Pencil Urchin

Discussion in 'The Reef Tank' started by robharold, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. robharold

    robharold Montipora Coral

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    What can you guys tell me about these critters? I got one when I purchased some corals and rock from a fellow reefer. He siad it was harmless and had never had trouble in his tank from it. Are they harmless or can they cause problems of any kind?

    It looks like he is eating my coraline and now it is sitting on my shrooms. If it eats those I will kill it for sure. I know some urchins pack a pretty good sting and was wondering if he could have contributed to the unexplained death of my coral beuaty angel.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. bmb527

    bmb527 Marine Betta

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    On one hand, urchins eat coralline alge, but, they also spread it around and get it to spread like wildfire. As far as the death of a fish being attributed to it, I doubt it. they aren't fast enough to catch a fish and I think they sting by puncturing and injecting. I always used to pick up my 3" black long spined urchin to show it to my neighbors kids and I never got "stung".
    Bill
     
  3. JLouv

    JLouv Harlequin Tusk

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    let it be.

    Urchins are harmless in a reef tank except that they generally act like the proverbial "bull in the china shop"

    A pencil urchin, if that's what it is, doesn't pose much threat to you personally as their spines are somewhat large.....if it was a long spine urchin on the other hand, I'd be worried about accidentally impaling my hand on it...

    I have a long spine urchin in my FOWLR tank......I don't know exactly what it eats, but the urchin has more than doubled in size in less than 6 months and the coralline is growing out of control <as is the hair algea I put in the tank for some ambiance and movement> ;)

    So I say let it be, but make sure your corals and rocks are stable...
     
  4. robharold

    robharold Montipora Coral

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    Good to know. I was just a little concerned with the timing of him entering and then shortly the fish died. I like him because it is cool to watch when it is out and about.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
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