1. They are a part of the natural "infrastructure" of the worlds oceans. Benthic pods
eat stuff which is nasty, leftover and generally not "good" for your tank - like leftover food, poop and algae. As a part of the food chain - they are breaking down what the fish and other living creatures in your tank are leaving behind. Insuring that the Pod population in yor tank is healthy is important and easy.
Simply cover a flashlight with a red balloon and observe your tank with lights out. A good population of pod can be easily seen by small critters scurrying over the rock work after dark. The red light will allow you to see them but will not scare them into the crevices.
2. The bacteria in your tank - both anaerobic and aerobic, living in the rock, substrate etc, eat the "leftovers" from the pods
. By ensuring the pods
are ample - you are insuring the bacteria are also able to have a steady flow of food, which results in less water imbalance. Once again - this is just a big food chain - where the mouths of each level of the food chain get smaller and smaller.
3. Your saltwater fish
and corals LOVE them!!! A huge misconception is that only seahorses, mandarins and a few others eat pods
! So wrong - our tanks light up when the pods
are being served - Tangs love 'em, clownfish, midas blennies, triggers and wrasses. In fact- I can't think of a single fish that I have seen turn them down when offered pods
. So give your fish a yummy snack.