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Old 03-20-2011, 06:48 AM   #1
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Sea urchins ?

Hi there finding it difficult to know what they actually do ?
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:18 AM   #2
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They are little algae eating bulldozers that knock everything around. Some have been known to scrape so hard against the silicon they can cause a tank to leak.Others are rock boring. They need to be drip acclimated and no copper used in the tank. What kind are you thinking about getting?
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:02 AM   #3
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Anyone have any experience to back up

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joy13, Some have been known to scrape so hard against the silicon they can cause a tank to leak
I have urchins in my tanks, I think they're neat. I'd avoid the black spiny urchin, it quickly grows large and those spikes hurt. The collector urchin can be a pain because it'll pick things up and move them. I like them myself, just another neat thing to watch in the tank
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:19 AM   #4
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One of these maybe ?
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:49 AM   #5
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i have kept a few urchins. i've never seen or heard of one tearing away silicone and making a tank leak, but i guess it's possible.
mine have all been hitch hikers. here is the one that lives in the tank at the gym around the corner. he came in on the live rock and was marble sized then. he's nearly 3" in diameter now-
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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Cool how big do they get ?
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:58 AM   #7
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i have seen long spined urchins the size of volley balls. that one you posted will probably end up around baseball sized in your aquarium.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:01 AM   #8
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Cool that's about right
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:01 AM   #9
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My longspine got had 5" spikes when I brought it back to my LFS, not sure how big the actually body was...
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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As algae eaters I think they eat everything; coralline included.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nxb161 View Post
Anyone have any experience to back up



I have urchins in my tanks, I think they're neat. I'd avoid the black spiny urchin, it quickly grows large and those spikes hurt. The collector urchin can be a pain because it'll pick things up and move them. I like them myself, just another neat thing to watch in the tank
Pencil Urchin Eating my LR!! - The Reef Tank I don't think they actually eat it more like it gets peeled up when it eats near the silicon. I research everything to death before getting anything since most anything in a SW tank is taken out of the wild.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:26 AM   #12
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If someone is worried about an urchin eating all their coraline algae I just don't think that'll happen. On the other hand there is always risk with everything we put in the tank. 9 people can buy the same urchin and everything is ok, but another person gets that urchin and watch out.... such is life.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:33 AM   #13
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i have seen many urchins eat coralline algae. my friend had a long spined urchin in his tank for a couple years and his rock always looked like he just put it in the tank- pure white. once he removed it, it turned purple over time.

i don't really see the big deal about coralline algae anyway. folks are always stating things like "coralline is the sign of a healthy tank", or coralline covered rocks won't allow any nuisance algae to grow on them", both of which are untrue. actually, it's just another component that uses up available calcium as far as i'm concerned. something i'd rather have available for my corals.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:41 AM   #14
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Exactly, I had a long spined that didn't really touch the coralline algae at all, really depends on the urchin, and what other food sources may be available.
I wish I could train an urchin to eat all the coralline off my glass for me!
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