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Old 06-26-2003, 12:31 PM   #1
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question about cleanup crew/stars

About to start adding cleanup crew critters. I notice that online when you get them shipped to you they come in large numbers. How do you go about adding them to your tank? What I mean is, is it safe to add 10 crabs, shrimp, snails or whatever at a time to my tank? Or is it better to just add something like 2 at a time?

Also, I'm interested in getting probably either a serpent star or a brittle star for my tank. I've got a FOWLR - 55 gal. with CC substrate. I've got about 30 lbs of LR in there. Which of these stars would be a better fit for me??

So far for livestock, I've got:
1xGreen Spotted Puffer
2xTomato Clown
1xLawnmower Blenny
1xYellow Tail Damsel
1xCoral Beauty

Any problems with any of these fish living peacefully with any potential members of a crew or vice versa?

Thanks
/Brian
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:42 PM   #2
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Yeah...the GSP may cause you some grief. I don't know if he'll bother the crabs or not, but I don't think a snail is going to live long around him. Maybe if it's a small puffer and a large snail, you might get away with it for a while. My GSP devours any snails that get in his tank immediately. I raise pond snails to feed him. I'm guessing you are concerned about the extra bioload from the clean up critters? No problem...they add very little to the bioload in the tank. Go ahead and add them...just watch that puffer.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:48 PM   #3
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Thanks. I absolutely love my GSP!! He's got the best personality of any fish I've got. When I feed brine shrimp I dip a dixie cup into the tank to grab a little water to dissolve the frozen brine in. The cups we got just happen to have a flowery pattern on them and whenever I dip the cup into the tank the puff thinks it's food so he keeps swimmping into it trying to take a hunk of the flowers off the cup!! It's hysterical to watch.

So I guess I can just avoid getting snails and stick with the other critters.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:51 PM   #4
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You'll just have to try it and see. I'm not sure if the GSP will tolerate the hermits or not. I have heard you could keep hermits with them, but I haven't done so here.
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:00 PM   #5
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OK cool. I'll just get 1 or 2 hermits for now and see what happens. You think he'd leave the shrimp alone??
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:52 PM   #6
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I doubt it very much. Mine goes after glass shrimp like it was his last meal. I keep my puffer in a 29 by himself so he has very limited social skills. Yours may be a little different, but I think it's going to be like trusting the kids to stay out of the cookies. It may work for a little while, but eventually..... You might want to check out www.pufferlovers.com also. I have found it to be a great source for puffer specific info.
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Old 06-26-2003, 02:11 PM   #7
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I miss my puffer so much They have such a strong personality.
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Old 06-26-2003, 02:35 PM   #8
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For those of you who have starfish - can you reccomend which ones may be good for a newb such as myself?

Some that I'm considering are green and black brittle stars, serpent stars and I read that Orange Linckia are the hardiest of that type of star.

Do they require any additional supplements to their water to thrive (other than food)??

This thread http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...highlight=star provides some insight - but anything else that someone has to add would be appreciated.

And this thread http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...highlight=star is kinda scaring me from linckias.
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:27 PM   #9
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Mutz,

Be careful with the Green Brittle Stars ~ they can be quite predatory, and are known for eating small sleeping fish. The Black Brittles (we have 2 huge ones), and Serpent stars are known for being more docile, and they are scavengers/detritus eaters. However, if you buy a Brittle or Serpent, just know that they are primarily nocturnal, and you will very rarely see them at all. We only see our Brittles when I do my flashlight-peeking at night.

We do have a Blue Linckia, and I love this star. We've had him since Sept. of '02, and it is perfectly healthy. However, we do have about 250lbs of mature LR in the main tank. I wouldn't recommend one for a small tank. Also, they can be a nightmare to acclimate. If you have a very reputable LFS you can have get one for you, and if they would be willing to hold it for a couple weeks, I might go that route. I'd try and be sure that their salinity, temp, and pH are as close to yours as possible. We were lucky and bought ours off a friend who kept his tanks at identical parameters to ours. Even then, I acclimated about 6 hours. If you can get past the acclimation, and have a large enough tank (enough LR), I'd absolutely recommend one. Ours is out a lot, and the color is fantastic.

If the orange Linckias are easier - I'd be tempted to go with that.

General rule of thumb (does not always hold true!) - smooth skinned stars = reef safe. Knobby/bumpy stars (like Choc. chip) = not reef safe.

HTH!
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Do they require any additional supplements to their water to thrive (other than food)??
Sorry - missed this the first time.

Brittles/Serpents are a good part of your cleaner crew, and will eat detritus, uneaten food, etc. I do target feed mine at least weekly, as they are fairly large (16" tip to tip), and while in the 4 years I've had them they've never shown any predatory tendencies, I don't want to tempt them.

AFA the Linckias - they don't require food, and won't benefit from direct feedings. This is why a large established aquarium with a considerable amount of LR is recommended for these guys - their diet is not 100% known, but it is believed that they eat an algal film off the LR.

HTH!
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