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Old 10-21-2010, 09:16 PM   #1
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Clean up crew members? Help...


My tank has just begun to cycle so I'm looking down the road at the cleanup crew and had some questions.
The details are 120g with 30g sump and FOWLR for now and corals down the road. I've got 115LBS of LR, sand. Refugium has Cheato, LR and sand.

I was thinking about getting some skunk shrimp, blood shrimp, blue legged crabs, and some sand stars and snails.

I'm not sure about quantities or who gets along with who and if they will affect the corals down the road. Also not sure of the numbers? Any other suggestions...

Thanks so much...Steve

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Old 10-21-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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Sand stars are usually not reef safe.

Shrimp are usually not considered cuc. You can have them, they just won't be tidying things up.

By 115 pound sof LR and sand is that combined or of each? In a reef I recommend AT LEAST one pound per gallon of actual live rock but at least 1.5-2 pounds of rock per gallon total. The difference can come from dry rock (like Feller Stone's Antique Coral) which will become live rock eventually.

Lots of nassarius snails will be beneficial, both in the display and a few in the fuge. Start with 20-40 (not necessarily in one purchase). Add around 40 hermits (mix of burgundy, blue leg, scarlet, etc.). Also add around 40 snails (cerith, astrea, chestnut turbo, margarita, etc.). As problems develop you can add more of whatever will clean it. For example, if you get red slime algae you can add some burgundy hermits (after trying to increase flow since red slime is usually a low flow algae).

I wouldn't TRY to push off corals. Many are very hardy (more hardy than fish) and will make the tank much more enjoyable from the start. Mushrooms, zoanthids, etc. are tough as nails and hard to kill. Xenia is weed-like if it settles in but is stressed by change so acclimation is toughter, but once in and settled it is good to go.

Even if you don't add corals at around the same time as the first fish, keep all fish completely reef safe. The last thing you want to do is decide it is time for corals and have to tear the tank apart to get one or two fish out because they won't work. Don't do damsels except maybe azure.

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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I've got 115lbs or LR and 120lbs of aragonite. Should you QT the CUC? If so do you add a substrate to the QT?

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Old 10-22-2010, 06:24 AM   #4
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I do not quarantine them. They need certain foods and quarantine is a good way to starve them. In my opinion and experience quarantine is tough to do properly, and almost impossible with certain species. Unless the quarantine tank is at least as good as the display in every respect it is simply more stressful for fish, inverts, everything.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
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I prefer a clawless CUC with the exception of most shrimp. Shrimp are definitely a part of a CUC. Hermits tend to eat snails, or just take over their shells. Start small and add as your needs increase. Check out our sponsors for some great items too (reefcleaners comes to mind).

Although I don't QT snails, shrimp or stars I do drip acclimate them, and then run them through a tank water rinse (in a bucket) before adding them to the tank.

I dip Corals in ReVive and CoralRX, and then a clean tank water bath before going into the DT.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:06 AM   #6
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I agree with Cmor. Drop the hermits form the CUC and get a mix of snails. Sand sifting stars are fine for the reef. I had them. The only drawback to a SS star is that it will consume the flora/fauna in the sandbed. Good and bad as do nassarisus snails.

Quantities: 1 cleaner per gallon of water. Keep in mind that you will not need that many to start with, and you will be replacing them over the life of your system. Snails will die off and need to be replaced.

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