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Old 03-24-2012, 12:05 AM   #1
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Clean up crew suggestions

Ok, so I need the help of those with experience. My first additions to my new tank are going to be clean up crew. The sand bed needs help, and I have an Aiptasia problem that needs biological control. Heres a list of what is currently in the tank followed by a list of potential new additions. I would like your thoughts on compatibility, effectiveness, and any things I might be missing or over killing on.

Current inhabitants:

1 maroon clown
1 blonde naso tang
1 fox face lo
2 percula clowns
1 maxi mini
1 tree coral
2 Zoa colonies
1 green bubble anemone
Several mushrooms
1 red hairy lobster
2 brittle stars
1 small crab ( I think a gorilla, and I know I need to get rid of him, can't catch the bugger)
Several Turbo snails (don't know how many, but probably 10 ish)
Several small hermits (again, don't have a count)
7.4 billion Aiptasia (estimated population size)

Hopeful additions:

All from aquatic connection special deals page. Check it out. Some really good deals

http://www.aquacon.com/saltwater_spe...utmk=210705557

30 nerite snails
5 peppermint shrimp
21 nassarius snails
5 tiger conch
20 blue leg hermits
20 scarlet hermits
1 arrow crab
10 cerith snails
25 Astraea snails
5 emerald crab
2 purple pin cushion urchin

So, what do you think? Any and all insightful opinions are appreciated. Is this website reputable? I'm getting all this for around $160 plus $50 for overnight shipping

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Old 03-24-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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Oh, btw, 125gal tank LR, LS
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:04 PM   #3
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I would just go with the peppermints for aiptasia. Seems like a little overkill to me. My tank has a grouper, tang, trigger, baitfish, and eel, and a caribbean spiny lobster and I only have 10 turbos a couple Astraea and 40 or so hermits. That's it. Pods do a lot of work. And btw, that's a cool lobster you got there. Almost got one but decided on the Caribbean spiny. Just got him and the eel two days ago. Gl
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:58 AM   #4
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Yeah he was super cool looking when I put him in. I wish he wasn't so reclusive. I hardly ever see him. He hides in the rock all day. It's funny. I know where he lives so I stick my face right near his house and he comes at me claws up tryin to act all tough.

Well I hope it is not total overkill. With the price for shipping I felt like I should get as much as possible to reduce the relative shipping costs. When I looked at all the reef cleaner packs at the other websites it seems that many of them were comparable for a 125 gal tank. I am getting more diversity than those packs and a couple of just cool things that I wanted like the urchins.

What do you think about this one.....Should I remove shells of dead snails from my sand bed or just leave them. The guy I bought this set up from did not take the best care of it, and the bed is pretty littered with remnant snail shells. So far, I have just left them, but I am not crazy about the look of a dozen empty shells all over the sand.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crister13
I would just go with the peppermints for aiptasia. Seems like a little overkill to me. My tank has a grouper, tang, trigger, baitfish, and eel, and a caribbean spiny lobster and I only have 10 turbos a couple Astraea and 40 or so hermits. That's it. Pods do a lot of work. And btw, that's a cool lobster you got there. Almost got one but decided on the Caribbean spiny. Just got him and the eel two days ago. Gl
How big does the Caribbean spiny get? I think I had one of those for dinner in cancun once.....lol, they get pretty huge, don't they? I really want an eel too, but I have heard that they will eat pretty much anything that they can fit in their mouth. What variety did you get?
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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I don't know if you have ordered yet. I have heard nothing but bad from aquatic connection. Check the reviews. If you have or do order from them let me know about your experience.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:16 AM   #7
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Bioteacher whether you remove the shells or not is up to you but I just leave them hermit crabs like shell choices. If you get hermit crabs smaller than the shells you have sitting in you tank they will eventually move into them.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:57 AM   #8
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Ok, so if you want that crab out, I'd suggest getting a small jar and leaning it against the rockwork with a piece of shrimp inside of it. A crab will be able to get in, but not climb out. Watch out that the stars don't get in it though. They'll steal the bait.
I would leave the snail shells for the crabs as they grow. If you don't like seeing them, toss them into/behind the rockwork. Crabs will still find them.
Caribbean Spiny Lobsters can reach almost 2 feet in length.
Aiptasia are a real pest. Peppermint shrimp will sometimes eat them, but it's hit or miss. You might get lucky.But then again, you might not.
There are also a few fish that eat aiptasia. The downside is that they may munch on coral as well. Copper banded butterfly fish seem to be fairly safe. A lot of good testimonials state that they'll devour aiptasia and are generally reef safe.

I have never used aquacon before. I have used liveaquaria, gulf coast ecosystems, and LA Reefs, all with good experiences.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:20 AM   #9
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I don't know if you have ordered yet. I have heard nothing but bad from aquatic connection. Check the reviews. If you have or do order from them let me know about your experience.
**** it! I wish I had seen this before I submitted. I just searched for reviews and they are frighteningly bad. F rating from BBB. Lots of horror stories. I feel like I might get screwed. I think I am going to call my bank first thing Monday to try to stop the transaction.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MacDracor
Ok, so if you want that crab out, I'd suggest getting a small jar and leaning it against the rockwork with a piece of shrimp inside of it. A crab will be able to get in, but not climb out. Watch out that the stars don't get in it though. They'll steal the bait.
I would leave the snail shells for the crabs as they grow. If you don't like seeing them, toss them into/behind the rockwork. Crabs will still find them.
Caribbean Spiny Lobsters can reach almost 2 feet in length.
Aiptasia are a real pest. Peppermint shrimp will sometimes eat them, but it's hit or miss. You might get lucky.But then again, you might not.
There are also a few fish that eat aiptasia. The downside is that they may munch on coral as well. Copper banded butterfly fish seem to be fairly safe. A lot of good testimonials state that they'll devour aiptasia and are generally reef safe.

I have never used aquacon before. I have used liveaquaria, gulf coast ecosystems, and LA Reefs, all with good experiences.
Yeah I think the copperband will eventually find it way into my system, but I am not ready to add any fish. I currently have a perc clown in QT watching for some possible parasites. I figure the peps could act in the mean time, and who knows, maybe they will take care of the problem.

Right now I am Really worried that I am in trouble with a shady dealer. I mean if it works out, it is an awesome deal, but everything I've read says that I will be receiving a lot of dead inverts am never get my money back.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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Good idea. Try reefcleaners.org Theyre really good. And I thought the caribbean spiny was a blue spiny when I bought him, then researched, and, well, yeah, kinda sucks, 2 feet. I dont think he'll get that big, but if he does, Ill give him to an aquarium/my lfs to find him a good home. Does your lobster come out at night? Mine runs around the tank at night.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:31 AM   #12
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Oh and I have a black edge moray eel. Hes about 1.5 feet long now and will get a little bit bigger. The thing thats really cool about them is that they are actually directly related to the green moray and tessalata (genus:gymnothorax) which I find really cool. You could keep one in a 125 if you wanted. Liveaquaria.com sells them.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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Yes, I have seen him a little at night, but only after all lights out. It is pretty dark in my basement when all lights are out. Hard to see and not super fun viewing experience. I've heard you can use red flashlights and that won't bother the tank. Heard of that?
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:04 PM   #14
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No I havent. I do have moonlights though so I can see him perfectly. Maybe you could get some and view hiim at night? That would be awesome!
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:04 AM   #15
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The bad reviews are certainly not encouraging. But remember, most unhappy customers will complain loudly online. Most happy customers just quietly go on their way. The percentage of unhappy customers for a given company is almost always lower than it seems. So you might get lucky. Crossing my fingers for you!
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:27 AM   #16
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Just a little update on the cuc order. So far, my experience with Aquatic Connection has been better than what I have read. I actually called my bank right when they opened on Monday to try to stop the transaction out of panic. Unfortunately, the transaction had already cleared, so they said there was nothing they could do. They told me to keep a really good record of all communications, and if there was something unsatisfactory then I could dispute the charge. So, I started a log of all calls and emails just in case.

Anyway, I called the company Monday morning. At first, did not feel good as a went straight to voicemail. :gulp: I sent an email right after, and then called the number a second time. To my surprise, I got a real person. They looked up my order, and I confirmed that they have everything in stock. They were a little hesitant to provide a ship date, but said it would likely be out by Wednesday. Later that day, I received a call back regarding my voicemail, and a reply to my email. It seems that there might be insufficient internal communication within the company. Finally, last night, an email confirmed that my order would ship Tuesday or Wednesday.

I'll post again with updates. The biggest factor will obviously be the quality of the critters.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #17
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I'm a bit confused and pardon if I didn't read everything above but...

You say you have a new tank and have all those inhabitants already?? Also, for a "new tank", that clean up crew list is also likley too much at once.

Chances are you've been moving too fast with adding other stuff and didn't take care of the aptasia problem before it got out of hand. I know your estimate of 7.4 billion wasn't serious, but if you've got as much as we think you do, peppermint shrimps won't help you, as I thought I saw reading above.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:11 PM   #18
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I have my concerns as well about the age of the tank and it's current livestock. A copperband butterfly is the LAST thing you need to add right now. LOL Very difficult fish to keep. But anyways. lol I have ordered from aquacon before and found their fish to be very good and healthy. The corals are another story though. And all their inverts, those that arrived alive have been fine. The only trick is they have a 2 hour window on DOA items so you have to adhere to that. AND their shrimp and most inverts have no guarantee so best to just stick with fish. LOL

I also had a zillion aipastia and peppermint shrimp did nothing at all. The best bet if this is a new tank is to go rock by rock and either take the rock out and burn the buggers or get some aipastia X and start a killing spree every few days.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #19
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Ok, here's a bit of the back story to help everyone understand a bit better. The tank is new to me but it is a well established tank. I bought the whole setup off a guy on CL. Everything in the tank has been in at least a year (most of it around 2 years). He originally bought the tank off someone else on CL so a lot of the elements are well over 2 years old. He did not have much to work of the sand, glass, and had let the tank go quite a bit. Right now I just want to get the cuc to help with the sandbed, glass and maybe the Aiptasia. If the peps dont work, I will take more drastic measures. Lemon juice in a syringe has worked but I can't get to the hard to reach places and it just comes back. I really don't want to remove every rock from the system if I don't have to.

The copperband is definitely on the "long term" list. It is not something I am thinking about until I get some more experience.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:53 PM   #20
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This one was 2' long and very tame. He lived in a marine sanctuary where there is no fishing allowed.
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