Help Please!

ClaraBell

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I ordered a BTA and a tuxedo urchin, both arrived today looking healthy as far as I could tell, if not a bit stressed from shipping. My urchin was very active, moving around, touching everything, in the bag while temp acclimating (20 min), and while in the drip acclimating bucket (45 min), but the second I placed him in my tank he stopped moving and has not shown any visible activity in at least 6 hrs now. I had read online that it was safe to pick them up by hand and he was only out of the water for maybe 3 sec but I’m so nervous that I messed up! He hasn’t shed any spines at all or shown any other visible stress signals that I know of. Is there anything I can do to help him??

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I ordered a BTA and a tuxedo urchin, both arrived today looking healthy as far as I could tell, if not a bit stressed from shipping. My urchin was very active, moving around, touching everything, in the bag while temp acclimating (20 min), and while in the drip acclimating bucket (45 min), but the second I placed him in my tank he stopped moving and has not shown any visible activity in at least 6 hrs now. I had read online that it was safe to pick them up by hand and he was only out of the water for maybe 3 sec but I’m so nervous that I messed up! He hasn’t shed any spines at all or shown any other visible stress signals that I know of. Is there anything I can do to help him??

IMG_1068.jpeg IMG_1069.jpeg IMG_1070.jpeg
Hi Clara - he looks ok! Is your tank newly cycled by any chance? I ask because it looks pretty clean. It's possible another parameter is off and he's either adjusting or not adjusting. How do your other parameters look?
 
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ClaraBell

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Hi Clara - he looks ok! Is your tank newly cycled by any chance? I ask because it looks pretty clean. It's possible another parameter is off and he's either adjusting or not adjusting. How do your other parameters look?
The tank itself has been cycled long-term for quite a while but it did undergo a move not too long ago (maybe a week or two), although it probably only lost about 50% of the water. The test this morning read:
GH: 180
KH: 160-180
NO2: 0
NO3: 0
pH: 8.0 (possibly lower)
He also seems to have possibly lost a few spines (to the right of him) this morning and still hasn’t moved…
Thank you so much for your reply!
(Pics attached)

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Manpeckz

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That is a freshwater test… you’re going to need a saltwater or reef test kit.
How long EXACTLY has the tank been set up with water movement, and heat?
Do you know what your salinity is?
 
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Pistondog

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Urchins are sensitive to salinity changes. When acclimating be sure to match salinity. I recently got 2 tuxedos from lfs, where they keep the salinity at 1.021, my tank is 1.026. It took 4 hours, drip acclimating, to match salinity.
Even this is a little aggressive to me.
 
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ClaraBell

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The test kit I got claimed to be accurate for marine and freshwater, it is the "API 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Test Strips" (the saltwater pH levels are on the bottom row). Honestly, I haven't been able to get a consistent salinity measurement yet, the refractometer I had was a used one and I unfortunately didn't think to test it much before the livestock arrived. I have another one on the way, but I did use storebought saltwater if that helps at all... The tank has been running consistently for exactly 10 days today, it was moved on Feb 11, 2024.

Seawater.jpeg Screen Shot 2024-02-21 at 4.21.27 PM.png
 
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Manpeckz

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Salinity will be your critical measurement before you can measure other reef parameters.

While the test can be helpful to read for things like NO3, pH, and KH.. it’s not exactly the type of test that would be recommended for this level of the hobby.

Anemones can be difficult to keep in a tank that isn’t fully “matured”. People refer to this as anytime from about 6 months to a full year of “cycling”. Two terms I think are loosely used and commonly mistaken for one another.

I hope it looks well for you! Although if the urchin hasn’t moved in a days time it may be time to give him a light nudge to see if he isn’t decaying.
 
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ClaraBell

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Update: he had moved from where he has been recently (didn’t move much, just off the rock), but I can see some movement in his spines and tube feet. I will say I’m not 100% sure if HE moved or if the anemone pushed him but he is definitely looking perkier (kind of hard to tell in the pictures) and I am overjoyed to see some movement of his spines
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vetteguy53081

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The tank itself has been cycled long-term for quite a while but it did undergo a move not too long ago (maybe a week or two), although it probably only lost about 50% of the water. The test this morning read:
GH: 180
KH: 160-180
NO2: 0
NO3: 0
pH: 8.0 (possibly lower)
He also seems to have possibly lost a few spines (to the right of him) this morning and still hasn’t moved…
Thank you so much for your reply!
(Pics attached)

IMG_1084.jpeg IMG_1086.jpeg IMG_1087.jpeg IMG_1088.jpeg IMG_1084.jpeg
Tank looks fairly new and may lack food source and nor be ready for this specimen. Additionally and PLEASE take this to heart - Invest in better and reliable test kits. Ther strips are useless and same with the badge which is also designed for freshwater and after 2 weeks, I no longer trust it. I will never trust a $7 badge or test strips or $29 master kit to sustain hundreds of dollars in livestock.
 
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Cell

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You typically want to avoid any sort of extended drip acclimation for inverts after shipping. This is because during shipping ammonia increases but pH decreases which buffers the ammonia toxicity. Once you open the bag pH rises again, increasing ammonia toxicity.
 
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