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Old 11/09/2017, 07:39 PM   #1
droog
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Can I run a reef without snails?

Hi,

I've always had snails in my CUC. Unfortunately the only snails I'm able to buy where I live are the "turban" variety. They do OK at clean-up but tend to reproduce a lot, and when they die/fall over my sandbed gets littered with old shells and shell pieces which can get ugly quite quickly.

Are there other good options for CUC I could consider? My new build is a 120g clown harem. Tank has just finished cycling but I used dry rock and sand to start, so the CUC will need to be introduced gradually so they don't starve.

-droog


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Old 11/09/2017, 08:06 PM   #2
RobZilla04
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Absolutely you can skip snails.


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Old 11/09/2017, 09:08 PM   #3
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Yes you can and if you the wrong fish you might have a choice in the matter


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Old 11/09/2017, 09:10 PM   #4
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You can go w/out though of course a CUC is usually beneficial, perhaps your tank is still new enough it does not need so much or sustain them on tank waste alone.

I would also consider reefcleaners dot org or a similar online supplier.


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Old 11/09/2017, 11:07 PM   #5
droog
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I'm based in Shanghai, so the US online suppliers don't work for me unfortunately. The hobby is quite niche here which means few online suppliers. I can find sand sifting stars, but they won't clean rocks.

Maybe a sand-sifting goby and tailspot blenny would work for now.

What workers do non-snail employers like to use?

-droog


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Old 11/09/2017, 11:08 PM   #6
droog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocsec1 View Post
Yes you can and if you the wrong fish you might have a choice in the matter
Thanks... I'm not sure what you mean here


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droog View Post
Thanks... I'm not sure what you mean here
Some things eat snails.


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Old 11/10/2017, 06:01 AM   #8
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Yes some fish will eat the snails. So will crabs.


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Old 11/10/2017, 06:12 AM   #9
Subsea
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Hermits eat snails.

Frog,
Before you add fish, introduce pods to your system. They are excellent part of CUC. A serpent star would be a good omnivore component to clean up crew, eating food missed by Clowns. Allow pods to become mature populations before introducing fish. Also add any other invertebrates during the time you are allowing pop densities to increases.

Located in Singapore. How far from tidepools? You could collect your own janitors. Pods love hiding under rocks. Go get you some.


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Old 11/10/2017, 08:27 AM   #10
der_wille_zur_macht
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I've slowly reduced my dependence on snails, although I do still keep them.

I like an emerald crab for algae on rocks. Hermit crabs for general detritus and uneaten food. Something to move the sand around (usually a shrimp goby or similar) to keep the sand looking fresh. That's about it, nature takes care of the rest (pods, fan worms, etc).

That only really leaves the glass unclean, and IME snails are way over-rated at cleaning glass. They just leave random paths across the glass, and you have to clean it yourself anyways.

I like having snails, but more for diversity and visual interest than anything else. Also, they make a really great live food source for a pistol shrimp - especially the tiny cheap snails places like reefcleaners sell. If I start with the snail population they recommend in a tank with a pistol, I find I need to restock after maybe a year or two.


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Old 11/10/2017, 08:56 AM   #11
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I avoid snails. Urchins actually scour the "holdfast" algae uses to attach to substrates making it much harder for it to grow back. My preffered choices are Royal and Tuxedo.


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Old 11/10/2017, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I avoid snails. Urchins actually scour the "holdfast" algae uses to attach to substrates making it much harder for it to grow back. My preffered choices are Royal and Tuxedo.
I agree with Timfish, my preferred cleaner are my tuxedo urchins. The only snails I keep are conchs for the sandbed.

That one urchin cleared out half the overflow and return valves in one day. And followed on to clear the right side the next day. I don't see snails doing that much work in a day.


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Old 11/11/2017, 06:29 AM   #13
droog
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Quote:
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I avoid snails. Urchins actually scour the "holdfast" algae uses to attach to substrates making it much harder for it to grow back. My preffered choices are Royal and Tuxedo.
Good point. I had a longspine urchin in my last system for a while... interesting critter but a bit too much of a sledgehammer. He ate my Coralline algae which was kind of OK, given that it was all over the tank, but the white tracks all over the tank looked wierd! He was returned to the LFS for credit.

Sound like Tuxedo's are more well behaved. I'll try that if it becomes necessary. By Royal you mean Royal Gramma?

-droog


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Old 11/11/2017, 07:56 AM   #14
sde1500
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My tank no longer has any snails I've physically added to it. I know some hitchhiker snails exist and have bred but the ones I added never seemed to do much real work.


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Old 11/11/2017, 08:13 PM   #15
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Manual labor in the form of elbow grease and hooking up a RO/DI unit can only go so far IME. Some snails do seem to fill in the gaps so to say. They're definitely not a cure, but they do serve a purpose. I would much rather give them a chance first before I do something drastic. JMO, GL.

On a side note; if you want a pet then their you go... They come in lots of forms...


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Old 11/11/2017, 10:04 PM   #16
droog
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Well... I went to the LFS and didn't get a single snail. Or crab...

I found this guy... not sure how much it will clean up much but he's cute as a button!



Can anyone tell me what this is. It doesn't seem to match any of the sea stars I can see online.

-droog


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