When to get a clean up crew

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Oct 16, 2003
Tustin, CA
My tank is about 1 1/2 months old now. FO 4 or 5 big pieces of rock none if it live. Now I am getting a light brown algae starting to form on my sand. I was wondering about how long before I should add some cleaner guys. I was looking at liveaquaria.com and they have "cleaning crew" packages. I was wondering if They are a good deal or not? It seems like a lot of critters for my 60 gallon tank. Even the packages for a 30 gallon seem like a lot. Since I don't have live rock I don't want to get too many cleaning critters. Would getting detritus cleaners be good as well? They sell them in packs too. Any help would be appreciated as I don't want starve my cleaners to death.
about a month ago you shoulda got it :)
I would go with 3-4 turbos, 10 or so hermits to start off and a few other snails !
I would say pick up a piece or two of live rock to help spead good bacteria, algae, and critters around in your tank. The rock in there now will turn into live rock over time, as long as you seed it. Just a few pounds of live rock can go a long way towards the long term outlook of the tank.

A lot of the clean up packages you see are going to be overkill for what you have. If you have any marine LFSs locally, go pick up a few hermits and snails, and build from there. You might find that you do not need many critters at all.
I got my clean up crew about 2 to 3 weeks of my tank being set up. "I will have pics of my tank in the next 2 months" jsut want to pretty my rocks up a little bit.

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 15
Salinity 1.022
Temp 76

Also how do you "seed" your base rock. Just by having it (the live rock)
touch your base rock? I was planning on getting 10 or so pounds of live rock to stick in there this weekend.

Well I went to the LFS last night and picked up 2 turbo snails and 6 little blue leg hermits. I think the hermits are my favorite thing right now. They are like little lawnmowers.
Ya the rock would be a good thing. Get some that is cured since you have animals in there already, if you can.
Or go here http://www.liverocks.com
Their rock is excellent and they ship so fast that die off is minimal. Even 10-20 lbs would seed your base rock just fine. You would also get all kinds of critters with it as an added bonus. :)
Your avatar is killing me. I wanna go diving soooo bad. :p
Also how do you "seed" your base rock. Just by having it (the live rock)
touch your base rock? I was planning on getting 10 or so pounds of live rock to stick in there this weekend.

Correct, just by having the LR in the tank, it will spread. No need to directly touch the other rocks, over time life/algae with spread. For only 10 pounds, going locally might not be so bad since you can pick out the rock yourself and you will have almost 0 die off. For larger quantities, it starts being a better idea to buy online. Also, while at the LFS, try to get a scoop of substrate from one of their established tanks. If they charge your $5 or whatever for it, it is well worth it. There can be tons of life on a single scoop os substrate.
Its in my gallery if you want a bigger view of it. :)

My friend took that picture about 2 years ago, when I got to go diving almost every weekend. Now with 18 month old twins the diving has ceased for you guessed it about 20 months. Anyway it was taken off of Catalina at Ship Rock at about 50'. I caught this little horn shark about 18 inches long and held him for the shot. Thanks for the ideas guys.
Yes just have an already seeded piece of live rock bond with the base rock. Also I suggest some more turbo snails maybe 4 more. Also try to get some snails from the ocean not sure what they are called though sorry.
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