what should I include in my "clean-up crew"

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by kvosstra, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. kvosstra

    kvosstra Guest

    Hey Guys,

    I'm trying to start planning for my new tank, and I wanted to get some advice on what I should add to the tank for a clean-up crew. Honestly, I have often have very few snails, hermits, etc., in my tanks, but I am considering adding a few to start the new tank (when the time comes).

    So...this is for my 40 gallon with a shallow sand bed - What types of snails and how many, what hermits (if any)?

    Thanks for the thoughts.
  2. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Tiger tail cucs have been very good to me, Trochus snails as well do a good job and have a long lifespan. AFA hermits, I avoid them unless they are really necessary.
  3. kvosstra

    kvosstra Guest

    ...Which begs the question - when are hermits necessary? I.e. what role do they actually play in the tank's ecosystem?
  4. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Depends on the issue, I wait and see. If there's a turf algae issue blue knuckles work well, sand bed issues, scarlets work well. It depends on the latter stages of the algae establishment.
  5. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Yeah I only employee hermits on a temp basis as well.
  6. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    Green banded gobies are now cleaning up the food on the bottom. It used to be the blue leg hermits doing this. The gobies do not dislodge frags.
  7. nudibranch

    nudibranch Guest

    I would recommend Star Snails because they both eat of your walls and your rock. I would recommend, if you need hermit crabs, Blue Legged Hermit Crabs because they usually are small and smart(in my opinion).
    For bubble algae.
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    While Blue Leg hermits do indeed get into the trade small, they grow just like any other and can get a decent size...IE big enough to tackle the largest Mexican turbo snail.

    Star snails, astreas, can;t right themselves if they fall. They'll die in the spot they fell in :(
  9. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Which is why Trochus are a favorite of many people for that category of snails.

    How are nerites in regard to flipping over?
  10. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    A bunch of nerites being pawned off to people in the hobby should not be used. They are intertidal animals and will leave the water waiting for the tide to go back up, which for most of us never will happen in our tanks :) I prefer not using them and taking the gamble. I find them as useful as an astrea...not useful. I don't think they can right themelves either.

    Trochus hands down are the best snail to get.
  11. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Probably a good place for this, but I recall there being an article stating certain nassarius are good and certain ones are not good for our home reefs. Anyone recall it? I dug a little but couldn't find it.
  12. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Yes, some are collected in brackish water. IIRC it was a Shimek piece on snails in general... the one I keep posting on Margarita snail threads (another snail that tropical reef keepers should avoid)

    nerite - http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-06/rs/index.php


    Here's one of Nass. but it's not the Shimek piece I was thinking about: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-11/mg/index.php
  13. r0ck0

    r0ck0 Guest

    This is also a good article:
  14. nudibranch

    nudibranch Guest

    Most of my hermits crabs are small because the bigger hermit crabs won't let them get biggger shells(they also beat them up).
  15. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    They outgrow their shells and get killed by larger crabs, they don't "stay small" in the presence of food, it's the circle of life.
  16. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Hillarious, thanks for the laugh... :lol:

    What Jeremy said as for my true comment!
  17. phishphood

    phishphood Guest

    So if you had a hermit tank w/out snails and only small hermits. Would they all die rather quickly in the presence of food due to no larger shells to upgrade to? I'd imagine exposure =death for them?
  18. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Yep, they eat each other so the weak or exposed ones turn into chow.
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I have tried a lot of different things.

    Trochus are the best for me!
    Big, clean well, tough, long life. Generally can right themselves.
    They can occasionally get stuck upside down, but rare.
    But even better : They breed occasionally. So with a decent starter set, you will have an endless supply.
    And the babies can reach the small areas.

    I have some red legged hermits. Do ok, but nothing special.
    Did not make a dent in bubble/hair algae.
    I think they killed a few Nerites.

    Nerites are ok, but again, nothing special. I had no issues with them going to top of tank.
    Smaller, so can get in some spots big ones cannot.
    They rarely get stuck upside down.
    Oddly, I have to clean the bubble algae off of them.

    Astrea are terrible. Always dying upside down.

    Nassarius snails are nice for stirring up the bottom, and cleaning up leftover food.
    Amazing fast for a snail as well.

    Emerald crab seems useless.
    Ignored bubble algae. Not sure where he went.

    All that said, I still like to have a mix. Mostly just for fun.
    I may try a cowrie or two as well someday.
  20. nudibranch

    nudibranch Guest

    I love unusual gastropods.

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