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Black Longspine Urchin

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How to Care for Black Longspine Urchin

written by Dave Burr

The Black Longspine Urchin is especially useful in reef aquariums because it will eat unsightly Green Hair Algae.

Behavior: The Black Longspine Urchin is also useful for controlling algae in aquariums containing aggressive fish that may eat other invertebrates. They are nocturnal and spend the night grazing while the fish sleep. When they feel threatened by a fish they will actually point their spines at the fish to protect themselves.

Venom: The Black Longspine Urchin is venomous so be careful not to get poked. The sting is similar to a bee sting.

Feeding: If no algae is present in the aquarium you may supplement the Black Longspine urchin's diet with live macro algae and dried seaweed (nori).

Tip: Don't forget about your water parameters when combating algae blooms. Water chemistry is every bit as important as a good clean-up crew.

Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
Diet: Herbivore
Range: Indonesia, Fiji, Caribbean
Family: Diadematidae
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates < .10ppm

Water Chemistry: It is important that proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) are maintained. Raising magnesium levels gradually up to 1400-1600 ppm can help to combat algae outbreaks, just keep CA and Alk in line as you raise the Mg. Nitrates should be below 10 ppm and phosphates should be below .10 ppm. We recommend doing a water change when Nitrate levels rise to 10 ppm. It is important to replace your phosphate media when phosphates rise to .10 ppm. Media Reactors make the most efficient use of your phosphate media by fluidizing it.

Dosing: Vivid Aquariums uses and recommends dosing pumps to automate the dosing of additives and keep your levels more constant. A dosing pump can alleviate the chore of manually dosing your aquarium with Ca, Alk, & Mg 2,3, or 4 times per week and will benefit your aquarium by keeping your levels constant through frequent small additions of Ca, Alk, & Mg. Our tanks all progressed when we switched from 3 manual dosings per week to 70 automatic dosings per week and we got a lot more work done.