Your First Marine Invertebrates - Choosing a Clean up crew - CUC

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by dallasg, 10 Feb 2011.

  1. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator

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    Ok so you have just setup your tank and let the cycle complete, now you want to add your clean up crew, well read on and enjoy!

    Ok, so the CUC for beginners come in 4 different families namely:

    1. Crabs
    2. Shrimps
    3. Starfish
    4. Snails
    there are others like urchins and sea cucumbers but these we will leave for the more mature tanks and advanced reefers. Now not all animals in each category are reef, fish or beginner safe so i am going to choose the ones that are commonly available and safe and used for CUC purposes.

    1.Crabs
    The one of the most interesting livestock choices but for the beginner and even the intermidiate i only recommend hermit crabs, porcelain crabs and anemone crabs.
    As for quantities dont stock to many in a new system as there wont be enough food for them and supplimental feeding will just degrade the water quality.
    The following are good choices:
    Dwarf Blue Legged Hermits (Clibanarius tricolor) - great scavenger
    [​IMG]

    Electric Blue Hermits (Calcinus elegans) - great scavenger
    [​IMG]

    Scarlet Reef hermit (Paguristes cadenati) - great scavenger
    [​IMG]

    Porcelain Anemone Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculosus) - exellent filter feeders - does not need an anemone at all
    [​IMG]

    2. Shrimps
    Another great choice for the CUC crew, here we have limited choices as they are very sensitive to changes in water params, salinity. Here i only recommend the following:
    Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni complex)
    [​IMG]
    do not confuse the above with the Camel shrimp below, the camel shrimp has a moveable rostrum (beak) that is usually angled upwards

    Camel Shrimp (Rhynchocinetes durbanensis)
    [​IMG]

    Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus)
    [​IMG]


    3.Starfish
    These are the Kreepy-Krauly's of the reefing world, they will hide by day and at night will slither all over the reef eating detritus etc. Here for the CUC i ONLY recommend Serpant Brittle-starfish, please when buying these remember not to get any that are green, the green death as they are known will eat your fish, crustacea and other sessile inverts. Keep 1 - 2 per tank also remembering that newer systems wont have enough food to support 2 in the beginning.

    Serpant Brittle Starfish (Ophiothrix sp.)
    [​IMG]

    The Green Death
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 18 Jan 2017
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  3. OP
    dallasg

    dallasg Moderator

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    Your First Marine Invertebrates - Choosing a Clean up crew - CUC - Part 2

    4.Snails
    These little creatures are great and keeping algae, cynao and other badies under control. When selected for the tank i always make sure they are smaller than the hermits as the hermit crabs will try make homes out of them given the chance.
    Here is my list of snails:

    Astraea Turbo Snail (Astraea tecta)
    An aquarium with live rock is preferable so that it can graze on the algae. It will also graze on algae on the side of the tank, cyanobacteria and diatoms. If it falls, it is often unable to right itself, and will need to be placed. It is sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications and will not tolerate high nitrate levels.
    [​IMG]

    Cerith Snails (Cerithium sp.)
    The ideal scavenger, detritus eater, and algae eater! These snails are perfect for the reef aquarium, quickly devouring detritus, uneaten food, decaying organics, fish waste, and nuisance algae. Often bury themselves in the sand, which will help maintain adequate oxygen levels in the substrate.
    [​IMG]

    Mexican turbo snails (Turbo fluctuosa)
    The Turbo Snail also grazes algae on the glass and is useful in keeping the algae under control in aquariums, if insufficient algae is present, the diet should be supplemented with dried seaweed.
    [​IMG]

    Nassarius Snails (Nassarius vibex)
    An ideal scavenger and detritus eater, these snails are perfect for the reef aquarium, quickly consuming detritus, uneaten food, decaying organics, and fish waste. Nassarius Snails like to bury themselves in the sand, which will help maintain adequate oxygen levels in the substrate.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2011
    Carollh and marsbrat like this.
  4. marsbrat

    marsbrat

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    Thanks...awesome thread!!!
     
  5. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator

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    :tt2: Your recomending something called The Green death as a starter CUC :lol:

    Nice thread btw :thumbup:
     
  6. OP
    dallasg

    dallasg Moderator

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    Thanks, I said don't confuse them and not to get the green death
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator

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    sorry speed reading :blush:
     
  8. Jhavenga

    Jhavenga

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    Keep up the good work dallasg :thumbup:
     
  9. Seabass

    Seabass

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    Great man, I love shrimps, you breading any peppermint shrimps?
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Dallas needs to hand out a speeding ticket. Payable in :peroni:
     
  11. Lycan

    Lycan

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    Great thread Dallas!!
     
  12. Keanan

    Keanan 2time

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    Nice Dallas.:thumbup:

    I must say that, that green death looks cool though.
     
  13. Dane

    Dane

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    Another great thread. Kudos dallas!
     
  14. OP
    dallasg

    dallasg Moderator

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    Thanks all, its a pleasure helping, I have loads more :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  15. maxisoft

    maxisoft

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    I second that!!!!!!
     
  16. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    awesome thread Dallas
     
  17. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator

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    he already owes us one for slacking on TOTM:1:
     
  18. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Good post dallas. How about adding to the section about how reef safe they are and what they would eat etc. Reason why im saying is camel shrimps are bad news - they munch on soft corals. Blue legged hermits have also been known to do that and its probably worth a mention to peeps reading this
     
  19. OP
    dallasg

    dallasg Moderator

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    i did that, that why i showed the difference between peppermint and camel shrimps, and it all depends on the temperament of the animal, i have angels in a reef tank that are not interested in corals, got triggers too that are not considered reef safe in my reef tanks, remember most creatures are opportunists, if they are underfed the will to survived will make them eat what they can.
     
  20. Jeann1

    Jeann1

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    Good read Dallas.. Thank You!
     
  21. crispin

    crispin

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    nice read, although id hesitate to add the porceline crab in there as noobs may want to give it a nennie to live in.
     
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