The Variegated Sea Urchin.

Discussion in 'Inverts' started by Corailline, May 17, 2015.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    [​IMG]

    Admittedly I have only had the ORA Lytechinus variegates for a month or so, but I wanted to pass along my observations.

    Lytechinus variegates, native to warmer areas of the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. ORA has been aqua-culturing this Urchin type since 2010. See below

    http://www.orafarm.com/blog/2011/02/27/our-first-new-species-for-2011/

    Behaviors: It's been my experience that all of the pincushion type urchins are decorators. For some reason unknown to me my urchin will pick up my ORA Borealis Acro frag, and carry it around until I intervene. Gluing the frag down has proven fruitless, no other frag just the Borealis. The urchin will carry hermits and rocks around as well.
    Urchins are bulldozers and sometimes hazardous. My urchin recently removed the guard to my nanowave, not good. If you do not want to take the time to secure everything then an urchin is probably not worth it.
    The urchin was purchased from ORA for algae control, and has proven to be an effective tool against algae. Since purchase the urchin has done such a good job I must now supplement the urchin's diet with green seaweed strips.
    [​IMG]
    ^Urchin Eating

    Feedings are every 3-4 days. The urchin will eat for about 24 hours before moving on, usually consuming most of the algae sheet.
    Other than the occasional frag apparel problem and moving corals and rubble, the urchin is fairly benign giving the anemones a wide berth.

    As with other urchins and sensitive inverts water chemistry needs to be stable. I have noticed stress with past urchin when swings in pH and SG are present.

    My values
    SG: 1.025
    Temp:78
    Nitrates: 5
    Phos: Undetectable
    Alk: 8
    Ca:450-500
    Mag:1500

    If you're having algae issues think about an aqua-cultured urchin. Remember though you run the risk of getting stuck/stabbed if not careful when working in the tank. Urchins will move scape and corals if they are not secured. Water chemistry needs to be stable, and you might have to supplement the diet or re-home the urchin once the algae issues abates. Some urchins types do well feeding on coralline algae.
    A stressed urchin will have drooping spines as well as drop spines, intervention needs to be prompt as the condition is often unrecoverable in my experience.
     
    MarineDepot, DSC reef and Billme like this.
  2. Click Here!

  3. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,816
    Location:
    Cocoa, Florida
    Good read! An urchin might be in my future to clean up a little algae
     
    Lovemyreef2015 and Corailline like this.
  4. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    7,660
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Nice write-up Corailline!
     
  5. Singlefin

    Singlefin Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    67
    Love the urchins in my tank. They do an amazing job at controlling algae. They wreck the frag rack though.
     
    Corailline likes this.
  6. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Exactly!
     
  7. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    image.jpg
    Wondering Cheryl if you can tell from this pic if this is a veregated urchin?
     
    sandy and Corailline like this.
  8. Click Here!

  9. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Not sure. Yours looks like a Purple Urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, no? A Pacific variety from Alaska to Mexico.

    Varigated is going to have alternating bands of white and lavender/purple spines. Much like the alternating bands on the Tuxedo Urchin.
     
    Billme likes this.
  10. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    Yep. I think you're right. Was sorry to read that it may be endangered though.