The Chocolate Chip Starfish is a highly-recognizable ornamental starfish that boasts instant appeal. It is not difficult to imagine the dark chocolate brown tubercles (protrusions) that dot the surface of the starfish as chocolate chips on top of a tasty cookie. While it may seem odd to consider a starfish "cute," the charming colour pattern reminiscent of the classic baked treat makes the Chocolate Chip Starfish a highly desirable addition to a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) aquarium.
Most commonly found in shallow lagoons, the Chocolate Chip Starfish can also be found at depths down to 75 feet deep in the Indo-Pacific reef region. A large aquarium with open access to a mature sand bed several inches in depth best recreates the preferred habitat of the Chocolate Chip Starfish. While relatively hardy, the Chocolate Chip Starfish requires particular attention to water quality. Like many invertebrates, the Chocolate Chip Starfish requires high water quality and will not tolerate high nitrate levels. The Chocolate Chip Starfish should be kept in a large marine aquarium housing mild-mannered fish.
Since they are slower moving than most fish, it should not be housed with predatory fish, including Triggerfish and Puffers. The Chocolate Chip Starfish is not considered reef compatible since adults will eat soft corals, sponges, tubeworms, clams, and other starfish. Keep in mind that the Chocolate Chip Starfish is only appropriate for very large aquariums. The colour of the Chocolate Chip Starfish may be light to reddish-brown, blue, white, or yellow based on geographical location it hails from.
The drip acclimation method is highly recommended for all starfish since they are unable to tolerate rapid changes in water chemistry (oxygen levels, salinity and pH). The Chocolate Chip Starfish should never be exposed to air while handling. Also, the Chocolate Chip Starfish must not be exposed to any copper-based medications and avoid contact with a majority of anti-parasitic medications.
In the aquarium, the diet the Chocolate Chip Starfish can consist of chopped meaty foods such as clams, shrimp, and squid.