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Chocolate Chip, Fromia, & Knobby Starfish

What is a Chocolate Chip Starfish - (Protoreaster nodosus)
Also information about Knobby and Fromia Starfish

Chocolate Chip Starfish
A Chocolate Chip Starfish (Protoreaster nodosus) are found in warm areas of the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. They live in shallow tidal pools and reefs up to 100 feet deep.
They feed on sponges, bacteria, waste products and the remains of dead plants and animals. Chocolate Chip Starfish hunt with their sense of smell.

Chocolate Chip Starfish are popular aquarium starfish due to their low maintenance, hardiness and low price.
Other popular aquarium starfish include the Knobby and the Fromia Family of starfish which includes; marbles, reds and blues.


Starfish eat with a mouth not visible from above. Their mouth is actually on the underside of the starfish's body.
In order to pick up the food they consume, they cover the food with their body and push out their stomach from the inside.
In the aquarium they are basically a scavenger, although often make sure they eat by placing them on a cut piece of fish or similar.


Knobby Starfish

Chocolate Chip Starfish as well as the Marble Starfish are mild to medium aggressive and will go with many fish, but not with triggers and a few other predatory fish.
They are OK in a Nano reef WITHOUT corals or delicate anemones. CC Starfish are fine with Hermit Crabs, Turbo snails, Feather Dusters and less delicate anemones such as Long Tentacle Anemones.

Fromia Starfish, Red, Marble, Blue

The Fromia family of starfish are more reef compatible with delicate anemones and corals (although I stll advice some caution).
The Reds, Marbles, Blues and others that make up the Fromia family are NOT as hardy in my experience and should NOT be added to a new marine aquarium, I personally advice waiting about 3 months.

The Chocolate Chip and Marble starfish can be added sooner and are less delicate, however these are still not the best “first” inhabitants in a marine aquarium in my opinion.


Starfish spawn which means they release eggs and sperm into the open ocean at the same time. Females can produce up to 65 million eggs per spawning season.
During spawning season thousands of starfish gather and release sperm and eggs into the ocean. The egg and sperm join and produce many tiny sea stars which float in the water like little blobs that later form into a star shape.

They can also asexually reproduce.
They also can regenerate their body. If another creature attacks the starfish and eats or tears off an arm they can regenerate arms. As long as the main body is not injured they can re-grow.

Here is the full classification of Chocolate Chip Starfish:

Category: Saltwater Invertebrates
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Asteroidea
Order: Valvatida
Family: Oreasteridae
Genus: Protoreaster
Species: nodosus

For more Marine Aquarium Information:

Researched saltwater information and resourcesMarine Aquarium Basics; Fish and Reef (Nano too)

For the VERY best in Lighting for your starfish and other reef inhabitants:

Aquaray LightingAquarium LED Lights, Lighting

Marine fish and other inhabitantsSaltwater Fish and Invertebrates

For Saltwater Protein Skimmers:
Marine Aquarium Protein Skimmers

*For information about the importance of using UV Sterilization in your saltwater aquarium, including improved Redox:
Aquarium UV Sterilization; Sterilizer Use Information


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In Chronological order of writing with the newest at the top

  1. How to Treat Sick Fish
  2. Whirling Disease in Fish
  3. Reef Aquarium Chemistry Maintenance
  4. Use of RO, DI, Softwater in Aquariums
  5. Lighting Theory of a Planted Aquarium- RQE, PFY, PAS, & PUR
  6. Aquarium or Pond Bio Load
  7. Tuberculosis in Fish
  8. PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting
  9. Head Pressure in Aquarium and Pond Water Pumps
  10. Fin/Tail Rot For Betta & ALL Fish
  11. Angelfish Virus/Aids
  12. Activated Carbon
  13. Fish Baths/Dips as an aid to treatment
  14. Streptococcus gram positive bacterium in aquariums, Eye Infections
  15. Hydrogen Sulfide
    production in anaerobic De-Nitrification for Aquarium/Ponds
  16. Fish Shipping
  17. Aquarium Size, Fish Stunting
  18. Aquarium Algae,
    BBA & Brown Algae in particular
  19. Aquarium Salt (Sodium chloride) in Freshwater Aquariums
  20. Betta Habitat; Wild Bettas to Domestic Betta environment parameters
  21. HITH; Hole in the Head Disease
  22. Aquarium Protein Skimmers, Ozonizers
  23. Power Head/ Water Pump Review
  24. Molly Disease/ Mollies in an Aquarium
  25. Basic Fish Anatomy, Fin Identification
  26. Aquarium Moving/ Power Failures
  27. Octopus as Aquarium Pets
  28. Aquarium Nitrates
  29. Ichthyophonus protists, fungus in fish
  30. Aquarium and Pond Filter Media
    Types; Mechanical, Bio, Chemical
  31. Aquarium Water Conditioners (also Pond)
  32. Fish Parasites; Trematodes & Monogeneans; Annelids and Nematodes;
    Flukes, internal worms, Detritus Worms (often confused with Planaria), Micro Worms
  33. Aquarium Silicone Application;
    DIY Aquarium Repair & Glass thickness
  34. Pond Veggie Filters; DIY Bog Filter
  35. The difference between Plaster of Paris and Aquarium Products such a Wonder Shells:
    Identification, prevention & Treatment
  37. AQUARIUM TEST KITS; Use & Importance
  38. SEXING FISH; Basics
  39. Chocolate Chip, Knobby and Fromia Starfish
  40. Freshwater Velvet & Costia
  41. Usnic Acid as a Fish Remedy
  42. Aquarium Heaters; Types, information
  43. The Lateral Line in Fish, Lateral Line Disease
    or Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE)
  44. Tap Water use in Aquarium; Chloramines, Chlorine
  45. Can Black Ghost Knife fish give an electric shock?
  46. Bio Wheel Review; Do Bio-Wheels really work?
  47. How do Fish Drink?
    Use of RO Water
  48. Cyclops, and Predatory Damselfly larvae
  49. Betta with Dropsy;
    Treatment and Prevention of DROPSY in all fish
  50. pH and KH problems in African Cichlid Aquarium
  51. Aquarium Gravel, which size?
  52. Blue green algae, Cyanobacteria in Ponds/Aquariums

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