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Old 07-09-2015, 11:05 AM   #1
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What is the reason for adding inverts first vs fish?

I am starting up a small tank and researching. There are differing opinions about whether it matters if you add inverts first (CUC) or fish.

My thought is that inverts are used for cleaning, but if there is no fish to clean up after, then why do they need to go first?

Lots of people say CUC first, but I haven't really found some place that tells me why they believe this is the way to go?
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:30 AM   #2
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The new CUC is there to clean up the new tank, of which usually comes with a bunch of unwanted algae that grew during the cycle.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:45 AM   #3
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The new CUC is there to clean up the new tank, of which usually comes with a bunch of unwanted algae that grew during the cycle.
LOL...what?

there really is no "need" for a "clean up crew" at any point, but the critters are interesting and can help manage stuff to a degree.
You can add them first if you want, but it really doesn't matter and bear in mind that they still contribute to the overall bio-load.

Either way, just make certain you cycle the tank properly first.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:36 PM   #4
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For me $10 for 10 Hermit crabs is such a great inexpensive way to test the water quality. The benefit is they also can reach places snails cannot and are great members for your CUC. They do not have a noticeable bio-load and will let your aquarium establish a little longer while you wait say a week for first fish.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:45 PM   #5
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For me $10 for 10 Hermit crabs is such a great inexpensive way to test the water quality. The benefit is they also can reach places snails cannot and are great members for your CUC. They do not have a noticeable bio-load and will let your aquarium establish a little longer while you wait say a week for first fish.

I would suggest testing water quality with tests, not critters. A hermit crab or snail being alive does not equate to proper parameters.

IMO, a CUC is not necessary at any point. You should not have much, if any, algae while the tank is cycling, so putting snails or crabs in with nothing to clean seems pointless. Cycle the tank properly, add a fish (preferably QT'd first) and see how it goes.


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Old 07-09-2015, 11:06 PM   #6
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Sure absolutely no reason for a CUC......You guys are killing me........
Unless you are strictly keeping SPS then no ones tank has that clean of water conditions.
I don't feel like typing this out again, here read this......You guys been reading MRX to much. I know of no one, I mean NO ONE, that doesn't have some sort of CUC, that goes for all the big boys tanks that you've all read about online! Shall I start to post those for everyone to read also?
Clean Up Crew-What can I add?
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:23 PM   #7
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Well, not needing a CUC doesn't always mean it would be best practice for everyone. I think the SPS only tank is a great example of one that wouldn't need it.
In my system, I could only wish to have a tank running so well. There is a need for some of the creatures I have in there, to the point I wish early on I didn't freak out when I saw some of the odd stuff that came out of the rock and disposed of them to help with what is going on, like the elephant slug.
For someone who isn't going to fiddle in their tank every day, I'd want something in the tank to try to help out...but a bigger emphasis should be put on the fact that adding more eating/pooping creatures won't solve an issue already present in one of our closed systems! If there is a hair algae issue, adding a lawnmower blenny won't solve the parameter issue...as an example. The same goes towards hermits and snails. I could add a ton of mexican turbos to my tank to try to fight the algae that has grown from my own mismanagement, but it won't be a solution towards the problem that I created with the parameters.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:32 PM   #8
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I have over 20 hermits in my 50gallon all SPS reef.. I do this because I like to keep the rocks clean :/ Anyone who says a CUC is not needed has something going on where they think they're achieving some level of reef keeping by not doing so. The benefits out weight the next to 0 negatives. A negative being a turbo snail knocking over my frag plugs..

I would like to see someone have reef lighting with no algae growth.. Come on.

@TheTodd, I don't know why anyone would put live into an aquarium where ammonia is present but sure we can test before making the $10 purchase.. There's algae on the live rock for the hermit.. okay...

Frankly, because hermit crabs don't have a bio-load you could add hermits in even with nitrite in the water... Nitrite is not toxic in seawater... It's actually very possible to have hermits before even cycling an aquarium.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:48 PM   #9
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What is the reason for adding inverts first vs fish?

I'm responding to the OP who asked why people would add a CUC first. My opinion is that in a freshly cycled tank, the CUC has nothing to clean. I've never had an algae problem in a new, fishless tank. Diatoms, maybe, but not algae. I don't recall them saying anything about doing an SPS tank, or even reef for that matter. Either way, I would go with fish first, CUC later. I don't honestly care what other people do with their tanks though.

My 240 FOWLR tank has no CUC and no algae problems. My reef has a few snails and crabs that constantly knock stuff over.


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Old 07-09-2015, 11:58 PM   #10
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At some point I just have to laugh and click away...
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