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Pincushion Urchin - Live Lytechinus Variegatus - Algae Barn

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Pincushion Urchins are excellent algae eaters which are best known for its tendency to consume unwanted "hair" algae in aquariums, as well as fish waste and leftover fish food. These hardy Captive Bred Urchins will also consume other types of unwanted algae found on live rock. They are completely reef safe, making them an excellent member of any clean up crew.

Species Information:

  • The Lytechinus variegatus urchin comes from the Western Atlantic Ocean and prefers seagrass meadows and other soft-bottom habitats.
  • Totally reef-safe and fond of consuming unsightly hair algae, it has long been a favorite sea urchin among marine aquarium enthusiasts.
  • It is also important to note that these hardy individuals represent some of the first captive-raised specimens to become available to hobbyists.
  • As they roam the aquarium these urchins will tend to pick-up loose rubble, frags, shells, algae, etc. which is often referred to as a "covering behavior". It is not known whether this is for camouflage purposes
  • In addition to being a sustainable alternative to wild caught urchins, they also make a great addition to any clean up crew that will help control and eliminate nuisance algae.

Pincushion Urchins Care and Benefits:

  • Pincushion Urchins do not require supplemental feeding when housed in a saltwater aquarium with some nuisance algae and leftover fish food present.
  • As scavengers, these urchins will scour the live rock in your reef aquarium searching for algae or uneaten fish food or fish waste.
  • If no algae, fish food, or fish waste is present the pincushion urchin can be fed green algae wafers.
  • By purchasing captive-bred organisms, you are supporting the aquaculture of marine organisms and helping make our hobby sustainable!


  1. Clear Algae from Tank
    Pincushion Urchins are known by Reef Aquarists for their fast pace and super-sized appetites. They are great for clearing algal film off of tank walls, rocks, and consuming diatoms.
  2. Low Maintenance
    Pincushion Urchins, unlike many other aquarium inverts, are able to right themselves if they fall, which minimizes the risk of attack by other animals - this trait also reduces the need to manually turn over fallen inverts.
  3. Cleanup Crew
    Pincushion Urchins are Captive-Bred and Sustainable omivores that eat a variety of foods ranging form detritus to hair algae. They rapidly move through the tank, clearing all waste in their path.

 Pincushion Urchin Specifications:

Species: Lytechinus variegatus
Purchase Size: 0.5 - 2" in diameter
Max Size: 8" in diameter
Water Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12,
pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Color: White with brown spines
Reef Safe: Yes
Diet: Herbivore

100% Alive-On-Arrival (AOA) Guarantee for Pincushion Urchins & Captive-bred Info

  • AlgaeBarn guarantees that every urchin we sell will be Alive-On-Arrival and in good health. Should they arrive in any other state, AlgaeBarn will either replace them free of charge (including shipping), or, if the total livestock loss is less than $40, they will issue store credit. For more information, please visit their 100% Alive On Arrival Guarantee page.
  • Algae Barn`s Pincushion Urchin is captive-bred by Ocean, Reefs, and Aquariums™ (ORA™), a world leader in marine aquaculture. In addition to captive bred fish, they also produce many species of captive bred marine invertebrates.

  • Manufacturer Info

    We think the best way to inspire people to protect our oceans is to help them observe, understand and learn from the magnificent creatures that inhabit them. That’s why at Algaebarn we produce premium aquacultured marine organisms that are sustainable and eco-friendly. By providing quality live foods backed by scientific research, we aspire to improve the general health and longevity of ornamental fish. One day we hope to see all marine aquariums filled entirely with aquacultured organisms, thus reducing our hobby’s impact on natural marine environments. The best way to make that vision a reality is to start with the building blocks of all marine ecosystems; Zooplankton and Phytoplankton. We grow all of our premium Copepods and Phytoplankton at the base of the Rocky Mountains in our state of the art 2,000sqft aquaculture facility. As hobbyists ourselves we understand the importance of knowing what goes into your aquarium. That’s why we run all of our water through a twelve stage RODI system before mixing in InstantOcean synthetic sea salt. There are no fish or copper parts anywhere in our facility so you never have to worry about introducing anything unwanted into your aquarium. We only sell premium live Copepods & nutritious Phytoplankton with no harmful chemicals or preservatives.

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    Sea urchins
    They were dead shipped 2 together and all there spikes were beaten off from rolling around d against eachother. Also order cleaner shrimp they also didnt make it. Would not order luve stick again.
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