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The Pin Cushion Urchin, also known as the Purple Pin Cushion Urchin (scientific name: Lytechinus variegatus), is a fascinating and visually striking marine invertebrate commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is a popular addition to saltwater aquariums, known for its unique appearance and interesting behaviors.


The Pin Cushion Urchin features a spherical body covered in numerous long, slender spines that are typically purple in color. These spines serve as a defense mechanism against predators and provide the urchin with its characteristic "pin cushion" appearance. The vibrant purple hue adds a captivating touch to any aquarium, creating a visually appealing focal point.


With a maximum size of around 4-5 inches, the Pin Cushion Urchin requires a tank with ample space and plenty of hiding spots. It is generally considered a hardy and low-maintenance species, making it suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists.


One important aspect of caring for the Pin Cushion Urchin is providing appropriate water quality. It thrives in saltwater with stable parameters, including a temperature range of 72-78°F and a specific gravity of 1.023-1.026. Regular monitoring of water parameters and maintenance of proper filtration are essential for its well-being.


In terms of diet, the Pin Cushion Urchin is primarily herbivorous and enjoys consuming algae and detritus. Providing a balanced diet consisting of seaweed-based flakes, pellets, or fresh vegetables like seaweed sheets and blanched lettuce will help ensure its nutritional needs are met.


While generally peaceful, the Pin Cushion Urchin may inadvertently knock over or damage delicate corals or other sessile invertebrates with its spines, so caution should be exercised when selecting tankmates. It is best to keep it in a well-established aquarium with a stable environment and suitable companions.


Adding a Pin Cushion Urchin to your saltwater aquarium will not only introduce a captivating splash of color but also contribute to the natural ecological balance within the tank. Its unique appearance and behaviors make it an intriguing addition for enthusiasts seeking a vibrant and engaging marine invertebrate.


Please note that maintaining a saltwater aquarium requires specific knowledge and equipment. It is essential to establish a proper understanding of the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, and the needs of other inhabitants before introducing the Pin Cushion Urchin. For personalized guidance and assistance, we encourage you to contact Living Aquarium by phone or in person. Our knowledgeable team is always available to answer your questions and provide expert advice.

Pin Cushion Urchin - Purple

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