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sea urchins

connieyvonneconnieyvonne Posts: 18
edited November 2007 in Invertebrates Discussion
Would a sea urchin go okay in a reef tank? My husband likes them and would like to get one. I wanted to check here first before purchasing one. I don't want anything that will hurt my corals.In the tank now I have ....a maroon clown and a bubbletip anonome. I have several coral frags started...a feather duster...2 emerald crabs...some small hermit crabs and some snails. That is it. Thanks

Comments

  • c-cc-c Posts: 260
    edited July 2007
    Connie,
    I have a pencil urchin who isn't too bad, but they even may develop a taste for corals. The main problem is that he is strong and can knock over live rock, injuring corals or fish. He stays in the FOWLR tank.

    They say most urchins are reef safe with caution except the long spined sea urchin which is definitely not reef safe. I had a huge long spined black urchin with a big red eye that loved eating all the good purple algae off the LR.

    The sea apple is mighty interesting, and though they say reef safe, if it gets stressed, it can invert its internal organs and dispense a poison which affects the aquarium severly, killing fish.

    A site you could check out:

    Sea Urchins: Live Red, Black and Pencil Sea Urchin Species
  • Tonz of funTonz of fun Posts: 1,855
    edited July 2007
    I have a black long spined sea urchin and it does wonderfull in my tank. I disagree with cc. My long spine has not moved off the rock O put him on. He cruzes around at night but ends up in the same spot. Never hurts anyone. Doesnt knock stuff over. He is awsome. He just eats algea and hase the cutest butthole in the world lol. I know gross. Its orange though. Yes that is it. I love it to death
  • e_baere_baer Posts: 5,579
    edited July 2007
    i also have to disagree wiht cc. i dont have a longspined urchin, but i have a pencil, balck rock, and a hairy pincushion urchins. mine never bother any coral, or fish. every once in a while one urchin might nock over a small rock, but then i just epoxied it down, and that solved the problem.
  • e_baere_baer Posts: 5,579
    edited July 2007
    oh, and i forgot to add, the black longspined urchin is probably the most reef safe out of all of the urchins.

    and also, when it eats the coraline algae, that is good, it helps spread it around.
  • CyberJesterCyberJester Posts: 756
    edited July 2007
    I got a pincushion urchant and loved him so much that I got another baby one. Don't have any corals in there yet, but he does fine. Very fun to watch and hasn't knocked anything over yet.
  • jgo1973jgo1973 Posts: 229
    edited July 2007
    I have a black longspined urchin in my reef tank too. He is a newer addition, so far so good.
  • ap3250ap3250 Posts: 25
    edited July 2007
    I have a black longspined urchin but he has a blue body and he did eat my green Star burst Polyps he killed them off in 2 days well nights actually. I left him in the tank and he doesn't bother anything else he just crawls around and eats algae.
  • c-cc-c Posts: 260
    edited July 2007
    Connie,
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=591
    After you go to this site, click on customer comments.

    The Black Long Spined urchin is the most dangerous with corals,.... eating ricordea polyps and bubble corals.

    Also check the book Reef Secrets by Nilsen and Fossa, p. 153. Long-spined sea urchins (Diadema spp.) are NOT reef safe.

    When I had my first 29 gal. FOWLR tank, a guy sold me a huge long-spined (12 inches across) because it outgrew his tank. I had only a little live rock at the time with a tiny bit of purple calcareous algae, which the big guy quickly shaved right off. But he was a great pal and would come up to the edge every night to get his large slice of dried algae...maybe I didn't feed him enough.

    But watch on all urchins to ensure that their feeding habits don't turn destructive (on corals and other sessile invertebrates) as they get larger.
  • Tonz of funTonz of fun Posts: 1,855
    edited July 2007
    All I will say is everyone has there own opinion...I take all information and go with the majority rules theory...
  • e_baere_baer Posts: 5,579
    edited July 2007
    well, they say to be VERY vautious with urchins and bubble coral because ti the spines. perhaps they are like t e mithrix crab....if you dont feed it enough it is destructive.
  • c-cc-c Posts: 260
    edited July 2007
    "In the multitude of counselors there is safety" It's good you can research it first.

    I made a lot of expensive mistakes related to compatiblity issues, mostly aggressive fish killing others. All the fish we like are not compatible in one tank...(That is why we have 6 tanks in the house.) :laugh:

    So now I would rather reason on the side of caution...
    cautiously-concerned-in captive-care
    c-c
  • MichaelZMichaelZ Posts: 11
    edited October 2007
    My pincushion climbs all over the place, and the other day I saw him in the intack of the power head. I dont no how long he has been there my guess is probly an hour befor I freed him. Since then he has lost alot of spines and is not moving. Im thinking its going to die, what do you think?
  • bri74bri74 Posts: 308
    edited October 2007
    In my experience when the urchins lose spines they are doomed. I have a pencil and a longspine and the pencil is a tough guy but I do have very large rocks in my tank and he doesnt move them anymore. the longspine cruizes all over my tank and eats algae he also will eat some mysis when I give it to him directly to his spines he just moves it to his to his mouth. As far as reef goes I dont have any so I cant tell ya my experience.
  • jimw369jimw369 Posts: 3,180
    edited October 2007
    c-c;30836 said:
    "In the multitude of counselors there is safety" It's good you can research it first.

    I made a lot of expensive mistakes related to compatiblity issues, mostly aggressive fish killing others. All the fish we like are not compatible in one tank...(That is why we have 6 tanks in the house.) :laugh:

    So now I would rather reason on the side of caution...
    cautiously-concerned-in captive-care
    c-c

    When you get enough money and time into your tank c-cs quote speaks volumes.
  • rlcline76rlcline76 Posts: 3,642
    edited October 2007
    bri74;51788 said:
    In my experience when the urchins lose spines they are doomed. I have a pencil and a longspine and the pencil is a tough guy but I do have very large rocks in my tank and he doesnt move them anymore. the longspine cruizes all over my tank and eats algae he also will eat some mysis when I give it to him directly to his spines he just moves it to his to his mouth. As far as reef goes I dont have any so I cant tell ya my experience.
    Two things:
    1) this is a thread debating urchins in the reef tank. You have a sick urchin, please cruise other threads looking for the answer.

    2) ALL INVERTEBRATES SHOULD COME WITH A DISCLAIMER THAT THEY COULD DO SOMETHING OR MAY NOT DO SOMETHING. I have to agree with c-c. I sure hope you guys can keep up with the good fortune you have had with these animals in your tank. But you need to understand that it could turn sour.

    I have seen longspine urchins in reef tanks. Do I need one? No. Will I ever get one? Probably not, even if I get a 100 gallon tank someday.

    Connie, do all of the reading you can and then decide which is best for you.
  • MichaelZMichaelZ Posts: 11
    edited October 2007
    Thank you for your reply. But he has died, i took him out of the tank earlyer this morrning. Boy did it stink, it was a shame ( cool little guy) I'll just get another. thanks again, maybe we willtalk again in the future.
  • crxmancrxman Posts: 125
    edited October 2007
    i had to get rid of my long spined sea urchin cuz he was eating my corals
  • Taras1Taras1 Posts: 555
    edited October 2007
    Interesting...I had a pencil urchin in my previous tank and it was an interesting li'l critter -- a real algae mower. It did mucn on some of my coraline algae. I'm planning on getting a Blue Tuxedo Urchin for my present tank.

    I've read that urchins can develop a "taste" for SPS corals, and there are species that prey specifically on certain species of SPS corals.

    IMHO we often build our "mini-ecosystems" around what looks nice, often mixing species regardless of their origin or relationships in their natural habitat.
  • robe25mrobe25m Posts: 172
    edited October 2007
    I have a black longspined, great lil bugger, he has a home and only comes out at night, always returns to his home, my tank is 120g.

    I say very reef safe, more then any sea anenome atleast...
  • rlcline76rlcline76 Posts: 3,642
    edited October 2007
    Like I said, when it comes to any questionable invertebrates, it would be best not to make a blanket statement. What is working for your tank does not mean it will work for everyone else's. Please keep that in mind when you give advice.
  • jimw369jimw369 Posts: 3,180
    edited October 2007
    Tonz of fun;30808 said:
    All I will say is everyone has there own opinion...I take all information and go with the majority rules theory...
    Wrongay Norbay! Ill go with the ONE person over 20 thats got the great tank with experience. Every time!
  • c-cc-c Posts: 260
    edited November 2007
    So Connie, What sup? After this lengthy discussion did you decide to try an urchin in your reef tank? since many are categorized as "reef safe with caution" maybe the question is, do you want one bad enough to be willing to take a few risks and have the time to watch it to ensure that it doesn't attack corals or other sessile invertebrates?

    Lots of interesting stories have been told here... Just to add another, I had a sea egg urchin in our FOWLR tank which I thought could defend itself with its pain inflicting pedicellariae but did not survive even 24 hours as it got pounced on by our glutonous choc. chip star fish and had its insides sucked out of him. :sneaky2: Howbeit, our pencil urchin continues to thrive cohabitating with the choc. chip, presumably because he constantly hides in the live rock to stay out of harms way.
    Little wonder we have combatibility issues... we humans have a hard time co-existing in our "biomes".
    carefully cohabitating, ;)
    c-c
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