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Old 07-26-2005, 11:55 PM   #1
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reef cleaner packages

Hey guys, its been a long time since my last post. all has been well with the tank except for when I moved it recently I lost a potters angel, two cleaner shrimps, pink brittle star, and some bullseye mushrooms.

What I need is some advice on reef invert packages. Many internet based fish suppliers sell reef cleaner packages that come with all kinds of little janitors like hermits, snails, etc. Does anybody have some recommendations on who has the best/most efficient assortment?

Thanks, Brian
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:29 AM   #2
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I found Garf's to be quite sufficent. Here's the link if you wanna look em up:

http://www.garf.org/main.html
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1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

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Old 07-27-2005, 10:57 AM   #3
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I ordered mine from LiveAquaria, and although I got what I paid for and I would certainly recommend them, I'm not real thrilled with the cleaner package in general. I find the crabs and snails to be more of a nuissance and really don't do much to clean the tank IMO.
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:44 PM   #4
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The first time I ordered a cleanup crew I ordered them from www.reeftopia.com I was very very happy with what I got from them.

Just recently a group buy was done in NJ and we got a really great deal on inverts from Keys Critters. I was a little disappointed by the size of some of these snails, but that was probably my fault for not doing enough research.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:15 PM   #5
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Garf is charging your ~$3/(snail,hermit,crab). Way overpriced.

I haven't ordered any packages - just picked up a few snails/hermits here and there for $.75 each or whatever.

Dr.Nate, what type of snails/hermits/crabs did you get? Everything I have in my tank is super active - I need about 10 times the number I have tho...
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:12 PM   #6
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I got mostly hermit crabs and turbo snails.....they're active, alright, I just don't think they help the "cleaning" much. I still have to mag-float the glass and stir up the sand bottom when I do, and it seems that I have to do it just as much as I used to! I've got about 20 or 30 hermits and about 10 snails.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:19 PM   #7
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What kind of turbo's do you have? Astrea or Mexican Turbos? The astreas in my tank tend to clean only the back glass... the large mexican turbos seem to clean all the algae off my rocks (they're a dream for hair algae). Occassionally I see them on the glass... but that doesn't really help with anything. The hermits are only going to clear out detritus and food that falls to the bottom of the tank -- they'll help keep your nitrates down -- which should prevent algae growth in a general sense.

I wouldn't say anything will help keep your glass clean other than skimming, UV, and carbon to prevent the algae from growing in the first place. Regardless, you'll have to clean your glass every couple days anyway.

I clean mine about ever 3-4 days (was about 7-9 days when I had fresh carbon and a new UV light).

If you want something to help clean your glass: order about 100 nassarius snails (the ones that are about a centimeter in size, and burrow in your sand during the day).
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:31 PM   #8
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I would recommend reeftopia or saltwaterfish.com and instead of buying packages, pick what you want and "build your own"
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:40 PM   #9
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Thanks Schoelpin! I do believe my turbos are astreas. And you're right, the hermits only get the stuff that falls to the bottom. The only other things my cleanup crew does is move my corals sometimes, and one time even pushed my leather off it's pedestal to the bottom of the tank. The snails are even strong enough to push some of my smaller live rocks off and create chaos. I'm starting to wish I didn't have a cleanup crew at all!

I think I'm lucky in that I only have to mag float my glass about once a week. Not too bad, really.
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:31 PM   #10
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I got mine from my LFS. That way you get them as you need them
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