Heterocentrotus mammillatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Heterocentrotus mammillatus
Common name Pencil urchin
Family Echinoidea - Heterocentrotus
Origin East Indian Ocean
Max length 30 cm (11.8")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 400 l (106 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable for most aquarium
Reef safe Often reef safe
Aggressiveness Peaceful

Food

Recommended
  • Microalgea (Eg. spirulina)
  • Macroalgea (Eg. seaweed / nori)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Other invertebrates

Nocturnal

This species is nocturnal and therefore the most active when the light is dimmed or turned off.

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

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

nocturnal night, herbivore, algae eater
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