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Thread: sea urchin

  1. #1
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    sea urchin

    with all this talk about sea cucumbers are sea urchins just as dangerous as sea cucumbers ...is there any that are reef safe and would they be benifical in a reef tank looking into getting one or the other

  2. #2
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    I dont know of any sea urchins that when highly stressed lets out a toxin......reef i dont know......
    Derik...

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    I've got a diatom(?) and a tuxido urchin in my reef. The only problem I've ever heard of is eating coraline, but I've never noticed it. I've heard some people say the spikes might be poisoness. I remember one day checking on my tank after work and seeing my powder blue with a spike lodged below its eye. It was gone a day and a half later, but the tang died later that week.

  4. #4
    Senior Member reefsurfer's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your fish. Ouch!!!! Id say thats a freak incident. Urchins will eat coraline algea as they eat all types of algea. As far as weather or not they are benificial, thats a tuff one.
    PLEASE SEND ALL ACROPORA FRAGS TO THE REEFSURFER

  5. #5
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    The spines arent poisoinus or venemous they are infectionous.....they break off in the skin and infect the area.....the diadema one anyways
    Derik...

  6. #6
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    Actually, the spines do have a toxin in them and they are poisonous, but it depends on if you are allergic or not. Some people will be affected more than others.
    Frank,
    You could get an urchin no problem. They actually had some nice Tuxedo urchins at Big Al's last week.
    They do eat coralline algae along with all the other algaes, but they don't eradicate the coralline. If you have a decent rate of coralline growth, they actually help it speed up somewhat by releasing the spores into the water column as they munch and this helps spread the coralline throughout the tank. Urchins also need decent water parameters as far as PH and Alkalinity goes.
    When they die, they don't release anything bad, they just die so don't worry about that.
    You also have to make sure you get a healthy one. Look for it to be active more or less ( this is a tough one because they do stop for rest or while eating sometimes), make sure all it's spines are erect and not missing any. For the types that have somewhat longer spines, the spines are often moving if they are active. If the spines look droopy, then leave that one. Look for good color too and not blotchy or any other sign of something.
    Frank,
    For your tasnk, I would stay away from the long black spined ones because these can grow very big under good conditions and it's very common to see one with spines that reach a length of around 12" long. In your tank, I would recommend a Tuxedo type, These are also very colorful and pretty. In your tank, all your corals are set rather well too, so you wouldn't have to worry about anything getting knocked over.

  7. #7
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    poisonous is by swallowing and venemous is by getting stung or bitten....how can it poisenous for one and not for the other person.....?I am not debatting your point, i am just curious....how about pencil urchins?
    Derik...

  8. #8
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    greg your the doctor of reef tanks thanks

  9. #9
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    Voltian - some people have an allergy to the toxins that are in urchins, anemones, etc. It is similar to nuts or a bee sting. I won't be affected if I come in contact, but my next door neighbour will.

  10. #10
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    ok so its just an allergic reation to the sting..and small toxins...but its not poisenous...understood
    Derik...

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