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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had a Tuxedo Urchin for about a month+ now and Just this past week it stopped moving as much and this morning it has lost all his spines. They are just in a pile all around him. Is he dead, should I pull it out. Or do they shed the spines. I had a big algae problem, that's why I got him and now it is very under control, my snails look hungry too. I don't know if he starved, but I never saw him eat any coraline either. Please advise....
 

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A quick google search led me to another fish site where folks were talking about that very thing happening. It was said that if the spines fall off the urchin is most likely dying and should be immediately removed to a hospital tank where lots of food is offered if you wish to try to rehabilitate, but also says that euthanization via freezing may be more appropriate. I am by no means an expert but that is what I found with a quick google search.

I hope it turns out well for you.
 

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Get it out

The urchin is dead or dying! Take it out, if not sure its dead, throw it in freezer as it is most humane way to euthanize it. Check your nitrates! 90% of the time urchins shed their spines due to high or elevated nitrates. They do not, like most invertebres, do well in elevated nitrate levels. If all his spines are gone, most likely he is dead from high nitrate concentration. you should of taken him out when first sign of spine loss happened. I am sorry for your loss, I am a fan of urchins and have had a couple. My first black sea urchin lost his spines and died, I later realized (too late!) that my nitrate was at 35-40ppm. It was when I first started with a 20 gal mini reef. That is why testing at least once a week is so important, sometimes 2 or 3 times if you notice any slight changes like water clarity, algea blooms, heavy fish breathing, corals closing up, invertebres dying, ect. Good luck in the future. :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I took it out. I tested my Nitrates.... 0. So I think he must have starved. His spines fell off all at once so I didn't act soon enough. I probably should have gotten him some nori.....
 

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They are echinoderms that have mostly evolved in full strength sewater. If the salinity in the system is not stable, or if the animal was not VERY slowly acclimatized to the tank (or went through a rapid acclimitization in the chain of custody prior to you acquiring it), the sudden chnges in salinity may kill it much more rapidly than issues with elevated nitrates. Elevated nitrates (unless they are sky high) are more often a coincidental finding than a cause, as systems that have less than rock solid steady salinities will usually also have issues with nitrate husbandry. The pathology of these early losses in acquisition losses is very similar to that with Linckia spp sea star deaths.

Sorry for your loss.
 

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I thought my Urchin was dying.. Some of his spines fell off. (He had a bad run-in with a rock collision LOL) He kept falling off rocks and you could see his puctured flesh. I really thought he was a gonner. This happened about a week ago. This morning he's clinging to rocks like he should be, although a few spines short, leaving behind his happy trail of munching LOL!!
 
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