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Chocolate Chip Starfish - Protoreaster nodosus - Small

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Item: 213556

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Available: 6

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The starfish pictured here are representative only. The color and appearance of the one you receive may be different.

Chocolate Chip Starfish (Protoreaster nodosus) are characterized by the dark brown knobs on their arms and body. The body itself is usually tan but can sometimes be reddish or rusty orange in ultra-colored individuals. These starfish can grow up to 5-6 inches in disk diameter and another 5-6 inches in leg length for a total diameter of us to 12 inches. It is very similar to Protoreaster lincki, the Red Knobbed Starfish, which has red knobs instead of the brown found on Chocolate Chip Starfish.

This particular species is not reef safe and should never be placed in an aquarium with corals or anemones. Though they will move slowly in the aquarium they can crawl on top of non-mobile invertebrates and devour them. However they are easily kept in a species tank as they will feed on detritus or scavenge for meaty foods. These starfish should be target-fed regularly to avoid starvation.

Starfish in general are very sensitive to changes in water quality and conditions. If temperature, salinity or other water parameters change quickly, starfish cannot regulate the change and are often damaged or killed. Be sure to acclimate carefully and while doing water changes, make sure the "new" water is as close as possible to the "old" water in its parameters.

Most starfish are scavengers. Some may prey on snails and invertebrates while others eat detritus, leftover food, and tiny organisms in and on the substrate and rockwork. Fromia and Linckia starfish are among the group of stars that are considered safe for corals (although Fromia starfish are thought to feed on sponges) and invertebrates while thicker-bodied stars like Chocolate Chip and Bahama stars will prey on snails, corals and other stationary inverts.
Common NameChocolate Chip Starfish - Small
Scientific NameProtoreaster nodosus
Reef SafeNo
Invert SafeNo
Community SafeYes
DifficultyEasy to Moderate
Max Size (in inches)12
Min Tank Size (in gallons)100
Specific Gravity Range1.022-1.026
pH Range8.0-8.4
Temperature Range75-82

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