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Hairy Pincushion Urchin
(Tripneustes gratilla)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 4"
Diet: Omnivore
Aquarium Level: Substrate & Rocks
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Reef Compatible: Yes, With caution
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
Supplements: None
Coloration: Red, White, Black, Purple
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Toxopneustidae
Species: Urchins
Species Information
Hairy Pincushion Urchins are found throughout the Indo-Pacific, where they typically live in reef flats, lagoons and bays. They will inhabit areas ranging from sand flats with rock rubble, rocky reef flats and seagrass covered areas. The Hairy Pincushion Urchin will cover itself with various objects such as, shells, sponges, small rubble and algae in order to both camouflage itself for protection and shade from the sun.
This species is best added to established aquariums with plenty of live rock and enough room for this (approx 4 inch diameter) species to move about the rockwork comfortably.
Aquarium Care
Hairy Pincushion Urchins do well in established aquariums with plenty of live rock and excellent water conditions. This species will scavenge for algae and detritus on the substrate, rock work and glass of the aquarium. This species is an excellent algae eater, including filamentous algae and other forms of undesirable algae.
Since it reaches a diameter of about 4 inches, it should have enough room to comfortably move about the rock work, thus will need some large caves and crevices. Also the aqua-scaping should be securely built, so that it does not topple as the Hairy Pincushion Urchin moves about its surface. Excellent water quality, low nitrates and very low to zero copper levels should be maintained to allow for this species to remain healthy and thrive within the home aquarium.
Feeding & Nutrition
Hairy Pincushion Urchins feed primarily on algae and detritus that they scavenge for on both the substrate and live rock. If added to an established aquarium with live rock, there should be plenty of food available. However, if added to a new aquarium or one without live rock, supplemental feedings of dried seaweed or algae may be necessary.
Additional Photos