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Old 05-23-2003, 01:36 PM   #1
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my long spine urchin is getting big

I have a long spine urchin in my 55 gal. Ever since I've put in my new lights there is an abundance of algaes for him to much on. He has been getting a little bigger over the last few weeks.

This is a great thing, means he's healthy and well fed etc... except those spines are... well, long; as his name implies. He, or I should say his spines, take up a good portion of space in the tank. Right now I don't have many other critters in the tank so he's not really taking much away from the tank. But as I stock the tank I'm afraid he'll be taking up too much space.

Now I've noticed from time to time the last inch or two of a spine will catch on a rock or such and break off. Would it be safe to perhaps, prune him from time to time to keep his spines shorter? Perhaps clipping them with finger nail clippers?

Any suggestions or thoghts?

Thanks
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Old 05-23-2003, 08:58 PM   #2
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I tend not to add urchins to my reef for the simple fact they are bull dozers. Oce you start adding more corals, the urchin will end up knocking them over or possibly piercing their flesh with it's spines. If it were me, I would remove the urchin to the sump or back to the LFS. As for pruning your urchin...I wouldn't do it, your gonna get stuck, often, and I don't think it would be healthy for the urchin. What would be liable to happen, just from all the handling of the urchin, is it would drop all it's spines and die.
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Old 05-24-2003, 12:03 PM   #3
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How do you get a long spined urchin out of the tank? We had a hitchhiker (which we removed), but I think it had babies or something. There are at least 6 in there (some with bodies the size of quarters). We just don't want that many and they grow like freaking weeds! Every day they are getting noticably bigger.
I tried grabbing it with a tweezers, but he was really stuck on the rock. The last urchin we pulled off - we had the rock out of the tank. But...we can't do that now.
Also, I heard they eat coraline - is this true? Main reason we wanted them out of the tank.
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Old 05-24-2003, 03:47 PM   #4
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Well, I tend to try to knock them loose with something like a stick, then gingerly reach in and pick them up. They hold on tight, so it might take some constant pressure for a minute or so.

Yes they eat coraline, but they also spread it. As they eat it, they also expell it through digestion.
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