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Old 09-24-2002, 10:43 PM   #1
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advice on clean up critters

I was searching for clean up critters and am seeing absolutely insane amounts of snails, crabs etc, being recommended for a 150 gallon tank. I just can't imagine 100 crabs, 150 snails, 20 shrimp etc in the tank. I am asking opinions on the types and numbers of critters that should be gotten that would be
a) reef safe
b) safe from each other
c) fish won't eat or be eaten by

TIA
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Old 09-25-2002, 03:13 AM   #2
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I have to agree with you about the recommended # for a clean up crew. I now many have that much and it works for them but that is to many for me. My 2 best word of advice
1. Add a little at a time until you have the perfect fit. If you add to many and dont have the algea and diatoms to feed them they will starve or be murdered. Slow keep adding untill the crew fits your needs.
2 Diversity. Try to add as many diffrent types of snails and thing. They all like diffrent things and will keep you tank clean of everything. If you add all of just one type that love hair algea then you will not have hair but how about bubble or cyno.



PS I am still in the building stage of my clean-up crew for my 80gl so you are not alone
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80gl,,2 perc clownfish, Firefish, assorted snails and hermits,brittle star
Green hairy&Blue spotted mushrooms
Pulsing Xenia,Green star&green button polyps, 2 Acroporas,2Monapores, Cualerpa
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:27 AM   #3
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The number of clean up critters you need will depend on your general water chemistry and also the amount of LR in your tank. If you have a small amount of LR in the tank. (personally i think you would qualify) Then you don't need 50 hermits or some outragous number like that. If you don't have big issues with having to scrape algae off the glass you don't need 100+ snails either.

As donkeykong suggested start slow with the clean up crew. If you have nothing to really clean up you will end up feeding the cleanup crew. Most websites will have cleanup crews configured based on some general rule of stocking capacty for a cleanup crew. Some places recommend as much as 1 snail per gal of water capacity. So your 150 gal would need 150 snails!!! 8O

You could get a 55 gal cleanup crew and see what they do for your tank. If you need more than you can always drop in an additional small cleanup crew.

As far as reefsafe some members of the cleanup crew have been known to be murderers of fellow cleanup crew members. Most often a hungery hermit or a hermit looking to move into a larger home will find and kill a snail for its shell. You can curb this by having a wide assortment of empty shells in the tank that a hermit can "try on for size".

Some sandsifters are a benefit but at the same time others will say sandsifters are detrimental to a healthy DSB because they are consuming the very critters that make the DSB a benefit.

Personally hermits are my biggest pain in the ***. I end up having to replace 90% of my snails yearly thanks to their murder ways.
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:39 AM   #4
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My two cents.

I ordered 150 each snails and hermits from the shores of Hawaiian Islands: About half the package consisted of 1 to 1.5 cm sized Hawaiian Left Handed (Calcinus laevimanus) with a few other assorted genus Calcinus sp. Hermit Crabs, and the other half Pipipi Snails (Nerita picea) of the same size, all of which are considered to be REEF SAFE. ( http://www.aloha.net/~hqf/indexjanitors.htm )

The cost, including shipping for each critter was $0.67, which I found to be completely fair. There were extras included, too. Check their site for their minimum order, please.

These critters are small-ish and very active in my 180g tank. I have been most satisfied with my order! Tell them Sue Sellers sent you. =]

Sue
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Old 09-27-2002, 12:20 AM   #5
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well, I ended up using saltwaterfish.com. I will let you know the condition of the critters when they arrive, I did get a good variety, I think.
This is what I decided upon:
10 Blueleg Hermits, 10 Scarlet hermitss, 5 Shaving Brush plants, 10 Peppermint Shrimp, 50 Turbo Snails, 1 Serpent Starfish

My thoughts are that this would do me for a good while, even though it was supposed to service a 55 or smaller. Guess I will find out. They are to be delivered tomorrow and I only ordered them at 9:00 last night. That seemed to be pretty quick to me.
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Old 09-27-2002, 04:06 AM   #6
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Sounds like a good crew, with 10 peppermints you should never have to worry about apstasia.
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80gl,,2 perc clownfish, Firefish, assorted snails and hermits,brittle star
Green hairy&Blue spotted mushrooms
Pulsing Xenia,Green star&green button polyps, 2 Acroporas,2Monapores, Cualerpa
http://www.geocities.com/selestinoca.../homepage.html
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Old 10-01-2002, 12:02 AM   #7
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Hi all!
I wanted to know what kind of clean up crew would get rid of some algae from the sand? It is BROWN and hairy, forming all over my sand... My sand was once nice and white. My LFS said it will go away with time, and if I turn the light off more. I was wondering if I can get anything to clean it up? Also I have a brown algae on the glass at the bottom of the tank. Not red slime algae. Is it good to turn the sand once and a while or no? I have 3 hermit crabs, and just found a dead small crab that I didnt even know I had it has a pretty white shell (but its dead now) I cant get it out either its stuck in a dead coral will this be ok to leave in? Thanks for the help!
Chris
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2 Clown fish
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1 Jaw Fish
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20lbs live sand
20lbs sand
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Old 10-01-2002, 12:28 AM   #8
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chrisareston,

How old is your tank?

If the tank is relatively new (a few months or less) then its probably just diatoms. They will go away as the tank ages. Converting to RO/DI water vs tap water will also help as the dissolved nutrients will be lower.
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Old 10-01-2002, 12:36 AM   #9
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Its a little over a month old! How long does it take to go away? I liked the clean white sand bed... So I should not add anything to clean it right now?
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46 Gal Bow Front
2 Clown fish
1 Lawnmower Blenny
1 Jaw Fish
1 Rock of assorted Shrooms
9 Hermit crabs 3-zebra 6-blueleg
1 Turbo Snail
16lbs live rock (Will add more as money permits)
20lbs live sand
20lbs sand
10 lbs crushed coral
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Old 10-01-2002, 09:51 AM   #10
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Cant help you on the algae/diatoms, but I did have one other thought.

You do know your hermit crab will shed its shell as it grows, right? I mean its actual "skin", not just the snail sell it lives in. This could well be the "dead crab" you found. If you can get the remains out, and its completely empty, one of your crabs is probably just growing some.
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