Asthenosoma varium
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Asthenosoma varium
Common name Fire urchin
Family Echinoidea - Asthenosoma
Origin East Indian Ocean
Max length 15 cm (5.9")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 400 l (106 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Not suitable for home aquarium
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Peaceful

Food

Recommended
  • Microalgea (Eg. spirulina)
  • Macroalgea (Eg. seaweed / nori)

Venomous

This species is venomous, but it´s toxin is rarely dangerous to humans. It can however cause considerable pain.

In case of poisoning it is vital to have as much information as possible regarding the species/poison. Have telephone numbers for the poison hotline close to the aquarium.

Since different people can have different reactions to poisons, take precautions necessary to ensure personal safety and that of the surroundings.
This poison can be dangerous if suffering from allergies.

Effective algae-eaters

This species can eat large amounts of algae (relative to their size) from rocks, like green hair algae and filamentous algae.

As it doesn’t eat every algae type, in case of a specific algae plague, find out more precise information.

Family description (Echinoidea)

Sea urchins are often used to keep various algae at bay. 

They are very effective algae eaters, and will eat anything from coralline algae to green hair algae.
Sea urchins must not be kept in an aquarium with few algae, as they may starve to death. 

Sea urchins should be acclimatized slowly, due to sensitivity towards changes in salinity.

References and further reading

About references

Ronald L. Shimek. 2004. Marine Invertebrates (PocketExpert Guide) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Ronald L. Shimek. 2003. Sea Urchins, A Testy Subject - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Bob Fenner. Some Spines Now! Sea Urchins (and Sand Dollars), the Echinoids, Pt. 1, Pt. 2 - Wet Web Media - (English)

Tags

venomous, algae eater, herbivore
Just a moment...
Just a moment...