How Many Urchins Are Too Many Urchins?

Hugh Mann

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Because I suck as keeping snails alive apparently. September 1st I bought 5 margaritas and 2 Mexican turbos. 3 and 1 survived quarantine, and by October 18th I had one surviving margarita. The last batch of 12 assorted cerith, trochus and bumblebee snails I got back in April, I only have 1 bumblebee left.

My Tuxedo Urchin I got back in April is still going strong, almost doubling in size in that time, but it's not keeping up with my algae, and the two snails have a negligible impact. I'm debating picking up another urchin, either a Tux or Halloween, but have concerns that two will be too many.

Tank is 55 gallons with 84lbs of rock. Upgrading to a 230 in a couple months.
 

Bpfor3

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I have two in a 150 with a bunch of different snails and hermits. I could probably put two more. They crush the algae, but as I am sure you know, they knock over stuff.
 

ichthyogeek

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I mean, it probably depends on how many dead urchins you want. You could theoretically add enough urchins to the tank so that it was all urchin and no water. But then they'd all be dead...amd you'd have to sell all the uni.

I'd add 2 more, wait until 4 months post move to 230, and evaluate then.
 
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Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

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My ideal number of urchin corpses is precisely zero. Unless I am buying a dried out one in hopes one of the others starts carrying it around like a savage.

Maybe I'll pick up a Halloween, my lfs has them on sale. If I can get down there while they're in stock. Forecast is improving, snow is melting. :D
 
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Mical

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Not being sarcastic but what else do you have in the tank as far as fish? And maybe the source of your algae, do you feed heavy? What are your current params? I have a tuxedo and 2 snails in my 65 and have minimal algae with LPS & SPS. In my 120 I have a pair of longspine urchins & 2 snails and again minimal algae. Just trying to source your algae issue and maybe save you from buying more urchins/CUC.
 
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Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

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Greyfaced moray eel 18"
Marine Betta 5-6"
Hippo Tang 3"
Maroon Clown 2"
Black Molly 2"

1 frag each of green star and aussie star.

I do feed heavy, usually 3x a day, mainly for the Hippo and clown. Eel gets fed every 2 or 3 days depending on how hungry it gets.

Perameters are
76f
1.024sg
Nitrates are usually 30ish.
I don't test anything else. Yeah, I know, an unforgivable sin.

I know the algae is coming from the heavy feeding and nitrates. I do 10% weekly water changes and have a ball of chaeto growing. Run my lights about 40% and a protein skimmer. I scrape algae off the glass every weekend and by then it's pretty thick. I don't bother with the back panel as my one tux lives there when it isn't stripping my rocks bare of coralline.
 

maroun.c

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Might be better to go with heavier water changes, carbon dosing and a big well lit fuse to consume all the nutrients.
 

Mical

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How long is your lighting schedule? Your #s don't look drastically bad, keeping low temp in 76-77 range will slow algae growth. You could cut your daily feedings back to twice a day, just a thought.
 
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Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

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How long is your lighting schedule? Your #s don't look drastically bad, keeping low temp in 76-77 range will slow algae growth. You could cut your daily feedings back to twice a day, just a thought.

Whites 9:30am-6pm.

I could cut back feeding , but would rather more CuC than underfeed my fish. Especially since they, especially the tang need to be eating well right now.
 
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Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

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hate to say it,throw some nitrate/phos pads in there ,w the new halloween urchin,will be easier to handle nutrients in 230 gal ;)

I am currently running phosphate pads, changed out every 2 weeks. Haven't seen nitrate pads anywhere.

Yeah, I am very much looking forward to having a proper system with a sump.
 

derekgoude

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70 is too many, 69 is the ideal number.

50 gallons, go one. Easy for them to starve and hermit crabs are cheaper to starve then another urchin.
 
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Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

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Sounds like a Halloween is on my shopping list. I wanted one instead of my Tux, originally, but lfs didn't know when they'd be getting any. Not that I am trash talking the Tux by any means.

Anyone know if they'll pick stuff up like Tuxedos do?
 

Sallstrom

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Most urchins do fine with a mixed diet. So if you feel the tank hasn't enough algae to support the urchins you have, you can feed them. It's not harder than that :) We have several cold water tanks with low light with urchins mostly eating boild mussels and shrimps. Been there for years now.
So try to put a piece of shrimp under you urchin and see what happens. Just make sure it can grab it before the fish.

Otherwise talk to you LFS and see if you might return the urchin if you run out of algae. Perhaps that's an option.
 
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