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Thread: Urchin

  1. #1
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    Urchin

    I have just noticed that I now have a Black Long Needle Urchin in my 60g reef tank. It is the size of a cotton ball, but I'm sure not as soft! Isn't it weird how things just all of a sudden show their faces and not noticing it till now.
    Anyways the question from your past experience, how are they in a reef tank. I have read numberous items that they are aggressive in a reef tank and I'm thinking of pulling it out once I get to see him a second time. I have one pincussion urchin that I switch back and forth between my two tanks now when algea starts up in one or the other tank. This one is fine,,,cleans what I want,,,mind you he does drag everything around with him,,,
    Kevin.

  2. #2
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    Vette,
    Long spine urchins are indeed reef safe. They are usually very delicate when they crawl around so as not to break their spines. However, if you have a coral that is doing a balancing act in itself, then it might ery well fall when the urchin passes by it. For that mater, the coral could fall from anything such as a fish or snail too. You should always find some way of having the coral hold properly, whether it's by wedfging it in the rock or glueing it down. I have never had a coral fall from an urchin, but I ALWAYS glued my corals down.

  3. #3
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    they are indeed reef safe, but they can eat a considerable amount of corraline algea, as can your other urchin so don't expect to have very purple rocks. otherwise they are perfectly fine when they aren't knocking delicately placed corals over.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  4. #4
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I've heard that an urchin eating the coraline will actually help spread it. Is that wrong?

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  5. #5
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    Yes, everyone is correct. They are reef safe - in that they won't munch on corals. They do eat a lot of coraline but they also help to spread it when it goes out their other end in small pieces. They do move around a lot and can knock things over. However, they're one of the best organisms for eating hair algae. I had a fairly large one for 6 months and it was always a topic of conversation for visitors - they are eye catching. The problem I had was it got too big for my tank and I always had to be very careful when aquascaping because it's easy to misjudge how far the spines are from your arm. A nice addition if your tank is big enough and your corals are securely fastened.

  6. #6
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    I had one in my 65 gallon tank.

    I had to get rid of it as it was growing huge.

  7. #7
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    The usual problem is that they end up being too big for the tank as others have mentione here.
    They are one of those animals that can easily outgrow a tank as they get rather large in nature.

  8. #8
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    Well, then ....I shall leave him in, glad for the responses,,ty...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    some time they destroy live rock by burrowing into them to make a retreat for themselves at night... but i don't think this habit is exhibited in tanks, plenty of retreats for him

  10. #10
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    Ricepicker,
    That is NOT a long spined type urchin.
    There are OTHER types that are indeed rock borers. These will not have long spines, and also not to be confused with pencil urchins which might "resemble" the borers.

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