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Cleanup Crew Recommendations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mshipp08, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. mshipp08

    mshipp08 Inactive User

    9
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    Hello Everyone!
    I am in the process of setting up my very first saltwater tank! It is 55 gallons, it has been completely stocked with  50/50 live/regular sand and live rock. All filters are up and running and it is looking good.  Now I am just doing some research on the tank's clean up crew and I'm finding all kinds of conflicting info!  What would you guys personally recommend? I'm all about efficiency but diversity and interesting specimens are also pluses! : )
    I know I should probably just start out with some snails and crabs for now.. but how many? What species would be recommended?
    What do I add after the snails and crabs have established themselves?
    Thanks!
    Matt
     
  2. adampottebaum

    adampottebaum Experienced Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    Everyone says crabs are great scavangers (don't get me wrong, they are), but they also are oppertunistic feeders. Every book I've read says to stay away from them, they deplete the sandbeds of the bennificial creatures and can also turn on your corals and start munching away. I currenly have about 15-20 or so in my 72 gallon and I'm trying to find someone to take them(free). Try going to LiveAquaria and building your own reef cleaner package. The animals are cheaper than usual and once you hit the $60 mark it's free shipping.

    http://liveaquaria.com/product/aquarium-fish-supplies.cfm?c=420+1805

    What kind of "regular" sand did you use. I know some of the playbox sand can have silicates in it that leach into the tank overtime and cause very bad algae eppisodes.

    Also, where are you located?

    -Adam
     
  3. mshipp08

    mshipp08 Inactive User

    9
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    OK so I'll keep an eye on the little crabs and make sure they aren't being naughty haha. There are only 6 little blue legged hermits and one emerald crab in there so hopefully none of them get too rebellious. There are also 2 turbo snails.. I think I pretty much realize what specimens will scavenge/clean, but i need to know like HOW many. My tank is 55 gallons.. is there some kind of rule for how many crabs/snails/starfish/urchins/whatever to have per so many gallons of water?

    I had seen that site before and also looked at reefcleaners.org

    The "regular" sand was definitely not playbox sand, it was some pretty fine aargonite sand from the pet store.

    I am located in Iowa City
     
  4. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Vendor

    La Porte City, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,014 / 6 / -0
    I order alot from reef topia, good prices & free delivery over $100. Find some others in the area to go in on the order.

    You cant go wrong with emerald crabs or peppermint shrimp. Emerald eat alot of algae. The peppermint eat left over food before it rots. They also breed alot which produce food for other fish & corals.

    A good combo of snails also help.
     
  5. mshipp08

    mshipp08 Inactive User

    9
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    Ok.. so I've done some more research and come up with a mix I think may work... I am very new to this so any comments or suggestions are welcomed!

    5 cerith snails
    2 Turbo snails
    5 Nassarius snails
    1 Coral Banded shrimp
    2 peppermint shrimp
    1 cleaner shrimp
    6 blue legged hermits
    2 emerald crabs
    1 sand sifting star
    1 purple urchin

    Any suggestions VERY WELCOME!
     
  6. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Vendor

    La Porte City, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,014 / 6 / -0
    actually that is a pretty good mix, I forgot about urchins, they are great algae eaters. You can probably use more of the snails if you want.
     
  7. adampottebaum

    adampottebaum Experienced Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    I've always read that the coral banded and the cleaner shrimps will fight, but who knows... I personally would get two cleaners and no CBS. The CBS are in the cleaner shrimp family but they very rarely ever clean fish in aquariums. Every tank I've seen with a CBS it's hard to find them because they are hiding all the time. Cleaners have tons of personality and they will even clean your hands off while you're messing with the tank, which is kind of funny.

    The sand sifting starfish is just a big fish store "bargain" because they quickly eat EVERYTHING in the sand and then just dig to the bottom to die. Every book I've read talking about them and every reputable online source says to never get them. They stir the sand, but you can easily get something else to do that that is a lot nicer to look at(diamond gobies or any other sand sifting fish). Especially don't get a sand sifting star in a 55 because they will be short lived, IMO.

    I have a purple urchin and it is doing great, so are my emerald crabs, snails, and sally lightfoot crabs. I would recommend getting one of the sally lightfoot crabs, they eat TONS of algae. I've never had a problem with any hair algae in my tank since having 2. The emeralds eat a ton of algae too, but the sally lightfoots just eat so much faster, which makes them appealing to me.

    Hope this helps- Adam
     
  8. bobsfish

    bobsfish Experienced Reefkeeper

    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Posted By adampottebaum on 06/09/2009 01:38 PM
    I've always read that the coral banded and the cleaner shrimps will fight, but who knows... I personally would get two cleaners and no CBS. The CBS are in the cleaner shrimp family but they very rarely ever clean fish in aquariums. Every tank I've seen with a CBS it's hard to find them because they are hiding all the time. Cleaners have tons of personality and they will even clean your hands off while you're messing with the tank, which is kind of funny.
    The sand sifting starfish is just a big fish store "bargain" because they quickly eat EVERYTHING in the sand and then just dig to the bottom to die. Every book I've read talking about them and every reputable online source says to never get them. They stir the sand, but you can easily get something else to do that that is a lot nicer to look at(diamond gobies or any other sand sifting fish). Especially don't get a sand sifting star in a 55 because they will be short lived, IMO.
    I have a purple urchin and it is doing great, so are my emerald crabs, snails, and sally lightfoot crabs. I would recommend getting one of the sally lightfoot crabs, they eat TONS of algae. I've never had a problem with any hair algae in my tank since having 2. The emeralds eat a ton of algae too, but the sally lightfoots just eat so much faster, which makes them appealing to me.
    Hope this helps- Adam I've never had both myself, but I've been told multiple times by reputable places/LFS that the coral banded shrimp will ultimately dominate the tank and kill the cleaner shrimp.....although the coral banded is a cooler looking shrimp IMO
    Have you had any issues with the Sally Lightfoot eating any of your corals?
     
  9. mshipp08

    mshipp08 Inactive User

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    ok so maybe ill jsut go with 2 cleaners and no coral banded shrimp... what about the peppermint shrimp? would it fight with the cleaners?
     
  10. adampottebaum

    adampottebaum Experienced Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    I've never had any issues with the sally lightfoot eating any of my corals, or I wouldn't recommend them. They are great algae eaters.

    As for the peppermint shrimp and the cleaners together, it will be perfectly fine. Neither of these two shrimps get hostile toward any others. I've got a cleaner and at least one peppermint in my tank right now and they are just fine. The peppermint shrimp are nocturnal and I hardly ever see any of them during the day, so it's hard saying how many are still alive. I have a bunch of curly-q anemones so I bought a bunch on Live Aquaria's BYO reef cleaner pack since they were only $4.50 a piece.
     
  11. bobsfish

    bobsfish Experienced Reefkeeper

    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    I have a cleaner shrimp and a fire shrimp. They do a good job eating stray food and scraps, but they keep their distance from each other. They have their own "spaces" in the tank.
     
  12. ninjazx777 Experienced Reefkeeper

    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +7 / 1 / -0
    i have a coral bandaed and several peperments in my tank and the seam to get along ok but i have a big tank with lots of live rock for hiding and I feed my fish alot
     

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