no data,
Your website was the only site with any helpful information about what
was happening to our star. we did everything that your site said
pristine hospital tank, antibacterial added. i have only one question
chocolate chip star recovered?
three of his legs are nearly completely melted the other two on their
this morning it was only one leg. it was so fast. he still raises his
legs, should we try to feed him? usually when he raises his legs he
wants to eat.
thanks Pam c
<A poor species for aquarium use... and you proffer no useful data.
Six-legged Chocolate Chip Starfish -
I have a few questions concerning my 6-legged chocolate chip
First of all, is it common for them to have 6 legs?
<No, very uncommon for this species.>
I happened to find mine while I was walking through a pet store, and he
caught my attention because of his extra leg and very distinct
chocolate chips. I have him housed in a 29-gallon tank that also has 2
Perculas, one red honey damsel, a mandarin goby, a couple very small
hermit crabs, and a few turbo snails. I've been giving him one
frozen krill 2 times a week, along with a mixture of flying roe fish
eggs, marine cuisine, and formula 2. Is this a good enough variety or
should I be adding something more to his diet?
<Should be sufficient. For its natural diet please see
One last thing is I am considering getting either an electric flame
scallop or a clam and am wondering if my ccs is going to be a threat to
<Yes, as well as a possible threat to corals and other slow or
If you could please get back to me on these questions, that'd be
Thank you, Savanna
Star fish... CC, reading,
I have a starfish that I have not been able to identify. He is
shaped exactly like the cc star but is a beautiful red/ orange
<Mmm, could still be a Protoreastor nodosus... Read here:
If you can help me identify the guy I'd truly appreciate
<A photo? Need this... >
Also, I have been reading through your site looking for more
information about the white patches that
have appeared on it's body. He/ she has been falling off the
glass lately and been unable to get back upright.
<... very bad>
It is eating frozen krill (which is all I've been able to
locate in our area to feed him/ her)
and is very active once I put it back in the upright position.
The tank which houses him is 80 gallons or so and all the levels
I typically give Â¼ water change every other week and
also supplement trace elements weekly. I feel that I am an
experienced aquarist and have had little to no problems
maintaining aquariums for 18 years however this guy has me
stumped. Please help us.
<Help yourself. Read:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: star fish, ID plus, P. lincki
Here's a pic of the star fish in question.
Water conditions in 80 gallon tank
Feeding him 3 times a week the krill and sea veggies.
Thanks again for all your help
<Oh! Another of the same genus... Is where you were referred
previously to read. Go there. BobF>
Chocolate Chip Starfish... gen. bio. questions...
no reading 4/7/09Re: Sick Maroon Clown... Now CCstar hlth.
4/17/08 Would you suggest putting the star back in the tank where
he came from? I had him in a 8g bio cube and he did great. How do I
help him? I read that page you sent to me and there is nothing about a
brown balloon looking pin head on the outside of his body. Spencer
<Keep reading... re CCstar Systems... B>
I am doing a biology presentation for my university's General
There are a few questions that I could not find on the Internet, so I
was wondering if you all could help me. I was wondering if the
Chocolate Chip Star had an obvious history, what exactly defines
<See any good biology book or even Wikipedia for echinoderms or
Echinodermata and their symmetry and organs.>
, what exactly defines a starfish,
why do the stars climb to the top of the aquarium and bend over the
edge but yet they don't climb out of the tank,
<Most likely eating biofilms at the water surface.>
where can you find these stars in the wild (ex. range map?),
<See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chocchipstars.htm .>
and what animals are they prey to?
<See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chocchipstars.htm too.>
I know that is quite a few questions but those are the main ones I have
yet to find research on. If you could help me out at all, I would be
forever grateful. I like to get my answers from accredited people (or I
could be shallow and make them up, but I am not so I am asking). Thank
<What you ask is mostly already answered on WWM, I hope you find the
references above useful. For more details see the literature at the end
of our Protoreaster nodosus article. Cheers, Marco.>
CCS question... hlth., no useful
data 3/15/08 Dear crew, I have taken time to look
through all your FAQ's and previous questions, but I still
need help. I have a 65 gallon tank with 2 Perculas, 1 pajama, and
my CCS. I have had the tank for over 3 years. I have had all the
fish over 2. The CCS is about a year and a half old. I typically
feed him 2 times a week, frozen krill. <... needs more than
this> He usually eats well and is active. I was just in the
hospital for a week and he wasn't fed.(the person feeding
said they looked everywhere and couldn't find him). When I
arrived home, it took me 2 hours and rearranging the tank to find
him. For the last 3 days I have been trying our usual feeding
routine to no avail. He has never hidden in the tank like this.
Tonight I tried everything I could find on feeding tips on your
site. All water levels are exactly the same as normal. No
nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, ph is normal, etc. He is thin, pale,
and has all four legs slightly curled up. When brought out and
placed on the glass, or near food, he quickly runs and hides. Any
suggestions? Thanks for your help, Shannon <Sure... read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/starfdgfaqs.htm And the linked files
above. Bob Fenner>
Re: ccs question... hlth. 4/8/08 Thanks for your help.
"Chip" didn't eat for about a week, then one day he
seemed to wake up and started looking for food. He seems pretty
much back to normal? Who knows, maybe he was having a bout of ccs
depression ;) thanks for your suggestions. Shannon <Mmm, not
unusual for Seastars to go on periodic food strikes... I do hope
yours rallies. Thank you for the update, BobF>
Chocolate chip sea star... reading
10/6/06 Hi, <Salud> I have a Chocolate chip sea star and he
seems to be getting lethargic and skinnier. He also has
a tear between two of the legs. <Bad indications> its pretty
big and I thought he was dead but when I moved him he was
moving his legs. I am not sure what to do with
it. None of the other fish <?> seem to
be bothering it. Can the tare heal
itself? What do you think? Let me
know. Thanks. Sandra <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm and the linked
files above. BobF>
Chocolate chip starfish help Fish Stocking
4/21/06 Hi, My chocolate chip starfish has been
in my 29 gallon tank for a couple of months now. It is fed properly and
everything... I feed him tuna chunks. <... just like in the
wild...> I noticed this morning when I fed him that he is peeling
off his underbelly. It is white underneath and i am worried. Is he sick
or is this normal. He crawls around the tank as normal but I don't
know what to do. I have a 12 gal. tank with nothing in it but cycled
water. Should i put the starfish in there....and if so what should i
treat him with? Thanks a bunch!! Clarissa <... Please read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm and the linked
files above. Bob Fenner>
Chocolate chip sea star 2/26/06 Dear
Mr. Fenner, <James with you today Linda.> I have had my chocolate
chip starfish since April '05. He is currently in a 16 gal aquarium
with a Rusty Dwarf Angel, a tomato clown, and one turbo
snail. <Much too small a tank for these fish.> At
first, the starfish was very active - moved all over the tank - sides,
rocks, filter, plants, anything at all. When I dropped in
food, it moved quickly toward it. For about 2-3 months, I have noticed
a drastic decrease in his activity, and lately, he hardly moves at all
- what I would call "failure to thrive." His
appearance used to be okay, but this week he looks smaller, and his
arms are curled up at the tips. He "appears" to eat - shrimp
pellets and pieces of cooked shrimp that I place right next to
him. The water quality seems OK - pH, alkalinity, nitrites,
and nitrates are in range, although I do keep the sg a little low -
about 1.019 - 1.020. I would greatly appreciate any help you
could offer to save my sea star. <Well, since you have had him since
April 05 it appears he was shipped and acclimated
well. I'd get the SG up to 1.024-25 for starters and
ensure food is available on a daily basis. The size of your
tank doesn't help much since starfish are very sensitive to water
parameter changes which will occur in a 16 gallon tank, especially one
that is overstocked with fish. Read here for more info on
starfish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm Thank you,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Linda
Kozlowsky <Ahh, the co-star in the Crocodile Dundee flicks.>
|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 12/12/05 Hello,
<Hello Penny> I was wondering, I have a chocolate chip star fish
for about 6 months now, he has always moved about, but now for the past
4 days he has not been moving but maybe an inch. I picked it up and the
bottom was all closed and I started to rub him a little and it started
to open up and the little feet started to come out, so I put it back on
the coral and its still not moving.. what could be wrong and what can I
do? Please help..<Penny, have you placed some food under
him such as a small piece of prepared food (frozen
variety)? I'm thinking this guy could be
starving. Am posting a link on the chocolate chip starfish
for your reading. http://www.google.com/custom?q=Chocolate+chip+starfish&sa=Google+Search&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com James
(Salty Dog)> Penny
Chocolate Chip Star Fish 9/26/05 I
have three questions 1st question is: Can small hermit crabs be a
threat to Chocolate Chip Star Fish or can the hermit crabs be kept with
them? <Yes> Second: What is the minimum size tank suggested for
keeping one Chocolate Chip Star Fish in? <I'd recommend a
minimum of 10 gallons, reason being that starfish are very sensitive to
changes in water parameters which can occur easily in smaller
tanks.> and my 3rd question is : Can Brittle Stars be
kept with the Chocolate Chips ones? <Yes> If you can get back
with me on these questions I appreciate it a lot...just having a lil
difficulty and need few answers on what I asked Email back A.S.A.P and
thanks a million !!! <You're welcome. James (Salty
Chocolate chip star problem... are problems
8/14/05 We have had our tank up and running for about 3
months. All of our fish are thriving beautifully as well as
our sponge and 2 anemones. Our chocolate star however has
been developing white spots in the last week and a half or so and today
I noticed a "film-like" substance on his underside, covering
his mouth and a lot of his feet. It has veiny looking lines
in it an looks like it might spread. I was wondering if you
could help me out, if you had ever seen anything like this and if you
could give advice. He is my favorite of our stars and I
would hate to lose him. Also, if you don't think
there's much I can do, how should I "put him out of his
misery" so to speak? Thanks for your time. -Courtney <... up to
you. Please read here re this species, use in our interest: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chocchipfaqs.htm Bob
Chocolate chip starfish We have 3 CC starfish in
our tank (sorry I don't know the size my husband's the one who
set it up and maintains it). One of the starfish recently started
looking shriveled on two of its legs , eventually he looked so sick we
removed him from the tank. Any ideas what caused this and should
we be concerned about the other two? We have had all 3 for about
a year and no new fish or other creature have been added to the tank
recently. Thanks , Kim <<Kim, a common problem
in tanks where 10% weekly (or equivalent) water changes aren't
being made to replenish the trace elements most animals
require. I'd also add an iodine supplement
weekly. Starfish are sensitive to changes in pH, oxygen, and
specific gravity. This tends to cause rapid bacterial
infections that cause necrosis of the legs or whole
body. I'm thinking this is what you are
seeing. It's a good idea to place small bits of
crab/clam meat under the star weekly to make sure it is getting enough
food. James (Salty Dog)>
Dying CC starfish I have
had a cc star for about a month. I have a 12 gal. <Too
small for this species...> Eclipse system that has been up for a
year. I have 2 yellow-tail blue damsels, 1 hermit and
a Strawberry Pseudochromis. One of the
chips has fallen off of the cc star. I placed him in a wire
dome in the center of my tank to keep him from biting. <What?> Is
he going to die anyways? <Maybe... please read on WWM re CCS... they
rarely "make it" in captivity> In your opinion, should I
avoid adding another starfish (of any kind) in this small environment?
If I did can it eat regular fish food? <... please read re asteroids
period... on WWM. Bob Fenner> Sorry for my ignorance- Mel
Star dying and clownfish purchase Hey crew, I must
first off say that your website is a godsend and I use it all the
time. Two quick questions. One my CCS has not
been doing good and some of his skin had been opening. I know that
Starfish diseases are almost always irreversible but to make matters
worse this morning when I turned on my lights I saw that my poor CCS
had two legs stuck in my powerhead water intake and he is in bad shape.
Infection is imminent I believe from the looks of him and I was
wondering what could I do with him. <If possible, isolate this
specimen...> I don't want the possibility of unneeded infection
in my tank. Are there any ways of peacefully "putting him
down"? <Place in a plastic bag with a small amount of water,
put in freezer...> Also, question number two. I was
interested in purchasing a clownfish for my LFS but there are two small
regular clowns, I cannot remember whether they are ocellaris or
percula. They are tiny, probably not more than and inch in
length. Would they be too small for my 29 gallon tank
(30"long x12"wide x18"deep)? I currently am housing a 2
inch Banggai and a 3-4inch engineer goby, which is doing good and I
noticed that its coloring is changing from the horizontal stripes to
the vertical bands % Coloration I believe). I also have
a Mithrax crab, 2 turbo snails, and 4 hermit crabs. I feed my fish the
San Francisco Bay Brand Saltwater multipack, which I soak in Selcon
nightly before feeding. Any thoughts or suggestions on these two topics
would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Aaron Loboda <The clowns are
not too small... I would keep an eye on the Mithraculus and Hermits...