Sea urchins in a reef aquarium

These marine animals are very popular with the public who rush to taste them every year in spring. Current regulations allow sea urchin fishing from December to mid-April.
Once this period is over, it is complicated to find them.

Notice to aquarists, it is possible to adopt them in your aquarium. Planktovie has just welcomed its little Mespila Globulus.
This article is dedicated to the benefits and choices of sea urchins that can be happy in an aquarium.

Let’s start with the Mespila Globulus that we have chosen. This species is recognizable by blue areas interspersed with areas of spines. Often installed on living rocks, but also on the walls of windows, this species is herbivorous. It peacefully helps to eradicate filamentous algae from your aquarium.
Mespila are not the only ones to adapt to life in an aquarium.

We have selected the most famous ones :
– Diadema are sea urchins with long, sharp, fragile spikes.
– Asthenosoma are dangerous sea urchins because they have purple venom glands.
– Echinothrix, Astropyga and Toxopneustes are also dangerous and toxic for humans.
– The Tripneustes, Lytechinus are genera grouping only herbivorous species like Mespila.
– The Heterocentrotus are part of a genus adapted to aquariums. They can however, damage a reef aquarium with their long stick-like spines.
– There are also sand urchins like Metalia Sternalis that can clean the sand with their short and thin harmless spines.

There are many kinds of sea urchins, but all of them contain particularities to adapt to a new environment. It is necessary to pay special attention to the cohabitation with corals if you have them, because they can quickly become harmful if the food supply is not suitable. Algae are an essential element for their survival and the good functioning of your aquarium, especially reef.

To conclude, the main advantage of sea urchins is that they have an important function on coral reefs, especially for strict herbivores. Indeed, they eliminate the invading inhabitants on the corals, mainly algae that can suffocate them.