View Full Version : clean crew advice.. what do i NEED?

02/17/2006, 10:44 AM
ok my lr and tank have finished cycling.. i have 0 nitrite 0 ammonia.... what do you guys recommend? what kind of snails? what kinda of hermit crabs? anything else? i know i dont want those snails that turn upside down.... thanks! and whats the rule of thumb of rule for how many snails and hermits to a tank?? i have a 75 aga

02/17/2006, 11:37 AM
It's best to get an assortment of different snails and crabs. Different species eat different algea/detritus/other stuff.

Get a bunch of hermit crabs, and a shrimp or two.

Just be carefull with other crabs, they are apportunistic eaters and will munch on some corals, so do your research before you bring one home.

as for how many you can get, i would start out with 50 crabs and 25-30 snails.

02/17/2006, 01:31 PM
Most crabs and hermits are omnivores, meaning they will prefer meat over veggies.
I would start with some cerith snails, also, I would get some easily bred snails from local reefers (Collonista, Stomatella, Columbellidae).

02/17/2006, 02:05 PM
I think that is way too many crabs, and I know a lot of people on this board feel the same way. I have 4 scarlett hermits in my 55 (lost one) and that number is just fine. I would recommend a few hermits personally, because they are fun to look at and don't seem to cause any problems in small numbers.

I agree with the above posts about getting a variety of snails if you can.

I have 10 cerith snails
4 trochus
2 turbos
1 astrae (hitthhiker)
3 urchins (hitchhiker)

Along with the 4 hermit crabs. I get algae along the walls of the tank which I need to clear off, but that is it.

I agree with rumonov if you can find those snails, get some. If you want to have a snail population that replenishes itself, it might be a good idea to not have any hermits at all (I am not sure about this)

02/17/2006, 02:10 PM
Yes, variety is key. Bear in mind you'll easily have 10 people tell you that crab A isn't reef safe and 10 people tell you crab A *IS* reef safe.

I've seen scarlet legged hermit crabs inside of beautiful reef tanks without causing noticeable damage to any fine corals.

02/17/2006, 02:29 PM
From personal experience (which is relatively small), the only crabs I would use are scarlet hermit crabs, they are least agressive. I've had red-legged and they were killing snails and scarlets. If you do decide to get crabs, get some empty snail shells and spread them around tank. When hermits grow they require new bigger shell, if there are nothing available around, they kill a snail and move in its shell.
As far as snails, get, like most said, a variety. They all have slightly different dietary needs, so variety is the key. Also make sure that they will live long. For example Astrea snails right themselves up, so if you don't help them, they will die from starvation of hermit might snack on it. Margarita snails will cook in your tank, they come from cold waters. Some Nerite snails will try to climb out of the tank, because they will wait for a tide to come.... Here are links to articles that might be helpful in making decision on what kind of snails to get:
The Grazing Snails, Part I - Turbo, Trochus, Astraea, and Kin (http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rs/index.php)
The Grazing Snails, Part II - Abalones, Limpets and Nerites (http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-06/rs/index.php)
The Grazing Snails, Part III: Conchs, Ceriths, Cowries, and Columbellids (http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-07/rs/index.php)

IMO, Cerith, Trochus, Nassarius (if you have sand bed), and maybe Mexican Turbo (but they grow big and knock things over) to start with. Get 25% of what you might think is good total head count for your tank, and add more if needed. Otherwise when you get initial algae outbreak you put an army of snails in tank, but when algae subsides most will starve to death because there wont be much to eat.

Good luck. :)

02/17/2006, 02:31 PM
For my 120 gallon I got 10 snails and 4 hermits.

It has worked out nicely. Be careful not to over-hermit.

Hermits aren't always the nicest citizens. You don't want too many.

My 2 cents