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Old 12-29-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Cleaning crew for a 20g

Hi, I have some green algae and diatoms growing on my LR. I don't have any cleaning crew, but would like to have some guys to help me clean.

I currently have a 20g highlighted with a 70g rated HOB skimmer.

My current stocking is 2 clownfish, a frogspawn coral, a rock covered by zoas and a bird's nest.

What fish/inverts I can put in here ? I saw hermits are good cleaners, but I don't like hermits because of the need to keep extra shells for it... I heard emrald crabs are good cleaner but when they get rid of the algae they eat corals...

Any suggestions/comments ?
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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CUC do harvest some algaes, but they put the nutrients right back into the water, so new algae grows as fast as they harvest it. There are methods we use to reduce or eliminate most algae. Controlled feeding, efficient protein skimming, good flow and nitrogen export thru growing beneficial algae that can be harvested. Water exchanges are the first line of defense. You need to reduce the nutrient load in the water, otherwise no CUC can make any real dent.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Kk.... I use only RODI water, fluval salt, I give little food for my clowns, this is a new tank, i'm running a 50-90gal skimmer on my 20g.

Readings with API
PO4 0
NO3 0

No ammo/trites.

Thoses GHA make bubbles, I have highlight... So when the sillicates and nitrates will drop over time, algae will go away by itself ?

Anyway, do I need a CUC ?
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Cleaning crew for a 20g

A CUC is optional in my view, I like having some snails, stars and even a couple of the right kind of crabs, but I don't depend on them to do anything. The algae and diatoms are always present in a new setup, so there are probably no worries at this point.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:53 PM   #5
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Ok. When you talking about stars, what kind of ? I saw this starfish hiding under a rock with very long black tentacles, but It don't look so much attractive to my eye...

baby emrauld crab + starfish I like + maybe eventually some snails or a slug... Do this look alraight for a 20g?

For the algae problem I'll wait to see what happen. I had algae for the the first 5 months in my hightech FW planted tank, and now no trace of any algae
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:02 PM   #6
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Serpent stars are really the only cuc type of star. The other ones are pretty difficult to keep alive. How about some astrea and cerith snails? Those are my 2 favorite. You will end up hating crabs eventually. I know I regretted putting them into my tank. They eat algae but steal food from corals as well. Pretty annoying.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bribo12 View Post
You will end up hating crabs eventually. I know I regretted putting them into my tank. They eat algae but steal food from corals as well. Pretty annoying.
Ah ok... I've read about the long tail black star, I changed my mind, I find them interesting.

The snails you mentioned are cool too, but cerit snail, is a snail with a tentacle ?
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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Anybody have experience with black brittle stars ?
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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Yes, I have one and he is great. He does good at cleaning in tight places, and he has long tentacles that reach out an grab food passing by. I would definitely think about some blue leg hermit crabs. They do a great job in this area and are reef safe. I would put about 1 per 2 gal of water. Also nassarius snails are great. i would put one per gal of these. The good thing is they will reproduce in your tank and as you crabs grow, if they have to they will take the shell form the snail. For me, I like to put extra shells in a few at a time for the crabs. You can buy these crabs very small. Shells are very inexpensive also. Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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IMO im battling algae in my 29g and ill tell you, religious water changes and very small feedings only enough for your fish to snatch up every other day (mondays, wednesdays, fridays) and good skimming is the key.

you can have a skimmer rated for a 150g tank on your 20g and it'll hardly skim excess proteins at all if its not tuned to do so, your skimmate should be a dark "tea" color maybe even like slightly muddy water but it shouldnt be at all see-through,

i have an entire CUC team in my 29g, i have cerith snails, turbo snails, nassarius snails, as well as red and blue legged hermits, and i dont rely on them to keep my tank spotless, theyll help you manage but they wont do all the work for you, hope this helps!
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