Cleanup crew size?

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Sep 10, 2021
Getting 1st tank, 25 gal. ....I will have some coral reef later on.....just in planning stages as tank, etc. hasn't arrived yet.

I read after cycling 4-6 weeks and if all things look good.....that one of the 1st things added should be my cleanup crew along with a couple of fish maybe. I will add Live sand but the reef rocks are not live. I plan on a few plants too maybe.

My question is what should be the size of this cleanup crew to start off?
I've seen these cleanup crew packs offered and they seem like a lot.....especially with the's an example of one of them, but it was for a 30 gl. tank....

any advice on the size it should be?

This 30 gallon reef clean up crew package will include:

10 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs

30 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs

20 Astrea Snails

2 Emerald Crabs
Way to much, in my 20 I have 6 astreas and 5-6 blue legs and 2 nassarius. I usually go by the add as needed philosophy based on where I’m seeing the most algae. If it’s on the glass I’ll grab a couple snails if it’s more in the rock work sand bed then some hermits. If you keep your lights off while cycling then you can add a fish or 2 and then turn the lights on and see where you start getting some algae and go from there. Personally I’ll never add another emerald to my tanks as they get bigger they can become pains and extremely opportunistic, and I just don’t trust em.
You can get away with having no clean up crew if you are good enough on your maintenance. I never understood adding them before the tank is settled and what not to see what the needs of the system are. That will tell you what you need.
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