To evaluate the biological response of sea squirt Halocynthia roretzi with different body size to heavy metals and its suitability for ecotoxicity assays, the effects of Cr, Cu and Zn on its clearance and oxygen consumption rates were investigated. Clearance and oxygen consumption rates of H. roretzi with various body sizes were calculated at different metal concentrations. Both clearance and oxygen consumption rate were negatively correlated with body sizes. Clearance rate of H. roretzi decreased gradually with increasing concentration of heavy metal, the decreasing rate was in an order of Cr>Cu>Zn. The oxygen consumption rate first increased at low metal concentration (below 100 μg L^-1) and then decreased rapidly with increasing metal concentrations. The decreasing rate was in an order of Cu>Cr=Zn. There was a trend that the clearance rate and oxygen consumption rate decreased drastically under a concentration of 400 μg L^-1, and then decreased smoothly when the metal ion concentration increased continually. So the oxygen consumption and clearance rate at a concentration of 400 μg L^-1 Cu could be thought as a suitable biological tool for exotoxicology analysis.