Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Hairy Pincushion Urchin, also referred to as the Halloween Urchin or the Collector’s Urchin, has a body covered in hundreds of short, uniform spines that vary in color but are typically red or orange. On average, Hairy pincushion urchins grow to a size of 4″. Hairy pincushion urchins are excellent at controlling algae in a reef aquarium. More of a nocturnal animal, the Hairy pincushion urchin may be seldomly active during the day. Hairy pincushion urchins may be seen with pieces of substrate or empty shells on their bodies; this is normal behavior, as the urchin uses these items to aid in camouflage. Long, white string-like appendages may also be seen extending from the body of the Hairy pincushion urchin. These are its tube feet, which aid it in feeding, adhering to surfaces and for locomotion. The Hairy pincushion urchin is safe to handle.
Diet Requirements: Hairy pincushion urchins are voracious herbivores. They consume various algae on the live rock, including hair algae. If insufficient algae is present, we recommend supplementing sheet algae to prevent starvation.
Tank Requirements: An established, minimum aquarium size of 30 gallons is recommended to house a smaller Hairy pincushion urchin specimen; as it matures, a larger aquarium may be necessary to accomodate its size. Maintaining stable water parameters is a component to the success of keeping this invertebrate; urchins are intolerable of high nitrates and shedding of its spines is a sign of poor water quality. Generous live rock with some crevices will mimic the Hairy pincushion urchin’s natural environment and give it ample places to graze off of. Loose live rock or corals can be accidentially knocked over by the Hairy pincushion urchin as it moves around. Multiple individuals of Hairy pincushion urchin can be kept together, so long as the aquarium can support it. It is imperative to take time acclimating a Hairy pincushion urchin; we suggest via drip acclimation. Recommended water conditions: 76-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.024-1.026.
Purchase Size: Small: 2″ to 3″; Medium: 3″ to 4″; Large: 4″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.