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Old 07-04-2007, 02:47 AM   #1
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Cleanup crew packages

Two things:

#1 When would be the best time to add a cleanup crew? Right after the cycle, 3 months later, 6 months later or... other lol.

#2 Im looking at a few websites that sell cleanup crew packages, and it seems like some of the packages recommended for 150 gallon tanks have an obscene amount of animals included (120 Astreas , 10 Trochus, 40 Scarlet Hermits, 80 Mexican Blue leg Hermits, 5 emerald crabs... 225 animals??) I mean, maybe I keep a really clean tank by my water parameters, but my 30 gallon tank couldnt feed 8 turbo snails and some died (I thought) from starvation. Is there really a need for that much janitorial power?

Heres some links to the packages Im referring to:

Ultimate Algae Attack Pack
Ultimate Detritus Attack Pack
100-150 Reef Relief Algae Control Package
100 Gallon Premium Tank Cleaner Package
55-100 Gallon Reef Package
Janitor Reef Package
In The Mix Reef Package
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:13 AM   #2
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I'd add them definitley after the cycle. I added mine right before I got my first fish in the tank. By then I was starting to get some algae on the glass and sand that needed disturbing.

I just ordered a "Build Your Own" clean up crew package from www.etropicals.com It's so cool, because you specify the number of each animal that you want. The prices are decent and the shipping is "free" although they add the shipping amount in with the animals. I loved this, beacuse I got to pick how much of each animal that I wanted. Perhaps that is something to look into. I agree, that package you listed for a 150 gallon tank is crazy...

My only complaint with the etropicals order was that the astreas were FULL of weird algae growing on their shells (no big deal, it got eaten off and is gone now) and that the nassarius snails were VERY small. Otherwise, great package and all my animals made it healthy, alive, and are still kicking.

Check out the Etropicals, might suit your needs better.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #3
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As soon as the cycle is done and you`ve done about a 33% PWC to lower the nitrates. I`d almost order a clean up crew for a 55 gallon tank for your 150 gallon tank. No need for that many right now.
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys, I'll definetly look into that etropicals deal.

Is there any sort of rule-of-thumb for cleanup crews? Or is it pretty much just... add until sufficient?
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:50 PM   #5
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I agree with the others that you should begin as soon as you've finished your cycle as you are sure to start building up algae during the cycle. I also agree that you don't need too many at first as you don't want them to starve if there isn't enough for them to feed on. I have a 120g and I started with 20 Astrea, 20 Nassrius, 10 Cerith, and 10 Turbo Mexicans. The Nassarius snails at etropicals are very small. I ordered 20 more from saltwaterfish.com and they were a different color (black) and much larger. The Mexican Turbo Snails are great. They do an excellent job and move rather quickly through the tank.

BTW, I only have 1 hermit (hitchhiker) and 1 emerald crab. I have at least 120 snails and probably closer to 150. It doesn't seem like too many and I always feel I could use more.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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The guy at the lfs told me that crabs will attack my fish is this true?
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:09 PM   #7
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Most crabs will eat anything if the opportunity presents itself. IMO/IME there are very few totally reef safe crabs. The Porcelin anemone crab and pom-pom crab come to mind as being safe, although the pom-pom crab may inadvertently sting corals w/ it's anemones. Many crabs sold as reef safe can present a problem, especially w/ time and size increase. I've read plenty of bad stories about emerald crabs eating fish, coral, etc- although some people have no problems (for now ). Most crabs that come in on LR are going to be a nuisance. HTH
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:51 PM   #8
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I have never bought into the clean up crew number of critters that the web sites try and sell. IMO way too many critters in the tank at once, if there is not enough food some will die.
Start with a small clean up crew and if they can't handle the job get some more down the road.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:09 PM   #9
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Gee, now I'm worried about the emerald in my tank. I'll keep watch as he grows. The hitchhiker I have is a red legged crab. A few weeks ago I noticed he was sporting a new shell. It was one previously owned by a turbo cerith snail.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:44 PM   #10
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I have heard lots of stories about hermits ransacking mex. turb. snails for their shells so perhaps that isnt the best combination? Anyone have a problem with that a lot, or is it kinda a once-in-a-great-while thing.

I have a sally lightfoot crab in my current tank and she pretty much just sticks to cleaning the rocks, except when food is introduced she can get a little grabby.

So hows this look (for 150gallons):

Emerald Crab x2
Sally Lightfoot Crab x1
Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab x5
Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab x5
Nassarius Snail x25
Peppermint Shrimp x2
Mexican Turbo Snail x10
Queen Conch x3
Electric Blue Hermit Crab x5
Jumbo Cerith Snail x10
Astrea Snail x10
Green Lettuce Nudibrance x1
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