Needle urchin dropping spines

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by 459b, 20 Jun 2009.

  1. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    My needle urchin is dropping spines again. On tuesday and wednesday it decided to loose more than half of its long spines (the short ones are still there). I moved it to the sump and it hasnt lost anymore. It did the exact same thing this time last year, though last year i attributed it to the fact that my heater decided to break on a particularly cold day and i only noticed the following day.
    Is this normal?
    Feeding wise...it grazes contiunually on my liverock and i target feed Ulva at least every second day, or it eats my tangs nori. It also gets the occasional bit of shrimp/fish.
    I also havent changed or added anything to my tank. Water parameters all good.
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    HHHmmmm - this is really strange, David.... perhaps the Ulvia is not part of it's natural diet? Is this a tropical species?
     
  4. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Ulva is the green lettuce-like seaweed you see growing in rock pools. It has very similar nutritional value as Nori.
    last time it this happened, the spines grew back extremely quickly. Its not behaving any differently than before, and is still eating really well.
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    LOL - cool. I know Ulva - BUT, I only know it from Cape waters? Not from tropical water?
     
  6. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    it is apparently found in tropical waters, though ive never seen it on the warmer parts of our coatline.
     
  7. irshaad

    irshaad

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    I've had my urchin drop all his spines as well, and after researching, all responses were "his not gona make it". They all attributed it to water conditions, but like yourself, nothing in my water parameters had changed. His however grown back all his spines :D
    this happend about 4-5 months ago.
    I dnt target feed tho, he munches on corralline and left over nori...
     
  8. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    did yours drop all of them or only the very long ones? How long have you had yours?
    mine is fine, acting as if nothing happened, except it looks a little bald!
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Perhaps it is trying to adapt to "closed encounters" David? Perhaps the fact that there's not THAT much space, might have triggered it to only have shorter spines?
     
  10. irshaad

    irshaad

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    Mine dropped All except the very short ones (under 1cm)
    I have mine for almost a year now.
     
  11. irshaad

    irshaad

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    I thought the same thing Jacques (or rather, my wife insisted that), but this time round, his spines are much longer than before.
     
  12. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    exactly the same as mine! if they grow longer than before this time around, its going to be scary.
     
  13. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i had thought about this, but i got in when it was tiny and i kept it in a little tank. It dropped spines a few months after moving into my big tank.
     
  14. ben lloyd

    ben lloyd

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    Hi 459b did the urchin recover his ordeal
     
  15. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    its doing very well!
    I still have it in the sump and its eating like crazy, is very active and its new spines are growing really fast.
    Its almost like it just got bored of its old spines and wanted new ones.
     
  16. Boendoe

    Boendoe

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    Good to hear, maybe it wanted a hair cut. :p
     
  17. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    haircut or premature balding?
     
  18. Boendoe

    Boendoe

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    :lol:
     
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