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Thread: Wild Urchin

  1. #1
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    Wild Urchin

    I always wanted to try an urchin. I got one last week and it really took off around the tank. I was hoping it would mix up the sand be a lttile. Instead it started scouring the rock work and plowing over corals. I never had any idea what bulldozers these things were!

    Is this the sam experience other people have had? Do you think I should invest in more epoxy or send this guy back to the store?

  2. #2
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    What type of urchin did you get?
    Nick

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marty's Avatar
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    I have a blue tuxedo urchin which does a great job eating the algae on my liverock...it also eats a bit of the coraline though.
    From what I've noticed, it always stays on the rocks and yes it does does knock over smaller corals or frags so you have to make sure you have them well secured or glued on the rocks. I wouldn't sent it back to the store as it does a good job of cleaning... Zap gel has worked well to keep things in place.

  4. #4
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    I have a blue tux and a black long spined urchin. Both are rarely on the sand. They are usually on the rock and sometimes on the glass. The diadema (black, long spined) urchin is supposed to hide during the day but both of my urchins are out all the time cleaning up the algae. In fact, the diadema has something against me. When I put my hand in the tank to clean the glass, it comes right at me and tries to stab me. It's spines are as bad as a bee sting.

    The diadema urchin will grow to the size of a basket ball (including spines) - something to consider.

    Vickie

  5. #5
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    I'll post a picture of the beast in action as soon as the photo-post feature starts working. I thought it was a tux, but with my luck I've probably landed one of those basketball jobs!

  6. #6
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    A blue tux has very short spines and you can see the blue between ridges of spines that go top to bottom. A diadema urchin is a black ball of spines (the spines are a lot longer than the diameter of the body). No mistaking the two.

    Vickie

  7. #7
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    Usually the 2 types that are deemed reefsafe are the 2 already mentioned above. By the way, the Blue Tuxedo urchin can come in different colors albeit soemwhat rarer. I used to have one that was all red were normally it would be blue. It can also come with a nice pine green coloring to it, although I have never personally seen this color combo myself.
    There are many other types of urchins and for the most aprt, these are all best left out of the tank. Especially the pencil type urchins which basically look like little underwater mines with short stubby spines. These ti=hings can get in between an absolutley enormous rock and wedge it apart. Others are actually carnivorous and can attack other slow moving things such as your snails.
    The safe ones usually stay on the glass or rock and should never be on the sand.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    Here a pic of a line spined one.

    He's mine. Great little guy.

    http://aquaria.ca/PhotoPost/showphot...cat=998&page=1

  9. #9
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    The photo feature started working again. Here is a picture of the guy in action:


  10. #10
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Yeah, most urchins will stick to the rocks. My long spined diadema has knocked over a frag or two but not for a long time now. I have mine pretty well secured with epoxy.

    Yours looks like a tuxedo to me but I'm really only familar with my own. I suspect there are probably quite a few species that look very similar.
    Susan

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