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Old 09-20-2008, 01:23 PM   #1
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Cleanup crew suggestions

I'm just starting out into the world of saltwater and I would like a suggestion for what I will need for a cleanup crew in my tank. It will be a 40g/20g sump, I have 30 lbs of live sand and 30 lbs of cured live rock. How many snails/hermits and what types or what would you suggest? I live a very long distance away from the fish store (300 miles), so my plan is to get at least a partial cleanup crew just to start out, set it up and let the tank finish cycling or whatever it's going to do with the live rock/sand, then in a month or so get some more cleanup crew if needed, and a fish maybe, if all seems well by that time. Then later on, more fish, perhaps. No corals in this tank, I only have about 2 wpg of T12's (60 watts ODNO 2x) and I'm using well water with very high alkalinity, so corals are out, for now. Also, if there is no algae to eat at first, can I feed the cleanup crew algae wafers?

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Old 09-20-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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you should wait to add any of the crew until the cycle is finished. many people stay away from hermits cuz they have a habbit of killing snails for their shells. some snails and a shrimp or 2 would be a nice start.
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
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Well the rock is cured, has been for a while, but I can't actually set up the tank until I go to the pet store and buy a new one (long story, broke the old tank). Such being 300 miles away. But what I was planning on doing was setting up a 10g temporarily (or I do have a 20 as well, but with no lid) to house the cleanup crew, using a filter pad that removes ammonia on it, and doing lots of water changes, until the main tank is ready. I don't think I'll see much of a cycle in the main tank anyway, the rock has been curing now for three months and has no ammonia/nitrite readings at this point. The only difference is that I'll have the sand in there, and it will physically be in a different tank.
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:59 PM   #4
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If your LFS is 300 miles I would order everything online much easier. I have a 46g with 20g sump. my cleanup crew is pretty simple I figure using RO/DI water and keeping up on maintenance is a better alternative to a huge cleanup crew. I have 2 Turbo snails about 5 astrea and I added 12 nassarius and they seem to have multiplyed I have a bunch now. That and my fighting conch and thats it except for my pistol shrimp and cleaner shrimp starfish and sand sifting goby.

I would start with just 1 turbo and maybe like 3 astrea and go from there slowly as time pushes along.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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Shipping starts at $65, not including cost of livestock, and I have to drive 50 miles to pick it up at the airport. I have to drive in to town anyway, so it's not a big deal, just want to make sure that I do get what I want and don't mess up. Something that multiplies is great, livestock is expensive here too.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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where r u?
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:46 PM   #7
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You do need to go light on the clean up crew at the beginning once your tank is cycled and stable. There wont be much for them to eat and you can build up as you go.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:55 PM   #8
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Ok. So how about a few nassarius snails and a couple of astrea? Will they eat algae wafers?
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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Sounds good but it`s best to let them do their job as a clean up crew. After you cycle the tank you`ll have some algea and diatoms that they will be able to eat.
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:02 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm just thinking, it might be a few days before algae starts appearing.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:03 AM   #11
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I have three small fighting conches in my 65/20 system, and they are like lawnmowers.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:49 AM   #12
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I have turbos, astreas, and cerith snails in my tank for a while now. The turbos and ceriths are pretty active, the astreas not so much. The ceriths also really dig in the sand alot and helped eliminate any algae and diatoms I had growing in the substrate. WIth 30 lbs of sand, defianantly consider ceriths or narsissus snails.

I also have a couple of emerald crabs and DWARF hermits that eat like mad. I was warned about buying the larger Scarlet/Electric/Etc. hermits, but these dwarfs are pretty much full size and very small. THey seem to get in ANY crevice.

I recently put in 2 peppermint shrimp to hopefully clear some hard to reach aiptasia but I hardly ever see those guys. I hope they are doing something in there

On another note, I wasn't sure they had enough to eat so I added a couple small pieces of dried seaweed to be sure. Next day I had an algae and diatom outbreak start so be careful feeding your cleaners. Aparently I had plenty for them without adding the seaweed.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:50 PM   #13
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Well I can crank the lights up as much as I can for like 48 hours straight before I add the snails/hermits - this should hopefully at least start the algae growing a bit. The live rock will seed it. I suppose snails/hermits are ok for three days without food?
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