Is this normal for an urchin? and Brittle Star?

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by Draco, Feb 13, 2015.

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  1. Draco

    Draco Astrea Snail

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    Long Island, NY
    I ordered a Rock Boring Urchin from Reef Cleaners the other day (and other critters). It was delayed an extra day at the PO (long story, all PO's fault, not John's). When I finally got it, water was very cold (there was a heat pack, guess it didn't last too long).

    The urchin had a lot of broken spines in the bag. After floating and acclimating, it moved immediately into a crevic of a rock. This morning, it moved a bit, but lost a lot of spines. I am not sure if these were the ones that were broken in shipment or not.

    Is it normal for an urchin to lose much of its spines during and after shipping? How long does it take for them to regrow its spines?

    And I also got a Brittle Star.. it's not moving too much. I know it's alive because it did move from here to there, but otherwise, it's very still with its legs hanging out of the rocks. How can I tell if its healthy? is it normal for them to be still much of the time?

    I am sure both critters are very stressed from the cold water and shipping, I need to give them time, but I want to know what I need to look out for! I've never had an urchin or a star of any kind before, all new here!
     
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  3. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    I would be very cautious in watching the urchin. In the past, when I've had an urchin lose spines, it usually died unfortunately. This is a different circumstance for you though because you know the urchin was stressed. If it keeps losing spines, I might remove it. I know my little brittle stars are usually in the rocks so I can't really tell how much they move. I'd say if you see it moving, it may pull through.
     
  4. Draco

    Draco Astrea Snail

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    thanks for the reply! I read in another thread that if the urchin doesn't move, it's probably gone. I have no idea how long it stays in one place before moving on. Man I am so anxious to get home to check in on them!
     
  5. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Urchins can be very nocturnal, they are pretty sensitive inverts especially when it comes to water chemistry, the shipping may have been too much. I would however check for signs of life at night.

    Brittle stars are pretty dang hardy.
     
  6. Draco

    Draco Astrea Snail

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    I really thought my star was dead when I looked in the bag. It was pale and not moving at all. After I floated anyway, it moved a bit and I knew it was alive. scared me :(
     
  7. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    Your brittle star is fine if it's in the rock work with its arms out. It's actually catching particles and feeding. The urchin I can't speak of, never owned one.
     
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  9. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    usually when they lose the spines its a bad sign.... but dont lose faith. corailline is right they are very nocturnal.