Advice on an urchin

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by Bruce Spiegelman, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Picked up a gorgeous blue spot long-spine urchin yesterday. Never really paid attention to urchins before, but the neon lines on this one were unbelievable. Acclimated him and placed him into the tank and he seems very happy. Problem is his first foraging was on a "Zoa Mountain" and he munched on the first colony he came too -- roughly 8-10 heads. After that he continued up the rock and didn't disturb any other colony and he had to go over or pass about a dozen colonies before he left that rock and moved on. I can gauge his path pretty well.

    So the question is -- since he just ate the very first ones and ignored the rest -- should I worry? Should I remove him or just watch him? Should I have not gotten excited about the pretty colors and bought him? :)
  2. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Probably getting down to the algae that the zoas were sitting on and inadvertently ate them. Didn't enjoy the taste and moved on so you should be in the clear. As long as your tank isn't acrylic you should be fine.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  3. BSAJim

    BSAJim Guest

    I would keep an eye on it. Just arriving to the tank, it was probably very hungry, and as Eric pointed out, went for the algae. It should limit itself to algae from now on, but keep a weather eye out for trouble. My urchins don't seem to bother the corals at all.
  4. Judah001

    Judah001 Guest

    I wold watch it for sure. In the past I have had the most success with the tuxedo urchins. They will just eat everything including any coralline algae. You will begin to see white spots on your rocks too if they really get at it. After they have done their job I do my best to keep them fed with some chaeto so they dont go munching on anything else.
  5. Thanks all -- and yes, his initial path is also littered with white chew marks on the rocks.
  6. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    Bruce, I'm curious to hear if that urchin stayed away from corals since last post?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. I should have updated. He had to be re-homed. I kept him longer than I should of. Lost five heads of a huge Neon Hammer and five gorgeous Yumas. After the zoa incident I started feeding him Nori nightly to keep him full, but it didn't matter.
  8. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    Did you re-home to another one of your tanks?
  9. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    How exactly did you feed nori to your urchin? I love our urchins and we have never had a speck of algae, but at the expense of having very little coralline algae. No fish yet, so I want to keep urchins in there to eat when I get around to stocking. I wonder if they are hungry for nori.
  10. BSAJim

    BSAJim Guest

    I have sunk Nori to the bottom of the tank, held down by a couple of small rocks. The urchin typically finds it. If not, I gently grab it with long tongs and place it directly on the nori. It gets the idea pretty quickly :)
  11. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    I haven't heard of Urchins doing that before. I have 5 tuxedo's in my tank and they never touch anything but algae. Maybe give those a shot
  12. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Same here with my tuxedo.
  13. He got re-homed to a friends fish only tank. As to feeding him Nori it was pretty easy. He'd sleep most of the day high on the glass of the aquarium. All I had to do was attach Nori to a clip and put it close and he's move right to it.

    Mine was a Long-Spine Blue Dot Urchin. I was told it was perfectly reef safe too :)
  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    You can rubberband it to a small piece of rock.
  15. The Urchin? That would have kept him from going astray and eating corals. I should have thought of that.
    Chromis and Coral reefer like this.
  16. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I would avoid any of the long spine urchins, not necessarily reef safe and a nasty thing to bump into if you have your hand in the tank.

    Something safe like a tuxedo urchin is the best bet for a reef tank for 99% of hobbyists.

    Strangely, I found we had a lot of coraline when we've had tuxedo urchins. They do eat a lot of it, but it seemed like having it munched up and excreted spread it around the tank faster than the urchin could clean a surface of it?

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