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Mr.Shrimps
10/03/2017, 01:26 PM
Do they serve a purpose? I have never had hair algae. What about hermits?

Thanks.

tjm9331
10/03/2017, 01:33 PM
Do you NEED them...no but they are beneficial in some ways. They help clean detritus off the rocks, they help keep film algae off the glass and they help stir the sand.

You can certainly get away without them but I like to have them for the added benefits


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mcgyvr
10/03/2017, 01:37 PM
Yes they serve a purpose.. No you don't really need them but many/most tanks would probably benefit from them...

Each kind has its own "food" it enjoys most.. sometimes thats diatoms, some hair algae, some film algae, some cyano, some detritus, etc..

hkgar
10/03/2017, 02:34 PM
Snails or hermits but I would not have both. The hermits treat snails much like you would treat a Filet. A feast.

You should really have a cleanup crew and I would include bristle worms,

xCry0x
10/03/2017, 03:29 PM
If you have never had algae my guess is you do not have strong enough lighting in your tank. Or your water is just 100% completely void of any type of nutrients.

I never had algae problems until I moved from crappy CFL bulbs to an LED fixture capable of supporting coral -- then bam hair algae all over.

drysea
10/03/2017, 08:24 PM
Agree with the light and nutrient comment. Algae is the base of the ecosystem in nature and ubiquitous in saltwater. Snails will scrap of the fine stuff on the live rock that you will not get at. Yep hermits will eat some snails but I would do both snail and crabs with several types of each. They all like things just a bit differently and they will give your tank a balanced scrub.

Cruiznblue
10/03/2017, 09:31 PM
I always had both...feel they both have their own benefits...plus adds more variety to the tank. Just keep a pile of extra shells behind your rock work for hermits to pick up new/bigger shells as they grow.

tkeracer619
10/04/2017, 08:41 AM
No crabs for me but a diverse selection of snails. I add them slowly so they don't starve. I have some that have been with me for 4 or so years.

jlmawp
10/04/2017, 08:45 AM
Need? No. But they take so little effort, clean the undesirable stuff in most cases, and are so cheap, that I think they are absolutely worth it. I have a four different kinds that all do slightly different jobs, so they don't overlap for resources too much.

Krzydmnd
10/04/2017, 09:17 AM
Keep in mind how corals are mounted depending on what kind of Snails you get. I have 5 turban Snails and they are GREAT for cleaning, but they are big and knock corals around if they are aren't mounted well.

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ktownhero
10/04/2017, 10:59 AM
I keep both hermits and snails and would never do a tank without them. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose snails simply because they can get everywhere in the tank. Sure, occasionally a hermit decides to kill one for its shell, but so what? It's nature. By and large, all of my snails and hermits live happily together.

I'm also a big fan of emerald crabs and think every tank should have at least one bristle or serpent star per 4'. I've also grown quite fond of tuxedo urchins. They are cool looking, entertaining (because they collect stuff) and are extremely good cleaners.

xCry0x
10/04/2017, 05:02 PM
I'm also a big fan of emerald crabs and think every tank should have at least one bristle or serpent star per 4'. I've also grown quite fond of tuxedo urchins. They are cool looking, entertaining (because they collect stuff) and are extremely good cleaners.

If you have a reasonably sized tank with a sand bed I would add in fighting conchs also -- do a great job of keeping the sand bed churned.