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Old 05-08-2006, 05:56 PM   #1
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Evaluate my cleaning crew...

I am planning on adding the following cleaning crew:

18 Astraea snails
6 Trochus snails
12 Cerith snails
12 Nassarius snails
12 blue-legged hermits

I seem to see a lot of conflicting advice about how many to add. Some say 1 per gallon, others up to 1 per 5 gallons. I chose these based on some mid ground. Plus each functions slightly different:

Astraea - to clean glass rocks, etc.
Trochus - reproduce readily
Cerith - sand bed agitator
Nassarius - sand bed agitator
Blue legged hermit - clean small spaces in rocks
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:57 PM   #2
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Sorry...what size tank?
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:45 PM   #3
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Oops! Should have put that. Its a 92gal corner bowfront.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:29 PM   #4
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The list looks pretty good. I would up the hermits and add a dozen or so scarlet reef hermits as well. I also have some emerald crabs and various shrimp and a brittle and sand sifting star in my clean-up crew. If you have a new tank start slow and do not add the sand sifter. Increase the crew as bioload and feedings increase.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:35 PM   #5
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I was planning on adding what I have listed for now as I have decent algael growth. As the tank matures, I will add accordingly.

I am hesitant to put too many hermits in there as I hear that they end up predating on your snails. Ever had that problem?
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:39 PM   #6
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I have never really had that issue that I know of. It is important to put in some extra shells of variying sizes for the hermits to move into. I restock my crew (snails and hermits) once a year or so...they seem to disappear with time.
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip. Where do you get small shells, LFS?
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:17 PM   #8
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Your most economical choice is to go to a craft store like Michael's. They have tons for a lot less then the LFS.
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:14 PM   #9
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I would have never thought of that. Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:08 AM   #10
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Getting shells the right size is very important as well. Most snail shells ime are too large for the red/blue leg hermits and if your lfs has old hermit shells and doesn’t charge too much for them I’d go that route personally. My lfs sells them 5 for $1 and as long as you have at least a couple of varying sizes scattered about on the sand you shouldn’t have any issues with the hermits trying to kill off a snail or other hermit for it’s shell.

I also have had to restock mostly hermits over the months. I have no clue to how long they live. Most hermits are congruous but some are more predacious then others especially if there is not enough food in the tank. I think your initial stock list is a little on the light side but it never hurts to be cautious
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