Species Name : Tripneustes gratilla
Care Level : Moderate
Temperament : Peaceful
Color : Black, Purple, Red, White
Diet : Omnivore
Reef Compatible : Yes
Water Conditions : 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size : 6"
Origin : Indo-Pacific
Family : Toxopneustidae
Supplements : Iodine, Trace Elements
The Halloween Pincushion Urchin (Tripneustes gratilla) is a type of pincushion urchin from the South Pacific Ocean found in deep water. It is also known as the Hairy Pincushion Urchin because its spines tend to go in every direction, rather than straight out from center like most pincushion urchins.
The Tripneustes gratilla is a hairy pincushion urchin that has orange spines and a bluish black base. It has five or ten double rows of white and red spines separated by spaces of red, purple, white or black. The Halloween Urchin has hairy sticky filaments all over its body as well as spines. To camouflage itself, it often covers itself with rocks, sponges, shells, or algae. In addition to camouflage, this provides shade, and in some cases, a food source. It can reach 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 inches) in size, is safe to handle, and is not poisonous.
It will generally do well in an aquarium if provided with ample hiding places and a large area in which to move. It prefers an aquarium with live rock so that it can graze on algae and it will even eat Caulerpa sp.. It should be housed with nonaggressive fish. 100% safe for reefs and corals.
It is sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications. Poor water conditions will cause it to shed its spines and rapidly decline in health.
It is extremely difficult to breed in an aquarium with no distinguishing characteristics to help differentiate it from its mate.
These urchins work wonders in aquariums that suffer from filamentous algae infestation, consuming this undesirable algae quickly. They don’t need any special care of feeding. Sea urchins must not be kept in an aquarium with few algae, as they may starve to death. If there is insufficient algae for it to graze on, the Halloween Pincushion Urchin should be fed dried seaweed.
Size: Small: 1" to 1-3/4"; Medium: 1-3/4" to 2-1/2"
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