The Pencil Urchin is a small, spherical and hard shelled sea animal. Its body is chiefly covered with spines which are mild poisonous in nature that helps to keep the predators at bay and also helps it to move along the rocky sea beds. The Pencil Urchin is mainly omnivores and feeds on hair or filament algae, dead fish, and sponges etc. Additional supplements of dried seaweed and meaty bits of small marine invertebrates also help in continued growth of health. Generally, the Pencil Urchin doesn?t breed in captivity and sudden changes in water parameters can give them shock and provoke disturbance in their body system by laying off the spines from the body. Due to this, the Pencil Urchin also reflects the compromised water quality in your marine aquarium. We suggest you to take precaution while handling the Pencil Urchin to prevent the stinging effect. The Pencil Urchin is a moderate reef safe species and may bulldoze the corals present the tank, therefore we suggest you to keep these urchins only in a bigger tank to avoid any congestion. Also, please keep in mind to take the Pencil Urchin out immediately after its demise as it turns poisonous on its death. The Pencil Urchin thrives well in a temperature range of 72-78 degree Fahrenheit, and a pH of 8.1-8.4. Nitrate and copper in the water has proved to be lethal to the Pencil Urchin and is advised to have a control over it. It loves to move freely and that is why rocks and caves are required for making the tank a real habitat
The Pencil Urchin, a.k.a. Mine Urchin, is a small brown urchin with pencil-like spines protruding from its body. These spines act as a defensive mechanism in nature. These Urchins are nocturnal and do most of their grazing at night. During the day they will usually stay stationary on the aquarium glass, or in a hiding spot in rockwork. All Urchins like lots of rockwork that they can crawl and feed on. They are excellent algae eaters. Over time their own body will become covered with coralline algae when kept in a tank with live rock.Urchins belong to a Class known as Echinoidea, which consists of creatures that have a skeleton made of ten plates covered with spines. Urchins have mostly round bodies with protective spines on their upperside and tubular feet and a mouth on the underside. Artistotle once wrote of the five parts of the Urchin's mouth: "In reality the mouth-apparatus of the urchin is continuous from one end to the other, but to outward appearance it is not so, but looks like a horn lantern with the panes of horn left out." This holds true today as the mouth of the Urchin is referred to as "Aristotle's Lantern". The mouth of the Urchin is used to scrape algae from rockwork. The spines of the Urchin are a defense mechanism that are barbed like that of a fish hook and can inflict serious pain to the predator. These spines can either come to a sharp point or can be stubby and blunt.