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Old 01-23-2004, 10:27 AM   #1
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Clean up crew or Skimmer?

I'm experiencing some high levels of ammonia, so I'm doing water changes. I was wondering if a clean up crew like a sea cucumber or some sea star would help or should I get a protein skimmer? Or both? Would clean up crews be ok with live sand? Thank for the help.
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Old 01-23-2004, 10:52 AM   #2
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hmm I am not too sure about a cucumber.. they always make me think twice.. but anyway. a high level of ammonia.. did anything die recently or "disappear"? Also what is your feeding rate... its funny because I sued to think it was common knowledge to feed fish everyday, but as I went along the aquarium route I realized this is completely a myth.

What I forgot to ask, and is really important to know is what clean up crew do you already have? Like how many hermits, shrimps, snails, crabs, etc?? Because you have a fish only tank it is more often suggested that you obtain a skimmer, but they are big bucks in most cases and spending the money isn't an easy thing to do. You could also try to run GAC, which does a fraction of what a skimmer does, but it is better than nothing, but do becareful with what you put in the water chemical wise only because it may get filtered out by this...
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Old 01-23-2004, 01:14 PM   #3
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Clean up crew or Skimmer?

Well, we're pretty new to this and my wife thinks we're supposed to feed our fish (2 clown fish, 2 damsels, 1 lemonpeel) twice a day. Its a 46 gallon bow front, and most of that food just sinks to the bottom. We might switch to once a day feedings. As for our clean up crew we have nothing right now. Do you recommend getting some? I heard great things about skimmers, but the ones I've seen comes with a pump, we would have to get one that fits in the sump.
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Old 01-23-2004, 07:53 PM   #4
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I was just dealing with this same thing. I have 2 clowns and I was told to feed them 3 x a day but like you said most of the food sinks to the bottom. I just purchased a hermit crab to clean it up. What exactly is the recommendation for feeding?

I am very new to saltwater. My tank has been up for 3 weeks. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2004, 08:12 PM   #5
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The ammonia levels will most likely be related to the amounts of foods and possible lack of animals to clean up the left overs. Fish feedings can easily be done once a day. Personally I feed my fish every second day.

How many clean up critters you need will depend greatly on the types of problems you have. Given the possibility of food leftovers and detritus, I would lean moreso towards a few extra nassarius snails at the start and possibley a few cerith, trochus and/or nerite for algae control. You will want to ensure the ammonia is undetectable before adding any of these types of inverts though, they will not tollerate it.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 01-23-2004, 10:27 PM   #6
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This may be a dumb question, but have you thought of reducing the amount of food you feed or reducing the number of times you feed your fish? I had a 65 (setting up a 60 now) that had clowns, tangs and butterflies. I fed them once a day and they all flurished. Everythime I tested my water there was literally no ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, etc. I had about 100# of sand and 60# of LR. I was running a BakPak2 and am Emporer 400. I also had a comparatively small clean up crew.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:00 AM   #7
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I would add a skimmer. TH eclean upp crew will just add more bio load to the water and will not remove disolved organics at all. THe protein skimmer will clean your water of the dissolved organics.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:24 AM   #8
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I think I'm going with a protein skimmer. Try that for awhile before I think again about a clean up crew. Is there a protein skimmer you guys recommend? I know everyone raves about AquaC. Is there a real difference in the AquaC $160 skimmer compared to a cheaper $100 skimmer? I want to thank all of you guys for the help you've given me. Its really reassuring to have a place to go to where everyone wants to help.
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:06 AM   #9
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For a 46 bow the Aqua-c or the bak pak 2R will both do a good job.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:34 PM   #10
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We feed every other day in our tanks. The fish are healthy, we hand feed the stars, anemones, and the clean up crew doesn't have to work as hard. We have done the feeding every day when salt tanks were new to us, and had high nitrates, nasty water, etc. and now, with the every other day feedings, find our water levels to be perfect.

Stacy
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