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Old 04-18-2006, 01:28 PM   #1
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Cleaning Crew?

Hello, my tank specs are under "my info". I've had my tank up and running (post-cycle) for two months. I am looking for suggestions on a cleaning crew. I will be changing out my CC for sand (I already have 20LBS of LS) and will add them after that.
1. How long after I change my CC should I wait (i'm doing 50% at a time)
I know there are quite a few online stores that have these cleaning crews.
2. liveaquaria.com has Algae Attack Pack and Detritus Attack Pack (should I get both?)
3. Is it cheaper to buy in a pack or single? I would like a crab or two, but those don't seem to come in any packages.
4. Should I buy the crabs separate?
5. Anyone have great experience and variety on any online store, they could recommend?

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:31 PM   #2
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1. Just test your water and make sure you don't have a mini-cycle going on, and give it a week.
2. Algae Attack Pack is good. I'm leery about the sand sifting star and cucumber in the detritus pack. The sand sifting star will majorly cut down on your pod population, the cucumber is beneficial, but if he gets very scared or dies, he can release alot of toxins into the water. I'd rather see you find a "detrivore kit" somewhere with lots of smaller sand stirrers. They will break down waste, but be too small to eat up all your pods, and their young will also serve as pods.
3. If the pack has what you want, it's usually cheaper to buy the pack. Some places offer the pack with shipping included, so consider that as well.
4. I'm not sure what kind of crabs you want, proclain or emerald mithrax might benifit from a more mature aquarium, so you might wait on them. and get them seperate. Make sure any crabs you pick up are compatible with the fish you want later. If the crabs are included in a pack, might as well get that.
5. You've already found liveaquaria, http://www.etropicals.com is a close cousin with free shipping, www.saltwaterfish.com has a few packages, www.tampabaysaltwater.com has good individual prices. I have not personally ordered from any of these, but I've heard good things.
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:52 PM   #3
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Cool, thanks! I thought liveaquaria and etropical were the same...guess not. I checked saltwaterfish.com but their site is kind of a pain to browse. I'll start w/the algae pack and add crabs later. My two urchins seem to be eating machines, they both are out all day! I was going to go w/a puffer but will wait until I buy my new house in a few years, since I'm planning on moving, and get a puffer there and have a custom tank and two other species specific tanks.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:24 PM   #4
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liveaquaria and etropicals are owned by the same company, but they have diffrent selections.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:31 PM   #5
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Hi I have a 75 gallon new tank. I am 2-weeks into the cycle and have 45lbs live rock with 3 damsels. If or when should I add some cleaner crew livestock. Also I do see some brown algae starting on my live rock. Is this normal. thanks
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:02 PM   #6
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A) It is inadvisable to put any animals into the aquarium before the cycle is completed. The cycle can be started with pinches of fish food, or other ammonia sources, and does not require the introduction of fish. I refuse to lecture at length about what has already occured, read this article if you care to learn more about it.

B) Do you have ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits? Since you're cycling with fish, you need to keep up with the water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite below toxic levels.

C) After your cycle is complete, then wait one more week and add your cleanup crew. It is normal to have lots of algae growing in a new aquarium, that's what the cleanup crew is for. After your water chemistry stabilizes, you should be able to keep the algae better in check.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help (dskidmore). The aquatics store I went to advised me to start the tank with damsels. I am new at this so I took their advice. What kind of cleaning crew do you suggest? I do have a test kit that I use. So far I have not seen any big changes in the level.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:39 PM   #8
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just to add... etropicals has a "build our own" clean up crew thing, but it has to reach $60 or above, shipping is included in the price of each animal though.....
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:22 AM   #9
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Could you post the results of your test kits?

The basis of the cleaner crew is hermit crabs and snails. The exact species isn't so important. Many of the prebuilt kits also come with other types of crabs and shrimp, that can be fun. Having a cleaner shrimp may reduce the chances of your fish getting ick. (The cleaner shrimp will eat parasites off the fish if he's hungry enough.) I'd shy away from cleaner crew packs with sand sifting stars or cucumbers. The sand sifters will depelete your pod supply, and the cucumber can become toxic if he is frightened or dies.
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:33 PM   #10
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I noticed, the cleaning crews have, what seems to me, a heck of a lot of critters....I am talking about 50-70+ critters...Is this overkill and will they die off once they clean. Also, should I buy the extra shells so they can move when they grow?

Thanks
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