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Old 05-03-2006, 07:20 PM   #1
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Cleanup Crew Suggestions?

I have a 55 gal. reef (somewhat) tank and I feel like I need more of a cleanup crew to control algea, waste, ect. Right now I have 1 large snail and 1 hermit crab after purchase 2 of each a week or so ago from my LFS. My fish are-

- Red Coris Wrasse 4-5 in.
- Coral Beauty 2-3 in.
- Maroon Clown 2-3 in.
- Arkeye Hawkfish 2 in.
- Stars & Stripes Puffer 2-3 in.

I'm looking for something that is reef safe, but still won't disappear too quickly. My corals are a green star polyp and some shrooms. I have about 60lbs of liverock and my levels are-

PH- 8.3
Alk.- 2.0 meq/L.
Free Ammonia- 0.00 mg/L.
Nitrite- <.1 mg/L.
Nitrate- 40-60 mg/L.
Salinity- 1.022
Temp.- 79.5 F

I know my nitrates are high if you have any suggestions please post but, is there anything wrong with these levels for invertebrates which causes them to become short lived. Anything will help. Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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I would get several more of the hermits and snails. I dont know if the puffer would make a meal out of the hermits or not. But yes you need a bigger clean up crew. As far as keeping the nitrates down do like I have done for eight years now and feed every other day.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by melosu58
I would get several more of the hermits and snails. I dont know if the puffer would make a meal out of the hermits or not. But yes you need a bigger clean up crew. As far as keeping the nitrates down do like I have done for eight years now and feed every other day.
I agree, blue legged hermits are great scavengers but don't eat algae. Red legged hermits eat some forms of algae and tend to scavenge but not like the blue legs. For snails I try to keep two per gallon and in my case they vary in type. I love nassarius snails as they are scavengers and the fastest moving snails you have ever seen. They tend to stay hidden in the sand until feeding time then they come out racing. Only problem with snails is that blue legged hermits tend to be carnivorous and kill snails for the their shells.

As for the Nitrates have you tested your make up water? How much and how often do you feed? What do you feed? How often do you do your water changes and how much water do you change? What does your filtration consist of? Do you have bio balls in your sump?
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:13 PM   #4
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I try to stick with more snails than hermits. I love all my turbo's and nassarius snails. I have about 40 in my 55gal.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:39 PM   #5
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Def need larger cleaning crew. I have around 750-800 snails of 4 varieties and 75 red hermits and 100 blue. A few queen conchs, 15 giant mexican turbo snails which I have slowing put in the sump when I can catch them because they knock over corals. The lady I purchased a lot of them from just sent me a email with sale prices on cleanup crew items. PM me if you would like a copy.
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:47 AM   #6
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I would agree with everyone else that you definately need a bigger cleanup crew. If you want something for keeping your sand clean then i would say nass snails and a conch. My sand used to be really dirty. I got a conch and man, it looks good now! I also got about 12 nass snails around the same time so they could have something to do with it also. I would say probably about 10 or so scarlet hermits, about 20-30 zebra hermits, maybe 10 turbos, and I'd get a couple of mythrax crabs, maybe two would be fine. It also depends on what you feed your fish and how much. Just be careful with your puffer because they do like crabs and snails. HTH Good Luck!
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:51 AM   #7
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I feed once a day with formula one frozen food. I make water changes about every two weeks and change 10 gal. I have an excalibur HOB skimmer and a Millenium 3000. no sump
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:24 AM   #8
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I think as long as you have that large of a bioload, you will always have the nitrate issue. You have a snowflake listed in your signature, do you still have it? If so, between that and the puffer, you have a big waste issue.

I would also cut back feedings to once every other day. Maybe get a better skimmer too.
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:37 PM   #9
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No, I tryed to fix that. . . I no longer have the eel because he was to much trouble for me. Also my skimmer is amazing at getting rid of the crud in the tank. Thanks though! Also what is a good place to order a large amount of hermit crabs on the internet and are they reliable. Also what kind are best at cleaning the sand and rock. Anything on snails would help also. Thanks
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:03 AM   #10
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Hmmm. Would you suggest that I have a bigger clean up crew?
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