Today i added my Pink Pincushion Urchin in an attempt to combat a macro algae problem that i am having. I got an odd macro algae as a hitchiker from Mr. Aquarium live rock even though i left it in the dark in my quarantine tank for almost 3 months. The hitchiker i originally liked very much and is the cause of all of the bright red color in my reef tank. This algae however is invasive and unfortunately is not at all common.
The algae is Dictyota (both the Latin and common name)
As my camera is so horrible here is a picture of Red Dictyota that I found online, this stuff is so rare that it was even hard to find a picture of it! UGGGG that guy has a scary amount of bubble algae, i guess when i see a bubble or two every month that i should not worry.
Pink Pincushion Urchin to save the day!
The Pincushion Urchin has an oval to round body covered with hundreds of uniform spines. Its color can range from red to purple to white and blue.
It requires ample hiding places and sufficient room in which to forage in the home aquarium. It generally hides in caves during the day, though it may make a burrow in thick substrates. At night, it comes out to graze on algae, moving about by its suctorial podia that are aligned in five doubled rows. The aquarium should include large amounts of live rock on which it can graze. It may also prey on some of the sessile invertebrates in the reef system. Rock formations need to be stable and able to withstand the movement of the Urchin wedging itself in crevices. It is generally solitary, but will tolerate others of its own kind. It is sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications and will not tolerate high nitrates. Poor water quality will cause it to lose its spines.
It is extremely difficult to breed in an aquarium, with no distinguishing characteristics to help differentiate it from its mate.
If there is insufficient algae for it to graze on, the diet should be supplemented with dried seaweed.